Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wet Paint, Urban Workshop & an Unfinished Portrait of Mickey Mouse

Wow, where did 2015 go?  And 2016 is flying by so let me catch you up on our happenings!

Doug continues to wow me after almost 30 years!  Yep, we're approaching the big 3-0.  I know, how is that possible when I'm only 39?  Trust me,  the math works out.

We are thrilled to see the weather cooperating with plein air painting (and golfing) and taking Max for his daily walks.  Speaking of Max, one of Max's fellow four-legged friends was laid to rest and Doug did a great little painting for our friends, Bob and Julie.
Tasha (10 x 8) oil on board

He had so much fun painting this one, he's started one of Max!  

Speaking of four-legged friends, this is a common sight first thing in the morning as Doug catches up with his FB perusal.  Jeffrey is the favored grandchild (I still don't have any "human" grandchildren yet so these are as close as I get!).   He belongs to our daughter Amy and we "share" custody of him!  hahaha  

Notice how Max is tucked back behind Jeff.  Jeff will literally step right over him to get to his place of honor--on Doug's legs.  Max is very happy to just sit "near" Jeff.  Jeff, however, does get a little annoyed but he is tolerant.
Doug also found time to build me an amazing sewing room this winter.  It is the most amazing room ever!  It started like this:

I know, it's quite embarrassing but quite frankly, how can I kick out some quality craft projects and quilts in such a disaster.  Even Oscar the dog is sizing up the place . . . it's a disaster.

So Doug went to work, working on the sewing room in the mornings then out to the studio to paint in the afternoons.  Getting some ski paintings out to the galleries.  Here are a few of my faves:

Fly Like an Eagle
9 x 12

Rocket Man
6 x 8

Man Versus
16 x 48
Doug also painted a little painting for our sweet neighbor Joe, who painted my sewing room for me.  He worked tirelessly to get it painted.  This is a painting done of the driveway between our two houses and a beautiful Sunset sunset!

Sunset Sunset
8 x 10
And here is how the sewing room turned out:

So the sewing side is on the right - the "office" is on the left.  He built literally everything--the desks, the shelves, the shelf that holds all my paints, wrapping paper station, everything.  This guy's a keeper I'm telling you!  I'm absolutely in love with this room and having a ball.  Be jealous, ladies!  I'm pretty proud!  I did find this little cross stitch in my organizing efforts.

"We Interrupt this Cross-Stitch to have children!"
 I seriously started this before I had Ryan, back in 1987 or 1988.  It went unfinished and I think I'll leave it as it is.

My first project was piecing this quilt that my mother started many many years ago.  She passed away about 8 years ago and I now have a place to finish some of her wonderful projects.  They saved literally EVERY piece of fabric (and there's a lot of polyester pants and "leisure suits" pieces here.) Some of the blocks were actually PIECED together to make one square.  Love and miss her every single day.

Doug also competed in the Drigg's Digs Plein Air last year and came away with First Place as well as first place for the quick draw in the park.  From there, he headed to Southern Utah for a month of teaching and painting my home town.  It absolutely killed me that he was spending so much time in Escalante and I couldn't go with him.  That's such a fun competition, bringing in over 100 artists to compete!  This painting took 2nd place.  This is a little lane heading out to the Liston home where I spent lots of time as a young girl.  It's now part of the Craig Heitteman and Jill Jessen collection!  So thrilled - Jill looked at it and squeeled.  She fell in love with it!  

View of the Blues
(Robert & Louise Liston Home)
12 x 16
 Here are a few more from down south that are now in the Torrey Gallery.
Boulder Quakies
8 x 10

2nd & Center
8 x 10

11 x 14
 He then did a couple of beautiful pieces for the Sears Dixie Invitational at Dixie State University in St. George.  It was great to be invited among some of the great painters of Utah.  There were 130 artists and this painting took 2nd among the oil painters and sold on the opening night:

"Twinkle Twinkle"
25 x 31
So much has happened and since I've had a new sewing room, I'm not making time to blog!!  Well, now I have a space to do it and I'm sitting here at my sweet desk as we speak so I will keep you updated! In the meantime, look at our website and you can always see new work.  Doug's also doing THREE workshops this summer!!

First one is a 3-day workshop (May 18-20) in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City!!  First time ever!!  "Setting an Urban Beat" and you don't want to miss this.  He may even touch on his technique of getting a plein air study then taking it back to the studio and how to use the study to do larger pieces inside.  Here's a couple from downtown Salt Lake City:

Rhythm of the Saints
20 x 24

Positively Painted
18 x 24
Second one is in Driggs, Idaho on July 23-24 in conjunction with the plein air competition .  I think there are only two spots left there so hurry if you want to go north!!

Third one is going to be in Longmont Colorado!  August 4-7 - this will be a 3 1/2 day workshop with 7 sessions and I'm coming to facilitate the FUN part of the workshop.   To register for any of the workshops, go to our website at and then to "workshops" and there will be links and information on how to register!

Please give me a call if you have questions regarding the workshops or if you want some quilting tips!  I truly do appreciate that you share with me a love of Doug's work.

I also will really appreciate any of you who have more grandchildren than you can handle!  I think my grand-dogs have me well trained so I'm ready to graduate to real babies!!  If you have any to share, let me know!  Otherwise, I will do my best to be patient!

Last note, in case you didn't catch this magazine on news stands, super proud of this guy for getting the cover of Plein Air Magazine in November of 2015 and a wonderful article inside written by Editor-in-Chief Steven Doherty.

November 2015 Cover
Gills Rock Geometry
10 x 10
Click HERE to read the article
There are still more amazing paintings on the website if you want to check that out!  He's been a busy busy guy!!

Thanks for reading!!

All my best,


Friday, August 7, 2015

Wet Paint, Polka Dancing and a Grand View!

Went to spend a couple of days with my Dad in Richfield, Utah and we had such a good time.  Saturday morning, we got up and got "spiffied" up cuz I think we're probably going to Ace for our favorite biscuits and gravy.  Sure enough - dad's got on his purple button up shirt and he looks great!  The young gal who serves up the biscuits knows my dad well.  "Well good morning Mr. Griffin!" as she takes his arm and walks him around to his table.  "The usual today for you and your daughter?"  Dad grins, "You betcha!" Good stuff, indeed.  Mental note:  it's going to take probably 6,000 steps to burn off this gravy.  
My dad, Bill Griffin, age 88, and his baby girl off for biscuits and gravy!
he's kinda into selfies, ya know . . . 

"Shall we stop at K-Mart and check your blood pressure?"  "Yep, just as well.  Pull right up there to the front the no-parking red zone! that's where we always park - we'll be just a minute."  I do as I'm told and do, indeed, get a couple of glares, but no worries.  Dad knows right where to go.  Slides his arm into the cuff.  146/92.  He looks at me.  "That's pretty good, ain't it?"  I said, "Not bad at all."  Somehow, this dictates if he's going to feel good or bad for the day.  I said "I think you'd probably be able to do a little dancin' with Molly Brown at the Polka Party!"  His step quickens just a bit as we head back down the aisle back to the car.  Out the doors, the car's still there.  Whew.  Dodged that bullet!  

Back home in his easy chair, he manhandles the remote control and gets us to RFD-TV.  Oh boy.  We made it just in time for the polka party!  My Dad smiles as the music starts up and we watch those people dance.  He's in heaven as his mind is flooded with memories of wonderful times dancing with my mom, playing his own accordion and making people happy.  I'm reminded again, as my Dad tells me almost every time we talk on the phone, "Honey, slow down a little bit and stop and smell the roses." Dad and I had a great day, stopping to smell the roses.  Here's a clip of Molly B's polka party!


Made me realize that life's just too short to inflict yourself with so much stress and feel the pressure to work too damn hard!  Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do some of those things you normally wouldn't do.  One might be to take a quick dash to Richfield, or maybe take a river trip down the Grand Canyon with a bunch of your painting buddies!  Oh SNAP!  That's just what we did!  Doug was so thrilled to get invited by Cody DeLong and a dozen other great artist friends to make this trip.  They went the end of May and were gone for 10 days.  A true painting trip!  

One of the two rafts heading to shore!
6 x 8 oil on panel
They were led by the Arizona Rafting Company who provided all the meals, sleeping accommodations and the guided tour down the river.  Up first thing in the morning to a fabulous breakfast, then pack up their gear, pull out the paints and find a spot to capture a little bit of heaven with a paint brush!  Clean up, pack your stuff and ride the river for 25 or 30 miles.   

Stop, dock the rafts, pull out the paints and do it again!  He came home with about 18 little painting studies.  Here's some of my favorites!

It was the trip of a lifetime.  So many great painters, old friends and new friends!  Here's a shot of the group.  Hope I get all their names right!  

L-R:  Michelle & Bill Cramer, Doug Braithwaite, Hai-Ou Hou, Susie Hyer, Dave Santillanes, Heather Burton, Cody DeLong, Josh Bean, Rosie Sandifer, Amery Bohling and Dennis Farris.
He came home and immediately started working on some larger pieces from his studies.  Here's what he's done so far:

"A Grand View"
30 x 40
This was entered in the Union Station's "Traces of the West" Show - I think it was still wet when we took it in!  It was awarded 1st Place!  

Here's the other one - a bit smaller, but love the soft colors and the feel of the day.  Peaceful indeed.  Love. Love. Love.  

"Canyon Grazing"
18 x 24
Doug also finished a beautiful piece just before he left on his trip for some friends who live in Hawaii.  They were such fun to work with and were thrilled to take a little bit of Utah snow back to their home in Hawaii!  Thanks to Sid and Allyson for letting Doug share his talent with you!!

"A Superior Landing"
24 x 31
Enjoying a day off today and wanted to find a minute to catch you up on our happenings.  Doug's had an amazing year so far and I still need to share his great week in Drigg's Idaho with you as well!  Maybe tomorrow!  I'm going to be sitting at my company's booth at the Weber County Fair!  Compass Minerals!  Come say hi!  

I'm going to now go find some more roses to smell!  which is code for, I'm going to go put my feet up and have a beverage . . . my new favorite drink:  iced tea and lemonade . . . ba bye diet dew . . . 

Hey, just a reminder, we always welcome you to stop by the gallery and/or studio here in Sunset.  And another reminder, take time to do something wonderful for yourelf . . . we have a couple of spots left in the Torrey 3 1/2 day Workshop September 10-13.  I'm taking time off to go with Doug so I'm looking forward to it!!  Go to our website and click on workshops!  

All my best,


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wet Paint and Artistic Desserts!

It's been a great few weeks since the show in St. George and we've been busy with STUFF!  I mean, the days fill up and the evenings come fast and furious!

We started a little project of tearing up our laundry room, pulling out the washer and dryer, cleaning behind them--seriously?  I mean - super clean!  No lint or anything!!  Yeah right . . . oh, truly, it was downright embarrassing!  We replaced hoses and tidied everything up and decided to throw on a little paint.  I started out and Doug, being the very smart man he is, said "Hon, you're doing a fabulous job at this painting!!"  Me:  "Ya think??  Well, you wait till tomorrow and see what else I can do!"  And the rest is history - I painted the whole room and Doug was proud as punch and he didn't have to lift a brush, except in his studio!!  I told you he was smart and a sweet talker!!  The curtains are kinda "artsy".  Here's what he kicked out while I was painting in the laundry room!
"A Change of Scenery"
14 x 11
Oil on Panel
 I included the frame in the picture because it just looks amazing with the frame.  It's a boat from back in Wisconsin.  It's spectacular.  Now at Terzian Gallery if you want to see it up close and personal.

Mornings are filled with yard work and gardening for the past couple of weeks.  Gym memberships have gone unused because the sun feels so good and we're pooped by the time we get through!

Doug's got an amazing garden going.  He laid down a big tarp, then laid out some "raised boxes" in a big open area.  Put the sprinklers below the boxes and then cut the tarp, peeled it back, dug down a ways and then filled with some good rich soil.  VOILA!  The guy is brilliant I tell you I, said "hon! you are doing a fabulous job with this garden! . . . tee hee  nuf said?"  

So we have 10 tomato plants, then in these small "mini" raised beds, we have zucchini, butternut squash, eggplant, 3 different melons, and cucumbers. Then another larger raised bed with just peppers.  All kinds . . . we even went for a ghost pepper.  So we'll see how that goes . . . will we even see it grow??  ooooooo . . .  Here's me working while Doug is planting and doing such an amazing job, did I mention?  

So then, in the middle of watching our garden grow, he does this!

"Apple Blossoms"
20 x 21
Oil on Canvas
Amazing, right?  I know - a little surprising and not as "Doug-esque" as you would expect.  But he does like to paint the unexpected, right?  

I have been being a little artistic myself and not just painting the laundry room - I know I got duped there!  but every Sunday, we have all the kids over and it's so fun to cook for the fam!!  Here's a couple of my fun desserts that were damn close to being too pretty to eat!!  To the left is a great funnel cake and don't get all impressed because it's very cool-looking - I have a pan for that and it's so heavy-duty, they literally just fall right out!  and to the right, a sour cream chocolate cake with a dark chocolate, almost bitter, chocolate glaze that seriously, it was to die for.  Yeah, I took the picture on a doily and put a strawberry next to it - dorkie, I know!  But hey, this was good stuff!!  If you're in the neighborhood, you really should "drop" in some Sunday night - there's always good food, good fun, sometimes a fire out back and usually a great card game that we've renamed "Bloody Hell!!"  don't ask . . . Bloody hell, just come and play!!  

Classes are filling up - Huntsville will be perfect weather in June!!  Don't miss out.  Love to have you  jump in.  Here's the two paintings he did as demos last year - they were both spectacular and students started a bidding war on them!!  We've had such great feedback from the students who took this class. It's just such a great setting and Doug knows every nook and cranny up there!

Check out the colors in the tree below.  The photo doesn't do it justice - the original was magical to look at:

Here's the link to sign up for the class.  Go to our website - then click on "Workshops!"  

Workshop goes from June 25-28 (that's a Thursday morning through Sunday morning - 7 sessions).  

K - check back soon as there are a couple of killer paintings on the easel right now I can't wait to share with you!!  

Also this Friday, May 1 from 6-9 pm, we are going to participate in "Ogden's Finest" at Shanna Kunz-Hernandez' wonderful little gallery "Bella Muse Studio & Galleries."  It should be an incredible compilation of some of Ogden's finest artists.  There's some amazing artists in this area and we are excited to be part of that show!!  and I'm helping make some delectable desserts for the show!   

Signing off with a great picture (one of a bagillion pictures we take of our only grandchildren at this point.)  Max is "chillin'" with Doug and when I say "chillin'" I mean, it was really chilly!  Max was shaking like a leaf so Doug tucked him in his coat!  Aren't they both just cute as can be?  Both have very nicely groomed mustaches, don't they?   

And Jeffrey, well, he's just damn cute!  He absolutely loved our whirlwind snowstorm in the middle of April.  Me,  not so much . .  Bloody hell . . .

Good Night!!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Painting Outside the School Grounds!

Sunny St. George delivered a beautiful day today!  Started out a bit nippy (in the 40's) but progressed into a perfect day!

Doug rebelled by painting "outside the school grounds" but I promised Jane that he would deliver a killer painting and that it would be worth it!

Here's where he started.

Bandana and all!  Set up off the beaten path.  Such a rebel!
  I, of course, was back up near the gallery "working" and manning the "Braithwaite" corner where Doug was SUPPOSED to be painting.  Every 15 or 20 minutes, I would leave my post, dash out the school-yard gate and snap a quick picture of the Braithwaite progress.  It had to be a masterpiece or we would both be in trouble!

20 minutes into the painting.  Looking good.  
People back at the gallery are asking "did Doug decide not to paint today??"  I assured them he was working in his element and directed them his way.  With his headphones in, he was in the groove and most anyone who stopped to talk to him would startle him if they touched his shoulder!

45 minutes into it.  Value study done - now adding color and more detail. 
About an hour into the painting.  Loving the red car!  How much detail will he put in?
About 1 1/2 hours into the painting.  
I watched as he took the telephone pole from a black line to an authentic-looking telephone pole.  He did one straight line down the pole with brown paint and then went over it again with a skinny orange line!  I really wouldn't have thought to do that!  hahaha

Last phase, the foreground.  How much detail - and of course, my question is always "will he put in a few "dots" for the red flowers?  

Finished!  Absolutely beautiful!  
Yup!  He did!  What a great little painting.  Congratulations to the highest bidder in the silent auction!  You got a gem!

And Doug was not grounded for leaving the premises and I delivered on my promise:  it WAS a killer painting!  Looking forward to Doug doing more fun cityscapes of St. George!

Great couple of days for our first time participating in the New Visions Art Show.  We will be more prepared next year for sure!  Thrilled to be a part of the great group of artists down here and so excited to have met some new artist friends as well!  Thanks to friends and family who came to see us and for sending YOUR friends to see us too!!

Let the vacation begin!  hoping I get to use my golf clubs that I INSISTED we bring!  



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bugs in Wet Paint!

So I'm sitting here in the sun on a little deck at our "home" for the next 3 days in St. George, Utah.  It's 65 degrees, with 10-15 mph winds but the sun is beating down on my bare legs (bare also means lack of sun for an entire winter!) and they're soaking it up!  I'm not gonna lie, this is incredibly relaxing!  Let's keep that just 'tween us, if you will!  

Jane Meyers getting the artists situated!
Doug is now showing work at Authentique Gallery here in St. George and so was invited to participate in the Eighth Annual New Visions Art Show at both Authentique and Mission Galleries.  The artists have set up outside around the two galleries with a few of their paintings and have been painting for the mere pleasure and perusing enjoyment of their collectors and art lovers!  

With the gusts of wind, we have seen a few minor "oopsies" and then some major "Oh Sh#!$" paintings falling over, one canvas getting a sharp puncture through its heart!   

Doug working a Southern Utah landscape
So here's where Doug is working this afternoon--similar to my set-up, right?  Sun beating down on your neck same here - I probably should just put on my swimsuit . . . a bit breezy knocking over paintings and knocking over my cold can of fresca . . . gosh . . . Its brutal working out in this Southern Utah sun!  Trust me hun, I feel your pain!  I'm trying to show some empathy here . . . not sure it's going to come across that way tho!    

We set up a few paintings outside.  Here's our little display, with the rest of the paintings hung inside.

Authentique has this great little courtyard
Many of our favorite artists are here this weekend!  Shanna Kunz, George Handrahan, Jeff Pugh, Brad Holt and Rett Ashby to name a few!  Meeting many more and looking forward to showing work next to theirs here in St. George!

Here's the final touches and final painting, complete with the little last-minute photo reference down below . . .  

See how the painting is floating.  Starting to paint the recessed edges . . .
And last side - this is the color of his "under-painting". . .

And a last few strokes that make it pop!

Pop it in a frame of your choice and nice choice it is and VOILA!
Enlarge it and notice the "eagle" in the sky on the far right!  Dat be a bug!  He ain't goin' anywhere anytime soon, I don't s'pose!  

Tomorrow Doug will be out painting "true" plein air!  He's hoping to get in a cool street scene of downtown St. George!  Stay tuned!

working in the sun is exhausting . . . I think I'll call Doug and see if he'd mind coming and "refreshing my beverage . . . "