Pumpkin Season has Arrived

Typically I buy quite a variety of pumpkins and squash each year, this year I decided to buy a bunch of fake pumpkins and squash.  I'm still looking for a really large fake pumpkin that looks "authentic".
Why would I buy fakes instead of real ones?


I'm setting up a still life in my studio for painting, drawing, etc., and the real ones don't last into March, about the time when I'll be designing  collections for next Fall.

I have a ton of  photos for color and texture references (taken at a local pumpkin farm), but there's nothing as nice as working from a real 3D object.

And don't worry my designs won't look anything like these in the photos, they are just a starting point to work from.

Now to find a decent looking fake pomegranate and all will be well in the world of studio props.

Artist Interview with Denice Peters

Meet Denice Peters!

Denice Peters is an Iowa native and was born and raised in LeMars, IA.  Life pulled her in other directions for a time, but came to realize life is too short not to follow her dreams. So, she took the plunge to be a full time artist.  Mostly a self taught artist, she has taken the time to hone her own vision and technique.  Her vision is clear in her vivid realistic depictions of our rural scenes and landscape.  She exhibits nationally and her work has won many awards.

Denice says, “I’ve found that pastels give me that “hands on” aspect of painting that I love so much!  I love to “get right in there” and I become part of each painting in many ways. I love pastels so much that they are all I use now.  We overlook the things we see every day. God gave us many beautiful things. The beauty that surrounds us here in the Midwest is what I strive to capture before it disappears.”

She’s a member of the Pastel Society of America, Iowa Artist association and Iowa Pastel Society.  Her work can be seen at Clear Lake Art Center, Clear Lake, IA; Corning Center for Art, Corning, IA; and Xanadu Online Gallery, Scottsbluff, AZ.  She offers workshops and classes, and her website address is    
I have been an artist my whole life.  Drawing and painting has always been a huge part of me.  Life tries to pull you away from your dreams at times.  But I took the plunge to be a full time professional artist about 4 years ago.  It was a bad year for me, I lost both parents 7 months apart and in between them I lost my job.  I just came to realize that life is too short NOT to follow your dreams.  
I am currently working on rural landscapes in pastel.  For almost 20 Years, pastels are all I that I use.  I had a happy incident at an oil painting workshop back then.  The artist asked if anyone had another day, he'd show us pastels.  I said "Why not?"  Well, I was hooked!  I fell in love with the rich creamy vibrant colors of pastel.  I also gave me that tactile sensation of feeling the colors and strokes as I work.  No other medium but graphite or charcoal ever came close.  I work and blend with my hands and fingers.  Nothing separates me from my work, like a brush or something.  It's just me and my painting.  

When I start a painting, I work out the composition in my head and on a screen and sometimes paper.  I do everything by hand.  I freehand sketch my large shapes and composition on my surface.  On occasion, I will apply some dark pastel and then do an alcohol wash to block in the darkest areas and shapes.  Mostly though, I just start in painting!  I always start on the top of the painting working from dark to light and background to foreground.  

I find that I need to paint, so I try to do art related things every day.  If I can't for a few days, I feel down, so I'm either painting every day or working on the computer promoting my work.  I have been blessed with many opportunities so far.  And I have so many ideas yet to paint!

Art Crawl Iowa Virutal Studio Tour Update!

What you will need to participate in this years
Art Crawl Iowa Virtual Studio Tour:

  1. Currently live in Iowa
  2. A blog and/or a website where you will post creative photos of your studio(s)
  3. Brief artist statement and bio about yourself and your work.
  4. A couple of images of your artwork.
  5. List of galleries, etc., where we can see and/or purchase your artwork.
  6. Contact email
  7. Send me a link to your website/blog/page and I will add it to the list of participating artists here on this blog next Friday at
If you would like to participate in Art Crawl Iowa 2013 email me at

WIP - Apple

WIP - Apple
40x68 inches
Fabric Paint, Shiva Paintsticks, on Cotton

Taking opinions! I'm not happy with the background. At this point I think I will finish the apple tonight, which means I need to go to the store and audition apples again, and then let it air cure. Once it's cured in a few days, shiva paintstiks, I'd press it then wash it then stitch it???

I'm still not certain, I've been working on this piece of almost a year now.