Nature Conservancy Benefit Series

First – I’m not updating this blog much at this time, but I update my Instagram several times a week, and I invite you to check it out for the most current updates on my new paintings, shows and travel photos. Thanks for visiting!

This week, I set up a new abstract series at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, and we’ll be donating 100% of proceeds from this series to the Nature Conservancy.  I just discovered fluid abstracts a month ago, and I love the biological feel of this new medium.  As a former forester, I love aerial views as well as plants and rocks, and I like the way these fluid paint pours echo scenes in nature, large and small.  All paintings in the series are 10″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas.  They’re beginner quality since I just learned this medium last month, and I priced them all at $30 USD because I want people to support this great cause.

If you’re in the SF Bay area, stop by this cool nonprofit cafe to see my work downstairs until the end of September.  Feel free to take your painting home off the wall after you pay via my Etsy store.  If you’re not local, you can still shop the collection through this link, and I’ll donate 100% of profits to the Nature Conservancy.

Two of the paintings sold within the first few hours on the wall.  I had a lot of fun doing these, and I’ll add to the collection over the next two months as needed.



Dreaming of the north: My finished sunrise painting

New painting finished!  This one is kind of a mix of camping memories from northern Canada and Alaska.  We’ve had so many good camping trips in the north during our marriage; camping in a hailstorm on Denali when I was four months pregnant, fighting off bugs in Peace River, and seeing grizzly bears in Bella Coola.  The sunrises in the north are so beautiful:

Northern Sunrise, 20″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2017 Kathryn Beals

I’ve been trying to work more with yellow lately.  I find it tricky to use, but it looks so good in landscapes when done properly, so it’s something I’ve been learning through trial and error.  Here are a couple detail shots:

I’ll post the progress pictures soon, but for now check it out as a paper print or canvas print in my Etsy store.

New Bowen Island Painting Finished

I have a new painting finished and up in my Etsy print store:


First Paddle, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2016 Kathryn Beals

This is a painting of my little daughter learning to paddle her own kayak in the ocean off of Bowen Island, in the Gulf islands of British Columbia.  We spent a lot of time there last summer swimming in the warm water.

Here are a few progress pics I took along the way.  The color is a little different since I was painting at night under incandescent light.

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Painting in the sky quickly with my big brush.  I used mostly Ultramarine Blue with a bit of Anthraquinone Blue and of course, Titanium White.

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Then I added the beginning of the trees and ocean, again with the big brush to keep me from getting caught up in details.  The paint was drying quickly and I finished this part in about 10 minutes, taking pictures from my Apple watch:

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Here’s one of the little tricks I learned from my portrait painting days. To save time and avoid perspective drawing errors (something I’ve never been great at) I resized my reference photo in a photo editing program, printed it out and taped it to the canvas with graphite paper underneath. Then I traced the general silhouette onto the (dry) canvas underneath as a reference.

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I taped the photo next to my working area and painted in the kayak and girl:img_8629 img_8640

Here are some detail shots from the finished painting, in proper lighting.  Pretty clouds:Version 3


For the reflections under the kayak, I just added the colors of the kayak and her lifejacket as I was working.

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I find water reflections tricky in general and this was a good opportunity to practice.  In calm water, the reflections are always sharper than I expect them to be.  I used very stark contrast this time and I like how it came out.

The original painting is not for sale, but you can buy paper prints or canvas prints of this one in my Etsy store, which donates partial proceeds to Leave No Trace.

Canvas prints and a copyright reminder for artists

The internet is a wonderful tool for artists and art admirers, and something that’s been indispensable to my business as a self-taught artist.  However, it has its downsides, as it’s come to my attention recently that unauthorized copies of my paintings are being sold overseas.   I don’t want to link to them, but here are a few examples of places my work is being sold without my permission:

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I’ve filed copyright infringement notices with Google, and I heard back from them today that they will be removing the site’s links.

If you’re an art buyer interested in my work, be aware that authorized prints are only sold via my website and my Etsy store, not through any other vendors.  These unauthorized prints are being made with low-res web quality images.  If you see any unauthorized uses of my images out there, please contact me.

For other artists, this is a good reminder never to post the high-res images of your work.  As you can see, watermarks can be digitally removed or changed, so keep your images small on the web, and don’t upload your master copies (fortunately, I never do).

On a positive note, I have really been enjoying the canvas prints made by my local printer in Santa Ana – they keep getting more vivid and realistic.  I bought a few for our house to replace favorite originals that I’ve sold, and I love them.  Check it out:

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These are the two different canvas depths that they make.  My standard prints are in the thicker 1.5″ depth, but I like the shallower depth for small prints like this 11″ x 14″.  Check out canvas prints in my Etsy store.  I’m adding new images all the time, so let me know if there are any you’d like to see as canvas prints, or if you’re looking for a custom size.

Original paintings now in the Etsy shop

I currently have 15 of my original paintings on display at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA, which will be there until mid December. This week, I’ve been adding originals to my Etsy shop, which formerly only sold prints. I’ll continue adding more next week, but here are a few of the originals that are in there now:

Check my shop for the original paintings,  or as always you can order canvas prints or digital prints. I’ve been getting a lot of requests to add images and sizes to the store.  As always, if you see a size or image that’s not listed, just contact me and I’d be happy to customize.  I have my canvas prints made locally in California and I love them.  Check it out:

My first Death Valley National Park painting

I’ve finished the first of several paintings I’ve planned to do of my trip to Death Valley National Park last February.  I ran the Death Valley half marathon in Death Valley National Park just as the wildflower superbloom was starting, and it was a wonderful experience.  Just as the sun was rising and the runners lined up at the start line, the race director lead the crowd in singing “America the Beautiful”.


Death Valley Superbloom, 20″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2016 Kathryn Beals

You can click on the images to see detail shots from the finished painting.  I had fun working with yellow on this one:

Here’s a gif of the painting coming together.  You can watch my coffee cup moving around:

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The painting is now live in my Etsy shop as a photo print or canvas print, and up on my website.  The painting is for sale and I will be entering it in several shows this fall.

New Death Valley paintings coming

Hi!  I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my three little ones and managing my print store, but when I find time to paint I’ve been working on some paintings from a trip we took to Death Valley, California earlier this year.

I ran the Death Valley half marathon in February, and we caught the very beginning of the wildflower superbloom, a rare natural event that comes after just the right combination of rain and temperature.  The race went along Hwy 190 near the Furnace Creek Ranch, and was one of the most beautiful I have ever done.

We also did some stargazing, since the site is far out in the desert and away from light pollution.  My daughter was really hoping to see a scorpion, although we didn’t find any.  It was a wonderful trip and I had lots of painting ideas when we got back.

Before starting, I painted a few quick practice studies on small canvases to try out some ideas.  Each took about 10 minutes:

I started on the uppermost scene, a field of flowers at dawn.  It’s not finished but here are a few progress shots:

Stay tuned!  I’m hoping I’ll have this one finished soon.

Main site update and store addition

I just made an update to my main site, which now has my Fireflies painting in the gallery. The Fireflies painting is also now in my Etsy store as a canvas print or digital photo print.

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Here I am with my little guy at the opening reception at Pacific Art League earlier this month:

I painted this painting with him in the carrier on my chest as a newborn. Time flies!

We just got back from a road trip to two of California’s national parks; Sequoia and Death Valley.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with some scenes we saw along the way.


My Firefly painting at the Pacific Art League next month

My new firefly painting will be part of the Members’ exhibit next month at Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, CA.  I’m hoping to make it to the opening reception on January 8.  The painting will be part of the display from January 8-28.


This painting is in my Etsy store as a photo print or canvas print, and the original will be for sale through the Pacific Art League gallery.  I’m having some technical difficulties updating my website right now, but I’ll get the new painting up on there soon.

Happy New Year!