Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

With a grateful heart, I want to express sincere appreciation 
to all of you who follow my blog, who have sent me encouraging words 
and who have purchased my art throughout the year. 
Thanks so much for your encouragement and support!

Best wishes for a beautiful new year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A blessed Christmas morning ...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

JOHN 1:1-4

… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, 
and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten 
from the Father, full of grace and truth.

JOHN 1:14

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


That’s the sound I imagine when I think of how fast time is going by. November already!

This past summer my husband Paul and I embarked on a new adventure known to quite a few of you as “Downsizing,” getting rid of unneeded and little used possessions and moving out of a way-too-big-for-us living space. Now we are nearing our goal of passing along our rambling circa 1872 plantation home to a new family excited and eager to begin taking over the project of renewing and restoring this beautiful old house.

“Where are you going?” you may ask, “And what about the dogs and cats?”

We will be moving very soon just a few minutes farther away from Shreveport, to a little house on 35 acres (mostly woods, with plenty of running around room for the dogs) with a pond I’m sure Roadie will love, and a little used “jeep road” that runs down through the woods to the next property.

And even though we’re downsizing, we still have a heart for old houses; so our new little project is circa 1910-20 or so, and needs a LOT of work, but it’s small, so very do-able for us. It was a fun challenge to plan how to utilize to the fullest every square inch of the under-1000-square-foot farmhouse, but I’m pretty excited about the big room with north-facing windows we’ve designated as my studio/workshop space -- AKA the “cat suite” where Jo and Pontoufle will take up residence and continue in their duties as studio cats. The other big front room will be Paul’s office/music studio and will also serve as our “winding down” space, or family room, complete with fireplace. Then we have our bedroom and bath, kitchen, and laundry room. What we will end up with is basically all the rooms we use in our house now, without all the extraneous unused space. Oh, and Moustachio will also continue in his position as King of the Front Porch and All He Surveys.

The one room we won’t have that I think I’ll really miss is the sunporch, but I really am looking forward to the coziness of our new place. I’ve already been taking lots of  “before” pics, and will continue documenting with photos as we move in and work on the house.

In addition to painting walls, I’ll be doing plenty of painting pictures, too, so keep checking in!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blast from the past
or, It’s springtime somewhere!

A quote for all my friends south of the equator, where spring is in full swing:

She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”

– A. A. MILNE, When We Were Very Young


Debutantes © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 36 x 2 inches • oil on museum quality, archival GessobordTM
private collection • Shreveport, Louisiana

This is one of the paintings I had on display at the Red River Revel a couple of weeks ago, a picture of the daffodils gracing our front yard last spring. As we were preparing to hang it, I accidentally dropped it, damaging the top left and bottom left corners EVER so slightly.


Oh well, accidents will happen. And you can hardly notice the damage, which could be easily and completely hidden by framing.

But still, I’m putting it in my eBay store at half price -- what a deal!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm back … with a new cat painting, even!


On the Edge  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
8 x 8 x 3/4 inches • oil on Museum Series cradled GessobordTM
private collection • Alger, Michigan

The Red River Revel arts festival last week was wonderful and I’ll be sharing photos soon. Meanwhile, here’s a new painting of Jo I did today. I used a palette of vibrant and earthy fall colors for this fun painting, and working on it with all the windows open to this afternoon’s cool autumn breeze was an absolute joy.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sunset walk and a scary dog

As Roadie, Trixie and I set out for a walk after supper, I thought that we might have started too late for me to get any good pictures, because the light was too low.


 Maybe I thought wrong.

Love our southern red dirt. When I was a kid we lived for several years in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where my Dad was stationed. The earth up there was black as coal. I remember whenever we went on family vacations down south, when we started seeing the red dirt we knew we were getting close to Grandma’s house!

Roadie loves to go swimming in this little watering hole out in the pasture.

 Hey Mom, wanna see my imitation of the Loch Ness monster?

Okay, are ya watchin’? Here I go!

Ooooo, scary, kids!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who’s on first?

Untitled WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 6 x 24 • oil on cradled GessobordTM

This one is an exercise in spontaneity. Is that an oxymoron? 

I mean, is it possible to actually practice spontaneity? or does it just happen? 

Is it possible to plan to be spontaneous in your choices? or does the very fact that you say ahead of time: “I’m going to try to be more spontaneous with my decisions in this painting” rule out spontaneity altogether right at the outset?


Man. Thinking about this is blowing my mind a little. I think it’s time for a little winding down time with my husband and a good old movie.

Happy spontaneity practicing!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Because it was there

Studio Chair  © Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on 1/8" archival, museum quality GessobordTM

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Here’s my obligatory Still Life with Art Supplies. Including tubes of paint, a paint-smudged wiping rag, and my Chicago Art Institute souvenir mug filled with paint brushes. All seemingly casually arranged on one of my favorite antique green painted wooden chairs.

Okay, now that I got THAT out of my system, I can get back to the landscapes I’ve been working on!

Oh, hey, here’s another painting from days gone by in which this very same chair makes an appearance, although not quite so prominently:

Neighborhood Watch IV: Bailey Sees All  ©2011 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on GessobordTM

Limited Edition prints of this one are available here on my website.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More painting progress ...

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight;
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight;

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.


Untitled WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 20 x 16 inches • oil on 3/4" cradled GessobordTM

The coral-orange paint daubs in the center near the bottom started out as sunspots on the grass, but now they’re looking sort of like flowers. So I just might go with that. You’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out for sure.

To be continued ...

Hasta mañana, kiddos!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Short and sweet

Untitled WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 20 x 16 inches • oil on 3/4" cradled GessobordTM

My posts are going to be short and sweet (well, short anyway) for the next month or so as I gear up for the Revel. Here’s what I worked on today. I love watching the trees take shape as I paint in the negative space of the bright sky peeking out between the branches.

Ciao for now!


First Light © 2014 by Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 9 inches • oil on archival, museum-quality 3/4" cradled GessobordTM
gloss varnish for UV protection
sides painted dark umber, so can be displayed with or without a frame

One thing then another has filled my days and kept me from my blog for too long! Just wanted to share this painting I just finished, and then gotta run.

Later, taters!

Oh, and happy painting, too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More dog painting progress ...

Untitled dog painting work-in-progress • 9 x 12 inches • oil on cradled GessobordTM

I’ve had a few other projects going on this week, but today I was back at the easel with the Roadie painting and the beginnings of a new landscape featuring the oak trees out front.

AND I received my artist check-in instruction letter from the Red River Revel today. It’ll be only six short weeks away as of this coming Saturday.

Excitement abounds.

Happy painting!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Battle of the Pet Portrait stars

Untitled dog portrait in progress • 9 x 12 oil on cradled GessobordTM

Got a late start on this one today, but I did make a little more progress before dark. Roadie’s markings make him both fun and challenging to paint. At first glance you might think, oh, a black-and-white dog. But in addition to his blue merle coloring (black, gray and white), he also has a good bit of red and dark brown mixed in. On my palette that translates to mostly black, Prussian blue, dioxanine mauve, French ultramarine, burnt sienna, Persian red, raw umber, burnt umber (again the question comes to mind: why no cooked-to-perfection umber?) and white. 

Oh, and cadmium yellow medium, cadmium orange, vermilion and yellow ochre to round things out. 

And, just for fun and to keep things lively, Caribbean blue, turquoise light, quinacrodone magenta and brilliant rose.

Notice how some of his markings are clearly defined, and some sort of blur into one another. Fun. Almost as much fun as painting Jo.

Almost. Or maybe more, hard to say.

It’s a pretty close call.

Uh-oh ...

… looks like we may have a new contender for the title of “most fun to paint” 
on the horizon!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shady Garden Path landscape


Shady Garden Path  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
16 x 16 inches • oil on 1.5-inch deep cradled GessobordTM
private collection, Shreveport, Louisiana

I loved playing with the light in this one. I wasn’t sure where it was going to end up when I got the idea from a teeny photo in one of my old garden magazines, but it sure was fun getting there. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Guess Who

 If you’ve been following my blog for a while, it’ll be easy to guess.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ready to jump in

Concentration  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
8 x 8 inches • oil on 3/4" cradled Museum Series GessobordTM
gloss varnish for UV protection
sides painted dark umber, so can be displayed with or without a frame


I thought the painting was done earlier, then after living with it for about five minutes I decided to soften Ray’s nose and mouth a bit. I made the reference photo super huge on my computer screen so I could see it without my glasses as I made the final adjustments. 

Pontoufle, who is now big enough to jump from the floor to my desk chair, and from there to the desk, wandered over and studied the picture on the computer screen for a moment, then turned to face me.

Hey, when are you gonna paint moi? 

(Since he has a French name he likes to slip a French word or two 
into the conversation whenever he can.)

Je suis ready … put me in, coach!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

One part reference photo, two parts memory, and a generous dash of imagination

Mystery is the essential element of every work of art.


16 x 16 inches • oil on 1-1/2" deep cradled GessobordTM

Here’s another painting in progress, inspired by a teeny photo in an old garden magazine. I started right in on the underpainting without a sketch, just to see where the painting would go.

So far it’s been a wonderful adventure!

Cat painting progress

 Untitled work-in-progress • 8 x 8 inches • oil on cradled GessobordTM

Just a quick update on this one …

Check back later for the finished painting!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Raffles, cover cat!

I love cats because I enjoy my home;
and little by little, they become its visible soul.


Ol’ Blue Eyes  © 2013 Karen Mathison Schmidt

This picture is a detail of a commissioned painting I did last year of a ragdoll cat named Raffles. I’m honored and excited that Ol’ Blue Eyes was chosen as the cover art for the August 15, 2014, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, which will hit newsstands this week! Woo-hoo!

Well, okay, maybe not newsstands, but animal hospitals and veterinarians’ offices and university veterinary departments and various other places of that ilk. That still calls for a hearty “woo-hoo!” in my book.

When I told Raffles’ Mom about the upcoming cover, she said, “I always 
knew he was a star!”

You can see art which has graced the covers of previous issues of JAVMA

Raffles  © 2013 Karen Mathison Schmidt
9 x 12 inches • oil on cradled GessobordTM
private collection • El Paso, Texas

Signed and numbered Limited Edition 
fine art prints are available