Variations on a Theme

Jan 21, 2024

Four shows in 2024. One theme. Nature can soothe, and it is available to everyone.

Busy painting in the studio. Two finished this week. Can I keep the pace? We shall see.

First I am working on paintings for Artista Vista / Art Day at Stormwater show. April 19-20.

The variation on my theme here is the little lives that surround our studios in our oasis. As Karen Murphy plants with these little ones in mind, we see more and more feel comfortable in our gardens. I am painting the animals I have seen on our grounds. This week, a cicada with wings spread.

"Cicada - Wing Span," oil on gold leaf - 12x24
“Cicada – Wing Span,” oil on gold leaf – 12×24

Another goal this year is to finish the paintings that have been started. Here, at long last, is a painting that I have had in my heart for years. It was started 2019 after a road trip out west. This image is from our wild night in Monument Valley – Utah. We saw the sunset, and just as the blue hour approached I saw this beautiful landscape and a single lightening bolt set the scale. We were delightfully lost in the Mesas.

"Blue Hour Mesa," oil, 18x36
“Blue Hour Mesa,” oil, 18×36

I wish for you this week the opportunity to spend some time in the beauty of nature.

Thank you so much for being here. Back to the easel.


“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” —John Burroughs


  1. Roxanne on January 21, 2024 at 12:22 pm

    love the Blue Hour Mesa!
    wonderful to honor insects/animals.

    • Michel McNinch on January 21, 2024 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you, Roxanne. The reason I decided to paint them on gold leaf is so that they seem elevated. We need to see them for what they are – essential. ; )

      Blue Hour Mesa will be coming to Stormwater as soon as it is dry. : )

  2. Jeannie Irvin on January 21, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    Blue hour clouds are amazing Michel!!!❤️🖼️ LOVE the cicada too!!!!!!!

  3. Robert McNinch on January 21, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    The Mesa brings me back to that day. Awesome!

  4. Jimmy Lee on January 21, 2024 at 6:06 pm

    Blue Mess is beautiful.

  5. Karen Murphy on January 21, 2024 at 7:24 pm


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