Observational Charcoal Drawings

There has to be something countering acts of destruction with acts of creation. Gates

Back in the Studio!  

It is so rewarding to be back in the studio with students.

This little community centered around Picket Fence Art Studio completes the well-roundness of my creative life.

And we need this. We all need time to create and refresh, now more than ever. And I need it.  

I wanted to share some step-by-step directions for those of you who cannot attend an in-person class. Send me pics if you complete the project.  

Stay well, and stay creative!


Working on tinted paper, use charcoal and follow these steps to create a value drawing:

  1. Use tinted paper and draw big rough shapes. Check accuracy with:
    1. Negative Space
    2. Horizontal Lines
    3. Symmetry
    4. Diagonals 
    5. Verticals
  2. Lightly apply vine charcoal to the entire drawing – holding the vine charcoal on its side color over the whole drawing.
  3. Create a 2-value drawing -squint and erase all large light areas. 
  4. Squint and color in darkest darks.  
  5. Adjust middle values drawing into the image using your kneaded eraser. Readjust the lights and darks as you work on the middle values.  
  6. Pick your focal point and emphasize with higher contrast, sharper edges, and more detail.
  7. Lastly, apply the highlights (lightest lights) with white Conte crayon. Note that highlights will follow the form of the object.  

You can purchase all of the supplies you need for this project on Amazon at the following links:


Golden Hour – New Oil Painting

That Golden Hour, when the day gives way to the night.  Inspired by memories from a trip to that other-worldly place Iceland.  Cannot wait to revisit you. 

Oil Painting by Jamie Lightfoot Eppenauer

Oil on Panel 16 x 20 $1,600.00 USD Available

Visit my Oil Painting Gallery.

Octopus Island – New Painting

octopusislandOctopus Island, Oil on Panel 18 x 24 $2,200.00 USD Sold

Artist Comments

As our summer trip to Desolation Sound was coming to an end, we made a quick run to Refuge Cove for ice and wine.  We then went through the Hole-in-the-Wall towards Octopus Island for one last summer night with the Flotilla.  It was so incredibly hot, and the water was so so so cold.

Hunter took Alex and me for a long dingy ride to cool off from the heat and to collect some driftwood.  We always enjoy our conversations.

Each boat in the flotilla spent the afternoon decorating pieces of driftwood with memories of summer in Desolation Sound.  I painted a picture of our ship on the driftwood, and we all signed it.

Early evening we gathered at the secret cabin to hang our talisman and, of course, have some wine and appetizers.  I would tell you where it is, but it is a secret.

As the sun was setting, we all dinged back to our boats for dinner.

The boat lights illuminated the undersea activity as we enjoyed one last night of cocktails and very vivid conversation.  And lots of laughter.

The Last Ferry Home


The Last Ferry Home

Oil on Panel, 8 x 10

$600 Available

I have always loved the ferries that serve as transportation here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For a girl from the landlocked Midwest, the idea that you could take a boat to work or on a weekend trip was new and wonderful and exciting to me.

Life is such an unusual thing. Just the fact that we live and that we eventually die is a miracle of sorts. Or maybe, it’s just the opposite of a miracle. One thing is certain: life is unpredictable and can be confusing and hard to understand.

I remember when my Grandfather from Nebraska passed away. He had a terrible cancer that was eating up his insides. He had a successful life in the standards measured by society: a nice house, big family, successful business, and an active member in the Catholic Church. He was in the Navy during WWII and very proud of that fact. But the last time I saw him alive, he told me, “all I ever wanted to do was retire, get a little fishing boat and spend my days on the water.” He was 80 something but passed away before that happened.

Truly living life is rejecting the ideas that society espouses about the achievements of a happy, well lived life. And I do believe that if you have lived the “perfect” life and strove toward meeting the expectations that the outside world places on you, you might also leave this life with an empty hole in your soul.

This is the constant battle of this world where there are too many distractions.

I picture my soul (or God) as a person swinging on a little hammock in my heart. Life goes much better for me when I choose to sit and listen to this voice. It never tells me to conform to society, to spend my day at the mall, to watch the news on TV all day long, or to buy more for myself so I have less to give to others.

Listen to the voice in your soul. Listen to the direction that it tells you to go. And then go that way before the last ferry leaves.


Wine Tasting with Friends

New Painting –



Wine Tasting with Friends

8 x 10

Oil on Panel, $600


This painting will be on display and for sale at the Small WORKS, BIG Drafts infused with Poetry event on Thursday, Nov 15 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Hopheads Taproom in Woodinville. Hope to see you there!


Friday Afternoon


Friday Afternoon
8 x 10, Oil on Panel
$600, Available

Remember that sunny Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago. It was at the end of a stretch of Indian Summer and we all knew the rain was coming soon.

I played hooky that afternoon and ate lunch at an outside cafe. The city was hoping as everyone knew the rain was coming soon.

Lunch turned into an afternoon of wine tasting; savoring the last bits of sunlight. It was already starting to get chilly. You knew the rain was coming.

And it did.

The next day.
As the world seems crazier and crazier, I have been trying to focus on finding the goodness in each day. The goodness in people.

The sunlight before the rain.

This painting will be on display and for sale at the Small WORKS, BIG Drafts infused with Poetry event on Thursday, Nov 15 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Hopheads Taproom in Woodinville. Hope to see you there!


Jamie’s Gallery of Works


The Lovely Nicolo

Painting in Italy – where do I start.  I felt like I found my true happiness and discovered it is not as hard to achieve as I thought.  More on that later, but first Nicolo.


Yes, the landscaping is beautiful but so are the people.


Nicolo posed for us one morning at the Villa – it was a pleasure to paint him.



12 x 14

oil on Canvas


The Bartender

I am back from Italy and I have so much to share but lets start with this new painting as I completed it before I left for my trip and it is in a show TODAY at Molbaks.

Do you remember the TV show Cheers?

The Hollywood Tavern is our local Cheers bar.  This is one of our favorite spots to wrap up the week on a Friday night.  We have always enjoyed sitting at the bar versus a table.  It is fun to meet new people and I find watching The Bartender engage in his art very enjoyable.


The Bartender


Oil on Panel


20 x 16


$1,200.00 USD


The Way Home

Thank you for today –


The key to creativity is found in the exceptional human capacity to synthesize our experiences, influences, knowledge and feelings into one, unified original thing – art.  Think Like an Artist


Oil Painting

The Way Home - 36 x 24, Oil on Wood Panel, Original Oil Painting by Jamie Eppenauer


My 19 year old daughter and I went to the mall last week to escape the horrendous smoke that is staining our beautiful city.  It was the first time I had been to the mall in years.

The main intent was to get some fresh air and walk around a bit – I know fresh air at the mall, lol.  But it is air conditioned and the air just felt clean. We also bought a few back to school items.

On the way home in the car, I was pondering what life is about.  I ponder this a lot but being at the mall with all the newness made me think about it again.  So much energy is put into working and then buying new things. At some point don’t we all own enough so that we can devote our energy to other things?

As my college-aged student is starting to figure out her path in life, I wanted to see what she thought it was all about.  Plus she was a captive audience for the 15 minute drive home.

Her first response was “Mom do we have to have this conversation right now?”  Yes, she is used to my headiness.

When I said yes, she answered without hesitation, “It is about loving and helping others.”  She didn’t just say this to make me happy, she means it.

And I thought, “I have a done a good job raising you.”


I have the idea that we are all just walking each other “home.”  This painting represents that to me. There are so many glimmering distractions along the way which can lead you this way or that, but the ultimate goal is to reach home feeling loved and loving others.

This painting won Second Place in the Woodinville Juried Art Show.

See this PAINTING  and others in my GALLERY.

Come Sit With Me


Oil painting

Come Sit With Me Medium Oil on Canvas Size 30 x 40 x 1.5 $3,400.00 USD Available


New original oil painting.

Ring the bells  that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. 
Leonard Cohen


Come Sit With Me


Oil on Canvas


30 x 40 x 1.5

$3,400.00 USD


Ever since I took my first photo, I have been interested in the space between the light and the dark.

This engagement with the play of light has continued in my paintings.

In the art world they call it chiaroscuro, “an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on something.”

I call it the space between the light and the dark, the edge of your comfort zone . . . where life begins.

Come and sit with me in the sunlight and we will tell stories of our adventures.  

Love, Jamie


Click HERE to purchase.