Ocean Animals, Wild & Free

    Polar Bears

    I am adding more watercolor paintings to my series of Ocean Animals and Nautical collections. This polar bear watercolor was painted in blues, greens and shades of cream. The background sky reflects the colors of the Arctic Sea.

    This print of my original watercolor painting will be available in my Etsy shop among my many other watercolor animals.

    Landscape, Travel

    Winter Thaw, Lebanon Hills

    It’s been a mild winter with many freeze-thaw cycles. The lakes nearby are always changing with the mood of the sky.

    This small painting is a study for a larger one I’m working on. I used a limited palette of Payne’s Grey with some green and blue.

    Landscape, Travel

    Winter Landscape

    It was -21 degrees in Red Wing.  The afternoon sun hung low behind the trees. The icy Mississippi River was warmer than the winter air, and mist hovered between patches of frozen water.  Impressed with the surreal blue and purple landscape, I snapped a few photos and then ran back to the car before my fingers turned the same color.  I used to hate winter, but I am finding new ways to enjoy it through watercolor painting.

    Red Wing, MN

    Watercolor on cold pressed cotton rag paper

    by Katrina Pete


    Isle of Skye, Scotland

    Last day on the Isle of Skye. Our tour guide pulled over as the clouds parted. All 9 of us stumbled out of the ‘Wee Red Bus’ to snap a few farewell photos. Two couples were from Hong Kong, one from India, another from Singapore, and one gal from Malaysia. The couple from India were celebrating their honeymoon. The gal from Malaysia was proud of her selfie stick. The couple from Hong Kong brought along a stuffed pink pig and a purple cow. They propped their animals on old wooden fence posts, amidst the grassy hills of an ancient battlefield, along the banks of Loch Ness, and at the base of the Black Cullen mountains. The pig and the cow smiled for the camera every time. Their plastic painted eyes maintained jovial expressions through wind, rain, and a tumble down a rocky hillside.

    You need to be tough to make it through a Scottish winter, but it also helps to be ‘stuffed’.

    Botanical, Woodland Nursery

    White Winter Birch Trees

    I stepped outside this morning, on the coldest day of the year. A distant airplane engine rattled through a bitter sky. The arctic sun cast long blue shadows behind barren trees. Skeletons of deciduous forests reached into the clouds. The air was sharp and my throat grew tight. Someone burned firewood nearby. The neighborhood was frozen, the homes exhaled. Not a soul or living creature was in sight. The only trace of life was a series of bunny tracks meandering around the front yard. Even our dog snubbed his nose at the frigid air and curled up on the couch.

    This season is especially tough in Minnesota, but I’m counting on my Scandinavian roots to get me through winter. I’m using this time to slow down and take care of myself and my loved ones. I’m choosing to embrace the cold dark nights with wool sweaters, a busy tea kettle, home-made ‘hotdish’ and walks with our dog in the snow.

    We had our first real snow storm a few days ago. Instead of hunkering indoors, I drove to a huge wooded park and walked around taking photos of the sparkling wonderland. The anxious voice in the back of my mind worried about getting stranded alone in a strange park, or somehow losing my keys after a long hike in the cold. But I did just fine in my parka. My boots crunched through the snow as I made my way around a lake. My body warmed and I enjoyed being in motion. I found inspiration in the winter foliage and purity in the exposed and vulnerable landscape. I liked being alone under a sky of a billion white flakes.


    So I plan on having more winter adventures. Inspiration happens when you seek it, and I think I’m finally starting to appreciate the beauty of winter more than ever before. This watercolor of white winter birch trees was inspired by the birch in my backyard!

    Elephant Paintings, watercolor print sets

    Nursery print set

    I’m excited to introduce my latest collection of nursery prints! This set of fine art prints includes a baby hippo, elephant and giraffe. Each little animal was hand painted using Holbein Watercolors (my favorite paint!). Prints of this collection are available in my etsy shop. The aqua color can be customized to coordinate with your decor.