Tuesday, November 29, 2011


As you can tell by most of my art pieces, I am especially fond of working in pen and ink.  I love the graphic, monochromatic look of it, and the drama that it creates.  This set is part of a series I call "Hunter and the Hunted".  I hope to explore this in greater depth in the near future.  I think that doing a series of work will help me to become a bit better at what I love best.  It will also be a vehicle to communicate some of what I am feeling right now about life in this world...at this moment in time.  I guess I am a bit paranoid, but when I turn on the news and see people being targeted, their identities stolen, robberies reported daily, and on a world level seeing such religious intolerance on a massive scale....I feel like some of us are the mice and some are the predator!  Yikes!  Art is a way of communicating the artist's thoughts, feelings and heart.  I have been told by some of my instructors over the years that I am simply drawing an animal, and there is no communication at all.  I disagree.  Strongly!  Every piece I do has all of my heart and soul in it.  I do hope that you can see through the subject matter and into the depths....

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Does your creativity bloom all the time?
You may not be normal if it does!
As with most artists, creativity for me waxes and wanes like the moon.  I can be in a high activity, creative period, and then...nothing!  I do have my little tricks to break free from the blocks, and you need a whole arsenal of tricks, since some of them work SOMETIMES, and some don't!  Occasionally, all it takes is a trip to the local gallery to be inspired by other artists.  This only works if I am not down on myself, comparing my work to the brilliantly talented 9 year old that already has a gallery contract in a big city.  Sometimes I find that communing with nature is helpful, inspiring me to create a tiny bit of that world in my studio.  Most of the time, however, just getting off on my own, to think, to dream, to plot and scheme works to break through that block.  Creativity comes from within yourself, and if you don't have a bit of alone time, it comes out in small spurts, incomplete and not quite thought out to its' conclusion.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The Nintendo art program is so much fun!  But it is also a great way to experiment with a style that you don't use very often.  I seldom use a graphic, slick style, and wanted to give it a try.  My favorite? The bug!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Like most artists, I like to take a sketchbook with me everywhere.  My hubby thoughtfully bought me a Nintendo art program that has been wonderful!!!  My little handheld Nintendo has a camera attached to it, and with the program, I just snap a photo, and it becomes my reference.  It has a graph that can be placed over the photo to help with drawing, and the program has a pencil and paint brushes.  You can even add 'water' to the paint to make washes and thicken the paint for heavy brushstrokes.  This is my painting of a raccoon that I photographed in my backyard.  While I cannot make a 'hard copy' of my painting, I get lots of practice in when I am traveling, and I can try out new color choices and work on my drawing skills.  I am constantly amazed by the technology being produced daily in this world!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My drawing teachers back in college impressed upon us that the only way to do a good portrait or life drawing was to get to know their bones.  I never was good at portraits, so I thought I would get back to drawing the structures and learn a bit more.  I will never make a Norman Rockwell....maybe I should go for Norman Bates!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Have you noticed that kittens, like puppies and babies, are slightly out of proportion?  They have to grow into their feet and ears.  How interesting they are to try to draw ('try' being the operative word!)

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I seldom do architectural drawing, having a real disability in drawing a straight line.  But as my hubby has yet to take me to see the REAL Parthenon, Nashville was my inspiration.  I like the loose sketchiness that comes from
on-site art.  There is a bit of a panic and breeziness involved.  There is that illustrative quality that reminds me of the Victorian era children's books.  It takes real imagination to take you to the places, to dream and create in your mind that story of an adventure.  I admire illustrators so much for that ability to tell a story with a drawing.  Would that my art education had included a class in book design!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Christmas Cards, pen and colored pencil

Original Art--Graphite Lighthouse 2"x3"

Our web-site is fully operational, with the little bit of tweaking that is always necessary to make it pretty.  I am so excited!  This was one of our goals for the year, to be able to sell both sculptures and paintings on our very own web-site.  We are hoping to make it a very user friendly place to go, and easy to buy from.  NO SHIPPING AND HANDLING FEES!  We asked what we would want in buying from a website, and that was the big one...no hidden agendas, fees, or double talk.  A place people can count on to be honest and reliable. 
      Check us out at griffon-rosegallery.com 


Linear abstracts are such an inspiration to work on.  You learn so much about composition, about choosing where to be simple, where to be intricate in your details.  You can see clearly when the contrast is working, or whether you need to push it to the next level.  I learned so much from this piece!  It is not a show piece, but it is a special one for me. Are you personally connected to most of the art you do?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


We have such lovely deer here in Tennessee.  This young fawn came out to munch on the last flowers in my yard of the season.  I am happy to plant tasty flowers for the creatures of the forest! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It has been a while since I sat down and thought about where I am going with my art...I have been kept so busy lately that I barely remember to do anything other than a sketch a day. As an ambitious artist, I want to do MORE. I spent a bit of time pondering my drawings this month, and looking back over the past year.  I think that I want to put together a collection...publish an artist 'book' of bird sketches! I find such joy and peace in those particular drawings, that I want to do more with them.  Do you think that this is a viable idea?  I am not sure that anyone will want it but me, but it is a thought...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


 Sometimes you just can't get inspired by anything.  Nothing looks interesting to draw, and you are in a rut, rut, RUT!  When all else fails, draw the first thing at hand. I have drawn silverware, nail clippers, and leftover spaghetti.  At least pen is being put to paper, and something about that drawing might spur on a miracle of an idea, a beginning to that masterpiece!

Monday, November 14, 2011


This drawing is actually one of the hardest that I have done.  I guess that some subjects are just difficult.  I had a rough time getting the wings to look transparent, and wasps aren't my favorite creature, as they try to invade my studio every fall looking for some place warm to hibernate.  Yuk!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I  have learned the hard way how to take care of your art supplies.  They are so expensive that you really can't ignore this part of being an artist! There are signs that show if you've been neglectful, or abusive to your tools of the trade (not to mention the emotional trauma to them!)

Does your brush look a bit ragged, with frizzy hair and a bad hair cut?

Is it loosing it's glorious locks of hair one strand at a time?

Is it starting to wobble on its' ferrule?

Is it feeling a bit flaky? (i.e. the paint coming off of its' handle?)

These are all signs of insufficient care and feeding.  The fix is simple.

NEVER leave your brush standing in water for several hours....wood is like a straw and will suck it up into the handle where the wood will swell and distort, causing peeling and flaking and gradual deterioration.

NEVER let your paint dry in the brush. The paint will build up at the base of the ferrule and eventually cause the brush to split hairs, not keeping its' shape. (Though if you do have brushes like this, DON'T THROW THEM AWAY! I have found good uses for them in painting foliage and textures that don't need a neat stroke.)

NEVER dry your brushes standing up in a container.  The water will soak back down into the ferrule, again causing handle damage.  Instead, clean them well (I use a vegetable based soap for both oils and acrylics) shape them and lay them flat to dry.  Then I can store them upright.

And yes, occasionally I even condition the brushes!  The natural hair brushes have similar needs to our own hair, and need conditioner to restore the natural oils.  I have used my own hair conditioners on them to tame those 'frizzies', letting them sit overnight before rinsing them out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This sketch, in ball point pen, is only 4"x4".  I spent over an hour trying to get in all of the little scales and sharp spikes that he has on his body.  I really enjoy the challenge of drawing reptiles!  I will be starting a new painting this week of a Collared Lizard in breeding colors, so watch for something really colorful coming up!

Friday, November 11, 2011


This big gal caught my attention. She was having a bit of a funky hair day, too!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


These drawings are 2"x3". I find it so peaceful to work on a tiny bit of nature when I am needing to be calm.  I suppose you would call these 'Feather Meditations'.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Am I boring you with all of my birds?  They are such a symbol of freedom to me that I tend to obsess.  I will try to vary my subject matter a bit more, but remember, I AM a wildlife artist more than anything else.  Ask for something different, and you are likely to get drawings of hickory nuts, pinecones, acorns and more.  Oh DEAR!  Any requests on what you would like to see drawn??? Leave a comment!  I will try to accommodate.  Meanwhile, this lovely little visitor to my woods is such a wonderful example of abstract design and natural beauty that I had to draw him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



I love how the robin can fluff itself up to keep warm in the snow.  I always thought that they migrated south in the winter, but when we lived in northern Utah, I saw these hardy birds throughout the winter, surviving on the leftover berries on trees and shrubs.  I used my Pitt Brush Pens in shades of grey, and one in iron oxide.  These pens are more expensive than I would like, but the quality makes them worth it.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I have rediscovered my sepia pens, and drew this lovely butterfly on a daisy.  If you look close, you can see the soft down of fur on it's body.  I am practicing up with the sepia, as I have a portrait I wish to do from an old photograph.  I want to give it that long ago, aged feeling that came from the early photography.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


We have a lot of nuthatches among our trees...I can only assume it is because we have a lot of nuts!  I am particularly fond of these fearless little birds who walk up and down the tree trunks like they have little magnetic boots on.  They have real attitude and grace!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Hubby and I were talking about the need for a dog in our lives eventually.  Right now we own (or cohabitate with) 2 cats.  It has always been our intention to look for a puppy of our own, but the timing, or the place usually prohibited it.  Looks like we are going to have to wait another 10 years or so to be settled enough to  do a dog justice!  I know the right one is out there for us.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Another owl....I heard one last night, coming in late from a girl's day out.  There is so much expression in an owl's eyes! My favorite part of this drawing? The unfinished negative space and wind-blown feathers.  I like to add a bit of a ruffled look to most of my birds.  It makes them look a bit more realistic. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


What else can I say?  A picture is worth....I LOVE AUTUMN!!!


(The following article was written and submitted to "Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine" for a challenge.  Having not heard back from them after the deadline, I am REALLY sure that it was not what they were looking for.  I am not discouraged, however.  I am pleased to have taken the risk, and tried something new.  Hope you enjoy!)

To say that art has a way of sneaking into every facet of my life is a bit of an understatement.  When someone says "Oh, what a pretty blue sky it is today!" I think, "No! It is Prussian Blue with just a hint of Yellow Ochre!"  When I am watching the news, I invariably obsess about the lack of good composition in the commentary photos.  Is it any wonder that when I went to counseling for grief management, art followed me in?  The psychologist asked me to write a brief note about my situation, and I wrote it in the form of a poem.  When she accused me of following Dr. Seuss' format, and not taking her seriously, I didn't understand her issues with it.  I had spilled out my heart to her!  The psychologist then asked me to do a collage detailing my life through words and phrases cut from various magazines.  I arranged them into patterns that completed a picture of Van Gogh with his ear cut off.  She was not impressed.  So when she asked me to do a self portrait, she shouldn't have been surprised that I chose to do something a bit out-of-the-box.  I picked up a cheap Bendy Doll at the craft store, and proceeded to paint 'me' on it.  I found some felt tip pens in a variety of colors and painted flames climbing up my feet, added designs on the body to signify my need for freedom and expression.  I sewed on colorful yarn hair to show my wild side...but I put mirrors on my mouth and stomach to show my need to reflect to people whatever they wanted to hear and see.  My face is scribbled red to show that I am holding in what I really want to say.  The flower at my side is a banner screaming, "I am here!  Listen to me! See me!!! "  The feather is my symbol for wanting to fly away from it all.

  Well, the psychologist was speechless.  She asked to keep the doll for a few weeks.  I heard later that she took it to a convention and discussed the application of art to psychology, and the volumes that it can tell you.  She wasn't much help in counseling my grief, but I discovered that following my art helped more than anything else could have.  Art followed me in, and I followed it out.