Sunday, December 25, 2011



  I painted this Holiday Still Life for a structured workshop that I taught one December.  What fun it was!  I even added just a touch of glitter to the paint in the poinsettias to give it a feeling of festiveness.  I hope that you all like it, and have a very lovely holiday and a wonderful beginning to the new year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Although I have slowed down for the next few weeks, due to the holidays, I am still working occasionally to get some art in.  I am working right now on another miniature.  This one is 4"x4", and a snow scene with a barn.  This is the beginning part of my painting process on it.  I have gessoed the whole of it, sides as well, as it is a frameless masonite board base.  I put in the beginnings of the blue sky and clouds and then added washes of brown to get my barn and fences positioned.  I might do a bit of changing on the positions before I am done, but this is how I start a landscape, whether it is large or small.  I hope to have this painting finished within the week, if time and the holidays will allow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


The photo is 4"x6".  The painting is 3"x3".

Close up of  "A Montana Moment"
I am considering entering an art competition for 'miniatures only' this week, so I started out with a 3"x3" canvas and acrylics.  I chose a photograph that I took in the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park, Montana.  I did a vague sketch in pencil on the canvas itself, and then started painting in the sky.  I realized quickly that the biggest hurdle in the exercise was going to be conquering the canvas itself!  As you can see in the close-up,  the canvas is rougher than it looks.  Trying to put tiny details on those large threads became a major frustration.
First lesson in miniature painting....choose your base well.  I will be trying out masonite board next for a fine and even start.


This painting I experimented with a broader stroke, and a more painterly style.

This painting of the tangerine was where I experimented with a glistening finish and almost liquid look to the skin.

This persimmon was super simple, so I decided to add interest with a purple shadow.

I went for a soft pastel look to this tomato.

Finally, an apple with so many colors in it!  I love doing the shadows with strong light to make the subject pop.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I am needing lots of bright color this week, and  fruit is where I found it in my house!

The good thing about computer program painting is the lack of mess and cleanup involved!

I found this little cannonball watermelon all alone in the non-seasonal section of the grocery.  It had such a beautiful pattern and wonderful color!

The strawberry seeds were definitely a challenge.  My favorite part of this painting is the highlights.  They really make the fruit look real!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I have been lazy, lazy, lazy this week!  I have been doing some computer painting, and sitting out the snowy week.  While I will post these paintings, I found that it wasn't quite as fun for me as feeling the brush between my fingers, and getting involved with the paint.  Also,I have found that it is very difficult to take pictures of the paintings on a monitor.  My printer isn't much on color, so I chose to show them on the computer.  At least I am keeping my hand (and heart) into being creative!  Hope you like...

Monday, December 5, 2011


I tried something different today.  I did a sketch of a deer in pencil, and tore the edges of it.  I then layered it on Washi paper and pressed dried leaves.  I  like the effect but am finding it  VERY fragile. It is not a particularly practical way to do things.  I am sure that there is a medium that I can put over it, though it will more than likely ruin the sketch.  Experimenting is part of the fun!  80% of the time  it fails, but that remaining 20% is a miracle!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bird Doodle Inspired by Mola Embroidery

  I was searching my linen closet for a Christmas tablecloth to decorate for the holidays when I came across an antique Mola (I think I am spelling that right) embroidery piece that I had bought while living in New Mexico.  The applique and needlework have always fascinated me.  The beautiful designs are simple and inspiring!  I spent the rest of the afternoon making up a few of my own designs on scrap paper.  I never did find that tablecloth, but this doodle turned out to be my favorite design, and I am already trying to decide what I want to do with it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011



The holidays can be lonely for many people.  You can be surrounded by family and friends, and still feel isolated.  I took this picture while strolling the Tennessee River, and the stranded chair (no doubt used to sit on while fishing) spoke to me of that emotional isolation we all feel at some point in time.  Our lives are filled with people we know, work with and speak to...but if we keep our REAL self hidden, it can feel like noone really knows our heart and mind.  I think artists tend to isolate themselves.  Statistics say that artists, poets, and writers tend towards depression.  Their only self-expression is through their work, and if you are having a creative block and can't express yourself...well, then is the time to get out of your hermitage and surround yourself with people.  Go to that party you really didn't want to attend.  Volunteer your services where you think you can be helpful. Get out of the studio and walk in the woods, check out the latest art show, organize a cookie exchange with friends whom you haven't seen in a while.  As for me? I am planning a soup exchange, and a drive through the city to see the Christmas lights.  I am hunting up a few recipes for peppermint cocoa.  I am checking out the Nutcracker Suite as performed by the local dance studio.  I hope that all of you are finding ways to connect and enjoy the holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011



I was able to visit one of my older paintings this week, one that was close to my heart and is now held by a patron of my work.  I painted it in 1997, the year that I was in Albuquerque, NM.  I was taking classes with Carol Allison, a classically trained artist who was able to get to Europe for some 'Masters' training herself.  She was, and still is a great teacher.  Her web link is :
One of the most important things I learned from her was the need to draw, draw, draw!  For this particular piece, I drew the still life, adjusted and redrew it again, and then drew it onto the canvas.  Then, I had to redraw it again as I was painting it, because what you see isn't always correct!  Tulips were particularly challenging, as they change their position with the passing of time.  They open their petals, they continue to 'grow' with every minute that you paint.  I grew to love the simplicity of the tulip, and even today it is one of my favorites because I learned every inch of each one I painted.  My appreciation for nature really began with this painting.  As did my regard for art history and the lessons we can learn from it.


Thursday, December 1, 2011



This is an early painting that I did for a family member who needed the comfort of a country church to look upon every day.   I have been inspired this year to make this painting into prints and even some Christmas cards to pass that necessary comfort along in an especially difficult year.  It is a church from my imagination, a combination of the little church that I was baptized in, and all the Currier and Ives paintings that I grew up with.  I enjoyed doing something with absolutely no reference materials, just creating what was in my heart.