Monday, November 28, 2011


8" x 8" acrylic

This was another sale from St. Augustine.  A tiny little bungalow scene done with palette knife (thank you Leslie).  A really cute couple with a bunch of bags came to my booth YES!  We love to see that at art shows for all concerned!  They told me that they do all of their Christmas shopping for their grandchildren at art shows and always have!  We sure need more people like them.  They had been on a search for a painting that apparently a member of their family had seen the day before.  They got to my booth, got on the phone, and decided that indeed the little sunflower was the right one.  Yay for them - and yay for me.  About 45 minutes later only the Mr. came back and said he wanted to get this little ditty for his wife for Christmas.  She had admired it earlier but didn't want to buy because thy had already bought so much.  He told me that she was exhausted after 2 days of shopping and had gone to the car so he sneaked back to my booth to buy this for her for Christmas.  I was more than tickled.  Love those people who are patrons of the arts!   And if this couple read this - thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It made my day - to seek me out and then come back for more.  I'm so thankful.

Short sail

24" x 30" acrylic on canvas

This was my first sale of the day at St. Augustine this past weekend.  A really cute young couple obviously have good taste in art!  They covered the whole show in short order and decided on this one and another  painting from another great artist who uses a similar palette (great minds).  There was a ton of good work there this weekend and I felt very honored and fortunate to be a part of it all, and very pleased that this couple chose my painting over the rest.    They said they had to get back north so were making some quick (but obviously good) decisions on some new art work for their home.  They loved the palette - which of course I do too!  They took one of my cards so hopefully they will check out my blog so I can thank them (again) for their purchase.  This was one of my favorite paintings  - it's big and colorful.  What more is there?    Unfortunately, this cute couple was in such a hurry I didn't have time to even get to know them.  But I really appreciate their patronage and hope to see them again. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mr. Doodles

Mr. Doodles
20 x 20 acrylic

I know ya'll sit on pins and needles awaiting my next post, thinking that because it takes me so long to post something, it must be spectacular.    Well, sorry, but I don't think that's really the case.  I try to paint a lot.  My intention was to post a painting once a week (those ambitious Daily Painters blow my mind), but as it turns out it seems it is more like once a month.  Time gets away from me.
Any-hoo - this is the first of so many chickens and roosters, that I'll probably lose your attention.  I love my chickens.  That's all I can say.  I was in tears earlier this week because I was sure Sly Fox (beautiful yet a menace to our flock) had gotten yet another one of our hens.  She was not with the others.  She was not on the porch or in the kitchen where she often comes in the evening to get her treat.  I had resigned myself to life without her.  I took one last look under the house and there she was.  She had gotten in but could not get out.  Luckily the hubs arrived home about then and got the necessary tools out to remove the lattice so she could get out.  Silly girl. 
Well, the above painting is. . . . .not her.  This is Mr. Doodles, the lone man, or rooster if you will.  He has only 7 girls to keep track of, and I was pretty disappointed he had lost track of Diana that evening.  He usually does a good job.  It cracks me up that when I throw them snacks (they love vanilla wafers, graham crackers, cheeze-its, and bread), that Doodles will stand over a cracker - even pick it up - and make a bunch of bawking noises to alert the girls.  He always allows them to take the snack from him, sometimes even from his lips. . . . . . beak. 
I hope you enjoy Mr. Doodles.  He is actually Mr. Doodles Jr.  I won't tell you exactly what happened to Mr. Doodles Sr.  Let's just say that he became very abusive to his women and had to be dealt with appropriately.  Doodles, Jr. has so far proven to be much less aggressive.  For his sake, let's hope he stays that way.  
Stay tuned.  You never know what might happen at Ft. Clucks, but rest assured there is a whole lot of chicken paintin' goin' on.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jess 2

20 x 20 acrylic on stretched canvas

I am apparently much more of a glutton for punishment that I ever realized.  Painting really teaches me some things about myself that I either was not aware of, or I try not to admit.  I don't know exactly how to explain it.  Perhaps it is simply vanity.  I have a hard time letting something defeat me. 
So after working really hard on my first portrait of Jess, re-doing, wiping off, painting over, etc., I was still fairly disappointed with the outcome.  So what did I do next?  A landscape would have probably been appropriate, maybe a boat, a still life, or maybe one of my beloved chickens.  But noooooo, instead of just moving on, I had to try her again, this time from a different photo.  You may recall from a prior post, that she is my youngest son's girlfriend.  My son is an aspiring photographer, so Jess is the subject of many of his photographs.  He took this photo of her while we were at The Topaz - our favorite spot to stay at Flagler Beach. 

So, the good news is, I like this painting fairly well (for my second portrait) and I feel like I got better doing those oh-so-difficult flesh tones and shadows.  The bad news - it really doesn't look like her.  It is something about the eyes.  Although I measured the angles with my brush, turned it upside down for another perspective, and tried various tricks, she still turned out a bit "Asian" according to my son.  Maybe the next painting will be entitled "Third Time's a Charm!"  Thank you for your interest!

P.S. - if any of you much more experienced artists have tricks you would like to share about portrait painting - I'm all ears (and eyes). 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My first portrait

12 x 24 acrylic

So last week I decided to try my hand at a portrait - a face.  I have no idea why I decided this was a good idea.  I did this from a picture my son took of his girlfriend while we were all at the beach in April.  We were sitting under a canopy so the face was mostly in shadow; therefore, I could not really get a grip on the correct coloring of the skin.  The skin proved to be the biggest problem for me.  (Of course - notice I chose a photo with sunglasses for my first portrait - this was no mistake!)   I tried several of the 30 or so recipes I read for skin color.  It was a mess.  It was chalky  and muddled.  And, when I stepped back from it, it was way too dark.  Then I decided to do what any aspiring artist should do when they get bogged down - beg for help!  Well I looked at a book which has you mixing recipes, then mixing 1 part of that recipe with 2 parts of another recipe, then add a pinch of this and of that. . . . AAHHH - confusing.  
I have really enjoyed looking at Linda Popple's face series she has been doing, so I enlisted her advice.  She simplified it for me, and the above is the result.  Jess doesn't have the confident brush work and bold colors that Linda's faces have, but it's at least a start, and I certainly did some learn some things. The colors are actually quite richer than the above photo shows.
So the above is the finished product.  It could still use some work, but after putting about 10 hours in it (not kidding), I'm finished for now anyway.  The following picture is how it looked before I communicated with Linda, which was after about 7 hours of work, then gessoed over:

So thanks Linda for giving Jess a face! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Big Wine

Wine and Pears
36 x 24 Acrylic

You know I love me some Leslie and Dreama, but I truly am at a loss as to how to paint the 6 x 6 canvases, although they seem to do it effortlessly.   I've tried.  I'm not bad at a pear or coffee cup, but I just love to get a humongous canvas in front of me and start moving some paint around.  That's what I did on this big ole wine painting.  For me, it is so much fun to paint big.  I think I know some of the disadvantages because when you have a "wiper" of this size - it is a considerable amount of wasted paint, which for me is not cheap.  And believe me - I've had plenty of "wipers" - even this size!  On the other hand, painting big is so liberating.   For me it kind of expresses how I see living life - living large!  I had this friend years ago who really and truly lived life large.  She was large; her voice was large; her hair was large; her laugh was large; her make-up was large. . . well, you get the point.  And that was her saying.  I'm having a large time!  She was such a hoot!  So this is to living large.

Fishing folks - Jane's workshop

More fishing
16 x 20 Acrylic

On May 20th I attended Jane Slivka's workshop in Deland, Fla.  Jane is so much fun and the day went by much faster than any Friday at the office!  I met Jane about a year and a half ago at an art festival and immediately fell in love with her and her work.  She is very talented but beyond that is a genuinely nice person.  I was not completely satisfied with my painting, but after a  little work felt like it was at least good enough to post to give you an idea of what we did at the workshop.  This was just one of the two paintings we did that day.  The other I'm still thinking about posting.  We'll see.   I particularly like the way Jane encourages us to paint the water and the reflections of the people in it.  It always looks so easy when she does it.  I had to work at it, but kind of like the outcome.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Favorite Cat

Norman a/k/a Normal a/k/a Norm a/k/a Normie
1999 - 4/11/2011
Well, dang it, here come the tears again.  I thought I was finished.  Please meet Norm.  We adopted him from the Humane Society in October, 1999.  He was not one of the crazy little kitties, crying and  begging for attention.  He merely sat there gently placing his paw against the cage saying "Please get me out of here.  These people are nuts."  So we paid the $40.00 and took him home where he enjoyed quite the life of doing pretty much whatever he pleased.   Over the course of the last several years many stray cats and dogs have come and gone - mostly come.  Norm reluctantly put up with them, although everyone knew he was king.  He was not a lap cat, but on his terms, he loved having his head and ears rubbed and purred so loud that you couldn't carry on a conversation.  
He did not have a mean bone in his body, but he did have attitude.  If he wanted food and one of the other cats was eating, he didn't bother trying to compete.  He would simply look at them, and if that didn't work, he would place his paw into the bowl and drag it over to him.  The other cats would look at him in amazement.
He passed away on Monday from congestive heart failure.  He was ready to go.  He waited until my husband took him away from the other animals and people, looked at him, meowed, purred and gently drifted off to kitty heaven.  I had given him everything I could - good food, a lot of space, and a lot of love and attention.  He slept with me a few nights before he died.  He had trouble sleeping because of his labored breathing, so he purred and needed to be rubbed for hours, which I eagerly obliged because I knew the end was near.
We still have 5 cats, none of which are Normie.  I could not attempt this painting for a few days, but I felt like I just had to do it.  When I did, Normie and I talked our way through it.  I think he was happy with the result although he's not sure why I added lavender to him.   
At the top of my stairs is a large print of  The Favorite Cat,  the famous lithograph done in the 1800's by Nathaniel Currier.  I plan to to replace it with the real Favorite Cat in the very near future.  I miss you Normie.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Miles of Canvas

I started with a coffee cup.  Then I moved on to another coffee cup.  Then I actually put coffee in a coffee cup.  Then - a breakthrough - my sunglasses on the table with the coffee cup!

Okay - obviously, these are no Van Goghs, but I am on my mile-of-canvas mission!  I think I've only got about 5,278 feet to go.   I know some of these color combinations are a bit off the beaten path, but I read a loosening up tip - to close your eyes and put your fingers on 3 colors on the color wheel and go with it. So that is sort of what I did.  I figured it couldn't hurt!   And by the way - sorry folks - these are not for sale.  They are part of my private collection.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fishing time

 Acrylic on canvas
16 x 20

This is another painting I did while taking lessons from Jane Slivka, a wonderful artist in Mt. Dora.  I am also now fortunate enough to call her a dear friend as well!  There were 5 of us in her Wednesday evening classes last spring -  Jess, Tanya, Gail, Jill, and moi.  It was a fun group and we had an absolute blast.  I specifically remember some hysterical laughing going while we were working on this painting.  We were all good sports and could laugh at ourselves.  Jane is an inspiration and provides a lot of motivation and encouragement.   

Monday, March 14, 2011


Acrylic on scrap wood
I did this quick little painting on a scrap piece of plywood I found lying around.  We are always building, repairing, or replacing something at my house.  It seems a shame to just toss all of it, so I try to utilize the scrap lumber in some manner.  I, of course, first clean the wood, then I lay on several layers of gesso before toning.  This is not even a neatly cut or square piece of wood.  I think that frees me up to do my painting quicker and looser since I am not using an expensive canvas.  This was a fun exercise. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Rural Mailboxes
Acrylic on canvas
This is a painting I did while in a painting class in college.  Our assignment was to do a "mood" painting from one of our own personal images.   This is a row of raggedy old mailboxes (including mine) near my house.   I had taken the photo a year or so before I painted them, and chose these warm colors because that was the feeling I got when I took the picture on a sunny afternoon.  This painting was actually chosen for publication in the college's award winning Literary and Arts Magazine, "Imprints."  I was very flattered to be chosen.  The magazine included some really wonderful writings, photographs, digital art, as well as paintings.  If you are interested in looking through the magazine, a virtual copy of it can be accessed at  My painting appears in volume 18. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thanks to Jane

Island Ladies
Acrylic on canvas
16" x 20" (maybe)
Ok - sorry - I've got to start measuring my paintings, I know.   You can count on most of them being well over 10 x 10 though.  I just have not mastered the fine art of painting small like some of my mentors and co-artists.  This painting, however, does reflect the direct influence of my good friend, artist, and teacher, Jane Slivka, who has painted more of these ladies than she can now count!  They are a great learning experience and a lot of fun.  I think this may have been my first attempt at them in her class.  Jane - you rock!

Monday, March 7, 2011


 24 x 24 (at least)

Ok - I know that's not very professional, but I forgot to measure it.  It's pretty big though.  I did this painting several months ago.  I really liked it then, but I looked at it the other day and thought - ugh - just a bunch of red blobs.  So I added more depth to both the flowers and the leaves and I like it much better.  I love geraniums by the way and will probably be doing more of them.  I also hope to get a better camera soon so that my photos are a little clearer.  I'm really struggling with that right now. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My studio space

I have no excuses now.  We started refurbishing the studio space after my youngest son moved out at the end of December.  It needed a lot of work after 2 boys living in it for 20 years.  I'm still arranging things and have shelves to put up, but I actually did some painting in it last night for the first time.  It is so exciting to have a specific place to paint.  My husband did an awesome job on the floors.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well, here goes

Acrylic on stretched canvas
My very first blog and it has to be dedicated to our dog, Chloe.   Well, she is really my husband, Dave's, dog but I'll claim her as well.  She is full of personality and character, and we (particularly Dave) love her so much.  Last summer I was contemplating what to paint next, and my husband insisted I paint Chloe (not paint her, but do a painting OF her - figured I better clarify).  I enjoyed the process very much and believe I captured her essence.