Friday, April 4, 2014

Playing with Oil Paint

In From The Cold                                    12x16

I've been afraid to try oil paints for years but I've always loved the look of them in paintings. Finally, I just jumped in and decided to give them a whirl. It's nice to know there are odorless solvents and some paints are even less toxic than the old kind. 

I LOVE them! Still learning how to manipulate the layers. And they dry S-L-O-W. But that's a good thing. Now you just come back to the painting the next day and the paints are still wet and the painting is easy to blend. 

I've got another painting started and may stick with this medium for awhile. :)

I'm including this in the Paint Party Friday site. It's been too long since I jumped in there. Check it out if you like looking at a gallery of art! 

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hello Charcoal, My New Friend!

I am taking an awesome class right now taught by Misty Mawn. Last week I was introduced to toned paper and charcoal. Specifically, how to manipulate the charcoal on the paper. LOVED it! So I've been experimenting. These photos are in order from my most recent (top) to my first attempt (at bottom). I finished the top photo last night (my favorite so far). I don't know why there is a green tint at the bottom of the photo. I don't have any green in this.  :/

Here I was experimenting with more loose strokes; something that is very hard for me. I immediately want to blend, blend, blend! :-) But I love the raw look of the effect when other artists use it. I have a lot of practicing to do before I get it the way I want it to look. Still not enough marks on this one:

Here I was going for tones and blending. I actually like this one:

This was my first attempt with the charcoal. Kind of rough but I was happy to be playing with it and seeing a face come "alive" as I worked:

Now we are working on painting our sketches. I will show my first painting soon.

I hope you are all well. Spring is making a brief appearance here in the next couple of days, then it's back to temps in the mid-30's next week. :'(  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Skyline in Winter

Hello! Remember me?  ;) I have had a Looong dry spell with my art. Ugh. That is why there have been no posts. Nothing to show.  :'(

But I am slowly getting back into it. I'm taking a few art classes right now that have really inspired me. This painting came from a lesson in creating backgrounds. It's called "Skyline in Winter". Speaking of Winter, I am OVER it already. Come on Spring!!  :-)

If there is still anybody out there, I'm glad you stuck around. Thank you so much! I am definitely working on more pieces even as I type this (waiting for the paint to dry). More to show soon... Hugs to you all. Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Birds

9" x 12", Alcohol Ink


It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air --
and there, night came in.

from the poem by Pablo Neruda

I am experimenting with inks, paints, and all sorts of material lately. This was a small test that turned out okay. I came across this poem on another site today and had to paint something with my favorite subject:  birds! ;) Hope you all have a great weekend!!

I finished my sister's painting but will have to wait to show you until she visits in another week. I want her to be the first to see it. I seem to be slowly getting my mojo back (knock on wood). More to come soon...

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Lovers, 9" x 12"

"Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along."

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Dreams

11" x 14", Acrylic       

I am in the summer mode! Also in the experimental mode. :-) This is from an exercise in a book I just love: Realistic Abstracts, by Kees van Aalst. So many cool ideas in there! And lots of inspiration. I have a similar one in the works with a different color scheme. We'll see how that one turns out.  

I also just returned from a 10-day visit with my dear friend in Columbus, OH. I miss my home!! *sob* We had a great time and the Columbus Arts Festival was going on so I was able to take that in. LOTS of gorgeous art to see and a few more ideas to take away from there (plus a very cool T-shirt)! 

My sister has commissioned me to do a painting (though I hope she doesn't seriously think I'm going to take money from her...) and I'm still kicking around ideas for that. Ahh, the pressure! ;-) We kind of agreed on one thing but now I'm re-thinking that idea. I'll have to have another conversation with her after looking over the ideas in this book...

I hope you all are having a great start to your weekend. As for me, I've got more painting to do!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Slaying My Dragons

This is a journal page I just completed. It is actually the beginning of a larger painting. I wanted to play with the paint colors and see how they would work. And it's also my theme for the last couple of months... slaying my dragons. Or trying to...

Despite my best intentions I haven't been posting to the blog as much as I had planned. I have been in such an art slump. I did complete about 20 alcohol ink paintings and I liked a few. They are so small (the largest being 5" x 7") and I'm still trying to find the right way to work with the inks. There are a few that I like enough to show and will post those. I actually have them framed and hanging in my great room.

On the positive side, I am in a few classes right now that have energized me and at least have me back in the studio! I've been taking a lot of photos and that has helped me come up with some new ideas as well. So, for those of you who are still here, thank you for your patience. Thank you for thoughts and your comments. You are all so special to me. BIG hugs to you!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Soul Wanderer      5" x 7"

"I will give myself to the sky,
see the world as it always was,
reach for the winds that talk to me..."
from Goodbye, by Louise Hastings

I've been experimenting with a new technique this week that I am really enjoying. It's called Dreamscaping. I first learned of this from a fellow blogger friend, Stacy Wills. The artist who created the technique is June Rollins. It's fascinating what you can do with some alcohol inks and some special paper! No brushes involved, you let the inks do the work. 

I'm beginning to find these "shadow people" appear in my paintings. At least I see them that way; shapes that look like human figures. That's fine by me! I just go with it and see where the painting leads. So far I've completed about fifteen small paintings. This is one of my favorites. I call it "Soul Wanderer". I think the shape on the far right looks like a ghostly figure. ;)

Right now I'm working in a small format: 4" x 6" or 5" x 7" until I get a feel for how to manipulate the inks. I doubt I will go much bigger for a while. They look nice matted and framed. The inks are archival and so vibrant!

So you may be seeing a few of these for awhile. Not all of mine are landscapes. Some are turning into more abstract pieces. 

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday. Be sure to check out all the fun going on there! This week they are hosting an auction to benefit the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings

Double Vision         29" x 36"       

I'm happy to say that with the new year I've started a few new things! Here's my first painting of the year. It was inspired (of all things) by an area rug we recently bought. I just fell in love with it and I wanted to paint something to go with it after we added it to the room. Plus I think it ties everything in the room together now. ;)

Here's the rug that inspired the painting:

Of course I still like the rug better than the painting but I think the two go together well.  ;)

Other news: I have a website now! If you look at the top right-hand column you will see the link to it. (It's my Warhol painting). That will take you to my website. It's in the beginning stages but I have plans to expand that this year. 

And this is my first entry for Paint Party Friday this year. Be sure to check it out. They never disappoint! 

I'm glad to say goodbye to 2012. Here's hoping that 2013 will be a better one for you as well! Hugs to all of you. I've been very bad about visiting blogs and promise to do better from here on out. Thank you for all who have stuck with me. I truly appreciate your notes and friendship!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And Life Goes On...

"Les morts vont vite, the dead go fast, the next day absent!
Et les vivants sont dingues, the living are haywire.
Except for a few who grieve, life rapidly readjusts itself...
The dead go quickly
Not knowing why they go or where they go. To die is human,
To come back divine.
Les morts vont vite. We living stand at the gate
And life goes on."
-- from Proverb
by Kenneth Koch

I took this photo yesterday at sunrise. I couldn't believe the color! It was like a beautiful painting! It reminded me of fire. The poem was one I came across in The New Yorker today. 

This time of year is hard for me. It was Mom's favorite. She used to love getting ready for the holidays. She loved cooking for Thanksgiving and anticipating everyone coming home for dinner. And Christmas was her absolute favorite. She had recently started decorating two trees and hosting an open house. Her face would light up at the thought of preparing for the festivities! :-)

But she's been gone for eight years now and that just seems impossible to me. So we continue with some traditions and not others. Dad has remarried and has a new family to celebrate with. So, yeah, I guess it's true. Life goes on...

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it where you are. HUGS to every one of YOU!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why I Wake Early

"Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness."
-- Mary Oliver

These are just a few of my favorite photos I've taken over the last few weeks. Birds are definitely my go-to models! ;-) The hummingbirds have left for the summer but I'm finding new birds to photograph in their place. 

All of these birds are giving me great inspiration in my art as well. More on that front soon. I hope you are all enjoying the change in season. I know I am! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Being Quiet

This was the scene this morning as I walked the neighborhood. It's hard to capture the fog on the camera. It was starting to burn off.

Here are some other scenes from recent walks:

That bird is always there when I come to that particular spot.  :-)

This was the scene one morning as the sun was coming up. I'm not usually that early!

I've been quiet lately. We recently lost a family member, a very dear brother-in-law.

Rest in peace, Richard. We all miss you so very much...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Spine Poetry: The Art of Growing Up

I was inspired by a recent article in Brain Pickings newsletter regarding something called book spine poetry. How intriguing! It was the idea of the artist Nina Katchadourian a few years ago. Evidently she was working on a Sorted Books project and this idea came about. If you search the brainpickings site, you should be able to find an example. Here's the idea. You gather a few books together and make a little poem out of the spines. (Photos by me)

My ears perk up immediately when poetry is mentioned. I have a ton of books here... I couldn't resist the challenge. They don't have to be poetry books; any books will do. Just gather them together and use the titles for your little poem. So I went hunting and here's what I came up with after a few minutes.

My first Book Spine Poem: The Art of Growing Up

One Art:
The art of growing up,
Inspired remnants, curious dreams,
Spilling open
True vision.

Ha! That's it! The site listed the books it used for its poem so I'll do the same:

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
The Art of Growing up, Simple ways to be Yourself at Last, by Veronique Vienne with photographs by Jeanne Lipsey
Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams by Kerin Gale
Spilling Open, The Art of Becoming Yourself, by Sabrina Ward Harrison
True Vision, by L.K. Ludwig

This was a lot of fun and very inspiring. Now I'll have to go put these books back in their shelf or I'll lose them! Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective."
Mary Oliver

Hubby and I took a short trip this weekend exploring our small community. We haven't really been out and about too much since we've moved here so we made ourselves get out and just drive around. I was excited to see a one-lane bridge out in the middle of the country. With no traffic! Yay! Got this photo and then as we travelled across, took another one:

Have I mentioned how much I love my iPhone? ;-) Yes, I'm playing with my apps for these photos and had a great time doing it! Anyway, we ended up in so many small towns I can't remember their names (my bad) but here are some of the photos from our little trip. I love OLD buildings, alleyways, and iron stairways...

I thought that shadow on the side of the building looked like an alien...

Loved that old iron staircase!

Then we saw this building that had the COOLEST wooden doors! *swoon*

Here is another building, in color, with a little twist... done up in a Kaleidoscope effect to end my little tour:

It's been crazy weather here: unbearably hot. Temps are supposed to be back up in the 100's again today. And we are in a severe drought. I hope the news is better (and cooler) where you are. I'm working on a lot of things behind the scenes when it's not too hot to go upstairs in the studio. I hope to have more things to show soon. Have a great week everyone!! 

p.s. For a REAL treat, visit my friend Pat's blog. He is a FANTASTIC photographer and always visits the most interesting places. Somehow he manages to get the best shots. It's like taking a mini-vacation every time you visit. You won't be sorry!