Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What's inspiring to you?

So yesterday I was out in my yard battling an underground wasp nest. It's really a matter of pouring some powder into the hole and running the other direction. Then I realized that I forgot the second step which was placing something heavy over the hole in the ground. This morning I repeated the process and remembered the second step. While standing there enjoying my yard without dodging flying stingers, I spotted the first camellias of the season. I have to take pictures. I may not paint them for years but I can't let this year go by without at least taking a few shots. They're just so ruffly!! 

These are the early bloomers. Some other varieties will bloom later in the winter like the one I painted below. I don't remember the names of the different varieties but I enjoy the different shapes, petal structures and colors. For this painting I used gold leaf in the background and glazed a bit of green over the gold. This flower isn't quite as ruffly as the earlier ones but I love the way the stamen surround the center petals.


And then there's another kind of inspiration.... 
These girls inspire me all the time. My granddaughters were out in the yard (no, not anywhere near the wasp nest) doing a little role playing so they decided to come in and make masks for their characters. I loved the image so much I had to do something...
This was a lot of fun to paint! It's small, only 8x8, so it was fairly quick to do. I know I'll be painting at least one more of these and who knows, there may be more. We'll see. 👀


Sunday, November 21, 2021

I've gone dotty

I shared a few close up pics of a new painting on my FB/IG stories yesterday. I wanted to share again here too because when you look at the entire painting it can be hard to make out some details. I mentioned a couple of posts back that I'm playing with a paint shaper tool to add a bit of pointellism. I just dip it in the paint and .........

What I'm doing isn't the true definition of pointellism - "a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image" (think Seurat) - but using dots to enhance and add texture to a painting.

Below is the finished painting. If you enlarge it on your screen you can see where I painted the dots. Like the gold leaf I sometimes use and the textured gesso I put on the canvas before painting, sometimes seeing a painting in person is best. A painting can be experiential and doesn't translate as well in a photo. 

still deciding on a title


The 2 paintings above are the newest so I don't know what to call them yet. If you have any ideas I'd love for you to share them in the comments! I got on a warm color kick too. Looking back on past work, I seem to have gone through a "blue" period. It seems like everything I paint is mostly blue or cool colors. I don't usually pay much attention to trends, even my own apparently but when I noticed, I decided to play with some hot color for a change. We'll see where things go from here. 

acrylic and colored pencil

Shimmer was finished before I started the other 2 pieces so it's been added to my website along with the one below that finally has a title. It reminded me and many others of fire so Rekindled became it's name. It makes sense too because I seem to have rekindled a love for hot color!


And this one below..... I just remembered that I added it to the site but forgot to title it. I've been so focused on painting that I forgot all about it. It's more abstract than the others. Hmmmmm, something will come to me this week while I'm doing other things. I've been super productive in the studio the last couple of weeks so maybe I'm just getting ready to take a few days off with Thanksgiving coming up. My youngest daughter and her family are flying in and I'll have my local grandbabies here with me since they're out of school. It's time to focus on getting some work done around the house and wait for new canvases and gesso to come in the mail.


I hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy being with your loved ones, eat good food, relax, and laugh a lot! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Well, I goofed.

Well, I goofed. I should've let you know about this show last week because the opening was Friday! But.... the show continues until the 26th of this month so, if you're in the area, you can check out the Small Works show at Macon Arts Alliance. Sadly I couldn't be at the opening so maybe that's why the date zipped past me. I am excited that the gallery used my painting on the show announcement. Cool!

Scroll down to see a few of the pics from their site. The first one lists the other artists in the show. All the pieces in the show are available for purchase online so if you can't make it to Macon, you can click the link above and still see what's there, maybe grab a small art piece for yourself or find a gift for someone you love. 💝

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

From black and white to The Secret Lives of Color


Giving Way

Above is the result of hopefully, saving, the painting from the previous post. It went through several ugly phases and now I can look at it without thinking "ugly"! I especially had fun adding the little dots with a paint shaper tool. It's hard to see in the photos but the dots are slightly raised, giving a little extra dimention to the painting.

Remember one of the tips from this September post? I mention printing reference photos in black and white in order to free yourself from slavishly copying color from a color photo. Well, it can also free you up to play with more than color. I think I went to town on this one. Is it even recognizable as the subject for the painting below? I had so much fun with it! If you have any title ideas, leave them in the comments. 😀 And to see the above painting along with lots more... head to my site.

I'm still deciding on a title

One more thing I wanted to share.... have you seen this book? The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair is entertaining, educational and if you love color, it's luscious to look at too. I bought this for my kindle instead of the actual book but forgot that my kindle is only black and white. If you buy this, be sure to look at it on a device that has color. I'm reading it with a Kindle app on my tablet. Scroll down to see a few sample pages. I saved a couple of screenshots to share. Each page goes into the history of the color name along with how the color was developed - very interesting. 

So, check out the book and enjoy the colors. If you're up north, you get to see these colors on the trees, in person. I can only dream and remember the golden yellows and oranges of autumn in New Jersey. Here in Florida, we only get a little color teaser in the fall so I'll be enjoying them in this fun book.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Can this painting be saved?

An update post..... since I was here last I've shipped 10 paintings to the Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee and I have 8 more boxed up and ready to ship to Macon Arts Alliance in GA. You have no idea what a relief it is to move some paintings around! Since leaving Gallery B brought many pieces back home, I needed to make room for new stuff. Thankfully, Macon Arts is having a special small works show in November so it's perfect timing. And the wonderful people at Signature wanted some new work for the holiday season. Yay all the way around and doing a happy dance. 💃

Shedding Light

The painting above is one of the new ones. I love playing with paint like this. It brings my two favorite things together - landscapes and abstracts. After painting that one I decided to try doing something a little different by toning the canvas yellow instead of red orange like the previous one.

so far so good.....


now I really hate it....

maybe it's salvageable.

This is as far as I've gotten today so you'll have to stay tuned to see what happens to it. So far the only stage I like is the very first one. In the latest stage it's just starting to come together but boy, it's hard to get past the ugly stage sometimes. When you hit that point you have 3 choices - 1. trash it (gesso over it and try again)  2. grit your teeth and push on through. or 3. take a break, work on something else for a while and come back to it later.

I think I'll take door #3.

See you next time. Hopefully by then this will be resolved and I can share. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Keep the channel open.


What's on my mind.... the mind, for many reasons including some very personal ones. I shared some of that personal stuff in an interview with my friend Thea on The Charmed Studio blog. Her blog post was about creating from your shadow side. Click the link to read the article and see the "5 light filled reasons" to create. And if you haven't visited her blog before, take a look around. You'll love it!

Anyway, these things have been on my mind lately. Trauma and depression can be a dark subject but it's one that needs to be talked about more often. I think that's happening lately and I'm glad. The pandemic has something to do with that I'm sure as more and more people are seeking help. 

(And a side note - why is it that the mind, along with eyes, ears and teeth, are not included in standard coverage for health care?? They're all part of the body so why do they have to have their own insurance? $$$$ perhaps?)

Back to the point. Mental health and the effects of trauma on us and our bodies is a real thing. Having struggles with addiction, depression and/or anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrased about but for some reason a lot of us can't talk about it. Listening to other people's stories and learning about mental health can make us feel less alone. The other thing I wanted to share with you is the new movie The Wisdom of Trauma with Gabor Mate'. He is a physician specializing in childhood development and trauma and it's effects on the body both physically and mentally. You can also find lots of videos and TED talks with him on YouTube. Excellent information! If you have the interest, poke around, search for some of these videos and learn more about the mind/body connection. 

If you're not able to or not ready to talk to someone, paint it. I've talked about my therapy canvas before. If things are hard, emotions are coming up and I need to do something in the moment, I get out the canvas and start flinging paint. Sometimes it's just about the physicality of doing the flinging that brings relief. Sometimes it's about a particular subject and that painting actually becomes something with a recognizable theme. 

I found this quote in the introduction to George Carlin's book Brain Droppings...

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open...

"No artist is pleased...[There is no] satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

 - Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham

Keep the channel open. Paint. Open yourself to flinging. Don't block what needs to be released. Let art help you. No one has to see it. It can be just for yourself. Keep a sketchbook just for ranting. Have a canvas handy just for your own healing and expression. Pile on the layers of paint while you peel back the layers of emotion. It could forever be for your eyes only or some day you may be comfortable sharing. Either way you're helping at least one person. If you can share it with other people, you're bringing something valuable to the world. You're adding a very unique piece to the conversation that maybe someone can learn from or just not feel so alone themselves. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The travels of River Cruise

River Cruise

I had something interesting happen this week. Actually 2 somethings. The first one was about the above painting - River Cruise. I sold this painting last spring through my gallery rep in Tallahassee, Signature Art Gallery. When you sell a piece through a gallery you don't always know where that art ends up. You just assume it's hanging in a collector's home somewhere. 

Then you get an email from a previous collector who said they won it in an auction in Miami. Miami is a bit of a trip from Tallahassee. But, there it was, pictured in the email. This collector is local so River Cruise has done it's own traveling from here in the middle of the state, to the top of the state, then to the bottom of the state, and now back home in the middle again. That's cruising!

This collector wanted to know if I had some more work she could look at so of course I emailed images and she did buy more work. So this week I got to see how far my painting traveled, and I also got to send some more paintings out into the world and a new place to call home.

It was a good week. I hope yours was excellent too!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The only constant is change

This is my rotating art wall outside my studio at home. This is where paintings rest while waiting to go to their galleries or waiting to be shipped to collectors. When a spot opens up I fill it with another new piece. The arrangements don't always look great but the wall is constantly changing and the paintings rotating. 

The wall is pretty full right now. These are a few of the pieces I had hanging downtown at Gallery B. I brought all my work home because this wall isn't the only thing changing. I've decided it's time to leave Gallery B. Sometimes, the vision you have for something takes a different turn and becomes a different space than what you anticipated. And that's OK. We know that the only constant is change so it's just time to try something new. That's how it works on canvas too right? 

It was a fabulous 2+ years there and I made some wonderful friends. To my friends at Gallery B, I wish the very best. I hope they have tons of fun and success. And since I live literally a half mile from the gallery, I'll certainly be popping in to say hi on occasion.

There's a new thing in the future for me and I'm ready! I can't share it yet and it's probably going to take some time to get going but there is something new on the horizon. Meanwhile, I'm here, working at home in my studio, adding to my Etsy shop, and painting of course. So, if you want to know what this new thing is gonna be, and what I'll be up to in the meantime, sign up for the newsletter when the little window pops up.

 Till next time...


Thursday, September 16, 2021

5 tips to make studio painting a little easier.


1. Colored pencil friends... Do you have a bucket full of shorties? What do you do with all the little nubs of colored pencils when they're too short to put in the electric sharpener and too short to hold comfortably.  Pencil extenders are great, I use them all the time but even those don't let us use up the entire pencil. These little sticks of color are too expensive to just throw away. I learned a little tip from Ann Kullberg years ago when I took one of her portrait workshops (fabulous workshop btw). Take your little nub of a pencil and glue it end to end with a longer one of the same color - or a different color - it's up to you. Just put a dot of super glue on one of the ends and hold it for a few seconds until it holds. Leave the pencil sitting flat for a few minutes until it gets good and stuck. Now you can sharpen the nub all the way down until it's gone. Bonus: you have too sharpened ends on one pencil to color with.

2. Do you use photos for painting? If I'm not painting from life, I'm using my own photos. One way to break out of a color rut is to print your photos in black and white. When I use a color photo I tend to stick to the general color palette of the scene. When I print it in black and white I feel freer to experiment and play with different colors. 

3. Painters, here's an easy way to handle painting the edges of your small canvases without getting paint all over your table or your hands. You'll need a lazy susan. This paint covered one is a Wilton that's sold for cake decorating. Also get some oversized push pins.

Push one pin into each corner of the canvas on the back side. Flip it over, set it on the lazy susan and you can spin the base and paint the edges without having to hold the canvas up with your hands.

4. Take photos of your painting in progress and view them on your phone for a different perspective. Seeing it this way can give you fresh eyes and you may spot something you want to change. You can also change the photo to gray scale in your phone. This will help you see the value range you have in the piece and tell you if you need to darken or lighten certain areas.

5. Instead of starting your painting on a white canvas, tone the canvas with different colors. Try using complimentary colors for your base. For a landscape with lots of green, tone the canvas red. For a painting of a yellow flower, try a violet base. Bits of complimentary color peeking through can make your painting sing.

If you've learned some great little hacks for the studio, I'd love to hear about them. We could all use some help making tasks a bit easier. Share in the comments below.

Happy painting!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

A new version of Spring

I did the above painting last year. It's called Spring. I had it hanging at Gallery B for a bit but I took it down because I don't want to display work that I'm unhappy with. It just never sat right with me. It's been hanging around my studio ever since. I kept looking at it, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Then it dawned on me.

I decided to give it the same treatment I gave the one below... Assembly Required

The background of Assembly Required bothered me at first because it was too bright and bold. I didn't like the direction it was going so I switched gears, glazed the background with a mixture of white and acrylic medium to tone it down and then I added elements from nests that I have in the studio.

For Spring, I did the same. I mixed a glaze of white plus medium and applied it so it left a ghost of the image. On top, I added twigs, moss and a leaf I found in the yard. I actually put these bits of nature right on the canvas after it was dry, arranging them until I liked the design. Then I took a photo and printed it to use for a reference. Now the result is a "new" Spring! 


This new version says "Spring" to me much more than it did before. These are the building blocks that birds use every spring to build their nests. Now, how do I categorize it?? Is it a landscape? Is it a deconstructed nest? Is it abstract? Does it need a category? Really it only needs a category to figure out where to place it on my website so I guess for now, click to see it right here in the landscape category. 

Till next time.                                            


Friday, September 3, 2021

I'm finally adding to it

Happy Friday! Just popping in to share some info. Lately I've been ignoring my Etsy shop. Sometimes we get pulled in a million different directions with all the hats we wear and my poor little shop got left by the wayside. This morning I thought I'd better get back to it so I've added a couple of new listings and changed the pricing on some others - in the direction you would appreciate too. :)

I have a number of mini paintings that I'll be adding to the shop on a regular basis. They range in size from 2x2 inches to 4x4 inches. These teeny tiny little paintings make great ornaments for the holidays or accents on the mantle or bookshelf. They can also be hung on the wall to enjoy year round. The little bird nest in the top photo also has a ribbon hanger but I folded it down behind the painting so it can sit on the easel without being seen. If you want to add something extra to a gift for someone special, you could tie a mini to the bow on gift wrap. It's a gift on top of a gift! These are great because they're so versatile. Use them any way you want.

So click the link in this post or hop over to the sidebar and check out all the little gift ideas. And then I hope you have a fabulous long weekend.


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Are you an art collector?


I sold a painting yesterday. Woohoo! So I was thinking about this whole buying and selling art thing. The collector who bought Breezy said she had been in the gallery several times and every time she came in she gravitated to that one. It pulled her in and she decided she couldn't leave without it. 

Some folks think collecting art is only for fancy people. Art collectors are the ones investing in blue chip art - the pieces done by very famous people and sold at very famous prices. We see those amazing numbers when auction houses report their sales - $10,000,000 and up for one painting. But that's another universe. Most of us regular people don't have the funds to invest in blue chip work. 

Sometimes people wonder if a lesser known piece that they're interested in could have the potential to be a big seller in the future. Is this painting a good investment? I think there's a better way to approach buying art. To me, an investment in art means an investment in my environment, an investment in my mental health, an investment in a spiritual connection, an investment in my home decor, an investment in beauty!

It's about love. Pure and simple. If you buy art it should be something you fall in love with - something you want to live with in your home because it makes you feel good when you look at it. Anyone can be an art collector. We start collecting art when we're children. Were you a kid who picked up rocks and stuck them in your pocket to take home because they were pretty? Did you save certain leaves in the fall because of the gorgeous colors? Did you press flowers in a book because you couldn't bear to let them go? I was. I was an art collector then and now. 

Anyone can own original art. I paint more than I collect but when I do buy someone else's art it's because I want to look at it - all the time. If you love an artist's work and have a strict budget, look for smaller pieces they have available. That usually means a smaller price. You could also ask about a payment plan. Many artists are more than willing to work something out with you. Please don't think that art collecting is a game you can't or shouldn't play. Please don't think collecting art is about dollar signs. It's about love and making your surroundings a place where you want to be. It's about letting an image take you on a mental or emotional journey. It's about an investment in yourself.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Art for a Cause

Hi folks, it's been a crazy busy month. There's lots of new stuff going on and changes coming up but that can wait for a later post. For now I just wanted to let you know about this little event we're having at Gallery B. Sept 16th we're doing Art for a Cause and the non-profit that I'm donating to is HOME Hands of Mercy Everywhere.

If you know my history you know why this organization is near and dear to my heart. The home is a place for teen and young, single moms to stay and get the support they need to get on their feet and be great moms to their little ones. Check out their link above to see how they help moms. HOME not only helps young moms with parenting skills, they also help with education, job skills, mental and spiritual health. If something like this were available 41 years ago, things may have been quite different for me and my daughter. 

So if you're in the Ocala area and can support this event, please do! These folks make a huge difference in the lives of teens and their babies. Thank you!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

 So this thing happened..... 

The kind folks at Ocala Gazette asked if they could do an interview with me for their paper. Bruce came and took photos and then Lisa came to ask me a lot of questions. Just click this link to read the article or stop by Publix and pick up a copy. Thank you Lisa and Bruce. Thank you Ocala Gazette! Ocala is getting so artsy!! I need to run around town and take some pictures of all the goings on here so I can show you. We have a lot of public art too - Horse Fever, murals, and sculpture.

What is your town up too?


Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Coast is Near

This. When you're driving down A1A and you can't see the water but you feel it's presence - the way the sky goes on forever, the way the sun is hitting the palms, the way the breeze feels as it blows in from the ocean and brings you that salty scent. You can't see the waves but you can hear them pounding away and then retreating. 

The Coast is Near

Just a quick little post to share the newest painting. Sometimes you just wanna paint something familiar, bright, simple, and says Florida. This one fit the bill and was crazy fun to paint. And it's telling me that I need to get to the coast soon. 

If this piece brings you joy like it does for me, look for it here on my website.

I hope you're getting some beach time in this summer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Both Sides of the Desk

A lot has been going on lately. I have the honor of being included in the July issue of Ocala Magazine. It's a page they do every month featuring a different artist. How cool!

The other projects happening right now are things I can't share. Here's a piece of one of them. They're both colored pencil commissions that are surprises for friends and family. I'll be able to share after they're gifted. 

We've been busy at the gallery too. We have a wonderful scrap metal sculptor named Josh Price from Contrived Curiosities. We sold this adorable pair of owls this weekend.

A face only a mom could love! This is actually one of my favorite sculptures in the gallery. 

So all this has me thinking about what I do work wise. I'm a painter who sells work in galleries and now I co-own a gallery too. Over the years I've heard from other artists how horrified they are that retail galleries take a 50% commission on sales. People new to the scene don't realize that 50% is the norm. Non-profits sometimes take a smaller commission because they receive other funding. Some galleries like ours are collectives or co-ops, meaning they charge a monthly fee instead of charging a commission. I've never begrudged my gallery reps their share. They've earned it. Since being part of Gallery B I have an even better understanding of what's involved in opening a gallery and keeping it open. 

What do galleries do with your 50% or your monthly fee? They spend it on rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, salaries, taxes, advertising, web design and hosting, licenses, building upkeep, supplies, phone service, banking fees, merchandiser fees, accountants, legal rep, signage, reception costs, and the list goes on.

If you're an artist thinking of jumping into gallery representation, please keep in mind that it's a business partnership. A good gallery will work for you, sell for you, and they have huge expenses just like any other business. You can do your part by being professional, providing good materials like your consignment list, giving the gallery as much information about you and your work as possible, have a consistent body of work to show and have new work available for them when asked. The best thing you can do is have the best quality work you can do. Make sure your presentation is clean - if you frame your work, make sure the frame is good quality and free from any nicks or scratches. Have your work ready for the gallery to hang. Basically, be considerate of your gallery and the customers. 

As a selling painter, you wear a lot of hats because you have to do the selling along with the making of the art. Now I'm on both sides of the desk and get to experience not only selling my work but the work of other artists too. One thing I've noticed - it's easier to talk up other people's work than it is my own. Why do we find it so much easier to brag on others than it is to toot our own horns?

Enjoy the rest of your day. I hope it's filled with joy and the creative juices are flowing.