Wednesday, December 19, 2007



I was drawn to the cool silver color of this satin bow because of the snow and ice in my world right now and probably here until June! The ice and snow is amazingly beautiful and I wonder if I will ever get tired of seeing it. This is only my second winter here in Chicago and being a newbe every falling snowflake, glazing of ice and even the slush is wonderfully gorgeous! It is definitely worth getting a little cold to be lucky enough to see these beautiful sights.

The thick silver paint dripping over the edges of the warmer cream tissue, what else could it be but the draping of icicles after a great winter storm? So, If you are lucky enough to have a winter, bundle up and go take in the show!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Well I could write pages on this painting and the experience, but I will try and keep it short. Suffice it to say, I feel like I have finally painted the painting I've been trying to paint for years, and I think it is all due to my little experiment with the abstract paintings. I strongly encourage everyone, not just painters, to try something out of your comfort zone, see what insight it may bring to you. I think our subconscious leads us toward things we need to experience, who cares if we look crazy! Who cares if we don't do it well! Just try it, whatever it is, as long as it is legal!!

This painting is titled Ginkgo. I hope you are lucky enough to have a Ginkgo tree nearby, they are the last trees to change into their Fall outfits. Here in Chicago Fall is breathtaking, full of oranges, reds, rusts, and ochres. Then, as if for the final curtain call before Winter the Ginkgos, whose branches extend way past their trunks in crazy right angles, explode into gold. This year it was too brief a show, just like a shooting star! But never fear, this winter storm today has lead me straight to a fabulous silver satin ribbon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Royal Party

Yeah! I am so glad to have this painting finished, not that I haven't loved every minute of it, mind you, I am just a wee bit nervous about having enough paintings ready for the December show. I wish I could post the entire group as I will hang it, which is with about an inch of space in between each canvas. I may have to break down and buy Photoshop if I am going to continue these split paintings, unless someone out there has an idea of how to fix this on going problem of mine. Anyone????

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way with this piece too!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Amazingly this is the first true red bow I have ever painted. This true red was inspired by seeing the website of Duane Keiser who has fantastic Utube video demonstrations, one of which is a gorgeous candy apple. I just could not wait to dive into red after seeing it!

My heart literally beats faster when I paint red, how about yours?

Friday, October 5, 2007


I am sorry I could not get the picture straighter. My photography skills have been terrible the last several posts. Must be all the over consumption of caffeine! I will save this little one for the show as well, and hopefully get a better picture of it before it makes its way to Atlanta. I think this painting will be best seen in person no matter how good of a photo I get anyway. I do love how it turned out and feel it captures the 'hushed' mood I've been in as of late.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Morning Glory

I don't know that much about plants and flowers, but when I lived in Atlanta I did try my best to grow things. I loved growing both Morning Glories and Day Lilies. Both have blooms that only open for one day and by late afternoon they have already started to fade. This time of year the Morning Glories start to produce their seeds in little papery round pods that are fun to gather up and toss about the yard for next spring. It is a flower where time is counted, spent and is waiting.

As far as the painting goes, I loved painting the tissue just as much as the velvety bow. I enjoyed layering all the rainbow of colors that actually make up this "cream" tissue. What fun!

I am starting to prepare for an up-coming show in Atlanta which will be taking place December through February. This painting will be available through this show and I will keep everyone posted as the time draws near.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thumbnail sketches

Oh my gosh! How gorgeous is this vintage plum velvet!?! Okay so I've had purple on my mind as of late, likely caused by a collision of many ideas and sources streaming in all at once showing me purple. I so wanted my next painting to contain several presents in the same composition. I played around with several presents trying to figure out a theme or idea. But this guy just seemed soooo very demanding, so right now he's got all my attention.

I've been starting these demo posts by showing the set up and beginning oil sketch, but I realized that is leaving out a bunch of steps. First step for me is inspiration, and I see it everywhere. I have ten paintings being painted in my head all the time, so I keep a personal journal where I keep these thoughts. Then suddenly one idea, thought, color, feeling singles itself out and wham.... purple velvet. Next are these tiny thumbnail sketches where I play around with composition and see which format will best suit what I'm trying to say. The top two sketches I envisioned as another split painting. I like the middle idea, and may come back to it, but have settled on the bottom right hand corner composition. Hope this hasn't been too boring.

"Summer Leaves"

I've been trying for two days to get a decent picture of this painting and still haven't manage to get one. I'm not sure what is going on, normally the light is so great in my studio that my photos turn out perfect. The greens are actually much richer and warmer. Anyway, at least you can see the painting and an example of the frames I've been using for these smaller sized paintings. These "floater frames" allow the edges of the canvas to be seen, which in this painting I left the earthy orange color that served as the canvas undertone.

My original inspiration for this painting came from the variety of greens that late summer brings and the beauty of the dappled shadows that will soon be gone once all our trees lose their leaves. This is one of my favorite times of the year in Chicago, almost over night the leaves change. No, not their colors yet, but their sound. The wind plays a new song.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Somehow, some way, this painting decided to change course. The present just no longer looked as if it wanted to wave and flap about, suddenly and wonderfully it just seemed still. I suppose sometimes on some days you desperately want to flutter about, and sometimes on some days
you are willing to spread your wings and simply wait - content.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Well this was just four square inches of fun! Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, August 31, 2007

"Sprite" in process

As could be expected after looking intensely at orange for so long, I've been craving blue. This tiny blue glitter bow was just the what the doctor ordered! I do love a stick on bow, maybe not as glamorous and elegant as the silk, satin, and velvet varieties, but boy are they loads of fun! And that's just how I wanted to feel today... cute and fun.
I'll be able to post the finished painting tomorrow, it is too dark now to get a good picture, but I could not wait to share my joy filled day!

Thursday, August 30, 2007



I do so hate being away from painting for an entire week, I was so glad to get back to my brushes and the smell of oil. I had plenty of inspiration for the feeling of heat in Alabama while I was there! My goal was to have this painting convey that sense of heat we are feeling from our summer days and maybe a secret flame or burning passion.

"The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire, and must be ready to be consumed by that fire"....Auguste Rodin

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Varnishing Day

Don’t you just love varnishing day??!! Wow, what a difference varnish makes in the colors, like sparkling jewels. This has been a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day. I needed to varnish my most recent little paintings for an “Open Studio Night” I am participating in at the Fine Arts Building this Friday. If anyone reading this lives here in Chicago, I’ll be on the fifth floor. Please come by and introduce yourself! Oh… and I got my haircut today and to my receipt they stapled a little piece of yellow paper that said, “Wherever you go, go with your whole heart”, just thought I’d pass it along. Oh my, the sun is coming back out!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Woops, forgot to add one of my favorite new spots

Seeing Spots

"Every picture shows a spot with which the artist has fallen in love"....(Alfred Sisley)
These past several days I've been working on a painting that has not been coming together for me. I've loved the color and composition, but just could not make it happen.
I have a book titled "A Painting a Day" which is basically a calendar with a painting and a quote that accompanies the painting. Today's quote for the day was the Sisley quote above. It made me realize that the painting I was so frustrated with did not have a "spot". I looked back through some of my past and recent paintings and thought I would share the spots where I fell in love. Maybe if anyone is reading this out there.... you might share your spots.

Saturday, July 28, 2007



"There can be no blue without yellow and without orange." --Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, July 27, 2007



It only took me all day to figure this out. The colors in the shadow painting's photo are off, in person the paintings are exactly the same, but just getting the pictures to line up properly was enough for me to handle today. Whew! This blog world has taught me a lot more about computers than I ever thought I wanted to know!

Thanks to Carol Marine for helping me figure this out!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I must be taking my vitamins, because this painting just painted itself. This painting is a diptych, with one of the canvases containing this present, and its companion canvas containing the present's shadow. The above post shows the two together, but the zoom capability is not very clear and I wanted you to be able to see the thick brushwork in the velvet ribbon. (which you can do by clicking on this picture for a close up view)

So what's in a present?

These paintings of presents represent for me the unseen, more specifically the soul. If the eye is the window to the soul, is it a two way street? By that I mean, if someone looks into our eyes they can see into our soul, right? So can our souls also be revealed, and maybe just to ourselves, by what we take in through our eyes? Do we let our exterior world affect our interior world?

Thursday, July 19, 2007



Well I am happy I gave this little present another try. I knew there must be some reason I left it wrapped up sitting on my shelf for a year! Hope you love it too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Crush" in progress

This is the second time I've painted this little present. My first attempt, about a year ago, just did not capture the feeling I was after, so here I am trying again. I still have the left side of the bow to finish, but since I have not posted in so long I decided to let everyone see what I've been up to. My painting process is a strange one, and until I discovered Alex Kanevsky's website I thought I might be the only painter that goes about destroying the previous days work with no hesitation. What I mean by that is; I begin a painting then the next day when I return to it I might totally change colors, light, mood, everything. I always paint my "Presents" from life, and I think this daily change has to do with the change of light in my studio, my mood and my music which are apt to change every day as well. This particular painting has changed tremendously. One day there will be lots of purples in the shadows, the next day these shadows will be ochre. I always have a 'feel' I'm after in my painting, and keeping this in mind has helped me get back on track.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I have been painting, but ...... thought I would pass along a great link I found on Silvina Day's blog. Try it out!! I had so much fun I could not contain myself, had to share! Hope you enjoy. Silvina, hope you don't mind???

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lake Shore, Wilson Avenue


This little series is finally finished. I started my blog with the blue present and basically painted in reverse. I wanted to show all four paintings together and I am thrilled they are staying together as a group. A collector here in Chicago purchased them but they are travelling soon to his new bed and breakfast in New Orleans. Next for me ..... you guessed it, more presents. I am going to take Debbie Miller's advice and do several smaller sized presents for an up-coming "Open Studio" I hope to be participating in next month.
Oh shucks, I thought all four were going to be lined up horizontally!! Oh well, hopefully you can visualize what it should look. If anyone out there knows how I can arrange this so all four are together please let me know.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Well I'm all done! Yeah! I started this blog for experimenting and doing this demo certainly has been a new experience for me. I so appreciate every one's comments and encouragement which made this demo super fun for me. I set about this painting with a couple of objectives in mind. One was to challenge the 'norm' of thin background. My background here, (or dandy lion field) is very thick and broken, the sheer fabric is painted thin and with less brushwork except in the lace and black dots which are very thick. The challenge being making the thin come forward and the thicker recede. To add to this challenge, the color I wanted to pull forward was black against the light warm background. Yikes! During this process I had to ask myself, why do we have to create this receding background??? The more I paint, the more I seem to find a desire to incorporate an abstract influence into my paintings or at least in my thought processes. Why can't the 'background' be just as important as the 'subject matter'? In abstract painting every part of the canvas is 'active' (if that is the right choice of words). I know we need restful spots on the canvas, that everything can't be equally important, but with representational art can our objects be so recognizable that our eyes are naturally drawn there and other areas of the painting be more than just background? Anybody??? Am I crazy today or what?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Slowly but surely it is coming along. I don't know what it is..... but I can not get enough of bows! There is just something unexplainable and spiritual (??) to me about them. I am fascinated with all the actual colors that exist in one hue, plus these stick on bows always glow from the inside causing the richest color in the center, or heart, of the bow. For some reason this really adds to my obsession with the concept of seen vs. unseen/body vs. soul.
I will continue to work on the contrasts and edges until I feel the bow is just right. I should hopefully be through with the bow portion of the painting tomorrow.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Day 7 demo

No, no . . . I did not get stuck on a polka dot, I just had my brother and sister-in-law in town for the week and I've been playing tour guide taking my sister-in-law all over Chicago:) What fun Chicago is in the Summer!! I rarely ever take a full week away from painting so I was anxious to get back to the studio. Sometimes its hard getting back in the groove after a break, but I managed to get a good bit done today.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Day 5 & 6 Demo

I've really enjoyed doing this demo, it has made me focus on what progress I have to show for at the end of the day. I am a workaholic, so I paint all the time, but sometimes I will just obsess on one area for days! I will get to a point in the painting, I feel certain, where one polka dot will be reason for many days work!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Day Four Close Up

Okay, I am a slow painter, never could be rushed to do anything. I really just love to paint, and actually just love paint. I enjoy trying to push or sculpt the paint as thick as I can while still keeping the image representational. I really almost try to will the image off the canvas, and that takes time. This subject has been a challenge because I do not use tube blacks, but prefer to mix my own. The subtlety of the sheer black has been a true test.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Day Two Block In

My block in is still very thin paint and I tend to bounce around playing with different areas. I really start having fun once thick paint gets on the painting, so I try to find an area to get that going early on.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day One Set up

This is a shot of my entire set up. I prepare my canvases with two coats of Gamblin's Oil Painting Ground. I rough it on with a big palette knife and get it fairly smooth, but not perfect, I like some imperfections. I stain the canvas with a combination of warm earth reds and when it is dry sketch directly with thinned paint. Lately I've been using Winsor Newton's 'Drying Linseed Oil' as a painting medium.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

study for Flight of the Bumble Bee

Click here for my store and purchasing info

This is a 6 x 8 study for an 18 x 24. My goal with these smaller studies is to see problems early on before I start the larger painting, plus they are just so much fun to do. I usually have a certain idea or feeling for each painting which may be inspired by color combinations or even music. Through the process of painting that idea may shift or the mood may be altered, but right now, I am thinking bumble bee and dandelion field. Since it takes me soooooo long to complete a large painting, I thought I might try to post my day by day process for this larger painting. I hope it works out! :)

Friday, May 25, 2007


Okay, don't ask me to explain, I can't anyway. I first started painting my "present" paintings (earlier posts or see my website) because of an obsession with the image of the gift that I could not understand or fully explain. After painting that image for a while now, I have come to understand what it all represents for me. I think coming to that understanding and wanting to dig deeper has lead me here. This is the second "undies" painting (as a friend of mine coined them) that I have done now. I have more undies tacked up on my studio wall waiting to be painted as we speak. Okay so it's crazy.... Okay I am really a normal person.... Okay I don't really see a clear market for these paintings, but when an obsession calls you have to answer. Right?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hanna's Day

I recently have been experimenting with iridescent oil paints after being inspired by another artist's work in iridescent pastels. Oh, how fun these paints are! I decided to give them a try on this painting I started, but never finished, about a year ago. I mixed silvers and golds in her hair, stars, moon, and dots throughout the landscape. I just love the effect and can't believe I've never considered using these paints before. They added just the element of sparkle and delight I wanted for this painting.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Mug and Pears

I enjoyed painting the green mug so much I decided to paint a red one. What is that Zen saying...??? ... something like you have to empty your cup before you are ready to learn. I like that idea. Maybe I'll so a whole series of empty mugs!