Friday, October 2, 2009

Till Death do us Part

Sold 12x12 oil on canvas
What self-respecting realist hasn't painted a skull? :) How Killer!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

South Shore Arts Salon Show Award

I'm excited and honored to be the recipient of the "Ernestine 'Dolly' M. Wisnewski Memorial Award" which I received at the opening reception of the South Shore Arts Salon Show. The reception was wonderful, and the show itself is a diverse and fantastic group of artwork. About 70 pieces in all - paintings, photography, sculpture, video, and one installation piece.

I am so pleased to be a part of the show, and extremely honored to be chosen for this award!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sharing some good news

I am so grateful and excited today, and I thought I would pass along the news. I have been featured on a wonderful blog I just discovered called, A Gift Wrapped Life.

As anyone might guess, Sande Chase, author of this inspiring blog, and I share an obsession with presents. Sande Chase's blog is a companion for her website which specializes in gorgeous gifts wrapped so beautifully I could cry! Her blog is a wonderful new source of inspiration and I am very honored to be featured there. Thanks so much to Sande, for her generosity and for her incredibly kind words. Also many thanks to Lara Harris, a fellow artist and blogger who saw the similar passions, and was kind enough to make the connection.

One more bit of good news, two of my paintings, "Fireworks" and "Melt" have been selected for the 66th Annual South Shore Salon Show in Indiana. I am very excited about this opportunity, it is a great honor for me to participate and I am thrilled these two paintings where chosen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Wow, am I pleased! I know I keep talking about how excited I am with my own paintings lately, and I must apologize. But I am absolutely in love with the results of allowing the paint itself to play a much larger role in my paintings. The challenge and joy for me, is finding the balance between using paint to create the illusion of form, versus using paint to become the form.

Paint becoming the form is a goal I've been striving for, for several years now. finding my own unique voice to do that with is key. Each painting I do lately feels closer and closer to realizing this goal, so I'm just on cloud 9!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Two easels going - this is a first for me!  Lately my head is bursting with ideas for new paintings and compositions.  Suddenly I can't keep up with the inspiration I seem to find everywhere.

I've posted a good bit more on my inspiration behind these paintings HERE for anyone interested.  I would love to hear how you get inspired, and what inspires you all out there.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Art Chicago - Next 2009

Yesterday Chicago's annual art event, Art Chicago - Next, came to a close.  This event is an opportunity to see galleries from all over the world, and the artists they represent.  It is the highlight of my spring to see so much artwork all under one roof, and one of the reasons I'm grateful to live here.  

This year was my favorite of the three I've attended, and I have posted a video of my visit to the show on my new blog.  Click Here, and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Is it wrong to say how much one loves their own painting?  I can not tell you how much I love this painting and all the new possibilities I'm thinking about right now!

I've posted in progress shots on MY NEW BLOG AND WEBSITE.  I'm considering eliminating my original website for this new one, I like that I have almost complete flexibility with design aspects.  I'm not a trained graphic designer, so feedback would be welcome :)  

This painting is 10x10, if you are interested please email for info. 

Friday, April 17, 2009



Passion for Painting

Thank you to Sara Winters, who tagged me for the Passion for Painting award.  I am honored!  Sara's paintings are flooded with light and clear color, and her execution of reflected water with unblended brushwork seems fresh and new.  Take the time to enlarge her paintings to see the abstract quality to work. 

Here is how it goes, name 7 things I love, and 7 other artists whose blogs I follow.

Seven things I love:
1. God
2. My husband, Clay
3. Family
4. Friends
5. Paint
6. Sunshine, fresh air, 80 degree flip-flop wearing day.
7. Snow, 25 degree boots/scarf/hat wearing day.

I follow many many blogs, which makes this difficult.  I decided to name blogs that contain discussion, advice, observations, and information, that help us grow as artists.  From step by step PhotoShop advice, to gallery solicitation advice, to serious discussions about being an artist.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chocolate Dip

I've been trying for two days to upload my finished painting "Dandelion" and for some reason the painting's colors are very washed out compared to the actual jpeg. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I noticed this with my last post, but since the painting was in process, instead of completed, I didn't worry much about it. I am using a Mac with iPhoto to crop the image and making zero adjustments to color. The jpeg is vibrant, but when I load it into blogger, it loses a lot of color??? If anyone knows what I might be doing wrong, please let me know. The painting above posted very close to the original jpeg, I can't figure it out???

While I was trying to figure it all out, I luckily decided to paint this monochromatic painting. I talk a lot about color, but not much about value, which is a key component in inspiring my paintings. I have always loved monochrome paintings and value studies, and don't know why I don't do them more often. They seem quiet and still to me. The actual bow is red, but I used Burnt Umber, Payne's Grey, and white, to show the form using only value.

Besides the actual meaning I find behind these bows and presents, they offer a kaleidoscope of color and strong value shifts within one single object, and I seem to never tire of their possibilities.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Painting in Progress

Form or Color?  Which is more important - this is the question that's always in my head.  I love both.  I LOVE form.  I love seeing the volume and weight of an object in a painting.  But color ..... ah .... how I ADORE color.  Color feels alive to me.   

One part seeing, one part feeling, hard to choose.  Both are magic.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Painting in Progress plus Palette

First layer of color, and I already love it!
This is my palette, but I never use all this color at one time.  I select specific colors for each painting based on a complimentary color scheme (even though this painting is actually a close-compliment scheme of yellow and blue.)  First I decide my "star" color.  The star for this painting is yellow, so I'll want to pick out a variety of yellows and its compliment purple.  My main yellow will be Cad Yellow Medium, and main purple, Garnet Lake.  
I've mixed this on a piece of glass to see the color easier.  I rarely use tube earth tones since I can mix them using compliments.  In this case, making a yellow ocher, which I can easily make lighter and darker, or warmer and cooler.  If I use a cooler and bluer purple, the colors will end up a bit on the green side, and I'm seeing a lot of greenish-ocher color in the shadow side of the "flower." 
These are the rest of the colors I will use for this painting, plus white.  I love having lots of choices, so I usually add warms and cools for each compliment.  For my yellow side, I add a warm of Cad Orange, then four cooler yellows.  I'm not going to add a warmer purple, because I can warm up the one I have with the Cad Orange, but I am going to add several blues.  

That's my color scheme theory in a nut shell.   

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Drawing and homemade view finder tool

In typical Chicago spring fashion, it's snowing here today.  Lucky for me, I have my own make believe spring growing right here in my studio.  This is the completed drawing on the 10x10 canvas, basically the same as my last post's drawing, except bigger and on canvas.  I did spend more time with this one, and I really loved every minute of it.  

Since this is more or less repeating my last post, I thought I would show my little homemade view finder tool.

I made this years ago, as you can see by the smudges and dried paint, from a 5x7 gray mat you can purchase for framing photos.  I cut the corners, then marked off the interior edges, starting at the corners going out, every half inch.  I can view my set up through my adjustable opening and determine exactly what size canvas will make the best composition.  Once that is decided, I paperclip the corners and continue to use it to help locate the major shapes during the drawing phase.  The mid-toned gray can be used to judge values as well.  

Now back to fun with flower!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Once again, rejoicing over the weather is causing me to throw caution to the wind, and celebrate by posting this very merry latest idea.  It is one that has been brewing and stewing in my brain for some time now.  I had planned to wait until the actual painting was completed before going full steam ahead, but I just couldn't wait, not on a day like today.  For tomorrow is sure to be cold again, but today is today!

STEP ONE:  photo of wire armature

STEP TWO (I know I should have made more photos of getting to step two, but I wasn't really thinking as usual.)  I used clay for the stem and leaves with actual bow and curling ribbon for those curly green things that are usually at the base of a flower.  Two light cans are visible, but only one is being used to light my 'flower.'  I am aiming for a 'fantasy' playful rendition of a flower, so the next one I do, I may need to push that a bit more.  But for now I'm excited!
STEP THREE:  I am what the book, Cheese Room Three, calls a Scurrier - one who has tendencies of scurrying to problem solve, instead of taking the time to think, before acting.  I've been doing a LOT of scurrying lately; starting new ideas and paintings, only to get half way into a huge canvas before realizing it isn't really a direction I want to continue.  My husband gave me a little pep talk, brought on by the mound of half finished paintings leaning against my studio wall, and suggested I might not be really thinking these ideas through before jumping into a painting.  I decided he was right, and that I would from now on, (or until I can no longer hold back the scurrier) start doing sketches and oil studies on paper before proceeding to canvas.  Besides, this set up has many potential compositions to explore, AND I've really been obsessing over Euan Uglow lately and doing painting exercises (will post later) to study his approach, so I thought this would give me a great opportunity to try mixing drawing with the painted surface.  I used Conte crayons for the sketch, which is 6x6, then sprayed with a fixative before painting on top.
STEP FOUR:  Could not be happier with the outcome of this oil sketch and plan to continue this on a 10x10 canvas.  I feel in many ways this is what I was after when I started my giant multi-yellow present painting LAST spring.  I've spent a year searching for what to paint since that incomplete painting.  Is it possible that an idea wants to be expressed so much, that it will hang on and torture you for a YEAR until it is figured out?  Looking at it now, it is so simple, what took me so long to act on this very obvious way for me to interpret Spring's first glorious show of color here in Chicago? I suppose sometimes the most obvious is the most overlooked.  Funny too, the Dandelion is certainly an overlooked flower, and just like my idea that refused to go unrealized, the Dandelion is certainly a persistent little thing!  Tomorrow there may be snow, but for today may there be Dandelions! 

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I keep apologizing for my long absences. Honestly, I've been allowing myself the indulgence of focusing on my paintings - playing around with what direction I want to explore next. I have had two new purse paintings finished, but wasn't certain I was ready to post. Mainly because I wanted to see if these purses were going to make up a new body of work.

One of the reasons I'm interested in purses, is similar to my attraction to my presents. Both are elaborate, decorative surfaces that disguise/hide interior content. The main difference for me is that we have a pretty good guess as to what might be inside a purse. Purses are so personal too. They reveal our personality, whether we like it or not. Funny thing is, I myself rarely carry an actual purse. Maybe I'm just not ready to commit to a personality yet, or maybe I haven't found a purse that can adequately hold my personality. I think I'm going with that last one.

Anyway, I'm actually pretty certain that purses are not going to be a totally new direction, (I am actually working on two bow themed paintings right now) but I do think they will continue to make guest appearances. They give me the opportunity to ponder an intriguing question..... what shiny fun self do we show the world, and is it the same self as our inner private one?

Thanks as always for tolerating my musings.