Dec 9, 2009

Snow Angels

This 18" x 40" oil painting is a gift for family this Christmas. Merry early Christmas.

Dec 8, 2009


18" x 36" oils

It has been a long time since I began this painting, and it has changed many times. I finished it today and it turned out exactly how I saw it in my mind. Da Vinci is quoted to have said "Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art." I'm not sure if I completely agree with that statement, but I definitely think that where the soul does not work with the hand there is no art. Here is the meaning behind Dawn and the reason I painted it:

Life is hard. That's just a fact. If it's easy for you, just wait, and you'll get your own taste of reality. Now, just because life is hard doesn't mean it can't be great at the same time, that's not what I'm saying. However, there are times for all of us when we feel beaten down by our trials. Those are the long, dark nights. Dawn is a painting of a literal dawning of the day, but it is symbolic of the peace in all of our lives when we turn that corner and begin to succeed against all odds. The words scratched into the paint in the lower area of the water say "The dawn is coming, so I swim, I swim, I swim." It's all about never giving up!

I never guessed that when I began this painting, my mom would be overcoming a traumatic cancer surgery as I finished this painting. Dawn is more special to me now as my family and I deal with her health issues and hope for healing. Thank you to all who have wished her well. I hope this painting helps you deal with the struggles you have in your own life.

close-up shots above and below...

Nov 12, 2009

Dawn: Part VI

Today was magic. Ever have one of those days where things click? I love them. I played ball all morning and came home as a storm rolled in - a perfect chance to hunker down in the studio. I had some mellow Pearl Jam on, the playlist ended, and I was left painting in my tippy-top attic room in silence with just the sound of the wind scuttling the leaves across the street outside. Magic.

As you can see, Dawn is coming along. The intense red strip across the horizon has given way to the lighter colors, but the pieces of the dark red that show are important forms. I used to have a dark blue across the top but it felt too heavy, so this light turquoise has lifted the sky perfectly, and it is such a strong color. The water will start as a gray.
I added a close-up below of the words "I swim" so you can see how they show up in the water. (Remember, I added the phrase "Dawn is coming, so I swim, I swim, I swim" to the water area.) That's my metaphor for life: when things suck, swim for your life and eventually you'll make it. Dawn comes!

the view outside my bitty window

Who can't love this? She likes to watch me work.

Nov 11, 2009


18" x 36" oils

Thanks for the comments guys - here are some texture close-ups for you.

Nov 2, 2009

Dawn: Part V

OK. Today I reached the point in the painting process while working on Dawn that I know it will turn out: the "soul" as I like to think of it came to life. As you can see, I totally covered the water area and am starting over there. The red band will not be as vibrant when all is said and done, but the strength underneath will be important.

You can barely see, but I've written the words "The dawn is coming, so I swim, I swim, I swim" into the ocean area. If you don't know what that means, think about it with the idea in mind that when you are down and all is dark, the dawn comes and you just have to push and push to make it sometimes, BUT - the dawn does always come.

Oct 30, 2009

Dawn: Part IV

Today I tried yellows and blues and they weren't working, so I used the pinks and grays that were nagging that "idea" part of my brain. I stopped fighting the urge to add a broad pink band on the horizon. That felt good and I like the look, too. The piece feels more "early morning" but there is something still missing; the water is not yet alive. Below is a close-up of my favorite water area.

And below is my palette, which looks like a painting on it's own.

Oct 29, 2009

Dawn: Part III

I want the water dark in the distance and am working on adding depth to the sky. This one is not being very easy. I will probably change the sand's color and profile. I want this painting to be very grounding and calm.
Should I take the sand out completely?

Oct 27, 2009

My Article in Southwest Art Magazine

Thanks to Courtney Carpenter of Southwest Art Magazine for interviewing me and featuring Red, White and Blue on page 41 in the October issue. What a dream come true for me. The featured painting has sold - I encourage collectors to look at my other barn paintings. Click here to see them; they are available through Xanadu Gallery.

Oct 19, 2009

Angst: Part III

Check out the close-up of texture. I just love working with texture and it's been a while since I have. It's good to be back.
Artists face a lot of opposition on the road to success. I don't think I've arrived at that nebulous destination of success; I am very much still on the road. For me, opposition is a necessary part of painting and I channel it through pieces like Angst. If I don't experience the highs and lows of life, the emotional aspect of my art is weak. Frustration is therefore a curse and a blessing for me.
I feel that this painting needs a bit more, but it's close. I enjoy reading your comments. Thanks for all that you've been leaving.

Oct 15, 2009

Angst: Part II

No more peaceful changes in "Angst." Today, the painting went back to violent and stormy. The white areas are where I painted over what was there already so as to add more texture. It will take a few days to dry. That's the hard part: waiting for it to dry. That's why I'm not a watercolor painter. Once this is dry, I'll start over and paint in the sky and shore.
I want this painting to feel angry and dark, like the beginning of a thunderstorm. I like the swell I added in the water - it's the white arc.

Dawn: Part II

There needed to be more texture in the sky, so I painted over what I had done so far and added texture. Don't worry. It's all in my head. The sea is grayer, too.

Oct 9, 2009

Dawn: Part I

In life, as in painting, the dawn always brings relief. This will be a painting about how the dawn brings relief, a response to my painting Angst.

My paternal ancestors lived on the Adriatic Sea. Whenever I'm near an ocean, I come alive. It makes sense that the paintings I do intuitively without reference photos are of my favorite place: the sea.

If you haven't ever seen the paintings of J. M. W. Turner, check them out. (To those of you in England who read my blog, I'm jealous that you're near the Tate Gallery in London.) Turner understood the ocean. My high school art teacher first introduced me to his work and I've never forgotten how enlightened I felt after seeing his seascapes. I have a book about him, and one of my favorite passages is a quotation from a sailor who observed Turner on ship. He said that as they were sailing around an inlet, a storm approached, and Turner could do nothing but sit and sketch feverishly to capture the turmoil of the sea and clouds. And so it goes...

Oct 7, 2009

Angst: Part I

I've had a painting like this on the back-burner of my mind for some time. I haven't painted in almost a month. If you're a painter, angst is part of the territory. Being a painter (for me at least) is very much a love-hate relationship. That being said, I never want to stop pushing myself to reinvent and reach. Reach. Reach. Reach. Picasso said painting is another way of keeping a diary. Today's entry should read: "Life can sometimes really suck, but I am stronger than my !#@ trials!!!!"

Sep 29, 2009

Perfect Match

10" x 14" oils - sold
.I painted this live for a crowd; click here to watch the YouTube time-lapse of the painting from start to finish in two minutes.

Sep 20, 2009

"Tulips" opening night pictures

Talking about the flamenco dancing petals

Taking a break

Thanks, Cortney, for being my photographer that night. It was a lot of fun to see friends and gallery strollers out en masse, and I was honored to be a part of their night.
This show runs through September 25th. Stop by if you haven't already and enjoy the tulips.

Sep 18, 2009

I'm on YouTube - Check This Out

It's official. Lee at Mediaworks, Inc has finished my YouTube timelapse painting movie and it is a lot of fun to watch. Click here to see the two-minute YouTube awesomeness, and enjoy the show!

Sep 10, 2009


30" x 30" oils

Lots of things come to mind when I hear the word "revolution", Les Miserables being one of them...but that's not what I was thinking. I was thinking of the spinning of the petals when I chose this title.
This is very O'Keefe. Enjoy. And yes, I took the photo that I worked from.

Aug 29, 2009


10" x 10" oils
I got the idea for the title maily from Scentsy - they have a new scent out called "Oxford" and it reminds me of cedar and an old English library. This painting has that same kind of feel to it - the background is a nice leather color and I can see this painting under a spot light in a library with rich, dark paneling and someone sipping tea in a nearby chair.

Aug 28, 2009


16" x 14" oils

I love the title. The name reminds me of a little girl who likes simple things and wears cute clothes and round glasses, if that makes any sense.

Rip Curl

16" x 14" oils

The background blue is such a moody, stormy ocean blue, perfect for the title and rip curl shape of the light and shadow in the tulip. I hope a surfer comes to my art show and likes this painting.

Aug 27, 2009


16" x 14" oils
 I'd like to thank my iPod for it's shuffle feature, and the KanYe West song "Stronger" that came on when I needed a lift!
Now, pray for a cloudy day so I can get some better shots of Sunny and Pomegranate. Darn summer sun.


16" x 14" oils
OK, so about this painting. It was easy to title. I have a friend named Sunny and her name totally fits her personality. She has been a big supporter of mine from the bitter beginning, so when it came time to think of a title for this bright, happy piece, I had to chose Sunny. Sunny, my friend, this ones' for you! Thanks for always rooting me on.

Aug 22, 2009

Alpine Art Opening

Someday I'll teach my husband to count to three before taking a picture.

a photo at closing time. Love the glow.

Last night's opening at Alpine Art was a success. I had fun painting for the crowd, was able to meet other artists and collectors, and the atmosphere was lively. Here are some pics!!

Aug 20, 2009

My Studio Has Really Low Ceilings

Today I began work on this 48" x 36" monster.  It's the biggest painting I'll have completed to date.

Aug 6, 2009


28" x 27", oils

Yesterday, I finally began painting. It's always so good to get back to the painting. Mmm. Better than cookies.

This painting was all planned out, and I fully intended to paint a very washed-out turquoise over the top of this vibrant background turquoise, letting the vibrant color peek through in places, but last night I sat looking at it, unable to bring myself to cover the background color. This morning, same thing. My husband and nephew each saw this painting separately and when they each said, "Ooh, I love the background" I decided the painting was done, and I'll have to use that washed-out turquoise on another painting. Sometimes, that's how life in the studio works. Voila.