Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring is here

I am so ready for spring that has finally arrived. In preparation, I have painted flowers. They’re not created in a realistic style, but one in which I had fun with interpretation. I hope the essence is illustrated. Our pond partially thaws each day, then freezes over most nights. The Canada geese couple have returned. They are optimistic. Some years they have kids. Other years they don’t. The goslings look like New Zealand Kiwi birds when they are very small. One year the couple had seven. They all disappeared before they were grown. We have coyotes and fox and snapping turtles ... no end of predators. One year the couple raised three to adulthood, though even that is speculation, as we watched Mom and Dad leave often and the little ones seemed mostly on their own. One day we watched Mom fly by the bedroom window, and immediately she was followed on foot by three squawking young ones. They ran east in her direction and disappeared. We thought we had seen the last of them, but later that day they were back. Mom and Dad finally disappeared one day never to return. For another month or so, the kids practiced flying across the yard, across the pond. Then they were gone, too. Spring is my favorite time of year when plants are sprouting and trees are leafing. Birds are singing and mating. There’s just so much promise in springtime that isn’t evident in other seasons.

Cone Flowers and Liatris 20 x 16 oil on linen

Daisies 14 x 11 oil on linen

Iris in the Morning Mist 14 x 11 oil on linen

Poppies in the Field 14 x 11 oil on linen

Tulips 14 x 11 oil on linen

Monday, March 16, 2015


I knew my husband’s brother only a brief moment in time. He was this lovely, soft-spoken, forward-thinking United Methodist pastor who believed everyone would be saved in the end, because he believed that is the kind of God we love. When he first knew he would not survive the invasive cancer, he called my husband and we immediately went to Kansas. That first day we were there, he gave us a gift. It was quite unexpected. My husband and I had been married only one year. We had unfortunate other marriages that ended in other tragedies of one sort or another. We’d both made mistakes, acknowledged those mistakes, worked hard to make those mistakes work, failed, grieved and tried to move forward. That first day, as we traveled with Doug and his wife Joyce to financial planners, banks, etc., to “get things in order,” Doug gave us the gift. He said to Bob, “This time, you got it right!” The summer before that gift, Doug and Joyce visited our home. Doug woke early mornings before the rest of us opened our eyes. He, an inveterate hiker, walked our woods, swam in our pool, embraced the nature that isn’t readily available in Kansas City. One morning, he and Bob stood staring out the kitchen window at something happening on the pond. I snapped a photo. “Brothers Before the Storm” is based on that original photo, though it isn’t the same. It doesn’t have pots and pans hanging in the background. They both don’t wear t-shirts. My husband’s long lost mustache is gone. But it does, I believe, illustrate what happened then, what happened later. These men loved each other and were best friends. They still are. My husband (in the foreground) often says his brother pulled him from the muck. He alludes to a story of when he was stuck in the mud in a field in his rubber galoshes when he was 4 years old, and his brother, age 8, rescued him. But that wasn't the only rescue he performed.

                                          "Brothers Before the Storm" oil on linen, 24 x 18

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ah the Colors

My ancestors hail from Sicily. Well, actually, some of them hail from Spain. Back at the time of the Inquisition, they, Sephardic Jews, escaped to Sicily. These three pieces are NOT based on Sicilian scenes, but, you may recognize, from Venice, Italy. They are loosely based on my concept of how that amazing city must appear. I’ve been told by people who have visited there, that they do accurately depict the wetness and certainly the colors. They also represent my first foray entirely away from realism. Where I just laid out a multitude of bright paint colors on my palette and began dashing off buildings and water and boats. It was fun and carefree and boundary free, except for the edges of my canvases, of course. One is sold, but my buyer hasn’t decided which to purchase. I’m looking forward to that decision.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The First Oil

We have two ponds on our property, one of which is about 200 ft. from our house, at the western edge of our yard. For more than 33 years I have observed no end of pond birds, including blue herons, usually one summer resident, and that resident won't tolerate the visitation of others of his (her) kind. I discovered, the first summer, that if I wore a particular bright pink vest, I could slowly approach the pond without the heron flying. One day, while my mother was visiting, I had her put on the vest, and she was able to approach the pond and observe the heron close-up. This portrait of a blue heron was my first venture into oil painting, September, 2014. He's obviously stalking. Herons, when stalking, can walk through water without leaving the slightest ripple. Since I most often work from photos, the model for this painting comprises elements of four photos, and certainly some artistic interpretation.

                                                 "Heron" 11 x 14, oil on gessoed board

For questions on availability of any of these original art pieces:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Beginning

Where to start? I subscribe to six decorating magazines. However, I find my interest in these magazines has a primary focus, that being the art on the walls of the featured homes. I am most frustrated when a magazine doesn't mention the art and the artist, particularly because it doesn't honor the artist. I've always been an artist, if not through the physical manifestation, certainly through the adrenaline I pump when I am exhilarated, thus inspired, by others’ art. Very often I lay down a magazine to go to my studio and begin some new piece. I was inspired by an artist friend last September. I visited his studio in Colorado. He works in oils. I had not done that, having worked in porcelain, mosaic, watercolors and so many other mediums over the course of my life, and I was so inspired that my entire trip home was angst filled in anticipation of taking a new artistic journey. Now I work with oils. I’m feeling my way. Finding my footing. Searching out a groove, a style. Much as I try to resist, I often gravitate to portraiture. A throwback, I presume, of a project I created a couple years back when, in watercolor, I painted 22 portraits of children, and with them was a featured artist at the Shiawassee Arts Center in Owosso, MI. The first painting I entered into a competition won honorable mention. It is called “Picnic,” and now resides in the home of my Colorado artist friend.

                                                          "Picnic" watercolor, 24 x 18

Nellie is the sister of one of my portrait subjects. She is precious. When I was photographing her brother two years ago, she asked if I would take her photo. When she saw her brother's portrait, she wondered when she might receive her portrait. "I know right where I'll hang it," she told me. Arrrgh! I couldn't resist. I hope you like your portrait, Nellie. I will deliver it tomorrow. (March 1, 2015)

                                                     "Nellie" oil on linen panel, 10 x 20

I am intrigued by animals and the detail that makes them unique. One such animal is this zebra. I chose just one portion of him to paint. I like a bit of tension in my animal portraits, and I find that the eye is the best detail on which to focus.

"Calculation" oil on gessoed board, 11 x 14
For questions on availability of any of these original art pieces: