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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Arrangement in Vermillion and Green

12 x 12
oil on panel
This painting came out of a need to harness these gorgeous colors. It began with the little bouquet from our yard plopped into the green Ball jar and a stack of fabrics I bought to make pillows for our patio furniture. I was captivated by the sight of those colors together and started gathering anything that might play off that palette. I really wanted to add a tiny baby doll that I've kept from childhood, but I'll save her for another time. I arranged about 50 different poses with all kinds of props before settling on this one that includes my grandmother's old banjo-uke, my aunt's cut glass bowl, and the rose colored wine glass and applique hankie I found at a rummage sale. I absolutely loved painting this, especially in air conditioning. 

I've been investing a lot of time trying to up my game in plein air. It takes an entirely new set of skills and I'm acutely aware of just how much of a novice I am at painting from life outside. But it's been fun in spite of the sunburns, mosquito bites, and other mishaps, such as when the wind picked up my entire easel, along with the painting, paints, brushes, and solvents, and blew it all into a pond. The fun part includes a paint out where my painting sold right of my easel and a fantastic workshop with Tim Horn.

Here are a few shots from that amazing time with Tim. It was held in a charming college town, Yellow Springs, Ohio, and was attended by the nicest bunch of folks I could hope for. We bonded together over our shared passion for art, especially Tim's, and after painting all day, would meet up each night for margaritas and dinner in town. Unfortunately, we never got a group shot.
Tim with one of his incredible demos. I wish so much now that I'd bought this one.
My effort on the last day. A painting of the home of Tim's friend, Branson Pyles.
Me and Tim at the end of the day with temps in the 90's. Still happy.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Selfie in a Pink Hat

10 x 10
oil on Ampersand panel
I think the title says it all here. Sometimes you just run short on people willing to pose.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Eat at Joe's

12 x 9
oil on panel
Maybe you've heard the phrase, "there's more than corn in Indiana". Absolutely right. One very small and charming northern town draws gourmets to what some publications have judged the best French restaurant in Indiana. This is a view looking down the street towards the restaurant. The town is rich with great plein air subjects, a painter's dream.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Retro Cutie

8 x 10
oil on canvas
We recently stayed in a great hotel, which was new but designed to replicate the old motor courts. Really cute. The room included an aqua, deco refrigerator, barn type sliding doors to the bathroom, cement floors, and big rustic wardrobes. This car with their logo, was parked outside along with the Airstream food truck I painted earlier. Such fun.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


10 x 8
oil on canvas
This was painted today, quick and loose, just to use up paint on my palette, and may be one of my personal favorites. 

24 x 20
oil on canvas
And I just finished this, also of Brooke and as a gift to her. She just delivered her little girl last week, a beauty just like her mama. I'm so happy for Brooke and her sweet husband.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Precious Cargo

20 x 16
oil on board

Brooke again! This time with her little passenger more clearly defined in this more classic approach. I kept it loose with my big round brush for most of this painting. When I stepped back, I was amazed with how well the silky brocade drape turned out.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


16 x 20
oil on canvas
Another painting out of "the Brooke session". She is such an angel to pose for me. 

...and here is my beautiful friend,  model, actress, and mommy-in-production, Brooke with her painting when I delivered it to The Castle Gallery.

Friday, January 29, 2016


 16 x 12
oil on canvas
 My beautiful friend Brooke. Painting her is like painting a sunrise or clouds that are so gorgeous, you can't believe they're real. She is an artist's dream! And that beauty is truly inside and out.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Blue Stacks & Lemons

20 x 16
Oil on canvas
I've collected some fun, colorful bottles and other assorted glass lately just for the pleasure of painting them. This still life was set up in our back window with a nice view of the pond with ice building up on it. I love that fish bottle and the Buddha bottle!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


8 x 10
oil on canvas
  My husband let me practice my portrait chops by sitting for me. I appreciated his heroic efforts to stay awake.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kohaku and Company

12 x 24
oil on canvas

Colorful Koi, greens, blues, orange, and browns. I totally indulged myself with color today after seeing nothing but white, gray, and dull brown outside.  And I know winter weather has just begun up here in the north so that's going to pretty much be our palette for a while. This was painted from a photo I took in Florida a few years ago.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Foodie Feeder

Foodie Feeder
12 x 16
oil on canvas

Ever since our son moved to Austin, Texas for grad school, and I started making visits there, I've become increasingly charmed with their food trucks, particularly the old Airstream type trucks. Now I'm obsessed with painting them. It's one thing that Austin offers the most amazing food I've had, but some of the best is brought to you in these incredibly cute and kitschy traveling kitchens! Driving around and spotting them is my kind of Easter egg hunt. This one was parked just outside our hotel.
I love, love, love painting the crazy abstract colors in the reflective metal and then standing back and seeing how it all makes sense.
A Sweet Ride
12 x 16
oil on canvas
This truck is parked on one of the streets popular with tourists and locals, where you can buy a pair of cowgirl boots that costs more than our first house, a cheesy souvenir piece of knicknackery, have an incredible meal, an incredible cup of coffee, go listen to great blues or jazz, and have a cupcake. All within a couple of blocks. I love this truck. I LOVE that city!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Wells Street Bridge

16 x 20
oil on board

I started this one last year when the weather in northern Indiana was more typical of the winter months up here. It was freezing out and too cold to stay outside and paint. I worked then from the photo, but it was a long season and I soon lost enthusiasm so I set it aside, probably feeling too winter weary to stay with it. Then last week, attending the artist reception at The Castle Gallery, I found inspiration in all the beautiful paintings of snow scenes and became enthused to tackle the challenge of capturing the colors and play of light in snow. After this went back up on the easel, it fairly, as the saying goes, "painted itself". The snow in the foreground was the main challenge, but inspired by the works of local artists, Fred Doloresco and my friend Douglas Runyan, I dived in with my brush loaded with paint and laid it on thickly. And I think it worked.  By the way, after I finished today, my husband and I took a bike ride to look at Christmas decorations with temperatures in the mid-60's. Weird.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thank You Mr. Sullivan

24 x 30
oil on canvas
Chicago's beautiful old Carson Pirie Scott building, now called The Sullivan Center, is one of the masterpieces of architect Louis Sullivan and one of my favorites. This commission gave me another wonderful excuse to go visit my favorite city so I could photograph the building. I won't lie, it was challenging for this girl who prefers figurative and portrait painting and I'm celebrating that it's finished! 

The ironwork on Sullivan's building is magnificent and actually practical since it is fireproof. This building was designed after Chicago's infamous fire and so created to prevent another such catastrophe. Chicago's architecture is an absolute treasure and if you ever get a chance to go up there and take the architectural tour, it will be time well spent.

Monday, October 12, 2015


5 x 7 
oil on panel
No, it's not her name, it described my process for beginning this little portrait of my paint friend, Karen. I was sitting at my easel when a very talkative, always entertaining friend called. Knowing this was going to be one of those mega-conversations, I began a loose and somewhat distracted oil sketch of Karen, taken from a photo during one of our plein air outtings. By the time the phone call ended, I had moved from doodling to laying in the thick layer of paint. I was surprised by how close the likeness was for having not given great attention to what I was doing. Later I tweaked things and tried to get closer to a good portrait. It's not perfect, but it was fun. In this picture, she's wearing her big floppy paint hat, her apron, and has her backpack slung over one shoulder, a lot of information that doesn't read well in this closely cropped picture, but I like the light on her face.