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Sunday, November 18, 2012


16 x 20
oil on canvas

For awhile now I've been determined to finish up half-done projects and this is the last of the paintings.  I started this sometime toward the beginning of summer as part of a "where I live" project with online painting friends.  Our town was established at the  convergence of three rivers so we have plenty of playgrounds for our kayaking passion.  I took a lot of liberties with this depiction since we live in a subdivision and I replaced our neighbors with trees.  And this is our pond, not the river we like to use which is a couple of miles away.  But the important components are here.  

And speaking of kayaks, if you've never tried one - you should treat yourself.  It feels a little like flying and it doesn't do your arm muscles any harm either.  It's a week away from Thanksgiving and we're still getting out there!  In northern Indiana! 

Monday, November 12, 2012


11 x 14
oil on panel
As a northerner, we have our share of pretty trees, but nothing like the beautiful specimens we saw along the beach in South Carolina.  The staggering drama of those curvy branches against the blue-blue sky and the stark sun bleached stucco walls of this house was inspiring. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


6 x 6
oil on panel
Ever since our mug project, I've wanted to do little mini portraits of all the people in my life that I love and hang them together in our home.  Now that I have time, I'm going to set a goal of doing all of our immediate family before Christmas.  This is our Priscilla.  She is such a beauty and so easy to paint - the perfect model. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skipping a Beat

11 x 32
oil on canvas

Clouds are so cool.  They provoke so many memories and so many images for me.  When I see an beautiful expansive sky I think of  paintings by N.C.Wyeth, and Maxfield Parrish, or of The Simpsons, or Joni Mitchell, or simply of childhood moments of laying in the grass and looking up.  I don't have a lot of experience painting them myself, so this was another journey of discovery and it was fun.  Painting the long stretch of land in the middle suggests an EKG tracing with a moment of asystole (flatline) which then resumes the heartbeat, thus the name.  After all, really pretty skies do that to me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


8 x 10
Oil on panel

I've had a long dry spell from painting throughout the summer and fall, due mostly to being too tired after work and too busy catching up with other things on days off.  Happily, starting this week, I have taken a new position that enables me to cut way back on my hours to the point I am considering myself semi retired, at least for now.  It's so exciting to have time for friends and spontaneity and ART!  To kick it off - I did this little painting for a friend of her sweet baby girl, Sydney, to go with one I did of her big brother a couple of years ago when he was about this age. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Karin Do-over

4 X 4
oil on Ampersand panel

Friend and fellow Hilton Head Gang member, Maria Hock is compiling all our mugs into a book, a major undertaking for one little person to accomplish if you ask me.  Teacher, mentor, and also friend and fellow Hilton Head Gang member, Karin Jurick, was the first mug we all painted and I was never happy with my result.  Still not completely happy but if I repaint her again, it will be with her happy face.  I've probably only said this a quadzillion times, but if you get a chance to take her workshop, just do it.  Karin's website can be found on my list of favorite blogs to the right of this page.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012


6 x 6
oil on panel

I had the absolute pleasure of painting this beautiful, sparkling little face at the invitation of her father for his blog, aptly called, Adorable.  He has brilliantly chronicled the life of his daughter Adora with paintings by artists all over the world.  I'm honored to be a part of it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Growing Green

10" X 20"
oil on canvas

My idea of relaxing is sitting somewhere with a cold glass of something, feet up, and not sweating.  For my husband Scott, to relax is to be planting, plucking, mowing, or watering.  He works hard all day and (the way I see it) comes home and keeps working, but gets great satisfaction out of life this way.  And I get to stroll around with my cold glass and admire our beautiful flowers or shop in the garden for fresh veggies.  It's a win-win situation for us.

Monday, April 23, 2012


20 X 30
Oil on Canvas

I bet I'm not the only artist to be relieved when a painting is completed because I'm itching to get on to the next thing, and at the same time experiencing some remorse that it's finished because it was so fun to paint.  This is our attitudinal family member, Kitty Pie, posing among our porch flowers last spring. This was the first time I did an underpainting in complementary colors and although they didn't come through very well in this photo of the painting, it really made the colors pop.  For a large painting like this, it's clearly worth the effort.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


6 x 6
oil on Ampersand
I'm beginning my series of friends and family mini portraits with a plan to hang them all together in a big block and with room to grow.  It's just for me to have and as a reminder of those I love and the blessings we have.  And I'm sure there will be some repeats of these cast members with new and older images.  This is my precious, oldest nephew Jeremy, the first of our babies.  I think I can allow for some sentimental gooshiness when I refer to the babies, even though they range from late teens to nearly thirty now. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Walking on the Sun

6 X 6
Oil on panel
 Today was a good day.  Yesterday, not so much.  So when I woke up this morning, shook the tweedy birds out of my head and realized it was my day off, I was a happy girl.  It was a beautiful, sunny day to boot, so I got a few practical things done and some other fun things, including a long walk,  then devoted myself to playing in my paints which ultimately produced this little, loose landscape.  It's a departure from the portraits which I really love doing, but I have to say - this was lots of fun.  I painted three of these little guys and although the other two will never make it to the blog, I enjoyed doing each one.  It sort of felt like my brain was doing the little expressive dance Snoopy did when Schroeder played his piano.  Yesterday my brain was Munch's, "The Scream".  I needed today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Vince's mug

4 x 4
oil on Ampersand panel
Just when I thought the fun was over, Hilton Head Gang member Maria Hock presented us with one more mug shot of Vince Fazio, organizer for the Sedona Arts Center and more specifically, Karin Jurick's Workshop.  He was so great and so helpful to us all through the week and he's quite an artist himself.  I had a great time painting his expressive face and wonderful beard.  I can't say enough good things about the workshop, Karin, and Vince.  If you have the time and want to experience a great week, painting with the best instructor possible in gorgeous Hilton Head, South Carolina, then check this out - The Karin Jurick Workshop.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Java Jonesing

8 x 10
oil on Ampersand panel

This was painted from a photo I took on a trip earlier this year outside of a favorite local coffee shop.  I got a kick out of the girl standing there looking like she just couldn't wait for them to hand over her morning cup of joe, or as I like to think of it, the reason to get up in the morning.  I can relate sister.  And I have to send a thank you to my Hilton Head Gang friends who offered suggestions for improvements through our critique blog.  I did make some changes and I appreciate everyone's input - a lot!  Purchase information can be found here

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Maria's mug - The Finale!

4 x 4
oil on Ampersand panel

This is the last of the Hilton Head Gang Mugs and appropriately wrapping up with our gang leader, Maria Hock.  Maria is among the thinktank-cheerleader-organizers of the group who have effectively kept us all in contact and spear headed the creation of the Hilton Head Gang.  She is the host of our Hilton Head Picasa album where anyone can visit and see everyone's interpretation of each other's mugs which you can visit here.  And beyond that - she's always the first to make encouraging and flattering comments on everyone's new postings.  Maria, I just love you and so appreciate your friendship and efforts.  See Maria's artwork and writings at her blog here.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kit's Mug

4 x 4
oil on Ampersand panel

One more to go and we will finish our series of Hilton Head Gang mug shots.  I deviated slightly from the "official" mug shot of artist Kit Hefner because when I was ready to sit down and paint her, I couldn't open the file on my iPad.  The photo was a hoot and I thought, "Finally!  Someone made a face as goofy as mine - maybe just marginally goofier!" If I can retrieve it, I may still try to paint that one as well, but in the meantime I had this little happy face photo taken at our workshop that I really liked.  I think I smiled back at the painting the entire time I worked on it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Allyson's Mug

4 X 4
Oil on Ampersand Panel
Wow.  I haven't painted for about 2 weeks and I really can appreciate once again, how much this like exercise.  If I don't keep at it - I really get stiff!  Regardless, this was a lot of fun and I'm pretty happy with how it came out.  Extra challenges like shadows, reflections, and glasses make for more interesting outcomes.  This is Allyson Schib, another alumni of Karin Jurick's workshop.  Allyson, if you should visit here, leave your website! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Judy's Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
Our Mug of the week is of talented and prolific artist Judy Elias.  We are so close to finishing all the members of the Hilton Head Gang Mugs now with only a month to go. This project has been not only a great exercise and way to keep in touch with this wonderful group of people, but has developed into a support group, and an ongoing educational forum.  I'm so lucky to count them all as friends. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Diane's Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
I've been painting a little thicker lately and I like it because it helps me get a little looser, but I find it hard to refine details a bit.  But I was happy enough with the outcome on this little mug of artist Diane Howard. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sheryl Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
Mug number 15 is of artist Sheryl Lott and this one almost outwitted me.  Sheryl is gorgeous with great expressive blue eyes and that beautiful mane of red hair, but the lighting and the tilt of her head made painting her tricky for me.  I kept thinking, no, she's looking more like Brenda Starr, famous comic book reporter.  
Brenda Starr, Reporter, by Dale Messick as seen in Wikipedia
  This is not what I was going for.  I redrew it and reworked it, changing her chin, her jawline, her cheeks, the shadows, the highlights, until I started thinking,  forget it, I can't paint.  Bedtime was closing in when I succumbed to my frustration and just got good and loose, globbing on the paint and pushing it around with a reckless "got nothin' to lose" attitude.  Finally, it began to work. Hopefully Sheryl isn't offended by the comparison to a glamorous cartoon. And besides, there are worse comic book characters one could look like.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Linda, the sequel

6 X 6
oil on panel
Last week's little mug shot was the profile of artist Linda Nickles.  This is another view but with her far more typical, joyous "happy face", painted with her permission from her profile picture. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Linda's Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
It is cold and snowy and gray outside today but I'm loving it because it's my day off and I'm having a wonderful time painting!  For a warm up - I just finished this little portrait, the 14th in our series of mugs shot of each other from the Hilton Head Gang.  This is the charming and lovely Linda Nickles, artist and gracious hostess.  Since she is a resident of Hilton Head, she graciously opened her home for a reception of the artists attending Karin Jurick's Workshop last November, giving us an opportunity to meet Karin and each other.  Please visit her blog here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cathy's Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
The weeks are flying by so fast - I can't believe we're on our thirteenth little mug shot of the Hilton Head Gang.  Some of the portraits really click and on others, I just can't win.  Happily, Cathy clicked and this one turned out among my favorites.  Artist Cathy Engberg is from Chicago (my kind of town), which makes her practically a neighbor!  You can see her work on her blog Color Notes .  I was so blessed to meet Cathy and all our classmates last November in Karin Jurick's workshop.  They are an energetic, supportive, and talented group of women who have all become treasured friends.  All of their links that are available, are listed in the bottom right corner of this blog.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Dawning of a New Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
 Well we've come to the 12th mug out of our class of 18, and this week is artist Dawn Hartigan.  Dawn is not only an outstandingly nice person, she's one of the most prolific painters in our class.  When I was still dinking around three days later with the first day's assignment, she probably had finished a dozen or so paintings.  Maybe that's a slight exaggeration.  As always, you can view all of our interpretations of each other as they come in, on our Hilton Head Gang blog here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Yam What I Yam

4 X 4
oil on panel
Well it was bound to happen - last week was my turn to have my mug painted, an event I admit I was dreading because I just hate to have my photo taken.  I learned so many things while doing this one including:
     1. Mom was right.  Who hasn't been warned by their mothers not to make dorky faces because they'll stick.  Well I made a dorky face when my workshop classmate Maria was going around taking our mug shots and now it's potentially being painted by  the other 17 Hilton Head Gang members and might be posted on their blogs. For certain, all that are done will be on our new HHG blog, so check it out! 
     2.  I'm not a super model after all.
     3.  I currently approach art as a realist, and realism confronts truth in what we see, uncorrupted by personal bias. So I have to respect both the good and the bad, the holy and the profane, the beautiful and the dorky.
     4.  You don't have to be a realist to be realistic about your own self portrait.  Through history, artists have celebrated themselves in the most truthful ways.  Take for instance the 70 year old Alice Neel
sitting naked in her little striped chair, or  Van Gogh after he loped off part of his ear.
     5.  And finally, that we all see each other as we are, not in our self conscious moments with stomachs in, shoulders back, chin(s) up, and ready for our close ups.  So unflattering moments only surprise the subject, not everyone else who has to look at you.  In short, we are what we are and I yam what I yam.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Dixie Chick

5 X 7
Oil on panel
  My friend Mona is a bone fide southern belle from New Orleans.  She is here in her element, sitting in the sunshine at the water's edge in Savannah.  And thank you to her sis Carmen for letting me paint from her pile of photos from our trip last November!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Jolly Sommelier

8 X 10"
Oil on deep cradled hardboard
     On our way to Hilton Head, my friends and I stayed over at a Bed & Breakfast in Tennessee.  At our hostess's suggestion, we went to a nice restaurant where we were beautifully served by this gentleman, with a radiant smile and a nice table wine.  He was a portly fella with delicate hands and I knew I had to paint him. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Sedona Arts Center is the organization that organizes workshops, classes, field expeditions, and more to educate and provide experiences in all mediums to artists and art students.  They are the organization that sponsers Karin Jurick's Workshops.  If you're new to my blog, first, thank you for visiting, and to bring you up to date, this series of mug shot paintings and many references to the "Hilton Head Gang" (HHG), is all born out of a workshop we took from artist Karin Jurick last November in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Hanging out with Karin, learning so much from her, and meeting and forming friendships with the other artists attending was just an amazing gift.  

As if that wasn't enough!  Recently, the director of the Sedona Arts Center, Vince Fazio, extended an invitation to any artist who had participated in one of their workshops, to submit a painting that exemplified the area where the workshop was held, for an exhibition called "A Sense of Place" which will be part of Sedona's "First Friday Artwalk".   Ultimately, almost all 19 of the Hilton Head Gang responded with enthusiasm and if that wasn't cool enough, Karin let us know she would be sending a painting to hang with our group!  What solidarity!  

Gang member Regula Scheifele, made this poster to celebrate our excitement over, well, everything, but specifically that Karin is hanging with us once again, on the walls of this exhibition.   If you happen to be in Sedona, Arizona, please stop in and see our paintings.  The show opened yesterday with the formal reception on Feb.3 and stays up through the 14th.   I sent my painting "Bamboozled" which was of a bamboo weaver we met in Savannah.  This isn't the greatest photo but here it is, framed.   Good luck to all who are participating in "A Sense of Place"!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Betsy's Mug

4 X 4
Oil on panel
I'm having a run of frustration with my little mugs.  My last one didn't turn out as well as I hoped and will definitely be a do-over when I get a stretch of time.  I didn't post that one.
I looked forward to painting artist Betsy Stevenson and did indeed enjoy painting this one.  She is just so beautiful with wonderful color in her face, framed with her gorgeous grey and white hair.  But again, I'm afraid this just does not do her justice and I'm going to have to try it again, maybe smiling next time.  Betsy's website can be found here

Monday, January 16, 2012

Self Portrait

16 X 20
Oil on panel backed canvas

I just finished this today, 4 days too late to make the deadline for a self portrait exhibit at Artlink, our local art center.  Ah well.  The devil was in the detail, but so was the fun.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nancy's Mug

4 X 4
Oil on panel
This one was definitely a challenge.  Last night, I was getting so hung up on details and ultimately frustrated, I decided to call it a night and tackle it later.   What happened next is probably something all artists can relate to.  As I was putting things away, I kept looking at the painting to evaluate where I was going wrong, then grabbed one of my freshly cleaned brushes and took a swipe here and there, then more, then more, then pretty much repainted the whole thing loosely, almost carelessly, and found I liked it.  So Nancy, I apologize for your blue chin and purple neck.  You can view Nancy's blog here.  And to see everyone's work on Maria's site, take a look here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Roxanne's Mug

4 X 4
oil on panel
Happy New Year everyone!  Hilton Head Gang member, Roxanne Duke, has the distinction of being the first mug of 2012!  I loved the challenge of her rimless glasses and chose to not stay true to the photo in which her eyes were quite shadowed.  She has beautiful eyes that deserve to be accented.  Roxanne's paintings can be viewed here.

These mini portraits have been so much fun, and they're going so fast now, I'm thinking I may start doing family and friend's minis to be displayed together.  I'll add this to my "think about it" list.  I can't believe there was a time I suffered from painter's block - straining to come up with a subject.  There are so many ideas I want to get to, let alone the two projects on various easels right now.  I'm looking forward to posting more paintings besides the little mugs this year.  I better add resolutions to my list as well.