Friday, November 30, 2007

Friends and Inspiration

Yesterday Flo replied to the "Between Holidays" posting. I had said I really liked working large, but found it difficult right now getting stuck into those large works. Flo remarked working small may help as it also didn't require as much energy (which is helpful during very busy times). In this photo, you can see a few of my doodlings with smaller bits and pieces...maybe Flo is right, I should be more serious about those. Visit Flo's web site at:
She has some beautiful work there.
Additionally, Jafabrit commented on yesterday's posting about how awesome mother nature is. She said she had no need to reproduce nature in her art, because she felt as though it was awe inspiring just as it was. I thought that was a fabulous way to see abstract work. I clearly paint from the emotions I feel from my inspirations. Visit Jafabrit's blog at: I am sure you will see what she means.
Oh Yes, Babs left a lovely comment on yesterday's post, too. On her blog at, Babs has a painting of Penelope. Penelope has made quite a stir on the Wet Canvas web site. If you visit her, I think you will see why.
If you look closely at some of the bits and pieces on my work table, you might see the work show up one day as an image all to itself. So, for now, I am thinking smaller. Although, I will not be giving up my large paintings any time soon.
Have a Wonderful Weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Inspiration

My family enjoys traveling to the Northwest corner of Montana with some regularity. While there are many things which draw us there, the colors are very close to the top of the list. As artists have known forever, nature knows what she is doing.
In this area of Many Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana the reds and greens of the rocks have become an inspiration for me when I am drawn to particular hues. But it is not only the rocks, but the glacial lakes, and one cannot forget the sky! The beautiful clear skies of the summer are an inpiration in themselves.
In the photograph on the right you can see some of the colors which draw me in. In the photo on the left, you can see a close-up and clearer image of the red rock which is seen on the side of the mountain in the long view photograph. The other interesting thing about this particular rock is the hue actually beomes quite purple when it is wet!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Inspired by Materials

I am inspired by many things, but one place I can go to always be inspired is the local art supply shop or even the online shop. The supports, the colors, the mediums and even the art furniture make my head spin.
This photo of a WIP shows the use of lots of items. Clearly there is black acrylic paint, but this paint has been painted over rice paper in some places, then torn away. Oil pastels show up in the form of "pink" matter. And the sparkly, textured surface is pumice which has been "stained" with acrylic paint. If you look closely along the edge, there is also a line of yellow oil pastel which is kind of dug into the pumice. This little corner is heavy with layers of materials.
This painting has never been completed, but just working with these materials has inspired other works. So when I feel uninspired, I will either head off to the art shop or head for my computer. As has been said before...inspiration is all around us.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Between Holidays

24" x 36"
Mixed Media


After 25 people here for Thanksgiving and getting Elizabeth back to Los Angeles, this week will feel like a breeze. Oops! Wait! No! I need to work on those transcripts and other documentation for Jonathan's college applications. Oh well, so much for getting back into the studio any time soon.

But with this block of busy time, I have been thinking about how to incorporate some bits and pieces into my days. I have tended to paint large pieces, but maybe it is time for me to consider the aspect of small work to work on during excessively busy times of my life. Maybe even some works on paper. Possibly picking up pastels again would be a positive move, too. That way I could pick them up quickly and also tote them along easier. The most difficult part for me is I like to use my whole arm and not just my hand when I paint. But I need something and this opportunity is presenting itself. I must have a need to go in that direction. I need to follow the instinct.

The title of this painting has nothing to do with my current state of mind. I try to remind myself that life is really great, but sometimes moving through the confusion gets messy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cracked Earth
24" x 36"
Acrylic on Canvas
This is a painting I did after terrible earthquake in the middle east. I was so astonished to see the people living in beautiful parks under lovely, brightly colored cloths since the earth had broken open not allowing them to be able to live in their homes.
This painting represents the beauty on the surface of the earth while below the surface there was sliding places and large cracks which was creating unstablitly for those living on the surface. Since I have never experienced an earthquake (although I have experienced several other natural disasters), I do not feel as though I can say I understand what people in this region were feeling. This painting, though, represents the image that disaster pushed into my subconsicous. I am grateful these people are now back in their homes.
In the United States this week, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Our celebration of the harvest season always gives me an extra time to pause and reflect on all of the areas of my life where I feel so much gratitude. This year, I am additionally grateful for all of you making the effort to stop by here to see what I am up to.
So with a bit of a pause in my blogging this week, I wish you all a Very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Busy Friday

Today is a busy day around here. Elizabeth (my daughter who is in grad school) will be arriving from Los Angeles this evening. We are really excited to see her. Thanksgiving is next week, so there is a lot to do since loads of family will be here. Jonathan is busily working away on essays for college applications, too.
I thought you might like a quick look at one of the many crazy areas of my studio. This is where I contemplate things, work on small pieces, doodle and all kinds of things like that. Organized...only in my own mind.
Have a Wonderful Weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

One More Thing

Yesterday, I forgot to tell you that Lesley McIver's web site is She is also the link, Glitz Art Glass, in the link list. Do give her a visit. You will be glad you did.

Thankful for a Cold and Rainy Day

I woke up this morning to cold and rain. Oh yes, there is wind tossed in there as well. But Jonathan and I are snug and warm here each with our computers on our laps working away. Hopefully, later today the computer comes off my lap and I can get up into the studio to do a bit of work.

Cold, rainy and windy days can be comforting from time to time, however. I find it makes me get a lot more done than days which call me to be outdoors or to do other things. I suppose all in all, like life, it is a matter of balance. After a hot and humid summer, I am also grateful for the cold and look forward to the snow. Of course, I do not have to go out and get myself to an office away from home, either.

So I am off to get some things done inside today and start getting things in place for a lovely Thanksgiving. I am feeling very grateful, and I hope you are as well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Layers of Color

Horizon 2 (also titled Looking into France)

24" x 36" Deep, Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Mixed Media


Yesterday my friend Lesley McIver posted a comment about using color in her glass art. She sometimes feels limited in color choices since the glass is pigmented when she purchases the raw materials. I wondered if layering the colors would make a difference in how the hues were perceived.

In this painting, there is a great deal of layering with the pigments. Some you can see and others are more subtle. But the point it layering the transparent pigments gives a greater depth than can not be achieved by just mixing various hues.

Anyway, Lesley has me thinking about I better get in the studio and see what comes of it.

Please do visit Lesley's web site to see her beautiful art jewelry. Christmas is just around the corner and her work makes the greatest gifts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Horizon 4

30" x 40" deep, gallery wrapped canvas
Mixed Media


Like most children, I learned about color with a box of crayons. You know that box of 64 was one of the best gifts a kid could receive in my opinion. The thing is, my color learning stopped right there with that box of sixty-fours until I was a college student studying interior design. I adored color and found myself having strong opinions on the subject. From a design (interiors, graphic, industrial, architectural, etc.) standpoint, color can become a huge player in ones work. It is what most people identify with.

Then, along came computers with an additional needed understanding of color. But wait a minute we already know about this color and light thing. We have to understand the effect of light on color, so all of the computer color stuff stands to reason. But it wasn't until I could honestly manipulate color myself with pigments did the full impact of this valuable tool hit me. With color, I feel as though I can make so many things happen.

Now, for me, it is all about control. When you pull together an interior space, you typically are using colors which are controlled by other people and nature. You might choose fabric from one designer and furniture finishes from another. Then nature tosses in her two cents and the designer needs to make it all work together. This is a great challenge and a very rewarding part of the design process. But it is the artist, who can control color with just the slightest manipulation, who can pull these colors all together with the touch of a particular formula of pigment. Yes, it is even the artists in the designer who does contends with color in the design.

Don't get me wrong, it takes so much more than color to make a work of art or a design become cohesive. But color is a very strong element which draws so many people into a work.

You can probably tell, in this Horizon series, I have spent a lot of time exploring what effects colors have on each other as well as what effects light has on color. There is so much more to explore...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just A Feeling

I recently completed reading the book Blink:The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell. (You can read about it here: )

The book basically talks about the power of gut reactions and when to know when to trust them. We have all had that experience, I am sure. Creative people seem to depend on them as they move through their days. But in our society of "testing" out everything, most people forget the power they hold. It seems to me the reason people want to read artists statements is because they want to understand the tested way the artist works. I, for one, have to begin painting before I can understand what I am supposed to be creating. My instinct leads my hands rather than my mind. I like to call it painting from my heart.

Knowing when to trust my painting instinct is all about trusting myself. However, trusting my instincts in other areas is a bit different. What Gladwell says is we all have these instincts and knowing when to trust them is often a matter of having a knowledge base about the subject.

I do highly recommend the book, if you have an interest in this subject. The book is well worth reading for the supportive stories alone. They will really help you understand more clearly some of the reasons things happen in life.

I have just started another book, The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci, which looks like it will be another one I mention in a later post.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Horizon 9
24" x 36"
Mixed Media
After a ten hour drive through some bad weather and traffic, we returned home after a good, productive week in New England. I am ready to get back to the studio, and hopefully I can make that time soon.

I have several paintings going, right now. The one I am showing you here is also from my current series.

As you can tell, water and light play an important part in this series.
Once I get myself back to "normal"...okay, so not honestly normal...I will be able to compose more text. Until then, this will have to do.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New England


New England in the autumn. While it is well past "leaf season", it is still
beautiful up here. I am traveling with my son as he is looking at some
universities. We have enjoyed a lovely road trip, sans the highway gridlock
on Sunday! Yes, two and a half hours of never getting out of second gear on
my little car!

I have to say it is amazing to watch this process with my son. While it is
stressful for him, I can say his intuition is working beautifully. As a
creative adult, it is good to see someone who doesn't force issues and
spends time contemplating what is important for him.

So while I have not been in the studio this week, I have clearly been
inspired by the beauty of this area as well as the process of decision

What inspires you?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Horizon 1

Horizon 1
30" x 40" Deep, Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Mixed Media


The Horizon Series began when we moved to England in 2005. As it was the first time I had ever lived on an island, I was curious as to what lay beyond the horizons. In addition, I loved the light in that part of the world. The colors seemed to come alive there. It didn't matter if it was sunny or cloudy, the colors exploded all around me.

We lived in The New Forest in Hampshire where ponies and Highland cattle roamed freely. There hedgerows still defined and protected property. Cottages and small English Villages dotted the area. And people took their time as they moved through the days. All of that was very, very different from the Washington, DC Metro Area from where I had moved and have since returned. Maybe it is this difference which sparked these new sensations and wonderings. Southern England was (and I am sure still is) a lovely, lovey place to experience life.

For me, travel and moving does a lot to spur on my creativity.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Back to Blogging

Of course it has been forever since I have blogged. It is sad, really. Like most artists, I prefer to be in the studio. The thing is I want to blog. I like to write. So I am back. Hopefully, I can keep this up better.

Recently I have been considering the placement of some of my current series in a gallery. So I thought I would post an image here to let you see some of what I am doing.

This particular painting is from my Horizon Series - Horizon 3. It is a 30" x 40" deep, gallery wrapped canvas done in acrylics and oil sticks.

It is for sale. If you are interested in this work, email me. If you have any comments, please leave them.