Monday, January 16, 2017

Catching Up

30 x 40, oil

First of all - apologies to you all. I have neglected this site for far too long.  I have been paying more attention to my website teaching blog and my other public, online venues.

So, a bit of catch up - Since I have last posted here I have lost my husband of 45 years. Certainly a sad thing in my life. My artwork, my family and friends and my dogs are seeing me through. And thank God for my artwork. More than ever it is giving me purpose and direction.  So much so that I now have 2 studios - one is downtown Cincinnati with about 200 other artists and one at home in my newly repurposed living room. I love them both.

Ever since I started moving from my abstract work to representational ones I have been seeking a way for the two of them to get married. I have realized for a very long time that the underlying design of a good representational painting is rooted in a good abstract composition. The more purposeful push of the abstract is my journey now. 

BUSHY is a step in that direction as I simplified forms of light and shadow to create a more impactful and dynamic visual effect. This painting was the result of kind of an artistic brainstorming exploring lots of small sketchy paintings of a couple of bushes. Then I combined a couple of the ideas into one painting a little bit larger than the sketches and then took it further to this large piece.  Lots of work but lots of fun.

Art-Brainstorming Sketches

11 x 14

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quotes, Tips and Inspirations

Mildewed Dreams

     This painting was done with the ALL STAR game in mind as it was in Cincinnati this year. I asked my husband to gather some of his equipment from his childhood so that I could paint a still life. When he got the gloves out they all smelled like mildew and it became a metaphor for dreams that never came true and thus, the title. I loved the imperfectness of the worn and weathered glove, the ball that one of the kids had magic markered years ago and the bat being held together with masking tape.

     This painting is still available.

On another note:

      I have started a brand new blog with the emphasis on Quotes, Tips and Inspirations. My focus on teaching is getting stronger and stronger and you will see it in my blog posts. I invite you to sign up to stay up with the posts:

Rest assured, this blog will still stay alive with my paintings and stories.  The new blog has a totally different focus.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Recent Painting Activity

Lining the Path
8 x 10

Even though this is cut off from a row of bushes next to the path of flat rocks I found a fascination with the beauty of the raw and exposed edge that was sort of presented. Painted en plein air.

Up on the Hill
10 x 20
A recent visit to see my daughter in California had us visiting a small beach along the American River where people and dogs and geese swam together. Across the river was a nondescript hill that held this little treasure of a scene. I painted this one after I got home.

8 x 16
I was recently part of a small group of artists who painted en plein air at the garden tour in Newport, Kentucky. I learned a while ago that there are paintings all over the place just waiting to be painted. Sometimes we don't see them because the scene is too big and complex. Cropping down the scene can expose some sweet little scenes. This was one.

Tree up the Hill
10 x 8
Another treasure from that hill along the American River in CA. I was taken by the shadows. I really enjoyed doing this one in under an hour en plein air, capturing the first instincts of color and shape.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Baseball Dreams

Mildewed Dreams
24 x 30

The Good Old Days
16 x 20

Yes these are very similar to each other - both done from old baseball equipment of Bob's. The top one I have entered into the American Impressionist Society National competition - fingers crossed that I get in.  The lower one was accepted into the Cincinnati Art Gallery exhibition associated with the All Stars Game here this summer.

As you all know - I haven't been posting for a while. I am going to remedy that and post more.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oil Painters of America

The Old Gate
16 x 20

I am thrilled to announce that I was accepted in the Oil Painters of America's 24th Annual Juried National Exhibition. I am somewhat shocked that I got in - on my first try.  There are lots of amazing artists who have tried for years and not gotten into this show so I am both honored and humbled to be part of this show.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Catching Up With Postings

Sorry I have been a bit remiss in posting what I have been up to in my paintings. I won't overload you with all that I have been doing - more will be coming soon - but here are 3 little ones.

At Flat Rock in Morrow
9 x 12
I have been wanting to paint this area for a long time and I had no good excuse not to since it is only  5 minutes from my house. It is tucked in on a curvy country road with a little off road gravel area for people to stop and cool off in the hot heat of summer or to just enjoy the view. You really do get to walk right into it all. This one was done at around 9:30 in the morning.

Little Miami Canoe Rental
9 x 12
Another plein air painting also close to my home. This is right along the Little Miami River and the entire grounds is quite lovely. I think you will be seeing more from this site. I was standing in a driveway set right below the road. I had to dodge a little rain but was able to catch mostly sunshine.

Meandering the Kid's Stream at the Nature Center
10 x 8
My daughter and her 2 kids were here to visit this past June. The Nature Center was a natural place to spend some time. Of course I took loads of photos because I don't see them all that often (live in California). This age will be slipping through our hands so quickly. I really enjoyed painting this and working the surroundings so that they work for the painting.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Viewpoint Entry Accepted

"Guard of the Grounds" has been juried into the Cincinnati art Clubs 46th National Juried Art Exhibition to be open to the public Sept 10, 2014 at the galleries of Art Design Consultants in Cincinnati. I am very proud and excited to be in the show.  

It is fun doing these larger pieces but I am still not used to how long they take to do. I am hoping I can either find a home for this piece or a gallery who will find it for me - or maybe it will go at the opening, that would be fun. Artist reception is September 13, 5-8pm. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Flower Girl

"The Flower Girl"
16 x 20, oil

I did a version of this several years ago. It is of my oldest granddaughter Mya, who was 3 or 4 at the time (now 13). I really loved the composition of this setting and really enjoyed applying the things I have learned since the first time I painted it.  One of the things that I really enjoyed is using some new, high quality paint brushes from Rosemary Brushes of England. I am really surprised what  difference they made.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

SIlver Award Winner

I entered this painting into the 121st Annual Juried Exhibition of the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati. I just got back from the opening and the awards presentations - It got the Silver Medal Award!  I am a happy camper to say the least.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Guards of the Grounds

Guards of the Grounds
40 x 40
oil on canvas

This painting took forever. One challenge after the other. I really didn't respect that it would be so involved - but I am pleased with the end results for sure.

The scene is from a walk along the road of our B&B on a visit to Lynton, North Devon, UK.
The sun was dropping low so the shadows were spectacular.

I have entered this painting into the Bold Brush Competition this month so please go to the site and vote a "Like" for it. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Winter Stripes

Winter Stripes
10 x 5, oil on panel

Just got back from a beautiful 10 days in California visiting my youngest and her family. I thought I would have time to paint but those little ones were too cute to pull myself away from so I did not.

This is my first one since I have been back - over 2 weeks without painting. I guess I can still do it.

This painting is from a scene I see lots in my backyard in the winter snow. Pattern has always pulled me and so when the row of big pines cast their long shadows across the snow I can hardly resist it. In this one I enjoyed not showing the trees -leaving them to be guessed at.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Old Oak at Leed's Castle

The Old Oak at Leed's Castle
30 x 30

This stunning tree overlooked the golf course on the grounds of Leed's Castle where Bob and I had the privilege to spend the night shortly before we moved back to the states. We had visited the castle and it's amazing grounds many times but being there after hours was magical. I even got to paint out while I was there. 

I am loving the huge trees and others trees of strong character, this being the 3rd of the body of work that is about savoring and honoring their existence. Be watching for at least 2 more BIG TREE paintings soon.

On another note - I am planning on starting a monthly newsletter soon. I will be investigating ways to gain an email list of subscribers. You can send me your name and email if you want to get a head start on signing up for it. Just put it in the comment box of this post and I will put you o n the list. Should be fun sharing even more thoughts and info on my paintings and the thoughts and ideas that I have about them.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In the Shade of the Twins

In the Shade of the Twins
100 x 100 cm (about 40 x 40
Oil on canvas

It was great fun to be painting large again. These two trees were on the property of  dear friends James and Jean Edwards. They live in the next little village from where we lived in England (Ryarsh). I also painted these trees in a  little en plein air piece in reds and have done other small studies of it too. They are so full of character.

What I enjoyed about this doing this painting was getting looser and a bit more abstract with it. I hope to continue with this looseness.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter in the Back Yard

Painting in the beautiful snow. It is a great opportunity to capture all the color that can be in the white. Yes it was plenty cold. I think I have it down though to stay warm - hand and feet warmers, long johns, thick lined boots, scarf, hat, double coat and layers, pad to stand on - all I can do not to be distracted with the cold whilst I am working.  I will be doing more and more of these and eventually use some of them as studies for larger paintings.

I am loving being back home. It is beautiful here too. 

Cold Distant Sunshine
5 x 7, oil

The sun sets so far southwest this time of year that the sunsets end up peaking through totally different parts of the woods giving really interesting floodlight backdrops for the trees that makes things kinda glow.

Downed Bamboo
5 x 7, oil

We have taken down loads of the bamboo in the yard but the remainder has such great character. The shapes that it makes as the weight of the snow turns it into giant stay-puff blobs are really cool.

Shining at the Base
5 x 7, oil

This one captured a bit of morning sunlight - so fleeting.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Finally back to painting again

I have been back from England for over 2 months. The house and my studio have eaten up loads of my time with renovation, reclamation and renewing - basically making as much as we can look like  new again. Painting on panels/canvas was replaced with painting on walls and woodwork. Well about a week ago the good old oils came out and I headed outside to get the cobwebs out of my hair and to claim my artist self. 

Posted here are the products of those efforts. They are all set just out my door - I am fortunate enough to live out in the sticks on 4 acres of wooded property surrounded with farmland. I expect that there will be lots and lots of paintings from my yard coming up so you will be getting very familiar with what I see everyday.

Purchases can easily be made by clicking the the link under each piece. The pieces are small and easily mailed unframed. Larger paintings of any of my subjects can be done on a commission bases.

The Lonely Mailbox
5 x 10

Across the Empty Field
5 x 7

View of the Corn Wall
5 x 10

Chicken Coop 1
10 x 8

First Beams of Day Light Savings
5 x 10

Friday, October 4, 2013

Passing this on from Robert Genn

I have been back in the US for over a month now. Still no painting yet - except for the walls etc as we renovate the house. Hopefully real painting will not be far away as our things arrive from England tomorrow, to include all of my art supplies. Yahoo!

In the mean time I thought I would pass this newsletter on to you from a fellow artist named Robert Genn. Enjoy.

This morning Evelyn Dunphy of West Bath, ME, USA wrote, "Some time ago you wrote about the experience of feeling an overwhelming emotion in the presence of beauty. There was a principle named after the man who identified this feeling of awe. Who was it and what was the name of the principle?"

Thanks, Evelyn. You're probably thinking about my letter on January 18th, "The Stendhal Syndrome," where I talked about looking at beautiful art and having rapid heartbeat, dizziness and confusion. In 1817, the French writer Stendhal was discombobulated after visiting the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence. It was a similar discombobulation I was to repeat in the same place in 2010. Fact is, most of us have had wobbly legs in public galleries when suddenly confronted with art we may have previously only seen in books or online.

Or you may have been thinking about my letter of March 29th, "Spinoza and me," where I wrote about one of my favourite Dutchmen. Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) felt that "all things are worthy of interest and study, including the tiniest animalcule or flower, and the universe itself."

Spinoza and Stendhal were not the only ones to be in awe of everything. "The world," said the Irish poet W. B. Yeats, "is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."

That's it. As we sharpen our senses the world becomes a more awesome place. Artists of all stripes are particularly favoured to develop a high degree of awe. Our profession demands that we see more than others and apply our love and talent to exploit it.

On our recent painting ventures into the magnificent Bugaboo Mountains, artists would step out of the helicopter and start screaming. We called these involuntary outbursts "Boogasms." Only the seriously jaded were not having them.

A dictionary definition of awe is "an overwhelming feeling of reverence and admiration produced by that which is grand, sublime or extremely powerful." In modern times, a great deal of awe centres on the field of science. "The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable," wrote Richard Dawkins. "It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music, art and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite."

Best regards,


Friday, August 16, 2013

Before the Day Begins

Before the Day Begins
10 x 5, oil on panel 

Bob and I stayed at a B&B at Leed's Castle last week. It is a stunning castel and grounds that is very parklike and romantic. Being there after hours made it that much more magical to us. A nice bottle of champagne in the evening in the stunning gardens overlooking the lake full of swans and other bird foul made the evening perfect.  

The next day Bobby went and played 9 holes while I did some plein air painting. I am generally  not pulled to paint the obvious scene of a noted location. In this painting I painted a little tunnel that is at the base of the castle and the mote around it where they store the gondola's overnight. The painting was moving right along when.... they moved the gondola to get it ready for the visitors of the day. Luckily I had gotten enough information to finish the painting off in my studio.

This may be my last plein air piece before I move back to the states. 

There are lots of mixed feelings I have about moving back but, I am leaving a place with many, many posititve memories cemented into my head and coming back to my home with high anticipation of great things to come.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Willow Ablaze

Willow Ablaze
8 x 10
oil on panel

You can't see the pond next to this but it is there. Occasionally in a painting I choose to go way beyond the local colour. I plan on doing more and more of it too. Usually when I do this it is on a studio piece but this time I tried it out in the field. My mind had to keep stopping and going through a reassignment of colour over and over again yet staying relatively true to the values. Kinda fun actually.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My New Website

Happy Dog
Happy Me

Yes, you have seen this painting before. You will see it again if you visit my brand new website: . It is a simple site all about the work. Let me know what you think.

I have been wanting to make a new site for a long time because my other website is all about the space paintings that I was doing ( I am keeping that one up and running too for it is still a part of me and is so different from my current work and I want it to stay alive on the web.

On another note - I am heading HOME. USA here I come! Just about 3 1/2 more weeks to go. I have been loving living in England but have also missed family, friends and other things about the US that just aren't here.  England will stay in my heart strongly for the rest of my life. Bob and I have been blessed for the opportunity and have become richer because of it. My work has changed and grown. My world view has become more realistic and appreciative. We are happy that we came.

So this means that I will be seeing lots of you who are following this blog. Can't wait.  I really appreciate your support. 

In the mean time, there are still paintings to paint whilst I am still here so stay tuned. ooxx

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dreaming of Italy

Dreaming of Italy
10 x 5
Oil on panel

It is not often that I use other people's photos for my paintings but I did for this one. It was an opportunity I took advantage of as Leslie Saeta is traveling in Italy. This painting will be posted on her blog and of course at any other of my sites - My Facebook fan page, my regular timeline on facebook  (lots of links huh!)

I usually shy away from building because they conjure up nasty memories of doing VERY detailed house portraits years ago that were more like architectural drawings. Today I would do a house portrait soooo differently. 

So - this painting was actually quite fun as I started with a red-orange underpainting so it gave the whole thing a warm glow right off the bat. I  haven't done underpainting colour fields all that much lately but I think you will be seeing it more and more often as I go along.

By the way - I am heading home form England soon. Time to get on with the rest of our lives. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Old Farm Shed

Old Farm Shed
12 x 6, oil

At times I paint out with a plein air painter friend here. She grew up on an orchard and fruit farm near West Pecham, UK. I have gone with her a couple of times to paint there. It is really hard to select just one scene to paint because there are so many. We got going at 8am on this morning so that we could catch a bit of the morning light (I wasn't about to get up at 5:30 for the sunrise so 8 am was the best I was willing to do).

This painting, and the last one, were 80% done en plein air and the rest done in my studio. I am liking this ratio of outside and studio time on a piece. It takes away some of the anxiety of the timing and gets me lots more focused on getting the main color notes and values down right on site.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Farm Trailer

Farm Trailer
9 x 12, oil on panel

There is lots of farm equipment on the farm here. This one struck me for the texture of the peeling paint and the grasses growing around it. It looks forgotten and abandoned but it is not. I don't normally like to paint a square-edged object like this or a building but when it is softened by vegetation, like this one is, I find them most intriguing. There is more of a story to it.

This one was done 80% en plein air.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Francis Iles Gallery

I just got accepted into a really lovely and high quality gallery - the Francis Iles Gallery in Rochester, Kent, UK We are both excited about meeting each other and our future and hopefully on-going relationship. I will be amongst some mighty fine UK artists as well as several top notch international ones. My work gets delivered mid-August so if you want one before it goes let me know and I will replace it as a gallery entrant.

The pieces are these plus a new one not photographed yet:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Dog

Happy Dog
5 x 10
Oil on panel

I seldom paint from photos I have not taken but, with permission, I have used this photo from a lady from Norway who has several border collies and uses them to really work her sheep. They are such smart animals. It is fascinating to watch them do their thing.

In this painting I loved the way the sun hit the dog and the funny shapes the posture created. I also wanted to capture the joy and relief of a job well done as this sweet little thing found the cool pan (of water I presume) to relax in. If I ever do pet portraits as commission pieces they will surely have to be ones that tell a bit of the animals story and personality like this one. I could do this kind of thing all day. I think I am also a little pet deprived right now too as we don't live with any at the moment.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Good Morning

Good Morning
8 x 16
Oils on panel

I haven't painted my little darlings in a while. Here they are all cuddly as I came upon them before they got up for the day. Sooo cute!

Working in the exaggerated oblong format is getting addictive for me. It seems to show off the subject  matter in a more pronounced way. I am also working with a different pallet too. Zero whites.