February 23, 2009


(300) Truth
private collection
6 x 8, oil
If I incorporate last post's exercise into this painting, the words describing this young man would be: modest, respectful, wise-beyond-his-years, kind, humble, and unassuming--a lot of words for such a small painting? I find that I most enjoy painting figures who are engaged in an activity, or in some way interacting with their surroundings. Painting a relaxed, natural pose allows me to focus on capturing a gesture, a likeness, a fleeting truth, a moment in time. And to me, painting a figure from this angle creates some degree of mystery, inviting the viewer to ponder such questions as: who is this young man? what are his thoughts, hopes, dreams, wishes as he looks out onto that sparkling, vast body of water?
“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be"...Rachel Carson

February 18, 2009


(299) Love
private collection
6 x 8, oil
I have taken a couple of workshops with Nashville artist Roger Dale Brown, a very humble, kind and helpful instructor. He observed that a common mistake artists make is when we anxiously jump into painting without first defining our goals. Explaining that it is not enough to just say to yourself "I want to paint this subject because I like it" he suggested that we take the time to discern why. So, before picking up a paintbrush, he carefully chooses a word or words that best describe how he feels about his subject. This exercise requires him to define his intentions, and by repeating those words to himself while painting, he is more likely to remain mindful and maintain his original focus--sage advice for the rest of us. Because Roger and the young man in the painting are of similar demeanor, I was reminded of this contemplative exercise before beginning this painting. So, to describe my subject, I chose as my "mantra": caring, thoughtful, mindful, kind, loving, and generous. If you are an artist, try this exercise next time you paint, and see what it reveals to you.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around"...Leo F. Buscaglia
And, spreading the love, here are two new blog discoveries that I want to share with you. Jala Pfaff is a wonderful artist from Boulder, her adept use of color makes her portraits simply stunning. And if you enjoy a peaceful respite from your busy day, take a moment to check out this clever haiku/photography site A Haiku a Day...The January 14th entry is a favorite, she said stretching toward the sun....there is so much out there to be inspired by every single day. I just LOVE that!

February 15, 2009


(298) Joy
private collection
6 x 8, oil
In these chilly February days, I find myself longing for the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean. But since I can't be there in person right now, I will assign my paintbrush the duty of transporting me to a place where this little "model" appears to spread joy wherever she goes.
"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy"...Henry Ward Beecher
And speaking of joy, artist Tracey Mardon sent me links to these super inspirational painters, so I am spreading the joy and passing them along to you! Please check out Miro Sinovcic and Jennifer Woodburn. Their exquisite paintings are full of light, bliss, chi, and did I mention JOY?

February 14, 2009

I Heart Art...

(297) I am honored and thrilled to say that my ballerina painting took second place last evening at our annual ArtWorks Exhibit! Special thanks to Gallery at 916 for hosting the event. I feel everyone is a winner because we are blessed to have such a skilled, mutually supportive and accomplished group of artists (who also happen to be a fun bunch to party with). If you live in the area, stop by and see our exhibit. Closing date is March 27th.
"A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
Til you give it away"...Oscar Hammerstein

February 8, 2009

Be the Light...

(296) Anticipation
private collection
8 x 10, oil
In this painting, the ballerina and rug are bathed in a light that bounces and illuminates its surroundings. There were two light sources; a splendid challenge where the light takes center stage, becoming a play-within-a-play .
"Plan your hours to be productive.
Plan your weeks to be educational.
Plan your years to be purposeful.
Plan your life to be an experience of growth.
Plan to change.
Plan to grow"...Iyanla Vanzant

February 4, 2009

The color of light...

(295) Luminescence
9 x 12, oil
"You have your brush, you have your colors. You paint paradise, then in you go"......Nikos Kazantzakis