January 26, 2009


(294) Heartland
9 x 12, oil
I avoided using medium for this painting, allowing some passages to be considerably thicker while some were thinned with a little Gamsol, all the while trying to be conscious of varying my brushstrokes.
"When options are limited, focus becomes likely"...Robert Genn

January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

(293) Jefferson Memorial
6 x 6, oil
On this historic day, I am honored to join one of my favorite artists, Karin Jurick, for this "Different Strokes for Different Folks" tribute to this Washington D.C. landmark. Please visit here to see other artists' renditions of the Jefferson Memorial.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"...US Declaration of Independence, 1776

January 19, 2009

Into The Light

(292) Into the Light
8 x 10, oil
My focus in this painting was to "chisel" out the shapes with a flat brush, which proved to be way tougher than it seems it should be, so I found myself scraping the paint, beginning over, and analyzing how artists make corrections and problem solve (lighter, darker, warmer, cooler?...). In art workshops that I have attended, it seems that inevitably there is always that one student who becomes easily frustrated and whines to the instructor "paint it for me." And while some instructors oblige as a way of demonstrating, some respond with a joke "If I paint it for you, I will have to put my name on it and charge you for it." But my all time favorite response to the whiners was Carolyn Anderson's reprimand to "MAKE IT RIGHT! If it doesn't work, it is up to you to keep trying until you figure out how to make it work." Her response may seem a little harsh, but sometimes finding the correct solutions in life demands diligent persistence, resilience, faith and hope. This week I'm counting on our country to show that same resolve as we begin anew, seek the right solutions, and make it right.
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step~
Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 2009

strength in numbers

(291) Lilies
8 x 10, oil
For this painting, I chose a muted color palette for a more serene look and feeling.
"Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life"...John Lubbock

January 14, 2009

Tiny Dancer

(290) Ballerina
private collection
5 x 7, oil
This little study was a departure for me. Typically, my subject reference is limited to what is in front of me and/or a photo; but for this painting, I used my imagination to put the figure in a room with one of my favorite paintings by Degas. Painting what is in front of me is far easier, all the more reason to s t r e t c h out of my comfort zone!
And on another note, my computer/internet/blogger/all things related to posting/uploading/visiting other websites has not been working for weeks (I've invented all new curse words), so hopefully my tech support has gotten everything back up and running. Finally. When this "stuff" works, it is great-when it does not, I lose interest fast.
"No art is less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of the great masters"...Edgar Degas

January 13, 2009


(289) Arno River
private collection
10 x 20, oil on canvas
The Arno River, the largest in Tuscany, flows through several cities including Florence... a most enchanting and endearing city.
"You may have the universe if I may have Italy"...Giuseppe Verdi

January 5, 2009

A New Year...

(288) "Homage to Bruges Madonna"
6 x 8, oil
For this painting, I chose to study a portion of Michelangelo's sculpture of the Bruges Madonna. Paintings and sculptures of the Madonna holding a swaddled baby Jesus were common during the Renaissance; but in this instance, the artist chose to depict Jesus as a toddler who appears to be contemplating taking a step away from his mother. Mary has a loving, yet somber expression that most art historians agree is evidence of her understanding of the child's future. What draws me to the work is the artist's sweet and tender depiction of Mary holding onto her baby's hand. Her gentle grasp reminds me of the delicate balance we seek as parents, as we simultaneously provide support and guidance while encouraging our children to seek independence and explore their world.
As we look forward to a new year and contemplate our goals, dreams and resolutions to make the world a better place; let us consider the wisdom and courage in what Michelangelo had to say about this subject over 500 years ago:
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark"....Michelangelo