Saturday, July 28, 2012


Something in my head has been yelling at me.... Sunflower, Sunflower, Sunflower!  I'm not sure if has anything to do with the rain we are having every day and my wishing for sunshine (sunflowers say SUNSHINE to me)...or maybe it's just an excuse to paint.  

Anyway...I searched everywhere to find a photograph of a sunflower I liked to no avail.  Finally, I pulled out a silk flower I have in my stash and painted from it.

(6 x 6 - original oil on panel)

Artist Note:  I will be painting this flower again so stay tuned...

Friday, July 27, 2012


Friends are important!  Friends are precious!  Friends bring us comfort!  Friends come together in many different ways!

This photograph was taken on a visit to Jefferson Island, Louisiana,  Rip Van Winkle Gardens.  There is a very large cage which is home to this beautiful exotic chicken (not sure of the name of the breed).  There is also a resident cat who visits and they sit and spend time with each other.  So cute!

If you have a chance to visit these beautiful Rip Van Winkle Gardens, its worth the trip!

(6 x 6 - original oil painting on panel)

Thursday, July 26, 2012


While walking the French Quarter streets in New Orleans one day, I spotted this little musician leaning against a building on the corner of Royal and Dumaine Streets. She was playing an air reed instrument called a pan flute.  It was such a sweet little sound, I took her picture and stood there watching, captivated.

(8 x 10 - original oils on canvas)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Colorful Corner

This house is located in New Orleans right outside the French Quarter known as the Marigny District.  It's the next neighborhood downriver from the French Quarter, just on the other side of Esplanade Avenue. Long a quiet residential neighborhood, the area has exploded in recent years into a vibrant and colorful destination for food, music and good times, with much of this activity concentrated on Frenchmen Street.  I was drawn to this little house because of the quaint feel it has.

"Colorful Corner"
(8 x 8 - original oil on panel)

Artist Note:  
I'm adding more color to my paintings (a technique I learned from a recent workshop).  In this painting I put transparent color in then scraped out the excess and came over with lighter color added in with a palette knife.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Easel Update

I just returned from a workshop in Paris, KY and had another opportunity to use my Open Box M easel.  I'm very pleased with my setup and needless to say it gives me everything I could wish for in an easel.

I don't always clean the mixing area after every use, which I think I should be doing.  I usually just scrape that area with a razor scraper, which gives me a very smooth surface but I find it somewhat distracting.  I think if I clean the wet paint off the day I use it, the end result will be a grayed patina, smooth as glass.

I decided I wanted to start again so I removed all wet paint from the tray and sanded it down with some course sandpaper and a green scotch brite pad. I neglected to take a before picture, but here is my end result.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Workshop News!

I'm back from a wonderful workshop I attended in Paris, KY with an extremely talented and amazing artist/teacher, Dreama Tolle Perry!  Her workshops are booked up fast and I was so excited to be able to book into this workshop, which was very fun, informative and colorful to say the least.

Day 1

This is my completed painting...

This is a group shot of all paintings that day...

Day 2

This day was the hardest for me.  I struggled with this painting.  I felt it was really bad at the beginning but I think I pulled it through.  Let me say also I don't think it is complete but its complete enough for a workshop.  The point here is what did I learn...

Day 3

This was a fun exercise!  We were given a photograph and we painted while the music was playing,  when the music stopped, we moved to another painting so each artist painted on several different paintings.

This is the one I started...

Here is a group shot of all of the paintings done this way...

I met some very talented artists and was so excited to be able to collaborate, get fresh ideas, experiment with more color and learn new techniques.  The workshop for me was a huge success and most of all had I had a lot of  FUN!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bee Hummingbird

The Bee Hummingbird is famous for being the smallest bird in the world.  Males on average weigh only .07 ounces and are about 2 inches long.  Females are a little larger and do not have the beautiful red markings that the male does.

"Male Bee Hummingbird"
(6 x 6 - collage and oils on canvas panel)

Artist Note:  The background is decorative paper collage over canvas panel and antiqued in burnt umber.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird

The Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird is the national  bird of Jamaica found from western to central Jamaica.  They are also referred to as "Doctor Birds" because their long tail feathers resemble the coats of old-style medics. These birds are 22-30 cm including the tail and unlike most hummingbirds are non-migratory.

"Male Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird"
(5 x 10 - collage and oils on masonite board)

Artist Note:  This bird is painted in oils on collage background.  I painted in a mix of cerulean blue, sap green, burnt umber and white around the bird to bring more attention to the bird and a little less attention to the patterns going on in the background.  The edges are antiqued using burnt umber.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

808 Royal Street

New Orleans Series continued...

New Orleans is filled with such old and wonderful architecture!  I took pictures of quite a few doors while in New Orleans.  A doorway can be so mysterious, symbolizing the opportunity to make a difference in the world or a passage to a new life.  I often wonder while wandering through the French Quarter about the history behind some of these doors.

Also, when my son asked what street location some of these pictures were taken and I wasn't sure, he said "Mom, you need to document where these pictures are." So, here you go J this is for you, 808 Royal Street.   :)

"808 Royal Street"
(5 x 10 - original oil painting on panel board)

Artist Note:  I dirtied up the painting with Transparent Oxides (yellow, red and brown) to give the viewer the feel of looking at an old door.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

932 Bourbon Street

New Orleans Series continued...

I'm continuing to paint from photographs I took in New Orleans and 932 Bourbon Street is one of them. This building is across and down the street at an angle from the Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon Street.

I push myself and struggle with perspectives because I don't have my drafting board setup and I honestly just don't pull it out and set it up very often.  I usually draw directly on my canvas or panel board with my paintbrush and eyeball the lines.  I think this strengthens my eye.  I had a fellow artist, who is also a teacher, tell me in conversation once "It is not about the angles and color so much, its about the art.  Its about doing what makes you happy, painting.  The rest will come."

"932 Bourbon Street"
(8 x 8 - original oil painting on panel board)

Artist Note:  I wanted to dirty up the buildings so the viewer would get the feel of Old New Orleans.  To do this, I added in Transparent Oxides (yellow, red and brown).

A bonus I really treasure and don't see very often is when an artist posts the photo they worked from, so I'm posting my photo for you.  I cropped the picture and edited out the things I didn't like.  The perspective looks different from the picture because I adapted it to fit an 8 x 8 panel.

So....what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!!!