Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Floral Fantasy

Floral Fantasy
Acrylic on Canvas

If you know my work, you know that I don't normally paint flowers. Yesterday, as I was trying to salvage an abstract that was on this huge canvas, I found that my usual tricks and techniques just weren't working. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to paint. When this happens, I usually resort to completely freeing myself from any preconceived plans or ideas.

I started to apply my paints in a heavier, more painterly manner. At first it dawned on me that I might be wasting alot of paint and that I'd end up gessoing the whole thing. But, stubburn as I am, I kept plugging along. Suddenly, something in the lower right corner of the canvas drew my interest. It looked like a flower of some kind!

I decided to go with that. Sometimes the muse whispers in our ear and we need to pay attention. I grabbed a pencil and started drawing floral shapes into the still wet paint. After doing a little negative painting, painting around and between the shapes, the whole image began to come into focus. I stepped back and decided that I liked what I saw!

I don't know if this particular painting is the start of a new trend. Probably not, but it was sure fun painting it!

I have the painting listed on eBay right now but if it doesn't sell I might just find a place for it in my own home.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Old becomes new again

22"x30" mixed watermedia on paper
While cleaning out my studio this morning, I opened an old portfolio that had been sitting in the corner since we moved to this house nearly four years ago. I pulled out this painting that I had done back in 2003. It's a mixed media on watercolor paper. Back then I was doing alot of this type of work - and I may go back to it one of these days.

I love the detail in this painting. I remember that I used a clear wax crayon to create some resist areas. While trying to get the wax off with a heat gun, the melted wax spread into other areas and created an interesting effect when I layered other colors over it.

Yesterday I decided to purchase a set of photographic flood lamps and tripods. Up until now I was setting my work on an easel and depending on the sunlight that floods my studio to provide ample light for a good picture. Unfortunately, these short winter days have made it difficult to shoot a good picture. It was taking too much of my time to try to adjust the colors with Photoshop. Anyway, I discovered that the lamps certainly make my life easier and now my pictures are truer to the original.

I just uploaded this image to Fine Art America, a really neat website that any artist would want to know about. Prints of this and other images are now available. You can have a print of this painting on paper or canvas. You can even order mats and frames through this website. How neat is that?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Weird, isn't it???

Morning Mist
It's funny that no matter how much I'm determined to blog every day, life seems to get in the way. Before I know it, a whole month has gone by!

I have been pretty busy working on some new paintings. You know how I love to experiment with new techniques. I think I have AADD - Art Attention Deficit Disorder. After exploring a particular style or technique, I seem to hit a dry spell and need to try something totally different. But, don't worry, I won't be mass-producing any nostalgic little cottages with golden light pouring from the windows!

Lately, I've been working on unstretched canvas that is stapled to a luan board. I like the hard surface. It lets me do my stamping and scrubbing without flexing the way stretched canvas does. Lowe's and Home Depot are great sources for supplies that I can't find at the art supply houses. Paint rollers, sponges, acrylic patch compound and floor adhesive spreaders are great to have in my arsenal of tools and materials. There's absolutely no reason why an artist can't use whatever materials are available to create an image. Of course, it's always a good idea to make sure the materials are archival. If you're wondering about the acrylic patch compound, I use it to texture my canvas before painting. It's a great substitute for the more expensive modeling paste. Just be sure not to buy the kind that has limestone in it - that will suck the moisture out of your paint faster than you can imagine. In no time at all, the paint and spackle just flake right off the canvas- believe me, I know from experience! Anyway, if you plan to try the texturing technique, use Elastomeric Custom Patch available from Home Depot.

I staple and tape the edges of my canvas to the luan board. After applying a thin layer of the patch compound, sometimes mixed with gesso, and allowing it to dry, I apply a couple of coats of gesso. That pretty much seals the surface and then I'm ready to paint as soon as the surface of the canvas is bone dry. When the painting is complete, I remove the tape and staples. I love the nice clean edge around the canvas. It almost looks like a print! Now, the painting is ready to be stretched on bars or to be rolled up for shipping. This is one method that allows me to paint in some large sizes that I normally would not attempt.

Here is one of the paintings I finished a couple of days ago. It measures 30"x40" and is pretty spectacular, if I say so myself. It is available on Ebay right now for a one-time listing. Hope you check it out!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Breaking Through

Lately I've had so many interruptions and distractions that have prevented me from actually finishing very many paintings. I don't know why that is. I certainly have the time and I do go to my studio, but new ideas and the motivation seemed to be missing.

This morning I was determined to break the cycle. After going through my usual ritual of reading the paper, doing the crossword puzzles and catching up on all my email, I decided to tackle a new painting and not worry about the outcome. I had a false start, that is, I had to gesso over my first attempt but I was hell-bent on actually completing a painting today.

I decided to approach this painting from a totally different angle than my usual way of starting a painting. I normally like to wash in my colors, slowly building layer upon layer of glazes. Today was different! I needed something bold! After laying in a ground of diluted red tones, I drew in the composition with a diluted neutral tone. I started to apply the paints thickly. As they dried, I continued to layer more creamy colors, allowing under colors and textures to show through. Finally, the painting decided it was finished!

I needed that! Sometimes we get in a rut and rather than sit around mulling about it, we need to break loose and just do something totally different. I think that refreshes our psyche and causes us to look at things with a fresh eye.

Oh, I almost forgot. The painting reminds me of someone dancing in the garden at the start of Spring, so I named it "Garden Dance". If you like it as much as I do, take an opportunity to bid on it on Ebay.

Check out my website for more original paintings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Critical Mass

Sometimes working on a particular project for a member of the family is more difficult than working on a commission for a stranger. One is never entirely sure that they are being truthful about the work or just being polite.
I finished this painting yesterday as a gift for my son and his wife. They just completed extensive remodeling at their home and I felt that offering them a new painting would be in order. After getting an idea of what they wanted, I began to work on Critical Mass, a three-panel painting measuring 48"x72". My daughter-in-law wanted something bold and vibrant in hot tropical colors to compliment their Florida home. The colors in the home are warm neutral tones and she wanted something that would be a focal point in the room.
Well, I definitely feel I accomplished that with this painting.
To get in the mood to paint something that would reflect the movement and energy that was needed for this painting, I decided to listen to music that would put me in the right frame of mind. Thank goodness for Oscar Lopez and his Seduction. As soon as the strains of his guitar started, I literally began to dance in rhythm to the music. My hand flew across the canvas as I drew in the composition. Before long, I had the "bones" of the painting pretty much established and was ready to start painting. I added textural elements as well as metallic silverleaf accents - one of the prerequisites of the painting.
I'm pretty happy with the result and after emailing some images to my son and his wife, I know that they are too.
I'll have to check out what other CDs Oscar has out. If you've never heard him, I hope you'll listen to some clips from Seduction. You'll be dancing too!
Check out my website for other new paintings.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Momentary Reflection

Finally, today I was able to spend the entire day in the studio without having to run errands, make phone calls or any of the other trivia that seems to fill my days.

I started this painting a couple of days ago but today I spent the time refining the design and building up the subtle layers of glazed color. It's a constant process of adjustment. Just when one area looks finished, I have to go back and "balance" it out with another areas of the painting. After several hours of this, I finally felt that I could pronounce it "finished".

Every artist goes through the same struggles nursing their works along, until finally, the image that once only resided in the brain has been transferred to the canvas, clay or what ever medium of choice. I like to always leave my options open because sometimes I don't have a preconceived idea of what the finished painting will look like. Those moments of serendipity when everything comes together are the times when I feel that the struggle was definitely worth the trouble.

I hope you'll visit my website to see this painting and the many others I have available.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Persuasion...that's the title of my latest painting. And, I guess it's appropriate.

Sometime last week I started to work on this particular canvas. I poured on the paints, scrubbed some areas out, added metallics and iridescents - anything that I thought would add the spark of life to the rather bland, dull canvas. Finally, tired of working on it, I moved on to another painting and just set the canvas in the corner.

Walking into my studio this morning, I saw the painting in an entirely new light. Rather than gessoing the poor thing, I decided to continue adding to it until it started coming to life. I guess that in some way the painting persuaded me to continue to work on it. As I added new elements and refined others, suddenly I realized that it was going to be a success.

I guess every artist has those "ah-ha"moments. They say a painting can speak to you...and I think this one did!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dragon Street Art Walk

I am a member of a local group of artists in the north Tarrant County area of Texas. The group was formed nearly two years ago with the intent of bringing together some of the professional artists in the area and of presenting our works to the public. After some debate, we decided to call ourselves A.R.T.S., an acronym that stands for "Association of Regional Texas Artists".

We have had several successful shows in the area and have had quite a bit of interest from other artists seeking membership in our group. One of our challenges is to try to locate suitable venues for our upcoming shows. One of our members, Bryan Wetzel, has made connections with the members of the design district in Dallas. He himself is a talented furniture maker and painter. Thanks to his efforts, we are looking forward to taking part in an artwalk that is scheduled for Friday, November 2. This event is destined to attract large crowds of interested art collectors and interior designers.

Our group will be displaying our works at the Pettit Co. at 1215 Slocum St. Pettit carries an extensive inventory of unique European furnishings and accessories. They are also know for massive carved fireplaces and other fine home accessories.

I will update this blog with further information about this event.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Carpe Diem!

There is some truth to getting up early and "siezing the day". That's what I did yesterday morning. As soon as my husband left for work at 5:00 am, I decided to leave the comfort of my bed and start the day.

I don't know if you have a routine that you are compelled to do every morning. I do, and unfortunately it really eats up a lot of my time. I like to have my coffee, read the newspaper and do all three cross-word puzzles before I start my day. It's a good thing I'm not working outside of the house or I'd never get to work on time. I managed to get all these "preliminaries" finished before the sun came up. Once I got to my studio, I read my emails, checked my Ebay auctions and did the daily picture puzzle on Finally, I was ready to paint!

I decided to do a collage painting. After searching for a few moments for materials, I applied corrogated cardboard, rice paper, metallic leaf and gloss gel to my canvas. When all this was dry, I started painting. Everything fell in place without a problem and by 9:30 am, I had the finished product..."The Messenger".

This morning, I contemplated repeating yesterday's schedule but fell back into my old routine. They say it takes two weeks to break an old habit. I guess I'd better start working on that one of these days.
Go to my website to see my entire portfolio.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Southlake Stampede!

Well, my longhorn has finally joined the rest of the herd at Southlake Town Square. Check out all the great submissions by other area artists:

My longhorn is sponsored by Newland Communities, the developer of the proposed new arts league, APEX, to be built in Southlake, Texas. To learn more about APEX, check out:

It took a while to come up with an appropriate name for my longhorn but after a bit of thought, I came up with "Steerway to the Arts". He's located right in front of Corner Bakery and can be seen from Southlake Blvd. If you're in the area, stop by to see the herd!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Whole Lotta Bull!

I know I've been talking a lot of "bull" lately. What I mean is that I finally finished the longhorn for the Southlake Stampede - These "longhorns" are part of a public art project celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city of Southlake, Texas. A call to artists went out last year and sponsors were rounded up to choose from the many designs submitted.

My particular longhorn, Steerway to the Arts, celebrates music, dance, theater and the visual arts. I created it specifically for the developers of the new arts center that will be built in Southlake and will serve the entire north Tarrant county area. The proposed arts center, APEX Arts League, will be built by Newland Communities http:// For more information on APEX -

My longhorn is still in my garage but will soon join the colorful herd that can be seen grazing around the fountain at Southlake Town Square - and other locations throughout this lovely city.

Now, I can finally get back to my regular painting!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Daily Paintings

There is a trend among many artists to paint every day. As they say, "practice makes perfect". Not that every painting is "perfect", but working at one's craft every day certainly increases the artist's proficiency with the chosen medium. I have noticed that the more often I paint, the easier it is to come up with new ideas. I rarely start a painting with a preconcieved idea in mind but as I paint, new possibilities begin to emerge. If several days have passed by without picking up a brush, I find that I have a harder time dealing with the blank canvas. I suppose that every artist faces the same dilemma.

Lately I have been trying to break certain bad habits that prevent me from tackling a new painting. I guess I tend to procrastinate when it comes to placing that first brush stroke on a clean, white canvas. Sometimes I'll spend hours responding to emails, browsing the web or catching up on paperwork that could well be done in the evening. By the time I get all those unnecessary chores done, my good light is gone and it's time to start thinking about dinner.

Just wondering how many other artists face the same situation and what "tricks" they have to get themselves painting regularly.

I completed the above painting, "Circle of Life", yesterday. It measures 24"x30" and is listed on Ebay at

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Waiting on the Bull!

Acrylic painting on Canvas

Well, I'm still waiting to have the longhorn delivered. I suppose one of these days I'll find it "grazing" on the front lawn.

I did make good use of my time today. I wrote my newsletter and sent it out to all my subscribers. It took a bit of time to compose but wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Constant Contact has updated it's system so that it's much easier to use now.

I completed Pueblo yesterday. It has a definite southwestern flavor. It reminds me of a woven, indian blanket. It was fun to paint on the heavily textured canvas that I had prepared.
My goal is to paint every day. Sometimes it's hard to make the time but I truly believe that painting is like a muscle that needs to be exercised daily.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 2007

I know I promised to post regularly but, as usual, life has gotten in the way. I think I now have things resolved and am able to get myself back into a normal routine.

I recently submitted a design for the Southlake Stampede public art project. Southlake, Texas is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. A "herd" of longhorn replicas have been purchased by the city and local artists have been asked to submit designs. Each of the chosen proposed designs are sponsored by local businesses and the completed longhorns are starting to appear all over the beautiful city. Many of them are currently on display at Southlake Town Square, the lovely upscale centerpiece of the city. Proceeds from the auction of the longhorns will be directed to the public schools in Southlake.

I am proud to announce that my design was chosen by the developers of the new Apex Arts Center. This new center is still in the planning stages but is destined to become one of the finest arts centers in the area.

When I was first asked to come up with an idea for my longhorn, I was a bit reluctant to submit one of my abstract designs because I knew I'd have to tie in a musical and fine art theme into one, unified design. After a lot of thought, I came up with a colorful, free-flowing design that will adorn the longhorn. I'm sure you'll agree that it's a lot different from my usual work. Rather than create the design on the tiny paper pattern that was included in the proposal, I decided to paint a large, full size painting. I'm glad I did too. Once the longhorn is delivered to my garage, I'll have a better reference to use as I paint. I'm expecting to "have a cow" next week. You can be sure that I'll take lots of pictures as I proceed with this unusual project.


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