Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sorry if you've come to my blog to see my latest art, I'm a little preoccupied right now with thoughts about my late husband Jim... We took this photo with the camera timer when we were making our first trip to North Carolina together in 1989 (before we married in 1991). I've always loved this photo because it reflected the start of our long love for each other.

As I've been going through the mourning process in the last four months, I haven't yet been able to get back into my painting routine. Now, an email from a family friend has encouraged me to get back in the studio - in it she wrote:

" Creativity is an act of love, absorbing and comforting in itself. A surge of energy is likely to emerge at some point. Finding ways to use it can be a challenge. Wondrously, it can become a channel of love from our lost loved ones through us into our continuing lives. Loss becomes transformed into joy! - honoring them, celebrating them, mingling that energy with our own, adding that love as we act in the world."

That and a note that Jim left for me have made me realize its time to get back to work...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love of my life

My husband died today (May 28) and one of his friends asked me to post this painting I did of him a number of years ago... I am completely heartbroken.

Jacks Betts of the Charlotte Observer made some nice comments about Jim on his blog. Thanks Jack. Another environmental advocacy group working to keep a cement plant from polluting posted this blog. Thanks to you too.
If you knew Jim and want to comment with stories about your experiences with him, that would be wonderful. To do so, click on "Comments" below. Thank you.

Here's a link to Jim's obituary.

June 12 UPDATE: The celebration of Jim's life will be at our house in Morehead City, NC on June 20 from 4-6pm. It will be an open, informal, outdoor celebration. A few friends and family will share a few words about Jim at the beginning. Please join us.

Thanks to all of you who have shared stories in your comments below - they are so very precious to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wayne County's 30th Annual National Juried Show

Just found out that my big quadratych (four canvases put together, each 3 x 3 feet) called "Fantasy" was juried into the Arts Council of Wayne County's 30th Annual National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition. The juror for the show is Scott Howe, Director of Education and Public programs at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA.

I'm really excited, since this was a departure into abstraction for me. The small photo here doesn't do it justice, since the original is 6 feet square, but you get the idea. They are having an opening reception this Friday, May 15, 5-8pm, at 2406 Ash Street in Goldsboro. Their web site is: .

Monday, May 4, 2009


Still working in this new series - love it when the work flows out like this... this one is 24 x 30 in acrylics. Next I'm going to play with some reds!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Next in the Series

Rolling along with this new series - here's the latest. Have to put down the palette knife to get ready for my next show, but will have to take a couple days to do so. Hard to tear myself away from the easel!
Update: This painting was one of 69 chosen by the juror out of 298 entered into the 2009 Bank of the Arts 8th Regional Juried Art Show. This show is presented by Craven Arts Council & Gallery and the Twin Rivers Artists' Association. The Bank of the Arts—home to Craven Arts Council & Gallery—is at 317 Middle Street in New Bern, and hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This will be on display there through June 27.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Steps to a painting

As I was working on this painting I took photos after several stages. Thought it would be fun to show how this one progressed! I almost stopped with just the first step - loved that nose on the blue!

More complements

On a roll with this new series. Really enjoying these bright complementary colors...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


When I was out for a run in the woods with my dog Theo earlier this week, I noticed one of those tassels of seeds that the long leaf pines drop. A beautiful arrangement of complementary colors - a deep golden orange behind purpley blues.... those colors inspired this experiment. Think I feel another series coming on, so I prepped five canvases this afternoon with warm oranges or periwinkle blues...Really like this one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Since the weather is not cooperating with working on the BIG painting, I've been playing around with some smaller ones. This is a 20 x 20 oil I worked on last week... interesting to work with neutrals one day and then wild color the next...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Outer banks

Decided I needed to go to the source - headed out to Core Banks on Tuesday to spend a day and a night contemplating that wonderful barrier island. Feel like now I've gotten that feeling into my being again - hope it will help bring the painting together - here are a couple photos from the trip....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coming along...

Worked a few more hours on this during this cloudy afternoon. Now a larger figure (closer) is appearing on the left - think there needs to be something between that one and the middle one too, to tie them together. Things are humming along now - too bad the forecast is for rain the next couple days, I'm on a roll...


Here's a closer view of the start of the figure on the right - just to give an idea of the texture and color...

Ok, its a beach

I've decided on the beach scene (or the painting did!) and its not just any beach - this painting is my love for Core Banks bubbling up through my love of my run at Patsy Pond - so as usual it is the emotion that drives my painting... I love North Carolina's outer banks and Core Banks are one of my favorite places in the world, so I guess it makes sense to paint them - and BIG. Now some figures are evolving out of the texture, so here's where we are today.... now its starting to get fun! ( I didn't edit out the tree in my back yard from this photo - in too much of a hurry to get back out there - you get the idea.... ; )

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evolution of the painting...

I've been spending alot of time with this painting and its growing and changing. I'm now trying to let the painting lead me where it wants to go, and instead of a runner I'm starting to see a couple of swimmers in the texture. Think I'm going to follow that and see where it goes. I loosely suggested a figure with her back to you on the right side of the painting and then a bigger figure (closer to you) swimming on her side on the left. Can't really see it in this snapshot, but I'll post one with it more emphasized in a bit. I'm really liking the color and texture...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hanging to dry!

Now the first few coats of paint are dry so I got all of the canvases hung on the shed. My system works - yay! Now need to figure out what to do next - I really like the first few layers from the patio - sometimes its hard to paint over areas you already like... but I feel this one needs to develop a little further so I'm going to take the plunge...stay tuned...

Stretching out

Lovely to have some sunshine. The gesso dried over 24 hours, so I moved the canvases out to the patio to get the first coat of paint on. Did this coat flat on the ground because I'm just wanting to get some color and texture on there, not "controlling" it too much at this point...nice start!


Thought I'd share a few shots of the prep for the BIG painting. Here I am putting up the rudimentary hanging system for the painting. It didn't quite fit on the inside of the shed, so I'm setting up outside. I prefer to be outdoors anyway...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ok, I gave up waiting for the rain to clear up. I had planned to work outside to add an extra coat of gesso to the canvases for the BIG painting, but since its raining I took over the living room/studio II. My husband's out of town - hopefully they'll dry before he gets home tonight so I can clean up! (Hope you're not reading my blog, honey :)....Anyway, so here are ten 3 foot by 3 foot canvases - will probably combine them to make a 6 by 15 foot painting. Its exhilarating! Stay tuned...

Monday, March 16, 2009

More on the Run

Still experimenting with this idea for a big painting about my run in the woods... here's the latest composition I've worked up with photos. Will probably end up with a cross between this and the previous post. I'll often start with a photo collage of images to get me going and then leap off from there. In the painting I plan to work in a larger view of the water (its just a slip in the background in this shot) and will have more of a sense of motion... Once the rain stops tomorrow I plan to get outside and get going with the large canvases...will be fun to log my progress here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Next BIG thing

Haven't been able to paint for a week as I've dealt with "other stuff" so I'm raring to get back in the studio. Although I haven't had brush to canvas, I have been mulling the idea for my next painting for some time, and have been working on several collages in Photoshop to try to get the composition roughly worked out. I decided I want to go REALLY big. Last week I ordered nine 3' x 3' canvases. I'm thinking of putting them together to make a 6 foot by 9 foot painting.

One idea I'm thinking of for this big painting is a collage of my run with my dog Theo out in the Croatan National Forest. We go at least 3 times a week. Could be interesting to try to capture the different views of the woods, the passage of time as we run through them, sense of motion and the variations in color/light as we go over different days. Sounds like a tall order! I've been thinking about it alot, but now I'm ready to hit the canvas and just see where it goes. I'll keep you posted on the progress...

One of the things I hope the large size will do is help the viewer feel like they are there in the woods with us...

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I decided to take one of the splashy abstractions I started a few weeks ago and pull this face out of the texture...this one is rather large -its on a 4 x 5 foot canvas.
Update: I was just informed that "Belle" won the People's Choice award at the Arts Council of Carteret County's Art from the Heart show. Yay!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Keep coming back

No matter what experiments I do or how much joy I get from going out to the woods to paint en plein air, when I'm in the studio I always seem to come back to the face. Even when I'm doodling on the phone I find myself scribbling profiles and different angles of faces. So on this cold February week I find myself in the sunny studio working on this... like this new palette I've been trying in various tones of color. This is 30 x 30 acrylics.

Purple Mud Too

Decided to paint another version of the purple mud I saw out in the Croatan National Forest (Patsy Pond) in a more panoramic size...this is 18 x 36 in acrylics... Sometimes the mud is purple, sometimes blue...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Purple Mud

Out in the woods in the Croatan National Forest, I saw this gorgeous purple mud. Here's my attempt to capture it on canvas.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another splash

This one looks like a person (on the right) walking on a windy day.... could have been me walking my dog Theo this morning... see the post below for another done in a similar manner....


Over the last couple weeks I've been experimenting with liquid acrylics on large canvases - creating interesting texture. This one is made up of four separate 3' x 3' canvases - put together it is 6 x 6 feet. I love the color and texture. Now I'm trying to decide whether to stop here and let the viewer pull out what they see hidden inside, or whether I should pull out a face or a figure that I see. The latter feels sort of like "imposing my will" on the painting - but that's often what we do as painters... anyhow I'm leaning at this point in leaving it open. There are so many different angles to do - I've been rearranging the squares to find new compositions!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Sometimes I like to cover a canvas with a pattern or texture and then sit back and look at it at different angles and over time. Eventually I start to see something that I like and I work to "pull it out." This is one such canvas - I loved the golden texture I had created and then this face started to appear to me so I helped her along a bit.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New oil

Today I grabbed a 30 x 40 canvas on which I had quickly "sketched" in paint a gestural nude this fall. It was a nice day so I worked outside with the new rich oils I've described before from Blue Ridge. Made a conscious effort NOT to render detail, but to try to keep the looseness of the sketch at the same time experimenting with color and shape. I really like this start...think its almost done - might just go back in and add a little more color to the face and some blue to her left shoulder, but am going to let it sit and look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes before doing any more.

Sometimes you lose the freshness of the paint if you go back in and mess around too much. We'll see.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Figure painting

Every now and then I join a group of other artists at a local art store to work with a model. Everyone else is drawing in charcoal, but I thought this time I'd play around with working in acrylics directly from life. Here's a quick study from a couple of 20-minute poses...gotta work quickly!

Next in Series

Here's another 30 x 30 in this abstract experimental style I've been working in lately. This one is not quite done, but wanted to show where I was heading...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back to work

Finally back in the studio this week after a busy holiday season. On Sunday I went to see the exhibit of the Bloomsbury artists at the Nasher Museum at Duke University. Really enjoyed it. Inspired me to loosen up and push the abstraction a bit more - something I've been wanting to do but not quite doing. Here's the best of several tries - this one's really appealing to me...