Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Commission

Here's the commission that's been occupying my time for the last few months.  The gal who commissioned it as a surprise for her husband for Christmas gave me permission to post to my blog after the big day... so here it is!

She wanted my bright fun colors with the double portrait.  This is painted on a 4 x 5 foot canvas!  We delivered it on Christmas eve - she was thrilled with it... we are a little sorry to see it go, its got good energy, just like her ; )

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Toy...

I treated myself to a new Artworks toy... errr... tool.  I got one of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets that includes the "S" pen so you can make sketches on it.  It is going to be so useful for taking notes and making quick sketches for my art projects.  I got this over the iPad because the pen is much more sensitive.

It just arrived, and this is one of my first attempts at a sketch using one of the free apps.  Amazing where this new technology is going.

Season's greetings to all of you on this day of the solstice.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Culinary arts...

I've been busy the last few weeks working on another big commission - this one is 4' x 5' and is a surprise for a spouse for Christmas, so I can't post it to the web yet... So to have something to show you, here's a shot of the garlic I was chopping the other night for dinner.  This is the late fall light falling across the chopping board in the late afternoon.

Michael and I both like to cook (and to eat well!).   I often think it is an art as well.  You have the palette consisting of aroma, flavors and colors.  And with the fresh seafood outside our door and local fresh veggies, we have great "substrate" from which to work.

bon app├ętit!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Frohsin inspired experiment...

Still playing around with sketches loosely based on Kim Frohsin's work (see previous posts).  While she does single figures, I thought it might be fun to have several together, kinda like Degas' dancers... except these are skinny dippers... Reminds me of some summer nights years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Under Wraps"

I finished the 6' x 6' commission.  The couple that commissioned the painting stopped by and love it!  Phew!  Its always a relief when that happens.  I asked them if I could post the photo below of the painting in process and they agreed.  This was a fun challenge - they wanted the double portrait, but wanted it abstracted so it wasn't so "in your face."  They have a beautiful new waterfront home in Florida, and these colors will brighten their walls.

I took the painting into the UPS Store yesterday to ship... did I detect a slight groan when I walked in the door?  I have shipped several times with them in the past though, and they've done a good job.  Keeping my fingers crossed that this one gets to Florida safely.

Now, on to the next project!  A 4' x 5' double commission.  Almost seems small!  ; )

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Plein Air

On  a chilly but sunny day last week the plein air painters' group I had invited out to Crosswinds arrived.  It was great fun to have painters all over the front yard painting different scenes.  We had a great time and plan to do it again.

Two new galleries!

I'm excited to have joined two new galleries.  Blu-Sail Gallery in Morehead City is displaying my large 4' x 5' painting "Belle."  They are a fun gallery with a nice space.  Mark and Lynn are doing many creative approaches to art classes and have brightened the downtown Morehead City scene.

The Village Gallery in Oriental has just opened a beautiful new space.  I was pleased to be able to hang  a collection of 10 pieces there.  It looks great to have a body of work in one space, nicely lighted and displayed.  They have a selective body of interesting work in the gallery.

Stop by either or both to take a look!  I also have work on display in Beaufort at Handscapes Gallery and the Mattie King Davis Gallery on the Beaufort Historic Site.   In New Bern my work is found at New Bern Artworks and the Craven County Arts Council & Gallery.

Here's a close-up of part of the painting of Belle that is at Blu-Sail:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rainy day studies

While we experience the first outer bands of Hurricane Sandy (the brunt of which is, thankfully, bypassing us) I decided to play around with watercolors.  Wet rainy days have that effect on me... I decided to start out exploring some of the ideas I got from Kate Worm's wonderful workshop, then I moved on to new ones.  Kate introduced me to the art of Kim Frohsin, a California-based artist.  I love her work.  I just ordered a couple of her books - so the bigger seated figure study in the photo below is inspired by one of her paintings.  I had ordered some Ampersand Aquabord (yes, it's spelled that way) to try.  It is loads of fun!  Here are some of the studies I've done today and over the last few days...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Six by Six

I'm working on a large 6' x 6' commission - its going to be an abstracted double portrait, but with the faces very subtle in the texture.  Here's a shot from a few weeks ago when I was first starting - using acrylic mediums and scraping, dripping, pouring, etc. to get a variety of textures.  This is a big challenge, I'm working on the faces now (and have been for awhile) but nothing to post on those yet ; )

Monday, October 1, 2012

Craven Arts Fest

Had a great time at the Craven Arts Fest in New Bern last week-end.  It was indoors at the Civic Center so it was an easier set-up, and the booth looked great.   Sales were good and nice energy in the crowd... People seemed to enjoy the painting demo's I did of volunteers with the festival.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Earlier this week I took a workshop in Greenville with Kate Worm.  I had a great time and have lots of new ideas swirling around... I'm busy today packing up for the show at the Craven County Civic Center, so I'll post more next week about the workshop.  In the meantime, here's a little sketchy painting I liked from one of the models who posed for us...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Durham CenterFest

Just got home from the Durham CenterFest show.  Had a great time - good turnout and lots of interest in my work.  Will do this show again!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Today's figure drawing session...

I've been enjoying the weekly figure drawing sessions at the Beaufort Art Center with several other artists, working from a live model.  I think I'm starting to improve!  Today the model didn't show up... luckily I had brought Theo with me, so he agreed to pose.  Here's the painting I did of him:

After the session, Theo checked out the painting...    Think I'll title it "Model No Show."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Figure Drawing

After a long relaxing trip to the mountains (to escape some of the August heat!), I'm back home and back to work in the studio.  I've joined a group of local artists coming together once a week to draw the figure from a live model.   Its been good practice for me - sometimes very frustrating, but I can see progress.  In the last session I worked on a canvas with just black, white and grey paint and overlapped the figure.  Each pose was 20 minutes or less, so they are sketchy.  Good practice to work fast and try to capture the gesture...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Show at the Library in Beaufort

Dodging sprinkles this morning, I installed my show as featured artist for the month of August at the library in Beaufort (NC).  Stop in and take a look!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Slice of Life

This painting was originally all cool colors (blues/greens etc)... I felt something was missing.  So I decided to add some warm tones and when I got this far I really liked the effect it created - like she's coming to life...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bohemian Night was fun!

Last Friday night was Bohemian Night in New Bern, a collection of artists demonstrating their arts during the art walk.  I joined in.  At the last minute the threat of rain caused me to ask the organizers if I could bring my camper van Max so that I could put up the awning in case of rain.  They agreed and it worked out great (...and it also didn't end up raining!  yay!).  Here's a shot that Michael took from inside the van of me painting outside...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another WIP! (work in progress)

The heat wave has kept me inside and painting!  I only go out in the early am and late afternoon... as a consequence its been a productive few weeks... here's another work in progress, I like where this seems to be heading.  She seems to have a happy secret...

Monday, July 9, 2012

4x5 foot Work in Progress...

I've been working on this large painting, and its starting to get interesting... I've posted a shot with me in it to show you the scale, and then a detail to show you the texture... (you can click on the image to see a larger version).

I also just read about this online color hue test.  Its fun to see how well you see color...try it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Come have fun on Friday in New Bern!

I'll be participating in the Bohemian Night at New Bern's Art Walk next Friday, July 13.  Stop by and say "Hi" - it'll be a great time...Click on the poster below to see details.  There's also a fun YouTube video about an earlier one at

Eden's gaze...

I have a fun story about the sale of my 6' x 6' painting Eden's Gaze painting this week.  It all started earlier this spring when a gentleman called me and said he was looking for a painting by me for his wife as a surprise.  He and his father came by my studio and looked at some of my work.  He liked the Eden's Gaze painting, and tried to nonchalantly call home to ask how wide the space was over the fireplace.  His wife told him not to buy any art without her!  Then later I got an email from her about a different painting of mine which she admired.  At the time it was tied up in a show so I couldn't sell it.

Once I got the painting out of the show, I dropped the wife an email to let her know it was available.  Later, unbeknownst to her, her husband contacted me to purchase it for her as a surprise.  He made several payments on it and we arranged for them to come by (still as a surprise to her) on Tuesday of the 4th of July week.  The Monday before I got a call from the husband telling me that independently from him, his wife was going to call to set up a studio visit to look at some work - he asked me not to spill the beans!  Sure enough, a half hour later she called and we arranged to meet that afternoon...

Long story short, she ended up really liking Eden's Gaze, so they bought it.  I thought it was great fun.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to the marsh

I've been creating some new landscapes... here's one of my recent marshes, trying to capture the late afternoon glow...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Latest commission...

This was a fun project.  I just finished this commission and the subject has given me permission to post it here.  He enjoys music, so I collaged the score to La Traviata's Sempre Libre onto the canvas, and then painted his portrait over it.    He chose the color palette from looking at some of my latest paintings.  I was so pleased he was happy with it.  I like how the musical score is subtle, but once you look closely you see it throughout.

Art show

Yesterday and the day before I participated in an art show in Beaufort.  This was the first show using the new tent and display system in which I recently invested.  The booth looks gallery-like!  Its more work to set up, but looks very nice.  The higher roof lets in more light so the colors in the paintings are set off nicely.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Getting ready for the show in Beaufort in a couple weeks.  I'm excited about a new Light Dome tent I've ordered.  It should look much better and provide more light for my paintings...

Here's one in progress for the show.  This one is 30 x 30.  See ya there!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Here's another 12" x 12"

Having fun exploring with this smaller size...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Smaller works

I've been busy working on a commission, and so haven't had much to post.  Last week I took a break to finish up some 12 x 12 canvases I had started earlier.  I took these three up to New Bern Artworks last week.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fresh trout...

More bounty from the river.  What a thing of beauty!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Returning from another Westerly Adventure

Went back out to South Dakota to see Michael's beautiful and smart daughter Aly graduate.  We had a great trip, saw many state parks along the way.  Of course we camped in Max, and Theo got to go.  We decided never to go more than 300 miles a day, and to stop and see the beauty along the way... With a 3200 mile trip, that can take awhile!    But so much more fun to have time to take a morning hike before getting in the van to drive... and to set up camp before sunset, and take time to enjoy a camp fire.  We're back home and I'm busy preparing for an Art Show this week-end, but will be ready to get back on the road for more adventures soon.  My mom is calling me a gypsy!

Here's a view from Hanging Rock State Park - our last stop on the tour...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Arendell Room

This is a painting I've been working on for awhile.  Its from a photo Michael took in the Arendell Room in downtown Morehead City.  We stopped in there the night the SeaFair exhibit closed.  We were trapped on that side of the street because of a long train going to the Port, and our vehicle was on the other side.  Ended up having a great time and really enjoyed meeting folks and people watching...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Greens are nice too...

Our garden is going full tilt boogie.  When I first started painting, I often painted vegetables.  I love the colors in greens, peppers, tomatoes...  These greens are inspiring me to paint them.
Nice light...

...on my palette this morning.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Neusiok woods

I run or walk a section of the lovely Neusiok trail in the Croatan National Forest almost every day with my dog Theo. Michael goes too, but he runs a lot faster so he is soon way ahead... Theo stays with me and we enjoy our slower pace. Or I should say mine, since Theo runs back and forth at much higher bursts of speed!

Right now the Oyster Point section of the trail is especially beautiful. They did a controlled burn there earlier this year and everything was black. Now spring is taking over and beautiful green ferns are growing up out the dark black ground. Very striking. And now the marsh grasses are appearing purple! Just breathtakingly beautiful... Here's a photo which doesn't do it justice. (If you click on the photo it makes it a bit bigger, which helps). I'm trying to capture a glimpse of it in a few paintings I'm working on. I hope I can convey some part of the beauty that's there...

Thursday, April 12, 2012


In my move to the river, I really worked to downsize, both my living space and my "stuff." My family has been teasing me that I've become Minimalist.

Perhaps. But I call it "un-encumbering" and it feels good to me.

So today, after struggling with a landscape painting, I decided to take a break and do a painting of Emily Carr. I just read a fictionalized account of her life as an independent artist in Canada at the turn of the century. Its called The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland. That prompted me to research some of the facts about her, and inspired this little 12" x 12" painting. It too is pretty minimalist, but I like it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Plein Aire

The Neusiok trail near my home is a continual source of inspiration. In this section near Oyster Point, they completed a controlled burn a few months ago. Now the colors are returning - just beautiful. I got started on a painting there the other day. Not completed yet, but here's the work in progress.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Back from Florida

I had all these wonderful plans to post to the blog while traveling around in Florida. Turns out it was so exciting I didn't take the time - we spent a week at the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve - it could easily have been a month, so beautiful... out in the middle of nowhere.

Here's a shot from the show I did in Vero Beach, Florida. The show is called "Under the Oaks" and you can see why. It was a really good show, with high quality artists and artist-friendly management.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last minute touches...

Getting ready to head down to Florida. I figured today was the last day to make painting touch-ups so that they will be dry enough to pack up at the end of the week.

My friend Michael snapped this off-kilter shot of me working on "Eden's Gaze" - it shows how topsy turvy things are packing up!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A slight change...

Decided to make this person a little happier today. Like it much better!

Progress on earlier post...

I see that I posted an earlier version of this painting when it was still in greys, on February 6... here's the progress so far... Its 24 x 24 inches.

More work in progress

Here's a little 12" x 12" on which I've been working. I'm not accustomed to working this small, its a good exercise.

Also got good news! The painting I entered in the Art From the Heart show (in my last two blog entries) won an Award of Excellence and sold - Yay!

The past couple of weeks I've been madly trying to finish up work for my trip to Florida for a couple shows. I also plan to camp at Kissimmee Prairie and will work on some plein air paintings there.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Being followed...

As I was heading out to deliver my painting to the Art From the Heart show, I felt like I was being followed! The eyes have it! Ha ha!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Here's a piece I'm finishing up to enter in the local art show. It's 36" x 36."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to my own thing...

It feels good to be in the studio doing my own projects after a series of commissions. I've been experimenting with fluid drippy paint, works on paper and faces (of course). I've also been sketching each evening - just quick drawings of faces out of my head or from an image that flashes by on the TV. I decided to work up one of them, and I've been keeping it monochromatic and using watercolor pencils and acrylics and modeling paste, so it almost looks like marble. Trying to decide whether to keep in in this monochromatic "grisaille" form, or glaze it with color... stay tuned...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A creative mess...

One of my favorite sayings is: "Better a creative mess than tidy idleness."

Yesterday I worked on some Valentine's Day cards. As is often the case, I like the "palette" when I'm in the middle of creating...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Work in Progress

I started on this abstract marsh painting this week. When I walked into my studio with my cup of coffee this morning, the light was creating interesting effects on the painting. It helped me figure out what I want to do next! Thanks sunshine...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

History Project

A dear friend at the History Place in Morehead City called me last month to ask for help. The person who was planning to create one of their murals for an upcoming exhibit had a family conflict and couldn't do it. I agreed to help out... Turns out it was a mural to depict World War I as part of a series on Carteret County's contributions during the wars. Not my usual cup of tea, but after some thought I came up with the idea of using poppies, in a tribute to the veterans of the war. I also incorporated the poem by John McCrae "In Flanders Fields...." Here's a shot of the work in progress. The show opens next Friday, January 27.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A new year...

...has begun at Crosswinds. The sunrises in the January mornings have been spectacular. True inspiration for a new year of creative endeavors.