Saturday, November 22, 2014


A friend of mine wanted to give her daughter a "discreet," sketchy nude and she showed me some examples of work she liked of other artists… I distilled several of the ideas and came up with this for her - I'm so pleased that she liked it!  Hmmmmm, may have sparked a new series...

Saturday, November 15, 2014


I've been playing around with doing quicker loose sketches of faces on an abstract background.  I kinda like the effect…

Friday, November 14, 2014

Update on last post...

Here's how my "crooked smile" painting turned out.  I like the under layer of bold color peaking through…

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Faces are my "haystacks"

I've decided that faces are my "haystacks" - as you know, Monet painted a series of haystacks to explore the different light at various times of day and seasons.  I'm thinking that's one of the reasons I like to paint faces - to explore the effects of different lighting, texture and emotions on the features.  Its a constant fascination for me.  Even when I go off and paint a series on some other subject, the faces always seem to call me back…

Here's another work in progress - I like to show the process along the way to the "finish."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

WIP (Work in Progress)

Grabbed one of my half-finished paintings and am working to jazz it up a bit.  Here it is so far… She's 24" x 30"

I've thought this before..

Rachel Carson wrote:

One summer night, out on a headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in the darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: The misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

New direction...

I feel like I'm starting off in a new direction - both with my life and my art.  I've been reading about the connection of art with beauty.  There's a very interesting speech that Alexandr Solzhenitsyn gave in acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1970 - in which he quotes Dostoevsky:  "Beauty will save the world."

It makes me want to try to create something as breathtakingly beautiful as I can.  I am bombarded by breathtaking beauty on this river every day.  And as Kendyl Biggons wrote in her article Primal Reverence, (UU World, Summer 2012)  in these types of encounters with the beauty of nature "Something within us unlatches and expands in that immensity, catching some hint of our finitude…the sovereign beauty of so much overwhelming space and light and sound."

I'm curious to see what happens next...

Here's the sunrise the world offered up this morning.

-later- On second thought, once you start telling yourself that you have to make something breathtakingly beautiful the pressure is on and all of the creative juices dry up!  Too high a bar to set… for me, the better approach is to start playing with the paint and seeing what happens - need to keep things fun, and then try to recognize the beauty when it happens and let it flow…it doesn't come from me, just through me...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Remembering Jim...

In celebration of the life of my late husband, Jim Stephenson, several of my relatives and his sister and brother-in-law joined me in Ocracoke on his birthday to walk the trail that the NC Coastal Land Trust named after him.  A bittersweet week-end, but filled with lots of love.  

Here's more info on the Springer's Point Preserve in which the trail is located.  And below is a photo of his sister Jane and me with the sign designating the trail…(yes, Theo was with us - you can just see his tail as he was sneaking off to sniff something…).  Remember you can click on the photo to make it bigger.