Friday, December 25, 2015

Catching up...

Seem to have fallen behind on the blog - please forgive me - got side-tracked by Facebook…oh dear!
Here's a recent face that I just took in to Blu Sail gallery in Morehead City.  "Aglow" is 24" x 30" acrylics on canvas.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Theo's moment of Zen

Theo and I have been enjoying our morning walks along the Neusiok trail.  I love how he feels the need to shake when he's in knee-deep water…  Still working on commissions, but hope to get them finished up in the next week or so - then I'll have something to show for myself!  Until then, here's T having his moment of Zen…

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Jim

Today would've been my late husband Jim's 64th birthday.  I got up this morning singing "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64…"

I was planning to take Theo and mz Mac my RV to Ocracoke today to walk his trail there at Springer's Point.  Going to have to take a rain check because its pouring rain and the dirt road out of my place is a mud pit that the van cannot traverse.  We'll go later this month when the weather clears.  Jim would understand…

So I'm spending this rainy day as I have the last several - working to finish up a landscape commission for a very dear and patient person (thanks Carol - getting there!).

Here's a photo of Jim's sister Jane,Theo's tail and me at the trail last year on his birthday.


As I've been painting today in the sunroom, while the rain pours down outside,  I've been listening to music… this song just came up on my pandora station… this goes out to you Jimmy -

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fall on the Neusiok trail

Still working on commissions, nothing to show for myself yet… but Theo and I have been enjoying the lovely fall on our walks on the Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest.  This is at Oyster Point yesterday morning.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

All About Craven...

Angelina Doyle invited me to come talk about my art and the cross country trip on the community TV station 10 in  New Bern.  I had a fun time chatting with her and her co-host Keith Boyd this morning on the show "All About Craven".  If you're curious to see it, check out this link to the segment.  My part started around 00:14:00 .
Check it out…

Woo hoo!

If you saw the segment and want to read more about the cross country trip, you can start on the adventure here:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Return to normal...

…well, as normal as possible ; )  !

The sun is back, fall is here, my swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are happily munching on my parsley.  Now back to the studio…

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Still dodging...

Still happy that we didn't get a hurricane, but we are still getting rain.  Its dark!  Here's a shot from mid-morning:

Still getting rain, but pleased we haven't flooded, and we haven't lost power.  Just some water in the yard, which is to be expected. Looking forward to cool, dry, sunny October weather next week!  I've been putzing in the studio but making slow progress.  The storm is distracting…but in a way, kinda cool too.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dodged another bullet!

We here in coastal Carolina are all heaving a big sigh of relief that hurricane Joaquin has decided to stay offshore. This was the projected path on Wednesday:

Adieu Joaquin!

And this is today's projection:

We're having a steady day of rain, but will take that over a hurricane ANY day.  I'm taking advantage of the time indoors to work on my commissions.

I also took some time this morning to figure out what art supplies to take to South Africa.  I am committed to traveling with only ONE carry-on bag (I love this website:  - check out his suggestions for traveling lightly).  So, of course my art supplies will be minimal.  

I got out all of my watercolors and started going through them.  I was so pleased to find a small traveling watercolor set I bought awhile ago but have hardly used.  Its perfect!  Its small (see photo) and has "half pan"watercolors, which are little dry blocks that you moisten when you're ready to use.  Since liquids are restricted on the flight, these will be perfect!  And they are a nice quality paint.  Yay!

Of course I'll have to take more than that dinky brush that comes with it.  One nice sable brush will do nicely thank you.  That and a dozen watercolor postcards should get me started.  I learned on the cross country trip that small quick sketches are best - you can capture some of the feeling without missing out on seeing other things!  Then work up the big paintings when you're back home sitting out a hurricane ; )

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CenterFest fun

Had a great show at CenterFest in Durham last week-end.  My new big painting that I posted in the last blog post sold right away!  The couple that bought it is building a house which won't be completed for a year, so I'm holding onto it for them. So exciting!  I'm working on more in a series like that one, I have so many ideas of different  ways to approach it flowing out of my head - can't wait to get to work on them…  But first, I need to finish up some commissions in October.

The light streamed into my booth while this lady was checking things out.  Kinda fun.

And this gal came through and one of her friends pointed out that this painting looked a lot like her - her doppleganger!  Pretty wild.

Ever since getting back from the cross country trip I've been antsy to take another one!  I definitely must have that wanderlust gene.  Now a friend of mine has invited me to go to South Aftrica!  I'm so excited.  We haven't worked out the details even of when to go yet, but I'm going.  Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kinda like this...

I was working on a forest scene last week - actually it was a painting I had started a year ago and liked the start - with soft greens and lights on a 4' x 5' canvas.  It was a combination of acrylics and collage of tissue paper.  I decided to try to finish it up for the CenterFest show in Durham this week-end.  I worked on it for several days and it was ok, but I found it boring.  I shared it with my mom and even she agreed that it wasn't very interesting…  here's where we were at that point:

 OK, it was "nice" but blah…  so I decided I'd just start over - I gessoed over the entire canvas and decided to paint a face over it… I got a nice under layer of color on once the gesso dried, and then thought that maybe I should remove some of the thicker areas of tissue paper before painting the face.  But when I started to scrape away the tissue, I got a lovely surprise - a very interesting mixture of colors and the more I worked on it, the more I liked it.  Ended up with a composition that works too.  I love it!  It has an Asian feel to me…

Transmigration - 4' x 5' Mixed Media 
Acrylics and collage on canvas

Have a couple more canvases started to try this approach - working hard to get them ready for CenterFest.  Then October is the month I need to work on some paintings for patient people waiting for commissions.  Its going to take awhile to get caught up with those and galleries wanting new work.  Its a nice problem to have - I'm not complaining!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Does good food lead to good art?

I wonder…

I know that when I'm eating well, then the paint seems to flow better.  Who's to judge whether the work is better?   I dunno  ; )

Anyhow, the shrimp are running in the river - in October they'll be big enough to start catching enough to freeze, but I kinda like the smaller sweet ones.  My cousin's wife Linda got a good shot of me throwing the cast net this week-end :

Got enough for lunch!   Yay!

And this morning I made my spicy Thai shrimp soup.  That hits the spot.

All this is helping me work in the studio, but not ready to post anything yet.  I'm busy at work though, so that is a good thing.  Will keep you posted...

Friday, September 4, 2015

Soul of a Woman...Latest WIPs

The organizer of the Soul of a Woman show at the Carolina Artist Gallery in Morehead called me to  see if I was entering the show.  I wasn't planning to, have too much on my plate right now, but when she called I looked at the painting I had just finished and decided to enter it… I called it "Wandering Soul."  The show opens with a reception from 5 - 7pm Saturday September 19th.  (I'll be at the CenterFest show in Durham that week-end so will miss the opening, but plan to get by to see the show later).

Wandering Soul, 3' x 4' Acrylics on Canvas

Then I went to a figure drawing session at the Beaufort Art Market (my first time there - that was pretty cool) and got jazzed painting the figure.  When I got home, I got out a 3 x 4 ' canvas and started playing around.  Here's the Work in Progress (WIP) - Fun!

Sooooo good to be back to work in the studio.  I need that!  Also getting going on a couple commissions, and some large watercolors on the "flow" theme…stay tuned.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Transitions..and water.

Things are starting to Flow… thank goodness.

I've gotten going in the studio - several days last week and then today's lovely soft rains, the remnants of hurricane Erika, nourished my yard and garden and helped the paint flow too!  Worked most of the day on a variety of things, nothing to show yet, but here's my palette!  Feels good.

My mom and I went to the Water Ministry service on Sunday.  It was wonderful.  Many people brought samples of water from moving moments they've had throughout the summer.  I was so happy to join in with my water samples from the latter part of the trip.  The waters are kept in a jar and used throughout the year - for example, when someone is in the hospital a splash of the water goes in the vase with the flowers.  Quite nice.  I narrowed down my samples...

… and saved a sample of water from each place to use, somehow, in my show next May.  

I also re-connected with some friends.  Went to Beaufort on Friday to visit with the local crew for a glass of wine.  It was so beautiful at sunset, and it was high tide, so I couldn't resist jumping overboard!  See?  the water is just calling to me right now!  Has through the entire trip…

Afterwards I went to dinner and enjoyed the view of Taylor's Creek at night.  Here was the dock with a couple boats tied up.  A little dark, but nice colors.

On a more mundane note, but something of which I'm quite proud, on Saturday I replaced my kitchen faucet!  Hey, its not entirely obvious!  So nice to be rid of my old leaky one.  Ya know, you use your faucet every day.  It should bring pleasure, not irritation.   Let the water flow...

Of course, don't you hate it when the entire thing is installed and THEN you see a gasket in the box?  Of course, they include an extra one in case one is lost, right?  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Going with the flow...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I have to admit that its been a bit of a struggle to transition back to "home."  I forgot how much work a house and yard are!  My goodness, perhaps I am part irresponsible gypsy.  ; )

Anyhow,  we're getting there.  I've spent several days organizing and cleaning and unpacking and also mulling over the next batch of paintings.  Sometimes doing those yard and house chores let the "backwaters" of your mind sift out what to do next creatively.

There are also some lovely aspects to being home on the river - as I've mentioned, the shrimp and the beautiful light.  I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of cooler weather to plant a fall garden, but in the meantime I'm enjoying my HUGE crop of Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars on the fennel.  They are chomping away and still the butterflies are coming and laying eggs.  Hope to have more plants  like milkweeds for the Monarch butterflies next year too.

Five large Swallowtail cats on one fennel plant!

We are also starting to get some of those lovely sunrises that one gets in the fall.  Worth getting up early.

It got warm and muggy again today… so glad when another storm front came through this afternoon… still teasing us with the hint of rain, but only nice clouds so far… would love to have a rollicking good thunderstorm.

This afternoon's front at Crosswinds

I did at least get the studio area set up today and got all the paints out and organized.  Even did a couple "play" paintings with watercolor.  Hey, its a start… gotta ease into it sometimes.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Flow at home...

Its good to be back.  Fabulous trip, ready for another one!  But good to be home too.

My little house feels HUGE!  Funny how living in the tiny space of an RV for four months changes one's perspective.

I was talking to my brother, a professional photographer, about the "flow" idea I've had from the trip.  Turns out that's something that he has thought about, independently from me, for quite awhile.  He shared this website about a psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who has studied "flow" in the sense of that creative flow you get when you are "in the zone."  Very interesting.   I'm looking forward to delving into this idea.

In the meantime, let me fill you in on the last day of the trip.  Theo and I camped at Jordan Lake, in the Poplar Point campground.  As usual, we were pleased that it was mostly empty during the middle of the week.  The spots with electricity up by the lake were still packed, so we picked out a quiet loop by a little pond we like…

Little pond at Poplar Point campground

Theo likes empty campgrounds too…

And Theo got his moment of Zen in the warm waters… quite a switch from the crystal clear cold waters he's been in lately.

The next morning we got out for our walk…it was a warm overcast day after a rainy night.  I was feeling a bit nostalgic and reflecting on the trip…I looked up and a large beautiful eagle flew over me, circled once and landed in a tree.  It was so wonderful.   Eagles have shown up periodically throughout the trip, they symbolize the freedom of the journey to me.  What a pleasure to see one on the last day.  

Theo and I continued our walk towards the tree in which he had landed.  He didn't fly off as I'd expected.  We got a good look at him.  Of course, I couldn't get a good photo with the cell phone, but here ya go:

Eagle at Jordan lake...

We watched him a long time, surprised he didn't leave… then as I was walking back I saw why - a big dead fish had washed up on shore and he was waiting for us to move on before having his breakfast!  Oh well.

We retraced our steps.

I asked T if he was ready to head home and he agreed, so we set off.  He kept looking at me, as if to say, "Wait, you didn't say anything about having to DRIVE there."  Think he was ready to take a break from driving.  He got tired while "giving me the look" so he had to rest his head on the passenger seat… Such a nut.

But we made it home, as you know.  He's luxuriating in the space and stillness (the house does not move, unlike the van).

T at home with toys.

Yesterday a storm came through and the light here was wonderful.  I do love it here.  Looking forward to our beautiful fall weather.

Storm front moving through Crosswinds...

And afterward - 

OK.  I'll take that as a nice welcome home.

So we're taking the week-end to get un-packed, cleaned up, organized, attacking the yard work and basically re-claiming our space.  Then next week its time to dive into the studio and see what comes flowing out of all of this…I'm curious to see.  I'm trying not to have a pre-conceived notion, but just go with the flow and see what happens.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Home sweet home.  Grateful to have made it home safely.

The second thing I did when I got home (the first was to hug my mom) was to head out to *my* river and throw the cast net.  It was almost high tide and I "had a feeling."  In 3 casts I had enough shrimp for several meals!  Beautiful fall green tails.  Here's a shot of them in my white 5-gallon bucket - so beautiful!

Beautiful welcome home - fresh shrimp for dinner.

So that combined with my stop at a farm stand where I got fresh local okra, corn and summer squash means we shall be eating well tonight.  Gonna sign off and catch up with my mom for now, but will post more tomorrow on the end of the grand adventure…

BTW, Theo and I have a long tradition where I open the window at a certain point a couple miles from home, and say "Mill Creek turnoff!"  I did that today and he hopped up and started wagging his tail… then he stuck his nose out the window and sniffed and sniffed.  He knew where he was.  He's glad to be home, too.

Gee, can't a guy get some rest without having his photo taken?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


  1. Barb asked me how I felt about the trip winding down, and the word that came to mind was "Denouement."


    1. the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.

    But I'm not so sure I am able to draw the strands together at this point…I've been thinking about it the last few days, and its seeming like the trip carries a theme of water, and flow… the flow of water, the lack of water in so much of the early part of the trip, the beautiful bodies of water I've enjoyed, the flow of images, the flow of ideas and creativity, even the flow of traffic (!), and the flow of life… Think I'll play around with that and see what comes up.  And of course that leads to one of my favorite Zen quotes:
    Don't push the river, it flows by itself.
    So, if everything goes as planned I will be back at "my" river tomorrow.  I look forward to seeing my mom, friends & family and Crosswinds. I wonder how Theo will react.  He probably thinks his life now consists of living in Mac.  Think he'll be pretty excited to get home.

    But I don't want to skip over the last couple days of the trip.  They've been good!   We took our time leaving Scioto Trail in Ohio yesterday - got a mile walk in and Theo got an early morning moment of Zen.

    Theo's moment of Zen early am at Caldwell Lake

    I love how he feels he needs to shake when he's standing in ankle-deep water…

    We followed the "3-hour rule" and drove that amount of time to one of my favorite campgrounds - at Camp Creek West Virginia.  Middle of the week and lots of empty spots.  It was forecast to be rainy, so we decided to take a spot with electricity on higher ground.

    We love empty campgrounds!

    Camp Creek is a nice spot - near the highway but just around a small mountain so no highway noise, well-maintained, clean and friendly folks.  I love the river and falls that flow through it, but the water was a little low at the end of the summer.  Theo and I got out for a walk this morning before we headed out.

    Soft green mountains at Camp Creek

    Theo shaking in ankle-deep water again!  Happy dog.

    I half thought of pushing on through home today, but our three hours of driving time is actually 5 hours with our stops, so we were ready to stop. Why break the "three-hour rule" now?  But we made it to North Carolina soil!  

    Beautiful view from the WV Turnpike

    Will get home tomorrow… going with the flow.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Scioto Trail State Park, Ohio

I am so disappointed I missed the 1,000 foot snake effigy built by prehistoric people near here… I arrived in Scioto Trail State Park about 1pm, and THEN I read about the Serpent Mound… but it would have been pretty far out of my way… I'm just saying…sigh.

Anyhoo, Theo and I were up at our usual early hour and enjoyed a lovely sunrise over the Maumee River.

We needed some exercise and it was still cool out, so we headed out on the "nature trail."  It seems as though the trail had taken a beating - not sure if from tornado or flood, but it looked a little droopy… Here was the first sign:

…and here's a close-up of the first sign:

Man, they weren't kidding - it was everywhere, and very healthy!

Felt like it was going to reach out and grab me!  Well, between that and the chomping mosquitoes, we decided it might be a good morning to get an early start on the road.  We pulled out at 8 am.

Set the maps program to "no highways" and started due south through Ohio farm land.  Ya know, there's a lot of corn fields in Ohio.

I won't post more pictures - just multiply that one by about five hundred… It was a nice day though, blue skies and bright sun, but with interesting clouds in the distance.  

Theo would've loved it, except that we kept coming to stop signs.  Any change in momentum and he has to sit up and see what's going on…so he didn't get much sleep.  He's Konked out now, waiting for his dinner.

So we landed at Scioto Trail State Park about 1pm and found a nice shady spot with electricity.  Few other campers on a Monday of course, so its nice and quiet.  Here's our spot:

This is a nice little park.  Its a relief to have some hills and lakes after all the flatness, and people obviously take pride in their park here, its well maintained.  It's "nestled in a beautiful 9,000 acre State Forest" according to the brochure, which is: 

...densely forested hill country reminiscent of the southern Appalachians supporting a magnificent stand of oak and hickory…the forest floor displays woodland wildflowers including spring beauties, Dutchman's breeches, wild blue phlox and wild geranium…Mushroom hunters delight in the abundance of the delicious morel mushroom.
Dang, I wish it was Morel season…

Theo likes it too, and gave the lake his seal of approval.

T's moment of Zen at Scioto Trail's Caldwell Lake.

Its now 4:45 eastern time.  Amazing how quickly Theo adapted to eastern time.  He's ready for his 5pm dinner.  Well ok then!  Let's eat!