Wednesday, November 13, 2019
You might recognize this painting. I posted it a few years ago and was never happy with it so I continue to work on it. The problem is, I know this kid very well, she is growing up so fast. I wanted to capture her attitude. This kid at the age I took this photo could pout no matter how beautiful the world around her was. She loves the gardens and animals, so I put her in her element.
I can paint a strangers kids and get it right in a jiff.
It is harder when you love someone.
I still see things I want to tweet and adjust.
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Roxie was a tiny little pup so she needed to be painted on a tiny little canvas. These small paintings take about as much time to paint as a larger one, so I try not to do them very often. If you will notice that tea bag... it is one of the small teabags that you would use to make a single cup. -
But Roxie was a tea cup pup.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
|Oil Portrait of a Boxer Dog|
Friday, November 30, 2018
8x10 Oil Study
This is a quick little study I did one Saturday afternoon. I took this photo when I came to a clients home to capture shots of her dogs in order to paint some large individual portraits. I got home and could not sit still until I got the paints out and dabbled. I took about 150 photos and this was one of the few times that the dogs actually got still. I thought it was precious.
Monday, September 17, 2018
This young lady's mom fell in love with the photograph that is seen on top of my easel; but there was a problem with the quality of the shot. Although it was a cute photo there is the issue of black hair next to a black shirt next to black pants. I decided to keep this one very loose and artsy. It was, after all a portrait that would be given as a gift to a young women, not a formal dining room exhibition. We discussed cropping it to just the head of the girl and dog, but that did not feel "right." The whole pose was so much of what made this moment so precious. It turned out fabulous, and goes to show, in art, and in life, what you think might be a problem actually produces the most creative unusual results.
I was so delighted to paint this portrait for this family. I knew these kids mom when she was about this age herself! I really believe that familiarity of years of knowledge with the family, helps so much in getting a great painting. One of these boys looks just like his uncle! Oh how I love this one!
Monday, September 10, 2018
I was out at the Wake Forest Historical Museum enjoying Plein-Air painting "The Old Well" landmark one summer morning when Allen came by walking his dog Frankie. Apparently this is their neighborhood and hang out, and the go to place to walk on beautiful days. It seemed natural to add them into the painting I was working on and I appreciate Allen letting me take some photo references to use as well. I tried to capture the peacefulness and sunlight as well as the relationship between Allen and Frankie. It was also nice to be able to put them in the surroundings that they are both familiar with. I decided to call this painting "It's a Dog's Day" because of the relationship between the man and his dog. Clearly when this dog is around ... the day belongs to him!
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
The mother of these pups wanted a painting of them together. The problem was she did not have any good photos of them together. After she sent me over two dozen photos I finally said I would come to her home and take a photo, and she said that would be great, they would bark and growl for a while but would settle down. I am a bit afraid of dogs and did not want to do that under those circumstances. So she continued to email me photos of what she could get, after looking for common poses and themes I choose to merge two photos together where they both had on a little costume. It ended up being a great adorable painting.... of the two of them together.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
This week I decided to add some of my earlier projects to my blog.
It started out innocently enough as I scanned old newspaper articles and posted them.
Then as I was writing this blog post, I realized this mural has so much more significance for today than I first realized.
and then I got on my high horse.
1996...was the year of the mural.
220 years earlier July 4th, 1776 ---
The colonies signed the declaration of Independence.
About this mural project:
This mural was on a wall in front of the library at the elementary school. I took the blank boring cinder -block wall where the kids stood for a long period of time each day waiting to go to lunch and bathroom and transformed the space with color and tiny stories. I painted a castle wall which consisted of a collection of story book themes, little mice, and story creatures as well as life size figures. Jack In The Bean Stalk climbing a vine that went 12 foot up and over the door, and I painted a big window that you could look in and see a life size Grandfather reading to his grand kids. It was innocent, colorful and professional and I donated the paint and all my time .. .. back in 1996. The new kindergarten kids and parents each fall would turn the corner and look up to see the height of it for the first time and pause to talk and smile.
The guard I am standing beside in the photo below was at the door of the library "Guarding Knowledge"
Guarding books, ideas, thoughts and learning.
She had a gun, and back then every high school farmer kid had a gun rack in the cab of his truck on the school campus in the parking lot.
She also had a book.
This mural stayed on the walls of that elementary school and looked as fresh as the day I painted it for twenty five years. One summer day the teachers called me in a panic to tell me that the new principal, fresh out of college, wanted the mural covered with a coat of institution beige. The teachers wanted me to intervene. I listened to their concerns and said "Look, I am pleased the mural stayed on the wall as long as it did, but I will talk to her." I made an appointment with the small young principal to ask if there was anything I could do to the mural to please her. I did not mention "The Guard" and she did not either but I suspected that "The Guard" was the problem. I volunteered to paint what ever she wanted. She said, " No, I don't want anything on the walls."
I want to paint the walls beige.
I said, " Okay."
The books, ideas, thoughts, creativity and learning that the library represented
are not protected now.
There is no Guard.
She covered the colors. The stories and ideas.
The walls are institutional beige.
The school is a prison with no guards.
It is the opinion of this artist that"The Guards" are necessary, and some things need to be guarded.
Our children's minds should be guarded, they should be allowed freedom of thought, freedom to choose and follow a religion, freedom from being taught by government institutions what to say, think, or do.
Freedom from "thought police" word laws, research and internet censorship.
Freedom to know history as it was in truth, not as it is being rewritten with falsehoods.
Access to the news and events of today with facts only, not opinions.
Monday, June 4, 2018
The Best Part of Waking Up, Is Folgers In Your Cup..
This morning, as I sipped on a cup of coffee from my new French Press I watched a pot of oats cooking on the stove. I am well into adulthood these days but I still thought of how great it is to be an adult and how blessed I am to eat in peace. I smiled as I added lots of milk and a few generous tablespoons of sugar to what I still rebelliously and lovingly call my Open Meal.
What might you ask is Open Meal? It took me a while to figure out that one too because one cold morning when I was still just a preschooler I got up from a good nights sleep, sat on the heater vent for a while to warm up, pulled on a pair of socks and went over to the breakfast table where mother was serving my siblings. In my most "Oliver" voice I said, "Please mum, may I have my Open Meal?" She did not turn from the stove. " No," she said bluntly." "What?" I gasp, " No Open Meal? Was there a problem?" I am sure I did not articulate any of that, I think I must have just looked dumb-founded, with an emphasis on the dumb. With out looking at me she replied nonchalantly, " It is not Open Meal."
What was it? What- were- we having for breakfast? The silence that followed was eerie. My stomach growled, in the distance a dog howled, fog rolled in, and it thundered. It was a mystery, and western shoot out all rolled up in one cold dawn, and I knew, standing there in my pajamas that somebody was going to die at that poker table. These cards are marked
Okay, here is the cruelty of it all- the truth that I now know, looking back on the situation, as an adult. She was standing there with a cup of coffee. Let that sink in people, she had coffee. The upper hand. A stacked deck. Coffee.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
When the mother of these children sent me this photo and asked me to paint it as a portrait I was absolutely tickled pink. Pink as this baby's cheeks. The photo had a really big white glare spot on the top of the boys head from the camera flash and it was a bit faded. I absolutely love painting children, and rarely does someone send me an old photo that has a baby and child who both have a pleasant expression. - plus the lighting - oh I could go on. Fast forward to " They grow up way too fast" his little boy is 18 now and his little sister is half his age so she is about 9.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
This is painting I worked on recently to study Rembrandt's style. Rembrandt painted The Night Watch in 1642 and it is known as one of his most famous paintings. It is also been recognized as one of Rembrandt’s most debatable and controversial works of art. -
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
In the early 1960’s an uncle who lived several states away had an affect on my understanding of art, and the human soul. He was a talented artist but after many years of heavy drug addiction, his artwork began to exhibit a convoluted desperation that only he understood. No one wanted his paintings but when I was in middle school, because I was already showing an interest in art, I ended up with one of his paintings when he died. It was a portrait of Jesus' face, and in-spite of having never met him, his story stayed with me. Now, I see each commission as an opportunity to look into anther human's soul and create something that would be a blessing. That is why beginning with my first mural that I painted in high school in my high school library I continue to donate energy towards painting murals in schools and working with troubled/addicted -teenagers, teaching them how to “do art” instead of drugs.Because all things are connected down here on earth as well as in heaven I also earned my Associate Divinity Degree, as well as served as a chaplain at Duke University hospital while earning my level one Chaplaincy degree.
Through my work I have seen lives changed and drug addicts and cutters go on to go to college, get degrees in counseling and give back to the community.
Through my work I have seen lives changed and drug addicts and cutters go on to go to college, get degrees in counseling and give back to the community.
The home I envision is one where teenagers come on Friday and Saturday night to play music, do art, and bond with grandparents and mentors, in the day hours small children come to see puppets and storytelling, as well as offering parenting classes and outreach to the community ....has yet come to fruition.
Friday, September 11, 2015
We arrived in Belize and took what I call an egg beater airplane over to the Island. I was not comfortable on that small plane, it did not help that one of the fifteen passengers on the plane was a man who talked loudly and had great knowledge about the way little planes operate and the likely chance we would all die.
The Island was beautiful and the water was clear and an exotic green. There were pineapples and coconuts all ready for picking. It was just like the brochures depicted... except when when I walked around the corner to the street behind the resort. It was then I discovered it was more like a set from a Western Movie, not a modern set, a set made in the 50's. The water front hotels were painted beautifully, but behind the facade the rest of the town consisted of things propped up and in shambles.
We stayed in one of the best resorts on the island and decided not to complain about the fact that there was no hot water after we mentioned it one time and realized the maid did not speak English. Then the power kept cutting off, sometimes for hours. I watched the news and discovered it was not the approaching Typhoon that caused the power to go off, it was that the Island had not paid their part of the power bill. Belize was mad at that little island. That was okay. The Island was stunning and charming. The little village behind the resort had some nice little vendors and we were amazed to discover there were no flies. None. You could eat outside and never see one. I asked the locals why there were no flies and they said... ( okay, this is the truth- I kid you not) ....that the flies would be in on Thursday. I pondered that greatly in my heart, and also wondered if I missed something in the translation.
My husband and son gleefully charted their scuba course and took off on the boat early the first morning while the clouds gathered over the horizon and the news reports mentioned that hurricane/tropical storm Arthur was heading for shore. We, the maids and I, listened to the wind whistle and battened down the hatches. I nodded my head at them a lot and tried to communicate "Are we going to die?" They cheerfully nodded back. Yes, Yes, we are all going to die.
We had experienced 3 days with flickering lights, cold showers, winds and threats of rain, yet the guys managed to get in two days of Scuba before the resort took on the look of Gilligan's Island. Both days I wandered the island during the day and in the afternoon I stood on this dock, the one that is depicted in this painting, and watched the ominous evening clouds roll in, wondering if the guys would make it back to land. They came back glowing with joy. Apparently you can not tell there is a hurricane when you are under water. Keep that in mind the next time you are under water, you never know what is happening in the sky.
On Thursday, the heavy rain bands came through and during a moment of eerie calm we ambled back over to the little "one street town" to get a bite to eat. The flies were everywhere. Everywhere. I was amazed that they actually did come in on Thursday, - like- "It's Thursday, time to go onto town for the Blue Plate special!" My amazement at the uniqueness of each of God's creatures, and the knowledge of the natives concerning such things was profound. I found out later that they come in with the first rain, not on Thursdays.
* I felt like the flies deserved a paragraph all of their own.
The worst of Arthur lasted 24 hours, when he had finished ripping every coconut and banana off of the trees on the Grand Cayman Islands the flickering TV news report said that tropical storm Alma was brewing in the emerald green waters off the shores of the island. In Southern terms she was "over yonder close by" and chasing Arthur like a hussy; since I did not know what dysfunctional relationship they had I decided not to hang around to meet her. I was concerned that in "Act Number Three" Arthur and Alma would spawn a little demon storm named Alvin. At that time I did not have a smart phone so we walked in the rain to a little sketchy internet cafe and looked at our emails to contact our airlines and cut the trip short. As I typed all my personal information into a twenty year old dirty computer, on a keyboard with half the letters worn off, all my usual fears of internet hacking or someone stealing my credit card numbers were miraculously non existent. The next morning I got back on the little egg beater plane in the pelting rain with high winds and low visibility and I was not afraid. I was heading home.
I will refrain from telling you the details of our flight home. Suffice it to know it was a rough plane trip and the lady beside me had to use the little bitty barf bag. We landed in Texas to take a connecting flight home. I came really close to kissing the Texas tarmac. That tarmac was melting hot and nasty- but really -yeah, I was ready to bow down to the earth and French kiss it, I loved that Texas Tarmac and still think fondly of it.
I got my stitches removed the following week.
So enjoy the painting. I will not go back for more photos.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Pleinair Painting of a Man Fishing
Today I went out to enjoy the fresh air and friends. It is very hot outside right now and everyone wants to leave after a few hours except me. I could stay all day. This man was kind enough to stand relatively still for us. I think we made him kind of nervous after he figured out that we were painting him. But he was a good sport about it.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
A Catholic School wanted me to paint St Lucia for a festival they are having. They sent me the picture and I called back. "Do I have to paint the eyes in the bowl?" Yes, they said, " St Lucia was was an innocent girl killed for her faith and her eyes were poked out, so that was her "offering, or sacrifice." At first I was a little creeped out, but then I thought of all the places in the world- today- where Christians - young children- are being killed, maimed, & held in prisons for their faith. Although this young women lived many years ago in today's modern world there are other ways in which people sacrifice their life for the life of another, Police Officers, Moms and Dads, Firemen, the Military. Scripture says " Greater love has no man than this- that he would lay down His life for His "friends." God intends for us to love others before ourselves. We are called to love those who are different from us, to love those who do not believe what we believe, to be merciful and kind. God is love.
This is painted on 1/4 inch wood and cut out, the back is painted gold and I created a prop for it in the back so it could be set on a table with poinsettias around it
I decided to show 2 photos because the one with the white back ground ( which is from where I sat the painting in my white shadow box ) does not show that it is a wood cut out. I included of the photo of the painting on the easel so you could see that it is not on a canvas.