The Love Birds

Newest piece:

The Love Birds acrylics, charcoal, Derwent Pencils 24x24 birch panel

The Love Birds
acrylics, charcoal, Derwent Pencils
24×24 birch panel

Instead of quotes on this post like I usually do I want to share something I found on Tumblr. I really believe this to be true. The only thing I would add to this bit of wisdom is love . . .  .  .which I believe makes this philosophy work — love! Love for ourselves and love for others and a love for life and its possibilities.


Posted in art philosophy, folk art, Judy Shreve | Leave a comment

Did You Hear the One About the Big Cat and the Fish Out of Water?

“Routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration – maybe more.” -Twyla Tharp

Did You Hear The One About the Big Cat and the Fish Out of Water? acrylics and charcoal 14x18 birch panel

Did You Hear The One About the Big Cat and the Fish Out of Water?
acrylics and charcoal
14×18 birch panel

My studio is finally set-up enough to paint. It feels good to be back in my routine. I have missed it. I finished this piece yesterday and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve already seen it. Thanks for all your comments and ‘likes’ there.

I’m finding folks are not posting to their blogs as often as they used to or visiting other blogs. We all seem to be so busy these days. Too busy to even visit online unless it’s quick. I think we all have ADD (lol) thanks to the internet and smartphones. We text more than we email. We read about our friends instead of calling them. And when was the last time you got a letter or a card in the mail? It’s a different world – some changes I appreciate and some things I really miss. This blog is my painting journal, so I will continue to update it. Your visits make me happy and I really enjoy your comments. Although I also enjoy interacting on FaceBook – so come follow me there -)

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” –Jack Kerouac

Posted in acrylics, folk art, Judy Shreve, painting | 8 Comments

Bird Dog

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” -Rumi

Bird Dog acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 18x18 birch panel

Bird Dog
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
18×18 birch panel

I have not been in my studio for more than an hour every few days since the beginning of July when I started this piece. In fact there were times when I lost the entire direction/story for this painting. And in reality, I have been scattered since mid-May when we began looking for a townhouse in Atlanta. Long-story-short — we closed on our townhouse June 19, and then went to northern Idaho for a week and now I’m trying to set-up my new studio space.

We’ve kept our mountain home and plan on enjoying it as well, so we left it fully furnished. That means this new place is a blank canvas. I did purchase a fabulous new piece of artwork for our new house by Mel McCuddin at the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene. He’s an artist I’ve long admired and lives in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never seen his work in person, so I was completely blown away. Here’s the piece I bought –

Another Blessed Event Mel McCuddin 44x48

Another Blessed Event
Mel McCuddin

This weekend Bob is going to build a big table for my new studio space. I am taking the entire basement for my studio and I am hoping to begin to work larger. I also have a new technique I want to try and I think a new space is the perfect place to start exploring a new direction.

“My other heroes were the jazz giants: Louis, Bix, Hawk, Pee Wee. Teagarden. From them I knew my paintings had to be improvised, spontaneous, made up out of whole cloth, one thing leading to another, accidental, a series of metamorphoses, surprised arrivals. A painting without surprise soon fades into the woodwork.” -Robert Hamilton

Posted in folk art | 2 Comments

The Entertainers!

“At the end of everything, they’ll pull you up and whisper in your ear, ‘Could you hear the music?’ And so many of us will have no idea what they mean.” Iain Thomas

The Entertainers acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 20x22 cradled birch panel

The Entertainers
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
20×22 cradled birch panel

There are so many people in my life who entertain me. I’m not talking about song and dance necessarily although there are some that do that well. No, I’m talking about those folks who keep me smiling – keep me entertained. Those folks who make my world better just by being in it.

There are certainly times when feel if I could be a juggler, tap-dancer or have the ability fly above it all, life would be easier some days. But what really makes it all better for me is my wonderful family and friends.

I’m getting ready to set-up a new studio space in our new townhouse. I wonder how my work will change? I’m looking forward to larger panels, more space and a new environment — city views instead of cows and goats and chickens.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” Azar Nafisi

Posted in folk art | 6 Comments

Studio News – Sales and a Work In Progress

“This is the real secret to life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.  And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”  – Alan Wilson Watts

It's All About The Dance (sold)

It’s All About The Dance (sold)

Just Trying To Find My Way Home (sold)

Just Trying To Find My Way Home (sold)

Dancing In The Street acrylics, (sold)

Dancing In The Street
acrylics, (sold)

The Prankster (sold)

The Prankster (sold)


The above four pieces sold this past week. I am thrilled!  Selling work allows me to make more work. In fact, selling is the one of the best inspirations. And I also have some great news. We closed on our (city) townhouse Friday. I will be using the entire basement space for my new studio. It will give me the opportunity to work bigger. Right now the biggest board I can comfortably fit in my current studio is 24×24. So many folks have asked me for larger pieces. Now I can work larger! I will also continue to create pieces in lots of different sizes.

Below is my current work in progress. Tentatively named ‘Juggling.’ You may be able to see the faint drawings that will be painted in or changed. There is also more color to add to the tent and possibly the sky. It’s very much a work in progress.


Work In Progress 'Juggling' 22x22 cradled birch panel

Work In Progress
22×22 cradled birch panel

“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron fillings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”  -Steven Pressfield

Posted in folk art | 2 Comments

(Of) Mice and Music . . . .

“I assemble stories – me and a hundred million other people – at the sentence level. Not by coming up with a sweeping story line.” -Amy Hempel

(of) Mice and Music acrylics and charcoal 22x22 cradled birch panel

(of) Mice and Music
acrylics and charcoal
22×22 cradled birch panel

I paint stories. Sometimes I have the entire story in my head before I start. Sometimes I just have a title. This time though I painted the girl with the banjo and her dog – and they would not give up their story. This piece sat in my studio for days with the background and those two figures. Finally I added the outline of the buildings – still stuck. When I added the mice – it came alive for me and I finished it in a couple of hours. And of course, the title is from one of my favorite authors – John Steinbeck.

I’m extremely busy with life stuff right now and wouldn’t you just know, my gallery in Blue Ridge calls me almost daily for new work. We close on our townhouse Friday and then will need to spend a little time furnishing it. I’m setting up my studio first.

“Art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” -Saul Bellow.

Posted in folk art | 6 Comments

Dancing In The Street!

“What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials. The place to learn about your execution is in your execution. The best information about what you love is in your last contact with what you love. Put simply, your work is your guide.” -Bayless & Orland (Art & Fear)

Dancing In The Street acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 18x18 birch panel

Dancing In The Street
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
18×18 birch panel

I love summertime! There’s such a sense of freedom and spontaneity. I love the sound of kids playing in the distance – there’s laughter and lightheartedness. We all need the freedom to just play sometimes – to dance in the streets; stay up late; sleep-in; daydream. The freedom to just be. Let’s put our worries and deadlines aside. Let’s all go dance in the street!

“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” -Bonnie Friedman

Posted in folk art | 6 Comments

Happy Dance! Sold!!

“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” -Paul Strand

I am as amazed each time I sell a piece of my artwork as I was the first time I sold a piece. I am so happy that someone can connect with what I am trying to say.

Before painting, I rarely paid attention to process. I was taught from a young age that the only admirable goal was the finished product. Hurry and just get it done!

But I was always getting in trouble for daydreaming or moving too slowly. I didn’t realize before learning to paint that I look at the world a little differently. And learning to paint has finally shown me that it’s okay to constantly search for the meaning of things. It’s okay to realize rewards don’t necessarily come from the finished product, but from the integrity of the process – from the joy of the process – the joy of using my imagination.

I think the above quote is saying artists are always trying to interpret their world no matter where they are or what they are doing. It’s just the way they look at the world.

I didn’t start painting until a few years ago. I just celebrated my 65th birthday. I’ve spent a lot of years feeling quite square in all the world’s round holes. Feeling different. I think I was in third grade when a teacher sent a note home to my parents saying I had an over active imagination. Why wasn’t that encouraged? Instead I was probably handed another math problem to struggle through. I used to laugh and say it took me twenty years to grow-up and twenty more years to recover from that. But it is really true for me.

As parents we should help our children be the best at who they are, not our ill perceived concept of what society says is the best thing for them to do for ‘success.’

I am so happy I finally found paints. And I’m even more grateful and thankful that folks are purchasing my work. There is no better inspiration than to be accepted. Thank you!

These pieces sold over the last couple of weeks. I am always in my studio painting and always re-stocking my galleries. Please visit or call them if you are interested in any of my work. And again – thank you!

(click on the images to see them larger)

“An art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t an art at all – feeling is the principle, the beginning and the end; craft, objective, technique – all these are in the middle.” -Paul Cezanne

Posted in folk art | 6 Comments

New Gallery – Bennett Galleries In Nashville

“When you are describing, a shape or a sound or a tint; don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint; and learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint.” –Lewis Carroll

I love that Lewis Carroll quote and to me it describes what I want from my paintings.  I hope you have to squint when you look at my work –  just a little mental squint. It’s my intention to give you just a hint of a story, slightly askew, so that you can bring in your own memory or see a different way of telling your own stories.

I dropped off the work below to my new gallery in Nashville, TN – Bennett Galleries. What a great place – wonderful people and gallery. And I actually sold a piece when I delivered it. YAY! And even more fun (my son) Luke went with me. We dropped off the work then visited a few shops and had a great lunch.

(click on the images to see full sized)

I’m also taking new work to High Country Art in Blue Ridge, GA. Cheryl has sold 12 pieces in the last two weeks! I better get busy painting. I am almost finished with an 18×18 piece and I have two more boards that size gessoed and ready to start. Good thing painting is my favorite thing to do -)

We’ve passed all the glitch-makers in buying our townhouse and are scheduled to close on June 19. I am going to set-up the entire (finished/daylight) basement for painting which means I can start making larger work! I’m looking forward to that.

Here’s the new piece headed to Blue Ridge –

The Poultry Watcher acrylics and charcoal 24x24 cradled birch panel

The Poultry Watcher
acrylics and charcoal
24×24 cradled birch panel

“The only thing that makes one an artist is making art. And that requires the precise opposite of hanging out; a deeply lonely and unglamorous task of tolerating oneself long enough to push something out.” -David Rakoff

Posted in folk art | 2 Comments

Aging (an annual birthday posting)

This is an annual birthday re-post. Sunday is my birthday. I plan on taking a few days away from my studio to enjoy family and celebrate a wonderful year. Thank you all for helping this year be one of the best!


“At times it seems that I am living my life backwards, and that at the approach of old age my real youth will begin. My soul was born covered with wrinkles— wrinkles that my ancestors and parents most assiduously put there, and that I had the greatest trouble removing.” —Andre Gide


So quick another birthday

always a time of reflection

I look back with

a heart so full

my face all deep wrinkles

a road map of memories

 calmer wiser rounder grayer

yet still full of dreams

full of hope

of longing 

still a young girl

behind these old eyes

it seems

“Age should not have it’s face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.” -Ralph B. Perry

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments