Dancing Down In Birdland

“There are times when I have started a work with an end in mind, but then for one reason or another, as my picture unfolded, it emphatically suggested another direction. I always accept the risk and go for it. I’m convinced that at such times my painting is wisher than I am.” -Richard Schmid

Dancing Down In Birdland acrylics and charcoal 10x10 birch panel

Dancing Down In Birdland
acrylics and charcoal
10×10 birch panel

This piece started out so differently. It was a straightforward bird in a cage — he broke out of that and started dancing!

“Everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in somebody’s imagination.” -Astrid Lindgren

Posted in acrylics, charcoal | 2 Comments

Is He Talking To Me?

“I notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” -Nietzsche

Is He Talking to Me? acrylics and charcoal 24x24 cradled pane

Is He Talking to Me?
acrylics and charcoal
24×24 cradled panel

I can feel my palette changing with the seasons. When I look out my window, it’s filled with oranges, yellows, greens and reds. I get ‘fall-fever’ worse than I get spring fever. The colors are so brilliant. It’s hard to stay inside and paint.

“Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction.” -Jimi Hendrix

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, painting | 8 Comments

Still Painting

“I think the best portraits don’t necessarily show you what somebody looks like, but they tell you what somebody is about. I’m much more interested in what something feels like than what it looks like.” -Duane Michals

Jenkins acrylics & charcoal pencils 12x12 birch panel

acrylics & charcoal pencils
12×12 birch panel

You have to know by now that I just love to paint rabbits. I created this background by laying on paints and using different tools to create texture while the paint was wet. This one was done with about three layers of painting, texturing and sanding in between. Then I loosely drew the rabbit in pencil and added the different colors of paint – cadmium orange, van dyke brown, neutral gray, black and then white. Next, I added all the line work with charcoal pencils. And ‘Jenkins’ was born.

Just Another Horse of a Different Color acrylics & charcoal pencil 8x10 birch panel

Just Another Horse of a Different Color
acrylics & charcoal pencil
8×10 birch panel

This is a small, quick piece using the same technique as Jenkins. I really like creating the textured backgrounds.

Walking Down A Country Road acrylics 12x14 birch panel

Walking Down A Country Road
12×14 birch panel

This one is done pretty straightforward – no abstract background. When I create a more realistic painting, I usually paint the images directly onto the gessoed board. With this one I painted the sky, grass and added the building and clothesline and thought it was finished. It took a couple of days before the bird pulling the wagon showed up.

“We have art so that we do not die of reality.” -Nietzche

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, drawing, painting | 10 Comments

Moving Day & Gallery News!

“Creativity is not the possession of some special talent. It’s about the willingness to play.” – John Cleese

Moving Day acrylics, charcoal, Derwent Pencils 12x30 birch panel

Moving Day
acrylics, charcoal, Derwent Pencils
12×30 birch panel

This piece was inspired by a sketch I did a couple of years ago:

Sketch moving day

Sketch moving day


Wonder what the world would look like if all the birds could take their birdhouses when they migrated. Bob (my husband) has made some gorgeous birdhouses and there’s one that eastern bluebirds move in no matter where we live. At our last house, I think it was the same family of birds returning each year, but we had eastern bluebirds move in again this year to the same birdhouse and we are 60 miles from our last house. Curiouser?

I have been asked to do a show in Macon, GA at the Macon Arts Alliance Gallery. The show will run for the month of January (2015). It will be just me and a ceramic artist. So I’m painting like a madwoman to try and have enough pieces for the show (25-30).

Also I will be at the Mountain Art and Antiques in Blue Ridge on Saturday, October 25 for a meet the artist day. Blue Ridge is really busy this time of year, so it should be fun.

I’ve been somewhat out of the loop this week. My computer had a blip and had to get serviced, so that’s why I haven’t visited and commented on your blogs lately. I hope to get caught up soon — but I am painting, painting and painting. Whew. My day now consists of yoga, journaling, painting. I try and eat a couple of times — oh and end the day with a glass a wine and my favorite guy and dog. Life is good.

“It is illuminating to note, here, how the daily rituals and working routines of prolific authors and artists – people who really do get a lot done – very rarely include techniques for ‘getting motivated’ or ‘feeling inspired.’ Quite the opposite: they tend to emphasize the mechanics of the working process, focusing not on generating the right mood, but on accomplishing certain physical actions, regardless of mood.” -Olive Burkeman

Posted in acrylics, blog, ceramics, charcoal, galleries, painting | 12 Comments

I Love Rabbits!

“Simplicity is complexity resolved.” 
-Constantin Brancusi

Jasper acrylics & charcoal pencils 18x12 birch panel

acrylics & charcoal pencils
18×12 birch panel


I have been working on another painting for weeks now. It’s just been making me crazy. I have this idea and I’ve not been able to translate it yet. I started the painting a few weeks ago and have painted and painted over what I painted more than once. So today I got another panel out and painted this guy in a couple of hours. I’m calling him Jasper. I love painting rabbits. Jasper has made me forget all the other frustrations with the other painting.

“To be an artist, you have to nurture the things most that people discard.” -Richard Avedon

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, drawing | 8 Comments

Running Man

“Writing and painting are two disciplines that are difficult to teach to someone. They are personal crafts that need to be mostly self-taught — so you can make your own mistakes in your own sweet time. Painting is a do-it-yourself thing that requires focus and a self-critical eye. After a while some people get very good at it. Writers write. Painters paint. That’s about it. But I often wonder what might have happened if I had kept kicking that wheel.” -Neil Gaiman

Here’s another painting that just didn’t seem to have my voice. I originally painted it last October. It’s been to a gallery and back in my studio. I finally dragged it out today to try and re-work it. I’m happier with it now. It was entirely too stark before. Here’s what it looked like when I thought I finished it the first time.

Running Man #1 acrylics 24x24 cradled birch panel

Running Man #1 (October 2013)
24×24 cradled birch panel

It’s interesting to look back on earlier work and realize that I have learned a few things this past year. When I am moving from day to day, I don’t pay much attention to my overall progress. These days I start with a cup of coffee and check-in on my emails, do yoga, write in my journal and then either paint or continue writing. I take a break for lunch and then continue in my studio until it’s time to figure out supper. Oh – I do have busy errand/household chores that take me away from that schedule on some days, but usually I spend 5/6 hours a day in my studio. I hope to work with clay again this winter. My kiln is wired and I still have clay and all my tools.

Anyway, here’s the painting now:

Running Man #2 acrylics, oil pastels, Derwent Pencils 24x24 cradled birch panel

Running Man #2 (September 2014)
acrylics, oil pastels, Derwent Pencils
24×24 cradled birch panel

I didn’t make any drastic changes – just added some fun bits. There was a lot I liked about it before. We’ll see what happens when it goes back out into the world.

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce

Posted in acrylics, folk art | 8 Comments

The Goats Out My Window

“Art is something that happens inside us. We look at things in the world and we become excited by them. We understand our own possibilities of becoming. And that’s what art is.” -Jeff Koons

The Goats Out My Window acrylic & Derwent Pencils 12x12 birch panel

The Goats Out My Window
acrylic & Derwent Pencils
12×12 birch panel

The folks who live behind us raise chickens, rabbits and goats. I can’t see their house from mine, but I sure can hear it. This time of year when the mornings are crisp, I love drinking my cup of coffee on my back porch and listen to the sounds the animals make – roosters crowing and the goats bleating. Their sound is so unique -Meh-eh-eh! Meh-eh-eh!

I also wrote another poem – ‘Lost & Found.’ You can find it under my poetry tab above if you’d like to read it. Seems my poetry gushes out for a few days and then I don’t write anything for months. I’ve been doing yoga for over 20 years. My home practice comes and goes, but just lately I’m very into my practice and have been doing it every morning for the last month. When I’m finished I sit with my journal. I think this has been the real catalyst in my writing again.

“Sometimes the night wakes in the middle of me and I can do nothing but become the moon.” -Nayyirah Waheed

Posted in acrylics, folk art, journal, poetry | 4 Comments

While Walking

“The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes but in having new eyes.” -Marcel Proust


The first few breaths

Listening quietly

Only hearing a whisper

Just the beginning

Of an unfolding story

Her feet tapping out the lines

Visions mingling

Her curiosity explored

With an alert stillness

Her mind quiets

These words

Straight from her heart

Poems seem to come to me erratically. I’ll hear a phrase and jot it down. I will continue to add words and phrases of my own or the initial phrase may sit for months before inspiration comes again. Or a poem might come from an intense emotion – usually one filled with love. I’m not inspired by angst anymore – those were my teenage years.

I’m also working on a painting. Almost finished, so I’ll post photos soon. And I have another painting I started for a friend — ssh – it’s a surprise.

“Art is giving yourself permission to translate life. Exactly the way you feel. See. And hear it. Be the artist you are. Give yourself permission to speak your own language.” Nayyirah Waheed

Posted in folk art, painting, poetry | 2 Comments

Sketchbook Drawings

“The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication.” -Cyril Connolly

I rarely post my sketchbook drawings on my blog. What I do in my sketchbook is totally different than what I do on birch panels. In my sketchbook, I usually work with charcoal and graphite pencils. Just recently, I posted a couple of faces I’ve drawn in my sketchbook to my Flickr account and was encouraged to share more of them. Here are two I did just recently (I also posted these on Facebook, so you might have already seen them.):

I enjoy the process of using charcoal —  making marks, smudging, erasing, making more marks, smudging, erasing — until finally you have your drawing. When I work on birch panels I mainly use acrylics, but after I lay down the acrylic background, I draw my images using graphite pencils – that allows me to work out what I want to say before painting it. The pencil lines can be erased, so I have the freedom to change things.

But recently I did a piece that was a little different for me. I gessoed the individual panels and then used charcoal to draw the rabbits like I would in my sketchbook – same process of making marks, smudging and erasing. When I finished the drawing, I used a fixative to seal the charcoal so it wouldn’t smudge anymore. Next I used my acrylics to paint inside the lines – sorta. I thinned the acrylics quite a bit so they would work more like watercolor to get the effect I wanted. Then I finished them with some line work using the pencils and sealed them again with a fixative.

3 Rabbits charcoal, acrylics 9.5x22 birch panel (sold)

3 Rabbits
charcoal, acrylics
9.5×22 birch panel (sold)

My husband does all my framing for me and he created this one. Each rabbit is 4 inches square. My photo cropping has removed some of the outside edges of the frame – the edges aren’t that thin, but this is the only photo I have and I wanted you to see this different technique and the fabulous frame. Thankfully a dear friend bought this, so I’ll get to visit it. I didn’t want to sell it, because I made it for me.

I love to peek into other artist’s studios, so I took a couple of photos of mine to show you my sketchbook working area and my painting area.


“Stay loose. Learn to watch snails. Plant impossible gardens. Make little signs that say ‘yes’ and post them all over your house. Make friends with uncertainty.” -Henry Miller

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, drawing, folk art | 8 Comments

Surrender – a poem

“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” -Ben Okri


She stepped out beyond her comfort

And he stripped away all her masks

Exposing all her secret places

So, at once, resisting and craving

She showed him her soul

Her last secret place

An instant connection so deep and unexpected

Forces them to embrace who they truly are

Two, lost and found, in the same place

 In the mystery of surrender

It’s where the magic happens

Places they didn’t know they left sleeping

Are suddenly stirred awake

No choice

But to tumble into the wildfire

Forcing them to expand

Releasing pieces of who they each were

They became as one

 “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 poetry | 4 Comments