Sunday, October 12, 2014

Snips, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Snips, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails 8x8" oil on museum quality Gessobord
"Older people sit down and ask, 'What is it?' but the boy asks, 'What can I do with it? — Steve Jobs

Boys will be boys! The look on this little guys face, speaks volumes. For this portrait, the photo I was working from included a lot more dried dirt streaked across his face from an obvious recent adventure in the mud. I left most of his well-achieved war paint off, but had to keep enough so the viewer would appreciate the am-I-in-trouble-now expression in his eyes. Obviously his mom saw this as a priceless moment when she snapped the photo. According to English poet Robert Southey (1774–1843) 
 What are little boys made of   
Snips and snails and puppy dogs tails 
And such are little boys made of.

I am reminded of my own young children years ago, while on a hike through the woods, and having to dutifully instruct them by example, the fine art of taking the full measure of a high-high mud pond. What great mucky fun and a wonderful memory we still talk about to this day. Who says girls don't have a little snip and snail in their souls? "Sugar, spice and everything nice" is just plain boring.

This one is a commissioned painting so not for sale, but thank you for viewing.

nancy 

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America




Monday, October 6, 2014

CAL Fall Art Show - 1st & 2nd Place Ribbons



I was truly honored that two of my paintings received awards in the Conroe Art League's Fall Show on Saturday. "Silent Repose" received 1st Place Professional Oil Painting Division, and "A Touch of Spring" received 2nd Place.

The show was judged by Houston artist Arielle Masson, her biography states, "Although born in Mexico in 1961, I grew up in Brussels, Belgium, and then went on to the University in Paris to complete a Master of Literature and postgraduate studies in Linguistics at La Sorbonne. After moving to Houston in 1986, I studied Fine Arts/Painting at the University of Houston, I have extensively exhibited in Museums and Galleries throughout Texas." 

Arielle currently teaches at The Glassell School of Art and The University of St. Thomas. 
 
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Friday, October 3, 2014

Simple Pleasures

"Simple Pleasures", 8x8", oil on museum quality Gessobord
​"That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest."  
                          — Henry David Thoreau

This painting was a commissioned piece, so not for sale. However, I wanted to share the memory of a simple childhood moment that brought such great pleasure and refreshment on a hot, steamy summer afternoon growing up in St. Louis.

I think I derived as much pleasure painting this as I did as a child partaking of a cherry popsicle...that is, as long as it didn't stick to my tongue. When it's all said and done, it really is the simple things in life that provide the greatest joy.​



Thanks to all who stopped by my booth last Sunday at the Bentwater Fine Arts Fair. I had a great time and sold four paintings! I was delighted to meet a couple of followers of this blog, who drove out just to meet me. Wow, that was an honor! 

The winner of the drawing for a set of my Songbird Note Cards was Belinda Faulkner. Congratulations, Belinda!


To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Clouds Got In My Way

"Clouds Got In My Way" 10x8" oil on museum quality Gessobord
"Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes - every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man."  — Orison Swett Marden

As I was painting this from a photo snapped by my friend Angela, it occurred to me these dense cumulus cloud formations are a perfect metaphor for life. 

Here we are all jolly-olly orange traveling on down the clear cut path, everything is going smoothly; we are surrounded by a brilliant blue dome and warm radiant light. Then suddenly, out of nowhere,  these immense dark threatening clouds appear, extending as far as we can see in an unending caravan of troubles and doubts. Sometimes stacking up in multiple tiers of shadows so gloomy and thick we forget that above it all, we are still surrounded by a veil of azure. Then, just as abruptly, there is a little break and the sun bursts through once more as we continue on down the yellow brick road like nothing ever happened. 

Lord Byron sums it up so well, "Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life, the evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray."

BTW: If you're in the Lake Conroe area, please visit my booth at the Bentwater Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, Sept. 28th from 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Yacht Club. I have a wide assortment of my oil paintings available for sale. Mention this post and receive 15% discount off any of my paintings. To gain entry to this free show call, 936-597-6219.


Thank you for rolling across my page today. 
nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America




Sunday, September 14, 2014

Freedom's Song

"FREEDOM'S SONG", 8X8" OIL ON MUSEUM QUALITY GESSOBORD
NOT FOR SALE

 "In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth, God is pleased when we're pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker's praise without anxiety"  
                                   — A.W. Tozer

I shot the photo reference for this painting in Galveston, TX several years ago, but have been unable to paint it; somehow I couldn't feel the freedom I was seeing in the bird's flight. Today was different, I felt the wind, rode on currents of air, and soared while basking in the warm light of joyful bliss and abandonment. Today I flew!

I give thanks for the gift of freedom and life.  
nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Sunday, August 10, 2014

One Orange Cup

"One Orange Cup", 6x6" oil on 1/2" deep wrapped canvas


"After the ecstasy go do the laundry."A Chinese axiom

Surprise! I am not dead, at least not yet. It feels like eons since my last post, but decided to take a little time off from painting to catch up in all the other areas of neglect surrounding me.

What I wasn't expecting is that when I finally showed back up at my easel, somebody else would be standing in my shoes. It was like I had never held a brush before and needed to learn to paint all over again. First I tried working on a large portrait for several weeks...big mistake and extremely frustrating. It's now sitting in a corner of my studio waiting for the enlightenment fairy to pay a visit and wave her magic wand.

So today, I decided to go back to basics and paint something small and very simple. I have come to understand that there are extraordinary miracles in everyday ordinary objects, that can be found even in one simple orange mug. Now how hard could that be? Enamored with the cast shadow, I snapped photos of this cup months ago. As G.K. Chesterton said about children, contemplatives and mystics (I'd like to include artists), "They have learned to look at things familiar until they look unfamiliar again." I felt inspired and jumped in.
Although I truly struggled with this piece, I decided to go ahead and post my efforts. 

It does seem that 99% of life is doing the laundry, while waiting for the ecstasy as author Ronald Rolheiser talks about in his book, Against An Infinite Horizon. Guess I better get back to that mounting pile of laundry.  

Sorry I missed you...I'm off to buy more Tide biodegradable substitute.  

nancy
 
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bathing Beauties

"Bathing Beauties", 8x8", Oil on Gessobord

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." —Kurt Vonnegut
Because inquiring minds want to know...I recently caught these blatant sun lovers basking alongside the busy counter top in my local coffee haunt, Panera Bread Company. These kept-women flashing highly pedicured extremities and golden tans, shamelessly lollygaged the day away gossiping from an above-ground spa. They were so transparent! For hours on end they did nothing but sit by idly making snide remarks about patrons heavy laden with assorted bagels and hot frothy lattes. 

A self-admitted paparazzi, I couldn't resist exploiting their follies on the front page of my weekly tabloid. Thank you for reading this shocking true confession.  ;  )

nancy
 
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


Monday, June 23, 2014

Heads Up

"Heads Up", 8x10" Oil on Gessobord

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." — Oscar Wilde

The sleepy head models who posed for this painting were a mom's day gift. I love sunflowers and took a ton of photos of the quintuplets sitting near my kitchen window, while sunbathing in the morning light. These little ladies are definitely not morning people, for the life of me, I couldn't get them to lift their golden heads wreathed in Rapunzel tresses, and open their big brown eyes to face the camera. Finally the one in the back popped her head up and said good morning.


I really enjoyed painting this piece which is looser and more abstract than some of my most recent work. Stretching and reaching for light myself, I tried to stay focused on my goal of not reproducing each and ever petal, but rather to capture all the spots and shapes of colors I was seeing. It was fun giving my inner child permission to come out and color outside the lines. Jim Carey had it right when he said, "If you aren't in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret." 

Thank you for dropping by to play.
nancy 

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America
 



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Shuttered Repose

"Shuttered Repose", 14x11", oil on gessobord, (framed)

CLICK FOR PURCHASE DETAILS

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
                                    — Aldous Huxley

Do you think the subject of this painting is the action of transforming early morning light, or the opposing destruction of late afternoon darkness setting up camp in the final winks of a retiring sun at the end of a long hot 12-hour shift? We find ourselves surrounded in a world of camouflaged reality. Is the light pouring in between slats lighting up this room, or is darkness aggressively painting its seizing stripes of devoured territory like an insatiable, half-starved Pac-Man caught in hand-to-hand battle defending hard won borders of line, form and shape like an ebony eraser? 

It's your call. Although the photo reference for this painting was snapped in the morning, there really is no right or wrong. We all see and believe what our senses perceive. We are just blank walls waiting to choose seats.

"Shuttered Repose", along with other pieces of my work, will be for show and sale next Saturday, June 21, from 2-6 p.m. as a part of the JoMar Visions', "Show it, Don't Say It!" exhibition. The studios are located at 902 Hardy St., Houston, TX 77020. See attached flyer. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hi.

Thanks for weighing in today. This painting is available for sale, however it will not ship until June 23. 

nancy


To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

To Sit and Stare

"To Sit and Stare", 24x18" oil on gallery wrap canvas, framed
      What is life if, full of care 
      We have no time to stand and stare? 
No time to stand beneath the boughs 
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
       — W. H Davies, Welsh poet and writer from his poem,"Leisure"


I love these lines. No matter if you stand and stare, or sit in a chair and stare, whatever your method, just take time to stare. After all, what is life if we miss the magic? 

I love to stare from my favorite blue chair in spring under pin oaks and crape myrtles on dappled carpet of cool Pthalo and slashes of brightest warm lime. Overhead in a gap of perched sky, edges tatted by lace of leaves, hangs a lingering ghost of moon waiting to be pealed away like a transparent sticker. 

Wren fledglings dart back an forth from low lying branches of budding gardenias, diving again and again, dipping fluttering wings into the shallow water bowl in utter delight. 

Bees sucking nectar, appear mystically suspended midair, as they joust from tips of spindly arms supporting the pink stars of delicate Guara, also known as Whirling Butterfly. 

And there's my dog, laying flat bellied on the warm cement in the largest mat of sunlight he can find. His paws outstretched like a yogi master, deep in meditation with eyes transfixed and half closed to reveal brilliant sparkles of purest glowing white. He knows how to stare. 
  
Today's painting is a larger piece 24x18" and is framed. It will be on exhibit and for sale in the CAL Gallery in Conroe, TX throughout June and July.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today.
nancy 

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To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America
 




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!



I was totally surprised and thrilled to find this article about my chair paintings in our local newspaper this morning. The article was beautifully written by fellow artist and columnist, Maggie Gutierrez. Thank you, Maggie. If these chairs could take a bow, they certainly would. :  )

~ nancy

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To see more of my art, or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Silent Sentinel

"Silent Sentinel" 10x8" oil on gessobord
CLICK TO BUY 

"You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover."  — Henri Matisse
What more can I say about the beauty of a cat, sitting idle, alongside an empty chair. The cat longing and waiting for just the right moment to jump into the empty lap. The chair sits longing for the cat to nestle in for a morning nap and the inevitable sharpening of claws sure to fray and tear. Two strangers yearning, yet afraid to leap, like two sentinels waiting for the dawn, or a nudge to awaken from the trance. 
To quote from a passage of The Goldfinch by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Donna Tartt, "And just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky--so the space where I exist, and want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime."
 
Thanks for watching.
nancy



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To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seat of Knowledge

"Seat of Knowledge" 20x16" Oil on Canvas


 "Knowledge is knowing we cannot know." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This wing back chair sits vacant in the north facing window of my studio. It was a rescue from a friend of my daughter's whose cat had taken a liking to it. 

To me, this chair is the semblance of the Tree of Knowledge growing smack dab in the middle of the Garden of Eden, tempting all who come upon it to eat of its forbidden fruit. The shiny, sweet-talking tangerine, balancing precariously on a limb is the brightest allure in this lush garden.

Can you imagine sitting shamelessly idle, sipping on a cup of jasmine tea, and delving into the hidden secrets of a half finished book in the middle of a quiet afternoon? Seeing this chair empty, makes me wonder if its latest occupant was cast out of paradise mid bite after partaking of...heaven forbid...leisure time?!? Wonder what that feels like? Guess I'll never know. It all comes down to living your passion. Are you living yours?
 
nancy

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To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Call of the Light


"Call of the Light", 20x16, oil on gessobord
CLICK TO BUY

"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." —Blaise Pascal


This large painting is of the wing back chair that sits in the corner of my mom's living room where I snapped the photo reference. 

Caught in a yin-yang sea of cool and warm light, the chair sits vacant and still, like an empty canoe at dawn, docked against a back lit window that laps cool waves of early morning light against its sides. In a battle for dominance and balance, the table lamp to the right, casts its baited hooks of warm golden highlights designed to lure and reel you in for the catch.  

This seat beckons, kick off your shoes and sit right down. Simply be and listen for a quiet moment, not with the mind but with ears of the heart. 

This tiny minnow-of-a-habit built into each day reaps a bounty you'll never throw back. 

Thanks for bobbing by today!

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To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Morning Salutations

"Morning Salutations", 10x8", oil on gessobord


"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself." — Tecumseh
The birds certainly get it. These tiniest herald's of first light, erupt in wild abandonment to salute the dawn with their joyous gift of song. From slender perches, high among dark branches, they cry out into the quiet stillness of waning night in an all-knowing awareness that light is somehow already present.  

J.R.R. Tolkien said, "You can only come to the morning through the shadows." Today's stoic chair stands guard facing the dawn like a wooden sentinel over a shadowy grave, and cries out in praise for the beginning of a new day!

Happy Wednesday. 
nancy
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To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


 




Sunday, March 23, 2014

Skinny Dipping

"Skinny Dipping", 7x5" oil on canvas board

 NOT FOR SALE

" I used to go skinny-dipping; nowadays its chunky-dunking."
— http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk/blog/sayings-that-i-like/

Busted! Boy these two are in big trouble...caught red handed. See 'em blush. They stole the key and went for a midnight dip. Oh, but wait, they're only wading. I am guessing they didn't want to mess up their frilly dos. 


Thanks for sneak'n a peek.
nancy
______________________________________________________
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Aroma Therapy

"Aroma Therapy", 10x8", oil on gessobord
"Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?"
— Steven Wright
 Hmm...good question, Steven? In my opinion, unless you are Brittish, tea breaks would be just plain wrong!  

Call it addiction, but I can't function without multiple breaks for cup after cup of rich strong aromatic Hazelnut or creamy French Vanilla. Lewis Black sums it up best, I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake. I get up at 4:15 a.m. to walk my dog and swim, I'll take all the life-giving, ground from beans, rich dark liquid gold you can throw at me to keep my illusion going.

                  BOOK COVER NEWS

In my 9-5 business as a graphic designer, I am blessed to design a lot of book covers for a University Press. Today's painting is the cover of an upcoming novel of short stories by author Michael Lieberman. How fun it is to be able to paint illustrations for book covers here and there, especially when it features brimming cups of hot coffee. Mmm, can you smell the aroma?

                    ART SHOW NEWS
More good news! Last weekend I was awarded a 2nd Place Ribbon Professional Oil Division in the Conroe Art League's Spring Show for my painting "Home is Where Your Hat Lies." Bottoms up!

Thanks for breaking with me today, even if you're a tea bagger...tea-hee-hee.  : O
nancy

______________________________________________________
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


Monday, February 24, 2014

Window Seat

"Window Seat", 10x8", oil on gessobord


 
"What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind."
—Vernon Howard

The other day a friend asked what was up with all the chairs I've been painting recently? To be honest I am not sure what motivates my fascination? However as I reflect on the question, I have to admit I've been as moved by the illuminated windows serving as backdrops in my paintings, as I have been by the silhouetted chairs themselves. 

The yin-yang of light and dark enchants me with the omnipresence of shadowy darkness stalking ever so close, lurking on the prowl; while parallel worlds of redeeming windows stream with the brilliance of life-saving portals, open invitations for light and color to enter pregnant with the hope of possibility.

I don't know why I feel compelled to paint chairs, but those flanked with wide outstretched stuffed arms, sure seem to long to surround with the warmth of a soft embrace, offering safety and protection. To coin a phrase from Goldilock, "Ahhh, this chair is just right."

Thanks for flowing in through my window. 
nancy 

______________________________________________________
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Seeing Red

"Seeing Red", 14x11", oil on gessobord

CLICK TO PURCHASE THIS PAINTING

"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself sitting alone in a room."
 — Dr. Seuss


Here's another rocker that gets a regular workout in our home. This one was a gift to my husband when he retired from teaching high school. I am sure it was intended for a front porch setting, but serves us well in our living room. 

There is something I find irresistible about a chair sitting idle, open and waiting for someone to fill its highest purpose. Even if I have trouble finding the time to actually stop and sit much, sometimes simply seeing an empty chair permits me to mentally rest for a second or maybe two. Our lives are so fast-paced, chairs are wonderful metaphor for stillness, quiet... a reminder to stop the world now, and again...to indulge in the gift of another moment. Franz Kafka said, "You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." 

Thank you for pausing for a spell.
nancy
PS. This is a larger painting 14x11"

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To see more of my art or to contact me: Daily Paintworks Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Rocker


"The Rocker" 10x8", oil on gessobord

"A house that does not have one warm, comfy chair in it is soulless."  — May Sarton

A silhouette of solitude sits in soft sultry light, inviting the viewer to enter into this room and take a seat by the french doors overlooking the pool; perhaps to rest awhile, read a book, or simply sit amid elongated ghostly shadows and rock in early morning's light.

This rocking chair has been in our family for as long as I can remember and beyond. I know all eight of my siblings and I were all rocked and comforted to sleep in it, just as I soothed my own children, and then one-by-one each grandbaby. 

The time-weathered cherry with its now tattered cane seat, groans with each rhythmic motion, lulling little eyes to sleep like some entrancing mantra. Accompanying lullabies were gently sung from the armless frame, such as Rock-a-bye baby, You are my sunshine, even an original Go to sleep my little baby—composed by my grandfather—and passed down from one tender lap to the next from its seat.
  
To me this chair is a priceless heirloom, one that continues to uplift this now grown child in a treasury of memories and tradition. 

I don't think I have ever said this before about one of my paintings, but I really LOVE the way this painting turned out...and the emotion it invokes. There is such a feeling of satisfaction when a painting comes together and I can step back and say YES that's it!

Thanks for letting me introduce our family's rocker.
nancy
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To see more of my art or to contact me: Daily Paintworks Gallery  • E-mail  •  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery