Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SOLD -Face It

Face It", 6x6", oil on gessobord
"Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it." — Joseph Conrad

This photo was taken over the July 4th weekend on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX. Those tourists are three of my sisters (one is partially hidden by the first sister) and two brothers-in-law fighting their way along the crowded walkway. I am sure none of them are going to recognize their faces in the painting but let's face it, faces are really hard to nail, especially on such a small canvas. 

I've included to the right, the Notan study I created for the painting. Notan is a Japanese term meaning harmony of dark and light. This is the latest challenge posted on DailyPaint Works

The first instruction was to create a black and white sketch before beginning the painting that divides everything into either pure white light, or a solid black Heart of Darkness. Easier said then done!

Instead of sketching my Notan by hand as instructed, I took my original photo into Photoshop, and used the threshold adjustment tool to experiment with the light and dark patterns. Once I was happy with the resulting patterns, I printed it out, and tweaked a bit with a marker to further eliminate any remaining mid-tone values still visible. 

Next, I used the study as a guide for the painting being careful to keep all the colors in their preassigned places. I am happy to report, they minded just like little kids on their first day of school. I was pleased with the result. Pretty cool technique! 

Thanks for strolling by today. 
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

SOLD -Focus Pocus

"Focus Pocus" 6x6" oil on gessobord
"Dreams form the bristles of the artist's brush. And, as the eye functions as the brain's sentry, I communicate my inner most perceptions through art, my world view. In trying to probe beyond the ordinary and the known, I create an interior infinity."
 — Arshele Gorky

My husband came up with the title for this painting of our daughter, Brandy, and granddaughter, Juliet. They were sitting on an outside deck ordering lunch at the Oasis on Lake Travis in Austin, TX. Brandy is trying her best to interest Juliet in the menu, however, Juliet is having nothing to do with food or the attempts. Daydreaming, she is off in a world all her own, with visions of princess fairies dancing in her head, or at least that would be my guess? 

Being myself a closet daydreamer, I know so well, Juliet's far off stare. In fact, I was forever in trouble with the nuns at St. Peter's Elementary for staring out the window during class, lost in a mysterious and illusive interior world, I was always being lured off to the fleeting playground that beckoned.

I believe artist's are called in a special way, beyond the visible, to taste and see that which shines through the heart. It's there we recognize, express and share of the silent invisible bounty. Without access to this hidden interior landscape, beauty has a very hard time finding us.

St. Francis of Assisi said, "Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks, and serve him with great humility," I think this especially applies to artists. 

Thank you for turning your focus here today. 

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SOLD -Future Pro

"Future Pro", 6x6" oil on gessobord

"Let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest."
— Muriel Rukeyser

Heads up! This is my grandson, Max, getting his first golf lesson from my very patient and loving son-in-law, Jason. Taking the time to share what we love may not seem like a big deal, but you never know what an impact it might have on another person's life. 

In the book The Art of Life, author Sister Joan Chittister says, "What gets nourished within us can very well determine what we will become." I can still remember coming home from kindergarten with a finger painting of a clown, and the surprise and delight I felt when my mom got really excited over it. She told me I was going to be an artist one day. As one of nine kids, getting acknowledged with that much attention from my parents was rare. In fact, half of the time they couldn't call us by the right name without reciting the entire litany of sibling's names first. However, to this day, I truly believe it was this early seed of affirmation that put my foot on the path to becoming an artist.

"Every human act is an act of nourishment for someone." Mentors have another awesome gift for planting seeds. Theirs is a language of love. Be it a thought, an idea, a skill, or talent, a love, or a passion, it must be shared and passed on or it dies on the bud.

What mentors have had an impact in your life? There have been many in mine and I am so grateful to each and every one, for a part of them now lives in me.

Thanks for swinging by today. 

To see more of my art or to contact me: 
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Monday, August 19, 2013


"Fruition" 6x6" oil on canvas panel

 "We like things to manifest right away, and they may not. Many times, we're just planting a seed and we don't know exactly how it is going to come to fruition. It's hard for us to realize that what we see in front of us might not be the end of the story."
— Sharon Salzberg

I haven't painted a still life in a while and wanted to get some practice but struggled with this one for a week trying to get it to come together.

Ever wonder why artists choose to paint the subject matter they do when they do? It's interesting to me how sometimes after I've finished a painting only then do I recognize a subliminal connection to something manifesting in my personal life. 

As an example, last Thursday was one of those days when I wished I had a clone; my plate was full. First my oldest daughter was in one hospital 40 minutes away having her gall bladder removed, while at the very same time one of my little plum-of-a-granddaughters was having her tonsils removed at another hospital. All the while my youngest daughter—now a nine month overripe peach—sat patiently waiting anticipating her first fruit to arrive. It's a good thing I'm strong like a tower of glass, all I could do was stand guard over my flock.  

Is it just me, or do you also see the personification in this not-so-still life?

Thanks for paying a visit today.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

SOLD -I'll Be Your Best Friend

"I'll Be Your Best Friend" 6x6" oil on gessobord

"People teach their dogs to sit; it's a trick. I've been sitting my whole life, and a dog has never looked at me as though he thought I was tricky."
 —Mitch Hedberg

This sweet little face doesn't belong to me but when I saw the photo of a friend's Shih Tzu, I knew I had to pull out all paints for a puppy portrait. 

Man's best friend teaches us the meaning of perfect trust, loyalty, faithfulness and unconditional love. Our dogs seem to love us even more than we love ourselves asking nothing in return except a little scratch behind the ears, or better yet, on the old rump.

What is it about dog's eyes that are so profound? It's as if somewhere inside there's a trapped human with all the answers. If it's true all dogs go to heaven, my chihuahua is going to have some serious questions to answer such as: Why do you have to circle around and around before you finally lay down? On walks, what's up with the OCD sniffing...it's just grass!!! Why do you think you have the right to sleep under the covers with your legs stretched out at a 90 degree angle taking up half my bed, and then growling at me when I turn over? Why do you rub your neck over and over into the sidewalk...Hello, there's nothing there! And by the way, what was the purpose of that tail?

Seriously, dogs are a total blessing to the entire human race. I believe they were created to be an integral part of families. However if you have small children in the house beware, Erma Bombeck said, "When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he's doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911." 

Thanks for walking by again today and treating me with your presence.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013


"Here's Looking at You Kid" 10x8" oil on gessobord
"It does take a certain measure of humility to be wonderstruck. At the same time, though, it is the highest form of intelligence, because there my reason opens up to the mystery." — Aristotle
If you've seen one sunflower, you've seen them all. Sadly, this becomes the undefining of life; turning life into a short list of categories rather than expanding into an endless list of awe inspiring coincidences and surprises.

We rush from here to there, from one obligation to the next, from one commitment or necessity to another, never aware of all the little things we pass by day after day that never get seen or acknowledged. Instead of being revealed and delighted in bit by bit for the little slivers of mystery and beauty they are, life gets converted into one vast blurry golden field we zoom pass at 70 miles per hour never getting noticed nor experienced. 

Stop whatever you are doing right now...slam on the brakes... see the one golden sunflower among the masses. Each blossom a transient sliver, struggling in a field packed among a myriad of other dark round faces, crushed by the weight, yet each one as unique and miraculous as the next. Quick! Grab a hold of one, look into its eyes before it dissolves into the past. See it's beauty, feel its strength, hope and sheer willpower to survive as it stretches to join its source.
"To see one blade of grass at a time rather than a mountainside of green makes every element of life important." 

— Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun, from The Art of Life, Monastic Wisdom for Every day Life.
Thank you for slowing down to smell my sunflower today!

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