Thursday, December 29, 2016

Red Hot Chili Peppers 3

Red Hot Chili Peppers 3 

I’m going into what I will laughingly refer to as my “blue period” starting with Red Hot Chili Peppers 3. I just love this aqua blue background color! It’s a real happy-maker for me; looking at this shade of blue never fails to lift my spirits. And I am going to paint as many different fruits and vegetables on this background as I can. I want to exhaust the great color combinations I can make with this happy shade of blue.

Thursday, December 15, 2016



This is a favorite head study I painted several years ago right around when life painting was starting to come together for me. The painter I was painting with wanted to mix things up and put a hat on the model for the evening. I found the effect the hat had of putting her face in warm shadow except for her nose and mouth really appealing. So, her mouth became the center of interest for me which somehow managed to come out very simple but still very sensitive. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Study of Jodi

Jodi is my favorite head study in color from my graduate school days. She was such a lovely girl and lovely to paint. This life study of her came together so easily; it practically painted itself. That never happened to me in art school; I really had to work at my paintings. Here in about the last 5 years, I’ve put down enough “brush mileage” for painting to become much more effortless. It’s still requires intense brain work and concentration, but I’ve learned how to get what I want on canvas a lot faster. My instructor Brian Jekel told us students that when we achieved this skill level, painting would feel like eating chocolate. He was right! Of course...back then, it felt like we would NEVER get there; but we really wanted to believe him! LOL!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Red Hat

The Red Hat

The Red Hat was my second commissioned child painting from MadAboutHue, and my second painting of children playing at the beach out of three in a row. Those first three commissioned paintings taught me how much I really love this subject matter. The angle of his nose and mouth was very challenging; I actually had to call it and start over completely. But I made all of my mistakes in the first painting, and the second was smooth sailing. I adore his rosy cheeks and lips under the brim of his red hat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Pianist

The performance arts make for popular subject matter with painters. Trying to create art from art is very romantic, personal, and challenging. Elizabeth is a very nuanced pianist, and I was delighted that she asked me to paint her while I was still in graduate school. She, I, and my instructor Brian Jekel were very happy with the results, and this painting opened my eyes to the beauty of painting white subjects. White objects reflect all the colors immediately surrounding the object making for interesting and subtle color and temperature shifts. John Singer Sargent was the master of this phenomenon, and I like to think you can see his influence in this painting.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Vine Ripened - Take 2

Vine Ripened
The challenge of painting tomato red accented with the green of the stems was just so much fun that I did it, again! Ironically, my favorite tomato (bottom right) is the one I spent the least amount of time working on. It frequently happens in painting that overworking an area makes that part lose some it’s “vitality” or “freshness,” mainly referring to the quality of the brushwork. I did all of my problem solving working through the first two tomatoes; so much so, that my third tomato went down just the way I wanted it to. That’s a really great feeling!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Summer Afternoon

Summer Afternoon

This was my first commissioned color sketch/portrait through my etsy shop MadAboutHue. Painting these children made me first realize how much I like painting figures at the beach on a sunny day. The cool blues and greens of the ocean contrast beautifully with the warm earth tones of the sandy beach. And the colors of sun-drenched skin and hair present exciting color opportunities as well. After I posted this work as a sample in my etsy shop, I received 2 more requests for paintings of children on the beach almost right away, all thanks to my brave first customer.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Island Girl

Island Girl
This is the first head study that came together for me from an undergraduate life painting class. I’m still very fond of the original, and it’s still hanging in my house. 

Looking at this piece brings back such good memories. The students who painted in oils LIVED for Figure Painting class with Brian Jekel. It was a night class, and he couldn’t squeeze it in every semester. So, those slots filled up fast at registration. 
The class was SO intense; you could almost hear our furious concentration. And the lights were bright and hot. It was only two hours; but at the end, we’d all emerge completely drained and exuberant. Those were the good ol’ days!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hello Again! with Persimmons


Hello again! I’ve been away from my easel working with my husband in our print shop, Spikes Printing, in downtown Pensacola, FL. About two years ago, we merged 2 print shops into 1, and it’s been quite an undertaking. We recently launched Spikes Printing’s first website to showcase our capabilities and highlight our letterpress work. Letterpress is the direction we’re slowly taking the existing business. Our building has housed print shops for something like 60 years, and we’re  bringing it into the modern age. Check us out if your interested.

I’ve also been away taking care of my husband who nearly died about a year ago and had to have emergency open heart surgery in Gainesville, FL. This wasn’t his first procedure. He was born with leaky heart valves, and we didn’t recognize the symptoms leading up to his third surgery as serious until it was an extreme emergency. It’s genuinely miraculous that he is still alive and completely back to normal. I count myself tremendously blessed everyday that he is still among the living!

So, I’ve been VERY busy and longing to get back to my easel. Please, enjoy with me this painting from life of some persimmons from the tree I planted in my yard 8 years ago. Orange is my favorite color; for me it’s the color of happiness because I associate it with sunlight, warmth, and citrus. And citrus has a very upbeat fragrance...(I could just keep going. LOL!)...So, it was very fun to paint those happy orange tones, and looking at the results never fails to brighten my mood.

I’m very happy to be back at my easel, again; and I hope to continue sharing art with you on a much more regular basis!