Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Road at Versailles, 6x8

One could spend an entire day at Versailles and not see everything. Even Ponzi Scheme Perpetrators don't live as well as Louis and Marie. They came to a bad end, which is what I wish upon all Ponzi Scheme Perpetrators.

Speaking of living well, my husband and I now have iPhones, thanks to my diligent shopping and ATT's good customer service. We have spent many, many hours figuring out the phones and downloading special ringtones and apps. My husband used to say, "I just want a phone that's a phone!" until he got this one. We had a very nice Christmas and it's hard to get back in the painting groove. My pace was interrupted. I need a good dose of painting with the Pieces of 8.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Roxy, 8x10

This adorable dog is Roxy, at rest among the sweet potato vines. Gotta love that face.

My fellow Daily Painter, Karen Appleton, is painting wrapped boxes with elaborate bows, and says she is greatly helped by her iPhone and its various applications. I have an iMac, and i must admit that i want anything that begins with lower case "i." iPhone, iPad, you name it. i even dreamed about Steve Jobs one night, and he was presenting me with an iPad. i have a bad case of the iWants.

BTW, Karen has a great thing going, called Present and Accounted For. Check it out!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rain on the Horizon, 7x5

I love it when I get a shot like this of rain over the ocean, especially with the golden light in the background.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Red Passionflowers, 8x10

It's that time of year to set goals, and I think one of mine needs to be to figure out how to do a blog, an Etsy Shop, a website, and daily painting and be more efficient about it. After all, the main thing is to paint! I need to find shortcuts through all the other activities related to my painting. I want to do less keystrokes and more brushstrokes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

John Wayne's Birthplace, 7x5

I painted this as an entry in the monthly competition at Street View Paintoff, in which artists paint from a Street View in Googlemaps. This great idea came from Kay Zahn, and every month she sets the boundaries to be used for that months' entry. December's boundary is the state of Iowa. This is a competition, so please click here to vote for me if you like this painting.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eastern Bluebird, 5x7

I go from snow to this Springy little scene. Bluebirds are so unbelievably colorful, they just make me smile.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowy Farm, 5x7

This is my multi-purpose painting, which I used for my Ecard Christmas greetings this year. I'm fascinated with snow because I seldom see it, and I love the late afternoon light on the snow, with the long shadows. It's beautiful, but I'm thankful to be in Sunny Florida!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Apple and Friends, 6x6

I'm starting to prefer painting apples to eating them. I haven't had a good apple in months. Is it because I'm in Florida and they have to be imported? What's with all the mealy apples? If we can import fresh tulips from the Netherlands, how hard is it to get fresh apples from the northern U.S. (which to a Floridian means anything north of South Carolina)? At least they are still beautiful on the outside, so I get a  little of my money's worth by painting them.
Note to Tia's Grandmother: I can't answer your comments because I don't have your email address. I'd be happy to make a print for you. Email me at

Monday, December 6, 2010

Me and My Shadow, 8x10

This is the demo painting I did yesterday at the Studio Tour Sale. The Pieces of Eight had a good time and we met such nice people all day long. Two women came all the way from Orlando.
This little girl is the granddaughter of my cousin in Alaska. I just love seeing children ponder their own shadow. It reminds me of a poem in one of my childhood books:
"I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of it is more than I can see."
Now we know the shadow's use--it's for artists to enjoy painting...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pair of Pears, 6x8

It was so nice to get together with the Pieces of Eight to paint again. We have pledged to do still life for a while, to reinforce what we learned from Qiang-Huang.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Venice, 11x14

My sister and I took a trip to Venice a couple of years ago, and I've never been to a more magical place. It's an artist's dream, and I would love to go back. No wonder the artist John Singer Sargent spent so much time there, it is absolutely irresistible.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pear in Bowl, 5x7

This pear was having a well-deserved rest after a long weekend posing at a workshop. This is the last painting of this particular hard-working pear.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hangin' With Dad, 10x10

This was a tender moment between a father and son, sitting on a rock beside the Nantahala River. I wonder if Dad once had hair like that?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gimme Shelter, 5x7

I called this Pear and Grapes, and I thought, what a boring title! Carol Marine cleverly animates her still lifes with her titles, so I pictured these grapes as hiding from the little old winemaker.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rubber Ducky, 6x6

We found this lost little ducky near the river, and after we all took pictures of her we set her free. I just finished a complex painting, so I thought it would be nice to paint something simple, then I realized this is just like painting a piece of fruit, only with a face.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Apple and Ulu, 5x7

 The implement pictured here is an Ulu, an Alaskan knife historically used for everything from skinning a seal to cutting hair. I brought it home after visiting my Alaskan cousins and it gives me happy memories. And below is what my husband built yesterday to store frames and paintings. It is sitting beside the beautiful flat file he built a couple of years ago. I feel so organized now!   

Friday, November 12, 2010

Comfort Me With Apples, 8x10

The title comes from the Song of Solomon, King James Version: Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. 

And who wouldn't love a person who would build me something like this workstation (pretty nice segue, if I do say so myself). My husband has given me an opportunity to get organized!  See the little turquoise clock on top of the workstation? It has a snooze button and wheels. You'll notice it is not in my bedroom, because if you hit the snooze button and don't get up, the next time it alarms it leaps off the table and runs around the floor making a loud, obnoxious noise. I wonder if I should introduce it to the Roomba? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pear and Pomegranate, 8x10

Can you tell I've fallen under the influence of Qiang-Huang? I hope so. His paintings come to life before your eyes. Here's a picture of my new BFF and me:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stepping Stones, 5x7

I enjoy the play of light and shadow on the stepping stones in this brook. What a pleasant place this was.
But my new happy memory is that the group above participated in the Qiang-Huang workshop this weekend. A brilliant artist, Qiang presents a massive amount of valuable information in the most fascinating way, then he dazzles us with a demo, after which we stagger to our easels feeling inspired, yet inadequate! It's fantastic! On top of all this, Qiang is a fabulous person who is kind and generous about sharing his knowledge. This has been the best learning experience in art that I've ever had, and I am sure we will be seeing Qiang again. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lemon Meringue, 6x6

When life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie. This is a light and fluffy little painting on 6x6 stretched canvas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life Gives You Lemons, 6x8

The Pieces of 8 painting group went back to still life for a day, and this was the result for me. Lemons always challenge me for some reason. I'd rather paint a river. However, I will soon be learning about still life at the workshop this weekend with the great Qiang Huang at our artists' guild. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Reflections, 5x7

I'll be painting North Carolina pictures for a while, I just can't stop. I love the reflections in this lake. It was such a peaceful place.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Happy Place, 5x7

My friend Donna took this picture while I was doing the painting called "Riverside". The photo gave me such a happy feeling, I just had to paint it for myself. The sun was warm, the river was babbling, and occasionally a leaf would gently float down from a tree...(sigh).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Red Barn, 5x7

This barn was beside the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. The store itself was quite a step into the past. They have old Coca-Cola coolers, the big red ones; they have candy you don't see any more, and I bought a bar of Fels-Naptha soap, which gets paint off my hands very well. It was so nice to get away from annoying, hateful election ads. I have always had trouble controlling my sarcasm, and I wish I'd known that a woman could make a living sounding as sarcastic as possible in attack ads. They all sound like the same woman. Am I imagining this?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Riverside, 8x10

I'd probably be content sitting by this river and painting for several more days.

But I'm back in Florida, and for you Brevard County locals, I must tell you I visited The Laughing Mermaid shop today on Highland Avenue in Eau Gallie (it's across from the now-defunct Mezzaluna Restaurant). For the yummiest soaps, balms and other organic products, they are just the best! Everything smells fabulous and there are no harmful chemicals in anything. They sell clothing and jewelry and art, and it's just a fun place to shop, especially if you are looking for unusual gifts. That's my tip of the day. I love local shops with local flavors, no matter where I am.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hap, 16x20

This is a portrait of my husband. I've been working on this between daily paintings, vacation, and workshop planning.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Departure, 8x10

This is a complete departure from what I've done lately, but it is still a North Carolina painting. The sun was shining in so beautifully on the wine and the pottery, I rushed to paint the scene. You don't realize how quickly sunlight moves until you try to paint it. Cindy has a whole collection of lovely pottery, which I really appreciate not only for its beauty, but for the fact that Cindy supports local artists wherever she may be.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

River Cave, 5x7

The Pieces of Eight were scattered along this river, painting peacefully and (very unusual) silently. The water trickled and splashed, the weather was perfect, and a fine time was had by all. We were near Boone, NC and we spent the week so absorbed in our painting that we forgot to do any touristy things. Maybe another time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dappled Road, 6x8

This is from the mountains of North Carolina, a winding, bumpy road with great shadows and light. I had to stop in the middle of the road and take pictures. I love dappled, unpaved roads. It was just another beautiful day in the mountains for the Pieces of 8.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Grand Tetons, 5x7

Even though I just returned from North Carolina with the Pieces of Eight, I am posting this view of the Grand Tetons from a previous vacation. You will be seeing North Carolina paintings soon, as we had a wonderful time painting mountain streams and striking vistas. It was rainy and in the 40s when we got there, but warmed up to perfect weather as the week progressed. We had just as much fun as we always do, and that's a lot. We welcomed two new members and ate and painted and laughed. Below is the view of Grandfather Mountain from Cindy's place. Look for photos and paintings from our trip on the Pieces of 8 blog. Check in frequently, there will be some surprises!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wind Dancers, 5x7

Some people paint a little picture like this as a 'warmup.' Mine was more of a cooldown, after painting something a bit detailed. These flowers reminded me of people dancing exuberantly and joyfully.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cypress Knees, 5x7

Cypress trees are so pretty, and their knobby knees are so interesting. Lamps made of the knees used to be all the rage...long, long ago. These were growing at Rock City Gardens.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rock City Gardens, 8x10

This garden is actually a plant nursery and sells ornamental plants and wonderful pots and other accoutrements for the yard. Stop in if you're driving between Melbourne and Vero Beach, Florida.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Fisherman, 6x6

I never fish, but I like fishing pictures. I think sometimes that part of the charm of fishing is the surroundings. I don't think I've ever seen any ugly place to fish...if you have, please tell me about it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baltimore Oriole, 5x7

I painted this cute little guy when I had a broken wrist and was painting left-handed. I painted in a bit more impressionistic style, out of necessity, and I want to loosen up with my right hand, but it is stubborn and wants to be more precise. Qiang Huang is coming to teach a workshop at our Artists Guild in November, and I hope some of his impressionist genius rubs off on me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

St. Mark's Episcopal, 5x7

This pretty church is in Cocoa Village, Florida. I love its Spanish flavor. Cocoa Village is chock full of lovely little scenes, and I have painted several. It is a historic place that has been successfully preserved, very artsy with lots of little shops and a beautiful old theater that has been restored. Nice place to visit.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Peppers and Garlic, 5x7

Nothing makes food more tasty to me than adding these ingredients, but do red peppers have to be so expensive? In fact, does any food have to be so expensive? It's a shock every time I shop, and I don't know how people with families can afford to feed them. Every time I swipe my credit card and the display reads, "Is this correct?" I want to say "Of course it's not correct, it's outrageous, is what it is!" But they don't have a button to press for that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seems Like Old Times, 5x7 Collage

My friend Cindy gave our painting group a challenge: collage. This was so much fun to make. It's just a little nostalgia.

And to bring us into the 21st Century, my husband and I watched, with the naked eye--or should I say four naked eyes-- the Space Station pass over this morning. Just amazing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spoonbill Resting, 5x7

Yet another Spoonbill in the Everglades. This was a study for a large painting. He looks a bit depressed, but who wouldn't, with a big spoon for a mouth?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, 5x7

I painted this little guy when my wrist was broken and I had to paint lefthanded. It was very exhausting, making my brain work a bit differently. I called it my Sinistra series ("lefthanded" in Latin), and it kept me going last winter while my wrist healed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bok Tower, 5x7

When I was a kid, every drugstore had a rack of Bok Tower and Cypress Gardens brochures and post cards. They were the sum total of tourism in Central Florida. When Disney came it all changed, and now Cypress Gardens is becoming Legoland. Bok Tower remains, serene and beautiful. It sits atop Iron Mountain (in Tennessee it would be a mere bump). We actually have hills in Central Florida, so comparatively, Bok Tower is on a pretty high one. This would be a nice spot for my painting group to do some plein air painting.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Scurrier, 5x7

This afternoon my husband and I were driving on the causeway over the Banana River and before us was a beautiful rainbow, a complete arc, and from the bridge we could see both ends glowing where it touched the water. What a sight! Of course, I had no camera with me. It would never work to paint something like that because it would look very hokey and unreal, like something to go on a commemorative plate. That's the way it is around here. Sometimes you just can't believe your eyes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quiet Creek, 5x7

This little creek is outside historic Middleburg, Virginia. You don't have to venture far around the area to find a beautiful scene to paint. All those winding little roads just lead to lovely, intriguing places.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rain Lilies, 8x10 Collage

I really like sheet music in a collage, and I had these rain lilies blooming in my yard, so it was a natural progression to blend them into a collage. Or maybe I should call it Mixed Media? Anyway, the song is "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lonely Coconut, 5x7

I couldn't resist painting more beach treasures on metallic gold. I wish you could see the gold in person, it makes such a beautiful background. I've had this photo a long time, and I didn't take it on our beach. I was in Antigua and came across this perfect half of a coconut just lying on the beach. Even the beach was perfect; it was curved, had coconut palms lining it, a few goats under the palms, and not another soul on the beach but my friend Joan and me. We went swimming, and the water was, of course, perfect.