Wednesday, March 22, 2017


"Peace by Piece" 8x8 inches, oil on wood panel

Have been thinking a lot about peace lately. So I set out to paint a little still life about it. The pieces of the orange are the central theme...the knife and the orange peel I tried to paint to look imposing.  I am told that it is possible to have inner peace even when there is unrest around me. It's hard....

Sometimes I listen to the voice in me that won't speak the truth ... 'how can a "worry wart" like myself have peace?' Making little adjustments, piece by piece can yield good things.

With the barrage of daily news coverage and the many social media posts about pressing issues, it is easy to be caught up in the very fact that though we live in times of "peace" (i.e. no bloody war happening in my immediate area right now), there is in fact a lot of fitful unrest in our county....and the whole world...there always has been.

Not only that, personal issues can rob us of peace and joy. I am one who can be anxious about many things besides the state of the world... my friends...being lonely...being misunderstood...hurting others....being rejected...being forgetful....not doing enough to help others...yada yada....these are important things.

Long ago a famous someone said that it was his intention to give peace to us. I have read in the bible where Jesus said "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."(the 14th chapter of John, verse 27).  I want to "receive" that gift but the fact is, my doubt can cause much disillusionment...and therefore unrest....

But when I truly believe...when I look away from the problem....when I look at His life....receive the love He offers....

Peace begins with me. I have had to find ways to pull myself away from worries....and know that it doesn't mean that I don't care....when I talk to Him who is Peace and wait for his voice....I find there are people I need to forgive...there are things I need to confess.... attitudes I need to let go of....things I could be doing...I realize I am not in control....and that's ok....that's when His peace comes to about you?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

New Small Works

I have been working on some small works and a portrait that I will reveal in a few more days. The two paintings posted here are ones I am still working on. For the painting with the heart-shaped dish, I wanted to demonstrate the idea of love being a sacrifice...a little drama complete with tiny plastic sword. I may paint the sword a different color since red seems very domineering in the center of this painting. Perhaps the emphasis will grow on me. Also in the works are three small portraits I am working on. Stay tuned!

"Love" oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches

"Peace" oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches

Monday, December 12, 2016

Paintings I Began During Frans Hals Workshop

So here are the paintings that I created at the Rob Liberace workshop on Frans Hals. Really trying to focus on blocking in color quickly and then using a more painterly, loose approach to my brushwork. To aid us in this endeavor, we had to keep our taborets in front of us so as to stretch our arms out to the canvas. Were not allowed to get too close as we needed to focus using fluid arm movement and not tighten our grip on the brush. Of course we could get closer if we needed to add fine detail during the finishing stages. This was a big help to me. I noticed a difference between my strokes during first two days and the last day as I got the hang of it. These paintings were meant to be portrait studies and not completed paintings but I may try to finish them as I did take ref photos of the models. I really hope I am able to take some more classes like this one in the future. Hopefully I can sell more paintings to help with the cost.

Steve, 16 x20 inches, oil
16 x 20 inches, oil

Portrait sketch of Jamie 18 x 24 inches, oil

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Franz Hals Workshop

Last weekend, I was able to take a class with a nationally known painter who teaches classical painting techniques, Robert Liberace. I have wanted to take one of his classes for a very long time but for various reasons until now, I was unable (e.g. was working or his classes were full). This particular class focused on exploring the painting techniques of 17th-century painter, Franz Hals! A perfect class for me to take since I have been wanting to loosen my brushwork and develop a more painterly technique. Rob is not only a wonderful artist, he is a very thorough teacher. Encouraging as well as tactfully honest, his advice and class demos were very helpful and I hope to be able to take another class from him. I met many lovely and talented people in this class. One man  flew in from Puerto Rico to attend. It was an honor to be there. Below are pictures of the class; a copy that Rob painted of a  Franz Halz; and a painting that Rob did of our costumed model, Steve (man with white beard). I will post my paintings from this class in another post. Thanks for looking.

Demo of Steve by Rob Liberace
Copy of a Franz Hals by Rob Liberace

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Throw Back

"Jalopy" watercolor, 11 x14 inches

Right now things are a bit crazy with the holidays and having problems with my sinus and tummy (I have been having a lot of pain for the past few weeks and will be having a test in 2 days). So I put two oil painting projects on hold for a few days (just needed a break from the solvents). Instead I began working from a photo I took long ago while strolling along the streets of a little German town call Dinkelsb├╝hl. While walking around, we came upon this old jalopy, tucked away in a carport attached to hobbit-like house. I loved the lines of it and the pretty gated carport so I snapped a pic in the hope of painting some day. Will enter it into the December juried exhibition at the Art League Gallery in Alexandria.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Inside Out

Can't remember where I purchased the pretty bottle that was used for this painting but really enjoy painting glass and reflective surfaces. At first I simply wanted to add a few flowers to the scene, which would have looked elegant but I really wanted to get started. So I decided I would use what I had on hand and added the small glass pebbles. I have been toying with the idea lately that I would like my still life paintings to say something. Enjoying the beauty of everyday things and configuring them on canvas is perfectly ok with me but sometimes I just want to say a little bit more than, "ok here are some pretty things to look at". To create sometimes involves revealing the voice within that wishes to share the things of the heart. Also, to live a good life, a person has to put aside their desires at times and give something of themselves to others. I am drawn to the theme of emptying oneself and doing the right thing even when it hurts...a painful process that in the end reaps many benefits, though not always in ways one would imagine.

Click here to bid in the auction.

"Inside Out" oil on panel, 6 x 6 inches

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Elections... Being Thankful

Is the up-and-coming election freaking you out just a little? I have been listening to many sides of the coin and bottom line is that most are unhappy with both candidates and worried about our country. I have to remind myself in the midst of all the bad press, dishonesty, negativity and foul play that there was a king many years ago who wrote about how blessed he was even though his life was filled with danger and drama! The famous saying, "My cup runs over" can be traced to a song, called Psalm 23 written many centuries ago. 

So this painting is a reminder to me to be ever thankful. Doesn't matter what circumstance we are in, there is someone who watches over us, who loves us and has really blessed our country. A good thing to be contemplating about during this month no matter the outcome of the crazy election that is approaching next week. 

"My Cup Runneth Over" oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches


"Peace by Piece" 8x8 inches, oil on wood panel Have been thinking a lot about peace lately. So I set out to paint a little st...