Friday, December 27, 2013

Birds of a Feather

This painting is a 12" x 24" on gallery wrapped canvas.  The depth is 1 1/2 " and all sides are painted so the painting does not require a frame.  These little guys were created from photograph taken by DJHays.  She is a wonderful photographer and artist too.  I am one my way to the beach with some old friends of 25+ years.  I can see us sitting around,  talking and catching up as these friends are doing.  If you like this painting and would like to purchase it is available through my gallery at DPW

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Champion - SOLD

War Eagle

Aubie and the Rose - SOLD

Someone asked me to paint this for an old friend in preparation for the National Championship game at the Rose Bowl.  Aubie is the mascot for Auburn University. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Old Barn - SOLD

My friends Cathi and Bill took me on an adventure in Oregon..actually we were working but it was the greatest trip for a Southern girl to travel through a winter wonderland of snow.  I felt like we were driving through a Christmas card.  Along the way we saw many old barns with beautiful snow covered mountains in the background.  Wanted to capture this for Cathi.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sweet Olivia - SOLD

My young friend has two beautiful daughters and I am so honored to paint Olivia here.  I actually painted a watercolor of this exact photo several years ago and now have put it to oil.  What captivating eyes she has and her smile makes me smile. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fun in the Sun - SOLD

I think it keeps up centered to watch small children play - as adults we forget how to find fun in the simple things.  These beautiful girls are the grandchildren of one of my friends who lives near the ocean.  She once told me that her family takes every opportunity to create fun memories near the water. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Docked - SOLD

  This is the challenge for DPW  - painting water...Oh My - this is very difficult. A great challenge in many ways.
This is a 8" x 10" oil on linen panel

Rowen - SOLD

I have some sweet young friends who have a beautiful little boy named Rowen.  Rowen is presently still living in Haiti and the hope and prayer is that he will soon be home with his family in January.  His smile is full of joy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dance Lessons - SOLD

  This is a beautiful little girl and a lovely model.  Her mom and family are very important to me and when I saw this little angel I had to paint her.  She looks like she is waiting so patiently for class to start and she is very intent on watching the teacher.   Such a sweet little ballerina in training.

This is a 8" x 10 " original oil. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Don't Fence Me In -SOLD

This week's challenge was a Touchy Feely Challenge to try and paint texture.  This little smiling pig had some "fuzzy" little hairs that I tried to capture on his back  I loved the fact that he looks like he is smiling.  If a pig can smile surely we humans can smile a little more.


Sunday, October 13, 2013


I attended the Sarah Towery Carlisle Art Colony this past week as I have for the last eight years.  This year my instructor was Nancy Chaboun.   Nancy teaches at the Scottsdale Artists' School and is an accomplished painter.  I found her to be very informative and  very accessible to each artist, giving personal one on one instruction and assistance.  She possesses great skill in both still life painting and portrait painting and she combines her teaching with humor.  Some of the main "take aways" I received regarding portraits are:

1. The less values you have in a painting, the stronger the painting - this is the #1 problem in painting and the #1 asset.
2. We recognize people from a distance by the shape of their heads so insure that this is correct 
3. The eyes are balls so create the "roundness" when drawing the eyes
4.  Do not make the whites of the eyes "white" but a more muted color
5.  Ears are slightly redder because of the closeness of vessels to the surface
6.  The top of the ear catches light
7.  When painting hands you can follow the line of the arm to the first finger and the third finger to position the fingers on the hand.  She created the shape of the hand not each individual finger
8.  More comes forward and less moves back - therefore, if you want something to "come forward" in the painting then add more detail 
9.   White always cools
10.  Simplify! 

And......Make your darks darker ----she said this quite often to our class.  

You can find her lovely work at

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Elephant - SOLD

Some of my Alabama Roll-Tide friends wrote to me after I posted the Tiger and requested I try an Elephant.  Those of you who know my husband know that I had to go out on the back deck to paint this.  I am so fortunate to have some wonderful friends who travel to exciting places and they are good photographers so I get some good reference photos.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Tiger - SOLD

My husband loves Auburn and the mascot for Auburn is the Tiger.  He spends a lot of time watching football and during those games, I spend a lot of time painting.  This is a 16 " x 20" gallery wrapped original oil painting.  The reference photo I used came from Angeline Rijkeboer.   I plan on painting an Elephant next - in honor of Alabama fans. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

MaMa! - NFS

If you are a mother you might remember your children waking up (usually way too early) and calling you from their crib ---"MaMa!"   This little baby hummingbird is awake and hungry.   This one is dedicated to Allie --my daughter.

8" x 10" oil on linen

Contemplating Leaving - SOLD

I mentioned that I know the hummingbirds will be leaving soon and this is my interpretation of a little one contemplating the time to leave.  This is an 8" x 10" oil on linen.

Sweet - SOLD

  I love hummingbirds and I have a feeder outside my office window.  If it becomes empty, the hummingbirds will come to the window and "hover" there.  Truly!  They occasionally fight over their place at the feeder and this week I had to encourage two sparrows to leave!  I know they will be leaving soon and I will miss them. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Cat's Meow - SOLD

What a great rainy day for painting with the exception that I have moved outside to the deck - got rained on  - moved back inside to my art "corner" then outside again.....but a great day --- it is the Cat's Meow of a day...This painting is a 8" x  10" on linen painted with oils using brushes and a palette knife..I am headed to the Art Colony in a week to paint non stop for a week with the artist in residence, Nancy Chaboun and many of my artists friends from all over whom I meet with every year.  Can't wait - hope to have some new paintings completed. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day - SOLD

Beautiful Labor Day on Lake Martin!   I am so glad I have gotten a chance to be home long enough to paint.  I have been working out of town a lot and I have been committed to completing a portrait of a friend's child.  I finally finished that portrait today.  I have carried this child around with everywhere trying to "get to know him" before I could actually paint his portrait.  He has gone with me to California and he has kept me company while I have been on the treadmill and many airplanes.  Today he said, "OK - enough" so I took the opportunity to go outside on my deck and paint plein air.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summertime and The Living is Easy - SOLD

I love the beach and I recently had the opportunity to be on the beach with some wonderful friends ----the living was easy and I was so inspired to try and capture the moments.  This is an 8" x 10" oil painting on gallery canvas. The sides are  1 1/2" wide with the painting continued on the sides, therefore it does not need a frame unless you want to frame it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Robin's Nest -Gifted

One of my friends asked for a painting to honor the memory of her friend.  She is in the process of furnishing a room in a shelter that will be called Robin's Nest.  I chose a robin who is singing. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I am working in Long Island, New York this week and the day of my arrival I was very brave, took a train downtown and then a taxi to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The effort was so worth the trouble.  There is no way to describe the paintings of great artists by photos online and especially with my poor photography skills per my iPhone but I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.  (This museum actually allows photos as long as no flash is used.)  The painting above is entitled "Arabs Crossing the Desert" by Jean Leon Cerome.  I am usually drawn to Impressionistic paintings but this one was so amazing that it caught my eye.  There were no visible brushstrokes and the painting actually looked "real".  The colors were vibrant and the detail was superb.  I hope you enjoy!

Madame Manet by Edourad Manet

Despite the seemingly rapid brushwork and the summary treatment of detail, this painting was preceded by at least two drawings and an oil sketch. Manet's Impressionist style was always founded on careful study and planning. This is Manet's last portrait of his wife; it was painted at Bellevue, a suburb of Paris, where they spent the summer of 1880.

Dancers Pink and Green by Edgar Degas

This painting was equally as lovely.  Degas used thick impasto to create a surface that had almost the same look as his pastel drawings. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Comfortable Friends - SOLD

My friend Deb and I recently spent several days in Cancun to celebrate a momentous Birthday and we tried not to whine and compare ourselves to the skinny little girls in teeny bikinis.  One day we saw these three lady friends and we were so proud of them because they were completely comfortable with themselves.  They became our inspiration.

Thanks for visiting!

Poppin Peacock

The Daily Paintwork challenge this week was to take a photograph that had a subject that blended with the background and make the subject "pop".  I decided to paint the subject without the background. So this is my "Poppin Peacock". 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm Your Best Friend - Gifted

I came across this photo taken by Mary R. Vogt on MorgueFile (I know strange name) but I loved the expression on this dog's face and just had to paint him.  Thank you Mary for your wonderful reference photo. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Flowers for You SOLD

This was a Daily Paintworks Challenge, warm and cool colors. The proceeds from this sale will be donated to the Oklahoma tornado victims. 

  This is a 8" x 10" oil on stretched artist canvas.  It was helpful to have something to concentrate on this weekend to paint as my husband had open heart surgery this week and it has been very trying.  Painting is so healing and helps to keep me centered.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Little Shadow - SOLD

My good friend, Deb and I just returned from Cancun.  I loved taking pictures of little families on the beach.  This Mom and her little girl were sitting under an umbrella that Mom was holding to shade her little girl.  My friend said it reminded her of her own little girl when she was small and the way she was a "little shadow" always with Mom.

This is a 24" x 12" oil and was submitted to Daily Paintworks Challenge to the Paint it White Challenge.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

OnyeOma - SOLD

This week the challenge on Daily Paintworks is to paint a friend. I have been waiting to paint OnyeOma.  She is the daughter of one my friends and I fell in love with her sweet face.  Her name in the Nigerian Dialect means "Good Person" and if she is anything like her father I know she is a good person.  This is a 8" x 8" oil on artists canvas. 

At The Farmer's Market- SOLD

This was a DPW Challenge - a painting of a Farmer's Market. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Learning to Paint with Roger Dale Brown

I have great intentions of completing my summaries of artists I have studied with but somehow painting gets in the way and writing the summaries feel similar to writing term papers in college so I seem to get side tracked but I do not want to leave out Roger Dale Brown, Peggy Kroll Roberts, Dreama Tolle Perry, Qiang Huang or Colley Whisson. 

Roger Dale Brown believes, as the historical master artists, such as John Carlson and Edgar Payne, that "plein air" painting is an essential element in being a great artist.  His workshop was one of the best I ever attended.  Roger is patient, a very good teacher and he provides an excellent notebook full of material for his students.  In this notebook he provides exercises for practice, his own Philosophy, and his step by step approach to a painting.  In addition he describes the steps to a successful painting and he provides several articles and other resource materials.  Roger gave an important hint in one of his articles, "Keep control of your painting by mastering the art of comparison.  Find the brightest color and relate all other colors.  Find the sharpest edge and relate all other edges.  Find the darkest value and relate all other values to it."

A valuable lesson I learned from Roger was to set goals.  He stated that setting goals has been one of the most critical aspects of his development.  He has personal goals and business goals and he provides some very specific examples to get anyone started. 

Roger paints wonderful landscapes but also paints a variety of subject matter.  You can find his website here:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hello Spring - SOLD

I live on a lake and when I see the first baby ducks swimming by my pier, I know that Spring is on the way.  Swimming for children, going for long boat rides, canoe trips and fishing expeditions are just around the corner.  The days are longer and packed full of fun and memories.  This little guy let me know the fun is about to begin.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'm A Redhead -SOLD

   The birds are coming around now and this one inspired is painted on a 6" x 6" 1'1/2 inch linen canvas.  Does not require frame... Spring is in the air. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Red Bird in the Pines- SOLD

Red bird sitting in the Pine tree.  6" x 6" 1 inch wide stretched linen


The challenge on Daily Paintworks was to paint what is in your refrigerator.  This was hard for me on many levels.  Number one, as many who know me well, know I do not have much in my refrigerator so the options were limited and number two I really hate to paint things that do not really interest me.  I did find one lime that was cut.  I tried to paint the plate it was on but quickly realized I just could not get it right.  I tried using some of Julie Oliver's fracturing technique, if you are unaware of Julie's wonderful style of painting you can see it here

 and her ArtByte explaining the process her

  My attempt does not even come close to her wonderful way of painting but it is a fun concept and I found I even liked painting what was in my refrigerator.  '

This painting is available for $40 by email at

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painting and the Meaning of Color

The second year I attended the Art Colony I was in the workshop of Patt Odom.  Patt  paints in acrylics and oils and also is a master of collages.  I consider her a "painterly painter". 

 You can find her  work here  

I learned a lot from Patt about the personal side of color preference.  She provided us handouts on color that explored the meaning of color as expression in painting.  This was not really a new concept to me (the fact that it is natural for different individuals to prefer different colors) but I had never consciously thought about it while planning a painting.  The referenced material gave a description of each color and how that color related to the individual who preferred it according to character and personality studies.  It was noted that blue, red and green are the colors most people prefer and in that order.  Red is positive, blue tranquil and green a balance between the two.  The book excerpt went on to say that if you like red, the interest of your life is directed outward.  Through red the human spirit finds release for it's more impassioned emotions.  

Additional colors are each described along with their relationship to emotions. (Unfortunately, I could not find a reference in the handout to the particular textbook but if anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of the material I have, please email me and I will scan it to you.)  Patt taught that color and form should be worked hand in hand with the painting.  Shapes have expressive qualities that relate to color.  Again, I had an "ah ha" moment.  I should not try and paint each stroke the very same as in painting a real house but to try and make the viewer feel something the artist feels.  The feeling being more important than the visual subject.  An article by Charles Movalli entitled, "In Praise of Painterly Painters" was included in the handout and I found it very good.  In the article the author said Sargent searched for the brushstrokes that gave the most expression with the least waste of energy.   In addition the author stated "the brushstroke is like a piece of the painter's handwriting".  

Another way this was stated by Patt was that movement creates LIFE and brushstrokes create motion and livingness.  Patt's work reflects motion and movement and Life.  She makes the paint the "star", at times, even leaving drips of paint in the finished work.  In an effort to create more life in my own art, I learned to use BIG brushes.  That was a hard lesson, and still is at times.  I also learned that the way to become a better artist is to paint, paint, paint.  Patt stated that there is no bad art but there is unlearned art. To illustrate this, one can use a ladder to explain the process.  It is determined by how many steps you have climbed on the ladder.  All artists are somewhere between the first and last step.  We should all be striving to climb the next step.  One step at a time!  You never arrive; you are always climbing.  My goal is to continue to climb.  I hope this blog post helps you in your climb as well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Color and Value in Painting

Dot Turnipseed Svendson is a master teacher of color and values.  While studying 
under Dot, I learned the true importance of values.  Dot stated that 80% of painting is
correct if value is correct. She opened my eyes to the need to place my darks first 
in a painting and then add the lights and to always keep your colors clean and your
values correct. We spent a lot of time mixing colors and comparing values and these
exercises were invaluable.   Another major lesson I learned from Dot was that there are
usually 4 planes to a painting:  (1)  the sky is the lightest, (2) the ground is next in
value (3) slanted objects next value and (4) uprights are the darkest.  During Plein Air 
Painting, Dot encouraged us to write down what we were feeling when we found a
scene so that we would remember when completing our painting.  For instance, was
it a grey day, sunny, warm,  did we feel peaceful, etc. and try and incorporate our 
feeling into our painting.  Dot referenced Carlsons Guide to Landscape Painting by 
John F. Carlson.  In his book, Mr. Carlson states “We have heard a great deal about
“simplicity” and “elimination” about “design” in painting, but we have heard little
about the how or why of it all.  It is easy to say to a student, “see nature simply” but
that means nothing to him. It is a difficult task to explain logically why or how he should
see it simply.  It is not a question of helping him to paint it simply, but rather one of 
helping him see it simply.  If he sees it simply, he will readily find a way of painting
it simply.”  Dot “sees” the painting simply and is able to tell a story without overloading 
the viewer with details.  I find that when I study with someone as great as 
this teacher I do not always come home with a finished painting but I use the opportunity 
to experiment, learn and listen  to her critiques and then I try to incorporate what I
have learned into future paintings. 

I attached an example of the four planes here that I did in the workshop.  I apologize that 
the quality is not very good but she stated it was a good example. 

You can find Dot's website here:


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Learning How to Paint

I started out at the University of North Alabama years ago as an art major but somehow 
left that first love and became a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.  In the last 10 years I
have gone back to my first love and have spent time trying to grow and become a better artist.
My goal is to be able to paint every day.  That is not happening at this point as I continue to
be employed as a Perinatal Clinical Specialist and that job keeps me on the road (or in the air)
most of the week.   I do try and visit art galleries in each city I visit if the time allows and I
find this a very wonderful educational experience.  I have also had the privilege to study with
some amazing artists over the years who have influenced me in so many ways and I feel
like I have gleaned a certain thing or two from each one.  My goal here is to try and record
the top  take-aways from each one.  

I am very fortunate to live in a very artsy community on Lake Martin in Alabama.  Each year
the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony hosts a 5 day event where the attending artists can 
attend classes with one of the visiting instructors.  You can find information regarding 
the Art Colony here   One of the first artists I studied with at The Colony
was Randy Moberg.   (You can find many of his paintings in   J. Alexander’s restaurants.)
Randy is amazing. On his website you will find this comment that truly describes his work:   

 "I express ideas using colors and shapes to create images 
that cannot be otherwise described".  

His style opened my eyes to Impressionism in a new way and freedom in painting. 
His paintings were very large and when I walked up close to them, I saw only patches of 
color and light, as I moved back across the room I saw Jazz Players and Portraits and
Scenes .  This sparked something in me that I fell in love with – the ability to allow the
paint to speak without being so “tight and structured”. I also recognized that he had a gift.  
I watched him work and he never seemed to have a plan (maybe he did in his head) but I 
saw him throw color on the canvas and walk back and assess it and it seemed he waited
for the canvas and paint to tell him what he was painting.    I really did not paint anything in
his class that I feel worthy of showing here.  It seems I am so focused on learning new 
things in each workshop that I tend to "experiment" during class and then try and incorporate
what I have learned in future paintings.  However, I feel like my experience in
his workshop created a new journey for me. 

 You can check out his paintings at

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Dinghy - NFS

I am a member of The Complete Artist group created by Richard Robinson.  This is the first entry I have submitted to one of his workshops that he offers each month.  The workshops allow the artist to view a demo by Richard, select a photo to paint from and then enter the photo into a contest and also the opportunity to receive critiques and comments from other members.  Some lucky participants will even have their paintings critiqued by Richard.  This was a fun, learning experience and I look forward to participating again.

This 8" x 10" oil on canvas.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rasta Child Portrait - SOLD

This painting is my impression of a small child who was in a Rasta Parade in Jamaica.  The reference photo was provided by a photographer named Li Newton.  She stated that  the Rastafari movement is a "messianic religio-political" movement that began in the Jamaican slums in the 1920s and 30s. The most famous Rastafari is Bob Marley, whose reggae music gained the Jamaican movement international recognition.  Even though this little person had a serious expression on his face she said there was a lot of singing and dancing and celebrating going on.  This little child in his colorful turban touched something in my heart.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Wedding Couple - GIFTED

It is so wonderful to see the love and hope reflected in newly married couples.  Many weddings  are full of fairy tale beauty, pomp and circumstance.  The couples are full of love for each other and it is so evident in the way they look at each other and interact.  The beautiful brides rival Cinderella's loveliness and the grooms all become versions of Prince Charming.  Those of us who walked down the aisle many years ago know that the fairy tale that is created on the wedding day is full of twists and turns, some good chapters and some bad.  We are tempted at times to run away, end the story and look for another fairy tale.  But if we can take each chapter and  learn to forgive, to be the best we can be and love anyway,  then the story actually unfolds to a new fairy tale and it is even a deeper and more meaningful one as we find love and hope reflected in our lives again.