Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cousins - SOLD

This was a another commissioned piece for a Christmas present.  I think this is one of my favorite paintings of all time.  The photo was not very clear that I worked from but the body language came through and the relationship of these three touched my heart.  The mother of the little girl, Mavvy, said these three cousins are truly best friends.  They were looking through a fence at a donkey (he did not make it into the painting.) 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hannah - SOLD

I love the way this little girl just loves life and it shows on her face.  I was so honored to be asked to paint this as a gift.  The mother of this little girl was graduating from Nursing School and her good friend wanted to surprise her with a painting of her favorite photo of her child.  What a thoughtful friend and wonderful friendship and I am thankful to be a part of this surprise.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Topper - NFS

The challenge this week from Daily Paintworks was to paint a Furry Friend.  I am just in the "thinking" stage of getting a new dog so I have cute puppies on my mind and so does my sweetheart granddaughter Whitney.  This week while working I met a friend with the cutest little dog and when she showed me the picture of him curled up on the couch I thought it would be a great photo to complete the challenge.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Enjoying the View - SOLD

This little hummer enjoying the view received the most votes by my Facebook friends.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Make Mine Pink - SOLD

This little bird was part of my experiment to paint the same hummingbird four ways and review the comments from my Facebook friends as to which one appealed to them more.  The results were interesting.  This one came in as a close second with Sittin Pretty that I posted previously. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sittin' Pretty - SOLD

Last week I painted the same hummingbird in four different ways.  I loved the little guy and I asked for opinions from my facebook friends of which one they liked the best.  This guy tied with another more colorful version that I will post tomorrow.  This gallery wrapped canvas is 6" x 6" with 1 1/2" sides that are painted. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'm Coming Back - SOLD

I love this little fellow.  I found this reference on Morguefile and I loved it so much this is the second time I have painted him in a different version.  These warm days make me look forward to the hummingbirds coming back.  This is painted on a 6" x 6" gallery wrapped canvas so the sides are 1 1/2" deep and painted and therefore the painting does not need a frame. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Goldie - SOLD

I love the site Paint My Photo. The site is a place where photographers supply photos for artists to paint.  I so appreciate the talented photographers on the site.  It takes an artist to capture lovely photographs, especially photos that tell a story and it is such a gift to be on the receiving end of such talent. I found the reference photo, Goldfinch on Hydreagea on the site by Cynthia Roudebush.  I was drawn to this little bird who looks like she is contemplating the colors in the hydrangrea. The color of her feathers and the colors in the plant compliment each other so well.   I painted this on a 6" x 6" gallery wrapped canvas and it can be purchased at

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Red - SOLD

I a I have really enjoying having time off to spend time  painting.   I lose myself in the process and find myself surprised so many times.  For instance, when a painting looks "simple" it is usually harder.  Trying to tell a story without overdoing it is always the goal.  Dianne Whitelaw, a wonderful teacher I studied with this fall told our class that  "the camera records - the eyes select".  The artist wants to give enough information that the observer can complete the message of the painting without the artist giving every little detail. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


For those of you who believe in Santa - I said I would never ever paint on burlap again but Santa just showed up here and I love the way he appeared.  I love the texture and the fact that I found the painting painting itself.  I really am going to be good!  He showed up!

Beautiful Kate- SOLD

It is always a gift to me when a friend ask me to paint for them.  This is a beautiful little girl and I so loved painting her.  My friend is a long time friend from high school and she is the grandmother to this little angel.  What a wonderful journey life is to bring people into our lives that bless us across the years. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Robinette - SOLD

I have had fun painting these little birds this week. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Best Friends - SOLD

I painted these two little friends once before from a reference photo provided by Ro Lovelock.  The first time I painted these fellows it was on burlap so I wanted to try again on canvas and the result is so different.  This is a 6" x 6" gallery wrapped canvas that has 1 1/2" sides that are painted so it requires no frame.  These two remind me of the way best friends stick together.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Snuggling Swallows - SOLD

Three little swallows snuggling.

Reference photo from Paint My Photo - Dottie Best

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hummin' - SOLD

I love hummingbirds.  They are gone away now to wherever it is that hummingbirds go in the winter.  I have the feeder cleaned and put away until next year but I miss them.  This week was cold outside but the sun was shining brightly on the deck and I missed my little friends.  I painted this in their honor and this little guy is bringing a "prize" to me.  Maggie and Madeline Wertz are two friends I met "accidentally" and Maggie has purchased this painting and will be coming to visit.  Madeline, her daughter is a wonderful young artist.  See a picture of her and her work here.   I love seeing young people who love art and understand the meaning and joy it brings to our lives. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just Hanging Out - SOLD

This cute little robin's reference photo came from Michabel and found in Morguefile.   I am painting a series of little birds and find them so full of personality, color and fun.  These are all 6" x 6" oils on panel board.  I love the way the paint lays on these boards, however it seems you must be very decisive about your strokes because they show up very dominate.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hangin' On - SOLD

This little bluebird is perched on the side of a tree.  He looks like he is trying to decide what his next move will be.  Aren't we all?

Thanks to Janett Ellington Horton for the lovely reference photo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day Dreaming - SOLD

I have been painting birds this week from some photos provided by some wonderful photographers.  The reference photo for this redbird came from Rodney Campbell.  I love cardinals and have a wonderful friend who says that they are reminders that God is near.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sexy Apple -SOLD

The challenge last week was to paint "something in a bowl".  I loved the photo of this apple by Cheri Homaee.  The apple is sitting on some light material that looks very soft and just plain ole sexy - therefore the name.  This is an 8" x 10" oil on stretched canvas.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sisters - SOLD

A photo taken by Elaine Cross inspired me.  I love these two little sisters.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lost in the Dance- SOLD

I have ballet on my mind.  My sweet granddaughter, Whitney is taking ballet and she is so dedicated at anything she is a part of.  This particular ballerina is dedicated and totally lost in the dance.  The reference photo came from a photo by Bronwyn Chelius.

Bronwyn contributes to a site entitled, Paint My Photo.  Paint My Photo is a site where photographers and artists meet and the photographers graciously allow you to paint their photos.  There are some amazing photographers there and I am so appreciative of their sharing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Good Day

When I attend a week long art colony I find that I cannot paint anything of any value while there.  I come home with a lot of reference paintings but nothing I would really like.  This time was an exception, I painted a Fall scene for the challenge painting on Daily Paintworks.  The colors of Fall are beautiful and taking a walk on a cool morning is the best! 

Art Colony with Dawn Whitelaw

Every year for the past 9 years I have attended The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Gallery at Children's Harbor on beautiful Lake Martin.  This year I took a class with Dawn Whitelaw.  Dawn is a wonderful portrait and plein air artists in addition to being an excellent teacher.  She is one of the few teachers who will give you constructive criticism and will allow you to try to correct your errors in your painting and then guide you again and again until you understand and "get it".  The first day she completed a seascape demo and then allowed us to chose our subject and paint independently.  She then spent time at each student's easel for one on one instruction.  Several things she said were noteworthy if you would like to improve your portraits:

1.  The camera records, the eyes select - it is not necessary to tell everything.
2.  Turn form with color not light and dark- doing this without a lot of value change.
3.  When making the slight indention at the smile line on a child use a different color not a darker color .  A darker color here will make the subject look older.
4,  Pull large shapes together
5.  The highlight is NOT white

She is an expert at color mixing.  She uses a limited palette of Titanium White, Cad Yellow Medium, Pyrol Red, Ultramarine Blue that she purchases from Blue Ridge Paints (if anyone is interested in purchasing these - email me and I can provide the address.)

The next to last day she provided a portrait demo and because our model did not show up on that day, I was the model!  If you would like to see more of her work go to 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Walkin' In the Light

This weekend I spent time with my grandchildren.  Weston (7 years old) wanted me to see some of his new paintings and when I told him that he was very talented he said, "I learned from a great artist, Mimi ---YOU!"  Whitney (7 years old) waited on me at lunch and brought my plate and drink to me and periodically came up to me with spontaneous hugs for no reason at all.   Those hugs made feel so loved and special.  Landon and Miller (both 3 years old) were playing outside and pretending it was time to go bed in their make believe house.  I watched as they both folded their little hands and bowed their heads to pray before bedtime.  Charlie (3 years old) saw that my outdoor "yard art" butterfly was broken and he said, "My Mommas can fix that for you and I will help them."  I realized again how little people walk in the Light.  Sometimes it is Light that we adults do not even see. It is Light filled with wonder, love, acceptance and kindness.   My grands reminded me that I want to walk in  that Light and share it with someone the way they do so effortlessly.

The reference photo came from JulesinKY on morguefile.  Check out her photos.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's Cold - SOLD

My husband and I woke up last weekend and spontaneously decided to go to the beach.  That is one of the best parts of getting older and having all your kids grown with kids of their own, you can just do whatever you want to do!  I spent most of the day and part of the next day on the beach watching.  I saw this little girl taking her time warming up to the water.  She was so cute - all dressed up in her cute little bathing suit complete with hair bow and she was excited to be here.  Her Mom and Dad were close by but they did not make it into my painting.

8" x 10" original oil on stretched canvas

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Tiger Named Auburn - SOLD

Those who know me well know that my husband is a huge Auburn fan so last week when I painted the elephant I had to hide out on my deck to paint.  This week he was very happy with my painting.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Elephant Named Bama

It is football season again.  I know nothing about football so I spend my Saturdays painting.  I have alot of friends who love elephants and who they stand for but my husband is not one of those people so I have been hiding out on the downstairs deck painting this guy.  I like him.  The painting is one of my larger pieces 24" x 30" and is oil on stretched canvas.  He can be purchased from my website at

Price $250

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Little Dreamer

I have always loved the picture of the daughter of my young friend walking along the water's edge at the beach.  She looks like she is really experiencing the joy of walking in the water and the beach. She also reminds me of dreaming ----good things----not a care in the world.  I love the wonderful way children remind us to enjoy each moment and continue to dream........

I actually painted this same picture several years (2010) ago and can definitely see a change for the good and improvement in my painting style.  After years of studying with different wonderful artists, many visits to art galleries and painting, painting and painting, I think those things have paid off.  At least I am more content with my style.  Recently, my husband gave me a book to read entitled, " Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.  A common theme that permeates the book is that greatness requires enormous time.  He considers that the key to success in any field is simply practicing a specific task over and over - he suggest the 10,000 hour rule.  That translates to 20 hours a week for 10 years.   I have several hours to go :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Blankey - SOLD

All my grands have a favorite blanket they like to wrap up in.   In fact, I have one too!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Floatation Preparation - GIFTED

I had a young friend send me the greatest message today that she got from C.S.Lewis, "When you painted on earth - at least in your earlier days- it was because you caught glimpses of Heaven in the earthly landscape.  The success of your painting was that it enabled others to see the glimpses too."

I do think the ocean is a glimpse of Heaven and I would be so thankful if my paintings brought a glimpse of Heaven to anyone.    What a great thought!

This summer I spent some time at the beach with some good friends and I admired this lady from the shore.  She was happy and enjoying her day in the ocean.

If you like this painting and would like to have it - Good!   I am giving it away.  Please go to my Facebook page ( and like my page and share on your FB page (if you have one) and in the comments under the picture write the word Share.  This Saturday I will draw the name of the winner....check back on my page on Saturday.   (If you do not have a FB page just leave me a note here. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Little Digger - SOLD

I took this photo of a little guy at the beach this summer who was working so hard on digging and not getting anywhere.  I have a lot of experience with little guys - this one reminds me of one of my 4 grandsons.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Namaste - SOLD

This little hummingbird came from a reference photo by Valavan Manohararajah.  I am looking for photos to paint as I am committed to painting something every day as often as I can.  I am getting out early before work and then painting in the evenings when it is cool outside after work.  This one is a little different but I like the way he turned out.  I am also trying to be more consistent with my morning yoga.  In Yoga, the gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." This little guy looks peaceful and is viewing the bird of paradise flower as if to say "I bow to you."

Saturday, August 23, 2014


  It is 91 degrees at my house right now and I think this little fellow has the right idea.

This is a 7" x 9" oil on canvas panel - I would love for him to have a home.  You can purchase here:

Photo reference supplied by:  Nicole B

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mine ! - SOLD

I love watching the hummingbirds outside my office window.  In fact, I have even resuscitated two of them who tried to fly through the window.  I used a tiny syringe filled with sugar water and they were both able to be revived.  I guess word has gotten around the hummingbird community that I have sugar water because now they will come to my window if their feeder is low on food and they will just hover there until I replace their food.  Last weekend my granddaughter, Whitney and I were on the porch in our big white swing and a hummingbird flew by and landed about a foot away and just stared at us.  I told Whitney, "he wants more food."  We filled up the feeder and watched as he and 3 others started fighting over the new supply of sugary, red liquid.    This is the thing, the feeder can accommodate 4 birds but each one wanted to be THE ONLY ONE.  They can actually get aggressive and knock each other away.  When I saw this photo reference by Michael D Utin on Paint my Photo it reminded me of one of those aggressive little hummingbirds, the stance and the facial expression said it all!  "Mine!" 

Ummmm....there might be a life lesson here somewhere.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


My daughter asked me to paint this for a friend of her's who loves being out on her boat.   Another version of "Intimate Landscapes".

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Hiding Place

I have a friend of many years.  We put our husbands through graduate school together and we watched our families grow with children.  Our children played together and now we watch our children's children.  Truly the circle of life and friendship.  My friend is Marsha Thomas.  I have always known Marsha to be a great artist but if has been recently that I have noticed her photography skills.  She has a gift for choosing just the right shot and her photos are so expressive.  The painting group I belong to had a challenge for this week to paint an "Intimate Landscape".  I asked Marsha if I could use one of her photos of her sweet granddaughter, Hope.  Thank you Marsha!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Besties - SOLD

I thought I had a great idea.  I have noticed some burlap canvases at Hobby Lobby lately and I thought those would make such a great texture to work on.  It has a very rough texture and I like the color so I thought it might be nice to have some of the color show through the painting.  

There are times when someone will ask me to paint a painting similar to one that has already sold.  I never paint the same painting again but there are times when I try to accommodate the request by painting a similar one.  I can honestly say I will NEVER paint on burlap again (unless the price is right, of course).  The burlap soaks and soaks up the paint and you have to keep applying, keep tweaking your colors and then apply again and again.  The texture is very rough and because of that the strokes are very hard to control.  When I come up from the deck where I have been painting, my husband will always ask me, "Well, how did it go?"  My answer is usually, "I learned something today."  That is truly the case with this one.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Heather on Sunday Afternoon

The challenge from DPW this week was a photo of a lovely young lady sitting on a blanket under an umbrella reading a book.  I have been recuperating from pneumonia this week and have not felt much like painting so I am late submitting this but working a little each evening helped me move around a little in the evenings after the sun went down and helped me feel like I might be normal one day soon.  (Well at least as "normal" as I can be.)  This is an 8" x 10" on a canvas board and can be purchased at

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Croquet on the Lawn - NFS

We have some very good friends who actually have a croquet area in their yard.  I found a reference photo by Lynne Fearman that depicted several ladies playing croquet in their finery from the 1800's.  I painted this card for my friend to celebrate our croquet games. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Painting a Portrait - Step by Step

Recently one of my friends asked me to paint a portrait of her children (who are now grown) and she wondered it I would chronicle the steps of the painting in pictures.  I have really enjoyed this little exercise because it forced me to think about the steps I use.  I first "live" with the photo for several days or weeks...I take the subject with me on trips and I study them while I am sitting on the couch reading or watching TV.  I create a plan in my head and try to remember that I am not a realistic portrait artist but I strive for a "likeness" and "personality".  Then I decide how I want to start the background and what underpainting I might use.  (You can see from the photo I was outside on the deck so that the color was correct.  Natural light is my friend.)   Because the photo had some pinkish areas in the background I toned my canvas with a color close to what I wanted to peak through.  Then I drew the image on the canvas trying to establish where the darks would be versus lights.  Next I started laying in the darks and stepping back and trying to establish a pattern that appealed to me.  

I then started on their faces and personalities.

  By the time I finish, I feel like I have a connection to the subjects.  I feel like I know them.  Below you can see the photo and my finished painting.