Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's This?

All, right almost, finished! Yeah!

I still have a bit to go, some outlining on the letters and fix a couple of blobs. Hope to deliver this tomorrow! Then I can get back to work on the trash can.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's This?

mmmmm what is this big piece of white plywood in the driveway???? Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Trash Can Mural Project

Well, I decided I didn't like that smaller javalina, so I painted it out and started again. Coming out much better this time I think.

Still have some more to do on this guy but I'm off again tomorrow so will be able to do some more.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trash Can Mural Project

I've done much more with the trashcan. I think I'm about done with it.

This is really a combination of my decorative style and my more realistic style. Tell me what you think! Your feedback helps me grow!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trash Can Mural Project

The Miami Arts Commission is asking artists to paint on the trashcans for downtown Miami. Here is the beginning of mine. I've got a lot more done today, but here is the beginning.

More to come!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Life Drawing

Well, my time is nearly up. Tomorrow it is back on the plane to the US. I leave Ancona at 7am and arrive in Phoenix about 7 in the evening, but will have been traveling over 18 hours. Funny thing crossing the international date line.

We had a lovely Dutch model for our life drawing class, though my skill does not do her justice. I am happy with some of my drawings, but can see I definately need more practice.

Today has been a sort of lay about day. Getting things packed up and ready to go home. Sad to leave this lovely place, John and Jana have been so nice and Thomas, their helper has been great also. By Wednesday I will be back at work and all of this will be a dream....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What a lovely first week I've had here. I'm so relaxed I feel like a wet noodle. I've realized I don't have a single key about my person. At home I carry two large keyrings full and here I don't have a single one. My pockets are empty. And my cell phone doesn't work either.

The day goes by in a very leisurly fashion. Breakfast is pretty set, from 8-9 am, continental style, coffee, tea, juice, toast, cereal, yogurt, a soft boiled egg. Then on out to tour a local town, usually with a little break for coffee at mid-morning. John is a great tour guide, he knows all the best ice cream and coffee shops, as well as all sorts of local history. He has taken us to see some amazing art and architecture in the area.

Then painting or drawing until 1:00 when we go for lunch. Italian lunches may last a couple of hours and have several courses. We've been trying to have pizza and beer for lunch for several days but no luck. The locals tell us pizza is not for lunch, but for dinner. Here lunch is the big meal of the and dinner is more of a snack.

Then back to painting until late afternoon when we wend our way back through the mountains to The Retreat. Enough time for a 'lie down' as my new Australian friend Elise calls it, though if we are back early enough there will be cake and coffee. Then dinner at 7 or 7:30.

This little valley has a lot of agriculture, but not like in the US. Here every farmer has just a few acres, with corn, sunflowers or hay, a few grapevines and a garden patch. There is a co-op for wine making and one for olive pressing. At the local wine co-op you can take your own bottles and get your wine for about €1 a litre. That is something like about $6 a gallon. And very nice wine it is, served with lunch and dinner. To night's desert was a dish a bit like jello made with a sparkling wine and with fresh picked blackberries in the bottom of the glass.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beautiful Italy

Well I'm having a lovely time here at The Retreat. We have been drawing and painting everyday with wonderful meals. At the moment I can't upload photos because I can't access the net with my laptop, but maybe we'll get it sorted out tomorrow and you can see a bit of this beautiful country side.

Edit: 9/18/2010 Well sitting in Charlotte, NC waiting for my flight to Phoenix, and actually have a good 'net connection. So here are some of the pictures that should have been with this post!

All the towns here are on the top of the hills. The town here is Force. This was taken from the front yard of the Retreat. The far mountain behind and right of Force is Monte Falconi, or mountain of the falcons. Peregrine falcons nest in the cliffs.  In many ways the people here live much as they did a few hundred years ago. A family have a few acres of farm land, growing grapes, olive, figs, corn, sunflowers, for sale, a garden patch, a few pigs, cows, chickens. About the only differences now are they have electricity and use tractors instead of oxen to plow their fields. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Count Down to Italy!

tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow! Tomorrow morning I will board the plane and while I have to change planes two times before I get there, I will get there!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Here is Bear, a pet portrait commission.

First on a small rock. Black animals are more difficult than other colors, especially like here where the face is against the black body.

acrylic on stone, 3 x2.5 inches x 1.5 inches high.

Then I painted Bear on paper in a different position. I like both pieces, but I think this one is my favorite.

Bear, acrylic on paper, 5x7 inches.

If you are interested in a pet portrait done from your photograph, just shoot me an email to discuss the details.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Best Advice I Ever Got

The best advice I have ever received was from Larry Brown, now head of the Art Dept. at Gila Pueblo College, Globe, AZ. In a class I took with him a few years ago he told us: "If your lights aren't bright enough, make  your darks darker". When ever I am painting and something is not coming along quite right, I hear this in the back of my mind and usually that fixes the difficulty. So Thanks! Larry!

Datrua Dreams

For those of you not on FaceBook, here are a few shots of Datura Dreams as a work in progress:
After transferring the design to the canvas I laid everything in a gray scale, showing the lights and darks.

I then put in the background and began working on the leaves and flowers

I continued to gradually work my way around the picture, working from the upper part of the canvas and the background forward and down the canvas to the foreground.

I continued to go back and forth, around and around, adjusting colors and tones, darks and lights. Here you can see a closeup of the silver pitcher.

And here is the final piece.
Datura Dreams 18x24 inches, Acrylic on Linen. Datura plants are a large beautiful wild flower which bloom from July through the fall here in the desert. It is also known as Jimson weed and contains narcotic compounds, making it quite poisonous. The silver pitcher was a wedding gift to my parents and the crystal wine glass is one of a few survivors of a set that was a wedding gift to my grand parents.

Datura Dreams is not currently available. It has been entered into a competition. It will be available after the results of the competition are announced. Contact me if you are interested in this piece and I will put you on my mailing list to receive the information when it is available.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Count Down to Italy

In just 8 more days I will leave for Italy! I am soooo excited. I will be at The Retreat for 2 weeks. The first week will be a painting workshop and the second week will be unstructured. I may rent a car for the second week for sight seeing.  The Retreat is not too far from the ocean and the country is hilly, much like home. [though of course I live in the desert and not near the ocean]

I have most of my things packed, just a few loose ends to tidy up, Oh hurry, I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leopard Table

Here is a small end table I painted with a leopard on each end. It has a shelf underneath and a magazine rack on each end. It would make a nice accent in a jungle theme room. It is small enough to fit anywhere to give you a little storage by your favorite chair or couch.

You can see it in person at Hill Street Mall Fan them on Facebook to keep up to date on sales & specials!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rock Art

Burgandy Boot, had great fun painting this one!

I have been painting on rocks for a few years now. I really enjoy the whole process, finding rocks that just 'scream' at me what they want to be...birds, cats, dogs, fish, rubber duckies, feet, hands, fingers, faces, chickens, dragon eggs hatching, houses, wizards, 'burger and fries... you name it. When the supply is running low I go to the river early in the morning and walk around, picking up rocks. I enjoy the quiet time, just listening to the birds sing and the roar of the river.

I usually know what the rock should be as soon as I pick it up, sometimes even before I bend over to get it. I paint them with a special acrylic paint that has a UV inhibitor to help prevent fading and give them 3 coats of a clear seal for extra protection.

Here are some of my favorites,most of these have been sold, but you may contact me to discuss a commission.

A large fawn
A cute rubber duckie. I have actually found two rocks that were perfect little duckies.  
A very large turtle. I could barely lift this guy.
Leopard, another very large rock. This one is available.     

A yellow ribbon, can be personalized with name, dates, etc.
Pink dragon hatching

Monday, August 23, 2010

awesome, it works!

Well, it seems to be working. Greatly relieved. And I think this way will be a little easier than the work around I was trying before, which didn't work anyway. so now, onward and upward.

In just 11 more days I will leave for Italy. I am soooo looking forward to this trip. I just know it is all going to be perfect, like a fairy tale. I will be staying at It is in the country and not too far from the ocean.  On my new lap top I have a little widget that gives me the time and another that gives me the temperature. It seems to be almost the same as here or maybe just a little cooler. I'll see if I can figure out a way to add them to my blog here.

more testing

Well I am still trying out new things and testing ways of doing things, so here is some more test. Can I put pictures on this blog?
Well this is working in the edit window, hopefully it will still work when I publish it.

 The next test will be a link on my website to this blog since I can't seem to make the blog software on my site work like I want it too.....

About this picture: I paint on almost any surface, wood, metal, walls, canvas, paper and yes, rocks! This kitten is painted on a smooth river rock and is about 5 x 4 1/4 inches, 1 3/4 inches high. You can see more of my stone cats and my other art on my website, 

Sunday, August 22, 2010


just testing this thing out...


Testing, testing Just testing out some new ways of doing things here.....