Monday, October 24, 2016

Sea of Dreams

9 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

Sometimes when I go into my studio to paint and don't have a definite idea of what I'm going to start, I look through my photos and see what appeals to me at that particular time.  I think I've said it before, but if I don't have a real interest in the subject, the outcome is not as good as I'd like it to be.  This little painting is an example.  I like it now a lot, but it took me a while to get into the process.  I wasn't sure where I was going with it, kept changing it, and finally decided to leave it as is and look at it again later.  When I did, I was happy with it.  I've discovered over the years that, for me, I have to have a real passion for the subject and can see the painting even before I put the first stroke on the canvas.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Albert Teske Farm, Circa 1900

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board

This certainly is a departure for me!  My Daughter-In-Law was here and brought this photo of her family's farm.  As soon as I saw it, I wanted to try painting it.  It is much more involved with lots more people, machines, and structures so I broke it down.  My plan is to do it in sections, but this was my first attempt at it.  Now that it's done, I'm going to tackle the rest.  I don't do machines and have no idea what I'm painting, so I just painted shapes.  I actually did that with the people as well.  It was extremely hard to see their faces.  I just wanted to get their "essence".   

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Better Than the Library

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board

My son and Daughter-in-Law are visiting from Singapore this week, so I didn't have much time to paint.  A very good reason to take a break!  This was a very quick one I did while they were out.  A really limited palette.  This woman was reading on her float right off her dock.  She had it tied on a long rope so the wake from the passing boats didn't send her out into the middle of the lake.  When I snapped her photo I told her she was going to become a painting.  She said "Oh No!" but did smile.  I read that as permission to proceed :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Three in a Canoe

6 x 12 Oil on Archival Board

Usually it's the person in the back that gets away with not paddling :-)  She could blame it on her paddle, I guess.  The longer paddle is for our kayak.  I'm not sure why we got the shorter paddle.  This is what happens when your dock house is a mess and the girls are anxious to get out on the water.  Trying to find anything is impossible!  It's Fall.  Now's the time to start cleaning it out in preparation for next summer. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

"In Your Face" Oil Sketch

8 x 8 Oil Sketch


I was beginning to sketch in this woman, stepped back to get a better perspective, and decided to stop where I was.  I really liked the effect here.  It seemed to say all I wanted to about her. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Woman with a Cane

9 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

I generally paint from my photographs, but every now and then my relatives or friends take a picture they think I would be interested in painting.  Even using photos, I have to feel that I can give the subject some life...some movement, or I feel my painting has failed.  That goes for landscapes as well as figurative work, at least for me.  This Italian woman caught my cousin's eye and she thought of me.  How lucky I feel to have people on the look out for quirky characters and places for me :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blue Eyes

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Number 3 in my series "In Your Face".  I was really painting this lovely woman's expression.  Slightly quizzical as she was trying to make a point.  That knitted brow...What fun to paint!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Woman in a Purple Hat

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Continuing on with my "In Your Face" series, this is the second.  This was a challenge due to the bright light hitting the woman's face and the shadows.  I painted and wiped it off a few times before I was satisfied with the outcome.  My favorite part...Her chin.  Everyone keeps reminding me that a few years ago I insisted that I would never do a face because of the difficulty.  I pretty much only painted people from the back....

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Getting Your Feet Wet

30 x 40 Oil on Stretched Canvas

Finally finished, and a good experience.  "Getting Your Feet Wet" has two meanings here.  My first really big oil painting, and since I've completed this I'm ready for another...and then there's the obvious meaning.  Meanwhile I'm working on my series "In Your Face."  The most wonderful thing about this thing called painting and creating is what's next.  That moment when your mind starts working on the next project.  I'm so very thankful :-) 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

In Your Face #1

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

I enjoyed doing this so much, I think I'm going to do a series. I've painted this man before a few times and just keep getting drawn back to his wise and worn face. Is it sadness?...maybe...or just the passage of time. Whatever it is, I keep wanting to get closer. So...Number 1 of my series "In Your Face".

Monday, September 5, 2016

Woman at Rest

7 x 5 Oil on Archival Board

People watching is my thing.  No doubt about it!  Painting them is my idea of heaven.  A study of a woman at rest.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tallulah and Her Shadow

6 x 12 Oil on Archival Board

Today is Tallulah's 5th birthday and this is her official portrait, kind of like Queen Elizabeth's official portrait on her milestone birthdays....She would be a very happy dog today, except we had thunder and lightning all night so she (and we) didn't get much sleep.  I loved her seahorse shadow on her bed :-)  Happy Birthday, Lula!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Girl with the Pink Hair

8 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

A study of a really cute young girl on her cell that I couldn't resist painting.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Canoe x 3

6 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Three people fishing in a unusual site here at the lake.  Most people have very fancy, super fast fishing boats, so it was nice to see people enjoying the peace and quiet.  No motors, just the sounds of the water lapping, birds chirping, and occasional fish jumping (usually far enough away that they don't get caught :-)  Another moment in time...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dog Toss Ballet Redux

6 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Painting with my 'peeps' at Goose Creek Studio on Saturday, this was the outcome. I fixed up the water a little when I got home, but I'm leaving it as is. A quick study in oil. A very fun day!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Room with a Lake View

8 x 10 Oil on Archival Board


An interior view of the lake outside this breakfast room window.  Talk about a challenge!!  Certainly not a simple scene.  As I was painting it, I kept saying to myself: "Is this really necessary?"  Anyway, it's much as it can be...and I'm moving on :-)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beach Broads

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board

This is the latest commission I finished and delivered.  It's always a good feeling to complete a painting I'm really happy with.  They don't always go smoothly, but this one did.  I think you get the feeling of the beach and hopefully the joy I had just painting it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mo and Pat

6 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

One wonderful artist friend and her lovable companion who was listening intently to make sure we weren't talking about him.  Good conversation, fine art... as always at Goose Creek Studio in Bedford, VA. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Finding a New Spot to Dig

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board

This is the last in the series of three paintings of Lucy and Cooper (new friends) at the beach.  They were heading out to find a new and better place to dig....or happily walking off into the sunset, perhaps to meet again another time or place :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tallulah Dressed for a Car Ride

9 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

I posted a photo of our Sproodle, Tallulah, in her "Obedient Pup" scarf a little while ago.  I've been working on a number of commissions lately and needed to just play, so here is her "official portrait" in her ...the only thing I can think of to call it is her babushka.  She actually loves it as you can tell from her smile :-)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tractor at Rest

6 x 12 Oil on Archival Board

I'm not usually drawn to a farm tractor scene, but there was something about the light on this one that caught my interest.  The colors on the original are more subtle.  I tried different lighting about 10 times and this was the most accurate, but still not quite right.  Painting is easy...Photographing the artwork is a challenge.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Balancing Act

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

I caught sight of this woman with her trusty dog when we were out on the boat.  She was working hard paddling, but her dog had time to take in the surroundings and posed for me :-)  This is really just a quick study, but I like it so thought I'd post it.  Just a blip in time in our day.  It came, it passed, and I recorded it in paint.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Father and Son Day at the Beach

5 x 7 Oil on Archival Board

Continuing on with my beach series, this father and son hit the beach before the crowds.  He had his book and chair, and his son had his toys.  A perfect beach day!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Buckets of Fun

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Lucy and Cooper once again....This time working hard to fill those pails with sand and, I'm assuming, discussing the day's events; or Cooper is instructing Lucy on the preferred technique of sand play.  This photo of the painting is much darker than the original, and the sand is not so yellow.  Also, there's a glare...Other than that, it's fine :-)    

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ocean Pwer Walk

5 x 7 Oil on Archival Board

Another moment in time at the beach.  This woman was power walking along the shore.  What struck me as unusual was her attire.  Very elegant. These little vignettes are my way of recording what I saw and felt at certain moments.  Lots of surf, smells of salt water, smells of sun on the sand, and the pounding of the waves on the shore.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Summer Romance

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board

Finding a new friend is always a wonderful thing, but especially when it's a summer romance.  Lucy and Cooper will probably never see each other again, but there is something special to be said for this moment in time.  The interaction, the sharing of pails and shovels (mighty big shovels at that), and two year old conversations, is what it's all about...That "ahhh" moment.  In our crazy mixed-up world, a moment like this is heaven.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Group Walk

5 x 7 Oil on Archival Board

School's out...Summer begins.  A group of college kids enjoying an empty beach.  Lots to talk about, lots to look forward to.  Summer beach series continues....

These paintings stand alone or look really good together.  If interested in purchasing, click this link:
Click to go to ETSY

Monday, July 4, 2016

Girl Talk

5 x 7 Oil on Archival Board

2016 Beach series continued...Two women having a heart-to-heart at the beach.  I loved doing this one!  More to come :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dapper Sherman

Oil on Archival Board

You can't tell me Sherman doesn't look smart and sassy and he should, too, because he is competing in obedience and winning much praise.  Apparently French Bulldogs are not always obedient....and I know they don't always win awards.  Only the ones who have incredible trainers (i.e., Brian Hawkins)!  Don't you think that red bowtie says it all?  What a face!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Late Day at the Ocean

5 x 7 Oil on Archival Board
Here is the second in my mini-series of beach vignettes.  There were rough seas this particular evening and I caught this woman walking her dog along the surf.    If you are interested in purchasing, just hit the Buy It Now link.  It will take you to my Etsy page of original oils.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Setting Up

5 x 7 Oil on Archival Board


Summer is officially here, so here is the first in a little series of beach vignettes.  Finding the perfect spot on the beach and setting up all the things that seemed necessary was always a chore.  When I went to the beach as a child, all we brought was a blanket or towel, radio, and suntan lotion...Sometimes, not even that because we all believed that being really red or tan was the goal...   

Monday, June 20, 2016

Golden Sunset at the Lake

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

This time of year the sunsets are exquisite, and even more so after a storm.  I don't usually try to paint them because I don't seem to be able to capture that beauty.  I never do them justice; however, I had to try to capture this one.  My friend (and wonderful artist), Suzanne Paddock, came over last week and we played.  We mostly discussed color and the process of blocking in.  Her suggestions and the time she took were so much appreciated.  In this painting, I tried to conjure up everything we talked about.  I really like the way this came out.  Thank you, Suz!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"The Problem We All Live With"


8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

For me, painting is a good way to avoid thinking about the horror that occurred in Orlando.  My heart goes out to all those involved.  This touches us all.

This is another in my art patron series...This one of a little girl with a huge backpack (and a teddy bear) studying Norman Rockwell's depiction of little Ruby Bridges, a six year old, headed to an all white public school in 1960.  She is surrounded by guards and walks with determination and pride. The painting was one of many in the recent Rockwell show at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, VA.  I'd love to say things have changed since the 60's, but have they??

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Floating on Smith Mountain Lake

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

One great thing about living on a lake is that there is never a problem finding a subject to paint.  I suppose that is true wherever you live.  I'm so in love with the painting process that I am never at a loss for my next project, which makes everyday a great adventure. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Country House in Spring

8 x 10 Oil on Archival Board

This house has attracted my attention every time I pass by it.  It sits alone on a large piece of property which I think must have been a working farm at one time.  I've thought many times, in different seasons, about painting it.  This day the light, atmosphere, and white flowers on the large bush on the side were too much to pass up.  Also, I loved the tilted antenna...or clothes line.  I thought about leaving it out, but it does work to pull your eye back into the painting.  This is one of my favorites :-)  If interested, just email me at

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Brotherly Love


9 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

Meet Desi and Jack, two wild and crazy rescues who have found a wonderful home...Lucky dogs! This was a difficult painting to do because both dogs are so black and blend in together in one mass with two heads.  I had to vary the tone and texture to describe what part went with which dog :-)  A total learning experience.  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks....

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cloud Study, Smith Mountain Lake

6 x 12 Oil on Archival Board

We here in Virginia have been having lots of pop up storms mixed with bright sun lately.  The weather changes too fast for me to grab my little easel and set it up to record what's going on, so I decided to set up my go-to palette in advance and keep the easel by the window.  I'm glad I did.  The clouds the other day were awesome, and I got this little study down quickly.  I was thinking I would work on it after the initial try, but I'm leaving it alone.  I really think it portrays that moment in time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Green Canoe on Smith Mountain Lake

9 x 12 Oil on Archival Board


Smith Mountain Lake is so diverse due to its huge size.  We live on the Gills Creek portion of the lake which doesn't have the distant mountains.  Actually it does, but one has to stand on the roof of the house to see it :-)  This is the Blackwater part which has a totally different feel.  I love the ins and outs of the land.  The lake has 500 miles of shoreline, so there's plenty of places to paint without repeating too often.  The trick here is to sketch your painting in quickly, because the colors and shadows change if you look away for a minute.  If interested in purchasing, please email me at

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Attracted by a Man in Uniform

12 x 6 Oil on Archival Board

A woman studying "Achille De Gas in the Uniform of a Cadet" by Edgar Degas at the National Gallery.  I'm usually not drawn in by this type of portrait, but the woman was so intense in her attention to it that I walked over to really look at it.  Because the pose is so casual in this piece, it gives a feeling that the viewer might know the subject...a young naval cadet, (actually Degas' brother).  After having completed so many, when I go back to painting these art patron pieces, (after landscapes, etc.,) it feels like I'm back in my Zen place :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Quiet Paddling on Smith Mountain Lake

12 x 12 Oil on Archival Board

There are so many ways to enjoy Smith Mountain Lake, and this is one of my favorites. Painting the reflection of the kayak and the multitude of colors and shades was the best part.  Mixing, Mixing, Mixing....My new-found joy! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Whitecaps on Smith Mountain Lake

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

A windy day plein air from my studio window.  There was only one sailboat at the time, so I took the liberty of adding two more.  Wouldn't it be great if life was like that? ... If something doesn't appeal to you, just conjure up what does.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fenced In

6 x 9 Oil on Archival Board


This lucky horse has beautiful scenery and endless fields of grass to keep him occupied.  Pretty soon, I think he and his mate will be moving to new pastures.  It's always good to mix things up every now and then. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bent Tree at Smith Mountain Lake

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

This is one of my favorite views when I'm doing my morning walk.  When we first moved here to the Lake, this tree was tall and straight.  Over the years it has become a little bent and has lost some of its branches...sort of like me, I suppose.  Thankfully, I still have my branches :-)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Quiet Smith Mountain Lake (Plein Air - Commission)

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

The weather has been so perfect this week, and here is another plein air piece (number 2 of the four commissions).  The light and the reflections of the sky on the water were pretty exceptional when I painted this.  It changed quickly, so I was glad I could get it down.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Greens on Smith Mountain Lake (plein air)

8 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

It's always good to move away from something you are doing (as in my series of museum patrons) for a change of pace.  Not only is it freeing to move the paint around in a less controlled way, but it brings that much more enjoyment when I move back to the series.  Looking out at the landscape before me, I had a wonderful time mixing those greens.  The weather was perfect and it was a great way to spend the day.  I will be doing three more commissions based on the beautiful Smith Mountain Lake and the surrounding mountains.  Let's hope there is no more snow!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lighthouse Attire

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board


Continuing on with my art patron series...A man studying Edward Hopper's "Lighthouse at Two Lights" (1929) at the MET.  I have always loved Hopper, and this piece is a favorite so it was a thrill to see it 'up close and personal".  Looking into the history of this painting, Hopper apparently painted it to "signify a pleasurable reprieve from his life in New York."  The day we were at the MET was an extremely hot NY day, and you certainly could feel the salt air of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This man was in perfect gear...flip flops and all. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Chair Share

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board


It's tough to be so big and be intimidated by a little Frenchie...Apparently this was the only way Clarisse could "share" the chair.  I painted this a little looser than usual, but I think the subject matter dictated what to do.  I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to do these commissions and I appreciate each and every one of them!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cottage by the Water

10 x 8 Oil on Archival Board

Can you feel the breezes off the water?  After what felt like a long winter, I'm ready for the ocean and the lake; the smell of wet sand, salt water, fresh water...whatever brings you to that place in your mind.  I wanted this little painting to feel like you were passing by and peeking in to get a look at the house half hidden behind the landscape.  A drive by, or walk by, or bike ride by.