Monday, December 27, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

This picture is Mt. Trashmore under the 3rd largest snow storm to hit Virginia Beach in recorded history. Isn't it wonderful!!! My husband and I drove around in my four wheel drive jeep taking pictures today. Sometimes the simplest things are the most fun.
Right now I feel that I would like to simplify my life. I have put my art work on the back burner to get ready for and enjoy the Christmas holiday. Now I need to get myself organized and get ready for many upcoming art shows. (Notice I said I needed to get myself organized.) One of the things I need to do is update my blog to share the shows that I am doing as well as posting other updated information. I have some new ideas for my blog that I plan on trying out. I always feel that if I get organized then I will be able to get everything done. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Memories

These are a few of my Christmas ornaments and mini paintings at the Artistic Creations Art Gallery in Pembroke Mall. I have been spending time making them and allowing Christmas memories to flow through my brain. When I was younger I would make ornaments to give as gifts. It was so much fun and I must confess it still is.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas filled with love and happiness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holly Berries

Here are my completed Holly Berries. Just in time for the holidays! In the first picture you can see that I took out the upper right leave to be repainted. I just did not like the shape or size of it so I decided to take it out and redo it. I also continued adding more greens and reds. My first background was in a lighter color scheme but I didn't like that either. So then I made the background darker and it really make the foreground pop. Then I continued working the leaves and the berries just darkening some areas so that the light areas look lighter and brighter. See how shiny the leaves and berries appear in the final picture.
I think that you can still appreciate the first colors that I painted in the final picture after putting many layers over it. It is in the nature of transparent watercolors that allows you to accomplish this look.
As I mentioned before there were a couple things that I was not pleased with in the process of creating this painting. This happens often enough. The longer I work with watercolors the easier it is to see what I feel needs to be changed to improve the painting and find the way to do it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holly Berries WIP

I have been working on this painting for my Saturday morning class. I saw the turquoise colors under the green colors and wanted the demonstration to show how to paint undercolors and have them coming through the later layers of colors. What I learned in the class on Saturday was that different people see different colors that they choose to express. This is part of what makes different artists paint in different styles. It is also one of the reasons I enjoy teaching as I am always learning something new!

In the first step I layed in the lightest colors and I varied the values of them to start to capture some three dimensionality. Then I started to add a variety of green as well as more blue and turquoise. I mixed dark green with red for the darker colors for the stem and created some texture by lifting some of the color down to the previous light yellow green that was there. I also put in the first layer of reds for the berries. As the painting moves on you can still see the first colors that I used.

In my next post I will show you how it looks so different with the background in place.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Portrait from Suzanna Winton's Workshop

Here is the portrait that I worked on in my class with Suzanna Winton. I took a worshop with her at the Art of the Carolinas a couple weeks ago. She is a wonderful artist and a great teacher.
Yesterday I posted a photo of the painting that was way too pink. I took it again today and I think the colors are a little better. I'm certainly not 100% satisfied with the results but it was so much fun to paint and I did learn so much along the way.
I found myself seeing values on a new level. I took my glasses off and I could really see the shapes and darkness of the skin tones. I wonder if that is like squinting? I saw the larger shapes of dark values as well as the smaller differentiations in value changes within the larger shapes.

I also worked on softening edges and blending the colors from darker to lighter. And I had so much fun doing the background with little circular and squiggly shapes.

I'm going to keep working on painting portraits. I really enjoy capturing the looks as well as the spirit of the person I am painting. I feel that I have a sensitivity to people that I can use to express their personalities and try and capture their essence.

Also a while ago I heard or read that painting portraits is similar to painting flowers by capturing the curves and value changes that represent the soft changes that they both have. I think it is true. I am certainly more comfortable with painting flowers than portraits but am ready to step outside of my comfort zone and work on something more challenging. Maybe that is why I feel I am ready to start working on my portraits again!

The next portrait that I work on I will post it in stages so that you can see the process.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Santas Stocking and Suzanna Winton

I was in the Santa's Stocking show this past weekend. It is a holiday arts and crafts show and it was alot of fun as usual. I painted this poinsettia last year and I took it out for the show. It is certainly festive for the season.

At Art of the Carolinas I took a portrait painting class with Suzanna Winton. It was a great class and it really has inspired me to start working on my portraits again. I really liked her as a person as well as a teacher. She is very down to earth and easy going. She presented the material very clearly, answered questions, gave encouragement and feedback as needed. The one thing I really liked about her is that she gave advise on how to do things and what colors to use but encouraged the students to find the best way for themselves. This is something I try to do in my classes. I believe it helps students to develop their own style. I understand that teachers can only teach from their own experience but I dislike being told that things need to be done the exact way the teacher says. Wouldn't doing things just like an instructor make you into an imitator of the art the teacher is presenting? How can you develop into an artist if you are simply reproducing someone elses paintings?

Today I have been working on the portrait we started in class and I have been in heaven. I think I am finding my new direction!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Art of the Carolinas

I went to Art of the Carolinas this past weekend and it was wonderful. I always want to go to Art Workshops but I usually do not have the time, the money or the company to go with. This time me and three friends went for a very short weekend. (We left Saturday morning and came home Sunday evening.) We walked around with our eyes wide open; we were in awe of everything around us. We checked everything out, shopped, took classes, talked about everything, ate too much, and laughed so much. It was really alot of fun. I just want to thank Joyce, Cherrie and Patti for making the weekend one to remember. You were the best!

I woke up today and told myself that I'm going to only do what I want today. I decided to paint, of cource, and doors just kept opening up for me.

It's funny how sometimes I go through uninspired times with my painting. When I just can't get enthusiastic about anything. When I do not know what direction I'm going in. As a Libra, when trying to make decisions I have to weigh both sides. There is nothing wrong with that except I keep going back and forth and cannot make and easy decision. As an artist I want to learn and do everything. I want to explore all possibilities. I want to do it all. But as I grow, let's say more mature, I know I do not have all the time in the world to do everything I want to. So the decision of which direction I need to go in becomes a little more important.

Then there are other times in my artistic journey that I experience an abundance of inspiration flowing through me. I experienced this when I sat down to start painting this morning. All these new ideas of paintings came flooding in. I know that I cannot do them all right now but it is enlightening to have such an experience.

So I have come through another uninspired period in my life and I am on the verge of unleashing my creativity. And I am thankful to Art of the Carolinas for being a catalyst for this part of my journey.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crimson Berries

This is my other painting of autumn leaves. They are so bright and cheerful. They remind me of fall in New York when all the beautiful colors of autumn fill the world. Unfortunately I did not get to visit NY this fall but maybe next year.

I have been struggling mentally about what direction I need to go in with my painting. Currently I am taking the Life Drawing session and spending most of my time teaching. I feel that I am learning alot in the Life Drawing group that will benefit me in whatever direction I end up going in. But I do not have any strong pull in one direction or another and the more I think about it the more complicated it gets. Of course thinking about it is probably not the way I will find my answer.

I am very excited that me and three special painting friends are going to Jerry's Artarama Artist Workshops in Raleigh NC for some painting classes next weekend. I am so looking forward to it. I'm sure it will be alot of fun and I hope to learn some new things. And maybe I'll be inspired as to which direction I need to go next.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Harvest Leaves

This is one of the paintings of leaves that I have been working on. I had done it previously in Colored pencils. It was one of those paintings that I framed and put in a show and it sold. So I did not get to spend too much time with it before it left me.
This time I did it in watercolors on Masa paper. I think the Masa paper gives the leaves a great texture. It was alot of fun to do.
I have been so busy lately. I'm on a full schedule of teaching and it's really going well. I really enjoy it when my students "get" something. It is a pleasure to watch the doors open for them and they find the way to make something happen. Being part of their learning is very satisfying and it is a wonderful experience for me too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Dozen Roses

These are my "Dozen Roses". The colors are not quite as bright as they really are and I must say they look better in real life. They are taken from a rose named Flutterbye that changes colors from yellow to pink and gold. They are so delicate and strong.
It is a very large painting at 22 x 30 and it took somewhere between 5 and 6 weeks to complete. It was alot of work and a tremendous learning experience. The application of layer after layer of color, the portrayal of folds in the petals and highlights on the leaves, and the final application of shadows as well as reflected light helped to make it a very exciting journey on the path of my artistic life.
Stockley Gardens was a great weekend. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. I really enjoyed the show. I saw alot of friends and met some new ones. I received a very positive comment from the judge. I sold many prints and notecards. I would have liked to have sold a painting or two (or even more). But other than that it was a terrific outdoor Art Show.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

White Lily

Here is my completed White Lily. I touched up the colors a little bit and I added some white gouache to the petals. I have enjoyed sharing painting this picture in stages and sharing it with you. It will make it's debut at the Stockley Gardens Art Festival this weekend. It is in Ghent, Norfolk close to the Children's Hospital. The festival runs on Saturday October 16th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. The weather should be good and it is a really nice show. So hopefully I will see you there.

I have finished my large painting and it will also be in the show. I am overall pleased with the results. I will post it next week.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

White Lily WIP 3

Here is the next phase of my White Lily. I painted the leaves and decided the background needed to be darker. I had thought about adding some mid ground but decided the Lily can stand on it's own. I photoed the painting indoors so the colors are not as bright as they would be in the sunshine. But alas there is very little sunshine out right now. I do think the colors are blending together better than before. I just need to work on the details and clean it up a little and then it will be done.

I'm spending a great deal of my time working on my large painting for Stockley Gardens. Some days I like the way it is going and other days I am a little frustrated. When I start a painting, I have a vision of what I want it to look like. Sometimes the painting comes out just that way. (Like the White Lily is coming.) Other times I just cannot capture my imagined version. The painting can find a vision of it's own that is very satisfying or it just does not work. I feel like I am on the fence with this painting and I'm just not sure what direction it is taking me!!!

I think that I'm getting a little tired of painting flowers. Just like I had become tired of painting fish. I just don't know what I'll work on next.

Friday, October 1, 2010

White Lily WIP 2

I worked on the White Lily last Sunday at the Artistic Creations classroom but then I forgot to photo the painting at that stage. So here is the next stage.
The leaves still need another layer or two. I think that the colors will work together a little better then. And I'm not sure about the background. I think I might need to make a mid-ground or maybe I just need to make it darker. Then I need to finish up the details and shadows as well as cleaning it up. I'm pretty happy with the Lily itself except it looks like it's floating a little bit. And it is looking almost white isn't it?
I have to get working on it some more as well a working on my large painting for Stockley Gardens.
I'm putting in my first full week of teaching and I'm really feeling exhausted. But I will get back in the groove once I get used to the schedule. (This also means going to sleep earlier to get up in the am!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

White Lily WIP

This is the first stage of painting a white lily that we are working on in my Watercolor Class at the Classroom in the Art Space in Pembroke Mall. I am changing the day of the class to Saturday on October 2nd. It will be from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. I will have a class on every Saturday in October except for October 16th as I will be at the Stockley Garden Art Show that weekend.

Tomorrow Sunday September 26th, I will be at the monthly Open House for the Art Space and I will be demonstrating the White Lily as well as a large painting that I'm working on for Stockley Gardens.

I have just moved many of my paintings into Artistic Creations also at the Art Space at Pembroke Mall. I will be painting there Saturday afternoons after the art class.

The white lily is a study in painting white. I have begun by putting in very "light" colors to shape the flower. Tomorrow I will put in some slightly darker colors into the flower and start working on the stem, bud, leaves as well as the stamens. Then, in the next class, I will put in the background in a significantly darker color mixture that will make the white flower pop. The final step will be to add a little bit of white gouache to capture some of the details.

I really want to work on painting it now and can hardly wait to paint it! But I need to wait until tomorrow or else I'll have to paint another!

Hope that I'll see some of you in the near future.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Roses for Mom

Here are the Roses for my Mom. I really enjoyed painting them. Very detailed.

Right now I'm painting a large (22 x 30) painting of a dozen roses. So far it's coming out good. It has over a hundred leaves and will take a long time to finish but I hope that I will have it done for the Stockley Gardens Art Show October 16th and 17th.

I am really enjoying painting flowers right now and I feel that I've recently made great progress in my technique. I feel like my paintings are more realistic and more three dimensional than they were. And I have found a confidence in my painting that I have not experienced before.

My mother loved flowers, especially roses. When I'm painting them I feel as if my love for her is experientially there and hopefully shows through the painting itself.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I've added a gallery to my blog as I'm sure some of you have found it. You can click on it right at the top of the right side of the page. I wanted to be able to put some of my newer paintings all together in a place where they can be seen. It is a work in progress, like so many things in my life. But I wanted to work out the other page format before I get back into my teaching mode. Check out the gallery and if you have any suggestions as what to add I'd love to hear them.

I hardly can wait to start my teaching as I have so many new ideas of ways to present materials. If you are interested in any of my classes they are listed on the right side of my blog. You can certainly make a comment or email me at and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I have been in an unusual frame of mind lately as I have not been able to decide what I want to paint. I have many ideas for paintings but none have really excited me. I'm tired of repainting subjects for art shows. I am doing Stockley Gardens in October and I need some new and exciting themes to paint to put in that show. I found a picture of three roses that I'm going to work on in a square format. I think that I'm getting excited about painting it. We'll see how it goes!

I have been painting flowers for a long time. Roses are very challenging but I keep going back to them. They are absolutely beautiful and the remind me so much of my mom. She had about 50 rose bushes in her gardens. And they were magnificent. I really miss her and I think that painting roses is a way of staying close to her.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Magnolia Bud

This is my latest painting. I have been able to work it with no deadlines and have totally enjoyed painting it. Again I must say that pleasure is a factor that contributes to the quality of a painting.
I have worked on the three dimensionality of it paying special attention to the light and shadows. I think it has allowed me a most valuable learning experience and I am very pleased with the results. Unfortunately the photo does not do it justice.
While painting this picture I again was drawn to realistically capturing the visuality of the bud and the many leaves. (I think there were about 36 leaves in it!) I am continually pulled to do more abstract work and yet I strive to create pieces that are realistic. I enjoy painting more abstract backgrounds but usually for the foreground I'm compelled to paint it realistically. I really do not know yet whether to go with my realistic tendencies or force myself to try and do more abstract work. What do you think?
I have two weeks until my teaching schedule picks up again. And I have not accomplished much on my to do lists. But I'm starting to think about my upcoming classes and what I hope to achieve with them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seawall Art Show

The Seawall Art Show was wonderful. So many talented artists displaying their work on the two sunny days. I had the benefit of a beautiful breeze coming off the Elizabeth River while totally enjoying the view.

My Yellow Roses made their debut and I sold them to a gentleman wearing an island shirt with yellow flowers on it. I guess he was the most appropriate person to make the purchase. I was happy/sad to see them go but I'm sure he will give them a good home. Now I feel compelled to paint them again!

I have three weeks off now before I need to start teaching again and I do not have any shows until October. I have so many things on my to do list (art stuff and non art stuff.) I know I won't get them all accomplished but it would be nice to put a dent in them. But most of all I want to paint paint paint. My eleven year old granddaughter had asked me if I was addicted to painting and I had to confess to her that I guessed I was.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yellow Rose Garden II

This is another "Yellow Rose Garden". When I first painted it I brought it to a show and afterwards a woman contacted me to purchase it. I missed it very much and decided to repaint it again. I tried the background with a different color scheme and I don't like it as much. But I think the roses themselves came out good.

Yellow Rose Garden will debut this weekend at the
Seawall Art Show
in downtown Portsmouth. I will be down by Riverview Gallery across from where the ferry from Norfolk docks. The show is Saturday August 28th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday August 29th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It's a wonderful art show and the weather should be great so if you have the opportunity come and see what the artists have been doing lately. You should be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Template!!!

Well as you can see I have a new template. I did not do this on purpose. I wanted to figure out how to get a separate page for something new that I'm planning so I went into the New Template section on the blog. Then I started looking at the new templates that they have available and pressed apply to blog to see what they would look like on my blog. Decision made that I liked my template just fine I decided to go back to it. Voila I could not. So I searched through help and found out how to go back to a classic template. (Now they only had classic and new listed.) I was able to pull up my blog and get my colors right but where were the gadgets (info on right side of the page). They were no where! I figured that I was happy that I had my template back I would just have to reenter my gadgets. Voila again. The page to enter was no where to be found. Again I searched and searched through help to find out that my template was not a classic but in between a classic and a new template and did not have the capability to put gadgets on it. Anyway I had to do a new template.

So here it is. I like it because it is bright but I think it might be a little too bright. Let me know what you think about it. I'm going to keep it for a while and see if it grows on me. And if not I'll go to some of the more advanced new templates. Right now I can't work on my template any more!!!

After all that I went to help and found how to add another page. I should have done that in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Seashells by the Seashore

In one of my watercolor classes about a month ago I was demonstrating how you go from putting down general colors to putting down the details. I was working on the middle seashell and I had so much fun with it that I went home and did two more. They are only 5 x 7 so I decided to frame them in one frame. I think they look pretty good together.

I really enjoy teaching and it really amazes me how well my students are able to pick up on the little things that I suggest to them to try. I try to open them up to having positive experiences with the painting process. I feel that they should have fun while painting because if it isn't fun then why bother. This does not mean that there aren't setbacks and frustrations in the process because

there are but the sense of enjoyment should make up for the negatives.

I the middle of September starts my new teaching year. I'm already starting to think of new ways to present information that will make the learning process smoother and I want to continue to explore ways to make classes more fun.

I will keep you informed on the dates and times of the new classes and hopefully some of you will be able to join me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Koi IV

Here's my latest Koi painting for your viewing pleasure. (LOL) I think I only have a few more of them in me. I really cannot figure it out but everyone loves them. At the Artisans in the Park Art Show this weekend almost everyone that came into my tent commented on the Koi. Is it because they have such bright colors? They are very simple in shape and look almost like cartoon Koi to me. Does that make them more abstract than my usual paintings and more interesting? Maybe it's the crazy looking eyes. Or is it the feeling of freedom of movement that they seem to have? I really cannot figure it out but I'm not complaining!

I poured the paint to do the background and I must say that I really like the way it turned out. I mixed a blue, yellow and red and in no place does it look muddy. The colors are clear, transparent and bright. I then painted the Koi in fluid acrylics. They are so much fun to paint.
I'm planning on doing two new paintings for the Seawall Art Show later on this month so I have to buckle down to work on them. Then I'll be free for a while before any other art shows and taking on my fall teaching schedule. I want to explore my style and try and expand my horizons as far as my subject matter is concerned. Either that or I might just collapse for a couple weeks!!! Not likely.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Artisans in the Park

I've been getting ready for the Artisans in the Park Arts and Crafts show this weekend. They are predicting the temperatures to be in the mid 80's with a slight chance of thundershowers. I sure hope the weather is wonderful after the show at 17th St. park last week. We definitely deserve it!

The show is at Great Neck Park on Saturday August 7th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday August 8th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Cox High School is located at the corner of Great Neck Rd. and Shorehaven Dr. and you can catch a shuttle there to the park. It's a great show with wonderful arts and crafts vendors, music, children's activities and food for purchase. The park has tree lined winding paths that make me want to paint them. (I've actually brought my students from Great Neck Rec Center to that location for painting on numerous occasions.) It should be a great weekend. So if your in the neighborhood stop on by and join the fun.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Here is my painting of a spider spinning his web. This is one of the paintings that I did for the show at Pembroke 4 Art Gallery. The theme was home and I painted animals in their habitats. The spider web was a great deal of fum. First of all I painted it on Masa paper which gives the background it's texture. Then I used guoache to paint the web itself. (I had originally tried using masking fluid on regular watercolor paper but it came out too thick.) It's certainly not the best painting I've ever done but it is kind of cute. Don't you think?
Lately I've been painting for the fun of it. I'm currently painting roses, seashells and another pineapple. Next weekend is Artisans in the Park. After that I have to crack down again start working on some paintings for the Seawall Art Festival. Does it ever end? I sure hope not.

Monday, July 26, 2010

17th Street Art Festival

I have to say that this was the hottest Art Show that I have ever been in. The temperature reached 105 and it felt like 113. I brought all of my stay cool tools and I guess they worked as I was able to make it through. The only thing is that in less than five minutes after spraying myself with my little fan I felt hot again. There was quite a breeze which was a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it cooled you down a little and bad because peoples art and tents were blowing all over the place.

The show was a little slower than in previous years but I'm happy/sad to say that I sold my Ocean Wave. The woman was here on vacation from Kentucky. Now I fell that I need to paint another!
Well now I need to start getting ready for my next Art Show. I just hope the temperature is in the 80's. Wishful thinking?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

17th Street Arts Festival

Saturday July 24th is the Fourth Annual Arts Festival at 17th Street Park. It is between Atlantic Ave. and the Boardwalk from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm. It is a great show with local and regional artists participating. So if your in the neighborhood stop on by and check it out!!!

Pembroke 4 Art Gallery

I just want to remind everyone that I'm going to be in an Art Show at the Pembroke 4 Art Gallery from July 23rd to October 15th. The Opening is Friday July 23rd from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. If your not doing anything Friday evening stop by and see the art and meet the artists. It looks like a great show.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yellow Buckeye

The yellow buckeye is such a majestic tree. I started this painting in my watercolor class. I was demonstrating how your paint the general areas and colors before moving on to the details. Then I used pen and ink for the details. It was alot of fun and voila I have a painting.

Right now I'm getting ready for two art shows this weekend. The first one is at Pembroke 4 Art Gallery, Virginia Beach and the opening is Friday July 23rd from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The second one is at 17th St park between Atlantic Ave and the Ocean front on Saturday July 23rd from 10 :00 am to 6:30 pm. (I have 20% off coupons for that show if your interested please let me know and I can email it to you.) So if your in town this weekend please feel free to come and visit and enjoy the art.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fairfield Summer Art Show

Well I just wanted to touch base with everyone and let them know that the Fairfield Summer Art Show was a success. The artist's represented were so talented and had wonderful art to look at and purchase. It was a festive atmosphere with food, music and a water slide. There could have been more traffic but it was only the first year of the show.

I had sold some prints and notecards and then at 4:45 pm (the show ended at 5:00 pm) I sold four paintings. One of the paintings was my Pineapple. I just painted it, framed it and put it in one art show and it sold. I will miss it. But I think the customer will love it as much as I did. And I can always paint another.

Right now I'm in the painting mode. I have five paintings going at the same time and it is almost overwhelming. I need to get them done for the show at Pembroke 4 at the end of this month. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fairfield Summer Art Show

I just wanted to remind everyone about the Fairfield Summer Art Show tomorrow July 3rd at Fairfield Shopping Center from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
It is sponsored by the Creative Artists of Tidewater along with Jerry's Artarama with the support of the Fairfield Shopping Center. The Art Show will have 20 local artists displaying their latest art. There will also be food and drinks, live music, an indoor train show and a giant water slide. It sounds like a great way to begin your celebration of the fourth of July holiday. So if your in the neighborhood stop on by and see the art as well as have a little fun. I'd love to see you.

Bye the way look carefully at the flyer. Two of my paintings are on it. The first person that can guess one of them and writes a comment on my blog will win a 5 x 7 print.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kim's Tulips

When I visited my daughter in La Quinta, CA she had the most beautiful bouquet of tulips sitting on her kitchen counter. I was fascinated by them and took a bunch of photos. I recently painted them and am pleased with the outcome.

When I go to places either new and exciting or the same and indifferent there are things I see that summon me to paint them. I have hundreds of photos, and pictures as well as memories and I only get to paint some of them. I have more things inspiring me than I have the time to cultivate. I am very thankful for this as I will never run out of ideas to paint.

This Saturday I'm participating in the Fairfield Days Summer Art Show. It will be at the Fairfield Shopping Center at the corner of Kempsville Rd. and Providence Rd., Virginia Beach, VA from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There will be food, live music, a giant water slide, an indoor train show as well as the art show of local artists. If your not doing anything on Saturday stop by and see the art and begin celebrating your 4th of July holiday. It will be a red white and blue day!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life Drawing

I must apologize it has been too long since my last post. I'd like to say that I have been busy but I have had more free time than usual. I am enjoying being less busy and I guess I'm not moving at my usual quick pace. (So does that mean that I'm not getting any more accomplished?)

I am spending more time painting and that has been very satisfying. I have been working hard at creating a bison on an icy tundra. It has been a long and time consuming project but I have definitely enjoyed the process. It is almost done and I think that I will be satisfied with it.

In my last post I said that I was going to decide on a few new things to work on this summer. Well I am attending a Life Drawing session at Artistic Creations. It is something that I've always wanted to do. But because I've never done it before I was a little nervous about it. The nudity does not bother me as I have great respect for the human form especially in an artistic context. But I was concerned as to whether I would be able to do the models justice with my drawing abilities. I was able to immediately relax and enjoy the learning experience. I am so excited about this group and feel my drawing skills will certainly improve.

The second thing I'm doing at this time is making a weekly trip to the Botanical Gardens. I am currently using watercolor pencils to capture the essence of that which I'm painting. Again it is the experience of taking my subject from it's three dimensional life and turning it into a two dimensional form.

What a wonderful summer I' going to have!!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I bought a pineapple from the grocery store and became so fascinated by the shapes and colors that I just had to paint it. This is how I usually come to paint something different than my usual repertoire. It was so much fun playing with the shapes and the colors. (I do believe that the colors are a little richer in the painting itself.) I also like putting it in a tall and thin shape. I think it exaggerates the height of the pineapple itself.
Now I have to say that taking a break and having fun painting a pineapple is not what I should be doing right now. I need to start working on paintings for the show at Pembroke 4 Art Gallery at the end of July and new paintings for the Seawall festival at the end of August. But don't I always tell my students that having fun painting is the most important part of your artistic experience and that your paintings always improve when you are enjoying the process?
I'm making a transition in focus at this point in time. I'm going to have alot more time on my hands to spend working on my painting and pursuing other interests. My problem is that I always want to do it all and I can't always allow myself to try to do everything at the same time. So I need to sit back and figure out what is the most important things to work on and try and just focus on them. Let's see how well I can do with that!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Autumn Trees

I recently painted this picture of Autumn Trees. I may be a little off season but I really like the bright fall colors. I did this painting with watercolor and watercolor crayons. I put the crayons through the crayon sharpener and then sprinkled them across the painting. Then I touched them with a wet brush and watched them melt into the beautiful colors of fall foliage. It was a fun little painting to do and I will certainly explore it again.
I have completed my five weeks in a row of art shows. I am tired but excited about having more time to paint. I have many good ideas for new paintings and future shows to put them in.
Today I'm going to go to hang an art show for my students at Great Neck Rec Center. I'm expecting it to be great. Check out the info on the top of this page and if you're in the neighborhood stop in to see us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blue Crab

Well so much has happened since my last post. On Friday I received a call to be in the Stockley Gardens Art Show. I had applied and was put on the waiting list. I was already in show mode so I was ready to go. It was a great show and I sold 4 paintings. Including Blue Crab, Koi 3, Multicolored Magnolia 2 and Trees on the River. I cannot believe that I sold the Koi painting so quickly. Two of the paintings that I sold were going to show at Pembroke 4 Gallery starting July 23rd. Of course I knew they might sell if I put them in a show.

After the show this weekend I need to get back into painting mode. I really cannot wait to start my days painting again. I really miss that. It is meditative. Recently I've been so busy with Art Shows that painting time is scarce. It will be a nice place to go back to for a while.

Next year I'm planning on picking and choosing my Art Shows a little more carefully. I want to do less shows and be able to keep on painting. Now I only have to listen to myself.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oak Tree

I painted this Oak Tree with the memory of my mother in the back of my mind. And I wished her a Happy Mother's Day from my booth at the Gosport Art Festival. This year Mother's Day was sad again but not as bad as last year. I still miss her and when certian things come up I say to myself, I need to remember to tell my mom. Then I realize that just thinking it sends the mesage to her as she watches over me. She is the Oak Tree that we have come from and her roots help keep us strong while her branches allow us to dance in the wind.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I really feel like I've been out of touch so to speak. I have been so busy getting ready and doing art shows that I hardly have time for making art and communicating with you about it!

This is my recent Seahorse painting. I like him, I think he's cute but I think the background jumps out at you more than the subtlety of the seahorse himself.

This coming weekend is the Gosport Art Show in Old Towne Portsmouth. There is so much exciting art and art events that take place in that location. I seem to fit right in. So if you are available come on down this weekend and check it out. I'm on the same block at the Commodore Theater. It will be alot of fun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Multicolored Magnolias

When I was in California relaxing next to my daughters pool, I painted four small Multicolored Magnolias. The colors were so bright and cheerful and they expressed the vacation mood that I was experiencing. (The colors look brighter and more cheerful than they do in this post.)

Last night I started teaching my watercolor class at the Artistic Creations Classroom in Pembroke Mall. I decided to have my students paint the multicolored magnolias. They were all bright and colorful and each and every one was different from the other. I could see the beginnings of each student's style coming out in this painting project. the brightness of the flowers permeated the room and I do believe that everyone had a great time. I really believe that when you are having fun and experience joy when you paint it comes out in your art work.

I know that this is going to be a great class. We have spaces available. If you are interested please contact me at and I'll give you all the information.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Here are my Sweetlips. Aren't they sweet as they swim in the Indian Ocean? They appear so free and happy as the move along the coral reefs.

After painting three Koi paintings, I decided to try a different fish in watercolors and fluid acrylics.

I am very pleased with the overall look of the painting. I added the texture to the background and I really like it but it brings the value too close to the value of the fish. Otherwise I love the colors of the painting. They are so bright and clear as they depict the fish.

I just want to remind everyone that this Saturday I will be in the East Beach Art Show. It is from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and it is on 27th Street off Pretty Lake, East Beach, Norfolk. Then on Sunday I'm doing a watercolor demo at Artistic Creations Gallery in Pembroke Mall, Virignia Beach form 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Monday I am starting a watercolor class at Artistic Creations Gallery from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Please contact me if you have any questions. My email address is

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Art Show Season

Well the Art Show Season is starting and I couldn't be happier. My Koi III were given an Award of Merit at the Chesapeake Bay Watercolorists spring show at Cape Henry. I am so honored to be amongst the artists that have been granted awards at this show. It is an annual show that has some of the most beautiful watercolors in any of our local shows.

I have listed the upcoming shows that I am going to participate in on the right side of my blog. Check them out. You might see something that interests you. If I don't know you and you attend one of the shows that I am in come and introduce yourself to me. I'd love to meet you.

This Saturday I will be at East Beach Art Show at 27th Bay Street at Pretty Lake in Norfolk, VA. If your in the neighborhood stop on by!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

La Quinta California

This is the walk up the cove near my daughters home in La Quinta. I just spent a week visiting her and every morning I walked about a mile up the cove and then a mile back down. My daughters walked the paths through the foothills of the mountains.

As you can see the terrain is different on each side of the street. On the left everything is dry like the desert and on the right in the neighborhood everything is green and alive. This is because it hardly ever rains in the desert but the grounds around the homes are well watered.

There are mountains surrounding her home and there is only one way to drive in. The abundance of palm trees grace the streets and I was fascinated by the flowering cactus. The plants were growing to the sunny sky on perfectly clear days.

As I walked I could feel the energy of the plants living and breathing. I could feel the movement within them. It was like a meditation of the nature of life.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Marion's Dad

Here's Marion's Dad. He is almost finished. I say almost because I want to add a little more color to his hair on the right side and I want to blend his right cheek a little bit more. But otherwise he is complete.

I have continued to add more shadows to his face, neck, hair and shirt as well as more details. I lifted the highlights of his eyes.

I am pleased with him. I think I have captured the essence of him from his photo. He really has agreat deal of character to his face and is in a very pensive moment. I never met Marion's Dad but I feel that I really like him.

I hope that you have enjoyed me taking you through painting this portrait step by step. Let me know if it is something that you would like me to do again in the future.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marion's Dad 3

This is phase three of Marion's Dad and as you can see he is starting to emerge through the layers of paint. I've added more glazes of color to his face and neck and you can still see the transparency of the skin tones. I've started to work in a little more detail by putting in some darker darks to define the features. I have started to add more value differentially to the strands of hair and made the top of his head has warm tones and the side has cool tones.

When painting a portrait I experience an intimacy with the person I am painting. I feel as if I get to know every little curve and shadow as well as all the little details of their face. Then there is the sense of the entire face coming together to present the special feeling and character that the person emits. I feel as if I've gotten to know the person even if I never met them.

The next post will show you the competed painting of Marion's Dad. I hope you are enjoying these work in progress entries.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marion's Dad 2

Here is the next phase of the painting of Marion's Dad. As you can see I've added more layers of different colors. After applying the yellows I start applying the reds. I also put in some purple colors mostly on the right side of his face and his shirt. I also stated to put more details in his hair.

I think he is coming along at this point. The skin is starting to get the look of transparency which I feel resembles real skin. This is basically why I have found that I like glazing colors to get the skin tones as apposed to painting in flesh tones. The scary part is that the eyes have not been done yet but they will start appearing in the next phase of this painting.

I have really enjoyed painting Marion's father. He has a great face and I love his eyebrows and hair. I can't wait to show you the next phase of this painting.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Work in Progress

This is the first phase of the latest portrait that I am working on. He is the father of Marion. She was kind enough to lend me his photo to paint him by.

There are certain things that I look for in a photo to copy for a portrait. First of all I like a face that shows character and/or there is a special "feeling" about the facial expression. I look for a clear photo that shows the features well enough to copy for an accurate depiction of the individual. I also want to see highlights and shadows a gradations of value in between. This photo of Marion's dad had all of them.

I started by drawing the face, features and shirt. I copied the outline and then worked more free hand for the features. Then I added the first layers of paint. I started with aureolin yellow and cadmium yellow. I painted around the highlighted areas. Then I added more paint in the darker areas.

I feel that I started to capture Marion's Dad right from these beginning phases. It is a good feeling when that happens. Sometimes it takes a while longer to start seeing the look of the person. (And sometimes it never happens at all.)

Thank you Kim for requesting that I post the work in progress of a portrait. I will continue to post my development of Marion's Dad. Let me know if there are any other things you would like to see posted. It's always helpful to get your feedback.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just finished this painting. It is a gift for my daughter Kim. She asked me to paint it for her about 9 months ago when she moved into her new home in La Quinta, CA. I really hope that she loves it.

This was a painting done with love. I really put my heart into the creation of it. It is not my usual style but it was so much fun painting.

It has been a long time since I have painted in oils. It reminds me of the things I like and dislike about oils. I love the creamyness of the medium. Mixing colors, blending colors, adding lights over darks and leaving texture in the paint add to the wonder of the experience. On the negative side is the time it takes to paint and then dry and the clean up. In the very back of my mind are the thoughts of toxicity.

Now I need to spend more time getting ready for the spring art shows. It is an exciting but stressful time. I need to paint a few new paintings, get prints and notecards made up, matt and frame paintings and prints, get my supplies together, and make a few purchases. This is on top of my busy teaching schedule. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Well it will be as long as I don't pull my hair out. In the meantime I'm taking a trip to sunny Californ i a. Which will relax and inspire me.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Blog

I think we all are stuck with the winter blues, waiting patiently for the arrival of spring. We have had a rough winter this year and I think we are all tired of it. So in anticipation of spring, I've been thinking about my blog and if there are ways of improving it. So I wanted to touch base with my readers on where I should be going next. So write to me about what you have enjoyed seeing and would like more of. Also let me know if there is anything else you would like to see me posting. I'm looking forward to your comments.

Thank you all for being so kind to me reading my posts and communicating how you enjoyed them. I hear from all of you through emails, and on facebook as well as in person. I really enjoy posting on my blog and hope to keep on going. So if you are so inclined make a comment. This will let everyone else know what your thinking.

I sure hope the winter is over soon and I know that spring is right around the corner.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Here's my latest portrait. This is the second time I painted Sirrico and I probably will paint him again. I am pleased with him and can see my improvement from portrait to portrait. But I am not 100% satisfied with him. Sound familiar?

Sirrico is a very nice young man and I met him when he was working with children at the Kempsville Recreation Center. He also is involved with music and writes children's books. He was the first person that I approached to photo for a painting and he was very kind about doing so.

I have been studying with Rieneke Leenders and concentrating on painting portraits. She paints magnificent portraits in watercolor and oils. Check out her website at

She has taught me a great deal about glazing colors. In this portrait I put down yellows, then reds then blues and browns mixed together. The yellows and reds shine thought the skin and gives it great tones. The problem that I had with this portrait is that I put so many layers down that the paint was just sitting on the surface and it was difficult to continue to work on and to touch up. In the future I need to try using 300 lb. paper which will hold more paint and/or using less layers by putting down more color for each layer.

I must apologize for not posting as frequently as in the past. I have been keeping very busy and am feeling a little stressed about not having enough time to do everything I want to do. Hope to visit with you again soon!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I recently finished my latest Koi painting. Unfortunately the background is a little darker in the painting than in the photo. Whenever I paint the same subject over again, I am prone to compare the two paintings. And as usual there are things I like better about the first two and things I like better about this one.

In my previous Koi paintings the colors were more coordinated and I feel as if the fish and the water were more connected. In the water I had poured yellows and reds and they brought out those colors in the Koi. In this painting I think the fish themselves are more three dimensional . I also have slowly improved with the use of the fluid acrylics. Yes I will paint Koi again and this time I want to vary the shapes of the fish a little bit. They are certainly fun to paint.

Right now I'm busy going back to teaching and that means I'm getting into my teaching mentality. I keep striving for the perfect classes and yet I always end up finding somewhat better ways of presenting the same materials. I want to entice my students to come out of their selves and allow their paintings to soar. It is a very moving, changing and growing process.