Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Walking in Lavender

Walking in Lavender  6x6 oil on museum board
There is a reason why lavender soothes us,
makes us feel happier and
relaxes us into a state of well being:)

About my process:
This painting marks a shift for me. It blends things
that I love to do with some things
I have been trying to learn to do better:)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cuppa Cream and Sugar

What happens when you do two back to back workshops
and then try to incorporate the new information into your work?

It can get a little crazy and sometimes my work can get worse
for a while instead of better because it's messy and confusing to
change the way you paint.

Since I was really focused on color temperature changes and brushwork,
after I came home I decided to set up a still life as an exercise,
just focusing on those two things- temperature and brushwork-
and paint something I was familiar with and a set up of my own design.

To eliminate confusion I worked on a mid-tone gray palette and
stained my boards the exact same gray mid tone.
Then I did an experiment with different underlying colors in a 
monotone value painting and proceeded to try different color combinations,
trying to get them to harmonize.

After four of them I took it a step further and decided to try to ignore
subject matter altogether by taking a photo of my still life in black and white
and then working from the  photo upside down from a computer monitor.
That one ended up being my favorite,
maybe because the colors are more unexpected.

Now I feel ready to move forward!
I appreciate your comments and would love to hear if you enjoyed hearing about my process.


Friday, July 26, 2013


Loki ready to pounce on another couple of winners!

Julie Ford Oliver
Sandra Robbins

I want to thank everyone for playing along.  I'm sorry everyone
couldn't win but I promise to do something similar in
the future.
There were 14 postcards sent out to Canada, Malta, Israel,
Japan and all over the States.
I feel really fortunate to have such wonderful friends all over the world!

Thanks for letting me share a bit of my life with you:)

Malta has alot of festivals every weekend in the summer.
Churches host one for their neighborhood and this weekend it's here.
There's lots of food, drinks and of course fireworks.
On several occasions more than the fireworks went up-
sometimes the entire barge goes boom!

I snapped a photo for you on my walk this morning so you could see
the decorations:
Did you notice the local beer ad for Cisk right beside Mary and Jesus?
Just didn't want you to miss the irony:)
Some odd folks even like to paint the decorations:
Blessings 6x6 sold
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

She Loves Me

She Loves Me  8x8 oil on board

When my kids were young I used to get asked to
paint alot of  children's portraits.
Now that I'm older more mature it's
grand babies.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

St. Cirq de Popie

St. Cirq de Popie  8x8 oil on museum board

This was one of the most beautiful villages I've ever
visited in France.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Room With A View

Room With A View 8x8 oil on museum board

This painting was done late in the afternoon sunlight.  
The room above had the most spectacular view of the
sunset across the rolling French countryside.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Not too late!

Loki helping me sort my postcards:)

 I did lots of postcards while in France.
 I'm picking two new winners each week until the end of July and
announcing them every Friday on my blog. 
So it's not too late to play along!
If you're interested just email me your name and address to:
and I'll add your name to the paint can.

I've announced twelve winners so far and who knows
the next one could be you!

It's really a treat for me to share some of my memories of France with you!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hobbit House

Hobbit House 6x6 oil on museum board

I found this charming little French house irresistibly appealing,
very cozy and inviting.
The owner gave us a tour through his luscious back yard with
over 160 varieties of roses.
I wonder if he realizes how much art he inspired.
My guess is at least 160 paintings from the group I was with:)

Oh- I almost forgot!
Announcing two more French postcard  winners:
 Bartlett Teachout
Joan Cole


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sparkling Vine

Sparkling Vine 6x6 oil on museum board

This vine was sparkling in the sunlight,
waving in the breeze,
and whispering my own thoughts back to me-
"it's great to be alive"!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend Retreat

Weekend Retreat  6x6 oil on museum board

Perched on a hill in the countryside of France,
overlooking a quiet village,
this weekend retreat welcomes you
with a weathered door shaded by a vine
sparkling with sunshine:)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pruning Ladder

Pruning Ladder 5x7 oil on museum board

I really enjoyed painting the afternoon light in this piece.
This is another of the plein air paintings done in France.

I'm still giving away a couple of French watercolor postcards each Friday in July.
So if you'd like to join the fun you can email me
your name and address here:
and I'll put your name in the paint can.

Winners this week are:
Motti Shoval
Sumie Shibata


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Climbing Roses

Climbing Roses 5 x 7  oil on museum board

Roses climbing to the light on a rambling shed
striking a charming pose,
brightly colored laundry flapping in a soft breeze,
warm sunshine hugging my shoulders as I'm painting,
this is where smiles are born:)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Red Geraniums

Red Geraniums  6x6  oil on museum board

I loved painting outdoors in this beautiful French courtyard,
filled with wonderful flowers
warm memories,
and occasionally some sunshine:)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Inner Courtyard

Inner Courtyard 6x6 oil on museum board
Doesn't this look like a cozy spot where we can sit
and share our secret hopes and dreams?
That's just what happened here in the inner courtyard to
Le Vieux Couvent in France,
a truly magical place!
This is one of the paintings I completed during my stay there while
attending the workshop given by Dreama Tolle Perry.
This wasn't the only treasure I brought home, I am
fully stocked with wonderful memories shared with other fellow artists.
On Top of That:
I was lucky enough to buy one of Dreama's demos she did for us.
I spoke up to buy the demo and a second later another lady said she
wanted it as well. Personally I wanted to arm wrestle for it as I felt I would
have a distinct advantage, but for the sake of fair play and sportsmanship
I offered a coin toss.
Ron, Dreama's hubby, oversaw the toss and guess what?

Photo of Dreama and Me with Treasure:

P.S.- I learned that it's easy to be nice when you win;)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

French Postcard Winners

         Drum roll.............
And the first eight winners are:

Bev Sessoms
Cloe Mifsud
Rick Harder
Susan Denison
Kelley MacDonald
Donna Vacca
Nancy Standlee
Anne Philpott

If you are not on this list don't panic! I hate to disappoint anyone so I've decided to extend the
postcard give-away until the end of July. All you need to do is:
send me your name and address to :
 I'll add your name to the paint can for the drawing.

Then follow my blog by putting your email in the 
'follow by email' box on the right hand side of my blog @
I hope to announce a couple more winners every Friday
starting next week, so it's not to late to join the fun.

I found the watercolors fun to do and since
I took 1400 pictures while I was there,
I have lots of reference photos:)

It's fun to use these studies as a warm up to a  painting
and to relive the memories in my studio when
I work from a photo as an idea for an oil painting.

Although I only managed eight watercolor postcards I did
complete nine small oil paintings.
I'll be posting these soon and talking about what I've picked up from
my recent workshops.

Thanks so much for following along:)))))

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

50 Scarfs and 150 Pounds

Le Vieux Couvent, Frayssinet, France

What do 50 scarfs and 150 pounds have in common?
The BEST workshop ever!

That's right, we were the ultimate consumers in every since
of the word.  I might actually be underestimating that
we gained 150 lbs.collectively, the number could be higher,
and we all did out best to keep the local economy going too.

Dreama managed to keep us all somewhat on track
with lots of demos and chocolate tastings.

If you get a chance to do a workshop with Dreama or
visit this charming French B & B- 
go for it!

I'm home again and sorting through my suitcases-
Postcard winners will be announced tomorrow!

Thanks for following along:)))))