Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Tardis

Well, everyone needs a Tardis now and then.  At least a whole lot of pretty fanatical people!  I painted this Tardis on a regular old door, and it was auctioned off for a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity a couple years ago.  I guess that makes this Throwback Saturday.

An Artist Cyclist

Well, I generally keep my blog to talk about art, but you know... what IS art, anyway?  Living and keeping healthy is an art, after all.  A big part of my life that I don’t talk about is I ride.  I ride a lot.  About five days a week I ride between 8 and 12 miles a day.

The short version of THIS bike ride was: I got dirty, wet and poopy.  But there’s another story.

(This story should be read at the lightning speed of the Veggie Tales’ ‘I love my lips’ narrative.  If you don’t know that narrative, just think, REALLY FAST!)

I ventured out in the sunshine and the first nine miles were beautiful and unremarkable, which, when you’re riding on the streets is a GOOD thing.  But then I noticed a persimmon tree, actually three, and they were dropping their fruit, so I took my camelback off and removed my handy-dandy gallon ziplock, my collection bag, ready for just such a purpose, and began my persimmon pursuit.  Finding most branches too high, I began gleaning under the trees, which turned out to be a battle between me and every six legged creature known to man.  

Then a nice Swedish lady came along and we had a poodle/persimmon conversation and stood eating them together as I continued picking, during which time THE CLOUDS WERE MOVING IN AND IT WAS GETTING DARK. A spatter of rain released and turned into an instant downpour, during which time the nice Swedish lady ran off, pulling her little poodle, Stella, along, who really wanted to stay with me and continue her own dinner of the yummy fruit.  I closed my fruit bag and hopped onto my bike to find that my left cleat wouldn’t attach to the pedal and wove down the path trying to get my foot in and finally stopped, in the pouring rain, to find the problem.  Ahh! Persimmon seed snugged right down into my cleat.

Oh, by the way, did I tell you I finally bought lovely new leather biking gloves, breatheable and filled with gel so make them ergonomically correct and Oh, So Comfey?  So, armed with my nice, brand new gloves, which I love, I proceeded to pull out the pit only to find that it was covered in dog poop.  Stella! How could you.  Thus, my nice gloves, handlebar and left shoe were poo-ied.  As the deluge continued I decided I was grossed out and proceeded to the nearest pond to wash my hands, glove and left shoe, tramping through the mud to do so.  So, if you saw a woman, all muddied and poopy, washing up in the pond in the rain, never fear.  She is sane.  Pretty much.  Thus cleansed I proceeded home.  As I rode onto our street, the rain dissipated and the sun came back out.

Yep.  That’s my story.  And I’m sticking to it.  (rather... it stuck to ME.)
(My lovely shoes, getting a nice suntan after being thoroughly scrubbed.)

Metal Embossing

This beauty is one of my creative loves - metal embossing.  Done in layers, I first painted the wood with those nice flowing textures. Once I embossed the metal I gave it that nice patina and laid it on the wood. Once set I put a layer of heavy gel over all as a sealant, and drew textures to echo the metal and signed my name into the gel, so this piece actually has a double signature, seen and unseen. The finishing touch was the turquoise patina around the edges of the wood to bring it all together.  Rich and deep!

This piece is on cradled wood and is approximately 12”x12”.  It’s on my website,

Friday, September 28, 2018

Artist Celebrating Over Here

It’s time to celebrate! Whenever I use up a sales receipt book and have to buy a new one it’s time to celebrate. Thank you, Lord, for directing me into this profession! How can I help YOU? 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Art Class Official

Now this.  This is what I call art.  One of my students brought super yummy whoopie pies for us all.  Whoopie pies on top of my Australian art towel on top of my art board.  Layers of love here.

Aren’t they beautiful? :)

Puppy for Sale

Wouldn’t you love to adopt a new pet? This guy will ‘fun up’ your house and you won’t even have to clean up dog hair! Check him out at my site.   30”x24” and full of excitement. Here he is sitting on my easel.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Digital Art at the MFAH

Yours truly.  Using some camo to try to blend in for a change.  At the Museum of Fine Arts Houston they’ve got a nice display of digital art which includes a lot of projections. This allows viewers to become part of the art.  I like it! 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Abstract Painting... Almost

Here’s a closeup of a section of ‘Enter,’ the previous painting I posted.  I love the abstract qualities of this piece. Happy day to you!

Glassell School of Art, Houston

I had work downtown this week and made sure to pop in over at the Glassell School of Art to see what they’ve done.  I missed their Grand Opening (since they razed the previous building to the ground and started fresh), but enjoyed poking around on my own probably more than I would have at the opening.  It’s beautiful.

This first pic is me and my new friend.  I can’t remember the artist but it was done within the last 60 years, if I remember correctly.  It’s called something like ‘______________ in a landscape,’ and features this fine fellow, made entirely of glitter, yes, glitter, in a landscape of neutrals.  The entire piece was like 12’x7’.  Anyway, this little guy and I made friends and had a nice (pretty much one-sided) conversation.
This is the space they’ve dedicated to performances and lectures, really nice.  Lots of natural light, in fact, maybe too much for things held in the afternoon, with the sun blazing in.

This third photo is from the park in between the MFAH, where I had just been snooping around, and the Glassell.  I didn’t have my sunglasses with me and it was a super hot day, so I avoided the outdoor roof-steps.  That will be for a time with a cool sunset and a friend. :)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Mary Cassatt, Impressionist

This stunning Mary Cassatt is a great example of putting the minute details into that which you want the viewer to focus in on first.  Note the beautiful detail on the mother’s face and how brushy the child’s face is.  First you look at the mother, then take in the child.  Yes, that kid’s eyes are downright scary close up, but when you get back, you see all the reflective, bright wonder found in a child’s eyes. Beautiful.  Collection our own Museum of Fine Arts Houston. 

I absolutely adore seeing the brushstrokes.

Portrait of an Artist. This Artist

This is the artist responsible for this crazy blog.  Me.  I’m just over here celebrating my naturally red hair.  One of our sons tells me I’m prone to gross hyperbole, but I don’t know what he’s talking about.

Trip to the Art Museum

As an artist, I need new stimulation all the time.  A trip to the museum was just what the doctor ordered.  Isn’t this gorgeous? Whew! From the late 19th to early 20th century, this would have been worn by a bride in the Indonesian islands.  Pure gold.  A little heavy, huh?  The little chains would have tinkled as she moved.  I’m entranced by the detail they worked into the metal.  Personally, I would’ve worn it.  Shouldn’t we start a new tradition? (From the MFAH permanent collection) Next time I work in metal, I’m going to use this as inspiration!

Oh my goodness, it is SO lovely!

Monkey Photography

Went down to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston yesterday and they had a nice exhibit on the history of photography.  Apparently this handsome fellow caused quite a stir.  This seminal photo started a court case in which the rights of the photo were determined.  The prosecutors said that the monkey should own the rights.  Yep.  It was determined that only humans could own the rights to a photo. There you have it! Enough to make you smile,huh.  :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Coasters for Small Gifts

Hard to believe, but it’s time to start thinking about tiny, special gifts for the holidays. These enchanting little coasters come in three different images, all with a nice cork back, so you can mix and match. Check out my website and get a little ahead of the game.  Our orchestra is beginning Christmas music; that means it’s coming!

Aren’t they sweet? Methinks they’ll make your coffee and tea taste even better!  Check me out at

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Class is In Session! Charcoal

Just getting dirty with my advanced art students today. Charcoal.  Gotta love it. Honestly, there are few things I would rather do than spend creative time with kids.  Love them so much.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Octopus Painting, Photography

Can you see the difference between these two photos? It’s always a challenge for me to get good photos of my art.  The first one is the pic I posted yesterday; the one with my toes is the one I just took - FINALLY - which is truer to the way it really looks!  The little glimmers where I made the green ocean swishy around the moving tentacle are, however, reflections.  More work on photography to get those out.  Yes, it is available, sans toes!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Octopus Painting

Here’s my octopus painting in its entirety.  He’s 24x30” and on my website for $800.00.  With this painting I give a nod to Maxfield Parrish who laid down scores of layers of glazing for those deep, luscious colors, and to Matisse, who loved color so much he never wanted to sully them by mixing.  Pretty much love this one.

My website is:

Octopus Art

Here’s a closeup of my octopus painting that I just posted. LOVE the textures and colors on his head.  For this one I went all out for color.  I glazed thin transparent layers of hues building them up for a stained glass glow that I just can’t seem to capture with the camera.  It’s really pretty!  Still working on a name.  Maybe something like “Working Title Octopus” or something...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Newest Painting Finished!

This little cutaway is your hint of the piece I finished last night. Can you tell what it is? Take a guess! I’ll reveal tonight.  I’m really excited about this one which I did in layers of glazing color upon transparent color.  It’s downright luminous.  My only hint is in a previous post where I showed my palette; I was choosing colors for this painting.  Now... if I can only get a good photo which is hard with all this rain.  My day’s work is set. 

Natural light is best for photographing art.  My natural light, outside, is not cooperating.  It’s raining. It’s supposed to rain all day.  We shall see what happens.  

The colors in this painting are really luminous and glow through each other; this being said, they are very hard to photograph.  Because I used the glazing technique (layer upon layer of glossy, transparent color, it reflects a shine back to the camera.  A professional photographer would set up his little reflective umbrellas and have the light diffused but I don’t have that stuff.  Professional photographers everywhere - I respect and salute you!  I just can’t afford you.  Blah.

All this to say, when I DO get good pics, they still won’t be nearly as beautiful as the painting itself.  They never are.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Painting for Memories

I teach my students that one reason for making art is to remember.  I did these little pieces to remind me of our incredible trip to Orange Beach, AL.  We got our limit of both triggerfish and amberjack.  I discovered that amberjack are called ‘Sea Donkeys’ because they’re known to be one of the hardest fighters in the Gulf.  Let me tell you, I was sore for THREE DAYS after fighting with those sea donkeys!!  Precious memories of that very special moment in time.  

Used here, Pitt pens, my awesome Custom-Cindy-Designed paintbrush and Golden fluid acrylics, along with Golden’s  inference colors for that sparkly pop.

The triggerfish we caught were all I think between ten and 15 pounds.  They are SUPER YUMMY!!! I had no idea they were so tasty! The amberjacks were all between 40 and 50 pounds.  Those donkeys!!  When I paint to preserve my memories it’s always very special.  If YOU have memories you’d like me to paint, just ask.  It’s what I do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dot Day!

What are you doing in your art classes this week you ask? I’m glad you asked! Celebrating International Dot Day of course! September 15.  Don’t miss YOUR chance to celebrate!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Grand Ole Oprey Painting

An artist’s life is ALWAYS interesting, and one never knows what one will be doing next!  Here I recruited Melody of Refine Arts to help me paint the Grand Ole Oprey for a very special event the choir and orchestra had at church. What fun that was!  Ladders again.  It’s always ladders. #afraidofheightsoverhere

We only painted on paper that had been taped up.  VERY quick job for a temporary ‘installation.’ Yet I think it turned out really well for the time everyone spent on it!

You can see that this was a quick job.  I used to be a perfectionist.  I learned a long time ago that you do the best work you can in the amount of time you have.  We had very little time for this and it was for a one-night event.  It fit the bill perfectly and I think it turned out great.

This is how the final looked under lights.  

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Cat Bird Painting

Coco Chanel quote on my painting.  So very true.  That big furry bird is not like the rest of them and this painting cracks me up every time I see it.

An Artist’s Palette

Luscious color testing palette.  The painting I’m currently working on is going to be REALLY colorul!  My color choices are about half the paints laying here.  For this piece I’m going to follow Matisse for he never liked to sully his colors and Maxfield Parrish because he put down layers and layers of glazings for that nice Parrish glow.

These three brands of paint are by FAR my favorites!  Of course Sennelier has been around for years and years, and Matisse,  they’re absolutely luscious.  Some of their beauties are not duplicated in any other brand, nor do others even come close. However, that young upstart, Golden Fluid Acrylics, is going to give everyone a run for their money.  They are absolutely color saturated and I am IN LOVE with three in particular, Quinacridone Azo Gold, Teal and Green Gold, all three of which will make it into my upcoming painting, including Senellier’s Ultramarine Blue Light and Matisse’s Primary Blue, which also is peerless.

I could talk about color all day.

Such yummy stuff.  Thank you, Lord, for making me an artist!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

In-Class Drawing Demos

Another one of my quick sketch in-class demos, this time of my all-time favorite stuffed animal. I’m teaching my students about space, line, texture, values and contrast, inferred lines and a little artist’s prerogative. The next time you want a sketch or painting, ‘just pick up the phone, just give me a call.’

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Charcoal Sketches in Art Class

I don’t know who this little guy is, but he was fun to draw.  Charcoal in my advanced art class, teaching the elements and principles of art - value, space, line, contrast, inferred line, texture, movement, rhythm and of course artist’s prerogative.  LOVE charcoal! This sketch would’ve looked much better on charcoal paper, but, oh well.

An Artist’s Self Portrait

As I have my students do self portraits it’s only right I do them as well.  This one stemmed from our show, Cinderella.  I got the entire orchestra to Sharpie a mustache onto a finger, and, as we sat at the foot of the stage would ‘mustache’ the actors when we weren’t playing to try to get them to break character.  Never worked but it was fun to try.  I also teach that portraits should reveal things about the person; in the background you can see words of some of my favorite things. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Big Ben Painting Explained

Here is the partner painting to Jabberwock which I just posted, although this is 30” square and the gears painting is, I think, 20”x24”. I grew up helping my dad build, well, everything, and am familiar with the chalk line.  I used mine to get the perspective straight in this piece and loved the look!  Look closely and you’ll see red lines from the thwack of my string.  I liked it so much that I painted over them to make them permanent.  This painting of Big Ben is named ‘Reconstructing Alice,’ for Refine Arts’ show of the same name. 

This piece and its partner, Jabberwock, are for sale on my website,

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Post-Apocalyptic Gears Painting

This is a portion of my painting “Gears of Jabberwock” which I painted for our daughter, Melody’s (Refine Arts) show, ‘Reconstructing Alice.’ This piece and its partner, which I will post next, hung behind the theater’s ticket booth. I named this piece after two of her particularly amazing dancers that performed that song. The entire show had a post-apocalyptic feel, which I carried through here.