Friday, December 31, 2021

Goodbye 2021


2021 was a good year for me and my family.  I am grateful given the times we are in right now.  I never want to take anything for granted.  

I made my annual end of the year video and here it is with paintings infused with life.  

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope 2022 is good to you.  


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Most Beautiful Autumn

Farm House
oil on panel

This Autumn was the most beautiful I can remember in Kansas.  I probably walked over 150 miles in November alone trying to see as much color as I could, and there are still trees that are glowing yellow and red and orange.  

Bartlett Arboretum
Belle Plaine, Kansas

I created this video to try to capture both my art and the events and sights of the month.  I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

October Paintings and a Bit of Life

Bedroom With Starry Walls
acrylic on wood

 October was a beautiful month in Kansas.  There was a nice mix of warm and cool days, and I spent as much time outside as I possibly could taking long walks in various local parks, sitting on the porch sipping coffee, sketching at the Botanical Garden and on my own patio in the evenings.  It has been a month full of activities and time spent with family and friends either in person or virtually.  Life is good.

acrylic on wood
available on Etsy

There is Beauty in Fading
acrylic on wood
available on Etsy


After spending time at the botanical garden, I am even more fascinated by spent flowers and leaves.  There is a beautiful elegance in the way they curl and their faded color.  I tried to add this fascination in the above painting.

Morning Light
acrylic on wood

Mornings are spent inside now, cuddled beneath a fuzzy blanket with a cup of coffee and Hurley at my feet, and sometimes Mitsou in my lap.  Peet does his own thing pretty much all day.  He's earned the right to in his 17th year as a cat. 

acrylic on wood
available on Etsy

As I scroll through the pictures on my phone I am reminded of all the wonderful things that happened this month.  I took the initiative to get really active with all the events and places my city and beyond has to offer.  Trying new food, exploring museums, gardens, shops.  I went where I could, when I could and it filled my heart and inspired me so much.  I get in a rut sometimes, and exploring my own area always does the trick to pull me out of it. 

Bartlett Arboretum
My first visit to this beautiful place.

One of the events I attended was a symphony concert in a small town nearby.  I was telling my son, who is a musician that it would be great to find a podcast that discusses specific pieces of classical music for people who want to know more of the history about it.  Of course in this world there IS one that exists and I found just the perfect one in my search.  It is called Classical Classroom , and Dacia Clay does a wonderful job interviewing different musicians, directors and such about various topics, pieces of music, composers and instruments.  It is really educational and so interesting.  I started with episode 72 about Beethoven's Fifth.  Eye-opening!

Until next time!


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Music and Paintings


My son is a pianist and he recently posted this lovely work on his YouTube channel.  I wanted to share it here.  I think it is so beautiful and one I had never heard before.  His style of playing is so expressive.

The Daughters of Elise
oil on cradled wood 12x16 inch
available here

This one of my more recent paintings.  It was inspired by a vintage photograph of a group of women.  I wrote a poem to go with it, something I have enjoyed doing lately, and I also created a short narrative video as well.   You can click on it to play.  

The Daughters of Elise

Elise had six daughters

All so close in age

She raised them to be strong women

Without a helping man's wage

The oldest had the most beauty

The second the purest of heart

The next three were closely knitted

The youngest the purest of heart

Elise was stoic, but friendly

Tired, but full of peace

And once her daughters were raised and gone

She folded her arms, closed her eyes, and embraced her sweet release

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Paintings and Poetry: Mama Had Strength


Mama Had Strength
oil on wood
available here

This is my newest painting and it is based on an old photograph from a very large collection a friend gifted me years ago.  I pull them out from time to time to use as inspiration and this one in particular is a new favorite.  The photograph has so much power and I found myself haunted a bit by the souls reflected in the image.  I want to know more about them.  

The inspiration led me to make a "Painting and Poetry" video for my YouTube channel.  Here is the short video with a poem I wrote.  The poem is also called Mama Had Strength.  I hope you enjoy it.

Mama Had Strength 

Her eyes buried deep within their sockets
Dark circles like a trodden path from the footprints of the past
Life had hit hard, and fast, and it was cruel at times

Yet, look at her again
There is a sparkle of joy in her eye, and a slight upturn of her lips
There is power in the grip of the tissue that holds her tears

I know this power because it was witnessed by my brothers and sisters and I
Day after day, night after night
Mama had strength

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Some June Paintings

Separation Anxiety
mixed media on wood 


   June has been a prolific month of painting for me and it did not really register until I uploaded these images.  We have been in our new house for four months now and being settled has had a very positive effect on my time in the studio.  Somehow I managed to plant flowers in a few pots too.  How about that? 

Man Wearing Green
oil on wood

Summer is off to a wonderful start.  A friend of mine visited last week from Colorado.  We had an amazing time of walking, talking, eating, and laughing.  She is Dutch and it is always so interesting to hear about her culture and customs.  She loves America and never wants to leave. 

Meditation (sold)
oil on linen panel

I have been bouncing around a lot on subjects.  I paint whatever I am in the mood for.  Painting freely suites me because I like change.  I get can get bored easily, so I try to vary my life and my life in art as much as possible. 

Roses in a Blue Pot (sold)
oil on linen panel 

Flower paintings are a great way for me to explore color without having to think as much as I do when I am painting figures.  My figurative art requires a lot more concentration, but flowers are just color and shape which makes it easier to play around. I use a palette knife a lot for my flowers. 

Dream Sleeper
oil on linen panel

Dream Sleeper started out as a small landscape, but ended up being a whole lot more.  I love it when that happens.

Little Red Bikini
oil on linen panel

Little Red Bikini was going to be a portrait of a woman in a dress.  It went in a different direction too.  I like that it did.  I don't want to be shackled to any style or preconceived ideas in my painting.  This one is a subconscious testament to that I believe. 

Life is a Peach
oil on linen

 Life has been a peach lately.  For this I am grateful.  

Until next time.

Paintings are available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Humidity in Kansas and Some New Paintings


Home is Comforting
mixed media on wood 11x14 inch
available here

I have been painting quite a bit, but I am a little bit delayed in posting anything because the humidity in Kansas has been so high.  It feels like a very long time from the time I finish a painting to the time it is dry enough to handle.  I am not complaining though.  We need the moisture and everything is so green right now.

Who Rescued Who?
oil on wood 11x14 inch
available here

This one changed colors so many times before it seemed to finally settle in with this vibrant palette.  I felt inspired by so many things subconsciously with this one...a love of dogs, people I know who have rescue dogs, a love of boats and water, and Monet's water lily paintings - I think.

We have been back in Kansas one year as of today.  With Covid, time seems so distorted.  Somehow, even with the pandemic I have found some rhythm with painting and living.  I am grateful for that. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Painting Food and Exploring a Little Realism

 Last Year I saw a wonderful painting of salad done by Aubrey Levinthal and it made me want to paint food.  I know that sounds funny, but I am serious.  I wanted to paint food, and in particular, salad.  So I started with a photo of a salad  that was made by my friend, who makes the best salads you a have ever tasted by the way, along with a glass of wine.  Painting the salad was the easy part, but the glass of wine was difficult.  Making it look like, tough.  I sure enjoyed painting food though!

After that, I felt even more adventurous.  I painted a meat and cheese platter from a photo I had taken while out one wonderful evening with my husband.  We had gone to this old castle near Denver and they had live music, food, wine and dessert.  The music was done by a male vocalist and he sang these gorgeous ballads while playing guitar.  I think it may have been one of the most romantic dates of my life, and the platter was one of the best I had ever tasted, so painting it was the perfect way to capture the memory.  

This semi-realistic style is a huge swing from my usual style and I have thought many times about exploring this type of painting more often.  I hesitate though because I can see the potential for becoming obsessive about details and the fight there might be trying to arm wrestle things into the right shapes.  With my usual style, I can be imperfect and that suits me the best.  

So perhaps from time to time I will just paint food I want to remember.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Painting and Poetry

They Have Come To Bring Us Spring is an oil painting I did some time ago.  It recently went off to a new home, so I decided to take a short video of it.  It has always been a favorite.  And then a poem came out.  And then this video.  

Monday, May 3, 2021

Gratitude Garden


Gratitude Garden
oil on cradled wood 14x11 inch
available here

Gardening used to be a favorite activity and I remember spending many many hours pulling weeds, sowing seeds, planting, transplanting, digging, raking and more raking.  It is a great way to get exercise and fresh air.  I used to feel so joyful and light by the end of the day in the garden.  As time has passed and with all of our moves, our yard got smaller and smaller.  I found myself buying a few pots to plant and calling that good enough by the time we moved to Colorado.  Now that we own a home again, we have another big yard, something we thought we were done with.  We spoke too soon!  

Our yard is sort of a blank canvas and it has a lot of potential to become something pretty special.  I hesitate though because a garden will take me away from painting and I am not sure I want that.  If I didn't need sleep, then problem would be solved.  For now, I plan to figure out how to get rid of all the lava rocks in the flower beds, plant a few herbs in pots, and then just watch the light this season before deciding what to do.  I am reading a lot about minimalism and simplistic gardening (if there is such a thing).  

Monday, April 26, 2021

Country Drives Are So Inspiring


I drove to Peck, Kansas yesterday, a small town not far.  I was on the search for colors and textures and I found so many.  Here are a few from the trip.  I always find myself wishing I could plop a blanket down in the middle of a field and just take it in for a while.  Maybe take a nap while listening to the birds and the quiet breeze.  Perhaps one of these days I will stumble onto a public place where I can do that.  

Sometimes when I go on a photo shoot, I take a lot of video and then make a video out of it all, using videos and photographs.  Most of the video was too shaky this round because it was so windy.  If you want to see the nature videos I make, you can see them on YouTube.  The link is HERE.  It is just another way I like to create.  I used to just share them on my Facebook, but I am going to start uploading them to YouTube from now on so that I can keep them in one neat place.

Friday, April 23, 2021

My Mother's Bed


My Mother's Bed
acrylic on canvas 16x12 inch

When I think of my mother, I often think of her bed. That sounds funny, doesn't it. But it is true, and I will tell you why.  My mother ran a daycare for most of my childhood years and her bedroom was sort of like a breakroom at the office for her.   She would retreat there for a private phone conversation while the daycare kids were napping, or to smoke a cigarette, listen to music or read her books in the evenings, all three of which she did heavily.  It was a place that she seemed to love, and often that was where she could be found.  She was more on the bed than in it as I recall.  Come to think of it, she actually preferred sleeping on the sofa.  I am guessing she felt less alone on the sofa that in her queen-size bed after her and my father divorced.   

As a young girl and into my teenage years, I used to sit on her bed and we would look at pictures, listen to her records,  and go through her jewelry.  She had a fantastic costume jewelry collection.  Her mirrored dresser was positioned at the foot of her bed and while she brushed her hair or put on her makeup,  I would sit and watch, keeping her company.  We had the deepest conversations on that bed and that is the memory I love most.  My mother was a talker, and a listener, and a deep thinker, and it was on her bed with the jade colored bedspread covered in bright flowers that I learned these skills from her.  

Fast forward years later to her small apartment in the retirement building she resided in until her final day, her bedroom was still a meeting place.  She loved to watch movies and there we would sit side by side, legs stretched out, eating crunchy snacks and chocolate things, watching everything from Casa Blanca to Mama Mia.  When my older sister lived in Kansas for a few years, she and mom and I had the best Sundays together in that bedroom laughing, talking and watching movies.  She had a living room that also had a TV, but she preferred the coziness and comfort of her bed.  We still would pull out photo albums and look at her old jewelry from time to time.  And we always talked about everything.  

My mother died in her sleep seven years ago this coming July at the age of 80.  She had a bad heart and we all knew her time was limited.  She went just how she wanted to go...painlessly and independent.  She also was ON her bed rather than IN it, which I find so ironic now.  Ironic, but somehow beautiful.

Monday, April 19, 2021

French Press

French Press
oil on canvas 20x16 inch
available here


Painted for the love of pretty cafes, coffee and good conversation.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Making Sketchbook Videos

 I have been making short video of drawings in my sketchbook.  I started uploading these little clips to my YouTube channel.  I use my iPhone to make these and an app called Splice.  It is really fun and I enjoy creating these little clips.  

I read that Blogger is doing away with the Feedburner widget.  I have no clue how anyone can subscribe to my blog by email without this.  If anyone knows of an alternative, please let me know.  

Happy Weekend everyone!

Monday, April 12, 2021

New Art, New Home

New Mexico Kitchen
mixed media on paper
available here

I moved again, but this time it is more permanent.  I feel like I have just returned from a very long long trip.  It started in 2018 when Vic and I moved to Colorado.  We lived there until June of last year, then moved back into our old Riverside neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas last June.  They say people often return home after moving away.  It turned out to be true for us.  We rented a house on the river while looking for a home to purchase, and with the market being a bit fast and crazy right now, finding a Riverside home that suited us turned out to be difficult.  However as luck would have it, a really wonderful modest sized midcentury home not far away turned out to be a great fit.  There are windows and outdoor spaces surrounding the house and it is just wonderful.  Ironically, my studio is the darkest room in the house so I have a lot of lights turned on when I am in it working.  I love it though.  It is a great little room to work in.

mixed media works on paper
5x7 inch
available here

I am slowly getting back to painting and finding a rhythm again.  I have been doing some works on paper lately, something I get a lot of requests for.  I also have some oil paintings on wood in progress.  I am really all over the place right now, but loving every minute of it.

Here are a few peeks at our home and until then, take care!