The Everyday Life of a Working Artist


Attention! My blog is moving to my website in early January 2016. If you are receiving daily emails about this blog you will continue to receive them after the switch. Until then, you might want to head on over to my new blog here!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Boat Reflections

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Boat Reflections, Oil, 6" x 8"
This painting is for sale.
I think I might have to continue my "reflections" theme next week since I am having so much fun with it. I have more rain reflection paintings to try ... Also, I have decided in the future I will follow a "theme" each week and I have some ideas - such as favorite restaurants, my favorite cities, etc. If you have any suggestions please let me know! I think a theme keeps me focused and painting more. Sometimes I spend too much time looking for photos and inspiration and I don't get to my easel.
I sent out an email to all of my buddies announcing that next week I will post my "50th" blog entry and painting. Most of you have no idea what this represents for me ... in all of 2008 I did not even paint 50 paintings ... so thanks for your encouragement! My goal to paint more and improve my painting skills is working ... well at least the "paint more" goal is working ...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

City Hall Reflections

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City Hall Reflections, Oil, 6" x 8"
I am still having fun this week with my "reflections" theme. I thought I would try a "rain" painting and I love the "city hall" reflection in this one. I hope the pink umbrella isn't too vivid, but the other colors in the painting were so dull and I wanted to liven up the painting somehow! I might enter this one in the small works juried competition but I am just not sure. Any comments or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reflections III

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Reflections III, Oil 8" x 6"
This painting is for sale.
I painted this yesterday and I think I will enter this one (as one of three submissions) for the small works art juried competition this weekend. I am not sure why I rarely use red in my paintings when the color is so fantastic in paintings. I need to use it more often! I know that I keep mentioning that I like to paint boats ... but actually ... I like to paint reflections. Not boats, reflections!

Friday, February 20, 2009


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Hawaii, Oil, 14" x 11" Private Collection
My "real job" is a corporate event planner, which means I coordinate large events for corporations, such as incentive trips, sales meeting and conferences. A few years ago I started painting for my clients. I typically paint the destination where the event is being held and then give it as a gift to my client. This one is Hawaii (duh ...) and it is for a client I have had for twenty years! Hope you like it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Power Failure

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Last night at about 7:00 pm I was standing in the kitchen serving my family dinner when the entire house lost power. When I hobbled to the front door and looked outside, it appeared that most of our neighbors had their lights on. After being assured by my husband that he did not forget to pay our power bill, I found a truck next door that looked as if they were about to start some electrical work. Come to find out ... they were actually replacing a power pole and our house and the church next door would be without power for ... 12 hours. The electrical worker kindly stated to my husband, "Didn't they send you a note"?
NO THEY DID NOT! Are you kidding me? Did I not just buy five half gallons of ice cream (see previous post about my oldest son and ice cream) at the market? Sorry to rant and rave, but I was angry that the electric company didn't even bother to warn us about this slight interruption in service. Not to mention that the boys had homework, I was SUPPOSED TO PAINT, and worst of all, our tivo doesn't work without power. And don't forget about the ice cream.
So, I am over it now and I am pleased to say that the power did come back on at 4:51 a.m. this morning. In fact, not only did ALL of the lights in the house come back on, but so did the tv and everything else that happened to be running last night at 7 p.m.
I know you are asking "is there a point to this story"? Yes, the point is that I refused to paint in the dark last night so I am posting an older boat painting. When I am cranky, I always revert back to boats ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


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Reflections, Oil, 8" x 10"
This painting is for sale.
I just finished this painting about 15 minutes ago, in fact I see that I still have paint on my fingers! I started it last night, but ended up scraping the paint off the entire canvas. Sometimes when I work with the palette knife, I end up working the painting too much and it turns out muddy. That is where I was last night when I did the "big scrape". I am happier with it today but I think I will try to paint it again sometime in the future. I left out so much of the detail in the water - there were waves everywhere - but it was just too busy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lots of Wine Bottles

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Lots of Wine Bottles, Oil, 24" x 12", Private Collection
I had a lovely Valentine dinner this past weekend and wanted to thank my hubby for the amazing meal. We were lucky enough to share it with our dear friends and this painting reminded me of the many glasses of wine we shared on Saturday night! I am so blessed with a wonderful husband and three amazing children. Thank you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Early Sunday Afternoon

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Early Sunday Afternoon, Oil, 8" x 6"
I have just spent three long days at a swim meet, outside in the rain and cold air and I am exhausted. Of course all I was doing was driving and standing on the pool deck while my son was the one who should be really tired! The good news is that he swam really well, even went a few lifetime best times. Unfortunately I am not feeling too witty or clever tonight so I am just going to post this small painting that I did last week. I am sad that I didn't get a chance to paint at all this weekend ... so I will get to the easel this week for sure.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Back to the Beginning

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Late Saturday Afternoon, Oil 12" x 12", Private Collection
It is raining outside today and I thought this painting seemed nice and cheery and also is consistent with the thick paint, heavy palette knife "theme" for the week.
I was talking to my wonderful sister-in-law today and we were talking about my blog. She is kind enough to be a regular visitor and always has nice and encouraging things to say. As we were talking, I came up with an idea that I should post my "first ever painting" which happened to be done with a palette knife (what a surprise ...). It wasn't until I pulled it out and saw how AWFUL it is that I decided to post it in a link here instead. That way, those of you who just look at my daily paintings and don't spend time actually reading the blog will miss it! And no one will confuse it for a "current painting". It is pretty embarassing. I suppose it is good to see I have learned something from two years of painting ...
I also thought today was a good day to post my first palette knife painting because in case you can't tell, it is a painting of a swim meet. My oldest son is a very dedicated swimmer and he turns 18 tomorrow. He has always been my very special valentine!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Holy Cow!

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Holy Cow, Oil 12" x 12" Sold
Continuing with the "palette knife" emphasis, I chose to post this painting today as I think it also portrays some good knife work. This painting has very thick paint and I need to remember to continue using lots of paint. Lately I have been using less paint and more detail so this is a good reminder that thick and loose is fun to paint! And I still only use a palette knife to paint ... no brushes!
The sun is finally out today so hopefully I can photograph some of my recent paintings. I haven't quite mastered photographing my paintings with a flash. They just don't come out well.
With the holiday weekend ahead of us, and only one three day swim meet to attend, I hope to finish lots of paintings this weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Painting With a Knife

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An artist friend of mine, Karen Winters, posted an all palette knife painting on her blog yesterday and it was lovely! I am not sure how many artists out there use a knife, but I think Brent Jensen and CW Mundy use them. Let me know if you know of more!
A collector asked me the other day why I paint with a palette knife. I actually can't remember how I started working with the knife but I can tell you that I love the thick paint, edges and impressionistic feel that comes with a palette knife.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Orange is My New Favorite Color

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Sitting in the Dock of the Bay Oil, 10" x 8"
This painting is for sale.

So, it is true. Time for sage green to step aside (I know my girlfriends won't believe me) but orange is now officially my favorite color. I should have seen it coming as the color has slowly "crept in to my house" and is starting to appear in every room. I even tried to paint the walls of my newly remodeled master bath orange, but my husband wouldn't go for it. And that is a good thing because orange looks much better in towels and artwork in a bathroom.
If I start wearing orange clothes all of the time, please shoot me.

I painted this painting this weekend while watching (or more like listening to) the Laker game. The painting started slow, I was behind halfway through, but finished strong. Just like the Lakers!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tag, You're It!

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So, I have been tagged. And since I am new to blogging, I wasn't really sure what this meant. But Marian Fortunati, who has a wonderful blog entitled On Painting Daily by Marian Fortunati, tagged me! Apparently I need to tell you seven things about myself that you don't already know. So here goes ...
1. I went to four different elementary schools. I was an Air force brat and needless to say, we moved a lot.
2. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is make a latte. In fact, I have been making a morning latte for 28 years. Fortunately cappuccino machines have gotten a lot more sophisticated over the years.
3. I made my own wedding dress. I probably missed my calling by not studying fashion design. I love to sew and designed my own wedding dress. I actually had to make it twice, once out of muslin and the second time out of silk. And I am not sure why I chose to hand sew 1000 pearls to the lace. I am pretty sure you can buy lace with the pearls already attached.
4. I have been to Hawaii over 40 times. But 37 of the trips were for business.
5. I have been in two emergency landings. Both were on American Airlines.
6. I swam competitively through high school but apparently I was really slow. When my son was nine he found some of my old ribbons and we soon realized that he was already faster at nine than I was at 14. I tried to tell him the clocks were slower back then ...
7. I still, at age 49, cannot do a cartwheel. My sisters can attest to their many attempts to teach me how to do one, with or without vodka.

So now I need to find 7 bloggers to tag. I am on a hunt!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Red, Red Wine

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Red, Red Wine Oil, 12" x 12"
I met my girlfriends at a new place in South Pas tonight called Little Parlor. It is an upscale pizza place with great food and a really nice atmosphere. As we were celebrating two more birthdays, my friend Jennifer looked out the window and commented "this feels like New York"!
Anyone who has been to South Pasadena would think she was crazy. But at that moment I completely agreed with her. It was raining outside, the metro line had just gone by and there were tons of reflections in the puddles on Mission Street. Of course there weren't any yellow taxi cabs ... but there were lots of cars whizzing by. The street corner had a real urban feel to it and I realized that in our tiny little town, we too can feel like the "big city".
We enjoyed lots of red wine tonight so I decided to post this painting. I painted it with thick paint and a palette knife (of course). It belongs to a lovely home in Atlanta.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another Day

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Another Day, Oil 8" x 6"
We filmed a commercial at my house yesterday so it was a crazy day. It was hard to find time to paint but I managed to get this one done late last night. My youngest son is home sick and my husband is out of town so yes, things are crazy today too. I did this small painting for my girfriend's birthday which is today ... so Happy Birthday Kris! It seems when I am in a time crunch I revert back to my comfort zone ...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Cloudy Day

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A Cloudy Day, Oil, 11" x 14"
This painting is sold.

A girlfriend of mine emailed me last week and asked if I had ever painted one of my sailboat paintings without using blue. This didn't surprise me, since my favorite color in the world is sage green and well, my house has sage green almost everywhere. I always though that my boat paintings would look odd in my house with too much blue anyway, so I thought I would give it a try.
I used this same image a few weeks back when I painted the smaller painting for the White's Gallery show. It was very blue! So I pulled out my Sap Green tube and gave it a try ... and now I have a beautiful painting that could go in every room in my house! So, thanks Michelle for the inspiration and idea! I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Balboa Market

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Balboa Market, Oil, 8" x 10"
This painting is
for sale.
We spend a week every summer in Newport Beach and we love to wander down to Balboa. I adore this little market and thought I might try to paint it. We have dear friends who have the most adorable home on Balboa island. They call it the "barn" and I would love to paint it (so send me some pictures, ok?). I am actually thrilled with the way this painting came out and with the weather we are having ... I wish we were at the beach. I love Southern California!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Haven for Ice Cream

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A Haven For Ice Cream, Oil, 8" x 10"
The other night I was telling my kids at dinner that it would be nice if they would post on my blog every once in a while. I explained to them that it makes me feel like someone is reading it if comments are left on the blog. (Actually, I do know that people are reading my blog because I can tell on Feedburner that I average about 50 hits a day ... but you get my point.) Sure enough, about 20 minutes later I see a new comment posted on my blog. It reads "Mom, we're out of ice cream". Pretty funny ... at least I know that my boys listen to me. And I really shouldn't complain. Because, you see, we actually were out of ice cream. So ... speaking of ice cream ... I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with a painting for my oldest brother and his wife for a Christmas gift (yes ... Christmas ... as in last December ... there is no way I am that organized and planning eleven months ahead on my gifts this year). Anyway, my brother and his family spend a few weeks every summer in South Haven and I always wanted to do a painting from there. They already have paintings of the lake house, so I thought I would paint one of my favorite local spots (and theirs!) called Shermans Dairy Bar. They serve fantastic ice cream and although I haven't been there in sixteen years ... I still remember it! So, "Merry Belated Christmas". I hope you like the painting and that it reminds you of wonderful, hot summer evenings and dripping, yummy ice cream. And boys ... I bought ice cream today.


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