December 23, 2022

Abstract Forest

 I've been working on this piece off and on - mostly off! I decided to go in the direction of abstraction.

18x24 oil on stretched canvas

December 12, 2022

And So It Begins...

A friend of mine has a summer home in NC.  She took a photo of the forest outside her home and shared the picture with me.  I loved it.  Luckily for me, she is happy for me to try my hand at painting the scene.

Today,  I stopped procrastinating and began blocking in the background on this 18x24 stretched canvas.

Suzanne's photo

blocking in color

November 10, 2022


Taking a break from portraits to work on still-life paintings.

Quick sketch - textured gesso - 20x20 oil painting on stretched canvas 

Building up color

Finished work


November 7, 2022

It Must Have Been the Avocado!

This happened when I painted with no real plan while listening to “Night On Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky and “Cello Concerto No. 1” by Shostakovich - I had my work apron on and still managed to get paint all over myself.  I finally had to stop.  

I ate an avocado for lunch…maybe it was messing with the right side of my brain!  If you look closely, you can see that I actually painted over an existing work of mine.

202x20 stretched canvas - oil paints

Finished work - need a title...

October 31, 2022

Nature Maid - Rebirth

“Nature Maid - Rebirth” art doll created using Hurricane Ian debris and some found objects.  

Acorn caps make neat little breasts and a hat!  Apoxy Sculpt stamped with REBIRTH - adhered to the forearms.

Piece together found twigs - tape and paper clay are used to keep twigs together

Paper Clay "skirt" - Apoxy Sculpt to create head, face, neck, hands, and forearms

 Stain added to accentuate the features

 Wrapped yarn around figure - adhered with Liquitex Matte Medium

October 25, 2022

Handmade Book

A friend asked me to make a journal as a gift for her husband's upcoming 70th birthday.  We discussed a few ideas. The paper had to be cut to size.  Almost every journal I have made for myself or as a gift was something I just created on the fly.  A commission was a whole new experience.  I have never glued separate sheets of paper to create a book block.  I used the double fan perfect spine technique.  I made two.  One was for practice; the other was the "real" thing!

I'm not sure why I felt the need to build my own book press, but I did it anyway. Trip to the hardware store for carriage bolts, washers, and drillbit; another stop at a craft store for 2 12x12 boards.  Drilling the holes was a challenge since I recently had carpal tunnel surgery and was not to lift anything weighty with my right hand.  I taped the boards together so the holes would match - trouble with that was the drillbit kept getting stuck in the wood - royal frustration!  (I can just picture my brothers laughing their heads off.)


My friend's husband has a small guitar that he likes - obviously, he loves music...a couple song titles brought tears to my friend's eyes so, of course, these elements had to be included in the overall design of the book cover.  I also added his initials to the design.  I worked it out in Photoshop.

This is the finished book - she's happy. I'm happy.  Now let's just hope he's happy!

September 14, 2022

Somewhere in Croatia

I finished this work this afternoon.  You can see the progression below.  I had difficulty deciding how to add the script to the sign over the door.  It's not perfect - but after all, it's not a photograph, it's a painting!
Finished work


September 5, 2022

The Blue Door

In 2009 I took my husband on a tour of Croatia to celebrate his 75th birthday.  At that time, I was still using a "real" camera.  (A few years later, I purchased an iPhone - tossed my digital camera, and never looked back!)  

I remember taking architecture photos - we were on a walking tour - I took pictures of the architecture of every bit that "fit" my criteria!  I'm not exactly sure where we were, but I know I took this photo somewhere in Croatia!

I've wanted to paint this particular scene for quite some time.  I tend to not want to buy new supplies but make do with what I have.  Thus, a rectangular photo had to be drawn on a square canvas. The challenge begins!

charcoal sketch on canvas painted with acrylic background

Tomorrow I plan to take brush in hand and have a go - wish me luck!

August 16, 2022

Sunset Landscape

 I tried my hand at painting the sunset landscape I took a photo of at Corkscrew Sanctuary last week.

It needs work, but I have to step away from it for a while.  I might put a wash of a medium color over the top to tone it all down - but I need to wait for what I’ve done so far to dry.

acrylic background

oil paints

It needs work, but I have to step away from it for a while.  I might put a wash of a medium color over the top to tone it all down - but I need to wait for what I’ve done so far to dry.

original photo

August 13, 2022

"Moon" walk

Two photos - the same moon - were taken approximately 25 minutes apart.  I love my morning walks, especially when the moon is shining bright.

August 12, 2022

Corkscrew Sanctuary Adventure

 Two friends and I drove out to Corkscrew Sanctuary last night.  We were on the hunt for the Super Moon.    It rained late in the afternoon, but lucky for us it stopped before we got to the sanctuary.  The rain cooled things off a bit - it's very damp in the swamp.  There are two boardwalks - 2.5 miles and 1 mile.  We chose the long route.  Once the sun goes down, it's really dark in there.  The tree cover was so dense, that we knew it would be impossible to see the Super Moon inside the sanctuary.  We got a glimpse of it on the drive home.

Annona glabra (tropical fruit) and its foliage

Reflection in the murky water of a large tree, its canopy, and the sky is my favorite photo of our adventure.

On the drive home, I managed to take a photo of the Super Moon while I was sitting in the backseat of my friend's car.  It was cloudy, but still...

August 2, 2022

Three Daisies

 A week ago, I created acrylic backgrounds on several stretched canvases.   This one is 9x12.  I was feeling a little down this morning.  I love daisies they are such happy, cheerful flowers.  I felt lighter once I got started and am happy with how it turned out.

Finished work

Quick sketch in charcoal

Filling in flowers with acrylic paint which I mixed myself

Added highlights to glass container

Vignette created by rubbing Derwent Intense Block on edge of canvas then smudging with wet fingers

July 23, 2022

Eyes Wide Shut

 It's been a rough couple of weeks.  I haven't felt much like doing anything creative.  I decided it was time to get back in the studio and paint something.

20x20 stretched canvas layer of gesso with lots of texture!  
Background painted with acrylics - just slap some paint on canvas to get started

Charcoal sketch 
R&F oil paint sticks used for portrait - blend paint with finger tips - messy!

July 6, 2022

For My Beloved Husband

My darling husband, Richard, passed away on June 2, 2022.  We enjoyed a wonderful life together for well over 31 years, but when you love someone it is never long enough is it?  

I usually don't save birthday cards and the like.  I received so many beautiful condolence cards - from family and friends sharing their thoughts about Richard, there was NO way I could just stash them in a box to be put in a closet.  I decided to make a book to house the cards instead.  I just love the way it turned out!

Punch holes in cards

Cut canvas to about the width & height of the smallest card

Using waxed thread sew cards to canvas (leave a 2" flap on each side of canvas)

Add folded black end leaves to both sides of card stack (heavy card stock)

Cut chipboard covers and spine

Book cloth made using cotton fabric, Heat & Bond Ultra Hold, and tissue paper

Cut book cloth leaving 2" on all sides of covers and spine - 1/4" space to accommodate the fold of the covers and spine; glue chipboard to fabric with PVA glue - let dry; 
cut book cloth corners at 45-degree angle - glue down with PVA glue.

Using a mixture of prepared Methyl Cellulose and PVA extends the drying time of glue enabling me to place a ribbon (not shown) in the center of the spread; canvas flaps followed by cover leaves in place making sure it's all squared up (mostly!)
Use heavy books and bricks to hold the covers and end leaves to lie flat when dry. 

One of my favorite photos of Richard - glued to mat board and front cover using PVA glue.