Friday, March 28, 2014

Snuggles make it all worth it.

I have been spending many long hours working on the paintings for Holy Week. I painted 4 heads tonight and have 17 more to finish. I need to get an earlier start the next few nights and stay more focused. It is hard to get to the studio as soon as the kids are in bed when I have dinner dishes to clean and toys to pick up, and it is hard to get those things done when kids are up especially when I am tired from staying up too late, many nights in a row.
But little moments of cuddling with the kids and talks about Jesus made this whole day worth it. They are the reason I want to stay at home and be there for my children. It is hard to know when little moments like this will be just what my kids are needing. I want to be there whenever their hearts are open. I just need to make sure I get enough sleep to be aware of them when they happen.

Click here If you would like to sign up to receive my
I will post News approximately Monthly about new work that I have been working on, shows I will be in and any other things going on in my studio.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Progress and a nice break.

It was so nice to visit friends this evening and to get a chance to interact like an adult. Coming back to painting after a break can be more inspiring than the regular routine.

Enjoying Baby Goose playing quietly by herself. Love the toes.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New territory

Working on a new painting that is a big departure from my regular work is very daunting. I have never before done such a large scene combining historical and modern references. The foreground and the background are taken from "Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842. The crowd in the middle ground are members of my parents church as photographed by Christine Maynard.
I wanted to have a Modern crowd to make the painting more than just a straight copy, and to emphasize our personal role in this Bible story. We can place ourselves in the midst of this crown welcoming Jesus and let it serve as a warning as we think of the turn in behavior that the crowd displays during the following week as their expectations were not met in the way they had imagined. This crowd was looking for an immediate kingdom and not the spiritual kingdom that Christ offered. How often do we grow frustrated at the spiritual growth Christ desires of us, wanting immediate changes in our situation instead.
When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
 Mark 11:7-11

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Muddy Mess

What is better than a warm spring day at the Farm and a fresh Mud puddle!

Working on composing the crown for my painting of the Triumphal Entry

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Open Studio Progression

Todays open studio was very fun. the model was so sweet and friendly that she was a joy to paint. I always prefer to paint models who interact with us because I can get to know them a little bit and can better capture them in paint.
The pictures show you the difference between the lighting at the Art Center and the lighting in my studio. Lighting is very difficult at the Art Center and every painting looks so much warmer when I bring it home and look at it in more standard indoor lighting.
I came home with the intention of painting more from home but discovered the baby covered with puke and with an overflowing diaper. My husband swears it must have just happened. I am really hoping this does not start a new round of stomach virus.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First layer of glazing added to the face, I have NO idea what I am doing.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Trying something New

I am trying something new with this painting. this will be my first painting where I start with a grisaille and add color thru layers of glazing. The painting is for a display at my parents church during the week of Easter. It will be very interesting to see how things go as I start adding layers of color.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Messy Fun

Today Goose was delighted to get her first chance to paint with "real" paints instead of watercolors. She made a delightful mess and painted a very muddy picture. The other kids enjoyed getting out the paints again also.

Our painting opportunity was only possible because I have been trying to get the house cleaned up some and keep it that way for a little bit. It is so hard to take on a messy project when you have to clean up a lot of clutter just to start and you know you will have to clean up even more once they are finished. But with the table cleared off and the dishes all clean, It was much easier to say "sure you can paint"
 It was a beautiful day out also, so after nap time we got out side, did a little yard work and admired the daffodils starting to pop out of the ground. What a joy to see my daughter amazed at what will soon be flowers. A little fresh green after such a long winter is such a welcome sight.  I also got around to removing strands of Christmas lights from the front bushes but will leave the ones wrapped around and around our little tree for my husband to tackle tomorrow (I hope).

Then the kids found a wonderful MUD puddle to splash in and turn to slush with the chilly addition of some lingering snow. I love the kind of perfect day when it is warm enough and relaxed enough to let them get really dirty.

This evenings work involved filling in more empty spaces and trying to make values work together.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Painters Block

I took a week and a half off from painting for a trip to visit family and celebrate a Mobile style Mardi Gras.
My kiddos loved the kids parade and throwing beads.

The cousins in matching Mardi Gras outfits.
We also celebrated my oldest's  fifth birthday.

Tonight's painting session did not go well. I don't know if it was the time off or something else but I am having a very hard time progressing any paintings. I worked on three separate paintings tonight and was frustrated with all of them.

I am trying to paint this image of St Francis De Sales from an old etching. My church requested the painting because the priests are the Oblate's of St Francis De Sales. It is very hard to paint someone long dead from very limited resources.

I have been working on this painting off and on for well over a year. the background has been painted and repainted many times. Most of my time tonight was spent working on it. I changed the background at least three different ways just tonight.  
I only made minor changes to the painting of Grandma and Goose. Added a stack of books on the left side, other than that I did not want to carry on any of the bad energy from the other paintings into this one so I quit while I was still OK with what I had done.

I received a letter in the Mail today informing me that two pieces have been accepted into the Art at the Mill Spring show. "On the Fence" will be in the show/sale and "Antiquing in Vienna" will be on their reserve list.

While in Alabama I said a sad farewell to "Shades" This painting has had mixed reviews. My mother in law does not like it. It does not come close to capturing her beauty and her loving personality.

 It was one of the first paintings I finished after I started painting again and was a breakthrough for me. I painted it without a preliminary sketch or transfer of a drawing.  I usually struggle when painting directly but was very pleased with my efforts on this painting. I also love the glasses and the texture of the hat. It does capture some of her personality because she is a very strong woman who can run her entire hospital. I was still learning and continue to learn how to capture form without such harsh shadows.  Making flattering portraits that the subjects like is truly a difficult task.

This painting also won my first painting award with an honorable mention at last years Vienna Art Society Spring Show.

I guess she wanted me to give it to her so that no one else would see it . Because I love the painting and focus on the breakthroughs and the painting process, it makes me very sad to give it away to someone who focuses of the flaws of the painting. But I love my Mother in Law and if she wants the painting and if it will make her feel better to control who sees it I am happy for her to have it. I just hope that seeing it more often will not make her more frustrated with me.

For more artwork or information on commissioning a painting please visit my website at