Sunday, July 12, 2015

Create with No End in Mind

pastel on paper

pastel on paper

21.5 x 21.5 inches

Right now I am in a period of experimentation with my pastels.  I am creating with no end in mind.  I am not working towards a show, competition or gallery right now.  I only want to work to discover and uncover.  I am trying out different gessos.  I have been using the pastel ground for quite some time and I do like it very much.  Right now I am looking at using different gessos with my pastels so I have been experimenting with white, black and clear gesso.  I am also applying gesso on top of previously completed pastels to see what will happen.  I find it is really important to take the time to just "do" with no expected outcomes.  If it doesn't work it goes in the garbage.  I may discover a new way of working.  

I am preparing for my first workshop at the Acadia Workshop Center in Bernard, Maine.  I am really looking forward to this workshop.  So far there are 9 artists attending.  It is a wonderful location that should be very inspiring.  The setting will influence all that takes place during the week.  It will be nice for people to have four days of working and it will be a relaxing environment for myself and everyone else.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Coneflower in the Garden
acrylic painting
Inspired by the Garden
acrylic painting

Summer is here!  I love summer.  I spend a lot of time outside after being cooped up during the winter.  I get a lot of ideas at this time of the year.  Its great to feel the energy of nature.  I sit on my porch every morning, listen to the birds and wind chimes.  I journal and I record ideas in sketch books.  I do a lot of pondering.  I also buy flowers, plant them and then draw from them.  I use these drawings later and maybe even into the winter months.  I get ideas when I am riding my bike or playing golf which are totally separate from my art but important activities.  These other activities bring balance, relaxation and fun into my life.  I'm enjoying this down time before heading off to my next teaching workshop.  It took me several days to wind down from IAPS!  It was a whirlwind trip for me with a lot of activity.  I hope that I can attend the next convention in 2017 and spend more time being a volunteer, attending workshops and visiting with my pastel friends.  It has been an honor for me to teach the past two conventions.  So happy to meet many other pastel artists, have a chance to talk with a few and see such amazing pastel paintings.  I encourage you to attend the IAPS convention if you have not done so.  If you are a pastel artist it is where you need to be.

Next on my travels is the Acadia Workshop Center in Maine!  Maybe I will see you there.  

Monday, May 25, 2015


Coneflower Abstraction
45x32 acrylic and mixed media on canvas

I spend a good deal of time visualizing.   I usually do this in the morning when I am up alone and drinking my coffee.  I imagine and picture myself doing things, creating things, going places, overcoming obstacles, etc.  This has been a part of my life for years.  It is setting an intention and going through the movements in my mind so that I can see the way.  This is important in living life and in creating.  I will never be where I where I want to be with my art.  I'm never satisfied.  I always want more, different and better.  I do visualize works in my mind.  I sit in the quiet and spend time seeing possible paintings, color combinations and compositions.  Then it is important to go and get out the charcoal, pastels and paint and see if I can materialize some of the things I have seen.  Sometimes I am not able to do it - yet.  So I keep trying.  Right now I spend a good deal of time visualizing abstracted garden paintings.  I ponder how I can get the same elements from my pastels to carry over into the acrylic paintings.  I am getting closer with each one.  As long as I keep trying and visualizing I will make progress.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Videos and DVDs coming soon

It has been a very busy year for me and I have enjoyed it all.  My big projects for F&W Media are now complete.  My book Abstract Art Painting: Expressions in Mixed Media is out and it has received very positive reviews.  Thank you if you have given it a review.  Please do so if you have not.  My series of four videos will soon be available.  They can be purchased or viewed online.  If you would like more information on the videos and links for more information please go to my website at .  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Inspired by Flowers

48x48 acrylic and mixed media on canvas

36x36 acrylic on canvas

Now I enter that time of the year where I spend a great deal of time looking at flowers.  I love flowers.  Love watching them grow and unfold.  They bring joy after a long winter of white and gray.  I've been planting orange flowers around my house and am very drawn to using orange lately.  Orange is a color I wouldn't even thought about two months ago.  Right now I find it an exciting color.  Possibilities is the result of this fascination with orange that really began with the purchase of orange geraniums.  Then I went to the grocery store and was struck by the buckets of pink peonies they had just received.  OMG!  They were so beautiful!  I had to have some to bring home.  They were pink and I do not use pink.  So here I am trying out another different color inspired by flowers.  I put the vase of peonies in my studio.  First I drew my usual contour following the petals and movement of the flowers.  The circular, overlapping lines were also different for me as many of my lines are very vertical.  I put a large piece of unstretched canvas on the wall. After doing a quick color study I just decided to see what I could do with the bouquet of peonies.  I began with an orange underpainting and then drew on it with charcoal.  I referenced the colors of the flowers while painting.  I really enjoyed both of these works which were inspired by flowers.