Friday, March 30, 2007

Anchors Aweigh

Today I can show you my work from yesterday. This is a small 5 x 7" portrait of my friend and fellow artist, Phil. It was done on Amerpersand pastel board with colored pencil and solvent.

Phil and I have worked together every Friday at our co-op gallery for about two years now and have become very good friends. He is leaving to start another new adventure and, knowing Phil, I'm sure it'll be quite a ride! This is my gift to him.

I'll miss working with you Phil.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Summer Heat

Since I have been working on something I can't yet show you, I'll share a piece I completed last summer and tell you a bit about how I did it.

This was done with Prismacolor colored pencils but, by choosing to draw on black mat board, I had to draw most of the piece in white first, then lay all of the color over that. (Red and orange colored pencil do not show well on black without the white underpainting or grisaille.) It was then burnished with solvent and more drawing was done; I had to do this several times to achieve the color intensity I wanted. Finally, I covered the entire piece with a coating of acrylic matte medium.

This piece is framed and available. E-mail if you are interested.

"Summer Heat"
colored pencil
10 1/2 x 13"
(with frame and mat 18 x 20")

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


This piece is a little sad and dark, I know. And I can honestly say, it's never happened to me! (Lots of other things, but not this.)
My husband is a wonderful man who is honest and good and has never, ever given me reason to doubt him. The worst thing he is guilty of is being late! (See yesterday's post.....)
charcoal, colored pencil and collage
5 x 5"
E-mail if you are interested.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

...won't be late

Another from the series "Promises, Lies & Excuses".

5 x 5"
E-mail if interested in purchasing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't Have Time

I had some really low, lows this past weekend (which I won't bore you with), but some really high highs:

1. The weather was fantastic! No one loves spring as much as a midwesterner!
2. I was able to run every day.
3. We were able to see all three grandchildren.
4. The Buckeyes are going to the final four!

Here's another one of my "Promises, Lies and Excuses" series. I am playing around with charcoal on this one. May return to the graphite.

charcoal drawing
5 x 5"
E-mail if you are intersted.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Video Montage of "The Aviators"

"The Aviators" is finished, been to the photographer and is off to the framer. Thought you might enjoy the montage.

I have a full weekend of family and friends so I'll post again on Monday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On Being Connected

Recently, while running, I passed several people walking the same trail I was on. However, they all were on the phone a long time (I know because I passed them twice on my out and back). I don't know what to think of these people: Are they that important? Are they that lonely? Are they really talking to someone or just pretending? None of my business, but I do know that being outside, running or walking alone can be so wonderful for your body and mind. To let your mind wander; to think about nothing and just take in what's around you is like a soothing tonic.
We should all disconnect ouselves from our "devices" with mind-clearing regularity. (This goes double for anyone with a Blue Tooth: you just look silly talking to yourself!)
However, here's my list of qualifications for people who should be on the phone at all times, even while exercising:
1. You are a doctor, lawyer or some such important noble occupation. (I want to be able to reach my doctor or lawyer at ALL times.)
2. You are a bad guy! (My qualification are not necessarily for the good of mankind. I could just see where if you are doing bad things, you would need to be on the phone.)
3. You are Jack Bauer. Where would our country be if Jack didn't have a cell phone?
5 x 5"
E-mail if you are interested.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


As artists, we, as a species, tend to be sensitive to extreme beauty: color, light, sound, movement, love, happiness, etc. All wonderful blessings. But there is a flip side to this sensitivity as well. We are also very sensitive, in equal opposition to the beauty around us, the ugliness: darkness, shades of gray, pain, hate, inequality, war, etc. We take it all in. What do we do with all of it? Hopefully, we make art.
As a new working artist, I usually make "pretty" art. (I was accused of that by a college art instructor. (Bit of a compliment and critique both. Ouch.) It's a way to express the wonderful, pretty things I absorb in my life.
Now, as I grow into myself as "artist", I must also represent in my work, the dark, ugly things I have absorbed in my life. It's pushing it's way out; kind of a cleansing if you will (or if it's a dark day for you, an exorcism.)

So, in order to "Make Lemonade...", here's what I have decided to do. It's a series I'll call "Promises, Lies & Excuses". Drink up; it's a little bitter, a little sweet, sometimes amusing. Stay tuned and let me know what you think.

graphite, colored pencil

5 x 5"


E-mail if you are intereseted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Out of Touch

I haven't posted until today due to something to do with a server. Being down. Did someone trip over a wire? Did a squirrel get into the works? Was an electric bill overlooked? Whatever the reason, ours was down for about 28 hours (horrors) and I felt isolated, cut off and unable to "get anything done"! However, here's what I did do:

- Began work on a new series of drawings I hope to show you soon.
- Watched a lot of basketball!
- Spent the afternoon with my oldest son and went to see a movie with him.
- Shopped at the book store (only place I like to shop anymore!)
- Read a book "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion. Great; I recommend it.

So, even though I was "down", I guess I wasn't "out". I could function quite well without my internet connection; I just couldn't tell you about it until now.

Today's work, "De Nova", is a done with colored pencil, acrylic, watercolor pencils and ink. This piece is a direct result of doing my abstract warm-ups; and is also quite inspired by the promise of spring. It measures 4 x 15" and is available; e-mail if you're interested.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lima Company Memorial

Last night I attended a local art league meeting where a wonderful artist from Westerville, Ohio, Anita Miller, spoke about plein air painting in Europe. She was funny, energentic and had lots of good ideas. Typical artist presentation.

Until she told us about her latest project to memorialize the 23 young men from Lima Company who were killed in Iraq in 2005. In October of that year, Anita woke from a dream to create this memorial. She is painting a life-sized portrait of each young man on 8 mobile panels.

Anita has the support of the soldiers' families and the Marine Corp, but she has no formal funding. Her faith in a higher power has moved her toward her goal with each need being met by the generosity of others.

Anita has assembled a team to help her complete this project and with their help, she hopes to be able to have it on display by late 2007.

Those who know me well, know that I have never been in favor of this war. However, like most in my position, we do care and support the young men and women who serve. I have a 20 year old son whom I adore. I can not begin to imagine the pain and loss these families and comrades have and do deal with daily.

Anita says this memorial is for the moms, dads, brother, sisters, grandparents and all relative of these boys. But most importantly, to also honor their brothers in arms from Lima Company who are still suffering from this war.

Check out her websites at and

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Playing with My Pencils

My work using colored pencils is almost always very representational and realistic; it requires a great deal of control. Meticulous planning and preparation are necessary to achieve the results I hope to achieve: studies for composition, value and color studies. Making art for me is usually a step-by-step process to get to the goal.

Every once in a while, I need to work in a completely different way: looser, freer and with no goal in mind. Working this way is almost playful and relaxing; it's focus is on Process, not goal. If I happen to make something that pleases me, fine; if not, fine. It's just a way to push my pencils around in a very different way, to mix them with other media, and to "explore the edges" a bit.

I've also found that some of this looseness is crossing over into some of my other work. And that's a good thing. I, personally, want my art to be more expressive and emotional, and not always just a great rendering.

That being said, here's how I make my little abstract exercises:

1. I generally use, Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor paper, torn into random sizes. I have a drawer-full. This one measures 8 x 11". (Here's the only planning part): I decide on a limited pallete, sometimes using a color wheel; think about a mood or feeling I am trying to achieve and maybe a loose compositional idea (which can evolve later). I then lay down some color with watercolor pencils, Inktense pencils, or water soluble pastels.

2. I add the water and offer very little control. You can add drips, move the paper, allow things to really move around! This is the part I like best and what I can never do with my other work.

3. I then begin to add more color with Prismacolor pencils and ink with Micron pens. This is usually where the composition either begins to work or I realize I have something to tear up for a collage. But it doesn't matter, just keep playing.

4. Then I might (as I did this time) use odorless Turpenoid to "paint" the wax pencil into the piece.

I may keep working on this to just see where it leads me. Maybe I'll add liquid acrylic paint, guache, gesso, more colored pencil, metalic paint - who knows. I'll show you where it end up.

It's a lot of fun to use this technique as a warm-up in the morning. You can start several small abstracts at once, visit them as you wish, toss them in a drawer for later. These are also wonderful to do when you are "between projects" or stuck.

If you try this, remember to "take your hands off the wheel" a bit and push your boundaries. I took a wonderful workshop from Dyanne Locati last year where she told us "If you always do the same thing in the same way on the same paper, you will become very SKILLED. However, to become a CREATIVE artist, you have to put yourself into the work. Too much reliance on your skills alone can make a cold, formal piece of work". (Ouch. She was definitely talking to me.)

Have fun and let me know if you try this!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring Fever

Whew! Spring fever has it's hold on me now!

Yesterday, here in Ohio, it was 72 degrees with the sun March! No one appreciates spring like a midwesterner; we go a little nuts.

So, being a little nuts yesterday, I lowered the top on my VW Bug convertible (I am old enough to have earned it), invited my chocolate lab, Buddy, along for a tool around the town. I swear Buddy smiles when he is in the car, especially with the top down. I've always wondered, though, why a dog loves to have the wind blowing in his face, but if you blow on his face, you risk losing yours!

So with all that wind blowing and sun shining, last night found me in the studio until early this morning. I spent several hours working on trying to complete "The Aviators". I think I'm almost there.

Monday, March 12, 2007

On the Rocks

After posting "Classic", a friend told me the bottle looked warm and that no one likes a warm soft drink. So, here's my response.

This is a 4 x 7" colored pencil drawing on prepared watercolor paper. It is available for $50. Send an e-mail if you are interested.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


4 x 7" colored pencil drawing on watercolor paper. This drawing is available for $50; e-mail if you are interested.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Well, I've finished "Teddy and Me" -- finally!
Up till now I've been posting the drawings as they progressed, but I thought it might be fun to put together a slideshow so you could watch the drawing progession in one place.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Tropical Daydream

After working so long and hard on "Teddy & Me" and "Aviators", which are both very realistic pieces, I needed to loosen up and "play" a bit.

I had one goal when I started: portray a warm, tropical feeling. No specific place or time; just the feeling. Today I was able to take a mental vacation from my larger drawings and from living in Ohio in March. Nice....

This was done with inktense pencils, watercolor pencils, ink and colored pencils on 140 lb., cold-pressed watercolor paper and measures 8 x 11".

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sticky Situation

"Sticky Situation" is a series of four colored pencil drawings I did last year. I "hired" my youngest son as my model and paid him with a large bag of bubble gum which he thought was a great deal. He's a wonderful model, but he's becoming so savvy now that he is beginning to ask for a fee. I had to pay him $5 for a recent sitting. Hopefully, it will be a long while before he finds out that the going fee is much higher; however, I do not think he will ever sit again for gum.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Making an Ugly Sofa Into Art

I spent quite a bit of time this weekend working on "Teddy & Me", with the majority of my focus on the very ugly sofa (my Grandmother would've called it the "davenport"). By the way, this sofa does NOT belong to me; it was in a condo at a vacation location. But, I think I'm on my way to making it work out for the overall piece. I'll keep at it.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Winter in Cancun

The promise of March is "in like a lion"... If it's true, we are in for one heck of a nice end of the month. It's snowing here, again. So today I decided to do a small drawing of a beach we once visited in the winter in Cancun. I would love to be there right now.

This piece is done in colored pencil on wood. It only measures 3 x 5". For $50, I'll gladly send this little drawing to you. Send me an e-mail if you're interested.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Beauty at Any Age

With a deadline looming, I have been working hard to complete "Aviators" and "Teddy and Me". I will show them to you as soon as they are finished, but in this phase of the work, the daily progess is more subtle (even though it's as labor intensive) and pretty boring for you.

So I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my plans: Drawings of women friends and relatives who are, shall we say, matured to perfection. Times have changed (thank God) and we do not have to buy into an "old lady" mode of dressing or behavior. We have sworn pacts to shoot each other should we display any such "old lady" behavior because that would truly mean we've gone round the bend and should be put down.

Last night I had dinner with several close "old" friends and we had a lot of fun discussing movies, the Academy Awards and which stars had had so much plastic surgery they could not move their faces. Then we talked about Helen Mirren, who probably pissed off several of the other women in the room because 1. she won the award and 2. because she was just plain hot and could use her face to express the happiness at having won said award.

I would like to contribute to what I hope is a trend in seeing beauty that can come with age. Here is a drawing of an "ageless beauty". A dear friend of mine bravely posed for this drawing; I think she looks fabulous. I have plans to do a series of these drawings using other female friends and relatives who are all fabulous, too.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Cam's Roses

When I first started this blog, it was in the hopes that I would begin to do a "daily drawing". I have enjoyed and admired many other artists who are completing daily paintings. So here's my attempt to do the same.

These roses are a gift from my little guy who got his father to buy them while I wasn't looking. (He had told me to "go look at some other stuff" while the two of them accomplished their secret mission.) I was very touched but, more importantly, I think he is discovering the joy of giving, which pleases me even more.

This small work measures 5 1/2 x 7 1/2" and is done on watercolor paper with watercolor pencil, colored pencil and acrylic paint.
If you are interested in buying this, it is available for $50. Just send me an e-mail at