Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Story of the Stamps

   Serendipity has always been a word that I have loved -- just the idea that you can be in the right place at the right time for something wonderful to happen -- what's not to like?
So it was with the inspiration for my current series of small collage works. 
Many years ago, a friend whose job it was to take in dissertations from all over the world to be evaluated by professors in the University of Florida Science Department, decided to cut the stamps off the envelopes and save them for her children.  They didn't have any interest in them so she gave them to me for my kids.  Mine thought they were pretty but soon lost interest.  Serendipitously, I kept them with absolutely no idea why.  Many years later, I became an artist and the stamps went into a little box in my studio.  There they sat for several more years.

   One day, having just made a bunch of new papers for collage I was walking around the studio trying to come up with an idea when I spotted the little box and Eureka! there it was, the seed of an idea which has blossomed into this series of pieces, each based on one stamp from countries all over the globe.

   Just this week I reconnected with another friend whom I hadn't talked to in several months.  During the conversation she mentioned that her husband traveled a lot without her.  What does he do on his trips?? Attend stamp trading conventions.  The man is a Philatelist (stamp collector) who just happened to have a gazillion stamps he doesn't need.  Guess who now has a whole new set of the most amazing stamps -- Series 2 -- right around the corner.  Stay tuned for two more series in the works right now.  

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Completing my second 30 PAINTINGS IN 30 DAYS challenge feels great.  Probably the most important part of doing such a challenge is having the discipline to keep painting regardless of what life throws at you during this time.  That said, there are so many rewards that come from this experience.
First there were the many dogs and cats with whom I got acquainted as I took their photos.  Second there were all the friends who sent pix of their pets for me to paint.  A huge thank you to all of you, even if I couldn't paint every single one.
Then there were the learning experiences involved in painting the variety of coats and colors in each of the animals. And most important, as with painting people, there was the need to capture the essence of each of these beautiful animals.

If I've learned one thing about painting over the last 10 years, it's that close observation -- really looking at what you want to paint -- is the best way to become a better painter.
Chery Baird, my painting mentor, constantly reminds all of her students that you have to paint everyday, paint a thousand paintings before you can be good at what you do.  I would add, as nearly all of the great masters I've studied have said, that you will always have more to learn no matter how good you get.  That's what keeps me coming back to the studio, SO MUCH TO LEARN, SO LITTLE TIME.

  I'm moving on now to other projects that have been put on hold, so WATCH THIS SPACE  to see what I'm working on next.

Friday, March 2, 2018

30 PAINTINGS IN 30 DAYS -- DAY 30!!!

#30  "Kiss Me, I"m Irish!"             Acrylics
What a perfect way to end this 30 PAINTINGS IN 30 DAYS CHALLENGE on March 2.  Painting all of these wonderful dogs and cats has been a joy.  I just love all the Jack Russell terriers I've done.  They are so full of life and personality but  I honestly could not pick a favorite among all of these animals. I hope you have enjoyed seeing them as much as I have painting them.  Stay tuned for some new works in new directions.

This painting is SOLD.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


#29 "I'm Innocent, I Didn't Do It"               Acrylic
Only one more day of this thirty day challenge to go.  Don't let that innocent face fool you.  As you can see, she's got the situation under control.  Sometimes I wonder if dogs really do wish they could be the master for awhile and then I think about my dog -- she has trained us to take care of her every need without saying a word so maybe it doesn't matter who's the boss.
Don't miss the last post of this series tomorrow.

This painting is SOLD.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


#28 "I HATE Water!"          Acrylic
As I said before, toward the end of a thirty day series of paintings you start to get a little crazy.  This cat's expression was just too funny to pass up.  Apparently it likes to go and sit in the shower when it's dry but like most cats -- getting wet is taboo.  It was a real challenge to capture this face.

Only two days left for this challenge.  What a joy this has been.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


#27  "On Your Mark..."      Acrylics
Who could resist this face?  Some dogs are noble, some are heroic, some are stately and some just beg to be played with.  That's Ziggy -- he just beams with energy and happiness.  Most of the dogs I've had in my life have been rescues and when you bring them home they are so grateful, but also very scared and shy.  They have to be coaxed to trust again.   Dogs that are raised in a loving home just don't have those issues.  Whether a rescue or raised from a puppy, Ziggy was one of the lucky ones.

Monday, February 26, 2018


One of the decisions I've had to make with each painting in this series is what to do with the background.  If you've been following then you know that some of the animals have been in a narrative scene and some have been placed against a simple plain background.  That choice depends on what strikes me when I look at the reference photo.  Sometimes it's the eyes that speak volumes, sometimes it's the way their bodies convey how they feel. Often, it's their markings or the beauty of their coats.  In this case, it was how totally mellow this cat is -- she just wants to be loved-on, 24/7.