Santa - SOLD

7 x 5 oil on panel

I couldn't resist painting Santa for the holidays. Painting his fluffy hat and fuzzy beard were a lot of fun! There is always more color hidden in the whites than you expect. I've been working on commissions and holiday gifts in-between family gatherings. It's a busy, but fun, time of year. I hope you are all enjoying these days leading up to the holidays!

Clouds - SOLD

5 x 7 oil on panel

I always say I want to practice painting skies and clouds but I never do. I think it's because I don't normally do landscapes. And figures are always so much more fun for me. But this weeks DPW Challenge to paint clouds came around at just the right time! It was the perfect project to get me painting on a busy holiday week. This most likely will be the only thing I paint this week. But I'm sure glad I was able to sneak this one in!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunny - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Here is one of the small sunfish we caught then threw back. They were pretty.
I painted this one before my trip down to SC. I'll probably be switching gears to paint some images I grabbed while there. 

Hooked! - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

We did catch a few fish, but nothing we didn't throw back. This was one of the larger ones that was able to work himself free before we got him out of the water! I did snap a photo before he got away. I'm not sure what he is. Northern maybe?

This will be my last post for a while. I'm leaving this Sunday to fly to South Carolina for a workshop with Lois Griffel. I'll be joining a good friend of mine that I met at a Karin Jurick workshop, Linda Nickles. She is an incredible painter and I'm sure I'll learn from her also! I won't have my computer with me so I won't be posting until I get back. 

On My Easel

In Progress
10 x 10 oil on cradled hardwood

I haven't had much time to paint lately but I wanted to show you what is on my easel right now. I'm really excited about it at this stage. And I'm hoping it will turn out as well as I imagine it. I can't wait to get back to it. I tone my boards pink/orange these days. 

What's on your easel?

Shadow Running

8 x 8 oil on cradled wood

I'm back to running legs! I can't seem to stop with this subject. 

Smooth Paddling

6 x 6 oil on panel

I had started this one about a week ago but didn't have time to finish it. So I made the final tweaks yesterday. I hope you like another kayak painting. I really enjoy trying to simplify the figure and and the water, along with capturing the mood of the place. 

We are headed down to Peoria for the weekend. Celebrating my youngest grandson's 1st birthday! Should be fun!


6 x 6 oil on panel

This is Cloe. Side-kick of Dixie from our time at Lost Land Lake in Wisconsin. Cloe is still a pup, so was a bit unruly at times. But she glowed in the sun and was fun to watch as she chased down chipmunks. 

Today's Big Catch

6 x 6 oil on panel

I don't know why I found this one so difficult to do. But it was. I hope you enjoy today's big catch as much as this little guy did!

Morning Outing

6 x 6 oil on panel

Another fun one from my Lost Land Lake vacation series. The morning light was amazing along the sides of their faces and the dogs nose. 

Trixie the Pug - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Trixie stopped by my booth to pose for me at the Downers Grove Art Fair earlier this month. She was very cooperative, and let me take photos. I've finally gotten the chance to paint her. I love her pink rhinestone studded collar, don't you?

Dixie - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Continuing with my series of paintings from my vacation at Northland Lodge on Lost Land Lake...

This is Dixie. She was staying in the cabin next to us and she kept us entertained as she stalked and chased chipmunks and squirrels! She is an Irish Jack Russell which I had never heard of before. She was so much fun to watch! She wasn't alone. A small dachshund named Cloe kept her company. I'm sure a painting of her will come up soon. 

This is my 9th submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. I've stopped including the number and I might stop counting all together. It looks like I'm going to miss more days that I had expected with this challenge. It turns out the thing I'm learning most that I can't commit to a month long painting project. Too many other things keep coming up. I plan to keep at my series past the September 30 final. I would like to get at least 30 done.

Gone Fishing - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

"Couples that fish together, stay together!" I kind of doubt that is 100% accurate, but I did a search on fisherman quotes and came up with a gold mine! It's fun to see this couple sharing a hobby. Looks like fun!

This is my 8th submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. 

Drowning Worms - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my 7th submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. I thought I would start back in daily painting with something 'simple' and what I keep discovering is that NOTHING is simple! I just loved watching the bobber and its reflection on the still water and I wanted to try to capture that in paint. Relaxing to look at, isn't it?

Looking For Dinner

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my 6th submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. There were many eagles nesting along the shores of this lake. In the late afternoon you could see them soaring through the air. It almost seemed like they played together while flying. It was amazing. They would come down low and grab huge fish right out of the lake with their talons! They are much better fishermen than we were.

This is an immature Bald Eagle. I suspect  he was looking for dinner. 

I'm back from my final show in Downtown Downers Grove! Today has been a day of recovery. Unloading the car (still not quite done) and resting. I lost my voice by the end of Saturday. There was festive live music through the whole thing. But I'm not a loud talker naturally. So forcing myself to talk over the music to people was a strain. But the good news is, there were people in my booth most of the time and I was talking talking talking! ha! It was pretty fun. I got some GREAT feedback which has encouraged me to keep going for a long time. I met some really interesting artists that I hope to keep in contact with. I'm very excited about that. 
Then you will never guess what happened on Sunday!! I got an award! You could have blown me over I was so shocked when Amy Amdur came into my booth with a photographer and awarded me this ribbon. It says "Outstanding Achievement". I really am thrilled and it did soften the disappointment that I had almost no sales. I do feel encouraged. Lots of decisions to make about next year. But thank goodness I don't have to do that for a while. 


6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my 5th submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. I don't know about you, but there were years when I dreamed of having a few hours to myself to just sit and relax. Seeing this fisherman reminded me of that. I hope he caught something! 

I have my last Art Fair of the season this weekend. So I will be away from a computer both Saturday and Sunday. I wasn't expecting to get any painting done but now I think I'll take my plein air set up. If things are slow I'll try to paint something. 

Here I come!

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my fourth submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. Here are a couple of small feet running along the dock. He doesn't want to miss anything.

Well, I'm behind a day already. That's okay, I knew that would happen. I just need to keep moving forward! 

Gliding on Blue

6 x 6 oil on panel

Another kayak. But at this time the water was rougher and more blue. I really liked the shape of her figure, the paddle and boat on the blue water. So I tried to focus on that and to make that interesting. 


6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my second submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. There were many many kayakers on Lost Land Lake during our stay. This is one of many. The water was very green from all the reflections along the shore. I liked where the green and blue met and mingled. This kayaker was floating along right in this sweet spot. 

Girl Talk

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my first submission to the 30 in 30 challenge. My theme this month will be paintings from images I took on my vacation in northern Wisconsin. I saw these two ladies while on a boat ride on Lost Land Lake. They were sitting on a bench on a dock enjoying a serious conversation. I loved how the sun was shining on them and the water. 

Chandler - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is one of the commissions I just finished. The client loves it which always makes me happy! 

Chandler is 3-4 weeks old here, and having a very pleasant dream! There is nothing better than baby smiles. This will be a gift to Chandlers mom once it's dry and varnished. She has assured me that it's safe to post this surprise gift since 'mom' is a bit busy right now! 

Back in the saddle

I'm back from a most wonderful, relaxing week in northern Wisconsin. We rented a cabin on a lake and I sat and stared at the water for a week! I think I could do that for another 2 weeks without getting bored! We didn't have internet or cell coverage. I practically had to go out in a boat to get a connection that would download mail on my phone. 
A couple of our fishermen. 

This cabin was literally 6' from the lakes edge! Everyone fished while I sat and watched! I did a bit of hiking, hand quilting, and I painted a few plein air paintings. Nothing very exciting but I'll post them below. 

This was my view from the cabin.

This was my view to the left.

This was my view to the right! 

As you can see... I didn't move around a lot! Drank wine, ate fudge and all kinds of other bad for you things. But NOW I'm back in the saddle, detoxing, exercising, and painting. I just finished my 2 commissions. And I'll start prepping boards for Leslie's 30 in 30 coming up in September. Another week and I'll start preparing for my last show of the year. There is lots going on!

Zack - SOLD

7 x 5 oil on panel

6 x 6 oil on panel

I've been working on a few commissions lately. I'll post once I finish. These paintings of Zack weren't really commissions. I just loved both of the resources and wanted to see if I could get a likeness. Had a lot of fun with these. 

Besides painting commissions this week, I'm packing for a trip to northern Wisconsin with my family. I rented a nice little cabin right on a lake. I might do a little fishing & hiking. I am bringing my paint. So hopefully I'll get some plein air painting in. I can't wait. There won't be any internet service there unless I head up to the main lodge. I'm hoping I get a cell so that I can keep track of things on my phone. But that could be spotty. If you don't hear back from me in a timely fashion, that is why. 

Nevermore - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my entry to the DPW The Raven Challenge. I've been wanting to try painting some birds so thank you CJ Roughton for the push!

Had so much fun with this one. I used a lot of ultramarine blue, olive green, cad red. 

Gulf Shores - SOLD

7.75 x 9.75 Oil on cradled board

I am really happy with this painting. I feel with this one I'm actually going in the direction I want to be going. I'm starting to learn how best to apply oils to the surface in a way I enjoy.
I also painted this on a different surface. It is still hardwood, but it is a more sturdy cradled maple wood panel. I just apply a few coats of gesso. I love it! I'll be using these once in a while for paintings larger than 8x8.

Everyone knows I paint from photos. But I don't always use the photo exactly as I get it. I spend quite a lot of time in photoshop preparing the photo before I even start a sketch.

This is a perfect example to show that. Here is the photo reference I used. It has a lot of potential even before I start to edit it. But there are things that could be improved on. I think the background is too busy and uninteresting. So I edited out the background and added the ocean from another photo taken that day. I think it makes for more interest. Changing the color of the umbrella makes it pop against the sky and improves the composition.

Thanks for looking!


5 x 7 oil on panel

I've had this source photo for over a year in my A-list file waiting to be painted. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to give the water enough interest so I kept putting it off. I am pretty happy with how the water in this one turned out.

Coffee Run

6 x 6 oil on panel

Streets of Chicago. On my way to the Art Institute last April, this guy passed in front of me. 

Morning Ride

6 x 6 oil on panel

Another wet wild and loose one. This was from a trip to Hilton Head a few years ago. It was November and a bit chilly.

Kite Surfing & More

6 x 6 oil on panel

My paintings have been few and far between lately. I've been in a slump. It doesn't help that I haven't had time to even make myself get into the studio lately. But I finally managed to get in there for a few hours yesterday. I have been in the mood to paint something summery and wet. In order to get back into the swing of things I decided to just try to suggest the object and keep the paint loose. Even though there are still a few things that I would like to improve on, I do love the color in this one. 

In other news, I just got back from my one day show at the Mackinaw Valley Winery. It is beautiful there! I didn't want to leave. The grapes were on the vine and the crowds were good. I even did a little sampling toward the end of the day. :o)
The highlight of the day was when my blog friend Karla Uphoff stopped by to meet me. I could have talked to her ALL DAY! ha! Please be sure to check out her blog because she has some really wonderful paintings there and she is starting to take on students! Thank you for stopping by Karla and I hope you enjoy "King of the Coop"!

Post Art Festival #1


Well, I've survived my first art festival and I'm spending the morning reflecting on what I've learned. It was fun, but definitely more work than fun. I had a lot of people admiring my work,  collected a lot of emails for my mailing list, and handing out TONS of business cards and postcards I had printed up. But I found the people who liked my work the best, were most often painters themselves. And really just wanted to chat with me about my process. Don't get me wrong, connecting with other artists is high on my list of things that are important to me. But maybe discussing my marketing strategy or framing process in the middle of my booth might not be the best idea. I'll try not to get caught up in that as much. I am still hoping a few will connect with me again now that the show is over. Who knows. 

I found that swiping on my little Paypal Now device is hard. And doesn't always work. I'm going to try Square next time and see if I have better luck. 

I found that my Graphic Display System was pretty convenient to transport and set up, but almost impossible to keep your paintings hanging straight. And sometimes VERY difficult to get your paintings off the damn thing during a sale. Maybe I'll price some hanging systems. Not sure how expensive they are. It would also be better to have more wall space and get rid of a table. 

I need to actually sew something that works as table covers instead of using the draping methods I used. I also need to have a small shelf included in my display to put bags and bubble wrap so I'm not scrambling so much for those. I need another sign or two explaining what I am actually selling since so many people walked by mumbling "look at the photos". 

They put me under a tree which was great because I had shade all day, and I could keep one of my side panels open for more exposure. Unfortunately, the tree had a serious case of aphids. And everything, including me, was covered in them by the end. ugh!

I got some great photos of dogs and kids, and a few people that might be interested in dog paintings. So I'll start on that later this week. Today is just about clean up, recovery and reflecting. 

Topsy Turvy - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is the mean cat Mira again... looking cute. Trying to tempt you over so she can take a bite. Don't be fooled and keep your distance. 

I've been busy varnishing and framing. I'll post photos of my booth setup as soon as it stops raining again. I need to set it up every week this month in order to build my strength. I was exhausted after the first time. I'm trying to decide which paintings I should frame. How many I should frame. So many things to think about. 

I had some exciting news last week. I was chosen by Daily Paintworks for the Spotlight Interview!! What an honor that is. 

Pebble Beach Ninth Hole - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

I think it was four years ago I took this shot at Pebble Beach. Such an incredible view at the ninth hole. This golfer had such a classic silhouette. 


6 x 6 oil on panel

I'm back at my series of running legs. I wanted to finish a few more before I start my portrait project. I'm still hoping to get YOU ALL to send me photos to paint from! Sounds like fun! 
More info to come. 

I'm painting this guy again. A little bit looser this time. His movement is fun to try to capture. 


5 x 7 oil on panel

I interrupt this series of "Legs" with Declan, my new grandson. He is one week old here, but he's a whopping 2 1/2 months now. He has been on my mind this week since I know he is having a few firsts right now. He is sleeping in his own room now, and he starts daycare this coming week. 
This is my first baby painting I've been somewhat happy with. But even here I know I was being too fussy and overworked areas. It was good practice for future paintings of him!

More legs will return tomorrow :o)

Oh... and this is #9 for the 30 in 30 challenge.