6 x 6 oil on panel

Bonnie was a Christmas gift. Now that it has been delivered I can post. 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

New Art Book

I put together a book with 50 of my favorite paintings from 2013. You can preview and/or purchase it here.

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!

Forsyth Park

6 x 6 oil on panel

Forsyth Park, Savannah, GA. the light was just perfect the day we walked through. This is the first of the paintings I'm doing from my visit there. I simplified quite a bit. Maybe I'll try this a bit larger so I can get all the other elements in. Love the greens and purples. The moss was dripping down from the trees and blocking the view of the top of the fountain.

Around The Bend

10" x 10" oil on cradled board

I have finally finished the painting of runners I was working on before my trip. I had a lot of people telling me to call it done earlier so I hope I didn't ruin it. I'm still learning to keep a composition interesting as I go a little larger. It seems so easy when all you have is one or two subjects on a small board. But things are a lot different when you go larger. 

I love how this woman is leaving the others in the dust! 

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. 

Open Studio

It has been so long since I've posted. For some reason my blogger account has been sending out old posts to my subscribers. I apologize for that. I'm not sure why it's doing that. But I thought I should post something new. 

I went to Main Street Art Center for Open Studio last night, and painted this portrait. I need to get back into the practice of painting from life. I was able to carve out a small spot for myself up close next to the model. The room was FULL! I got to paint next to Frankie Johnson, Ann Feldman, Alice Schank... to name just a few. This was a nice high school girl, I'm sorry to have forgotten her name. I was trying not to add a few years to her in the painting. I'm not sure I succeeded with that. But overall, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. I was feeling out of practice and it was dark in my corner. So I had to guess a bit on my color mixing. I decided to just do the best I could and focus on getting my shapes correct. It was fun!

I got back from my workshop with Lois Griffel last Saturday. I have been resting up from a exhausting week of painting. I think this has to be one of the best workshops I've done. I had to ship my paintings home, and I just got them in today's mail. So I might be able to post some info about the workshop soon. 

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!

Palette Knife Workshop

I just recently took a mini-workshop that Ann Feldman teaches at the Main Street Art Center in Lake Zurick, IL. This one was on palette knife painting. Ann's palette knife paintings are some of my favorite of hers and I wanted to learn more. Life has been so busy lately so this 2 day mini workshop was the perfect commitment for my current schedule!

Of course it's never as easy as you think it might be. These are my two attempts. But I can see that I could get better at this if I did it more.

First one: Well, can you tell these are supposed to be trees and reflections? I took a stab at putting in some birch trees in the distance, but that really didn't work! I wish I could show you Ann's demo. Simply beautiful! I'm not very good at landscapes so that is my excuse. But I really loved working with all that pure color and letting it mix right on the board! Really fun. 

Second one: A still life is a bit more in my comfort zone. There are actual objects to paint. I like this one, sorta. But I liked it even more about 10 minutes before this! You really have to know when to STOP! Here is Ann's version


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. 

Commissions 2 & 3

6 x 6 oil on panel

This was my second commission and I thought it was fun because I loved how this little guy is wrapped up tight! I remember when I used to wrap my kids up to keep them warm. You couldn't even recognize them. They are bundled for a day of sledding.

6 x 6 oil on panel

Then this is the last commission right now. These two are dressed for a renaissance faire. I really pushed back on the photo for this painting. It was a very dark scan, and it was hard to get much information from it. Especially with the hats. But the client convinced me to give it a try and I think she is pleased. I'm glad I tried some things out of my comfort zone. 

Commission #1

5 x 7 oil on panel

Things have been really busy around here, but I've been working on a few commissions. Now that I know the client is happy with them, I'll post a few.

This is the first one I did. I love the playful mood in the pool. 

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. 

Das Bier

6 x 12 oil on panel

This is one of the paintings I've been working on from the Das Bier 5 k run a few weeks ago. This was connected to their Octoberfest celebrations. It was such a bright sunny day I have a lot of shadows to play with. I especially thought this group of runners made some wonderful shadow shapes! 

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?

Recent Works Show

Private Joke
10 x 10 oil on cradled hardwood

I want to mention that my painting "Private Joke" has been accepted in the Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art's Recent Works show. I'm thrilled beyond belief that it will be hanging in a place where I have spent so much time. The show runs from Oct. 4 through Nov. 10. Be sure to check it out. 

I know it must seem like I've dropped off the planet. But I am still out here, I've just not been painting. My mom hasn't been well again and spent  a couple days in the hospital. For some reason, when things aren't right with mom, I can't paint. I've just got a block. Now that she is out of the hospital, I'll be getting her to doctor appointments so I'll be on the road a lot for a couple weeks. 

I'm so inspired to continue my Lost Land Lake series, and I also have some great new running sources to work from. So I can't wait until mom is better and I can get my mojo back in the studio! 

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!

Coming In

6 x 6 oil on panel

Another painting with some fun water movement. This is the same kitesurfer that I painted a week ago. This one has a little different water treatment. I tried to blend on the board less and instead mixed more colors and put it down without too much blending. It was fun to try something new.

Another beach painting coming tomorrow. This time there is less action and more snoozing!


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.

At the Moulin

6 x 6 oil on panel

I found this lady admiring Toulouse Lautrec's At the Moulin de la Galette Dance in the Chicago Art Institute. I loved her stance.

I am really inspired to paint some beach scenes and I have a few in the works. I did this painting before I got in the summery, beach mood. More to come soon!

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.