Monday, February 13, 2017

Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Need I say more?

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.

"Love is a Many Splendored Thing"
oil - 12x9 in

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

844 Will You Be My Valentine?

A very wise woman,  my mentor, always said it was the kiss of death to fall in love with your painting.  (It really was a tough lesson to learn.)   But she never said I shouldn't fall in love with my subject.  This little angel stole my heart at first glance.

Her name is Safaa.  I don't always know the child's name when I paint the refugees ANERA serves, and the more information I have about each child, the more intimate the painting experience.  I don't know anything about her, other than she is probably Palestinian or Syrian living in Lebanon, Palestine or Jordan, so I just imagine what her life is like, and what it could be when I am painting her.   She probably lives in a makeshift refugee camp where heat is nonexistent.  If she is lucky, ANERA provides her with a preschool to attend, and warm boots provided by Toms, and emergency lights. Hopefully she has the medical supplies she needs and clean water, all provided by ANERA.

ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) is a non-political non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C.  They are committed to providing not only aid to families in the Middle East, but to giving them as much dignity as possible.  These ANERA folks are angels too.

If you are so moved, please consider making a donation to ANERA at

"844 Will You Be My Valentine?"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

843 Grace and Beauty

My online class is over and I really enjoyed it.  I still have much to learn.  I will continue to study and will take the lessons with me as I further develop my style and identity as an artist.

Working with oil paints is a much slower process and much more difficult than working with acrylics, in my opinion. I thought I had a lot of patience, but working with oil showed me that I need more.

"843 Grace and Beauty"
oil - 16x20 in

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

842 Miranda, Sweet Sixteen

As mentioned in a previous post, I am taking a Flower Portrait painting class online.  The instructor primarily paints multi petaled flowers such as garden roses and peonies, which are not readily available this time of year to the average person in Milwaukee.  A dear friend's daughter is a flower artist who composes uniquely gorgeous arrangements for weddings and special occasions (see so I asked if she had any leftover flowers I could purchase.  I was invited to visit and in my wildest dreams I could never have expected to be offered such a large bucket of the most beautiful pink roses called Miranda.  Apparently, her supplier sent the wrong color for the wedding she was working on, and couldn't use them.  They only had a day or two left in them, so I had to work fast.  I am sure I did not do them justice with so many lovely ins and outs of the petals, but I hope I captured the essence of these beauties.

"842 Miranda, Sweet Sixteen"
oil - 14x11 in

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

840 Feisty and Sweet

Another painting as part of my Innocent's Project...

This adorable little girl is a student at one of the 165 preschools that ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) has rebuilt/refurbished in the West Bank and Gaza.  ANERA has introduced new creative ways for 600 teachers to teach 30,000 children who attend schools in Palestine.  The new framework developed by ANERA, the Ministry of Education and others nationally and internationally concerned about education involves a creative approach to learning, just as we would see in most American preschools.  Instead of passively playing music in the background, children and teachers play a variety of instruments, incorporating dance, drama and art.  Play time is very important part of development for children in this age group, and so many social skills revolve around playtime.  At first the children didn't know what to do with the various games that were provided to them, therefore they mixed up all the playing pieces.  With time and effort, they learned to keep the games together and how to enjoy them.  We take things like this for granted.  These children live in horrific living conditions, but I am grateful to ANERA for providing them with education in a happy setting.

"ANERA’s ECD program is built on a comprehensive and holistic vision to provide the best learning environment for children in safe and colorful settings with child-appropriate learning materials and furnishings, sanitary facilities and playgrounds."  

You can read more about the wonderful work that ANERA does for refugees in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan here:   They also have Facebook and Instagram pages.

"840 Feisty and Sweet"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Thursday, January 12, 2017

840 The Law of Atrtaction

I am enjoying my online Flower Portrait class and here is my first full painting.  There may be some tweaking to do, but I enjoyed the very slow process of it.  The artist who is teaching the course strongly believes in The Law of Attraction and he applies the concept to our painting.   It makes all the sense in the world to me.

"840 The Law of Atrtaction"
oil - 12x16 in

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

839 Practice

With the new online course I am taking, I am making several adjustments--medium (from acrylic to oil), a new palette of paint colors, and a new technique.  There is always so much to learn in the process of identifying and perfecting one's "craft."

I spent a lot of time today and yesterday mixing colors and practicing the floral portrait.  Yellow is my nemesis color so I painted one of the yellow roses and a red rose for the first assignment.   I will try to find white roses or another multi petaled flower to paint for upcoming assignments.  I am enjoying this learning process after one of those "uh oh, what have I done?" moments yesterday.

"839 Practice"
oil - 8x6 in

oil - 8x6 in