Sunday, May 28, 2017

859 Patton

One of the many things I love about being an artist is that I have so many opportunities for learning, not just about painting and art, but about everyday life, nature, history, etc.  For instance, this dog's name was Patton, and since my history knowledge is a little rusty, I thought I would try to learn a little about the World War II General George Patton.  I won't go into anything that I learned about General Patton, other than that he had a white bull terrier named Willie.

This portrait of Patton was commissioned by friends of two fire fighters who loved this dog so much, and initially had hoped Patton would be ferocious.  Instead, Patton was a sweetheart who was a friendly, gentle soul who loved to ride on their boat.  I am pleased to say that these folks named their dog, Patton, and Patton was female.

"859 Patton"
acrylic - 8x10 in

Friday, May 19, 2017

858 Ice Cream Social

I bet you are wondering how the title relates to this painting.  The painting is of a small section of a very long (I would guess 8') mid-century Italian ice cream parlor bench--the kind where 10 people can comfortably sit back to back in the little niches.  This beautiful piece was retrieved from Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is quite impressive with it's yellow circular tabletops strategically placed.   I really enjoyed zooming in and finding just the right section to paint, and I loved how the reflections of the lights and other objects in the room bounced off the slats.  I think the painting has an op art feel to it, yes?

You've probably guessed that I love old and unusual artifacts, and painting them has been quite interesting and challenging for me.  The piles of old doorknobs, antique monastery keys, French wine jugs, Czech Republic juggling pins, Italian mid-century wood carvings,  a weathered door, statues and this bench have all interested me in some way, compelling me to paint.  Mostly it's the texture that sings to me---rust and chipped paint, and the concept of preserving the old, knowing where the item came from, in a wabi-sabi sort of way.  Here is Wikipedia's short description of Wabi-sabi.

"Wabi-sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."

"858 Ice Cream Social"
acrylic -

Saturday, May 6, 2017

857 Hob Nobbing in Door County

Door County will start to come alive this weekend after a long sleepy winter.  This painting is now being offered for sale at The Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin.  It took me quite awhile to complete due to its size and complexity, but I loved every minute of painting it.  Door knobs were so beautiful in years past, and, oh, if only they could talk.  What stories they would tell!

I hope if your travels take you to Door County, you will stop in at the gallery and say hello.  It's a beautiful place with magnificent sculpture gardens, and of course great art inside too!  Please mention you are a friend of mine and snap a photo of my paintings on the wall.  It's always so much fun for me to receive emails/texts from friends who are visiting the gallery.  You can see my work and all the others at

"857 Hob Nobbing in Door County"
acrylic - 43x33 in

Thursday, April 27, 2017

856 Resilience

When I received my Spring issue of ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) News in the mail, it motivated me to finish this little girl's portrait.  So many of the children smile for the ANERA photographers, and I often wonder if, despite their horrible living conditions,  they are simply resilient, or thrilled to have their pictures taken, or happy to see visitors.  Perhaps it's a little of all of those things.  Their smiles give me hope, possibly falsely, because things are looking less and less optimistic for them, despite the Herculean efforts of ANERA and other relief organizations.  Some kids can't seem to muster up a smile, looking either sick or tired (have you noticed they ALL have circles under their eyes?  Is it any wonder?).

This painting is my fifteenth portrait of refugee children in Lebanon and Palestine as part of my effort called The Innocents Project.  I started this project to put faces to those we call "refugees," children who are deserving of all the things we hope to provide to our children, but who cannot receive because of situations beyond their control.  I am hoping not only to raise awareness of these children, but to raise money for ANERA.

The report from the ANERA program manager in Lebanon, Dima Zayat is grimly called, "Refugees Are Losing Hope."   Dima tells a story about a Palestinian refugee from Syria who fled to Lebanon, which makes him twice exiled.  He has five children, and he and his family left everything--their house, garden, school for the children, and his small grocery store in Syria to flee to safety in Lebanon.    The shed they now call home is dilapidated, and the kids have dirty clothes and matted hair.

Dima reports that the refugees are losing hope.  Many of them hoped to resettle to the United States to live normal lives again.  But that won't happen.  Instead they, along with 1.5 Million registered refugees from Syria (who knows how many are not yet registered?) are currently living in Lebanon where the camps are overpopulated, often unsafe, and barely provide the minimum of what they need. Reliable water and electricity don't exist.  Over half of the children do not go to school because they have to work.

ANERA does what they can with the 94% of their revenue spent on programs in Lebanon and Palestine.  They seem to be the only hope in providing dignity and distraction from the dire situation. One of ANERA's programs is called Sports for Peace and Development.  We all know the benefits of sports to children, and the refugees are no exception.  The program is encouraging involvement in soccer, basketball, swimming and yoga for both boys and girls and ANERA is working on getting shoes for the children, who play in socks or bare feet, as well as sports jerseys, which really mean a lot to the children.  

I sincerely hope you will go to their website and read about this fine non-partisan organization.  You can read the newsletter or just this article yourself by going to their website,  By way of the magnifying glass, enter ANERA News, Spring 2017.  I guarantee you will be impressed and I hope you will be motivated to make a donation to ANERA.  Large or small, any amount is greatly appreciated.

"856 Resilience"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

855 Around the Bend, Sunset Trail, Peninsula State Park

The Sunset Trail has many twists and turns.  The arrow points to the right but what other option is there?

In winter, you can snowmobile on certain paths, but we are not daring enough for this activity.

"855 Around the Bend, Sunset Trail, Peninsula State Park"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Monday, April 24, 2017

854 Sunset Trail, Peninsula State Park

The light shining through and on the trees on the Sunset Trail is captivating.  I find the undergrowth almost as interesting as the trees.  In the Spring, there are tiny purple irises that blanket the ground. The felled birches are so beautiful, too.  It's a beautiful place to hike or bike ride.

"854 Sunset Trail, Peninsula State Park"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Sunday, April 23, 2017

853 White Cedar Forest, Sunset Trail, Peninsula State Park

The Sunset Trail in the Peninsula State Park, Door County, Wisconsin is one of my sacred places.  I never miss a chance to walk the path and bask in the glorious light streaming through the trees.  I must have hundreds of photos of trees and light!

The path is 10 miles for the long version or 3 miles for the short one.  When our children were young, it was our tradition to ride bikes for the long trail. There is a spot where a sign urges "Parents, Watch Your Children"  at a steep incline, and our kids would always defiantly speed up and ride hands free. One recent visit, my husband and I took each other's pictures near the sign pretending to be frightened.  Those 10 miles seem much longer now that we are older, and certainly not as much fun without the "kids."

"853 White Cedar Forest, Sunset Trail, Peninsula State Park"
acrylic - 6x8 in