Friday, November 30, 2018

912 Happy Birthday, Martha

I have met so many wonderful people through my art journey, one of them being Martha.  For her birthday, she buys a present for herself--a painting of mine, and I couldn't feel more honored.    This year she specifically requested the oak leaf vase made by Milwaukee artist Jean Wells Smaglik ( filled with flowers other than sunflowers, which she already has.  I was happy to oblige.  When she sends a compliment on my work, my day is complete!

Happy, happy birthday, Martha.

Monday, November 26, 2018

911 Sprout

I grew onions in my garden this summer, a first for me.  I didn't know what to expect when I planted the scrawny little things in the garden as there was no tag to indicate what kind of onions they would become.  You need patience when growing onions, I realize now.  Late this Fall, I dug up those that remained and kept them in my studio, configuring countless ways to paint them.  The little buggers do not sit still very long, and with time and no real purpose yet, they began to sprout.

I painted these from life and it came very quickly, probably because I had studied them for so darn long.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

910 A Love Like No Other

I was commissioned to paint this painting of a young woman and her horse, who sadly is no longer with her.  I know how difficult it is to lose a pet, but I can't imagine losing a love like this.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

909 Dance Party

These radishes were from the last of the farmers' markets here in the Chicago area.  I love the many varieties of radishes that are available now, and grew a few of them in my garden.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

908 Fruitful Yield

This set up was one day's picking of tomatoes from my rooftop garden.  I enjoyed painting them almost as much as I enjoyed eating them.  Nothing fancy, just a tomato fresh from the vine with salt.  A tomato sandwich on pita if I'm really hungry. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

907 Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

I painted this directly from an arrangement in my studio--dahlias and sunflowers in my Jean Wells oak leaf bowl, a favorite.  Sunflowers seem to be lots of people's "happy" flower,  and dahlias, as beautiful as they are, are definitely a challenge to paint in my humble opinion.

Smokey Robinson and Ron White from (Smokey Robinson and) The Miracles co-wrote the song, "My Girl" which was recorded by the Temptations in 1964.  It was written about Smokey's wife, who was also part of the Miracles.  I love the song, and these words are the only title I could come up with.

"907 Sunshine on a Cloudy Day"
acrylic - 12x16 in

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

906 Market Sunflowers

I love going to the Farmers' Market and hate to see it end in late October.  The flowers are always so fresh and bring me so much joy.  The birds ate all my sunflowers on my rooftop garden, but that's okay.

"906 Market Sunflowers"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

905 Twilight

I apologize right away for the bad photograph.  I have tried numerous times to get an accurate photo without success.  This is a reproduction of a painting I made many years ago that seems to be everyone's favorite.  It was more of a challenge the second time around and has been many months in the making.  I'll be happy to move on to the many paintings in progress!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

904 Italian Oranges on a Ledge

On a hot October day, my husband and I climbed the steep hill in Sorrento to have lunch and to see the sights.  I was happy to find this little vignette among all the grand scenes.  I love the drippy glaze on the bowl.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

903 Quick Paint

I have been working on a large painting for months and had leftover paint on my palette.
I gave myself 20 - 30 minutes to push the paint around with only 4 colors, plus white.
I like this moody approach, and am learning how to transform a landscape with a very limited palette.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

902 Silence is Golden

The leaves are just beginning to turn here in the Midwest.  This is one of my favorite scenes from my favorite place to walk near Lake Michigan.  I look forward to seeing the Fall colors this year in our new location.  I doubt anything could be more beautiful than this.

This painting has sold.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

901 Bumper Crop

I have a rooftop garden at my new home, and it has brought me so much joy as well as an abundance of tomatoes and other fresh vegetables.  This is an heirloom tomato (I think Purple Prudence)  that was given to me as a tiny plant and now it is so heavy I fear it will uproot.

I normally work in acrylic paint, but this one is in oil, as I am trying to improve my skill.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

900 Just Do It

It feels like forever since I've sent a blog with a new painting.  My husband and I recently moved to Chicago after 29 years of living in the Milwaukee area, and along with a move like that comes a lot of stress and logistical details, all of which involve the left brain, not leaving much room or time for creative right brain activity, such as painting.  It has been very difficult for me, as painting has been such a healthy and enjoyable habit for me for so long, and without it, I fell into that funk that artists and writers sometimes fall into, a void if you will.  I never wanted to acknowledge that void, to give it validity,  but to describe it to you, I would say it's like an aversion to exercise.  You think of any reason not to exercise/ paint--washing windows, cleaning out closets--you get the point.  This was compounded by the fact that I have a new studio which is very different from my previous studio work space.  It's difficult to get things arranged so that my supplies are convenient for me to paint, and to get the light just right.

So what happened to propel me to paint?  A couple of things lined up simultaneously that are significant.  Mary Gilkerson is an artist from South Carolina I follow online.  She started a five day, 20 minute painting challenge beginning yesterday, Monday and I thought this would be a good idea.  But I think what really spurred me to paint was a dream I had in which two artists played an important role. 

Nancy Mertz King is a fabulous local Chicago artist who is proficient in oil and pastels and internationally recognized.  She owns a beautiful gallery to display her work and she also has a thriving framing business. Her work is beautiful.

Diane Arenburg is a Wisconsin artist who now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She, also, is an amazing oil, pastel and jewelry artist who has overcome cancer and is living life to the fullest. 

My dream involved both artists, morphing from one face to another, switching from Diane to Nancy and back again, encouraging me to just pick up the snippets of pastel chalk and move it around the paper.  "Just do it" she said, and I hesitantly picked up a nub of chalk and applied it to paper.  It seemed so simple, but I did it in my dream, even though it has been many years since I worked with pastels.  I can visualize so vividly the size and color of the chalk, and yesterday decided that it was THE day to end this absence of painting, what I love and need so much to do. 

"Just Do It."  That's the message on the t-shirt I wore in 1996 when I ran my first and only marathon.  It was an important message for me then, and it is now.  Just Do It, just like in my dream.  Don't labor over why you can't paint.  Just pick up the damn brush and push the paint around.  It will feel good and will break the silence.

And that's what I did.  I intended to paint for 20 minutes at Mary Gilkerson's suggestion, but indeed that was not enough time to produce something I could be happy with.  I painted and painted, and painted 3 different paintings on this one little 6 x 6" canvas, one over the other.  It took me all day, far beyond the 20 minutes I was supposed to assign to this project.  But you know what?  It felt so good to hold the brush in my hand and to mix the colors on my palette.  I didn't stop all day long, and I made great progress on this and other paintings.  I have gessoed several canvases with intentions and can't wait to get back to work.

I know it sounds hokey that a dream catapulted me back to the studio.  I don't care why or how it happened.  I'm just grateful that it did.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

899 Call to Action

Portrait painting is so difficult, and this one was particularly challenging for me for some reason.  The tiniest change in the angle of any of the facial lines can turn a smile into a smirk,  calm expression into worry or anger, etc.  Even the age of the person is too easily altered by the slightest mistake.  Rearranging facial features--moving an eye up or down, etc---always makes me think of my kids mixing up the features of Mr. Potato Head.

This beautiful little girl's portrait was the 31st painted as part of The Innocents Project, and is my effort to bring awareness of the innocent children we call refugees in the Middle East, and to the wonderful humanitarian work ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) does.  I have been closely following the situation in Gaza and the torment the people there have experienced in recent weeks, and even though this young girl is smiling, I'm sure there isn't much to smile about in Gaza.

ANERA's words are much more powerful than any of mine could be, so I will shamelessly copy and paste from their website.  They are the people on the ground in Gaza and can report the situation much more accurately than I can.  I am a supporter of ANERA and partner with them to show you the real children who benefit from their work.

If you would like to learn more about ANERA's work, please visit their website at
and donate if you can.

"Once again, the world is looking at tiny Gaza as it copes with more bloodshed and anguish. For Anera’s community of supporters, the news is a call to action to do something for the Palestinians of Gaza who are caught up in a situation that is hard for most people to fathom. With generous donor funds, Anera’s on-the-ground Gaza staff has responded with versatility and resourcefulness to get help where it is most needed."

Thursday, May 31, 2018

898 Crazy for Cherries

Cherries are a very big part of Door County's image and certainly its economy.  Door County is a peninsula and its unique climate and soil conditions make it perfect for cherries to grow.  The Door County website features a cherry report, tracking the progression of blossoms to the various stages of cherry growth. I borrowed the title of the painting from this website.

Here are a few health benefits of eating cherries, according to

Tart cherries offer these potential health benefits:
• Relieve the pain of arthritis, gout and headaches
• Up to 10 times more effective in fighting joint and
muscle inflammation than aspirin
• High in natural melatonin to improve sleep patterns
• Helps lower cholesterol
• Protect heart against disease, attacks or strokes
• Helps lower blood pressure
• Protect brain and neuromuscular systems
• Inhibit the growth of colon cancer tumors
• Helps fight and prevent certain chronic diseases
• Supports your immune system

Saturday, March 31, 2018

897 Confetti Blooms

This bunch of flowers was the only multi colored bunch of ranunculas available, so I  had to buy them.  I find them to be such an intriguing flower, so rose-like, yet with wandering stems.  I painted this from life and had to move relatively quickly because the flowers kept changing, fading in color and "wandering."  I purchased the little pitcher from Good Will and it was a challenge to paint because its tarnished finish has so many colors.

The more I look at this happy painting, the more I like it.  I hope you do too.  Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all of you.

Friday, March 23, 2018

895 Missing a Piece and 896 Margarita

895 Missing a Piece  (This painting has sold)

896 Margarita, acrylic on 6 x 8" museum hardbord

I enjoyed painting this still life so much that I painted it twice.  Limes last a long time, unlike flowers.  Both are headed to Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Door County this Spring.

Monday, March 12, 2018

894 Upstaged

Setting up a still life is harder than it looks.  Sometimes what you envision in your mind just doesn't work in reality.  There are so many possible variations for positioning the actors and many, many photographs taken.  The right set up usually lets me know which one to pick.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

893 Lady in Red

I had a lot of fun putting this painting together from start to finish.  I purchased the purple pot and the cup on the right from the Goodwill store, and the red bowl came home with me from Lebanon.  I also have a collection of colored bottles and was happy to have a red one with an interesting shape and height.  The background is loosely inspired by a sample piece of fabric.  The apples are very small, and I am pretty sure they are called Lady apples.

"893 Lady in Red"
acrylic - 24x24 in

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

892 Sunshine Farm

On the ride home from Door County a few years ago, I came across this beautiful farm with fields of sunflowers.  It was such a charming scene, in my mind.  Much to my dismay, the sunflowers were gone the following year and replaced with corn fields.

This painting has sold.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

891 Lemons in a Blue and White Bowl

The colors of blue and white and yellow are so cheery and never seem to go out of style.
This morning glory bowl was made by Milwaukee artist, Jean Smaglik Wells using a technique called sgraffito.  Her bowls are my favorites for still life paintings.

"891 Lemons in a Blue and White Bowl"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Monday, February 5, 2018

890 The Danglers

I guess I would have to say that my "first love" is painting still life.  I enjoy setting up objects in different figurations.  On a recent visit to a local grocery store to purchase the perfect fruits/vegetables for still life, I spent an inordinate amount of time with questioning looks from the produce manager.  Oh well.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

889 Blue Roof 2

This is a snippet of the barn at the John Turner Land Trust in Door County.  I like the perspective and of course, the blue roof.   

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

888. Now More Than Ever

This little girl captured my attention (and my heart) because she looks so familiar.  She looks just like I did as a child!  I wish I could locate the photo to prove it to you.  The point is this:  this little girl and the other Palestinian and Syrian refugees could be your child or grandchild or mine,  and the children deserve more than their current living conditions and fate.

In my opinion, the refugee situation in Palestine is not going to be improving any time soon.   More and more families are left homeless because of the occupation and the recent decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.  Important funds have been cut by the United States that were earmarked for the Palestinians, who are living in occupation.   Organizations that provide aid, such as ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid, Washington, D.C.) are even more important to the refugees now during these times.

ANERA and its partners are determined to give some semblance of dignity to the refugees, as well as crucial medical assistance, improved water systems, education, distribution of important goods, etc.
In December 2017 alone, ANERA distributed 96,000 pairs of Tom's shoes to Palestinian and Syrian children in the Beddawi camp and in informal tented settlements of Lebanon.

Here are a few more facts about ANERA's 2017 statistics:
-ANERA distributed 50 - 40 foot containers of donated medicines;
-100,000 Palestinians were connected to reliable water sources;
-With ANERA's assistance, 8, 658 children returned to school in Lebanon alone;
-22 schools in Gaza and the West Bank were renovated
-94% of ANERA's revenue was spent on programs in Palestine and Lebanon.

The time to step up is now to provide assistance to these organizations.  I hope you will consider making a donation to ANERA in honor of The Innocents Project, my independent effort to raise awareness and funds for these precious children.  Please learn all about the services they lovingly provide at   Thank you for your consideration.

"888  Now More Than Ever"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

887 Tiny House on Stilts

On the slower, more scenic route home from Door County is the town of Algoma, where a cute little place called the Flying Pig Gallery and Green Space is a must see.  During the summer months, there is also a Farmers market and pretty landscape and gardens.  There amongst it all is this tiny "house" on stilts. Don't ask me how you get in or out of it.  I would guess it's just a little shed, but I think it's a very sweet vignette.  I hope you like the painting.

"887 Tiny House on Stilts"
acrylic - 9x12 in

This painting has sold.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

886 Drop Outs

Sometimes veggies and fruit get side tracked in a still life artist's house.  This was fun to paint.

"886 Drop Outs"
acrylic - 8x8 in

This painting has sold.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

885 Hung Over

Cherries are a VERY big deal in Door County!

"885 Hung Over"
acrylic - 6x8 in

This painting has sold.

Friday, January 5, 2018

884 Oh My Darlin', Oh My Darlin'

Happy New Year, everyone!  I'm getting my Vitamin C from Clementines during these frigid days of winter.  Brrr...

"884 Oh My Darlin', Oh My Darlin'"
acrylic - 6x8 in

This painting has sold.