Sunday, October 13, 2019

941 Golden Pears

The pears were smaller in size than usual, and therefore fit nicely into my oak leaf bowl, made by Wisconsin artist, Jean Wells.  Jean is not only a wonderful potter, but she gives selflessly to her community, having initiated Milwaukee's Empty Bowls event to feed the hungry, and donating so many of her homemade bowls for the event. 

For  this painting,  I used a dark background in my set up with dramatic front lighting.  The edges of the pears sort of blended into each other, and that was what I was going for.  I'm still learning how the water soluble paints behave, so it took several days with drying time to avoid a dirty mess.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

940 Lured In

I know absolutely nothing about fishing, but I do love to paint collections of things, so this photo called out to me.  I found it on a copyright free site for artists, but there was no person named to give credit to.

This painting is not framed, as it may appear.  The "frame" is painted to give the feeling that the lures are in a shadow box.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

939 Quick Change Artist

We picked a beautiful pepper from the rooftop garden and I thought it would be fun to paint.  The goofy thing changed colors right before my eyes from mostly green to mostly red.  I came back a day later to finish and had to revise the whole painting.  Ahhh, Mother Nature's trickery!

Friday, August 23, 2019

938 Love Will Keep Us Together

Another fun painting unfortunately with inaccurate background color in the photo.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

937 Triple Play

This was a fun little painting to make but I've had great difficulty getting an accurate background color in the photo.  It's really a pale yellow.

Door County, Wisconsin is ALL about cherries.  Cherries are made into and decorate just about anything you can think of , and I am quite sure greatly contribute to the economy.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

936 The Environmentalist

Via Anera's February 11 Facebook video, I was introduced to this 12-year old Palestinian, Hatem, who lives in Burj Shemali Refugee camp in South Lebanon.  I was taken aback by his poise and enthusiasm in explaining how Anera works to promote environmentalism and good hygiene in Lebanon.  Hatem attends one of UNRWA's schools and in addition to conducting a tour of his school, he explained that Anera helped clean the area in just 3 days, and collected 60,000 bottle caps, which were later used in an art installation.

Anera conducts a series of awareness sessions at schools "to change attitudes and behaviors around littering, pollution, recycling, sorting waste at source and composting.  Anera has designed and rolled out a year-long plan, through which these core themes are communicated to young children in an interactive and fun way.  The long term goal is to help shape the youth in Lebanon regarding the environment."

This program is funded by UNICEF and implemented by Anera.  As you may know, I am devoted to Anera and the great work they do in SO many ways to improve lives of refugees in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan.  This is one of nearly three dozen portraits I have painted of Palestinian Refugee children in my effort to raise awareness of Anera's good work, which I firmly believe in.

Please consider making a donation to Anera, and mention The Innocents Project.

Friday, August 16, 2019

935 Happy Every Which Way

I'm getting a lot of mileage out of my rooftop garden of nasturtiums, an edible flower and leaves.  They are such a happy flower.  The vase is a favorite from Off the Wheel Pottery in Door County, and was made using the sgraffito method.

I really enjoyed setting this scene up in my studio, although the nasturtiums are a little hard to manage.

I wonder if you are tired of seeing nasturtiums.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

934 Rooftop Garden

I grew the nasturtiums on my rooftop garden.  They like the full sun and are rather shy, preferring not to be fussed over.  They are such a happy flower, and edible too, with a peppery taste.

I've been working mostly with oil paints this summer, trying desperately to master them.  Not sure I'm succeeding, but I love a good challenge.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

933 Gifted by Maidens

In the last couple of years, I've gone crazy for Nasturtiums, an edible flower that is fairly easy to grow.  Last year, I watered them too much and they did not do well--it seems they prefer to be ignored.  The ones in this painting are from this year's rooftop garden, and they greet me with a big splash of beautiful colors---red, orange and yellow---each time I hoof it up the stairs to the roof.  The cup was a thank you gift from a neighbor friend, and is from Door County.  What I love about Nasturtiums is their wild and crazy growth, and the sweetness of their leaves in so many sizes from large to teeny-tiny.

I always like to learn a little something about my subject, so here is what I learned about Nasturtiums.
Copied from

"As for the symbolism behind nasturtiums, the blossom is known for meaning “patriotism” and “conquest”.  We’re not sure why exactly but the flower has strong ties to combat and war, perhaps because of its shocking color of orange and red or maybe because the shape of the foliage resembles the appearance of a shield.  Whatever the reason, soldiers customarily wore nasturtiums as a sign of victory, which were gifted to them by maidens.  Large blankets of flower heads were also woven to make blankets and cloaks for those who successfully won a difficult battle.  Today, the nasturtium resonates towards a “happy” theme and has also become an emblem for the warm summer months of July and August. "

Friday, July 26, 2019

931 Springtime, Michigan Avenue

One of the things I love about Chicago is the ever-changing public gardens in the city.  Michigan Avenue is so beautiful, with unique displays changing with the seasons.  Springtime gardens are shocked with colorful tulips, and it is not unusual for people to stand in the middle of the boulevard to photograph them, as I did this past May.

I'm still getting acquainted with the oil paints, which force me to loosen up.

Friday, July 19, 2019

930 Lavender Fields and 932 Lavender Fields, Too

While I normally paint only from photos I have taken, once in awhile I see a photo a friend has posted and request permission to paint.  My friend, Marlene took this scene's photo while on Washington Island, Door County Wisconsin and posted it on Facebook.  Thank you Marlene for the beautiful photo and permission.

After painting the billiard balls, I needed to paint something a little looser.  A ho-hum response from my (color blind) critic in residence encouraged a second try.  Which do you like better?
Let's see if we agree.

930 was painted with acrylic, 931 was painted with oil.

Friday, July 12, 2019

929 Out of Pocket 3

It's always fun for me to find colorful collections to paint, and old billiard balls certainly fall into that category.  This one is 8" x 8" and painted with acrylic paints.

Follow me on Instagram:  paint_dmc

Monday, July 8, 2019

928 Pucker Up

A visit to Door County is not complete without a visit to see Renee Schwaller, potter and proprietress of Off the Wheel Pottery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
Renee is one of those people you are instantly drawn too, and she's a very talented artist.  I love all the pieces I've collected from her shop, including this new bowl, which features birds and the scraffitto style I love so much.  I set up this still life with natural light and enjoyed putting it together, which is often the most challenging part of a painting.  I hope you like it.

Friday, June 28, 2019

926 Moving Forward

This painting is the 33rd of a series, The Innocents Project, which was designed to raise awareness of the good work that American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) provides to refugees in the Middle East.  I do not work for ANERA, but I strongly believe in the work they do and I support them, and I encourage you to support them too.

Despite the United States complete withdrawal of aid totaling $500M for Palestinian relief, finds ways to serve refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine and to restore some sense of dignity to them.  Unfortunately, with these cuts ANERA had to cut two-thirds of their valued staff in Palestine, which was very difficult to do.

The impact of the U.S. funding cuts, according to ANERA:
"57,000 people in Gaza will not have access to reliable water;
Two communities in the West Bank are without new schools; (the little girl in this painting is from the West Bank);
119,800 people lost access to vital medicines and health care;
16,000 breast cancer patients no longer have access to treatment in Gaza;
150,000 Palestinians in Gaza lost immediate food and vocational assistance'
1.3 million Palestinians are at risk of losing aid and jobs due to the funding cuts."

All of this sounds hopeless to me, but ANERA somehow comes through, and despite these funding cuts, ANERA is managing to deliver 28 shipments of medicine and supplies for Palestinian patients, they are building seven new preschools in the West Bank, improving water and sanitation for almost 28,000 residents, and are installing greenhouses on 91 Gaza farmers' land.  This and so much more.

I encourage you to read about all the good work that ANERA does.  You can read their extensive report on the funding cuts here:

I would love it if you would consider making a donation, and if so, please mention The Innocents Project.  Thanks for your consideration.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

925 Fresh Air

This is a scene from Venice Italy.  I like the perspective because the sidewalks and streets are so narrow that they didn't allow any other vantage point.  I really enjoyed painting this, as well as the local colors.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

924 Drop Dead Gorgeous

It was fun to arrange this set up, and certainly to paint it, but NOT to photograph it.  Sometimes that is the hardest part.  I especially enjoyed fanning through the stack of paint chips to find the right one.  I find the names of the paint colors to be so interesting, and often so humorous.  In this case, there really is a paint color in the red family called "Drop Dead Gorgeous," Number 1329 by Benjamin Moore.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

923 Soap Opera

More nasturtiums.  Hoping my seedlings will make it through Chicago's crazy weather.

Friday, May 17, 2019

922 Reflections

Painting the reflections of shiny objects can be challenging, but it was very enjoyable.

I can hardly wait for the nasturtiums to grow and bloom in my garden.  Hurry up, warm weather!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

921 Prosecco

Life doesn't get any better than a glass of Prosecco and THIS view.  Heaven.

Happy Mothers Day to all of you.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

920 Basic Needs

This is my 31st portrait of a Palestinian refugee child as part of my ongoing effort, The Innocents Project,  to raise awareness (and donations) for the great work that ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) does to help the people of Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.  They truly are the nicest people and they do a lot with a little as funding has been cut to Palestine from the United States and elsewhere.

One of the many ways that ANERA helps refugees is to improve water conditions.  90% of the water in Gaza is unfit for people to drink because of raw sewage and rising seawater.  ANERA'S current water project will give 50,000 people better access to clean water.   Nearly 10% of Palestinian communities in the West Bank have no access to potable water. 

ANERA's water priorities include irrigation for farmers' crops by using treated wastewater; providing access to clean water for drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning, which is limited by the occupation and blockade; and to help solve the sewage crisis in the West Bank and Gaza, where the threat to the health of families is exacerbated by overflowing septic tanks.

ANERA also educates families in proper sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent waterborn illnesses.  There are so many other ways that ANERA helps these unfortunate people, and you can read more on     I know you will be impressed with the work that they do and will be so moved to make a donation, big or small.

I would also encourage you to watch this beautiful video of Sean Carroll, ANERA's President,

Just a little about the painting:  It was so difficult because I used oil paints, and I normally paint with acrylics.  The hands were a challenge and I know they have a long way to go to be perfect, but any artist will tell you that hands are not easy to paint.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

919 Technically Fruits

While I normally paint fruit and veggies in a blue and white bowl, my handmade lopsided "Made in Italy" bowl is a better compliment to the eggplants.

I'm sure you already knew that tomatoes are technically not vegetables, but did you also know that neither are eggplants?  Both contain seeds and grow from a flowering plant, therefore making them fruits.  I was curious to know if there are other "vegetables" that  have seeds and grow from a flowering plant, such as cucumbers, squash, watermelons, etc. are also fruits, and YES, they are FRUITS!!  The list also includes peppers, olives, pumpkins, avacados and peapods.

There is so much to learn!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

918 Warm Welcome

Beautiful tulips welcomed us to our Florida family's home earlier this month.  I love tulips because they change every day.  Did you know that tulips grow after they've been cut?  It's really amazing.  I love when the tulips drape over the vase like these did.  I photographed them laying on the floor and looking up.

917 Old Buoys Club

I have painted this image a couple of times and never tire of it.  "It's never the same painting twice." This painting will be at The Edgewood Orchard Galleries beginning in May.

Friday, March 1, 2019

916 What's Up Doc?

These multi-colored carrots are so delicious that I couldn't resist eating them.  I had to buy more from Whole Foods to complete my still life.  The inside of the burgundy ones are such a bright, beautiful color.  Yum.

I've been learning so much about color from Patti Mollica's online class, which just finished.  She is one heck of an artist and an excellent teacher too.  I will try to post a few of the paintings I made during the five weeks.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

915 Extreme Buoyancy

I believe that, like most practices,  the more an artist paints, the greater the evolution.  In my case, it has evolved that I love painting collections of items, and that's why my heart skipped a beat when I found this photo online taken buy Elle Cosgrave.  It is not a copyrighted photo, so there's no violation here.  I normally take my own photos, rarely borrowing another person's and never without permission, but this was just too good to pass up.  And then it begs the question, where the heck would I find such a collection in the Chicago area?

Monday, February 4, 2019

Busy, Busy

Hello everyone,

January is such a depressing month here in Chicago.  It's very grey, and with the recent cold slap (notice I didn't say "snap") we Midwesterners were pretty much confined to the indoors....which was just fine with me. 

It was quite timely that I am taking a very interesting and beneficial online class with a great artist and teacher, Patti Molica.  Her style is so refreshing and loose and she fearlessly and effectively uses color in ways I'd like to learn.  This particular class is called Bending Reality-Using Color Schemes and Strategies, and is for all levels of painters.  There is a lot of serious and valuable homework to teach us to become adept at using the color wheel when orchestrating our paintings.  We paint from Patti's photos but using our choice of colors in various schemes. Tomorrow will begin the third week, and I can't wait to apply the lesson.

I've been devoting all of my painting time to this class, and thought you might like to see some of my homework assignments.  I hope this brightens your day.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

914 Dreaming in Color

Sometimes when you least expect it, something beautiful appears right before your eyes.

Friday, January 11, 2019

913 Coastal

This painting is available at The Leigh Gallery in Chicago.
It's a really great place to visit and I feel fortunate and proud to have my work hanging on the walls.