Sunday, December 29, 2013


"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else," 
Pablo Picasso

 Soft Morning (detail), 12 x 12,
which is a re-do of

this one

  Another switcheroo...

Party of Three, 16 x 12, 
which is a crop and re-touch of 

this one

Yet more changes ....

During December, I have moved my home studio from the main level to the lower level - and wow, I should have done this years ago!  Light is streaming in - so much that I need to "manage" it, and I can easily do several paintings at once.  There's even room for small "intensives," i.e. little workshops -- chez moi.  

 Shiny New Space

Empty former studio, which was about 11 x 10; I truly
do not know how all of my stuff was in there, but it was --
for about 12 years!


The painting over fireplace is yet another re-do: it used to be 48 x 48; 
now it's cropped, re-stretched, with background adjusted.

Far off is a gift box on the set-up table - at least I can't see too many details :-) 
Also I could move my easel.

Meanwhile, a new year approaches, life changes, and I'm hoping to be flexible and to welcome things not yet known.  Painting offers a unique opportunity to rip it up and fly -- after all, it's just paint!

A tentative drawing...

can become a more confident painting

Fresh roses, bathed in light

 often become lovely when dry and drooping a bit ...

"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish," Michelangelo

Monday, November 25, 2013

Same Song, Different Verse

 Charlie, 12 x 9

Just One More, 12 x 9

La Petite, 12 x 9

From My Heart, 12 x 12

Les Roses Parisiennes, 40 x 40

I guess it's time to admit that I have a fondness for certain subjects... duh!   Though I really want to paint interiors, landscapes, all kinds of things -- when I'm in my favorite studio spot, many times I honor my desire to explore subjects often visited.  Lately as well, a fondness for the pale pale pale aesthetic is infusing my work, and I am running with it!  

"A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful," Henri Matisse

"The greatest painting has always been made from a real love of the subject," John Minton

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What It's All About

Little girl spotted near the carousel in Avignon

30 minute workshop demo (10/19/13) of la petite fille, 12 x 12

It's a bit new to be painting again... after traveling lots during the month of September, October has flown past with another trip, a great workshop, and getting (re) acclimated to my studio.  Wish I could just buzz in there and create good paintings, but I'm not sure right now that I know what that might be! My eye/taste/expectations are always shifting, which is good, but keeping up with painting commitments can be a challenge when I'm trying to keep up with myself.

As many know, all is put into perspective after reading Robert Genn's recent post on his illness (; I have been thinking often of his wonderful articulation of the painter's life, his consistency with the twice-weekly letters, and of the humble truth that he speaks.
I am re-committed to painting from my heart, rather than to deadlines...only those inspired pieces ever speak to me or to the viewer anyway!

I celebrate and so appreciate this journey.

Friday, October 4, 2013

L'Air du Provence

Corner of Les Murets, 6 x 6, Color study, late afternoon

Simple Color Notes, Les Murets, late afternoon

Color Study, Mt Ste Victoire, 6 x 6

Quick Gesture and Color Demo. Late Afternoon, Les Murets, 9 x 12

Something about Provence, a certain je ne sais quoi -- perhaps the dry air contains fairy dust -- produces an incredible synergy that lifted all spirits last week during our trip to Les Murets, Ann Huff's hilltop mas near Gordes that serves as our home base.

My words can not adequately describe the feelings that we (8 wise and amazing women, all painters, plus me) experienced as each day built upon the last.  I'm still pinching myself and holding the memories tight.

We enjoyed charming restaurant lunches, rose wine, outdoor dinners at home, walks, talks, market visits, a meeting with French artiste Andree Thobaty -- and we did actually paint along the way!

Our painting mission was to do color studies, and to focus on the large shapes; we were not concerned with  creating "completed" works.  Instead, the goal was to capture l'essence of this special place.

As so aptly put by designer Norma Kamali in a recent newspaper article: "If there were a description of what heaven looks like, I would say this [Provence] is it."  

Below are just a few shining examples of the fine studies done by my fellow travelers last week:    

Caseneuve Morning, 8 x 10, Mary Muir

Mt Sainte Victoire, 12 x 16, Suzy Dmetruk

Caseneuve Doorway,  12 x 9, Debbie Bruce

Caseneuve Vista, Ann Currey, 8 x 8
Color notes taken first are on the left!

Captured View,  Eygalieres, 10 x 8,  Dawn Douglas

Vineyard near Aix, 8 x 10,  Dianne Williams

Morning Light, Mt Sainte Victoire, 10 x 12,  Sandy Cox

Mt. Sainte Victoire, Color Notes on right, 8 x 10,  Martha Elder

I am flying high right now, despite a bit of jet lag -- such beautiful times with like-minded friends, seeing through the eyes of all of the artists who have traveled the path before us; for me, that's the magic of this art life...  Sante, mes amies!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kinda Cool

Flowers and Pears, 11 x 14

White Satin, 16 x 12

Let It Flow, 30 x 30

I've been very fortunate with my galleries, all of whom found me, truly a plus - because when that happens, it usually means they like your work!

Huff Harrington Fine Art and I have been together since 2006.  My friends Ann, Meg, Linda and Sam have done just an outstanding job of selling my paintings, and have enthusiastically done so even during the "lean years."   We have grown together, and I always appreciate their subtle, gracious guidance.

In the past two years, I've been lucky to be part of the fine group of painters at Anderson Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA, and Shain Gallery in Charlotte, NC.   These galleries too have done a superb job representing me.  Over time, I have been honored to be in several other galleries --but now the mix is right.  Meanwhile, ten years ago, I would have been totally shocked to think I would ever be in one gallery!

Today,  I learned that the three pieces above are included in one of the sets for the upcoming season of "Homeland," which is currently being filmed in Charlotte -- how fun is that?  Thank you to Sybil at Shain Gallery; can't wait to watch whenever it comes out, perhaps to see a tiny view of one of these flyin' by in the background...

Thursday, September 5, 2013


 Tea and Roses, 30 x 24

Tender Moment, 16 x 12

YAY, it's September; school days are here, and I, for one, have Beginning of the Year engraved in my mind to be this time after Labor Day.  Although the fresh start in January is a nice re-boot, something about early fall says to me, "let's get going!"

With that in mind, I have re-dedicated myself to daily drawing, whether on the cool (free) app "Paper" for iPad, or on canvas with paint in daily quick sketches.  Such things increase confidence and freedom of expression -- if  I'm not struggling with or constantly correcting the underlying drawing and shapes,  I can actually sling some paint and be loose!!  

Last week, I joined several great art friends to paint and celebrate at a nearby lake and winery -- and Provence is soon on the horizon -- in fact, we leave next week for painting fun in France, truly a welcome and special time on this magic carpet ride :-)  

Le Metro, 16 x 8

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sketchy and Free

 White Sunday, 24 x 24

My kids (who live in Alaska) have been visiting in the past few weeks, and I've been painting with them, but not too much at my own easel!  I did White Sunday, above, just before they arrived.

Even though I didn't bring it up to my usual "finish," I liked it... so I signed my name and ran it to Huff Harrington Fine Art here in Atlanta -- whereupon they sold it that day.  There is something expressive and a bit exciting when just parts of a painting are developed, leaving other areas to reveal the initial inspiration and hand of the painter.  I am still noodling this idea, but plan to experiment a bit -- just like Eli and Sarah!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Travels, Remembered and Recent

Morning Light, Les Murets, 20 x 16

Dimanche, Paris, 16 x 20

Last Saturday evening, Huff Harrington Fine Art (in Atlanta) hosted their 8th annual Bastille Day festivities, with French-inspired paintings from gallery artists and from painters who have gone to Provence with either Bill Davidson or me!  What a cool show -- many of my fellow travelers sold their provencal pieces last weekend - just lovely paintings, soulful and true.  Above are a couple of mine, memories of Provence and of Paris, which found happy homes as well.  Love the Huff Harrington vibe and the buzz they create in that oh-so-french way! 

Recent travels below:

Late Light, Maine, 12 x 9

Before the Rain, Maine, 12 x 12

Shiny Morning, Maine, 11 x 14

My friend Dianne invited me to join her at a wonderful place - Rock Gardens Inn, Sebasco Estates, Maine - for an artist's retreat week last week.  I loved it!  The light, the simple cottages (the three nice meals each day :-) - truly a new experience for me.

Oh, and I am having a petite workshop on Sunday, August 18th at Huff Harrington from 9 - 4, painting children or the figure from photos... Fun and Lunch included - price is $ 195.   Call Linda at HH (404) 257-0511 for a spot if you are interested!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cure for the Summer Swoon

Demo in progress, 1st day, Dahlonega, June 2013

Demo, Hydrangeas, 12 x 12

Demo, Pears, 8 x 16

Simple cure for my annual summer swoon, or the onset of the blahs - (perhaps due to high humidity, heat, desire to go swimming and veg out, i.e. anything to stay out of the studio):

1.  Drive up to Dahlonega, Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
2.  Arrive at Anita Elder's beautiful property and workshop site, the "Art Loft."
3.  Meet 12 fellow artists, all eager to paint and try new things
4.  Mix in wonderful gourmet lunches prepared by Anita, a bit of wine, and fun outdoor dinners!

VOILA -  inspiration returns, mind is calm and happy, paintings will flow, I know!

Great times last week with some wonderful fellow travelers on this art path, truly a special and inspiring two days for all.  We focused on simplifying subject matter, capturing the feeling or gesture of the subject, and on communicating it in the fewest strokes possible.  Inspired by a recent Robert Genn post on one of his workshop exercises to help painters "loosen up," we attempted paintings in 37 strokes or 30 minutes.  Mine, below was 45 (not 37) strokes -- ay yi yi!

Norma did a better job of hers in 45 strokes:

So many nice paintings were created; alas, I have very few photos, but below are some I did get:

Norma Hulsey

Dianne Williams

Gina Brown

Set Up of hydrangeas from Donna's garden

Also, check out Gina Brown's new blog post on our workshop - I just saw it today, and was  pleased to read her kind words at