New Work


Hello everyone!  I’ve been teaching painting classes at ACME in Holly Springs for the last two months.  Each time, I’ve had an amazing group of artists!  At these painting events, you can sip on tasty glasses of wine and local beers while enjoying great company and fantastic food.  I provide step-by-step instruction so you can leave with your very own masterpiece.  There’s absolutely no experience required and beginners are encouraged.  This month, class will be on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30-8:30pm.

Please register here to reserve your spot at this fun event.

$35 includes all art supplies and instruction.  Glasses of wine are only $5 for artists.  Cheers to that!!!  This month we will be painting “Blue Holy Night”.

Blue Holy Night

Check out last month’s painting “Autumn Harvest”:

Autumn Harvest

You can see videos of live painting at the event and group photos on Facebook.  

Don’t forget to like my Facebook Page to see upcoming classes and you can now follow me on Instagram.


In the mood for LOVE

I love art.  LOVE IT.  I love creating art, buying art, learning about art, talking about art, talking to artists and even reading art history.  I also love movies about art.  I’ve mentioned some “artsy” movies in previous posts.  I recently went to see The Monuments Men.  It did get some iffy reviews – but I really enjoyed the film.  It was a great reminder about why art is important and the difference it makes in our lives.  There are some pretty famous actors in the movie and some comedy mixed in.  Rolled up in all the art and drama is the sobering reality of WWII.  I’d recommend the film to anyone who also loves art and a great cast of actors.

Portraits of people are by far my favorite thing to do.  People are just beautiful.  There’s so much that can be captured about a person by the look in their eyes, the wrinkles on their face, the position of their body or the way they hold their head.  It’s captivating.  I’m fortunate to be able to capture some of this beauty in my work.  Unfortunately, sometimes our own mirrors can be irritating instead of helpful.  Next time, instead of seeing a flaw in the mirror – a line on your face, a rounder middle, a scar, a dark freckle, a gray hair – think about art.  You are art.  All the things that are imperfect about you work together to make you a perfect piece of beautiful art.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Ephesians 2:10  (NLT)

Here’s some new work:

This is a graphite portrait.  I used a 6B Woodless Graphite pencil to create very dark tones for this work.  I’m really liking the eyes on this one.  She looks like she may bat her long lashes at us at any moment.


Here’s another pet painting.  This is a hunter green acrylic background.  This dog – Tootsie – is a spunky Shih tzu.  You can almost see how sassy this little pooch is with her upturned nose and head and her big fluffy tail.

Zoo animals

Last – a new Mobile.  This mobile has a giraffe, elephant, hippo and some tropical leaves suspended with hemp string from spokes of aluminum.  Hopefully it’s new owner will see these dancing animals and dream of the zoo.


Happy New Year!

2013 was a great year.  I got to create some new pieces for my own nursery decor and visited some awesome galleries in Seattle.  I wrapped up 2013 with two new portraits and some paintings of four-legged friends.

Both of these portraits are graphite on paper.  When using graphite, I prefer to use woodless graphite in 6B.  It’s really soft and comes out with very dark lines.  I do most of my blending with tortillons but usually end up with grey fingers anyway.  I like to think that my hands are putting the “life” into the work.



These two doggie silhouettes are a new venture for me.  These were both done using acrylic paint on a piece of wood.  They were given as Christmas gifts to family.  I didn’t want to just “paint a picture of the pet”.  I wanted to capture the thought of the animal.  When you look a the silhouette, you are reminded of the object rather than it just being presented to you.  This way, the viewer can picture the pet in their mind and remember the eccentricities and manners that were personal to the pet/owner relationship.   I also did one of my own dog – but I haven’t had a chance to touch it up and take a photograph… more to come.



If you are interested in having a portrait drawn please email me.  Also, if you want a custom painting of your favorite pet – let me know!  Cheers to a wonderful 2014!

“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” – James Whistler

Going Mobile

To change it up a bit, I’ve been working on some mobiles.  I love mobiles because they are literally moving works of art.  The way the shapes and colors move through space is captivating.  Add in some wind or a fan and it reminds us even more of the presence of the air we breathe.  Thus, the same substance giving us life also puts life in the mobile.    Here are some of my mobiles.  (Please excuse the poor photography.  I found that it’s very hard to photograph a hanging, moving object!)


This mobile has black and white birds flying under a black branch with white leaves.  This mobile was created for a nursery.  Black and white where specifically chosen since babies see high contrast images clearer.  The branch is an actual piece of wood from nature coated in acrylic paint.  I wanted to bring part of the outside in – making these birds feel more at home.


This mobile has dark violet, light violet, lime and white elephants with large 3-dimensional ears.  The top of the mobile is a piece of grosgrain ribbon wrapped around aluminum wire.  The (almost) abstract, simplified elephants were created using a circle and then cutting pieces away.


Next, we have lots of color!  This mobile has two shades of orange foxes with white tipped tails, pink and blue hearts, two-tone green leaves and yellow stars.  Each object is hung from twisted aluminum wire.


Last, here is the sailboat mobile.  This one is my personal favorite.  The boat hulls are made from maps of the local area and are folded origami style.  The sails are white paper held up by natural hemp string.  The sailboats are floating below a structure made of aluminum wire and burlap.  I wanted to give the feeling of nautical rope for this piece.

If you are interested in seeing more mobiles, check out artist Alexander Calder.  His mobiles are absolutely amazing.  The balance and color are very captivating.  I was fortunate enough to see one in person at the Museo Panini on a trip to Italy.  The museum has a great little sculpture garden out front and the inside is filled with vintage cars and bikes.  Most interesting is that it sits right in the middle of a cheese farm.  You just might have a cow or two cross your path on the way in!

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

Making Time for Art

This list of things “to do” every day seems to be getting longer and longer.  Most of these things fall into the boring responsibility category – work, cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.  Then there’s the necessary stuff like sleeping and eating, taking out the dog, taking care of the family, etc.  In all the commotion, it’s been hard to fit in creativity and art.

It’s not visual arts, but literature is a beautiful art form and is often a great way to wind down and relax after a busy day.  The book I’m currently reading is technically art related since the main character is an Art Historian and there’s references to famous artists and their works throughout.  It just happens to be on the best sellers list at the moment.  It is Inferno by Dan Brown.  If you read The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons or The Lost Symbol, you’d probably like this book too.  Not only is there accurate art info in there, but there’s exciting, fast-paced mystery and crime as well.  My favorite so far has been Angels and Demons.  However, I’m only about halfway done with Inferno… so we’ll see.

I have completed two new pieces since my last (long ago…) post.  The first one is a graphite drawing of a 1936 Morgan.  This beautiful car was made in Britain by Morgan Motor Company.  Morgan still makes cars to this day and they are still reminiscent of the same vintage, curvy lines of the 30s.  These cars have a very distinctive style that is not quite like any other.  Morgan also makes a three wheeled vehicle. The company is worth looking up, pretty interesting.


The other piece is a large painting for a nursery – well, for a nursery in my own home.  🙂  This whimsical piece is inspired by my growing family.  I used bright, playful colors and tried to capture some movement in the blue areas with varying the shades.  Enjoy!


“No great artist ever sees things as they really are.  If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” – Oscar Wilde


Art Restoration?

Art Restoration is a great way to bring an old piece back to life.  However, it must be done very carefully as to maintain the integrity of the original piece.  If not, something like this happens.

Now, this is no masterpiece restoration – but I thought I’d try my hand at a “vintage” piece of my own.  My mom brought me an old painting that I did when I was about five years old.  Since I was five, the work was done on a piece of construction paper with a tempera paint.  It had faded over the years and looked like this.  before

Very fancy, I know.  *wink*  I “restored” the painting using acrylic paints thinned with water so I could see the original brush strokes in the work.  Needless to say, it now looks like this.  afterI think it’s much better.  I’m not saying that I’d like to work on the restoration of a Michelangelo, but this one was fun.

Don’t forget to check out the festivities for the Holly Springs Arts Council – Arts Festival!  Remember, I’m teaching a portrait drawing class on Saturday, February 9.  Here’s a new portrait I just finished the other day.Rouge

Have a great day everyone!!  “Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art – the outlet

The dictionary gives one definition of the word “outlet” as means of expression or satisfaction.  Given the recent events in the news, I wanted to share how valuable art is as an outlet – for both children and adults.  Difficult emotions, feelings and themes are hard to put into words… even if you can talk about them.  One way to release these is through art.  It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, it can simply be a doodle, bubble letters or colors.  Art helps us to “see” what we feel.  I’m sure you’ve heard before that a picture is worth a thousand words.  So, next time you or someone you know may be at a loss for words, try picking up a pencil, crayons or markers and laying it out on paper or canvas.  The relief is freeing.

My thoughts and prayers are with all families this holiday season – remembering that each one of us is in a different place and situation.  I hope that everyone can find hope, joy and peace.

In other news – one of my commissioned works is now done and has been posted in the Portrait Portfolio. 


This portrait is in graphite (pencil) on paper in an 8×10 size.  Email me at if you are interested in getting a portrait done.  They make great gifts!

Also, the Holly Springs Arts Council is hosting its FIRST Arts Festival February 5-9, 2013.  Check out their site for information regarding events and classes.  I’ll be teaching a class in portrait drawing – so come and draw with me! 

Take another stroll through the ‘For the Kids!’ section of my portfolio.  I’ve added some new work!

Glitter and a Mess

Here’s a hand painted Christmas ornament I’ll be taking to an ornament exchange this weekend.  It’s covered in a beautiful sparkly glitter called “glamor dust” that looks amazing with Christmas lights shining next to it.  If you want one, email me.  They make great Christmas gifts and can be customized to order.  I can create your family in snowmen and add names, year, sayings, etc.  $5 + S&H unless you are local.

If you have ever worked with any glitter or even touched it, you know it makes a mess.  Speaking of mess, who wants to help clean this up? My studio looks like a bomb went off.  *sigh* Such is the life of the artist… I’m all over the place!

On a final note, here’s a sneak peek at a Christmas gift I’m working on.  I can’t post the whole thing until 1. After Christmas (in case someone actually reads this thing to prevent the recipient from seeing it) and 2.  It’s not finished… I better get working.  Do you have any idea what it is?  It’s on a canvas that is 48″ x 12″.  Fun size to work with.  I love this color blue.  It’s a Matisse acrylic paint called Design Cyan.  Just using water changes the depth of this rich color.

Remember for today:  “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”  – Thomas Merton 

Getting there…

Still a work in progress, but I have some images up of different bodies of work.  While I’m working on getting all that together… I’m working on another body of work. Here’s a sneak peek.  This is just the first round… more to come and some to be trashed.