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

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 dana@FOXartworks.com 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!

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.