Monday, December 30, 2013

Budding Artists

Two of my girlfriends gave painting lessons to their daughters as Christmas gifts, and guess who the teacher was? Me! The girls were charming and so great to be around. They did awesome and even got to do some of the painting with palette knives--I was so impressed. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


This painting was commissioned as a Christmas present.

You know what my favorite thing about doing pet portraits is? Well, there are two actually. One is how much the owner truly loves the pet. It is always so clear how much the animal is loved. The second thing is how much the eyes seem to convey of the animals spirit. My number one goal is always to try my best to get those eyes right because they truly are windows to the soul.

9x12 Oil Palette Knife Painting

Friday, December 6, 2013

No Misting Required

This orchid painting was a photograph I took while at the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC. Such an amazing display; I had never realized quite how many varieties of orchid there actually are.

I have had orchids in my home (pre-children) and do love them. It takes a special type of plant lover to keep these going well. Seems a painting of one would be a much better option these days!

Find included two photos of additional orchids seen at the garden. Looking forward to painting more of them. Such a beautiful, juicy color palette of flowers!

8x8 Oil Palette Knife Painting

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tis the Season!

Now through December 25th I am offering 15% off on all available paintings. Each painting will also include a package of my new notecards--free with purchase! Come and have a look at

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Balloons Over the Serengeti

I am blessed to have an extremely thoughtful art friend! I met Sherri in a workshop I took in Indiana last winter. She is such a positive, uplifting, and supportive woman; just goes to show, one of the best things about taking classes is the wonderful people you can meet.

Sherri had a friend travel to Africa, and sent me a handful of photos she thought I would enjoy of elephants, giraffes, lions, and an awesome shot of two hot air balloons over the Serengeti. The balloons seemed like the biggest challenge for me as they had vertical (curved) lines, which I thought would be quite difficult to accomplish with the knives.

It was a challenge for sure, but I surprised myself. Maybe I was remembering our workshop, but instead of going at it with fine detail (read: small knife), I grabbed my biggest knife and went around those curves that way. Later I tidied it all up. This was the way to go. It made the task less daunting, it allowed me to be loose, and I quickly found myself in the zone. Just the exact place I wanted to be!

(Although being in one of those hot air balloons wouldn't be too bad either…) 

12x16 Oil Palette Knife Painting

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Thought this would inspire the feeling of Christmas as it seems to be in the air already! So many people love to bring out their seasonal decor for the holidays. It's amazing how quickly the lights and trees have gone up--it has all snuck up on me this year!

12x12 Oil Palette Knife Painting

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Friday, November 22, 2013


After some requests for notecards, I went ahead and began looking for a company that I knew would do a great job. A while back, while listening to the AHA radio show, I learned about a company called Moo ( that sounded really fun and interesting, so I had samples sent to me. Then I also had an art friend do business cards there, and I know she was thrilled. Moo provided such excellent customer service and a great quality product. My selection of notecards came today, and I couldn't be happier! Beautiful color representation on smooth, thick cards and heavy envelopes too.

If interested, look for them on my website:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saw-whet Owl

My family loves owls. We live on a green belt and have heard and seen the larger Great Horned Owls many many times. We can be found trailing after owls at dusk when we see or hear clues that they're around. My husband has owl ears--we can be in the middle of an intense movie scene, and he'll pause it, ears listening. I can never believe it when he says he thought he heard an owl. He's good.

8x8 Oil Palette Knife Painting

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Covered in Blue

It's been a while, both for painting an elephant, and also for painting so loosely. I know it was loose and fun because I was covered in blue paint! Painting elephants just makes me happy, and to do it in blue is just a double-bonus.

12x12 Oil Palette Knife Painting

Sunday, November 10, 2013


This painting was a study in looseness. The idea was to do this quickly and to not go over knife strokes too much. I achieved this on the bird itself, but it was a little tougher trying to get an atmospheric background. My plan is to keep practicing this and paint a lot of chickadees this winter. 

I always premix my colors with a limited palette and was really happy with those. You would think a chickadee was just black and white--not so! 

8x8 Oil Palette Knife Painting

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Fox Says

I know foxes seem kind of trendy right now, but my three-year-old has loved them his "whole entire life". This fox was his request, along with the purple background, and will hang in his bedroom.

Have you heard the song, "What Does the Fox Say"? Dancing with the Stars did an awesome dance to it. Here is a You Tube clip if you missed it. So good!

12x12 Oil Palette Knife Painting

Saturday, November 2, 2013

This is the Life

This commissioned painting was done as a gift for a baby shower. The expecting couple love sailing and are using that as a theme for their baby's room. The photo was taken by the mother-to-be. Hope they love the piece--I really like the dramatic size of the vertical panel!

12x24 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tody Bird

These little tody birds are pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen. With all those bright colors on such a soft little ball of fluff, I just couldn't resist! Enjoy!

6x6 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cedar Waxwing

This painting was inspired by the flock of waxwings coming through to eat berries from our tree. The tree sits right in front of our kitchen window, and I always look for those yellow tail feathers that look like they've been dipped in paint. They might be around all year, but I only see them when those berries are ripe!

8x10 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sphinx Hummingbird Moths

This painting was done as a request from one of my sons. For the past two weeks or so these moths have been visiting our zinnias. We all run out to watch them up close and I captured some amazing photos with my I-phone of all things. They look so much like hummingbirds, but even smaller! For a while it was one at a time, but then two would appear together. I was thrilled with this photo, and the memory of my little guys being so intrigued and excited by them. Love capturing special moments like this in a painting!

8x10 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lucy the American Bulldog

Lucy is the companion piece to the commissioned dog Bruno. These two dogs were such a joy to paint. I realized how much I have come to love painting dogs while doing these pieces.

Painting a white dog was a bit more challenging for me than doing the brown one. I solved this by using the Paper Canvas app. This helped me to see the different values more easily. 

12x12 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bruno with Process Photos

This dog is one of two done as a commissioned piece for a collector who wanted an "avocado--the color of old kitchen appliance" green background. Once again makes me appreciate commissions as it may not be a color I would have originally selected and I absolutely love it. It gives a kind of vintage feeling to the portrait.

I started with a black background, light grid lines, and drew the images with a white pencil. Painting on black was always my thing when I first started painting with palette knife, and I'm so glad to be revisiting it again. I love the way the color pops, and love the effect of allowing some chunks of black to peek through. On occasion I will do this with reddish-orange, but really love the black the best. Here are some process photos:

12x12 Oil on Museum Quality Panel 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Queen Anne's Lace

I have taken so many great photos of Queen Anne's Lace this summer and fall and have been wanting to paint them for months! What has held me back?? It was the thought of painting those curved lines (of "the nest" as I call them) with my straight palette knives. 

This last round of pictures were taken recently. My three-year-old and I were on a bike ride and saw these along the trail. We pulled over and trekked through to an opening, got down on the ground, and started exploring angles. I loved how this particular image showed three phases, so knew it was the one. 

8x8 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seeds of Autumn

Was on a bike ride with my husband and boys, and as often happens, I had to stop the bike to get a few photos. We were riding past huge fields of fall colors, everything seeding and looking beautiful. The blue sky and warm sunny day was just an added bonus.

11x14 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Unfurling Zinnia

We have been spending a lot of time by our zinnias this last week. There have been hummingbirds, hummingbird moths, and even a few monarchs visiting and collecting nectar. Captured a bunch of great photos and hope to paint more of them. Here is one of the zinnias just grabbing its first few breaths as it opens.

8x8 Oil on Museum Quality Panel

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cafe Verrazano

My husband and I went to Florence before having our boys. We had more than one book on places to eat while there, and only one place we loved so much we had to go back twice. Cafe Verrazano was a hidden little gem of a place that you would hardly even notice if you weren't looking specifically for it.

I can still remember letting the waiter bring us whatever he wanted... The wine was amazing and had us hunting it down when we got home. He brought out the most delicious focaccia (panini) sampler that I tried numerous times to duplicate. And finally chocolate cake with fresh strawberries. Yum. We never wanted to leave.

Here it is! "Vini" must mean drink a bottle of wine with your lunch? DOCG, for you enthusiasts! 

8x10 Oil on Museum Quality Panel