Sunday, December 27, 2009

BJ & Kitty Kat

"BJ & Kitty Kat"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

This was a Christmas commission that was fun to paint... love those crossed Siamese eyes!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Stepping Up" is a winner!

I am so thrilled! "Stepping Up" was chosen as 'Finalist - Outstanding Acrylic' in Fine Art View's November 2009 Painting Competition. It was one of 21 award winners in a field of almost 700 entries. Please visit the site and view all the amazing artwork.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to All!

Hope you get together with family, hug all around, do count blessings and don't count calories... which is exactly what our family does.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Apple Orchard in Spring

"Apple Orchard in Spring"
8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite

My husband really likes this one. Impressionistic, there's lots of texture in the foreground blending into a soft atmospheric background. It's a romantic little painting.
Yesterday I posted summer... today I'm posting spring. Can you tell that I'm not a fan of cold weather?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Truth from Lori Woodward least this article really rang true to my ears. So much so that I wanted to pass it along in it's entirety:

20% Dream and Scheme, 80% DO

by Lori Woodward

Today's Post is by Lori Woodward, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. She is also a contributing editor for American Artist's Watercolor and Workshop magazines. She writes "The Artist's Life" blog on American Artists' Forum and is a regular contributor here on Fine Art Views. Lori is a member of The Putney Painters, an invitational group that paints under the direction of Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik. Find out how you can be a guest author.

I believe that some of us creative types are inclined to spend a little too much time in the "dream" department and not enough time in the "do" department.

My elementary school report cards show hard evidence that I was a dreamer from the start. Words like, "looking out the window", "day-dreaming", "unable to focus" described my general behavior. In first grade, I ended up meeting with the school district psychologist weekly to see what the problem was. He reported that I was intelligent and needed to skip first grade. That didn't happen, and it would have been a big mistake if it had. My disinterest in school work had nothing to do with my aptitude... it had much more to do with the fact that I am a dreamer from the very core of my being.

The World Needs Dreamers Who Perform

Now don't get me wrong... Dreaming is a great thing because the world needs dreamers. Most artists are dreamers by nature, but the hard cold fact remains that if we spend the bulk of our time dreaming and scheming, and not creating great work, our dreams are not likely to ever come true.

Ask any successful artist how much time he/she spends actually creating artwork, and you'll find that time in the studio far exceeds time either planning or dreaming. You see, they settled on some plans and dreams early on and then took immediate action in pursing those dreams. I am honored to call a handful of highly successful artists my personal friends. I see how they conduct their careers and their marketing efforts. They all have one thing in common... they are productive. They paint/work whether they feel like it or not. They put the horse before the cart, first creating a dynamite work and afterwords, they apply the best marketing tools to get their work before collectors' eyes. In fact, these artists didn't have a hard time getting into galleries because the quality of their work is evident.

I'm going out on a limb here, and this might make some of you angry, but I have to say it because this is what I believe...

Marketing your art gets easier when your artwork is remarkable!

It's absolutely true that you don't have to be the best artist in the world or even in your locality to make a good living at it. There are many types of collectors who buy for a variety of reasons. But! If you desire to show in Scottsdale, Santa Fe, or New York City in a high profile gallery, you're going to have to be better at what you do than most artists in order to knock the socks off of the gallery manager and thereby amaze their regular collectors.

So, let me get back to my premise: If you spend any more than 20% of your time dreaming and planning, which implies that the remaining 80% should be spent creating work, you're not going to have enough work to make a living at it. It usually takes years of concerted effort to get good enough to entice the best collectors. Talent means very little - education, practice and "doing" are the real keys to success. At least these have been the keys of the artists I personally know who are wildly successful. By the way, many of them did not posses much "talent" during the early learning phases of their careers. More often, a good education combined with years of working is the way to get "talented".

Collectors are savvy spenders. You can't fool them into buying your artwork.

I haven't taught an art marketing workshop lately because I feel bad for the artists who think they can sell their work simply by paying for ads, submitting portfolios to galleries and "doing all the right things". All these things are necessary at some point, but not before their work is pretty darned good. Some amateur artists (those still in the learning process) just can't see the difference between their work and the work of seasoned professionals. Maybe they do, but think they can fool the collecting public by falsely talking up their work. Some, who are still in the beginning stages of learning, state that they are award winning artists on their resume. Those awards are not listed in their bio, and I wonder what awards they are talking about.

But don't give up just because you're not at the professional level yet. Anyone who has desire, intelligence, and self-discipline can get there. It helps to realize even the most celebrated professionals started out as a beginners.

Many of you who read this newsletter are experiencing the career of your dreams, and I'd be willing to bet you worked hard to get there. No dream ever comes true without concerted effort.

This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by Canvoo,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Geese in the Yard

"Geese in the Yard"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Time just flew by as I took the palette knife to butter and scrape in the background on this one, then I scumbled and brushed in layers of paint. It has a fantastic warm glow about it and nice depth. I love the impressionistic feel to it. Viewed up close, every square inch of it is interesting, so I'll share some details with you. Keep in mind that the whole painting is only 8"x10", so these details are actually zoomed for you to enjoy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


"Airborn" by Brooke Piceno
(my very talented 11-yr old grand daughter!)
7" x 9" acrylic on gessoed panel

"I decided that today I was going to paint my most favorite type of dog, and the photo I saw today inspired me to paint this. I hope you like it!" - Brooke

Friday, December 11, 2009

Napping Calves

"Napping Calves"
8"x8" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Restful... peaceful... warm. I'm snug in a little cabin with a tin roof in the midst of a busy winter holiday season. These feelings prompted me to paint this small pasture scene today.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Buckskin & Baby

"Buckskin & Baby"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite
Art on the Avenue

When I'm working on commissions, I find I need to intermix some small paintings 'for me' to keep me from getting too tight. So yesterday I put aside the oil portrait in favor of this horse painting that I've been mulling for some time. I also wanted to put something fresh in Art on the Avenue. My monitor shows it a bit more orange than the true buttery buckskin color on the mare, but maybe yours has it just right... hope so. Paintings always look better in person anyway.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas is approaching

...and for an artist, that means most of my painting time is being spent on commissions. To keep from spoiling the surprise that they usually are, I will refrain from posting them until after Christmas. While the surface of this blog looks calm and still, know that this duck is paddling like crazy and enjoying every minute of it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A HUGE Happy Thanksgiving ! I have so much to be grateful for... and 14 of them will have their feet under my table today....FAMILY!!! Hope you are able to be with family and friends to share this blessed day with them.
Now... to the kitchen!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am thrilled to announce that
Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona is promoting my artwork!

What an intriguing name for a gallery... and it reflects the intriguing and diverse artwork found inside. I know that you will be visually richly rewarded by taking a tour of their facility and its' contents either in person or on line.

Jason Horejs, the owner, is the son of a professional fine artist, so he knows the gallery business from both perspectives. I'm excited to see what the future holds here at Xanadu. Thanks, Jason!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tucker in Tinsel

"Tucker in Tinsel"

8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Welcome to an early peek at this year's Christmas card. I put other things aside and actually got it done today. My son's cat, Tucker, was so fascinated with the tinsel that we had to remove it that Christmas. Nothing could dilate his eyes more than that shiny stuff!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cat Glow

"Cat Glow"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite
Art on the Avenue

I've probably painted Muffin more than any other of my cats. Is a cat photogenic? I like the opportunity to use that black & white contrast with different color schemes. She doesn't seem to mind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


"Focus". . . . it's a hard thing sometimes for an artist when everything is so interesting! I've been reading "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron (for about the tenth time!) and know that the spiraling path that is my life, therefore my art, is taking me in a new direction. By pulling the focus back and taking an overview, I get a better idea of where I really want to go. This is something that I must do at least yearly because I am so easily distracted and sometimes swayed by external forces. So, as the new year approaches, I will put my feet back on the path toward my goals. In doing so, I realize that I might look erratic to some around me . . . especially those who are not artists.
Recently I read an article that stated "art is an expression of being alive". It helped me see that my narrow 'busy-ness' was blocking my ability to fling my arms open and welcome a wider experience. What truly is important? Where are my priorities? My art reflects the answers. I am looking forward to the future and the discoveries that come with it.
I might be a little early, but I hope that you will take some time as 2009 comes to an end, hug yourself close and reflect what it means to you to be an artist.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Henry in Sunshine

Henry in Sunshine
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

I can't tell you how good it feels to post a new painting! It has taken me a few days to reorganize the studio and get back in the saddle, so to speak. The ideas are coming fast and furious now! This is my old Henry...always a good subject to warm me up. I have to admit...this one looks much better in person. Photography, even scanning, just can't replicate the glow of the multiple layers of transparent paint.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A VERY Insightful Book!

I know there are a lot of books and information out on the web these days that you can throw your money at and, let's face it, money is not an easy commodity these days! I gritted my teeth and skeptically ordered this one at the pre-published price, hoping to get some insight into the gallery side of the art world because, like many of you, I desperately need to spend more time creating.
Boy, am I glad that I did!
This is a no fluff, concise, give-it-to-me-right-between-the-eyes kind of book that comes from personal experience of two generations from both sides...artist and gallery owner.

Check it out at

"Starving" Artist to Gallery Artist

An Art Marketing Guide for Growing your Art Career and Becoming a Gallery Artist

Jason Horejs

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to show your work in galleries? Have you felt frustrated because you are unsure how to best approach galleries for representation? Do you know what you need to do to prepare your work, your portfolio, and yourself to make an effective approach?

"Starving" to Successful | The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art will answer these questions and many more as you prepare to increase your presence in the gallery market. Written by J. Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, "Starving" to Successful will give you pragmatic advice and concrete, actionable steps you can begin implementing immediately to become more successful in marketing your work to galleries.

Gain insight into what a gallery owner is thinking as he or she reviews your portfolio. Understand why the most common approaches artists make to galleries are largely innefective. Learn what most artists fail to do in preparing their work for sale.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Success in a dubious market!

I'm very happy to report that of the 22 paintings (tiny to large) that I put in the September show in my small community art alliance show, eleven have sold... two after the show closed, but as a result of the show. In this crazy economic climate, I am very pleased. For all you artists out there, I will pass along the common denominator for most of the sales.... the clients already had an emotional attachment to the subject matter. What do I mean by that?
The premise for this show was thought up by me back in the spring and it goes like this...
The show would be based on images from my home county. I informed people that our local art alliance was presenting this show in Sept and that I would like for them to submit photographs for me to choose from to create paintings, but that they were under no obligation to buy the painting that might result. I also took my own photographs to work from that were of people, places, and things that I felt reflected our community. I'm not a 'buildings' painter, so they were mostly people and animals. Some identities I did not even know until after the paintings had been completed, but I felt that they had a strong enough character to stand on their own without identity. You can pretty much scroll down my postings and see what sold.
Know that I have spent a lot of time in the last 4 months volunteering at this art alliance. I have made many contacts that will result in paintings that could not be done in time for the show. The art alliance has voted to repeat the show next year with a photography show two months prior to encourage local people to participate.
I pass this info along because these ideas are a win-win for artists and clients alike. It's as close as you can get to a commission without having to paint something that doesn't interest you and the client makes no upfront commitment. Risky? Perhaps...but what painting isn't?! Next year, even more artists will participate and a wider diversity of paintings and subject matter will result.
I will probably continue this approach to people who I find interesting even without the "show" to back me up, as I have learned to get over my shyness about telling people that they are interesting to me. I leave it very open so that no one feels boxed in by the request.... me or them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Teaching an old dog new tricks

I have tinkered with oil sticks in the past but had never tried pastels... until last week. Generations Gallery at Indian Springs offered a one day workshop with pastelist, Preston King, so I cleared my schedule and joined 10 other eager souls to try something new. It was refreshing to open up my mind and just be a 'sponge', soaking up every word and visual that Preston offered. We all completed 3 small studies and enjoyed the camaraderie and creative electricity that happens when artists work in a group. I post them here, but remember....I'm a newbie, even at my age!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


16"x20" acrylic on canvas
Monroe County Arts Alliance Gallery

I cropped the reference photo for this (sent in from the community) to focus on the relationship between this charming little girl and her pony.

Father & Son on Target

"Father & Son on Target"SOLD
16"x20" acrylic on canvas
Monroe County Arts Alliance Gallery

The reference photo for this painting was submitted from our community and appealed at once to me because of the relationship between father and son that it captured.

Karl with Cats

"Karl with Cats"
24" x 30" acrylic on canvas

This casual portrait of Karl Hill was painted to join our local theater group, the Backlot Players, as they honored the memory of this larger-than-life community figure with their production of "Our Town". It presently hangs in the lobby of the Rose Theater in Forsyth, GA.

Back in the Studio!

Almost three full months of my time have gone into the local Monroe County Arts Alliance. It's been quite an experience ....rewarding, draining, educational, exasperating and fun...all at the same time! Thank you to all my web friends who have not given up on me. The next three posts are the last three paintings that I simply have not had time to photograph and record until today. All three are in the show "Paint This Town!" at the gallery of MCAA here in Forsyth, along with about 20 others, miniature to large. It hung on Sept 2 and continues through Oct 2. Three of my originals have already sold and I've taken a commission, so I the work has been worth it.
Volunteers will be taking over much of the work I've been doing, so that I can catch up on my painting. Yeah!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Busy at the Arts Alliance

I know it has been quite a while since I posted a painting, but I have definitely been busy in the field of art! Our local non-profit membership organization, Monroe County Arts Alliance, has installed its' new officers and is going through a major drive to publicize itself and sign up new members to join in the fun of all the fabulous projects we have ahead of us this next year. I've volunteered for 'Publicity' chairperson and have been keeping the gallery open for the last ten weeks to give the regular gallery director some much needed R&R. Check out the new blog we set up to learn a little more about this lively group of artists and art lovers!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Been Fishin'

"Been Fishin' "
18" x 24" acrylic on visual edge canvas

Here's another offering for our community images show in September. It was really fun to paint this one! It just begged to be loose and casual.
The right to use the photo was given by one of the Monroe County Arts Alliance members in response to requests sent out this spring. I didn't know at the time that we live on the same road! I have since met this gentleman(her husband) and he is indeed an avid fisherman.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Batting Coach

"Batting Coach" SOLD
8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite

This is another of the pieces that I'm painting for the local art alliance's show this fall of community images. What could be more community than baseball at the recreation center? I love the way that all the shapes in this painting mimic the curvature of the coach embracing this little player.
The coach bought this painting with the emotional comment "This is why I coach!". My reply... "That is why I paint".

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hard to Camouflage

"Hard to Camouflage"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite
Xanadu Gallery

The cry a peacock makes is eerily beautiful when heard in the distance, but when a wandering neighbor's bird hops up on your deck rail and announces his presence just as you're fixing your first cup of coffee in the morning... well, that's another story! Thank goodness some of his buddies answered and he found his way home.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lightly Napping

"Lightly Napping"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Time to take a break from the big paintings and play on a few small ones. Here's Buddy again doing what cats do best...nap. Love to capture all the colors bouncing around in the sunlight!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sand Angel

"Sand Angel" SOLD
16" x 18" oil on gessoed masonite

This little guy was hamming it up out at the playground early this spring when the weather was still pretty chilly. I just could not resist him!

Friday, June 12, 2009

All American - "tweaked"

"All American"
24" x 36" oil on gessoed masonite
Xanadu Gallery

You probably can't tell much difference, but I went in and tweaked a few things that were bothering me... you artists will understand. Then, when I was retrieving it from it's 'safe' drying place, I scratched paint off of the lariat on the red guy! Will patch that today. I think this painting just likes to hang around my studio and visit with me!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Muskogee Traditions at Ocmulgee Mounds

"Muskogee Traditions at Ocmulgee Mounds"
27" x 31" oil on gessoed masonite
Xanadu Gallery

I must say that this has been a very interesting piece to paint. I have other reference photos of this hunter demonstrating various skills, so he might just show up again later by himself.
I recently discovered that the Indian in this painting is full-time teacher and demonstrator, Jim Sawgrass. I was grateful to meet him in person and present him with a smaller print of the painting.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No cigar!

Very busy last week but 'no cigar"! I actually spent 26 hours of pure painting in front of the easel. I have three incomplete paintings to show (or not show) for it. Also, I couldn't resist going back into the cowboy painting and noodling around on a few details that needed refinement... and fix where I had to wipe off the white paint my 3-yr-old grandchild added to wet paint! After putting the Indian painting away for several days, I saw some changes I want to make before I post it finished. Two more scenes based on reference photos I took at the community ballfield are coming along nicely. All are in oil, which is why I have 3 going at the same time. I don't have that aggravating wait time in acrylics, but oils are so much easier to leave and come back to... and since I never know when I'll be interrupted at the gallery, this is a good thing! Hopefully this week I'll be able to post the finished products and start some new ones.

Friday, May 29, 2009

WIP - "Impressing Her" #2

Another post of this painting in progress. No real frustrations with it yet, except maybe that parts of yesterday's session were in the "sticky" stage and I had to leave them alone. Also I was working on it at the gallery today instead of the home studio and I forgot to take the fistful of brushes that I'd brought home to clean thoroughly. It's a good thing I had a few spares in my Jullian! I've decided to change the name to "Muskogee Traditions at Ocmulgee Mounds" since I feel it's important to identify the tribe and locale.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Baby Face

"Baby Face" SOLD
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Seems I've been doing a lot of serious painting of late, so I really needed to pull back and do a "funsy". This is one of my favorite poses of our kitty, Baby Face. She loves to 'hook on' over my husband's shoulder and nap. It's a good thing he's wearing his old faded flannel overshirt... those side claws are sharp!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

All American - finished!

"All American"
24" x 36" oil on gessoed masonite

Yippee! I can finally post this as a finished piece. Sometimes larger, more complex pieces like this just take a while... mainly because I get distracted into starting other paintings. I just love to start them, but then when I get 80-90% finished, they say pretty much what I want them to say and I have to talk myself into finishing. I know...I'm just a little bit crazy!
I particularly like the way this high school rodeo instructor turned out. And to think...I actually thought about cutting him out of the composition. Glad I didn't!

What I like best about these guys is the way you can feel the bodies inside the shirts because of the way they are leaning over... and you just got to love those fannies in Wranglers!
There exists a nice visual between this blonde bull and the cream outfit of the instructor and the fact that they are both looking out of the painting in opposite directions. Just a way of reminding the viewer that we are only seeing a slice of the activities that go on at a rodeo.

Friday, May 22, 2009

WIP - "Impressing Her"

This is a 27" x 31" oil on gessoed masonite that I've spent about six hours on... just working out the composition from three references taken at the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds and the patterning of lights and darks to make it flow. This Muskogee maiden has on a lovely pale deerskin dress beaded in blue, which is not your everyday garment. I like the idea that she has dressed up and is quietly watching as the hunter demonstrates his skills with a throwing stick.

Two Pair

"Two Pair"

8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite

These sun-struck pairs are in a pasture less than a mile from my house and belong to our county's sheriff. I really enjoy seeing the new calves appearing. I've noticed that the farmers in this area have changed the cycle that used to have the calves showing up in early spring. This reference picture was taken as the grass was just really greening up this spring and the calves were already good size. The winters are fairly mild here in Georgia, but the summers can be brutal with drought a real issue lately... that may explain it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Madison Morning

This is me painting on the square in Madison, GA Saturday, May 2. The weather and setting was absolutely wonderful... and my sister, Pam, was with me! She took these pictures, thank goodness, since I accidentally deleted mine in transferring them from camera to computer.
I had set up to capture the sidewalk tables across the street at O'Hara's, when this guy sitting on the park bench near me caught my eye. It seemed everyone who passed knew him. A car pulled up and the driver gave him a banana, chatted a moment and drove on. By the time he had finished the banana, another car stopped with a sandwich. This is a local character that I really need to capture, I thought. Besides, his profile and body language sitting in the deep shade on that bench were great. I quickly sketched him in and then spent into the afternoon filling in his hometown surroundings. Locals stopping by to see what I was painting would say " Hey, I know him... he's here every morning!" By the time I finished, I knew his name and history!

"Madison Morning"... SOLD
8" x 10" oil on panel

Sorry it's kinda' fuzzy, but it's all I have. This was the first painting bid on at the silent auction that afternoon. It was surprising to see how many people knew exactly who he was! It also garnered me an 'Honorable Mention'.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Three for Lunch

"Three for Lunch"... SOLD
8" x 10" oil on panel

This is the first painting that I did at the Georgia in Bloom paint-out in Madison on May1. The picture encompasses every no-no in the book, but I'm grateful to have it. I deleted mine by accident and this is one my sister took, never dreaming it would end up on my blog. It actually is a nice little painting and the owner of these three Herefords came to the auction and bought it, much to my delight.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The three workmen paintings together



"Stepping Up"

I know that I have posted these separately as they were coming off the easel, but I thought it would be a good idea to post them together like I intended for them to show. Otherwise you would have to scroll and hunt for them.

Each is 20"x20" acrylic on gallery wrap canvas and are selling as a group of three for $3000 unframed. Email me if interested, please, or contact

Monday, May 11, 2009

WIP - "Winning Her Over"

I never seem to be able to get one finished (still working on the cowboys!) before I get excited about a new one... in this case, three new ones! This series of three paintings shows my Dad winning over the cautious adoration of my grandbaby, Brooke. I can read his lips as he sings "Won't You Come Over My House?" just as he did when I was a little girl.

Shirley Stafford, an excellent artist friend of mine, suggested I do an underpainting in yellow on these, so I'm giving it a try. They are in oils and each canvas is 24" x 30" x 1-1/2" gallery wrap.
Still lots and lots to do, but I think I'm going to leave the background very simple with just the hint of the window, focusing all the attention on the relationship of my Daddy to his great granddaughter.