Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Floating acrylic 6x8

This is a photo montage of three small paintings that have been on my easel recently. I enjoy working  out ideas in a spontaneous manner on scale that encourages immediacy and experimentation. In a way, these are notations to myself and they provide a way to kickstart creativity when the “muse of painting” seems to be taking a vacation!  One stroke, one color leads to another and before long the process of painting becomes a joyful and challenging exploration. It is very easy to step into the role of self-critic and sometimes that little critical voice can become oppressive. I frequently remind myself that the playfulness of a creative pastime is one major reason that it is so fulfilling.
Small works that have a open ended quality can be a doorway to something more. Carpe diem -seize the brush!

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place
8 x 8 acrylic on a cradled archival panel

The cool colors of a snowy evening inspired this small winter study. I am usually drawn to simple themes and the effects of light on a subject.  Often when I  look for inspiration in nature, it is the hidden or quiet places that bring me a feeling of peace and calm. And it is those feelings I like to share. This painting is also an exploration of a limited palette consisting of three primary colors plus white. My challenge was to find and enhance the many colors of “white”  on a snow filled day when the ambient light was low and warm at sunset.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bird and Stone

Bird and Stone

Acrylic and mixed media on paper

On a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, dear friends gave us a “grand tour” of the city and the the surrounding area. We took in as many sights and tastes of this historic city as we could pack into our three day stay. The culture, architecture, food and beaches were impressive. Our friends took the time to share their insight into their new home state with us.
One interest we share with them is history and especially how a place is shaped by it. A trip to a plantation and and a narrated carriage ride through the old streets of Charleston brought the enslaved African-Americans role in the construction of this southern community to a stark and tangible reality for me.
Despite the fact that most of the buildings and streets we saw were constructed of the bricks made by the enslaved, only one very small monument to that dark history was present as a memorial. Near a church yard our guides pointed out a slight brick tower mounted by a small black sculpture of an bird with a stone on it’s back. Based on an old African tale of a blackbird whose troubles were symbolized by a stone, the sculpture depicted the bird reaching backwards to toss it’s  burden aside. It is a powerful image suggesting that one can overcome oppression and darkness with courage and persistence. I have not been able to get the image of the small bird and it’s stone, and the feelings that it evoked, out of my mind.
Hatred, racism, fear, greed, envy, despair and poverty are all stones one might bear. When we see and feel their hardness, we as one community can find the courage to toss them away.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Blue Shadows

Blue Shadows
Pastel on sanded paper 10 x 10

Late last November, before winter enveloped the woods in a cloak of white, the sparse foliage allowed the sun to penetrate the woods. I looked for color and found that the woodland had it’s own design in mind. The angles of our fallen trees created a pattern against the erratic rocks that are strewn throughout our land. Bare of leaves,  the sandy soil that makes up so much of  the north woods  forest floor was revealed. Blue shadows and warm notes are the basis for this little painting. Often, it is the ordinary that causes me to pause and find beauty where I stand. Available Daily Paintworks

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Gift

The Gift
8x8 acrylic painting on a gallery wrapped canvas

Welcome 2020!
It seems that with the arrival of the new year  a renewed Spirit arrives for me one which encourages experimenting and creating. This little painting is my first painting of the year , a gift to myself , after the hustle and bustle of the Holidays. It offered me moments of total concentration and an almost meditative mindset , free from distraction.
Painting can be a gift in and of itself. When I can enter the experience of creating with open-ness and acceptance I always walk away with some joy and peace.
There are definitely times when self criticism and judgement interferes with a feel-good process. Not every brush “at bat” is a good one. The challenge is to find and hold tight to creative energy while striving to grow.
This is  a new painting  and the gift of a new beginning.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Little Bouquet

The Little Bouquet 8 x 8 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Flowers, still life , impressionist

Each Saturday the farmers market in our downtown draws a huge crowd. Including us! We have our favorite vendors and enjoy supporting the local and sustainable farmers who share their harvest with us. Many Hmong families sell beautiful, inexpensive flower bouquets along with their vegetables. I generally scope out the best and brightest blooms and bring home a feast for my eyes as well as the soul. As the time passes, the bouquets will get smaller to accommodate the droop that is bound to happen with the passing days. I cut and cull and cherish the blossoms that linger , for they still add beauty and breath to the day.
At auction


Bayside 8 x 8 acrylic on a gallery wrapped canvas

Landscape, abstracted realism, waterfront,

This painting is less a landscape than it is a painted idea. I have been interested in the characteristics of acrylic paint. It is similar to pastel painting in that multiple layers of color and texture can be quickly place on the painting surface.  Unlike oil paint,  it drys so quickly that changes can be made within a very short painting process. To approach this painting I randomly placed warm tones on the canvas and before the paint dried - scraped some areas down to the tinted surface. Negative and positive shapes were built on this base with an emphasis on the pointy roof and building shapes that emerged. The reflected colors in the “water” simply arrived and this little harbor study came to be. Sometimes nothing leads to something.
Dailypaintworks auction