Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three Owl Feathers

             My children Vincent 11, Layton 9 and Crawford 7 had their first day of school today. Vincent, my oldest started Jr High. Where does the time go? First I should let you know I am not one of those moms who finds joy in the start of the school year. I enjoy the light schedule and easy joyful days of summer. I like having my boys home with me. So after dropping them off  I decided to go for a walk with my husband Paul. This would be a much needed chance to blow off the stress and worry about school. As I was following our dog Asti I looked down. There under the pine trees I saw a feather. It was small but what I thought was a owl feather. I looked up to show Paul my treasure and saw that he was holding another feather a much larger feather about 8" long. Wow it was beautiful and pristine. Finally a third feather was found  while walking on the hill top. How perfect three boys and three owl feathers. To make it even more magical they where all found on a blue moon and the first day of school. This to me is a good sign.

Photo of owl feathers found today August, 21 2013 on a blue moon

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wild Raspberries

     When I was a young child my family had a house in the woods. There was a long gravel drive near. Along that bumpy drive grow many wild raspberry and black berry bushes. In mid to late summer the bushes were heavy with sweet ripe berries. How I loved to pick them for my mother. Of course most got eaten before they could arrive home.
       The image of raspberries on a bush bring back some of my fondest childhood memories. Now my children and I continue the tradition of picking wild berries. This year as been an unusually  good year for picking raspberries and blackberries. Ohio's hot wet summer has been ideal for their growth. We gathered so many that I made my first homemade raspberry pie. Of course as always I took lots of photos. Many of my photos will be turned into paintings. I hope that my paintings will help my boys remember our berry picking. So when they grow old, they will look back fondly and maybe even continue the ritual with their children.

My first homemade raspberry pie

Wild Raspberries-oil on canvas-12x16

Thursday, July 18, 2013


             Tomorrow is the lancaster Festival ArtWalk, and I'm excited (and nervous). The last of my pieces should be in place in the morning and everything looks ready to go. I'd like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support I've been, given, not only this show, but but my work over the years.
Spiecal thanks goes to the women of LolaLeigh. Therese Goeller and her daughter(and great friend) Leigh Dixon have been overly nice to me over the last several years. They let me display my oil stick portraits three years ago during the ArtWalk and their promotion of my Bugs and Blooms series has been nothing short of amazing. Their clothing and accessory lines for children are spectacular and more unique than anyone around. But, to take the Bugs and Blooms theme and adapt their store to coincide with my work shows the versatility and creativity that true art is all about. I'm sure I don't deserve such niceties, let alone all the fanfare and love they have given me on their Facebook page and in the shoppe. Thank you everyone at LolaLeigh. So make sure to come see me, my art and of course the lovely women of LolaLeigh and their
beautiful creations.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bugs and Blooms

      As a small girl I was often fascinated with bugs and insects. Their tiny world seemed almost magical. Summer days chasing butterflies, playing with caterpillars, watching ants and catching fireflies fill my childhood memories. As an adult with busy life I often walk past, over or on these fascinating creatures. Once grown I forgot their wonder, often seeing bugs as unimportant pests. Through these paintings I hope to show these little beautiful bugs as through the eyes of a child. I hope to remind us all that even the smallest creatures have a purpose and true beauty all their own. Combining these creepy crawlies with the classic pleasant appearance of the floral blooms creates an incredible contrast. Both contrast of color, soft pinks and deep reds setting off bright yellows and metallic greens, and contrast of perception. What is true beauty? What makes us say yum and sniff the sweet flower and say yuk to the bee as it buzzes by? I hope you enjoy my visual arrangements and they help you see beauty in a little different way.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lancaster Festival Art Walk 2013

    On Friday, July Nineteenth, I will be introducing a new series of oil paintings as a part of the Lancaster Festival Art Walk. The city of Lancaster, Ohio puts on an arts and music festival for eleven days each July since nineteen eighty five. The first Friday of this festival is always an Art Walk throughout the downtown area where local businesses team up with artists to show off their work. There is a very rigid selection process as there are only forty or so businesses and hundreds of applicants. A jurored panel  selects which artists get partnered with which businesses. The range of artwork is very eclectic. You will see everything from still life's to sculpture. From oils to photography. From lithographs to glass blowing. An estimated 7,000 people fill the streets each year to view the artwork, listen to music at the bandstand, and enjoy a libation or two. My series, 'Bugs and Blooms', will be showing at Lolaleigh from July 19-27. It's a custom made children's clothier, owned and operated by some good friends of mine. So, if you are looking for good art and a good time, check out the Lancaster Festival Art Walk from 6-10pm on July 19th. If you can't make it that evening, you can take a peak at it the rest of the week during Lolaleigh's regular business hours. You'll get to see my latest work and as a bonus you'll get to see the the art they do with fabric. See you at the show.


Friday, June 7, 2013


    Flowers are beautiful, this is nothing new. To we humans they mean so much more. Men use them to woo women. Women use them to beautify themselves. Children give them to their mothers as a sign of love. Flowers are used in every ceremony and milestone of human life. They are present at birth, death and everything in between. Always a symbol of caring, love and affection. They are coveted not only for their visual splender, but also for their fragrant aroma. Flowers are truly a gift from God for us to enjoy. It is no wonder I (like so many before me) have been drawn to paint them. They may not be a new subject, but a flower never loses its' appeal.

-Orchid-oil on canvas-16x20"-

Featured Artist of the Week
Georgia O'Keeffe

       The natural and obvious choice for this weeks artist. The mere mention of Georgia O'Keeffe and the mind is filled with beautiful images of enormous blooms. Her magnified floral paintings rocked the art world in the 1920s. Their large scale and strong colors gave flowers strength, power, and importance. Attributes we do not commonly attribute with flora. Of course flowers were only one of her monumental subjects, but my favorite.

Poppy 2 by Georgia O'Keeffe

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Arbor Day!

images are all photos I took today
by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Models

Photo of one of my models that I plan to paint soon

     One of my favorite subjects to paint is the female form. Whether it is the view of a intimate portrait or a distant shadowy silhouette, images of women have always inspired me. In order to paint women I must find models. This can be quite difficult at times. Women look at me a little funny when I say" I would love you to pose for me...I paint" they often respond like I am some kind of pervert or something. Than I normally feel like I have to add "not nude or anything like that." Next I give them a business card and show them some of my art. Even after I explain myself and they trust me, many women are still not comfortable posing. Often they are embarrassed or self conscience. It's a shame, they can not always see their own beauty. That is why I find it takes more than just physical beauty to be a good modal. It takes confidence, self esteem and that spiecal something that comes from inside. The best images happen when the subject is feeling comfortable. Then their honest, natural true self and beauty shines through. Not to say all beautiful images are of self confident people. It simply takes more time and work to capture the image of someone shy or self conscience. The artist must let them warm up and get comfortable in order to caught them being themselves not simply posing.

Featured Artist of the Week
Boris Kustodiev
Portrait art
       Boris Kustodiev was a talented Russian portrait painter, book illustrator and stage-set artist. He was strongly influenced by folk art, legends and superstitions. I love his images for there strong use of color and personality. His strength is seen not only in his paintings but also in his ability to continue to paint upbeat images even through his serious illness.
Portrait of Julia Kustodiev(wife)(1903) by Boris Kustodiev

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When to Stop?

-Pair of Swallowtails-oil on canvas- 11X14" 
   Something I struggle with is knowing when a painting is finished. Some paintings scream "I AM DONE!". I love when this happens. Unfortunately many others are not so loud. They play with my mind forcing me to ask many questions. Does it need more detail, more feeling, more color, more texture or nothing at all? How much is too much? Is more work going to complete it or ruin it? At times it helps me to stop painting go back days later for a fresh look. Often after a break I can look at the piece and see what it needs or does not need.

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."-Leonardo da Vinci

Artist of the Week
Leonardo da Vinci
High Renaissance

Female Head (La Scapigliata) (1508) by Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci is mostly well known for his paintings, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. But painting was only one of his great talents. Sculptor, scientist, and inventor are just a few of his other titles. This vast knowledge helped to make his art so successful. In his paintings you can see Leonardo's understanding of human emotion, anatomy, geology, botany and light. Using all of his talents together has allowed him to create these wonderful masterpiece's.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Magic of the Butterflies

-Red Spotted Purple-10x24"-oil on canvas-

      Two years ago I experienced a magical moment. My family and I went on a day trip to Ceder Falls (a state park south of were I live). While hiking by the creek bed we saw the most spectacular sight. A flutter of swallowtail butterflies were flying about and stopping to drink from the damp rocks near the creek. There were hundreds of butterflies. It seemed like a dream. Naturally I took as many photos as possible, trying to hold on to that feeling, and hoping to capture their dazzling display of beauty.
     So deeply inspired by their performance, I have been working on my butterfly series since that day. To date I have completed 19 butterfly oil paintings. They range in size from 8x10" to 36x48" and display from one to twelve butterflies per painting. Nine of these paintings are now on display for sale at Studio Fovero in German Village Columbus Ohio.
     The Butterflies' spell is still working inside me. I have plans to complete many more swallowtail paintings. Through these images I hope you too feel the magic of the butterflies. 

-Above the Swallowtails-18x40"-oil on canvas-

Friday, March 29, 2013

Art at Studio Fovero

     Studio Fovero is a fabulous salon and spa located in the historic German Village district of Columbus Ohio. I love this salon. Like you would expect of German Village  the architecture is beautiful. The staff stylish, professional, yet funky and fun. My hair cut and color are the best I ever had.
     So when Dina the owner asked if I would like to display some of my paintings I answered" yes please."
     I chose some of my favorite pieces from my butterfly series. If any of you are in the area stop in and check them out and if you need some beauty help you'll be at the right place. Next week I plan on telling you more about this series and the moment of my inspiration.

Click on Studio Fovero above Goddess
 to link to the salons web site
Studio  Fovero

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Blue Sky

         Spring is here or at least that's what the calender says. Wednesday March 20th was the official First Day of Spring. My house thermometer say it's 36 Degrees Fahrenheit . It sure does not feel like spring. At least the sky is blue. Oh how I missed those blue skies. 

Featured Artist of the Week
John Constable
Romanticism, Landscape Art

          John Constable looked at nature itself for inspiration, not art. Often sketching his landscapes in the open air. He was the first to do this with oil paint. " When I sit down to make a sketch from nature the first thing I try to do is to forget that I have ever seen a picture."-John Constable 

Zirruswolken(Federwolkenstudio)(1821-22) by John Constable
The skies were a vital part of his landscape paintings.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Putting My Art into Words

-Summer Field-oil on canvas-14"x18"
      At some time all artists must do this. When entering contests, shows ect... We must use words to explain our art. The question is asked over and over again. The question comes in many forms, artist statements, artist bio, a description of our art, a brief statement about our art. However the question is asked, it is the same. The literary thinking world wants to hear it articulated. But I am a visual artist who does best with images not words. I want my paintings to be judged for their quality not the words I use to describe them.  How do I both accurately and artfully express my vision?

Featured Artist of the Week
John Singer Sargent
Portraits art, Realism, Impressionism

                 He was the most popular portrait painter of his time. However Sargent was not without criticism. Many of his paintings were controversial . I personally love Sargent's strong use of lighting and interest compositions. Both of these gave strong mood and personality to his portraits.

Portrait of Rosina(1878) by John Singer Sargent

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No Time

       The last couple of weeks have been frustrating. There has been little to no time to paint. My life has been overloaded with things other than art. Cub Scout banquet, teacher conferences, Sunday school, sick kids, doctor appointments, the usual homework, meal planing, house keeping and grocery shopping. On top of that I have been helping my husband do some updates at his restaurant, picking colors and working on a sign for the building. OK so the sign is commercial art and picking paint is decorating but that is not my true passion. To top things off our dog Asti took off yesterday. I spent 4hrs frantically walking fields and driving the neighborhood looking for her. To make it worse I was accompanied by three very tired, very upset young boys(poor things). Good news is our dog came back Thank God! Bad news is the rest of March and all of April are already packed with stuff. March has St Patrick's Day, my middle boys First Reconciliation and Easter. Then in April my oldest boy's 11th birthday, my middle First Communion, and finally my youngest boy's 7th birthday all are to come. By May I may not have the energy left to create.

Advertising sign for my husband Paul's restaurant 6'6"x 3'6"
  Featured Artists of the Week
 Andy Warhol
 Pop Art, Commercial Art

   Often controversial, he is famous for the pop art movement. Most people think of his cambells soup cans or images of Marilyn Monroe. Lesser known is that Warhol started as a commercial illustrator. The uniqueness of his work comes from his mixing of celebrity culture, expressiveness and commercial art.

commercial art by Andy Warhol
"When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums."-Andy Warhol

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Art of multi-tasking

       My studio is in my home. This can be difficult. There are often interruptions being that I am not only an artist but also a mom. Children can not and will not always wait. Of course my children's needs are very important to me. But when deeply engrossed in a work it can be very frustrating to have to stop. Getting my mind back to the place where I can see is not always like flipping a switch.

-Apple Boys-oil on canvases-diptych each 8x10-my oldest boys-

Featured Artist of the Week
Mary Cassatt

   Often refusing to bend to the ideas of the Salon. You could say Cassatt was a kind of feminist to the art world of her time. Like her friend Edgar Degas her paintings were bright and did not conform to the popular taste of the times. Mary Cassatt's painting often showed the strong bonds between mother and child.

-Child in Blue by Mary Cassatt-

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Would Rather Be Painting

My palette and brushes, as you can see a waste a lot of paint.
    Lately I have been trying to paint more. Now I find that I am obsessed. It is all I can think about. What do I need to do to my current painting? Often I am running back to my studio and looking at my painting in progress. I am also constantly thinking about what painting am I starting next? I can not concentrate on anything else. I find myself rushing through my other tasks or putting them off all together. Even blogging today was hard. I had to force myself. All I want to do is create!

Featured Artist of the Week
Vincent Hoch
My oldest son
Oh to create art like a child, the wonder, the imagination, the expression, the lack of rules.

The Tall Mountain by Vincent Hoch at age 6
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up". -Pablo Picasso

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Inspired by Music

     Not all my inspiration is visual. My husband Paul and I often go to concerts. We always have a good time dancing ,singing and socializing. But this is not just for fun's sake. Seeing and hearing the musicians live, you feel a connection. All creative souls have a kinship. Putting your inner thoughts and feelings out there for the whole world. Creating something that is part of you but not just for you. This is truly inspirational.
    Music also helps me create in my studio. There is always music playing while I paint. The songs help me feel the piece. Connecting with the emotional side. My head stops thinking about all the other tasks I need to do. It is just me, the painting, and the music.

on-stage photo of Wilco taken 2012
Photo by Me

Featured Artist of the Week
Amedeo Modigliani
modern style all his own

   He was greatly influenced by Toulouse -Lautrec, Cezanne, African Masks, Fauvism and Symbolism. Many relate his work to cubism (that is except for himself). Ultimately he created a style all his own.
    Modigliani subjects were primarily figurative. Most of his compositions were simple and somewhat flat, with strong use of linear design. Often he painted women in relaxed and lethargic poses, with oval faces and elongated necks. Many of these characteristics can be seen in his painting below Seated Nude (1917)
Amedeo Modigiliani, Seated Nude (1917)
One of my personal favorites of his

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Direction?

    Whether I am deciding on style, subject or series. It is a tough decision. What direction am I taking my art? There is definitely a need to plan. Of course, I want my art to feel free and expressive. I want it to have a life of it's own. But, without a plan my pieces may not feel consistent. The look of unity and harmony are vital.
    So, what subject am I working on now? More important, what style am I using? More expressive, or more realistic? How loose is too loose(-Lautrec)? What feeling or emotion am I expressing? What do I want the viewer to walk away with? What am I trying to say? The questions can go on for days.
   The more questions I answer the closer my art is to being coherent. Work seems to be the key. The more painting I do the more answers seem to fall in place.

-Hot Afternoon-oil stick on watercolor paper-13 1/2x 21"-
My Husband and two oldest boys

 Featured Artist of the Week
 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
 Post Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Modern Art

       Influenced by Japanese prints, Toulouse-Lautrec used vivid colors, diagonals, and lines especially contours to stimulate the viewers eye. His images, whether of Parisian night life or private moments are powerful. Giving the viewer a feeling of immediacy and movement. Not usually glamorous but real images as evident is his painting below Le Moulin Rouge.

Le Moulin Rouge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Friday, February 1, 2013

Setting Goals and Deadlines

        Last week I started telling you of my plans for this year. I have stated my blog goals. Today I would like to talk about some of my art goals. First let me say why goals and deadlines are so important. I am an independent artist. I am my own boss. If I do not set goals and deadlines the time passes and not much is accomplished. So it is crucial that I make plans.
        First goal, the number of paintings I plan on completing this year. This is most important in my mind. Because, how can I call myself an artist if I am not creating. By the end of next January I plan on completing 30 to 36 pieces. This breaks down to 2 to 4 a month.  I have to have some leeway because time to complete depends on size and complexity of the paintings. Weekly I plan on working on 2 to 3 paintings at a time.

 - Vivid - 8x10"- oil on canvis -
        Second goal, research and educate myself. There are two areas where I would like to further develop my knowledge. Photographing and making prints of my work are my main focus of research this year. I am excited to learn how to make quality prints of my work by year end.
      Third, getting my art to you, marketing. This goal relies partly on the knowledge of my second goal. Along with my originals, I plan on having prints to sell. I plan on looking into local gallerys, shops, and shows. Also, by year end I wish to have my own Etzy shop up and running.

                                   "Featured Artist of the Week"
                                             Gustav Klimt
                                    Art Nouveau, Symbolism
                                    and my personal favorite

Judith and the Head of Holofemes (1901) 
     There are two reasons, I feel, Kimit's art is so captivating. One, his images stimulate the viewer optically with his use of gold and colourful patterns. Next, his images often mentally stimulate the viewer with themes of strong women, erotic images and psychological ideas which are stated through the use of symbolism. This can easily be seen in his piece above Judith and the Head of Holfemes.

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Year New Plans

         2012 is over and 2013 is well under way. January is almost over. What are my plans for this year? We all think this, a chance to start anew. Bettering ourselves. What does this mean for my art?
                                                   My Art Blog Goals
         First, I will be posting every Friday or Saturday. Second, in addition to my weekly thoughts and my art, I plan on having a featured "Artist of the Week". Some artists you may already know, while others I hope to introduce to you.

-Monarch-8"x10"-oil on canis- 
         So look next week for the !st "Featured Artist", more of my goals, and of course another peek at my work.