Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Well a midst the construction of my work stations I have been trying to paint in a little corner of my studio.  I decided to recreate a painting that I had intended to keep for myself but in the heat of the moment I sold it.  Many things influence my paintings so it is almost impossible to re-create one exactly as before.  This week the weather was changing everyday along with my moods.  I heard birds outside my window at the beginning of the week just to find out we were going to have another "snow storm of the century" by midweek!  Well what we got was a "wintry mess" but not as much snow as promised.  This along with my caring for my grandson took it's toll on my moods.  I thought if I painted a tropical painting it would lift my mood. What started out as a light airy painting soon turned dark.  I struggled not to grey down my tropical colors. I like the contrasts with the vibrant oranges and yellow greens against the dark background but it is not as fresh as I had planned it to be.  I have learned to step away from my paintings when I get overwhelmed and I did that many times with this one.  At one point it had too much bright green (yes I said too much bright, lol) so I painted blues and purples on tissue paper and then tore it into shapes that fit between the leaves to see how the colors looked as a background.  This is a good way to try out background colors without mucking up the painting. When I finally liked the depth of color that the tissue paper added I started washing it onto the painting where need be. I also use my cell phone to take photos of the painting as I go along.  This helps me see the contrasts much like a reducing glass does.  Having struggled with the background I will say that the hummingbird and the blossom were enjoyable to paint! 

I have found some useful advise on acrylic painting from Michele Theberge at  I am still learning about all the mediums used in Acrylic Painting and she has some helpful advice in this video:  Check it out and let me know what you think.

 I can't wait to see blue skies and all the colors of my garden soon!

Sunday, February 24, 2013



I am still in the process,with a lot of help from my Son-in-law Scott, of remolding an adjacent garage into my art studio. This will be my first studio outside of my home even though it is just 50 feet or so away. We basically started with the shell of a garage and built it up from floor to ceiling, I'm learning a new trade in the process. lol I now know how to drywall, mud, lay wood flooring and various other builder trades.  In the past my studio has always been in my basement along with the kilns. So far I have a kiln room/garden tool storage, art supplies storage room and art studio. We started this project about 2 years ago and the largest part of the renovation is done.  After about a year off to work on other projects Scott is doing the final phase of building my work station and cabinets.  We tried to find ready made cabinets that we could just put a counter top on but could not find any that fit the bill, so back to the drawing board and Scott will customize them to my specifications.  The counter top alone is going to be exciting but a challenge as we are using 140 year old barn wood to make it and then clear coat it with Verathane. I didn't want a total white out like so many studios and this will help bring in a little rustic flare.
This week he got the base cabinet done that will be part of my work station and it took me most of the week to prime and paint it including all the shelves.  I have moved my painting area to the back of the room on my patio table.  I was able to finish and start a new painting while I was waiting for the layers of white to dry.  I am sure it is going to get more and more difficult to get paintings done as the space gets more crowded with the construction but I plan on trying my best to keep painting.
We hope to get all the cabinetry done by the end of March so I can get busy with my new project at the Zoo.  I hope to have a  series of great animal portraits done by the end of summer or sooner.  I am already planning out my next series of paintings when I am done with the animals.  I feel like I have to make up for lost time! lol
Hope you all stay tuned for the next phase of my art studio and artistic work.
You can follow me on Facebook at:

Monday, February 4, 2013


Giraffe on 9" x 12" Clayboard


I have been busy since the first of the year trying to do some self promotion at the encouragement of my friends and family.  First off I applied for an artist grant to help me re-emerge onto the art scene.  I have been out of the loop for a few years while taking care of my disabled grandson and although I still help care for Ethan every day, it has become easier for me to integrate time to paint into my weekly schedule.  I have found that painting with acrylics allows me flexibility to work on a piece in short sittings, yet still enjoy the therapeutic benefits of simply picking up a brush and creating art. I am also eager to make new connections and colleagues in the greater Lansing area.  My proposed project for the grant is to be the first "Artist in Residence" for the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI.  I will be painting, demonstrating and teaching wildlife art in the midst of Wildlife!  I am super excited about this because through this project I will have the opportunity to paint my favorite subjects more accurately as I will be able to observe them live and up-close, capturing their essence, characteristics and personality.  I will also have more ownership of the creative process through this project  because I will have access to take my own photographs, make sketches, and even record video of the animal so that I will have exactly the reference material that I need to create the best finished pieces.    
The most engaging portion of my project will be the public demonstrations that will be accessible to anyone who visits the zoo while I am there painting.  I have found that nature is often the subject that new artists, both young and old, are drawn to. Painting at the zoo seems a perfect way to engage people and ignite their creative spirit.  While demonstrating, I will have an assortment of blank canvas boards, brushes and paints available for anyone who wishes to try their hand at painting. I know from experience that it can be intimidating to try something new, but my hope is that individuals will feel comfortable joining in even if they may not feel confident in their artistic abilities, they will be intrigued and inspired by the live animals, and will want to learn how to capture them through painting.
  I plan to kick-off my series as a demonstrator at Potter Park Zoo during  their annual International Migratory Bird Day Celebration on June 1st.  Throughout the summer I will demonstrate and hold acrylic painting classes at the zoo.  My project will culminate with an exhibition of my 10 completed pieces that will be held in the zoo’s Safari Room on September 15th.  The Potter Park Zoo has been very generous in offering to help me procure this grant by offering the space for my classes and waving my numerous admissions to the zoo as an in-kind donation.  
I will try to keep a journal of my progress over the summer months and share it here.  You can also follow my zoo adventures on my facebook page  I look forward to meeting new artists and making new friends through this project, and of course all the cool animals I get to paint!