Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays! {and I am taking a break from blogging for the next two weeks}

Hello my friends –

Are you ready for Christmas and New Years?

I had big plans to keep juggling preparations for the upcoming holidays while also being especially productive in the studio. However, this morning I realized it would be best for my sanity to take a break from blogging, and return in the New Year refreshed.

I will return to blogging on the first Monday of the new year {January 7th}. While away I will continue snapping photos via Instagram {efloydstudio}

May you have a blessed holiday and a joyful new year’s eve!


instagram: efloydstudio

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Bountiful Observations Series {end of year review}

As we are near the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite paintings from this series.

In a Private Collection

This composition embraces my personal philosophy on art and beauty, in that even ordinary things have the potential of being remarkable. Here are common dandelions, weeds to many people, however as flowers taken away from someone’s perfect lawn, I think they are just beautiful.

The flower was the third bloom an amaryllis bulb gave me last winter, and I viewed it as a special gift. Like an unexpected gift from a good friend. Just because.

On the day that I completed this painting it was a bright and beautiful day, sunny and clear after a week of heavy overcast. Everything came together, and I just remember feeling the energy and excitement of it and how a sense of the promise that spring was not that far off was in the air...

In a Private Collection

This was the first painting completed after two very stressful weeks as a mother caring for my daughter, Naomi. We came out of this time fine, better informed and able to adapt for her needs. When I returned to the easel, I was feeling at such peace with the world that this painting just seemed to flow out of me.

Like a symphony flows over you, with all the senses energized, but at the same time you are quiet, listening, and have a heightened sense of awareness.

In a Private Collection

The quality of light was going through the seasonal change from summer to autumn when this painting was completed, as were the plants in the garden. It was my goal with this composition to highlight these seasonal changes. I was captivated by the fleeting golden reflections on the glass, the ripening of the crab apples from green to red, and a hydrangea deepening in color due to the temperatures dropping during the nights.

I find it so amazing that there are so many subtle details that begin to announce the changing of the seasons. Often overlooked in the busy-ness of the day, however when a moment is taken to just notice, I always feel so much more refreshed and full of life.


This series was my attempt to document the year, gathering flowers, plants, and observed impressions of the seasons and distilling these thoughts into the creative process of art making. I was inspired to embark on a project that would improve my sense of observation while also keeping me accountable to paint on a weekly basis while adjusting to the new demands of being a mother.

It was such a rewarding process, that I have decided to continue working on this series into the next year. Adapting the format some to account for another layer of exploration. So where this year every painting of the series was 8 x 8 inches square, in 2013 I am going to allow a bit more freedom of size. I am thinking to work within the sizes: 8" x 8", 8” x 10”, 10” x 12”, and 12” x 12”, varying the format depending on what type of composition I am inspired to capture.

Having another year to explore the impressions of how bountiful the seasons are will hopefully enable the opportunities to incorporate some of the blooms and details that went out of season before I had a chance to paint them this year.  I am particularly looking forward to the spring time!

As this series continues, please signup to receive email updates so you do not miss a new painting.

Thanks for visiting and reading,


Friday, December 14, 2012

Tone on Tone {Friday Inspiraton}

{a beautiful wall in the store}

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Loi Thai's Swedish antiques store, Tone on Tone, in Bethesda, MD. A beautiful store full of predominantly Swedish furniture, antique creamware, and antique botanical illustrations. While there I fell in love with all the creamware, especially a grouping of pitchers.

{love these pitchers... I want them all for my paintings}

Loi is also the author of the beautiful blog, Tone on Tone. Where he posts about interiors, his design philosophy, and his travels. If you want a short escape to savor beautiful images and come away refreshed and rejuvenated, then I highly encourage you to become a weekly visitor to Loi's blog.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the last few months.

. spending a day at home

. collecting creamware

. in his garden at the end of summer

and his christmas tree is so beautiful!

Have a wonderful weekend,


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gingerbread Man Cookie Ornaments

This December I became a bit concerned about how to decorate the Christmas tree because we have a large collection of glass ornaments. And now that Naomi is a toddler, and that she gets into EVERYTHING, I feared for her safety with a tree full of glass ornaments and I did not like the idea of only decorating half the tree. Instead I opted for something we could decorate with while also involving Naomi with the process, and gingerbread man cookies came to the rescue.

When I was young I would make Christmas decorations with gingerbread. The decorations always smelled so good and looked so festive, so it seemed like a good idea for this year.

I adapted the Honey-Spice Gingerbread Cookie recipe from this December's Martha Stewart Living magazine to meet Naomi's dietary needs by removing the dairy and tree nut ingredients and substituting palm oil shortening.

The recipe calls for a lot of steps in the rolling out phase, which I did not do for the sake of saving some time. The cookies still cut well and kept their shape, so if you try this recipe you may also want to do this to cut your time down some.

Naomi loved icing the cookies and really loves to eat the cookies.  Some mornings the first thing she does is walk up to the tree and take a cookie down for a bite or two.  So some of the poor gingerbread man cookies have little bites taken out of them...

Monday, December 10, 2012

December's Bounty {Bountiful Observations no. 45}

December’s Bounty

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting: $300.00 starting bid + S&H

Sometimes a painting just comes together.

Last week I focused on another painting for this series, but my heart was not in it, and it did not express the feelings I have for this festive month. I wanted to create a painting that did, so I thought a bit about it, what I wanted to include that would distinguish and celebrate all that is available during the month of December.

When I found a potted hellebore at Whole Foods, I brought it home knowing it had to become part of the painting I wanted to create. Hellebore also goes by the name, Christmas rose, so it seemed perfect to include in the painting I had been building in my mind. I am drawn to the delicate structure of these flowers, and wanted to emphasize how luminous the petals are, even on a gray, low-light day in December. Thus the painting is darker in key than usual to emphasize the white petals.

Everything else just fell into place, the holly had been gathered earlier in the week and during the winter months I always have pomegranates around.  So after several days of thinking of a painting, one just seemed to come together.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday and enjoy this festive season.


{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Making Christmas {Friday Inspiration}

What is it that gets you in the mood for the holidays most?

For me, its wrapping gifts. Every year, I try to come up with a unifying component that brings all the wrapped gifts together, and this year I was inspired to incorporate a little greenery into all of the packages.

With the help of some florist tape, wire, herbs from the garden, and ribbon these mini-wreaths can be made in minutes.

I gathered thyme, rosemary, and oregano.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fields and Sky Landscape Painting & the new series, On the Road

Rural Virginia 4

approx 5” x 9” (12.7 x 22.9 cm)– oil on gessoed paper }
Matted painting: $175.00 starting bid + S&H

Do you love the open road? When you want to get away, do you drive in your car, like Peter Gabriel sings In Your Eyes?

For me, the answer is yes to these questions and many more that delve into the subject of self discovery and the road trip. For I love the American landscape, the openness, the scenes that fly by when driving fast on an interstate, and the fleeting images that also fill my mind when I look back on an era and thinki about the places visited then.

And these ideas are the inspiration behind this new series of landscape paintings, On the Road.

Over the next year, I hope to paint many views of the American landscape, some from photos I have taken, and most from photos given to me by others. Currently, I am looking for photo submissions, so please send me some from one of your favorite road trips and let's see where this painted journey will take us.

{How the painting looks matted, ready to pop into an 11” x 14” frame}

Feel free to send an email {} with a few of your images, please use "On the Road Photos" in the subject line. 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Artists Helping Artists Podcast this Thursday, 12/6


This Thursday {12/6/2012} at 12 noon EST/9am PST, I am excited to be a guest co-host on the fantastically informative and always fun Artists Helping Artists podcast.  The show's topic will be the "20 Most Important Tools/Tips for Your Studio".

Leslie has been building a list but we would love any additional suggestions to add, especially as some advice expands upon a topic so much more...  Please leave a comment with your thoughts or email them!

Listen live this Thursday, or download it to listen to the show and past shows at your convenience via iTunes.


Monday, December 3, 2012

High Tea {Bountiful Observations no. 44}

High Tea

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting: $400.00 starting bid + S&H

Do you have a dream? Something that falls within the lines of a new focus or spending your energy on a new path?

I like to think that art inspires greater awareness in life, thus art inspires embracing life more fully. Encouraging an openness to what is in front of you, actively asking you to find ways to appreciate what is nice, what is pleasant, so that things begin to add value in unexpected ways.

All this enables the possibility of dreams being allowed in, allowed to grow, and maybe someday attained.

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rural Virginia 4 {a new landscape painting}

Rural Virginia 4

approx 5” x 9” (12.7 x 22.9 cm)– oil on gessoed paper }
Matted painting: $175.00 starting bid + S&H

Another installment of rural virginia from a summer road trip.

Today, I drove out to the Front Royal area to deliver some paintings and so wanted to snap some photos for this series but because I was driving and had Naomi in the car with me, I deemed it too dangerous to try to drive and photograph... It was almost torture because I was so captivated by the patterns created by golden fields and the lines of trees that separated the fields.

Now that the leaves are mostly down from the trees, this week I have been fascinated with how the edge of the trees interact with the sky.

What have you noticed this week?

{How the painting looks matted, ready to pop into an 11” x 14” frame}

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rural Virginia 3 {a new landscape painting}

Rural Virginia 3

approx 5” x 9” (12.7 x 22.9 cm)– oil on gessoed paper }
Matted painting: $175.00 starting bid + S&H

Being inspired by the idea of the open road, I have been diving into more landscape paintings... Here is another scene from southern Virginia, along the James River.

As the days have gone by, I have begun to call this series of landscape paintings On the Road... so please stay tuned for more to come.

{How the painting looks matted, ready to pop into an 11” x 14” frame}

Monday, November 26, 2012

Work in Progress: Last Flowers of the Season {Bountiful Observations Series}

{on the easel}

Last week before the flurry of preparing for Thanksgiving began, I went out into the garden to salvage the last flowers of the season, to my good fortune I was able to gather a few bachelor buttons, snapdragons, and alyssum.

The painting is far from complete, but I was lucky to get the flowers mostly in before I had to quit working on it. As a whole, I try to always work from life and avoid working from photos when painting flowers because it seems to me that the colors are so much more nuanced and accurate when working from the real thing. When I began this painting I knew it would not be complete before I had to stop, so I left the nonperishable items for later…

I believe finding large chunks of time to paint this December will be a bit difficult because I am now in full holiday mode, baking like a maniac and crafting to my hearts delight. I am especially inspired with the holiday spirit this year because this is Naomi’s first season where she can really engage and interact with all that is going on.

{Naomi helping me bake}

Naomi’s engagement is both a blessing and a challenge because she also has some very severe food allergies, which is difficult to keep her from eating foods that could cause problems. As a result, I have been scrambling this season to alter and come up with recipes that are free of dairy, soy, and tree nuts. Which means no butter, cream, milk, margarine, or nuts can be present in the foods traditionally found in abundance during this yummy season…

Here is my first attempt at making a pie for Thanksgiving… I still need to work on the crust as the special soy and dairy free shortening does not quite work like regular butter or shortening would… luckily it was still a hit, and Naomi couldn’t help herself from grabbing a bit of crust when I was trying to snap a photo of it.

{caught in the act of grabbing for some pie crust...}

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful and a good kick off for the rest to come. In this spirit of the holiday season, this month I am going to be trying something new on the blog by sharing some of the baking and craft projects that Naomi and I work on.

So please stay tuned as I interweave some of these posts alongside those featuring my artwork.

Have a good start of the week, and thanks for reading,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a most bountiful thanksgiving day, shared with ones you love and full of good spirits and cheer. I hope you find time this holiday to savor the simple moments that make such days so extraordinary.

Thank you so much for being a part of my life.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rural Virginia 2 {a new landscape painting}

Rural Virginia 2

approx 5” x 9” (12.7 x 22.9 cm)– oil on gessoed paper }
Matted painting: $175.00 starting bid + S&H

I am busy on new landscapes, all inspired by road trips. A lot of ideas are floating around in my head, ideas coming from all sorts of places, making it hard to gather them all together and coherently sharing them with you. As soon as everything falls into place, you will hear about it.

Thanks for stopping in and reading, I so appreciate your visits!


{How the painting looks matted, ready to pop into an 11” x 14” frame}

Monday, November 19, 2012

Autumn Reflections {Bountiful Observations no. 43}

Autumn Reflections

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting: $400.00 + S&H

A new round of autumn color appeared this week in the DC region. It is more delicate and sensitive than the early exuberant colors that announced the changing of the season.

The subtle colors and near naked trees are inspiring a more thoughtful state of mind in me. I feel encouraged to savor the simple beauties of life, like holding with two hands a hot steaming mug of tea, hugging Naomi and bundling her in layers of blankets for our morning walk, and in the evening having a hot plate of stew or soup.

How does the autumn inspire you?


{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life Lately... Naomi is growing up...


I just wanted to pop in and share some photos of Naomi, she is getting so big and is becoming the master of her destiny. Which in turn makes me so proud to see her personality develop.

She can be a very determined girl, wanting to help me out by carrying a shopping bag, or my handbag.  She is most often very friendly, playing well with children younger and older than her.

And then there are times of extreme tenderness, when she will hug me and move her forehead towards me so I can shower her with kisses...

Have a wonderful Sunday evening,


Friday, November 16, 2012

Rural Virginia - loving living here {a new landscape painting}

{sorting photos into groups}

Twelve years ago I moved to the mid-Atlantic region, and like many twenty-somethings I thought my time here would be a short stint to build some career credentials (I was newly graduated from architecture school). Well, a lot has happened since then, like I am now a full-time artist, and I call Virginia my home, a place I never want to move away from.

One of my favorite things to do with S. is to go on weekend road trips around the region. Often I am in the passenger seat, soaking in the views, and often I am snapping photos of glimpses of the landscape. These photos may not be masterpieces, but I love them because when I view them, I am taken back in time. Reminded of where we were in our relationship and of all the hopes and dreams we were contemplating then.

Tons of photos have been taken, some so beautiful, others not, maybe because of a blurred power pole or something else marring the scene.

I have always wanted to somehow save these photos and then I realized they would be great as paintings. Salvaging the beauty within while also overcoming any shortcomings. This idea has me so inspired that I am going through all our road trip photos and looking at them with a new eye, one with a mind on how to paint them...

So, expect to see more in the future, and here is my first one of rural Virginia, down near Smithfield or Jamestown VA.

Rural Virginia

approx 5” x 9” (12.7 x 22.9 cm)– oil on gessoed paper }

{How the painting looks matted, ready to pop into an 11” x 14” frame}

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a Magpie's Fancy & creative inspiration

It seems to me that the magic of blogging comes from the connections you make, the accidental stumbling upon another’s treasure trove of words and images. And one of my favorite diversions is following links, with just a sense of curiosity and in the process making a new discovery.

As an artist, who focuses mainly on still-life paintings, and being someone who fully embraces the beauty of objects, I am more inspired by words than by images. Words, especially prose, allow my mind to soar and describe thoughts and feelings I have, and I am happy to find that others also have similar experiences.

I am sharing this with you today, because I want to share the blog of a very creative person, a Magpie’s Fancy by Gigi Thibodeau. I happened upon her blog this summer and have been so delighted to read and follow along, and also to get to know her some. Gigi is a writer, talented at sharing her thoughts and feelings, and her words *speak* to me. When I read her posts, I feel as if we are friends meeting over a warm cup and using these moments to share observations and comment on how much they enrich our lives.

Blogging enables a cross pollination of ideas from different areas of interest and focus. Gigi writes about the writer’s life, its process, and does this with a love of words. She also illustrates these thoughts with her beautiful photography.

If you get a chance today, I encourage you to stop by her blog, as she has a special opportunity that is the fruit of this cross pollination of ideas and inspiration, a small giveaway of a painting of mine.

And if you have extra time, check out this post on “writing life”, one of my favorites.

Thank you for following this mental wandering. And I am curious, from what and where do you find inspiration? Please share, as I love knowing how others gather and get the spark that enflames their creativity.


*** all photos in this post were taken by Gigi Thibodeau.***