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.***

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quinces & Apple {Bountiful Observations no. 42}

Quinces and Apple

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

When I purchased these quinces from a local farmer's market, the guy tending the stall said that it was a rare person who knew what quinces were and who so determinedly made a selection of them, so he wanted to know what I was going to make with them.

I smiled, probably a little sheepishly, and said I was an artist and planned to use them in a still-life painting because I liked their shape and form.

Though maybe I will make this quince paste, and serve it with my favorite manchango cheese...

{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 9, 2012

the autumnal sun

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature, not his Father but his Mother stirs within him, and he becomes immortal with her immortality. From time to time she claims kindredship with us, and some globule from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter's moon,
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief.

― Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crab Apple and Silver Cup + Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser

Still Life with Crab Apple and Silver Cup

6" x 4" (15.2 x 10.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H

To help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, 100% of the net proceeds of the sale of this painting will be donated to the Red Cross.

We were lucky that Hurricane Sandy did not affect the DC region as predicted, and instead I have been amazed at the level of devastation that other areas along the Eastern seaboard have experienced. This image from New York Magazine really brought the magnitude of those affected home to me, I am really a visual person and a picture says a thousand words.

When thinking of all the chaos that this storm has created, all I want to do is contemplate something calm and soothing, and find a bit of distraction. So on Monday when I set out to paint something to donate to the DPW fundraiser auction, I settled upon a small crab apple and the beauty of a silver cup, reflecting its surroundings in such a reassuring manner.

If you are interested in this painting, please visit the online auction, and to learn more about the other auctions taking place on the DPW website, please click here.

Thank you,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Petunias II - Second of a Triptych {Bountiful Observations no. 41}

Petunias II

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

I look forward to the day when Naomi begins to play make-believe and wants to start hosting tea parties for her dolls and stuffed animals.  In a way, I imagine these times will be full of color, chatter, and a sense of friendship, with a table set with flowers, an old and maybe chipped tea set, and some of the embroidered linens from my collection.

Maybe a scene similar to this will be set on her table...

{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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Watercolor & on Being a Mother

This week I pulled out the watercolor supplies and began to dabble with them again.  It has been a few years since I last used them and it was a pleasure exploring their properties.  When working with watercolor I am never quite sure how the painting will turn out because I like to experiment with the way pigment is dispersed in a wash of water, and revel in the happy accidents that occur.

While working with the watercolors this week I began to think about the similarities working with this medium has with being a mother.  In that I never know how a painting will turn out, all I can do is try my best, give it my whole attention by noticing the details and keeping an eye on the overall goals, and most of all, by hoping that because I have been fully engaged in the process, the painting becomes something to be proud of.

A lot like motherhood, don't you think?

My goal with Naomi is basically the same, I want her to grow up into a happy and resourceful person, someone to be proud of.  In being a mother to her, my goal is to interact with her in a cooperative and respectful manner, acknowledging that she has her own freewill and that she already enjoys doing certain things on her own, which almost always create unexpected outcomes.  I know ultimately Naomi will become her own person, and all I can do is be as fully engaged in her life as I can be and support her as she explores and grows.

the darling has a passion for collecting rocks,
we need to find a place to keep them all