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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Love of Lilacs

I am happy to be back in the south near family and my southern roots. There are many blooming things here that are beautiful but I do miss lilacs in Pennsylvania. We lived 2 miles from Longwood Gardens and walked there several times a week. In May every year was a long pathway filled with blooming lilacs of all different varieties. The scent was wonderful, you could small it a block away. There is no way to recreate that scent in a perfume or air freshener. I will have to be content with painting them.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014


After I realized how many different containers were in this painting, I decided CHOICE was the best title.i was going for warm and cosy. Which vase would you choose?

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Harmony in Blue and Green

The colors in this painting are very pleasing to me. It has an analogous color scheme ( neighboring colors) that is a no fail choice. I used to teach elementary children about these colors by saying that they are like neighbors that like each other and help their friends. Wish we could all be good neighbors!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014


When painting repeated objects of the same size it is important to show variety somehow. Fortunately these daisies were photographed in strong sunlight so there is a wide range of values in the whites and centers. The result is a kind of glow that is pleasing.
I finished up most Christmas shopping today although I am always out the day before Christmas Eve still looking for the perfect last thing.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Six o'Clock

This is painted from a photo taken on our early morning walks in the summer. I tried to show the heat present at even that early in the morning. This is not a Canadian six a.m! A lovely time of day.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

French Hydrangeas

There is no reason for this to be called French other than that is what popped into my head when I was thinking what to call this painting. It gets difficult to come up with clever or appropriate names for paintings; especially when there are close to 500 of them. That is a little mind boggling to think I have painted that many. I still look forward everyday to paint just one more.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Geranium Glory

My favorite part of this larger painting(16x20) is the movement in the leaves. I can't say I planned it that way but I am glad it turned out. Almost dancing!
I am finishing up making 12 dozen oatmeal cranberry pecan dipped in white chocolate sprinkled with pecan pieces cookies! They are to be sold at our church annual cookie sale . We make money to be used for missions locally and abroad. You can get a sugar high just walking into the room.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blue Wall

The greenery is what intrigued me about this plant.Careful observation shows that the leaves are all pretty much the same color but the light hitting them changes things .They change from very dark blue green to a bright yellow green.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Perfect Mason

Yet another Mason jar. I just love painting these jars; especially the blue ones.By slowly building up shapes that I see, a kind of magic happens when they all come together and become a glass is so much fun-almost better than ice cream!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breath of Fresh Air

I painted this one a while ago along with a much larger version. What drew me to the subject matter was not just the beauty of the flowers. It was the harmony that occurred when these different colors came together.You might never choose to wear orange and pink or orange and purple clothing but the effect is glorious in a painting!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Easel

I found this metal easel at Marshall's. It is the perfect size to hold this 12x12 painting of geraniums. Also cheaper than framing!

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pearly Vessel

I really like the look of this pitcher/ vase. It is almost like an oyster shell look or Mercury glass. It was the perfect thing for these lilacs.It was fun to paint.
We went to a nursing home this afternoon with a church group. We have a little party for some of the residents and make root beer floats for them. One of the ladies there asked if my husband was my father! I got a kick out of that. Of course he has gray hair and miraculously mine is not! Haha . One also whispered to someone asking if he had money or not.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014


This is a watercolor I painted a few years ago in a Judi Betts workshop in Trenton, Tn. Trenton is a charming small town but didn't have any hotel rooms. I stayed in Humboldt a few miles away in a typical old time motel. I was surprised that they offered a continental breakfast. When I woke up I went to the lobby to check it out. They were offering Sunny Delite and white powdered doughnuts! Too funny

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Lightness of Being

This painting turned out to be very high key which is appropriate for a sun filled setting. I am getting more comfortable with an abstract background. I read an article by a painter that explained all of the formulas for mixing greens. It was sound advice but I think most artists develop an intuition for color mixing.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Attention Getter

I like it when the painting becomes more abstract. Instead of painting individual leaves and stems I paint what shapes I see.
I want to paint today but I know cooking for Thanksgiving is on the agenda. I am making Out of this World Rolls. They are wonderful! I would rather eat one than cake.
If you want the recipe, let me know.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Summer Afternoon

One of the many things I learned from Qiang Huang's workshop was his method of applying a light coat of medium to the canvas surface before painting. This makes the paint apply more fluidly. I like the watery effect it gives,almost like a watercolor.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pear Yoga

These pears seem to be doing some serious yoga positions. I don't do yoga. I have nothing against it; my body is just pretty resistant to some of the poses plus hip replaced. But I do wear yoga pants ( which are what sweats were in the '80's).After wearing them all winter people were surprised that they couldn't fit into regular clothes. Miracles of elastic and spandex!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Triple Red

I have been noticing all of the amaryllis bulbs at this time of year. I love the beautiful flowers- the reds and even the whites.they are pretty easy to grow, even I can't kill these ! My father could grow anything but the gene did not pass down to me. He was also very creative but was never able to develop it. He talked about when he was young he would try to draw the mule and plow in the fields but his father discouraged it. It was that time in history and his family was very poor. I try to imagine what he would have done if he was born in different circumstances.But then of course he wouldn't have been the dad that I loved.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pond's Edge

This is a small (6x6) landscape. I do love to have water in a landscape, it adds a lot of depth to the painting. I try to mix it up between florals and landscapes- actually so I don't feel like I am in a rut.
We are having an unusually cold November this year. Some snow is forecast for Sunday night,maybe I will have a snow scene to paint!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Library Flowers

These flowers must be smart because of their proximity to a book.haha
I love selling to people in different parts of the country.I sent a painting to Seattle and one to Chicago this week. It is fun to know that a part of me is in so many places - a way to travel without packing!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Late Summer Bounty

I loved the combination of the sunflowers and the hydrangeas.
I never know how it will turn out which is what makes painting do much fun.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red Drama

Sometimes backgrounds are hard to figure out. This one seemed to paint itself.the negative space should support the positive-- kind of like a wingman or the friend of the beautiful girl. Ha! Just interesting enough but not a show stealer.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I have painted these turquoise jars before. There is something about seeing that color combined with the flower colors that just sends a shiver. It is akin to a bite of chocolate or the sound of a saxophone. I just know it when I see it.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Meadow Bouquet

My friend and I paint in a building belonging to our church. There was a dying bouquet of flowers in the room and the custodian was preparing to throw them away. I was able to save these few blooms from their fate. This is the result but they didn't last much longer. Same fate, just a different trash can!
I participated in an art show at a local private school last weekend. I was fortunate to sell several framed paintings so I am very happy. A boost to the fragile ego.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

On the Vineyard

Our visit to Martha's Vineyard coincided with a heat wave. But the hydrangeas there were thriving despite the heat. I have a lot of photos of the charming houses and flowers there.

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Alice Clare's Flowers

We went to a friend's house for brunch on Memorial Day. She has a beautiful backyard and everything was in bloom.I took a lot of photographs that day and this little pot was in one of them.It was planted with impatiens and in partial sunlight.
Although it is November 1 we are going to a Halloween party tonight. (Scheduling problem). I am going to be a pirate; I searched for a parrot today (stuffed) in vain.Oh well. People might have gotten me confused with. Jimmy Buffet fan!

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Friday, October 31, 2014


This is a watercolor for a change. These flowers were in an art center in Pennsylvania where I took classes.At the time it was late afternoon and the shadows were wonderful. It was a pleasure to paint them.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Daffodil Time

Of course it is not really daffodil time but here we are anyway.I am sure some greenhouse somewhere there are some growing but a photo will have to do for me.The red tulips add a little pop to the whites of the daffodils.I am reminded of spring which reminds me that I need to buy bulbs soon. We always try to time our purchase so that they are on sale later in the season. Our climate is so mild here that we often don't plant until late December.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Aqua Vase

Zinnias continue to fascinate me. I love the shapes the flowers and the leaves make.The still life is made up of pieces like a puzzle;hopefully they ultimately fit together perfectly.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gray Ladder

This is a slice of life painting.i like the strong shadows cast by the pots.I seem to choose the close up corners of buildings rather than the whole structure. Maybe this because I like to leave something to the imagination.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It is hard to explain what catches my eye for a painting subject is hard to explain. It is kind of like the phrase" I know it when I see it."It could be some interesting shapes or colors or just some unusual objects that catch the light in just the right way.Once I start painting it is always a mysterious journey to see what will happen. I think that is what I love so much about painting. I really appreciate the opportunity that I have to pursue this wonderful thing I am blessed with.It beats shopping for entertainment!

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Location:Window Dressing

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cool Shadows

Although the flowers are bright and colorful in this painting, I think the cool shadows become the important element here.
This summer was our 25th wedding anniversary. Instead of a jewelry gift for me I suggested a "summer of love" concert tour. (homage to 1969) Tomorrow night we will attend a Ryan Adams concert in St. Louis as our last concert of that tour. We saw James Taylor twice,Ray Lamontagne,David Gray and Counting Crows. Best summer ever!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Hidden Hills

Landscapes are an abstraction to me. When painting distant objects I naturally think of the scene as an abstract. Maybe because there are less details. I enjoy popping in unexpected colors.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Geraniums and Shutter

Good things come in threes- especially in compositions in paintings. An odd number always works, even numbers sometime divide the painting into equal parts that aren't as pleasing. There are exceptions to the rule when the objects are not equal size and there are other elements included. I have found that when organizing a composition if I trust instincts it usually works out. ( one of the few advantages of age)

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sun Geraniums

I paint a lot of geraniums;I think they are such happy flowers. The best view is of a sunlit plant that shows a variation of shades of colors. It would be pretty boring if everything was the same color. The background is just a suggestion. The camera does that for us in photography so we have to do it for ourselves in painting from life.Ofherwise our eyes would be on overload taking it all in.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Whites

That rule about no whites after Labor Day seems a little antiquated today. Especially here in the South where it is often warm into Late October. In fact we are at the Gulf Coast beach today sitting in the sun. Ii was inspired to name this painting September Whites as homage to the rule.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Late Hydrangeas

I tried this painting several times and for some reason I couldn't make it work. I then made the background darker and it fell into place. Using pure black paint is a no no in painting because it turns out very flat. Gamblin just came out with a chromatic black that is made of green and red. I usually mix my own darks but I decided to try the new one. I love it! It is great to mix in with other colors; I used it with ultramarine in this painting. Maybe it is lazy, but I am all for convenience to allow me to create the next masterpiece. Haha

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hydrangea Chorus

When I choose to do a painting like this I have to be sure the values are correct because it is almost monochromatic. I have an app recommended by Carol Marine that changes a color photo to black and white.It really helps to see if there is good contrast of values.I try to make sure that every painting has a good balance of light, medium and dark values, even if one of those three is just there for a pop.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Blue Bench

This bench is in a park area. Hopefully it looks inviting to sit and enjoy the summer day. Today is the last day of summer. Although here in the south summer really extends into October, the best month of the year here!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bucket Sampler

Lilacs come in a variety of colors. I like the mixture of the whites and purples. No matter the color, the glorious scent is the same.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Red Pots

Red and green are complementary colors.I have taken photographs of red tulips in bright sunlight and the photographs always come out as almost vibrating because the contrast is so strong. When painting that color arrangement the trick is to dull the green with a little red.Green in nature is almost never just a color straight out of the tube.Changing the green makes the red the "star" of the painting. What divas!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Catherine's Kitchen

Our son and family recently built a new house near Nashville.Catherine (dil) had picked these blooms from her yard and had them arranged in a vase. I took them and an apple and set them on the kitchen table to photograph in front of a window. I like the backlit look of them. All before breakfast!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Geranium Close Up

I have painted geraniums before but this never this much of a close up. The shapes become almost abstract.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Perfect Sky

On our morning walk we were blessed with this beautiful pink sky. I took a photo and painted it when I got home. We are lucky to have such a beautiful place to walk!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Single Sun

I never tire of sunflowers. They are so beautiful and sturdy hopefully turning toward the sun.Painting them is like therapy!

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Best Blooms

After painting with bright colors for a week, I enjoy switching gears for some more understated painting. This one is has color but more muted and neutral.these flowers were such a pleasure to paint.
My daughter has started back teaching art in a new school district. It is hard to believe she is beginning her seventh year. It gives me a sense of continuity that she is following the career path that I took.Teaching children can be a headache sometime but it is a worthy endeavor.What other job has people so glad to see you walk down the hall?

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Market Share

I love walking by flower markets, even the flowers in front of small groceries in big cities like Boston. I think it is the combination of all the colors. Each flower by itself is not as impressive as the group. Maybe that could be a metaphor for our lives?

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Garden Chair

I like garden settings that look inviting. This blue cushioned chair is just waiting for me to sit and and enjoy the view. Rather than smooth brush strokes I chose to add texture with some stronger strokes.I love that every time I sit down to paint I never know what is going to happen. That really suits my personality. I remember loving to substitute teach because everyday was a new niece hated doing that because she liked to know exactly what was going to happen. We need all kinds of people ( her house is much neater than mine!) but I will keep doing what I do.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Serious Pansies

This is a small(6x8) painting of a few purple pansies. I like the very close up approach. I am thinking that maybe I get a little too close. I went to the eye doctor yesterday. I examined my glasses before I went and found several tiny dots on the surface. I realize that they are paint! I was able to get them off of the surface. Maybe I need some welder's headgear!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rose Gate

I saw a lot of this kind of scene when traveling in Massachusetts this summer. It is like roses are meant to hang around white picket fences. Summer is going to fast; although I won't be sad to say good bye to the upper '90's we are having this week. Think cool!

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