Friday, July 30, 2010

An Aunt's Love

The winds of grace are blowing all the time.
You have only to raise your sail.

–Sri Ramakrishna


An Aunt’s Love
8″ x 8″ Acrylic on Ampersand Artist Panel

This is my niece holding the hand of her niece.  It’s lots of layers of Golden Fluid Acrylic.  I had fun playing with the shadows on this one.

Ryan (asmalltowndad) painted a beautiful watercolor from this photo.  You can see it here.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bengali: Ramkṛiṣṇo Pôromôhongśo) (February 18, 1836 – August 16, 1886), born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (Bengali: গদাধর চট্টোপাধ্যায় Gôdadhor Chôţţopaddhae), was a famous mystic of 19th-century India. His religious school of thought led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda- both were influential figures in the Bengali Renaissance as well as the Hindu renaissance during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of his disciples and devotees believe he was an avatar or incarnation of God.  more…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

School of Fish

“We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.”
– Etty Hillesum


School of Fish
Two 4″ x 4″ Acrylic on Ampersand Panel

This was a fun one to paint.  If you were to relate it to the quote today, each fishie could be a little worry, nibbling away at you.  Have you ever stood in a lake or a stream and felt the fish nibbling on your legs?  It’s weird!  :)

About Etty Hillesum

Etty Hillesum, less famous than her contemporary, Anne Frank, lived a short life of great courage. She was born in 1914 in the Netherlands to a Dutch father and a Russian mother. She studied law, Slavic languages, and psychology. Hungry for knowledge, she cut down on food in order to buy books. She went voluntarily to the Westerbork camp to help fellow Jews interned by the Nazis. Her letters detail her experiences; her more meditative diary focuses on issues of faith. She died at Auschwitz in 1943.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rural Fire Truck

“Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.”
– Louis L’Amour


Rural Fire Truck
16″ x 20″ Acrylic on Canvas

I have really been struggling with this painting.  I am not used to painting so large and when I mess up, I mess up BIG!  It’s the sky.  I have repainted it 3 times and I’m not sure about it this time either.  I would love to hear your thoughts on it.  No really… I can take it!  :)

I set it into a frame to see if it would help.  It’s not actually framed or even signed yet.

About Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour, the author known for his pulp westerns, wrote more than 100 novels in his lifetime. Born in North Dakota in 1908 as Louis LaMoore, he worked across the southwestern U.S. on a string of backbreaking jobs including longshoreman, elephant handler, and cattle skinner. He saw his writing as akin to telling tales by a campfire and wanted to be remembered simply as a good storyteller. He won the Medal of Freedom in 1984 and died in 1988.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


“All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.”
- Joseph Jourbert


5″ x 7″ Acrylic on Ampersand Clayboard

This one just makes me happy when I look at it.  There’s just something about sunflowers.
Did you know there was a National Sunflower Association?

This photo was printed from their gallery.  It is okay to post this, as long as I tell you where I found the photo.

Can you imagine how breathtaking it would be to happen upon this wonderful field of sunflowers?  Wow!  :)

Joubert, Joseph (1754-1824). Author of pensées, maxims, and some remarkable letters. He was early in contact with Diderot, and later a friend of Chateaubriand, Bonald, Fontanes, Chênedollé, and other major figures of the age. Suffering from poor health, he led a retired life, except for serving under Napoleon in the education ministry.

Much admired for the concise, accurate, at times witty quality of his writing, he refused to compose any work of length, preferring the private ‘carnet’, in which he combines a classical quest for concision with an introspective, analytical bent. He writes in the La Rochefoucauld tradition, but with a more tolerant, even Epicurean view of mankind; his critical judgements on writers are often remarkable for their acuity. A collection of his Pensées was published by Chateaubriand in 1838, followed by the fuller Pensées, maximes, essais et correspondance, published by P. de Raynal in 1842.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Innocent Cat

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”
– Samuel Johnson


Innocent Cat
4″ x 4″ Acrylic on Ampersand Clayboard

I promise, it started off innocent enough.

Really…. it did.

Do you ever wonder what makes an artist take the turns they take in a painting?  Well, I think you know better than to try to figure out where my head is, but I think this is a perfect example of an innocent beginning gone crazy.

Did I have fun?  You bet! :D

About Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, the sharp-witted British essayist, wrote the first English language dictionary; his definitions still form the backbone of current dictionaries. He was born in Staffordshire in 1709. Johnson married a widow 20 years his senior and lived in poverty before achieving success with his essays when he was in his forties. Later in life, he befriended the young James Boswell, whose Life of Johnson became the quintessential English biography. Johnson died in 1784.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bears on Skates

The best thing that can come with success is the knowledge that it is nothing to long for.
Liv Ullmann


Bears on Skates
4″ x 6″ Watercolor & Sharpie on Postcard

I have been working intently on so many acrylic signs that I needed a little 20 minute quickie break.  This was fun.  Of course, I made it up as I went along.

I’m working on a 16″ x 20″ Acrylic painting that I was hoping I would have ready today.  (Good Grief – the big ones take a long time.)   Then…. I had it looking pretty good and I tried something on it that didn’t work, so now I am going to spend hours fixing what only took me 10 minutes to do.  I guess this is part of my learning curve.  :D

Liv Ullmann

(born Dec. 16, 1939, Tokyo, Japan) Norwegian film actress. Raised mainly in Canada and the U.S., she returned to Norway and made her stage debut in Oslo. She became internationally famous in the films of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, including Persona (1966), The Passion of Anna (1969), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), and Autumn Sonata (1978). Noted for her expressive face, natural beauty, and intelligent performances, she also starred in other Swedish and international films, including The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1973), and appeared on stage in the U.S. and Europe. She directed and cowrote Sofie (1993) and directed Private Confessions (1999) from Bergman’s screenplay.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


“It is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be.”
– Anatole France


3″ x 5″ Acrylic on Paper Mache Box Lid

My niece, Chelsi, took the most amazing lady bug photos.  She was generous enough to share them with me.  They are in the WetCanvas reference image library, if you ever need a ladybug reference.

I sent Ryan (Asmalltowndad) one of Chelsi’s photos, because he does hands so beautifully.  He did it in watercolor and I think it turned out great!!    I love it!

The neat thing about this painting is that I can look at my niece’s hand (shown here holding her niece’s hand) and I can see my sister’s hand (her mom).  Thanks, Ryan!

About Anatole France

Anatole France was the pen name of Nobel Prize–winning French author Jacques Anatole François Thibault. He was born in 1844 in Paris. His father was a book dealer, and France spent his life among books, including 14 years as assistant librarian to the French Senate. His novels, including the Contemporary History series and The Gods Are Athirst, often use allegory and religious symbolism as vehicles for moral questions. He died in 1924.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.”
– Groucho Marx


4″ x 6″ Acrylic on Paper Mache Box Lid

I got this dog from the WetCanvas Reference Image Library.  I love her face!  Here is how the whole box looks…

I have noticed it’s been quiet on the blogs lately.  Is the heat getting to everybody as much as it is me.  I am slowing down to a crawl.  I never thought I would look forward to winter.  But, I think I am.  :)

About Groucho Marx

Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was the wisecracking central figure of the Marx Brothers comedy team, waggling his eyebrows in movies like Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera. He was born in New York in 1890. His mother organized the family into a vaudeville act, which didn’t become successful until Groucho began ad-libbing jokes and insults. In the forties and fifties, he hosted the wildly successful radio and TV quiz show You Bet Your Life. He died in 1977.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Counting Sheep

“Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”


Counting Sheep
6″ x 6″ x 3/4″ Acrylic on Ampersand Artist Panel

These panels are wonderful!  They are smooth, yet there’s a little bit of canvas like texture.  They are cradled, not wrapped.  Of course I painted the image around the edges.  :)

There is just something wonderful about sheep, grazing in a meadow.  Now I have to take a nap.

About Ovid

“Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet known as Ovid, best known for the epic Metamorphoses, is considered one of the greatest poets of Latin literature. He was born in 43 B.C. in what is now Italy. He rose quickly in Roman government and was on track to become a senator when he chose to devote himself to poetry instead. His tale of Pyramus and Thisbe is the source for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Emperor Augustus exiled Ovid from Rome for unknown reasons in 8 A.D.; he died in exile in 17 A.D. “

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lily Farm

“By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.”
Winston Churchill


Lily Farm
6″ x 6″ x .75″ Acrylic on Ampersand Artist Panel

This is the scanned version of this painting.  The lily is really a little too orange in this scan.    I took the photo below, on the hood of my jeep in bright sunlight.  That’s more like it!  :)

This is a combo of a couple references.  I took the picture of the lily at our local community garden.  The hay bales came from Sundiver’s reference in the WetCanvas reference image library (RIL).  If you haven’t discovered the RIL at WetCanvas, you have to go take a look.  They have a lot of beautiful images to paint from.  Here are the ones I have uploaded over the last three years.   You may realize that I’m a little weird, if you look at too many of them.  *giggle*

When my husband saw the early painting (below) he asked me why I was painting a field full of dough wrapped hot dogs (pigs in a blanket).  He is too funny.  He also does not “get” this style of art at all.  He tends to enjoy my more realistic paintings.  :)


Winston Churchill
The American author Winston Churchill (1871-1947) was known during his lifetime for his historical and political novels.
Born in St. Louis, Winston Churchill went to Smith Academy, then attended Annapolis. He served briefly in the U.S. Navy, working as an editor for the Army and Navy Journal, and then joined the staff of Cosmopolitan Magazine. He had been encouraged to write during his years in the Naval Academy and soon began a career as an author.
Churchill’s first novel, The Celebrity: An Episode (1898), satirized the era’s literary and fashionable world. This book introduced him to the public and gave him practice in portraying two kinds of characters that eventually loomed large in his works – the politician and the business tycoon.  More…

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cone Flower

“We cannot swing up on a rope that is attached only to our own belt.”
– William Ernest Hocking


Cone Flower
5″ x 7″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Aqua Board panel

My favorite artist, Don Tiller, uses blue trees a lot, but I haven’t quite pulled it off.  This may get re-worked.  :D

I am hosting the WDE in the All Media Art Events forum on WetCanvas this weekend.    If you have never participated in the WDE (Weekend Drawing Event) you may want to try it.  We paint with a 2 hour time period in mind.  We don’t have to finish our piece in 2 hrs, but we post our progress at 2 hours if we aren’t done.  It’s fun.

The AMAE forum is actually where I learned to paint again after a 30 year absence.  I have only been painting now for 3 years and I have grown in leaps and bounds, thanks to my generous friends at WetCanvas.  They have given me so much encouragement!    Give it a try:)

About William Ernest Hocking

William Ernest Hocking, the idealist American philosopher, wrote 17 books, mostly on the philosophy of religion in modern life, and taught philosophy at Harvard for 29 years. He was born in 1873 in Cleveland to devout parents of modest means, and it took him ten years to finish college while working. In his books, he explored mysticism and the nature of God as well as the conflict in the Middle East. He died in 1966.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Best Friends

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
– Grace Murray Hopper


Best Friends
5″ x 7″ Acrylic on Canvas

Can you tell I have been enjoying the acrylics a lot lately?  I am lingering in this phase longer than I usually do, but I’m having a great time!

Here is the base coat ….

I also tweaked the Trio of Birds and I am happier with it.  I applied more layers and took the yellow off one of the bird’s feet.

The original post of the birds can be found here.

About Grace Murray Hopper

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, the American computer pioneer, was the first woman to become a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society. She was born in 1906 in New York. By age seven, she was taking alarm clocks apart to see how they worked. She worked for the U.S. Navy developing the first compiler, which allowed people to write computer programs in real language rather than machine code. When she found a moth inside a computer, she coined the term “debugging.” She died in 1992.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Radiant Rhino

“Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.”
– Ruth Gordon


Radiant Rhino
5″ x 7″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Clay Board

This was so fun!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happy rhino before.  :)

We had some drama at our house last night.  There was a very young spotted fawn in our font yard.  He was just standing there, on the hill near the edge of the woods.  He was all by himself and just standing there.  We were really worried about him.  Where was his mom?  There was another doe and an older fawn over near the driveway, but he didn’t go to them and they didn’t seem to care that he was standing there all alone.

I think a full hour passed.  We were beginning to worry about nightfall and bobcats.  He even laid down for a bit, then stood in the same spot again.  We couldn’t imagine why his mother would leave him all alone.  (We were watching all of this from inside the house so we wouldn’t scare him.)  It was as if before she left, she told him to not move from that spot.

Then, after what seemed like forever, a doe appeared.  She stood quite a ways from him.  Then he saw her and recognized her and took off like a shot!  He ran to her and dove under her legs, wiggling all over and wagging his little tail like crazy.  He nursed frantically, wagging that tail the whole time, until she got tired of him and moved away.  He was so happy!!  I have never witnessed anything like that in my whole life.  I just had to share!  :)

Here’s the base coat of the rhino.  (yes, Carol…. you should try it)

About Ruth Gordon

American actress Ruth Gordon is best known for her roles in Harold and Maude and Rosemary’s Baby. She was born in Massachusetts in 1896. At age 19, she moved to New York to pursue acting; she performed in plays for the next 20 years. She and her first husband, Garson Kanin, wrote five film scripts for Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, including Adam’s Rib, which was based on the writers’ own marriage. She died in 1985.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tobacco Farm

“How I relate to my inner self influences my relationship with all others.  My satisfaction with myself and my satisfaction with other people are directly proportional.”
Sue Atchley Ebaugh


Tobacco Farm
5″ x 7″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Canvas Panel

I had a great time doing this one.  Again, I started with a black gessoed canvas and drew my lines in with watercolor pencil.  Here is the base coat.

You can see, if you compare the two, that it developed a little differently than it began.  I just played with layers and layers of color, until it felt done.  I have been enjoying the acrylics lately.  I seem to go through phases.  Watercolor / acrylic / watercolor  /acrylic.  No… my head is not spinning.  :D

Sue Atchley Ebaugh

Funny thing happened when I did a yahoo search for her bio.  The first listing was a link to my blog!   It was because I had this sentence on that post…

“I looked up Sue Atchley Ebaugh, but couldn’t really find out anything about her.  She has some great quotes out there, but no bio, that I could find anyway.”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trio of Birds

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle


Trio of Birds
Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Clay Board

This was a fun little painting to do.  In the reference photo, the birds were on a man, picking at his shirt.  I made up this little fantasy setting.  Here is how it all started…

I painted the panel with black gesso, then when dry, I drew my lines in with watercolor pencil.  I then painted in a base coat and after it dried, I wiped off the pencil lines with a damp rag.  There are a bizzilion layers of acrylic on the finished painting.  I say finished, but seeing it here in the monitor, I can see where I may need a few more layers.  It’s amazing what a scanner picks up that I don’t see with the naked eye.  :)

About Aristotle

Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher who is considered one of the most influential thinkers in history, wrote a number of books about science, poetry, and ethics. He was born in 384 B.C. in Macedonia. He studied with Plato in Athens and later tutored Alexander the Great. His death in 322 B.C. was rumored to be caused by hemlock poisoning.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Painted Chicken

“Forgiveness is a gentle refusal to defend ourselves against love any longer.  It is a willingness to perceive everyone, including ourselves, as either expressing love or feeling a need for love.”
Gerald Jampolsky


Painted Chicken
8.5″ x 11″ Watercolor on Yes! 

While I was preparing for my newsletter, I went through my store of paintings to find things to upload to my website.  I saw some that made me cringe and some that made me giggle.  This one made me giggle.  There are many things wrong with it and there is not a shadow in sight, but I love it for all of it’s plain old simplicity.    There’s just something American Pie about it.  :)

I thought I’d update you on a painting I posted a while back, asking how I should finish it.  It has been sold!  I finished it the way the new owner requested and this is the result.

I painted a 1.5″ gallery wrapped canvas with acrylic, matching the watercolor on the background of the painting.  I then attached the painting to the canvas and coated with clear UV sealant.  Isn’t it fun when things work out that way?  :)

Gerald Jampolsky

Best selling author Gerald Jampolsky is a child and adult psychiatrist, graduate of Stanford Medical School and an internationally recognized authority in the fields of psychiatry, health, business and education. Dr. Jampolsky, founder of Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California learned about love and forgiveness by helping thousands of adults, children and families over the past 30 years deal with the psychological, social and spiritual aspects of facing both chronic and life threatening illnesses. In his best selling books “Love is Letting Go of Fear”, “Forgiveness: The Greatest Healer of All” and in his latest book,”Shortcuts to God: Finding Peace Quickly Through Practical Spirituality” he reminds us that health comes from achieving inner peace and forgiveness is the medicine that helps get us there.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Forgotten Grandeur

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Forgotten Grandeur
5″ x 7″ Watercolor
This is a great old house that I succeeded in flattening.  I may have to come back in with some  ink to give it some depth and stonework.  What stopped me is the leaves.  I didn’t want to ink all the leaves.  :)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Waldo Emerson is truly the center of the American transcendental movement, setting out most of its ideas and values in a little book, Nature, published in 1836, that represented at least ten years of intense study in philosophy, religion, and literature, and in his First Series of essays.
Born in 1803 to a conservative Unitarian minister, from a long line of ministers, and a quietly devout mother, Waldo–who dropped the “Ralph” in college–was a middle son of whom relatively little was expected. His father died when he was eight, the first of many premature deaths which would shape his life–all three brothers, his first wife at 20, and his older son at 5. Perhaps the most powerful personal influence on him for years was his intellectual, eccentric, and death-obsessed Puritanical aunt, Mary Moody Emerson. Yet Emerson often confessed to an innate optimism, even occasional “silliness.”  More…