Tuesday, January 26, 2010


In the past few weeks the snow has melted and come again, and temperatures have been up and down. The joys of winter in Ohio! As I noted earlier, I did get out for a few pictures, some of which turned out well. There was really only one that struck me as exceptional, though - the one posted here. It was taken along the frozen edge of Twin Creek, just as the ice was starting to melt. I was actually looking at the creek itself, and nearly stepped on this leaf before I noticed it. I love it when I come across something unexpected, it's one of the joys of photography to capture such ethereal moments.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Walk away

Sometimes it's necessary to walk away from a painting for a bit when it isn't working well. I decided to do this with the roses posted below. Repeated attempts to get them right were only leading to frustration. I haven't given up entirely, just set them aside for a bit, to come back at a later date with fresh eyes.

The arrival of a set of new pastels early in the week was a welcome distraction. A box of top quality half sticks in 10 shades of blue was immediately opened and played with, resulting in the quick study seen here. I had never really grasped what "buttery texture" description meant until now. They are truly a pleasure to work with. The only problem is that I would now like to have an entire set, some 500+ colors, which at $4-5 each is not realistic at this point. Someday though, someday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Struggling with roses

I've started working on the pastel I mentioned earlier, based on the photograph posted below. An album of the work thus far can be seen on Facebook. It's been a bit of a struggle, and I am now remembering why I usually avoid roses - they are notoriously difficult for me! Much of the rest of the painting turned out well, and I am especially pleased with the camera. After working and reworking the roses though, I was quite tempted to give up and simply cut the paper in half. But I've decided to give it another try after wiping off the roses and laying down another layer of primer. With all the work that's been put into it, it's become a matter of pride now to finish it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pick your favorite!

I recently came across an online art contest that has piqued my interest. Typically I avoid these as there are so many out there and it can be difficult to tell a genuine one from a scam. But this one is affiliated with a legitimate web hosting site, one that was recommended to me by members of the Cincinnati Art Club when I took a workshop there this fall. This is a monthly contest, and with an fee of only $14 per entry, I'm tempted to give it a try. As I was going through my portfolio to decide which pieces to enter, an idea came to me: what if I let you decide?

Go to my site and browse through the images. Pick your favorites, up to three, and let me know what they are. Because it's entirely online, it can be any work, even one that's been sold. You can drop me an email or comment on this blog or on Facebook. At the end of the month, I will pick the three favorites and enter them in the February contest, and post the results here and Facebook.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Staying warm

What lovely weather we are having! 3-4 inches of snow fell during the day yesterday, sending the kids home from school early, and canceling school for today. It's quite beautiful, actually. I would be tempted to go tromping through the woods taking pictures, but the wind chill is near zero, and will stay there for several more days. It's overcast as well, making the lighting less than ideal. In short, it's a good time to stay inside and draw and paint.

Yesterday I did a series of sketches in preparation for a new pastel. I'll start on the pastel itself later today. The idea for this one came from a picture that a friend had posted on Facebook. She's an amateur photographer with an excellent eye. It just goes to prove you can find inspiration in unexpected places, even Facebook. Thanks, Katie!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The new and improved blog

Welcome! In this blog I will be sharing my thoughts primarily on art but also archaeology and life in general. After 15 years as an archaeologist, I decided two years ago to pursue a dream of mine, to become a professional artist. It's been a sometimes frustrating, often rewarding journey. I have questioned the wisdom of the decision a few times, but have not yet regretted it.

If you have been following my progress for awhile, I'm sure you've noticed the rather sudden change in my blog. While I've been happy overall with my web site, I found the blog template very limiting, and decided to make the switch. You can find the old blog on my site, under the heading "blog archive". You will also find that I've eliminated a few images and galleries as I have trying to make the site slimmer and more cohesive.

If you are new to me, I encourage you to visit my site, where you will find many images of my artwork, as well as an artist statement and biography. I also have a Facebook fan page that everyone is welcome to join.

As a preview, I have posted one of my favorite oil paintings. It hung on my bedroom wall until it was sold last month and given as a Christmas gift.