Friday, December 30, 2011

The Two Faces of Janus

Janus is the ancient Roman God of beginnings and transitions.  He is the namesake of the month of January.  He has two faces.  One looks forward to the future and one looks back to the past.
As you make your plans for the new year take a look at your past and your future.
What lessons have you learned in 2011 that you can apply to 2012?
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
-Jimmy Dean

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Wind in the Trees

The Wind in the Trees
Oil on Canvas
9" X 12"
Original $275.
Available on Etsy
Caresses, expressions of one sort or another,
are necessary to the life of the affections
as leaves are to the life of a tree.
If they are wholly restrained, love will die at the roots
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

This quiet landscape painting features a beautiful tree
on the Broad Ripple Canal in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Create a Painting in 3 Simple Steps

Autumn Day by the Bridge
This painting will be available at the Fletcher Place Show opening April 6th
I am often asked how I create a painting on canvas.  Here is a breakdown of my process in three steps...
Step 1
Paint on a light wash of acrylic paint.  This sets the tone of the work.

Step 2
Paint a layer of acrylic.
 This is another thin layer that blocks out the shapes into the darkest and lightest forms.
Step 3
Paint a THICK layer with oils.
I used water soluable oil paints to create the final coat which almost completely covers the previous layers.  The biggest tip I can give is to make the paint as thick as you can at this stage. 
I sometimes even paint with a palette knife to get a maximum thickness. 
Most often however I use a traditional brush.
I have found that creating multiple layers makes a work more rich. I always put at least three layers on my paintings.   
One important thing to note is that you can paint oils on top of acrylic paints, but not the other way around.  Once you start using the oils there is no going back.

I would love to hear others folk's methods....

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
-Maori Proverb

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year.
Now we can welcome back the light... and yes it will get worse before it gets better.
Winter winds are going to blow but don't give up.
There is light at the end of this tunnel.

Let us gather together to celebrate light.
Let us celebrate our differences and our similarities.
I believe that we created this beautiful variety of holiday traditions to get us through this darkest time.
Together we can do it.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Dollar and Eighty-Seven Cents

Bridge over the Canal
This painting will be available at the Fletcher Place Show Opening April 6th
Friday my computer died.  Yeah- it is the worst.  The hard drive is toast. 
I lost videos of my daughter... sigh.

But you don't take anything with you when you die.  I've got to let it go. 

We spend so much time documenting it all.  Honoring it, putting it up on a pedestal.  All people, all artists create the kodachrome.  I believe that it is still worth doing even if it will be destroyed later.  We create our art then let it drift away like teenagers fleeing the nest.  It is our gift to the world. 

Of all who give and receive gifts, such as these are the wisest.
-O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

So let's all bake cookies then eat them.  Let's share the love.

O Henry

Monday, December 19, 2011


It is rare to officially "win" anything.

Last week I bought a book I am excited to read called No Ordinary Woman, a manifesto on how to be a fabulous woman in our crazy world.

And for this I WON the artwork below by the artist Barb Bazan!!!

Isn't it awesome!  It quotes Charlie Parker:
"If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn."

Another artist recently told me that if "I don't toot my own horn, no one else will."  

We have got to be loud about it!  Yes!

Thank you Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli and Barb Bazan for your generous gifts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Riding the Wolf

Riding the Wolf
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"
SOLD from Etsy

 "There is still somewhere deep within you
 a beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted."
-from Morning Poem by Mary Oliver

Inspired by the Art Nouveau style this painting depicts a woman standing on the back of a wolf.  As I painted the wolf emerged from the swirls by accident.  Now he brings a whole new meaning to the picture.

So... are you riding a wolf?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Shelf Elf

I added hair, fancy ribbon and a lace skirt.


The children's librarian side of me loves gifting kids books.  This year one special kid in my life is going to get her very own Elf on the Shelf book with a new and improved Shelf Elf. 

Oh what fun it is to craft and play!


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Old Woman and the Vinegar Bottle

What if your wishes were granted?

Click below to hear my latest podcast featuring the folktale of the
Old Woman and the Vinegar Bottle.
Also available on iTunes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why paint realism?

Illinois Street Bridge Painting
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"

When painting it is impossible to depict every leaf of a tree.  So... why do it?  Since the advent of the camera why do artist's continue to paint landscapes or anything else in our concrete world?

Simple Answer:
It is fun.  Playing with the yummy colors of a landscape is my idea of a good time.

Cheesy Philosophical Answer:
To honor the beauty we see. To reflect it back.

Art communicates with the viewer or listener.  When I share a story I have a hidden message for the audience.  When I paint my message is to celebrate the beauty I see.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Notes on Nudity

Notes on Nudity
Oil on Canvas stretched over frame
9" x 12"
Original $275.
Available on Etsy

Inspired by Rodin's Danaide sculpture and the Art Nouveau style I created this painting.

I would like to contend that when I paint a nude it is meant to honor our human form.  To lift up our sensitive side and put it on a pedestal.  Here we are at our most honest. 

I have tried to define the difference between this and pornography, one thought being "I know it when I see it."  But the best distinction I can make is that porn depicts the "other," someone else that we are staring at in a wolfish manner whereas the nude in art reflects us.  We are looking at ourselves.  Is this an odd definition?

Mr. Bones winner of the award for
"Most Exposed Model"

I'm not for gratuitous nudity, but if there is humor I don't have a problem
-Rebecca Romijin

Hence we now have "Mr. Bones" who won the prize for the "Most Exposed Model" drawn in my Anatomy Studies class at the Indianapolis Art Center. 

We started by examining the skeleton, the idea being that if we can understand the core structure of the body we will be able to draw it better.

So what is our core stucture?  Mr. Bones has all kinds of bolts to hold him together while we have tendons and tissues.  What is holding us together?  Can we reflect a human soul in a picture? 

P.S.- My current "partner in crime" hates my nudy paintings and prefers my landscapes- what does that mean?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Odyssey

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer." 

Click below to hear my latest podcast featuring Homer's the Odyssey.

Also available on iTunes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Etsy Shop!

Festival of Venus Painting
Available on Etsy!

Exciting news- I just opened up an Etsy account:

On this site I will be posting small paintings for sale (and saving the larger items for gallery shows.)

After all that work setting it up- I now need a piece of chocolate.  Wheww.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Forest at Holliday Park

The Forest at Holliday Park
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"

Holliday Park in Indianapolis is the sort of deep rich forest where your blood pressure lowers as you enter it.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes claim upon men's hearts,
as for that subtle something,
that quality of air,
that emanation from old trees
 that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
-Robert Louis Stevenson