Life is Brief, Art Endures

Vita Brevis, Ars Longa

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I hate to do it, but I think it might be time for me to retire.  I am officially a Sr. citizen now.  I need to stop pulling the late nights in the studio I have always done to be able to do commissions plus all the other things I need to do.  I will still paint when I have time, but choose to no longer take commissions.  It takes me a very long time to do the layers I do and much tedious work.  I will be ready for a break after I complete the portraits I am working on and have deposits for now.  It has been my pleasure to paint all the beautiful children and meet the families.  Maybe I will find time to teach in the future. 


Yes, her eyes are really that blue.  Adorable sister to Hydrangea portrait below. 


 24 x 30 Oil on Canvas

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I love to use these one-of-a-kind, rustic frames by troy craftsman, David Withrow. He makes amazing frames and furniture out of cedar, and recycles the town square Christmas tree each year.
If you are in the Troy area, be sure to check out the art show at the Johnson Center for the Arts that exhibits through Dec. 30.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Red, White and Blue

12x18 Oil on Canvas
I had only about two weeks to get this painted for the Roots Exhibit, Artists of Pike County. I pulled out this photo of my neighbor's son, Gage, that I did quite a few years ago, taken in front of my very red barn.. Loved the way he would squint his left eye with his shy smile. He was so angelic looking. Now he is a very cute older child.
This painting was done with a very limited palette, using transparent glazes of rose madder, cad. yellow, and Cerulean blue to create the translucent skin. Background is venetian red.  I needed this to dry quickly. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


Star Jasmine

16x20  This cutie is brother to Camelias

Friday, November 4, 2011


What's in my hand?

18x24 Oil on Canvas
This is the brother to Ferns below. I wanted to find a background that complemented hers. One more cutie to go as I start their little brother soon.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Due to the numbers of portraits I am working on, I will not be taking new deposits at this time. You can be put on a waiting list for when I get time to take new clients and be contacted in the order you are placed on the list.

(Does not apply to clients I have already done a painting for and who have more than one child. Those that are waiting to have another child done at the same age and manner will be worked into my schedule)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My client was sweet to send me photos of these framed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This sweetheart is the brother of the Feb. 08 pastel below. I love doing siblings as I get to know the family so well. They have a little brother I look forward to painting.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I just got back from photographing in Austin, TX. The child was one of the cutest kids I've ever seen with a personality to match. His mom wants the portrait to reflect Austin's laid back, eclectic style. What he was wearing and the backdrop of downtown's San Jose hotel were perfect! I can't wait to start his portrait. My husband and I also got to camp and explore out in the Texas hill country with my brother and his wife that live near Houston.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Memory of Striker

Aug. 1994-Oct. 1, 2010

No cat could out-purr, out-eat, or be a cooler cat than this one. He never met anyone he didn't like or a kid who didn't love him. He had been a model for kids in art classes and was a favorite at show & tell. He was a wonderful companion to my children and their friends. Striker was a "whole lotta kitty". We miss him!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


18x24 Oil on Canvas


This child reminds me so much of my own lovely daughter when she was this age. She even had the same dress. Brought back memories as I painted her.

Monday, October 19, 2009


24 x 30 Oil on Canvas


I enjoyed doing this portrait with all the blues. I hope I captured her sweetness and beautiful features. This is a larger portrait and it took awhile to do. It has many layers and glazes. There were no hydrangeas in the reference photos and I added them from gardens and kept flowers in my studio to go by. I will get to paint her two younger sisters who are just as lovely.

Closeup of Flower


16 X 20 Oil on Canvas
This portrait was done from a sepia toned black and white photo. I changed the background and hands.


I wanted a pretty background to go with this adorable child. I painted these camelias from my garden, waiting patiently for them to bloom. Double-click for close up of detail.

Close-up of Bride

16 x 20 on Mi tientes board
It takes a lot of layers to get the depth with this medium.

Fall Break in Smoky Mountains

After a long stretch in front of the easel, I have to get outside.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pretty in Blue

16 x 20 on Mi-Teintes paper in pearl.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A short break in mountain

It was too cold to paint in my studio, but not to go hiking with friends for the weekend. The deep freeze just made things more beautiful. It snowed before we left! Now I am ready to get back to work.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Close up

16x20 Graphite/pastel on art spectrum paper

Pastel on sanded paper

16x20 graphite/pastel on Art Spectrum paper
I am trying out a sanded pastel paper called Art Spectrum Colorfix. Pastel is still a frustrating medium for me as it takes so many layers to get the depth I am used to with oils. This paper does not work as well with my favorite General pastel pencils or shading with graphite. It requires softer pencils. I kept this less detailed to go with the bright colors. This child always has her happy face on and is a joy to be around.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Sketch for Pastel

Pencil sketch on onion skin paper 16x20
This is the sketch of another beautiful child for a pastel portrait.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Study for Oil Portrait

Pencil sketch for 24x30 oil
I can't wait to begin painting this beautiful child. This is the head study for a full 24x30 oil portrait.

Back from hike

Great Smoky Mountains
Each year at this time, I take off a week to hike with friends. A long, challenging hike somewhere awesome is my favorite thing to do. I am an outdoorsy person and sitting in front of an easel all day is a bit hard for me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Discontinuing graphite with pastel

I have decided to no longer take new commissions at this time for the graphite drawings with pastels. I may offer something similar in color soon in another medium such as watercolor, acrylic or mixed media that will be in the same price range. Although beautiful, they are too time consuming to do.

If you have already commissioned or recieved a pastel and have another child you were wanting in the same fashion, I will certainly be willing to do that child in a matching pastel in the future, while not offering commissions in pastel to new clients. All pastel commissions that I curently have will be honored.

I will still offer graphite and graphite with charcoal portraits.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sketch for new oil portrait

For a 16x20 oil on canvas
This is a rough sketch for new oil portrait. I sketch onto onion skin paper, then transfer with graphite paper to canvas, using as few lines as possible and carefully redraw. I erase the drawing as I paint to avoid lines showing through. I can then begin applying the layers of oil paint.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Graphite with charcoal drawings

16x20 Graphite/charcoal on Canson Mi teintes paper
My graphite and charcoal drawings are drawings done on medium grey paper with black and white charcoal pencils used to add darks and highlights. The use of graphite allows me to make a very detailed drawing with subtle shading I can't get with charcoal alone.

Graphite with pastel

16x20 on Canson Mi-Teintes paper
I want to make sure that clients understand that my pastels are not traditional thick pastel paintings but are detailed drawings with color. I first do a graphite drawing and add color to it with subtle applications of soft pastel and pastel pencils brushed into the drawing. I do this over a med. tan paper that shows through the color allowing me to get a nice skin tone while contrasting with the whites and highlights.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Click for closeups

If you double click on blog photos, you can see large version of photo. Use your return arrow to come back to blog.

Precious child

16x20 Oil, head and shoulders
I used a classic background here as I painted this sweet toddler stage. She has grown up so much since I photographed her and no longer has chubby cheeks and has long blond hair now at two. I did a lot detail on the smocking and lace. The threads are raised and it has a three dimensional look and feel like the real thing.

Big brother

16x20 oil, head and shoulders
I wanted to keep the backgrounds and lighting similar to his sister's since they will hang in the same room. I enjoyed painting the beautiful eye color and long lashes.


18x24 oil on canvas
Just delivered this black lab portrait. She wanted brighter more whimsical elements to go with the dog's fun personality. The original photo had browns.

Portrait delivered

22x28 oil on canvas
I will will miss this portrait. This child was a joy to work with as he never complained and the weather turned very cold for his bare feet. I enjoyed painting all the different rich browns in this painting and look forward to painting his little brother next year who is just as handsome.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Questions about photos

I have had inquiries about the type of photos that can be used for a portrait. I prefer to take them myself or have my assistant take them. But if you have a particular photo you would like to use, I can usually make a portrait from it. It needs to be high enough resolution to see all the detail of the face and hands. The background can be changed. Here I had to take the photo where the light was best and there is a car in the background. I knew I wanted a dark fall background to accent the brown suit and focus on the child. I kept the dramatic lighting and lightened some of the shadows of the face. I like to have several photos as well as close-ups to go by as I use touches of each to develop the features. The portrait is not an exact replica of the photo although it seems photographic. The painting is completely original from the drawing to the many layers needed to achieve the likeness and depth.
I do need the photographer's permission in order to paint from a photo took by a professional photographer. There is a copyright on the image.
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

First Layer of Oil Portrait

Oil on Canvas 22x28
The first layer is done with Lead White, Raw Umber and Terra Rosa only. I use the "fat over Lean" rule. Now I can lay in a background that complements the portrait. There will be many more layers with thicker paint and more colors to add depth and realism. This layer will show through as I use more transparent color. The bench will be glazed to look like wood. Check out the slideshow of this painting on bottom left.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


16x20 on Canson Mi-Teintes paper

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Closeup of New Drawing

Graphite drawing with pastel 16x20

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

16" x20" Oil Portrait


24x30 oil on canvas
I just had to a portrait of this child at a glass door. I liked the mood of the photo and the reflections in the glass. I took the photo at the session for the Brothers portraits. I love to do interesting lighting.