So Close…

I’m so close to finishing my time painting!  I can’t wait to move on to my next piece.  While taking a break from painting this evening, I stumbled upon the website for New American Paintings.  If you’ve never picked up this magazine/book, then you are really missing out on something wonderful.  I’ve been a fan of the magazine for years.

There are 6 regional competitions each year across the United States.  Each issue showcases the winners of a different region.  Every year, I always miss the deadline to enter in its competition.  This year, I will finally make sure that I submit work.  The magazine is more like a book with beautiful prints of each winning piece along with a short bio of the artist.  It is such a fantastic showcase of so many artists that I most likely would not have discovered.  When you pick up an issue, you feel so overwhelmingly inspired to create.  It makes me want to push myself further.  To try something new and exciting.

Another great feature of the publication is that it shows so many different genres of art.  It is not limited to only abstract or realism.  Check it out or you will be missing out!  Back I go to place my nose to the grindstone…

If you are interested in checking the website out, visit

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We have had fantabulously gorgeous weather the past few days.  On Wednesday, I was pulled out of the house to the park with Adrian and our pug Jacques.  Jacques had a blast but pooped out pretty early on.  We then traveled to the italian ice stand where I had a delicious strawberry shortcake misto shake.  Jacques had a swedish fish flavored ice that stained his little beard red.

It was so beautiful that I started thinking about the possibility of attempting to create some landscape paintings.  In the past, I dabbled in working with oil pastels and had a small collection of landscapes.  They can be fun and freeing.  However, they never seem to fully satisfy my need to work with smaller still life setups.  When we returned home, I continued to work on my clock piece.  It is coming along and should be completed by next week.

Yesterday, I made the 3-hour trip to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to be treated by my Rheumatology docs.  Once again, I almost had a mental meltdown with trying to make it to my appointment on time.  Can someone please explain to me why Penndot feels the need to take 2 lanes of the highway and close it down to one lane for miles and miles?  The large orange and white barrels blocked the left lane for what felt like an eternity with not a single soul in sight working on the road!  I finally made it to the hospital and they were wonderful enough to still see me even though I was ridiculously late.

After my visit, we walked around Fells Point.  We ate a delicious dinner at a small restaurant by the inner harbor and then visited our favorite record store in the area.  The trip ended with a super creamy gelato sundae and a long ride home.

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Tick Tock……Tick………….Tock……..

The clock reads 3:49am.  What was originally supposed to only take approximately one half hour has turn into a 3 hour project.  I decided to move my journal from another site to  I completely underestimated this venture.  Anyhow, here I am.

Tomorrow (in all actuality, today) is my day off.  Another prime opportunity to complete my current piece.  The weather has been beautiful for the most part and makes it so tempting to spend time outdoors. I must embrace sunlight deprivation and remain indoors!

Time…it can be a terrible, awful, harrowing, loathsome, and unwelcome thing.  Constantly looming over my head, I hear the “tick, tick, tick” of a mental clock.  It’s a catch-22.  I become frustrated over the lack of hours available for me to paint.  At the same time, I am impatient for a section to dry to apply the next layer of paint.

Paint is a pretty neat material.  Some colors dry faster than others.  Black tends to dry slowly, so you can add some red to quicken the drying time.  Which leads me to the subject of color.  Color!  So many choices.  It’s so easy to get caught up in getting the color just right.  However, if you are a realist painter, form is more important than color.  If your goal is to make an object look 3 dimensional on a 2 dimensional surface, remind yourself that creating the correct shape and values are more important.  You will have a more successful result.  Are you picking up what I’m throwing down people?

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Everyday Battle

Fur.  Oh boy.  While trying to finish another section this evening, every few moments a piece of fur goes slowly floating through the air.  It hovers for a moment or two over the wet paint.  I attempt to wave it away, yet that just seems to hurry the inevitable.  When the single strand finally lands in the paint, it seems to be magnified.  Frustrated, I try to carefully remove the hair.  This always ends up being a bigger ordeal that makes me contemplate shaving my pets.

I adore my little ones.  We have a pug named Jacques, a fat cat (weighing 30 lbs.) named Kiwi, and a little kitty named Rocky.  The animals would feel naked without their fur, I’m sure.  But I would be a happier painter.

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An Ode to Brushes

Some people love new socks and underwear, but I love new brushes (OK, so I too love new socks and underwear). Here are some of my lovely brushes resting in a wine glass. If I could, I would have a new set of brushes for each time that I sat down to paint. I have always been a fan of Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold brushes. They hold their shape well and the bristles are made of better quality. There has been some debate on whether or not the price of brushes always indicates their quality. Of course, you usually do pay for what you get. However, when in a bind, I have bought cheaper brushes in the past. There are some great inexpensive brands out there. The brushes may not last as long but they seem to perform just fine. One day, I hope to be famous and hire a personal assistant whose main job will be to wash my brushes for me at the end of the day.

I am currently working on a piece that was inspired by the dreaded clock that is in my head. I tend to work better when under a specific time deadline. As soon as I saw the vintage clock at the thrift store, I had to buy it. I find the imperfections and wear on these toys charming.
My hope is that when my viewers see my work that they feel a touch of nostalgia.

Today while working on a tiny area that has a great amount of detail, I sneezed. And where did the brush fall? Directly onto the one inch spot that I had been working on for 45 minutes. I yelled so loud that I woke up the dog. Tomorrow is a new day…

Well, I guess today is tomorrow…

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Behind the Scenes

“You should be painting.” These 4 words I have heard come out of the mouths of my boyfriend and friends for quite some time now. It becomes so challenging to find the time to balance painting with a full time job. “You should be painting.” The words repeat themselves when I sit down to watch a movie. When I sleep in until noon. When I take on other projects that are not nearly as rewarding. I finally have gotten back into the groove of wanting to paint, consistently. This little journal will hopefully serve as additional motivation for me. It also will hopefully be inspiring other people out there that are desperately trying to juggle work with their passion. In addition, I do have an auto immune disease that sometimes completely wipes me out. It has come to the point where I refuse to let me rob me of what I want to do. What I NEED to do…paint.

And away we go…I’m a traditional painter who uses non-traditional subject matter for my paintings. TOYS. I love vintage toys. Especially vintage Fisher Price little people. They are ingenious and there is a vast variety of them. Trips to my local thrift stores or estate sales are my little pieces of heaven. The difficult part is deciding where to store everything! I definitely do not want to end up on one of those hoarder reality TV shows.
I hope you enjoy…

"Last Ride Before Closing" 11"x14" Oil on Board

"Little Women and the Men Who Love Them" 8"x10" Oil on Board

"Games People Play" Charcoal on Blue Paper

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