Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Speak no evil" month dedicated to Dad

I came up with an idea to do something I'm calling "monthly dedications" as an alternative to New Year's resolutions.

This month, for example, I'm going to dedicate to my late dad and try to emulate one of his qualities that an impressive number of people mentioned at his memorial service - and that is not speaking ill of people. That includes gossiping, criticizing, tearing down, or laughing at.

It'll be a challenge but that's my goal for the rest of January. And it'll be fun to think of someone to dedicate February to and what I admire about them as something to try to do better.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


For a few special nonprofits, I like to donate a gift certification for a custom pet portrait for their fundraising auctions.   This painting is for someone who generously made the highest bid to support Dogs for Diabetics and is of her sweet older Labrador, Ginger. 

It's 12" x 12" oil on wrapped canvas.  Excited to send this off to its home soon.

Don't you just want to give Ginger a big snuggle?  Loved painting this dog.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Star Route Farms

For someone like me, a foggy day in Bolinas is heaven - and even more so if I'm painting outside!  The "Art on the Farm" group was given the opportunity to paint at Star Route Farms today, courtesy of Warren and Amy Weber.  My friend Noreen met me out there and it turned out we had great swathes of gorgeous fields and vistas to ourselves.  We shared excellent conversation and serene time painting.  My watercolorista mom had planned to join us but wasn't feeling well today.

I'd taken the dogs to the beach for a quick run prior and the cool weather was perfect for letting them nap in the car while we dabbed paint on canvas and paper. 

8" x 16" oil on canvas board - "Star Route Farms #1" - $650

8" x 10" oil on wood panel - "Star Route Farms #2" - $500

It's been a truly invigorating feeling to be painting again after so long.  I feel like the rest really did something powerfully good for me.  And, I sense that taking action and making art again is already shifting things around me.  Little things and big.  For example, one generous friend suddenly donated several beautiful canvasses for me to paint on and I "somehow stumbled on" a fascinating opportunity with a local art space.  More on that tomorrow!

Once these dry a bit more and I can take better (non-glare-y) photos, I'll be posting them for sale on my Etsy store if you'd like to purchase that way.  I'll update my blog to update you.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Keep on truckin'

It was a perfect sunny morning for joining "Da Group" for the first time and they welcomed me warmly.  Super friendly and talented group of folks! We met up at Larry's Produce in Fairfield, where I took the opportunity to buy sweet onions and peaches.  I was chatting with the check-out clerk there and said I was going to paint the old truck in the back and he looked really alarmed... then I realized he thought I planned to put paint ON the old truck... ha ha.  Cleared that one up and shared a little chuckle.

After not painting for several months, I was aiming just to get in the swing of looking and mixing paint and making marks, and happily put no pressure on myself to "make a painting."  And it felt really lovely to be doing that observing and dabbing of color.  I thought I'd been organized with my gear but quickly discovered I'd forgotten any medium and only brought one blue - made do with some Turpenoid.   This little piece may or may not be "finished" but I like it as a study for sure!  8" x 10" oil on gatorboard

I seriously need a bigger hat for the sun!

Larry's seems like a fun place to go with kids and maybe I'll take Elsa sometime and we can wander the fields where they let you "pick your own."   The pumpkins arrived today too.

On my drive to Larry's, I saw a lot of new development in Fairfield that had turned former farm fields into corporate parks akin to those in Silicon Valley and a bunch of new houses all crammed super close together.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meeting up and painting with "DaGroup" tomorrow

I have been a lurker.  For months now, in this strange time when I haven't been painting, I've been living vicariously, in part, through the blog updates by the plein air painting members of "DaGroup" based in Benicia, California.  Their founding member is Jerrold Turner, an artist I've admired for quite a while for his energy-filled colorful works... and also admire his generosity in organizing this free paint-out group.

Tomorrow, I've cleared the decks so I can finally go paint with these guys and gals.  Very excited, both to meet them and to get the gears oiled a bit... I'm sure I'm rusty.

I'm pretty sure that periods of "laying fallow" and resting are good in some ways, but I also felt isolated from a creative group of people, so looking forward to remedying that.

We are painting at Larry's Farm Stand in Fairfield.  Sounds like it'll be ripe with possibilities, if you'll excuse the pun!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Takes time for oil paint to dry!

And that's why, if you want to give a pet painting for Christmas or Hanukkah, I'd like to get your request by mid-October at the latest!

I have time to do 3 more paintings prior to holiday this year.  To get started, check out the process under the "Commissions" page here on the blog and shoot me an email (

I also have time to do 4 watercolor or oil pastel portraits on paper (see second photo.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013


"hey cutie"luddite transport, hmphlove going to the beach with the dawgssurveying the fuel transporterIMG_7344IMG_7346

R2D2, a set on Flickr.

my latest obsession

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

latest Sketchbook Project page

Took my Sketchbook Project book-in-progress with me to the park and penned in the drawing while Lulu and Grayson romped around and played with other dogs, then added some oil pastel back here at home. I love it here in Point Richmond!  Ran into my buddy Karen this morning and am starting to recognize so many of the local faces, even when I don't know their names.  Feels great to stay in one place for a while.

The theme of my sketchbook is "eating plant-based" and I got great encouragement at the annual "Hoe Down" fundraiser weekend in Orland at the Farm Sanctuary.  It was nice to be somewhere with 200 people and have the default be vegan food - no fussy checking of menus, just grabbing any yummy-looking thing and enjoying!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Snowball and Strawberry!

A lovely (much-missed) friend and colleague in Austin commissioned these paintings recently.  I love her sense of humor with calling her little jet-black powder puff pup "Snowball!"  Nothing perks me up like faces like these, I tell you.  12" x 12" in oil on canvas.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

eating animals

A couple more sketchbook pages

Another Sketchbook project page

Demonstrating the principle of - if something gets goofed up, do something else and paste it on top!