Friday, December 18, 2015

Sweet Moo

Newest Painting!
Sweet Moo
6x6 Oil on Canvas

Monday, November 16, 2015

Old Glory and Flag Challenge

This week is all about Flags.

Old Glory- Oil on canvas board

To all those that have served or are serving our county
in Military service- Thank you.

Prayers for Paris- Oil on Canvas Board

And to all those in Paris...
my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Same little Bird- Take 2

I found an old copy of Black Beauty
at the Thrift Store a few months back.
Three books for a dime provided
me with the perfect back drop
for a second attempt at the
little bird I painted for my 3 color challenge.

"South for the Winter"- Acrylic on Board
7" x 3 1/2"

I decoupaged a page from the book onto the piece of board
then lightly painted over it with a thin coat of wall paint. 
My last bird was done in oil, however I wanted
the wording to show in the background,
so I opted to keep this one tighter and use

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chickadee 3

I was so excited to be able to participate in this weeks

The challenge this week was to create a picture using only 3 colors.
Those three colors could be used along with White
to make a total of 6 colors.

I decided to keep my pallet very neutral and used
Burnt Umber
Yellow Ochre
Unbleached Titanium
Titanium White!

Chickadee 3- oil on gesso board- 6"x 6"

Friday, October 9, 2015

Dreaming of Florence

Ahhhh... wishing I were back in Florence, Italy!

Florence- Oil on Canvas

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cottage Upgrades

Back in 2011 we purchased this adorable cottage in a nearby town!
We worked hard to transform this sweet place from
a dark knotty pine cabin look...

To something light, bright and airy!
If you want to see all the changes see:

Over the five years the outside has evolved as well! 

Above -is the photo from the real estate listing...

As soon as spring came around,
 we added some flower beds and plants.

We also added shutters to frame the front and side windows.

The following summer we painted (3 sides) of the cottage 
a tan color and the old metal awning white.
But were weren't done!

This past summer we punched up the curb appeal even more!
The white picket fence had been added the previous summer.
We decided to remove the old metal awnings 
and built a trellis in its place!
 The cottage found a new color 
- steel blue!
It was amazing how the greenish roof 
finally blended in and made sense!

Another small change we made over the past few years
was in the kitchen!

When we first bought the cottage the little kitchen looked like this!

Like the rest of the cottage- the walls and cabinets
received a facelift with new paint and hardware!

Which was a huge improvement,
but we are always up for a good project...
so when we found an antique slab of marble
at the local reuse store...

We snapped it up and had our local granite dealer 
cut and polish it for us to install!

The addition of a single bowl Ikea apron sink
completed the new look!

The choice of sink actually increased, as small as it is,
the counter space!

I love how small changes make big impacts!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mom's Favorite Painting

This is my Mom's favorite painting
 I have painted to date!

Up Past Midnight- Oil on Canvas

I am not always sure what will end up on the canvas...
A little secret.... 
this one started out as cherries!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kathy's Rooster x Two

This is my friend, Kathy's rooster!
I wish for the life of me I could
remember his name!

Anyway... My brain is showing my age!
A mutual friend was over visiting Kathy and took
a few photos and videos of her small coop.
I was so inspired I decided to try my hand
at painting her rooster!

Kathy's Rooster Take One- Oil on Canvas

My first attempt was an oil on canvas. 
The tone of this painting is soft and subtle.
I painted him during class and I liked
many things about this painting but
the artist in me is always
calling for a mulligan!
So I went home and painted a second painting!

Kathy's Rooster Take Two- Oil on Gesso Board

This second painting is smaller than the first one.
I also used Gesso Board for the first time.
Gesso Board is very smooth and it took 
some getting used to how the paint "slid" on the
smooth surface.
This painting ended up overall brighter than the first one!

I enjoyed the process of both paintings, but if I had to
choose a favorite I think it would be the Take Two!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sandwich, Sandwich

I have enjoyed getting to practice so many skills
while learning to become a better painter.

For instance:
How can I make an object "read" as shiny?

See how the jelly and the ends of the knife are shiny?
In order to create this "illusion" on canvas with paint
you have to make everything surrounding the highlighted
area darker!

Afternoon Snack- Oil on Canvas

This is my attempt of painting the
photo above.  I keep debating
if I want to go back in and add a few highlights
to the jelly on the sandwich, but half
of me likes the way it looks
like the jelly and peanut butter have smeared
together.  Anyone remember Smucker's Goober?
 I also took creative license
with the photo and removed the glass of milk.

Last week I tried another sandwich!

My husband's BLT!

Wayne's BLT- Oil on Gesso Board

Not only was I trying to create the illusion
of shiny, I was also trying to keep my brush strokes
loose and "painterly"!
Here I decided to removed the deep shadow
from the other half of the sandwich 
in the upper left hand corner, instead opting
to fade out that corner with a highlight.
It is neat just how many decisions 
a painting can take before you complete it!

And as always....
So many things to paint... so little time!

Sunday, August 16, 2015


I have just loved painting.
This painting started off as a group
of little girls running across
a field, but evolved into this...
one  sitting, reflecting and

"Waiting" - oil on canvas


Monday, July 27, 2015

Last Weeks Painting

"Reflective"    oil on canvas

Wishing you a week of Blessings!

Friday, July 17, 2015


My friends pup!

"Tokyo"   Oil on Canvas-  Gifted

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Black and White

These are two of seven black and white studies
for a series of little dresses I am painting
called "Monday's Child".
These small paintings are only about
4 by 6 inches and painted on primed panel board.

Monday's Child                            oil on board

Thursday's Child                   oil on board

Thank you for allowing me to share my work with you.
As a artist, and blogger, I have to muster the courage
to share this piece of myself with each post.
Your kind words of encouragement mean more to me
than I could ever find to put into words,

Have a wonderful day and God Bless!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


A New Painting! 

"Sweet!"       oil on canvas

I hope you are having a beautiful week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Breakfast Clean-Up

A new painting!

Breakfast Clean-Up

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Expression in Paint

 For years this blog has been a creative outlet,
but this fall, I felt called back to 
a different kind of creative expression.
My first love so to speak!

"Spring Sky"  - Oil on Board          Not for Sale

Every Wednesday morning from 9-12 since September, 
I have packed up my
art supplies and headed to a local
studio to paint, draw, and dream!

I have the privilege of working with a very talented local artist
here in Cincinnati- Greg Storer
I highly encourage you to click over to his website and
check out his studio and art work!

"First Dance"   -   Oil on Board      Sold

Greg encourage me to find something I could
paint a series of and I found dresses,
or... maybe they found me!

"Kate"   Oil on Canvas  
I graduated from college with a Fine Arts Degree,
but art had taken a back seat to life.
Not any more!
Wayne built me a wonderful new studio
here at the house so I can brake out the supplies
and paint to my hearts content!
I am hoping to occasionally share these
paintings with you.

Have a beautiful day!

"Oh, the new header photo is also on of my original paintings!"

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Pallet Home

I love a good pallet project!
And with the instant world of blogging and Pinterest 
it is easy to find all kinds of creative and inspired
Wall treatments, benches, wine racks,
book shelves, outdoor furniture,
chicken coops, headboards
and the list can go on and on!!!!
But this summer I ran across one project in particular that
humbled me to my core. 
This Summer I had the blessed opportunity to travel
with my daughter Madison to serve at a Orphan Care Ministry 
Back to Back in Mazatlan Mexico.
While in Mazatlan we primarily worked 
with three childrens homes.  However, one day our team had the
opportunity  to partner with a local church that worked in
the local "squatters village" called Las Vegas.  

Our job was to help a family build a roof for an addition to their home.

Just the size of the village was slightly overwhelming.  

Hundreds of homes where spaced out on make shift grids, including
streets with small fenced in yards and 
limited electricity (enough to occasionally light a single bulb).

It was explained that this land is often owned by the government, who 
at a whim could demand the village to 
be disassembled uprooting hundreds of families.
The home owners we were working with
explained that a property was rarely left without someone
"guarding" the property.  A property left unguarded
could be claimed by another family with out any recourse by the law.  

When we arrived to the home we were working on,
 we broke up into teams, each with a different job.
Some of the team began building the actual structure
to support the new roof.  

Another team began digging holes for the poles that will eventually
support the walls of the home.

Digging holes was a continuous theme across our entire week!
The ground is solid in Mazatlan!

The night before we came, the home owner stayed up for hours
taking apart countless pallets.
One of our teams had the job of removing all the nails
from the pieces of pallets. 

Everything from these pallets was saved 
to be used, including the old nails.

Some of the smaller pieces will be used to heat
the fire needed to cook food.

You can see the finished stack of wood
in the photo above.  Most of this wood
will be used to build the wall of the new room.

This is a photo of me (on the right), 
 the home owner Lilly (in the center) and a 
wonderful team member Susie (in pink on the left).
Thankfully, Susie spoke fluid Spanish and was
able to act as interpreter between Lilly and me. 

Above is a photo of Lilly's front yard.
She like many of the family's living in this squatters
village keeps a very clean yard.
Lilly grows different varieties of local food
and some of the most beautiful flowers.
Her husband works in construction, taking what ever 
jobs he can to support the family.
She has 4 children.
If you look at the yard, notice the tarp with photos
of what looks to be chefs, behind this tarp is
her outdoor (only) kitchen.

Looking at the photo above, you can see the
piles of pallets in front of what is
a tarp covered and walled 10 x 10 room.
The addition is being built in what we might
have considered the back yard.
The addition will more that double the size
of the house.
Lilly explained to us just what this addition 
meant to her family.

The size of her current home is just not big enough
to house her entire family. 
At night her two older boys have to leave
to sleep with another family.
This addition will allow the family to stay together!

This is the view of the current house from the back side.
Notice how the walls are constructed:

Sticks and cardboard.
Meaning when it rains the cardboard gets wet,
making it necessary to replace often.
Also, it is hot in Mazatlan, very hot.
The cardboard does not allow for air circulation
with in the house.

The new walls will be made of pallets!
Yes, pallets!
Remember the stack of wood in the front yard
that we removed the nails from,
Those pieces of wood will be nailed
in between the openings of the pallet walls.
These new walls will allow both
water tightness and air circulation!  

You can kind of see from this side view how the walls
will go up.  The open slats will be filled in with
the wood from the stack.

By the end of our day the new roof was up!

Instead of a tarp, this new roof is made of a light weight 
waterproof plastic.

I wish our team could have returned to help put up the walls,
but I trust the next team will come and
make Lilly's dream a reality!

I learned something that week about 
I am thankful that my whole family
can all sleep together under the same roof!
I am thankful for a dry place to call home.
A kitchen where I don't have to stoke a fire in order to eat.
I am thankful knowing that if I
run an errand I will return to home that is
still here, not bulldozed down by the government,
not invaded by another family.
I am thankful for the access to electricity
which provides light, heat in the winter
and air in the summer.
I am thankful for running water...
and my list could go on and on,,,

But just as importantly, I am thankful
for the opportunity Madison and I had to experience
Mazatlan from the side of the orphans
and meeting Lilly!  
Knowing she is a mom just like me.
She loves her children and husband.
She takes pride in her small piece of living space.
She grows food and beautiful flowers, something
that I have never quite succeeded in doing!
She is generous (sending food home with us!)
She works hard everyday!
She, like me, is afraid of snakes!

Her house might be built of pallets,
but her heart is made of gold!