In a Engineers Home....

30"x 30"
acrylic on canvas

Here is the finished commission (custom artwork) I did for the couple that I mentioned here

They have a beautiful home, but they wanted more color in their living room. Her favorite flower was the Gerbera (gerber?) daisy and I agreed to do a painting of a floral arrangement.  I said, since I am doing this just for you, do you want to put some meaning into it?  Maybe a letter from a grandmother; photos; a memorable item; a vase? They decided on vases. The tall vase is from his grandmother, (all the way from Ireland) and the lady's head is from her mother. 
They loved it! 

Listening to while I paint:
Podcast:  Alec Baldwin hosts, "Here's The Thing"
                 Peter Sagal hosts,   "Wait, Wait.... Don't Tell Me!"

Audio Books:   Jules Verne author of Around The World In Eighty Days, narrated by the                                        FABULOUS  Jim Dale!


Through The Glass

8"x 8"
acrylic on gessoboard

Entered into Daily Paintworks "Through The Glass" challenge.

Click here to purchase.


Gerbera's, gerbers, ?

30"x 30"

Right now I am working on a commission (custom artwork), where the person  wanted more color in her living room and her favorite flower was the Gerbera (gerber?) daisy.  I said, since I am doing this just for you, do you want to put some meaning into it?  Maybe a letter from a grandmother; photos; a memorable item; a vase? They decided on vases. The tall vase is from his grandmother, (all the way from Ireland) and the lady's head is from her mother. 

Listening to while I paint:
- Dan Brown, "Inferno"
Stuff You Missed In History Class, "Building Disneyland's Haunted Mansion", 10/21/13 and 10/23/13
- Pandora


Stroke Update - Lifting Hooks

It's been three years since my stroke. I keep getting stronger (slowly) every day. 
A few weeks ago, I had a trainer at my club,  Joni Neilson (International Federation of BodyBuilders...she's fabulous!), suggest that I might try these lifting hooks. (well, 1 anyway....)

As you can see, the hook fits inside my hand and rests inside my palm and fingers. This is so my fingers and the hook work as a unit. They are, "Designed to enhance grip and reduce finger fatigue".

It has made such a difference! I lift about 5 times a week and before when using my right hand, my fingers gave out as the weight increased. Now I can lift more (they can lift 825 lbs) AND I can use both hands! Something I couldn't do before. I felt like crying when after three years I could use both hands, but it probably wouldn't go over too well in the weight room with all those guys...
Thank you Joni!!!!


The New President of Corban University

24"x 30"
acrylic on canvas

I finished the painting of Dr. Sheldon Nord. He is the new President at Corban University in Salem, OR. 
I got to meet him before I painted his portrait. As he told us his story and his reason for taking the Presidency at the school,  he got very emotional about Daniel from the Old Testament in the Bible:

 " I get emotional about Daniel in Babylon because we are living in a post-Christian culture, and probably one of the most relativistic societies ever.  We must be about preparing the next generation of Daniels who know, respect and follow God's word.  Our children will face unprecedented challenges in being salt and light.  The issues of our day demand courage, boldness and resolve like never before.
To Christ be all glory!!"

I got very emotional too!

I read through the book of Daniel, looking for a quote, but I decided that what he said summed it up perfectly! So, I asked him to send me his quote in his own writing:

I ended up tracing his writing onto my painting using Derwent Inktense pencils. You can add water to the dry pencil or wet the surface to create a strong, clear color wash.

  " Inktense pencils can be used dry for rich, intense color or washed out with a little water to create a vivid translucent effect. Once dry, the color is permanent and can be worked over with other media." 

I drew it with a dry pencil and then added a clear water wash. 
I wish I had these!

 They are Sakura Koi Water Brushes. "A fine, flexible brush tip and a barrel handle with a plug to carry water." 

If you have any other ideas about how I could have put the writing on, I love to hear them!

Listening to:

Truth For Life- Alistair Begg - Daniel

The Alton Browncast

Splendid Table


Old Masters Atelier © ProTrack

I bought an Old Masters Atelier © ProTrack  recommended by my good friend, David Darrow..

It is a mahl stick . "A mahl stick is a stick or thin pole about a meter in length (three feet) with a ball-shape pad at one end, used as an aid in painting," (About.com ) 

Because of my stroke, I can't hold a mahl stick because my right hand doesn't work. (yet!)

The ProTrack  is essential for me because it has a metal piece that screws into your easel.....

and it has another metal piece that holds the mahl stick.

 I can move the mahl stick back and forth or simply remove it.

There is a screw where I can change the direction of the mahl stick.

 Then when I paint, I can add little details...

or draw a straight line!

Here is a video by David Gray and Old Masters Atelier  promoting the ProTrack.

Thank you David Darrow!

Listening to:

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Excellent narrator Allan Corduner!

     "It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids - as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul."


Dr. Sheldon Nord

Here's what I have on the easel right now. It is a painting of Dr. Sheldon Nord to welcome him into the presidency of Corban University.

The canvas is 24"x 30".

I decided to use Golden Open Acrylics along with regular Golden Acrylics. The Golden Open has a slower dry time than regular acrylics.

I take a photo of it and remove the saturation, (make it black and white),
to see if I am getting the values right.

Here's one of the books that I use to help with values.

It called Exploring Color, by Nita Leland.

I will often paint it upside down. This helps me look at the shapes of the colors instead of telling myself that it is an eye or a nose or whatever! :)

I need to make some adjustments,
back to work!

Listening to:

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me , host - Peter Sagal



8"x 10"
acrylic on gessoboard
Click here to purchase
I took this at the Beaverton Farmers' Market. This little boy is simply fascinated by his shadow!


Traveling Through

"Traveling Through"
8"x 10"
framed, acrylic
Click here to purchase
I did "Traveling Through", for one of Karin Jurick's challenges. It was from a photo she had. I did it on a red background, which was challenging, but I just love the red popping through! 

I hope you don't mind, but occasionally I going to tell you what I'm listening to.....

While cleaning out my studio, (which I still doing!) I was listening to Garrison Keillor , and he had  a guest speaker, poet, Billy Collins. I have never been "into" poetry, probably because when I learned about it in school, they gave us something ancient that needed a teacher to explain it! But Billy has changed my mind..... :) (Trust me....just listen...)



10"x 8"
Acrylic, mixed media
Click here to purchase
I entered the Daily Paintworks challenge to "Paint It White". Sketchbooks are always on my mind and in my hands, but especially lately.

I have been "following" Danny Gregory, an author and an illustrator, for several years and I  have several of his books: "Creative License", "Everyday Matters", and "An Illustrated Life".
I have enjoyed listening and viewing  his interviews on artists from his recent book, "An Illustrated Journey".

I just finished reading, "A Kiss Before You Go. An illustrated memoir of love and loss.", by Danny Gregory.  

"After the loss of his wife in a tragic accident, beloved artist Danny Gregory chronicled his grief in the medium he knows best—the pages of his illustrated journals. This intimate volume reproduces these journal pages in a stirring visual memoir of Gregory's journey towards recovery. Uniquely sincere, and by turns tender, raw, and hopeful, Gregory's idiosyncratic text and illustrations capture the darkest and lightest moments of his "year of magical drawing." Gregory's process reminds us that creative expression offers its own therapy, and that living each day to its fullest may be as simple as putting pen to paper. Anyone who has experienced loss will take solace in this refreshingly candid look at grieving, while art lovers will marvel at the artist's beautiful celebration of the power of creation."

I really suggest that you watch the 1 1/2 minute video. (I couldn't figure how to embed (?) it on here!)  


Stroke Update

2 and 1/2 years later, 
I walked, up and down the street, 
without my leg brace (I gave that up in August!) and 


I will be running by July......
next year......
I hope!



"A Friend In Need"

36"x 48"
(my terrible picture!)

Original, "A Friend In Need"
by, C.M. Coolidge
commissioned in 1903

My client said, "Could you paint MY dogs playing poker"? 

"Sure!", I said.

I got a variety of, umm, "good" shots....like this one:

"Pepper" the one in the front left.


I did A LOT of research. I found this site which has dogs driving cars! Really!

I downloaded pictures of poker chips, berets, french cigarette holder, pipes, cigars, dogs, etc ........ whew!

They loved it! :)


On Writing

My Son Gave These To Me
8"x 8"
acrylic on gessoboard

Click here to purchase this painting.

I am listening to "On Writing" by Stephen King, although I have never read  his books or seen his movies. :)

At one point he talks about who it is he writing too. He says, "all novels are really letters aimed at one person" ..."I wonder what he or she will think when he or she reads this part".

I always think of the client or the person who may buy it. I want it to add something special to their home. Will he/she notice this part?

They may live with it for years!

I always want to hear the story, the humor, the tenderness, the reason behind what they want me to create. That is very important!

But, I create for the artist too. (although, he or she doesn't know it!) 
Will he/she like the edges, the shape, the flow? How is the value, the warm and cool? Is the drawing okay, the proportion? Is there enough balance, contrast, etc....

Do he/she like it? :)

It is a combination of both. 



Lincoln sketch, 1984

I'm listening to "Teams Of Rivals", by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which led to the most recent movie, "Lincoln", in which Daniel Day-Lewis got an Oscar for Best Actor.

I have always had a great respect for Lincoln.

Back in my college days, I walked into Life Drawing, and there he was, in all his glory, Abraham Lincoln!  

I got goose-bumps, my heart quickened, and tears filled my eyes.

He was an actor, doing a one man show. 

He sat and we drew. He told us the stories about Lincoln.

No matter where he traveled, Europe, Asia, Africa, even if he was in his jeans and a sweat shirt, people recognized him. 

How cool is that!!!! That was the best Life Drawing class ever!

I only wished I had gotten one with him smiling...he had a great sense of humor....



It's always in the signature....

I miss my dad's Valentine's Day cards.
It didn't matter what it said, I just miss his signature, "Love, Dad".

He passed away several years ago.

Soon after he passed, around Valentine's Day, I read this blog post by my friend, Gwenn Seemel, who is a portrait artist. In her blog post, "Signature Style", she wrote,

"I’ve never wanted to sign the fronts of my paintings....My decision originates on a very visceral level—the act feels like a desecration!—but there’s a logic to it too: signing art seems redundant to me. Shouldn’t the work itself represent the artist better than her-his name?"

No signature????? That's all I remember about my dad's cards! 

When looking at a piece of art, I look first at the work, and second at the signature. I may recognize the piece, but the signature let's me know it is from the artist.

I get some sense of satisfaction.

I know it's from them.


2 Cups, 2 Oranges

"2 Cups, 2 Oranges"

8"x 8"
 acrylic on stretched canvas
Click here to purchase this painting.

This is my last challenge for the "30 in 30 Day Challenge" by Leslie Saeta.
I made 7 paintings. 
I listened to Lisa Daria's message on Artists Helping Artists, and revamped my schedule. 
I used to get up at 5, make coffee :) and read aloud, do my "Morning Pages", (writing from the Artist Way), go through my planner, and do my electrical myostimulation. (electrical "pads" for my stroke)
Now, I get up at 5, make coffee, and paint! (I do that other stuff at night!)
Then I have time for commissioned paintings  through out the day.
I think I will continue the small paintings every three to four days. It has given me confidence.
Thank you Leslie and Lisa! 


5 in 10 in 30 ......whatever.....

8"x 8"
acrylic on gessoboard

I  proposed (to offer or suggest....) to do Leslie Saeta's 30 Day Challenge by being aware of my current situation, (stroke) and agree to do 10 in 30.

Well......this is only #5. There are 8 days left, so I'm thinking, I may just make it to 6 or 7..... 


10 in 30

I decided to participate in Leslie Saeta's "30 in 30 Challenge" for January, but mine will be "10 in 30". That's still good, right?

Here is #2:

"Something's Missing"
6" x 6"
acrylic on gessoboard
And #3:

"A Vase!"
8" x 8"
acrylic on gessoboard
#1 was "Perseverance"....



12 x 12
mixed media on wrapped canvas

This is a bit different for me. Another year of perseverance.

Romans 5:3,4

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