Saturday, December 26, 2020


Love came down at Christmas,

Love all lovely, love divine;

Love was born at Christmas,

Star and angels gave the sign.

~Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

good day for soup

Only the pure in heart can make a good soup. Ludwig van Beethoven

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

small but mighty

 This is Jack, a mighty fellow in a small package. He is a rescue dog so of unknown breed. However I happen to know that he rules his household with a benevolent power.

Monday, December 7, 2020

best dog ever

I have been painting dogs belonging to all my friends and family, I am making all these dog paintings as my new oil painting project but haven't painted my own dog. 
My own best dog died 3 years ago now, he was an Australian shepherd and over his lifetime I did sketch him and paint a few watercolors. I blogged here about his passing. He is greatly missed but at this time we sadly have no plan to replace him in this household. 
So I am surrounding myself with a shelf of oil paintings of other dogs.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

a brave little spirit

 New day new doggie. Let me introduce you to Trinka, special companion for my dear sister. Trinka has so many charms and talents. I can’t list them all but if you need a comforting furry pet she will cuddle up! 
Trinka is a breed called Cavachon. Half Bichon, half Cavalier.
I say brave little spirit because Trinka has twice survived attacks by much larger dogs. The last one was by a pit bull with a careless owner, her injuries were life-threatening and my sister had to punch the pit bull in the face to get Trinka free. Brave little dog that she is, she recovered cheerfully. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Old dog new dog

Can an old dog learn new tricks? Yes yes, she can. I have been studying as much as I can about oil painting and learning new techniques. This was my homework assignment for a zoom class I’ve been in. My instructor is Jennifer Gennari and this is through a program called Drawing America,
atelier style live classes online. I have about seven more dog paintings in the works right now. It's been great studying up close Jennifer's oil painting technique and I have figured out a few more tricks to apply to my other work. 

Friday, December 4, 2020


 "This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven. "    
Rick Bragg
I am now a grandmother to ten (yes 10) little new people. It is my pride and joy and I want to keep sketching quickly in my notebook, drawing, or painting them for as long as I live. What a gift they are to me. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

little baby


“If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.”

― Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, November 30, 2020

First Sunday of Advent

 Advent is my favorite liturgical season. I love the purple banners, the four candles on the altar, the readings from the prophets, and the contemplative music. 

I especially relish the way this season stands in stark contrast to the frenetic activity of the world around me. Just as the world is flashing brighter lights, the church is dimming her lights and waiting.

Advent is a four-week season that marks the beginning of a new church year. The first half of the church year walks through the life of Jesus from his birth (celebrated at Christmas) until his death and resurrection (celebrated at Easter).

Historically, the four weeks of Advent were set aside as a time of preparation for baptism. The church today now observes Advent as a four-week period to prepare for our celebration of the Incarnation at Christmas.I am filled with gratitude for the ways the Lord has fulfilled my hopes and yet my heart breaks in the reality that all is not yet set to rights.  Christ has come and yet we walk in darkness waiting for the coming of Jesus in glory.

Advent gives the church an opportunity to anticipate the coming of Jesus as our true fulfillment and our longing for his coming again. Credit: Margie Fawcett, Deacon, Church of the Resurrection Wheaton Illinois 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020


 “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

― Albert Einstein
A photo of my most recent oil painting resting on my studio book shelf. I had problems with this painting and still do. My emotional reaction is to toss it aside, or hide it in a closet and forget it. But my rational brain tells me to save it, savor it, learn from the struggle, learn from the mistakes. 
Maybe I have not succeeded in making the image I had envisioned, that almost never really happens anyway. But I have worked, learned, made a lot of mistakes and tried something new. Next painting!

Monday, November 2, 2020

fear of perfection

 “Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.”

― Salvador Dali

My art lesson taking place out of doors on a bright autumn day with a group of enthusiastic fifth graders. The quote about perfection is one that needs to be repeated, or some version of it when teaching children. (except for very young children who have no fear of failure!) I have the kids all arranged and instructed to draw this tree , not just draw a tree but to draw this particular tree on this day. I wanted them to really learn to look.
I sat across from the group and drew them on that particular day! I used their school art paper and their crayola paints to demonstrate the lesson. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020


“Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

I have this quote in mind frequently, in fact I have a printed scrap with this quote cut out of a newspaper article pinned to my bulletin board in the studio.

As I worked on this oil painting  from a Michigan beach this summer I thought about how I wanted to convey a visual poem. The time of day is late, before sunset, but toward the end of a long summer afternoon stretching towards evening and thoughts of what is for dinner tonight. The sky is brilliant, the sun is too bright and low making all the shadows deep and people stand out as silhouettes. It's what the lakeside dwellers call the diamond hour, that sparkling moment when it is still hot and light but very much the end of a long day in the sun. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2020


"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on."

Carl Sandburg

Thursday, October 8, 2020

every baby born

"It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last."

Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Chapter One. I am born

CHAPTER 1. I AM BORN Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. DAVID COPPERFIELD By Charles Dickens

Thursday, September 10, 2020

water flows

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Monday, September 7, 2020

finishing a thought

I finished this painting this week. I had worked on it last October 2019, during a week spent in Michigan making plein air studies while on the beach in St Joseph, a lovely coastal town along the shores of Lake Michigan. Here is a blog post that I wrote about that week of work.

I wasn't quite happy with this painting when I brought it back last October but life got too busy in the fall and winter and I didn't pick it up and look at it until this past week after I had finished up another plein air painting session in Michigan a few weeks ago in July.

I couldn't leave it.  I wasn't happy with how it seemed as though the waves and bit of sandy beach were not resolved. I worked on it again until I felt it was finished. Another artist might have advised to discard a work with problems and begin a new one but I felt that by tackling an old piece I would learn more lessons. 

And I have been learning a lot. I won't run out of new things to learn for the rest of my life!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Do I dare?

 “Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?”

― T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

sister water

“Praised be my Lord, for our sister water.

St. Francis of Assisi,
Canticle of the Sun”
― St. Francis of Assisi 

Monday, August 31, 2020

driving force

“Water is the driving force in nature.”
― Leonardo da Vinci