Friday, December 9, 2016

Day at the Beach


   This was a day at the beach with my painting group. It took several tries to finish. I think it's really awful and nothing I did could improve it. Possibly because the composition is bad. And, I'm finding the beach a really hard place to paint. The light is so bright it takes all the color away.
    The bridge in the background goes over the Caloosahatchee River to North Ft. Myers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Riverland Nursery



    I think this was the hardest painting I have ever finished. I have one other from last year that I told myself was just too hard and I never finished. But I'm going to try again. This one went really well.
    Riverland Nursery is a real gem. I went there with the painting group two weeks ago. It's easily the best nursery I've ever been to. Wonderful plants, very well marked with descriptions and the people were great. They said come back anytime. So, I've already been back with my daughter, Jennifer. We share a love for gardening. She bought a cart full!

Friday, November 25, 2016


      The light here in the morning is very strong.Combine that with water, bird

noises and a softly blowing wind and you have a very peaceful morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beach House


        This painting was my first with the plein air group. Man it gets hot on the beach when painting. Must find shade. I finished this from photos a few days ago. Seems to be how I'm working. Paint enough to get it going, put in darks and lights and finish with reference photos. The light here is very strong and changes quickly. I'm really having fun.
       Today's creative effort was making a gluten free pumpkin swirl cheesecake. Hope it turns out well. Hope everyone has a great holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Space Flowers


      Hello! So we are finally settled in Florida and loving it. We're renovating the house we bought and it's lots of fun. The laundry has been totally redone and we've moved on to my studio. Joe is doing all the work at this point- new floor, sink and door. I cut in the ceiling, I'm good at that.
     I'm getting back to painting, I joined a plein air group.  We go on Wednesday to different spots around the city. It's a good chance to learn the area and the people are really nice.
      I can't believe my last post was Aug. 29 and now it's the middle of Nov. I've done a few small paintings, mostly unfinished. But I am working on finishing them now. This was from September. We brought my Jeep down here and stayed a few days. I found these at my front door the day before we left for Michigan and they were gorgeous! I had to paint them immediately. I have no idea who left them. I've learned they are bromeliads and there are some in my yard but they are in need of serious care.
     I finished three paintings today. Hooray for me!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Local Park


Yesterday, we had to leave our house for an hour so prospective buyers could go through it. We went to Seven Lakes Park and I took pics and scouted for spots to paint. I intended to go back today to paint but it was grey most of the day. I did this from the photo. Tomorrow, if it's sunny, I'm going back to paint this spot. It will be interesting (for me at least) to see the difference. I hope there's a big improvement. This is awful!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Four O'clock

This is the corner of my pool.  It's very small,  I put it in 4 years ago. It's like a pond in my front yard. This pot of flowers is the railing to help you get in. The sunlight at four o'clock is beautiful.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August's Flowers


These are what's blooming in my garden right now. My grossly neglected garden. I should call it what it is. The abandon garden. I didn't do anything out there this year. It's turned to solid weeds. Some huge stands of flowers like bergmont and Mexican hat have dwindled to just a few blooms. Lack of love. That and I didn't take care of things in the spring, fertilising, splitting, spraying for bugs. I'm not at all sad or missing it because it's such a mess. Maybe the next people will love it--r plow it under.
Could have spent more time on this but it was supposed to be quick and loose.As it is it went unfinished for three days. I'm getting better at not abandoning a painting just because I didnt finish it in a timely manner.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Morning at the Beach


This was the first painting from last weekends camping trip. The mornings are beautiful on Thunder Bay. Michigan Up North. I'm sure we will miss them sometimes.
Spent this day in my studio boxing up and throwing out. I've had a lot of interests over the years. I was at one times serious about fiber art. All aspects. Quilting, dyeing, batik, knitting anything else
 having to do with  fiber arts. All those supplies gone--- mostly donated. Today I had to pry my wax pot and batik tools out of my hand to place it in the dumpster pile. I was sad Must keep painting.
Does anyone need a good loom???

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thunder Bay, Again


Had a great weekend camping on Thunder Bay near Alpena, Michigan. We were very nostalgic because it is our last time before we move out of state. But, we have to look forward to other trips in other parts of the country. Actually, the great time comes from being with my husband, hanging together, good laughs and closeness. From a landscape artists point of view, the eastern side of Michigan is not that scenic. The towns are small and really depressed. Not much to capture the attention of tourists. Very few restaurants have fresh interesting food. It's biscuits and gravy, and large portions of fried stuff.
I did paint twice which, for me, was a bonus. My shoulder continues to heal. I could keep up the therapy exercises even out of town. Painting is getting easier every day.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Garage Sale

Left over from my garage sale . It's amazing how fast technology has advanced. I am posting this from my phone.
My shoulder is improving slowly. I go to therapy three days a week. I can touch my forehead now. Yeah! Today I'm going camping for a few days and hope to paint.  Wish me luck.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer 2016


I am recovering from a total shoulder replacement. It's been a crazy year so far. I can't believe how focused on my painting I  was last  year. This was it. Finally, I would have my time to paint forever. I got the domain thing, started the blog, figured out the whole online selling and even sold one painting. And then, since the first of this year, it's been one life event after another. Husband almost dying, finding and buying a new house in Florida. Packing. Selling (not Accomplished as yet). Garage sale. And now, shoulder surgery.
I'm trying to get back to painting. I've been amazed how low energy I've been since the operation. I draw most days. This painting was from last week. By the time I took all my stuff to the garden to paint, I was almost too tired towork. It's a half-assed effort I know. Looks like I was on drugs which I was not.
These red lillies were a gift frim my Dad--- one bulb. He gave me a bag with one of five different colors. Finally there's a stand of each of them. I want to remember these forever. Do they grow in Florida???

Friday, June 17, 2016

View from the Kitchen



   This is plein air from my new Kitchen window. I painted it in the after noon while it was raining but this is what I saw at  8 am.  Florida is  quite different from Michigan. It is raining almost every day but in short blasts and then the sun shines again. Not dark days in a row like Mich. We are having a great time working on the new house. I will hate to go back to our old one on Monday
   Yesterday my dear daughter came and trimmed these palm trees She did a hell of a job, they look great!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hensell in the AM


   It was such a beautiful morning last Saturday. I had to try to express how I felt looking at these shadows. Calm and sparkling. I'm sure I will miss views like this occasionally. But I am really looking forward to living in Florida. And we're making progress toward the move. Last week we had a garage sale and sold a lot of things that piled up over the years' Nothing like a move to help get rid of STUFF. And we may have a buyer for our house. So maybe by the end of August........

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Annual Big Iris Painting

   I haven't painted in 20 days. I think it's the longest time since I started a year ago. And I have missed it. We had a garage sale the last 3 days and I set up in my garage and painted during the slow times. The lighting was terrible and after awhile I was just painting without looking even at the still life. But I like how this turned out and I learned something to add to my process.Rely on your brain more!


Sunday, May 15, 2016



This was the view from my studio window early this morning. Big clouds, off and on sun and then it snowed!! On May 15. Crazy even for Michigan. Anyway, this was fun.I haven't painted in a few days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


I read once that you don't need to go to beautiful places to find things to paint. You should start close to home.(John Carlson??) These are on the shelf behind my easel. Very small painting again, 6x6. It's funny. When you do a painting this small then go back to -say 10x10, the bigger size seems huge. Well, to me at least. I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happines Is



   Finally got a few hours to paint. Seems like I haven't painted in forever. Events in my life are starting to encroach on my painting, again. Oh well.When I started this (May 2, last year) I told myself I was in it for a long haul. I'll just have to start over.
   I brought these Hawthorne branches in before I left for Florida a week ago. They're a little sad by now but I just had to paint something. We did have a great time though. Bought our house and spent a few days doing light cleaning, kitchen drawer papering and ,of course, went to the beach. Can't wait to move there permanently

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It's A Dog


   It was a beautiful day today. I took this pic this in Fenton this morning. I have no idea what kind of dog this is.  I could barely see it in the sunlight and the reference photo wasn't any better. I'm sure I can do better than this sometime. On the plus side, I tried to put a little bit of a face on this lady and that's a first. I like it!
   I haven't painted in a few days because, as I said, we bought a new house and we have lots to do to sell the one we live in. This week we burned brush and just stuff that tends to accumulate when you live in the country and have been there for a long time. I've been going through our things to find out what we really need. I'm going to have a garage sale next month and that's a lot of work. I hope I can stay committed to painting despite this big new adventure.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Farmers Market

People again. This try went very well, I think. The legs are still a little too short but it's a real improvement over the first try which I threw out. A farmers market (this ones in Flint, Michigan) is a great place to practice people. You can buy some food, sit and draw to your hearts content. And take pics.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016



   I really love this. Sorry for the glare. I didn't spend any time photographing it.( Did it on my cell phone) I have a new feeling when I approach a painting. In the past, I took photos of the still life and put them on my monitor. The last few paintings I have just looked at the set up. It's a very different feeling. More like plein air. There's a vibe you get from viewing the thing. You tap into it and translate it into image in paint. That's all I'll say about this. So I  don't seem like a nut.
   This is the smallest painting I have ever done.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Michigan Spring


   I painted this yesterday from my studio window. The whole day was unusual. A little sun, a little snow. I had to paint the shadow off and on in the afternoon because it kept disappearing. Today I'm looking at an inch and a half  of snow since about 9am this morning that is rapidly turning to slush. Crazy weather this year.
   I finished the duvet top I was  working on today. Yeah me. It's always nice to accomplish a big task in a short amount of time. On to the backside.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring's Here



These daffodils survived last night's snow. I mean really??? It's April for god's sakes. They're the first spring flowers around here. I had fun with these. Much easier than last years versions.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016



I've been sidetracked from painting this week. Partly because the weather continues to be nasty, cold and rainy. I can't think of one thing to paint. And it's really bothering me. I can't push myself to paint. SO-- in the meantime, I'm making a duvet for our bed at the new house when we move later this year. I like lots of color, red sofas, orange walls and purple pillows. (Not all in the same room.) I think turquoise is a great Florida color. And purple, lime green, red and fuchsia. And blue. I've made lots of quilts in my life. I can't take that much time from painting. This is simply pieced, will have a zipper at the bottom and be filled with a great Ikea poly comforter.

Saturday, April 2, 2016



This painting is from a pic I took last summer in Cheboygan, MI. We were there on a camping trip. I challenged myself to paint this in two hours. I've found out that the time limit helps to focus on what was interesting in the scene and edit out the parts that are irrelevant. It makes a simpler, looser painting. I really like the finished piece but if I didn't I could just wipe it off and forget about it. I'm going to try this again.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Top Down


This was an experiment. I tried to paint the same tulips I did the other day but looser, not so much about measuring and duplicating the image. More about the paint and the color and the spirit of the flower.The results felt really good and I like this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016



I started this painting a week ago and I'm really starting to hate it. It's going on forever. I think because it's the hardest one I've ever done and I'm not real sure about what I'm doing.-More paint, less paint , more media . And those tiny brushes-- yuck. When I finish it, I should turn around and paint it on 20x20 with really big brushes.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter-Happy Spring


    Kroger tulips. I'm still working on the Linden peice but I needed to finish a painting so I bought these yesterday. I like the finished painting. Starting to pull out of the painting funk I've been in. Got a more positive attitude about my work. Well it is spring, after all. It has a way of lifting winter blues.
   I hope everyone has a happy, fun Easter however they celebrate.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Please

Quick sketch in pastel this morning for a new header on the blog. I've been meaning to change the look up for awhile. Meanwhile, I have been working on an endless painting of downtown Linden, MI. I need to finish soon because it's getting old.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Vacation's Over


  I just spent a week in lovely Fort Myers, Florida. Only painted on two days because we were on a quest to find a new home. We have long loved Florida. We have even put a "Florida garden" in our front yard.
   I did a lot of sketching at the beach. These two paintings I did are dismal. I'm finding figure painting very difficult. The landscape I did at the beach didn't work out. The day was hazy with washed out colors. Bleh! I'm in a painting slump right now. I hope my creative spirit picks up when I get back. Anyway, I had a great time, got a start on a tan and found a new house.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


I'm taking a few days off from painting to concentrate on improving my skill at drawing people. My sketches have always been very linear, caricatures capturing a moment. That doesn't translate to paint very well because it's about volume as well as shape. So I am working hard. Got out the calipers and the drawing books. Like anything, the more you do it the better you get. I hope. I'll be back to oil paint soon. I'm hooked.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Beach Walkers


   Next! I'm keeping at this small people painting until I get it right. This one was easier than the last few. I still can't get the feet. This is the first one I like so I guess I'm making progress.
   I took this pic last November at Lovers Key in Florida.All the days were overcast when we were last there. That's winter there. We're going again soon and it's starting to heat up now.I'm hoping for lots of sunshine.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

More practice

     Once again the legs are too short. I'm going to keep at this until I get it right. These people were walking on the beach at Lover's Key in Fort Myers, FL.
     The problem with daily painting is that it assumes you know how to paint or paint well. You don't have a lot of time to experiment if you're trying to do a good painting every day. (or every other in my case) Sometimes you need to have a few days to just screw around. Make mistakes. Paint and wipe off and paint again. Not very productive but very important. And fun too.

Monday, February 29, 2016



I'm working on figures this week. This may be the hardest thing to master. I think I need to spend some time with this subject so I can get better.  It's very hard, there's a lot to consider. Attitude is one thing. The people have to relate to each other. Plus, you have to use small brushes- no. 2 or 4. and you need to keep in mind the rules of proportion while painting. You can see I missed here. The legs are too short. Big problem for me.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Waiting for Work

Our garden cart.  Still full of leaves, just waiting to be put to work behind the tractor. I am not as crazy about gardening as I have been through out my life. I mean raise it up, can it up and freeze it up and put it up for the winter. I  did it all. Last year , when I started painting, I couldn't find time to garden. By the end of summer, my gardens were dismal messes. Now I look out over the snow and just see work, work, work. Oh hell. At 67 years, I think its OK to quit. But I also see the large fenced space that was the garden and it makes me sad. Time passes, you know.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Starting the Day

 Yesterday the sunshine was brilliant so I was up early, out taking pics.  It's funny how you can live in a small town a long time (16 years) and still find new areas to explore. I need to get out more.
   This is my fourth attempt at city scenes. The first two, last July, I'd rather not own up to. My January painting "Snow Day" went pretty darn well. This one was even easier. I'm getting over fear of  complicated subject matter like buildings and cars. What's next? Trains and bridges? A bobcat (the equipment) or people at a football game? Endless topics. Should keep me going well into my 90's or beyond.
   There's about six or seven inches of snow out there now. Supposed to snow all night. Michigan. Love it or leave it!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Waiting for Spring

I saw this in a park the other day. We went for a drive to Holly Recreation Area so I could take pics for paintings. I'm surprised I came up with this painting because I was very uninspired. It's a tough time of year for a landscape painter. Wait--- did I say that already? But I'm beginning to notice that every time I get out picture taking, I get at least one painting. Maybe I just need to get out more. Wa wa wa--- It's too cold.

Friday, February 19, 2016

At the Blackthorn

Man this guy had a lot of hair. His beard was about ten inches long. I saw him last night at the bar at the Blackthorn Pub where we go on Thurs. for dinner. We like to sit at the bar and eat. This was another first for me in the painting department . I sketched him facing this way on my phone. And took his picture but the only shot I could get was full face. It's hard to do these things without being obvious. (the stalker issue again.) Anyway, I think the two things went together OK. I put him on a bigger canvas than my usual. He was a really big guy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Will It Ever End


My Husband and I went for a drive today to a state park so I could shoot some pics. By the time we got there the beautiful sunshine was on it's way out and clouds were rolling in. That's Michigan. I thought I could produce sunshine in my mind as I painted but this turned out pretty much like reality. Not very happy with this painting

Sunday, February 14, 2016


This is the view out my second story studio window. It's 4 degrees today. I sort of felt like I was plein air painting but indoors and warm. I really wish it would be spring tomorrow so I could go outdoors to paint.

Thursday, February 11, 2016



This picture was an experiment to see if I could make a painting without looking at reference photos. I got the idea from a magic marker sketch in my sketchbook from 2008. It really felt like painting.
I completely enjoyed working today. It was all about the paint and the act of making art. No worries .No constant comparing the image from the photo. It's also far from perfect but it has a feeling  different from my usual paintings, I really like it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016



I took this family picture at the Flint Farmers Market last week. I want to get some experience painting people. I don't think I can paint landscapes forever without adding people every now and then. I've only painted figures a few times, always from behind. Much easier! This turned out only OK for a first try. I'd better get practicing.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tuesday Morning


This lovely young woman let me take her pic at the farmers market in Flint last Tuesday. Once again, I forgot to get her name because I have a hard time just approaching people in public. At least I remembered to give her a card.  This portrait is not completely accurate but I am happy with the result. I say this because her face was turned about quarter to the left and I haven't quite figured that out. 
I'm working on portraits right now because the landscape is cold and gray.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Untitled as yet


I took this lady's picture a few years ago at the Cincinnati Art Museum where she  worked in the Museum shop. She had a lovely, expressive face and a cheerful personality. And great glasses! I wonder if she is still working  there.
Today, I drove to the Flint Farmers Market to take pictures for paintings. Did I mention I am a terrible photographer? I tried to focus on human interactions and position. That means not always cutting the legs off at the ankles. Takes practice. Getting comfortable with the camera, trying to remember the goals for the pics and getting over feeling like some weirdo stalker photographing strangers. At least I am understanding the workings of the camera more. I think I got some material to work from.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Fred is a biker from downtown Holly. The town has a few bike events each summer. The blessing of the bikes by HIM , Hogs in Ministry, kicks the year off. After the blessing, more than a hundred bikers ride together. I went once to take pics and people were very nice. I got a lot of great shots. Nothing like chrome and leather.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cheer Me Up!

Yesterday I couldn't find a thing to paint. I tried setting up a still life with an orchid and some vases--bleh. I underpainted a 24x24 canvas with purple. I watered my plants. I laid down on my old yoga mat and did yoga for 60 min. to a podcast my yoga instructor has been awesome enough to put online. AND in the middle of it I started to see this. The gray square is the world outside my window. Nothing beautiful out there to paint right now. Mid-winter, mid-Michigan --bleh.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bahia Honda Key

This is one of my favorite spots -Bahia Honda Key, Florida. We spend time here when we go to Big Pine Key at Christmas with our camper. This is the next key over. The whole key is a rustic Florida State Park. There's lots of birds, people watching and kite boarders. I painted this from photos in my archives. Wish I could be there right now!