Friday, December 15, 2017

Don't Like Mums.


    This painting is not finished. I started it two weeks ago before " Downtown Fort Myers, Early Morning", the first acrylic landscape I've done maybe since high school. So far, I don't really like this. It's oil on panel, big, 29"x27".  Going to sit it around the studio for awhile until some inspiration comes along. The background is terrible. Plus, I don't actually like mums but I got to the farmers market just before closing and these are all they had. It's said that a painter should be able to make a good painting from anything but I think it helps if you like what you see.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Down Town Ft Myers, Early Morning


   Can't believe it's almost Christmas. Haven't painted or posted since Sept. 3.  Have not even picked up a paintbrush since then.  First off  hurricane Irma sent us to my sisters in Fredericksburg Va. She was kind to put us up AND our two cats which have never traveled but they were great. (meaning they didn't run away.) It was a good time. Since then, there was the cleanup. Debris from trees everywhere. You would not believe the mounds of tree refuse lining the streets.We had very little damage, a fence down which Joe replaced new and three leaning palm trees. We straightened two with ropes and stakes and so far it's working well. We're going to try the last one this weekend. It's a monster but pretty and has coconuts. Seems a shame to cut it down. It's hanging over the roof.
    I've been finding lots of things to do beside paint. Put in a new garden with a slew of plants people have given me, black dirt and 35 bags of mulch. I'd like to have the entire garden in but I am waiting for the pool project to finish. Been waiting since last February when we signed the contract. I had heard construction is slow in Florida but REALLY??? Don't get me started.
    This painting was done with acrylic for a change. I forgot how much I liked it. Haven't worked in it since the 90's. I also used graphite and vine charcoal and fixed it with sprayed gloss medium. Trying to combine drawing and painting. I don't know where this is going but I'm going to give it some time. It's got me charged up about painting again.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Sunday, September 3, 2017

View from the Road

   Here's another view of Acadia Park. This one's really green, but then the park is really green. It looks a lot like upper Michigan with boulders everywhere. And bigger trees.
   This painting is on canvas on Masonite. I like making my own panels and have learned one major thing. If you're going to make them, research the common sizes (at Michael's or wherever) before you cut. That's better than having to order a custom frame at a crazy exorbitant price. This painting is 20"x 24". DUH!

Sunday, August 27, 2017


   Our vacation was really nice. We visited relatives in Bangor Maine. Saw Portland, Bar Harbor, little towns along the coast and Acadia National park.  It's really beautiful up there. You can understand why so many American artists lived or vacationed there. Everywhere you look there's a painting waiting. I did a lot of sketching and have two more paintings under painted and ready to be worked on.
   This painting was a view in the park. (Which is 100 years old this year.) The challenge here is to make the greens interesting. Every time I start a summer landscape, I relearn mixing green. I even go to YouTube and watch videos. This time I learned about black and yellows making green. Who knew?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Long Haul

        I have been in a real painting slump. This painting was posted to Instagram almost two weeks ago and I haven't painted since then. I don't have any ideas or any drive to paint. It's a real block. In the meantime, I've been doing some homey creative things like making pillows , embroidering pillow cases and gardening.  We're going on a small vacation in a week so maybe I'll get charged up again. 
        This is a big painting- 32x32 with lots of texture and  felt dots. I really enjoyed working on it and am thinking of doing another version in gray and chrome yellow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


   These flowers were from the farmers market in Ft Myers. I'm not crazy about how this turned out. Not really finished but I can't work it any more. Needed to get over it so I can move on.
   Spent several hours over the weekend shoveling two yards of orange gravel into my landscape. You can only work outside here from 8:30 to about 11 am. It gets so hot. And drink tons of water.  I've moved a lot of gravel for landscapes in my life. Lets just say the shovel loads are getting smaller and I used a little garden cart instead of a cement wheelbarrow. But, the job is done. I do love a good garden project.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pink Elephant

   Moving along on the acrylic abstract thing. I've discovered lots of new techniques with the paint. It's all about experimenting endlessly. I bought three books on techniques and there's always the internet where you can see demonstrations. I'm trying things out on small panels but the paintings are large- 24x 30 or so. This I love.
  Abstract is more about the act of making. Takes me back to my batik dyeing, stitching and quilting days. No stress just play. But I'm also continuing to work in oil because there's a lot of wait time while the gel mediums dry. (a day sometimes.) Got another big flower thing going- so much fun.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Done or Not Done

     This one I actually like. It's been through several re-paints and I learned something in the process. I found out the re-painting is one way you can do this. The trick is to plan the re-painting.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


  What else can I call this. This is about the fourth one I've done but  mostly they're awful. Painting nothing is very difficult. But Fun. Just screwing around, no need to get it right, playing with paint. I got a couple of books and a multi-media sketchbook. And a few acrylic medias. They range from thick to thin ,shiny to matte. There's no end to what you can do. The hard part is developing your "visual language."

These are sketch book pages. It's a stretch for me. I've always had to be painting something I can see. I'm also trying new media. You know I have acquired everything over the years. Pencils, pastels, oil pastels, ink, poster paint, you name it, my stash has it all. I'm going to recommend this to everyone. Don't be so serious.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Big Switch


   This is actually my second, third and fourth attempt at abstract painting. Acrylic paint dries very fast, covers very well and can be painted over and over. In fact, you can do a whole painting, hate it and just start over the next day.
   I guess I'm about to take a break from oil and investigate acrylic. It's not the first time in my life I tried to express my creativity abstractly. In the 80's, I  ventured into working with paper cloth, lots of color and etched pseudo-writing.  My first husband thought it was evidence of brain injury. " WTF are you doing" was his frequent question. I just gave it up and went into weaving and fibers, which can be very abstract on their own.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


   Having fun with acrylic paint on watercolor paper. Haven't done this in years so it was a good time. It's been five days of rain here so nice bright paint is just the thing. It's the start of the rainy season in Florida. So far it's been something else. Heavy rain, a moment of sunshine, more rain. and does it come down at times.                                                                                                                                                                        

   I sewed these lovely bird slipcovers in the last week. So no painting. Sometimes the domestic stuff just gets priority. You can see the renovation goes on. There's the wall of boxes(mostly books) yet to be unpacked. But its all good. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Opulence Marina

   Hope everyone had a great holiday. I went to Ft. Myers Beach on Sunday and it was PACKED. But a beautiful day. This area has lots of really great beaches. And the Gulf is actually warm this time of year through fall. I swam in it three times. This from a person who always says it has to be 89* and crystal clear to get in. Fun time.
   This painting is from a plein air trip to one of the marinas around here. Most you have to know someone to get in. Really different from Michigan.

Friday, May 19, 2017

For Me??

   Joe gave these beautiful roses for Mother's Day. How timely. Just when I needed my annual large flower painting.
   Such a change for me. Everything. Underpainting first. Large canvas, lots more paint. I used the large boar bristle brushes I used in the 90's to slop paint around before I got serious. They were rejected for synthetic over the last few years. Like visiting old friends. I believe in taking really good care of my brushes. A day of painting has three phases for me. Setting up( sometimes just my mind) and mixing paint. Then I go do something else. Laundry, defrost dinner, clean something bla bla. Then paint 3-5 hours. Then clean up. Takes about an hour to tidy my palette and clean brushes. Sometimes I use 10 or 15 on even a small painting. Wish this could be every single day!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


    This is the first painting I did using the new idea of underpainting. I haven't finished it because I have moved on. This means I've had a brainstorm about how I want to paint. Again. It came from the underpainting I just tried. I never want to paint this tight again.
    Painting, for me has to be about the merging of the image and the paint. No thought process in between. Underpainting lays the whole thing out beforehand. Your thinking about the piece, the decisions, can be done ahead of time. Then all you do is paint. Perfect. I think. I just finished the next painting working like this. Very happy. WHY did I not try this before??? Oh well. Things come around in life when they're ready.

Monday, May 8, 2017

New Idea

   This is underpainting. I have never tried this and I really don't know why. The idea is to block everything in, especially the lights and darks, let it dry and then start painting in color. I learned about this in college and some painters show this stage of their painting on Instagram. Why I have never tried it, I don't know. But the other day I said "what the hell" give it a try. And I am painting on 
18"x  24" canvas. Wowie! the biggest thing in recent years.

Friday, May 5, 2017

County Fair

   This has been hanging around my studio since 2015. I drew it in and couldn't bring myself to paint it because I thought it was too hard. Can't say how many times it was on the easel and never had one spot of paint applied. So glad it's finished. I'm happy with it.
   Painting around others seems to be very good for me. I'm challenging myself to try different things. This week I really went out on a limb. More to follow on that. My advice is, if you're stuck, find a painting group. (Or writing or photography or woodworking, whatever, group)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Beach Dudes

  This reference picture was taken from the bridge at Ft Myers Beach. I took a lot of pictures that day, people on bikes or beach carts. Now I realize the perspective is a little wacky because the view is looking down on the subject.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Coffee Talk


So, I am really happy with this painting also. It's funny how if you don't paint for awhile then go back to it, it seems like you have learned a thing or two. IDK if that makes sense but it has happened to me a few times in my life. I have been drawing in my sketch book a lot, practicing maybe. I definitely think these figures have improved over the ones I've posted in the past. What do you think???

Monday, April 24, 2017

Waiting on the Wife


   I took the pic for this painting at a small historic town on an island off Cape Coral, FL. The name is Matlacha  or Mat Lashay as we know it. Basically,  its very old, small fishing cottages that have been painted bright colors and turned into restaurants, tchotchke and art stores. It was a fishing village until the early 1990's when a ban on gill net fishing went into effect. One night the fishermen set fire to their boats after shooting holes in them in protest of the ban. The fire was seen all the way to Ft. Myers. That was the end of commercial fishing in Matlacha.
   This was an experiment on canvas on cardboard. Trying to stay loose, use more color, think less, dive right in. I liked it.  It's also bigger than I usually paint. I'm starting another one today.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Riverland 2

This was started at Riverland nursery and finished from photos. I tried to capture the feeling of the sun shining around this doorway. Didn't get it. I may return to this one after I think about it a bit.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

An Opportunity

I'm the artist of the month at the Artists League of Fort Myers. I was surprised to have someone hang these for me, not what I was used to. But it was good to figure out how I want to frame my work. I don't really like frames especially the very decorative type. Simple, that's what I want. I bought student grade plastic frames and spray painted them. Basically a holder for the wire. 
The unfinished paintings are piling up. This week I'm going to tune up my blog page and try to put new effort into daily painting. Going with a group once a week and producing an unfinished work isn't getting it. Need to recommit and get going.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Edison's Walkway


    First painting in forever. Over a month actually. I started this on a trip to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates with my painting group. It's a huge tourist attraction here in Ft. Myers. The two men built vacation homes next to each other on the same stretch of the Caloosahatchee River. You can look into the buildings and workshop, walk all over the property by yourself or take the guided tour. Thomas Edison imported plants and trees from all over the world which makes the grounds very interesting. I'm going back in a few weeks. Third time.
    Painting's not going too well right now. We're redoing the new house a room at a time. Joe does most of the hard work but I do what I can. I'm good at cutting in ceilings. I repainted the trim (walnut) on the kitchen cabinets. A duvet for the guest room and new slipcovers for the living room chairs are next on the list. There's a few pieces of furniture to be refinished. And, of course a new garden is an ongoing project. I'm reworking a cinder block walkway around the back of the house. Love that working outside.

   Why anyone would put wood strips on this great Formica, I don't know. This is all I can do for now but maybe resurfacing is in their future. Now what can I do with the tile back splash?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Alley @ 9am

The heart of Old Ft. Myers is a square with shops and restaurants all around. Some spaces are the back doors of the shops on the side streets. These are back doors in an obscure corner but I was drawn to the  strong shadow. Also, I really need to work on buildings and perspective. This was the simplest view I could find on this trip with my painting group.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Tin City


    This painting is from our camping trip to the Florida Keys at Christmas. We've been going there for years. Always have a good time but, this year was especially sweet because last year at this time Joe was trying hard to die. A bonus this time for me was knowing I would be home in five hours instead of three days. We even went home at Christmas to be with our daughter. ( Who also moved to Ft. Myers.) Next year we will go in January.
    I tried to depict the feeling of being  in a space where many people, families dwell together. Some campers decorate their spot around the outside.You  see all kinds of crazy stuff/crap. And at Christmas it's all enhanced with lights. Gotta love camping.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Last Fall


     A last. A finished painting. It's been a month since I posted. I think I'm actually back to a place where I can paint daily. I Hope**** Joe made a beautiful new studio for me and it's finished. We're back from our Florida Keys vacation. Our new home is still a mess but we're settled in and it is all very good. We don't have an intensive agenda to renovate. We're going to get to everything sooner or later. It's all about the journey yada yada.
    I have five unfinished paintings now. Two from the Keys, two from outings with my new painting group and this one which I just finished. Fall in Michigan. So beautiful. Clean, crisp air. Soft breeze. Memories of  encounters with nature going back to my childhood thanks to my old man, the sportsman. Poignant. That's the word for it.