Thursday, May 28, 2015


I think I have steak on my mind because that is what is for dinner tonight.  Celebrating my 32nd anniversary AND my son who lives in Chicago is coming in tonight.  Yippie!

This painting bordered on being well or over done because I kept messing with it.  I am happy with it but hope I stop earlier in my next one.  Or...dang it....don't put your brush to canvas unless you are sure it is right. I am going for rare. This is painted on a 24 x 24 x 2" linen canvas.

I don't even like steak.

Friday, May 22, 2015

let's get this party started

A salute to Memorial day.6 x 12 x 2"

I am headed out to Lake Martin to set up for Art on the Lake benefitting Children's Harbor.  The hours are Saturday 9 -5 and Sunday 9-2.

Have a fun weekend!  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


 Today's post is a painting that I reworked from a study I did at Nancy Franke's workshop.  I never felt good about the bottle in the original for a couple of reasons.  The bottle was too similar to the pear shapes and I painted it too close to the edge of the canvas. This is painted on an 8 x 10" linen panel that has to be framed so it was a very real factor.  I was happy with the way I painted the pears so I am pleased that I found a nice solution.sold

This weekend I am participating in Art on the Lake.  It is an art show benefitting Children's Harbor .  Children's Harbor provides a retreat for children that are struggling through serious illnesses.  The art show is on the campus of Children's Harbor and the artists are set up alongside Lake Martin .  Patrons come by car and boat.  This is the 10th year for this show and my fifth to participate.  20% of our sales goes to support Children's Harbor so come on out if you are in the area. Saturday 10-5 and  Sunday 10-2.

Friday, May 15, 2015

on her own

I was drawn to the color and light in this photo.  It is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" canvas.sold

Tomorrow is the Mt Brook Art Festival at Crestline Elementary  athletic field.  25 Vine street, Mt Brook. The hours are 9 - 4.  Please come out and support some local artists if you are in the area.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

getting there

This is the first painting I have completed since returning from my workshop with Nancy.  It is so important to paint as soon as you can after doing a workshop.  I am trying to hold on to and practice some of the concepts she taught.  It is NOT easy.  It is NOT easy for her. Painting is NOT easy.  It is a constant learning process.  I have worked very hard to get where I am today and hopefully I am not close to where I am going.   Even though Nancy's paintings look effortless, they are not.  Thousands of hours have led to her effortless looking style. Practice, paint, study and BE patient.  ( I am talking to myself!)
This is painted on a 24 x 24 x 2" canvas.  

Please join us at the Mt Brook Art Festival this Saturday at the Crestline athletic field right next to Crestline Elementary. 9 - 4.  Do not bring rain.sold

Monday, May 11, 2015


I have felt a little frantic since I got home from the workshop last weekend.  The song "breathe" by Anna Nalick just played on my Pandora station as I was deciding on a title for this painting.  I needed that advice and I liked the title better than "two onions".  I have been painting a lot trying to keep fresh the approaches that were stressed. I really do need to chill a little.

This was the last painting I did at Nancy's workshop.  We did timed paintings so that we would not get too bogged down.  I always like my paintings better if I don't allow myself to keep noodling.  This is painted on an 8 x 10" linen panel.

Some of Nancy's thoughts and stresses....

"Quick impressions have a spontaneous power and engage the viewer."

"Use a bigger brush, lots of paint, and the result just may be a looser, free-er painting."

"Spend more time looking (yes, while squinting) and less time applying paint.  Mindless brushing will guarantee a weak painting.

The Mountain Brook Art Festival is this Saturday at the Crestline Athletic Field. The hours are 9 - 4.  Come out and see me and lots of other artists.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

something to talk about

I was inspired by Bonnie Raitt's, 'something to talk about" but I really do have a lot to talk about.  I just returned from a wonderful working vacation in Atlanta.  I woke up both mornings before the workshop feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. I was going to get to watch Nancy Franke paint and have her help me.( And give me wine at lunch.)The biggest issue I wanted to improve on was making the area around the  subject matter flow and compliment the whole piece. aka..the  background. The painting above is a 20 x 24" piece I did Saturday morning. Nancy's goal for us was to have fun, paint some free, loose studies and focus on capturing the essence of the things we were painting with out getting wrapped up in the details of the objects. 
  Nancy is one of my favorite artists and I have always admired the freshness in her work.  I think one of the things that leads to this is her limited palette.  She uses cad red medium, cad lemon, cad yellow light, ultramarine blue, titanium white and cerulean blue hue on occasion. I had gotten used to using this palette after working with her in a "painting children" workshop.  I keep my palette fairly close to this most of the time.  I use burnt sienna and a couple of other colors when I am painting animals. 
   I will take the next few posts to share some of her insights with you.  Lots of things are whirling around in my head right now.  I am trying to latch on to some key points that will help me go forward and improve. I really need to go celebrate Mom's day by lying  on the couch but I wanted to get some painting done and thoughts written down. Sold

Nancy painting her first demo.

A redo of a BORING background.  You may like the first rendition but not me.

Lastly.....Happy mom's day!  I am fortunate to have my Mom very much in my life and also to have three wonderful sons.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


One of my favorite subjects.  A study for a larger painting including his two brothers.  This is painted on a 10 x 20 x 2".

I am headed to Atlanta to do a workshop with one of my favorite teachers, Nancy Frank.  We will be working on painting from life.  And....I get to stay with and catch up with an artist friend Beth!  Good times!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

easy silence

I love the Dixie Chicks song ,"easy silence", and that is what I was listening to as I finished this.  Nice how that works out sometimes.  This is painted on a 10 x 20 x 2" canvas.sold

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Not another dang cow Carol! I can not resist a good cow face.  I am not supposed to be painting cows right now because I need to paint water themed paintings for an upcoming show.  I photographed this bold heifer the other day close to my aunt's home in west Alabama.  I only had my iphone with me but I still got some good shots. Who would have ever thought we could take pictures with a phone? Or...that we could have a phone with us where ever we went?  I still remember my grandparents phone that was on a party line and you had to wait until someone finished their conversation until you could use it.
This is painted on a 12 x 24 x 2" canvas.sold

Friday, May 1, 2015

high life

 There is nothing like water to bring calm.  Be it lake, ocean, creek, pond, pool or bath.  What a beautiful gift from God!
This is loosely based on some of my friends enjoying the water of Lake Martin. No one is safe when I am around with my camera. This is painted on a 20 x 40 x 2" canvas.  Both of these pictures are a little washed out.sold

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

it's 2 o' clock somewhere

I like to paint water themed pictures before I do the Lake Martin art show.  This is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" canvas.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I am preparing for two of my favorite art shows each year.  I have mentioned the Mt Brook art Association show in previous posts.  It had a rain delay from it's original date in April and is now scheduled for May 16. It is a one day show and features around 75 local artists.
The next weekend, May 22-24, is Children's Harbor annual Art on the Lake.  20% of the proceeds from sales go to support Children's Harbor.  It is a wonderful retreat center on beautiful Lake Martin that offers it's facilities to families that have children with serious illnesses.
"reflecting" is painted on a 6 x 12" canvas.

Monday, April 27, 2015

hard boiled

A truer title would be rotten eggs.  This set up has been on my still life table for two or three  weeks.  I had some issues with it so I kept it set up.  Went out of town a couple of times, painted other paintings, etc...  I finally got back to it and worked out things that were bugging me.  I wonder how long it would be before the eggs started to smell?  I know some of you guys remember hiding real hard boiled and dyed eggs for Easter. We would not refrigerate them later and would eat them, cracked and all.
This is painted on a 6 x 12" linen canvas.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

in conjunction

This was commissioned by a young friend to give to her best friend who is getting married.  We did not have a great picture to work with but I think it turned out well.  This is painted on a 12 x 12 x 2" canvas.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


This was a commissioned piece and birthday surprise for one of my friends.  Her daughter and daughter in law were the gifters.  I enjoy painting scruffy animals because you can be a little looser with the brush work.  Trapper looks very innocent in this pose.  It is painted on an 8 x 10 x 2" canvas.

I had a good time in Houston at the Woodlands art show even if the weather was not too stellar. Saturday ended up being a pretty good day and lots of people came out. It is always fun meeting new artists and patrons.  I am still unpacking so I will wait and share some photos with you in my next post.

Next Saturday, April 18th, is the 34th annual Mt Brook Spring Art festival. The hours are 9-4 and it is held on the beautiful sports field of Crestline Village. 25 vine Street, Mt Brook, AL 35213. Hopefully it will not rain but if it does, the rain out date is the next day, the 19th, from 12-5.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


I miss painting still lifes.  Kind of....  It is nice when they come together like this one did. It is hard thinking of new set ups that will inspire you. This one is painted on an 8 x 10" linen panel.

I leave tomorrow morning for the Woodlands show in Texas.  I have talked a lot about that show but the very next weekend is one of my favorite shows to do all year.  The Mountain Brook Art Association annual Spring Festival is Saturday, April 18th at Crestline Elementary School.  It is a one day show and the hours are 9-4.  It is a lot of fun to see my Birmingham and surrounding cities friends.  (Artists and patrons ) I will have still life, figurative work and animals at that show.

I heard yesterday on the news that the bluebonnets in Texas are putting on quite a show.  I talked my travel buddy and husband Dan into tacking another hour
on to our drive so that we could spend the night in Brenham, TX.   Several Texas folks told me I could see a good many of them there.

Yee haw!

Friday, April 3, 2015

getting close

I decided I needed to paint a few smaller pictures to take with me to Houston.  The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival is next Friday through Sunday.  I am taking a whole herd of cow paintings with me.  I hope some people like animals because that is all I am exhibiting.  I will share some pictures of my booth after I set it up.  I am having to rent a small utility van because of the size and quantity of work.  This is my first Texas show and the farthest I have traveled.  It will be an adventure for sure.  Hoping it will be "happy trails" for me.sold

This is painted on a 6 x 12 x 2" canvas.

Have a great weekend and Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

good morning

Get rid of that alarm clock and put this on your bedside table.  No snooze button. This is painted on a 16 x 20 x 2" canvas.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


My friend, Dee, sent me this picture.  I often have friends tell me they think of me when they see cows.  I could take it a couple of ways but I think I know what they mean.  This is painted on an 8 x 8 x 2" canvas.

Monday, March 30, 2015

sweet emotion

 I decided to fit in one more longhorn painting. Working with the horns can make for some interesting composition. The painting is a little washed out in both of these pictures. I am lucky it is still worth photographing because I dropped it into the rosemary bushes twice. I will never learn. Always in a hurry.  This is painted on a 20 x 40 x 2" canvas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

hypnotic hereford

You're getting very sleepy...... might be if you don't like cow paintings.  I do not seem to be able to get enough of them.  They always make me happy.  I have so many more images that I have taken or friends have sent me that have not made it to a canvas yet.  This is painted on a 10 x 10 x 2" canvas.  I think herefords are my favorite because I love their scruffiness and coloring.  So fun to paint white shadows.sold

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This handsome lab belongs to  Matt and Sidney. Matt decided he wanted a painting of Dixie for his birthday. Dixie was his first baby and even though they now have a human baby he wanted a picture of his first for his office. This is painted on an 11 x 14" linen panel.  

Monday, March 23, 2015


This cutie belongs to a young friend of mine and is a rescue dog. Cooper stood out to her because he had freckles like she did. She is recently engaged and gave this painting to her fiance for a birthday surprise. This is painted on an 11 x 14" linen panel.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

happy trails

Something a little different.  This is painted on a 12 x 24 x 2" canvas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

chip off the old block

I painted this picture a few months ago and never posted it.  I finally figured out a better way(for me anyway) to photograph large pieces.  I take my photos outside with the back of the painting is facing the sun.  If it is a small painting, you can put it in a box lid or something so that light does not get through. Learned this from Qiang Huang. To photograph the large piece, I tacked some dark felt to the back of the painting to take the place of the box.  Handling these big pieces is  hard. This is another 4 x 4 x 2".

  I put "puppy love" on my mantle so that I could live with it a while.  It helps me to see problems.  I decided to upgrade his horns and make it so that the end of his tail did not look like a lobster claw. Check him out on my previous post to see the changes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

puppy love

I was giddy the whole time I was painting this longhorn.  I usually start with the eyes when I am painting animals.  If you can capture the life in them it is smooth sailing after that.  He was staring at me with that hound dog look as I painted. This is a large 4 ' x 4' x 2" canvas.
I took this image when I visited Oregon last Fall.  The bluebonnets were added for a Texas slant.  I was juried into the Woodlands Waterway Show in Houston for my animals so that is what I will be exhibiting at the show.

Friday, March 13, 2015

in season

I painted one of my cows right into a field of bluebonnets. The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas.  They will be in season when I head to Texas April 9th but I am not sure we will see many in the eastern part of Texas. If any Texans can tell me an hours drive or so from Houston where I might see some I will go out of my way.  This is painted on a 12 x 24 x 2" canvas.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Jack belongs to my cousin's daughter.  Does that make her my second cousin?   The painting was a birthday gift from her husband.  I love Jack's chocolate almond eyes.  Reminds me a lot of my Callies. This is painted on an 8 x 10 x 2" canvas.  Kudos to Josh for giving such a thoughtful gift!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Murphy belongs to a young couple who just got married.  A friend commissioned me to paint it for their wedding gift. I know. I mostly got glasses and plates for my wedding presents. I hope Murphy is adjusting to life with a new man in his master's life.  This is painted on a 12 x 12 x 2" canvas.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

to the barn

I have an attention deficit when it comes to painting.  My mind has been working over time these days thinking of things I want (or need) to paint.  I want to paint more egg set ups and I will but I have been wanting to paint this long horn for a while. I had to get it out of my system.  It is painted on a small ,6 x 12 x 2" canvas but I think it would be nice on a large canvas.  This longhorn lives in Springville, AL. This is about thirty minutes from where I live and I have taken pictures of them a couple of times. This image was taken by a fellow artist, Diane, and she was kind enough to share it with  me.  I tried to keep this one loose and just focus on the shapes.sold

Monday, March 9, 2015

new eggs, old spoon

My sister brought me some fresh eggs yesterday.  I have never painted eggs before so I thought it would be fun.  It was.  More to come!  This one is painted on an 11 x 14" linen panel.

Friday, March 6, 2015

home on the green

Painted on a 24 x 24 x 2" canvas.sold

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

hey jude

I am headed to a show in Houston, Texas in a month so I have decided to paint a few Texas sized paintings.  This one is painted on a 2' x 6' canvas.  The top photo is a closer view of the face.  I am not skilled in photographing large works so I decided to show three views.
 The show is the Woodlands Waterway Art Festival and the dates are April 10, 11 and 12th.  Road trip!
Oh yeah, "hey Jude" was playing as I finished this piece.  Great song!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

part and parcel

I tried to remember things I stressed to my workshop attendees as I painted this today.  At the top of the list was "make every stroke count".  Don't slap paint on your canvas without a purpose.

I am painting at a fund raiser for the University of Alabama at Birmingham's  Comprehensive Cancer Center this Saturday night. It is one of the nation's leading  cancer research and treatment centers. The fund raiser is called "Art Blink" because the artists have and hour and a half to complete a painting.  Attendees bid on the paintings to raise money for the cancer center's fund for excellence. (research, family assistance, etc) It is a black tie affair so the only downside is that I have to dress up.  Even so....I am honored and excited to be a part of this affair.  I am going to paint a large rooster that will be auctioned. This one is a warm up and is a 6 x 12 x 2".sold

Monday, February 23, 2015


 This was the painting ( 8 x 10") I demoed yesterday for day two of my workshop.  It was one of my favorite pictures and memories from our trip to Costa Rica. Our family was having dinner at a place literally on the edge  of the beach so we watched the sun set and I got some great pictures of this young one. I told my class it sounded more romantic than it was.  There were lots of hawkers on the beach who came and tried to sell you anything from pottery, bird whistles, jewelry and drugs.

Below are some more photos of my awesome students hard at work.