Saturday, July 25, 2015


I took the reference photo for this painting up in east Tennessee. I recently accompanied 90 teenagers and 30 adults from my church on a work trip that is sponsored by the Appalachian Service Project. They target homes that need repair to make them warmer, safer or drier. We were in a beautiful area that was located between Bristol and Kingsport, Tennessee.
My small work group thought it was a little weird that I frequently asked them to pull over so that I could photograph cows, sheep or the landscape.  They were very accommodating even if they did not get it. This one is painted on an 8 x 10 x 2" canvas.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

mary thorne

Long time, no see.  I have been traveling for the last couple of weeks so today was my first day in the studio in a while.  I must admit that I enjoyed the break.  
This is the third painting I have done for Mary Thorne's family.  The previous two are pictured below.  I met this beautiful family two years ago at a local art show and it has been fun watching the girls grow.  Mary Thorne is a twin and she was the only one cooperating the day this was taken.  Another painting to come. All of these are painted on 8 x 10" linen panels.

Friday, July 10, 2015


My nephew, Jack, bought Lucy at the flea market, "dog days" in north Alabama for $6.00.  The salesman wanted $30.00 because he said Lucy was "a full blood Spaniard".  The one time I went to dog days I did not see one person for sale.

The story of Lucy's purchase is great and so is she.  She has the prettiest eyes I have ever seen on a dog.  She has brought so much happiness to my sister's family that I decided to paint her for their wedding anniversary.  She is painted on a 10 x 10 x 2" canvas.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


 I decided to use the dictionary to think of a title for this painting.  I opened it to a page and "recall" was the first word that caught my eye.  Perfect title because that is exactly what happened to this painting. I recalled it to my easel because I felt it needed a little tune up. The original is pictured below and I felt like it was lacking some pizazz.  I added the leaves to add some different shape and color to the piece and I played with the background a little more.  This is painted on an 8 x 10" linen panel.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I wonder if there is a color named "rainbow white"? 
Painted on a 12 x 12 x 2" canvas.  Sold

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

mercy mercy me

I was excited to buy peaches with the leaves intact last week and then I ran out of time to paint them. I found time to work out this one piece.  I really struggled with this painting and almost scrubbed it out two or three times. I then proceeded to drop it wet side down two different times when I was photographing it.   As I was posting this I happened to be listening to Marvin Gaye's  song, "mercy mercy me".  I feel that is quite appropriate for this painting.  It is painted on an 11 x 14" linen panel.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

show me

I have a patron/friend from North Carolina who requested I paint another cow mug.  She has bought two cow paintings from me and needed another.  I told her I would paint a couple and let her choose.  This one is painted on a 12 x 12 x 2" canvas.

Monday, June 29, 2015

my girl callie

We just celebrated our dog Callie's first birthday.  Fun to paint a dog that did not matter if I played a little bit.  She is painted on a 12 x 12 x 2" canvas.  She has brought so much joy to our lives.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

hold tight

This piece was a surprise father's day gift for a Nashville Dad.  It is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" canvas.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

sophie's two

This was a surprise for a Dad on father's day.  I forgot all about posting it.  It is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" canvas.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Even though it was hot, humid and a Monday today I had a good day.  Three of my least favorite things unless the Monday happens to be the first day of a week long vacation.  I painted this on a 20 x 20 x 2" linen canvas.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

say cheese

I advised a friend how to best photograph his dogs if he wanted a portrait painted.  I suggested he take the photograph outside and to get down on the dogs level.  Sounds easy enough? Not really!  I was shocked when he sent his photos back and he had all three dogs cooperating in one picture.  The lab was happy in every shot and the little white one looked like he/she was about to receive a steak dinner.  Bright eyed and smiling in every picture.  The little black and white one made me laugh because it one was looking away in all of the shots....up in the air, at the other dogs, to the side....  Maybe a little attention deficit disorder??  This is painted on an 11 x 14" linen canvas.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Jack brought lots of happiness to family friends of ours. He recently passed so my friend surprised her husband with this 8 x 8 x 2" portrait of him.  I hope it brings back good memories for the family.  Lots of love in those eyes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

hanging on

I got home from being out of town for a few days and this hydrangea was still perky.  This is painted on an 18 x 24 x 2".

Monday, June 15, 2015

leia's happy place

I have always loved golden retrievers because of their smile.  This is a commissioned piece and the owner said Leia is happiest when she is at the beach.  This is painted on an 8 x 8 x 2" canvas.  Leia is having some medical issues at the present so say a little prayer for her if you will.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

last chance

Instead of doing everything else I needed to do today I have been in my studio. I am going out of town tomorrow so I decided to paint my "about to wilt" flowers one more time.  One more time on a big 30 x 40 x 2".  This one came together a teeny bit better than the last piece. I have so much to learn but think it is pretty cool that there is no ceiling in the growing process.

Monday, June 8, 2015


I was listening to Mumford and Sons, "believe" as I started to post this.  Several times over the last couple of days I did not "believe" I would be posting this painting. It has gone through many changes. This is a big painting, 30 x 40 x 2". That is a lot of surface to consider. I added and deleted fruit, painted out a little blue vase, scraped the whole background out and painted it again. Painting is not easy.

 Last but not least, the wind blew the painting over after I photographed it so I had to pick debris out of it.  The dead ants did not do anything to improve it. The bottom picture gives you a better idea of the size and was photographed after I repaired it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

color me pink

I am still working on these high key still life set ups.  A la what I learned from Nancy Franke's workshop. I am still thinking through lots of stuff.   I have a friend who wants me to do one similar that is 30 x 40" so I am working up to that size.  This one is painted on an 18 x 24 x 2".  sold

Monday, June 1, 2015

side kick

I have a friend who needed me to paint a black lab for her that she is planning on giving as a gift.  Since there were no pictures to follow I chose to paint one rather loosely so that it could be most any lab.   Kind of nice not having any specific picture to portray.  This is painted on an 8 x 8 x 2".

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.sold

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.