Friday, December 13, 2013

Petit Déjeuner, click to bid

Just found out that my class in France is full! 10 students. Wow. Getting excited now.

Also just found out that my pastel of my grandson Victor and his dog Pepper won Best of Show at the International Association of Pastel Societies Online Exhibition. A huge honor. And a very nice check accompanies it. So wonderful at this time of year. Thank you, IAPS.

I'm on my way to Asheville, NC, today to visit old friends for the weekend. Looking forward to seeing Asheville at Christmas time, hoping my car is dependable and that bad weather doesn't surprise me.

"Petit Déjeuner" is a 7x5 pastel up for auction. Click on the title above to be taken to the auction site. Bidding begins at $100.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A CHAT AFTER MARKET, click to bid

After much deliberation this week I decided to go to the Spruill Art Center Faculty Christmas Party last night; I have been teaching Wednesday morning and evening classes there in north Atlanta for the past year. Because I don't know 99% of the teachers there and because I never remember the names of the ones I should know, and because I am terrified of walking into a crowded party alone, the evening could have been difficult. I called an artist friend, Nancy Honea, who has taught portrait painting at Spruill for 30 something years. She agreed to sit with me and I looked forward to catching up with things in her life; it had been 2 years since I had last seen her.

I got there before she did and did what I always do in these situations...went straight to the bar. A brief superficial smiley chat with people I encountered as I wrangled my way across the room, got my wine, found a table and saved a place for Nancy. I'm OK once I have the wine. I know. Red flag. But it works. Nancy eventually arrived and so did Pat Fiorello, another artist I've never met but have had near misses many times. It usually went like this: "Was that Pat Fiorello who just left? I've been wanting to meet her!" Pat and I chatted with on the phone about a year ago; she was planning to conduct a class at La Bonne Etoile, Kippy's place in France, and wanted my thoughts about the place. So last night I finally met her. Nancy, Pat and I sat at our little table and had the most stimulating conversation about painting and blogs and goal-setting and marketing and teaching and working from your heart and writing books and exhibitions and it was non-stop creativity. I left the Art Center uplifted and encouraged, realizing how much I love the company of artists. Artists are good people, hard and earnest workers, deep thinkers, insightful, empathetic, lovers of beauty, soul-mates.

I'm so glad I went. Thank you, Nancy and Pat.

The 6"x6" pastel above is from a summer afternoon in France. Two ladies stopping to chat after market. It's up for auction on ebay. If interested, click on the title above, it'll take you to the auction. Bidding begins at $100.

Monday, December 9, 2013

LITTLE HARDO, click to bid.

This is actually Leonardo the Second. Leonardo the First lived many years ago when my kids were little. They called him Little Hardo because they couldn't pronounce Leonardo. When my grown daughter Meg got a long-haired blue-eyed white cat just like Leonardo, she gave him the same name. And the same nik-name. Little Hardo is a beautiful cat but I'm glad he lives with Meg and not me. He's a climber. When I lived in a loft and was taking care of Meg's cats for a year, I'd find Little Hardo waaaaaaay up on the rafters, peering down on me. He'd climb on mirrors and kitchen cabinets. It was hard to be angry at his destruction because he was so beautiful.

Little Hardo is a 5x7 unframed pastel, up for auction on ebay. Bidding begins at $100.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

ROSZA DANS LE BAIN, click to bid

I deliberated briefly whether I should get a Christmas tree or not, since I'm all alone in this house. Seems kinda' silly. But I'll be hosting my family's Christmas eve gift exchange here, and it would just feel incomplete without one. So I just purchased one, lugged it into the house, tracking muddy footprints all over my painted white floors. I'm looking forward to evenings in a darkened living-room with the tree glowing, and Robert Shaw's Handel's Messiah every night. I used to do that when my kids were younger. I wonder if they have an affinity for that music today. I hope so. My oldest daughter Anna got to sing in the All-State High School Chorale he directed one year.

Here's Rosza, the lovely model who has posed for my workshops in France for the past 3 years (that's why the title is in French). It's another 5x7 pastel, up for bids on ebay. Bidding begins at $100. Click on the title above to go to the auction.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Just so you don't think I have this special connection to the spiritual, I'll have to share another dream with you. One that I had over 20 years ago, and it also remains vividly imprinted in my brain. 

I was offered an opportunity to invest in a real estate venture. I sank all my money into it, which wasn't much. The investment was showing returns. I went to see my property. It was in Kentucky. I stood on the crest of a hill which overlooked my entire investment: hills upon hills as far as the horizon in every direction, meticulously cultivated into rows and rows of farmland. For as far as I could see, emerging out of the ground in neat little rows, were fish heads. I had invested in a tuna farm, which was wildly successful.

I woke from the dream energized! That's it! I'll invest in a... wait a minute... something is wrong here...

This is Leonardo, my daughter's cat, who perches on the highest possible places. "Cat on a Refrigerator with Onions" is a 7x5 pastel on PastelBord. It is available at auction; bidding begins at $100. Click on title above to be linked to ebay.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I HAD A DREAM..., click to bid.

About 18 years ago I had this dream. It has stayed in the back of my mind throughout my life.

I was standing on a choir platform with 4 or 5 other women. We all had sheet music in our hands and were trying to sing a song to the accompaniment of a woman playing a piano. I just couldn't get it. The melody, the harmony, everything was confusing; even the sheet music was unreadable. So the woman on the piano sang and played the song in its entirety for us. When she played, it was breathtakingly beautiful and I understood how to sing it. So we sang. It was a song of thanksgiving. And as we sang I was able to understand the sheet music, which was not bars and notes and symbols, but was linear. The line climbed to an apex then descended to the depths and climbed up again and descended again, up and down, up and down, like a mountain range with valleys. The song was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I woke sobbing, realizing I had just been given a gift. And I understood that I am learning this song of thanksgiving throughout my entire life, through the mountains and valleys.

This 5x7 pastel is another of Ann, a model who posed for my Thursday evening class here in Atlanta. It's up for auction, with the bidding beginning at $100. Click on the title above to be linked to the ebay auction.

Monday, December 2, 2013

ANN IN YELLOW AND BLUE, click to bid.

Here they come... little 5x7's, just in time for Christmas. Or Chanuka. Or a birthday present or an anniversary...

It's raining here in Atlanta. Thanksgiving has come and gone. Speaking of Thanksgiving... I'll have to tell you about a dream I had years ago. One of those dreams that seemed to come from outside my own mind, one of those dreams that never fades. I remember it as vividly today as if I had dreamed it last night.

But you'll have to wait until I can find the quiet time to do it.

"Anne in Yellow and Blue" is an unframed 5x7 pastel on PastelBord, up for auction with a beginning price of $100. Click on the title above to be linked to ebay.

I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home from Huntsville and thank you, Randy Higbee.

I drove through the beautiful northeast Alabama countryside yesterday morning, a crisp cloudless autumn day, on my way home from my Huntsville workshop this weekend. If you've never been to northeast Alabama, you're missing a well hidden gem. Mountains, lakes --a beautiful meandering drive.  Gas from Huntsville to Gadsden--$2.99 a gallon.

Thank you, Huntsville Art League and Shirley Barnes, for hosting the class so graciously.

And thank you, Randy Higbee, for accepting these two pastels into your 6x6 December show. I'm always happy to get into that show. Click on the title of this blog or copy and paste the link below to see a charming little video of one of his shows. I love watching it over and over, mostly I guess because of the music:

It's good to be home again. I'm headed up to the studio, which, by the way, is no longer the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage/studio. Not because I've fixed it up, but because when Kippy came into town a few weeks ago, she worked like a tornado and made me bring all my stuff upstairs to the unfinished apartment above the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage. So now my studio is a smaller but cleaner unfinished room which I'll be lighting and heating using extension cords connected to the power downstairs in the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage. I'll spend my morning trying to make it comfortable, cozy and inviting so I can get back to work. I'm hoping to get quite a few small pieces to auction off for December. So if you're looking for some affordable art, keep an eye out...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

3 day workshop in Huntsville, AL, November 15-17

I'll be traveling to Huntsville, AL, on Thursday to teach a 3 day class for the Huntsville Art League at the University of Huntsville. Friday-Sunday, November 15-17. There is still room for more participants. Let me know if you'd like to join us.

oops...make that one...

Got another sign-up for my workshop in France. Only one space left!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Only two spaces left!

If you're considering joining me in France this June for my annual workshop at La Bonne Etoile, you'd better act quickly. We have 8 confirmed participants, and only 2 spaces left! Contact Kippy to save your space. For all the information you'll need, click on the title above or copy and paste this link: . I would love to have you join us for a magical two weeks.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Turned out just fine...a little crumbly but very much edible.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I had 4 overly ripe bananas. Do I put them in the compost? Freeze them for smoothies? No. Whole wheat banana bread! So I went to work putting ingredients in the bowl, mixing them with my hand-mixer-with-only-one-whisker, the other must have gotten lost in the move, or ex-husband is holding on to it for spite. Oops. No eggs. What to substitute? I tried a tablespoon of mayonnaise--it's eggs, right? It looked a little funky as I poured it into the lightly greased pan, but tasted delicious when I sampled the batter to be sure. It smelled divine as it cooked in the oven, and seemed to be rising appropriately. WAIT! Whole wheat banana bread? I didn't remember putting any whole wheat in it. I frantically look around, no evidence of flour all over the kitchen, which there normally would have been. And no memory of pouring the flour into the measuring cup or gooky flour stuck at the bottom of the bowl. I had to pull the boiling mixture out of the oven, pour in the two cups of whole wheat flour, mix them with the hand-mixer amputee and replace the bread pan in the oven. I'm waiting now to see what comes out. I'll let you know.

These 6x6 pastels are hopefully going to the Randy Hibee 6x6 December show in Costa Mesa, CA. If not, they'll be available on ebay. I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A messenger.

I believe I am successfully navigating the stages of grief: I have passed the "knock yourself out at night with xanax so you can't think or feel anything" stage. When I had no more xanax, I entered the "cram your mouth with chocolate and don't eat anything else for days" stage, which I have survived and am recovering from. Now I'm in the "remember" stage. Those are the stages of grief, right?

A few weeks ago, before Daniel left us, I turned off Neil Young and took a break from the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage/studio, which I am very grateful for, and sat on the front porch talking with Daniel. I hadn't washed up, I was still wearing my paint-and-pastel-smeared-apron and my fingers were black with pigment. We watched as a shiny black pickup truck slowly passed my house, backed up and stopped at my mailbox. An elderly black man got out and said as he approached my front porch, "I bet you're the person I'm looking for." "I bet I'm not," I responded, figuring him to be selling something. "I bet you are," he said. "I bet I'm not," I repeated. "Did you put some things out last month during garbage amnesty day?" he asked.

In September the city of East Point, Georgia, held its bulk pick-up amnesty week. Twice a year you can put anything out on the curb for the garbage collectors, anything they would normally refuse -- broken appliances, furniture, mattresses, whatever. I was warned by my neighbors that the night before the pick-up, locals would scour the streets, stop at the piles that might hide something interesting, and load their vehicles with new treasures. That evening I had joined Mike and George (my next door and across-the-street neighbors who 'planted my vegetables,' installed my security light, trim my hedges and repair my lawnmower) for drinks as they watched to see how long it would take for their broken power tools and a cat-destroyed leather chair to disappear. From my window later I watched as people picked through my crumbling compressed wood-fiber office furniture and discarded old paintings, the ones I didn't have the heart to destroy.

He shook my hand and introduced himself; he was Bruce, he and his wife live several blocks away on Neeley Street. He could tell, he said, that I was the person he was looking for because of the "hasn't-been-cleaned-in-a-year apron" I was wearing -- I had to be an artist. He had rescued several of my paintings in September, one was an almost 20 year old painting of two ladies working in the kitchen, which now hangs in his house and he loves it. The other paintings now reside in his friends' houses, one of which lives on my street. He wanted to thank me, and with sparkling eyes, he did. "I believe in divine intervention," he said. Bruce joined Daniel and me on the porch and glowed as he talked about divine intervention in his life, most lately his successful battle with cancer. Now he and his wife help AIDS sufferers by printing and selling t-shirts; they purchase groceries for the needy person with the profits. The man had a message of joy which made both Daniel and me cry. Almost like an angel we thought.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My friend Daniel Burnley.

I lost my best friend this week. He had been my boss and my mentor a lifetime ago in a corporate advertising department, when we shared 3 hour lunches at Manuel's Tavern. He taught me how to write. He taught me design. He taught me to love a garden. He introduced me to the Arts and Crafts movement and art pottery. We complained about needing more time after spending entire days wondering through the Impressionist rooms of the Chicago Institute of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we discovered Thomas Dewing and Cecelia Beaux. We commiserated over our past disastrous relationships, we wore tiaras watching Downton Abbey. He was a small-town boy who made good in the big city. He was a gifted writer, actor and artist. Honest, passionate, intelligent and the funniest person I have had the honor to know. I am heartbroken and feel lost without him. He left us too soon. I will see him again over there.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My friend Meg Bortin, a journalist who has lived in Paris for more than 30 years, was also a professional chef in the U.S. and Paris. She writes a beautiful and simple blog. The simplicity I appreciate because I find the kitchen challenging. My ex once said he never knew anybody else who could destroy a kitchen making a cup of coffee. I'm afraid he was right. I'm almost inept in the kitchen. But I love reading Meg's recipes. I thought I'd share this one (and I might even try cooking it with the pumpkin sitting on my front porch) since Thanksgiving is almost upon us. You might also like subscribing to her blog, The Everyday French Chef, which would enter your email box about once a week. Check it out:

Friday, October 18, 2013

France again! June 11-25, 2014!

Kippy has finalized the itinerary for my 2014 workshop at La Bonne Etoile. If you are curious to see what we'll be doing, click on the title above (this jpg may not enlarge well). If you're interested in joining us, let us know.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I forced myself to the studio (OK, it's really a gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp crumbly garage, but I'm calling it a studio) to try to do some 6x6 pastels and/or paintings for the upcoming annual Randy Higbee 6x6 Exhibition in December. It's always a nice show to get into, if you can, and easy to send unframed work to because they're so small and lightweight, and he'll frame them there in his cavernous gallery. It's a huge show in Costa Mesa...

I digress. Back to the studio. I've been feeling a little, OK, not a little, disgruntled with people lately. So the plan was: don't check the phone for missed messages (there were none), don't check email compulsively (found nothing of interest all day), try to get into painting and forget the negative feelings I've been dealing with. I settled into the studio and turned on my hero Van Morrison. Hymns to the Silence and A Sense of Wonder. If ever you need to put your priorities in order, listen to this man worship The Ancient of Days, The Great Great Great Great Great One, The Master. I worked with elation. Thank you, Van.

This 6x6 pastel is of Ann, who modeled for my Wednesday evening class last week. We photographed her and I'm thrilled with the photos and the pieces I know I'll be doing of her. Thank you, Ann.

I'm actually feeling pretty good right now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This is the pastel that won the Award of Exceptional Merit, the highest award in the exhibition, at the Degas Pastel Society Exhibition at the Laurel Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. Eve Miller, from St. Helena, SC, also received the award. Thank you, Jill Chancey, Judge.

Monday, September 30, 2013

This past weekend two artist friends and I participated in the College Park Art Festival paint-out, not even a 5 minute drive from my home. Kippy and Candy stayed in my home over the weekend: Kippy (, who lives in France and hosts my workshops there, was in town to meet her newborn granddaughter; and Candy Day (, who lives in Ellijay. We woke early in the mornings, had our coffee and yogurt or smoothie or whatever and hurried down the street to find a place to park our easels.

Thursday afternoon, before the festival began, we decided to drive around the area to see what might be paintable--it seems none of us knew anything about College Park. Even Kippy's son said, "Why College Park?" Our sentiments exactly. I grew up in north Atlanta and knew about the existence of College Park in the south metro area near the airport, but had never been there. Actually, I always smugly dismissed it as being an undesirable area, not really Atlanta.

Again, in my increasing age, I am put to shame for my ignorance. Woodward Academy, an exclusive private school, is in College Park. I got to see its campus. I got to see the adjacent charming neighborhoods with pristine Craftsmen bungalows, manicured lawns, shady wide streets, trendy eateries. I got to meet some of the very content locals. College Park is every bit as desirable a neighborhood as Virginia-Highlands (for those of you who know Atlanta); it's a hidden gem.

And then there were the vibrant artists we met, from Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and even College Park. Millie Gosch (, a plein air painter with beautiful sophisticated gallery on Main Street, organized the event (I intend to paint with her and get to know her better). The day and a half paint-out culminated in a wet-painting exhibition at the Women's Club just down the road from Millie's gallery. The show was judged by Jim Richards (, who lives in Tucker, Georgia. I'm beginning to think Georgia is a terrific place to be an artist.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I won Best of Show. Not deservedly in my eyes, but who's going to argue with the judge? And nobody's taking that blue ribbon out of my hand.

Have I said it enough? I have landed in paradise.

oooh! I forgot to neighbors George and Mike (the guys that 'planted' vegetables in my garden) and Kathy showed up at the reception, to my delight. Kathy won a 5x5 painting by David Boyd ( in the raffle, something I would have loved to win myself, since I honestly thought his work deserved the blue ribbon. But he aint gittin' it from me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Well I sure do hope nobody else showed up Tuesday evening for my Monday evening demonstration at Kudzu Art Zone. I posted my announcement about it on Monday, hoping to pull in a larger audience, but was mortified to see that my announcement wasn't published until Tuesday morning! I know one lady (I'm so sorry, Jung!) who drove an hour to get there Tuesday night to find a darkened and locked building. I'm so so so so sorry if anybody else showed up Tuesday. If anybody did, please let me know. I'll try to make it up to you.

I was informed this week that one of the two pastels here won an award at the Degas Pastel Society exhibition in New Orleans last night. Not sure which one, but am looking forward to finding out!


Monday, September 23, 2013

If you're in the Atlanta area...

If you're in the Atlanta area, I will be doing a slide show presentation of my work and pastel demonstration at the Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross this evening. If you're looking for something to do tonight, you are welcome to attend.

Meet, greet and eat from 6:30 -7 pm, a short meeting (10 to 15 minutes), then I'm on. It should all be over around 8:30. 

Click on title above for link to directions.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Demonstration from St. George Island workshop.

It was a lovely two days in the Florida sun--two perfect days--with fun and hard-working students. A class small enough for everyone to enjoy the camaraderie. We had a couple of photo shoots on the beach, Honey posed with towels and parasols and flippers, traipsing through the water--the same Honey who assisted Kippy in my workshop in France. Honey, who lives in Tallahassee, put this class together with hopes of it becoming an annual occasion down there on St. George Island. I will do my best to make sure it happens again--I enjoyed every minute and would love to have more people next time.

Got home to a new roof. My 80 year old house had some leaks. I had a few roofers come bid on repairs a few weeks ago, all said they wouldn't repair it--I needed a new roof, two suggested I file a claim with homeowners insurance; there was hail damage up there. I thought, I'm not so sure I should be filing a claim only a few months after purchasing this place, but then, why not? We did have a serious hail storm 10 days after I moved in. If I had to replace the roof, it certainly would help. Friendly insurance adjuster approved, and 2 weeks later I have a new lifetime guaranteed roof. A real relief. And it'll be so nice not worrying about those enlarging brown spots on my dining room ceiling or the water which literally poured through my front porch ceiling. Now my neighbors are jealous and want new roofs too.

Speaking of neighbors... I think I have the best neighbors in the world.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

En route to my St. George Island workshop.

I drove 6 hours from Atlanta today, south to St. George Island, a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico, off Florida's panhandle. It's been a long time since I've driven alone like that. I used to make my living driving to art festivals in Miami, Chicago, Sausalito, Denver, Kansas City, to name a few. And I loved the driving; I'd catch up on classic literature on CD (Don Quixote lasted all the way to San Francisco and back!!! Oy veh) and learned conversational French on those drives. My mind would race with ideas. It was a creative time. During the summers I had my two young daughters with me. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.
But I've been teaching lately, rather than peddling. So my driving is rare. It felt good to be behind the wheel again. About 3 hours into my journey I was surprised to hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on my windshield because it was a gloriously sunny day with a brilliant cerulean sky. I turned on my wipers to clear the glass and was startled that the rain spots didn't wipe away. Ugh, I realized. I'm headed into the deep south in late summer. Those are bugs.
No need to wipe them off, it's futile. I'd just wait until I got to Florida.
Around that time I took a detour when I passed the signs pointing to the Kolomoki Mounds, which I had never heard of. I drove about 5 miles out of the way and only stayed long enough to snap a few pictures, hoping I could lure someone to go back with me one day to walk the trails and climb the mounds. Kolomoki, I have learned, is the oldest and largest Woodland Indian site in the southeastern United States. It was occupied by American Indians from 350 to 750 a.d. You'll find Georgia’s oldest great temple mound there, 57 feet high, dominating two smaller burial mounds and several ceremonial mounds. I will return.
I continued my trek; Spanish moss, Live Oaks, swollen armadillos on the roadside, cotton fields, sandy soil replacing the red clay, palmetto bushes, all signs said "Welcome to the deep south." It feels good to be here again.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Heading to St. George Island...

I'll be driving down to St. George Island, Florida, Thursday morning to arrive at a wine and cheese reception for my weekend workshop. If the sunlight is cooperative, we'll go onto the beach with our cameras and photograph a couple of beautiful models with colorful parasols. All day Friday and Saturday we'll work in the studio from our photos. Lunch will be prepared for us, dinner will be waiting for us afterwards each day. Cannot wait.  

There's still room for more if you want to join the class. Just click on the title above for more info.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

There's still room in my 2 day St. George Island workshop, September 13 & 14. 
Contact me or Honey Hilliard for registration.

I think I'm ready for a few days on the Gulf.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Friday evening, sitting at home alone. Well almost alone. I've got a family of hummingbirds who dart in and out of my front porch all day long, feeding on my feeder. And I've got Wolf Blitzer, Facebook and a good book.

This landscape is a 5x7 pastel of Screen, Ireland, painted during my recent trip to Ireland. It's up for auction. Click on the title above to go to ebay if you're interested.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Too hot to work out there this afternoon. Can't even think of anything to write about. But here's a new piece...

"Boats at dock in Ballyhack" is a 10"x10" pastel on board, up for auction. Bidding begins at $100.

Monday, August 26, 2013

TEA TIME 3 AND TRUE LOVE. click to bid

Saturday night my daughter Meg came by. I was to photograph her for a passport and she hung around for the evening--a rarity. She told us (my friend Daniel was there) that she pulled into her garage the other night and saw by the headlights, scattered on the walls were palmetto bugs. Water bugs some call them. Roaches--huge black ones, 2-3 inches in size usually. And they fly. Right at you. If you haven't spent time in the south, you may not be familiar with these demons from hell, I call them. My daughters have inherited my horror of them. She counted 11 of them (I am shuddering in disgust as I imagine it).

Her boyfriend was at the kitchen door, welcoming her home. But she refused, almost in tears, to get out of the car, knowing they would fly at her. They always do, she says. Despite his reassurances, she would not budge. He gesticulated--hold on, I'll be right back. He reappeared momentarily with a rifle. What? she thought, he's going to shoot them? It was an air rifle. He pumped the thing and proceeded to blast every *&*^%$&%$#^@#^^ demon to pieces, and Meg was able to leave the car. 

"Marry that man, Meg," I commanded her.

"Tea Time 3" is my last in the Tea Time series.  It's a 10x12 pastel, available for auction. Just click on the title of this blog and it'll take you to ebay.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

TEA TIME AGAIN, click to bid.

All the while I was in France this past June I kept wondering why I was getting no comments to my blog. The year before there was wonderful interaction between you readers and me, but this summer... absolute silence. I kept asking people if they were actually receiving my blog. That had to be the reason nobody was responding. Did I say something to alienate everyone (my first assumption always)?

Well, today as I was trying to edit my latest post, I clicked on 'messages' and found 44 waiting for me to  publish to the post. So sorry everyone, I would have loved seeing your messages sooner. I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, that's for sure. But I found them. Thank you for writing. I love it.

"Tea Time Again" is a 10x12.5 pastel on LaCarte paper. It's up on ebay, bidding begins at $100. Click on title above to be taken to ebay.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to the easel

I'm back in the studio, where I belong. Working on slightly larger pieces for the galleries. I'l be posting some smaller ones here too, for auction. Feels good to be productive again.

I'm calling this one Bathsheba.  I don't remember her real name, but she posed for me in Littleton, Colorado, a while back, and had a dark Mediterranean look, graceful and comfortable with herself. All I could think of was King David watching her from afar.

Bathsheba is a 16x20 pastel. Framed gallery price would be $2600.00. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I hit the ground running when I return home--there's so much to catch up on. All the while I'm meaning to close my trip on my blog, hating to leave anybody hanging. So I'm finally getting to it.

I returned home from Ireland with a broken carry-on, new clothes to replace my items from my delayed bag, a large balance on my credit card, about 100 Euros to put aside for my next trip, a mental image of the complaint I would write USAirways, and a sense of renewed commitment to art. Despite all my little annoyances, I returned home with a new respect for plein air work and the dedicated artists who paint that way. I have a lot to learn. And I intend to spend the next year working at it. Ireland--I love. The Irish people are my people, whether they know it or not. They were gracious and gentle and funny and down-to-earth. If you pass them on the street they say melodically, "Hello, luvley day." I look forward to seeing Ireland again, only next time I'll take more time and travel west, maybe try to look up my distant relatives.

I met artists from Ireland, England, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, USA and more. I can still see their faces and hear their voices. One thing quite a few of them do is travel. A lot. Some were off to Italy and France after Ireland. I may work on that too.

Some of the artists I had the honor to get to know in Ireland:
From the USA
Lori Putnam
Valerie Craig (Valerie won the best in show award)
Rhonda McCay
Andy Dearwater

From Ireland, England, Germany
Jane Meyler
Judy and Peter Tate
Tony Robinson
Reiner Simon

Another blip on my air travel...I was bumped from my return flight in Dublin (they lost my bag again too). I was too overwhelmed to be furious. They rerouted me through Philadelphia instead of Charlotte and put me in first class, which I wasn't going to complain about. I plopped my 40 lb. broken roll-on and my tired body in the front row, accepted an immediate offer of champagne from the flight attendant, and struck up conversation with the man sitting next to me, oblivious of all the dirty masses making their way past us to the back of the cabin. "What were you doing in Ireland?" Wayne asked. Assuming he was like most non-artists, I went into a lengthy definition of what plain air painting is and what paint-outs are and what I was doing in Wexford. "My girlfriend is a plein air pastel artist," he replied when I was finished. I was astonishment and speechless. I learned later, when I had a chance to get online, that she's an award winning pastelist ( Puts me to shame. And she has been following my blog for a few years (Hi Judy and Wayne). Four champagnes and a glass of wine later, dinner, an ice cream sundae, and non-stop conversation for hours, we stretched out and slept until we approached Philly. That was my first experience in first class. All the while, well maybe not all the while, I was thinking of all the people back there in economy scrunched up for 7 hours in 18 inch spaces, while I had endless champagne and munchies, a linen tablecloth, stainless steel (rather than plastic) flatware, several courses for dinner and good company. First class was definitely nice. But it might have been better if I had never known what I've been missing, or will be missing.

Anyway, I'm home. Catching up on paying bills, pulling weeds, staying in touch with loved ones, hanging curtains, installing shelves with my new drill, painting, trying to get back into the studio (here's something I've done since I've been home) and enjoying my little house.

I'm so glad to be home.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My last day in Ireland

Oh dear, I had forgotten about the Irish breakfasts at the B&B's, with fresh fruit and yogurt and several choices of granolas and eggs and bacon and sausage and black and white pudding and soda bread and Irish butter and preserves...
I had been staying at Whites Hotel the past week during Art in the Open. The original plan was for me to teach a 3 day figurative workshop immediately after the close of the festival but my class didn't fill. So I have several days to kill. I had considered returning home early but changing my return flight would have cost more than staying here in a B&B the 4 extra days, which, obviously, I opted to do.
But I had forgotten about the Irish breakfasts at the B&B's. Oy. The soda bread and butter. I came to southeast Ireland about 12 years ago with my husband. Ex-husband now (and could I write about that...). One of the most vivid memories from that wonderful trip was the breakfasts at every B&B. Especially the soda bread and Irish butter, and I'm not a bread and butter kind of person. I remember waking up every morning eager to get down to breakfast just to have the bread and butter. Today that has been reawakened.
I'm staying at The Blue Door B&B in Wexford, where the owner, Derek, is a chef. I have spent the past two days painting with Judy and Peter, a married couple from England. They pick me up at 9:00 a.m., and we paint until 5ish, breaking for fish (fresh from the sea) and chips. I'll be seeing them again this morning for our final painting excursion. We all depart for our homes in the morning. Gotta' run downstairs for breakfast now...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Final day of Art in the Open, Wexford, Ireland, 2013

Many artists are gone now, some to western parts of Ireland to paint and visit family or friends. One leaves for Italy, where she'll meet with another group of artist friends to paint in Italy for several weeks. But some like me are painting one more day in Screen. I'm sitting at the top of a hill overlooking a church, its cemetary and the hills of Ireland, hearing the bleating of sheep in the distance. We broke for a picnic lunch down the hill on picnic tables scattered in front of the town's pub, and had a glass or two. Here's a local toasting you!

The event is officially over. It has been exhausting but exhilarating ànd productive. I've learned a few things: I want to do more plein air painting. I'll need the right equipment to do it comfortably. I want to come back to Ireland. I want to travel to more places and painting can get me there.
Many of these artists travel the world and sell their paintings to do it. I'm going to try it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Art in the Open, Ireland, Exhibition Opening and Awards Presentation, Greenacres Gallery

Monday afternoon was our exhibition at Greenacres Gallery. One hundred eighty artists exhibited up to 3 pieces each. And every piece was lovely. It was really an emotional experience to see the quantity and quality of the work created the past week. Also to see the work done by the people you had shared meals and drinks with during these days. As they say here, it was grand.

The Mayor of Wexford welcomed everyone, all the hard working volunteers were credited, and award winners were announced (you'd know if I won anything). It was an excellent show; all the artists were thrilled to be a part of it.

Here were my 3 ...

Tomorrow, for those of us who did not depart after the exhibition, there will be one final paint-out and a picnic. Tomorrow also I check out of my hotel and into a more reasonable B&B around the corner.