Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Sometimes walls are to sit on.
Sometimes walls are to beat your head against.
Sometimes walls are for shade.
Sometimes walls are restrictive.
Sometimes walls are secure.
And other times walls are for pushing through, tearing down and moving past.

Friday, December 17, 2010

the geese are getting fat and deodorant

Last week we had a little cold snap and our heater busted. I guess the Louisiana forecast was just too hard on this old house's furnace (that, or the old furnace was exactly that.... old.) So this year Santa brought us the need to get a new one. Thanks Santa; now we are all toasty and warm again.

The rest of this post is for a certain stinky friend in Idaho, seeking, but not finding, a good natural deodorant. I have searched for one of those myself off and on for the last 12 years, always returning to the chemically-heavy and commercially processed products anyone can find at their local one-stop-shop. I believe my search finally ended 6 months ago. Other products and I (and I am sure to have tried them ALL) have only really gotten along for a maximum of two weeks. And generally our relationship only lasted that long because I am stubborn. But the desire to be stench-free always won out, much to the satisfaction and relief of those I lived around. (Sorry to everyone that had to endure me.) So, back in June a friend of mine introduced me to two products made by LUSH Cosmetics. I use the following products together and feel fresh as a flower petal all day (and I can always enjoy a little "pick me up" in the muggy summer months by applying a bit more powder through the day.)

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Here are the products (AND WORTH EVERY DIME):

Lush Aromaco Natural deodorant ( I also have and use the Aromarant but like the smell of the Aromaco better)

AND the Vanilla Puff Powder Dusting Powder. (I am NOT a fan of "foody" smelling body or home products, so understand that the vanilla in the Vanilla Puff Powder is not what it may sound like.)

I apply the deodorant and then a healthy dusting of the scrumptious powder. Freshness all day!!!!! Six months and going a good way. HA!

Good luck, stinky friend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

out of the studio, and in a shoe

his morning my oldest son said his shoe did not fit. I felt the tip of his shoe and told him to wriggle his toes. His feet really were jammed up to the toe of his shoes! I couldn't believe he had outgrown them that fast, so I had him take the shoes off. This is what I found: 1/3 cup of sand....IN EACH SHOE!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Up and going

I was up and in the studio this morning at 5:30. I will be getting to bed a lot earlier tonight so I can can better time in there in the morning. Currently I am working on a larger project: a still life of two glass Christmas ornaments, containing a double self portrait. I will be submitting it to a juried group exhibition entitled "Intimacy" in Chicago. We'll see if it makes it in.

Monday, November 29, 2010

honoring a sacrifice

School starts on Thursday. I am enjoying a quiet night; the baby finally quieted down in his crib and the newly decorated tree is all lit up beside me. I have a lot on my mind, despite the stillness of the house. I have been thinking about painting.  My family makes such sacrifices in supporting my efforts to paint. We own a small three bedroom house and all four of our children sleep in one room, so I can have a place to paint. Nan is almost eight and I have been wondering if I shouldn't pack up the studio temporarily (we are going to close our carport in for a new office/studio space in the spring) and let the girls and boys have their own rooms. I have been thinking of what happened the last time I had a show (Feb 2008 in Salt Lake). When the show ended, I didn't paint seriously again for two years. Coming into the Holiday Tour I recalled all the time that went by and tried to identify why I stopped. This is what I came up with: I had a four month old baby and my two other children were 5 and 3. My husband was finishing grad school and later that summer we moved across the country. It always takes me what seems to me to be a longer than normal time to get my bearings straight when I move (mostly socially) and there was no exception when we moved to Louisiana. My oldest child started attending public school and then I was expecting our fourth child. Pregnancy and I do not get a long well, and neither did the children left at home while Nan was away. So I had our fourth child a little over a year ago and when I decided to start school again (on the extremely slow track- one class a quarter, so I can still be at home with my little ones) I think I started to see the light at the end of the creative tunnel. Of course while in that unproductive tunnel I judged myself. I thought that if painting was important enough to me I would make it happen no matter what. Who knew that it was a necessary time for me to be attending to other things? I don't think I need to be afraid of a repeat. I am in a different place in life now than I was three years ago. The studio needs a bitter cleaning, and now that Thanksgiving break is almost over and our wonderful guests are safely in their own home again, I can attend to that. I will not temporarily pack things up, and maybe this will help speed the process of our home addition along. I will honor my family's sacrifice and paint.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Great Success

Thank you to all who made the Holiday Arts Tour here in Ruston such a great success. I had approximately 100 visitors. My sales were tremendous; I sold three paintings and numerous card sets. Thank you Frothy Monkey, thank you generous guests, thank you all who wish you could have come! I look forward to doing the tour again next year, ready to show all new work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

25 hours

Just one last push to get everything ready for the Holiday Arts Tour. I am so very excited to have fourteen new pieces to show. The last thing I need to do is hang all the work at the Frothy Monkey this afternoon and finish the card sets. I will have 100 of those for sale, so if any one out there wants one, they should let me know. Seven cards with matching envelopes come in a beautiful box (choice of red, craft or white) and each card showcases a different image of my most recent body of work. They are $16 each.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the boot

Getting ready for the Holiday Arts tour. I had an interview with a reporter form the Ruston Daily Leader this afternoon. She asked all sorts of questions about my art that I hope I ended up having an intelligent answer for. Here is one of my latest paintings:

oil on masonite
8"x 8"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Condie's backyard

This is a little sketch of my friend's backyard. I have become increasingly aware of how loose and gestural my landscapes are turning out. Compared to my recent still life studies, these landscapes are almost abstract. There is a certain personal value in working both ways. Here is a still life I finished earlier this week:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hillside by Turner Falls
8"x 8"
oil on masonite
I did this on my way home from Oklahoma City a few weekends ago. It was around 7:30 am and the sky changed so rapidly, that the clouds here are actually just the toned ground of the board showing through. I totally lucked out that the board and the clouds were the same intensity and hue. That made for what I think is now a real loose and gestural landscape.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

sketch from imagination

I think this may be the very first sketch in oil I have ever done from imagination. I took a bike ride at dusk with my nieces a few weeks ago and that night I did this painting demo for them. Though I will admit it looks to me more like the sun is going up than down.
Any opinions out there: Dusk or Dawn?
Either way, I am pleased with it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

a lot of mileage

The editors of our town newspaper chose my painting as the cover for their quarterly magazine! How cool.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

launching a new website

Here is my new website. I will be adding more paintings to it very soon, but the format will stay the same.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

babies love venetian red

As a viewer of this post, you hereby swear to not call the Department of Child Services on me. Thank you.

One catastrophe led to another yesterday. While I was painting, something fell down in the hallway in my house and I set my pallet down as quickly as I could to go attend to it and calm my frightened three year old. In the meantime my almost one year old:

Poor Simon.
(Simon is O.K.) am I, Thanks for asking...

Monday, October 11, 2010

For Alana

The Gesture of Love
by George Eliot

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

study of a Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot landscape

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thanks Leon

So maybe I can't resist painting things sitting on a shelf. These were next to the old gas cans I last posted. I've had it finished for a while now, but have been having a difficult time photographing my work. This morning I went out before the sun was up and the sky was essentially a giant blue/white light source. I had a lot less glare with this experiment. I am going  to go back on this piece and paint the shadow cast by the shelf onto the wall blue. I was working from a photograph, and the shadow was really brown, but I am reminded of something my toughest art teacher, Leon Parson, once said, "Just because it looks stupid, doesn't mean you should to paint it that way." 

Glass Jug
oil on masonite
8"x 8"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

three gas cans

three gas cans
8"x 8"
oil on masonite
I found these old gas cans in Shreveport outside of Big Mama's Antiques. No telling how many rain showers these little guys have sat through. This took me appropriately 3 1/2 hours to paint today. Thank the heavens above for nap time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I finished my first homework assignment this evening. The instructions were to set up a still life consisting of three objects placed in front of a black background and with a light foreground. The background had to take up more space than the foreground and the shadows of the objects could not enter the background. I tried to take a series of photos to document my process, but my camera's battery died. I've shared what I was able to get. Overall, I am pleased with the painting, but if anyone has a suggestion as to the color to use on the core shadow of an orange, I am ready and waiting for some advise. I am still not sure I got it right.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

loose and tight

Some clarification: I did not do this rooster in one day. It actually took about four sessions of a few hours each to complete. I tried some new painting techniques with this one that really made it fun: trying to paint faster in some areas and keeping a balance between loose and tight.
Soon I'll have it off to it's new owner.
Got new business cards in the mail today! I really like the way they turned out.

the front

the back

Monday, September 20, 2010


I finished this today. The frame is part of a heart pine floor ripped out of a 200 year old home in Kentucky.

oil on gesso board

My visit to New Orleans was great. I got to spend about three hours in the New Orleans Museum of Art. ( I touched a Wayne Thiebaud painting. Couldn't help it, I just had to.) The fried oyster po' boy I had on Friday was delish! And the beginets at Cafe Du' Monde's were....ummmm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

happy days

This post marks my 100th post on BLOGGER. 

Even though the weather hasn't really begun to cool off yet, these are happy days for me. At the moment, my two oldest children are at school, and my two youngest are napping simultaneously. I am sipping chocolate Silk and eating goldfish crackers with a healthy (meaning generous, not heart-smart) side of pepper-jack cheese. Last fall, I made the decision to go back to school beginning in fall 2010. I am now pursuing my bachelor's of fine arts degree at Louisiana Tech University. I am a transfer student having aquired already an assoicaite degree in illustration. My first class here is beginning painting with Peter Jones. This painting is after day two, we will finish it during the next class. It is a still life (obviously) using a limited pallet. I am having a lot of fun with it.

I was just picked as the featured artist showing at the Holiday Arts Tour!!! (Click the link to see more.) My work will be in Ruston, LA at RUMO'S Barber Shop during the Arts Tour and I plan to have 31 new pieces ready for sale then. Here is one for a sneak preview:

A White House8"x 8"
Oil on Masonite

My husband and I are going on a little get-a-way to New Orleans Friday night, and I am going to spend some time in the New Orleans Museum of Art. Finally, A trip to a museum! It has been far too long.

Keep tuning in for more sneak peaks.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I just went shopping at  and for what I spent, they sent me the following. Use it if you want to. I bought everything I was in need of.

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Please enjoy 20% Off your next purchase* at! Use the unique keycode below to save on thousands of top-quality art materials from leading creative brands. This offer expires in seven days.
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* Valid online & by phone only. Offer does not apply to: sale or clearance items, “BEST BUYS", vendor direct items, special orders, school kits or gift cards Limit one coupon per customer. Offer applies to in-stock merchandise only. Must enter keycode at time of purchase. Offer expires in seven days.

Monday, August 30, 2010

two sketches

Jury Duty, I am convinced, is only fun for people with sketchbooks.

a rooster- unrelated to Jury Duty

Saturday, August 28, 2010

none the richer

I spent a little time this afternoon giving my blog a renovation, and I will post a painting tonight.
Here is your opportunity, you secretive and silent blogger friends out there, comment today and tell me what you think of the new look.

Here, for your viewing enjoyment is a picture of some of my ancestors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paint scrapings

My painting efforts amounted to this today.
Any encouraging words?
Goals for tomorrow:
Have a wonderful last-day-before-he's-an-official-kindergartener with my son.
Swim 1/3 mile before 6am.
Put more paint on the canvas than I scrape off.

Friday, August 20, 2010

today's sketch in oil

I bet you didn't know I take requests. O.k. I don't. But it is August 20th, which just so happens to be Matt Linder Request Day. So here's celebrating:

8.5" x 8.5"
oil on masonite


An unalterable goal is not one worth making. I swam this morning, but only three laps. Personally I think every lap swam before 6am should count as double.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

wishful thinking

This afternoon I swam farther than I ever have previously (I am relatively new at the sport and went 1/3 of a mile.)
The laundry is folded and put away and I did a small (3"x 3") sketch of what I wish the weather was like right now.
Get Nan to school.
Swim a third of a mile again.
Post another painting.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

goals achieved...

I didn't get to the pool this morning at five, it had to wait until six. But I went. And I didn't get this painted by noon, I took this picture of it at 11 pm. And since I am not asleep yet and I am posting this, I also met my third goal. Feels good.
Goals for tomorrow:
I will swim four laps instead of three at 6 am.
I will fold my laundry (AND PUT IT AWAY).
And I will paint something before 3pm to post before I go to bed.

My backyard this morning around 8am:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


When I get restless creatively, the elements in my life seem to do a little unraveling. I have found that I tend to spread my efforts thin instead of what I know I need to do to get this restlessness to subside. It is time to exercise a little self discipline and lay my efforts thick.
It is hard to judge who may read this, but I am writing for myself, so it doesn't really matter. I have realized through the events of the last 4 days that I am ready for a new set of priorities. I am swimming at five am tomorrow morning, I am painting something tomorrow before lunch, and I am posting it on this blog before I go to bed tomorrow night. Three simple goals...attainable goals.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

new light

I re-wired and hung this chandelier yesterday. Took down the ceiling fan and put this in its place. (A great find from a lady off craigslist- $20!!!!!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

some stuff

Loving the eats at the Waffle House!
Nan played soccer last spring.
and got her hair cut the last week of first grade.

Got new windows put in the house.

Niel ran his first 5-k!