Thursday, February 21, 2019

Flowers, flowers, flowers - and a Mexican Koko!

 Brown-eyed Susans
Oil on black canvas, 14x14
Please click here to email me for price and availability

AFTER A WEAK show in Tubac and a round of self-doubt and self-examination, I dove back in and started painting again, and it felt great.

I have a solo show in July and August at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, in Norfolk, VA, and I need 30-40 paintings for it. So I decided to paint florals, and just let the paint flow and take me where it takes me.

You people - the community that has grown up around my paintings - you people are so very sweet and so very supportive, it takes my breath away sometimes.

I write about the bad times as well as the good to share the experience, with you who love and admire and buy my art, and with other artists, especially younger ones, who might think that they are the only ones who doubt, who question, who wonder about their work and their direction. I've been making and selling art for a little while now - and that is not false modesty, but the truth: In terms of people making their living at art, I'm still a neophyte.

But I'm successful, and people buy and collect and love my paintings - and still, I question my direction, my purpose, my way. I wish artists with vast experience would share more about their doubts and missteps. I'd love to hear their questions and their answers.

Thank you, all of you who wrote and sent me your love and support. I truly appreciate it, and it always, always helps me gather my courage.

And that is what I'm doing. I'm experimenting, I'm painting with faith and verve, I am going to go where the path leads me, and I'm not painting scared. And guess what? It feels great.

Inset - Peonies, 6x6
Above - Peonies and Tiger Lilies, 12x36
Below, Bouquet on White, 16x16


DAD AND PAULA and I went to Nogales, Mexico, last week, so Paula could have some dentistry work done. They, and all their friends - and a number of other people I know - cross the border from Nogales, Arizona, to Nogales, Sonora, regularly for dentistry. The dentists are first-class, and the work is miles cheaper and way quicker. It's often more economical to fly to Tucson, get a hotel, drive to Nogales and have your dental work done, than to go to your own dentist down the street. To the right is the dentist in his waiting room. Below, Nogales, Sonora. 

Above, the border going into Mexico by car. Below, Paula walking toward the border you cross on foot. Dad and Paula park in Nogales, Arizona, and then walk across the border. Apparently, the line for cars to cross back into the US can be very long. 

Above, a Mexican Chinese restaurant. Below, a Mexican Koko! 

Look through the fence at the border return, above, and you can see the metal fence, now lined with razor wire, separating Nogales, Sonora, from Nogales, Arizona. Below, the line to get back into the US. It looked pretty long, but took us only about 25 minutes. 

Perro de la Dia

IT'S THE MEXICAN Koko, above! For those of you who might not be able to conjure up an image of the Virginian Koko, I have included a photo of her, below. Amazing likeness, si? 

A Final Thought

"Art has many avenues; love is carried through many vessels. Your oceans are your colours, your ship is your brush and your treasures are in your heart." 

- Moncy Barbour

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

On Deep Creek Road

THE SHOW IN TUBAC, while not a loser of a show, wasn't great in terms of sales. I met some truly lovely people, visitors and artists alike, and made some marvelous connections, some of which will last for life, I think - and patrons and supporters of my work bought some paintings.                                                                                                                           It was excellent on a human level, and was not a disaster financially, but it was a long, slow, and very cold show. Standing outside in 40-degree weather, with a cold wind blowing, for 10 hours or so, to bring in $35, well, that's a tough day.                                                                                                                    Inevitably, a day like this, a show like this makes me question my direction, my production, my choices, even my talent. I talk positively to myself, I remind myself that I believe truly in what I'm doing, and that my job is to talk to people, listen to them, share my story if they're interested, hand out cards, invite them to sign up for my newsletter. And bring the art to them, the best art I can bring. But doubt creeps in. 

It's all an opportunity to critique my paintings honestly and even brutally, and that is OK. 

So, for your consideration, I'm posting my newest mosaic painting, at the very top, and the original painting I made of the scene, below. I like them both, I have to say, though they are very different. I'd love to hear your insights. 


MY NEXT SHOW is the Rio Grande Spring Festival in Albuquerque, March 8-10, 
at the Lujan Exhibit Complex at the Expo NM Fairgrounds. 
I'm glad to say that this will be an indoor show. 

Dog of the Day

It's Ringo Starr, whose humans made and sold macrame jewelry just up the road from me during the Tubac show. Ringo was friendly and very well behaved.
Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

A Final Thought

"The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate - it is life, intensified, brilliant life." 

-Alain Arias-Misson

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Curly, Larry & Moe

Curly, Larry & Moe 
Oil on black canvas, 20x20 / Available soon at District Arts, in Frederick, MD

This has been an exciting and busy stretch for me, as faithful followers of this blog can tell by my prolonged silence. I spent January painting commissions, painting for galleries, painting for shows - and somehow, I feel light on supply, in spite of all that painting. But it's a good problem to have, really! 

As I write this, I am in Tubac, AZ, visiting my dad and stepmother, in advance of the Tubac Festival of the Arts, which starts on Wednesday and runs through Sunday. I won't know my booth space until set-up time on Tuesday. I'll post it on Facebook then, and on my website, The photo to the left shows me and my dad, together on Saturday at the Arts Center in Tubac. Dad was 90 in September, and is doing great. He volunteers at the Arts Center, knows everyone there and has a keen eye for good. art. 

I've had the good fortune to be invited to show and sell my work - including Curly, Larry & Moe - at District Arts, 15 North Market St., Frederick, MD. ( The gallery, which is set to open later in the month, if all goes well, is owned by Staci and Bill McLauchlan, who are wonderful artists I met years ago, doing shows. Knowing them, and seeing the artists involved, I am sure the gallery is going to be spectacular. If you're in the area, please stop in. 

I'll have Nine Honkers (below) with me at the Tubac Art Festival. Hope to see you there! 

 Nine Honkers
Oil on black canvas, 20x60

Scenes from the Road

I STOPPED IN Robertson, Alabama, at the Oasis Travel Center, and was delightfully surprised and amused. The place sort of defies explanation - and is ridiculously fun. You enter through a giant VW microbus, find yourself face to face with a pirate ship, and then find an 18-wheeler, a school bus and a variety of fun sculptures, T-shirts, snacks, sodas and entertainment inside. It's a scream! I will make a point of stopping there any time I'm on I-10. 

Dog of the Day

It's Lulu - a/k/a Princess Yum-Yum - ready for bed. 
She doesn't really sleep this way - but my guess is that she believes she should! 

A Final Thought

"Every creative act involves a new innocence of perception, 
liberated from the cataract of accepted belief."

- Arthur Koestler