my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

and here is the finished sketch

     Sometimes I do a more finished sketch to work out how to abstract the design and tune the colors.  The coral colored outline along the bottom and up one side are an important element that I'll need to work into the painting some way other than an outline.  Without that color in the foreground it seems a little too bland.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

blank canvas

      I love the beginning of a painting, especially if I have a sketch I am excited about, which I do.  I mixed up a large batch of nice cool, but not too cool gray for an under painting.  It is a 30x40 canvas so I need quite a bit. 

the thumbnail sketch

Sunday, December 8, 2013

the first two pages of my illustrated journal


 I just got a book by Cathy Johnson, Artist Journal Workshop.  I bought a nice big sketchbook with watercolor pages.  I decided that I really like playing with w/c, something I haven't done in years. 

I've had a cozy weekend, making mini ginger whoopie pies (King Arthur flour recipe) with a friend- yum! and watching birds on my back deck.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

new paintings

Bananaquits, 9x12, oil

Houses in Bermuda, 12x16, oil

A Brief Moment, 30x40, oil

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I used to wear Timex
watches for their simple open faces.
In odd moments
I would cup the watch to my ear
to listen for the ticking
as real and imaginary as the sea in a shell.

     After a few years of wearing a Timex I decided I wanted a watch with a little style and I found a gray and silver swatch watch.  It is the opposite of a Timex.  As it has no numbers of any sort telling time by it is a little chancy.  Every once in a while I miss by an hour.  Unlike a Timex it has no night light, no friendly green glow, so it is useless in the dark.  And in bright sun it is important to be careful looking at it.  The metallic face is a powerful reflector and I have blinded myself more than once.  But it looks good.  

     I dusted off my little travel watercolor set to practice some sketching.  My first subject: watches!
My husband's grandfather's brass watch
I only have a dim memory of my grandfather checking his pocket watch for the time.  He would pull it out of his pocket and hold it at waist level- I realize now that is the preferred distance when you need reading glasses.  My father wore a Timex wrist watch.

This was my husband's grandmother's grandfather's gold watch given to him by his wife on their fifth wedding anniversary. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Our Rose of Sharon two weeks ago

I journal about seasons probably more than anything else and probably mostly in spring and fall when things change so quickly.  One morning there is frost and suddenly all the tender plants are brown and dead.  Another day an afternoon storm comes up and the wind shakes loose a fury of leaves.  In minutes they lay scattered all over the freshly raked yard.  Last weekend my husband climbed on the roof to pull the leaves from the gutter where they bristled.  Mounds of leaves thrown down girdled the house.  

It was cold this morning.  Now the little trees and bushes in my yard are bare.   Only the dark purple, wine colored leaves remain, the oaks, grandfathers of the woods.

Winter's stasis is ushered in. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I didn't sleep well 
last night
couldn't let go of the surface tension
and drop
into the deep nourishing place
the well we don't remember

today's pastel

Monday, October 7, 2013

caribbean days

Finished this pastel today.  Outside my studio it rained cats and dogs but inside I went to a happy, tropical place! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

ipad sketching

Last night was our monthly open house at Liberty Town Arts Workshop (First Friday).  It got a little quiet at the end of the evening so I sketched my work space with my finger.  I use the Sketchbook Pro app.

This morning I walked over to the Amelia 
Square townhouses to tour the model 
home and was excited to see they
 had won first place in the parade of homes.  


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

drawing in the meadow

A sea of grass
the sounds,  a mix
of raspy and smooth
long and short, Morse code
without interpreter.
Crickets, locust, bird song.
The meadow has a weave.
A breeze moves through
touching each grass.
They wave like a symphony 
each with its own movement:
bowing, swinging in gentle circles,
shivering and swaying. 

The complexity is so dense and artful
I could spend a lifetime
and never untease it all onto my paper.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Amelia Square

     My work will be showcased in the Amelia Square model home (1099 Winchester Street, Fredericksburg, VA) during the Parade of Homes during the next two weekends in October.  Impressions of Fredericksburg decorated the rooms.


For more information about Amelia Square and the open house:

Monday, September 30, 2013

a painting and a pastel

Finished a large painting today and a small pastel, both inspired by St. George, Bermuda:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

days in the meadow

In the Field

I can hear a gentle bee nearby
buzzing and stopping from flower to flower,
and a woodpecker drumming.
Dragonflies patrol just above the meadow's surface.
Some of the grass is releasing tender,
creamy down to float on the breeze.
Everything is here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I have fallen in love with meadows.  It began with a day trip to Skyline Drive and a walk through Big Meadows in late August.  Now I have found that right in my neighborhood, the Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield has beautiful fields of grass and flowers alive with buzzing critters. 

Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.  -Charles Schulz

Monday, September 16, 2013

today's poem


God speaks to me in dreams.
 Mostly my nights are the wanderings
of a resting brain as it ruminates
over life's salad of conversation and thoughts.
 Now and then the channel is changed.
I hear His voice
and He takes me flying,
the recurring dream that weaves
a bright thread through my life,
among the kaleidoscope of day dreams. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

overlook in Shenandoah National Park

Below us the rolling hills and patchwork farms
lay under a sea 
of blue green atmosphere,
with here and there a hill rising up through it
like an island.  Faraway in a smudged place land 
meets cream milk white sky
and clouds are calved.
They scatter quickly and grow toward us.

The rocks are warm with three or four hours of sunlight.
Grasses beyond the low wall rustle with ripening clouds of seed heads.
Locusts buzz.  Pine trees rise distinct and solitary
before so much space
fluting outward.

All we can do is stand and look
for we lack the wings needed to fall on the wind. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

camping in Shenandoah National Park

We just got home from our first tent camping trip in years- an overnight in Big Meadows campground.  While I was doing this sketch in the meadow I was visited by a mama deer and her twin fawns.

My favorite part of camping is sleeping in the tent.  Not that I usually get much sleep, I mostly lie awake and listen to the sounds.  We were camping near the edge of the mountain and all night the wind blew through the oak trees.  Midway through the night I heard coyotes and later when the wind died down the owls.  What I didn't want to hear was bears.  We had already seen three that day in trees, on the ground...  I did eventually drift off because when I woke up it was incredibly bright and clear.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

palm trees and banana leaves

I’ve been doing pastels and paintings of the sun soaked, colorful houses of St. George, Bermuda.  A four hundred year old harbor town, tropical twin of Jamestown.  The town’s houses are roofed white with limestone whitewash, an ingenious method of waterproofing, cooling the house and disinfecting the rainwater as it runs down and into cisterns.  I found this little intersection houses in an alley with a palm tree growing up among them.   It’s squat, rich, rough, burlap draped trunk rises up under the sweeps of palm fronds. 

I love the awkward, messy quality of banana leaves.  When we lived in Key West years ago, we had a small tree in our backyard.  It was the favorite haunt of green lizards.  I would trim the old, ragged leaves off and give them to the children to play with, not knowing that the clear sap when it gets on your clothes turns brown after being washed.  It was several months before we solved that mystery.  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

new work

Okay, it's not that I have not been in the studio working, it's that I have not been posting.  So here is about a month's worth of pastel drawings.