my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Saturday, November 8, 2014

hill rag

My show at Hill Center Galleries is being featured in the Hill Rag, a community newspaper in Capitol Hill.  See page 111 for the article.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

English birds

I'm visiting England for the first time. I was really hoping to see an English robin. They are little birds with delicately colored plumage. This little guy hopped out of a bush and onto the sidewalk at my feet. We also saw a blue tit and a goldcrest on our walk.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Montpellier Gardens,Harrogate,United Kingdom

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

art show

I will be exhibiting my work at the Hill Center Galleries on Capitol Hill October 2nd- January 4th.  The show opens tomorrow!  The reception will be Tues, Oct.7th, 6-8pm.

The Hill Center Galleries are located at 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, in Washington, DC.  They are one block from the Eastern Market Metro.  They are open Monday- Friday 10am-7pm and Saturday, 10am-5pm and Sunday noon-5pm. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

mt. rushmore

classic view from the original platform

Our family drove out to Colorado last spring stopping in South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.  We made our trek in my mother's old jeep with the right front door that creaks when you try to shut it.  Packed to the gills with snacks, hiking poles, coats for the higher altitude, everything we might need-  the great American road trip.  Much has changed since I was last there as a child.  Back then there was just a small platform.  Now there is a grand entry with state flags, an amphitheater, and evening light show.  The view though is the same, four stone gentleman, clearly befuddled by their closeness to each other.  Except George, he is clear of the crowd and looking grandly out over the valley.  I'm sure he can see all the way to the badlands.  Now there is a trail along the base of the mountain.  Even though it was late when we arrived and getting dark, we wanted to walk this trail with it's startling views of their chins and nostrils.  A bib of rubble below their necks is dotted with pine trees and suddenly the scale is given.

We came back the next morning for one more view and I sat down to sketch the faces.  I've been drawing faces for a few months now for fun.  Quick sketches that sometimes catch a likeness.  Every face is the same and I have a formula I follow: begin with the nostrils, then the mouth, then trace up from the outer edge of the nostrils to the inner edge of the eyes.  After the eyes I draw the frame around the features.  The ears are always between the bottom of the nose and the eyebrows.  But as I trace around this little road map every face is different.  

For some reason I didn't draw George.  I was sketching in a rather small book and I think the paper just wasn't wide enough. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

pastel thumbnails

I like to start with tiny pastel sketches to work out color and composition and gauge how excited I am about an image before committing to a painting.  They are fun because I can do them so quickly. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

cape may, nj

Going to the beach in September has a lot of pluses- no traffic on the way there and having the place to ourselves.  The first few days of our week however were not classic beach weather, chilly, windy, rainy.  I went anyway!  With my beach chair and my book and a parka, I definitely had the place to myself:

Almost to myself, the birds were also enjoying the solitude.  Right beside me was a small flock of royal terns.  I did a little sketch when I got back to the house where the wind was not blowing:

We went on a couple guided bird walks at Cape May Point State Park. Cape May is such an amazing place to bird!  The experts there are a huge helping with the bewildering array of sandpipers and warblers.  On a walk by ourselves we spotted a bittern out fishing:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

summer's end

We have had a really mild summer here in Virginia this year but now at last its hot.  An afterthought to summer- before it's too late- some nice thick, warm air that lingers late into the evening with locust buzz and a few dry, crunchy leaves on the ground. 

I just delivered some new work to my gallery in Richmond, Glave Kocen:

Saturday, June 28, 2014


It has been a while since I've painted animals and even longer since I painted people but this was really fun.  

This was also a lot of fun.  I was commissioned to do a series of pastels of a woman's grandmother's farm near Bealeton, Va.  I drove up and did some sketching and took lots of photos before getting started.  Also fun- having lunch with this wonderful family and learning about the local farming history. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

skagit valley barns

I went to Skagit Valley, Washington for the flower fields and was blessed to arrive at the peak of the tulip season.  After taking about 500 pictures of flowers I looked around and noticed the amazing barns.  I wasn't sure what I would do with them but I snapped about 20 barn photos too:

"Skagit Valley Barn 1, 30x30

Friday, April 25, 2014

new construction

Home from my trip and the weather is lovely, I decided to get back to my project of documenting houses in Fredericksburg.  There was a bench in the shade in front of the fire department on William street so I used that vantage point to sketch Amelia Square, a development that will include condominiums, office, retail and a courtyard.  They are building on the site of the Fredericksburg hardware store, a sorely missed institution in our town.  Where I work in Liberty Town was also part of the hardware store.  

pentel brush pen with water and a little ink, and watercolors

Monday, April 14, 2014

in the fields

I decided to take a trip to Skagit Valley, Washington because I needed some fresh inspiration for my paintings. I timed it perfectly- arriving at the peak of the tulip bloom and we are having beautiful weather! This afternoon I took a break from snapping pictures to do a little sketch.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Old Highway 99 North Rd,Burlington,United States

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

bermuda pastel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

sketching in coffee shop

I did this little sketch in Hyperion on a rainy day with an ink brush pen and colored pencils. 

This one I used a micron pen and watercolor.

sketching in fredericksburg

micron pen, colored pencils, 45 min
  It is finally warm enough to get out and do some sketching around Fredericksburg.  I did this sitting in front of Castiglias snacking on yummy bread and anchovies.  They were great- not like the salty little ones you get in tins.  They put a light lemon sauce on them.  
     The building has the Olde Town Butcher and the Poppy Hill restaurant located inside.  It was originally the Planter Hotel built before the Civil War, in fact, Abraham Lincoln slept there Dec. 18, 1860. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

St. George, Bermuda

     When we visited Bermuda last June, we stayed in a house on a hill overlooking the 400 year old town of St. George.  Most evenings we went for walks along the ridge through a newer neighborhood where locals lived.  The houses were simpler than the old town houses but still very colorful and with amazing views of the ocean. 

     We usually seemed to end our walks in time to watch the sun setting from this hillside cemetery.  
     Here is a pastel of two of the colorful houses along the ridge:

The photo I worked from, I left out the lime house casting a shadow. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

new work

Buena Vista, Colorado, PASTEL
Here is the oil painting from the pastel sketch of the yellow house
St. George, Bermuda, PASTEL

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

experimentation in sketching

     I drew all the time for fun as a child, at home, at school, mostly animals.  In second grade I was obsessed with horses and drew them constantly.  Somewhere along the way I lost that.  Not enough time as an adult, or maybe it just didn't seem like it served a purpose so I dropped it.  Recently I've been inspired  looking at the urban sketching website to get back to an old love.  The nice bound sketchbooks that can be kept and serve as a personal record of my life sort of give the endeavor a sense of the purpose I seem to long for.  I'm using a large watercolor sketchbook as a place to record thoughts and events and to just play at the end of the day.  I feel joy in sweeping a brush across the page, just for fun.  Really it's doodling with paint.  What could be more fun than that? 

     I draw or paint things that have significance for me and probably nobody else outside my family.  Like my new paintbrush.  I like using an enormous fuzzy mural brush that I bought about ten years ago.  Recently the bristles have come loose so I decided it was time to get a new one.  

     I have always been interested in houses.  I want to use drawing as a way to look closer.  I was given A Field Guide to American Houses for my birthday and am working on learning to recognize the different styles and what time period they were built in.  I'm also exploring a variety of mediums to sketch in.  The brushes were done with a micron pen and a little watercolor.  This house was painted with two Pentel brush pens that I loaded with ink in two different strengths.

     I love the beauty of ink brushwork.  I've taken one lesson so far with a friend who is a master of Asian watercolor, Hsi Mei Yates.  I admire the economy of brush stroke and graceful line that is possible.  I have a lot to learn! 

And I still love sketching animals!   Ballpoint pen in a cheap notebook

Monday, January 27, 2014

st. john

Cinnamon Bay, 22x38, oil

This is from the park where we camped at St. John- Cinnamon Bay National Park a few years ago.  I took a early walk each morning when it was quiet.  The clouds though were already on the move rising with the heat of the day.  I've started covering the first layer of acrylic paint with a medium that has very fine sand in it.  Then I finish the painting in oil.  The medium gives the painting a little texture and subtly changes the way the paint moves when it is applied.  It has more drag- dry brush effect. Here is the pastel sketch I worked from:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Domestic and Wild Metronomes                                        
 After years of digital
I have a moonbeam clock
in the bedroom now
the sound touch 
is kitten soft.  I only hear it
when it's quiet
and I'm awake.
A metronome, external heartbeat,
time is divided into seconds
with chef's knife precision.

This morning outside my window
a cardinal spoke with insistent language
a repetitive message
similar in frequency and volume
to my quietly ticking clock.                                               
As I woke I heard
first one and then the other
their voices overlaid each other
then alternated.
I, dipping in and out of sleep
surfaced finally to look out

at the blue light
of early morning.

It's snowing today, tiny sleet and narrow slivers for snowflakes.