Fresh Start – Mixed Media

Today is a fresh start!

I have many take always from “Walking to School.” One is that I love working on a series. With the “what” to paint decided, I found the “how” was much more interesting to play with. Another take away is I plan to paint more big mixed media pieces. I broke all the rules I know about making art and just played with my mixed media pieces in “Walking to School”. It was so fun! I embraced the drips and runs, I used negative space as much as positive, and if it would make a mark on canvas – I used it. I love adding collage and letting it hide and seek its way into the painting. Confession: I LOVE to paste. (If only acrylic medium had that minty smell I remember Elmer’s paste having.)

I am going to teach a mixed media abstract figure class in November if it looks like fun you too. I have planned 2 days where I will provide all the materials, you just bring any collage items from your own history, and your sense of play and you leave with a couple finished 20″x16″ canvases. Don’t worry if you can’t draw, I will have figure templates you can work from, or you can send me images of people in your life and I will sketch them before the class starts. Learn more or sign up here. Just think what a cool Christmas gift it would be to make some original art for your child doing what they love! It could be your daughter dancing, or your son playing football, with their drawing, or practice schedule, or tickets collages underneath it all.

Wonderful opening

“Walking to School” is hung. Whew! It is so wonderful to see my work displayed in a gallery. The opening was a huge success, and a week later I am still high from all of the people who took the time to come see my show. For those of you who missed the opening, below are some pics! The show hangs until October 28th if you are in Dallas and would like to see it.

The Sundermann Gallery is located in the Great Hall of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral

5100 Ross Avenue at North Garrett

Dallas, Texas 75206

The Gallery is open

Monday-Friday 9:00 to Noon

Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

and may be opened by appointment

by calling the church office: 214.823.8134

or Evelyn Luciani: 972.333.6675

Tomorrow I am going to Mo Ranch, in Kerrville, TX to teach a pastel workshop. It is a full class, and I can’t wait to share the magic of pastels with them.

As You Wish

60″x48″ mixed Media on stretched canvas

I never cease to be amazed at my children’s ability to wish and imagine. They don’t seem to be limited by reality, or practicality. For example, if you were to wake my youngest daughter up for school, on a regular Tuesday morning she would look up at you and smile “good morning. .” Then she would ask “what is for breakfast?” If I were to make a couple offers, they would be based out of limitations and practicality: what groceries we had in the kitchen, and how much time before school. I might offer “peanut butter toast or cereal?” If, however, I ask open ended “what would you like for breakfast?” she might answer “Eggs Benedict with fresh raspberries sounds good to me.” Practical limits vs. joyful desire. Here is where the magic happens, once named, wishes have a way of coming to fruition…I might pick up some Canadian bacon and English muffins at the market and then have a little “how to make hollandaise ” cooking activity for the kids after school, and by Thursday, a dream breakfast has become a reality. A reality that blesses our whole family.

It is much easier to complain, to say what you don’t want, than to name that which would fulfill your life. We too often forget to dream, to wish, and to think big. We keep limiting ourselves by what is practical.

In this painting, I love the tension between the backpack and the dandelion. Never forget that kids carry burdens too, in addition to books they carry anxieties, fear, and things we adults weigh them down with. We have the power to lighten our loads: we can wish, dream, and imagine – and then eggs Benedict and fresh raspberries may just be served on a regular Thursday morning before school.

What would our lives look like if we wished like our children?


“Walking to School” September 13- October 28, 2018 Sunderman Gallery. Opening reception, Thursday September 13th 6-8pm. 5100 Ross Ave, Dallas, TX. The gallery is located inside St. Matthew’s Cathedral. Learn more about the Cathedral Arts Program. I hope to see you tonight!

Will You Be Here When I Get Home?

Mixed Media


Many times when our family has sat together, my husband has reminded us to look around the table at each other “someday, sometime, something will separate us.” As a oncology chaplain, he knew well that separation will ultimately be permanent. Separation also comes in the form of camp, college, or simply a day at school. We hold and squeeze and kiss our children while we can. And we say:

“We love you.

We will be here when you come home.”


“Walking to School” September 13- October 28, 2018 Sunderman Gallery. Opening reception, Thursday September 13th 6-8pm. 5100 Ross Ave, Dallas, TX. The gallery is located inside St. Matthew’s Cathedral. Learn more about the Cathedral Arts Program

I would to see you at the opening!

I’m Listening

Mixed Media



That is the first word in the rule of St. Benedict.

To listen is a gift to share, and a gift to receive.

Upcoming Show!!!!

I starting installing my “walking to school” show yesterday! Like seeing your own children dressed for prom, I was delighted and overwhelmed to see 65 pieces of my art framed, away from my studio clutter, and properly lit. My village came to help me hang the show, and I am so grateful.

My van

My mom

My husband

My dad and my father in law

My oldest son (who put together the catalogue)

Not pictured were, my mother in law, and Evelyn the coordinator for the gallery.

My gratitude runs deep. Thank you for everyone who has helped make this dream a reality.

“Walking to School” September 13- October 28, 2018 Sunderman Gallery opening reception, Thursday September 13th 6-8pm. 5100 Ross Ave, Dallas, TX. The gallery is located inside St. Matthew’s Cathedral. I would to see you at the opening!

Left Turn Only

Mixed media 36″x24″

I worked hard with a group of dedicated parents, to get a crossing guard, and LED cross walk established to keep our kids safe. Our crossing guard, Mr. Eerie is 95% smile and 110% warm greeting and send off. His big boisterous voice reminding us “have a good day today” is a perfect reminder to carry me through each day. What a blessing to have such a positive spirit in the role of crossing guard.

Please come see my “walking to School” Show that opens Thursday the 13th! There will be an open wing reception from 6-8pm.

Swim Across America

24″x18″ pastel on sanded paper

It was my honor to paint during the annual fundraising luncheon for Swim Across America, an amazing organization who, as they say, is “making waves to fight cancer.” Cancer has touched every branch of my family tree, and many of my dear friends. Today in a very small way, it felt good to work to raise funds toward finding cures. I am so proud to be working with Baylor Scott and White’s arts and medicine program. They are dedicated to healing the whole person, not just the body. A special thanks to Paula, who swam for me, and is beautiful inside and out.

That’s me painting during a fancy lunch with amazing speakers including leaders in cancer research, cancer survivors, and Olympic gold medalist swimmers!

FS 151

5″x7″ pastel on sanded paper

The road that runs between Christ in the Desert Abbey, and Ghost Ranch is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the canyon, the drive, the Rio Chama, and especially what lies at either end of this forest service road.

After lugging many pounds of heavy painting equipment around all summer, I came home and lightened my load! Check out my new travel set up. It is the smallest Heilman pastel box, which I carefully adapted with the help of my, clever and handy, Spanish exchange student. The box is made to securely hold pastels on one side, and carry paper on the other. As designed, there was no way to hold the support in the top half of the box so it kept sliding down. Second, the paper holder it came with didn’t work very well. After some brainstorming, we removed the stock paper holder and then added the 4 pieces of silver hardware you can see in the top of the photo. We made them adjustable, so they can hold the lid, and paper of varying sizes, in place. The trickiest part was carving out part of the box to allow room for the hardware so that the box will still close.

Today was my test drive, and I am delighted!