Spring Growth

8″ square panel

“I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. I believe that there’s a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better.” -Steve Southerland

Caroline

18″x12″ charcoal on chanson paper

Drawing from life. I started with a gesture, and then found smaller shapes, then shadow shapes…and along cane a face from all those shapes!

Yon Oak

7″x5″ pastel on sanded paper

This was another quick study, there was a brief rain, not at all gloomy. I loved how the grey and yellow worked together in the Sky.

Live thy Life,

Young and old,

Like yon oak,

Bright in spring,

Living gold;

Summer-rich

Then; and then

Autumn-changed

Soberer-hued

Gold again.

All his leaves

Fall’n at length,

Look, he stands,

Trunk and bough

Naked strength.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Yonder Oak

7″x5″ pastel on sanded paper

I am teaching a pastel workshop at Mo Ranch. I have a wonderful class, full of interesting and talented students.

I love the Texas Hill Country, and I LOVE live oak trees. They are stretching their branches all over this retreat! This is just a little study to satisfy my longing to paint these beauties…

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!

Walking to School – SHOW!

24″x36″ oil on canvas

Please come see my show “Walking to School”! It will open at the Sunderman Gallery There will be an opening reception 6-8pm, Thursday, September 13th. 5100 Ross Avenue, DALLAS,TX 75206

I use my art as a way to notice something beautiful everyday. “Walking to School” has been a whimsical fun series chronicaling my second grade daughter’s daily walks to school.   My 3 older children all start school an hour before my youngest. We like to eat breakfast as a family, so that leaves Lydia and I an extra hour every morning. What I am trying to do is not waste our gift of time, the phrase “killing time” is a phrase that makes me so sad. Instead of “killing” that time I have painted it, and all the adventures and beauty that we found in those extra hours. This series is about half landscapes of what we have seen on our daily walks and half mixed media pieces of people walking. It includes: homework, tardy slips and bit and pieces we collected along the way.  In addition to many kinds of media, I have used a bit of magical realism in these paintings. For example, in “Spokes and Shadows” the light was beautiful, the shadows were beautiful, but the backdrop was generic new suburbia. In my mind, I saw a fantastic tree lined drive, with a young girl pumping up a hill onto great things. In the painting, I created the leaves with bits of homework. As the leaves fell, I could imagine the days and years and the entirety of Lydia’s childhood landing on the drive as she confidently rode into the future.

These paintings are about being present: we put away the phone, compose a rhyme or poem, talk about the day, share our hopes and dreams, plan dinner or our next family celebration.  We notice what is in bloom, when the leaves change color, or when someone repainted their front door. We have noted that all those carpoolers don’t have a chance to: meet a new neighbor, pet a kitten, do a cartwheel, twirl a tutu, pick a flower or sneak a fresh fig hanging over the fence.

In painting this series, my hope is you will be reminded of a sweet memory of when you walked with your friends, siblings, or parent to school. Or you will be reminded of when your child walked to school. Perhaps you will be inspired to be present and get out and find the beauty and life that is in YOUR neighborhood waiting for you to just enjoy and discover!  Perhaps you can grab your dog, or kid, or mom, or neighbor and embark in a simple way to really live your life…go for a walk.

Sunrise with Coffee

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper

Plein air

My sweet husband is a runner, and he spends his runs scouting out fantastic painting spots for me. Today he made coffee in the dark, brought me to a spectacular beach, and even set up my easel.