Phoenix Bound

"Left Leaning Lily"
18" x 24", oil on gessobord

It took two weeks, but I finally finished the Lily painting above. This lily was one of the flowers in my 26th wedding anniversary bouquet. Believe it or not, that green wall is my studio wall and some may feel that's a distracting color for a studio, but I find it stimulating, especially when the day is particularly dreary. No napping here!

My husband and friends (yes, the Thompsons), surprised me this week with the announcement that we are taking a one week vacation to Phoenix. We'll be there in time for the last week of Cub's spring training! Cool. It's my husband's present to me for my 50th birthday. This absolutely blew me away because last Saturday, 3/8, almost a week after my birthday, he threw me a surprise party. I've never, ever had a birthday party before and this one was a doozy. He, my daughters, and the Thompsons, all were in cahoots. It was held at the Thompsons. All 5 of my sisters and my mom were there, my inlaws, and close friends. Oh yeah, lots of wine and food too!

So...I won't be doing much posting Easter Week. We leave Easter afternoon.

Tomorrow Debbie and I are to go clothes shopping...I've got a bit of a cold today, but I'll muddle through it...heh. Also, busy week with meetings (a couple of art boards) and it's Jack's (my boss) last week in Illinois. The week we're in Phoenix, he and his family are moving to South Dakota. So we have lots to do client wise before we're both out of commission for a week.

Until next...

Regional Art Survey coming up

Postcard for show opening Friday, 3/14/08.

Receiving award for IAAE Artist of the Year. Shakin' in my boots.

Debbie Thompson and some of her art students. Dixon received Featured School for the amount of great work that comes out of there.

Quick post today. Have lots to do and still haven't fixed my hair!

From the postcard at top, you can see a new show opens tomorrow at The Next Picture Show. I maintain their website that has a "Now Showing" slideshow on the main page. So far I have only a few images of artists' works and need a few more, so it's an early morning run in to take a few more pics. Will work on the slideshow tonight. Two of my paintings are juried into this show.

Affinity AV has become very busy also. My boss, Jack, has merged the company with TDG Communications in Deadwood, SD. Oh yeah, he and his family is also MOVING there in 2 weeks. The AAV will retain its name and I will be the interface for our local customers. Big changes and lots of work. We have an afternoon meeting out of town today. Gonna miss my Y workout tonight...darn.

The awards ceremony in Springfield, IL on Tuesday was very interesting. Lunch was the best part. Debbie's husband, John, drove. He got a ticket on the way home. heh

Well...gotta finish putting on the final touches and get my behind into Dixon. I PROMISE to get painting this weekend.

Big day...Public Speaking...torture

"Cherries in Shadow," 18" x 24", oil on board

Well today is here. The Thompsons and the Roses are getting ready to leave for the capitol, Springfield, IL. It's Arts Education week and I am receiving the Artist of the Year award and Debbie is accepting (on behalf of her principal) the award for Featured School.

You know what that means don't you? A speech. Public speaking. This is SOOO out of my comfort zone. Last night at 9:30 I finally wrote something up. It's short and sweet. I believe the crowd will be happy with that, don't you think?

Also, I was to get two paintings into The Next Picture Show for the Regional Survey of Art Show IV. The show opens on Friday. Don't know when that is going to happen. In fact, one of the pieces juried in seems to have disappeared. I'm hoping it's at the gallery already. It could have been left there for another function. This scatter-brained stuff is getting on my nerves.

A good thing is that it's going to be over 40 degrees today. Almost wore my halter top...heh.

The SLUG is back.

Step 1. Toning with acrylic over my pencil sketch.

Step 2. Orangey acrylic wash applied over top of sketch. No more white.

Step 3. First level of oil color blocked in.

The Slug is back. That has been me for over 2 days. Friday, I didn't even get out of my pajamas, or bed, for that matter. Kind of a flu/cold thingy. Nature's way of saying that burning the candle at both ends never works. I'm in clothes (not very cute clothes, but clothes nevertheless) and needing to do something but watch the food channel and taped episodes of American Idol.

I'm posting the acrylic part of this lily still life. Once it's dry, I will start working in oil. It's on (as usual) gessobord. The size is 18" x 24". I like working with glass reflections and lately the itch to do one or two has been getting the better of me.

So, stay tuned while I'm busy scratching that itch!

If I'm painting, then it must be snowing.

"Apples on a Path," 16" x 20", oil on gessobord

First time in 2 weeks that I was back in my own studio doing my stuff. This piece isn't signed because I think it needs a bit more work. Lost my good light because, as usual this winter, it got very overcast and started snowing.

In fact, it's been snowing on and off for the last 2-1/2 months. A tourism board strategy meeting was scheduled for tomorrow, but it has already been canceled. (not complaining)

Back to the painting....after uploading the photo, it seemed more done then when I put down my brushes. I will check on it in the morning light (if we get any light ... heh) and see if it indeed can be called "complete."

Hope it isn't a "snow day" tomorrow. Have lots of work to do for Affinity AV. Big deadline coming up. My boss has 3 little kids and if school's called off, he works from home. Seems like we get a lot more done when we're working in the same location. You know...questions get answered a lot faster and that kind of stuff. Also, I've been in my house for 48 hours and am getting a tad stir-crazy.

Fundraiser a Success

My painting for the fundraiser -created on-site
24" x 30", acrylic on canvas

Well, it's finally over. Last Saturday was the Art for Art's Sake fundraiser for The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon, IL. The committee worked our butts off and it was well worth it. The artists that participated (40 of them!) seemed to enjoy themselves. We made sure they received a bucket of goodies (art supplies, coupons, snacks), a fully stocked break room, lots of volunteers to fetch and carry, a catered artist supper, wine, beer, and soft drinks.
Joy Meyer, creating a beautiful silk painting.

Beverly Garcia halfway through her painting.

Almost done!

People were silently bidding on each piece while the artists finished their pieces.

Live music performed by Flying Fish.

Todd (on right) also is an artist and had just finished his painting before getting on stage!

The silent auction turned to a live auction at 8 p.m. The highest silent bid on each piece was now the starting bid for the live auction.

Some of our art patrons waiting for their favorite paintings to come up for auction.

Kimberly Clark and me by the end of the night. Two pooped, loopy artists.

Road trip with Ethel

Didn't have a painting to show this week, so I will share "Harry."

Long day today, but fun. Most of our acquaintances call my friend Debbie and I, Lucy & Ethel. We HAVE THAT MUCH FUN together almost all the time.

This coming Saturday, 2/23 is the "Art 4 Art's Sake" fundraiser for The Next Picture Show. We're both on the planning committee. Lots of work and details to take care of. The whole committee is praying for a great turnout.

Anyhooo...she and I drove up to Rockford to pick up a few last minutes paint supplies for the event (discussed here). First we stopped in Oregon, IL at the Dragonfly Studios. Kim, the owner and wonderful jeweler, decided to close the gallery so she can get back to working on her art. I had 4 paintings there and needed to get them.

By the way, the temperature is around 12 degrees and windy. Brrrrrrrr. So then we continue to Rockford and start filling up my van with all our shopping stuff. Stopped at Five Forks for a great lunch (and a little bit o'wine!). We heard about a great new grocery stop way north of Rockford and headed up there. I tell ya, the van was bursting at the seams and the weather was getting windy and colder.

We got back to my house by 4:45, unloaded all of Ethel's stuff into her car and then I made supper for the husband and myself.

Not a lick of art done today. Sorry about that.

I did pick out my subject that I will be painting for the fundraiser. Most likely will be some kind of barn and landscape. They sell pretty well in this neck of the woods.

If you're in the area, drop by and purchase a ticket!

Doing basics today

my studio with some of the painted gessobords
note to self: clean up this space!

Today was a boring day for blog readers, but busy day for me as an artist. This is the totally uninteresting, unglamorous part of being an artist.

I had ordered a bunch of gessobords awhile back. So today was spent underpainting a bunch of them, both the panel itself and the 2" cradles (sides). They were done in an orangey color. My paintings never start on the white background. Then I painted some of the finished paintings sides frames needed.

Then, I set up a whole mess of different still lifes and took a bunch of pictures. I may have gotten 2 or three good images (or interesting anyway) out of 50 set ups. So, those will have to be edited and played with before they even start getting near a painting surface.

Also, most of Sunday afternoon and part of this morning was spent adding to my mailing list and art records on the computer. I recently purchased eArtist as my database software. So far, so good, but this requires a bit of discipline of sitting down a certain time each week and logging in all that stuff.

This week is going to be a ball-buster (and that's saying something since I'm a girl). Our restaurant is VERY busy this coming Valentine's Day, we also have b&b rooms on and off all week. At my other job, Affinity AV, we are finishing up one big website client and will be training some of their folks on the new site, and then we start on our biggest website ever. The Art 4 Art's Sake fundraiser is coming soon, and being on the committee, we have a big meeting tomorrow night to get all the final details locked in, and then on to the Y for a workout...much needed I might add.

I'm feeling that over wrought feeling again. Truly hate that feeling because it makes me a little bit bitchy.

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Painting on site & LIVE

Art 4 Art's Sake Fundraiser for The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon, IL
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Along with 40 artists, I will be painting on site and live on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Commerce Towers in Dixon Illinois.

The artists will start arriving by noon or so, and will be set up to start on paintings (or jewelry, etc.) ranging in size from 20" x 24" to 30" x 40". Each piece of art will cover the broad spectrum of styles -- abstract, impressionism, to realism.

By 6:00 p.m. the ticket-paying public will be arriving to watch the artists in full throttle of their creations. Most people never see this happen. We artists can be a solitude bunch. So, from 6-8 p.m. the public can start bidding silently on each piece of work as they are being created and then just after 8 p.m. each piece will be brought on stage. The LIVE auction then starts at the silent bid high of each painting, jewelry, etc. All of the paintings will be done in a water media or some sort, so they will be dry when the new lucky owners take them home.

Live music by "Flying Fish" will be going strong. Wine, beer, soft drinks, and great appetizers, and sweets will be provided all evening. My restaurant, the Colonial Rose Inn, will be one of the food vendors that evening.

If you're in the area this particular weekend, come by. Tickets are currently being sold at three locations AND you may purchase them at the door that day.

for more detailed information on the event, ticket purchasing info, and a map of course. FYI...the Quality Inn and Comfort Inn (in Dixon, just off I88) are offering discounted rooms to anyone who mentions at the time of reservation, The Next Picture Show!

Oh yeah...don't forget to subscribe to my blog (to the right).

You can now SUBSCRIBE to my blog!

Yep. All grown up now.

Just click to subscribe to my blog (it's right under my profile picture on the right).

What does that mean? Whenever I publish a new post, you will be emailed or notified of the that I have been busy updating my blog with news of events, finished paintings, etc.

I've been getting comments sent to me personally by "lurkers" out there who see that some of my paintings sell very quickly and that they wish they could have known when I was posting them.

Problem solved.

Go ahead. Don't be shy. Subscribe today.

Landscape, Evil Weather, and unexpected Honor

"Passing By"
24" x 18", oil on gessobord

Didn't get into the studio until after 1 p.m. today. My youngest came home from Chicago Saturday and I drove her to the train this morning to catch the 8:49. The weather, as usual, was unbelievably disgusting. We got another 5" of snow yesterday evening...which by the way wasn't even in the forecast. Imagine the surprise of people leaving their super bowl parties with all that snow. We were smart and stayed home.

By the amount of cars in the ditch on the way to the train, the roads must have been pure evil.

Today, it's foggy and we're having thunderstorms. Spring seems so far away!

The landscape above was done in one studio session today. My ease with landscapes is getting greater, but this one, although I like it, seems a tad off. It's signed, but we'll just let this little puppy sit for a couple of days and maybe the reason it seems off will become evident. If it's just me being a bit on the whacked side, then I'll just leave it be. Just below is the painting with the first stages of painting.

Okay...a bit of bragging is about to happen. Last Thursday I came home from work and found a letter from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education (IAAE). It announced that I am being awarded the IAAE Artist Award for my work with the Authentic Artist program with 5th & 6th graders of Reagan Middle School and mural work with the Juvenile Probation Program (both of Dixon, IL). I was nominated by teacher and bff, Debbie Thompson. Awards will be presented at the IL state capitol on March 11. Pretty cool.

Museum of Modern ICE in Chicago

A closeup of one of the pieces of "watercolor" ice.

If you're in the Chicago area this month, YOU HAVE TO check this out! Go to Museum of Modern Ice's website to see the photo gallery of Gordon Halloran's (a fine Canadian) work. Here's an article about Halloran!

Read below some details on this work of art in ice!

Situated behind Millennium Park’s famous Cloud Gate sculpture, Halloran will create his largest and most spectacular installation to date, a monumental and colorful ice wall measuring 95 feet long and nearly 12 feet tall.

One side, visible from Michigan Avenue, echoes the city’s renowned skyline. The other side—full of color, complexity and variety—is meant to be interactive and seen in close proximity. Inspired by a glacial wall in its final stages of movement toward the ocean, the installation will evolve over time with natural and planned changes, encouraging visitors to return frequently to observe the activity.

Halloran’s ice paintings use portable refrigeration technology: modular aluminum plates that efficiently conduct the cold. These tabletop-size plates assembled into different configurations help in crating, displaying and maintaining the ice works, regardless of temperatures.

Art Biz Coach

As promised a couple of days ago, here is the short and skinny on the workshop I took this past Saturday. It was called "I'd Rather Be in the Studio." The speaker was Alyson Stanfield from the Denver area. Her blog and newsletter have been a daily read of mine for about 2 years (give or take). Her website is and her blog is

She helps artists to become more focused in their business and marketing needs. Her new book of the same name, "I'd Rather Be in the Studio," was just released and made its debut at this workshop. Yep, I bought one and she even signed it.

Learned that your mailing lists need to be up to date, be technologically adept or hire someone who is by getting a website and a BLOG! Well, two out of three ain't bad. Gotta work on that mailing list thingy!

The workshop was put on by the Deer Path Art League at the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest, IL. It's one of those north shore suburbs...old money and beautiful. I used to work there in the late 80s and both my daughters were born there.

I met some great, talented people that day. The workshop was also something totally out of my comfort zone since I didn't know a soul. Forces you to stretch your wings and reach out. Unnerving at times, but necessary.

Oh, and getting a Garmin GPS unit for my husband for Christmas, was another way of getting me to drive somewhere out of my comfort zone. Jeff probably thinks that gift wasn't really for him! The little lady in the Garmin guided me all the way to the North Shore in absolutely horrible weather.

Once we sell the restaurant and inn, I hope to delve more into the business and promotional side of my art. I promise. Really.

Sitting still for Cherries

"Cherries in Shadow," oil on gessobord
18" x 24"

Back to still lifes again today. This one was definitely going south about half way in. My goal (without knowing I set this internal goal), is to try to do at least one complete painting per studio session.

The palette for this piece was cad. yellow light, cad yellow medium, a smidge of cad. orange and cad. red medium, thalo blue, ultramarine blue, diox. purple, alizarin crimson, and titanium white. For the first time ever, I didn't have any kind of green. It was a mistake actually, and I didn't notice until near the end.

My show at The Next Picture Show gallery will be finishing up on 1/31, so I will have to go take that down this week. Also, another gallery will be closing up at the beginning of March that has a few of my pieces. So, I have to go get those too.

Our restaurant has been looking pathetic because I've had to raid it to having paintings for these galleries. Thank goodness for my own private venue for times like this.

This past Saturday, I attended the "I'd Rather be in the Studio" workshop by Alyson B. Stanfield. It was very good and I'll post later on that experience.

A step towards a New Year's resolution

This year I decided (in my mind) that I am going to do more workshops, either hands-on painting workshops or art business workshops. So, this Saturday I will take my first step in doing that.

I will be attending a "no excuses art marketing workshop" with Alyson B. Stanfield in Lake Forest Illinois (about 2 1/2 hours from me). This is put on through the Deerpath Art League in Lake Forest. The workshop is called, "I'd Rather to be in the Studio, But I have to Eat!"

Alyson Stanfield has a blog called I read her stuff everyday. In fact, to keep up with my favorite artists and gallery owners, (and I use Firefox as my browser), I made a bookmark folder with all these blogs and then when I click on the "artist blogs" bookmark folder, at the bottom of the drop-down list is a command, "open all in tabs." Love that. I sometimes can click through 15 blogs in 5 minutes or 3 hours, depending on how many of them made recent posters to their blogs. It's great.

Back to landscapes

"Anterior Road"
12" x 16", oil on board

As promised yesterday, here is picture of the 2nd painting I did yesterday. This piece went faster than the smaller painting I did yesterday (6" x 8", King of the Hill). Landscapes, for me, are much looser in style.

With still lifes, I still tend to tighten up. Need to work on that.

Going small

"King of the Hill"
6" x 8", oil on board

I didn't get in the studio until 1:00 today. My youngest daughter came home from Chicago for the weekend and I had to get her to the train by 8:45 a.m. in Mendota, IL. That's about 40 minutes away. Then I had to get myself back home for a 10:00 meeting. Made it with flying colors. The meeting took two hours and hopefully, I will be able to report some good news on that in the near future. Gotcha curious didn't I?

So the first painting I did today....did I mention that I completed TWO paintings today? Well, I did! While I was painting, it started to snow and it was so peaceful, that I got into a real zone. Couldn't stop.

The second one is a 12 x 16 landscape. I'll post the picture tomorrow, because the light for photography had deteriorated.

Ice Jam at the dam in Dixon, IL

On Sunday, yesterday, my daughter, Debbie, and I thought it would be fun to go to an open house. I had my eye on this one home, and was curious to see it. Oh, the agreement on this adventure was unanimous. So, we get to the house, and ring the bell, when a sinking feeling came over me. Where is the "open house" sign? The homeowner answered the door and said the open house was the day before. Duh

Well, we brushed that moment of stupid off and just did what any 3 healthy American women would do. Lunch.

Just before going back home, we stopped to take a picture of the ice dam on the river. You can't see the real dam anymore because of the ice. Flooding is starting to occur to the north.
Today it warmed up quite a bit, 20 degrees. I was wearing my tank top. heh

Gotta love friends

"Oranges over Dots", 16" x 20", oil on gessobord

As an exhibiting artist member at The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon, IL, we are given at least 2 weeks each year to be the featured artist. This means we can show our work at the front of the gallery. My 2 weeks start on Jan. 15 through 31, 2008.

My work featured until Jan. 31, 2008 at The Next Picture Show

This past Sunday, my friends Debbie & John Thompson, and my husband, Jeff, and I went to the gallery to take Debbie's featured artist show down (she sold FOUR paintings) and then they proceeded to help me get my show up. Two birds with one stone you know. We did all that and packed the cars up within one hour's time. Not bad at all. Gotta love friends.

We then walked down to Books On First, a wonderful independent books store, for a coffee and general chit chat. We were killing time before a 3:15 movie. We went to see "Juno." Everyone enjoyed the show, which is saying something when going with 4 people who all have different movie tastes! Then a quick supper at a local eatery and then home. I was pooped. It didn't help that it got really cold and blustery. Seems when it gets that way, I use a lot more energy just keeping warm. Heater car seats are a beautiful thing.

Today, I did a quick still life of oranges on a polka-dot cloth. SEE TOP of post. Did this in one afternoon. Blue and orange seem to go well together...really pop against each other.

My studio dog, Annie, was lonely and did a rare climb to my 2nd floor studio and plopped herself down between my easel and stool. I didn't have the heart to move her, so I painted the oranges straddling an old fat, farty, black lab.

Multi-tasking is a good thing.

What's next, locust?

"Order Up," 24" x 36", oil on gessobord

Last Wednesday the weather was zero. Today it's 65. It's thundering and hailing. Tornado warnings are being announced now. My snow is all gone. It now looks like Beruit outside. Keep an eye out for locust.

Finished up the painting above and named it "Order Up." The kitchen staff in our restaurant were plating up a dinner party of around 50 ppl when this was taken. My husband is in the white ball cap.

Just cleaned up my studio so I can start dinner. Hopefully, I can run back up to the studio to set up some still lifes. Knowing me however, that might just fizzle after supper. You know, full stomach and all. But I hear there's ANOTHER football game on tonight. Boredom may get me back to work.

I am featured exhibiting artist member (for the local gallery) from Jan. 16-31. I want to get a couple more new pieces ready for the show. We'll see.

Another weather alert just came over the radio. I will never have a house without a full basement. Oh, I just husband left a couple of hours ago to go hit some balls at the golf course. It's been raining. Where the heck is he? geez