Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back on 2016 With a Quick Glimse Forward

It's already New Years Eve, the family has gone, the parties are over - except for tonight. All I really want to do is run up to my studio, plug in my head phones and get lost in some painting. There will be time for that later, first a check in.

I have heard so many times that 2016 sucked. Really? Admittedly, we lost what seems like a large number of celebrities which is very sad. Truly, any year we make it through is a good year. Right? There were losses; the last aunt on my side, the neighbor's daughter, Spike, our much loved lab of 15 years. And I don't think anyone, no matter which side you were on, would look at that election and feel good. It was the year of Michael Phelps at the Olympics becoming the most metaled Olympian of all time. My daughter got engaged, my other two children got new jobs, Mark finished renovating his 160 year old Italianate home, we took a family trip to Savannah, Georgia then got to spent another week all together Up North 6 months later.

I'm excited to start 2017 at Finally Art but feel the need to just breath and enjoy 2016 for a moment. 2016 was my biggest year so far. I continued doing shows and classes in local galleries. I even went out and started doing my own classes which is so enjoyable. The mess walls of my new booth makes set up and take down are much easier.  Art Leagues have asked me to demonstrate alcohol inks, I've started doing workshops. My husband and I bought a building that will become my studio in 2017. Fall brought my biggest commission season yet. The best gifts of the year were the new friends that I made. Who knew how incredibly social and fun art could be?

Tomorrow is the first day of the January 30 paintings in 30 days. 
I haven't started any paintings, I haven't made any plans. In fact, I can't find my camera, which may be a bit of a problem. My plan for January is to paint more. Instead of 30 paintings I'm going for 100 hours. That doesn't sound like much but after the marketing, bookkeeping etc. that art takes it comes to about 4.5 hours each week day. Easy right? Not always, with classes, emails and blogging. 100 hours in January, we'll see where that leads me.

As I post my works I will be reflecting on my goals for 2017. 
 I hope to spend time  with one of my biggest goals: To Make Bad Art. I'll explain more later.

January also brings a special this month, $75 for a one day, 8"x 10" pet portrait in alcohol inks. The price includes all taxes, shipping and handling.

So here's to 2017! Let the fun begin!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Commissions and classes

Taking a bit of a break from blogging 
after doing the 30 in 30?

Yes, I guess so. But mostly I've been busy with some commission and classes. I keep on expecting things to slow down but they haven't. Who am I kidding, I don't want them to. Do I really want to clean out my closet anyway? No, believe me I don't no matter how badly it needs it. And it needs it! My goal of loosing 1000 pounds in 2016 is not going so well. Several cookbooks - probably 20 pounds and a very stuffed bag of clothing... 40 pounds? I also know that one very productive weekend in the basement could mean a lot of pounds.

Now that the show season has slowed down a bit, the commission season is picking up. I've been busy with pet portraits and house paintings for birthday presents and I'm starting to work on Christmas commissions. I never feel good about sharing these picks in a timely manor on the off chance that one of the recipients may come across the photo on social media.

If you are interested in commissioning your own piece

There are only 6 more weeks left for commissions that will be delivered in time for Christmas. If you mention this blog post I'll give you 
$10 off any commissioned piece.


Classes have been 
going wonderful. 
We've painted sunflowers on plates, irises, Gerbera daisies, witches and more.

My next class is with Cristi Kniess at 
the Art Nook on November the 7th 6 to 8:30pm.

We'll be painting pumpkin plates and we still have a few spots open. 
If you'd like to reserve a spot click here

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 30 in 30

Final Collage.

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Here it is the end of the 30 in 30. I'm always relieved when the challenge is over but I never regret doing it. It's a great way to form new habits, meet a few new friends, connect with some old friends, get new materials for classes and shows and just push yourself a bit farther. I've been able to do all of the above. It's a good life... this creative life. I'm grateful to be able to get up everyday and do what I love to do. Here's hoping that you spend some part of each day doing something you love too.

Some pieces are still available.
For a closer look or to buy See Here

September 30, WIP Nicholas Coconuts

Day 39

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Well, I had some problems with keeping up with posts etc. the last few days.
I'm still working on a few pieces; this one, the YMCA building and the house all of which I have progressed a bit. One is a commission I'm hoping to finish this weekend along with a dog commission. The other two I'm hoping to have completed in time for Art Scene this Friday.

I will post finished pieces when they're done. This one is close to being finished.

Work In Progress
Nicholas Coconuts
Alcohol Inks and Pen
8 x 10

Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, Pug

Day 26

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

One of the classes I'm teaching this month
is a 2 day, paint your pet with alcohol inks.
 It's got me thinking dogs. So fun.

Alcohol Inks and Pen
8 x 10
Not For Sale

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25, Jefferson Street Bridge

Day 25

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Yesterday was the Picnic & Plein Air event 
hosted by the River District Association.

I was lucky enough to be one of their artists. I started my painting at home and finished it at the event.

Jefferson Street Bridge
Alcohol Ink and Pen
11 x 14
Not For Sale

The night was magical. Enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24, Gerbera Daisies II

Day 24

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

This is from Thursday's alcohol ink class 
at 317 Studio & Gallery. 
Having started the painting as a demo, I was able to finish it at home yesterday. Gerbera Daisies is one of my best selling print and card. I think the contrast in flowers is what attracts everyone to this painting. Repainting my paintings is really enjoyable to me, and I learn something new each time as I try to improve them or try something a bit different. I think I like this painting better than my first one.

Gerbera Daisies II
Alcohol Ink & Pen
8 x 10

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September22, A New Day

Day # 22

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I guess I have a thing for Poppies.

Margo's poppies was one of my first watercolors when I started painting full time. It was from a photograph of my Mother's garden.  I started photographing the poppies in my own yard and soon I had "Poppies" which is one of my most popular alcohol ink classes.

Well the poppies in my yard are slowly expanding and so is my collection of my poppy paintings.

I wasn't very happy with this painting as I worked on it. But I know enough by now, to know to keep going. Every painting has an awkward stage. It's crucial to the painting's development. It's were you  make the tough decisions on which direction the painting is going. You're either going to end up liking it or not but one thing is for sure; you'll learn something in the process. Usually when I let myself relax a bit and become more concerned in interesting patterns and images then making the background look realistic it all come together in the end.

A New Day
Alcohol Ink and Pen
8" x 10"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21, Cooper

Day 21

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I have a lot of support; my husband, my kids,
my family, my friends.... a lot of support. 

They are wonderful and I wouldn't be painting like I do with out them. Cooper, my studio manager, is always there for me too. He's always happy to see me, he's never too tired to get up in the middle of the night and go paint. Whatever it is, Cooper's up to it. I probably would still be painting without him but, it sure would be a bit more lonely.

So here's to Cooper. 
What's our favorite studio song?
Ho Hey by the Lumineers

"I belong to you,
You belong to me,
You're my Sheltie!"

Don't tell Cooper that's not the exact words.
And yes, he actually has a jumper suit like that except it's black and orange.
(We're both very into Halloween.)

Alcohol Ink and Pen
8 x 10
Not For Sale

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20th, House

Day 20 

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Well, there's only ten more days left of this challenge. 
The last few days have been busy with the Greenwich Art Fair last weekend, Katie's Cup and a demo at the Du page Art League on Monday and then day one of my Paint Your Pet Class today. Tomorrow it's paint all day! Good thing with all the commissions, getting ready for Fall art scene, more classes and a En Plein Air event this weekend. I'm getting a bit tired but having a good time.

Here's a work in progress.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

September 19th, The Melting Planet

Day 19

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I have a busy day tomorrow starting at 8:30am and ending at 11:30pm so I wanted to post this early. Here is another attempt at abstracts but this time I took advantage of the Golden Molding Paste. This painting actually was vertical but came up horizontal in my blog... I kinda like it this way so I kept it.

The Melting Planet
Alcohol Inks
12 x 24

September 18th, WIP Nicholas Coconuts

Day 18

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I'm attracted to the lines in this picture as I look up in the Nicholas Conservatory.
This is a Work in Progress.

Nicolas Coconuts
Work In Progress
Alcohol Inks on Yupo
8 x 10

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 17th, Yikes!

Day 17

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Some days go well, some not so well. 
I've been dabbling with abstracts for awhile now. This one didn't work out but I learned something; you can mix the gold ink with any color to get a new glitter like color which is really quite neat.  I just couldn't let go of this painting. I had to keep on trying new things until it got kinda messy. 

What now? Well, I'm going back in with some white next. Why not? What do I have to loose?

Alcohol Inks
Not For Sale

Friday, September 16, 2016

Septenber 18, YMCA Building WIP

Day 19

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

This will be the 5th painting in my 
Rockford Drive By series.
This is the old YMCA along State Street. And it happens to be my favorite building in Rockford.

 Work in Progress
East Side Center 1889
Rockford, Illinois

This building is the landmark YMCA built in 1889, now called the East Side Center. Built by subscription, the building was Rockford's first YMCA but was sold in 1906 and was the East Side Inn until it closed in 1968. The Richardsonian Romanesque style building was renovated and now serves as an office building.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, Pumpkin Plate

Day 15

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I love pumpkins, their shape, 
their color, everything!

Pumpkin Plate
Alcohol Inks and Pen on a Plate
8 x 8

Book a Private Party in your Home
$35/ person, 5 people min., host paints free, all materials supplied
If you are interested in booking a private party please contact me at
Or go here

Or registrar at 317 Studio & Gallery for October 27th class.
Go here for 317

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, Ready for Halloween

Day 14

30 by 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta,

This is a piece that was inspired 
by a piece I saw on the internet. 

It is a wonderful project for a painting party.

Ready For Halloween
Alcohol Ink and Pen on Canvass
8 x 8

Book a Private Party in your Home
$35/ person, 5 people min., host paints free, all materials supplied
If you are interested in booking a private party please contact me at
Or go  HERE

Or register at 317 Studio & Gallery for October 20th class. 
Go Here for 317 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13, Morning Chores

Day 13

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

One of my favorite things about doing a 30 in 30 is that it encourages you to finish pieces that have gone unfinished for too long. The thought of creating thirty paintings in as many days is overwhelming sometimes. Most of my pieces take more than one day to complete. That's why twice a year I go through my work and see what needs to be finished. They may still require more time an a day but at least there's movement.

Morning chores was one of those pieces. I wasn't sure how I'd handle the bricks and some of the architectural features in the picture so I put it aside. My sister brought this photo home from her trip to Italy and I have always loved it. It feels good to have finished it.

Morning Chores
Alcohol Ink and Pen on Yupo Paper
11 x 14

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 11, Dot-full

Day 11

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I've been exploring abstracts for several months now. Abstracts are such a different mind set from what I'm used to. All painting is problem solving. I look at a photo I want to paint and ask myself, "How do I can I duplicate that texture, color or image?" In an abstract you begin with your gut instincts and the ask yourself, "What now? How am I going to make something from what I just created?" The painting seems to tell you it needs something but you don't what it is until you get there. In my other paintings it's not always easier but usually more obvious, the darks aren't dark enough, the picture isn't receding into the back ground.

I've always said that I needed something to look at to paint and have admired those who didn't. This was a fun painting for me. I hope to do more.

alcohol Inks on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
10 x 10

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, Morning Honey

Day 11

30 in 39 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Blue salvia is one of my favorite annuals to plant in my garden. I think you get so much from them. They are inexpensive and yet they spread out and flower all season long. Being tall, they serve as nice backdrops to other flowers in the garden. And the bees love them. Always happy to help the bees.

Morning Honey
Alcohol Ink and Pen on Yupo Paper
8 x 10

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 10, Bursting With Pride

Day 10

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

It occurred to me that alstroemerias, although they look like lilies... are not. They aren't as large and as demanding as lilies. Yet here they are bright and bold and truly themselves, comfortable with their own size.

Bursting with pride is a good choice for today, being that it is my 34th wedding anniversary. I'm proud of that. When I was younger I never envisioned being married that long. It's not a comment about my marriage. Heck, at 22, I never imagined getting this old. Anyway, I'm glad I did and am glad to be traveling this path with my husband, Mark. I'm liking age. It has afforded me the luxury of painting full time. And I guess most of all I like having a history of my own. But, I do fantasize about having my 20 year old knees back.

Bursting with Pride
Alcohol Inks and Pen on Yupo Paper
8 x 10

Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9, Spring Again

Day 9

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

It's always this time of year, when the school buses are running, and the apple patch is open, that I have to remind myself that Fall is my favorite season. I suppose the problem is that winter is soon to follow. But being a painter, I'm enjoying winter much more than I ever did before. It's the time when schedules slow down and I can spend more time in my studio painting. Next summer I will be doing less shows. It's bitter sweat for me, less shows more classes.

If I could turn back time, I'd do the summer all over again. It was wonderful. I'd start with Spring and ease back into summer.

Today's pick is from the crab apple tree in the backyard. Every Spring there is one week where it is full of it's wonderful blossoms. I feel so lucky just to be able to witness it each year. But then, that's in the Spring...

Spring Again
Alcohol Ink and Pen on Yupo Paper
8" x 10"