Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is Julie. She traveled an hour and a half just to visit me on a day I was scheduled to be at East Ludington Gallery in Escanaba. Well, she may have had ulterior motives -- there is a casino not too far from downtown Escanaba. But I was honored and humbled that she made a point to travel that far at this time of year in the cold northwoods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. So I invited her to sit for me. The lighting in the gallery is not the best, but I think it's a fair likeness. Julie is a beautiful person, inside and out, and has a heart of gold. (Hence, the golden glow around her.) Friends are truly jewels in our lives, and I cherish every one.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An amazing opportunity!

I am honored to have recently been permitted a portrait sitting with Congressman Bart Stupak. I have run across many instances of artists who have taken the liberty of painting a well-known person's portrait without permission and I have mixed emotions about this. Although in my early years of portrait study, my naivetée beckoned me to paint anyone and anything just to get the practice, I have become much more aware of the personal nature of painting someone's likeness. I now believe it is important and necessary to get their permission before doing it.

Which brings me to today's painting. This is not about politics. Mr. Stupak represents my area of Michigan, and I have had several opportunities to meet him in person. He was genuinely interested in my work as an artist. At one point I suggested that perhaps some day he would allow me the honor of painting his portrait, explaining that I still consider myself to be in the learning stages. He was extremely gracious, and generous with his time. I am now in the process of painting a full-body corporate portrait of him as a result of our initial sitting. This vignette was painted alla-prima as a study for the larger painting. To be permitted to paint a portrait of a well-known senior congressman is about the most exciting thing that has happened to me as an artist. Thank you, Mr. Stupak!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year!

Resolutions are a funny thing... as determined as one might be to make and keep meaningful resolutions, life sometimes gets in the way of the best intentions. Now that I am back on track, I'm looking forward to a year of growth as an artist, and as a person. It is, after all, only January 12. I have a full year of exciting paintings to get done!

This is Hanna. She is a sweet, gentle purebred Springer Spaniel who was rescused from the local animal shelter a few years ago. Recent paintings might lead you to believe that I'm focusing on pet portraits. Although I do enjoy painting pets, I actually have a number of "people portraits" in the works that I'm looking forward to sharing with you. I look forward to your feedback...