Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peace and Blessings to You and Yours!

I am humbled and honored to have recently completed the official portrait of the Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette. Bishop Sample was more than generous with his time, which allowed me to make a good start on a work from life. But after several months and attending a number of meetings where he was present, I came to the decision to do a second portrait. This was based on the fact that I felt I had gotten to know the Bishop on a more personal level. The first portrait had a more "stern" countenance, whereas the second reflects a more peaceful serenity that I believe is truer to his real nature. It's my understanding that this portrait will eventually hang in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel in St. Peter Cathedral, alongside portraits of all of the Bishops who have served in the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan -- all the way back to Bishop Baraga, who dedicated the Cathedral in 1866.

Bishop Sample didn't want this portrait done. I, along with others, explained that it is not a vanity issue, but a legacy to leave for the people of his Diocese. It's an important painting -- probably the most important painting I will ever have done. I thank God for the gift I have been given, and hope that in sharing it, you will be blessed. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are You Lookin' At Me?

I don't know what inspired me to paint a cow at this time of year, but I guess I needed to get away from the "have to's" and do a quick one for myself. This little painting is only 10" x 10." I enjoyed playing with the light and shadow, while working to get the anatomy correct. Having this stern little cow stare at me in my studio makes me feel like I'd better keep at it or else!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

This is a painting I did last year of my sister, Geri, in the fabulous costume she had custom-designed. The angle in which it was painted does not do justice to the fact that the bodice is covered with beautiful Swarovski crystals. It is an amazing work of art! This is a better photo of the painting than the one I previously published. She finally has the finished painting and I thought I would post it again here in honor of her birthday today!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Here is another in a series of paintings I'm working on based on my interpretations of works by William Bouguereau ( As you can see by comparison, I still have a lot to learn, but I believe I'm developing a style of my own based on the works of many artists that I admire.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Daniel Gerhartz ( has had a profound influence on my recent work. His first book will be published soon! You can preview and pre-order it at

Please contact me for more information, or to purchase this painting, by e-mailing me at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mother and Child

This painting was inspired by my sister-in-law and her little one. I love the feelings a Mother and Child painting gives me -- peace, love, admiration, courage, and hope. With 6 children (so far), Holly is the epitome of motherhood. I'm humbled by her strong, gentle nature, and her amazing faith! I painted this as a Christmas gift for their family, but had to show it to Holly for her permission to post it on the internet. I loved painting this one, and couldn't wait to show it!

If you'd like to commission a painting as a holiday gift, please contact me as soon as possible! I can be reached at

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Goose Girl

During my recent workshop with Daniel Gerhartz (, he had suggested that we study the works of artists we admire and practice developing our style based on those paintings. Needless to say, I love the work of Mr. Gerhartz, but want to develop a style of my own based on my studies with him and other contemporary artists. So I went back to one of my other favorite artists who worked around 1900 -- William Adolphe Bouguereau. He was incredibly prolific, and his work literally brings me to tears. I realize it's not for everyone, but I am in awe. So I hired one of my favorite young models to dress and pose in the style of some of Mr. Bouguereau's paintings. I want to make it clear that I'm not copying his work. That is terribly unethical and I would love some feedback on this issue.

This piece is loosely based on one of Bouguereau's works called Juene Bergere Debout. ( The actual size of my painting is 12" x 24". Most of Bouguereau's work was virtually life-sized. He also did one called The Goose Girl, which is not at all like this one. ( This one of mine is a nice complement to a recent painting I did called Gathering.

Thank you for checking in! I'll look forward to your feedback. I would be remiss not to thank Daniel Gerhartz for his generous time and talent!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I've been working on a variety of different paintings. But this monochromatic style keeps calling me. And as it gets closer to the holidays it will be difficult not to post those that I'm working on as gifts! This one was intended to be a gift for my daughter, but she kindly agreed to allow me to post it. It was done from a photo taken at her wedding -- is it seven years already??? Can't be... how time flies!

I'm re-visiting The Artist's Way, a book about bringing out your best creative self. It's not just for artists. The foreward explains that all professions have used this program to help make their lives more creative and enjoyable. This is the third time I'm attempting to get through it. Right up front it says that most people quit about half way through due to frustration, anger, or lack of feeling fulfilled by it. I'm much more motivated to complete the program this time. Maybe the third time's a charm?

Friday, September 3, 2010


The term grisaille comes from the French for "a method of painting in gray monotone." On the last afternoon that I was in my recent workshop at Daniel Gerhartz's studio, I knew my time would be cut short, so Dan suggested I try painting in a "grisaille method." Many of today's portrait artists use this technique to create an undertone for what will be a finished, full-color painting. As you can see here, today's interpretation of the original definition uses colors other than just gray. This quick study was a wonderful way to take advantage of every opportunity I had while studying with Dan. I learned so much and can't thank him enough for his generous time and talent!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I painted this as a complement to an earlier painting (inset) I had done, which was titled "The Clearing." Although only one year has passed between the completion of these paintings, I believe my growth as an artist is evident in the later painting. I'm so blessed to be able to continue to pursue this gift. Now that summer is at its end, I can finally get back to the dozens of paintings I've had to put on hold!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Milwaukee Domes Art Festival

Here are a few images from my experience at the Milwaukee Domes Art Festival this past weekend. Many thanks to Mary for visiting me there, and for taking some photos! It was a wonderful festival -- very well organized with lots of entertainment, food, and fantastic art! I was honored to be a part of it. The first painting I completed in the plein air competition was titled "Among Friends." It was created from the rear parking entrance, looking toward the domes. There are three domes in this beautiful botanical park. One houses desert plants, one is tropical, and one is called the "show dome" with seasonal changes. I attempted a second entry that would be more in my own style of portrait/figurative work, which was a painting I called "The Guardian." This young man is a regular volunteer at the Domes. He is quite an impressive individual, with solid plans for his future. I was inspired!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dan's Workshop-Day 4

This is a bittersweet day for me... I need to leave early from my amazing workshop with Daniel Gerhartz ( to begin my next adventure of participating in the 1st Annual Milwaukee Domes Art Festival ( Both are wonderful experiences, but I'm so frustrated that they overlapped. Here is my final painting from the workshop. I did a quick grisaille as well and hope to post that in the future. Dan is one of those unique human beings that leaves a lasting impression, and not just because of his extraordinary talent!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dan's Workshop-Day 3

This is my attempt for day 3 in my workshop with Daniel Gerhartz. His art is so humbling, and beautiful. He did a demonstration on this same model this morning. Darlene was so much fun to paint! Dan suggested that I add the greenish tone to the left side of her forehead to mute the strong light that was on her. It made all the difference. I have so much to learn...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dan's Workshop-Day 2

This is my study from Day 2 at my workshop with Daniel Gerhartz. (Many thanks to Dan for his patience and help!) This young man had a very chiseled face -- a challenge! I'm learning so much! Today's lesson had me focused on lost and found edges, which is where a line fades or becomes strong, depending on its surroundings. Very interesting! If you haven't seen his website yet, you will be astonished!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dan's Workshop-Day 1

This is the result of my first day at my workshop with Dan Gerhartz. It's called "Nikki - Cool Light." Dan is a wonderful artist, teacher and person! I'm so blessed to share this time with him. I have a lot to learn but am pleased with the results so far. I've already learned so much and look forward to the days ahead!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I've been working feverishly to complete some new works to show at the upcoming Milwaukee Domes Art Festival ( I suppose it's appropriate that this piece is titled "Gathering." And I'm looking forward to spending a week studying with Daniel Gerhartz ( who is one of my favorite artists. His work is so beautiful, and to paint with him is an honor and a privilege!

12" x 24"
For more information, please contact me at

Friday, July 30, 2010

Art on the Rocks

Summer is in full swing! This weekend I'll be displaying my work at Art on the Rocks in Marquette, Michigan. It's a beautiful city with lots of old world charm. Located on the shores of Lake Superior, it gets huge snowfalls during the winter. In fact, they get so much snow that many of the older homes were built with exits on the second floor, just in case the snow was so deep that they couldn't get out. The landscape in the community consists of large hills and rocks, which always makes me wonder how they get around during the winter months. The people there have a joy for life that is inspiring! There are so many beautiful things to see in Marquette. I'm very excited about participating in Art on the Rocks and hope the weather cooperates. Look for me practicing my plein air painting techniques!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Princess in Lace

Here's another in a series of paintings I'm preparing to introduce at next weekend's Art on the Rocks in Marquette, MI. This is Kristen standing in a field of Queen Anne's Lace. She was a real trooper that day... the bugs and bees where everywhere! I am so fortunate to have models who put up with so much. Her gentle beauty and peaceful spirit really shines through in this painting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

From Sketch to Fine Art

This painting is the result of a quick sketch I did recently at the care facility I visit regularly. It's such a joy to be there! I do demos and hold an art class once a week. We have no expectations -- just the sheer joy of creating a work of art! I always say "Everyone has a talent for something." I'm not sure I've found mine yet, but I'm definitely enjoying the process!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good Moo-orning!

How time flies! When I was in Iowa a few weeks ago, this lovely lady greeted us early every morning as we went to set up for plein air painting. I just had to paint her!

I've been working hard to prepare for my upcoming shows. My new paintings include a variety of figurative and landscape works.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Couple and a link to more photos

It seems I've found a niche in preserving a moment of bliss for happy couples about to tie the knot. What a great idea -- A gift of a fine art oil painting will last for generations! This one gave me some concern ... with close to 100% humidity for the last week or two, the painting wouldn't dry! It normally takes about six weeks to dry to the touch, but this one is well beyond that.

On another note, here are some photos posted by our wonderful hostess from last week's plein air workshop:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Painting in Iowa

Last week I attended a plein air painting workshop in Iowa with Vermont artist and instructor, Andrew Orr. Andrew is a wonderful artist whose work I've admired through his blog for some time ( It was grueling work, but I have to say that if I intend to paint en plein air I'd better get used to it. As was explained, the best light can generally be found early in the morning or later in the evening. So we woke up every morning by 5:30am and were out and ready to paint by 7am. At this time of year, it would probably help to get out even earlier. We would break for lunch and an afternoon siesta, and then head out again from about 5-8:30pm. Those evenings were especially difficult. I felt like I was being eaten alive by the bugs! I did find out that a common midwest remedy for keeping gnats away is Absorbine, Jr. (go figure). I learned so much from this workshop, and can't wait to continue to put it to use! Here is one of the paintings I worked on this week. This one is 16x20. Most of the work we did were smaller studies.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beach Baby 2

Art is a curious thing... creating art is even more so! I painted this little darling a few years ago, and was very pleased with the final product at that time. But my strong desire to continue to develop in my career has me looking back at former paintings and critiquing them. So I pulled out the brushes and paint and did it again, just to see how or if I've changed in my execution. I think I'm starting to lose my "fear of the dark" and am less afraid of strong colors and contrasts. I attribute this to the guidance of wonderful teachers, including Ken Marsden and Daniel Gerhartz, and I'm looking forward to spending a few days with Andrew Orr.

It's going to be a busy summer! Here are some of the places I'll be showing if you happen to be in the area:

Art on the Rocks, July 31-Aug 1, Marquette, MI
Oshkosh Opera House, August 7 (6-9pm), Downtown Oshkosh, WI
Milwaukee Domes Art Festival, August 20-22, Milwaukee, WI

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Beach Baby 2, 10" x 10"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Little Church on the Hill

This little country church is not too far from where I live. I've enjoyed traveling past it in all seasons, but I think it's most beautiful in the fall. Some day I'll paint it en plein air, but for now my photos will have to suffice.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Young Love

This is a another try at an earlier painting that I called "Little Spies." I really liked the composition of the first painting, but wanted to zoom in and create a stronger focal point. I also believe I'm growing in my craft, and really like the light and shadow effects in this painting. The sunlight coming through the branches of the tree needed particular attention. I enjoyed the process! The actual size of this painting is 12 x 24.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Shadow Knows

Everyone I know has experienced life in a different way. That's what makes us unique. We all have our shadows that tell a story only we can share. I think that is part of the reason I enjoy painting people. The technical aspects of portrait and figurative painting include more than just putting paint on a canvas. The challenge to me is to capture a person's inner qualities as well as to reproduce their image. This is Linda. Her gentle shadow in the background represents the light that shines on her, and from her. She is a friend, and an inspiration.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Best Friends Forever

A friend of mine asked if I would be willing to paint a miniature portrait for her collection of postcard-sized works. After I said I'd attempt the challenge, she gave me a photo of another friend of hers and asked if I could work it in. Thank goodness for Photoshop! After cutting and pasting and playing with the composition on my computer, this is what I came up with as the final painting. It's very difficult to paint from a photo unless I have gotten to know the person! I hope I did them justice in this tiny size. The actual size is 4" x 6".

Friday, May 7, 2010

Plein Air Dreaming

The wind has been so strong this week that I can't even think about getting out to do some plein air painting. And there's snow in the forecast tonight! So I pulled out some of the photos I've been taking for reference and this scene called to me. It's so beautiful where I live (when the weather cooperates)!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who was that masked woman?

My sister's birthday is the day after Halloween, and every year she celebrates in style! I finally took the opportunity to immortalize her in her most dramatic costume yet. Here she's hiding the fact that dozens of Swaroski (sp?) crystals are stitched into the front of her top and the costume is completely authentic, right down to the undergarments. The outfit was made for her by a local costume designer who has provided costuming for major films and plays across the country. She was absolutely breathtaking in it, but it's her inner beauty that is hard to depict in a painting!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Here are some assorted studies from the painting groups I've been enjoying recently. It's wonderful to share time with other artists who also enjoy painting people!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Road Trip

I've been unexcusably lax in getting things posted here, and for that I apologize. It's not for lack of painting. I joined a life drawing group recently and have been doing a variety of portraits and nude studies. It's a wonderful opportunity to hone my figurative skills, but I've recently found that I really enjoy painting landscapes too. Here is one from a road trip my husband and I took about a month ago, thanks to the suggestion of a friend. (Thank you, Pam!) I'm looking forward to more opportunities to paint outdoors! Perhaps I'll begin to join people with nature in my paintings...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Warm Thoughts

February is always the most difficult month for me to tolerate here in the northwoods. Spring is so close I can almost feel it in the air. The snow began falling in early December, and those first flakes are still waiting to melt into the earth. Every so often we get a new blanket of white to brighten our spirits. We've been fortunate not to be hit by a major storm yet, and my heart goes out to those stranded on the East Coast in the aftermath of this weekend's big storm.

I haven't painted a winter landscape in a very long time. This one caught my eye and I was inspired to give it a try. I could almost hear the bigger horse saying to the small one, "Winter will be over soon. Come close, and I'll keep you warm." It's almost like a Valentine!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Faith, Hope, and Love

The Three Graces has been depicted in a variety of ways, and if you "Google" its meaning, you'll get a variety of answers. I choose to believe that they represent Faith, Hope, and Love. "...but the greatest of these is Love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

This is the second time I've attempted the Three Graces, and it may not be my last. I'm really enjoying the process. Thank you for visiting, and to all my new followers on Networked Blogs in Facebook! I appreciate all your comments, as I am still, and hope to always be, in a learning phase.

I am taking pre-orders for this painting reproduced as a 6"x6" ceramic tile (without watermark as shown above) at a cost of $30. All orders received prior to March 1 will receive free shipping.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

After the Rush

I know this Santa is "after the fact" but I couldn't let the inspiration fade. This jolly ol' elf came together quickly, and, although I am tempted to continue to play with him, I think I'll quit here. This painting evokes the mystery of who I believe Santa to be!