Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement! It means so much to have family and friends who help keep me focused. I'm grateful for your comments, good or bad, that help me continue to grow as an artist. I keep you in my heart and prayers. May God Bless and keep you safe in His care. Wishing you and yours all the joys of the season!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Randy Higbee Gallery 6x6 Exhibit

I'm so excited to be included in this year's 6x6 Show in the Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa, CA! This little painting is one of 670 paintings in the show. A gala artists' reception will be held this Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5-9pm (pacific time). Randy does a great job keeping you updated during this event on his Facebook page. You can see all of the works through a link on their website. Here's a link to my painting, The Thinker. And while I'm at it, here's a link to my husband's painting, which is also included in the show: Hugging the Wind. I encourage you to take some time to view these works! All paintings can be purchased through PayPal.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things I'm Thankful For

It's one week before Thanksgiving here in the U.S.  Many of my friends have been making daily posts of things they are thankful for in their lives. It's so important to acknowledge the many gifts and blessings that we have! Today I'm thankful for supportive friends and family, who provide encouragement, laughter, and love. Thank you for your support!

This is one of the later paintings I did as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. Although my time there is done, for now, I will hold on to the memories and all I learned in the process. Thank you to all my friends and family who bravely sat for me. I don't know who's job was harder -- mine in painting, or theirs in having to sit still for hours. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope to do it again some day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Things I have learned

How do artists know when they have "made it"? This has been a burning question for me lately. As I look back on the last year or so, I believe my growth as an artist has accelerated. I was very fortunate to spend 4 months as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. That experience helped me to lose my fear of "performing" in public, and led to my being asked to teach a beginner workshop at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County next summer. I will also have a solo exhibit for two months in the main lobby at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, MI. These milestones in my career give me a sense of positive momentum and make me believe that I'm moving in the right direction.

I can also see improvement in the quality of my work. I believe that some artists are born prodigies, but I can attest to the years of work and sacrifice that it takes most of us to "make it" in the art world. And not only do I see the physical improvement in my work, but there's been a shift in my consciousness that has been enlightening. I am in awe of the many wonderful artists who are making a living selling their work. There have been many times I've wanted to quit and get a "real" job and a regular paycheck. But it's almost like having an addiction to create, and I can't stop.

The two images shown here are of the same model, painted about 6 months apart. The one on the left was done this spring and the one on the right was painted about a month ago. I felt pretty good about the first one when I had finished it. But the second shows the nuances that I've acquired by practice, practice, and more practice in painting from live models. My inconsistencies are still there, but I'm working to improve every day. Thank you for following my journey!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Good Experience

I'm nearing the end of my term as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum - Tuesday of next week is my last session. I'd like to thank the wonderful folks at the museum for making my stay memorable and enjoyable. I've been taking notes and will post some comments on what I've learned from this experience in a future message. If given the opportunity, I would definitely do it again. Sharing this time with good friends and family has been heart-warming. I've also gained valuable experience in painting from life. Thank you to all who have supported me in this process!

This is Chuck, my husband and hero.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Order Now for Christmas Gifting!

I haven't mentioned it in a while, so I wanted to post a reminder that I paint Pet Portraits. Everyone loves their furry friends! Give them a unique and everlasting gift of an original oil portrait of their pet. Big or small, I paint them all! I'll give you a great price if you order by November 2.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Study in Differences

I painted these river scenes from the same spot on the same day -- one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The top one was the morning painting with the sun rising into my face. The lower one was painted the same afternoon with the sun at my back. They are quick studies, but a useful exercise in how I see my work with different light sources. In the morning, the shadows on the trees were all facing me, so I didn't see as much color as I did in the afternoon. The darks were much richer in the morning scene, while the color were more vibrant in the afternoon. I think I'll have to try this again some time!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Victorian Lady in Scarlet

My friend, Bonnie, came to sit for me again last week at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. It was a joy to paint her in full Victorian attire. With the exception of a few minor tweaks when I got home, this painting was almost complete in 4 hours at the museum. There is some glare on this photo, so I'll try to get a better one when it's completely dry. Its actual size is 20x24, so not a huge painting, but it's very difficult for me to paint a full body pose in a short amount of time. I'll ponder it for a while and decide if I want to add anything to it. While I painted, we chatted about whether or not her great-great-grandchildren would wonder if she really dressed that way in everyday life.  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shades of Gray

I arrived early to the Neville Museum last week, excited to face another afternoon of painting a portrait from life. I set up my easel and put paints on my palette as I waited for my model to get there. When she did, she looked at the palette and said "What are all those colors doing there?" I started to explain that those are the colors I use in painting portraits. She stopped me and said, "I thought you were going to paint me in black and white." You were serious??? I hadn't done a monochromatic portrait in a long time. The work is entirely about value, not color. It took me about an hour to start to feel like I was getting somewhere. Working in one color is really a challenge! I encourage my artist friends to do it every once in a while.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Eyes Have It

The old saying, "the eyes are the windows to the soul," holds a lot of weight for me when I'm working on a portrait. A person's eyes are so revealing, but can be very mysterious too. The eyes are often one of the first things I work on when starting a portrait because it sets the tone for the rest of the work. I probably shouldn't admit this, but on occasion I imagine the painting winked at me to let me know that I'm on the right track. (My creative mind is so active when I paint!) I've been so fortunate to have good friends and family to provide many opportunities to hone my skills at painting from life during my time as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum. I'm already past the half-way mark of my work there. If you're in the area, please come and watch me paint on a Tuesday afternoon until the end of October. Or, better yet, volunteer to be one of my victims, er, models. (hee-hee) I have a line-up of people scheduled to sit for me there so please send a message letting me know what days you're available and I'll try to work it into my schedule.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Painting from Life

I've been blessed to have a variety of volunteers who are willing and able to sit for me at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI during my time as artist-in-residence on Tuesday afternoons. I paint much more quickly when I'm able to do it with a live model or in the open air, as in landscape painting (plein air). The paintings shown here were completed in about 4 hours. Painting from life puts the color and atmospheric conditions right in front of me. I don't have to second guess what a photograph is telling me to interpret. But painting from life also gives me the much-needed practice of seeing the reality that allows me to get a stronger interpretation of what I'm seeing in a photograph when I have to paint from a printed image or from my computer screen.

When I first decided to pursue portraiture, I began by taking week-long workshops with established portrait and figurative artists. In the first workshop I attended, the artist told me that I would have to paint 200 portraits from life before I would begin to feel like I was making progress. If that didn't discourage me, nothing will! I still have a few openings left in September and October if you have the time and are interested in sitting for me at the museum on a Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Milwaukee Domes Arts Festival

I'll be showing my work and plein air painting this Friday-Sunday at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy Domes, aka The Milwaukee Domes. This will be my third year at this well-run arts festival. It's a beautiful venue, and there are many talented artists and musicians there. For more information check out their website at Shown here is one of many paintings that I recently finished. Come out and see them for yourself!

Monday, August 13, 2012

In honor of Alphonse Mucha

This painting only resembles the work of Mucha in the way I've handled the background. I had every intention of creating a Mucha-like image, but as I progressed, I didn't want to lose the likeness of my lovely model. So this will go on the books as an experiment. I hope to be able to view the Mucha exhibit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa before it closes. Perhaps I'll be newly inspired! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dressed to the Nines

A few minor tweaks, and voila! As promised here is the final painting of Bonnie from this week's effort at the Neville Public Museum. I'm happy to have several weeks in a row of live models offering to sit for me at the museum. My niece will be there next week (Aug 14), and my sister on Aug 21. If you are interested in sitting for a few hours on a Tuesday afternoon, please contact me. I paint every Tuesday afternoon as artist-in-residence until the end of October.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Painting a Victorian Lady

This is the result of my efforts today at the Neville Public Museum. If you are new to my blog, I was given the opportunity to paint there as artist-in-residence every Tuesday afternoon until the end of October. I am so blessed to have supportive friends who are willing to sit for me as I paint and talk to visitors. And just as blessed to have friends come there to support my efforts. I'll be "tweaking" this painting a bit, and will post the final image soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pick Me!

I painted these sunflowers last week during my time as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. It's completely palette knife painted, with paint so thick I was worried about getting it to my vehicle, let alone all the way home. The actual size of this piece is 30 x 36.  Despite what preconceptions you may have, the life of an artist is never easy. I have my highs and lows, as everyone does. I'm always thankful for the little "joys" that come my way that remind me to keep trying. I've grown dramatically in recent months, and will be forever grateful to my mentors and friends who have been so encouraging. And, of course, to God, for this gift. I'm painting more than ever, and I see development in every piece I finish. But times are tough. And not only for me, but for many artists I know and love. To all the established artists who are able to make a living doing what they love, I salute you! I'm selling more art than ever, but with my husband's unexpected unemployment and both of us now trying to make it as artists, an uncertain income is difficult to get used to. As I try to consider a closing line, I think of all the people who need prayers now. I've been so fortunate. Please take a moment of silence for all who are hurting or in need.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A rose by any other name...

      'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
      Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
      What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
      Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
      Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
      What's in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;
      So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
      Retain that dear perfection which he owes
      Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
      And for that name which is no part of thee
      Take all myself.

- Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week 2 at the Neville Public Museum

Here is the painting I did yesterday as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. I'm enjoying a new space they created for artists of all kinds called Museum Place. It's in a large space right behind the main desk. I worked from a photo during my time at the museum, then brought the painting home for some final minor adjustments. What will I work on next week?

"One with Nature"  20 x 24

Monday, July 9, 2012

More News!

I'm happy to announce that I have been selected as an artist-in-residence to paint live every Tuesday afternoon at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI, until the end of October. I expect to be painting portraits from live models for the most part, but will also fill in with still life paintings and demos from photos. If you are available on a Tuesday afternoon from noon-5pm, and would be interested in sitting for me, please contact me. This is the first painting I did last week of my husband, Chuck. It's called "Howdy Ma'am."

You Are Invited!

You are invited to a reception featuring the art of Chuck and Kathleen Eaton. The reception will be held this Friday, July 13, from 5-8pm at Gallery 3, 2402 Franklin St, Manitowoc, WI. If you can't be there on Friday, our works will be on display there until the end of the month. Regular gallery hours are Friday-Saturday-Sunday from noon-5pm, or any time by appointment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Morning Fog

This painting is an attempt to portray a very ethereal phenomenon that occurs most often (that I'm aware of) in midwest farmlands. I'm not saying that fog doesn't occur in other parts of the country, but the way it lifts gently from the fields is almost angelic to me. It's like a soft blanket covering the earth, and as the sun rises, so does the fog. I have watched it slowly dissipate, and sometimes feel as if it's still there -- just invisible... like an angel.

Morning Fog, 15x30

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cedarburg 2012

I'm participating in the Cedarburg Plein Air Festival again this year! It's so exhilarating to be painting with good friends and enjoying the opportunity to paint outdoors. This painting was done as part of the Port Washington "preview" day last Wednesday.

I have a busy summer ahead too! Chuck and I are happy to announce that we will be featured in a two-person exhibit at Gallery 3 in Manitowoc, WI beginning July 6, through the end of July. The opening reception is scheduled for July 13, in the evening. I will also be doing a live demo on July 21 from noon-3pm. Please plan to join us!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Growth

I painted this darling little calf as a gift for a friend recently. I'm not sure I'm flattered that, as a result, they decided to name it after me, but it's definitely something to talk about! And speaking of new growth, I have a new website! Please visit me at I'd love your feedback!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


It seems as though summer has arrived early in many parts of the country. I've been enjoying an extended stay in the southwest... first in the Phoenix area where temperatures averaged 100+ degrees, and then in Santa Fe with our newborn grandson, his brother, and family. It has been a joyous time, but quiet as far as painting goes. I'm anxious to get back to the easel! These little sketches are some that I painted indoors when temperatures were soaring in Arizona. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gifts of Beauty

These flowers were actually single peonies that were blooming in Indiana during my recent visit there. There were spectacular -- almost took my breath away! Whenever I try to paint something like this, it always reminds me that I am not the Creator of such beauty. As hard as I try to re-create it, I can only attempt to interpret what God has made. He has given us such wonderful gifts!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Charles The Ox

Last week I participated in First Brush of Spring in New Harmony, IN. It's an annual painting competition in a quaint town and a very spiritual place. This was my first time there. Coinciding with this event was Historic Harmony Days. Children from every school district in the area came to view historic reenactments and a variety of tents where they could learn how things were done in the "old days." The creative energy filled the air! This ox was one of four that a man used to demonstrate how they helped in farming. I bravely set up my easel thinking that I would be lucky to get a start on a painting. Certainly these animals wouldn't sit still for long! But to my surprise, this gentle creature posed for me for over an hour, while the others rambled around him, showing the children what they can do. When I was done and starting to pack up, I heard the man say "OK, Charles, it's your turn now." The ox rose, and the children came running to see what I had done! What fun!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bed of Roses

This is my most recent painting in my Fields of Flowers series... now available at DCF Art Gallery & Gifts in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. They also have a nice variety of small rose paintings, priced right for Mother's Day gifting!

Bed of Roses
20 x 48

Friday, April 20, 2012

First Brush of Spring

I've painted seven paintings in two days (so far). This is one of them -- a garden adjacent to a little church. The weather is beautiful and the flowers are blooming everywhere in southern Indiana. Wish me luck as I enter the final day of this competition and paint-out...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hooray for Spring!

Painting season is officially here! This painting was done last Friday at the Woodland Dunes Nature Center near Two Rivers, WI. I've been painting outdoors all year, but I don't enjoy it as much as I do when the weather is a bit warmer and the sun higher in the sky. Next week is my first painting competition of the year. I'll be participating in the First Brush of Spring in southern Indiana. Many of these competitions have multiple opportunities for artists to show what they can do. This one hosts a two-day paint-out, where artists paint within a given perimeter and then turn in one of their works for judging. There is also a Quick Paint on Thursday evening from 5:30-6:45 -- If I want to participate, I need to get a painting done in that time slot and turn it in for judging. And then there's a Saturday morning art show. And, if I want to, I can have one of my paintings stamped, and then take it home to finish and bring it back next year for the Field to Finish competition on Wednesday evening. It's going to be a busy week!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Here is the final version of the painting progression that I've been posting. I'm not claiming to be an expert by posting my process -- I just wanted to share how I pulled this one together. It's always interesting to me to see how other artists work. It took me many years to convince myself that it was OK to pursue my dream of being a full-time, professional artist. Now I'm like a sponge -- absorbing all the information I can! I don't want to get to the pearly gates and have to apologize for not using the gifts I was given. I could say that I wish I had done this sooner, but there's no sense dwelling on the past. Full speed ahead!

Psalm 42
36 x 48
Contact the artist to purchase this work

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Details, details

Here are a few close-up views of the details that I've been adding to the painting progression from my recent posts. I'm working to keep the painting soft and impressionistic. I hope to post the finishing painting tomorrow! Happy Easter to you and yours!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tears of Sorrow, Tears of Joy

Alleluia! This weekend, Christians all over the world commemorate Our Lord and Savior's passion. The Orthodox faith's services will be celebrated next weekend. It's an important reminder of the agony that Christ endured because of His great love for us. I painted this image toward the end of last year during a time of prayer and contemplation. It was given to a very special person who helped me understand the virtue of honoring Jesus' mother as the conduit for His life here on earth. That doesn't mean I give Jesus any less glory. It only adds to the prayers that I include in my life. Mary deserves honor and respect as the Mother of our Lord. Praise God!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

First Layer Done

This image shows what I call the completed first layer of this painting. Not all artists work this way, but on a piece as large as this one, I feel more comfortable working in layers. Now the fun begins! I want to add some detail, and work on the lights and shadows. I've received some interesting comments on this progression of my work. Yes, I am scared that the finished painting won't be received well. Yes, I do feel like I'm exposing myself. Maybe it's a means of "paying it forward" for all the artists that have shared their process with me, and those artists who will continue to share their growth. Thank you for following - I'll look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Slowly but Surely...

Day 3 - With this being a fairly large painting, I find myself making adjustments a little more often than I might with a smaller piece. It's kind of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle -- the closer I get to finishing the work, the more excited I am to see the finished painting (and make sure I'm not missing any pieces)!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

And so it begins...

I'm carefully laying in the base layer for this very large painting. I want to be careful not to be too tight with my brush, as I can always add in some details later.

Monday, April 2, 2012

In Progress

This painting is the largest I've attempted so far. I'm a little intimidated by the size of it (36x48) but it's time I stretch myself more. I originally toned this canvas with another painting in mind, but after much thought, I decided to go in another direction. I hope you'll follow along with me and give me your thoughts!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Roses, roses, everywhere!

These little paintings are the perfect size for gifts of original art, and are now available at DCF Custom Framing and Art Gallery in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. Call or stop in to see them for yourself - 313-881-6922. Mother's Day is not far away!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Women's Works

I'm so honored to have been chosen as one of the artists exhibiting in the 25th Anniversary Women's Works Exhibition at the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, IL. This weekend the gala reception will be held at the gallery on Saturday evening (March 24) from 7-9pm. I would love to see you there! If you can't make it to the reception, the exhibit runs through April 29. For more information, visit For gallery hours: . My facebook homepage shows an image of the work that was accepted. Please visit me at You can also "Like" my Eaton Art Gallery page at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Playing with Knives

I've been experimenting with many styles and textures recently. I love the looseness that palette knife painting creates, but have never done a painting entirely with a palette knife. This one is my first attempt. It's a small painting, and a bit simplistic, but I love the thickness of the paint and the way the colors blend.