Painting for Children

Four years ago I was doing a great deal of canvas painting for children. I loved thinking of children having the opportunity to have fun, original art work for their own rooms.  These paintings sold well at boutique shows, art shows, etc.   I contacted a licensing company, Oopsy Daisy and submitted some photos. That started a very lovely relationship with a company who shared a similar philosophy as mine, creating art for the "interior walls of a child's mind."

When we moved from Maryland I knew I would most likely not be doing more art shows or boutique shows and slowly stopped painting for children. Occasionally I  receive a request for something specific, like one month ago when a lovely mom wrote asking if I would do two paintings for her daughter, whom she was creating a beautiful room for. She was wanting original artwork for the walls. I was happy to comply. We decided upon two themes.  At first it was difficult to get back into the mindset of creating for a child, but once the design was set, the paint flowed. It was so much fun.

For privacy reasons I am not showing what was created for her daughter, but thought you might like seeing some of my favorites over the years. And also two that I still have in my home and am offering for sale.

I have two paintings left. Indian Princess and Get Along Little Cowboy are a bit lonely, having their companions tucked away in an other child's home. These two paintings are looking for their own unique place in a child's heart. They are now available for sale on this blog.  Being the last in a whole caboodle of paintings their original price is reduced. 

Indian Princess
18 x 18
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas.
Was 300.00 now 150.00 Free Shipping

Get Along Little Cowboy
18 x 18 
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
Was 300.00 now 150.00.  Free shipping.

If you are interested in a commissioned painting please feel free to contact me. 

Memorial Day Moments

Moments of Memorial Day Reflection
in Honor of
My Father,
Who served with pride and valor in World War II.
He was a true Patriot.

A Radish a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Now radishes have not been my favorite vegetable. Loved the various colors, texture and the bright green leaves, but eating them, I remained uncommitted. Radishes USED TO BE a staple in our lettuce salads. However they have been replaced with sugared almonds, Craisins, fresh strawberries or blueberries...hmm,  I see a bit of a sugar connection.

Then I ran across a very intriguing  recipe, conceived and beautifully photographed by Helene Dujardin, Turkey, Brie and Roasted Radish panini sandwiches!!!! You will find it here on a fabulous website Tarteletteblog.  Helene's photographs alone changed my mind about the humble radish!  

Once again thinking Provence (HMMM does one buy radishes in southern France?) I headed to our local fruit and vegetable market, purchased the freshest, most colorful to be found. Later I wrapped them in faux-French newspaper and pretended I was sketching in the sunny warmth of Arles. 

Start with a light pencil sketch. Lightly outline around sketch in thin, waterproof marker. (Micron) Try to be uneven, sketchy, curvy and disconnected.
Next an underlying color wash with thinned watercolor. Vary colors on each radish, and radishes next to one another.
Wash shades of gray, magenta and blue on the faux newspaper. Leave some white of the paper showing. I used a waterbrush.
My favorite part is going back and intensifying colors, adding new color over previous color and really mixing it up. Time to dribble in a bit of dark blue for shadow.
Shadows were placed on the French cloth under the bouquet of radishes. Re-ink for strength, texture and interest. Really can't wait to create this sandwich....Helene's blog is worth a visit if you love to cook and love gorgeous photographs. I just purchased her  new book, Plate to Pixel the art of food photography. Not into food photography, you can apply her very accessible techniques and information to other photography genres. I am half way through reading her book and have learned so much.

Sugar Roses

It had rained, rained, rained
then turned 
cold, cold, cold. 
When the sun broke through
our garden was filled
with Sugar Roses.

How Perfectly    

 by favorite poet, Mary Oliver

How perfectly
and neatly
opens the pink rose

this bright morning,
the sun warm
on my shoulders,

 its heat
on the opening petals

it is the smallest,
the least important event
at this moment

May's Bird Bath

These past May days
are shadowed by 
foaming, fomenting
gray clouds,
bursting, spilling
 flooding earth below. 

A dousing bird-bath for
  wrens, finches, cardinals as
they dine at drenched feeders
filled with swollen seed
feathers slicked with rain. 

Patterns and Provence


Why is the call of Provence so strong? beguiling? bewitching? Did Peter Mayle set a trend? Today's writers, photographers and artists flock to this wild, enigmatic  part of France.

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Renoir, Bonnard, Vuillard, Cezanne ....the list of painters fill today's museums
with priceless works of art. 
What drew these men to Southern France over 100 years ago?

They say it is the shimmering ambient light,
the rugged masculine landscape, 
the dry hot climate
that gnarls olive trees into grotesque shapes,
 the singing meadows filled with birds,
the velvet moon and searing white sun,
all unfolding, unfurling.

So different from Paris. 

We have definitely romanticized Provence. 
And the first time I visited, I too, 
fell head over heart in love with this unique place
with all of its folksy charm.

Through the years I have probably painted more Provence inspired paintings than any other genre. 
Me and a zillion other painters. 

This past month I have been revisiting some past trips, 
enjoying ever-so-many photos
and journal writings. 
And so it happens that all this French inspiration has landed in my sketchbook. 

Plein air sketch for a future painting.

Smaller watercolor sketch taped onto larger design. Try using black masking tape in journals. White lettering done with a white-out pen.

Charming, whimsical, Provencal printed fabrics are
found in abundance in villages large and small. 

Today I hung a long Provencal fabric table runner vertically across a window, serving as a valance. Double stick carpet tape keeps it in place.
 My kind of no-sew project!

Fruit, vegetables, herbs: fresh, fragrant, sun-ripened.
Every village claims its own
unique market in the center of town.

Sketchbook Snippets

  In the the tiniest of bits and pieces of personal time, I have ever so slowly been creating sketches of our time in Asia. As I look through the photographs of our visit with cultures that are so magnificent,  ancient in their beginning;  people of so many complexions, traditional clothing and head coverings; the exotic blend of spices, flowers, trees, palms, heat, humidity; experiences I would never thought possible in my American life, they beg for documentation outside of photographs. 

Ancient shrines, holy temples, sculptures of deities and animals; sunset skies framed by darkening palm trees; wavering reflections in the ponds, lakes and rivers  bring a sense of calm....but it wasn't always so. These countries have long histories of territorial, turf wars, clashes and genocide.

 Woman to woman confidants; gossip, musings of daily life, sharing of sorrows, worries, grief; giggles, teasing and jokes are filled with the patience of sitting, sifting, sorting, selling.

Men carry umbrellas. Women carry umbrellas. We carry umbrellas, usually to ward off the rain; they to protect themselves from the relentless sun and heat. Clothing that is airy and light, let the breeze pass through to cool the skin.

Umbrellas large, massive, shadow producing, protecting, a place to sit and visit. 
In general the Asian populations have more time, or make more time to JUST BE.

 Singapore at Chinese New Year. The color of choice, RED. Red, crimson and garnet colored paper, plastic, silk lanterns with flying golden tassels, dance their way across the humid sky. At night they light up like a thousand fire flies. 

 In our home we hang these festive lanterns from our chandelier, doorways and along the windows of my painting studio. They makes us all smile serving as a reminder to "lighten up."

Asian cultures LOVE their puppets. Simple wood pulley toys for children to sophisticated cut out leather, hand painted paper and fabric, trims and embroidery. Some are found in museums a testament to their place in their cultural history.

Puppets tell stories. These three puppets were constructed from hand painted paper. They told a story that I could not read. But my imagination came forth with its own interpretation. 

So a little peak into my journal. It is a small journal, manageable, sketches to take the place of long narratives, just notes jotted down here and there. Pencil, pen, watercolor, colored pencils, charcoal...bits and pieces of collage fodder from Asia.

It will be fun to share more sketches with you, my friends.