Tuesday, December 10, 2013


20" x 20"
oil on panel

Inspiration can come from many areas. 
I knew I wanted to paint a marvelous carrot. 
I had been thinking about the orange colors 
leaning to the reds, and the wonderful
playful greenery for a while. 
But what did I want to do with it?
What did I want to do to take it to the next level?

My inspiration:

 The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
by Katsushika Hokusai

Born in 1760, Katsushika Hokusai was a Japanese artist 
in the Edo Period. His life's work is an amazing study 
of design, line, and composition. Here is a link to his 
known works: Katsushika Hokusai
His woodblock print seen above
"The Great Wave Off Kanagawa"
was an inspiration for Carrot-O.

Those that know me well, know that I love the 
puzzle of figuring out how to set up my compositions
once I have sketched them out.
Next I will show you how I set up this painting.
Sooooo. . .
If you do not want the magic spoiled
I would not go further here.

I used wire to get the cut carrot 
in the circular shape I was looking for. 
I was able to move and slide the
carrots to get just the right spacing.

 Then everything was tied up,
 even the greenery was tied and stitched
to get it in the shape I was looking for.
I was really looking for the greenery to create a wave.

Wonder what a carrot looks like 
after it has sat around the studio a bit. . .
nice and shriveled.

Finished painting. . .
20" x 20"
oil on panel

 Detail from painting.
Detail from painting.

will be showing at
Elliot Fouts Gallery
15th Anniversary Show
January 4th- February 6th, 2014
Sacramento, CA

Friday, November 22, 2013

Small Works, Principle Gallery

Proud Mama
11" x 14" 
oil on panel

Henny Penny
14" x 11"
oil on panel

Circus Dog
16" x 12"
oil on panel

Principle Gallery 
Small Work Show 
December 7th, 2013.

I am honored to be featured among 
Michael Lynn Adoms, Jorge Alberto, Rett Ashby,
Mia Bergeron, Candice Bohannon, Ryan Brown, Casey Childs,
Scott Conary, Elizabeth Floyd, Kelli Folsom,
Felicia Forte, Douglas Fryer, Greg Gandy,
Lisa Gloria, Tanya Harsch, Tara Keefe, Jeremy Mann,
Brian Martin, Lisa Noonis, Larry Preston, Cindy Procious,
Paula Rubino, Robert Stark, and Terry Strickland.

For for information visit
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA

Henny Penny

Henny Penny
14" x 11"
oil on panel

Children love chickens. 
They are puffy soft when they are chicks, 
and very humorous when they are grown up.
For a while we lived next door to some chickens.
 I will never forget when our daughter, 
who was maybe 1 1/2 years of age
discovered that chickens, well, that they poop.
For some reason she couldn't believe it.
That was her favorite funny line for a few years, 
guaranteed to get a belly laugh out of her.

I started to think about pull toys. 
They were created for small children
so they could  walk their little animal friends. 
Then I wondered. . .
Would people walk real chickens on leashes? 
That is the next step to the pull toy.
Walking the real thing right. . .

Yes, yes there are people who walk chickens on a leash.
Pictured above is a chicken from Sydney, Australia who is walked. 
This chicken also looks simular to my Henny Penny.

I also found an article at Blue Egg Blue Egg 
that tells you how to train
your chicken and what kind of harness to use. 

The toy featured in my painting is the
1958 Fisher Price Cackling Hen No. 120.
When you pull her along her wings flap and she cackles. 
Mine is missing her pull string.

I really like the idea of painting these toys as a portrait.
The same way one would paint a portrait of a person, 
cropped to the shoulders, trying to capture their personality. 
In the case of these toys, showing their wear and tear and age.

oil on linen

One other time I painted a toy portrait 
in this way. Above is Moo from 2011.

Henny Penny
14" x 11"
oil on panel

Henny Penny  

Henny Penny
will be showing at
Principle Gallery
Small Works Show
Opening December 7th, 2013
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Circus Dog

Circus Dog
16" x 12"
oil on panel

Growing up we had a lot of animals around. 
A pet dog Frank, a kind of grumpy Irish Setter,
 and barn cats who I think would have done anything 
for food that wasn't mice or dry cat food.
I was so intrigued about circuses, 
especially circus dogs and circus horses. 
I gave up on Frank learning tricks. 
We later got a little dog named Buttons.  
She was very smart and learned many tricks. 
SO fun. She would sit up, beg,
roll over, and play dead. I felt especially proud when 
I taught her to jump through a hula-hoop.
I would have her perform for my parents in the living room, 
with me pretending to be in the circus.
It was great!

This is what the Ringling Circus Museum 
has to say about the history of circus dogs:
"Performing dogs were often strays or purchased from the pound, because these mixed breed dogs were usually very intelligent and learned tricks quickly. The dogs traveled in special accommodations. Wagons 99 and 98 were designed specifically for the dogs, with each animal having its own space in the wagon. In between performances, the dogs were kept in outdoor kennels."


I may not have a dog that knows how to jump rope, 
or a circus horse to do riding tricks on,
but I have not lost hope of either. 
A girl can still dream.
But I do have my toys for creative inspiration.

This red circus dog is a 1950's Cracker Jack 
toy prize made by NosCo. Cracker Jack's had a whole series of circus animals and acrobats.

Setting up for this composition 
I made the flags and created the 
box with the curtains.

completed painting
 Circus Dog

detail from painting

Circus Dog 
will be showing at 
Principle Gallery

Small Works Show
December 7th, 2013
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA

Monday, September 30, 2013

Crash Landing

Crash Landing
16" x 20"
oil on panel

     Wind up toys date back in history. Karl Grod, a German inventor, created some of the first in the 15th century. 
They were called liquidation toys at the time. Also in 1509 Leonardo da Vinci created a lion liquidation toy.

     Wind up toys were initially only for royalty. By the 1800's 
wind up toys were created in greater numbers and at lower costs. European toy manufacturers created the first mass produced tin toys in the late 1880's. They were popular over the next 60 to 70 years and manufactured in a number of countries.  
 In the 1950's a small alkaline battery was introduced and was used to run toys inner mechanisms. This took the popularity of wind up toys away for a good 20 years.

     This brings me to the little guy in the picture above. 
In 1977 , Tomy of Japan created their first plastic wind up toy, 
the Rascal Robot. 
     This company had the ability to build precision plastic gears 
and parts very small which was great for wind up toys. 
They were able to reduce the size of the gear box and spring drive. Over the next six years Tomy created wind ups that could walk, back flip, and swim while shooting water. I still remember getting a back flipping dog wind up when I was younger that truly amazed me. (Plastic Wind Up History)

     I got to paint my little robot once before for MicroVisions, 
a scholarship show for the Society of Illustrators. 
This was also not the first time for me to paint the flying saucer.

I had so much fun with Rascal Robot and the saucer,
 I wanted to do more. 
Crash Landing soon came about.

 detail from Crash Landing

Crash Landing
will be showing at
Elliott Fouts Gallery
October 5th to October 31st, 2013
The Still Life

For fun I have added a little video of two 
Rascal Robots in action along with the flying saucer. 
But look out for towards the end, 
and strange creature invades their table top exploration. 

The Still Life, Elliott Fouts Gallery

The Still Life
An Invitational Group Show
Elizabeth Barlow, Leigh-Anne Eagerton, Jelaine Faunce,
Teresa N. Fischer, Alvin Richard, Joanne Tepper,
Kathrine Lemke Waste and Christopher Stott.

October 5 - October 31, 2013
Reception, Saturday, October 12th
Elliott Fouts Gallery
Sacramento, Ca

One Lump or Two
16" x 20" 
oil on panel

16" x 20"
oil on panel

Crash Landing
16" x 20"
oil on panel

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Newly arrived paintings at Principle Gallery

Newly arrived paintings
Principle Gallery

Mystery Egg
24" x 12"
oil on panel
 detail from Mystery Egg

26" x 12"
oil on panel

detail from Stacked

detail from Stacked

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Artist's Magazine 30th Annual Artist Competition

I am honored to have two of my paintings selected as finalists in 
The Artist's Magazine's 
30th Annual Art Competition
Still Life/Floral Category.

Butch, 16" x 20" oil on panel

Peculiar Pachyderm, 20" x 16"  oil on panel

Thursday, May 9, 2013

International 2012/2013 ARC Salon Results

Art Renewal Center has announced the winners and finalists in their
2012 / 2013 International Salon.
With approximately 2000 entries from over 350 artists,
the finalists only include the top 30% 
of the worked submitted.

I am very honored to announce my painting
First Love has been selected a 
in the Still Life category.

First Love
12" x 16"
oil on panel

To view all of the finalist and award winners 
of each category please go to the
Art Renewal Center Salon page:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

MicroVisions Auction is live!

The MicroVisions Auction
is now live. 
April 23rd, 2013 and will end
May 2nd, 2013 at 7pm.

Bid often and bid early.

From the Society of Illustrators:
The history of the Student Scholarship is an impressive one.  Since its inception, it has bestowed over one million dollars to the award winners and their respective schools.  A Jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors, review approximately 8,500 entries every year.  From this selection the jury reconvenes to review the original paintings and honor select pieces with cash awards.  Illustrators who have been featured in the show have gone on to become some of the field's brightest stars.  To date, MicroVisions has raised over $20,000 for these scholarships.

Artists featured in this year;s exhibit include Bill Carman, Scott Fischer, Teresa Fischer, Cory Godbey, John Hendrix, Kekai Kotaki, João Lemos, Petar Meseldzija, Mike Mignola, Red Nose Studio, Paulo Rivera, João Ruas, and Allen Williams.

Link to more information: Society of Illustrators Microvision

Link to the Ebay Auction: