Friday, December 8, 2017

Adventures and Accolades

2017 has been quite a year. As the new year approaches, I inevitably look back and reflect on all the changes that have taken place and what I've learned from this past year. I'm very thankful to have received several notable awards and accolades just this past month. For those of you who have been following my journey on social media and here on this blog, you know that this kind of recognition means a great deal to me. I've worked really hard to get here. While I do acknowledge the existence of "talent", I believe even more in the relentless pursuit of one's passion. To me the biggest compliment is not, "You're so talented," but rather, "Your hard work is paying off." So... maybe some of the hard work is paying off. And the affirmation d… Read more »


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rest from the Noise

Okay, it's been a while since I've posted and I'm going to be vulnerable with you. I've had a lot of noise in my life lately. There is, of course, literal noise, such as the little voice from the back seat that calls me out when my mind begins to wander and says, "Mommy, you need to talk to me!" and who requires 3-year-old conversations throughout the day about puzzles and rain boots and Dora the Explorer. I don't mind that noise - it is a sweet time right now and oh so fleeting. But I will admit that when I'm in the car by myself I shut off the radio and soak up the silence. No... the loudest noise in my life has been coming from within. It manifests itself in an insipid string of lies that speak to me in the first person, saying, "You're not d… Read more »


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Healthy Summer: Painting and... Crossfit

August already... it has flown by, but this summer has been a good one. I kicked the season off with a trip to Dallas in June to teach a sold-out portrait painting workshop. I was in Texas for a full week and painted almost every day, either for private commission work or for teaching demos. It's amazing how daily practice creates momentum and catapults you forward in your skill set! I wish I could say I painted every day ALL summer, but unfortunately that was not the case. When life gets crazy, you just have to adapt and find ways to make it work, even when you lose your inspiration or feel tired and unmotivated. Demonstrating for students in Dallas, June 2017  "Hathor" - 16x12" - oil on panel - finished class demo Something that has helped me work through this regular c… Read more »


Monday, July 10, 2017

Epiphany: On Music and Breaking the "Rules"

This post was recently published on the OPA blog , but I thought I'd also share it here. :-) I am a professional artist, but what some people don’t know about me is that I've played piano since I was eight years old. I was classically trained all the way through college, with a major in art and a minor in music. I took all the music classes: ​ ​ theory, aural skills, counterpoint. I even took voice lessons and sang in ​the ​choir. I loved music with a passion that rivaled my love for art… it was that big a part of my life. But there came a point when I had to choose, because I couldn't devote 100% of my time to both. These art forms each demand much more of a person when it comes to choosing a career path. I chose painting, and the music gradually diminished from my life. Recen… Read more »


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I SEE YOU: The Art of Capturing a Likeness

I've been thinking a lot over the past month about a comment I received more than once while painting my Face Off demo at the Portrait Society of America conference. Several observers said, "You nailed the likeness. You really captured her soul ." I know it was meant as a compliment, but I wonder if these kind folks realized the gravity behind what they were saying. To go from "nailing the likeness" to " capturing the soul ..." well, that's rather profound. And I've been thinking about what it really means to see someone, and translate that image to marks on canvas in a way that is meaningful. So what is behind the art of capturing a likeness and what does it require? Is it more than simply copying a person's proportions and tones? Is it a natura… Read more »


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The "Art of the Portrait" 2017

I returned home from Atlanta late Sunday night, April 23... and I'm still recovering. Actually, I just haven't had much time to write, since I got thrown head-first into potty training Cecelia... but I'm sure you don't want to hear about that. :-) This year's annual Portrait Society of America conference was particularly exciting for me, albeit exhausting. I came back with a very full heart and have spent the last week or so sifting through photos, following up with artists I met at the event, and catching up on time with my family. Before I left for the conference, I made sure to get a photo of Cece with her portrait. I borrowed the painting back from a collector in Scottsdale, and had it re-framed by Masterworks Frames just for the conference. They did an amazing jo… Read more »


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

News so Good it Made Me Cry...

This week I found out that "A Fleeting Moment" was selected as a finalist in the Portrait Society's international competition! This is a really big deal... for me, anyway. :-) I've applied to the competition every year for the last eight years, but never made the cut of the final 20 or 25, although I have gotten top 40 two years in a row. The Portrait Society's annual conference is one of the biggest highlights of my year. Last year they honored me with a place on the faculty, and this year, I not only return as faculty, but also as a first-time finalist. My painting is one of only 23 works chosen from 2000+ entries and the work this year is... well, incredible. When I got off the phone after receiving the good news, I had tears of joy running down my face. I have wo… Read more »

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