Blog Rhapsody in Blue

Today the finishing touches went on Rhapsody in Blue, more poses from the same model I used in Therapy. I put both drawings on heavily textured (papers, acrylic media, and tile adhesive) water color paper. I did not originally plan to use the brilliant translucent blue in the background but as I painted over the textures and colors, the blue became a rhapsody and the figures seemed to jete off the page. The faces are featureless to accentuate mysterious movements. The many shades of blue seem to fluctuate with the beat of Rhapsody in Blue. Enjoy!

















Heritage Museum, 510 Scurry St., Big Spring, Texas, 79720

I have just returned from an exhilarating week of painting with Douglas Walton at the Heritage Museum ending in a show of our work there, from March 21st until May 2, 2014.

We experimented with paint skins randomly designed then used to create abstract pieces. My exhibited pieces, Eros, Epiphany, Many Moons, and Lost Moons run the gamut of abstract works.


Eros’ background is heavily textured on canvas with colored acrylic media and tile adhesive. It wassanded to reveal transient shapes and colors. The stimulus paint skins were followed closely with respect to colors and shapes. I chose the name Eros because the figure bursts with creativity.

A lavender gray frame seems to capture to spirit of Eros.

Detail showing texturing


Eros, 17″x21″, $400.00

Mixed water media on canvas, wooden frame



In Epiphany, I allowed paint to wash and drip over the textured canvas, not adhering strictly to my paint skin stimulus. As the paint moved, I used a brush to capture shapes. The red paint moved throughout the center and said to me rebirth, Epiphany.After the paint stopped moving, I accentuated red shapes with more paint as the focal point





Epiphany, detail





My lunar series incorporated colors I seldom use, cooler, greyer and more subdued. I enjoyed the challenge of painting on the color side of the palette from my usual reds, yellows, oranges. Following my stimulus on a heavily textured canvas, circle shapes began to firm up, evoking strange moons whirling, creating motion and depth. Where are these moons going? Transient circles appear to pop out of the canvas.




Many Moons detail


In my next piece, the canvas was painted black and textured with paper. The moon seems to be trying to emerge at the top but is falling toward the bottom with smaller yellow circles. Are the moons lost? A general sense of mystery permeates the piece. What is happening?







Lost Moons, 16″x20″,$275.00

Mixed water media on canvas


Blog Trinity

Second Annual Trinity Art Show, The Woodlands TX, September 27-29, 2013.

After struggling with a weak right arm and hand, I am painting again.   I decided to finish some smaller pieces (to save on hand-energy), from my Ecuadorean drawings for the Trinity show. The Harbor at Guayaquil (18” x30”, papers (tissue and rice), and layers of mixed water media on canvas) won best in show-mixed media!  I used layers to evoke the foggy mostly gray atmosphere with only small splashes of color when the sun broke through.  The painting sold  so I feel that someone else saw the mystery I attempted to portray.

Mount Cotopaxi (12 “x12,” paper on canvas, layers of mixed water media on board) used the layers to depict the mystery of volcanic Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador.  Fog prevailed but when the sun at broke through, colors, lines and shapes danced on a nearby lake.  The piece sold so someone else saw the mystery.

Angel Lost (8”x10”, encaustic on board on textured canvas) represents the ethnic angels I saw in windows in Ecuadorean churches.  Working in encaustic is a freeing medium; I enjoy its floating kind of composition.  This is a first in which I project  will be a long line of Ecuadorean angels; piece sold, another affirmation,

The Girl with the Crooked Neck: a self-portrait is my personal favorite…it is my neck before surgery and all the crazy things going on in my mind.  This was a cathartic piece (12”x12,” paper on board with  many layers of mixed water media.  Much is dancing in that head, ideas incubating while I could not paint.  I did this drawing while” waiting in my doctor’s office.(Not for Sale)


The Road Less Traveled was my next favorite of the six pieces in the show (20”x26,” plastic, latex paint  “skins”, layers of mixed water media, poured, thrown, and brushed on board.”  The frame and mat are part of the piece and focus the moving colors in the center.  This truly nonrepresentational piece was a joy to paint.  My brushes flowed and the thrown paint accented the action.  I was listening to Beethoven’s sonata Hammerklavier which guided the rhythms of my painting..  (Not for Sale)

Galapagos!  Is a dreamy piece about the sea changes in the Pacific Galapagos Islands (30” x 45,” mixed media on board, frame and red line are part of the composition.) The theme of this composition comprises shapes and negative spaces. As I painted, faces, fish, symbols appeared and became part of the piece.   The frame is handmade and painted specifically for this piece.

For Sale $245.00

Notes on these pieces:  I find the square 12”x12” compositions very difficult to reconcile.  The smallness seems to confine; I read somewhere that none or if any few old masters did completely square compositions. I sanded between many layers to define colors and shapes, also using the hot gun to create new textures and colors.  Faces lend themselves best to this shape; perhaps landscapes, especially the abstract ones.  Something about the focal point drifting to the dead middle bothers me.

So I found it a challenge but will move to large pieces for a while. Listening to Beethoven again seems to free my movements, imagination and energizes.

Additionally, see my The Other Side of Midnight in Big Spring in the SLMM web gallery:

For Sale $175.00  The 12”x12” piece, plastic paper on wood, mixed water media, brings back memories of painting with friends in the town of Big Spring Texas…the old hotel, the mountain with the spring, the retro buildings, and the new windmills all sitting firmly on Texas desert.


Mystic Magnolia

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Me and Atahualpa:  Well, this picture demonstrates my situation.  I will have surgery next week to have the non-functioning parts, neck, hand and arm. According to my wonderful surgeon I will be back to business soon.  You can’t tell who is more miserable: me or the unfinished Atahualpa, an ongoing project in the back fence gallery.


<However, I have completed several projects: the Magnolia a commission. Long ago I should have added “Old southern lady does not do magnolias;” however, I made the commission a challenge and experimented (my favorite thing) with painting on wood.  I started by transferring my original painted drawing to a cradled board with gel medium transfer. This process went well and I thought the transferred paint with some paper would form an acceptable surface to paint. 



After several layers of painting with sanding between the layers, a more mature sophisticated magnolia began to appear.

Several became months of adding paint reinforced with acrylic media, sanding, coming to the realization that wood required more sealing. Also, my usual colors (latex and acrylic) definitely appear differently on the wood surface.  I estimate that I did 30 or more layers to finally get the look I desired.

The petals and layers of the magnolia matured and appeared to have motion, i.e. come alive. I used amber shellac with a light sanding after drying to seal the final product.  I also applied a light coat of wax to the final sanded painting.

The Story of the Two Ladies Chapters Two Daily intake of clomiphene for 5 days leads to an increase in the content of FSH to a level comparable to that observed during the early of the normal menstrual cycle, and can cause the growth of the follicle.

Finishing the Lady!

Figure 1 laying in background, face tone
Figure 1 laying in background, face tone

I applied the red background (Figure 1)with several reds, cadmium and napthol (acrylics) and radiant red (latex), sanding back and applying the hot gun for texture (4 or 5 times). Then I painted the colors in hair and ornaments (lime green, blue, pink, burn sienna, yellow, combinations of acrylic and latex paints)

Figure 2 detail hair and ornaments
Figure 2 detail hair and ornaments

Until satisfied (Figure 2)

Next, I began work on the complexion, using the hot gun to create crackle to enhance.

Figure 3 crackle
Figure 3 crackle

I use 6 shades of white from super white to eggshell, blue, green, black, burnt umber, red, burnt umber, sesame seed (combination of latex and acrylics) for the complexion, shading and the eyes.

Figure 4 Lady in midstream
Figure 4 Lady in midstream
Figure 5 Lady almost there
Figure 5 Lady almost there
Figure 6 Finally there. . . 30 layers later!
Figure 6 Finally there. . . 30 layers later!

Satisfied. . . She brings to mind the Gershwin song:

“Oh, Lady Be Good

Listen to my tale of woe, It’s terribly sad but true, All dressed up, no place to go Each evening I’m awfully blue. . .”

The Story of the Two Ladies Chapters One

Figure 1 Lady Be Good
Figure 1 Lady Be Good


Figure 2 Lady Be Very Good
Figure 2 Lady Be Very Good



Figure 3 Step one texture on canvas, drawing loose
Figure 3 Step one texture on canvas, drawing loose

So how did these ladies come about? The original stimulus was a Mexican mask . . . as I worked the layers of the mask painting, she appeared. The first lady was sold to a collectorin Mississippi; the second is a commission for a collector in South Carolina. The process for painting both ladies is the same. First (Figure 3) I textured a canvas with tile adhesive following my original drawing. I covered the canvas with white gesso and sanded the surface until smooth with an electric sander.






Figure 4  black gesso
Figure 4 black gesso


Then I covered the canvas with black gesso and sanded back revealing vestiges of my original drawing. . . I sanded back until I was satisfied with textures and shapes; several, at least 7 sandings were necessary. I applied a coat of mat medium to hold the images and create depth. The next step (Chapter 2) will be laying in the colors!





Sunsets, Ecuador, Catharsis, Three Monoprints

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Rain and Sunset

My recent trip to Ecuador best described as calamitous and unsettling did produce drawings and composition ideas.  Sunsets were particularly absorbing with an ever present foggy atmosphere drifting in and out.  The evening sky changes dramatically.  A brilliant high altitude sun radiates through layers of clouds.  My hand carved block lends itself well to this phenomena so I made several monoprints revealing shapes and patterns with Andean mystery.  I adhered the rice paper print with medium to water color paper. Abstractly painting the water color paper with desert sunset orange, reds, and greens (acrylic latex paint for printing), I created a background layer for depth.  Excepting the sun, Ecuadorean colors are subdued.  Words like frigid and windswept come to mind. The brilliance of the sun as well as all color is filtered through fog and clouds.  Triangles represent the looming Cotacachi Volcano while strange animals inhabit the backgrounds. Appropriately so, as the triangle focuses mind, body, and spirit.  Ecuador certainly evoked the mysterious spirit.

Each monoprint reveals different compositions.  In the first print, lines representing rain break through a threatening sky. In the lower left quadrant a bright pink cloud appears with the profile of a face, perhaps an Incan king.


Cruciform In Sunset

Sunset window reflecting prisms of glass.


The third appears as though through a window, darkly reflecting prisms.  Bird like shapes appear in this one also. To finish, I need to clean up the corners, adhere to wood and frame!


My day started with the sales of two paintings:  Afterthought after Klimt and Lady Be Good (commission to paint; original sold)  This affirmation fires my determination to paint after a disastrous trip to Ecuador salvaged only by


meeting wonderful artists, an illness which leveled me for several months, and preparation for putting my residence of fifty plus years on the market.  I have drawings in abundance which scream to be painted and I am achieving that peace of mind needed here in Texas!


Boobie (an abstract representation of a Galapagos bird was an enjoyable experience, a fun piece of many layers of paint sanded with a careful process of addition and removal not as an alternative to figurative painting but as a new process.  Each layer revealed different colors and shapes resulting in a creature of great interest.

Lady Be Good one
Lady Be Good

The name, Booby, was possibly based on the Spanish language term bobo, meaning “stupid”, as these tame birds had a habit of landing on board sailing ships, where they were easily captured.  Booby appears to be ready for his

mating dance with feathers flying.  This creature sparked my fun side in creating smaller pieces for “bathroom art.”  This was such a joy; more will be coming soon.





Bathroom Art 




My first Blog Post

My paintings include improvisational pieces tempered by a decreasing realism. I employ mixed water media, various objects, and acrylic skins on paper, canvas, board, wood, tar paper, and linoleum. Acrylic medium is applied with brush and knife, by throwing, pouring, and stamping paint. My differing styles are not necessarily evolving; what happens in the present is what you see and frequently a surprise. That to me is the mystery of creating. My passion is painting; I invite you to share this excitement with me.