Deliberate Practice

I’m reading a book called Quiet by Susan Cain.  This morning, while sitting out on the front porch, I came across the following eye-opening insights.  Cain tells us, according to an interview she did with a research psychologist, Anders Ericsson, that In many fields…it’s only when you’re alone that you can engage in Deliberate Practice, […]

Illustrated Poem

Poet, Brenda Elmore, has graciously granted me permission to show her poem here with my painting.  Thank you, Brenda. Untitled by Brenda Elmore Did you never hear my stories as I whispered in your ears As I laid you down and held you close and loved you oh, my dears? As I smoothed your blankets […]

Did You Never

At last the painting is finished.  I think everyone gave up on me and believed I never would finish it.  I surprised them and finished it in about ten days.  The first half took almost two years.  Not bad. The thing that spurred me on to finish it was a poem by Brenda Elmore.  April […]

Teaching Art – ME?

The most influential person in my life was my art teacher.  Her name was Barbara Bassett.  I learned more from her in that short few years than I’ve learned in all the rest of my life combined.  I think I brought my potential for art with me, but she was like a gardener; watering, feeding, […]

Still Life Practice

Painting and drawing are about seeing; not looking.  My specialty is portraiture.  I can do posed portraits, but my favorite is the painting of someone doing what they love to do; gardening, cooking, reading, playing with their children, etc.  I love capturing the character, the person that lives just beneath the surface. A still life, […]

Day 2 – Drawing Fifteen Minutes a Day

The purpose of these drawings is to hold myself accountable to art, to keep moving forward, loosen up a bit, stop trying so hard, set an example, and to learn. I know I can draw, but I want to draw more spontaneously and I’d like the act of drawing to be an act of joy. […]

An awareness of limitations

Last evening I taught a drawing class.  I hadn’t taught in a long time.  It felt amazingly wonderful!  I think it’s important to pass along knowledge.  I only have one student right now, but perhaps  more will come along as time passes.  I’m using bits and pieces from my own experience, lessons learned from Betty […]


Moments ago, the dog chased the cat through my studio and they managed to knock over my easel with the painting on it that I’ve been working on for months.  Then they knocked the lamp off of the bookcase and it sliced through the canvas.  I’m too numb to feel the impact of this, but […]

Steps 7 and 8

Step seven has been to paint the fourth child (the one on the far right side of the painting) and step eight has been to start adding a little color and texture to the background and to work on the hand. Here is the setup I’m using for this painting.  I have a metal easel […]

Step 4, 5 and 6

Yesterday I worked on this young lady.  She’s one of the two children that are on the right side of the painting. In step 4, I laid in the major blocks of color.  Even though I’ve painted studies of this girl, this time I struggled a little.  Maybe I was making it harder than I needed […]