Sunday, March 31, 2013


With my family all over 1,000 miles away, I'm not doing anything official for Easter. I'm going to the barn, even though last night's session was a mess: an over-emotional, fearful horse and myself feeling less than competent to help her. I probably screwed up. But if I want to be better today, I have to be okay with that, and okay with the chance that I'll screw up again.

Acceptance and forgiveness are what it takes to try anything again, I think -- no matter what faith we have or don't have. Strangely, most of us will forgive other people's blunders, while we hold grudges against ourselves for every woulda, coulda, shoulda. But those scorecards against myself have never done me any good, only kept me paralyzed and stuck.

Which is why, when I found this graffiti on a Minneapolis mail slot, I took a photo. I need the reminder sometimes.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Workshop in Door County, WI, July 8 - 10

When I'm not painting in oil, I work in mixed media by default. This began in 2008 when I wanted to improve my painting, so I went back to drawing, using dramatic light and shadow to sharpen my sense of composition.

The problem was, I hated shading in all those shadows. So I started toning my paper with acrylic matte medium and some paint, and then working over that in charcoal, pastels, chalk, whatever I had on hand. The results were magical, and I've been happily mixing up media ever since. Acrylic and Prismacolor pencils? Sure! Watercolors, pencils and pastel? Absolutely; that's what the horse in this post is.

These techniques have attracted some attention. The Peninsula School of Art in Door County, WI, invited me to put on a three-day workshop there. I am honored and very excited. Click the link above for their site, where you can find more information and register.

If you're feeling stuck or bored, mixed media can break you out of that and make art fun again.

If you've been drawing, and wondering how to transition into painting, the light/dark layering approach I use is a very good bridge to help you get there.

If you're still learning to draw, that same approach can help build your confidence in a way that will surprise you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jane, Not Plain, is Pony the 29th (I think)

Forgive me; I am from Florida and counting stuff is hard for us.

Not Plain Jane, 10 x 10" mixed media on cotton rag paper. I had a gorgeous couple of photos to work from for this, and the main thing I altered was, I turned winter to summer in order to better contrast and show off her rich red coat.

I have to do a recount (ha) of the Ponies, because some schedule shuffling and my recent travels have left me unsure whether my numbers are off. I know there's at least one more and possibly two.

In other news, I am planning a weekend workshop this summer (after Shedding Season ends) so those who are curious can learn how this is done. There are so many artists who ride, and riders who make art, I think we could really have some fun.