Saturday, November 30, 2013

Did You Know...

Did you know that I am a small business? I am a sole proprietor, have been for over 20 years. I have created web sites, set up PR events, workshops, exhibitions, I have painted murals, plein air painting workshops and open studio tours. My work is in galleries and I do shows throughout the year.

I am a small business. What does this mean to you? I can create something just for you. I have small works and large works. I can customize my works with your special place, person or animal in mind. You can order my works directly from me. You can find my works on Fine Art America website where you can order my works on metal, canvas, as a print, a phone cover or a card. If the original is still available that too can be arranged.

So, today, is Small Business Saturday, which means, check out my work, let me know if there is a special something for a special someone. You can see more of my works on my web site:

Some of my newest pieces have been posted on this blog. Facebook & Twitter. If you are looking for something and can't find it please let me know. That is what us small businesses do, we customize for our customer. Happy Shopping! e-mail me with any questions or requests.

can be seen at The Little Gallery @ Smith Mtn Lake

specialty side binding books
custom star books
Hand made books from hand made paper

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sixteen and Twenty-one

1621 - the date given to the first Thanksgiving - 3 days of celebration after the first harvest in the New World.

It was not until 1863 that President Lincoln proclaimed it an official  holiday in the U.S.

I have never been great at remembering dates, so I depend on things like Wikipedia to help me out with such things, for this I am thankful.

I am thankful for so many things in my life and will not list them all as it would go on and on...

So, the short and sweet is I am thankful for all my friends and family - near and all too far away!

Happy Thanksgiving, safe travels and a gentle day together.

Wild Turkeys in Zambia

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It Is A Good Day

The sound of the wind blowing this morning woke me up but it gave me the opportunity to watch the sun rise over the mountains. It does go on the list of things I am thankful to have in my life.

It will be a good day and a busy day. I will do some cooking to prep for tomorrow's feast. I have plans to work on some pastels later today. I did a little bird on handmade paper, finished a small hippo piece and started a cardinal. Which may or may not get finished, I have an idea and as I started this cardinal I had forgotten about the idea. So, today I want to see if I can put on paper what is in my head. If it works I will post it in a day or two.

Until then I am thankful for the colors the morning gave me today and the inspiration to create - be it in the form of food or pastel on paper.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Through The Window

Yesterday, as I was putting something in my office, I caught movement out of the corner of my is a hawk sitting on a branch. I grabbed my camera, through the shutter, zoom in and got a couple of pictures.

What was really cool was, he knew there was something making a noise, he heard the camera! With a quick turn of his head he was looking right back at me.

I slowly moved to the front door, as quite as I could opened it but when I stepped out I did not see him on the branch. Went to put my camera back and there he was again on a different branch and facing forward. So, of course, I took a couple more shots.

They are not the greatest of photos but they will do for reference of a juvenile Harris Hawk sitting on a tree branch.

Harris Hawk's are not migratory birds, so they can be seen year round in AZ and many other locations around N. America. They hunt in groups, nest in small trees or cactus, often there are two males around to protect a nesting female. Even thought the females are larger then males. They can get up to about 30" in body length with a wingspan of 3 1/2 feet.

Next on my list is putting up the hummingbird feeders in the back yard, so I can see how long it takes the gila woodpeckers to find them!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Working On It

Well, I am working on trying to make no excuses. Making my lists, checking them twice...oh that is someone else's line. But, I am making lists. Trying to check off those things with deadlines. Like transferring the Fine Arts in the Valley domain name. Spending way too much time from one company to the other trying to make this happen. I am not sure yet if it has worked, I have gotten two conflicting emails. The old company I want to leave says I am locked in for 60 days. The domain name expires in less then 10 days. The new company says, I have sent them everything they need and this should happen within the week???? So, now am playing the waiting game, waiting to see who sends the next email and what I have to do to follow up. But, no excuses, I am working on it!

Next on the list organizing work and maybe getting a couple new little pieces done for a holiday show in AZ. That will happen Dec. 2nd. I have a few days to pull that one together.

Checking dates to see if in-between art meetings/holiday get together's if I can put together one last paper making and journal workshop before the new year arrives. We shall see...

Most importantly, I am working on just working more, more drawing time, more painting time.

touching nature, nature inspiring me

Saturday, November 23, 2013

No Excuses

While flying yesterday I was catching up on my reading. I have been slowing working my way through "Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story" by Dame Daphne Sheldrick. I have only been reading a little at a time in the evening. I am now about 1/2 through the book. It is a detailed true story of a young woman born to British parents growing up in Africa. Her love of the land, the animals and how she cared for them.

I took a break from reading it on the plane to read an article in Southwest Airlines magazine. "because I said I would" - Alex Sheen - a young man who makes promises and keeps them. He has built a whole company around this idea. He believes, "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others: it is the only means."

He lectures on making promises, he has been on TED talking about his belief. He can be found on Face Book, Twitter or his web site

Reading what this young man is doing, touched me, made me think and inspired me. This time of year I try to keep in mind all the good things that I have and try to pay it forward. I too believe in teaching by example. If I do something good, my family & friends, see me do this good thing, they will be inspired to do good things too. Even if it is a simple thing, like, buying the person behind you in line a cup of coffee.

Both the woman in the book and the young man are working at the same thing. Living by example, trying to get people to see that there are no excuses. We all make choices that we must live with but they are our choices. I choose to be an artist, I often give away my art, teach free workshops, and organize projects/shows. I choose to create wildlife and nature art because I believe we are all connected and by damaging one thing, we damage everything, this includes people, places, animals and the air that surrounds us.

So, I am going to make a list of No Excuses to remind myself of what I want to do, what I can do and how I can inspire others. What promises will you make, which ones will you keep?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


That would be the sound of backing I am packing up and backing up. When I travel I try to make sure I have backed up any new information and pictures onto my little external hard drive. So far, so good. Plus, still learning about backing up in the cloud, etc. always more to learn.

Packing up, well it is getting close to AZ time. I pack up and ship things that I want there for the season. Since, we now travel with our cat going from one home to the other, it is easier not to have to wait for checked luggage.

Plus, I have been remiss in getting some birthday gifts in the mail. Susan there is a package in the mail for you, today!

Sometimes I do feel like a road runner - Beep - beep!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let There Be Light

Watching the sunrise this morning got me thinking about light. How we see light, colors we see or don't see. How light affects us. How artists use light in their work.

 Give me the sun, the warmth, the clear blue sky or the intense reds of sunrise and sunset. Even though I rarely paint landscapes I often take photos of mountains, skies, seas, and trees. I start with the general and focus in on the details.  It's the details that pull me in, that make me want to capture that small moment. But, light, still is important in even those small images or the close up of animals. It is the dark that brings out the light, the contrast in color that mother nature does so well.

The trees are losing their leaves quickly now, leaving the shape of the tree exposed. This too captures my heart. I love drawing trees and feel like I have been away from that for too long. Seeing the texture of the sycamore tree, the way the light hits the bark does make me want to do a very large drawing of a tree. I think the strong contrast of evening light would make a beautiful charcoal with some under-color hiding in the drawing.

I do believe this mornings light has got me inspired - think I will make some notes on my calendar so not to let this idea slip away.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Taking A Moment...

Try as I may this morning feels too busy. I am burning CD's for proposals in 2014. Coordinating plans, thinking about packing & shipping for holidays.

I am taking a moment to breathe - count to 10 - breathe again - better....ahhh.

Now, I will go have lunch, with a cup of hot tea, which helps to slow me down. Give my cat some lap time. Then will run around this afternoon. In between the running around I will try to remember to breathe and count to 10.

Something I read this morning which I know I have quoted before but is worth repeating. "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." by Frank Lloyd Wright

I think this may be a drawing soon...
Here are a few nature images to help you breathe.

take a moment

artichoke gone to flower

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Letting Go

Last night was the opening to my solo show at the Hahn Garden. We had a young woman helping us with the reception. At the end of the evening after I had sold several pieces, she ask, does it make you sad to sell your work, to let it go?

It was a good question. It does not make me sad, especially when I know where the works of art are going, who they will be living with. I told her that it also keeps me working, it gives me a reason to make more art. Now that I think about it, it may be part of the reason I work in series. I am willing to let go of the art but not the image.

Working a theme show, where the focus was: America to Zambia, A-Z, brings back the memories of the travel that inspires the work. This too is a reason to let go, so that I can re-visit those photographs again and bring back the trips to Alaska, South Africa, Zambia and many other places that touched our hearts.

Zambia, Elephants, AM
Last night I let go of the cheetah, elephants - AM & PM  - I will be doing more cheetahs, always will do elephants and I see some lion cubs on the horizon.
Zambia Elephants, PM

Cheetah - pastel on paper - Sold!

Friday, November 15, 2013


Today is National Recycle day - a good day to Do It Yourself - we are starting to think past recycle and into renew. This date works beautifully with my show opening today at the Hahn Garden at VA Tech. Many of my works are influenced by my trip to Zambia this past summer. I did workshops with students & artists on how to recycle paper to create something new. I was thrilled to see the artist take the paper making and make it their own art form. Sharing ideas and techniques.

My own work in this show are images of wildlife/nature from Zambia, South Africa and N. America many of them have incorporated hand made paper, some works are drawn directly on handmade paper.

The journal workshop we had this week was all about using hand made paper from recycled materials. There will be some of those journals and a special little accordion book of Zambia at the Hahn Show tonight.

What will you do today to recycle - renew - recreate! Come on by the show and get some inspiration for renewing so you too can DIY!

Hahn Garden, 200 Garden Lane, Blacksburg, VA just off Washington St., on campus, past the Duck Pond. We will be there tonight from 6-8, the show is up till Dec. 12th.
Cheetah - pastel with handmade paper
Accordion book made from maps

Journals - Sketchbooks - Guest Books - Memorial Albums made from recycled paper

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In The Garden

This Friday is the opening to my solo show at the Hahn Garden Gallery at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The reception starts at 6:00 pm goes till 8:00, if you are in the area come on by and see some of the works that were inspired by my travels. The main room features works from Africa, the recent trip to Zambia and the past trip to South Africa. The Hall Gallery space has works from N. America, I tried to do somewhat of a comparison: African lion - American Mountain Lion, African Fish Eagle - American Bald Eagle, not everything has something to compare it to but the similarities for me of our worlds brings nature closer to my heart. The show will be up till December 12th, I hope you can come by to see my work but also explore the gardens.

Hahn Garden at VA Tech

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From There To Here

Two days ago I was there...

Today I am here...

It is beginning to look a lot like snow! But, on the positive side the powers that be are mixing it up with rain and then it will warm back up again for the opening reception at the Hahn Garden Gallery Friday, Nov. 15th from 6-8. 
This will wrap up east coast shows. Might have a couple things that will happen in the S/W in December. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


It is Sunday, a good day to take a few moments to reflect. Today I get to do that on the gulf coast of FL. Last Sunday we were wrapping up the Fine Arts in the Valley show. 
I took a couple days off to visit a friend, see some sites, talk about a commission piece and share some peaceful moments on the beach. 
Got a new little piece done yesterday as it rained off and on throughout the day. Today the sun in playing hide and seek. With the rains coming later this afternoon. Taking advantage of this moment to sit, listen to the waves, feel the breeze and breathe in the salt air. 
Tomorrow back to VA with fresh eyes, mind and heart.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

One More Day

Today is the last day for Fine Arts in the Valley: 6219 Harley Rd., Middletown, MD it has been lovely this weekend, sunny, trees changing right before our eyes. We will be here till 5 today then the show comes down till next year. 
Great day for that country drive come on by visit awhile.
Just off 40-17 follow the red signs that say Artist Studios.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Timing Can Be Everything

This weekend is all about time. Time changes tonight at midnight so as usual set the clocks back - fall back. To add to that event there is a solar eciplse happening on Sunday. Apparently if the clouds allow it can be seen on the east coast of N. American but prime view is from Africa. 
To wrap up the timing it is pretty close to prefect color for fall. The weather should be as lovely today as it was yesterday. The Fine Arts in the Valley show closes Sunday at 5:00 PM. Still plenty of time to come on by, enjoy the view and see what new art we have on sale. Remember shop local and the holidays are just around the corner. 
6219 Harley Rd., Middletown, MD

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...