Projects: 2010

The Maestro's Hand

This painting was done as a gift for a dear friend, Thomas Wilkins, conductor. He told me the story of how he became a symphony conductor. As an elementary child he attended as symphony as part of a school field trip. He decided then and there that he wanted to conduct music. Music became his way out of "the projects" that he and his mother lived in. I asked him what color would he describe himself as if I painted a painting for him and he said "Carolina Blue". Carolina Blue needed some seriously bright colors to balance it. In this painting, God (the true Maestro) is handing Thom the gift of music and conducting as a Maestro.

Happy Day

Our oldest daughter and her two boys live with us currently. Therefore, I get to know my grandsons on a daily basis. Nathan has a vivid imagination and he talks about all the things that he is going to do and be when he grows up. That is the idea for this painting about little boys and their dreams. The highlights on the hair are symbolizing these dreams growing in the mind of a little boy. This painting is for sale.

March 14, 2010

This painting was done as a wedding gift for my brother-in-law and his new bride. She had peacock feathers in her bouquet of white roses. She loves green orchids. And the tiles in the background are symbolic of Ybor City, a Cuban settlement outside of Tampa, FL. They are special people and I wanted them to have a unique keepsake of their special day.

Adolescent out of Step

Here in St. Petersburg, FL we have wild life interwoven with suburbia. The Snowy Ibis in this painting are parading across the surface of this canvas just like they parade across the lawns of many neighborhoods here in town. The adult birds are wary of danger but the adolescents have much to learn. A flock of all adolescent birds will walk out into the street when a car is coming or not fly away quickly when a dog approaches; High risk behavior. You can tell an adolescent bird by the brown feathers that are being weeded out by white feathers over the summer weeks. The adolescent in this painting is bizarre in his high risk behavior but any parent of a human adolescent will smile knowingly at this. We have seen something similar at home. It is a silly painting on purpose. This painting is for sale.


Every June we liven up the summer by doing something called "Pass the Paint" at the Dazzio Art Experience. We have 20 colors of house paint and only two minutes with each color. This painting was done with sponge brushes, house paint, and watercolor paper that was thoroughly soaked with water. It was such a success that I am now using it for stationary cards and giclee prints.


This painting is another "Pass the Paint" success. The day before it was painted, Nathan gave me a little flower that was like this... And so I turned it into very big flower painting. This painting was done with sponge brushes, house paint, and watercolor paper that was thoroughly soaked with water. I have made stationary cards and giclee prints of this one too.

New Baby

This third "Pass the Paint" painting is in response to learning that a member of our group is expecting her second child. I had to get Lucas in the painting somehow so that I posed the situation of the dog baby getting replaced by the new human baby. Proportions are hard to do when a new color is coming at you every two minutes but it turned out okay. This painting is for sale.

Artist's Nebula

We were given two assignments for the summer. The first was to paint a canvas that was six feet or longer. Any subject was available. I normally don't paint that big and I needed a big subject to fill a big canvas. I decided that a Nebula was a big enough subject for my 8.5 foot canvas. I sewed the sides and top and bottom casings before I started to paint on it. I painted the whole thing a navy blue house paint color and sprayed it with water to create shapes in the paint. Then I let it dry, flat on a table, before moving it to our work shed in the backyard. It was very hot in the work shed and I could only paint for an hour or two at a time. The colors in the painting are Golden Interference. This paint has mica chips in it and the luminous glow changes as the light hits the mica. It literally glows in low light. The paint was put on with a relatively small brush but it was floated on puddles of water and dried layer by layer. The black on the edges was added last. This painting is currently hanging on the walls of our class room, but when it is done showing there I have been asked to show it at our church.

Black and White #101 (Poinsettia Nebula)

Our second summer assignment was to paint five or more black and white paintings using the new museum definition of having less than 15% color so that it comes across as black, white, and grays. This painting was my first one in my series. I started with a black gesso surface. I floated a gray-black acrylic paint in areas of water and let that layer dry. The next color was a middle gray. The next color was a light gray. It was at this stage that the flower shape seemed to appear and I brought it forward with the zinc white level. Then I spritzed water on the painting a put Red Interference, then Green Interference, and finally the Blue Interference. The Interference works best in thin layers. And since light effects it, sometimes if the light hits it just so, the painting seems to have no colors other than black, white, and grays. The surface of the watercolor paper caused the paint to either collect or run from areas and that contributed to the overall effect. This painting is in negotiation for sale.

Black and White #102 (Dragon Nebula)

This painting was done on top of another painting that I deemed to be unsuccessful. I used black gesso over the previous painting and was delighted to find all of the surfaces that showed up. These surface structures work so delightfully in this water based style of painting. You never know what shapes will appear once the Interference is applied. The dragon just appeared after just a few brushes of Gold Interference. The dragon in Christian theology is a symbol for Satan, the epitome of evil. I noticed that there seemed to be a chain of white dots across his neck area and I emphasized them and connected them to a large green star which I am identifying as the "Bright and Morning Star" which is another name for Christ. The chain is referred to in the Book of the Revelation when believers are promised that the day will come when Satan will be put in chains. Whenever life is really frustrating, I look at this painting and remember that someday the maker of misery will be chained. This painting is NFS.

Black and White #103 (Mother and Child Nebula)

I have been told by people who have looked at this painting while on it's side (the two black spaces toward the top) that it looks like an ultrasound of a fetus. I saw the two black holes as the eye sockets of a skull. But when it is turned so that the larger of the black holes is at the top, a new shape emerges... it is the head of a mother and the smaller black space becomes a small child. In Christian theology, all three views have validity. The fetus/child is Christ who came to earth to conquer death while becoming man, born of a woman. This painting is for sale.

Blue Nebula (Butterfly)

My grandson and I decided to each paint a canvas. I had some leftover navy blue from the big "Artist's Nebula" so that we started with that color. I painted mine over a previously unsuccessful "Pass the Paint" on watercolor paper. The textures created by the painting underneath trapped the layers of Interference paint that I put over the navy. I used the Green Interference and the Blue Interference to create this painting. The shape of the butterfly emerged quickly. Much as I have enjoyed painting with the black and white, it is necessary for my psyche to use color after a while. This painting was quite enjoyable for that reason. This painting belongs to Donna McIntosh.

Black and White #104 (Spider web)

When my grandson painted his painting with the navy paint, he made a spiral shaped solar system. It turned out really neat and I decided to make my own spiral, but using two pieces of watercolor paper (that I temporarily joined during the painting process). I used my standard technique of layering from dark gray to lighter grays on a very wet surface. The layers ran into each other and connected each other so that it started to have a web-like quality. I used the Gold Interference and the Red Interference to reestablish the spiral again. I mounted the two parts of the painting on a board painted black with antique gold splotching. This painting is for sale.

Black and White #105 (Dove)

This painting is another one done over a less than successful painting. The previous painting provided multiple surfaces for the gray paint layers to show off but a shape didn't emerge until after the Orange Interference was applied. I saw a dove of peace. The dove seems to move in front of the ribbons of Violet Interference. A friend of mine in New Mexico sees something different... he sees the eye of God. What do you see?

This painting is in negotiation for sale.

Black and White #106 (Scorpion/Snake)

My husband and I love New Mexico and we go there as often as possible. After our most recent trip there I worked on this painting. I had started it before we left, and I just could not make sense of it. When I returned from our trip, the big scorpion began to emerge. I also saw the undulating snake next to it, but I was advised by Judi Dazzio to make the snake less important. She was right. The Green Interference finds the shapes and the Gold Interference makes a diagonal across the page... balancing the diagonal of the scorpion.

This painting is for sale.

Daddy Hold Me... I Hurt.

Even though this painting qualifies as a black and white painting, my intention is to not class it as such, but instead join it with my expressionist series from 2008. The subject matter and the treatment of the emotions are expressionistic. The main characters are a little girl and her daddy. The little girl is falling apart with all of the pain that she is experiencing in her life. The father (parent) wants to help her but he is awkward and stiff because he just doesn't know what to do but to be there for her. I am the little girl who hurts while she watches her two oldest children experience their marriages fall apart. It hurts to see your dreams for your children disintegrate before your eyes. As the father/parent, it hurts to watch their pain and you are relatively helpless... you just watch and help if you can. The wing arm chair is my personal symbol for home because of my memory of my grandmother's house with it's two wing arm chairs before the fireplace. I have had this painting in my head for a number of months and I was glad to get it out and examine it in the light of day. My critique class suggested that the chair and the background have texture to balance the texture of the child. I used Matte Medium with a Payne's Gray in suspension in it. It was splotched on with a brush. This painting is NFS.

Pain, Sacred Pain, and Love

This painting is a more cerebral look at the subject of pain. Therefore, since the emotion is not easily accessed, I doubt that it qualifies as an expressionistic painting. It does qualify as a narrative painting because it tells a story. But the story is based upon symbols. Pain is symbolized as the squares with points all around. Love is symbolized by the valentine shapes. Sometimes the pain makes a grid-like fence over top of the love symbols. Look at the bottom of the painting. A lot of "fencing in" occurs and some of the pain shapes don't make sense in their placement. Pain doesn't always make sense. Now look at the love valentines... there are squares of pain laying over them that are transparent. The love shows through the pain. This is what I am calling Sacred Pain. It is pain that God allows in our lives because it serves a purpose in our development as a person of God. As you move from the bottom of the painting to the top, you see more and more gaps in the pain and a more clear view of the sacredness of the pain. At the top the love is freely seen and experienced. In this world of woe, this pattern may be repeated over and over again during our lifetime, but, we can trust that our God will always be there to help see us through it. This painting is NFS.

Morning Java

After two "deep" paintings it was time for some fun. Our critique group was asked by a business down the street from our gallery to do some rhino paintings in honor of the opening of their business "Rhino Productions". I chose to do a humorous approach because let's face it rhinos are rather funny looking. Originally I was doing it in black, white, and gray to work out the values and then I was going to add the color. But it looked so good in the neutrals that I kept them. The sky started out as the gesso black which I streaked with Alizarin Crimson in a Glazing Medium. The glazing was overlapped more and more as I came down to the horizon line. Then I made a glaze that contained Cadmium Orange and streaked that over the red at the halfway point and down. Finally, I made a glaze with Cadmium Yellow and put it at the horizon line. It looked like early morning on the savannah to me. The perfect time to have some morning java and then change for the day.
I have made a giclee of this painting and will make up to 50 total. The original painting is Not For Sale... Only the giclee prints.

Kisses Anyone?

The star of this Christmas painting is Remy our remaining Papillon. He is very cute when he climbs into his quilted dog house in our bedroom. He digs around inside it, ruffling the lining until it feels just right, then he hangs his head out of the door. He was looking out of it one day and we snapped a photo of him. He loves to give lick kisses, hence the name of this painting. This is one of the paintings that I have blank stationary cards made from. This painting is currently hanging in the Dazzio Gallery. This painting is for sale.

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St. Petersburg, Florida U.S.A. | email