Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Impressionism: The Story of a Grand Revolt

This is a PowerPoint slide lecture I gave last spring at Carrollwood Cultural Center. I have tried to make it into a DVD with very little success. It seems not to want to play on either computers or TVs. So much for my great conversion software. I found AuthorStream and decided to post it to my blog and see what happens. It seems like it works well. I had hoped to sell the DVD but have decided to ask people to donate whatever they like if they watch it. I won't know if you watch it and DON'T donate, so enjoy either way.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waiting For the Green Light

Waiting For The Green Light
12 x 24 Oil on Canvas $800
The view out of the 12th floor window of the John Knox Village hi-rise building, overlooks Fletcher Avenue, The Mormon Church, and the entrance to the University of South Florida. The Sun Dome is at the far right of the painting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fear is going to Minnesota!

Today I finalized the sale of Fear! It will go to Hazelden Foundation, as a donation to them from a grateful client. I am thrilled to have Fear out of the dark storage unit in Zephyrhills, where it has been for most of the past 9 years, and it will be placed in a collection where many can see it! My buyer said, when asked how he found it online "I searched for "beautiful paintings" and it was at the top" is this possible? I couldn't get Google to do that when I tried it.

Today is also my 29th wedding anniversary and I am both elated and sad. I would have loved to share this huge step in my career with George! Well of course, we can have various ideas about that.....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Best In Show!

White Orchids
Oil 36 x 36 $1200
On exhibit at Carrollwood Cultural Center until September 29, 2010.
I was so pleased to be awarded a Best in Show for this painting; one of my favorites, and created for my living room in Florida.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 8th, 2010

After living with this still life for 6 years in two different studios it was finally removed by me and my friend Kit Tobin, yesterday at my "End of Shame" party. In 2004 I had set up the Shame still life in my studio but I didn't like it. During one of Kit's visits I mentioned that I didn't like it and she made a suggestion that made a huge difference. We tore it all apart and redid it, and yesterday she was on deck to help me dismantle it. This morning my studio looks and feels like a new place....everything is cleaned up, moved out of the way, and I have the feeling of being renewed and refreshed! It always helps to have a party to clean out the cobwebs!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm Celebrating the End of Shame

Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM I put the last paint stroke on the Shame Painting. It has been a long battle to get this painting finished. I blogged some of this struggle here, and made a public pledge to my Pen Women meeting in May that it would be finished by the time we met again in September. I am early!

I am throwing myself a party this Sunday, open house in my studio from 2:00 to 5:00. It is coincidently the one year anniversary of George's Memorial Celebration in Connecticut. My friend, Kit Tobin, helped me set up this still life in 2004 during one of her frequent visits, and it is very appropriate that she will be here to help me dismantle the still life on Sunday.

This is all about moving on, and I feel that I have come full circle, as this painting was an incredible challenge to paint, as the subject matter stirred up many uncomfortable episodes in my life. Not to mention that working on it over the past number of years had to be sandwiched in between George's frequent health problems, the need to find jobs and money, and wedged into a very tiny studio that made me feel as if the painting was attacking me. I see the end of Shame as a symbol for the end of a cycle of trouble, and I am excited to look forward to starting the next one. Stay tuned!

If you are in Tampa, and want to come to my party email me....for directions.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Number 18 in the Genesis Series

Genesis: Orange Egg Tempera on gesso panel 6 x 8

Monday, May 31, 2010

Progress Report on Shame

Many of my friends and acquaintances know of my struggles with this particular painting and the "Feeling Series" in general. To see the series go here When this idea was first delivered to my brain by some unknown force outside myself, there were to be 12 paintings. After number 7 (Fear) my life unraveled in a strange way, presaged by that lightning bolt, and derailed most everything in my life, espeically my art life.

Moving to Florida required me to start over, which I was unprepared for, since I naively thought that moving would simply be a matter of handing over my credentials and the doors would open. It was not that simple, I was to find out, and it took quite a few years to even find the doors (I am not sure that I have found them yet), and when I did, many of them required a good bit of lock picking. I had moved from a series of large and glamorous studios in Connecticut and Rhode Island to a 10 x 12 spare bedroom in our mobile home and it was folly to try to work in there. Between working to earn money to keep us going, and taking care of George, and worrying all the time, there was no energy left for dealing with these was just too much effort and not enough time.

But eventually I did manage to get the Shame Painting underway. I had the props and during one of her visits Kit helped me set up the still life in the little bedroom, where it sat for about 2 years waiting for me to get the time and energy to start the painting. Finally it got started and I put in quite a few sessions in that tiny studio backed into the wall feeling as if the painting was attacking me.

I knew before George died that I would convert the living room into my studio and so last summer I began the project but did not realize that the still life would have to be partially dismantled to move it and reassembled in the new room. I am sure you can image that with a still life this complex this maneuver created a new set of problems!

It has been on my easel where I have poked at it on and off since last summer, but my enthusiasm to work turns into dread when I look at this painting and it sits on the easel shaming me on a daily basis for months at a time.

There have been moments when I considered abandoning the whole series, or at least this painting, but something keeps nagging at me, and I am still in the game.

A few weeks ago I went to the Pen Women Luncheon (National League of American Pen Women, of which I am an artist member) was the last meeting since we knock off for the summer and start up in September. Members were invited to share about "Inspiration"; where they get it, if any inspirations come from our meetings and associations, and how we manage our inspirations. When my turn came I found myself babbling on about my difficulties with "Shame". When I sat down, Staci Backauskas pushed a paper over to me with the following Haiku Poem on it, which I have now printed out in large letters and attached to my easel. It has helped me get motivated to finish the painting, and I made a commitment outloud to my Pen Women group that it would be done by September, thus somewhat kindling a fire under my butt.

Here is Staci's Haiku

When called to do what
You don't understand, let go.
It's not about you.

Here is a picture of "Shame" not finished yet, but well underway with Staci's poem on the easel tray.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Remembering George

Yesterday was the first anniversary of George's death. I was dreading the month of May and anticipated feeling horrible, but luckily my dear friend Kit Tobin decided to fly to Tampa to spend 5 days with me to get me through this tough time, and it has worked wonderfully well. We had a grand day celebrating George yesterday, May 21st, by starting the day with a chiropractic adjustment for me and a massage for her, after which we went to the Museum of Science and Industry (better known in these parts as MOSI) where there is a fabulous show about Leonardo DaVinci. It was a show that I know George would have loved.

I find that there is some level of acceptance going on for me but there is a permanent hole in my heart that will not be filled by anyone but him.

Life does go on....somehow we all seem to manage without our loved ones, but the memories linger on and the amazing life that we shared with each other and with people scattered around the globe, will insure that this man who was so important to so many people, will never be forgotten.

George was definitely a man who would always stop to smell the flowers!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More of Miss Puss

The Many Moods of Miss Puss
9B Graphite on Black Illustration Board
When you hold this drawing in your hands and move it around the graphite is very reflective and appears to be silvery. It is a very interesting effect, for sure. Can you tell how crazy I am about my new friend? yeah!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Meet Miss Puss

Miss Puss is a Korat. She is about 1 year old and all we know is that she was a stray and was at the Pasco County Animal Shelter when I found her quite by accident about 3 weeks ago when my friend Patti and I were cat shopping and we stopped by to see what was there. It took me about 5 minutes to make a decision to take her home with me that night. Korats are supposed to be symbols of good fortune in Thailand, their native country. This cat is so very different from my Siamese cats....she talks mostly in polite voice and so far I've not heard that strident yowl that characterize the Siamese voice. She mews softly and has a range of guttoral sounds that mean different things. Delightful. She is not a lap cat, at least so far, and doesn't want to snuggle. We had to establish rules from the start about not attacking my feet under the covers in the middle of the night! But she loves to play, and seems quite content with her toys and begs to be rubbed and stroked all the time. I see her eyeballing the door and worry about her bolting if I'm not careful to make sure it is closed all the time. We are establishing some discipline about the door zone in the house but still I see she has a big interest in the great outdoors which is why she probably was a stray. She seems to be very intelligent and learned the word "no" quickly. She came to me spayed and microchipped. I'm having a grand time, and I must say that it has helped to fill the enormous void that George left behind.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Genesis Series Painting

Genesis: Plum 6 x 8 (currently unframed) $450
This is number 17 in the Genesis Series of Egg Tempera paintings
to see the rest of them go here
and when you are there make sure to check out the excellent article about my series by Evelyn Bless, published in the Carrollwood Cultural Center Newsletter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mr. Mallery's Legacy

In Memory of David Mallery
we all are sad to say farewell
This painting was done to celebrate David Mallery, a teacher I was fortunate to have in 11th grade at Germantown Friends School. He has stayed close to many of us through the years and we were his last official class, after which he became an international consultant for Schools and Teachers. We gathered in Philadelphia to celebrate David's 80th birthday and for the occasion I painted this still life. This party was so important to me I made the tough decision to leave my husband in Connecticut who was teetering between life and death in intensive care and on life support. The comments below were read the night the painting was presented to him and will explain how this man impacted my life. Most of us in the class of 1959 have similar feelings about him.

I seldom give my paintings as gifts. Frequently it creates a wall space crisis and then there is the problem of one family member loving it while others really hate it. Even though I recognize these problems, and apologize for them in advance, I’m giving David and Judith Mallery this painting anyway, and hope that the associated problems won’t be too difficult for them to surmount.

During the famous Mystic dinner party a year ago, this painting arrived in my head nearly as you see it here tonight. There were a few changes along the way but this is what I “saw” in my mind’s eye. When this happens to me I am compelled to paint what I "see". Various busy things happened to me during this year and I had several commissions to complete before I could start work on Mr. Mallery’s Legacy. In fact the time line of the creation of this painting was a textbook case of procrastination and in some kind of weird mystical synchronicity the painting was painted in exactly the same spot where the idea for this party was hatched and the painting was conceived, 1200 miles from my home and studio. Working at my easel I stood in the exact spot where the chair had been that night at the dinner table. I didn’t realize this weird coincidence until today.

Mr. Mallery’s class in English followed what was a nightmare year for me in Miss Barker’s tenth grade class. She made us read books that were dreadfully boring and filled with symbolism that I felt were stupid and pretentious and she and I wrangled over books like Ethan Frome until she was compelled to give me a grade that just squeaked me past failing. I had heard rumors that Mr. Mallery’s class was something else again. I remember the first day of school when a somewhat frenetic Mr. Mallery barged into the classroom, a few minutes after the bell, his arms loaded with books, exuding high energy and creating a trail of excitement in his wake. It was probably my very first glimpse of passion in a human being. And his passion was something I could identify with, because it was about ART.

What this party is all about tonight has to do with David Mallery’s unique ability to reach into people and change them, in the same way ART does. I was changed that year, because Mr. Mallery was able to convince me that I was not stupid and lazy and that I had something to say that was valuable, and therefore I was valuable. He was the first teacher who listened to me and supported my opinions and ideas. He was the first teacher (beside Mary Lou Scull) who encouraged my creativity. I adored him for that.

Many years later David Mallery saw some of my paintings and he sent me a hand written note telling me how much they moved him. Once again his faith in me allowed me to keep on keeping on in my profession, which is often lonely, brutal and filled with shallow politics. I thought to myself “it doesn’t get better than this”. To have someone who I admire, admire my work is enough. I don’t need to be seeking New York critics and museum curators to give me more rejections. My job is to keep on creating what I create and leave the politics to others.

My painting is a thank you to David Mallery for expanding my narrow world. The big ah-ha experience of eleventh grade English was about the living, breathing human being who held the pen to write those words who created the stories we read. It was about passion, and about people who were passionate souls with words in their hearts who could transcend their lives and leave a legacy. I always wanted to be an artist. The notion was terrifying and unattainable, until one day in class Mr. Mallery said to us “do you think that this book was written by the author in an ivory tower?” I was changed that day too by that idea and the discussion it engendered. Suddenly the notion of being an artist was about work, discipline, craft honing, and not about having the title conferred upon me by some remote committee who decided these things. I could self proclaim myself as an artist. The notion was wildly exciting to me, and literally started me on my journey, which continues to this day. My medium is paint, but it could have been words, music, dance, film or clay.

This painting is about that year, 1958, a turning point in my life. No longer were ideas in books something that I had to know in order to have something to write on an exam. This was about ME. Those authors, poets and playwrights were saying something to me, personally. And more importantly, I was allowed to dislike and reject what I didn’t like. I could write an exam on how much I hated and disagreed with the author and David Mallery celebrated me for that! This amounted to a revolution of my spirit. I wonder sometimes what I would be like had I not had these experiences. I wonder what I’d have become if I had not encountered Germantown Friends School and those gifted teachers who showed me possibilities, directions and pathways. Mr. Mallery’s Legacy has to do with inspired teaching, which is about reaching people’s hearts as well as their minds. That we are here, incredibly almost half of us, says that each of us had some kind of personal experience of Mr. Mallery. Merely saying thank you isn’t enough for such a huge gift. That kind of inspiration requires inspired thanks. It is my hope that you will be able to look at my painting from time to time as you go about your daily life and know that you left a legacy, that as a teacher you affected our lives, and the world is a better place for it.

October 4 2003

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was invited by NTAL (North Tampa Arts League) to do a monotype workshop which was held yesterday. It was so much fun! Everyone went home with great prints and a desire to continue to do monotypes on their own. It was a great workshop for me too since I didn't have to teach anyone how to paint!

Back in the good old days of life in Westerly I did lots of monotypes and practically everyone I made has sold over the years. I'm happy to have lots of space in my new studio now so I will be doing more monotypes in the days to come. It felt so good to be back into such spontaneity and away from the intense work I do in Egg Tempera.

Here is the print I made yesterday.

Shenay the Cat
Shenay is an American Bobtail Cat who owns my
friends, Patti and John Smith

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I can't resist telling you all that at this very minute ice pellets are falling on my head! This is information you can not live without.

My sympathy to all whose livelihood depends on the non-existent fine Florida weather. I hope that you all can recover from this soon. In the meantime we will live for another six to nine months with everything burned and dead-looking until crews can remove all the dead palm fronds and cut down the tropical foliage that didn't make it.

And to all my Florida friends who may have forgotten what winter is really like I send you this little painting I did years ago. I have forgotten what that was like too, but today I am freezing in my house where I am trying to save power by setting the thermostat at 65 degrees and dressing with 3 or 4 layers of clothing. Ugh....who needs this.