Welcome to my blog. Sit back, listen to the music (if I can ever get it to work again), experience a little visual stimulation and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The View Out Back

Sometimes God gives you blessings that you can't believe. Wayne and I have been so blessed to live in this wonderful place. The view out our back door is really beautiful. Usually, you can see a doe and her fawns grazing across the yard, or sometimes the big bucks come out of the woods to pay us a visit. During the long hot summer we have had, we kept a trough of water for them next to the fence.

This painting is also a challenge painting from Polly to paint some part of your house.


This little cow is a challenge painting from Polly Jackson. She gave us the challenge a couple of months ago, and I put off painting it - I guess mainly because I was not very inspired, or I had my doubts about being able to do it very well.

Well, I think she is beautiful, and I don't know why I waited so long!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Campbell's Forest

My granddaughter, Campbell, turned 13 recently, and her mom and dad have given her a newly decorated room. She was missing some art, so of course Mimi said she would paint something. Trying to reach a balance between something an adult would like and something a teen would like is pretty hard. I hope I succeeded.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Figs in a Bowl

Figs are an interesting part of my childhood. Granddad used to plant fig trees everywhere he lived. They grew to be magnificent things 10 or 12 feet high, and just as wide. The fruit would come each summer and rippen to a golden rust, with some purple mixed in. When you broke them open, the salmon cololored flesh would be a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. There was only one problem -- yellow jackets loved to build their nests in the trees. The large green leaves hid them from view, and I always wound up with a sting or two. Definitely not worth the effort in my view!
These figs have already escaped and found their way to a bowl, so I painted them to pay homage to my Granddad. More about him later.

Perilous Crossing

My friend, Patti Smith, takes wonderful vacations around the world. She recently went to Peru and did the Machu Pichu thing. But while she was there, she captured some magnificent images of the Andes that have captured my imagination and made me long to follow in her footsteps. Being quite broke, that will never happen in this lifetime, but at least I can paint them.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

High Meadow

I have been wanting to do some collage pieces lately, and have had this rattling around in my head for a while. It's been a long time since my collage days, and I'd forgotten how much fun they are to create. I have this wonderful stash of papers that I made in those days, all sorted by color in bins. My friend, Anne Heinrichs (www.anneheinrichs.com) is jealous of this bountiful stash. There are papers made from rice paper, wax and watercolor, acrylic on tissue, stamps, inks, even paper towels that sopped up the mess. Too much fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wayne and Camille

Sometimes you create something that you know has meaning, but you're just not sure what. That's the case of this painting. I did this work about two years ago as a companion piece to a collage that I did of "orchid" people performing alla cirque de soliel. It languished in my studio, kind of on the back wall, never taking a spotlight, but never quite ready for the dreaded paint out either. Then one day some friends came from Houston to visit, and the first thing Amy said upon seeing this painting was, " Wow! is that you and Wayne?" Never thought of it like that!

Then Polly gave us our next assignment to paint a self portrait. I was preparing canvasses for that assignment, waiting for the paint to dry, when I began studying that painting on the back wall. The more I looked, the more I thought, yeah, it is a portrait of my husband and me. So, back on the easel it went, and new paint was mixed, glasses added to Wayne and more color added to my face. I love the painting now, and think it will have to come inside.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Flamenco Academy

A couple of years ago I read this wonderful book, "The Flamenco Academy" by Sarah Bird, and was totally enthralled.  It was set in Santa Fe and was the story of two young girls who entered the Flamenco Academy.  So rich is the character development and story line of this novel, that you almost can feel the beat of their shoes on the wood dance floor.  Ever since reading that book, I have wanted to paint a flamenco dancer.  I finally created one for my cousin Carol to hang in her new home.

I hope she portrays a sense of power and passion, as well as a little mystery.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'm finally through traveling for a little while.  It seems as if I've been gone forever on one mission or another.  Returning to painting has been a challenge.  You'd think that someone who gets as much out of art as I do would be excited to get back in the groove, but no.  All the old anxieties and insecurities come roaring back - will I be able to do what I want - will it be any good, blah, blah, blah.

This painting is a little challenge painting dreamed up by my friend and teacher Polly Jackson.  The subject's name is Trudy - don't have a clue who Trudy is, but she is a wonderful subject. I keep wanting to type Turdy - wonder if the cosmos is trying to tell me something!

The challenge Polly posed was to paint Trudy in any style you wanted to, and send her a photo so that she could post all of them on her student blog www.areyoupainting.blogspot.com.  They should be posted sometime on Saturday.  Check them out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Painting in the Park with Polly Jackson

These paintings were done in my painting class with Polly Jackson, the last (for a while)  in the series of painting in the parks.  It's getting way too hot to paint outside in the afternoon!  The sweat runs in your eyes, you have to wear sunglasses to paint in, your paint dries in about 5 minutes on the pallet, and your point of view changes with the movement of the sun.  Not withstanding all of the above, I still love it!

These magnificent live oaks are in Little Stacy Park in south Austin.  Some trees just beg to be painted.  It's no wonder that Austinites are so passionate about their trees.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This painting is also from Bull Creek Park - a little slice of wild flowers, mesquite and china berry trees.

Wild Flower Meadow

Another post from painting in the park - this one is at Bull Creek Park.  I have lived in Austin all my life, and never knew this park existed.  It is wide open with almost no one there.  A few lucky dogs have the run of the park with their owners, and I'll definitely go back again.

This first painting is a panaramic view of the park from a gentle hill covered with wildflowers.  I thought you might enjoy seeing what these scenes actually look like and how I translated them into paintings.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pease Park Saturday

I'm painting en plein aire (outside) for the first time with Polly Jackson, and I have to say I was intimidated at first by all the things around me.  It's interesting to be able to hone in on something that catches your eye, and make a painting from it. So, okay, I'm hooked.  I can't wait to go out again.
While I was painting on the trail, my neice Jori and boyfriend Woody trotted by -- they were participating in the Urban Race -- sort of like a scavenger race -- around Austin.  They finished in the top 25, and qualified for the national version of the race held in New Orleans.  Way to go Woodie and Jori!  Wonderful day!

Little Jack Horner

Sure glad Little Jack Horner didn't eat one of these plums -- he'd have halucinations for weeks. This is the last of my 8 x 8 posts for a while.  This is an interesting size to work in, but I'm much more comfortable working in a larger format.  Art is all about experimenting for me, that's what keeps it interesting -- so what if some of the experiments don't pan out.  It was fun creating anyway!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Here's another 8x8 or some lemons I had.  The challenge for me in these little paintings is to make each brush stroke count, and to get as much color variation into the subject as I can.

Spring Break

Spring break was over too quickly.  I had an unexpected week off from work, a "furlough" if you will, and it was wonderful.  I needed the break.  Painting was on the agenda, and I will be posting a series of 8x8's that are a lot of fun, and for those of you who know me, are really fast paints for me -- thirty minutes or so to complete one.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apologies to Paul Balmer

About four years ago, my daughter took her daughter to New York for her 8th birthday.  Mimi (wonderful grandmother that I am) got to tag along on this fabulous trip.  While we were there we went to galleries in Soho and saw some wonderful streeet artists, and -- Paul Balmer.  I was immediately in love with his work.  Enormous paintings of New York - buildings and bridges -- layers of color, line that made my heart sing.

I could not get his paintings out of my mind, so when we returned home, I went to my studio and began to create my version of Paul's New York.  This is a rice paper painting done with about 20 layers of casein and ink.  Not nearly as magnificent as his, but one of my favorites.  Check out his web site at www.paulbalmer.com

My latest painting is an attempt to find a brush that will paint the twigs in a winter landscape.  Needless to say, I didn't have one in my assortment of brushes.  Oh, well, off to Jerry's Artarama tomorrow, I guess.  I could use some more canvas anyway.  Interestingly enough, I found that a small flat worked best -- who knew.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Princess Dee Dee Boo

Princess Dee Dee Boo is our other pug.  A year younger than Spanky,  and a good 20 lbs smaller, she is the boss of him and all things domestic.  Born the runt of the litter, she never seemed to grow much.  Her tongue doesn't fit in her mouth, and so it hangs out the side most of the time.  I have to tell her everyday she is the cutest dog in the world.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This is Spanky.  A more loyal, regal dog never existed.  He came to live with us about 3 1/2 years ago, and has totally taken over the household.  He has become a bit on the lazy side lately, and as a result, has put on a few pounds.  The Fed Ex guy once thought he was a pot bellied pig -- poor Spank, he just waddled over to him and gave him a kiss.  I guess we could all learn something from Spanky.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My First Blog

My first blog -- sort of a scary prospect don't you think?  Anyway, I'm forging ahead and attempting to post some of my recent works of art.  What do you think?


About Me

I was married - for a really long time to the most interesting man in the world - Wayne Harmon. He is gone now, but never forgotten. We have one child, and two amazing grandchildren. I've been painting all my life, and consider myself a born teacher and a story teller.