I Hear a Symphony

Music inspires me and I always listen to it when I’m working in my studio. I like all different kinds, depending on my mood: Classical, New Age, Broadway show tunes. The music helps the paint flow. Here are a couple of new pieces I finished recently to show you what I mean.

Sonata, mixed media, 30 x 30 and Scherzo, mixed media, 24 x 24

To Frame or Not to Frame

That is the question. Most of my paintings are done on gallery-wrapped canvas (1 1/2 inches thick), so framing is optional. They’re large enough to have a presence all on their own. My smaller paintings, the 10 x 10’s or the 12 x 12’s, are on 3/4 inch canvas and need frames to really set them off properly. Therein lies a dilemma. Do I want to spend the money and put in the work needed to frame the pieces, or should I just leave it to my customers to recognize that the paintings look good as is but will look fantastic in frames?

Since I’m planning to participate in an art fair in July, I decided to invest the time and money. Here’s an example – framed vs. unframed. What do you think?

Cream ‘n’ Sugar, 10 x 10, unframed

Cream ‘n’ Sugar, 10 x 10, framed, ready to display

I think the simple black frame sets off the image nicely and helps the completed painting make a nice statement.

Playing with Paint

Rhapsody, mixed media, 16 x 12

My paintings have been leaning more and more towards the abstract in recent years but now I’ve finally leaped over the edge. It’s amazing what paint can do when you pile it on with palette knives, move it around with brushes, add fiber for texture, and pour it on to a canvas laying flat. I always work to music and this new technique (new to me, anyway) lets me just go with the flow. Time to order some larger canvases and paint in larger quantities. I’m so looking forward to exploring this next step in my artistic adventure!

Learning by Teaching

There’s a line from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I,
that goes “… as a teacher you’ll be taught.” I’ve learned that
lesson many times as I’ve taught classes in History or various health
strategies or painting and drawing. I’m learning it again now that I’m
‘officially’ a writer. I’m in the middle of preparing a PowerPoint presentation for my writing group on how to write a mystery novel, and the process of creating the presentation has forced me to consider all the steps involved withcreating a book.

It’s not that you can follow a recipe and arrive at a novel. No – but there
is a structure to a novel. There’s plot and characters and setting and the
mysterious connections that mix them all up and result in a story. Hopefully,
one that people will want to read! If you understand the elements of a novel
you have the tools you need to put it all together, if only you can think of
some ideas to set the whole thing in motion.

I hadn’t planned to do anything like this but when the moderator of our
writing group asked what sorts of topics we’d like to see presented this year,
I raised my hand and said, “How about a discussion on how to write a
mystery novel?” He looked at me and said, without missing a beat, “Great.
I’ll put you down for May 11th.” That’ll teach me!


Launching a New Website

I’m very excited to be launching my newly remodeled website today. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I’m turning over a new leaf and I will be keeping everyone updated on my latest creations on a regular basis. I thought about having two websites, one for my paintings and another for my books. But the creative process is pretty much the same no matter which form it takes. You need inspiration, plus composition, structure and attention to detail to make it happen. So I’m looking forward to sharing my work with you as it evolves, and to hearing your comments and ideas, as well.

2018-03-09 Gallery Exhibit

Two of my paintings have been accepted for Jackson-Jung Gallery’s “Red” show. All are welcome to the opening reception on Friday, March 9th.

1389 N. Milwaukee, Chicago

Now Showing at Studio 630

I’m very pleased to have two of my pieces included in the group show sponsored by Studio 630 at National University of Health Sciences, Roosevelt at Highland, Lombard, IL. It’s a great show, well worth a visit. Until June 3rd.

Painting Classes for Adults

I’ve just finished teaching a mini-course called “Let Your Inner Artist Out.”  I so enjoy teaching these courses.  It’s very rewarding to me to be able to help aspiring artists to express themselves in paint.  People very often know what they want to say, but don’t know how to make their vision come out on the canvas.  With just a few pointers on how to tweak their composition, use color effectively, and an exploration of the some of the many mediums available to the artist, I can help my students turn an amateurish painting into something that gives them a lot of satisfaction.  So much fun!  And as an added bonus, I get re-inspired myself.  Happens every time.

Framing Paintings

Sometimes framing a painting makes all the difference in the world.  I like to use very simple floater frames, which let all of the painting present itself.  This one, titled “Bananas”, is ready to hang, and the simple white frame complements any decor.  

Oil, 16 x 20, framed in simple white floater frame.

Oil, 16 x 20, framed in simple white floater frame.