Friday, December 31, 2010

Asian Pear Apple/ Apple Pear

The label reads "Apple Pear" but I usually call it a Pear Apple because it tastes like a pear but shaped more like an apple. It is sweeter, juicier and crunchier than both. I also call it a 'nashi' when I'm among my Japanese speaking friends. I first tasted this unusual fruit in Japan. I thought it would be an interesting subject because they are always displayed in their fishnet Styrofoam stockings to protect their paper thin skin.

6x6 oil on wood panel -$65

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Las Trampas Park and warm weather memories

I started this about six months ago after going on a hike at a wonderful Regional Park located about 5 minutes from where I live. I changed it last month from a realistic to a more impressionistic and I think happier image. Just the antidote for the last dreary, rainy and cold days we've been having.

30x40 oil on gallery wrapped canvas- -sold-

Monday, December 27, 2010

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Ever since my children were old enough to place a dollar or two in the bright red bucket, I would always make it a point to teach them the Salvation Army was one of my favorite charitable organizations. Times are tough for even these fine folk for they no longer hand out mini candy canes to the children but my kids still delight in the sometimes gaped tooth smile and 'thank you' they receive from the bucket keeper. I snapped this trio in Walnut Creek just a couple of days before Christmas. We all made a donation to the bucket while we listened to the trumpet and coronet player play "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".

8x10, oil on art panel- $100.00

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fozzie's fun!

I am assuming the recipient has received this painting from her mother as a Christmas present so I'm posting Fozzie.

The wonderful lady who commissioned Fozzie is a volunteer at the East Bay SPCA. She had seen some of my donated painting of shelter dogs and cats and asked if I could paint her daughter's furry family member. She provided a couple of photos and we were off and running. Her daughter cannot hang anything on her concrete apartment walls so mom is including a decorative easel for Fozzie to sit on. I hope she likes my rendition Fozzie.

8x6 oil on panel

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Little Miracles

3.5x2.5 gouache on paper

click image to enlarge

T'is the Season for little miracles isn't it? I was fortunate to have been asked by my neighbor to paint little portraits of the day care children she takes care of at her facility. She initially wanted them to be about 8x10 in size.

I felt a little daunted by the prospect of completing 10 portraits by Christmas. I then presented her with the idea of making little paintings of gouache on ACEO cards. [3.5 inches by 2.5 inches watercolor paper] They would be encased in a plastic case with a magnetic backing for placing on a metal surface or they could display on a tiny easel that I would provide for each portrait. Thankfully she agreed with my proposal and after about 3 weeks, I finished them before Christmas for her to gift to the parents of her charges.

I wish you and your little miracles a very Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wonderful Opportunity to show and benefit ASAP

Art for Shelter Animals painter Carrie Jacobson, working with painter Susan Miiller (not a typo) has a couple of opportunities for painters who love animals. These are fine chances to expand the Art for Shelter Animals Project (, too!

Painters who are involved in ASAP make paintings of animals in their local shelter, or with a local rescue group, and then donate the art to the shelter or rescue group. The shelter or rescue group can do whatever it wants with the art: sell it, use it as an inducement to adoption, reproduce it on mugs or t-shirts, use it to decorate the office, whatever. When the artist finishes the work, she sends an image to me and I post it, with a story about the artist, and a link to his or her site, on the blog.

Both of these opportunities are intended to benefit the Port Jervis/Deerpark Humane Society in NY state. Susan lives nearby and volunteers there; Carrie used to live there, too. It's a good shelter, and could really use our help. Here's the website: . The animals to be painted are at the very bottom of the home page.

First of all, of course, when you finish your piece, please send an image to Carrie ( for posting on the ASAP blog!

The first exhibit takes place in the office of Jeff Parker, 156 Pike St., Port Jervis. Parker is a podiatrist and an artist and an animal lover. He has a very nice space to show and sell art. That exhibit goes from July 26-Sept. 10.

Then, the work will move to the Deerpark Museum, for a one-day show on Sept. 18. Anyone who is in the area is invited to come and demonstrate during the day.

After that, the work will go to the shelter, to be used as the shelter desires.

As always, you can frame the pieces if you want, but you don't have to. It would be great if you would put a wire on the back for hanging.

The Wallkill River School has kindly agreed to accept the pieces. Susan will pick them up at the school. If you're out of the area, please mail them to her at the school:

Susan Miiller

Wallkill River School

232 Ward St.

Montgomery, NY 12549

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Facebook Find

This is the third painting I've used a find on Facebook as inspiration. The first couple of images were of friends. This lovely daughter of a "friend" is someone I've never met and are friends because of Mafia Wars, Cafe World or one of the other games I play on Facebook. I could not resist her three year old carefully bringing up that cup to drink her pink lemonade at her "Tea Party". Lindsay generously allowed me to paint her beautiful daughter Leah.

8x10 oil on board

Monday, May 17, 2010

Palm Tree Trio

One of my fav artists Dana Cooper painted a set of palm trees on one of her recent posts. I told her I have wanted to try and paint palm trees and love the way she rendered hers. She told me she wanted to see how I would treat the subject.

They may be a simple subject for others but this took me 2 days, wiping, repainting and repositioning the third palm. I'm not entirely happy with it but its a start.

20x16, oil on board

Saturday, May 15, 2010


SJC is the Airline code for San Jose International Airport in California. I usually use this airport for flight. As you probably do, I love to people watch while waiting for my plane to start boarding.

8x10 oil on board

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Here is that sauna I mentioned in "Dubious Welcome". I was struck again by the single light source coming from the only small window into the sauna. Though it had sat idle for the entire winter, it still had such a warm and welcome feeling with its log walls and cedar setting.

I would love to actually experience a sauna such as this one day.

8x8 oil on Raymar Artboard

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"A Bridge Not Crossed"

Someone was sharing photos of scenery encountered during their walk. I immediately was taken by this bridge, surrounded by receding snow, crossing over a beautiful blue river still wearing sheets of ice.

I would love to visit this bridge in person one day.

24x36 oil on canvas

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Dubious Welcome"

When I was visiting the lake, I was invited to check out the outdoor sauna. I had never seen one and was amazed with the way one would light a fire to heat at least nine buckets of water to create steam for a cedar lined room. The experience was described as one of great relaxation and cleansing. I didn't get to experience this but I was struck by a little changing room next to the fireplace. The only light in the room was the one coming from the open door. Because of this lighting, I thought the room was giving me a "Dubious Welcome"

I may attempt to paint the sauna room in the future. It was quite small and beautiful.

I also had to share the breakfast my 12 year old surprised me with this morning. Happy Mother's Day!

36x12 oil on canvas

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Last week, I was at a cabin on a gorgeous lake front property when I saw this red Adirondack style chair with it's homemade foot stool.

I saw it was waiting for its first occupant to use it to look over the clear blue lake. It waits through the winter covered by snow, through early spring and finally starts getting used during the last spring.

I could not wait like this noble chair in my youth. Now that I'm much older, I can see the wisdom in waiting for that opportunity rather than chasing after it at times. I do however have the choice to move on if my patience expires.

30x24 oil on canvas

Friday, April 30, 2010

Adebanji's Mokeskin for the Flying Moleskin Blog

This is for the Flying Mokeskin Project. Please click on over to that Blog HERE to read about this image.

This was for Adebanji Alade's book. Please take a look at this very talented artist's work HERE.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Section A, above the fold

The Newspaper Editor always chooses the most eye or interesting catching article for the front page (section A) and places it above the fold so it is seen when it is stacked at a newsstand. This is one of the places I didn't want to see controversial incidents regarding police action when I was part of a team of Press Information Officers for my form Department.

However, when you're looking for publicity you want to be placed there. So a little good news is one of my paintings was placed in that prime position for the announcement of our local show but the bad news is that I was not credited for it. LOL. So you can see "Lone Bear" on the front page of the Tri-City Voice HERE.

On a side note, I was looking forward to attending the reception to this show because three of my pieces were accepted but unfortunately I learned my Uncle had passed away and his memorial service was on the same day at the same time. I wanted to share a part of the beautiful service with you because even though I was baptized Episcopalian because of my mother's beliefs, I have come to respect and admire my father's Buddhist religion.

You will see my cousin Ken Yamada presiding over the services. I am very proud of him because he is the only American born minister/priest who traveled to Japan to study and returned to California to teach the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism. His temple (Higashi Hongashi) is located in Berkeley. His beautiful wife is an attorney working in San Francisco and they have two wonderful children together. I promised I would go to one of his services in the near future and now that I've blogged it, I've locked myself into that promise haven't I?

Ken is lighting incense to be placed in the stand behind him for participants to make an offering.
Ken chanted prayers during the service. It was almost mystical when his voice harmonized with the gong. My other cousins own flower shops in the area and you can see one of their many arrangements behind Ken.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Artistic License

Versus a motorcycle license that is. My pal Mark asked for another painting of a motorcycle he owns. He specifically wanted the stone mountain in the background but not the pedestrian sign. He left everything else up to me.

Although he wanted it on the same square format as his first painting, I could not do it justice so I painted on a portrait format. I moved the bike over to the left a little and had to make up some parts of the painting that I didn't see or were in the way. We'll see what he thinks of it when he gets back from his road trip from Texas to Arkansas.

20x16 oil on canvas

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm back....

No, I wasn't stuck under a large piece of furniture, just needed a little time to regroup and re-energize!

The top piece is for the Flying Moleskin project. You can get more info on it by going to that BLOG.

The second piece, you'll recognize is that daggone University piece. I think I'm finally happy with the shadow color on the bridge. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

University Avenue Afternoon

I was heading into Palo Alto when I stopped for the light at University Ave at Woodland Ave. I was first at the limit line and saw this scene kitty corner from my position. I snapped a couple of shots with my camera phone before the light turned green. When I reviewed it at home, I thought this image would look great on one of those long landscape canvases. I would like to know if you think it works.

12x36 oil on canvas

The top is a modification based on a suggestion from an artist I really respect. Muted violet is what I'm looking for. This too pink?

Thursday....I uploaded a third version... little darker...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Freedom with Freesias

I really appreciated everyone's input with my last post. I believe the reoccurring sentiment was: 1. this is a common stage for an artist to go through 2. to keep on , keeping on.... or continue to create and relax a little more about where it might take you. 3. Try different styles, experiment, explore.

So in keeping with this new insight, I decided to try and paint flowers. If you look back, I have only painted flowers in a simplistic style for a commission. I wasn't crazy about. The style I'm crazy about is Diane Hoeptner's. Such a beautiful, loose and lovely style for all sorts of flowers. If you don't know her work, check her out. I believe a National Retail business is looking to use some of her paintings to decorate some housewares.

I noticed the front yard had some freesias blooming. I plunked them in a clean Pace Picante Sauce jar and painted away. I was surprisingly please with the result. I am glad I tried to tackle something I thought I could not do.

8x6 oil on Raymar panel

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Path to Painting for Myself

So most of you know I started my career in Fine Art a couple years ago so I am still an infant in terms of becoming a professional artist. That is why blogging and visiting blogs have so important to me. Other artist’s works inspire, motivate and feed my soul.

I feel I am still all over the board. Sometimes I feel like a ship without a rudder and allowing whatever dominant wind push me in any direction.

Reading this post from Katharine A. Cartwright's blog slapped me on the forehead last week. If you have not visited her blog, you must if you want some mental stimulus on the subject of art. Besides Katherine is an exceptional watercolor artist and an outstanding teacher.

I took several days after reading that post to take a break from blogs and blogging to try and figure out who I am in terms of this new role of an artist and what gives me passion when I paint.

I was working on the top painting which is another scene from the Dublin St. Patrick's Day fair. It took me about 3 days to make me feel like it was completed. It gave me a 2.5 out of 10 on my excitement scale. Then just for kicks, I painted the bottom painting in about 3 hours and it gave me about a 5 out of 10 on my excitement scale. So I'm not there yet, but besides the pet and other commissions, I'm going to start exploring on how to find that 10 out of 10. I hope you'll stick around for the journey. Love to all!

both pieces are 20x16 oil on canvas

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Darling and Debonair Dog portrait

I was delighted when a friend asked me to paint his daughter's dear dog as a gift for her.

This was fun because he gave me free rein on how to approach the portrait. He's tiny but I could tell he was a character.

I'll give you one guess as to what his name is.

9x9 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day in Dublin

Dublin, California that is. Our Dublin is a neighboring city just south of where I live. Of course, they have a St. Patrick's Day Festival and parade every year. My daughter and her friend and I went to check out the fair.

As we were leaving, I caught these two teens about to tackle their lunch. Interesting how one of them contemplates how to approach her meal and the other just dives in.

I keep going back to this style of painting with the blue outlines and simple shapes. What do you think?

18x24 oil on canvas.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coffee and Tea for Alice's Challenge

I first became a fan of Alice's Thompson's work when I saw it in Karin Jurick's art challenge. I went to her personal Blog and fell in love with her precise realism techniques and was in awe with her paintings from her trip to Japan.

Alice started a new challenge Blog this year she calls Calypso Moon Artist Movement. This is my first contribution to her challenge. This month she wanted the contributors to paint two pieces from a collection the artist has that reflects his/her personality.

I used to collect tea and coffee pots. Mostly American made Hall products. You would think it would be Japanese iron or clay teapots but I am attracted to the 40's/ 50's Mrs Ward Cleaver style pottery. The large yellow piece is actually for coffee and called the Drip-O-Lator. It's an early version of the drip coffee maker. The small piece is a tiny copy of a full sized Hall teapot and is used for cream.

8x6 oil on board.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dedicated to da Vinci

I was fortunate enough to be noticed by talented Michelle Burnett when I first ventured out into this Blogosphere. She has a growing Painting Challenge that is filled with information on artists and styles. She presents these lessons in a way that inspires many artists from around the world to participate.

This month, Following the Masters focuses on the Italian Renaissance. This is my contribution VERY loosely following Leonardo da Vinci's practice of sketching and analyzing his subjects.

I used micron pens with sepia ink on Canson paper. 7x 9

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day

My blogger pal Narayahan wished me a Happy Women's Day last night around 10PM. I told him I didn't know what he was refering to and he told me March 8 is International Women's Day.

So I Googled and found the website for International Women's Day and was enlightened that this is a national holiday for several countries and started way back in 1911. So 'Thank you' Narayahan for letting me know about this.

Now this painting has nothing to do with celebrating Women's Day but I thought I would post it because it features a woman. It is a painting for the Flying Moleskin Project. Vern Schwarz left the subject for his book up to us. I've always admired the glamor of the 40's. This is loosely based on a photo of Gene Tierney. It is oil on gessoed paper about 10x8.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another quick sketch

I know I need to do more, but I was inspired to draw this quick sketch last night.

Donovan was watching TV and our cat Meatball hopped up and used him as a podium to look out our back window.
They are best buds, can you tell?

6x8, graphite on paper

Friday, March 5, 2010

Big Horn Bonanza

Busy blogger pal Gary Keimig not only has his own website but three other blogs. I follow his Painting a Day blog and visit his Outdoor Adventures.

Gary took an awesome photo of a Big Horn Ram roaming around in his home state Wyoming. I can see why the gorgeous scenery and sights are a constant inspiration for this prolific artist. Gary was kind enough to let me paint this big guy.

8x10 oil on Raymar panel

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bumping against the "Glass Ceiling" again

As you can imagine, I did deal with some [ okay a lot] of challenges when I was trying to become and after I became a police officer. The challenges not only came from my peers and supervisors but from the public in that when I started it was still rare for females to be a cop and even more rare for an Asian female to be one.

I have heard of some of the same challenges in this new field I am entering but I didn't know how intense it was until I read this article and not one woman is on the list of top artists.

click on this title to read the article:

My Education continues:
Then I watched this [ it's a little over 27 minutes] and it was very enlightening. Did you know a woman artist traveled to South America to study animals, plant life and insects before Darwin? Her style of painting the specimens was adopted by Audubon himself many years later.

Some of you from outside the States have been unable to view the video in this format. Please try going directly to this LINK and see if you can view it there. Thanks!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I had been admiring Kelley MacDonald's cocktail paintings when she threw out a challenge. I was never confident about painting glass or liquid but after studying her paintings I gave it a go.

I also wanted to try the black gesso that Carol Schiff recommended and Deano uses a lot of the time.

Of course I could have chosen an easier subject than a mint filled Mojito but it is what it is.

8x6 oil on RayMar panel

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Her Walk for Water

This is a painting for a Juried Show in San Francisco sponsored by the World Affairs Council. It is an organization of people of all walks and professions who gather and discuss World issues and seek solutions. The theme for this year asked what the artist thought was a global issue. I know War, Food, Poverty are always high on the list but I decided to focus on water.

Did you know: Around the world, 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion are without adequate sanitation facilities. Every day, nearly 6,000 people who share our planet die from water-related illnesses, and the vast majority are children.

Lack of water means loss of school time for children and many hours spent by women fetching water from many miles away from their home. My painting illustrates the daily trek made by millions of people who don’t have adequate have access to water.

We shall see if it gets accepted.

30x10 oil on canvas

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leggo my Lego

Just a teeny painting for the Daily Painters International Challenge Blog.

3x3 inches oil on canvas

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pity Party is over!

Another sample for the Dog/Pet supply store who will be hanging this and two other paintings in their store for me. I apologize for the glare on the image.

This is Nika!

16x20 oil on canvas


When I feel like this....

I want to have a pair of these...

So I can fly away from the pain...

8x6 , 10x30 oil on canvasboard and gallery wrap canvas respectively.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Experiment and a Show

This past Friday I attended a reception for a benefit at USF's School of Law. They had accepted my painting, "Relearning to Fly" for the show benefiting a shelter for Domestic Violence victims. The only second show I've attended but I'm assuming because of the venue being full of lawyers, there was live music, a full spread of hot and cold appetizers and dessert and of course wine and beverages. Either that, I'm easily impressed. I am not yet comfortable with this type of venue, but I'm sure it will get easier soon.

I was looking at an edition of Southwest Art magazine and was intrigued with the style of artist John Nieto.

These two paintings are my homage to him. The top is of "Lone Bear" and the other is "Stars Come Out".

They are both 12x12 on gallery wrapped canvas.

click for a larger view

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Emilee and Kahiko Hula

I was honored and a little nervous when a friend asked me to paint a portrait of her daughter she planned to give as a Valentine's gift to her husband and daughter.

My daughter danced with Emilee in the Mokuaina dance group and I was there when she had her first couple of lessons. Emilee took to Tahitian and Hula like a fish to water.

Her mother chose the traditional Kahiko Hula style for the painting. Kahiko Hula is always accompanied with chanting and never has modern instruments such as guitar involved.

16x20 oil on canvas panel

Monday, February 15, 2010

This is Morgan

I painted this for a higher end Pet supply store to give her an example of my work. I had approached her with an offer to paint her dog to let her see how my works looks. She saw another dog's portrait but there's is nothing like painting a dog the client is close to to know if the artist is able to capture their furry pal's personality. I used the pose from one photo, th ears from a second and used the third to help me with the fur. She saw the emailed jpg todaynd she thought it was "gorgeous". *phew* I hope to have it hanging in her store to drum up some business.

20x16 oil on wood

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Thanks for being there through the ups and downs!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rinse Well

I have been enjoying JM's travelling blog for quite a while. I finally asked him if I could use an image or two to paint. He generously granted permission. I loved this photo he tagged Jaisalmer, Rajasthan which is a city and region in India.

Nothing like taking our showers and faucets for granted. This does look fun for a hot summer day though.

10x8, oil on hardboard

Monday, February 8, 2010


After a pretty heavy couple of months, I wanted to paint something light and bright and fun. This is Gwendolyn, or Gwen as she is called by her two legged family members. She and her big brother Gavin live with my friend Natasha and her lovely family. Natasha has a wonderful family blog called "Behind the White Picket Fence".

Gwen is about 2 months here I believe. She is a real cutie.

oil on 12x12 gallery wrapped canvas.