Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hayden and Christian

6x6 oil on panel
6x6 oil on panel

I was fortunate enough to run into an old friend at a recent party. He and I got reacquainted and he saw my art work on my business cards and I saw his beautiful 2 year old twins. He then asked me to paint his twins for a Christmas gift for their mother. Yes, it was only two weeks away but I was willing to do this for a dear friend. This is Christian and Hayden. We were only able to meet two days before Christmas for the delivery so I wrapped his precious twins in a box for him. When he opened the box, he smiled, said "She's going to love them...I think I'm going to cry." That sentiment was his Christmas gift to me.

Monday, December 26, 2011


16x20 oil on canvas

Waggles is a 17 year old cat who is usually found laid out sunbathing on my neighbor's porch. I thought I would capture this moment and give this painting as a gift for my neighbor who has helped with things around the house.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis better to give than receive...

10x8 oil on canvas

especially during this season isn't it? This is Ruby, a beautiful pup from the Exeter Shelter of Rhode Island. I am donating this painting to have the folks at the shelter do what they will with it. Other shelters and rescues have auctioned the paintings, given them to volunteers or people who have donated funds to the shelter or to just brighten up their place. I wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and a healthful New Year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Son's gift

Roger Kellmann
20x16 oil on canvas

Last month I was contacted by the step-son of my fellow officer Roger who passed away in November of 2009. I had painted a small memorial piece back then. The son wanted to commission a piece for his mother (Roger's wife) as a gift during his surprise visit home during Thanksgiving. The son relayed that he grew up to love Roger as his own father. He was flying in from Germany where he was stationed serving in our Armed Forces. Since this was a spur of the moment trip, I only had two weeks to get the image and send proofs an changes back and forth to the son. In the end, I was honored to have been asked to be a part of a precious gift from such a loving and thoughtful man and Cindi is truly blessed to have the love of a special son. I told both Cindi and her son I wanted to capture Roger's twinkle in his eye. He always seemed to know something that amused him and he was a brilliant comet in our life. Hugs to all my friends and family during the holiday season and all through out the year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Happy Plane
6x6 oil on canvas

Silly Seal
6x6 oil on canvas

Before the fancy cars, all we needed to be happy was to bounce back and forth on little rides at our local parks when we were kids. We didn't need leather seats or cruise control, just our imagination to fly us up to the heavens or skip across the ways on the back of a sea creature. I found these adorable rides in a little park next to a beach on Lake Superior when I visited my friend a couple of months ago.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Angel Trumpet

Mendocino Angel Trumpets
16x20 oil on canvas

When I went to Mendocino with my kids this last summer, flowers were blooming everywhere around the quaint town of seaside Mendocino. I loved this tree of Angel Trumpets blooming near the entrance of one store. It took me a while to get the gumption to paint them because I put so much pressure on me to do their beauty justice. I think I'm almost there and now want to paint more.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cooper's my comeback

9x12 oil on panel

To blogging that is. It only took me an hour to post this portrait I made for a friend. He's her handsome Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Cooper. If my computer continues to cooperate, I will start posting again. Thanks for you patience.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wanda Kemper Workshop and a little something

Pink in Pewter
14x11 oil on canvas

I took a workshop last Friday from a very gift artist who lives locally. Wanda Kemper specializes in portraits and still life oil paintings. I took a basic class on portrait painting several years ago and I adored her teaching style so I decided to sign up for a class she was having which was going to emphasize on the subject of shadows. Her class exceeded my expectations. Her positive and encouraging style bolstered by solid lessons and tips from her vast years of experience boosted everyone's confidence and abilities. I had to leave early [unfortunately for a doctor's appointment] and I finished the assignment over the last two days with the large photograph she provided all the students.

I think the most pertinent tip I got from that day was learning to use a bit of a complimentary color in the highlight to make it really pop against the surface color. I've always been challenged and confused with color choices so I am glad she squeezed me in next month's color workshop.

As a little aside, my daughter wanted me to crochet her a mom and daughter koala amigurumi so I thought I would share that with you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Auction for Animal Place

10x8 oil on canvas
bidding starts at a $1 on Ebay

Some of you who have followed me for a while, know I did a similar auction for Animal Place a couple of years ago. I think I'm ready to paint a few more to help them out again. This is my first painting of one of their residents. I don't think I've done a rooster before but he just happened to catch my eye with his in command demeanor. All of the profit from the sale of this auction goes to benefit Animal Place directly. Learn more about Animal Place with this LINK.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 2011 Fourth of July!

Path to Baker Beach
16x20 oil on canvas

I hope all of you are celebrating today with something fun and festive. This is an image from a day I and the kids went to check out Baker Beach in San Francisco for the first time. We were lucky to find a spot in the parking lot but some folks had to park their cars at the top of the hill leading up to the park and walk down this sandy path. I hope to paint another image of this beach from the location that is at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My first International Commission!

oil on canvas

I had a client contact me via the website. He was looking at my vespa series and was wondering if I had any larger paintings for a certain wall he had in mind. I told him I could work with him in painting something specifically for him. He liked the 24x24 size and was wondering if I could include a "Mod" guy in with the a certain model Vespa, the Lambretta. I drew this sketch as an initial idea:
He was okay with it, but during the night I came across a photo of a man in a mod Nehru jacket, [anyone under 40 will not know about Nehru jackets and love beads] and he was leaning against a Bentley. I submitted this sketch and he likes this pose better:
The photo reference had the man leaning face on with his arms at his sides. I asked my son's friend to pose for me:
Which resulted in this nearly done painting I submitted to the client:
Well as you can see from the end painting, the client changed his mind on the "mod" attire and wanted a more up to date look. He gave his final approval for the finished painting: *phew* and as soon as it drys a few more days, I hope to get it on its way to Belfast, Ireland.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why did the Chicken....II

9x12 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Some of you who have been viewing my posts for a while may remember my first chicken crossing the road. [ click HERE to view the post] Well someone who had view this first version on wanted to buy the original. I realized I committed an awful faux pas because I no longer had the original and had not updated my web page. She allowed me to paint another version a little bigger and I thought better and she was under no obligation to buy.

Fortunately she loved this version and said she had been looking for the perfect present for her sister's 50th birthday. I had to ask of course....why the chicken? She explained that her sister loves chickens and her life motto is "forward progress" and she thought the sprinting chicken represented that attitude. The client also thinks the fact that I am retired Law Enforcement would add to her sister's delight because she also loves crime dramas. The client was kind enough to share that she had worked for the Art Institute in Chicago in the 20th Century Department and later became a graphic artist so imagine my delight when she emailed me to say the painting was even more beautiful in person.

This is half of the reason I have been away from my blog. The other half is another commission I've been working on for the past several weeks that I'll tell you about in my next post. Love to all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Silly Sami

8x8 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

This is my other cat. Her idea of camouflage is to hop into a box or bag and lay in wait. If my son sees her in a box or bag, he will inevitably pick her up and carry her like a package as he goes about his business around the house. Silly begets silly I guess.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


20x16 oil on canvas

My still 16 almost 17 year old is in that interesting boy/man stage of his life. He towers over me and his father but still delights in doing things kids like to do. I captured him when he wasn't feeling well in this POST two years ago. I captured him in a sketch a year ago in this POST so maybe instinctively I know he's only going to be hanging around the house a couple more years at the most and then he'll be off building a life on his own. I wanted his portrait to be unique and quietly different like he is.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Challenge....

8x10 oil on panel

This is a pet portrait for the winner of our local High School Band's fundraiser. The winner, [a band player herself] wanted a painting of her beloved Nikko. I asked if she had any photos of Nikko and she said no because Nikko never sits still and doesn't like to be held. I volunteered to come over and take pics myself.

Nikko is very shy and skittish even around strangers bearing cat treats. The winner and her little sister took turns catching, holding and letting go of Nikko so I could try and get a shot without their hands wrapped around Nikko's body. Nikko went through the cat treats quickly and I was able to get a couple of body shots while he was still for a few seconds. The head was from another shot of Nikko looking at me while little sister was holding him down and I going through my repertoire of my best cat attention getting sounds. So even though Nikko was an unwilling participant, he ended up with his portrait for his sweet owner anyway.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Petalos de Rosa

Petalos de Rosa
20x24 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Doesn't it always sound more exotic in another language? Pink petals in Spanish [petalos de rosa] gives my painting of my neighbor's cactus flowers an extra punch. As I approached our court, these blooms were a pink spotlight on her lawn. I went and grabbed a few photos and this was the result.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Forest Home Farm Windmill

20x16 oil on panel

I have been to the Forest Home Farm several times and I've always wanted to paint this windmill. I was there for the sheep shearing event in April and took a shot of the windmill and its mid-morning shadow. This is one of a couple of larger paintings I've been working on. I might have to do a couple small ones to build up my confidence.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Red Vespa.....

9x12 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I was asked to paint more Vespas. This is a 70's vintage cutie.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tulip Fiesta

"Tulip Fiesta"
8x10 oil on panel

This is one of many set-ups Janette Jones had at her workshop. Just simply a bunch of tulips in a Fiestaware pitcher.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sweet Madeline

8x8 oil on wood panel

I was honored when my friend asked me to paint a little memorial portrait for her friend. They had recently lost their sweet Madeline who was the apple of the family's eye. I can see with that adorable face why they would miss her so.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Janette Jones' workshop

Lilacs & Lemons
20x16 oil on linen mounted board

Thanks to a couple of friends, [Dominique Eichi being one of them] I was fortunate enough to attend a painting work-shop last month. I learned more than I expected. I am still trying to practice what I learned [one particular lesson is to keep the paint more transparent and I don't have to glop one gobs all the time]. Janette Jones is a wonderful artist and a terrific instructor. What a treat to have other renowned artists in the class learning her techniques right beside us.

Shona Macomber dazzled us with her watercolor techniques on the day's lessons. You can check out her beautiful work HERE. Then there was Elizabeth (Libby) Tolley. Libby is a renown plein air painter and Janette Jones even had her book as a reference guide. I highly recommend it. Her book "Oil Painter's Solution Book" is currently sold out at but you can buy it directly from her HERE.
Lastly, I have to say the grounds in which the class was held were a little bit of heaven on earth. Milifiori in Douglas Flats is a place I'd like to return to one day but right now I need to put my lessons into practice!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My love/hate relationship with my computer

Dottie's Gifts
20x20 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I've been AWOL from my blog. I'm so proud of not committing PC homicide on my desktop because its been giving me so much trouble. After not being able to upload photos, it is still crashing without warning and what used to take me a half hour will sometimes take a whole day. Okay, enough of that!

I just got back from Michigan where I got to deliver a birthday present to a very special lady. Mrs St. Pierre is the mother of my high school boyfriend with whom I have been blessed to rekindle a relationship with after forty years. This painting is based on a B&W photo that my friend Terry took. He explained he set up his camera on a timer and ran back up to stand with his younger siblings Cheryl and Mark at the mouth of a cave they were exploring in Japan. I've talked about being raised in Japan and his father Wayne was stationed at the same US Army HDQRS I was at. The St Pierres were there for 3 years. I cropped and glazed the background to what I thought it might look like on a late hot afternoon as he described it. When Mrs St. Pierre opened the present, she said, "Oh, my Babies!" I see her "Babies" as very special gifts she has given the world.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Beet Gold
size is just short of 20x48 inches
oil on stretched canvas

Yes, its another beet but not only is it gold, I decided to paint it on a grand scale. It cooked up to a paler yellow but it was just as yummy. Okay, I think that will help me with my beet fixation for now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

No Joke...

"Dublin West"
oil on board

I opened an email this afternoon. An Account Manager of notified me that I was "Artist of the Day". Yes, its April Fool's day and those who don't see this today may not see it featured on Facebook HERE but I bask in my recognition for the day. Yay!

Today's painting is the one I was whining about the last several posts. I have decided enough is enough and stopped fiddling with it. This is the Dublin West BART [Bay Are Rapid Transit] station. It was painted from a pic taken with my phone when I was on the way to San Francisco last month.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beet Red

8x8 oil on RayMar panel

So I'm about to throw this other painting out the door in frustration. Thank goodness for therapeutic veggie art. I had roasted beets for the first time. Good thing I took a pic of one before it went into the oven.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


10x10 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I've been struggling with a couple of other paintings so I was delighted that I was able to paint Jasper. He was like a breath of fresh air.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Natasha's Sunflowers

24x20 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I had asked another talented photographer friend if I could use an image she took of some sunflowers she purchased. It took me over a year until I felt confident to do it justice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peace Orchids

18x24 oil on canvas
DPW painting challenge
Auction price starts at $25
Bid by visiting their website HERE

This is my first entry for the Daily Paint Works Challenge. I will be honest and had tried to paint to enter twice before but I didn't think my work was up to par at that time. What really pushed me this time is the proceeds going to benefit people and pets devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan through the auction of these paintings.

My painting was inspired by a beautiful photograph shot by a talented friend Susanne Uy who generously allowed me to use her photo as inspiration. Thank you Susanne!

Friday, March 18, 2011


On a lighter note: this is BB. A friend commissioned a painting of her Vet's dog as a thank you; and yes that is a kayak she is sitting in so comfortably.

8x8 oil on board

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Mother's Love

A dear friend commissioned this piece as a birthday gift for her very talented college aged son.

She described how she was travelling along the country side in Northern California during one of the many summer heat spells. She saw out in the field a cow out in the dry shadeless field. As she looked closer, she saw what looked like a very young calf in this cow's shadow.

She thought this mother was doing her very best to protect her young baby from the relentless environment and how she could relate to how she felt about her son leaving for college and being on his own. My friend wanted to let her only son know that she too wants to always protect him from all that could harm him but she knows she could only do her very best and the rest to up to Destiny. I was honored that she would trust me to convey such a tender and loving thought.

This is 6x8 oil on canvas board.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Countin' My Blessings

I was leaving a SF art gallery at around 9:30 Wednesday night and walking to the Rapid Transit system to get across the Bay. I was walking at a quick pace for the two and a half blocks not only to get me there but to appear like I knew what I was doing late at night. I caught something out of the corner of my eye. It took a couple of steps before I realized the huddled mass was a person down for the night.I went back, snapped a photo with my phone and went back on my way. I could not get the image out of my head. I had to paint it to exorcise it from my thoughts.

With the disaster in Japan, and relatives and friends who have been affected there, it has been a somber time. So even though this man just has a flattened cardboard box and a jacket for his bed and pillow, it is dry and out of the danger of tsunami and earthquakes. I read one friend who had posted on Facebook that her local grocery store in Japan was all out of meat so she will be having sashimi for dinner. Bless her heart for finding her silver lining in that massive black cloud.

"Counting My Blessings"
8x10 oil on Raymar panel
$100 plus $5 for shipping

Paypal has waived all processing fees so donations can go directly to those affected by the disasters in Japan:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flowers for Flyinsaint

I have a very cool friend with a very cool nickname. We were talking about how we both loved orchid plants. I've always thought they were too challenging to paint. Our chat is the only reason I thought I would try and now I'm grateful for that. Thank you Terry!

"Ruby Red Orchids"
16x20 oil on artboard

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bah Bah Bah

During another chat with my artist friend regarding subjects we like to paint reminded how much I missed the animals. Thanks Hellenne! This one's for you.

8x24 oil on gallery wrapped canvas.
$85.00 plus $5 shipping

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Prickly Sisters

I was going through some older shots and found this image of my neighbor's cactus I took last summer. I felt warmer just painting the image.

8x6 oil on Raymar artboard
$45.00 plus $5 for shipping

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweetie and Buddy

30x24 and 30x12
oil on gallery wrapped canvas

This was a commission for a dear friend. She missed her furry family companions Sweetie (on the left) and Buddy. She gave me free reign and only requested it be large and as wild as I wanted. Well this took me longer than I wanted and I thank her patience.

I think the surreal background gives an ethereal feel to a heavenly feline playroom for this two.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Two toned Tulips

I saw this little image on the web. I added a few more blooms and made them all the same two toned color. I love tulips. They are such a happy flower.

8x6 oil on art panel
$45.00 - free shipping

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I was at my favorite Asian Market and what did I see? Dragonfruit! I had never seen fresh dragonfruit before. I'm sure I looked pretty strange holding each fruit up and turning it around like I was inspecting a fine gem but I want to get the most interesting looking pieces. This is the first attempt. I may do a couple more.

8x6 oil on Raymar art panel
$65.00 -free shipping