March & April Events

I have 15 paintings that will be on view at Many Hands Gallery in Capitola, CA as part of their Birds & Bees show.  Let me know if you stop by or need me to come meet you for a cup of coffee when you stop to see the show.  Gayle's Bakery is just a few doors down.  What more could you want? 

Some of the new work are this group of new encaustic paintings.  These 6x6" paintings all group together nicely.

I did say it was a birds & bees show.  Here are the bees.  Three new 12x12" oil and wax on wood panel. 

A bit more information about the show and the list of other artists who are participating.

In the coming days I will post more detailed images of all of the pieces in this show.  In addition to these pieces, I have a great jump start on the year's work and have quite a few things going on in the studio.  I will also be hosting an open studio in April.

In the thick of things

 Things are really cooking in the studio now.  I've got lots going on and look forward to sharing them with you soon.   A preview of things to come.  I will get better photos soon.  I promise.

In the studio

This is from a series that I'm working on.  Oil, wax & spackle over wood panel.

 On the easel

Detail of one of these pieces.  This painting is of the large oak outside of my studio window.

February: I'm back!

It's good to be back in the studio.  Like most folks, life gets busy.  Holidays, birthdays, kids, life.  Between last September (has it been that long since my last blog post?) and now, life has been non-stop.  On a great note, my studio got a terrific upgrade. I have heat! And lights!  And insulation! And freshly painted drywall on which to hang paintings! I'm truly excited.  

It took a few months for the studio renovation to happen, and I have to admit that not much painting got done.  I had to move completely out of my studio and stick everything out in the garage.  

For a while my studio looked like this:

 I love my renovated space.  And now, I'm happy to get back to work. 

A Girl Goes to Paris

The Louvre

I recently made my husband take me joined my husband on a business trip to Paris.  His job requires travel to Europe, and I'd never been to France.  With my French-Canadian roots, some knowledge of French, a love of art & history & wine & cheese, I was happy to come meet him for a long weekend in Paris. 

I warned him that I had a serious art agenda.  This might not be the exclusively "romantic, walk along the Seine" kind of weekend.   Since he had to work for part of the time that I was there, I made plans to begin my trip by going to the Louvre solo and spend the entire day there. 

The Louvre, for those who haven't been, is massive.  It's hard to wrap your head around how physically big it is,  and how much art it holds.  It is truly a marathon event, and a bit of planning and strategy goes a long way toward getting more out of the experience.  
 Outside of the Louvre, the famous Pyramid by architect I. M. Pei.  

 The main courtyard.

 Walking up the stairs toward the Winged Victory of Samonthrace sculpture.
I loved how they placed her at the top of the stairs, one of the first experiences upon entering the Louvre. 

As I walked through the massive galleries of medieval art, I landed upon a painting that is near and dear to me.  This, my friends, was one of my first art experiences when I was a child. 

 An Old Man and His Grandson
by Dominico Ghirlandaio
When I was a preschooler I came across this image in one of my uncle's school text books.  I was fascinated.  What a strange painting!  That old man's nose was so bumpy and a bit scary, but his expression is kind.  I thought it was a picture of a young girl, and was surprised when someone told me it was a boy.  Then there was the wonderful and strange landscape out the window.  This was the first time I really got lost in a painting, having the experience unfold before me.  


The crowds continued to move around me while I enjoyed this painting.  It was so great to see the real thing.  I felt that way many times over while here.
 Then I joined the throngs and went in search of the Mona Lisa.  
This is about as close as you can get to her now.  There is no intimate art viewing when it comes to the world's most famous smile. 

After the DaVinci, I went in search for a William Turner painting that I knew was nearby.  It was great to have it mostly to myself, as the painting was in a little side gallery, away from the crowds.  I enjoyed examining it up close.  Here's a detail.  What I love is the scumbling and motion of the paint application.  You can see the wonderful combination of opaque and transparent layers, all coming together in a way that is purely abstract up close.  Great sense of atmosphere. 

I also enjoyed this wall of Rembrandt's in relative peace and quiet. 

In a place such as the Louvre, when it is bigger than words, when there is so much to see and take in... how do you carve out that experience that allows you to slow down?  To really see.  
My first view of the Mona Lisa was not the experience of the painting.  It was a sea of people holding up their digital cameras & phones.  They were all taking the "I've been there, done that" photo.  Honestly, if it was for the sake of enjoying the image of the Mona Lisa, everyone would have been better off slowing down, enjoying the painting up close, and buying a post card in the gift shop. 

What a different experience to find an image that stops you in your tracks and lose yourself in it, even for just a little while. 

Almost Home

Almost Home
Oil on Canvas

This painting will be available for auction this weekend.  The Gala is our kids' school's BIG fundraiser of the year.  It's a great evening with live music, fabulous food and a lively auction.  I'm happy to be part of it.

About the painting:  most of us who live in the Santa Cruz Mountains have a common experience... driving up Highway 17.  For those of you who are not familiar with our commute, this highway is essentially a steep and narrow mountain pass that connects Silicon Valley with the coast.  It takes some skill and fortitude to drive this road, as it's fast, narrow and the concrete barriers come right to the edge with essentially no "breakdown lane."  Throw in the occasional distracted driver, wayward deer, mountain lion or mud slide and it's a commute that is not for the faint of heart.  This painting depicts the curve in the road right before the Summit exit.  This is the exit that for many of us is a transition between life in "The Valley" and life on the Mountain.

For more about this great annual event, go to