Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Starlings

As we drove 1 1/2 hours to our family's Thanksgiving dinner, nature gave us the most beautiful sight: the rolling, beautifully complex flight of starlings against a gray sky.

I am thankful to you, dear starlings, for the loveliness you bring to stark fall skies.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Red Thinker

Red Thinker

Drawing this random man (NOT CHRIS CORNELL!)...


...while listening to this (below) over and over again.  They just seemed to go together.

Chris Cornell - Acoustic - Like A Stone

Frozen Magnolia Morning

An early morning walk proved sparkling and magical after our first Midwestern snow fall.  It may be still be autumn, but it looks like the depth of winter right now.

Le Petit Dejeuner

Although I painted it yesterday afternoon, here's a little breakfast for you.  

Oil on Cardboard

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rising Temperature

Here's a late Friday night decompression painting.  After I took the photo I added some shimmery sparkle into that heavy black area on the left in order to break it up a bit.

Mixed Media
9" x 12"

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Headshot 1 and 2 - Starbucks

I tried a Gingerbread Tea Latte today and Starbuckaroos.  I also did a little pen sketch with whiteout added on the cup.  Here's that one, although you can't catch the ears, bubbles, etc. in this pic.

Starbucks Holiday Venti Cup

I decided to open the cup up and and oil paint and acrylic to this fellow.  Here he is in the end.  P.S., Can you tell I will draw on anything?

Starbucks Holiday Venti Cup


This one is fairly large and loosely painted with acrylic paint, ink, and a long-handled brush.

I only have a smaller section of it displayed versus the actual size, because I couldn't get it all to fit into my camera shot.

18" x 24" on paper

A FB friend mentioned that it looked like a particular movie star.  I wasn't basing the painting on anyone in particular; I was just letting the brush move across the page.  At the last minute I enlarged the hook of the nose, and I think that touch changed his entire face.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


This drawing was a quick sketch I did before I went to bed last night.  Often I feel like I just have to draw something--anything--before I end the day.  It relaxes's my meditation.  After I was done, I named him after the look I felt he was giving me.

Graphite & Pastel

Monday, November 16, 2015

She Could Go Anywhere - Little Free Libraries

Here's one angle of my "Little Free Library" that I'm painting for a local library.  (I had to submit a proposal of what I wanted to paint, and I based it on a painting I did back in 2013, "She Could Go Anywhere.")  I'm one of four artists who was chosen to do so, so it's quite an honor.  People can put books into the front of the box, and others can take them out to read, return, and/or keep.  It's a beautiful gesture of communal sharing in the joy of reading.

I was a literature major myself and was always reading throughout my childhood.  I feel great happiness in hopefully passing that  love to others, enticing them to explore the literary magic within this box.

I'll post a few more pictures in the coming days.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What Is Happening to Our World -- Again

Back on January 9th, after the attacks at Charlie Hebdo and atrocities in Africa, I had posted what you see below.  And now, after attacks again in Paris and other parts of our world, I feel the same way, I ask the same question.

My entire life, I have wanted to go to Europe.  It almost happened many moons ago and then just a couple years ago, but plans fell apart for various reasons.  Everyone who knows me personally, knows of this longing within me to see Paris, Barcelona, Portugal, Berlin, Greece, London, Ireland, Amsterdam, Florence, well, you get my point.  Instead, I live as if I'm there.  Studying (and teaching) languages (Russian, French, Spanish (forever!), Italian, German; watching films; reading, and eating their cuisine...I am a consummate armchair intercontinental traveler.  So when Paris was hit, I felt the horror.  I know it's not the same as someone who lives there or who has traveled there, but literally, I am heartsick.  The same heartsickness I felt after 9/11, and I am not a native New Yorker.

I sat in Starbucks both yesterday and today, reading The New York Times, trying to grab every detail of what occurred, as if there is any way to understand it.  I felt guilty of having the luxury of drinking my coffee and reading a newspaper.  I thought, such normal acts--drinking coffee/reading a newspaper--but for many, so far away from their current normalcy.

My heart is breaking for you and your people, chère France.

From 1/9/15:

This week's global crimes against humanity leave my heart devastated.
What is happening to our world?

9" x 12"
Oil, Acrylic, Ink on Canvas

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Burp Mortification

Carla felt out of place at the party, so when a cute guy offered her a few swigs of a hip, imported European beer, she eagerly took a few, hoping to cement her cool quotient.  She never once thought of the aftereffects, a quite audible burp from the fermentation of her bottled brew.  Carla knew she had blown it as her potential life partner lifted his eyebrows in surprise and started to edge away.

She would have skulked away, but he had left her the bottle, and it was quite tasty.  Besides, she thought, staying to finish it would help her get over her burp mortification.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trying to Get into the Club

I can hear Jim Morrison singing, "Break on through to the other side..."  Lord help me, I'm trying.

And then it's too exhausting to try.  

I can only keep on my own path to express what art represents to me.  
Emotions, feelings. 
Blood, guts, striving, deflation, euphoria.  
All of it.  
But sometimes none of it.  
And hoping I'm reaching someone out there.  

Striking a match to feelings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Phyllis D's Pearly Whites

I had an art show today, and can I be honest?  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I knew it wasn't the right venue for me.  It was more a craft fair, and I can't compete in price with low-ticket items when I'm making original art that takes me hours, days, months to complete.  Anyway, I woke up at 1 a.m. and tossed and turned for an hour until I got up and painted this one.

O.k., I worked on it BEFORE I went to bed and then finished it in those wee hours.  It was a rough day and included two losses that I just cannot write about here.  Some things are too close to the heart, no?

Suffice it to say, I am drinking a Spanish wine as I type this and will be going to bed early.  I was also right about that craft fair, by the way.  But I did get a wonderful compliment towards the end of it which bolstered my artistic spirit.  My eyes feel heavy right now, unlike this lady's below.  Let's just focus on her joy, shall we?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pierre Blowing Kisses

Pierre was feeling particularly in love with life and so found himself blowing kisses to all.

John Kettman and His Trumpkin

As I mentioned in my bite out of the big apple post a few days ago, my friend, John Kettman, has had a brush with fame this past October.  He painted the face of Donald Trump, The Trumpkin, on a pumpkin and added a wig.  Then he proceeded to create a couple more presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  He had thousands of hits on Google and ended up being broadcast on NBC affiliates and on ABC's Good Morning America when they solicited him to create pumpkins of all the show's hosts.  He was on The Chew, too!  You can find him on Facebook here for more of his works on coffee beans, rice grains, Ritz crackers, other pumpkins (Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres, to name a few), and some amazing life-size works of the Beatles in full Sgt. Pepper regalia and Abbey Road strut.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Betty's Ire Sparked

Betty's ire began to spark only after she lost the Halloween contest for a costume that was deemed too realistically frightening.  She felt herself becoming one with her disguise...never a good thing.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apple Doodle aka Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

Here's a little apple doodle I did today...always trying to draw, you know?

It really is a drawing of the apple I was eating, but also, two of my friends, John and Maryanne, just got back from a road trip to NYC (thus the Big Apple reference).  Stay tuned, because before the month is out, I will tell you about this brush with fame John has been having with his painted pumpkins, and their appearance on both Good Morning America and tomorrow's, The Chew.
Pretty coolio.

Pen & colored pencils

Monsters' Ball

I had a lot of fun with this black-tie monster bash in honor of the following:  

I'm having an art show this Thursday, 10/29 with a crazy confluence of events.  

It's at 516 Bar and Gallery at 516 1st Street in La Salle. 
Stop by for my art, a Halloween vibe, Blues guitar-playing Steve Cerqua, food, drink, and 
a showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."  

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 8:30 p.m. with the show following.  Oh, yeah.

"Sweet Transvestite" with Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick

Monday, October 26, 2015


I had the urge to draw a little something before I went to bed Sunday.  I think it was my way of not letting the weekend go quite yet.  Of course, I ended up staying up too late and started Monday with my usual exhaustion.  What's a girl driven to draw to do?  Just draw, I guess...and be tired. (-;


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Blue Bonnet

Experimenting tonight and ended up with something looking totally old in the 19th century!  Not sure how it happened, but I don't try to question where my things begin or end...sometimes you don't want to be too inquisitive about mystery.

Oil, Enamel, Ink

Red Dot

Hmm.  Still using my phone to take pictures, putting into Instagram and posting to Facebook and then snipping onto my hard drive and then reposting to my blog.  Gotta get that camera working correctly!  I humbly say, I think my art work isn't showing off to the best of its ability with my roundabout posting approach.  I'll get back to it.  Although, I do notice I have a lot less hits from a certain area in the world now that my images aren't as sharp as the camera would present... hmm.

Anyway, this portrait actually has a much more vibrant, apple green in it than this picture would suggest, and I think a lot more detail.  Nevertheless, here is "Red Dot" as I can best represent her at the moment.