Collector'S Choice Event! October 22, 2017 at Volvo Annapolis

Once a year, Maryland Federation of Art asks it's vast pool of artist members to donate an original, quality piece of art for their annual fundraising event.  

MFA is unlike other art organizations because it is entirely self funded, non-profit, over fifty years old, and through events like Collector's Choice, makes a concerted effort to keep participation costs for membership, submissions, and commissions low.  This helps artists enormously.  

For instance, for every gallery or art festival, there is a fee to enter.  Fees can range from $25 per art piece to $75 per entry and up.  MFA keeps entry fees for members at $25, and only five additional dollars per additional entry per show.  And if your piece does make it past the juror in traditional shows (Thank you, Jesus!), then 50-60% of any sale is kept as a commission by the gallery.  Not so for MFA who charge 30% commission. Add in cost for materials, marketing, and travel to and from, time spent promoting the show, etc, and the artist is left to, well, starve.  This is why original art is so expensive, and why MFA is such a vital lifeline for Maryland artists in which to hone their craft and venture to make a reasonable living. 

The Collectors Choice event is something I'm passionate about and not just because each year I've donated, my piece is often among the first grouping to be chosen.  It is a chance for artists and collectors at every level, to mingle over good food, talk art, and for $185, every ticket holder and their guest goes home with one piece of original art that is valued far above the $185 ticket price.  MFA encourages direct contact between the artist and the art enthusiast, instead of being the traditional art gatekeeper and middleman.

Yesterday I drove Black Betty (our big truck) to Annapolis to drop off my piece for this year's Collector's Choice event.  Which one did I donate?  Well, it's large, colorful, and valued between $1200-$1500.  I saw the pieces my artist contemporaries have already dropped off, and will be buying a ticket so that I can take one home too! 

My piece and the donated art of my colleagues will be hung on Monday at Circle Gallery in Historic Annapolis for viewing.  There is still time to attend!  I've got the invitation below so consider yourself invited!!!!!  See you there!


Go to for more details.  Please consider attending!  

Kiawah waterway painting (in progress)

I had some really productive time at my easel (kitchen island) this afternoon.

I finished up tonight around now 9:30 pm, got the four kiddos ready for bed, then tucked them in.  Ten minutes later, my eleven year old crawled into bed with me "to practice her Spanish".  But what she really wanted was to ask me if she could have her own blog/website.  She writes remarkable little stories and thinks they should be online.  It's amazing to me how different kids are now.  Outlets for so many things and the ability to explore the world from a chair.

I think at age eleven, my biggest concern was having enough Aqua Net to get my hair really big.  My dad limited me to one can a week and I thought that was really pretty mean of him.  After all, it was only $.97.  Later on I understood the real reason he limited me.  It seems that there was Aqua Net caked on the wall behind where I sprayed and my dad was afraid my curling iron and all that hairspray might combust and burn the house down.  Seems very reasonable now.

Anyhow, my 80's hair drama aside, below is what I did today and some in progress photos...


hour one...initial sketch, then separation of land, sky and water...

hour two...

hour two...

hour three...

hour three...

Where I stopped tonight.  Here is my new piece up against the piece I finished last week.  It is a good deal bigger....and apparently, my cloud wants to be a bald eagle (or something).  Pretty funny that clouds make shapes in the sky and on canvas as well...

Where I stopped tonight.  Here is my new piece up against the piece I finished last week.  It is a good deal bigger....and apparently, my cloud wants to be a bald eagle (or something).  Pretty funny that clouds make shapes in the sky and on canvas as well...

I'll have more for you to see tomorrow evening!  Buenos noches!

The great thing about painting abstracts is that...

...If a certain artist doesn't like where the painting is going, she simply has to flip it and re-evaluate the composition and balance from another perspective.

For instance...this piece has not been following directions since the get go.  So today, after careful thought (not really, but I didn't have any better ideas), I turned it upside down to see if perhaps it could have a chance at being something worth having at another angle.

In an instant, the piece had more interest.

So, here's where I started today...I took Surry Sunset and flipped it then started over (almost).

The clouds will become the water, and the water will become the clouds.  Sounds fair, right?

The clouds will become the water, and the water will become the clouds.  Sounds fair, right?

Here's another two hours in....after the flip...


And another two hours later...


Try and ignore the glare if possible.  I didn't really finish up tonight until nearly 8pm and taking photos without natural light is not ideal.

I have another hour or so to add some warmth that was lost when I painted over the original sky with washes of blues of all sorts, some magenta, and a little more teal.  I'll warm it up with some rusty reds and yellow ochre, I think. And maybe a little depth in the teal areas of the sky.  But, alas, I had five people standing there, arms folded, wanting dinner, so my project for today will again be incomplete.  

I hope to have this all wrapped up by lunchtime tomorrow and posted for your critique.  Hope you like it.  I do!

School starts next week and I CAN'T WAIT!!!!  I have so many ideas and no time to explore them, but, after my little guy starts KG next Thursday, I have a feeling my creative juju will return.  It's not like I don't feel creative the past three months, it's that my outlet for my creativity has been rather dictated by my four little (and one big) dictators over the summer.  

Next year I might try summer camp.  Now I totally get why my mom forced me into summer church camp three hours away with zero chance for escape.  You have no idea how torturous that is on a chubby, socially challenged creative kid who was twice as big as the rest of the girls in her cabin.  I'm still mad at my mom for that.  She was always tiny, gorgeous, and quite popular and just didn't get my awkwardness.

Apparently, I needed to get that out for some reason.  Thanks for listening...

And, Mom- if you are reading this-- You are still tiny, gorgeous, and quite popular, but Camp Grace was the worst!



Surry Sunset Day 2

Good evening!  We just got back from a longish vacation in Northern Michigan.  I suppose my head is still there, or at least wanting to be there because I love crystal clear, salt-free, shark-free waters, but also 75 degrees with no humidity.  It's heavenly!  I even managed to get rid of some of my whiteness, so I'm not pasty, just pretty fair now.  It's amazing how much a little color makes one's complexion look vibrant!

Well, new freckles aside, I have some color here for your viewing pleasure (or not) tonight.  I had three hours today to layer washes on my in-progress seascape.

Here's what I've put down thus far:

adding some low-lights to the clouds here...

adding some low-lights to the clouds here...

Warming up the land mass here a bit...

Warming up the land mass here a bit...

some cobalt teal here in the sky and application with palette knife for some texture as well as some deep magenta and light blue violet added here and there to increase the level of contrast.

some cobalt teal here in the sky and application with palette knife for some texture as well as some deep magenta and light blue violet added here and there to increase the level of contrast.

I believe this piece is beginning to resemble "Custer State Park" which will be headed home to Ohio with it's new owner next month!  The hues are no doubt similar although it's missing some of the earthy warmth that other piece was able to capture.  I will continue to play with this one the rest of the week and hopefully be finished by Saturday.  Until then, I hope to post more in-progress on Friday.  

Thank you for stopping by!  I've had a really fun time seeing all the different ip addresses visit my blog this past week....Australia (NSW), Nigeria, Philippines, Alberta (Canada), and lots of folks from the home team!   

Surry Sunset

Good evening!  Busy day today...a little work, a little painting, and a little new addition to the family.

A month ago we lost our sweet Calvin to a rare tick disease.  Our family has had a terrible time missing his goofy, unending love and antics that used to be borderline irritating until they were no more.  

That dog kept us smiling, and he was always up for playing or just sitting next to you while you work.  Calvin wouldn't leave the side of anyone in the family when they were sick...including a one week camp out on my thirteen year old's bed when she had the flu on her birthday last year.  He only left her to potty.  We had to bring his food in with hers...

Well, today we met our new baby, Oliver Moses Rynbrandt, a blue weimaraner with bloodlines that go back twenty generations.  I did some research, then put a deposit on an upcoming litter at Linden Farms, a 1700's farm located in Southern Maryland.  Oliver was born on July 1st, and he's absolutely beautiful!

There were two blue boys to choose from and we went with the larger one that was nosier, curious, and seemed to like to wiggle a lot.  My hubby plans on training him to hunt, and lazy, uninterested dogs do not make for good rabbit, grouse, pheasant, or duck hunters.

Here's a photo:

In other news (which may be why you are here...not for cute and cuddly puppy click bait) I started that sunset photo of Surry, Maine that I took a week or two ago.  I put down the first three or four very light washes, except for a couple spots where I need some drama.

Here's what I have so far:

It could be that I was listening to Jon Pardi's "California Sunset" CD, but this piece was not supposed to go this way!  However, after a few attempts to redirect my piece, I just let go and went with it.  Why fight it, right?

I plan to work on this again tomorrow.  I got about three hours in today, and if I can match that tomorrow, I'd be pretty darn pleased.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping in!


Got back from another fruitful trip to Maine, where It was 85 degrees with no humidity.  My poor husband was stuck in the house with the four kiddos the entire time I was in Maine and the heat index outdoors in Maryland was 105 degrees.  Ugh.

Meanwhile....Dad and I were plugging way at the cottage, getting a few larger and some lesser projects completed.  The photographer is at the place as I write here from my living room in Maryland.  I've got the windows open and there's a cool breeze today so I'm taking the kiddos to the beach where my folks courted and I learned to swim, in St. Mary's County.  This is the very same county where my people first dropped anchor after a trip across the pond from England, shortly after the arrival of the The Ark and The Dove.  

I got "Orange Rubbers" up in the cottage living room but am not sure that is where Stan (the subject) actually belongs.  The realtor for the place came by (Hello Lorraine!!!) and really liked the piece.  I may paint one of her Richard in the near future (if she'll allow me).

So, if you think you may need to have "Orange Rubbers" for your own, please shoot me an email to discuss the logistics.  I do have payment plans and quite honestly, shipping original art in the heat of summer is a bad idea anyway.

I'll post some of the professional photos here when I get them.  Mine turned out kinda ugly.

Thank you for stopping in!

Stan, Stan, the Lobsta Man...

I just can't bring myself to name this painting, "Stan".  Mostly because this piece is loosely based on a real dude and his name might be Steve, Bob, or Jim (or Jim-Bob?).  So, I've decided to call it, "Orange Rubbers".  Mostly because I like my work to generate smiles and even at the ripe old age of 43, the word, "rubber" still makes me laugh.  I know, immature, but whatever.  

So, here ya go, and not finished a moment too soon!  This piece is headed to a Maine cottage tomorrow!  I managed to twist my dad's arm some more and he will be joining myself and my daughter for another road trip.  Lift off is 5:45 am... We drive straight thru, only stopping once for coffee and the commode...

If you feel inclined to, please pray for travel mercies for us as we brave 95!

Hope you like it!

Hope you like it!

I realize this painting seems a little sparse on color compared to recent work, but this was intentional.  This piece will be in a very small living room that would feel incredibly closed in if the composition were any darker or any busier.  I'll take a pic and show you what I mean when I get back.  The important thing is that this piece will tie together the entire cottage, featuring the primary palette and establishing the color theme for the place.  

I'll be back next week with lots of great coastal folks and photos to paint.  Come back?

Red Beard

It's about 11pm and I just finished cleaning up my brushes for the night and rinsing my water and paint vessels.  One of these days, I'm going to get a fancy palette to put my paint on, but honestly, I think old Tupperware lids, or even better, the modern day cheap throw away ones work the best with acrylic paints...especially if you like drippy paint like I do.

Stan is coming along.  Four more hours don't amount to much, but I started layering the lobster boat window color and gave my dude a slight auburn hue to his facial hair.  My daughter suggested some red highlights in his hair.  Boy, was she right.  Much better than straight up brown!

Our four children painted with me tonight and you can't imagine the mess!  I let them use my good watercolor paints because they promised to sit still for at least a while.  Either way, they were really good until the five-year-old had a meltdown because I wouldn't paint Stan's hat camouflage.  Apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree...

Here's where I got tonight...


You may notice, I've gotten a good bit done on his shirt, his hat, and his face/beard as well as some work on the windows of the boat.  I hope to get this one done tomorrow, although that would be a seriously productive day for a paint slinger with four kiddos home mid-summer!

Hope you'll stop in tomorrow and as always, thank you for following along...


Nice to meet you, Stan?

So here we are, finally, two hours into the actual application of paint (besides the underpainting that was done ages ago!).  I needed a block of uninterrupted time to get really started on a piece.  

This is, in my opinion, the part of a painting that goes very quickly.  I'm filling in the background, which in this case is sky and water that will be somewhat blurred together as it is in the photo I'm using for reference.  I'm also getting the first layer of skin on my dude and the base coat of his orange rubbers.

For some reason, I keep thinking my subject looks like a "Stanley".  Should I call the piece "Stan" or "Rubber Pants Redux"?

I suppose this is an (unintentional) second installation in my ode to fishermen of the hardshell variety!  Maybe that's a good thing since my Oysterman piece (that is of a most similar nature) made the gallery page of The LA Times, The Orlando Sentinel, and our hometown paper here, The Baltimore Sun!  Can you tell I'm still giddy about that (despite the fact that it happened in 2014)?

Hello to my new viewers in Quebec, Austin, and the English Countryside!

In a few days, I'm headed back to Maine for my last trip before the cottage hosts it's first guests!  The only thing left to purchase for the place now is an authentic lobster pot!

So, here's what I did today....

And here's my inspiration for the ombre-style orange color I was shooting for in Stan's rubber pants.  See how the red blurs into the soft pinky-orange and then kinda bleeds into a flesh tone? Yes, this is the real hubby's childhood lunchbox from 1975 to 1980.  Heck yeah!   God bless my mother-in-law for keeping that lunchbox!   Hope you all had a splendid Sunday!   Thank you for following along!  Come back tomorrow?

And here's my inspiration for the ombre-style orange color I was shooting for in Stan's rubber pants.  See how the red blurs into the soft pinky-orange and then kinda bleeds into a flesh tone?

Yes, this is the real hubby's childhood lunchbox from 1975 to 1980.  Heck yeah!  

God bless my mother-in-law for keeping that lunchbox!  

Hope you all had a splendid Sunday!  

Thank you for following along!  Come back tomorrow?

Goodbye My Sweet Boy

Today our sweet weimaraner, Calvin, was put to sleep after a long and painful attempt to rid him of the multiple infections that had ravaged his body the past two weeks.  

Losing a pet is a terrible thing, especially when that pet was a gift.

I purchased my our first weimeraner, Hobbes, as a wedding gift for my husband.  He lived sixteen years.  And today, our younger weim, Calvin, went home to heaven after an truly ugly battle with a rare tick disease.  Calvin was my husband's 42nd birthday gift in 2013.

Rest in peace my sweet boy.  

I painted Calvin when he was about six months old, on our kitchen table, waiting for dinner.  It never occurred to him that he was a dog and therefore eats on the floor.  But he was hungry and since his humans ate at the table, he thought to give it a try...just standing there on top, waiting for a five course dinner to magically appear.  Coincidentally, Calvin also thought the toilet was likewise, a magical water fountain.

That pet portrait is currently at the Annapolis Maritime Museum for the Flora and Fauna show this month.  Maybe Calvin will stop by the museum to see his likeness on display before heading to his celestial adventure where there are lots of rabbits to catch, toilet fountains, and mac and cheese for every meal.  

So long my Love.  Thank you for watching over me and the kiddos all of those years when Daddy was away...and for all the endless abundance of smiles and happy you gave us, your faultless disposition, and for never nipping anyone (except for the neighbor girl who thoughtlessly ran over your foot with her bike while you were pooping).


Hello to Lebanon and Norway!

I'm pretty sure today is the first time my website has had a visitor from Lebanon so a hearty hello to you!  I think Turkey is as close as I've come to having Middle Eastern guests to my site (if you don't count my lovely little sis-in-law who I could go on and on about and never tire...).

I think my painting entitled, "Swell" has found a new home.  I was going to place that piece in the Maine cottage, but it may be a little too serious, so I've putting my lobstermen painting there in it's place.  They are about the same size, and I really need to tie some colors into the room and "Swell" , although it's my favorite piece of 2016/2017, isn't as whimsical as I think I need in that cottage.  Also, a little too much blue/green as the walls are a Benjamin Moore shade called, "Barely Teal".  That would be too little contrast.

I have a ton going on here with the other compartmentalized categories of my life and have been painting less this month than I intended.  I can assure you big things are happening around here, I just can't share yet, but all good!

Thank you to Jacksonville, Florida for your interest in Swell!

Below is a newish photo that I will be using as inspiration for my next interpretive abstract piece...that is, after my current piece is done....

I took this on a Maine beach near the cottage I'm working on.  Is that not the coolest system of roots or what?

I took this on a Maine beach near the cottage I'm working on.  Is that not the coolest system of roots or what?

It is soooo hot here!  I'm about to shrivel up!  If it weren't for an unending supply of iced tea, I'd look like a golden raisin after only three days of this heat and humidity.  95 degrees is not my favorite.

Thank you for visiting my blog and please stop back soon!


Quick post here before I head off to my folks for Memorial Day Week (thank you, Vets!).

I need to seriously clear some space in my studio, so I've marked down many of the paintings on this site 50-60% off.  Click on the "Paintings" option on the left hand side of the main page to see.

I have numerous others that will be posted to my blog in the coming weeks, at great prices.  Many of which were in juried gallery shows.  I was going to do eBay, but it just takes too long and isn't very personal.

I've been crazy busy with the four shows that I've been in this spring, and getting some new work out.  The last current show is Flora and Fauna at the Annapolis Maritime Museum.  Also- if possible, make an effort to attend at least one event at Paint Annapolis this coming week.  Some of the best plein air painters in the country will be there, painting live for all to see.  Finished works will be for sale at Circle Gallery at the close of the festivities.

Thank you so very much for visiting, and a warm hello to Nashville, London (UK), and D.C.!