Monday, January 22, 2018


As an artist I travel by myself a lot. But I've been remembering some trips to Jordan that were so much more fun because I brought a friend along. Here are some of the reasons to travel with a pal -

When you look fabulous who else is going to take your photo but your best travel pal?

Some places are lonely without a friend. 

Real estate dreaming is more fun with someone to agree that all it needs is a coat of paint and some landscaping. 

It's kind of nice without the roof. Really. 

And both of you agree that it's a fixer upper but you can never have too much space. 

When exploring mysterious canyons looking for ancient civilizations - it's great to have someone along who actually knows what they are doing. 

Listen with wonder as ancient history unfolds along the way. (Thanks Erin for a thrilling hike through Nabatean waterways!)

But when you need a break from the weight of history it's nice to have a goofy friend along to act like a cheese ball. 

And when you find yourself in a hole it's always good to have a pal close by - to snap your photo. (These are ancient tombs. So...yeah. Creepy)

 No matter who's driving, always follow the road signs. 

Well.  Not always. 

Sometimes your evening cocktail is better with a little salt. Or a lot of salt. And much nicer with a pal to share it and take your pic. 

Just because you're travelling with a friend doesn't mean you can't flirt with the locals. 

A friend will encourage you to go off road - though sometimes you may get a little lost.  

And a pal will capture that moment when you lose yourself in the vista.

A friend will photograph you with your zany art projects.

A pal will say "You DON'T look sweaty and tired. You are a GREAT painter"

A good friend will always stop the car for a photo op.  

And an inspiring friend will help you to see your trip from a different perspective.

A friend will tell you when you have sunscreen on your nose. This photo was taken while travelling solo. Yup.

You'll meet lots of people who'll invite in for coffee.

 And you'll make new friends along the way. 

But at the end of the day your friendship will the be the treasure you remember forever from your trip to Jordan.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

A client asked for a painting of the parable of the mustard seed in which a tree large enough to provide shelter for many birds grows from a tiny seed. She also asked for gold which looked wonderful with the yellow of the mustard flowers.

Huckleberry, my studio cat, likes how his eyes match all the gold and yellow.

One of the seeds will not grow into a tree but it is feeding a baby. 

Here the seeds fall to the ground from the pods as birds look on. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pets - We Love Them!

Pet portraits are so meaningful and fun to paint. I've had a chance to paint some well loved animals this past year.

I use two styles. Below is a portrait of Jo in acrylic and gold leaf. I also paint in a more detailed style using oil paint which you can see above in my painting of MacDuff the collie. 

This is a detail of a larger painting of three bulldog friends. Acrylic and copper leaf. 

This is a portrait in oil of my own cat Opal. And some of the weeds that grow outside my studio door.

Three beloved poodles. Oil on panel.

This is the most involved pet portrait I have ever painted. Oil on panel and even the plants are portraits of this extraordinary backyard farm. Each chicken is a portrait too. And there are even bees!

Gumbo the gorgeous dog with lovely spots. 

Gabo the beautiful white cat who is friends with Gumbo. 

And most recently I enjoyed painting these sheep for Nashi Orchards on Vashon Island. They are not really pets - but I have a feeling that they really are.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Family Memories of England

Here's a detail of a painting I made for friends who wanted to remember living in England and walking in bluebell woods with their kids. A hedgerow was added - and some ladybirds which is what ladybugs are called in England. 

It started with a flat field.

And trees came - and went. 

I added the family. 

 And finally there is a very verdant and flowery scene with a hedge of "sloe" and some wild orchids.