The Air is Clearing

It is so very nice to finally awaken to fresh clean smoke free air. Another day at last in my studio enjoying putting paint on a 36″ x 36″ canvas. With time in my studio and time in my kitchen life is good. I called the “The Air is Clearing”, as I could almost see the sky become blue during the day.

When I am not painting I seem to be cooking and made this Plum, Nectarine and Blackberry Galette in the morning.

My friend Reed really liked I think, as this was what was left after breakfast…

The recipe is in one of my earlier posts, and it is so easy and so delicious, you should make one. The last one I made with peaches and blackberries. I like to add a little cinnamon on top and four or five dabs of good butter, with an egg wash and a little sugar on the crust. I use Italian Joe’s Pie Crust recipe, as it is moist, flakey and goes together easily:

Italian Joes Pie Crust


3 cups (375g) Plain Flour (unbleached and unfortified)
2 tbsp Sugar

I tsp salt

2 sticks (220g) of Butter 
(small cold cubed)
1 beaten Egg mixed with
3/4 cup Milk (cold)

  1. Mix flour, sugar & salt to evenly distribute the dry ingredients
  2. Place mixture into a large bowl ( He uses a food processor, but I prefer doing by hand.
  3. Add cold butter cubes with the flour mix and use cold bakers knives or your fingers until it transforms into small pea-sized crumbs
  4. Add egg and milk mixture mixing by hand or cold utensils until the mixture comes together or take the mixture out to the work surface
  5. Make a well with the flour crumbs mixture adding the egg and milk mixture in the well and lightly handling the mixture by hand or utensils.
    (do not knead)
  6. Incorporate all ingredients together to form a dryish dough
  7. Wrap it well with cling film & refrigerate for 1 hour
  8. Roll out the dough split it in half for two pie crust and roll it out bigger than the pie dish
  9. Fit the rolled out pie dough in the greased and floured pie dish making sure pie dough is press all around the crevices of the dish so it doesn’t sink in or collapse when cooking.
  10. Cut around the edge of the pie dish and refrigerate again for 20 before egg washing it and filling it with pie filling and cooking in the oven.

I put the second half of the pie dough in plastic wrap, then use my Seal A Meal to seal it before I freeze it till I need it.

The Air is Clearing

Red Meets Black!

In addition to sketching and doing a relatively impressionistic type paint, I love doing big abstracts. This one did not take much time, but just made me happy painting. I usually put on some great music and just enjoy the energy. Stacey Kent is my newest artist of choice. I was introduced to her music when staying a friend’s house. With all the fires going on in Washington, Oregon and California the idea struck me that the all the fury of the fires leaves behind the sadness of the blackened trees and lost homes.

This is fairly large at 48″ wide x 24″ tall.

Red Meets Black!

The Choice of Direction is always yours.

Looking up to Pink

Picked up my paint brushes for the first time in six months.  It felt glorious.  This painting has been sitting on the canvas half done for over six months.  Life got in the way, and that should never happen to an artist.  I truly enjoy selling real estate, but was with a team that wanted you to work 7/24 and cold call people whenever they signed online to look at houses.  It made me feel like I was “Big Brother” watching what people were doing.  I don’t like it when I get email for months when I was interested for a short amount of time, or now on Facebook anything that you have viewed online or in Amazon shows up on the side bar, till your next choice of searches.

Pink & White FriendsWhen I finished this painting tonight and photographed it, I could not decide which I liked it best.  Horizontal or Vertical.  That is when I started thinking we all have choices to make every day of our life.  Today I chose to paint after having a wonderful lunch with my beautiful God daughter.  She inspired me to get back to what I love doing.

Not that I am not going to help people buy and sell houses, I am just going to take some time for me to do the things I love.

So you choose, which way do you like it better?  Vertical or Horizontal? Life is so full of wonderful choices, just take one and get on with it.

The Choice of Direction is always yours.

Pen & Ink

Bad Trailor Green House Old House Point No Point Rowboats

This last weekend I had the pleasure of taking a pen & ink & watercolor class with a well known artist.  Pen & ink has always captured my attention, especially after writing my book “Hand Drafting for Interior Design”

Book cover

Working on the drawings for many days, I found pleasure in the hand drawn line and taking this class I got to put to use all the drawings and techniques I shared in my book.

The group of people that came together for the class were talented, funny and made the weekend such a pleasure.  But the drawing was just pure delight, and learning a new way to add a tad or splash of color to the drawings, made me want to draw, draw, draw and water color a little.

Pen & Ink

Back to Painting

Beach in Black & White

For many years I took classes with a wonderful impressionist artist and enjoyed the time and progress that I made in the class and the other artists that came to paint and learn. I live on the beach and love my morning, evening and anytime of the day view out my back window to the beach beyond.  Over the years I have photographed it and shared the photos here and on Facebook.

Taking the class I wanted to paint the scene in different moods and shades and colors, as it was always changing.  I painted it about three times and our teacher decided for me that I could no longer paint it in class.  I went along with it because she was the pro.  I left that class about three years ago due to political differences.  If we disagreed with her political beliefs we were yelled at, put down and not allowed to say anything in response as it was her home (garage) where we painted.

Time has passed and I do know I learned a lot about colors and how to mix them from her and from watching fellow artists; but I also have since thought about how many times Monet painted haystacks or a cathedral at Rouen in France.  No one told him he could not paint a subject he was fascinated by.  Kevin McPherson, a contemporary artist produced a book called “Reflection on a Pond”, where he painted his own pond 365 days in a row.

Yesterday having passed the real estate broker’s exam, and not being in my studio other than to sew I spent the afternoon painting my interpretation of my view.  I just repainted my master bedroom in gray and have the desire to do a series of paintings in black, white & gray, with maybe one accent color.  Here is the first of this series.  I was inspired by another painting I did earlier called Airstream, that my youngest son loved, so I gave it to him.


Now I am finally inspired to paint again for the sheer joy of it with no intention of running all over trying to sell it or put up another show.  I will post on my website:, but that is as much as I will do going forward.

Back to Painting

Cha Ching Cha Ching


Okay, so yesterday I posted that in one week (last week), I lost a diamond out of my wedding band, and  insurance covers the stone, but not the repair; lost a wedding gift from husband, a gold initial necklace ordered from England and $$$$, my iPod, my Fitbit, my favorite Purple Leather notebook and today THIS!   Should I just accept this as part of life or wonder “What have I done to deserve this?”.  Oh yes and a book I sent was stolen out of the package before it was delivered.

Beginning to think I should lock myself in a room and stay there for a week, or a month or whatever…  This kind of thing happen to anyone else?  Or is it a full moon?  Two of my former students had a whole house full of staging furniture, art and accessories stolen this week.  Is it in the stars?

I wonder about life in today’s world sometimes.  Thank you notes are a thing of the past, greeting cards are hardly ever sent and RSVP is “what is that”?  Wonder what life will be like in twenty years?  Will people quit having parties, because with no RSVP’s you have no idea how many people to expect?

I for one am done giving Christmas gifts to adults, as I never even get an acknowledgment that what I sent was received, let alone a thank you note. An email is just not the same, and mostly I have not gotten one those anyway.

Betterif gifts had an automatic response card saying, I received it, I love it or hate it, but thank you for the thought.  With the amount of stuff I have lost in the last two weeks I will be spending my money on replacing my own stuff.  Maybe it is time I finally become self-centered.

What do you think?

Cha Ching Cha Ching

Shining Through

Shining Through

Imagine the sun slipping through the gray clouds with a little glimmer of gold on the roof tops.

It is fun to try different things.

When I was in the same painting class/group for twelve years, the lead painter/instructor was always telling me what I could do and what I should not do. Now that I no longer go to that painting session, I feel the freedom of feeling good about trying a lot of different things without someone trying to put a stop to my experimentation.

I realized when I left the class and walked by this persons new studio/gallery that all the paintings looked alike and that mine were mini replicas of the artists work.

At that moment in time, walking with my youngest son, who pointed out the same thing I realized I could make my own educated choices about what worked and what did not work (for me)

For an artist it is important to sell your work so you can sort of make a living, but it is also even more important to feel good about what you are doing.

In my other painting experience I was doing a lot of traveling and bringing in enlarged photos, which I shared with everyone in the group. Later I thought about it and it devalued what I was doing, for there would be four or five paintings of the same scenario, that photo I shared with the group.

Sometimes it takes doing and looking back later to realize you learned all you could from that situation and it is time to look forward.

If you look closely at this painting, there is gold leaf attached to the oil paint, and if you look even closer you will see more drawing on the clouds. I love sketching and this painting combines those two loves.

Hope you like it.


Dog Run

Dog Run

When I finished this 24 x 36 painting I realized it looked like a funny dog running in the rain. Nice to be back in my studio painting.

People always tell me that they see something in my paintings. It is generally unintentional, but since we are getting a puppy in a couple of weeks, maybe dogs are subconsciously on my mind.  Yes, that is Gold Leaf in the painting.

It was interesting having family for visits. Loved having my grand daughter Claire here for a week and hope she can come back soon.