Paintings With Soul

Since October 2006 I've been a daily painter, creating a new pet portrait at least 5 times per week. Over the years I've expanded my offerings to include a variety of animals, pets, race horses, children and other treasured heirlooms. In addition, I accept a limited number of commissions each year.

In 2015 I am honored to be the Kentucky Derby Artist.

You may use the links below right to receive my daily paintings via email or to follow my blog with a feed. I post additional info, including in-process jpgs and other related information, on the studio Facebook page as well.

Meanwhile, thanks
so much for your continued support of my artwork.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

...and then she said...

"...and then she said...," from the "Cherished" series, 7-1/2" x 12", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a rottie and shar-pei mix, available for $469 to the first taker.

In process views of this painting are updated on the studio's Facebook page

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!

My To Do List For This Week

In addition to painting every day, I wanted to complete the following tasks this week. I'm fairly happy with what I accomplished, given that it technically was only a 4 day work week, and I've still got one day left:

  • Pack paintings for show to hang on Friday.
    • Create signage and other marketing materials
  • Visit new Artists Market and deliver marketing materials
  • Drop paintings at framers
  • Set up database for AirMail Journaling class
    • Process students
    • Email announcement to all students
    • Finalize supplies list for class
    • Proofread lesson plans
  • Plan lesson for next weekend's journal workshop
  • Review and sign contract for ArtPrize
  • Research art therapy and working with Alzheimer's patients
  • Continue planning for Art Marketing talk next week
    • Review handouts and refresh materials
    • Create slides/visuals
  • Followup with outstanding inquiries regarding portrait projects
  • Finish - and deliver - tattoo design
  • Coordinate delivery of new artwork to Mackinac Gallery
  • Find new invoicing solution
  • Prep laptop to go into Apple store for upgrade
  • Follow up on all details related to roll-out of Canine Art Guild's Facebook presence
  • Order new panels
  • Edit book(s)
  • Send out proposal for article on creativity to magazine editors
  • Design next month's desktop calendar
  • Redesign - and order - new vehicle signage
  • Touch base with NY Gallery

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AirMail Journaling


It's nearly impossible to schedule any sort of workshop in the summertime that works with everyone's calendar. There's vacations and sunshine and working parents and travel sports teams and watermelon, and frankly, I can't blame anyone for choosing those sorts of things over taking a class (even though my physical class IS in a toy store).

I still wanted to tailor my offering to somehow flex around everyone's schedule. I spent some time on the back porch, just listening to the birdsong and wondering when life got so darned busy. I got all melancholy recalling the long summer days of my childhood - melty popsicles, the smell of hot pavement, the sting of sprinkler water on sunburned skin, the excitement of the mail's arrival (was there anything for ME?) - and BING - AirMail Journaling was born!

I've had the most fabulous time designing five entirely new lesson plans for this summer's journaling adventure. These are brand spanking new projects with many facets, designed to appeal to multiple ages (5 and upwards), created to inspire a curious eye and adventurous spirit. It is my hope that they result in multiple journal pages - maybe even a trip to the library or additional internet research and learning, too.

The projects will arrive over the course of the summer in 5 separately mailed envelopes with fun and funky design. The packets will contain detailed instructions, prompts, and a handful of ephemera or supplies to get you or your child started. It is my hope that the materials in the packet will provide multiple days of exploration for each journaller, but attention spans and interest levels will vary, so your mileage may differ. I will include plenty of different sparklers, though, to provide a broad appeal. Students are also welcome to take the initiative and run in their own direction.

There will be a short and inexpensive supplies list along with some other items journallers can find around their home (like an old house painting brush and a bucket of water). I will include a link on the list so that supplies may be ordered online - this will further simplify participation for those in remote areas. As always, students are also welcome to supplement with their own materials and ideas as they surface.

Another element of the project which I am excited about is an online classroom, totally private, where parents and students can share photos of their journal pages. This will be facilitated via a private Facebook group**. Additionally, I will use this group to field questions or provide feedback on aspects of the lessons. Those of you who know me can also look forward to additional information via newly discovered books or websites or tangental ideas. Instructions on how to access this private Facebook space, along with the supplies list, will be emailed after enrollment is completed.

The entire cost for all 5 lessons is $30 per student. Families are welcome to enroll as one student - just keep in mind that each envelope will include one student's amount of materials, so in instances where I am including collage papers, each envelope will carry the same amount of paper. I am sorry that right now I am not able to make allowances or accommodations for multiple enrollments per address, but I promise you I will consider this for my next AirMail Journalling session.

If you are interested in enrolling, you may send payment via Paypal to or you can send a check to the studio (346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, MI 48362). Receipt of payment will be acknowledged with an email requesting additional information (so that I can build the workshop's mailing list).

I look forward to AirMail Journaling with you this summer!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

June Desktop Calendar




It's time to swap out those cows from May for an equally sized (hah!!) St. Bernard. How on earth did it get to be June already? Wow.

To implement June's desktop calendar, simply download the calendar file directly from my website. I've set up a couple different ways to do this, either via the photo album or a direct link.

I am by no means an expert on the variety of operating systems, so I highly recommend that if you don't know how to change your desktop wallpaper, don't email me for advice. Instead consult your computer's help files - they will be more concise, more knowledgeable and more responsive than I could ever hope to be. 

June is sized to fit a standard screen height of 768 - I realize there are lots of variables that could impact how this file displays on your screen. Let me know if, once you get the file installed, there are display quality issues (keep in mind, too, that options such as "stretching to fit," "tiling" and "cropping" will impact your display, so check those first!).

Meanwhile, enjoy!!! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lengthening Her Lead


"Lengthening Her Lead," from the Saratoga Series and fresh off the easel, 5" high by 22" wide. Details of each side are above, with the full view below. Add this painting to your collection for $599.  

In process views of this painting have been uploaded to thestudio's Facebook page the last couple days.

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!


Hope everyone has fabulous plans made for the weekend - we'll be spending time at the Dog Bowl in Frankenmuth, Michigan, hanging with family, and getting our veggie garden in.

Special thanks today to the veterans who's own personal sacrifice has enabled the freedoms we enjoy today,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What to Call This One?


Details of the panoramic painting currently on my easel, and also currently untitled. This piece (pictured in it's entirety below) is 5" high by 22" wide. This is a challenging painting to photograph, given it's dimension. Forgive the tiny images!

I have several consults this afternoon and hope to return to the studio later, but just in case, I thought I'd share now, and take the pressure off for later.  

In process views of this painting are updated on thestudio's Facebook page.

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!



Great news!! I need to replenish my painting inventory at Spa Fine Art in Saratoga Springs, New York, and this is my latest candidate.

This one honors Melissa, who's birthday should have been today. That gray horse in the lead is in her memory, for noone loved grays quite like she did. Every gray horse that crosses my path now is a reminder to find beauty in each moment, because few of us ever have enough of them.

Moments, that is. Although I suppose the same could be said for gray ponies.

Thanks, as always, for supporting and sharing my art with your friends and family,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Double Trouble


"Double Trouble," from the "Cherished" series, 10" square, acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting two partners in crime, available for $539 to the first taker.

In process views of this painting are updated on the studio's Facebook page.

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!
The Cherished series is shaping up nicely. I'll have to create a space on my website where you can browse all the images, but meanwhile I did add links to theinspiration photos shared on Facebook.

If you would like to submit your companion animal to the series, send non-flash photos to me. All the details are outlined in an earlier post on my blog. And you can see the candidates for the series of paintings on the studio Facebook page inside the "Cherish" photo album.

Thanks, as always, for supporting and sharing my art with your friends and family,


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tanning Bed


"Tanning Bed," from the "Cherished" series, 4" x 12", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting two Boxers, available for $329 to the first taker.

In process views of this painting are updated on thestudio's Facebook page.

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!


The Cherished series is shaping up nicely. I'll have to create a space on my website where you can browse all the images, but meanwhile I did add links to theinspiration photos shared on Facebook.

If you would like to submit your companion animal to the series, send non-flash photos to me. All the details are outlined in an earlier post on my blog. And you can see the candidates for the series of paintings on the studio Facebook page inside the "Cherish" photo album.

Thanks, as always, for supporting and sharing my art with your friends and family,

PS If you were planning on accepting the Daily Paintworks Challenge, you have plenty of time - it's an open ended sorta thing, so don't stress about having to clear your calendar to do it this week. All of the challenges are set up this way, so that you can get to them when you are in the frame of mind to benefit the mostest.

PSS In case you didn't hear earlier, my live paint scheduled for this weekend in Frankenmuth has been cancelled. I apologize for anyone planning to attend, but the circumstances were beyond my control.

"What the...," the first painting in the Cherished series.

ArtPrize - My Big News

I'm delighted to finally share that my "Cherished" paintings (those remaining unsold) will be travelling to Grand Rapids, Michigan, this fall as part of ArtPrize.

If you are not familiar with ArtPrize, it's a festival that takes over 3 square miles. Businesses and property owners within the perimeter are matched with artists, and unbelievable installations, indoor and out, using a variety of media and styles, occur as a result. Other events, like presentations, live demos and art walks happen in conjunction with ArtPrize. Yes, there are prizes (both juried and people's choice), but to me the true prize is being a participant and bringing my new body of work into a new community.

My work will be hung in the public area of the MVP Metro Club in downtown Grand Rapids. I'm sharing the space with Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson - and wait'll you see the animal themed work she is creating!

We will piggyback an artists talk (both of us gabbing the same night) which has yet to be scheduled, but I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I can take a deep breath and relax because the cat is out of the bag. And get back to my easel because I have lotsa art to make!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sweet Spots, A Daily Paintworks Challenge

"Sweet Spot II," 8" x 16", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting my ever willing model Mona Lisa, available for $529 to the first taker.

In process views of this painting are updated on thestudio's Facebook page.

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!

Do you remember Cleo? I painted two versions of her last month and reconnected with a favorite exercise from the past - that of working on multiple pieces, different in scale and composition, at the same time.

Another Dog a Day fan loved my idea so much, they forwarded it to Daily Paintworks leader (and one of my favorite artists and mentors) Carol Marine. Carol, in turn, invited me to lead a weekly challenge on the website.

What spectacular company to be in, and what an honor to be included. After I picked myself up off the floor and my blood pressure had stabilized, I (hopefully) graciously accepted her invite. Thanks again, Carol.

So how does a challenge work? Well, it's like a mini painting lesson, designed to teach or practice a specific skill. The challenges are open to the public (you do NOT have to be an artist member in order to play) and a great way to explore some new ideas.

Wanna accept the challenge? Then visit the site and grab your supplies!

Thanks, as always, for supporting and sharing my art with your friends and family,

PS You gotta visit Daily Paintworks, too, if you haven't already. Lotsa eye candy there!!

"Sweet Spot I," 6" square, acrylic on museum
quality panel, another view of Ms Mona Bug, 
also available for $299. Inquiries may come to me.
Mona's Big News

No more kibble for this tabby - she's now demanding nothing but dolphin safe tuna. 
If you missed it, Mona's gone Hollywood - she's the muse for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge. Check the site out (but give the artists a bit of time to create their work!) and see how many artists Mona will inspire over the coming months.
Daily Paintworks is an amazing website - part daily painter directory part indispensable artist resource. Even if you are NOT a daily painter, there are plenty of tools that benefit studio operations, so take a peek and see if there's anything that will help you.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bug (aka Mona Lisa)


"Bug (aka Mona Lisa)," 5" x 7", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a certain ornery tabby, $289 to the first taker (the painting, not the furry troublemaker).

Inquiries can always come to me!!! And thank you!!


I always knew she was a starlet!! Even when busted playing in my brush water, she maintains her composure. And looks at me just like this.

Little Mona Lisa is hitting the big time - watch for a special announcement (completely unrelated to the Cherished project's news) very soon!

And snag up one of her paintings now, before she is Hollywood A List-ed and we are mere bothersome papparazzi, sifting through her trash.

Now that I think about, I'm already changing her litterbox. Damn. Curses on these opposable thumbs!

Have a spectacular weekend,

There is Other News, Too....

About the Cherished project, but I haven't yet seen contracts, and until things are a little more set in stone than verbal agreements, I have to bite my tongue and stay quiet.

It's. Really. Really. Hard.

Now I'd better sign off before I let something slip out accidentally.

Like ArtPrize.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Personal Cairns


A mixed media collaged spread from my journal (detail below), including hand painted papers and ephemera, stamping, tea staining, song lyrics, and personal affirmations. Tonite's journallistas will use ink and watercolors to stain paper scraps, and build cairns/totems of their own.

I teach journalling classes to children and adults year-round, and new students are always welcome. Each class introduces new methods or art concepts, and participants are encouraged to experiment. No previous journalling experience necessary, nor is any particular skill level with art materials/concepts needed.

Ask about upcoming classes!! And thank you!!


It was a delightful morning to make a roadtrip. I don't allow myself out of the studio that often (I'm too easily distracted!), so it's an extra special treat when I get out into the real world on occasion. I made the most of the sunshine, singing along to Pandora Radio and an iced coffee. 

I did a little antiquing on my way home (snagged a vintage flying pig made from a salvaged iron kettle/can which I cannot WAIT to string up in one of our ancient trees) and grabbed take out at the kids' favorite diner (Tony's in Birch Run, Michigan) so as to surprise them with BLTs for dinner (who's calling me Mean Mom now?).

Alas, I did not return in time to work at the easel. And tonite is my grownUPs Journalling class, so I am sprung until the morning.

Hoping you have a fabulous evening yourself!
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork,

A detail of one of my cairns, including lyrics 
by Tori Amos and my own misspelled affirmation
to embrace uniqueness

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


"Junebug," 6" x 8", acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting a black and white Gypsy Vanner mare, only $329 to the first one asking nicely.


Inquiries to me, please. And thank you in advance!

It's an amazing feeling, tough to properly put into words, when life hands me a moment of such perfect beauty, andt I am able to channel from my head through my brushes.

Last Saturday my friend Judy and I braved the elements to visit with a dozen Gypsy Vanners, including a fresh little baby girl who entertained us with all sorts of antics as she worked out the kinks in her new legs. You'll get to meet her soon enough.

This mare, Junebug, sported a remarkable blaze that brightened half her face, with dense feathering on a nearly black body, and as she ambled over to the fence, the rain beading up on her mane and whiskers, blinking her baby blue eyes at us, I saw a painting. This painting.

Today the stars were aligned such that I was able to recreate my recollection so as to share it with you!

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork,

The School Year is Winding Down....

We have a short respite between Winter Drumline and Marching Band, this is our last week of dance classes, and track season ends at the end of the month.

Don't worry, though. I'll find all sorts of things to keep the monkeys busy. Like cleaning their rooms!!

Which reminds me, I should start a list this afternoon.....
Frankenmuth Live Paint

I am sorry to share that due to unforeseen circumstances, my painting demonstration scheduled for Saturday, May 26th, has been cancelled. There are no plans right now to reschedule.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Canine Art Guild


"Drip Dry," a favorite painting of mine inspired by a hot day, a delightful german shorthaired pointer, and a creekbed. We all drip dried on our way home! This piece has won many awards and is currently available via Spa Fine Art. Inquiries here.

The Canine Art Guild (CAG) is an international gathering of artists who - no stretch of the imagination necessary - specialize in dog imagery. Actually, the monikor is a little deceiving, as our membership creates far, far more than just artwork that stars Man's Best Friend, but the dog art is our common thread.

About a dozen artists and myself started the group years ago (2007? my brain is a little fuzzy these days) with the idea of creating a community where artists could collaborate, network, and share business practices. We modeled ourself off the now sadly defunct Equine Art Guild, an online forum where many of us met and forged friendships. 

Initially, founding CAG members were connected via a group email. Over the years, our offerings expanded to include a website, a membership directory, online exhibitions, tutorials, editorial priviledges on our blog, both private and public discussion forums, and a host of other benefits. Our current membership numbers around 100 strong, and we have artists working in every possible media from all corners of the world.

Typically I spend at least a half day each week working with the members on one project or another, making sure things are running smoothly and that new ideas get the attention they deserve.

Larger projects are in store for the CAG this year, including a website overhaul, both in design and architecture, something I am currently researching and planning out. Even in the early stages, I can tell that this will involve a significantly greater investment of time!!

I also worked on building a private social media styled forum where members could more easily connect. And processed new member applicants while updating renewals.

Before I knew it, it was too late in the day to move to the easel. Drat. That means I'll have to work extra hard with the paints tomorrow!

You can find out more about the CAG, including how to become a member, and view our latest online exhibition here.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork,

Detail of "Snow Much Fun," private collection (THANK YOU!)

Why Professional Affiliations?

Ok, so I'm an artist and the majority of the magic happens at my easel, so why do I need to network? Here's just a few reasons to consider joining a professional affiliation:
  • I  learn of exhibition and learning opportunities outside my normal radar
  • I may survey others who offer similar products for best business practices
  • I can share - and receive - links and information on industry specific trends
  • I will foster and form lifelong friendships
  • I can share my artwork with others at a variety of career levels, gathering both critiques and sharing advice
  • I benefit from any exposure or marketing the group does
  • I learn of other artists who are working with similar subject matter/materials as myself
  • I build my own reputation for mentoring/studying vis the connections established
  • I have the opportunity to work on committees, learning in-depth about processes and tasks I might not otherwise have been exposed to
  • I can take advantage of others' knowledge when planning trips/projects outisde my known area
  • I am able to network and open up the door for any sort of possibility - exhibit, gallery representation, teaching, travel, etc.


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