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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

July Desktop Calendar

You can download the 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 not an expert on operating systems, so if you don't know how to change your desktop wallpaper, please don't email me - I will indubitably steer you wrong. Your computer's help files will be more concise, more knowledgeable and more responsive than I could ever hope to be. 

I've sized this to fit a standard screen height of 768 - I realize there are lots of variables that could impact how the 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!).

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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Dad's been sick for years, but nothing prepared me for his absence. 

This last week we celebrated his life - 5 children, 12 grandchildren, 9 greats, 61 years of marriage. Deep pride in his Italian heritage, a passion for futball equalled only by his passion for good food, and a tenor voice that will always bring tears to my eyes.

But most of all I will remember his complete and utter adoration of my kids. Domenic carries his name and a shared passion for music, Evan will see Nonno every time he looks in the mirror, and Annie will always be His Princess.

Hug your family today and cherish those memories,

Friday, June 20, 2014

Princess Playmobil

"Princess Playmobil," 5" x 15", acrylics on museum quality panel, heralding from my kids' stash of Playmobil toys, $99 to the first asking nicely .

I'm working out logistics of placement of my still life setup, it's proximity to my easel, and how to best manage dramatic lighting for the setup but even lighting for my workspace. 

On top of the whole painting process, there's a science to building the visual to begin with. Who knew?

Next I'm headed to Traverse City to teach for four days - can't wait to meet my new kids for the week! I'll try to update regularly, if they don't run me ragged.

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Camp Journal 2014 - Come Camping!

I've been wanting to put together a summer journal class ever since the success of AirMail Journaling in 2012, but I allowed myself to get intimidated by the idea of a digital classroom.  After far too long, I eventually told my inner critic to take a hike, and plunged ahead. Alone.

Well, I'm never totally alone. I have all of you to keep me on the straight and true path! (And if any one has virtual classroom architecture knowledge, that'd be a benefit too. But I digress.)

I've learned much on my own, delegated some things to teenagers, and am prepared to address whatever surprises remain.

Therefore, if you are brave enough to be a guinea pig AND you love journaling AND you want a summer adventure, you need look no further!

I've got a 10 week workshop packed with lessons that are part meditation, part introspection, part diary, all set against a backdrop of art supplies. Doesn't that sound like pure summer bliss?

The supplies list is minimal (see below), the weekly assignments can be completed in an hour (but you can choose to repeat them ad infinitum with a variety of spins), and campers will have unlimited access to the classroom. Lessons will be delivered via email/a private blog space and campers can share their pages/work via Flickr. I will stay at camp through the end of September, answering questions, throwing out additional inspiration, and eating virtual smores, but students' access will remain for one calendar year.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up NOW! All 10 lessons for only $75 prior to September 8th. Afterwards, tuition is $99.

Use the paypal link to the right and get your campsite reserved!

Computer (not tablet or mobile device) for
     accessing lessons
Water soluble markers
Souffle pens
Ballpoint and gel pens
Micron (waterproof ink) pens
Glue and scissors
Pencil, eraser
Watercolors, acrylics, brushes
Masking tape
Collage papers (magazines, catalogs, recycle bin, printed ephemera)

Monday, June 16, 2014


"Betty," painted sketch approximately 4" wide, roughly centered on a 9" x 12" paper, depicting a sweet little Yorkie, private collection (THANK YOU). 

I can't put it off any longer. The Princess's summer vacation starts in 1-1/2 days. And while I'd like to swath her in lots of loose layers, summer temperatures have finally arrived. 

Which means I get to go swim suit shopping. Today.

Do you know how difficult it is to find age appropriate beach wear for a 13 year old? Here's hoping the stars are aligned.

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

PS Not sure who this embarrasses more - her or me, but she's one bra size smaller than her mother. At 13. Ouch.

Friday, June 13, 2014


"Gris," 8" x 10", acrylics on museum quality panel, a still life depicting a toy dappled gray pony (Schleich), crayon and penny, $469 to the first asking nicely .

Still using that crayon - this time in a mid-range composition full of subtle transitions. Next up I suppose is a white on white, right? 

Although I don't yet have a white model horse. Does that give me permission to go ebay-ing?

In all seriousness, if you have Breyer or Schleich models you would like to lend as props, let's talk. I don't have much more storage room, and God forbid I rehome some of my creepy dolls.

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

Thursday, June 12, 2014


"Cornflower," 8" x 10", acrylics on museum quality panel, a still life depicting a Schleich toy draft horse and some other items, $469 to the first asking nicely .

First I painted the Schleich horse, but there wasn't anything identifying him as a toy So I added some marbles, but things got even more confusing. 

It was then that I saw my pristine box of crayons on the shelf.

Which got me to thinking that this painting completely summarized my childhood in a few simple items. There will be more of these once I get some other commitments completed.

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


"Cowboy," 4" x 6", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a Fisher Price Little People cowboy, not for sale.

This treasure is going to a friend who's had a rough year. A little cowboy should brighten up her days from here on out. I mean, come on, it's hard to top the power of a cowboy. 

Unless you are a unicorn.

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

Monday, June 09, 2014

Tabby Profile

"Tabby Profile," 5" x 7", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a brown tabby with a wonderful maze of stripes, private collection (THANK YOU!).

This weekend was packed full of family time, and as such, I am really behind on email. I'm working my way through, though, and appreciate your patience while I field inquiries with the same care and attention you'll receive.

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

Friday, June 06, 2014


"Gracie," painted sketch approximately 4" wide, roughly centered on a 9" x 12" paper, depicting a Goldendoodle, private collection (THANK YOU). 

After a dozen years of painting mostly commissions, in 2014 I gave myself the luxury of painting mostly for me. It's been a challenge on one very unexpected level. 

As a portrait painter, my goal was to achieve a likeness and capture some of the subjects' personality. But remove the portrait aspect from the painting, and my message changes. 

What do I want to say? 

That's a B.I.G. question.

I've traveled quite a ways from my original Painting a Dog a Day challenge - and I appreciate you indulging me as I try on new things.

Like dolls. Bunnies. The Emerging series. And some other things, like layering. (Which gets my brain thinking about layered cakes and doing some Wayne Thiebaud inspired art)

And I expect to mess up a lot as I try these things out - but it's only paint. And messing up - a lot - is the quickest way I know of to learn. So bear with me!!

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

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Spencer, Sketched

"Spencer," painted sketch approximately 4" wide, roughly centered on a 9" x 12" paper, depicting a German Shepherd, private collection (THANK YOU). 

I was still pondering the happy and unexpected visual connections made by layering paintings overtop each other when I was smacked upside the head by another idea.

What if I intentionally only painted the focal point, and left the rest unfinished? much like an earlier stage of Spencer's portrait.

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

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


"Wistful," 9" x 12", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a black and white mixed breed dog, $549 to the first asking nicely .

When I took inventory last month, I pulled a handful of older pieces that hadn't yet found homes, and decided to give them a new look (as opposed to having a bonfire). It's not an easy decision, mind you, not easy at all.

There's another painting underneath Bosco's face - hence the textured brushwork - that's the ghost of Phantom. So I suppose that would make this panel like a buy-one-get-one sort of deal.

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

Monday, June 02, 2014

Big Vinnie

"Big Vinnie," approximately 4" x 5" roughly centered on a 9" x 12" paper, done in acrylics, depicting one of the kindest equine eyes ever, private collection (THANK YOU!). This is what I call a "painted sketch."

It's an unrealistic expectation to plan on hanging every single creation of yours over the couch. Sketch, draw, play - keep things loose and happy. Experiment and mess up and, yes, throw things away too. It's all part of learning.

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


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