Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A StreetCar Named "Finished"

Here's the final streetcar in the snow. I have to
say this is a first for me...not my usual subject
matter. Especially since it hardly EVER snows
where I live. But I did it for a friend who is going
to give it to his wife as a late Christmas gift. I
hope she likes it.
I added the snow this morning in two different
methods. First, I drew some in with the white pastel,
making some staccato marks, and some longer strokes
throughout the piece. Then, I added some splatter with
some white acrylic paint and a toothbrush...it made the
tiny little snowflakes and white blur. It was fun,
and I think it gave it the right effect.
St. Charles Snow Car 18 x 24 $300.00
for info on commissioned artwork:

A StreetCar Called Snow

A few posts ago, there is the photo of the
streetcar in New Orleans in the snow (rare).
Anyway, someone wanted me to paint it for
them. As a watercolor artist, I knew it was
next to impossible to paint a snowy scene in
watercolor. I was at the gallery, and I showed
the photo to a bright seven year old who frequents
my establishment. She is quite artistic, and I
showed her the picture, and was discussing with
her how I was not going to be able to do the snow
with watercolor. And she suggested chalk! How
brilliant she was....of course, I could do it in pastel.
Out of the mouth of babes...so anyway, here is the
beginning of the "streetcar called snowstorm"..
Thanks Kate!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Windows of New Orleans

These were a couple of my favorite photos from
my recent stop in New Orleans. I love French
Quarter architecture: the charming colors, shutters,
iron work. Many of the houses and apartments
were decked out for Christmas. I am in the process
of un-decking my house. They say there is nothing
"over" as much as Christmas is over...I hope you
are getting to enjoy some peace and quiet, and
the company of loved ones. Till next year...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas wishes to all! These are the
Christmas elves that put on a skit at our home
on Christmas eve. They are my daughter and
her husband, my nephews Matt, Andrew, and
John, my nieces Katie, Dorothy Ann, and Caroline,
and Andrew's fiance Rachel. They recited the
following poem with their corresponding letter:
"C"is for the Christ Child,
Born on this special day.
He left His home in heaven
To come and show us the way.
"H" is for the Herald angels
Who proclaimed His holy birth.
They sang unto the shepherds,
The lowly here on earth.
"R" is for Redeemer,
What He came down to be.
The promise of redemption
Here now for you and me.
"I" is for Israel,
The chosen ones of old.
From whom would come Messiah
That prophets had foretold.
"S" is for the stall,
So small and dark and cold.
The light of the world it cradled
for so the story is told.
"T" is for the treasures
Brought by the wise men three.
To give the holy Christ child
And worship His divinity.
"M" is for Mother Mary,
The purest God could find.
She offered to bear God's son
And was gentle, loving and kind.
"A" is for All mankind
Blessed by God that joyous day.
Our hopes fulfilled, our peace attained,
Following Jesus, the one true way.
"S" is for Salvation
That He came down to give.
He suffered, died and rose again
So eternally we could live.
This all spells out "Christmas"
That means so much to me.
It's more than Santa, gifts, and songs,
It's more than we really see.
For if you spell out Christmas
The way God would have us do,
It should be about the Christ child
And His love for me and you.
I was coming home in the car the other
day and listening to the radio. I heard this
great old song by Bing Crosby, and in it,
he spelled out "Christmas" in little rhyming
verses. I tried to remember what I had
heard, and came home and composed this
little poem. Some of it is based on what I
could remember from the lyrics, and then
I composed the rest. I made the little
letter posters with wrapping paper, and
put the corresponding poem on the back,
and the kids read them, all in a row.
Feel free to pass this poem on, or use it
yourself for a devotional moment or program.
Or re-write to suit your needs...I would be
honored to have it used and passed along.
may God bless us all, everyone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Home for Christmas

I finished this beautiful old home in time for
Christmas. Now I have to get in the kitchen!
May you and yours have a blessed and joyous
Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ready for Christmas?

In between making lists, shopping, waiting on customers
at the shop, going to the grocery store, decorating....I am
working on this drawing of this house. (this photo makes
it look really warped?!) anyway, I am about half-way..
I will try to get it done by Christmas.
This time of year people keep asking the question: "Are
you ready for Christmas?" I don't mean to be a grinch or
humbug, but I am tired of hearing that. So I change my
answers; I either say a resounding, "Yes!", and then they
are green with envy. Or I say, "No, but I will be!" which
is closer to the truth. Or I say, "Are you?" As if any of us
is ever really ready...I think we do all we can do, and then
run out of time. And Christmas comes on the same day
every year...Anyway, I think a preacher needs to do a
sermon with the "Are you ready" theme. For afterall,
it is supposed to be about Christ's birth, and the chance
for us to welcome Him one more time. So, whether I am
ready or not, He is coming, and I look forward to His
arrival, His glory, and His Peace. To you, too!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Street Car named "Snow"

I was just in New Orleans, and this is a photo
that was in the Times-Picayune down there.
Someone wants me to do a painting of this...
will have to be after Christmas. And it will
be a challenge...especially since there is no
white watercolor paint?! I will have to mix some
medias up to tackle it.
Hope you and yours have a white Christmas
wherever you are!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Season's Greetings from New Orleans

I have been in South Louisiana for a couple of
days. I made a quick trip through the French
Quarter today on my way home, and found these
great reminders of the season. The old theatre
sign is on Canal Street as is the Ritz, and I took
them through the car window! I took a stroll down
in the Quarter, and was delighted by the Peace
greeting. Everything was quiet festive actually.
The street musicians were playing either
Christmas carols or Saints fight songs...they
are pretty excited down there. The game with
the Cowboys is tomorrow, and they were already
tail-gating. (is that a word?!) Anyway, there
were all kinds of "We Believe" signs too, so
whatever you choose to believe: in the Saints,
in Santa, or the coming of the Christ Child...I
hope "joy" and "peace" are part of it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Slow Start

I finally started on this house portrait. It is for
a client that doesn't really want it for Christmas.
But I want to try and finish it anyway. I am going
out of town for a few days, and I can take it with
me and work on it at night. It is large: 16 x 20,
and there will be lots of ink! She only wants ink,
to it will involve a lot of drawing. I posted the
photo of the house several days ago...it is the
yellow one. Will take me awhile to finish it.

I have started looking into licensing some artwork. I
know very little about the process, and need to learn
from the ground up. I am checking into some licensing
workshops, and I hope to attend one this spring. It
is time to try and do something profitable with all this
work I do!! lol

Monday, December 14, 2009

Invitation to a Wedding

I use Go Ahead Tours for my group travel arrangements.
My coordinator is Lauren, and she was recently married.
I offered to decorate her wedding invitation for her, and
she sent me this program instead. She told me they had
used blues and red...so I embellished with some blue leaves
that repeat the small motifs, and then I added the red
berries as well. I will mat it and send it to her in time for
Christmas! ho, ho, ho
For info on Painted Wedding Invitations:


Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Whatever Floats your Boat"

I decided to post a couple of my daughter's photographs
today from her recent trip to Fiji for her honeymoon.
I let her borrow my camera, and she took some really
great shots! I told her that if her current occupation
didn't work out, she could always be a photographer.
These are just a couple of my favorites among the
many that she took of boats. Good job!

Bullet Done

I tweaked a little more on this puppy...I
think he is finished. I am probably going
to mat him to a 12 x 12 square. It will show
off his cute face, and eliminate the foreshortening
problem. I am sure she will like it. It is a gift
for the boyfriend who gave her the dog. And I
believe it is a surprise. So, I will get it shipped
and on his way...Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Here's some more of Bullet...I know it looks
really funny. The way the photograph was
taken...his head is closer to the camera, and
therefore looks a lot larger than his body?!
Anyway, I think it will look ok when I am
I still have a house to do, and I am running
out of time...time to get real busy.
For info on pet portraits:

Bullet 1

Here's the beginning of the colored pencil
drawing of "Bullet"....will keep working.

In colored pencil drawing, I start with the
lightest colors, and lightly begin to color
with them. Then I gradually build up layers
of color, adding the darker ones as I go.
Because the pencils are transparent, the
under-lying colors show through, and the
drawings seem to glow. This is the method
I like best. I do not burnish my drawings;
that is, bear down until the lead is slick. I
like to leave them with many of the pencil
strokes showing; so that it looks more like
a drawing instead of a painting. Some colored
pencil artists refer to their work as "colored
pencil paintings", but I have always called them
drawings. To each his own....

If you would like more info on drawing with colored
pencils, you can go to the Colored Pencil Society
website: www.cpsa.org I also teach colored
pencil workshops and lessons. Feel free to contact
me at the gallery if you are interested.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Forging ahead...with a "Bullet"

I am changing gears here, and starting on this
adorable little guy. His name is "Bullet", and I
will be drawing him in colored pencil for a
Christmas gift for a client in the family. It
should be a lot of fun...stay tuned!
For info on pet portraits:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finished House

I was able to get this painted last night...I
will tell you I went to bed around 2! Anyway,
I am on to the next project.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

House Portrait-First Phase

I received a tentative email concerning a request for
a house portrait for a Christmas gift. I was able to get
a photo of the house right away, and so I am trying to
get this finished up. I am getting ready to paint it, and
will probably finish it tonight. I still have a couple of
other things to finish for people...so I better quit blogging
and get busy!! Ho! Ho! Ho! ( I don't know when I am going
to shop?!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"From Whom all Blessings Flow"

This was one of my favorite snow photos...I don't know
if this robin forgot to fly South for the winter, or this is
South for him! There was a whole group of them, and
they were eating the berries off this tree. Maybe they
were just late migrating, and this was just a stop on the
way. Anyway, I captured him among the snowy branches.
The lyric is from the Doxology. I sang this song almost
every Sunday growing up in my small Presbyterian
church in San Antonio. I love the words, and believe
them to be true. I thought they went well with this
photo. I think I will give one away for Christmas...I
will draw a follower's name...so sign up, the more the
Scripture Photo 12 x 18 $45

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

the alarm went off at 6:30....I bundled up and was
outside by sunrise...it was 24 degrees....and it was
so worth it. As you know, it doesn't snow here very
often, and I wanted to try and capture some of it.
It was breath-taking. You can see about how much
we got...about 1/2 an inch!! but we think that's great!
And it transformed the landscape around my home
into a wintry wonderland. too much fun....

(in case you are wondering, I did go back to

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Let it Snow!!"

I wasn't able to get to my camera till I was home
after dark...but I managed to capture a few of the
large, soft flakes floating down in the stillness of the
night. For us here in the South, snow is a rarity at
best. I have been here 31 years, and I can only
remember seeing some of the white stuff about 4
times. Today's snow was lovely; it came late this
afternoon, after being predicted all day long. It
managed to stick to a few things, and I hope to get
up early enough in the morning to get a few pics
before the big melt!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last House on the List

This is the photograph of the house that I have
left to draw. It is a bed and breakfast where the
couple stayed, and they want a painting of it. It
will be large, 16 x 20, and done in pen and ink
and watercolor.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baby in Progress

I am making progress on this drawing of this
cute baby. Will probably finish today. And
then I have one more house to do. Ho, Ho, Ho!
For info on Children's Portraits or House Portraits:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Baby on Drawing Board

This cutie is my next commission piece. I don't know
if it is a girl or a boy?! I just got the photo in the mail,
and the request for the drawing. I have started on it
tonight, and will be done in a day or two.
For info on Children's Portraits:

Fast Commissions

I finished a couple of commissioned pieces this weekend,
but in my rush to deliver them, I failed to photograph
One was a custom painted rocking chair for a little boy.
I sanded, stained, and decorated it with a painted rope
and bandana design in red, khaki, black, and white. It was
really cute...wish you could see it!
And I did a 12 x 12 Paris collage to be given as a Christmas
I still have a few things left to do before the big day...will try
to document better!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A time of Thanks

Hope all of you have had a wonderful day of
thanks. It was a beautiful fall day here in the
South....sunny and cool. We enjoyed food and
fellowship with the family.
"Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift"

Another pair of eyes

I have been working and working on this little girl.
I think this is the final draft. I have drawn it completely
three times! It is close to the likeness now. My daughter
is coming home tomorrow, and she will look at it, and
tell me what needs changing. Sometimes it takes another
pair of eyes...
For info on children's portraits:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Final Canvas

Finished this up last night...will pass it along today.
I like it. It can be hung either way..I will let her
Will have to get back to drawing a couple of
portraits now. Will keep posting the results.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Progress on Canvas

Still working on this canvas for Susan. The colors
don't look right in the photo...but they match the quilt.
Anyway, it's lots of fun, and I am enjoying the
diversion. (I put the pencil portrait on the back
burner...it is driving me crazy). Will try to finish
this up tonight.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Susan's Canvas Commission

It is hard to find a gift for a daughter in college.
So why not get an artist to do a custom painting?
I was commissioned to do this large, 30 x 40,
canvas by a mom for her daughter for Christmas.
That is her pillow from her bed, and I am doing
the painting with patterns from the fabrics.
I can do custom paintings to match just about
anything. If you have a need for something for
your child's room, a bedroom, den, or kitchen,
just let me know, and I can work something up
for you. I can do some sketches and give you an
estimate. They are quite reasonable, and will be
an original work of art, unique and a very special gift.
30 x 40 Acrylic on Canvas $175.00

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Painted Invitations

These are two more painted wedding invitations
that I finished for customers this week. I will
frame them, and get them on their way. Makes
a nice gift...if you have an invitation and want
a unique keepsake, I would love to do it for you.
Painted Wedding Invitations