From Arches Paper

Abstract Connections work-in-progress

Connections April 19
Connections #7 Work-in-progress April 19


Artists waste no time. While putting in my Vine Arts Center gallery hours yesterday, I took out my General Pencil (6H) and made the pencil drawing. BONUS: see how General Pencils are made.

Late last night, while binging on Death in Paradise (thank you Netflix), I pulled out my double zero brush and began to fill in the boxes.

See this piece (finished or not)

Connections #7 is part of a series of paintings which began as a doodle during conference calls where a group of us strategized about how our dear friend and wonderful judge might be connected to the decision-maker who might appoint her to a difference judgeship. Her constituents are lucky to have her. I am lucky to have made an image that shows everyone and everything is connected.


Connections #7 will be with me during the Saint Paul Art Crawl at the Dow Gallery at 2242 University Avenue West, Let me know if you are interested in having a work like this made specially for you (in your colors, in the size of your choice).

30-paintings-in-30-days: Day 18


30-paintings-in-30-days: more of the journey

On Day 18, I indulged myself, and returned to one of my many comfort zones: the abstract grid. “Indulged” is the correct word because this basic gridding technique combines sharp focus and incredible relaxation. I can make these paintings for hours at a time.

The original watercolor painting of  Sometimes a square is just a square is 3×4″ and made on 300# paper. I needed to relax, and what could be more relaxing than to create an abstract grid and then to fill in alternating boxes?  Unwilling to leave well enough alone, I scanned it into Photoshop, posterized it, and then imported it to a bright yellow background.

Sometime a square is just a square is a greeting card at


Sometimes a square is just a square
Sometimes a square is just a square    
Original square is just a square
Original Square is just a square












Two related paintings.

Part of a group of two, “The Sail #2″ (33×8”) made in 2012 on 300# Arches paper (sold). Made with Painstaking Exuberance in 2011, “Unmade Bed” captures the whimsical spirit of these paintings. Contact me directly ( to commission a “Sail” or an “Unmade Bed” in a size that works for you.

The Sail #2
The Sail #2



Unmade Bed
Unmade Bed



Creativity: Have paint, will travel


Great Leafy Bunny of New Hampshire
Great Leafy Bunny of New Hampshire

Whether you are planning a winter vacation or plotting your summer 2012 adventures, I hope that you are inspired by my friend Rachel Zelkind, who inspires me every time art and travel come together. Have paint, will travel. Bring your gear!

Because I travel often for work and always take paint and paper, I have named my painting kit “The Rachel” in her honor. It  consists of three Daniel Smith Travel Kolinsky brushes, an Arches Paper block (postcard, 7×10 or 9×12), 4 or 5 tiny tubes of watercolor, a small pencil, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener, and it fits nicely into my carry-on. Also, it goes right through TSA security.

Tall Silo of Iowa
Tall Silo of Iowa
It helps that I will only paint indoors and know how to ask the hotel concierge nicely for better light in my room by saying: “I am a painter and a reader, and the only good light for either activity is in the bathroom. Can you help me?” That strategy has not failed yet.
Rachel, on the other hand, paints outside and she is always prepared: 
“I have in the car a chair of some sort at all times.” She also has a three-legged camp stool that can attach a day pack, which can be used for sitting and can also act as a little table. Not surprisingly, she always has a paper palette pad and a spray bottle for water. The rest, she says, “is just a few tubes of paint.” The chair, she emphasizes, is a must, and the camp stool can go on walks, which is good, because she hikes.


When traveling in San Miguel, her chair-substitute was an upside down bucket. “It’s portable and stuff can be put in and carried. It really makes sense,” she says, and it is not uncomfortable. To her, “It looks more natural on the street than sitting in a chair.”


Wherever you go, and whatever your art — Bring Your Gear!!!!