Friday, December 23, 2011


For Michelle Burnett

5  x  9 Acrylic

The discovery I made in my closet   : /
This should of been gone like 6 months ago if not more.
I do not know why it got tucked away in there.
I can only say, Michelle you should have it now.
I'm so sorry for this delay.

I always wanted to paint a flower with water drops on it. So here it is.
These drops where not easy to put on because I did not want to mess up the work underneath.
Finally it will get to it's owner. : )

We might still have one book floating ?!
Merry Christmas everyone !

Monday, September 12, 2011

Liz for Adebanji's Journal: Mug Shots

4"x4" ea. acrylic on paper

We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.
-Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

Bachelard contends that our first home is forever imprinted on our soul. It is the place where we feel safe and free to dream.  I think, beyond shelter, home is a condition of feeling loved and secure. Of belonging. At home, true home, the world makes sense.  The act of being uprooted, whether through economic hardship, natural disaster, war, abuse, mental or physical infirmity, sets the stage for anxiety, fear and desperation.

The young married couple above were homeless before being arrested for and convicted of theft. For the next year and a half their home will be the Frederick County Detention Center. I don't know what combination of choice and circumstance led to their current predicament. I do wonder what dreams they may have for the future.

Adebanji, your book is on its way home.

May you all feel loved, and safe to dream.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fred And Ginger-Beijing Ballroom Dancers

Close up

Acrylic on Canson coldpress watercolor pad. Approx. 10x12 in

Here's Astaire and Rogers doing their thing in Beijing.

The acrylic is applied thinly in layers, like watercolor.

This is going to Vern Schwarz, a very accomplished artist with whom I have had many email conversations. He is an all around great fellow and I'm proud to call him a friend.
Yes, sadly, this is the last one and finishes TFM project. All in all it has been a wonderful experience conspiring and transpiring with a great bunch of fellow artists! I love ya all! :heart:

Get ready, Vern...This is heading home to you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I don't need an umbrella...I love the rain

This is my contribution to Vern's sketchbook. He said we could paint anything and around the time I was thinking of what to paint- It happened to be a time I was getting mesmerized by rain reflections on London streets.

So I decided to do this piece of an old man I saw around Holborn in London enjoying the rain without an umbrella. Hope you like it Vern-It got me back to using watercolour and gouache.

Are these the last books coming to me or do I still have more to do?

My Life is messed up!

This is my contribution to Dean's Sketchbook, he said we could paint anything and the only thing that came to my mind was homeless people. I see so many in London everyday. This particular guy is always situated around Barclay's Bank on King's Road in Chelsea.
I saw him take this pose and I couldn't resist a quick snap with the handy I-phone.

I have heard so many stories about homeless people and I know the agony and pain of their downward spiral. I tried to really get into this piece by writing some words this man would say. It's an intense piece and means a lot too me, I hope it means a lot to you-Dean!

Sorry for the lateness. I have been so busy but I just didn't want to rush up the piece and send it off.

Monday, July 4, 2011

James Parker - Adebanji's Poverty & Homeless

I'm so late with this project, I should be flogged with a bundle of old paintbrushes. Instead of whining and throwing up a bunch of excuses...go to and pick one. My apologies to you all and Banji.

Searching for inspiration for the
poverty theme, I needed look no further than my truck's rear view mirror. I spotted this decrepit old man in it with the words "objects in the mirror may be closer than you think".
I sprang back immediately, not wanting t0 have close encounters with this bum, until I realized it was me. Now, here is a guy that still bends over in parking lots to pick
up a penny. Ta-da...perfect for the poverty theme. So I did a self-portrait which sorta looks like me. The resemblance is much better if you quaff a fifth or two of Jack Daniels before viewing.

The second page of Banji's journal depicts a homeless fellow parked in front of a Louis Vuitton store. I'm supposing he was shopping for a new smoking jacket, but took a wrong turn looking for the Calvin Klein store. The big gap between the rich and poor has been around for ages. Early man just depended on what he could gather or hunt. Then one day, some wise caveman (Droogal Trump, I believe) had the bright idea to "store up" food. It all went haywire from there on. Jobs had to be created to transport and protect the food, and the guy who held the keys to the storehouse... Well his pockets and his paunch just got fatter. Same rules today, just more complicated. Hey, Charlie Sheen, can you spare a thousand? Duh. on to my final moleskin....Liz Holm and portraits. Be back soon with that one.....Promise!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For Dean from Liz

5" x 7.5"
acrylic on watercolor paper

This is my painting for the remarkable artist Dean Haven's journal. Hope you like it, Dean. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lilies for Vern

8.5 x 11" 
acrylic on watercolor paper 

 I've always loved day lilies. They're resilient, wild, beautiful,  drought tolerant, and glorious for the short time they're with us.  This is my entry in Vern Schwarz's  journal.  pax.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Paco & The End for James

5x5 oil on canvas paper
This is for my fellow Texas friend, James. James sent me photo references of his dog, Paco and I could not help but think that this funny sideways glance was a perfect depiction of Paco responding to another one of James' tall stories.

5x9 oil on canvas paper
I'm sad to say this is my last painting for the ever talented group of Flying Moleskins. Because this journey has come to an end for me, and with James' wonderful sense of humor, I thought it fitting to end James' book with The End.

Dominique, thank you so very much for including me in this group. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know every single one of you. My moleskine is truly a special gift, and I will treasure it always!

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Beach Buddies" by Edward Burton

This is my last submission to the Flying Moleskins. This is for Sheila Tajima whose moleskin's theme was "What you love". When I'm at the beach I love watching dogs have a good ol time playing in the surf. I hope you like it, Sheila, your book is heading home.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Steel Blues

Here it is, my final contribution to The Flying Moleskins. Ed this one's for you. I have to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and getting to know the group just a little bit better. I can hardly wait to receive my own completed book to see first hand all the wonderful paintings.
At times it is easy to slack off when it comes to painting, as most of us have other jobs to sustain us. Projects like Different Strokes and then this have been so motivating for me, and I truly appreciate being included. I'd like to extend a big thanks to Dominique and everyone else involved.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Facebook can be a huge waste of time, but not when you need to scrounge around for photos of a friend's dogs! The friend is Liz and the dog is Nipper. James, Liz's book is headed your way and I just happen to have your book now. I'll be painting in it soon and then, it will find it's way back home to you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dean-Guitar Reverie for Edward

Close ups

Acrylic, Pitt Pen, and a skosh of colored pencil. Approx. 8 1/2 x 6 3/4 on paper.

This is my entry in Edward Burton's sketch book.

Edward's theme was "Music". I used to play guitar in country rock bands many beers...err..years ago.
My favorite guitar was a Fender Stratocaster...which I still own. This painting is an attempt to show the musician playing in a reverie. Practically seeing the notes drift through the air...Very much like you artists when you get caught up in the flow, and magical things happen from out of nowhere upon your canvas.

I don't know how successful my attempt was, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! :lol:

Hope ya like it Edward!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

James - Hummers & Hawks for Dean

I've had Dean Haven's journal for a while. Still in somewhat of a slump, I grabbed my brushes and dragged myself to the matter at hand. Dean left the topic open for whatever came to mind. Birds came to mind. So I did two paintings in his of an ostrich and the other, a penguin. It sure seems like my skills are a still a little rusty, cause here's how they turned out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Splash Day

7 x 5 oil on canvas
This is my last Flying Moleskins painting and it is for James Parker, whose book theme is animals. These are the dogs of a friend of mine who lives in Wimberley. How lucky are these furry girls to get to dive in this wonderful river with cliffs and gorgeous scenery out in the country? Although I doubt they care about the scenery; they just want to make a big splash. I wish I could jump in right now with them -- it's warm enough here today!
I thank all the FM artists for being on this project with me; it has been a great honor.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Geese 2 by Camille Olsen

8 x 10 oil on canvas
Continuing back to the geese we saw at the lake last summer. They seemed always to follow the leader, but in this image one wasn't so sure about the plan. This painting is for Vern Schwarz for our Flying Moleskins project. See Vern, I told you I wouldn't forget you. It will be on its way to you when it dries.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Duet

This is my contribution to Edward Burton's Sketchbook. His theme is music.
I decided to use these two players who I had been longing to paint for a quite a while.

I can't remember the origin of the music but I remember sketching a man on the tube and then I got talking to him and he invited me to an art exhibition where music was played alongside. This is quite a while back but I still remember the happy, colourful feeling and the buzzing sounds, I have tried to capture this in "Duet" which is a mixed media piece on Gessoed Museum mount-board with oil, coloured pencil, Liquin and oil pastel,. It was more of an experiment as I haven't tried this mix before. I was happy with the result. Hope you like it Edward.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Clever Like a Fox

 "Red Fox"
9"x 5 1/2"
colored pencil on paper

This is my contribution to James Parker's sketchbook for his wildlife theme. If you know James, you know that he is a amazing artist and has a wonderful sense of humor. What you may not know (or maybe you do!) is that he is a very talented and clever writer and poet as well. 

This is the last sketchbook for me to complete and I have thoroughly enjoyed being apart of this project throughout the year. It's been a great experience with a wonderful group of artist that I am humbled and honored to be a part of. I thank each of you for their contributions to my sketchbook and cannot wait to see it in person. A big tremendous THANK YOU to Dominique Eichi for starting the project and inviting me to participate.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On Vacation

What a great way to spend a quiet Sunday...PAINTING...something I haven't being doing much of lately. This is for Sheila Tajima, for her moleskin book. She requested everyone paint something that they love. Well I love, love, love figure paintings and of course trying to paint them myself. I wasn't sure what to do for her at first, then found this cool photo that I took of a group of Japanese tourists. Thought Sheila might get a kick out this.
oil on paper 7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

James for Vern

Wel-l-l-ll, after disappearing for a while, I finally found a long enough extension cord to plug myself back in. I have had Vern's and Dean's moleskins since around the turn of the century (it seems) and have sat on em. I semi-explained in my blog but there's really no excuse.....I just went thru a down time.

Anyway, Vern's subject was "artist's option"...anything we felt like. So I attempted a desert scene with a vast expanse of open spaces dissected by a ribbon of highway that gets an average of 4 pick-up trucks of traffic a day. My first impulse was to paint a squooshed armadillo in the foreground and title it "Bad Timing" or "Notsolucky, the armadillo". But I changed my mind, and, since my paintings are somewhat cartoonish,... put the "bluebird of hippiness" in there. Beep Beep.

Monday, February 7, 2011

And All That Jazz: for Edward

8" x 22" mixed media

So I started out with the rose. I was going for a representational piece for Edward Burton's journal. Rose, sheet music, instruments. But I was listening to Yo Yo Ma's "Abrigado Brazil," bopping, and busting the occasional tango move solo in the studio, and, well, the pages morphed.  It's odd and unwieldy, but that's true to my life these days. I humbly offer my riff on music, and the book's jetting to Banji tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teddy Bear for Angela

5 x 7 oil on canvas
Angela Elledge tells me she likes this bear painting I did a few weeks back, so I have decided it has her name on it. This little guy has been on our Christmas tree every year 'since who laid the chunk' as my husband's small town grandmother used to say. In other words, for a whole lot of Christmases. And one morning I saw the sun hitting it just so from the side and decided it would be a cute little painting. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on this one, maybe that shows; I most definitely didn't agonize over it like I have on some of my work here. And Angela, if you ever have a super student who deserves a fun present you've got my permission to gift this to them if you want to. I hope you (or that student) enjoy it, and it is headed your way along with your very cool moleskin, woohoo! Lots of beautiful work in there, enjoy:-)

Rehoboth Beach for Liz Holm

5.5 x 7.5 oil on canvas
Wonderful Liz Holm has agreed to let me give her this piece I did two years ago which is entitled Rehoboth Beach and which was done for the Different Strokes for Different Folks challenge site, put on by artist Karin Jurick. Liz tells me she used to go to this very beach years ago and has happy memories of it. I don't usually paint in this style but I know Liz does some abstract work and I think the colors are in the ballpark of some she uses for her abstracts, so I would love for her to have this painting. I got her permission first and she was game for the plan, so that makes two happy artists, between us. Liz's book will be headed Angela's way soon...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chickadee by Dean

Close up

Acrylic and colored pencil on cardboard...approx. 6x7.
This is for Sheila's moleskin. Her theme was "Paint something you love". Well, that was wide open. I thought and fought to come up with my answer. I kept coming back to God as my main love in this world. But I didn't know what to paint to represent that subject. Then, out of the blue, it came to me. God's creatures!

I took this entertaining acrobatic chickadee's picture as he hang nonchalantly upside down on a seed bell made of sunflower seeds. So well designed to survive through the challenges he will face...and so well provided for by it's Creator.
Examples such as this abound all around us. His existence is confirmed everywhere I look.

Hope you like it, Sheila. :)

Genesis 1:20: And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Portrait of Sheila Tajima

6 x 6 oil on canvas
I saw Sheila Tajima's black and white baby photo with her tiny kimono and her luminous expression and thought it surely should be a painting. I almost added color but opted to paint it as I saw it. So this is my offering to Sheila for The Flying Moleskins project. I hope she enjoys it. I have changed it slightly since last night and I accidentally deleted my blog post with five wonderful comments (which were greatly appreciated). I will figure it out again eventually. Sheila was a gorgeous baby and I have only vaguely nodded to her beauty here. Angela, I will do your book next and then it will be off to you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

"The Artist" By Irit Bourla

In the last year, 13 artists have participated in The Flying Moleskin project. In Dominque Eichi's book Dana Cooper was painting each of the artists that participated in this fun project.
Here is the artist working on her last assignment.
Dana you wrote this:"To my fellow moleskinners, I realize that you are all younger, thinner, and much better looking than I characterized each of you...I know I am! :)"

And I want to tell you that: Yes I know that you are: younger,young in heart for sure, thinner, and much better looking than I characterize you...

I am going to miss you all!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I FOUND YOU ! Dominique Eichi

           This is for James' moleskin.
I know he likes animals so I decided to give him the care of a Shepherd for his sheep. For the good shepherd leaves his flock to go find the one that strays. Thus being prevented from being eaten by wolves.
" I myself will search for my sheep and look after them " Eze 34:11

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This has been an exciting journey and of all the books, Adebanji's theme of homelessness scared me the most. I knew I wanted to paint someone with a pet (what else could I possibly paint).

I, like some of you already explained, had to get out of my comfort zone and look at our homeless population with different eyes. It was not until 3 days after Christmas, driving back home, did I find what I wanted for my contribution to Adebanji's book. In Longview, TX, we discovered this young couple on the side of a gas station on a horribly wet, cold, gray day. She had beautiful bright pink hair and the most wonderful patchwork long skirt. He stayed busy lettering his sign and for awhile their dog stood stoic and tall, a watchdog on duty. On cue, he jumped in her lap and demanded kisses, which of course she supplied over and over. After awhile they took off on foot, walking North, not East, by this time they had put a large oversized coat on the dog so that he would stay somewhat dry and warm. Despite their circumstances, it was obvious they love their dog!

Monday, January 10, 2011

KEZIA-the spark & wonder!

This is my late, late entry into Sheila's Book, she has asked us to put anything we love besides art? My answer to this is children!

When in Church, I teach children Sunday School and I always love the look on their faces when they enjoy the lesson....

So I decided to give her one of the gifts God gave me, Kezia is my little baby daughter and she is a spark and wonder!

This was done with charcoal dust, water and graphite on a museum mount board.

Peace & Happiness - Michelle Burnett

Peace & Happiness
oil on gessoed paper

"Peace" is the theme of Camille Olsen's sketchbook so I went with more of the retro idea of peace because I think she's a pretty hip chick! :) This was also my favorite childhood mug that has always offered a little bit of comfort: chicken soup when I was sick or for milk with cookies after school. This Flying Moleskin is now on its return trip home back to Camille!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yearbook by Dana Cooper

Each image is 2-1/4" X 1-3/4"

In the last year, 13 artists have participated in The Flying Moleskin project by painting and drawing in each others moleskin books. I was the lucky one to get to paint the last painting in Dominque Eichi's book. Dominque was the organizer and cheerleader for the group. I wanted to do a little caricature painting of each of the artists that participated in this fun event for my final submission. So with a little sleuthing through Facebook and blogs, I was able to find reference photos for each of these artists.

To my fellow moleskinners, I realize that you are all younger, thinner, and much better looking than I characterized each of you...I know I am! :)