Wednesday, September 7, 2011


One of the best things about summer is Music Festivals! Several nights a week local parks here offer residents a wide variety of free music to choose from and relax to after a hard days work . We kick back on our beach chairs, chat with friends and snack all sort of goodies. Feeling the rythym of the different instruments through the loudspeakers surrounding us quickly calls us to get up and dance! I think music really infuses our memories and transports us back to so many life events. This photo was from an evening here in Fullerton with jazz greats "The James Harman Band and Nathan James Trio." These jazz legends love what they do and it shows. I am most creative when I combine music with my art becuase these are my two passions. Expressive portraits with musicians and dancers are my favorite ones to create because you can feel more than there is to see. This is percussionist, founder of the Bonedaddys and accomplished artist Michael "Tempo" Temple and you can see by his expression he gets lost in the beat of the drums as he plays. That’s what drew me to photograph and create this piece. The before and after really shows where music takes me creatively.  Get your groove on and learn more about the group and check out their tour dates, I guarantee you won't be disappointed! And learn about Michael here

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Thousands of messages in a bottle are launched and lost, but when they turn up, it’s memorable for sender and recipient. I’m such a romantic; I love the mystery that surrounds bottles sent out to sea. I have not done this, but could see myself patiently finding the perfect antique, aqua colored, glass bottle with scratches of years of use and then sitting down with a beautiful fine tipped pen and cloth paper and writing thoughts of the love that I have been so fortunate to share that so few ever find and then finally sealing the cork plug to ensure it’s safety. With no wind or sail and made of glass, it’s journey will be long with surely many perils to pass. And if I were to ever find one, I could imagine my heart skipping a beat as I would anxiously pop the cork to reveal what may be a message from a thousands miles away and many years passed. With hand written stories of maybe …a treasure, a shipwreck or a long lost love letter searching for a soul mate. This photo was taken at a beach nearby as some children were playing and this little girl caught my eye as I could not see at a distance what she may be peering at near her feet. Still not seeing anything in the photo I started imagining things like a turtle, a shell or seaweed and chose to add the message in a bottle to create a piece of art that would take the viewer into their own imagination

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Something as simple as putting on a hat can change your day and it can leave everyone wondering  which is the more piece of or your hat? Few women have ever been able to resist the temptation to try on a hat and discover in the mirror a person they never suspected was there.  Hats can alter the image we have of ourselves, and the image others see as well. For the hours we wear it, it brings out different dimension in our personality, much as a costume aids an actress in her role." For each style brings on a different persona. I myself love hats and can never resist trying them on so placing these just so,  I immediatly could imagine these three as a piece of art. This photo was shot while shopping  at San Juan Capistrano among a few other items I hope to get creative with before the warmer months end. I think these will make perfect 4x6 cards for many purposes.  So what are you waiting for, buy a hat and  live a little and bring out another side of yourself!

Friday, August 26, 2011


 A trip to Old Town Orange cannot be complete until you visit a small family owned restaurant that was  formely a gas station in the 1950's and hasn't changed. It's a step back in time with lots of american homestyle and  handmade items on the menu along with a very retro Egg Salad Sandwich. It's a perfect break from antique shopping  around the circle shaped heart of the town on Glassell Street. I've got lots of great photos from our visit and look forward to getting some more paintings posted for you soon, until then enjoy the rest of the summer!
For more information check out their site:

Monday, June 6, 2011


It is is with a sad heart that I post my latest painting, dedicated to our friend Elieen Philips Montgomery who lost her fight with cancer at the young age of 45. She was a loving wife and mother of three beautiful, young children. Thinking of her immediately took me back to when I created the painting of her daughter Eleanor (as seen here) gazing at a butterfly. I wanted to represent Eileen as the butterly on her journey with all the turns and shifts and conditions that she could not always control during her final metamorphasis. I was touched in this discription that I read recently about how butterflies are "nature's canvases with the gift of flight." "When one considers that both the topsides and undersides of these specimens are masterly painted with equal skill, one becomes aware of the virtually unlimited number of artworks in the traveling art show of air." May she continue on a more peaceful journey as a symbol of immortality in her new colors. Like the butterfly, her beauty can forever remain as a symbol of the soul that physical death cannot destroy. Heartfelt blessings to her family Steve, Madeline, Maxwell and Eleanor.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011


click images to for larger viewing

  My creativity has been re-awakened!  This painting really started as a test of my new Wacom pen. I was experiencing some digital hiccups and not able to paint so I thought it was time to upgrade.  I was so excited when I received it in the mail that I even hugged the UPS man! The installation process being complete, I randomly chose this photograph that my husband took of me at the California National Poppy Reserve. I have tried painting it a couple of times in the past but felt that the white dress was always holding me back.  Even when I purchased it for this shoot I always wished it to be purple. With the magic of Adobe Photoshop CS5 dreams can emerge from your mind to reality. Immediately I opened it in Painter and as soon as I put my penbrush to the tablet everything seemed to come together, blenders blended as if a cyclone swept across the pallete, oils flowed effortlessly like a wave receeding from the beaches and acrylics virtually dried into their perfect places. With each brushroke my artistc zen was in it's happy place and reconnecting with my inner being. As with each piece, I step away in it's final stages, if not for minutes but sometimes hours and re-evaluate colors, feelings and movement. In completion, I decided to transpose the image horizontally. At last, my painterly dreams again can be real with the upgrade of my new penbrush and my inner creativity will no longer be in hibernation. I would love to hear your comments!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Click Each Image to View More Detail

   I think this is the smallest detail painting for me to date and one of my favorite moments that I captured during the races. I took this photo placing my camera in between the railings nearest the curve on the racetrack. This horse clearly had a "leg up" if you don't mind the pun. I'm not a gambler as a perfect example of that is this horse's name was "SheezaBigBroad" and they kept saying it over the speaker system, "SheezaBigBroad over and over again and I just thought they were just being offensive in their description of this big horse! Boy, was I glad I didn't verbalize that to anyone standing nearby. Anyway I'm an artist looking for the best photo opportunities that abound and at at this point in the race I sure was wishing I was a gambler and would have placed a bet on her as she came around and ended very strong. I felt good walking away though not having gambled becuase the photographs captured at this first ever Photography Day at the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia CA were much more priceless, although sharing my deepest thoughts to my subscribers here could be one of my most embarrasing!  Be sure to click the image, tiny details are hidden in the main art posting here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Ah-Ha! I know what your were thinking when you read the title in your thought I had captured someone filling up at the gas station and was going to talk about the rising prices of gas which is not a bad idea actually, but again this is where my mind goes. Seeing things in a whole new perspective. These two cyclists were sitting outside chatting near our local coffee shop one morning and I took a quick photo trying to catch one of them lifting there cups. I've been a little bit of "painterazzi"  instead of a papparazzi I guess you could say. Again love the textures I'm getting out the oil paints and am enjoying less details. Messy is fun! And don't be surprised if along the way you just might see that gas station painting....but it will be titled something more in the way "I see and paint it."
By the way I'm proud to say this is my 51st post on my blog....going forward to 100 posts!! Hope to see you there too!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Click to Enlarge
You just never know what kind of moments you can capture at the park or anywhere really, in every day life. Maybe it's just me and the crazy way I think sometimes but this one really struck me becuase I felt the birds where hanging around to get the latest gossip! One was even too embarrased to show it's face, as if to say "I just can't take this anymore!" I'm working on studying and using just a few of the oil brushes that really make the picture show texture on the page. I think that is a great challenging in painting digitally today but one day I hope to master it. Thanks for looking..more "day in the life" stuff coming.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Click to Enlarge

Before venturing away a little from the rodeo into other lifestyle images, I wanted to post one of my favorites with a different technique I created. This was alot of fun to keep messy and focus on minor details. You can see in the original photo that he was wearing a microphone becuase he was included in the entertainment but I purposly painted it out in the final image.  Personally, fun and games or not,  his expression doesn't look like he's still too excited about jumping in a barrel to distract any determined horse or bull ready to to toss anything in it's path! Alot of our jobs don't look to bad now do they???

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Click on Image to Enlarge

Continuing in my country cowboy series,  this is my latest piece from the same rodeo that I attended. I always like to see expressions in my portraits and he seemed to really be contemplating his next ride and probably hoping it wasn't going to be his last! This guys are true daredevils if you ask me.  I'm working more on less detail in the face and hands as I prefer it and feel that it creates a more painterly piece. Another one coming soon, something else that's always a part of every rodeo so stay tuned. It just might make you giggle!Thanks for you continued support and all your wonderful comments on my previous pieces.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Click to Enlarge for Viewing
It's been too long since my last post; I'm hoping to be able to post something at least once a week as I do have alot action stock images in my gallery from cowboys to marathon runners that are just begging to be transformed! This photo was taken last summer at a rodeo. I had never been to one so this to me was quite amazing to watch the strength of both the horse and the rider. I added more warmth to create a western style and a canvas textured with brush edging. Arylics and Oil brush combinations seem to be what I lean toward in my artistic process.
Thanks for looking and don't forget you can leave your comments below.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Click Image to Enlarge

 I decided to post this painting after the gift was given, so not to spoil a good surprise during the holidays.  Jason and Lisa were married a couple of years ago in Hawaii and Jason's mom, Jeane asked me to "do  my magic" and create something special for them. As you can see I decided to eliminate the low lit distraction of the ocean and compose them more closely to express the joy and excitment they were experiencing at this moment after they exchanged their vows. It took me a few tries to create just the right background that I felt was appropriate and also referred back to Richard Ramsey's training DVD. This was a challenging piece but I was so glad to hear their feedback as I've included below.
"I wanted to let you know we love our painting! It was a wonderful Christmas gift. We have very few pictures displayed, they are all in photo albums. It is so nice to not only have a beautiful painting of us on our wedding day but also an elegant piece of artwork to hang in our home. I will highly recommend you to all my friends and family."
Lisa and Jason