* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Southern Accents Quilt show

Last Thursday there were only  a few of us meeting so we decided to visit the Ruth Funk Textile Museum at F.I.T.  We are so lucky to have that small treasure of a museum here.  The show was called "Southern Accents" and it was just wonderful.
I am always amazed at the wondrous cornucopia of visions that are in artists minds and the patience and love of craft it takes to express this these visions.  The motifs, colors, textures, ideas and results were so varied and just a joy to see.
I took a few photos to share.
Donna Vines

Monday, May 25, 2015

South Florida Leisure Trip

My husband and I enjoyed a trip to South Florida a couple weeks ago, and we visited Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, then went for a cruise on the Jungle Queen out of Ft. Lauderdale, where we saw a gigantic home with a huge yacht docked beside it. The man's yacht took up more than his waterfront space, encroaching on the neighbor's dock. The neighbor complained, so the man bought his house and tore it down. How did he get all that wealth? He is a foreclosure lawyer. His yacht's name is Misunderstood.

Doesn't it just make your heart bleed for him? Awww...nothing so pitiful as a misunderstood One-Percenter.

After not traveling for quite a while, I'm glad to be able to sketch in my journal again. On my next trip I'll be walkin' in Memphis.


Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Child Portrait, "The Redhead", 8x10x1.5, oil, NFS

I am very lucky to have a dear friend, who did a very nice thing for me.  To show my gratitude, I gifted her with this painting of her youngest granddaughter.

I was very intimidated by this gorgeous girl's ivory skin tones and her flaming copper red hair.  I must say, if you want to have fun.....paint a red headed child!

I believe I captured her vibrant personality and a good likeness, but only those who know her well can judge that.  Grandma did seem very pleased.

Thanks so much for viewing my blog today.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Eye of the Eagle, 6x6 Acrylic Abstract Art on Canvas Panel, Red, White and Blue


I posted this abstract today because it has a patriotic flair and it fits my subject for the day. My friend, the talented poet JoAnna O'Keefe, has written a wonderful poem called America at the Crossroads. It speaks to what is happening today in our country and both the lyrics and the music are poignant and beautiful. I first heard it when I was with a large group of people, and everyone there was visibly moved, as would be anyone who has an ounce of patriotism.

To hear a snippet of the song or to purchase it, go to this link: America at the Crossroads


Thursday, May 21, 2015


I sometimes think back to when I was raising a family, working in an office everyday, just rushing from one project to the next, trying to get everything done that needed to be done.
.trying to fit everything into the day, but instead of doing everything that needed to be done, I am doing everything I WANT to get done.

A large part of my life today is about art, and a large part of my art is about my friends, "Pieces of Eight".  We are eight women of a certain age, who found each other through our art.  We paint together every week at Ralph's Art Supply.

Our group blog

We do exhibitions together, we travel together, we paint together, and we never fail to support each other in good times and bad.

After a few hours painting and catching up with each other's week, we have lunch together.

We put the names of all the local eatery's in a bag and each week we draw a name and that is where we have lunch.  Why?  Have you ever tried to get 8 women to agree on anything?  Trust me, everyone has an opinion!

This was our luncheon view yesterday.....just in case we forget why we live in Florida!

These women are definitely a blessing in my life, and I just wanted to share it with you today.

Thanks for reading my blog.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Fiddle Head Painting, Botanical print, 11x14x1.5 Oil

This small oil painting came about because of a trip I took to North Carolina in the spring. I live in Florida, so we don't get a lot of spring flowers, and when I saw this bed of ferns coming to life, I had to paint them.

purchase here
189.95 + shipping
I was surprised how quickly they grew, with obvious growth from day to day.

I decided to use a dark background to really highlight the ferns and keep my palette restricted to greens, blues and purples. I have been pleased with the results of this painting, which is a departure from my usual style. Blues are very difficult to photograph accurately and although the background color appears to be a deep blue, the actual color is close to a black,

This piece is available  at the link above as an original, or here as a giclee'  canvas print in the size of your choice.

Thanks for viewing my blog today.  I hope you take time every day,  to smell the roses.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Dog Painting, Dog Portrait, "Puppy Love" by Carol Schiff, 14x18x1.5"

When my cousin, Susan, posted this image of her beloved pets, I contacted her immediately for permission to paint them.  She was thrilled and today's post is the result.

purchase here
520 + shipping
Susan adores her pets and it is obvious they adore each other.  They are truly soul mates.

This painting is also available as a giclee print in the size of your choice here.

I really enjoyed trying to convey the love of these magnificent specimen .

Thank you for viewing my art today.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Masters

This is a follow up of our last group post.  As you know Fay brought in some Masters for us to paint from.  I picked Van Gogh. I was happy with the shape and energy of the trees I painted but the color is just s so....dull.  I decided to paint the same scene with more vibrant colors.  This is the start, I may go even bolder...hmm.
Donna Vines
Van Gogh trees

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spring in the Mountains

We have just returned home from a few weeks in the mountains of western North Carolina.  Earlier this year, we sold our second home there and replaced it with a condo in Waynesville.  We have been working hard, getting moved into the condo, painting every wall in sight and making it feel like home.

One afternoon I grabbed my camera and ran outside to capture the beautiful spring day and this is what I found.

I inherited a garden in front of our new home, and everything was coming alive at once...

Fiddleheads were popping up

Dogwood was blooming everywhere I looked in both pink.....

and white blossoms.  Tulips, lilac and azalea were everywhere and the dats were filled with the music of songbirds.

A drive to WaterRock Knob, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, showed less color at the higher elevation, but still beautiful to see.

For an Ohio girl, who has spent most of the last 50 years in Florida, it seemed all my memories of spring were spread out before my eyes.  Don't get me wrong, I truly love living in Florida, but when spring or fall calls, I head to the mountains.

Stay tuned, to see these images interpreted in oil.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daily Paintings, Small Oil Paintings, Animal and Bird Paintings

I was looking at some of my images and was really surprised to see how many bird and animal paintings I have done.  I thought today would be a good day to post a few of my old time favorites.

Great Blue Heron
250 + shipping

Just Ducky
99 + shipping



It is always interesting and educational to review the painting journey that you have been on.  I like to line up older paintings, chronologically, which helps me to see the improvements I have made and the ones I would like to make in the future.  Always an interesting exercise.

Have a painterly day and thanks for visiting!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tidying Up

Spring Cleaning ... Your Art

I bet this title made you suspect I was going to advise dusting and polishing your art collection this week, correct? (and BTW, never spray glass cleaner onto the glass of your art, spray a soft cloth and then polish, otherwise you run the risk of the liquid dripping and leaching onto the matting...ick)  Wrong!  I know you have already done that task, especially the tops of those dust-collecting frames.

No, I am thinking about culling your art, or ridding yourself of pieces that no longer sing to you.

There's a hot little book making the rounds right now titled: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  All kinds of testimonies are circulating about the method and I admit it is a motivating book.  I got 2/3 through and ran out of energy, but have promised self to finish.  If you want the condensed version check out this great review Houzz here.

Anyhoo, I was wondering if the same method could be applied to artwork that just doesn't measure up as when purchased.  Objects produced by hands somehow carry a sacred spirit about them and just should not be tossed aside.  But really, why not?  Some pieces are ephemeral in the sense that the joy was in creating, not selling or buying.  When that joy has been spent why not free up space by getting rid of it?

"Investment pieces"  (i.e. you paid a bundle, very large work or you were hoping to resell) are different issues.

Our tastes change.  Admit it.  Something you bought in your twenties does not hold the same cache for you now (unless infused with sentiment).  But what to do with a piece that is still sound in every other way?

Donate it.  I have contacted several places, depending on the piece, about accepting art to hang in their buildings.  Consider a local women's shelter, a children's home, or a nursing home.  I cringe when I see the poster art these places usually hang...shouldn't these residents also have the pleasure of "real art?"  Non-profit offices could use a bit of sprucing up as can certain church spaces and hallways.  Some of these places will give you a receipt for the dollar amount you originally paid.

art I received at no cost from Peter Seibt 

Gift it.  I have a few pieces purchased long ago on my 'don't want' pile that others have expressed interest in. Be my guest.  It's win-win and the art breathes more joy.  (I've often thought of having a "trade" space during art workshops.)  Your children may (mostly may not!) be interested in your cast-off pieces.  Does your doctors office need an uplift?  Waiting rooms are notorious for bad art.  The dentist? Just explain that you are down-sizing, not that the piece is undesired.

happy recipients of a table I painted

Sell it.  This is usually more trouble than money for me.  But if you have a Warhol or Lichtenstein original it would be worth going on-line for a secondary market value. (for fun you can google the value of many others as well.) I can promise you that a charity or benefit art auction will love getting their hands on great pieces of lesser artistes and may be willing to split the take with you.

So as my collection grows, my opinion on "owning for life" changes.  I need space for the pleasure of collecting, and I want to reflect my ever-morphing tastes.  As the author of the "Tidying Up.." book suggests: Thank the piece for the pleasure it once provided, bow to its spirit and let it go.  What you gain is space for new joy.

Joyfully collecting,