Monday, November 30, 2015

Every Day Is Mother's Day

Here's a bit of sweetness.

  One of my illustrations from a children's book I'm working on...

Every Day Is Mother's Day

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Songwriter SOLD


I painted this in purple, silver, and graphite, but I think I liked this bleached out shot even better.

Basset Contemplating Bukowski

Sunday morning.

Here's my Basset Hound, Molly, having an inspirational read à la Charles Bukowski along with a Ed Brownlee cup of apropos for the subject at hand.

Mossy Chair

Although is was snowing last week, on Thanksgiving it was 60 degrees and a little rainy.  After our wonderful meal, I managed to get these shots, intensified by that rain, from my cousin's garden.

 It's nice to have a little springtime in the fall.

Mossy chair


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Starlings

As we drove 1 1/2 hours to our family's Thanksgiving dinner, nature gave us the most beautiful sight: the rolling, beautifully complex flight of starlings against a gray sky.

I am thankful to you, dear starlings, for the loveliness you bring to stark fall skies.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Red Thinker

Red Thinker

Drawing this random man (NOT CHRIS CORNELL!)...


...while listening to this (below) over and over again.  They just seemed to go together.

Chris Cornell - Acoustic - Like A Stone

Frozen Magnolia Morning

An early morning walk proved sparkling and magical after our first Midwestern snow fall.  It may be still be autumn, but it looks like the depth of winter right now.

Le Petit Dejeuner

Although I painted it yesterday afternoon, here's a little breakfast for you.  

Oil on Cardboard

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rising Temperature

Here's a late Friday night decompression painting.  After I took the photo I added some shimmery sparkle into that heavy black area on the left in order to break it up a bit.

Mixed Media
9" x 12"

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Headshot 1 and 2 - Starbucks - No Longer Available

I tried a Gingerbread Tea Latte today and Starbuckaroos.  I also did a little pen sketch with whiteout added on the cup.  Here's that one, although you can't catch the ears, bubbles, etc. in this pic.

Starbucks Holiday Venti Cup

I decided to open the cup up and and oil paint and acrylic to this fellow.  Here he is in the end.  P.S., Can you tell I will draw on anything?

Starbucks Holiday Venti Cup


This one is fairly large and loosely painted with acrylic paint, ink, and a long-handled brush.

I only have a smaller section of it displayed versus the actual size, because I couldn't get it all to fit into my camera shot.

18" x 24" on paper

A FB friend mentioned that it looked like a particular movie star.  I wasn't basing the painting on anyone in particular; I was just letting the brush move across the page.  At the last minute I enlarged the hook of the nose, and I think that touch changed his entire face.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


This drawing was a quick sketch I did before I went to bed last night.  Often I feel like I just have to draw something--anything--before I end the day.  It relaxes's my meditation.  After I was done, I named him after the look I felt he was giving me.

Graphite & Pastel

Monday, November 16, 2015

She Could Go Anywhere - Little Free Libraries

Here's one angle of my "Little Free Library" that I'm painting for a local library.  (I had to submit a proposal of what I wanted to paint, and I based it on a painting I did back in 2013, "She Could Go Anywhere.")  I'm one of four artists who was chosen to do so, so it's quite an honor.  People can put books into the front of the box, and others can take them out to read, return, and/or keep.  It's a beautiful gesture of communal sharing in the joy of reading.

I was a literature major myself and was always reading throughout my childhood.  I feel great happiness in hopefully passing that  love to others, enticing them to explore the literary magic within this box.

I'll post a few more pictures in the coming days.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What Is Happening to Our World -- Again

Back on January 9th, after the attacks at Charlie Hebdo and atrocities in Africa, I had posted what you see below.  And now, after attacks again in Paris and other parts of our world, I feel the same way, I ask the same question.

My entire life, I have wanted to go to Europe.  It almost happened many moons ago and then just a couple years ago, but plans fell apart for various reasons.  Everyone who knows me personally, knows of this longing within me to see Paris, Barcelona, Portugal, Berlin, Greece, London, Ireland, Amsterdam, Florence, well, you get my point.  Instead, I live as if I'm there.  Studying (and teaching) languages (Russian, French, Spanish (forever!), Italian, German; watching films; reading, and eating their cuisine...I am a consummate armchair intercontinental traveler.  So when Paris was hit, I felt the horror.  I know it's not the same as someone who lives there or who has traveled there, but literally, I am heartsick.  The same heartsickness I felt after 9/11, and I am not a native New Yorker.

I sat in Starbucks both yesterday and today, reading The New York Times, trying to grab every detail of what occurred, as if there is any way to understand it.  I felt guilty of having the luxury of drinking my coffee and reading a newspaper.  I thought, such normal acts--drinking coffee/reading a newspaper--but for many, so far away from their current normalcy.

My heart is breaking for you and your people, chère France.

From 1/9/15:

This week's global crimes against humanity leave my heart devastated.
What is happening to our world?

9" x 12"
Oil, Acrylic, Ink on Canvas

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Burp Mortification

Carla felt out of place at the party, so when a cute guy offered her a few swigs of a hip, imported European beer, she eagerly took a few, hoping to cement her cool quotient.  She never once thought of the aftereffects, a quite audible burp from the fermentation of her bottled brew.  Carla knew she had blown it as her potential life partner lifted his eyebrows in surprise and started to edge away.

She would have skulked away, but he had left her the bottle, and it was quite tasty.  Besides, she thought, staying to finish it would help her get over her burp mortification.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trying to Get into the Club

I can hear Jim Morrison singing, "Break on through to the other side..."  Lord help me, I'm trying.

And then it's too exhausting to try.  

I can only keep on my own path to express what art represents to me.  
Emotions, feelings. 
Blood, guts, striving, deflation, euphoria.  
All of it.  
But sometimes none of it.  
And hoping I'm reaching someone out there.  

Striking a match to feelings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Phyllis D's Pearly Whites

I had an art show today, and can I be honest?  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I knew it wasn't the right venue for me.  It was more a craft fair, and I can't compete in price with low-ticket items when I'm making original art that takes me hours, days, months to complete.  Anyway, I woke up at 1 a.m. and tossed and turned for an hour until I got up and painted this one.

O.k., I worked on it BEFORE I went to bed and then finished it in those wee hours.  It was a rough day and included two losses that I just cannot write about here.  Some things are too close to the heart, no?

Suffice it to say, I am drinking a Spanish wine as I type this and will be going to bed early.  I was also right about that craft fair, by the way.  But I did get a wonderful compliment towards the end of it which bolstered my artistic spirit.  My eyes feel heavy right now, unlike this lady's below.  Let's just focus on her joy, shall we?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pierre Blowing Kisses

Pierre was feeling particularly in love with life and so found himself blowing kisses to all.

John Kettman and His Trumpkin

As I mentioned in my bite out of the big apple post a few days ago, my friend, John Kettman, has had a brush with fame this past October.  He painted the face of Donald Trump, The Trumpkin, on a pumpkin and added a wig.  Then he proceeded to create a couple more presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  He had thousands of hits on Google and ended up being broadcast on NBC affiliates and on ABC's Good Morning America when they solicited him to create pumpkins of all the show's hosts.  He was on The Chew, too!  You can find him on Facebook here for more of his works on coffee beans, rice grains, Ritz crackers, other pumpkins (Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres, to name a few), and some amazing life-size works of the Beatles in full Sgt. Pepper regalia and Abbey Road strut.