Ho’omana


I just love plumeria flowers.  They are my absolute favorite tropical flower.  I love the way their petals weave around each other in the center, how pristine they are. They are graceful and lovely and elegant.  It doesn’t hurt that they have a wonderful fresh perfume to them either!  Though I have a collection of hundreds of photos of them, whenever we go to Kauai I take more.  I return to favorite trees and gather ever more images for paintings.  This is the fifth such image I’ve painted.

It took the image that inspired this painting in the gardens around the parking lot (beauty is everywhere!) around the National Tropical Botanical Gardens on the south side of Kauai in May 2016.  It was fairly early in the morning and the sun had come out after a pretty heavy rain.  These were the exact conditions under which I took the image that became “Imagine” – my big, huge water lily painting – a winning formula.  Raindrops are enchanting, but when they are combined with the bright light of the morning sun, the whole thing is transcendent.

The series of images didn’t have one that was painting ready, so I did little re-arranging of pieces of a couple of them to make up this composition.  I have a few 20”x40” pieces of paper left over from making 40” squares – I was working to use one of them.  It’s a great size to travel with as all rolled up it’s only 20” long – easy to carry on the plane.

I started painting it on Kauai in February.  I disciplined myself to get the background and leaves done first, so it wasn’t until I was home that I got to dive into the rainbow colors of the petals.  The water drops were a challenge – so much complex detail.  I’ve painted plenty of them before, but on some petals the drops seemed to be on top of each other making these crazy patterns of blue, violet and white. I really had to focus and just paint what I saw in my reference image.

The finished painting seems like a combination of light and water splashed all over these pristine flowers.  That transcendence I felt in the moment is here looking at it.  Even after being finished a few days, its name hadn’t come to me.  I asked my Thursday evening group what qualities they saw in it – I put the words they said into an online English-Hawaiian translator.  I wanted a single word, one that was easy enough to pronounce, and that sounded Hawaiian.  “Ho’omana” was the result of a translating “worship.”  This was it.  Further research tells me ho'omana the name for the Hawaiian matriarchal spirituality from the time before the ali’i and any contact with the Western world.  I also found that it means:  praise, worship, spiritual power and empowerment.  “Ho’omana” may be a big name to give to these flowers, but in my belief system spirit is in everything, so why not?

“20x40” - Feburary-March 2017 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
15"x30" - $395/$495*
10"x20" - $195/$275*

5"x10" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Ho’omana
Originals, Tropical

Zintopia


All but one of the paintings I’ve done of grapes to date have been the Zinfandel grapes that my brother Mike grew in his sweet little backyard vineyard in San Anselmo.  But Mike and Julie sold their house and moved to the City a few years ago.  There are plenty of grapes I could paint – we live a short drive away from one of the biggest wine centers on the planet here in Northern California.  But I love veraison, the uneven ripening that Zinfandel grapes undergo – perfect painting subjects for this Life in Full Color girl.  I wondered where I was going to find then when I could no longer pop by to see my brother and sister-in-law.  But in that wondering I forgot that we live in an abundant universe!

Sue Rink is a talented artist and with one of the brightest spirits I’ve ever encountered in a person.  She and her husband Paul live up on a hillside above Cloverdale, in the Alexander Valley – northern Sonoma County.  They are surrounded by something like 15 acres of cabernet they grow for a Napa winery.  But right near the house is a single acre of Zin that they make a delicious wine with for their own use.  Sue has been coming down from Cloverdale for our Special Saturday classes for a couple of years.  In the process, our student/teacher relationship has evolved into a deep friendship.  August of 2016 Sue invited a half-dozen of us to come spend a weekend at their ranch.  I had just the best time taking photos of grapes, apples, plums, flowers – even the horses.  We spent the rest of the weekend painting – and eating!   It thankfully was not scorching hot as it can be up there in the summer – we felt charmed.  It was a weekend filled with pure pleasure: warm sunshine, inspiring sights, rich color, sweet friendship, delicious food and wine.

This image was the one amongst all I captured that begged to be painted.  I had taken another on Friday evening that I’d begun on Saturday, but when this one appeared in my camera on Sunday morning, I had to set it aside to jump into this one.  I love the complex background and the full-spectrum of color.  I see what a difference it makes to be so taken by an image that I’m painting.  It amplifies the pull to work on it and the suspense in awaiting its completion.  I see that colors are becoming more intense in my work.  It’s not intentional; it’s just happening.  It’s fascinating to watch work evolve through each of us as artists.

It is still compelling to me to attempt to find a single word to name these paintings with and I wanted to bring “Zin” in to the name.  I started with “Zinful” – fun but maybe a little cheeky.  Somehow Zintopia came to me – a whole world of Zin.  Seems like that very well could be what this one has to share with us.

30"x22" - November 2016 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
30"x22" - $450/$550*
20"x15" - $250/$325*

10"x7.5" - $75

* hand-torn and painted edges

Zintopia
Grapes and Wine, Originals

One


Years ago I read on a poster - one filled with ideas for living a good life - to pick a piece of fruit from a tree and eat it. How odd that we need to be reminded of this; so many of us are disconnected from where our food comes from. I’m so grateful that I was raised on two different plots of land in Woodacre, California – both planted with fruit trees. Since I can remember this has been my reality – that I could go outside in summer and pick a sweet snack from a tree. Even without fruit I can recognize many kinds of trees from the shapes of their leaves. Since I’m all about connection, this makes me feel right and good.
This was a little Fuji apple growing on a dwarf tree out at my parents – where they still live in Woodacre. This painting came from a photo that jumped out at me because of the pattern of light on the upper edge of the apple. But I had to have my way with the colors. As lovely as the soft greens and pinks are, my color sense is far more vibrant – it’s what I do!
I had just finished Global, my eggplant painting. Its leaves had given me fits to paint. Now another! But once I got through the leaves the apple was so fun to paint and it only took a few hours. It felt like play to loosely brush on the colors, layering pinks over greens – with of course a little cobalt blue on the front edge.
I often start thinking about the possible names of paintings early – sometimes even before I start to paint. This one has not jumped out easily or clearly. There are all kinds of ways to be clever with “apple” – both with common sayings and in its deep and ancient symbolism. But none of that felt right. It’s a simple painting and doesn’t call out for much in its name. I toyed with simply calling it “Apple” - good enough for a technology company. But this one needed to be even simpler. It’s a single apple. Just One. It’s enough.

22"X22" - August 2016 - Available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*

7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

One
Fruit, Originals

Global


One day in May of 2004 my hubby Joe and I – on a whim - walked into a real estate office in the little town of Koloa on the island of Kauai, not knowing I was meeting someone who would become my amongst my dearest of friends.  Stephanie showed us some houses on the market and we left for home in contract to buy one.  Joe became friends with her partner and their house became a second home for us on our regular trips to Kauai.  In fact, I think our trips to Kauai became regular largely because of them. Steff dug in the rich volcanic earth to put in a veggie garden on the land up above their house one year - and grew these eggplants – then we ate them as eggplant parmigiana!  So perfect, they reflected all the green growing around them like a mirror. In the summer of 2016 I led a “Special Saturday” with the theme of “shiny things.”  When I went looking through my images looking for something shiny in my world of flowers, fruits and other edibles this one jumped out at me as the one to paint.  It’s really curious how something matte, not at all reflective, can appear as if it shines.  It’s fun to see what we can create with shape and shade and color to fool our eyes and brains!   As I was painting this one, I was consoling myself as I struggled by noticing that this might be the most challenging thing I’d ever painted.  Seventy something big paintings in and I felt like I was taming a wild animal in getting the colors to merge and have smooth edges, while staying clear and distinct. I keep challenging myself – in another way - by looking for single-word titles for these paintings.  These are “globe” eggplants – and this along with the fact that we can never be reminded enough that we all live on this one blue-green sphere flying through space together, and the name popped out.

22"x22" - June 2016 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*

7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Global
Originals, Vegetables

Eve


These roses grow in a beautiful garden on an estate called Filoli in Woodside, California.  Once a private home, it is now in the hands of a foundation that maintains it and makes it available to the public.  Surrounded by 16 acres of formal gardens, it’s a parade of glory from the first blossoms in the earliest of spring, through the fall with colorful leaves and fruit hanging from trees.  When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s I lived on The Peninsula – south of San Francisco – not far from Filoli.  As my first marriage was unravelling, I found my way here and became a member so I could go often.  I’m not sure why I didn’t take any pictures on those visits that year, but I do remember the flowers – daffodils and tulips, flowering shrubs – camellias and rhodies, then the peonies and roses along with the annuals and biennials in the cutting gardens: foxglove, delphinium, sweet peas – all the flowers of an English garden.  Since I didn’t take pictures, I must have been there to restore my spirit as I faced my uncertain future.

Last May (2015) was my first trip back – 20 years later.  Several of the artists in our groups took a trip down to see – and yes, photograph – the flowers.  I took several pictures of this one rose – a climber – that was growing back behind the cutting garden cages.  There was something about this one – the way the light hit it, the slight down-turn, that grabbed at me.  The image needed some re-structuring in Photoshop – there was a bud and one of the leaflets blocking parts of the big rose.  When I needed a dose of pink this spring, painting this was just what I needed.  The background was fun to paint, one of the more complex I’ve done.  Partway through it, I discovered that I had captured some of the chicken wire fence that it was hanging on – a welcome bit of pattern amongst all the organic shapes.

This is an utterly feminine image and painting.  I felt a presence – almost that of a female spirit - come through as I was finishing it up, painting the big rose. It was as if I was painting someone’s portrait.  The process of naming my paintings can start even before I begin working on them. With some of them, I look at images and wonder what I might name the potential painting.  As it was with this one - I’d been pondering what to call it for a while.  I wanted to name it “Eden” – the lushness and the intricacy - the mother rose with all her buds around her.  But there is a variety of rose called Eden (which this is not) and I didn’t want rosarians to think I’d named the painting after the rose variety.  I wanted to invite the viewer all the way back to that first garden.  It wasn’t a big leap to go from there to the name we’ve given to that first woman, who inhabited that garden.  I present to you “Eve,” in her garden.

22"x30" - April 2016 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x30" - $450/$550*
15"x20" - $250/$325*

7.5"x10" - $75

* hand-torn and painted edges

Eve
Originals, Roses

Sungold


My brother Mike and his wife Julie have just moved into a pilot's row house in the Presidio. Originally built for army aviators, these houses have drop dead views of the Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco Bay.  But I'm hanging on to their sweet oasis in San Anselmo. Though they've been gone from there coming up on two years, I've still got images from their little garden to paint.  So far, all my paintings of Zinfandel grapes and my big dahlia painting (Touched by the Sun) originated in that little garden behind their Crescent Road house.  I took the image that has become this painting on a bright Saturday morning early in tomato season.  This was just such a nice arrangement of the little tomatoes and their star-shaped sepals.  And then - of course - the light! I started this painting last summer (2014) for a "Fuzzy Background" workshop - a day I will never, ever forget!  I was frazzled working to get six students' going on their drawings.  Two hours had gone by and everyone was still waiting to see me demonstrate how to work with the paint as I'd told them about.  There they all are standing around watching.  All but one, this was their first experience of me.  I wanted to use some Chromium Oxide Green paint right out of the tube and the cap was stuck.   Being the impetuous Sagittarius that I am, I used my teeth to open it.  The cap cracked and broke, squirting toxic paint IN MY MOUTH!!!  I dashed to the bathroom, swished and spitted until there was no more green coming out. And then had to re-start.  OMG!!  It's taken me a year to want to pick this painting back up again.  Time is a great healer and it is tomato season again after all.  There is a wonderful sense of satisfaction in finishing another painting that has been kicking around my studio like "that old thing."  It's a sort of resurrection.  I was in Dostal Studios - my framer - working with Matt - the designer - to order the frame in anticipation of it being completed.  He said they looked like the Sun Gold variety of orange cherry tomatoes.   I'm not sure there's a way to know if this is actually the variety, or if Mike would even remember if I asked. But no matter - when Matt said it, I heard the "ding, ding, ding" - he gave me the name:  Sungold.

22"x22" - August 2015 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*

7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Sungold
Originals, Vegetables

Eternal


There is so much to say about this painting!  I've written a journal post about it while I was working on it.   In this post I share the time and place of the source images and the progression that led to the idea to paint it.  Rather than repeat that here, I'll share the process of actually creating this painting.  The creative work for some of my paintings actually starts in Photoshop, piecing together parts of several photos.  More than any other, this one was defined as a piece of digital art first.  The original photograph, of me - standing in front of a clock inside the Musee d'Orsay in Paris - has substantial parts of the clock blocked by the structure of the building and the clock's supports.  I wanted to include some of this structure, to keep the spirit of place, without having it be too heavy and encumbered looking.  Since, in my painting, I don't make it up as I go, I needed the reference image to be well defined and refined before I even started drawing - which took many hours.  Before drawing it, I shared the image with many people in my life, generating enthusiastic responses across the board as something altogether different for me - a new phase for my work.  It was my niece Leigh who said she could see it really, really big and up on a ceiling.  There does seem to be something cinematic about this image.   The largest paper - in the heavy weight I like to paint on - dictates that I needed to paint this one at 40"x40".  In any case, painting it a lot larger would pose all kinds of logistical hurdles - that I'm not sure I'm ready for! In my exploration of color and how it works, I've been curious about what might happen if I paint something using just three primary pigments.  I used Phthalo Blue, Quinacridone Rose and Hansa Yellow Medium, which are very similar to the cyan, magenta and yellow in inkjet printers.   Even the "black" in this painting is mixed from those three paints!  The experience of painting this with just three colors was incredibly instructional and even in an odd way, freeing. If I needed to make a brown, or a dull, dark blue, I didn't have to look to all the other paints on my palette, I had to find the color "solution" with just those three. The name for this painting came out when I showed the finished reference image to Sister Mary, my spiritual director.  She used the word "eternal" in response, which jumped out at me as the painting's name. She described all the symbolism in it:  the suggestion of a triangle indicates the Trinity, the roman numerals represent the human hand (one of the painters in my group noticed that the four is actually IIII instead of IV!), the X evokes the St. Andrew's cross. And then, of course the rose which, besides being an anagram for "eros," is so filled with symbolism and meaning.  I find it remarkable that the little girl who ran around barefoot all summer and played hide-and-seek after dark with all the boys in Woodacre, is this feminine image. Most of my life I've had no idea that she was in me!  I've learned from Alison Armstrong that the feminine is all about the eternal, yet we live our lives in a physical, time-bound world.  It's all here in this image - the eternal feminine framed in temporal world, supported by the masculine structure.  Over a hundred years ago, there was a day when this clock first started keeping time; there will be a day somewhere in the future when it will stop, and in between, infinite moments when beauty can bring us into the experience of eternity.

40"x40" - February-March 2015 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
29"x29" - $550/$650
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*
7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Eternal
Originals, Paris

Zinoasis


These grapes that I've painted since 2007 are part of a tiny vineyard (29 plants) on a red-dirt hillside in my brother Mike's backyard in San Anselmo where he and his wife Julie created a wonderful idyll - an outdoor table and chairs in a corner surrounded by thick cannas and under a bright red umbrell and the canopy of a walnut tree. They had tomatoes and lots of other vegetables growing, roses growing on the fence, dahlias, sunflowers and stone-paved steps going up into the grapes. In a small house and small yard, they created a beautiful, life-filled environment.

Last year Mike started a demanding job for Apple in Cupertino prompting them to move to the city and sell their little house. It's now someone else's home and I can't just pop over with my camera to take photos of the grapes anymore. I need to have a connection to my painting subjects. If I'm to keep painting grapes, some new source will have to appear in my life!

I love making square paintings. Since painting "Persimmon Rain" in 2006, it's been a format I've come back to again and again and is now part of what I do. All the paintings I've done of Mike's zinfandel grapes have been vertical, following the orientation of how grapes grow. I wanted the challenge of another format. I couldn't find one that was horizontal, but this square image worked. It's also distinct from the other paintings as it places the grapes and vines more in their environment - a bit of the hills to the south in the distance, a rose bush and even some bare dirt in the lower yard behind the clusters of fruit.

I find myself saying all the time that I "find my way through" every painting. Even though I'm working from a photo and am fairly faithful to the colors, I really never know how they will end up. I used a lot of cobalt blue in this one and it gave the grapes a really cold, almost frosty look. I wanted them warmer, so I layered over them a wash of new gamboge (yellow orange). The colors ended up even more bright and vibrant than I'd expected.

I've been told lately there is a more luminous quality emerging in my paintings - I think I see it here. I was at Light Rain, getting it captured for giclee prints and talking to my friend Julia about what I might name it. Wanting to keep it simple, I thought I might call it simply "Zin" but then was telling her how this painting depicts for me the oasis that Mike and Julie created. It's both, a Zin...oasis. And I'm so grateful for all the hard work my brother put into this patch of land - the source of inspiration for these paintings that so many people have loved. Thank you, Mike! 29"x29" - September 2013 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
29"x29" - $550/$650*
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*
7.5"x7.5" - $60 * hand-torn and painted edges

Zinoasis
Grapes and Wine, Originals

Chocolat


Beverley Terry and I met at the Healdsburg Art Festival which resulted in my painting her dog Icarus. Then, she came for a while to the Tuesday watercolor group to learn watercolor and painted dogs herself (photos of them are in the art journal, late 2012). She also works at Wine Country Chocolates in Sonoma. She regularly and generously shared the gorgeous and delicious chocolate truffles they make and sell there with all of us on Tuesdays. We do miss her and her fabulous wit and paintings - as well as the chocolates - now that she doesn't come anymore!!! But when I saw the first of these truffles, I immediately thought they needed to be painted! I set them on a footed glass cake plate so the light would come through the bottom and took some photos. I started painting this earlier this spring when everyone else was painting roses and tulips but the mood just wasn't right for rich browns. I picked it up on our summer trip to Tahoe. I was challenged to stay engaged - I'm *such* a color junkie, that all the brown wasn't doing it for me - plus something funny was happening with the paints where the reds settled on the top of the wash, giving it an off cast - too ruddy for chocolate. Manganese blue hue to the rescue! The other hurdle was the need for them to be smooth and I was painting in a very dry environment in the mountains where my washes were drying faster than I'm used to. This one put me through the paces! Painting all the toppings was fun - the colors and shadows - which really brought me alive and engaged with the piece - at last. Back at home, I showed it to my mom and asked what I should call it. "Chocolat" she said thinking of the movie with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. I LOVE that movie! It's a favorite genre - the intersection of food and the mystical. "Like Water for Chocolate" is another. Here's where I'm suggesting this painting take you - to that place where the heavenly taste and smell of chocolate can transport us. Like no other substance on earth.

22"x22" - July 2013 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*

7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Chocolat
Originals, Sweets

Paris


Last spring I painted a piece I called “Blossoms Squared” where I superimposed a grid over a reference photo and painted it one square at a time. This triggered a stream of ideas. I thought about simply rotating the grid so they were on the diagonal, but also thought about other “screens” through which to create an image and started seeing them everywhere: a brick wall, detailed scrolled ironwork… But then, I thought about maps. I love maps! One that I know well and is very close to my heart is the street map of Paris. Thus emerged the seed for this painting. These flowers were in a florist’s sidewalk display on rue Monge in the 5th in Paris – not far from where my apartment was when I lived there for a half a year. Setting it up, though was a challenge and took my technical skills to pull off. If I simply enlarged a street map of Paris, the width of the streets would be so large that they’d obscure too much of the flowers. Using my projector and Photoshop, I was able to create a reasonable “screen” out of the map. In order to have a reasonable level of detail to cope with, I ended up being able to use only the very center of Paris (not even the Eiffel Tower made it in) to superimpose over the image of the flowers. “Blossoms Squared” is quite two dimensional, so the fact that there ended up being quite a bit of depth in this painting completely surprised me. It is an entirely different way to think and paint. I had to find the image within each of the shapes on the map. It was interesting to watch myself switching back and forth between concentrating on the image of the flowers and noticing where I was in the city and either remembering when I’ve been in that spot or wondering what is there on that stretch of street – apartments, restaurants, bookstores? Even without the street names, I still recognize a remarkable number of streets and bridges. I wonder if I’d painted this image as I normally do, from a contour drawing, if it would be as interesting. I’m so grateful for the creative spark to explore ideas like this. Now which map/image combo is next? I tossed around myself and talked about possible names several times with others. More involved names seemed forced, so I decided to keep its name super simple. This is Paris.

29"x29"- May/June 2013 - Original available - contact me for details

Size/Price:
29"x29" - $550/$650*

* hand-torn and painted edges

Paris
Originals, Paris, Squares-Maps

Bijoux


When I painted the first fruit tart "Fruit Tart," I missed the color green in it. Every single other painting I've done before and since has had green in it somewhere - even "Fauchon Eclairs" has green-colored candies on some of the eclairs. So when I saw these tiny kiwi fruit in the market I bought some to make another fruit tart with them for a painting. I love to cook and actually think of it as my first art-form. I love making food beautiful, like these fruit tarts - arranging the fruit so the colors are pleasing is so satisfying. Whereas my creative process usually starts with a camera, sometimes it actually starts with making pastry! I painted this one differently than I usually do. Normally I paint the background to the foreground, painting the focal point last. This one I painted row by row. It was fun to see it take shape, like a wave of color working its way down the paper. All of my pastry paintings have some sort of French or Paris connection, this one is its name - I named it "Bijoux" as they seem like sparkly jewels sitting in their box of pastry.

22"x22" - February 2013 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*

7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Bijoux
Originals, Sweets

Blossoms Squared


Two of the ladies in my Tuesday painting group were inspired to paint a palette like the piece I call "Full Spectrum" I painted years ago. It's a chart of 22 colors down the left and across the top with each color mixed with all the others in the middle. I was sruck by two things out of this: one, how much fun they were having painting (sometimes making this art requires such intense focus and concentration that it's not easy!) and that I remembered having the thought back then that I'd like to do something else with painting squares. Then it came to me that I could paint one of my reference photos one square at a time. So instead of a contour drawing of the image, I superimposed a grid on the image in Photoshop and drew lines on the paper. Each square is a small absract painting. At first it was totally thrilling! I loved the shapes and colors. But that left-brain of mine really is tenacious! It wants to get in there and make something of the art. And painting one square at at time is a huge lesson in patience. I think the result is interesting and the exploration was worthwhile. Also, since I painted each square wet (for the most part) it was incredible practice at working with the paint and water - which I can always learn more about. Six of the painters in the Tuesday group then jumped in and painted a piece square by square. They each said they leaarned so much - about really seeing what they're painting, about working wetter and softer, about the abstract quality of all painting. This image came from my neighbor Megan and Jeff's crabapple tree this spring. Blossoms Squared.

29"x22"- May 2012 - Original available - contact me for details

Blossoms Squared
Originals, Squares-Maps

Birds in Paradise


These bird of paradise flowers were growing in the front yard of a home in the Marine Street-Wind-and-Sea part of La Jolla, CA. As a result of the La Jolla Festival of the Arts in June 2009, I was asked to submit three ideas for the poster art for the 2010 festival. What an opportunity! I flew down for the day to scout out ideas with my camera. It was mid-September and a gorgeous day. This is a small bit of the strip of flowers growing on the street-side of the fence enclosing an amazing-looking garden. I perched to get the view through the flowers towards the Pacific Ocean. I painted this one with the prospect that the festival organizers might choose it to be the poster. They decided to have me paint another one (stay tuned...), making this one available to another home! I've been wanting to paint bird of paradise flowers, and have not been inspired until this one; the fence along the left and the h1biscus and bougainvilla in the background softened the composition and rounded out the color palette. I really wanted to name this one simply "On the Way to the Beach" but I thought that we'd all refer to it by the flower name, so it's both.

22"x30" - November 2009 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:

22"x30" - $450/$550*
15"x20" - $250/$325*

7.5"x10" - $75

* hand-torn and painted edges

Birds in Paradise
Originals, Tropical

Lily Reflections


These lilies are in a pond outside the Plantation Gardens restaurant in Kiahuna Plantation in Poipu on Kauai. When we go there, I often visit for painting ideas. In addition to the lily ponds they have the most extravagent collection of orchids I've ever seen! Though the same dimensions as the previous water lily panting - and the subjects are of similar scale - it still amazes me how different each painting ends up being. Paintings really do have a life of their own. A space of nearly two years between the painting of them and a whole other thing emerges. There's so much more going on in this one. The reflections of the lilies are the star of the show for me. In Southside Lily Pond, the light was such that the reflections had very little detail, nearly black. In this one, it was earlier in the morning, making the reflections the most full of color and richness. The reflections of the reedy succlulent plant growing at the back edge of the pond is also makes a big impact. There are differing opinions about the dark shadow in the center of the painting. I like that you cannot tell exactly what it is - it's mystery and murkiness. And it wasn't until I was really in close doing the drawing that I realized there was a little dragonfly or damselfly on the lily on left. So, I made it bigger and spread its wings in the tropical light.

30"x22" - March 2010 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
30"x22" - $450/$550*
20"x15" - $250/$325*

10"x7.5" - $75

* hand-torn and painted edges

Lily Reflections
Originals, Tropical

Manualoha


The first trip that Joe and I took to Kauai we stayed in a place called "Manualoha," which translates from Hawaiian as either "lovebird" or "parrot." "Parrot," I read on one web site, because parrots can express love. So sweet. Our end unit had a private garden space in the back, making our two weeks there especially restful and beautiful. On another trip back we stayed in the same complex, in a different condo with a private garden. (I think this was the trip where I painted the first plumeria painting.) Over the back lanai was this plumeria tree. I love this variety - the range of color, the rounded shape - just so luscious! Like rainbow sherbet ice cream! In order to take the photos, I had to perch up on the patio table and chairs with my camera. I may have been risking my neck, but I was going to get close enough to get a good shot! This summer I've been in the mood to paint flowers with a vengeance. In reviewing my collections this one jumped out at me. In the midst of running after Bo, our new Labrador puppy, I managed to get this one finished. It's a happy painting and I found it easy to paint. It's nice to not be challenged ALL the time. It is summertime after all.

22"x22" - August 2010 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices: 22"x22" - $395/$495* 15"x15" - $195/$275* 7.5"x7.5" - $60
* hand-torn and painted edges

Manualoha
Originals, Tropical

Southside Lily Pond II


In October 2010 I did a new festival - the second one in La Jolla - where I met some wonderful people, Joan and Scott Brown. They really loved Southside Lily Pond, but the space in their home needed two pieces of art side by side. They asked me if I could paint a companion piece for it. I took on the challenge, not realizing that I was headed for a fall. I came home and searched through the images from the same day - these images were pre-digital, so I had to find the actual photos. I found this one and liked the idea of painting the same theme in a different scale. Same day, same pond, slightly different angle - the light is coming from another direction. It had a big ugly rock along one side which I replaced with more lily pads. When the Brown's said they liked the image, I started to paint - but not for long. By November I was dead in the water (so to speak!). It was scary but I was just burned out and there was nothing there when I sat to paint. It felt like the ability and inclination to paint had just vanished. No matter how much I tried to force myself, it just wasn't there. These first four years of making, showing and selling art have been at a fairly breakneck pace. It seems that the part of me that sources the creator needed a break. I'm incredibly grateful that it's back and for the moments of joy at putting color on paper again. And I'm also very grateful for the Brown's who were there in my heart and mind making sure I didn't stay away too long!

30"x22" - February-March 2011 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
30"x22" - $450/$550*
20"x15" - $250/$325*

10"x7.5" - $75

* hand-torn and painted edges

Southside Lily Pond II
Originals, Tropical

Moonstone Rose


One of the masters who inspires my work is Joseph Raffael. I get e-mail updates of his work. One day there was this message with a painting of pale roses with pink edges called "Roses Reverie" that knocked my socks off - and it kicked off a hunger in me to paint similar roses. Following this, I took photos of some Moonstone roses in my back yard. There just wasn't a composition of a group of them like he had painted that worked. But this single rose did. I just loved the way that one petal curled out to the right. It turns out that this painting for me was all about the leaves and not so much the rose. Painting the light on the leaves was why I had to do this one. I left painting the bud to the end, (with most of my paintings I paint the "centerpiece" last) and it was actually anti-climactic. Now, when I look at this painting I see elegance and self-assurance, I think of the first two lines of one of my favorite poems: "St Francis and the Sow" by Galway Kinnell and the powerful meaning this poem has had for me.

"The bud stands for all things, for all things flower from within of self blessing."

30"x22" - January 2007 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
30"x22" - $450/$550*
20"x15" - $250/$325*
10"x7.5" - $75

* hand-torn and painted edges

Moonstone Rose
Originals, Roses

Morning Shine


When we were living in Petaluma, two dear girl friends - Cathy and Nancy - and I went jogging at the crack of dawn most mornings. The three of us were the "The Lulu's" and our jogs were a hoot! Mostly we jogged in the rural areas just outside of town, but now and then I could talk them into a "garden tour" jog, to see what was blooming behind all the charming white picket fences in town. Now that we're in Fairfax, I head out in the morning with our dog -- and sometimes with my camera. I took this photo in Dean and Nancy's old place - they've moved on, but their garden blooms on. As often happens, I fall in love with an image and HAVE to paint it because of something that grabs me - in this one it was the light bouncing off the shiny camellia leaves. Wow! And as often happens, I am challenged as to how to represent it with paper, water and paint. The background is a departure for me, it was just the side of the house in the image, so I got to play with layers of washes and subtle texture - it was fun. My husband really likes this painting - my guy's guy - a pink flower - how cool is that?! 22"x30" - September 2010 - Original available - contact me for details Sizes/Prices: 22"x30" - $450/$550* 15"x20" - $250/$325* 7.5"x10" - $75
* hand-torn and painted edges
Morning Shine
Originals, Other Flowers

Pomegranates, Jacinta’s Garden


At the end of my stay in France, October 1996, I traveled throughout Europe for two weeks with two of my brothers, Matt and Mike. We met my parents on the Croatian Island, Brac, where my grandparents were born. Brac is a rocky, arid island; the water is crystal clear and life is much less complicated than ours. One perfect afternoon we had lunch at my mother's cousin Jacinta's. She cooked us a special meal of potato gnocci with a rich meat sauce. These pomegranates were growing from a tree in her garden - with a gorgeous view of the sea and the mainland. Like the island, painting this one was rocky for me. Most of the time I was working on it, I really hated it. I experienced first hand about how the life of an artist takes discipline. Somehow I knew needed to stick with it and finally finished it on the first two days of a solo painting retreat in August. I kept saying to myself "this is like being in a difficult labor, this painting just does not want to be done." Whew! It's DONE!

22"x22" - August 2007 - Original available - contact me for details

Sizes/Prices:
22"x22" - $395/$495*
15"x15" - $195/$275*

7.5"x7.5" - $60

* hand-torn and painted edges

Pomegranates, Jacinta’s Garden
Fruit, Originals
© Copyright Life in Full Color - Website by Yingying Zhang