Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Green Bandanna

Green Bandanna
     I have spent the greater part of my life as an oil painter and oil painting teacher.  This may have not been so except for a windy day and a last minute decision to grab my green bandanna. 
     In the summer of my junior year at a Midwestern religious college, I chose to live somewhat independently in one of my favorite places, Myrtle Beach.  Myrtle Beach was where my inland high school friends and I had spent many a summer’s day laying on the beach and many a summer’s night  dancing,  meeting new boys, and having our hearts broken.  Spending an entire season there with good friends sounded like a great idea to me in the summer of 1977.  My girlfriends, my sister, and I  got jobs at a sea food restaurant and set up our schedules to include laying on the beach during the day, working till 10:00, and then , go  dancing till dawn.  Life was very, very good, but something was still missing for me. 
     Two things had led me far from home to a religious college deep in the heart of the Bible Belt: religious inquiry and a desire to become a better artist. 
     Tulsa, Oklahoma is actually often referred to as the “buckle” of the Bible Belt.  It was there where I began looking for answers to the burning religious questions that had popped up in my senior year of high school.  It was there where I also hoped to find instruction in art, and in painting in particular.
The answers to the religious questions only brought up more questions, and I am still on that journey.  The school was woefully inept at giving any valuable instruction in painting however, as the baseball coach did double duty as our painting teacher.  The day, half way into the semester that he brought in some of his own work was the day I realized that any knowledge I would obtain in the area of painting would have to be on my own.  Not given any instruction on how to use the tools of a painter, I was doomed to make the same mistakes over and over and would always come up short in obtaining a good painting after weeks of trying.  I knew that my senior art project awaited me in the fall semester but I had doubts that I could come up with anything worth hanging on a wall.  Maybe I would come up with a great idea over the summer.
     Needing time alone, one day, during that summer, I went exploring on my own in hopes of finding a secluded beach where I might just walk and enjoy the natural dunes and surf.  I drove several miles before turning in the direction of the ocean onto a road boarded by pine trees on both sides.
I soon found myself in an untouched area with tall dunes covered with sea oats.   It was my favorite time of day, the gloaming, where the sun sits low in the sky and gives everything it touches, a warm glow.
     I had long hair back then, and still do.  The changing tides and approaching dusk, kicked up the wind, and to keep the hair from constantly blowing in my face, I donned my favorite green bandanna and set off across the sand. 
     I had not seen a single soul for quite a while when I saw an approaching man.  “Should I turn around and walk the other way in order to avoid him altogether, or should I continue on in the direction I was going?” 
     I walked on.  We passed each other and both said hello.  He stopped me and said, “I saw you coming my way and was struck by the sight of the sunlight on your bright green scarf.  I wish I had my paints with me so that I could capture that image.”
“You are an artist?”  I asked.
“Yes, I am.” He replied in a foreign accent that I couldn’t quite place.  To my 21 year old eyes, he was an old man (probably in his late 50s).   My intuition told me that he was someone who I could feel safe with.   In that moment we both decided we had enough of solitude and decided to walk together. 
     I learned that he had escaped on foot, from Hungary during the war, many years ago with his son, Attila on his back. Shortly thereafter he came to this country and began to make his living as a painter and had a gallery just up the road.  I explained that I was a girl of very little means with a strong desire to become an artist.
      I can’t, now remember who suggested this arrangement but both of us, being people who love a good barter,  made a move to become coworkers and eventually great friends.  Needless to say, I ended up working in his gallery for the rest of the summer in exchange for painting lessons. 
I would now find myself starting the day at 5:30 in the morning, standing on that same beach, painting with my new friend and mentor, John Szekes.  It was from those early plein aire lessons where I began to have the confidence to continue on as a painter.  John and I remained friends for many years until his death. 
     I would not be the person I am today, and would not have lived the charmed life as a painter had it not been for a windy day and a last minute choice to bring a green bandanna.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Yet one more example of foraged food that ends up in a painting.  I love to take walks on the back 40 of the Gilcrease Museum.  These were gathered from deep in the woods last fall and are on sale as a group right now in my ebay gallery.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

3 Daily Paintings Apples

Years ago I was asked to create a 5x5 painting for a sale to benefit a local cooperative gallery.  I was not looking forward to creating something so small but decided to go ahead and give it a try.  To my surprise, I loved it!  I could really concentrate on one or two objects and give them my full attention for a short period of time and come out on the other side with a painting that I just adored.  Later I discovered the Daily Painting Movement and began the practice of painting quicker sketches on small canvases.  It freed me up to respond to my subject completely in the moment.  Some of these smaller works and almost all my on site sketches are my favorite paintings.  I decided to put several little series of 2s and 3s on Ebay this month.  I usually sell them as singles but frankly they look so wonderful in groupings that I decided to lower the price and sell 2 or 3 at a time.  This is one of the sets on ebay right now.  If you love only one and want only one AND there wasn't a sale, let me know and I can sell separately for you.  They usually go for $100 - $125 as a single.
To Visit in my Ebay Gallery CLICK HERE

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wildcrafting and Painting

When I look at my body of work, I begin to notice how many paintings involve wildcrafting/foraging.  This painting is called Gathering Herbs:  This painting began, as many of mine do, from a class demonstration.  We started with a master work and then changed scenery, hair styles, clothing etc.  I think she was originally standing in a chapel or some sort of fancy interior and she wasn't holding a basket of herbs.  She found a nice place above my mantle for a long time, but as many of my paintings, she is for sale.  If you would like to bid on her or just visit my ebay gallery, CLICK HERE 

This is Spring Creek where I find Wapato

Finding Sand Plums

plums, black berries and poke

from the top of a mulberry tree

gathering berries, notice the tall mulein plant 

My own little flower garden where I just found mouse melon

SOLD ! Red Crepe Myrtle 8x10 oil

To visit this painting in my Ebay Gallery Auction CLICK HERE

These quick studies are often my favorite paintings.  I think they more fully capture the moment in time, what caused me to paint it in the beginning.  I painted this a couple of days ago after working on a larger piece.  I had to run out for a minute and upon reentering my neighborhood I was struck for the 2nd or 3rd time by this pretty tree, but this time it was a cloudy, cool day in the middle of summer and I had the entire day to do whatever I wished.  I drove home, grabbed up my pallet and headed back out, hoping to beat the rain.  I was able to paint in my car and sit through the drizzle.  Anyways, I really loved the outcome and didn't want to paint any further on it when I got home.  I love the quick brush strokes and the unfinished look at the bottom of the painting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Painting my artsy pals at the creek

Inspiration from Anders Zorn.  I always seem to be drawn to these paintings of women in white.  Thankfully after painting this copy of Anders Zorn I began to notice that I had a few perfect subjects for a new painting right in front of me while we artsy Oklahoma girls took to the creek a couple of weeks ago.  There is nothing better than cooling off in a spring fed creek with nothing to do but look for interesting rocks, have a snack, swim and chat with girlfriends.  Life is good!

 The painting begins with this manipulated by photoshop photo of a couple of my friends at the creek ( one is pictured 2x)  The finished ( I think) painting is below.

 One of the photos used for the painting


To Ebay Gallery

For Sale now.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Playing with Zorn by Margaret Aycock

This started when I went down the rabbit hole of Google, looking at some of my favorite artists.  I wanted to see if I could get into the head of Anders Zorn.  What better way to do that then make a copy of sorts.  This is my take on one of his paintings which at the moment has also inspired two more of my own.
This painting and many more are in my Ebay Gallery.  Click here to visit

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Gathering Herbs

Gathering Herbs:  This painting began, as many of mine do, from a class demonstration.  We started with a master work and then changed scenery, hair styles, clothing etc.  I think she was originally standing in a chapel or some sort of fancy interior and she wasn't holding a basket of herbs.  She found a nice place above my mantle for a long time, but as many of my paintings, she is for sale.  If you would like to bid on her or just visit my ebay gallery, CLICK HERE 

Friday, August 05, 2016

Patagonia Icy Hot oil painting

Cool off on a hot summer day!  This is a scene that my nephew took a photo of when he was learning how to lead groups into the wild.  This was a rarely seen vista from an ancient glacier in Patagonia.

To visit this painting in my Ebay Gallery and possibly place a bid, Click Here

Monday, August 01, 2016

Tulsa County Medical Society Foundation Fundraiser

This month I had the honor of being asked to participate in Art Rx which helps those who can't afford their medical care or medications, get them.  What a great organization.  Anyways at the end of the evening they had sold both of my pieces.  Thanks to the doctors who purchased them for their support of both me, and the Tulsa County Medical Society Foundation.