Creating a club of artists educates and enhances creativity

Years ago I started a club for my artist friends called “ARTISTIC CHICKS”. AT first it was a larger group and I found that many artists cannot commit to even 6 meetings a year. The rules are: Each artist hosts in turn at their studio or house and plans what art medium to do, procures supplies or each member brings appropriate supplies. It has been amazing working with other artists and learning different skills.
I have found that keeping your group small is best. The last two years have been just 4 of us. Deb Mckinney is an excellent illustrator, painter and porcelain sculptor. Lisa Woodruff is an amazing clay artist. Peggy Paschal is an actress, dancer and her art form is primarily working with recycled things and making fun and interesting decor. I am primarily a painter.

I love the days we spend in Lisa’s clay studio. She is such a great instructor and usually our projects take several meetings to complete because of two firings, painting glazes and drinking tequila.

Some of the other meetings have included fish signs and linoleum block carving. We did one second meeting to print but not all of the members could attend so we will finish another time with the printing.


Our last meeting was in my studio and we had fun beading and making windchimes and mobiles. As you can see, each artist brought materials to do unique pieces. Peggy did a lampshade for the yard that will hold a solar light. Deb used old keys, feathers and beads on driftwood. Lisa, being a clay artist of course had made beads and clay rings that she had formed, fired,painted with glazes and fired again before the meeting so was happy to create something beautiful with her handmade clay beads. I made mine from a wooden fish that I had painted, drilled screw eyes into the wood and used precious jewelry form my childhood along with beads and wire.
It also inspired me to do a little jewelry on my own.
My advice to all artists is to form a small group and have monthly gatherings. It will really bring out the inspiration and also allow you to learn new forms of art. You cannot use “Artistic Chicks” as a name because we copyrighted the website name.
The best part is the friendships that get tighter and the fun. Artists generally work in solitary conditions. Its what we like and need to really create and allow ourselves to explore. Having 30 years in corporate advertising and art direction helped prepare me for having my own business and understanding the value of advertising. This part of my life (in my mid sixties) is so wonderful and I fell so blessed to be a professional artist. Thank you all for checking into my blog.

Hand Painted Glassware make great gifts for the holidays

My painted glassware is always a hit around the holidays when folks are looking for unique hand made gifts. I used paints especially made for glass and porcelain. (Porcelaine and Vitrea) It is harder than it looks since the paints drip and bubble and have to be babied. I usually make around 2 dozen at a time because they are little paintings and to do a set to match an older set is nearly impossible.
Three ladies came by my studio a couple weeks ago and bought up most of my wave wine glasses so I figured I better make more before the holidays.
First you have to wash the glass well and sometimes even use rubbing alcohol to really clean any grease. Then I do one color at a time and let each layer dry for several hours before doing the next layer. It usually takes a week. Next step is to fire them in my regular oven at 245 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning off the oven and letting them cool in the oven.
Putting custom tags on and washing them is the last step.
I sell them for 16.00-20.00 each and can ship.

And then….I painted my garage refrigerator

The refrigerator in the garage is old but still works but living in Florida with all the humidity, it started rusting badly on the sides. So I sanded it and put a metal primer on it. This had to dry a day before I could paint. I actually used the same exterior paints that I had purchased for painting the patio. There was some dripping and I needed to continue to brush over the heavier paints to keep them from sliding. AFter that dried, I used an oil based varnish to finalize. The smell of the varnish lasted over a week but now, I am loving this fresh look.
Several people have inquired about painting their refrigerators but I say no thanks. A lot of work.

Painting my patio cement

Years ago I painted my patio cement and even though it gets a protective varnish when completed, the elements seem to fade and chip off some of the paint. SO ….every few years, I clean and retouch all of the colors and even add additional colors. I used exterior enamel paints from the hardware store and have the guy mix custom colors in those 4.99 sample jars. Living in Florida its very humid and it took me two days to retouch all the colors. Then I let it dry for a couple days before putting a cement top coat.

Southern Landscape painting

Last month, I had my senior students (Senior Activity Center in Neptune Beach for the elderly), work on this scene. We had 2 lessons at 2 hours each where they worked on their canvases along with my tutorial. They did a wonderful job on their paintings. Mine is 16×20″ and called “Sunset Southern Waterway”. Adding a frame would make this smaller painting appear larger. 

Recent Photographic Illustrations of Northern California

Since my two boys live in the Santa Cruz Bay area in California, I take a couple vacations a year to visit them. The beauty of northern California is so different from where I live now in Florida. Since I grew up in California (Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Diego and Carmel), I have such a sweet spot for the Pacific Ocean.
Recently, a collector asked if I had any photographic illustrations of the area and I put this collection together for her.
Prints range from 26.00-125.00 (to 16×20″) and can also do very large custom prints on archival papers, canvas and Metal.

Family in California
California 2016
California 2016

California 2016
California 2016

Large ocean painting done in three panels

Late Afternoon Swim Triptyc

“Late Afternoon Swim” is completed. Each panel is 30x40x1″ and when displayed is 92×40″ . Being so large was an issue since I have a small 10×14 foot studio with only two easels. I arranged two of the canvases in the studio side by side so I could make a nice transition when placed together. I would paint for a while and then, switch them out to work on the next one. Also I am experimenting with tinted gessoes and other mediums, rough brushes, palette knives. When you view this up close you can see the layers and the large brush strokes done in an energetic expressionistic manner. From further away, it looks more representational.