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Define Fun

May 10, 2016

Fun:  merriment, mirth, gaiety, hilarity, frolic; source or cause of merriment….or so my Webster says.  Instagram; that is all that need be said.   I have begun painting hilarity and merriment, with permission,  after I began to follow @nycsubwaydogs.  These dogs travel the subway systems as you or I.  They are almost always in a carrier of sorts.  I have even seen large dogs in backpacks or being carried in bags.  I have had so many laughs that I get my laugh quotient plus some.  Here are a few examples:

NYC Subway Dog 3

NYC Subway Dog 3

Up Close nycsubwaydogs

Up Close nycsubwaydogs

Ready For The Elements - now known as Boogie!

Ready For The Elements – now known as Boogie!

40 Winks Before The Next Train

40 Winks Before The Next Train

Who's The Pretty Boy

Who’s The Pretty Boy

How can this not be – gaiety, hilarity and frolic!!  The challenge has been catching the essence of the little guys on a 7″x5″ or 6″x6″ panel.  But always being up for a challenge, I keep persevering and having the time of my life!!

If you want to add hilarity to your life and are on instagram, go to @nycsubwaydogs and I would also follow boogie and his cohort in crime….whose name I do not know….but do try to find him.

Have a wonderful day full of fun!

ps  Sorry for the images being in a long line, I couldn’t figure out how to put them side by side 😦

The World Of Instagram

March 20, 2016

Anyone that knows me well knows of my aversion to social media.  It has become a part of my life for the sole purpose of a marketing tool for my art work.  I have not embraced it and have gone forward into its depths kicking and screaming 🙂  I have been encouraged by people I trust of the value of these media and have put my faith in their belief in this system of engagement with the masses.  I have to say that until now I haven’t seen any concrete benefits to the marketing and selling of art and have begrudged the time it takes out of my painting life to be a contributor.  I am also not happy with how I am becoming a ‘phone checker’.

One of my sons was over a few weeks back and suggested I add Instagram to my repertoire.  I had heard this advice once before from my good friend who has been instrumental in the development of my website.  I had ignored her advice but didn’t exactly get the chance to ignore my son’s.  He simply picked up my phone, asked me a few questions and voila…I was signed up.  I asked him what I was to do with this and he suggested I begin posting my painting life.  Hmmmm…I thought.  Something more to keep on top of.  I began this journey by posting the tools of my trade…

Tools Of The Trade

Tools Of The Trade

To my surprise 5 people looked at the photo (not exactly this photo but the one I posted is stuck in instagram and I don’t know how to move it to a blog, ha)….5 people I do not know.  With that photo I wrote Labor omina vincit – Virgil’s Georgics- Steady work conquers all things.  The treatise for every diligent artist.

I thought this was interesting so I decided to post a few of my daily paintings in progress.  That was well received bringing with it more views and comments.  Comments from ‘real’ artists.  Artists from around the world.

Through the exposure to this instagram process I have come to realize the artistic brilliance of mankind.  Doesn’t matter where we are from, what our preferred medium is, the pure talent ‘out there’ is nothing short of miraculous.  I have renewed my appreciation for photography, how food is arranged on a plate, how flowers find themselves in the most unique of vases.  I have laughed at the subway dogs of NYC, been in awe of a painter from Iceland, looked into the eyes of a baby pig somewhere in the middle of our continent.  I have received comments that have given me cause to continue my craft and gave advice to a young mother /artist struggling to keep ‘it’ going with her new found life….just find 1/2 hour a day I told her.

My favourite though is checking out artists as they view my posts while the Nike swoosh comes to mind….Just Do It.



Crows Rock

January 23, 2016

I see crows and their daily routines and life as metaphors for the human condition.  It is scary how easy it is to relate to their daily routines and actions and the mind runs wild busily relating words and phrases that we, as humans, use every day to describe this life we live.  I cannot resist painting these well known passages and phrasing them within the context of a crow’s life.  Here are a few of my most recent posts on Daily Paintworks.  They seem to be quite the hit so I must not be alone in my love for these fine and intelligent birds.

No Longer A Ball1

Title:  No Longer a Ball

Stealing Time

Stealing Time

Seeking Clearance

Seeking Clearance

See how easy it is!  The last two I painted with a palette knife.  Although it uses gobs and gobs of paint it allows for fluidity and the whimsical which any fine crow deserves 🙂

You can bid on these little paintings at if having them as part of your crow collection is up your alley.

Simply Soooo Much Fun!

January 8, 2016

I decided to challenge my Instagram followers today.  The challenge was to look carefully at a panel that I had covered with acrylic paint and see what they could see ‘within’ the paint.  This is the process I often use to ‘find’ my subject matter before I lay brush to canvas.


Now look carefully 🙂

The next photo shows what I found:


The background is painted in acrylic but I decided to paint the crow and ball of wool in oil.  This is what developed.  The title of the little painting is Controlling the Situation and it will be posted on the auction site if anyone is interested in checking that site out.


I love two things about this process.  I love finding the subject within what first appears to be a whole load of chaos and second, in this case at least, I love to paint crows and title the paintings with titles that reflect the human condition.

Simply Soooo Much Fun!

Nearing the Finish Line…or the Challenges of Commission Work

January 6, 2016

For most artists commission work is a must.  Most times but not always, an artist is asked to paint something that they can really get excited about.  Even though they may be asked to paint a subject that is near and dear to them, the challenge still remains of getting into the head of the commissioner and satisfying their vision for the painting as well as their own vision.

I personally have had several commissions of late and they too have been challenging.  Several months ago I was asked to paint a picture of a hockey player on the ice, actively playing a game.  That same family asked for a painting of one son playing in a football game.  I was excited to give these two paintings a try because after all, I am a closet sports enthusiast.  I just love the action.  Did I get started on these two paintings as soon as I was asked to paint?  Well…  You see, the family asking for the paintings is a hockey family and I mean a real NHL hockey family.  The thing was that I was scared to death to start for fear of not getting it right.  I procrastinated for months until shortly before Christmas I was asked how I was doing because the paintings were to be presents.  Arrrrgh….now not only did I have to over come my fears, I had to do it quickly.  This was likely good because I did not have much time to ‘fiddle’….straight up painting was in order.  Here are the two paintings I completed – in time for Christmas I might add 🙂

inthezone11x14oil                              fortheloveofthegame14x11oil

As it turns out the family liked the paintings….even the kids.  So all that fear for nothing, ha.  I really did enjoy painting motion.  I would do it again if asked and without the fear attached.

My next commission, which I must add was asked for during my ‘upheaval’ period, filled me not with fear but with trepidation.  Not because of the subject matter but because of the size.  I had been longing for a few years to paint ‘BIG’ and now was my chance.  Did I take on the task easily…..well, no.  So, as soon as I finished the team sports I was onto a subject I know well….flowers.  Better do it while I was still feeling confident was my thought.

I decided I was going to paint my garden….at least the garden I use to have and seemingly miss desperately….because the client that commissioned this large piece wanted a bright painting full of flowers and my garden immediately came to mind.  Switching gears so quickly was not as hard as I thought it might be but I think this is mostly because of my methodology/my painting process.  Sometime I should write a bit about that but don’t want people to think I should be seeking help 🙂

This is what I have come up with so far:


It has been loads of fun.  I sent an image to the client today to see if it is what she is looking for and she is so excited that she would like to pick it up right away.  I really must get writing to her to tell her that I need to put the finishing touches on and it HAS TO DRY!

Happy 2016

January 1, 2016

Or should I say Happy peaceful, loving, gracious, forgiving and compassionate 2016!

All the best to you all in what is going to be an amazing, adventurous year.

ps Hopefully the year will include more writing, ha.


December 1, 2015

Just sitting here thinking a bit before I start my day of painting.  Trying to relax before tackling the commissions I have.  Commissions tend to unwittingly aggravate the psyche.  Into my head pops a line from a little book I am reading:

No longer afraid of death…or life.

Immediately my mind added:

I breathe in forgiveness and exhale displeasure.

For you to ponder today.  Have a good one.

ps.  If you want a real good feeling day go to my friend’s site and view her pre Christmas show at  .  Click on Whimsical Wonders / Sandy Delehanty and enjoy!!  If you are ever having a particularly poor day just go to Sandy’s site 🙂