Friday, April 17, 2015

big changes....


Those of you who know me well know that I have 
been going through some changes.
I have had a painting block for a while now,
just going through the motions to get things done.

My best collector and personal friend Tom 
passed away unexpectedly last year.
My art buddy, day-trip traveling partner Goldie
moved to Atlanta to be with her daughter.

These two people were my biggest supporters and
I'm not gonna lie - I felt lost without them.

How was I going to get rid of this ineria
and get back into my love of making art?

After much soul searching and time spent sitting and
staring off into space,
I came to the conclusion that my art life needed
to be shaken up a bit. No, A LOT.
It was either make a drastic change or stop working.

So - and this is a big one
I have left the gallery that I have been with
for the last 13 years.

This gallery gave me my first start in painting
and helped me learn the ropes in doing my 
first group show, my first local big art show, my first solo show.
They have always been so supportive and
I wouldn't be where I am without them.
Thank you, Weems Galleries.
Whew, scary move for sure.

 So now I am floating....
After years of nonstop shows and deadlines, what do I do?

The first thing I did was take a few days off, 
sit down, and think about where I wanted my career to be in five years.

The second thing I did was go to Santa Fe and watch a demo 
of an artist whose work I liked.

Those of you who know me know that I don't "do" the workshop thing.
i always thought taking a workshop would steer me away from my own style.
But this was more like a talk and discussion about his techniques and materials.
The third thing I did was buy some palette knives.

I then watched a few youtube videos and went through 
my books on painting with a knife.
I checked in with (and joined) palette knife groups on facebook.

Then I just jumped in and created my first palette knife work.
Not gonna lie, it was way too thick.
Painting with a knife is HARD.
I gave the painting to my daughter (who loved it!)

But I kept at it and am now loving the knife.

Here is my second attempt:

oil on panel

I love this painting, so I'm thinking, 
maybe I am onto something here.

My third attempt:

oil on panel

It felt kind of strange, not using a brush.
The knife does not go where I want it to go!
I bought better knives and a few spatula-type brushes and that helped.

Then - I was talking to one of my artist friends one day and she
mentioned that she was participating in an invitational
GARDEN SHOW at Sumner and Dene gallery in June.

I thought cool, that might be fun, so I called the gallery and 
they invited me to participate.
I accepted and was excited for the first time in a long time.
Now, I am busy creating a series of paintings
that are garden related.
No pressure, I can do one or twenty one.

Another of my new goals was to make a plan to
go out on location all this spring and summer and paint BIG.
I don't know if I will use knives or brushes but the
main goal is to get out of my comfort zone of small paintings and 
go for size out in the beautiful landscape- 16x20 through 30x40, to start.
I have done HUGE paintings in the past, but all were created in the studio.
It's hard enough to paint en plein air - but to paint BIG in plein air?

I am still trying to figure out the actual set-up to do that.

So anyway, I hope you will bear with me, join me on this new venture.
and check out the GARDEN SHOW this June at Sumner and Dene.
Here are the other paintings so far:


"DUET" 12x16" oil

"HIDDEN GARDEN 11x14 oil 

"POPPY GARDEN" 8x10" oil

"PRAIRIE GARDEN" 14x11" oil

"SPLENDID" V" 12x9" oil

"SUNBATHING" 10x8" oil

 "HIDDEN GARDEN" 8x10" oil

"WILD GARDEN" 12x9" oil

Thank you all for supporting me
every time I go through some kind of art breakthough.
Life is good!


  1. Someone once told me that anytime she was experiencing that "lost at sea" period in her art career, she knew enough to just step back and wait; a breakthrough was coming her way. And now I see you are the perfect example.

    Your excitement about art is contagious, and you remain a huge inspiration to me. Thank you for taking the time to write about your struggles & successes.
    Good luck on your new adventure!

  2. Good for you Dee! Just think--no brushes to clean! Ha! I hate cleaning brushes. Plus the paint ends up nice and shiny when using the knife. My paintings using brushes are dull until I let them dry and put a coat of Liquin on them. So the knife saves that step and the wait and the Liquin. I go back and forth in my Plein air paintings, but I'm using the knife more and more. Takes a bit more paint, but big deal!

    Love the new stuff you're doing and your style is stil shining thru!

  3. Congratulations on ALL your changes. Your heart was open and you were listening.

  4. I'm so proud of you. I know just what you mean when you say it is time for a change. Then finding the right thing to do is the hard part. I can't wait to watch your new style. Every day is an adventure and through your blog and Daily Painters (at least for me) I can watch your progress. Good for you Dee! Good for you! BTW, your paintings are wonderful. I love what you are doing!

  5. I'm loving your palette knife paintings!

  6. This is so very encouraging to me!! Keep on keeping on!!

    I like the new painting process you are learning....adds a whole new dimension to your work.

    : )

  7. Dee, I started using palette knives several years ago. I seem to go in stages.....sometimes only pallet knife paintings, sometimes only brushes, sometimes I paint with both in the same piece. Your knife work is gorgeous, cannot wait to see where you go with it. I especially like doing the occasional abstract with a that REALLY gets exciting.

    You have had some large changes in your life, but you are being proactive, going in the direction you want to go.....bravo!