Monday, January 25, 2016

A Rooster Named Jackson

"Jackson Squared" oil on panel (12" x 12") 2016
Jackson was an authentic  flesh and feather rooster who I met on a hot July day at Clark's Elioak Farm in Howard County, MD. Martha Clark who owns the farm  and Enchanted Forest Museum, has a petting area where young and old patrons can see and touch most of the domestic livestock. I've continued to paint Jackson over the years. In fact he was in my first paintings of 2016.   A magnificent and very vain cock of the barnyard, he proudly took charge of his flock. We got along well because I flattered him with buttery soft words that he wanted to hear.
"Jackson, you are such a handsome man, please stand over here in the light where I can see you better," the suspicious hens would overhear me saying to him.

"Jackson Puffy and Square" oil on panel (16" x 16") 2016
In time he would come close, but not too close, and lay on his side so that he could spread his wings and show me his splendid plumage. His flirtatiousness took me quite by surprise but I snapped photos of him in that position and he loved it. One day I might share them here with everyone.
I don't know if Jackson is still strutting around his rural kingdom, but where ever he is, he will be forever remembered in oil paint many times over.
So I want to share with you the two most recent paintings of him. Here are they are still on the easel as they dry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


"Darling Little Clementines" oil on panel, (6" x 12") 2015
We love the fruity sweetness of clementines. My husband, a native of Provence, calls them mandarines. He reminds me every year that the crop from Morocco, located in northwestern Africa, is the tastiest. He is right. Coming in second place is the harvest from neighboring Spain. After that we just don't take any chances since too many countries have jumped on board and frankly their clementines just don't compare. The season is almost over now and we are about to purchase our final bunch from the supermarket. I adore the petite crates in which they are presented. It just makes them even more darling and fun to paint.
"My Darling Clementines" oil on canvas, (12" x 16") 2014

Monday, January 4, 2016


"Bee Bombers" oil on panel (6" x 6") 2015

As summer came and went, I watched the gentle honeybees tirelessly visit the gardens in our Baltimore city neighborhood. Without grumble or protest they worked hard in the elements from dawn to dusk making sure to pollinate every flower and blossom within their range. Our buzzing friends never asked us to recognize that they were responsible for tending to the reproductive health of our fruit and flowers. In addition, they unselfishly shared their sweet bounty with the human keepers of their apiaries. For those who are curious to learn more about the life of bees, here's an explanation about life inside the hive.
I now understand the old phrase, "the bees knees." Originally, it referred to something insignificant like the knees of a bee... or perhaps as the work of the bees seems insignificant on a daily basis. But the long term effects of their work is nothing short of remarkable. And so, in more modern times the meaning changed, when we experience something fantastic we say it is the "bees knees."
 I'm taking my cues from the bees for 2016: work hard, give unselfishly and ask for nothing in return but peace.  Here are a few of my small oil paintings that they recently inspired.

"Bee Bush" oil on panel (6" x 6") 2015

"Bee Garden" oil on panel (6" x 6") 2015