Beautiful Paitings on Wood

Artist have used wood as a painting surface sense the beginning of time but modern artists are giving it a whole new look. I am so fascinated by the work of Alison Moritsugu and Meni Chatzipanagiotou. Moritsugu is a Hawaiian artist who is known for her detailed traditional style on unique wood rounds. I love her installation named “Wilderness” pictured above and below.

Meni Chatzipanagiotou is an artist from Greece who does beautiful wood cut style art on wooden rounds. Her work was a surrealist feel combined with a traditional style. I love these two pieces pictured below.


For my latest painting I used a birch wood round gathered from the home of this adorable baby girl. I’m excited that the surface will have significance to the family as well as the painting. This one of my first times painting on wood and I learned a lot through the process. The wooden round was already well sanded and smooth. I sketched out the silhouette of my subject and then filled it in with white acrylic primer. I then painted the portrait with oils and oiled the wood once I was finished. This process worked OK but I think a clear acrylic sealer or primer would have worked better for a portrait.


Three Amazing Women Artists I Admire

Today is International Women’s Day and I’m highlighting three amazing women artists that I admire. Being an artist isn’t easy and the field is even more difficult for women. Although I am only writing about three for the sake of time, I admire any woman who continues creating and inspires others around her.

Pages from “Sketchbook for the Artist.” by Sarah Simblet

1.Sarah Simblet is an amazing artist and writer. I admire her ability to draw loosely and fluidly as well as detailed and realistically. Being adept at all drawing media and styles is the sign of a great artist. Sarah’s book “Sketchbook for the Artist” is one of my favorite books on drawing. She has written several other instructional books over her career including, “Botany for the Artist” and, “Anatomy for the Artist.”


2.Erin Anderson is a young artist that paints beautiful realistic portraits. Anderson paints primarily with oil on copper. The copper background gives her paintings a modern abstract element that is truly stunning.




3.Camille Leidigh is the last artist but certainly not the least. I have admired Camille’s work from as far back as I can remember because she is my mother. She is the artist that taught me to always strive to do my best. She was my first watercolor teacher. She was the one that read through volume after volume of art history books with me in high school. She was the first artist that inspired me to create. Camille Leidigh proved to me that you don’t need to be famous or have your art in galleries to influence and inspire others. I don’t think it is any coincidence that four out of five of her children artists. Here are a few of her amazing paintings.




So, think about it. Who are some women artists that have helped or inspired you? Don’t forget to acknowledge them and thank them if you can.


Resolutions for Artists



A new year feels a bit like a blank canvass. Full of possibilities but a little intimidating at the same time. One way to make this year seem a bit more manageable is to make some great new year’s resolutions to help you accomplish your goals. Here are a few things to consider as you make your list of resolutions this year.

  1. Remember that it’s sometimes the littlest things that make the biggest difference. Resolving to do a sketch every single day this year is sure to improve your talents more than a making a vague goal to “get better at drawing.” So, make a small goal that you will complete consistently, at least twice a week.
  2. Make goals that will stretch you. If you don’t aim for the stars you will never reach them. Choose to say “I can” instead of “I can’t.”
  3. Don’t make your list too long. Choose a few goals that you can easily remember and that you can focus on. You don’t need a hundred resolutions to improve your art, you need just a few that will really make a difference.
  4. Resolve to get more education. Read art books from the library or sign up for an art class. You could even follow a great art blog (hint, hint). Never stop learning and growing.
  5. Make a resolution to promote your art. Make consistent posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Find ways to network with other artists and potential buyers. Signing up for art competitions is also a great way to get your name out there.

I hope this helped you make some perfect resolutions for this new year! Please post your own art goals in the comments, I’d love to hear them. You can read my art and blogging resolutions here.


Adventure and Creativity


What is the essence of an adventure? I’ve been seeing the word around a lot, on coffee cups and bumper stickers, so, I looked up the definition and found it to be, “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” I disagree with the “hazardous,” part just a little bit, but the rest of quote rings true.

I’ve always been a proponent of adventures and think that they greatly affect our creativity, and I’ll tell you why.  New, “exciting,” and “unusual,” events are often the ones that inspire us, and when we are inspired we create something that is meaningful and beautiful. It doesn’t matter if you are a baker, painter, poet, or dancer, any artist can be inspired by an adventure. If you feel stuck in your current creative endeavor, get out there, do something that you’ve never done before. Have a new experience that may change our outlook on life and your art forever.

“But what if I don’t have the time or the money for an adventure,” you may ask. Well, I think we should all try to have a once in a lifetime adventure like my brother did. He packed his supplies in a backpack and traveled into the Washington wilderness for several months. But, we should also have little adventures as often as possible. Spend your day off walking across your city or into the woods and see how far you can get. Introduce yourself to someone in an elevator. Take your sketchbook and spend a few hours in your local park recording what you see. Go to a restaurant where you can’t read anything on the menu. Go swing dancing or go to a ballet class even if you can’t dance. The the main thing is to go. Get off your phone, get off your computer, get away from your TV. We may find a rare gem of inspiration on our screens but what will really get your creative juices going are real experiences, real people, and real adventures.

I’ve been fortunate to have my fair share of great adventures. Traveling the country with my family in a van, canoeing down an icy river in the dark, and moving across to a whole new area, to name a few. My most recent adventure, however, was a small one. I saw the sign for a European Deli in our area and decided to pop in. It is owned by a wonderful little lady that never says a word of English except to count back my change. I found all sorts of wonderful foods that I couldn’t identify and was especially intrigued by the chocolates. I took the picture below because I love the colorful wrapping. Each chocolate is like a little adventure because you don’t know what your getting when you open it. Every day you live can be viewed the same way, as an adventure just waiting to be unwrapped.




The “Earth” without “Art” is just “Eh”

James Gurney



If you asked me for a list of the best artists of our day, James Gurney would be at the top. I first discovered “Dinotopia” at the library when I was a little girl. I remember pouring over each page and being transported to a whole new work.


“Waterfall City” by James Gurney


Now, as an artist, I am even more impressed with his work. His talent for making the unbelievable completely realistic is a skill that I greatly admire. One of the ways Gurney accomplishes this realism is by making small models of buildings and doing a detailed study with the correct lighting. His book “Color and Light” is an invaluable resource for any artist and is in my list of favorite art books.


“Cryolophosaurus” by James Gurney


I hope that these paintings were as inspiring to you as they are to me.


“Mountain Tribesman” by James Gurney


A Few Great Blog Posts


Painting by Emily Jeffords


It can be quite a challenge to sort through the internet to find some useful and inspiring information. To make that easier for you, here are a few of my favorite blog posts of late.

How to Improve at Live Painting in 52 Steps. This post by Howard Lyon was inspiring to me as a portrait artist. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see more detailed portraits.

Sotheby’s European Art Auction Highlights. If you are inspired by the old masters, this blog post is for you. I particularly love the first painting.

Carving out Time for Art (An Interview)  This is a great blog post for those who are artist and mothers, like me!

“The Abstract Dancer” Collection, 31 New Paintings. I love abstracts and these are just beautiful.



If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gogh

Andrew Wyeth



Andrew Wyeth is the first artist I chose for my inspiration posts because he is my all time favorite artist. Books could be written about this artists life, and well, they have been. I’ve read them. So, rather than write for pages about this very fascinating man, I’m here to say a little on what I love about his art.

Andrew Wyeth’s art is known for it’s amazing a meticulous detail. It wasn’t always this way, however. Wyeth started out working in watercolor and used a very loose style. I admire this about his work because as detail is hard, working loosely is even harder for me.




You predominately see the loose brushstrokes in earlier work like “The Lobster Man,” above. However, if you look closely, you can see that Wyeth carried that style into his later work as well by doing a expressionistic background in his paintings before starting on the detail work.





Then of course, there is the detail in Wyeth’s paintings. The detail is meticulous and realistic but still believable. Many artists make the detail overwhelming to the overall painting.




I particularly love Wyeth’s portrait work, of course. He captures the personality and persona of his models in both their features and the environment around them. In conclusion, Wyeth’s work was just genius and I hope it was an inspiration to you today.