Monday, December 31, 2007

old year post

I was looking for one image from my work in 2007 to sum up the year. This is a personal favorite. I love the random and accidental marks and the powerful maze of the cross. For me it's is a good metaphor for 2007 . I thank God for the blessings (and challenges) of this year and I pray for guidance through 2008.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Deck the Halls

At this link, you can scroll down and see links to the holiday decorations of hundreds of bloggers! I got there thanks to my sister who is so good at the internet it's scary!

We've used this tree for 24 years. Except now we just use the top half. I love it. It goes into the basement (with the lights still wrapped around it). It gets covered with a sheet and sleeps until we haul it out again the next year. No, we're not a hot chocolate, wander the woods and slaughter some poor pine kinda family. Sorry. It works for us. The good news is, we could have Christmas in July at a moments notice! The Hallmark plastic tree topper w is something we got for 1/2 off the first year we were married- 30 years ago. All the favorite ornaments are on there.

My neice made the wreath for me. I painted the icon (called the Hodegetria) and where the quilt is hanging, there's supposed to be an Advent Starry Night. You'll see it on the table next to the icon. I finished the quilt (which was a big learning curve for me). I made it with a Lenten theme. When I hung it up with the Advent stuff just to look at it for a while, it seemed to fit, so here it is! Serendipitous Christmas/Lent combo.

Now I should go help to shovel snow. My Husband probably looks like Nanook of the North by now. we really got walloped overnight.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Another recent painting 24"x30" and the photo that inspired the sky. This one is heading for the January-February show in the lobby of St Mary's Health Care.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I painted this Advent Starry Night in 1997 in purples, blues and golds. I removed the color on Photoshop for possible reproduction on a Christmas eve liturgy. It's nice to see that the composition holds up in black and white. For me, pondering the mysteries of Christ's birth is what this season is about.

Of course , there is a serious nod here to Vincent Van Gogh.

Monday, December 17, 2007


The second in a series of morphing non-objective compositions. They are painted intuitively without an advance plan. It's just me and my paint and the moving spirit. It's a fun way to work.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Here are 4 stages of a recent painting from vine charcoal on a warm brown background to the finished product. This is 24x30" and headed for a show at St. Mary's Health Care in January.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I spent many hours on this at the Fire and Water Showroom between customers. I think I've refined it as far as it wants to go! It's an amalgam of pictures I took and experiences I've had in Northern Michigan. It's 30"x40". It's fun to work that large. It will be included in the solo exhibit I'm having in the St. Mary's Health Care lobby in January.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rilke's birthday


December 4 is the birthday of poet Rainer Maria Rilke, (books by this author) born in Prague (1875), one of his ideas was that human beings are put on earth in order to experience the beauty of ordinary things.

In the Ninth Elegy, Rilke wrote:

"Maybe we're here only to say: house,
bridge, well, gate, jug, olive tree, window —
at most, pillar, tower... but to say them, remember,
oh, to say them in a way that the things themselves
never dreamed of existing so intensely."

I listened ahead to the Writer's Almanac for tomorrow. Rilke said some amazing and interesting things. His quote about "living the questions into the answers" was an inspiration for me for a series of paintings last year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mary E. Andersen

My friend Mary is amazing. I've been having her come over and critique some paintings. Her comments are right on! What a blessing to have a compatriot who will help me evaluate my work! See her website on the sidebar of the blog.

New York

This is an excerpt from Tuesday's Writer's Almanac a poem by Edward Field titled New York
"We do God's will whether we know it or not:

where I live the streets end in a river of sunlight."


I long to go there. I long to go anywhere. All in good time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This is my favorite stage of painting. This is about 30"x40". The looseness of blocking in an idea and the beginning of laying in color is so exciting. Now I'm knee deep into the greens and golds and fighting my way through. It's all problem solving from here on! You won't see another photo of it until it comes out the other side!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


These are snowflakes cut by my daughter, Elizabeth Conover, back in 2001. I think they are exquisite.

Friday, November 23, 2007

paintings in the works

I'm very excited about some new paintings that are underway and a quilt that's midway as well. Some photos of the works in progress will be posted soon- they are in my favorite stage right now, just emerging from the blank canvas.

AH! and during a coffee break I looked out the window to see snowflakes and yellow leaves drifting to the ground at the same time. Beautiful! And my faithful husband is sweeping them with the lawnmower up as fast as they fall. If I was a poet and not a painter, I'd spend the afternoon bending that into a stanza or two.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I have no profound 'quote of the day' or picture to accompany it. I simply have a thankful heart, today especially. I praise God for all the gifts he's given us in this amazing world, and specifically the gifts he's given me. My life isn't perfect, but I sure appreciate the people and things and nature and physical health I'm enjoying right now.

For a wonderful thankfulness poem, Google Jane Kenyon "Otherwise".

Have you been to the Writer's Almanac? Garrison Keilor reads it every day it 10 AM on one of our stations and I always feel like I'm having a good day when I'm able to listen to it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First prize

This painting won a first prize (cash award) yesterday in the People's Choice awards at Bishop Hills Retirement Community. Our Rivertown Artist Guild has a show there every fall and the staff and residents vote on their favorites. I won 3rd last year and 2nd the year before that! I saved this particular painting for that show because I knew it was a crowd pleaser. I like it too. Next stop for it is the lobby of St Mary's Health Care in January.

Those folks have pretty good taste! It means a lot to me. This painting didn't make it into the 2007 Festival show in GR so you just never know!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I've begun to play digitally with more of the 'blurry' photos taken at the Turning Pointe School of Dance recitals in the past. This one is called 'into the light'. It's a pure joy to work on these on Photoshop until just the right color and composition emerge.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


This painting will also hang in the new living room at Church of the Servant.
It has the answer to the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism imbedded into the painting in pencil. The question is: "What is your only comfort in life and in death?" The answer begins: "That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ..."


This piece will hang in the living room at Church of the Servant. There are prayers imbedded in the work in pencil. It's 13" x 36".

Monday, November 05, 2007

ANASTASIS- the large version begins

This will be the bottom of the large Resurrection banner I'm working on for Park Church. Quite a change from the one I posted further down this page! I resurrected some fabric paint that's been hanging around and it was still good! Createx paint rocks! I used some of the stencil and atomized paint techniques I've used on paper.

I have other pieces cut and laid out on the basement floor which I'm using as my 'design wall', I'm excited about where this is going! I have a meeting with the minister and committee leader today- I hope they like this new direction. More postings as soon as they reveal themselves!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Not great photos but these are the 24x30" paintings I've been working on. They need to rest while I decide if they're done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I've given myself a 'painting vacation' from the fabric work and I am enjoying it immensely. These are a couple of the little 6x6 paintings I've done recently. These are pieces that I'm keeping for myself. I've sold 3 in the last week at Fire and Water. Also in the pipeline are some larger paintings of a field in Lowell off Alden Nash Road which I'll post as they get finished. I'm supposed to be painting today but I'm fighting bronchitis and it's left me pretty wiped out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

featured artist at Fire and Water

I have the honor of being the featured artist at the Fire and Water ART Showroom (219 West Main in Lowell, Michigan) for November. Come in and see my work this month (and every month) at this fabulous art showroom!

These are a couple of the mixed media pieces I have on display. I work in a wide range of styles and I enjoy the variety. Some may think my work lacks a single focus, but I like the freedom to experiment! I don't want my work to be confined to one genre or media. There are too many wonderful things to play with in the art world these days!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Linda Witte Henke

My friend Linda Witte Henke just gave me some feedback on the banner- excellent comments that reinforce some of my own. I knew the design needed tweaking, I was just relieved to get it done! The large one will be more complex. Since I'm newish at this fiber arts stuff, I'm getting up to speed. If only I knew how to do what I want to do!! but I'm learning. Check out Linda's website: How blessed I am to get feedback from one of the best! Also check! She's been a great encourager. Also, Betsy Carlson, my quilting instructor at Lakeshore Sewing is funny and patient and tolerant of a newbie. Such a wonderful group of fiber artists. Fiber artists may be, as a group, the nicest artists I know!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Anastasis icons

These are two of the traditional icon treatments of the subject of Anastasis or resurrection.


is a title that has often been used on pictures of the Resurrection of Christ. It means "to stand again". That is the theme for this banner which I've been working on for a few months. This is just the mockup. It's a quarter size, but it helps us see what the shapes and colors look like together. Now I need to show it to people at Park Church to get the go ahead for the large one. Then I have until March 23 (which is Easter in 2008- early this year).

Interestingly Anastasis is also the title of a beautiful tapestry at Park made by church women. It has as it's theme the Phoenix rising. I think it was made after a fire destroyed part of the church.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

so close...

I am very close to completing the maquette or mockup for the large banner commission. THEN I can blog some sketches and discuss the process. Lakeshore Sewing and Betsy Carlson have been very helpful in helping me reaccess my sewing skills! Also, going down to Saugatuck a few weeks ago and visiting with Nellie Durand at Good Goods Gallery was a real inspiration (google her and check out her blog!) She was very generous with her time and knowledge.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Here is a dresser I found abandoned on the side of the street. It's a Bassett with dovetailed joints and a beautiful walnut veneer. A week of elbow grease, a little bit of $$ and help from my spouse and here we have a dresser suitable for a cottage! Fun to make a change like that! This has consumed my energy for a while. It's nice to have it finished with such satisfactory results. On to other things!