Saturday, May 21, 2016


"I started collecting art... simply because 
I wanted pictures to hang on the wall. 
I noticed what a difference a picture 
could make to the ambience of a room, 
and indeed how shifting work around 
could change a room's whole feeling."
~ Michael Audain

Buy any original painting 
(16 x 20" or smaller)
and get it framed  FREE!! 
 10 DAYS ONLY - MAY 21 - MAY 31

Wishing You Much Joy and Many Blessings!
ith Love,

Friday, May 13, 2016

Superstitious About Friday the 13th?

"On Friday the 13th,
Don't walk under any ladders,
Don't break any mirrors,
Don't spill any salt,
And don't walk by any black cats."

Friday the 13th happens only once this year; today, May 13th. The belief that Friday the 13th is bad luck is one of the most prevalent legends of the 20th and 21st century. It is hard to pinpoint the exact origins that are responsible for it's popularity because there are so many! Follow the links to see more information about this day! 
Friday The 13th

~~ 7.5" x 5.5" original hand painted watercolor on Yupo paper ~~
Acid-free Mat w/ Backing in sleeve - 8" x 10"
Signed and certified by the artist.
Purchase the painting here.
Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Friday, May 6, 2016

The (Right) Way

"Grace, or Tao, surrounds us always.
Whenever we are open to it for a moment,
it enters into us."

~ Herman Hesse

Tao |dou; tou| - noun
(in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order. ORIGIN Chinese, literally ‘(right) way.’

We get caught up in living, "our" way of doing things and sometimes forget
to slow down and ask ourselves what is the "right"way for us.

Are we thinking or doing things in an automatic, rushed, habitual way
instead of savoring our moments by looking inward for joy, meaning and love?

When we are kind to ourselves,
it has a ripple effect and spills out into the lives of others.
While the precepts listed here may seem too idealistic,
perhaps you can find a few concepts that resonate
and inspire you to find more harmony and light in your life.

Miyamoto Musashi describes 21 principles (to strive for) of Tao:
"1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.
21. Never stray from the Way.”

Modern science has recently confirmed that our thoughts
actually change the pathways of neurons in our brain.
Habitual reactions to situations shorten those nerve cell connections,
which in turn physically alters and triggers our own unique conception of reality.

Wishing You Much Joy and Many Blessings!
ith Love,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Evaluating Yupo Paper Vs. PI-180

"What works for one artist doesn't necessarily work for another - try anything and everything and go with what works for you."
~ Paul Dixon

Yupo paper Vs. PI-180 Comparison Test
A few months back, Rocheux International in Sommerset, NJ contacted me about trying out their synthetic paper. Chris wrote to me that his company supplies a similar product to Yupo and asked if I'd be interested in evaluating their product. I agreed to let them know how their paper compares.

Provided with some of their PI-180 grade, which was closest to the 74# white Yupo., I immediately noticed that it was not quite as heavy as the 74# and had a slicker surface.

Yesterday, after a little prodding from Chris, some tests were conducted. using alcohol inks - the same colors and process on each set, (Yupo on the left and PI-180 on the right). Each set was painted simultaneously and the sequence and timing were relatively the same for both.

Out of all the tests, I liked the Yupo the best for the ability to lift the pigment from the paper. The surface of the PI-180, although slicker, seemed to drag more as if working on a paper with more tooth. Notice how the middle paintings differ. Once set, the ink hardly moved with the splattering of alcohol on the PI-180. That being said, I really love the colors on the PI-180 in the bottom set.

Playing around a little with watercolor on them and yeilded similar results. The pigment on the PI-180 surface seemed to drag and not lift as easily as on the Yupo.

Bottom line - These experiments are only the tip of the iceberg. Many more would have to be done, using more techniques and mediums to come to more firm conclusions. The PI-180 may be a viable alternative when using some techniques. Price comparison, where it is made, if and when this paper will be available to the public is unknown to me. If you wish to find out more and possibly get some samples to test for yourself, you can contact Chris at:

"All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Creating!!

X ♥  O

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Vincent van Gogh ~ 1853-1890

On May 4, 2012, my family and I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the special exhibit, Van Gogh, Up Close. 

Self Portrait ~ 1889

One of the most famous and prolific artists of all time, post-impressionist,  Vincent van Gogh painted over 900 pieces in a period of less than ten years. He only sold one painting in his lifetime and was continually tormented by mental and physical illnesses. At the age of 37, he shot himself in the chest and died two days later. His younger brother and best friend, Theo, who supported him financially and spiritually over the years, died six months after Vincent and is buried next to him in Auvers, France. Theo's widow, Johanna, left all alone with a young child to raise, dedicated herself to promoting and selling Vincent's artwork. She is the main reason Vincent's work finally got the recognition it so rightly deserved.

"It was he [Vincent] who helped me to accommodate my life in such a way that I can be at peace with myself. Serenity - this was the favorite word of both of them [Vincent and Theo], the something they considered the highest. Serenity - I have found it." ~ Johanna van Gogh

Iris, The ~ 1889

The show focused mainly on the work produced in the last four years of Vincent's life. Many of the pieces in the exhibit were florals and landscapes. Featured here are some of the paintings present in the show, many of which, were unknown to me.

"What am I in most people's eyes? A nonentity or an eccentric and disagreeable man... I should want my work to show what is in the heart of such an eccentric, of such a nobody." ~ Vincent van Gogh

Although the perspective seems a bit off in this piece, the power of the gigantic, gnarled trees and the soft, warm, muted color palette really draws you in.

"Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model." ~ Vincent van Gogh

During the period when Vincent was staying in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France, he painted many close-up, still life, nature pieces.

"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, 'He feels deeply, he feels tenderly." ~ Vincent van Gogh

This joyful little painting (about 8" x 12") of a back lit tree in a field of cheerful yellows, red and green, made me feel that Vincent must have had some really satisfying, blissful days. One could sense his delight while painting this one.

"How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun." ~ Vincent van Gogh

Rain ~ 1889

On the other side of the coin, this one actually brought tears to my eyes. Painted from his asylum window, Vincent's deep feelings of pain, anguish and desperation are evident.

"As a suffering creature, I cannot do without something greater than I – something that is my life – the power to create." ~ Vincent van Gogh

There were few portraits among the many pieces in the exhibit, but I like this painting of him next to this photograph.

"It isn't an easy job to paint oneself – at any rate if it is to be different from a photograph. And you see – this, in my opinion, is the advantage that impressionism possesses over all the other things; it is not banal, and one seeks after a deeper resemblance than the photograph." ~ Vincent van Gogh

Blossoming Almond Tree ~ 1890

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" ~ Vincent van Gogh

The last painting, one of the best-loved in the exhibit, was this Blossoming tree with a turquoise background. It was painted as a gift to Theo's newborn son, Vincent. He was born three months prior to his namesake and famous uncle's suicide.

All these images are in the public domain and are copyright free in the United States.

See photos taken at the Philadelphia Museum of Art here.

Although Vincent never experienced the validation and fame he deserved, his mission in life certainly has been accomplished; probably more than almost any other artist that has ever lived.

"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, 'He feels deeply, he feels tenderly." ~ Vincent van Gogh

X ♥  O


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fill Your Life With Love

"If you don't fill your days with love,
you are wasting your life."
~ James Broughton
Learn • Love • Create
FUNdamentals of Alcohol Ink

Online Workshop Starts September 2016
(Registration Opens in August)

We all come from different places and have unique experiences in life.
That's what makes you - you and me - me, and I think that our art should reflect that.

It's not just about techniques . . .
By sharing my journey, my way and my inspiration, I encourage you to
explore your passions more fully and find your own "love driven" way of creating.

Make a written list of everything you love, then let your art express that list.

and receive FUNdamentals of Alcohol Ink ECourse Updates.

Thanks for your friendship.
Happy Spring and Happy Creating!!

X ♥  O