Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Art Class

Today I taught a painting class in the old fish house on Lake Superior that is the former studio of Birney Quick. There were five of us painting the views from the windows. We had a great time, and a fantastic lunch.

A Figure In The Hallway Light

A figure in the hallway light
Returning like a ghost
Something that was left behind
Something in a child's mind

lyrics by Julie Flanders
CD: October Project

Friday, March 24, 2006

Something In A Child's Mind

See three posts down for an earlier (upside down!) version of this painting. This "deconstructed fish" speaks to that dream I had as a child, of finding a beautiful fish in the mud puddle in our driveway.

Wayside Rest

I've been working this past week on 5 new acrylic paintings, and have posted them to my blog in stages. Now they are done, and I'll post a couple here. You can look back at my two previous posts to see the changes. This one is called "Wayside Rest" which I got from a sign on my way to the gallery. A wayside rest is a place to relax on your journey... whether you pull the car over and find a shady spot of green with dappled colors filtering down, or the mental rest that comes from laughing with a friend. Hugging. Anything other than the mundane business of life.

Monday, March 20, 2006


OK, I think that painting I posted yesterday will hang upside down from how it is pictured here. Could be that none of these are right side up yet. I've got some of these five hanging on the wall in my bedroom so I can look at them as I fall asleep and wake up. That's when they tell me what they need. I'll post another here today.

I sold another painting from the Pie Place. Of course that's a good feeling. Both for the money and for the validation. And for the symbiosis with friends.

I've got a few other ideas about venues to show my work. I have to follow up on one or two things today. Try to make it happen.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Acrylics in Progress

I am working on some acrylic abstracts for the Coho show. Each of these canvases is 22 x 24 inches, and there will be five in this format. On a weekend with a sick child and the furnace going out (it was 7 degrees out that night!), it feels so good to lose myself in paint.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I think today's weather would be called a blizzard. Yes it's cold and snowy, but that wind! Anyway, yesterday I posted a mermaid... Today, here's a merman. I thought he was interesting... the fish eye, the fin on the head...

Today I'll start getting a show of paintings ready to hang at Coho Cafe in a week or two. Then I'll be showing there again in August. I want to make this show very different from what I've shown there in the past. Whimsical. It's always colorful, of course.

I'm thinking happy thoughts on a brutal day.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Today I painted mermaids. They're watercolor and ink again... quick sketches. Sometimes when I look out over Lake Superior or even some of the inland lakes, I see a wave appear. I don't know what's lurking just below the surface. The Loch Ness monster? A mermaid? The underwater world is a magical place to me. Impossible for me to inhabit. So I peer into opaque blue water and wonder. Afraid to dangle my toe for fear of what might live there. Of course this time of year the inland lakes are frozen. The ice is compromised and will soon give way once again to open water.

Friday, March 10, 2006

White Pines at the Pie Place

I just wanted to post a couple of the paintings that I have on display at The Pie Place in Grand Marais. The first is acrylic on paper, and the second is acrylic on wood. These are two of ten paintings hanging in the restaurant, five are on paper, five on wood.

Grammy's House

The following is an exerpt from a poem I wrote when I found out my mother had cancer back in 1998:

As a child on vacation,
I had to endure many hours on the road.
Mom always told me to lie down and go to sleep,
and when I woke up, maybe we'd be at Grammy's house.
I wonder if that is what it's like to die?
When we wake up, we'll be at Grammy's.
The journey passes with our father at the wheel.
Our only job is to rest while he takes care of us.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Little Dog, Big Dreams

This is a Cruiser. Even a little dog can cast a big shadow. That seems somehow significant to me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Inside the Caboose

Since I posted an exterior shot last time, I thought I'd share a couple of interior pictures of my little art gallery in a caboose.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Gallery Opening, Night 2

The last two nights at Great Northern Gallery were an amazing experience for me. So many people came out to see my work, and it was a very humbling experience. I feel so lucky to live in Grand Marais, and to be part of such a supportive community. Of course it was validating and helpful to sell some artwork, but the thing I really love is talking about the things that inspire me, telling stories about the creative process, symbolism in my paintings and getting feedback.

Thanks to all of you who came out, and to those of you that give me so much support but live too far away to stop in. I feel very blessed.

Gallery Opening, Night 1

I had a great time last night at the opening reception for my new work. Pictured above are (left) Leah Thomas, Director of the North Shore Music Association, with whom I have collaborated on many projects in the past, with many more to come, and (right) my dear friend Susan Kirkham whose blog you can read HERE. The inset photo is Holly and Madeline, two people who mean more to me than I could even write here. Tonight is another reception. Last night happened to be the annual meeting for WTIP, our local radio station, so a lot of people weren't able to attend my opening. I'll be hosting Monday Night Mix on WTIP on March 27, which is webstreamed. Wherever you are, you can tune in!

Friday, March 03, 2006


And I think of Jesus in the garden
watching over the flowers
as they grow without me there.
Jesus in the garden in morning dew.
Watching the ladybugs on the daylilies,
beetles scurrying in dirt
and the yellow candy butterflies fluttering.
Jesus in the garden in the rain.
Caring for the nightcrawlers
I hid under the monk's hood after the fishing trip.
Seeing the straw flowers close.
. . .
I remember Jesus hovering
hugely above the newly sprouted plants.
Asking him to care for the tiny tomato plants
I may have put out too early.
Jesus, pure white like snow.
Dominating the garden.
The plants flourished.
The tender tomato plants now hang heavy with fruit
and Jesus still stands guard watching...
pitted from the rain and sun...
crumbling a bit.
And part of me wants to bring him inside
where he'll be safe.
Does he spend himself caring for the earth?
Exposed to the same elements
that make the garden plants thrive,
does he begin to wither?
And I leave him perched on that rock
just behind the rhubarb.
Watching him watch the flowers.
Waiting to see what will happen next.
I am comforted by this Jesus.
In the garden in the rain.
In sun.
In thunder.
In night.
Not hidden away in a great cathedral, draped in ceremony,
but cavorting with ladybugs and bumblebees.
The nightcrawlers,
and such a worm as I.


This morning I went over to the Pie Place and put titles on all my paintings. I have 10 paintings over there... 9 of pine trees (one with a moose, two with the Gunflint Trail), and one of pink Lupines. Five are on wood, five on paper. Kathy said when she was waiting tables last night she felt like she was walking through a pine forest. I like that! In the photo above, the larger framed painting is 4'x4'.

Now today I'll be putting the final touches on my show opening in the caboose at 5:00 this afternoon. Susan sent me a beautiful flower arrangement yesterday that I will put on the refreshment table. That was so sweet. With all she has going on, it means a lot to me that she thinks of me.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Moose Are Big

In fact, they are the largest member of the deer family!

While this is a portrait of my daughter, Madeline, it is also simply a picture of a vulnerable child at peace in what would normally be a very dangerous situation. Looking at this painting, I have no fear for her safety, though this moose has some fire behind his eyes. She is in complete control, completely relaxed, almost meditating. It comforts me. Life has a way of handing me big scary situations. My preference would be to relax and ride in peace rather than get tense and fight.

This picture also contains definite elements of the beautiful north woods that surround me.

Part of me doubts that anyone would want to buy a picture of Madeline, but then I think of the great masterpieces of art history. The Mona Lisa. Picasso's Portrait De Femme. Whistler's Mother. Van Gogh's portrait of Père Tanguy. Portraits.

This painting is 4' x 4', and is acrylic on wood.

The Pie Place

Exciting news! I am going to be showing some of my paintings at The Pie Place in Grand Marais. What can I say about The Pie Place? I love these people. And it's not just pie. Though you can get almost any kind of pie you can imagine by the slice, by the whole pie, to go or to eat in, they also offer elegant breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in their dining room or on the sunny enclosed porch with a view of Lake Superior. They will also deliver meals around the Grand Marais area. The restaurant is located at 2017 W. Hwy. 61, just west of Great Northern Gallery. I will be hanging some of my North Woods type paintings there, some as early as today.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


In addition to the photo cards in the gallery, I had this image printed as a postcard. I was in the right place at the right time on that day. I was sitting on the west breakwall next to the gps tower as the Hjordis sailed back into the harbor. The sails caught the full light of the setting sun. I love this picture. It sums up what living in Grand Marais is all about for me. This photo is SOOO Grand Marais. It couldn't be taken anywhere else. This time of year, I miss spending time at the harbor. Warm days are coming. Warm days are coming. Warm days are coming.