saying hello

Another Portrait of Naomi Along with Some Other Thoughts...

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Earlier this year I completed this portrait of my daughter, Naomi, it has all the aspects I love exploring in a painting, a particularly challenging light effect, a use of expressive color, and my beloved daughter wrapped in the first quilt I ever completed.

In June this painting graced the cover of the local magazine, Elan.  I was honored to have Natalia Megas write an article about my career path and work.


And today, as I write this post, I feel fortunate to be an artist and to create on a daily basis.  Especially as the person in my life who had a profound influence on the interests I have cultivated as an adult is no longer here. 

Last week my grandmother passed away, and it is her influence on me as a child that led me to be committed to “making and creating” my way through life.  I have been thinking a lot about her since I heard the news that she had died and I keep asking myself to remember the various ways she shaped me.

One experience stands out to me the most.  It took place when I was nine years old and I was staying with her for an extended visit.  When I arrived the only clothes packed were play clothes, nothing nice enough to wear to church.  This was unacceptable to Grammer (what the grandkids called her), however she immediately solved the issue by sewing a quick shirt and skirt ensemble for me.  I still remember the blue calico pattern of the top, it was one of her fabrics she would use in her quilts. Grammer was a quilting fanatic at the time, and through this experience, I learned that it was possible to make and create your way out of problem or situation.

My desire to always have some sort of sewing project going can be directly related to her influence.  I will miss my grandmother, however I know every time I sit down to quilt or sew, I will be with her in spirit. 

This post is more personal than I typically like to publish, however, I am hopeful by sharing these thoughts and feelings I will better be able to metabolize the grief I am currently experiencing and begin creating again.

Thank you for reading,  Liz

Valuing Everyday Moments

Valuing Everyday Moments

Elevating everyday moments into fine art

In 2012, my husband helped me narrow down my art philosophy into this distinct and simple statement. Five years later it still holds true today. It is my goal to celebrate and live with intention, and to bring this sense of life to my creative process of painting.

In the last year so much has changed, but still this underlying principle holds, and I still come to art with the deep desire to share my love of simple things and elevate these experiences into fine art. 2017 has been a year of transition and growth, and today marks an important anniversary for my own path as an artist.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events


I want to share with you all that is going on right now in the studio.

First off, I am preparing for a museum exhibition at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont. The exhibition will open in September 2017 and run through December 2017, and I will post more about it as time gets closer and I have finally finished the painting for it.

Secondly, I have finalized my teaching schedule.



{my garden this morning}

It has been a busy couple months, with our move in December, establishing a new garden and all the regular stuff that life throws at you. I’ve been posting via Instagram recent work-in-progress paintings, but blogging about my studio process has taken a bit of a backseat. (It is just so easy to post an in-process photo via Instagram!)

First Day of Spring

Happy First Day of Spring!!!

I thought I would share some of my favorite springtime images from last year in my old garden.

Early March, when the bulbs were just beginning to peak out.  Those yellow daffodils are some of the earliest bloomers, if the winter is mellow they sometimes bloom the first week of March!

And my back boarder with some "bouquet" tulips.  I loved them in the garden, but they did not ever make it into the studio for a painting.

I have been busy digging up my old garden and enjoying all the time in the sun.  I will be recreating a long row of purple bearded irises in the new garden, I always loved this view.   However I now realize that irises need to be dug up every 4-5 years or they get out of control!  Even though it looks fantastic.

Sweet William, and Centura in the foreground.  The really tall, fun architectural green stems on the left was a rogue bunch of goldenrod.  At first I did not know what it was, but I allowed it to grow because I like how tall and structured the vertical stems looked,  and they looked great in late August, though they are aggressive and choked out my seaholly and echinacea in this bed.

...and my beloved nicotiana.  I love this plant and its beautiful scale, I think this year I am going to plant it with my dahlias.

Wishing you a very happy Spring season!


My New Garden

"The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives." ( Gertrude Jekyll)


It has been a while since I posted here. I find in times when so much is going on and with the ability to share small snippets via Instagram and Facebook, my tendency to share deeply also goes away. However this month I am choosing to slow down, and to start sharing more, in a slower, more meaningful way.

Garden Plan 1st draft {first draft of my garden plan}

This morning I am going to share with you what has me so excited, my new garden.

The autumn of 2016 was a whirlwind of effort that culminated with the purchase and move to a new home. November and December were all about packing up and physically moving into our new home. December and January were a whirlwind of boxes, gallon paint cans and all the paraphernalia that goes with a rapid push to get some of the rooms of our new home freshly painted and set up for how we want to live. There is still more to do inside however since February, my attention has been turning outside in focusing on how to move my previous garden to my new outdoor space.

This is what I have to work with, a beautiful, large yard that already had an established vegetable patch in the central open area that receives full sun for at least half of the day. I am so excited about what I’m going to grow here. 9032 Buckner backyard 2

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{the existing backyard}

The existing vegetable patch will be host to some vegetables, however mainly annual flowers like zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers will go here. The surrounding flowerbeds that I am creating will host my perennial plants.

Garden Plan final design 20170308

{the plan as of today, it may change, but pretty much this is what I am planning on implementing}

As you can see by my notations, I will have a main central garden, based on  classic English cottage gardens, with pebble paths and gathering areas.  The main one will be for meals and hanging out, and a second play space is for Naomi.  She still has her playhouse and sandbox, and this time the flower beds that surround her area will be filled up with flowers and plants of her choice.  Plus in the middle of the two squares that have (4) "L"s in them will be the peach trees she has been asking for.  She loves peaches and since I told her about how my grandpa had a peach tree in his backyard so he could go out and pick sun-ripened peaches, she has latched onto the idea and has been requesting to grow peaches in our backyard.  So this spring we will pick out two peach trees for her.  The Dahlia bed that will run along the north side of the yard may or may not be implemented this year, it all depends on how much I get done this month with regard to the rest of the garden.

Today the garden is still a construction site with some plants already placed with the vast majority of plants still over at the old garden. As you can see, the layout is established with the black garden fabric that denotes where the gravel paths will be. I used the lasagna method of establishing flowerbeds, this utilizes a layer of cardboard placed on top of the turf with a thick layer of compost and leaf mulch placed on top (5 to 6 inches deep). I then place my plants in each flower bed as I have planned and fertilize everything.  I will then layer another layer of mulch on top of everything once things are settled. 9032 Buckner today 20170308-01

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March is going to be a crazy month, full of digging, lugging and relocating my beloved plants. Some plants are especially sentimental as they are from dear friends and now I almost consider them family.

Saying Hello: Studio Status and Creative Mantra

20160620 paintings{Recent work-in-progress paintings along side some completed paintings}


This morning I am stopping in to say hi and give you an update of how things are going this summer.

My mantra as an artist is all about expressing my world view of the importance of living life to the fullest and celebrating the simple things that go into daily life. I strive to capture the feelings and visual impressions of the objects that populate my life. Lately, I am not posting to my website as often as I did several years ago, however I am still creating on a daily basis. My priorities are divided on creating art and being there for my husband, daughter and friends.

In the last two years I have been working on larger and more complex paintings than before and at the end of the day my mental bandwidth has shifted. It is not so easy to write about what I created at the end of the day because I am still thinking about it and trying to solve any challenges or problems that arose in the paintings I am working on. Often paintings are taking longer to complete and I am becoming more introspective about them. In the last nine months I have noticed that I often sit on a painting for several weeks before I decide whether it is finished or not, this is because now I will go back into a painting and tweak an area or change aspects of another. I am learning that a painting can be continually worked on for years if I am so inclined to do so.

In addition, I am preparing for a three-woman exhibition at the Principle Gallery, Alexandria, and I am holding off writing specific posts about the individual paintings I am creating for the exhibition until August.

My communications will be limited this summer while I am busy at work in my studio and garden.


My Garden: End of May

201605 - my garden 01May came and went very quickly and I was particularly happy with how lovely the irises were this year.

201605 - my garden 02This summer I hope to have a bunch of dahlias to paint, as I planted several tubers and have already installed their tomato cage supports to help me remember where they were planted.  I also labeled them, which is not a common action of mine because I embrace the whole "wild gardening" attitude and often let volunteers grow where they seed themselves.  This of course leads to a crazy garden in August and September.

Already I have gaillardia and batchelor buttons growing in places I did not expect this year, however I love them, so they remain where they are :)

201605 - my garden 04 Recently Naomi asked to take some photos of the garden.  The photos below were taken by her.  It is so magical seeing what she admires and likes enough to photograph.

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201605 - my garden by naomi 04 Naomi loves the clover growing all over our lawn, and has been picking them to make bouquets and flower crowns lately.

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201605 - my garden by naomi 07


Three-Woman Exhibition and Portrait Painting Demo in August


Hello,This August my work will be part of a three-woman exhibition! (Yay!) I am super excited about this opportunity to have my work hang beside the talented Cindy Procious and Mia Bergeron.

The next three months are going to be busy. To make sure I am ready for August, I am painting a lot, exploring new painting subjects along with focusing on my floral still-life work. (I have some previews of some of the work I have finished so far, however I have yet to photograph them… more to come later.)

In addition to the exhibition, the Principle Gallery is also hosing another FaceOff Portrait Painting demonstration. We three ladies (Cindy, Mia, and I) will paint a portrait sketch in three hours on Saturday, August 27th.

In order to prepare for this event, I need your help. If you live in the DC area, I am looking for people to volunteer for a 2-hour practice portrait sketch. Here is a link to available dates.

And this is a recent portrait sketch completed a few weeks ago. 20160428 sheba sketch

Two summers ago I participated in this event, and you can read more about how I prepared for the FaceOff then. Read more here and here.

Still Life Invitational at the Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA


Language of Objects (2) 2016 04 Just a quick hello to share some fun news.

This month I have several pieces in the Principle Gallery's Still Life Invitational: The Language of Objects.  My work will be alongside some phenominal still-life artists, like Teresa Fischer, Cindy Procious, Jacob Pfeiffer, and Louise Fenne, to name a few.

I feel so honored to be a part of this exhibition.

The opening reception is this Friday!  April 15th, from 6:30-9:00pm, and then on Saturday, April 16th I will be at the gallery participating in a live painting demonstration from 1-4:00pm.  

If you are in the area please stop by at one of these events,


Life Lately, Happy New Year!


20160202 life lately{the window sill in my studio with discarded props}

The first month of 2016 has already gone by and even though I have not shared anything new here, I have been very active in the studio. As of today, I have finished two paintings, one small and one large (32 x 40 inches), and I believe another still-life painting is halfway finished, as is a portrait of Naomi.

My quilt painting series is continuing this year and I am so excited about them, as this series is a big part of my 2016 goals. Soon I will post more about this series, how it has come into being and what it means to me on an emotional level.

Until then, I wish you a Happy New Year! Liz

Catching up and saying hello


Hello, I have a ton to share with you after a surprising August and a hectic back-to-school season. Naomi began preschool earlier this month and we are beginning to settle into a routine, something I was looking forward to because I think when my schedule is more regimented, more gets done.

First to share, my painting “Created with Love” is pictured in the Focus on Fabric by Max Gillies in the October 2015 issue of Fine Art Connoisseur. 20150917-fine-art-conn

It is an honor to have my work highlighted and alongside so many other amazing and talented artists.

Secondly, two of my paintings are going off to two different Oil Painters of America (OPA) juried exhibitions this autumn. The first to leave the studio is “A Young Rose” which will head to Birmingham, Al to part of the OPA 2015 Juried Salon Show at the Beverly McNeil Gallery hanging from October 8 - November 5, 2015. And then in November, “Heirloom Tomatoes” is headed to Indianapolis, IN for the OPA 2015 Eastern Regional Exhibition at Eckert & Ross Fine Art.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks, and I have a backlog of paintings to share with you, and I will start right away by posting several paintings at once.

Thanks for stopping by, Liz

Semi-Private Oil Painting Lessons


7 x 5 inches - oil on linen panel

Are you interested in learning to realistically paint with oils with a great deal of personal attention?

If so, I teach semi-private art lessons on Sunday mornings and currently there is an opening for this upcoming Fall Term.

We meet in the intimate space of my home studio* and for the fall term we will be focusing on mastering metals.  Each week  you will work from a still-life setup that includes a metal object.  Students work in oils.  All levels are welcome.

Fall term begins Sunday, September 13th Tuition is $285 for seven weeks 10am to 1pm, Sundays September 20th thru November 22th, no class on Sept 27th, Oct 11th, and Nov 1st. Please email me for more information.

Supplies are not included, here is a recommended supply list for beginning oil painting students.

*I live near Mount Vernon  and we share the studio with my constant companion, Slim, our Abyssinian kitty.

My Garden: Mid-April

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Since the middle of March I have been spending more time outside prepping the garden for spring and summer flowers. Working in the crisp mornings or the temperate afternoons has been a joy.

Here are some images of my focus lately.

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Naomi's play house and sandbox is in the middle of my "formal" flower garden.  In early March the playhouse got a new color scheme from its original cedar red.  Tulips and forget-me-nots are blooming in abundance now while all the other plants are starting to leaf.

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Last spring I got a celandine wood poppy and I am so pleased to see it back and so happy among the forget-me-nots and bleeding hearts.

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The tulips and daffodils in the foreground are located in my "dry" bulb beds.  I am experimenting with having some areas of my yard being low maintenance, the ground covered in wood-chip mulch and allowing various bulbs to naturalize.

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20150423 my-garden-mid-april-09

And this is a small "test" section of my back flower boarder that is typically full of annuals.  Last fall I decided to test a section of it by planting some fritillaria meleangris and scillia siberica.  To my surprise the fritillaria, which are particularly known for being fussy and temperamental have prospered while the scillia were a bit lackluster.  So next fall I think I will expand to another area...

Have a wonderful day and soon I hope to have some spring themed paintings to share.

Stretch – Evolve – Rest, My words for 2015

20150130 slim-on-quilt{Resting is easy for our kitty, Slim}

Every year I try to select a few words that will be my overarching mantra for the year. These “words of the year” help me stay focused on the main values I want to promote, and as always each word has a special meaning to me and all I hope to accomplish in 2015.


In that when I am working, I want to spend a lot of my time in unfamiliar territory, I want to stretch my skills through applied deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is a special type of work that is designed for the sole purpose to effectively improve specific aspects of an individual’s performance. This is a concept I learned about last year while reading Cal Newport’s book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. In this book, I came to realize that if I want to grow as an artist, I cannot continue to repeat my painting practices but instead I must become more dedicated to pushing myself and aiming to dedicate more of my time to going outside of my comfort zone.

This is one of the reasons I accepted the Principle Gallery’s invitation to participate in the 2014 FaceOff portrait painting demonstration. In the past, I focused a lot of my art time to figurative and portraiture, but in the past 3+ years I had gotten away from it. Preparing for the FaceOff and then painting alongside Mia Bergeron and Cindy Procious was a BIG step outside my comfort zone. However in looking back at it, it was a wonderful experience and I now feel a lot more comfortable with returning to figurative subjects.

My goal in 2015 is to spend several hours a week in stretch mode, and hopefully it will lead to new opportunities. (You can read more about deliberate practice here and here, and of course in Cal Newport’s book).


Is included this year to help remind me that nothing in life stays the same, that change is the natural path of life and I want to be open to change and all it brings in 2015.


In that I need to be more mindful of the need for REST and recharge time in my schedule in order to maintain a consistent level of creative output. This year I really want to foster a healthier attitude towards my physical limitations. In 2013 and 2014, I suffered from a few severe bouts of fatigue and illness that would sometimes sidetrack my plans for a month or more, so in 2015 I am going to break this cycle of over committing myself and burning the candle at both ends.

Sleep and down time will have equal priority with regards to my more active art career and mothering responsibilities.

And I plan to keep these three words in mind as the year goes by…

Stretch – Evolve – Rest

My dedication to resting and getting better after being sick for all of December and the first half of this month is one of the reasons this blog post is only being posted now, on the last week of January. So I know I have been applying the ideas with a level of intention I hope to maintain through the year. ;) ;)

Along with getting some much needed rest time, I have also started a new painting… something more involved than my recent work. It is 36 x 24 inches and the quilt in the background is one I pieced together and hand quilted in 2014.


Here's to a great 2015,

Thank you for stopping by,


Life Lately: In and Around the Studio

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These four paintings have been delivered to the Principle Gallery for the December Small Works Exhibition... more information on each painting to come...

And here are some snippets from my studio... I have come to the realization that I am a collector, a magpie of sorts, anything of textural interest may find its way home and nestled among to the objects already gathered. 20141118 - studio-01

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