blog links

Tone on Tone {Friday Inspiraton}

12 14 2012 tone-on-tone 11.jpg
{a beautiful wall in the store}

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Loi Thai's Swedish antiques store, Tone on Tone, in Bethesda, MD. A beautiful store full of predominantly Swedish furniture, antique creamware, and antique botanical illustrations. While there I fell in love with all the creamware, especially a grouping of pitchers.

{love these pitchers... I want them all for my paintings}

Loi is also the author of the beautiful blog, Tone on Tone. Where he posts about interiors, his design philosophy, and his travels. If you want a short escape to savor beautiful images and come away refreshed and rejuvenated, then I highly encourage you to become a weekly visitor to Loi's blog.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the last few months.

. spending a day at home

. collecting creamware

. in his garden at the end of summer

and his christmas tree is so beautiful!

Have a wonderful weekend,


a Magpie's Fancy & creative inspiration

UK March 2012 74 watermarked1.jpg

It seems to me that the magic of blogging comes from the connections you make, the accidental stumbling upon another’s treasure trove of words and images. And one of my favorite diversions is following links, with just a sense of curiosity and in the process making a new discovery.

As an artist, who focuses mainly on still-life paintings, and being someone who fully embraces the beauty of objects, I am more inspired by words than by images. Words, especially prose, allow my mind to soar and describe thoughts and feelings I have, and I am happy to find that others also have similar experiences.

I am sharing this with you today, because I want to share the blog of a very creative person, a Magpie’s Fancy by Gigi Thibodeau. I happened upon her blog this summer and have been so delighted to read and follow along, and also to get to know her some. Gigi is a writer, talented at sharing her thoughts and feelings, and her words *speak* to me. When I read her posts, I feel as if we are friends meeting over a warm cup and using these moments to share observations and comment on how much they enrich our lives.

Blogging enables a cross pollination of ideas from different areas of interest and focus. Gigi writes about the writer’s life, its process, and does this with a love of words. She also illustrates these thoughts with her beautiful photography.

If you get a chance today, I encourage you to stop by her blog, as she has a special opportunity that is the fruit of this cross pollination of ideas and inspiration, a small giveaway of a painting of mine.

And if you have extra time, check out this post on “writing life”, one of my favorites.

Thank you for following this mental wandering. And I am curious, from what and where do you find inspiration? Please share, as I love knowing how others gather and get the spark that enflames their creativity.


*** all photos in this post were taken by Gigi Thibodeau.***

Beautiful Flowers & Wanderings


Good Afternoon,

Are you in need of a visual pause?  Want to escape to a different place, just for a minute?  Then take a moment to visit Today's Wanderings, and wander down a path, stop and smell some flowers, or just enjoy a calm afternoon.

Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend,


Still Life Quick Heart

piet mondrian1.jpg
Margaret Preston The Fish Bowl 1910 {source}

Good Morning,

I thought I would share one of my favorite blogs

- Still Life Quick Heart -

Often I will visit this blog to get a little visual stimulation. I love how there is a wide variety of styles, subjects, and materials used. Another great aspect of this blog, is how it is organized, each image identifies the artist, title of piece with a link, and the timeframe of when it was created.

Several images are posted each day, so there is always something of interest to be found...

John Singer Sargent Still Life with Daffodils 1885-95 {source}
Arturo Michelena
1894 {source}
Dennis Mogelgaard
2006 {source}

Ernest Quost Flower Garden 1890
Clifford Harrison

Trompe l’oeil of Six Delft Plates 1976

Piet Mondrian Chrysanthemum 1908–09


Friday Inspiration: Artists Helping Artists Podcasts


Alstroemerias on the wall
{a new framed 6x6 inch painting - reserved for someone special}


The weeks are flying by. Naomi has been keeping me busy, which means studio time has been precious. When I get a chance to be in the studio, I try to make the most of it and get as much completed as possible...

I have a few things in the works that I will share more about as the new year approaches.

When working on a painting I have been listening to some of the Artists Helping Artists podcasts and what I have been hearing has been helpful. If you are an artist you may also like listening to them, all of them provide helpful information.

The podcasts I have enjoyed the most to date are:

1. Carol Marine's first appearance on the show.

In this podcast the practice of daily painting is discussed and Carol Marine talks about how she got into it because she had a little toddler at home and found that painting small paintings during his naps were a way to keep her painting muscles limber.

Going back to painting small "daily paintings" is something I am considering now that I have a little baby. When I first started this blog in 2007 I was working full time and painting 2-4 small daily paintings a week was something I could do in my free time. The small scale gave me an opportunity to try out many ideas and the smaller pieces tend to be completed with greater speed, so I also had a sense of accomplishment of finishing paintings on the weekend before returning to work on Monday morning.

2. How To Set Your Goals For The Year

This podcast has been inspirational in getting me focused on planning for 2012. Life has changed in a BIG way this year, however I do not want that to hold my art career back, so I am working on some ideas that will start in 2012. This podcast has been helpful in kick starting the process and helping me see that big ideas are possible to be turned into workable plans.

3. A Conversation with Kevin Macpherson

In this podcast Kevin Macpherson is just so down to earth and clear about why he is an artist. I love the friendly conversation.

Here is an update on how things are going with Naomi, she is now 3-1/2 months old and beginning to become mobile. Right now she is just wiggling and trying to roll over but I think any day now she will not be satisfied with the limits of her blanket and want to be into everything!

{Naomi loves her little doll and grabs for most anything now}

{tummy time is now fun!}

Have a great weekend,
and thanks for visiting!



paint brushes
{paint brushes in the studio}


With the weekend coming to a close I thought I would stop in and say hi :) Also I want to thank everyone who commented and emailed me about finishing the Vase of Flowers copy, I really appreciate your support and encouragement.

Painting wise this weekend {particularly today} has been a bit of a dud because of being under the weather and not wanting to push it. So instead, I have been surfing the net, knitting some, and reading this bookabout dutch still life.

Here are a few highlights found over the weekend:

.a lovely photo, welcoming spring {a start from wild goose chase's photostream on flickr}

.a new to me art materials forum with expert moderators that provide unbiased and thorough answers to questions posed by artists. Some of my favorite posts: 1. on panel priming, 2. on documenting my art work, and 3. attaching painting to a panel. There are many more topics, so please stop by and check it out some.

Three Tulips {a new small painting}


20110117 red and yellow tulips
Three Tulips
{8" x 6" (20.3 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}

Here is another small painting completed in January. I am loving how tulips continue to grow after you get them.

Also I wanted to share this really cool link that a friend recently sent me, the art project powered by Google. There are so many cool links and the opportunity to zoom into some pretty amazing paintings. So if you are not near a museum that offers a copyist program you could easily copy from these high resolution images!

Making a Mark Annual Awards Nominations


Every year the Making a Mark blog hosts annual awards for a variety of categories that have been blogged in the previous year. {More information about the awards can be found here.}

For the past few years I have nominated different artists for the categories in landscape, portrait/figures, and still life. This year I thought I would share the links and what I wrote in the nominating comments here. I follow several different artist and art related blogs, gleaning knowledge and inspiration. I find the internet has been such a wonderful resource and so full of generous artist that taking time note some of those that have been particularly influential in my own art career this year is the least I can do.

Please take a moment to visit each blog.
Thanks, Liz


The Best Place/Landscape 2010

For the Landscape category I am nominating Jeffery Boron’s painting “Island Sunset” from March 24, 2010.

Jeffery has a very distinct style and I am drawn to how he combines color and pattern to stylize his view of the world around him. This particular painting has all the characteristics I love in his work – energy, color, contrast of values, and an appealing sense of lightness and appreciation of nature.

The Best Portrait/Figures 2010

I would like to nominate Kevin Wueste’s drawing of Randy posted on May 8, 2010 {scroll down to the fourth image in this post}

I wish I could nominate every work he created this year, narrowing it down to one was difficult, I selected Randy because of how Kevin seemed to capture the intense stare of the model and the direct interaction that must have occurred during the session.

Kevin’s ability to capture the human spirit is an inspiration to me. He is capable in all mediums however I particularly enjoy viewing his portrait drawings because of the energy in the mark making and how he keeps some areas simple and develops and refines the drawing only where the maximum effect is required.

The Best Still Life 2010

I am nominating Sadie J. Valeri’s still life painting “Message in a Bottle” posted on September 30, 2010.

I am drawn to the quite simpleness of this painting. The muted color palette, the simple division of space, and the excellent skill in applying paint. Beautiful in so many ways! What is also wonderful about this blog post is that she shared multiple stages of this painting, so you get to see how she began and how the painting progressed into this gem.

Back from Texas

Dirt Road
{dirt road near Castroville, TX}


I am back from Texas and want to share with you some of the "art" highlights of my trip. The trip was prompted because I wanted to attend my cousin's wedding and to catch up with family in both Castroville and San Antonio. Luckily there was time enough to mix in a few art related excursions.

On Thursday I visited La Villita in downtown San Antonio. I knew Susan Carlin had a small gallery there and made a special point to visit her. She has been such an inspiration for me over the past few years and it was an opportunity I did not want to miss out on. {though I must admit I am more often a lurker than a commenter... that will have to change now that I have met her!}

Susan Carlin & her new gallery
{Susan Carlin in front of her new digs, Nueva Street Gallery}

Susan was in the midst of moving from her old gallery space to a new one also located within La Villita. She was scheduled to reopen the next day! And she still spent time with me talking about the past year and her postive experience of owning her own gallery space. She is such a generous soul!

Some of Susan's Work
{some of Susan's work}

View of Susan's Gallery

{Inside her new gallery, I love the bank of north windows...}

The next day I visited the McNay Art Museum in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio. It was a super relaxing and invigorating at the same time, if that is possible? Well, that is how I felt after spending almost 3 hours viewing the different galleries.

Central Fountain
{the inner courtyard at the McNay Museum}

I am learning that it is close to impossible to leave the architect in me behind when I visit places, half of the photos taken at the McNay ended up being architectural oriented... {here is a link to all the photos taken}

Tile Flooring
{some amazing floor tile at the McNay}

Saturday was my last full day in San Antonio. I had plans to have lunch with my cousin, and during our initial conversation she brought up that Sara Winters is one of her good friends. So after we spent some time catching up, we invited her to join us for lunch as well. She came with her little boy, who behaved very well for a little one. I enjoyed meeting her and getting to hear the good news that she had sold a painting that weekend! I feel it is the little rewards of sharing your passion for something that makes the world so full and joyful and when someone rewards you with wanting to own your art, that feeling is just magical...

The six days went by fast. I am ready for a break, but I have already been diving into the studio. Tomorrow I will share with you the progress I made on the Vase of Flowers copyist piece today while at the NGA.

Until then, have a wonderful evening, Liz

A Longhorn!!!
{longhorn at sunset}

Weekend Windup

sunset on lake geneva1.jpg
I tend to use weekends as catch alls for all the loose ends that were not completed during the week. This weekend in particular went by fast. I spent some time preparing a talk/slide show on the art of Gustave Courbet. I so admire his individual spirit.
Then a lot of time was spent in my vegetable garden. Removing my peas to make way for something else and harvesting a basket full of string beans and admiring the growing lima bean pods. Two of my squash plants have become victims of the squash vine borer, so I pulled them out and re-seeded to make up for the loss. This is my first summer with a vegetable patch, it has been fun and I am learning a lot, though it does require a good amount of time as well.

Tomorrow I will be back to the paintings from last week... Before going, here is a new website I found, I particularly like this video about Symbolist, Fernand Khnopff.

Thanks for reading :)

New Drawing and a link


Graphite drawing of roses

{Claudio Bravo's Roses - graphite - 15 x 22 inches}

Hello and happy memorial day weekend!

Our weekend is going by so fast, that it feels like it be over too soon...

The drawing above is a copy of a Claudio Bravo drawing, I only focused on a portion of the original. Roses are a big challenge to me, the variety of form, the variations in value, and complex shapes all conspire to making it difficult to for me to simplify what I see enough to get it down on paper or canvas. So I decided to copy the master of beautiful roses {here is one of my favorite rose paintings by him} to learn a bit and begin to understand how utilizing value and line can work in presenting a very accurate representation of this complex flower. Part of my recent passion for roses induced me to plant three rose bushes near the driveway. I cannot wait until they flower!

Also lately I have been captivated by the recent paintings by Barbara Kacicek. Her ability to convey the rough texture of the stones along with the smooth skin of the pears is so inspiring. I like how hard the edges are in the painting, it almost makes it feel as if there is no air in the space of where the painting takes place.

New Figure Study and Link

20100427 figure study 9x12
{one houre figure study}
How are you? I am stopping by for a short bit to share the most recent figure study and to share a great link that covers the National Portrait Society conference in great detail. I am still trying to figure out how to absorb all that was shown and discussed over the weekend...
Today I will be attending Robert Liberace's drawing and painting class {this term I am not signed up for him} because a friend will not be able to attend and gave me her slot! So I need to hurry and get ready.
Have a great weekend! Liz

Lemons {a new still life painting}


20100307 lemon and stripes

Still Life with Lemons, Bowl and Dishcloth
8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Hello ~

The week has gone by so fast! How is it already Thursday? Well, never mind… I hope your week has been going well. Mine has been disproportionally filled with yard work, clearing debris caused by the three snow storms we had this winter.

Before starting in on the lawn work, some time was dedicated to painting where I completed this little gem. I love the kitchen dishcloth motif and playing with how stripes give a sense of space in a painting. It was nice revisiting this theme again. It was painted only with natural light, so during the first setting I was racing the clock and ended up painting in such darkness it was almost impossible to see the palette. I kept at it as long as I could because I did not want to lose that initial impression and excitement.

I am going to wish you a great weekend a bit early, as I am headed out of town for a few days on a painting trip with three other artists! So have a wonderful evening and thank you for stopping by and spending time here :)


PS. Here is an interesting site dedicated to the spaces artists and creative types work in, found via dear ada


As the days are lengthening,
I am loving the warm glow of the afternoon sun.
What have you been noticing?
Today was an excellent day spent in my figure painting class taught by Danni Dawson where I wiped down everything I placed on the canvas. It just was not going well and in the end sometimes it is just better to call it a day and plan to start over again next time. I am trying out a heavy weave linen canvas that is posing all sorts of technical challenges, though I will keep trying until mastery is achieved. So every time I wipe down my work I feel like I have gained something new. {here is a nice post about Danni’s latest painting that was hung in the Art League Faculty Show}

Also for today, I want to thank Kara Holloway from the Love List for the nice interview about my work. I feel so special being a part of the “Artist + Muse” series.

Have a nice evening,


My reading pile

{my current reading pile}


Do you keep a pile of books that are your current focus? I have always done this. Though lately I have been putting everything into a small tote bag and carrying it everywhere I go also. This keeps my handbag from becoming too large and heavy {looking out for my back} and makes sure I have reading material for all sorts of occasions, like arriving at my PT a little early or having an hour between appointments.
The top book is the one I have been reading from most this month, and when in the studio I am trying out some of the suggestions the author makes. I am still exploring and trying new things out, hopefully soon I will have some new work to share.
Also last week the talented Veronica Funk was kind to nominate this blog of mine for the Sunshine Award. Thank you Veronica! Please visit her great blog and wonderful website when you get a chance.

Now it is my turn to nominate 12 blogs.

I selected from the variety of artists I visit, as I appreciate all styles and methods of creativity. I am so glad these artists take the time to share with us on their blogs. Please take a moment and check them out!

1. Steve Drew

2. Manon Doyle

3. Paige Abbott

4. Dana Chabino

5. Jeffery Boron

6. Mary Sheehan Winn

7. Celeste Bergin

8. Erin Spencer

9. Gary Keimig

10. Paula Villanova

11. Sara Winters

12. Trish Siegel

Friday Morning


Good Morning ~

These lovely flowers are from my dear S. and I got them for being a real trooper because yesterday I found out the results of all the tests regarding my back injury. Things turned out to be better than hoped, I will not need to have surgery, which I am very grateful for, but I will need to continue with physical therapy. The being a trooper part is because I survived the horrible experience of having a cortizone shot in one of the inflamed joints that is causing all the back and sciatic pain. I had heard that they would be painful, but to the level it turned out to be I was not prepared for...

This morning is starting off a little slow, as I am sore after yesterday, though I need to get in gear as I am headed to the first figure drawing class of the winter term.

I am hopeful this weekend will be filled with art making, of any kind. So I will see you soon...

Thanks for stopping by and spending time reading,


PS: here are a few links that have been inspiring lately:

} Susan's Ocean Landscape

} Ester's Figure Drawings


} Trish's Paris Landscape

Friday Inspiration {No. 19}

10 2009 Friday Inspiration 1.jpg
{my growing acorn collection}

I have been thinking about drawing this week, and the various methods and styles people use to capture the world through line and mass. Here are some of the blog posts I have visited to get some thoughts moving...

} Nina Johansson's People in Airports - I love the way she creates a boarder around her sketches

} Ester Wilson's Blankets - Her ability create depth and folds through hatching is wonderful

} Via Algarviana, Dia 5 (2) - the use of gestural and cross contour lines that form the tree is simple and captivating to me

} Kevin Wueste's Three Chalk Drawings - the tonal qualities of the drawing are beautiful

} Geninne's Cosmos are wonderfully simple and graphic

} I like the thick lines and use of color in these sketchbook entries

Friday Inspiration {No. 17}

studio mate.jpg
{my studio mate, Slim}
This week I spent most of my time in the studio working on this painting and being a companion to my Abyssinian kitty, Slim. She likes to go for walks around 2:30pm right after waking up from her mid-day nap. I want to be reincarnated as an American house cat in my next life :)
When on the web this week, here are a few links I thought were worth sharing...
} While browsing Barbara Bechtel's blog I came across this amazing video about creativity.
} Love how Carol Schiff uses bright color in this abstract.
} This week I have been enchanted with these waterscapes:
This weekend I hope to finish up a 18x24 inch still life. I will share it with you when it is complete. Have a wonderful weekend! Liz

Friday Inspiration {No.16}

08 2009 Friday Inspiration 1.jpg
{items from Morocco, Turkey, Spain, & New Mexico}


My week has been full of ideas, emotions, and thoughts about the next step. When in this kind of mindset I enjoy learning about how others journal and collect ideas, this post and this post have captured my thoughts about how journalling is really a personal decision and that all ways are beneficial.

I am loving paintings of clouds like these --

Blue Clouds

Cloud #7

Morning Sky

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend! Liz