Tuesday, April 28, 2009

100 Best Movie Lines

Just to tickle your fancy and keep your brain recall function active.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time After Time

Such a beautiful song inspired my painting entitled "Time After Time". Here it is performed by the Larry Franco Quartet with guest Michael Supnick.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How Do You Keep the Music Playing

"How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" was the inspiration for this portrait of a young woman. By all counts, it is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written. It was composed by Michel Legrand, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman for the 1982 film Best Friends. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 55th Academy Awards.


Friday, April 17, 2009

I Won't Send Roses

Giving a painting a title isn't always the easiest thing to do. This man is in love, but is at a loss as how to express it.

See if you think Michael Feinstein's "I Won't Send Roses" sums it up.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Brazilian Girl --- She Surfs

Somehow I can't imagine packing a suitcase and heading for Brazil. However, our technorati entrepreneurial son is doing just that. He and his young family are planning a new life on the Brazilian island of Florianopolis. (Apparenly it is not only a great place to live but also a cool place to surf.)

It's funny, but I have this persisting notion. When I invest emotional energy and time in a place, it seems that eventually I am physically connected with that location. I have had this happen multiple times in my life.

Last summer I came across a Brasilian jazz pianist on YouTube and watched it over and over; I spent hours listening, dancing and painting to her music. Her name: Eliane Elias. I love jazz piano and love the way she plays it. So now, here is another unexplainable connection. The people I love most are going to be in Brazil.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Girl in the Blue Turban

As I was gessoing the paper for this painting my husband said, "What are you going to paint?"

"I haven't the slightest idea," I said.

"How can you get ready to paint and not know what you are going to do," he asked.

"Well, that's just the way it is," I told him.

There is something both frustrating and magical in those moments before the pencil sketch is created and the paint is mixed. For me there is no recipe -- no tried and true habits. Each work, as so many artists know, has a life of its own. And in the doing, each painting I complete could have been several paintings if I had stopped at certain junctures. I had an art professor tell me to "stop now or the painting will become something different." He was right.

I don't stop until I have exhausted every possibility and the work itself says you're done. I'm not sure it will always be this way. When I figure out how everything works maybe it will be different.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Girl with Brown Eyes

Fred Astair and Eleanor Powell

Fred Astaire began his career in vaudeville. In the early 30s, he agreed to test for films. One studio executive's report on this screen test has been quoted many times over the years, but it is still just too good to pass up here: "Can't act. Slightly bald. Also dances."

Frank Sinatra comments on this performance at the beginning ... be sure to turn up your speakers.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Looking for Love

Spring is in the air and eyes are scanning the horizon for that one special person to love. When eyes meet eyes and there is a chemical attraction, the pupils enlarge. Here is my drawing of "The Look of Love" and Diana Krall's very cool YouTube video to give you permission to look for love.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Shadow of Your Smile

Memories don't belong to youth -- they aren't old enough to have many. It's only as the decades pass that we begin to treasure what we have chosen to put into our lives. Today I remembered that summer afternoon on the grass chatting with a boy just a year older than I. The sun was on his bare chest and he smelled so good. Most of the details have slipped out of reach, but what remains is that "shadow of his smile".

Here is George Shearing's piano solo played with the tenderness of maturity.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

She Was a Blonde

(Click the image to see it in a larger format.)

My mother was blonde with lovely long legs, a beautiful figure and a sweet face. She and dad dated from the time they were in their very early teens during the mid 30s. Dad said that during lunch at East High in Denver, they would go across the street to a little soda shop and plan their life together. They were married in 1939 and loved one another for 59 years.

They made a striking couple. She looked so feminine against his slim, tall physique and black hair. I think she must have been on my mind when I drew this portrait.

My dad’s devotion for my mother was matched only by his love for piano jazz. He had a huge collection of 78 records and I grew up hearing jazz performed by all the best. Erroll Garner was one of his favorites. Ours was a very romantic house.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Going Up and Down

Thought you might like to know a few of the dramatic ups and downs of my life. I have had hundreds -- no, more like thousands of them.

In Seattle, Nordstrom only sold shoes. In 1963 it merged with Best Apparel. While my fiancé and I were saving money for our first apartment, I worked at Best Apparel as an elevator operator. I wore a sassy little uniform and white gloves.

"Please step to the back of the car," I said sweetly. "Mezzanine -- Bridal to your left, Customer service to your right. Watch your step, please...."

My right arm was awesome from opening and closing the elevator door so many, many times.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wanted: Plump Body and Tiny Waist

When I painted this nude, I had no idea I was tapping into an ancient male urge.

Like millions of other women I've always believed that long legs, tall height and small weight are the standards of beauty today. It's no secret that all of us are conditioned by the high-fashion business and advertising.

However, a group of American natural scientists headed by Michel Hopkins discovered that for today’s man the most appealing part of the female anatomy is – believe it or not – the waist, and the smaller the better.

However, if we dig past the media and deeper into the male psyche, men truly are searching for a female body that tells about her health and fertility – that means a plump body shape and small waist. These indicate small abdominal fat deposits and the high level of the female sex hormone – estrogen. Hence the ancient body of the “fertility goddess”.

I think we need some ice cream.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Damn Cat!

Hardy died in Dorchester, Dorset, on January 11, 1928. Eva Dugtale washed his body and prepared it for burial. Hardy's ashes were cremated in Dorchester and buried with impressive ceremonies in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. According to a literary anecdote his heart was to be buried in Stinsford, his birthplace. All went according to plan, until a cat belonging to the poet's sister snatched the heart off the kitchen table, where it was temporarily kept, and irreverently ate it.

This anecdote caught my fancy and stirred gruesome imaginings. To think that one’s body part would end up being snagged by the fangs of a house cat and gulped in small mouthfuls into its belly are horrifying.

Worse yet, are the superstitions that the human heart is the seat of love and devotion, and should be cut out of the body and buried it a tiny tin casket with kittens playing on the top. A most Victorian mind set.

Hardy, as you remember, wrote several novels, but caused such an outcry of protest with Tess of the D’Ubervilles (1891) andJude the Obscure (1895) that he turned to poetry for the rest of his life.

I have painted Hardy and the family kitty for my own amusement and am selling it online at http://MoxyFoxDesigns.etsy.com.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Big Nasty Redhead at My Side

I was concocting my latest piece of art with the Santa Ana winds blowing through my studio windows, I thought of Newman’s song “I Love LA”.

Everyone else seemed to know who Randy Newman was. My very cool, rad, Technorati Entrepreneur son introduced his music to me last summer. My kids know a whole lot more about some things than I do. (It wasn’t always like that during, as Newman would say, their “Baby Days”!)


Hate New York City
It's cold and it's damp
And all the people dressed like monkeys
Let's leave Chicago to the Eskimos
That town's a little bit too rugged
For you and me, babe

Rollin' down Imperial Highway
With a big nasty redhead at my side
Santa Ana winds blowin' hot from the north
And we was born to ride
Roll down the window, put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys, baby
Don't let the music stop
We're gonna ride it 'til we just can't ride it no more
From the South Bay to the Valley
From the West Side to the East Side
Everybody's very happy
'Cause the sun is shining all the time
Looks like another perfect day
I love L.A. (We love it)
I love L.A. (We love it)
We love it

Look at that mountain
Look at those trees
Look at that bum over there, man
He's down on his knees
Look at these women
There ain't nothin' like em nowhere
Century Boulevard (We love it)
Victory Boulevard (We love it)
Santa Monica Boulevard (We love it)
Sixth Street (We love it, we love it, we love it)
We love L.A.

I love L.A. (We love it)
I Love L.A. (We love it)
I Love L.A. (We love it)

Come visit me and see the rest of my art. Here's the link: http://MoxyFoxDesigns.etsy.com


Sunday, February 15, 2009

What's With the Fruit Paintings?

Remembering that the camera wasn’t invented until 1825, realism in art was supreme. Beginning artists practiced realism with arrangements of fruit -- fruit was handy and inexpensive, and once arranged it didn't wiggle, sneeze, or cause your wife to be suspicious of what was going on in your studio. A major consideration!

Historically speaking, if you could paint realistically you were considered a bona fide artist. In fact, the world renowned Académie des Beaux-Arts, which dominated the French art scene in the middle of the 19th century, would only put its stamp of approval on realistic paintings.

In 1863, Emperor Napoleon III decreed that the public be allowed to judge the work themselves, and the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Refused) was organized.
Everything in painting changed then and the work of artists like Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Degas, Cassatt, and Manet were shown and accepted.

Photography encouraged painters to exploit aspects of the painting medium, like color, which photography then lacked; "the Impressionists were the first to consciously offer a subjective alternative to the photograph". (Thanks Wikipedia.)

Still life paintings of fruit are still as popular today with artists and art-collectors as they were centuries ago.

You can buy either of these prints at http://MoxyFoxDesigns.com
A live link is at the top of the page.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tricky Financial Bastards

By now almost everyone is experiencing some effect of the financial meltdown. It was a series of events that got us to this place. Alan Greenspan put too much trust in human nature – there just weren’t enough rules in place to keep this from happening. Those techy trading kids kept coming up with schemes to make money, which their elders just didn’t get, and technology enabled financial contracts to be created that no one could understand.

I’m a painter. In college I discovered that history was so easy to learn by just studying the works of artists. Artists can’t escape the times they live in and it shows up in their work.

As our personal retirement stock portfolio has dwindled, the “Tricky Financial Bastards” painting rose to the surface of my consciousness. Grinchy green was the foil for the guys in their black Brooks Brother’s suits. Their faces are blanching with shades of gray and expressions of grim remorse for being caught with their fists in the till.

In addition to the painting, I have created a high end greeting card with a blank liner for you to send your pithiest comments. Ask yourself:

Do I want to fire my stockbroker?
Should I correspond with my taxman?
Should I send condolences to relatives victimized by Madoff?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then this is the card for you! You can buy it in my etsy shop. You can also buy a gorgeous print of “Tricky Financial Bastards” for only $17.00

The link is on the top of the page and here:



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Glance of the Eye

I think that somewhere in my lineage there must have been a collection of portrait painters. I am subconsciously drawn to faces. Pick up a pen or brush and a face is what emerges through my hand to the blank surface. I have no idea where these people come from.

Speaking of faces, many of my works are of beautiful women. The media must have a lot to do with that. Did you know that many men can barely speak when they are around a beautiful woman? Their body language gives them away every time. Open-mouthed staring is the first option. If they can muster the courage to speak it will probably be something utterly inane.

Because beautiful women are used to being treated differently than their less lovely sisters, they are relieved when a man speaks to them without fear. And who are those men? Guys with high intelligence, personal success and life goals. They don’t have to be handsome – just fascinated by life and pursuing lasting interests.

In any case, count your blessings and embrace your genetic heritage.

“One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, January 25, 2009

1956 Greetings From Paris

My maternal great great grandmother, Jane Reno, was born in France in 1807. She immigrated to the U.S. and married a Scot. I bear her middle name of “Renault” with its correct spelling, as does my daughter and granddaughter. So there is a bit of DNA that I find important and that keeps calling me to France.

Currently on my desk I have a copy of “Sara Midda’s South of France A Sketchbook” with endearing little watercolors filling the pages. Next is the “Bedside Book of Famous French Stories” printed in 1945, and finally “The Paris I Love” with photography by Patrice Molinard. This is this book that consumed a good part of my afternoon.

Gorgeous in its heavy linen covered book boards, the pages unfortunately are falling out. So, I have made eight delightful greeting cards from these photos that were taken sometime in 1956. I’ll sell the eight cards in my etsy MoxyFoxDesigns shop. See the link at the top.

I thought you might like to go back in time with me to the home of Jane Reno (Renault) and brush against my beginnings.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The "Colored" Gentlemen of the Shirley Savoy Hotel, Denver

When I was a little girl growing up in Denver, my uncle owned the Shirley Savoy Hotel and my grandfather was the Managing Director.

My father was in Greenland for six months and during that time my mother, brother and I lived with my grandparents. We went down to the hotel for dinner several times a week as my grandfather liked to make sure all was in order for the night.

Many of the employees were black Americans, but during the early fifties they were called “colored”. There was Curtis Clytus the very tall handsome doorman dressed in a dark uniform with brass buttons, smart hat and white gloves. He was so kind and to my childish delight always called me “Miss Susan”.

In the dining room, we were served by Dawson whose brow was perpetually wrinkled and the dear Aaron Dinwiddie who unexpectedly sent me a wedding present many years later.

These men and all those who worked beside them would have found the election of President Barak Obama a stunning and unbelievable event. They are all long gone, but in their honor I post this blog. Thank you, gentlemen. Your dream is here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nuns Long Gone

Sometimes it’s the lines, sometimes the colors, sometimes the history that brings me to a halt. This image has all three.

I discovered a photo of St. George’s Benedictine Convent in Prague built in 920 AD. I pondered the eons of whispered prayers, the quiet footsteps of women, and the lives long gone.

This piece of digital art has been put together with Photoshop. Filters have been applied to accentuate the appearance of shifting decades, lives spent and ended and the continuance of time. The resolution is deliberately low to enhance these qualities.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Giclée … Is that Italian Ice Cream?

There a lot of times when I finish a painting I know I want to keep it. But as a seller on Etsy.com, http://MoxyFoxDesigns.etsy.com selling prints is a wonderful way to share my art at a very reasonable price. However, the print has to be of excellent quality.

Some women like jewelry and fasts cars, but I like spectacular printers. After researching the internet and talking to artists who make prints from their work, I chose the Epson 3800 Pro. It is amazing and “sweet”!!!

The word “giclée” (zee-clay) is a made up word for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word is derived from the French language word “le gicleur” meaning “nozzle”, or more specifically “gicler” meaning “to squirt, spurt, or spray”. The name was originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the early 1990s, but has since come to mean any high quality ink-jet print and is often used in galleries and print shops to denote such prints.” (Source: Widipedia)

Here is my most recent “giclée” (zee-clay) print. ("Gelato" is Italian ice cream -- I knew that!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Those Pesky Interruptions

I had planned a morning and early afternoon of painting. However, there was a mishap with my new glasses and I had to get an appointment to have the prescription corrected. I called the optometrist’s office only to find that I couldn’t get the new appointment because “protocol” stated I had to wait another four months. Whoa --- I had just put $800 on the counter for my three pair of glasses eight days ago and now even though they didn’t work, I had to wait until April.

This is probably the only time anyone has heard of this. I had been given a prescription that I took for four days. A peculiar side effect occurred. My vision changed and with or without my regular glasses, I was still very nearsighted.

I could have waited because of the protocol, but instead I set my creating aside, put on good clothes and was in the optometrist’s office within thirty minutes. Surprise! All the personnel were hustling their buns to make things right. Apparently the receptionist treated me like a number instead of a person. On the desk, there was a sign that said “Satisfaction Guaranteed within 30 days”. HA!

CONCLUSION: Interruptions deserve action. Get things solved right away and be nice to everyone--even the woman who insists on "protocol".