Sunday, February 28, 2010

Skylark an Impressionist Painting with Andre Previn at the Keyboard

Entitled "Skylark" this is an impressionistic style painting done in acrylics on a 5x7 inch canvas panel.  She was inspired by the song of the same name.
I love Renee Olstead's version of this song, which she sang on her 2009 album of the same name.  The lyrics are by Johnny Mercer; music is by Hoagy Carmichael.  This is considered a jazz standard and was published in 1942.


Skylark, have you anything to say to me?
Can you tell me where my love may be?
Is there a meadow in the mist
Where he’s just waiting to be kissed?
Skylark, have you seen a valley green with spring
Where my heart can go a journeying
Over the shadows and the rain
To a blossom covered lane?
And in your lonely flight have you heard the music?
In the night, wonderful music.
Faint as a will-o-the-wisp, crazy as a loon,
Sad as a gypsy serenading the moon.
Oh, skylark, I don’t know, I don’t know
If you can find these things,
But my heart, my heart is riding on your wings.
So if you see them anywhere
Won’t you lead me there?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Paintbrushes by the Dozen

I have learned that buying quality brushes is the best way to go. Inexpensive brushes will always be a disappointment. Either the bristles will fall out or the brush won’t hold its shape.

Some of these brushes are over 15 years old – no, probably more like 20 to 25. You can see how the texture of the canvases has worn down some of the original shapes.

I keep my brushes on my studio desk. They have two psychological effects. They are a delight to see, but they also incessantly prod me to paint something new. In either case, they are my tools and they must be sturdy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Taking Care of Business Greeting Card

Selling on is a full time delight.  As an artist I am always looking for new projects to create.  When I am researching greeting cards, I find most of them aimed at people in their 20s and 30s.  Many are very childlike in their designs.

This newest card of mine called "Taking Care of Business" is particularly for the goal oriented woman -- the woman who has plotted her course and is working to achieve her purpose.  That's not to say she doesn't have needs for whimsy and a bit of mirth, but this creation is designed to carry her life theme into her casual correspondence. 

You can click the image of the card to see a bigger view.

Do you like it?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bookplates --- Ex Libris

A cloudy February morning is a perfect time to sort through my books. Not one of them has an original bookplate that is really mine. By this time in my life, I should have designed my own bookplate. I am an artist after all and a book lover.

Doing a little research, I found that a bookplate is also known as “ex-librīs” [Latin, "from the books of..."]. It’s usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. The earliest known examples of printed bookplates are German, and date from the 15th century.

Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest or a badge. None of these ideas would appeal to me. But art would. The image above is a collection of vintage bookplates that I digitally collaged together just for fun.

This a clip of that utterly charming film called "84 Charing Cross Road" with Anne Bancroft.  Of course, Netflix has it

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I dread the days I have to wrestle with someone on the phone. Today, I had to make an appointment with a doctor’s office which had been closed over the holidays. Since that time, they have had a phone message saying they wouldn’t be open until Feb. 9th. I have called several times just to see if the message was correct.

This morning when I spoke with Her-Highness-the-Appointment-Maker, she said there was no such phone message and I had misheard it. Here is an instance where a husband who has spent his entire life in business is very useful. I had him listen to the message to validate my point. Turns out she will now have to get permission for my appointment from my insurance carrier, which will take approximately two weeks. That puts my visit with the doctor a month out if I’m lucky.

Now what is the point of being rude to a patient? Okay, maybe she is at the end of her rope. Maybe her husband is in love with his receptionist. Maybe her kid is being a bully at school. Maybe her daughter is sixteen and pregnant. Maybe she totaled her car. Whatever the circumstances she was crabby today.

Here is one of my recent ACEO original cards entitled "Don't Mess With Me" that shows her feelings and mine. If she’d only realized that we had things in common, she might have acted been more cordial.

Monday, February 8, 2010

You Just Tango On

I love the scene from “Scent of a Woman” where U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino), dances the Tango with the beautiful Donna. Slade and his young companion Charlie, find themselves at a restaurant, observing a beautiful young woman (Gabrielle Anwar), waiting for her date. The blind Colonel takes her for a tango on the restaurant's dance floor. This abstract print from my original painting seeks to capture the depth of passion in the Tango and the powerful feelings of the blind Frank Slade. I have used army colors and black for Pacino along with yellows, pinks and reds for his dancing partner. The paint is put down with bold strokes to express passion and the movement of the dance.