Monday, November 7, 2011


This drawing was done with graphite and conte pencil on toned paper. Victoria modeled for us Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Portrait in Watercolor

Weekend before last, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Robert Liberace's workshop in Raleigh. I had a wonderful time per usual in Rob's classroom. Day one, we started out working in graphite and my sketches are pictured. Watching Rob demo again after some time, I saw that I should try to animate my lines a bit more. I also hatched more than shaded as I built up tone.  Day Two, we worked monochromatically in watercolor and ink as we eased into the wet media. We started with a graphite drawing and then began adding washes. By Day Three, we felt a little more confident to start playing with color.  I don't often work with watercolor, so I need to work on my control of it, but it was so much fun! To top the weekend off I won the lottery to bring home one of Robert's demos! How lucky am I? It is the final watercolor below of the model, Charis, adorned with scarf and hat. I really enjoyed the efficiency of the washes in achieving the values quickly and I plan to keep experimenting.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Carley and Josh


Tuesday night model sessions have been lots of fun lately. I particularly enjoyed 
            focusing on the portrait last night.  Sometimes the figure
                can be overwhelming in the few short hours we have to work. 


Monday, September 5, 2011


My first dog portrait in awhile. It was fun to make the switch from skin to fur for this painting. Ford's parents wanted the colors amped up a bit and for the portrait to have a looser feel.

St. Christophers

Another gift for a sweet couple soon to be married. This project had special meaning because it is the church that I grew up in.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I have a new friend and that is my favorite part of portraiture. Usually, when I've completed a portrait, it means that I am now acquainted with someone who I would have never ordinarily met outside of my artistic journey. I met Carlo at the farmers' market and knew I must have him sit for me. The drawing above was started in charcoal and then when my new set of pastels arrived in the mail, I decided it needed some color and put them to use. So far, I have really enjoyed working with pastels. I was worried that the fat sticks would feel clumsy as I'm a sucker for a freshly sharpened pencil point, but it worked out ok! I look forward to exploring more of the color potential the pastels have to offer in my next portrait.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I met Gordon Wetmore when I was 20 at Pawleys Island, SC. I observed him painting on the deck of the house next door, thinking he was a hobbyist painter on vacation and taking advantage of the view. Boy was I wrong. He was finishing up a portrait of Mr. Wrigley of Wrigley's field, gum etc. I had a little colored pencil portrait commission that I was working on with me and when Gordon learned I had an interest in art, he was so incredibly generous with his time and sharing of information. He did the watercolor sketch above of my grandmother as a demonstration for my family one evening. Making the connection that I was in school at Sewanee, just 45 minutes from Chattanooga where he resided, the proximity helped to keep us in touch as I worked towards a career in art.

I credit Gordon with so much. He truly introduced me to the world of portraiture and opened my eyes to such talent. Over the years, his encouragement and generosity have been constant and so appreciated. We have lost such an amazing mentor, artist, and man. I am so thankful for his presence in my life.

In his Studio

At Portrait Society of Atlanta banquet

Pen and Watercolor

Recently, I've done a series of drawings to be given as personalized gifts to note a wedding, move, and a token of gratitude. I have the hardest time going to a store and finding the perfect gift, so it is nice to be able to create something specially suited for for a friend or help others with their gift giving as well.


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Home again. Just had a lovely trip to the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine. Cool temperatures, delicious food, and time on the water were all so nice. We did have a good bit of rain, which kept me from painting as much as I would have liked. I was able to complete this sketch as a thank you gift for our friends who own the bed and breakfast. It is a beautiful home.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Studio Incamminati, Round 2

Another two weeks of studying at Studio Incamminati under my belt. Even better than the first visit! We went through a condensed version of their four year curriculum during the intensive. I don't have much to show for the first couple of days because we did tons of quick gestures that we promptly wiped out. Eventually, we moved into closed grisailles. An example is pictured below.

Then color study time! We tackled a still life under both warm and cool light, then moved on to the figure. This portion was especially fun because Nelson Shanks came in and did a demo for us.

The second week I worked on the long pose below. We spent a lot of time planning, so I sketched 6 thumbnails then painted two others before I settled on the composition.

In the evenings, after class, I worked on a still life. I tried my best to finish it in person, but will have to finish it up from a photo.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I enjoyed resuming model sessions at OCAF on Tuesday. We have not met as often since I have been fortunate enough to have lots of unexpected travel opportunities present themselves this summer. In fact, tomorrow morning, I'm returning to Studio Incamminati for the two week painting intensive workshop. Hooray for scholarship money and kind friends giving me a place to stay. So excited to spend more time in the classroom!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A perfect way to end the week

After our last class, I was able to go spend a few hours at the Philadelphia Museum of Art because they close late on Friday evenings. I was most excited to see this portrait by Mancini. Absolutely stunning.

Part 3-The Final Painting

 After doing a half a dozen thumbnails, we chose the best and worked on our grisaille. We then worked to get our best estimate of the colors down all over the canvas to see how they were working together. (Referencing our color studies was helpful at this stage and Studio Incamminati's large palette was helpful in achieving the range of colors I saw.) Over time, we fine tuned the colors as we developed the forms. I could have used another day, but felt pretty pleased with how far I was able to take the painting. I so enjoyed being in a classroom for a week!

Part 2-Color Studies

Our next step was to execute some color studies with palette knives. The figure shown on the left was my plan of attack for the painting I worked on for the remainder of the week. I also made sure to have Robin work with me on color harmony! and during one lunch break, I did two quick studies of the same paper towel roll under a halogen bulb with a cool blue gel over it, then removed it and attempted it again with the warm light. I did as Robin instructed and divided my time thinking about the local colors of the objects and the quality of the source light which provides the harmony. I hope to start my painting days with one of the studies from now on and really improve the way I see and mix color.

Part 1- Oil Painting- The Figure

I'm back in Athens and what a great week I had! In the first portion of the workshop with Robin Frey, we painted and wiped out tons of quick gestures ranging from 1 minute to 20 minutes. Pictured are two demos by Robin.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pawleys Island

My dad likes to go fishing first thing in the morning on the creek at the beach, so I joined him in the boat and did a few watercolor studies. With the tide coming in, we were never stationary, so taking in the landscape and its colors quickly was a fun and trying exercise.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Palmetto State

Spending the week in my native state of South Carolina, I'm working on a silver point drawing of a palmetto tree. I prepared the surface of the illustration board with acrylic gesso and tinted white gouache watercolor. It seems to be taking the silver well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Studio Incamminati, here I come!

I was thrilled to find out recently that I won the drawing at the PSA conference for a free workshop at the acclaimed school. So, I'm headed to Philadelphia next week for Robin Frey's workshop on painting the figure in oil. I've been trying to do some quick color exercises to get ready.


Here is a commissioned portrait drawing in progress. She originally had a coat on with a wild black and white pattern. Her family asked that I remove the pattern. It could work with this cape/shawl-like look, but I may try the collar. Such a lovely woman. The photo I am working from was taken on her 90th birthday.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

OCAF promotion at Earthfare

Yesterday, I demonstrated with a cast drawing for Saturday shoppers at Earthfare. Along with the director and another teacher, we were working to increase awareness of the artistic opportunities in Athens and Watkinsville. Hopefully, we'll get a few new members and class sign ups from our efforts. I'll finish my drawing in the studio.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer art camp

This week was my art camp for teens at OCAF.  I gave students a taste of the still life, portraiture and landscape. It was fun challenge to try to introduce new concepts, while keeping the young artists entertained and their work reflecting their personal interests. Above the group is pictured with our collaborative landscape of the view out of the classroom window. We had done thumbnails outside before it got too hot!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Over the weekend, a fellow artist allowed me to come over and draw her from life. I worked in graphite on Frankfurt Cream paper.  It was great practice! Thank you, Leslie.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

PSA Summer Exhibition

I was pleased to find out recently that 'Rita,' 'Andrew,' and 'Michelle' were all juried into the Portrait Society of Atlanta's upcoming show at the Mable House in Mableton, GA.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My young artist friend, Alyssa, who I have mentioned before in the blog, has graduated from high school and as a gift from her parents, I painted the portrait above. The model, Katherine, has the most magnificently colored eyes. They are so beautiful to see, but difficult for me to capture in paint! I may soften the lashes a little before I deliver the painting. They feel a little heavy over the light irises.