Thursday, December 18, 2014

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Here Comes Santa Claus
10 x 10
Oil on Raymar Panel


I was fortunate to be able to get to take pictures of Santa before the lines of children became too long!  We were just visiting a large sporting goods store in Alabama and the line to see Santa was 3 hours long!  They took appointments so people didn't have to wait so long.  Times have certainly changed!  Though it was a long pleasure was in seeing all the children dressed up and waiting patiently.  All I can think of the the wonderful memories they are making.  Good times!  

I am now planning my weekend and deciding what random acts of kindness I can do to keep the spirit of the true meaning of Christmas alive.  A time for of your time, your heart and gifts if you are able.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

All I want for Christmas!

"All I Want for Christmas"
10 x 10
Oil On Raymar Panel


The Christmas season is such a magical time of year.  I love the hustle and bustle of the season...but most of all I love the generous and giving feeling it seems to generate.  The smiles, the random acts of kindness and giving nature of season is contagious.  No matter what religion or beliefs you have it is a nice time of year to think about others.  

When I painted this piece I could just imagine what this little girl was telling Santa...the list of wonders she wanted placed under the tree to delight her on Christmas morning.  I can also imagine her wanting peace, happiness and love for all.  

A few years ago I started concentrating on random acts of kindness.  It may be paying for someone's coffee, someone's meal at a restaurant or just leaving some money for the restroom attendant.  Small things that brighten people's day.  Most of these are done anonymously...It makes my heart happy and makes me enjoy the holiday so much more than ever.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Santa's Lap

"Santa's Lap"
8 x 10
Oil on Raymar Panel


I thought this was absolutely priceless.  Such a iconic scene in malls across the country.  Mom and Dad think it will be so fun to sit their child on a strange looking stranger's lap and smile for the camera!  This little one was having none of it!  

I am having great fun painting Santa this season.  It is a fun respite from the concentration my commissions require.  I use these small pieces to warm up or when I just need some comic relief.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Meeting Santa Claus!

8 x 8
Oil on Raymar panel


It is amusing that we tell our children not to talk to strangers, be wary of adults bearing gifts, don't accept candy from strangers...and then Christmas time rolls around!  We stand in long lines to hoist our child up onto a stranger's lap and encourage them to accept candy canes as gifts!  I guess the solution to this dilemma is to introduce your child to Santa before hand.  Prepare your child for Santa and the magic of Christmas...Santa is no stranger!  

I also believe strongly that this season is the season of giving.  The holiday certainly has strong religious ties, especially for me, but I think the spirit of the season...the spirit of giving spans religion, race and culture.  It is a good message for all year long and it is nice to emphasize it each year.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Which Holiday is This?

Which Holiday is This?
8 x 16
Oil on Raymar Panel

Sometimes I think I am funny.  

I wanted to paint a line of children waiting to talk to Santa.  We see these lines at the mall all the time.  In the Washington DC area we are fortunate to have such a great Santa at our local mall...the kids love him.  

While I was painting and trying hard not to post any Christmas paintings before mind started wandering.  The holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to all get mushed together.  If we, as adults, get can imagine how a child must feel.

I painted and as I was setting the last figure in line a cape appeared!  It just happened.  Then I thought it was amusing so I kept on.  As I painted I thought about how many parents have a child like this.  How many artists feel like this...playing the the tune of a different drummer.  When everyone else goes one way you choose another path.  That is the story of my life...

It has been said that whenever you paint you leave a bit of yourself in each piece.  I know who I am in this line of children waiting to see Santa...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Piper - Little Ballerina

Piper - Tiny Ballerina
11 x 14
Oil on Raymar Panel

Study for a larger piece

Recently I was fortunate to be visited by Piper.  She was a marvelous model.  I always have my tutus and special white chair handy for just such visits and she cooperated much better than I could have ever expected.  She sat in the chair in her voluminous tutu and folded her hands in a ladylike fashion.  I asked her to look towards the window so I could capture the light on her face and she obliged just like a pro!  I was thrilled.  I was able to take dozens of source photos.  This is my first study.  

I always have a very long list of paintings I want to do.  I try to take advantage of any models I can entice into posing for me so my source photos fill volumes.  I get excited and change directions often.  The constant is capturing an emotional moment.  It always intrigues me and drives me to improve.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

I am very happy that my little "Ballerina" painting has been accepted into the Randy Higbee 6 x 6 show in Costa Mesa, California.  This little ballerina is actually Alice Russell who was kind enough to pose for me.  I took lots of pictures and have been using them as source references for numerous paintings.  When the time came to choose a subject for the Randy Higbee show I knew Alice's graceful ballerina poses would be perfect.  I tried to keep the paintings loose.  On such a small surface I tend to tighten up...but was pleased with how this one came together and I am proud to have it in the show.