Thursday, January 31, 2013

Leslie Saeta - 30 paintings in 30 days concludes...

Leslie Saeta
6 x 6 
Oil on Raymar Panel

Leslie is host of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  It has been an awesome month full of wonderful artwork, camaraderie and encouragement.  I was amazed at the number of people that kept up with the challenge and posted daily.  I was also amazed that I could not find a picture of Leslie without her teeth showing!!!  That woman smiles all the time...not a bad thing unless you want to paint her!

Crystal Cook posted a blog about her musings on the 30 in 30 challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.  

"Recognize that this challenge is more about the journey than the destination."

While it was fun to get to know new artists and share the daily painting with biggest joy was just painting.  

I decided to do artists portraits.  I wrote to numerous artists and asked for pictures that I could use for this project.  I knew it would be a big challenge...but I didn't realize that posting the images to my facebook page and blog would be so stressful.  People often see themselves in a different light and posting what I see and what my abilities let me record on canvas might not be appreciated.  It was cause for trepidation.  All out sheer panic set in when the photos started arriving and they were things I would not normally choose to paint.  Animals and glasses and teeth OHMY!!!  I had to chalk this up to a learning experience and just do my best.  As the month progressed I saw an improvement in my work.  I researched painting things I was not familiar with and then realized that they are just shapes, darks and lights...just like everything else I paint.  I really like painting glasses now...teeth, well the jury is still out on teeth. And I must say my Facebook and blog friends are very supportive and I was met with many compliments throughout the month.   

So, as I conclude this challenge I begin another.  The adventure continues....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Laurie Miller - - 30 in 30 Challenge

Laurie Miller
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar panel

We are on day 29 of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  I clearly cannot count because I still have artists to paint!!!  Best laid plans...yadda yadda.

This is Laurie Miller.  I met Laurie on Facebook and through our conversations on line I found out she lives a stone's throw away from the house my mom grew up in!!!  Small world.  Laurie was kind enough to walk over to my mom's old house and take pictures for me.  It has a beautiful wrap around porch and I remember sitting on that porch and playing cards with my Memere (grandmother).  Good times revisited because of a chance meeting and the kindness of an online friend.  

Stay more day!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


20 x 24
Oil on Canvas

For my 30 paintings in 30 days series I included a portrait of William F. Bennett IV...well this is William F. Bennett V.  I have painted his sisters...Vivi and Lucy many times and thought it was time to feature him.  He is adorable and has the same beautiful blonde hair and big blue eyes as his sisters.  I just love him...

Carl Baratta - 30 artists in 30 days Challenge

Carl Baratta
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar panel

I met Carl Baratta through my brother, Richard.  Carl is a fabulous artist who works at the Art Institute of Chicago.  His work can be seen  When I wrote to ask him for a picture for this project he replied immediately and sent this one explaining that he does not have a lot of pictures of himself and this was taken when he was looking out for bears.  When I began my art journey, Carl was always there ready to answer questions and help me out.  

Leslie Saeta's challenge has taken me many places.  I have met new artists and found out more about many that I know.  It has been a wonderful learning experience...and it is not over yet!!!  a couple more days left!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hilton Head 4 Challenge - Paris...

Paris in the Pink
8  x 10
Oil on Raymar Panel

This is my Hilton Head 4 challenge entry.  We were given photographs of Paris by Lulu and told to interpret them any way we want.  I saw this woman with her bright pink jacket and jus loved everything about her.  scroll down to see the other entries.

Lulu's entry Titled "Paris-a-Deaux".  I love the greens and the way she handled the impressionistic background.  Makes me long for the warm sun...on this dreary rainy day in Virginia!!!  See more of Lulu's work on her blog.

Here is Lydia's entry..."BeauRoux"

I love the red hair and relaxed position of the girl in her chair.  She also has a blog...

and last, but certainly not least is Chris's entry "Bonjour"

I can see I am the only one that did not use a french name for my painting !!!  Ah, challenge I will be more creative!!!

30 artists 30 days - Leslie Saeta's challenge - Judy

Judy Joy Nocifora
6 x 6 
Oil on Raymar panel

Judy is another wonderful artist I met through Facebook.  It has been such a wonderful vehicle to help me discover this world of artists out there.  I love seeing their work and following their journeys.  Visit her blog to see her work and find out more about this amazing person!

For Judy I decided on an action shot...this is a view of her during a plein air outing.  I wish we  could see what is on the other side of the easel!!!

Nearing the end of Leslie Saeta's 30 painting in 30 days .  Check out her blog to see all the entries.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vince the Eldest - 30 in 30 Series - Artists

Vince Byron Bennett, Jr
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Vince is my oldest brother.  He is a songwriter and plays guitar.  Whenever we have family get-togethers he breaks out his guitar and plays songs for us.  We sing and the little ones dance...sometimes we all dance...needless to say it is a great time.  

I love my family.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to do what I love and be surrounded by such a loving family.  I re-posted the portraits of my other brothers...if you remember...there are you can see them all together.  These portraits will be framed and displayed for me to enjoy.  

It is the last week of Leslie Saeta's 30 artists in 30 days challenge.  Be sure to check out her blog to see all the great artwork!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

30 in 30 - Artist Series Challenge - Susan Norman

Susan Norman
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Susan Norman is a wonderful artist and instructor who shows her work at the Loft Gallery in Occoquan, VA.  She specializes in portraits and figurative pieces.   I just had to paint her when I saw this beautiful picture...

Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days continues...only a few days left!!! What a trip it has been!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Michael, my eldest - 30 in 30 challenge- artists series

8 x 10
Oil on Panel

Today's artist is my son, Michael.  He is the eldest of my two sons and a fabulous writer.  His blog is Bad his post is about Steve Martin's book, "An Object of Beauty"  Michael is a though provoking and insightful writer who uses wit to convey is message.  He is back in school now to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher.  He has always wanted to teach but somehow got sidetracked, as we all do from time to time.  I am so proud that he is pursuing his dream.  And BTW if you know of any teaching positions in the Northern Virginia area please let us know!!!  He will be looking soon!

I can see the end of the 30 in 30 Challenge now...we are on day...well, I don't know, but someone must be keeping track.  Leslie Saeta will know...check out her blog to see all the participants' artwork.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Carrie Waller is next up - 30 paintings 30 days...artist series

Carrie Roets-Waller
8 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Carrie is an amazing watercolorist.  She paints still life pieces using glass bottles and crystal glasses in her compositions.  She is able to capture light masterfully. Her work is not to be missed.  Visit her blog to see what she is up to.  She often posts works in progress and it is fascinating to follow her as she brings the painting to life.  

When I first wrote to Carrie to ask if I could paint her "mug" I thought I was asking for a picture  of her face to paint from...Carrie read it as a coffee mug and sent this picture!!!  When I better explained what I was looking for she laughed and said "that is the difference between a still life artist and a portrait artist!"  

Leslie Saeta's challenge is going strong.  check out her blog to see all the beautiful paintings.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Naomi - is Next in the 30 in 30 series challenge

8 x 10
Oil on Raymar Panel

I am definitely nearing the end and bending the rules...they are my own rules but I am bending them.  This is the daughter of an artist, Elizabeth Floyd.  Liz is a fabulous artist.  I love her landscapes and still life paintings.  She regularly features her adorable daughter Naomi on Facebook...polishing her nails, baking and just enjoying life.  So today I decided to feature Naomi, who I am sure is an artist also.

Leslie Saeta's challenge of painting 30 works in 30 days has been quite a has pushed me to paint more loosely and let go of nitpicking every little detail.  I love the result of the challenge!  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dan - 30 in 30 Artists Challenge Continues...

6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Dan is my youngest brother...I did say there are four of them...and he is the baby.  He is primarily a Police Chief...that's his job.  But his creative endeavors are diverse.  His photography can be seen here.  He has also worked as a comedian and was featured on the TV show "The View", he has worked as a DJ, plays the guitar, sings and...well you get the picture.  

I think the reason my family is so talented is that my parents taught us that there are no boundaries.  They always encouraged us to try anything we wanted to pursue.  The only failure is the failure to try.  One of my Dad's favorite questions to us is "What do you think?"  When I was a child I hated that questions...I just wanted the answer.  Dad was persistent and insisted that we figure things out, form our own opinions and follow our own path.  

Ah, well...a trip down memory lane...who'd a thought Leslie Saeta's challenge of painting 30 paintings in 30 days would lead me here.  

Back to the easel...more painting...more memories...

Monday, January 21, 2013

30 paintings in 30 days - Artists series - David

David Shevlino
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

When I began this challenge I sent out a lot of messages and emails to artists asking for a picture to use. I asked friends, acquaintances, and artists I know only through FaceBook.  I was very surprised by the responses.  A lot of people said "go for it" and seemed excited for me.  Some politely said they would prefer not to participate and I respect that.  David Shevlino responded immediately and sent a picture.  I was thrilled and intimidated at the same time.  He is such a fabulous artist...I am appreciative of his willingness to help me learn and grow.  

I have taken a David Shevlino workshop and have his DVDs.  He is truly a master of his craft.  Watching him paint was magical.  His strokes are bold and strong.  He attacks the canvas with a confidence that can only come from knowing his craft superbly well.  He paints movement in such a loose and free manner.  His work is not to be is a link to his website.

My thanks once again to Leslie Saeta for her challenge!  30 paintings in 30 days!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

WFB4 - 30 paintings in 30 days continues

6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

William Francis Bennett cousin.  He is a Director of Photography - Cinematographer out west.  I am sure you have seen some of his commercials...visit and you will be amazed.  Here is another link to some of his work .  He leads an exciting life and I live vicariously through his stories.  

The name William Francis Bennett is obviously very special to my he is #4.  My grandfather was William Francis Bennett III.  And in case you are wondering...yes there is a William Francis Bennett V.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The little artist - 30 in 30 series continues!!!

The little Artist
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar panel


If this little girl isn't an artist I don't know who is!!!  She was just so fun to paint and I wanted to paint something really fun today.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dana - 30 artists in 30 days...the paintings continue

Dana Stephens Smith
6 x 6 
Oil on Raymar Panel

Dana and I met online through the International School of Bangkok Thailand's group.  She is the grandmother of the adorable little girl in the yellow canoe on my facebook page.  She is a very creative artist working in various media whenever the mood strikes. 

Leslie Saeta's challenge to do 30 paintings in 30 days continues!  The participation has not wavered a bit...check out her blog to see the other participants!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mike - 30 in 30 Artists Series Continues

6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

This is my brother, Mike.  I have four brothers...if you follow my blog you have already met Richard.  Mike is a very private person so I won't go into much detail about him but he is an artist...he writes beautiful stories of his adventures.  His idea of a shopping trip is to walk to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to pick up a "Phantom Ranch" tee shirt and then walk back to the top...all in one day.  

This is part of my 30 paintings in 30 days...artists series hosted by Leslie Saeta.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's portrait!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

30 in 30 halfway point with Claire!

6 x 8
Oil on Raymar panel

We celebrate the halfway point of my 30 in 30 Artist series of paintings with Claire Beadon Carnell.  Visit Claire's blog to see her fabulous artwork.  She is also participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  Check out Leslie's blog...there are still over 200 participants so there is lots of wonderful artwork to see!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kelley MacDonald - 30 artists 30 days

Kelley MacDonald
8 x 10
Oil on Raymar Panel

I met Kelley MacDonald at a Karin Jurick workshop on Hilton Head Island.  Along with Linda Popple and Sheryl Lott we spent the week painting, exploring the island, taking source photos and laughing...mostly laughing!  We talked about our past art experiences and what we planned for our future.  Kelley is the person who encouraged me to start a blog and set goals for my art journey.  She has been an amazing influence in my life.  I took this picture when we were on a pier on Hilton Head and she was setting up to take pictures of some gulls.  I have always had it in my "pile to paint someday" but never seemed to let it float to the top.  This is the perfect time to feature it!  

These paintings of artists are being painted for Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  I am painting 30 artists...some I know...some I just know of.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Becky Joy - 30 in 30 Artists Series

Becky Joy
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Becky Joy is a wonderful plein air painter that lives and paints out west.  Her paintings are not to be missed.  I met Becky on Facebook and follow her blog which is full of great art tips.  She does lots of videos and demonstrations.  When I sent out my request for photos to paint for Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge she was one of the first to cheerfully send me a photo.  I am constantly surprised and delighted by the generous participation I am met with when I requested photos. I go...back to the easel.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nancy Van Blaricom

Nancy Van Blaricom
6 x 6 
Oil on Raymar Panel

Nancy is a wonderful artist whom I met through blogging.  She has been very supportive and generous with her comments and encouragement of my art journey.  When you visit her blog (as you should!) you will be guided through her thought process and then rewarded with visions of her work.  She often features pages from her sketchbook.  It is so fun to share my creative friends!  

This is, of course, is one of my 30 in 30 artist friends who are featured on Leslie Saeta's blog.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hilton Head 4 Challenge

The Hilton Head 4 are continuing our bi-weekly challenge with "Birds of a Feather".  The challenge photo was sent out by Chris Werst...

"Of Course I Know the Way"
5 x 7
Oil on Raymar Panel

This is my rendition of the feathered flock....

Chris Werst chose to paint three of her feathered friends....

Lulu did a Marvelous job with Johnathan Livingston C Gull.  Check out her blog by clicking her name!

And last but certainly not least is Lydia's fabulous rendition.  

Dottie Leatherwood fills the 30 in 30 spot for today!

Dottie Leatherwood
6 x 6 
Oil on panel

Whew it has been a whirlwind of a day!  So much to do so little time...and her I am just getting to post this late!  Nevertheless I shall persevere.  Dottie is so beautiful she was hard to capture in such a short time on such a small canvas...but 30 paintings in 30 days dictates the terms and I comply!!!

Dottie is another fabulous artist who does have a blog that simply must be visited!  And then check out Leslie Saeta's band of merry artists still plugging away on the 30 in 30 challenge.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Puppy Love - 30 in 30 artists series continues...

Puppy Love
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

My 30 in 30 painting challenge continues with Kathy Cousart and her adorable puppy Georgia!  Kathy is a fabulous artist who currently resides in Georgia and paints Georgia BullDawgs, golf courses, golfers, still lifes and anything else that suits her fancy.  She is great at capturing the light and gives a great impressionist feel with her work.  

Today if Friday and I get to spend tomorrow painting with a cousin who is coming to visit.  I still have to talk her into starting a blog and getting on facebook.  Once she sees all the fun I am having I am sure she will be on board!!!  hahaha!!!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the beautiful art on Leslie Saeta's blog!  It is absolutely amazing!

Ah, usual break is over...back to play!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sue ChurchGrant 30 in 30 Challenge Artists

Sue ChurchGrant
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

I met Sue at Karin Jurick's workshop.  She is a retired pediatrician who now works as a full time artist.  I love her work....which can be seen here.  She paints and posts daily to her blog.  This is her FaceBook profile picture and she was kind enough to let me use it for my 30 in 30 series.  

My mom called me yesterday and said she was worried about me.  Worried about me being hunched over an easel painting so much to complete this challenge!  I told her...first of all I stand to paint so I am upright and second of all I listen to music and often turn around to dance if a song comes on that I like.  So I am not hunched over..I am standing, dancing, painting and having a good time!  Smiling all the way!!!

Break is over!  If I want to keep up with Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge I'd better head back to my easel.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dot Courson - 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

Dot Courson
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

I have had such fun with this Challenge of painting 30 paintings in 30 days - Artists series.  I am learning about new artists and getting to know artists I am already familiar with.  Leslie Saeta and the hundreds of other artists are still going strong...check out all the beautiful artwork on Leslie's Blog.

When I was thinking about what to paint, Kathy Cousart mentioned painting artist's "mugs" because she knows I love to paint portraits.  She also encouraged me to ask artists I didn't really know.  Dot Courson is one of those artists.  I have seen her on facebook and admire her work but really had no other connection.  When I sent a request for a photo for my project she replied immediately!  I was so pleasantly surprised.  She was very encouraging it made me even more excited to get started!  Visit Dot's blog to see her Year in review!

Off I go to paint another artist!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Richard Bennett - 30 in 30 portraits continues...

Richard "#3 Brother" Bennett
6 x 8
Oil on Raymar Panel

Richard is an artist in many genres.  He has been an actor, singer, dancer, visual artist with charcoals and pastels and writes poetry...just to name a few of his many talents.  When I say talents you may think I am exaggerating...but he His acting career brought him to Broadway in the play "P.T. Barnum" and across the country in many other shows.  Now he concentrates on his harmonica and vocals.  He sings regularly at the Drake Hotel in Chicago with "The Flat Cats".  To hear some of his amazing here for "Runaround Sue" and here to hear "Minnie the Moocher"  

I used to think I was "getting away" with something by not  having to paint eyes or getting a model with dark glasses and a beard and mustache seemed like a nice break.  Well...beards and dark glasses present their own challenges!  

As always...or at least for the next couple of weeks check out all the amazing artwork for this challenge on Leslie Saeta's blog!

An now back to the easel!!!...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kelly with one "E"

Kelly with one "E"
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar panel

Does anyone remember the movie "If It's Tuesday...This must be Belgium???"  That what I thought of when I got ready to post the next installment in my 30 in 30 series.  I thought...where am I ...what am I posting today..what day is it???  It is a blurry challenge but a fun blur!  

When I think of names I always think of letters...what letters are in the there an extra e and extra i or maybe a y instead of ie.  It always makes me wonder.  I remember growing up my mom would  say her name "Lucile with one "L" and Bennett two "n's" and two "t's".  Maybe that is why I am always looking for the letters.  That is why this is Kelly with one "E".   Kelly is an artist I met on facebook and find her to be not only a wonderful artist...check out her blog here...but also a wonderfully supportive friend.  I have always have a bit of a phobia about painting teeth...well...Kelly helped me with that too!!!  Such a big smile! 6 is done...on to day 7!!!  And don't forget to check out all the 30 in 30 artwork on Leslie Saeta's Blog!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

30 in up...Karen with an "E"

Karen with an "E"
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Karen with an "E" is not to be confused with Karin with an "I" Jurick!  I met this Karen online on Facebook.  She lives across the way in Napier, New Zealand.  She is a fabulous artist and has joined the fray painting 30 paintings in 30 days.  Check out her blog 

And while you are at it check out all the great 30 in 30 artwork on Leslie Saeta's Blog

Favorite quote from Karen's Facebook page...

No one ever hurt their eyesight by looking on the bright side!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

30 paintings 30 days - Linda Popple

Linda Popple
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

My 30 painting in 30 days enters day four with Linda Popple.  Linda is one of the most kind, generous, loving people I have ever met.  I mean, for a queen.  Most of the other queens I have met have been distant or aloof...not so with LInda.  She treats her subjects well and hardly ever acts like she is better than they are.  To protect her anonymity and keep the paparazzi at bay I am only including a partial of her face in this series.  

Thank you again Leslie Saeta for hosting this challenge.  All the challenge participants are posting their paintings on Leslie's blog...a great place to visit!

Friday, January 4, 2013

30 in 30 continues - Kat

6 x 8
Oil on Raymar Panel

My 30 in 30 series of artists continues with Kat...Kathleen Coy.  I met Kat at a fabulous Karin Jurick workshop on Hilton Head Island last year.  She is an amazing artist...check out her artwork on her blog!

Leslie Saeta is hosting the challenge and is featuring the whole 30 in 30 show every day on her blog.  There are hundreds of artists participating.  It is so fun to see all the work in one place.

I am off to continue looking for artists to paint!  It is such a fun way to get to know new people and find new artwork to admire!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

30 paintings 30 days series 2 number 2 Randy Higbee

Randy Higbee
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

I am having a ball with this new series of 30 paintings in 30 days.  Leslie Saeta's blog features all the participants artwork so check it out!

When I started thinking of which artists to paint I wanted a to include artists I know, ones I don't know, and people from different genres.  

This portrait is of Randy Higbee.  I don't really know Randy at all but I am very familiar with his fabulous frames and his equally fabulous 6 x 6 show he hosts every year.  I have followed him on facebook and thoroughly enjoy the interaction with his show's participants.  It is like a party on facebook!  

When I sent out requests to do these portraits Randy was one of the first people to respond, send me a fabulous picture and wish me well!  

Of course it is painted on a 6 x 6 honor of his show!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

30 paintings 30 days - series 2 Artists

Debra Bryant
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar Panel

Leslie Saeta issued a challenge to paint 30 paintings in 30 days.  Just off the heels of my previous 30 in 30 challenge I decided to dive in again.  My first series depicted the stages of life.  I wanted a theme for this series so I decided on "Artists".  I messaged and emailed artists to request a photo to paint.  This will get me out of my comfort zone and make me paint things I normally would pass up for various reasons.   I have been surprised by the many generous artists offering their photos.  I could not have imagined such a positive response.

Then the fear of having to paint all these portraits hit...AACK!!!  What was I thinking????  Well, I like to live out of my comfort zone and this certainly fills the bill.

First up is Debra Bryant.  She was the first to send in a photo and wish me well on my second 30 in 30 painting journey.  

Well, another day and another portrait awaits!