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.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014


9 x 12
Oil on Raymar Panel

It is no secret I love painting portraits of my family and my Dad has been on my mind lately so I decided to paint him.  My brother, Dan, is a photographer and took this picture of Dad a while back.  My Dad has said a rosary every day of his life for as long as I can remember.  We said rosaries on long car trips.  Back in the day when we would drive cross country he would stop to pick up hitchhikers and as soon as they got in the car he would announce "we're going to say a rosary."  He always included an invitation to join in and most of the time they did!  

The picture of my Dad with a rosary in his hand is very poignant and very typical.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Retreat - Lowering of the flag

12 x 24
Oil on Canvas


In 2011 I began my blog vowing to post every day.  I soon realized that it was an unrealistic goal and settled for posting when I had something to say.  On this third anniversary of my beginnings I am posting the first painting in a new series that is near and dear to my heart.  It is a depiction of military life.  I grew up as a military brat and then continued my life as a military spouse.  Military life on base/post is unique.  This is my first story:

On a military installation the first note of the "Retreat" song is significant.  It occurs at 5 PM or 1700 hours each evening.  That first note means that all movement on base stops and everyone faces the flag...hand over a show of respect.  We would stand motionless until the music stopped and then resume our activities.  Fond memories include racing over to the flag pole to watch the flag being taken down inside so I didn't have to stand still till the flag was lowered!  If we were in the swimming pool everyone vacated the pool and stood, hand over heart, until the music stopped and then we all jumped back into the pool.  It didn't matter whether or not you could see the stood facing the general direction with hand over heart.  

This painting is my Grandson, Jayden.  Without prompting as soon as the music started he stood up and placed his hand over his heart and looked up at the sky in the direction of the flag.  It touched me and brought back so many memories.  I knew this would be part of my military series.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Open House! Raffle Prize!

8 x 8
Oil on Raymar Panel husband and I...are having and open house on December 6th from 5 to 8.  We would love to have all our friends, family, business associates and artist friends join us.  To, perhaps, entice attendance I will be offering this painting of Santa, which graces our Christmas cards this year, as a raffle prize.  You do not have to be present to win...but you do have to physically fill out the entry at the event.  

If you cannot make it we will miss you...but I will have a few Santa paintings for sale during the month of December...stay tuned!

As we do every year, our son, Michael Bennett Hock and his lovely wife Marissa, will be catering the affair.  If you have not had the chance to sample Michael's BBQ you don't know what you are missing.  Please arrive hungry!!!