Monday, March 31, 2008


A special thanks to Wendy Garraty (left), co-owner of Tonic Home, for her feature on my work last Friday! Wendy is a blogger based in Tampa, FL and also co-owns Tonic Home with Linda Hayes of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. They have both a shop and web-based business they run even though they are separated by hundreds of miles! Tonic Home features very stylish furnishings for the home at a reasonable price. You can read her post here.


My latest quote poster reads " Happiness is not having all you want, It is wanting all you've got! This is the third in a series of brightly hued quote prints I have designed. This one features Tiffany blue background with crisp white lettering. I'm also featuring a new version of my "Better to be Kind..." print with periwinkle text on a crisp white background. Great Spring colors! These are larger than my usual prints at 11x16 and are printed with archival, high quality ink on archival paper. They are both available on my Etsy site.

Friday, March 28, 2008


 I feel blessed to come from a family where I was always encouraged to be creative and expressive. Both my mom and dad used to paint and my dad still continues to sketch with pastels to this day. Here is a painting he did when he was first married in the late 60's. When I was little he had a rather unkempt beard, longish wavy hair and wire-rimmed glasses, a la John Lennon. Not exactly a hippy, but a renaissance sort of guy with a 60's social conscience. Although he no longer looks the same, he has retained his love for art, compassionate heart for people and appreciation for all things creative. He gave this painting to me recently (actually, I sorta asked for it) and I love it. I treasure owning it not only because dad created it, but because it has been around ever since I can remember and the colors just give me a lift. Maybe I just absorbed my passion for color by sheer osmosis? Thanks, Dad!

My little sister, dad and me footsore and crowd-ravaged at the Vatican a few years back. The Pope's people actually provide some surprisingly tasty pizza in the cafeteria there and that, coupled with a good old Coca-Cola, had momentarily revived us. Someone please remind me next time to forgo the decidedly ugly cross-slung dork bag (gypsies or not!!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


The Swan House - an Atlanta landmark - designed in the 1920's by famed architect Philip Trammell Shutze for the Inman family of Atlanta. I have spent many enjoyable outings here in years past when I lived in Atlanta. The grounds and house are beautiful and it's definitely a place well worth visiting for both it's design value and historical significance.

Atlanta is a place that holds special ties for me and my family. My grandfather's family has strong roots there in the Druid Hills/Westminster area and at Emory University. One of my great uncles, Lauren Foreman, was a founding member of the High Museum of Art, and another uncle, writer and historian Richard Barksdale Harwell, was on the board of the Atlanta Historical Society, which is housed on the grounds of the Swan House now. My grandfather, Ernie Harwell, grew up there and one of his first jobs was as Margaret Mitchell's (author of Gone with the Wind) paperboy. After graduation from Emory, he went on to write for the Atlanta Constitution and the Sporting News and later joined WATL radio as a broadcaster for the minor league baseball team, the Atlanta Crackers. He eventually left Atlanta when he was traded for a minor league pitcher to the Brooklyn Dodgers to be their broadcaster. At the time of their move to NYC, my dad was only 2 years old. Many years later, when I was a teenager, my dad's job brought him back to suburban Atlanta, where our family lived for almost 20 years. My great-grandparents house is still standing on Clifton Road, just down from Emory and my late great Aunt Noni's house in Ansley Park (midtown) was lovingly restored by her son, Barksdale, a retired Coca-Cola executive. He still lives there with his wife, Mary. Both of my brothers live in suburban Atlanta with their families. So, even though I no longer am a resident, I guess you could say Atlanta is still a place with strong ties for me.

So, when I saw the post that Anna Clisdell of Sydney, Australia had written on this house, I took special interest in it and couldn't resist leaving a comment. I met Anna through her blog Villa Anna. She responded and approached me about painting the house for her. Of course, I was delighted and it was a special joy to paint a place that held some very special memories for me. Anna is a warm and lovely woman who made the commission process a great experience. You can read her post on it here.

Monday, March 24, 2008


StyleCourt blog's Courtney Barnes created this tablescape from objects that hold special meaning for her and then sent me the photo from which I painted the gouache rendering below. Courtney was inspired by a painting Jacqueline Kennedy had commissioned from French artist Pierre-Marie Rudelle of her favorite things. Courtney has a background in art history and is know for her discerning eye and vast knowledge of all things art and design related. This is the second time I've had the pleasure of working with Courtney. The first time was painting her favorite chair and then creating a blog banner that incorporated the painting (top). She never ceases to amaze me with her ability to create stunning compositions that seem to appeal to just about everyone. Her blog, which is one of the top design blogs worldwide, is always a great read, full of beautiful photos and wonderful text to accompany them. Click here to read her post on the commission.

My rendering in gouache (12x12) on aquaboard.

Aquaboard, a new surface for watercolor and gouache paintings with wood sides and a 2 inch profile. This surface, when coated with an archival protective finish, allows for watercolors to be protected and preserved without the need for glass or framing. A great alternative to the traditional framed watercolor painting. Please contact me here to create your own masterpiece!


Thanks to Courtney of Nesting Instincts, Vanessa Kimball of Vanessa Kimball and artists and friend Liza Hirst of Liza Moves On for their kind mentions of my work last week also! I am grateful to all of you who have shown me support or taken the time to post my work on your blogs. You all are what keep artists going!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Anna's shop
A sampling of her beautiful and colorful displays

Anna's blog

Special thanks again to Anna Spiro of the very popular blog Absolutely Beautiful Things for her mention and for featuring a photo from my house yesterday. She also featured a painting from Liza Hirst, an amazing artist and friend of mine living and working in Southern France. Anna's blog has grown to a huge worldwide readership in just a little over a year. She is a young designer based in Brisbane, Australia with a terrific eye and design sense. She runs her own shop and design firm and I hope to visit her one day and get to meet her in person. Thanks, Anna!! Here's a link to the post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Blythe beach photo by Gina Garan (if I ever acquire a surfboard, it's going to be PINK!)
Special thanks to Anne Tonnerre of A Thing of Beauty blog for including my work in a post today as one of 100 Great Etsy Artists. Anne is based in Paris, France and did a wonderful job compiling a list of many terrific Etsy artists, some of whom I wasn't familiar with yet and can't wait to check out. I was honored (and humbled at the same time) to be included in the company of such very talented people. Thank you, Anne, for taking the time to compile this list and to promote and nurture independent art and artists!

P.S. Anne is also a big Blythe fan, like me!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Here are a couple of snapshots taken around my house. Just a reminder that I welcome inquiries for commissions of your home, interiors, pets or just about anything! Please feel free to contact me with questions. Below is a sign in Latin that I painted on wood - "May God guide me".

Friday, March 14, 2008


This handcut silhouette collage features the classic silhouette of a fine French Louis XIV bergere, in a beautiful shade of aqua on a leafy background the shade of a regal purple. This is a limited edition, completely hand-cut and assembled collage - 6x6 on gessoboard. Numbered and signed by artist on back. Several of these small collages would make a great statement grouped together on a wall! Here's hoping everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Photo by Chiky

Gina Garan's second Blythe book

The first Blythe book by Gina Garan that helped launch the craze.

I couldn't resist this Spring-y, lively photo from Etsy seller Neuart. Chiky is based in Spain and makes clothes for Blythe dolls and then has these "photoshoots" with them. She is incredibly creative and super nice to boot! When she sent me the link to her Flickr site, I was amazed at her body of work. It just floors me how many interesting genres of art are out there. Couldn't you just see this blown up and hanging on the wall of a really hip New York loft? There's something delightfully quirky about these dolls and their clothes, etc.
Blythe dolls were manufactured in the states for only a year back in 1972 by Kenner. Then, in 2002, the Japanese started making them again and in 2004 the American company, Ashton Drake Galleries, started producing their own version. These dolls have a kind of cult following and have regained popularity in this century with a new generation. There is even a "Blythe" Wikipedia entry. New York TV producer Gina Garan has photographed these dolls for several years and has compiled a book featuring her photography"This is Blythe" by Chronicle books, followed by another, "Blythe Style". This is just another one of those interesting art subcultures that exists out there, especially on the web, that I was not aware of. Does anyone else out there remember Blythe? When I have a little girl someday I can get away with buying one of these and I will order a colorful knitted wardrobe for her from Chiky!!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Whiteport is an Australian based home furnishings website offering beautiful, quality home decor, accessories and gifts "themed around a stylish white palette". Jennifer McCabe started the company in 2007 after returning home to Australia following a 6 year stint in London. She wanted to create an online business that would offer people, even in remote areas, options for great design and quality delivered right to their door! Jennifer lives with her husband and dog, Scout, in a beach house on Sydney's northern beaches. The lovely photos of her products were all shot there and I am certain you would enjoy taking a look at her website. The pieces she offers are perfect for creating a tranquil, all-white decor or equally as great for a clean contrast with bold swatches of color. Click on this link to check out the website here.

Friday, March 7, 2008


This handcut silhouette collage features the classic lines of a fine French Limoges china coffee pot in heavy, textured black on a light green, mini-circular patterned background. This is a limited edition, completely hand-cut and assembled collage - 6x6 on gessoboard. Numbered and signed by artist on back.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


My favorite place - the beach

Today's post title is a bit of a facetious play on that often stereotypical "artist attitude" of psuedo-depth and melodrama. I am not the kind of artist who is either angst-ridden or feigns being so impossibly deep that an observer needs days to ponder my work and look for the hidden meaning. I am not ashamed to admit my work is not that profound nor do I have any desire to live a tortured, dark existence. To me, there is enough darkness, evil and sadness in the world already. I don't find any particular thrill in wallowing in it or trying to represent it in my work. I like happy. I like cheerful. I like vibrant. I like peaceful. I like good. I like to remember the sweet moments. Forget the bitter. Keep distance from the destructive. And I am not ashamed of it.
Call me shallow, but I generally paint things as they appear. A chair is a chair. A room is a room. Although all my subjects can represent far more than just how they appear on the surface, my goal is not to appear unduly complicated. So, in the spirit of simplicity and straightforwardness, I present a few snapshots of the things that surround me on a daily basis. We all know that people see things differently and associate what they see with deeper things based on their own particular outlook. That is why I so enjoy seeing other people's homes. The voyeuristic pleasure afforded by observing others' surroundings and living quarters is something that is a habit, a hobby and a true passion of mine. A person's "digs" are worth a thousand words. That is one of the things I enjoy most about being a part of the world-wide blogging community. My fellow bloggers have delighted me with allowing me see their homes and the homes of others. While I am still a shelter magazine addict, blogs offer a "meantime fix" that keeps me going until next month's issue arrives in my mailbox. So, here's to all of my beloved bloggers who have shared all this visual wealth and inspiration with me. Thank you!

A reproduction Chinese vase I bought a few years ago at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
I painted it last Summer and it's available as a print on my Etsy site.

An oil painting my mom did back in the 70's (after van Gogh).

Some cheesy little magnets I created that hold up my inspirational clippings
I repurposed my Metropolitan Museum of Art badge (top) and made it into a magnet!

Another oil painting of my mom's, done when I was about 4.

I painted this baker's rack periwinkle!

A portrait of my grandmother, Lulu Harwell, a Southern belle, painted in the 50's

My work area, in all it's glory! LOL

Some bougainvillea off the back of the house, stuck in a small vase.
Florida's lush vegetation is such a treat!

Part of my sunglass collection. (I know it looks like Elton John lives here)
(OK, so maybe I LIKE color a little.....)

A collection of Staffordshire figurines on an antique painted etagere
that my grandmother owned.

Monday, March 3, 2008


A new addition to my shop this week are the notecards that match my two new quote prints. One in a tangerine hue reads,"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" and the other, in green, reads,"It is better to be kind than right"(a quote my 90 year old grandpa taught me!) There are 8 cards/envelopes in each box (4 of each style). The matching 11x16 prints are also available in my Etsy shop. These are cheery and positive messages in citrus hues to spread the spring vibe to your friends and family.