Where I work


My studio is my home. What better place to create, than the place where I am most me? Seeing as I am a wife, mother, friend, hostess, daughter, sister etc… Why shouldn’t my place to create be the same place where I set the table for dinner every night?


Why shouldn’t it be in the same room where I dance with my husband and children?
Why shouldn’t it be where I serve turkey dinner to family or open Christmas presents on Christmas morning (yes, it’s a small home).


Surrounded by things of incredible emotional value and inspiration, like my red cabinet that my husband got me for Christmas to hold all my paint tools, or the easel which he made for me. Or the flowers on the table from a friend or a wooden crate from my mom. My name tag from my first art show.  A cheque stub from a commission (yes money does inspire me).  Notes from my daughter telling me I’m a ‘good painter’.


My home is where I paint. And I love it.

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A Scooter for Kayla


A Scooter for Kayla

First off, let me start by saying step throat is a nasty thing. Step throat with a side of the flu is nastier still!  Hence my lack of blogging recently.

Second, this post is about a painting in mid-production. So don’t freak on me and remind me that my planters in the painting look like blobs of green!  My daughter already reminded me… Several times in fact.

A friend of mine asked me to paint something for her daughter’s bedroom. Her daughter has a wild imagination with an incredible amount of brains. That being said, I knew I couldn’t paint Dora the Explorer and satisfy her. Not that it would have satisfied me even. This girl can name constellations and any star almost by sight. She also happens to love all things Paris and dreams of one day traveling there and eating at a café. So I’m working on a painting that will hopefully give wings
to her imagination and take her to this café all in the comfort of her own bedroom!

“Paris is always a good idea”

– Audrey Hepburn

The only problem is that I’m just not feeling this one! Clearly the cobblestone isn’t finished and the scooter, oh and the Eiffel tower will be in the background of course. But otherwise I’m feeling unsatisfied with the general feeling. I had to stick with this sort of colour scheme because of her request to use the yellow and purple color in her room.

Here are a couple up close shots of different parts of the painting:



Any tips, thoughts, suggestions?

Send me your comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Vampire Girl Turns Good


In my latest commission I had a picture of a little girl who was sick looking out her bedroom window. There was a peaceful sense in the girl’s face that she would be well. There was hope and light and well, peace in spite of the sickness.

Since I was little I would get mental pictures of something that I believed I could re-create if only the image would travel down my arm and land on paper or canvas. But a inward belief that artistic talent skipped over me and landed elsewhere in my family always kept me from any attempt to materialize art.

A Christmas present of paint, brushes, canvas, and belief in my gifting from my husband started me on this journey I now find myself. The scenes I visualize DO have a way of finding their way onto canvas in a miraculous way that never ceases to amaze me! It’s such a beautiful process, which has it’s occasional ‘oops’ moment.

‘Vampire Girl’ honestly and humorously dubbed by my daughter was one of those such moments. I had this wonderful painting in my head as described above, the only problem was that I haven’t painted a lot of faces. I’ve sketched faces. But not painted a lot. But learning is in the trial so I started as usual.

Sketch. Sketch on canvas. Imprimatura. Get to the good stuff, feel your way through, etc. That’s my way anyway.

I got to this point and knew I was WAY off. There was no hope or peace in this girls face.


I couldn’t even be frustrated or upset! I just had to laugh! As I mentioned, and as I’m sure you can now see, I had created Vampire Girl. And not really even a good looking vampire girl.

Back to the drawing board as is said. I knew that the colour wash I chose was affecting so much and started again.


I was feeling better but knew I needed help. An artist whose tutorials I really enjoy and benefit from, (http://erictfrancis.blogspot.ca/?m=1) gave me so much direction and help regarding skin colour and composition. I continued with my signature cracked stucco look, which I use actual stucco to create. Curtains create a sanctuary and home-feel. Warm light from the lamp says she is safe and added to the ‘all will be well’ feeling. My daughter, ever my critic and budding artist buddy, said there absolutely had to be medicine and a water glass on the lamp table. I think she was right!


Good bye Vampire Girl, hello sweet sick little girl. I was so happy with the finished product as it had such personal meaning for me. Tangibly seeing my art progress and improve has been so fun and enjoyable. This painting aptly became “The Little Girl in Me”.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Let me know what you think!

Josephine’s Day


Josephine's Day

Josephine’s Day is a painting commissioned along with five others for a Pediatricians office.  She wanted pieces that were in my style but had something ‘medicine’ and ‘pediatric’ in them without being ‘childlike’.  I love painting for this lady.  As an artist, it is a great feeling to be trusted in your work.  I knew I could do my thing and she would love it.

Initial Inspiration for "Josephine's Day"

I started with inspiration from this photo.  We used to live in Czech Republic and while living there we visited Salzburg, Austria, where this photo is taken.  When you ride the rail car up to the fortress you would see this place.  For my painting, I could imagine this being a safe place, a “stay and get well’ clinic for children.  Warmer colours were on my mind though so I knew it needed some changes.




I really wanted to paint a little one lost in a world of art.  Sidewalk chalk art.  I made it a medical clinic with the snake and cross symbol on the door.  I felt the door must be kept open so she felt safe enough to run inside if she needed to.  Plus, on such a beautiful day, who closes doors?!

Since my kids are too old for the child I was picturing, I asked my brother to take some photos of my niece while she was creating masterpieces outside on the ground.  My niece has such a spunk and imagination.  When I saw these photos I fell in love with them and couldn’t wait to paint her.

Josephine's Day

And this is the finished product!

Ah, the feeling of doing sidewalk chalk as a child with the sun on your back! Rich colours, sunshine, glimpse of the young artist all the while an ode to the ‘ole world. Makes you want to be here…touch the walls and feel the sun.