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I normally think I prefer the winter months to work in my studio.  It’s cozy inside hiding from the cold.  But this summer, I find I am also  retreating from the heat in to my studio.  And I have decided instead of my usual oils I wanted to try something new.  So I have returned to conte, graphite and pastels.

Blue Mountain Lake, 11 x 14, conte and graphite on paper

It is like visiting a dear friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time.  It takes a bit of time to pick up the rhythm, but then it slips into the familiar.  Such joy.

Norfolk Coast Dunes, 11 x 14″, conte and graphite on paper

Part of the fun is I get to spend hours going through my images.  I always only work from my own photos, so each journey in to the past allows me to relive the beauty of my travels.  That always seems to be where I find the best inspiration.  The unfamiliar invites wonder.

Jardin des Tuileries,  11 x 14″, pastel on paper

Paris, England, the Adirondacks, Shenandoah…each has its own appeal. And how do I approach the subject?  I have a general idea in my head.  I look at my collection of art books or borrow from my local library for a gentle push of my creative brain…Hockney, Kahn, Bonnard, Porter, Twombley, Van Gogh, Whistler. A quick trip in to the city to an art museum always helps, and often creates its own subject matter.

There are so many great artists to learn from, but my own style always pushes through all the influences. I find the space where I am comfortable, the stroke of the chalk that makes me happy, the color palette that brings me contentment.

I push through the frustration when things just don’t work right.  I don’t give up easily.

Sometimes I only find completion when I’ve given up all hope, and just don’t care if I “ruin” it or not. That’s often when it takes flight.

June (Kousa Dogwood), 11 x 14, pastel on paper


Everything is all right in my studio, whatever the season.