Painter’s Block?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything here since February… Wow! I think it’s probably because I’ve had a pretty rough summer with illnesses and allergies, and come to think of it I had some painter’s block. I guess I’ll start there and do some catching up…


One of my favorite portrait artists, David Gray, wrote a blog post about painter’s block that was extremely helpful to me. It all started when I was feeling confused about what direction to go with my art, and Maggie Greenway, an artist on Instagram posted this quote…

Road to Mastery

unconscious incompetence



unconscious competence

~ James Whistler

Her question was “Where are you on this road to mastery?”

It really got me thinking and here was my reply, ” Feeling very consciously incompetent just now, almost paralyzingly so. Don’t know what road to take…”

This is when I came upon David Gray’s blog post titled Painter’s Block

I thought the post was so reassuring as he suggested to just keep on painting, or do a copy of a master, or open up a sketch book and start drawing to see what ideas that sparks, or go to a museum, or paint with others, and most of all be patient with yourself. He assures that your creativity will come back.


After reading the post I grabbed a ruler and a sketch book and began to draw lots of little squares to work on color charts suggested by  Richard Schmid in his book Alla Prima II.

I had to laugh when I looked at all the “blocks” I had drawn. That was a beginning…that was in May… it is August now and I feel a lot better about things… I think David is right. Be patient with yourself, your creativity will come back.

I’ll be posting more here about this journey. I hope this will be helpful and inspiring to some. Have you ever experienced this? Where are you on this road to mastery?

Cushion Bushing

Have any of you heard of a cushion bush? When I saw a photo my daughters brought back from their trip to Australia, I couldn’t resist trying to paint it. She told me that you could actually sit in these bushes and relax, and that they are really comfortable. 🙂


12″ x 12″ oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Leucophyta brownii (also known as Cushion Bush).

Leucophyta brownii is a small, rounded shrub with tangled tomentose branchlets that give it a silvery appearance. It commonly occurs on the exposed faces of cliffs and dunes on the south coast of Australia. Although it can grow up to 1 metre high, it is more usually 0.2 to 0.7 metres high. It produces flowers during summer (December to February in Australia). These are white – yellow globular heads and about 1 cm in diameter. ~ Wikipedia

Incoming Storm ~ Bay of Fires

I didn’t participate in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge for January 2017, but I did get a few paintings done in January. This one is for one of my daughters who took a trip to Tasmania in October. She loved this storm coming in over the Bay of Fires, so I tried to capture it for her in this painting.


18″ x  24″ oil on canvas

Oklahoma Snow

Snow is a rare event in Oklahoma. A couple of weeks ago we had a really good 3 inches and cold enough temperatures that it stuck for a while. I love being the first one out of the house when it snows…making the first foot prints…listening to that crunching sound under my boots. Here is what it looked like from our front gate…my impression anyway…


12″ x 12″ oil on canvas

Bay of Fires

My daughters brought some beautiful photos home from their trip to Australia and Tasmania, and now I get to paint them…


18″ x 24″ oil on canvas


This one is of the Bay of Fires in Tasmania. I love the colors of the ocean and the big granite boulders. At first I thought the name came from the color of the lichen on the rocks, but it was actually named back in the 1700’s by a ship captain who saw the fires of Aboriginal people on the beaches.

I’m working on two more paintings that I’ll share soon. I can’t decide whether or not to do the 30 in 30 Challenge this time around… I guess I only have a couple of days to make up my mind. 🙂