An artist's journal.
Here you'll find my paintings and musings, where the featured subjects could likely cover just about anything.
The last 4+ years I've been caring for my best buddy B during his courageous fight to live through cancer and it's complications. I'm tickled to report, he's getting better and I'm finding small bits of painting time again.

Looking forward to a daily celebration of life's gifts by using the brightest, happiest colors in the box!

Visitors looking for 'B's Journey', click here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Brian Corkill, Bill Ronstadt, John Ronstadt, and Peter McLaughlin 

Sunset Serenade
One of the greatest blessings in my life is the way music is intertwined into almost every aspect of our day to day life.... my husband Brian is an amazing musician and makes music regularly with many other wonderful musician friends.... he plays five or six times a month with 'Still Cruisin', his oldies band and is a guest guitarist in several other groups.

The 'Still Cruisin' gigs are good, loud, fun with lots of dancing and visiting going on, but I think my favorite music times are the ones when we have gathered with our friends, at our home or theirs, and after a meal, instruments come out, chairs get pulled up, and music begins to fill the air... magical.

Last weekend, at a get together Bill and John Ronstadt set up to introduce their friend, Peter McLaughlin, to Brian, we went to Peter's house for pizza.... Peter has an authentic pizza oven that he built in his courtyard, so everyone brought a favorite topping or two, and we made amazing homemade pizzas... forget built in B-B-Q's!! ... this pizza oven was great!... hey, I'm a pretty good brick mason....hmmmm?? :o)

The music that evening was wonderful.... all of these guys are amazing singers and players...our new friend, Peter, is a national flat-picking champion and his folk songs were great (I love folk music!)....... singing together since they were kids, Bill and John's singing and harmonies are always amazing and their pickin' ain't bad either....John's wife, Jeanne, played accordion and added her own sweet harmonies.... in perfect weather, sitting on the patio overlooking Tucson as the sun was setting, watching the city's lights come on, listening to these fellows make their music, I was pretty sure I'd found a little of heaven on earth.

Monday, April 6, 2009

click images to enlarge


Almost as if on cue, mother nature has decided to use the happiest color in the crayon box to tint our back yard... i can almost hear her saying "what we need here is a big burst of yellow to banish any remaining remnants of them pesky 'blues'...." ......thanks mom.

The view from my hammock is a study in yellow... the palo verde tree, cats claw vines, yellow oleander and an abundance of wildflowers are bursting with yellow blooms... heck, even the lemon and grapefruit trees still have some yellow fruit on is so beautiful and serene... the birds are singing their spring songs and the temperatures are perfect!... someone pinch me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Me, circa 1966, just after leaving Kendall (Florida's state run children's home)...My brother Geoff and I spent 1960-1966 there.
To see some serious freckles, click on image to enlarge.

This is one of only a handful of photos from my childhood that exist.... i was 27 when i saw, for the first time, photos of me as a baby and toddler.... never knew what i had looked like as a kid (except for vague mirror memories) ....... vastly different from the kids and young adults of today who have probably seen videos of their births. :o)

Ok, i know i was a little weird in my february 24th post.... but i have spent the last month wrestling childhood monsters back into their cave and i'm happy to report, they are once again banished.... i have won this latest battle and am feeling much, much better... i actually think, after 45+ years, i may have won the war... but, shhhhh, i don't want to jinx this... time will tell.

I think part of the catalyst for last month's melancholy was going through boxes of photos (from a previous life), along with old letters and such as i continue my quest to be more organized.... i opened boxes that had been sealed for a long, long, long time and a few of them had Pandora's name on them.

And just as Pandora did in her legend, i too, at the bottom of the box, found hope.

I also found a calm new strength and a wonderful stockpile of forgiveness... for those who hurt that innocent child so many years ago... and for me, for not always being strong enough to push on through the fears... i did the best i could.

Miami midnight stroll

click image for larger view

"Miami midnight stroll"2006
Curless collection, Cincinnati, OH

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"...because it's scary out there"2007
Amouyal collection, New York, NY

My 'Threshold' paintings are a series of darker, moodier works that have helped me whenever childhood monsters surface. Fortunately, as I've gotten older, these paintings have become more rare.

"...because it's scary out there" deals with my agoraphobia, mild now compared to when I was in my 20's, but present enough for me to easily become more of a hermit than i am.

After an amazingly prolonged absence, they have returned... i am once again fighting my childhood's monsters... really? why do they, seemingly out of the blue, suddenly rear their ugly heads?'d think after four or five decades, i'd have figured out how to banish them permanently, but apparently not..... usually it only takes me a week or so to drive them back into their cave, but they seem stronger than usual... i sometimes wonder if i should share with my kids the darkness of my childhood, or if i am making the right decision to spare them the details.... they think they know me.... they do not.

I am wearing the face i keep in a jar by the door... i will be glad when i can put that jar away again, with it's lid tightly closed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

click image for a larger view

"Autumn Rooster" 2005
McCourt collection- Tucson, AZ

Thursday, February 12, 2009

click image for a larger view

"White Gerbera" 2006
Private collection- Miami, FL

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"I rarely feel 'over the hill' which is why i'm always caught a little off guard by how, sometimes, just a few words from one of my kids can make me feel 'over the mountain' :o)"~Jenna Millward Corkill©

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Yesterday i began my 56th year... i still feel 30ish inside but mirrors scattered here and there throughout my world are always surprising me with a reflection that doesn't quite match what i think i should see... who is that stranger in the mirror?

Yep, it's me ...but the weird thing is i'm not really a stranger at all... i know more about myself now, than i ever have, even if sometimes i'm surprised by my own reflection... i feel blessed to have lived long enough to recognize lessons learned along the way, about myself and others... lessons that only reflection, seen from the perspective of different decades, can provide.

I've been amused witnessing cliches come true... yes, we do, in ways, become our parents, but funnier still is watching our kids become us (although i'm sure they would beg to differ..LOL).

I recently ran across a note i saved a long time ago about lessons learned in life (author unknown)... i've borrowed a few thoughts from that note and added a few of my own.... what follows are some of life's lessons i've learned from having the privilege of spending 5.5 decades living on this marvelous/perilous planet!

I've learned~ that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.

I've learned~that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned~that you should never tell a child their dreams are foolish.

I've learned~that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned~that no matter how hard you will try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt, and you will hurt for them, no matter how old they become.

I've learned~that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I've learned~that i really don't like paperwork, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away. The same applies to laundry.

I've learned~that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others, you must learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned~that you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I've learned~that no matter how badly your heart is broken, the world won't stop for your grief, but your friends will.

I've learned~that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned~that you can't make someone love you... all you can do is be someone who can be loved.

I've learned~heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of personal consequences.

I've learned~that sometimes i have the right to be angry, but that doesn't ever give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned~that the bounty of planting seeds of kindness throughout your life is priceless.

I've learned~that your life can be changed in a matter of minutes by people who don't even know you.

I've learned~that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.

I've learned~that it's not WHAT you have in you life, but WHO you have in your life that counts.

I've learned~that true friendship continues to grow, no matter what.

I've learned~to trust that my God walks with me and gives me wisdom and strength.

I've learned~that prayer works.

I've learned~that it's taken me a long time to become this person i am today and i'm good with 55.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Lennon" 2004
Gilden collection, Ann Arbor, MI

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wise words

A friend forwarded this email message to me with the standard footnote "send this to a gazillion friends in the next 2 nano seconds and you'll be hit on the head with amazing good fortune" ... i never forward these and i'm doing just fine thank you, but i often times really like the root message of these emails.... so today i'm going to include a few of my favorite lines from today's email.... hmmm , maybe i should go buy a lottery ticket or something...

~Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
~Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
~When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.
~When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye and mean it.
~Talk slowly but think quickly.
~When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
~Live the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; & Responsibility for all your actions.
~When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
~Spend some time alone.
~Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
~Believe in love at first sight.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

intransitive verb
1 a: to have a firm religious faith ~ b: to accept as true, genuine, or real
2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something

"There are days when I feel I could paint the Sistine chapel and then there are days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between those days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill

Thankfully, today I am conquering the artist's angst... I am working on 4 separate canvases with really good results, and having a blast... but the day started with a big dose of self doubt.... only by taking a deep breath and getting the canvas wet did I overcome the fear ... and now I'm having a wonderful painting day... you gotta believe!

One of the paintings is for our granddaughter Emma and was supposed to be completed by her birthday, but that's not going to happen.... I'm not spoiling her surprise by mentioning it...she's seen the work in progress and loves it and is being very patient with me.

Her painting is almost done... which reminds me of another angst I struggle with... when is a painting really done?... Brian says Emma's flowers been done several times already, but I keep fine tuning them... often times I'll show him a canvas I've just tweaked and he has no idea what I added or changed.... I need to learn to be done sooner... now, back to tweaking Emma's flowers...LOL

Sunday, January 25, 2009

click image to enlarge

"Cherry Trees" 2009
click image for a larger view
Van Riemsdyk collection, Tucson, AZ 

I love the textures used on my TALL TREE paintings... especially on the tree's branches and the past i've done TALL TREES in some really nice colors, including sage, rust, red, greens, golds, sienna and more... I paint these using multiple layers of different colored glazes and the glazes i used on this painting resulted in these beautiful warm cherry wood tones... there's also a hint of metallic copper highlights scattered here and there throughout the painting... TALL TREES are my most popular style on EBAY and are in collections all over the country.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New 'TALL TREE' Painting!

The last few days have been quite productive... and fun...... in the midst of launching my new little website several weeks ago, i kept mentioning to brian how slloooowww my computer was, that i thought it needed a bigger brain... i was spending quite a bit of time working on the new website, but was in 'wait mode' a lot, three steps ahead in my mind, trying to be patient while my computer took it's time thinking about ????... i was getting frustrated which is unusual... i'm usually a really patient person.

So imagine my delight when a few days ago the birthday fairies delivered a new computer!!!.....for me!!! ...i thought all i had wanted was a bigger memory card until this new thing showed up with it's fancy big monitor and sleek design... i've gotta say it was love at first sight!

The computer i had been using was a hand me down from brian... and trust me, his hand me downs are just fine, but it's computer brain was way too small for my newfound geek adventures..... it took brian a few days to get all my data transfered and load the programs i use, so now i'm playing catch up for the few days of lost computer time... i'm having so much fun with this new speedy computer.... thank you bunches brian!

I did a lot of painting while i was computerless... and had a blast!...worked on multiple canvases, including emma's gerbera daises, some WIP's and a new 'tall tree' painting.... it has really neat texture and the colors remind me of warm cherry wood tones... i also used a few metallic copper highlights that look great.... the tree branch texture is especially nice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

~click this image to see a larger picture! neat!
by Matthew Stricker

Friends and Family

Yesterday I went to my good friend Linda's surprise 60th birthday party... in what seems a lifetime ago, we had bought homes on the same cul-de-sac a few weeks apart in 1979 and raised our kids together there... Linda's son Matthew and her daughter Susanne were the same age as Chip and Casey and they became close friends right away, attending school together from kindergarten through high school....our kids really had fun growing up one house away from each other....and here it is almost 30 years later and they are still good friends.

At the party Sunday, I spent some time catching up with Matthew... I always knew he was artistic but I am amazed at his work... he belongs to an elite society of astronomy artists... only 70 world wide members ... his paintings are astronomically (is that a word?) correct and mesmerizingly (again, word?) beautiful....I added a link to his website in my blog's margin under 'OUR ARTIST FRIENDS'....He is also an executive chef at an exclusive restaurant in Tucson's Tortolita mountains... I bet his food not only tastes great, but looks out of this world!...Sorry Matthew, I couldn't resist saying that. :O)

Friday, January 9, 2009

"The Cole Zoo" Our son, Chip, and his family.

Said slowly with a distinctively beatlesque british accent......"number nine.....
....number nine.........number nine........"

Little Miss Rimona with her proud grandmother.
She's the youngest of our nine grandkids, and a little doll!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Orange Daisy Sphere" 2006
Unframed, sides painted black, hanging hardware installed, ready to hang.
$50 US shipping via USPS Priority Mail, delivered to your door within a week.
($100 International shipping, delivery times vary)

I love this painting!...contemporary fun! are always a favorite of mine to paint... and i like the neat 3-D effect of these big daisies on this giant sphere ...could be a marble? or even a beach ball!... perfect for the beach house! room! ...any room!... it currently hangs in my own home office and it's bright cheerful colors look great in was painted using many layers of beautiful glazed colors... this painting also looks great from far away or up close the viewer gets closer to the painting they are rewarded with interesting bold textures as well as subtle, unique filigree texture details ... i enjoy this painting so much, it will be hard to let it go someday...but i know when it finds it's new home, it will be making someone else happy too.

Cropped detail of "Orange Daisy Sphere" showing some of the filigree texture found throughout the painting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can I paint a portrait for you?

I have decided to start accepting portrait commissions again after a small hiatus spent throwing paint at the canvas with no regard for capturing likeness... FUN!

There are a few of you who've been inquiring about when i was going to start scheduling new portrait commissions and that time is now... i appreciate your interest and patience as well as all your kind words about the portraits i've done in the past.

I also decided to launch a new little website to showcase some of my past portraits and other paintings...the website includes contact info as well as information about the process of commissioning a portrait, the fees and such.

This website stuff is really tedious, and sometimes frustrating for this non-geek, but i'm pleased so far.... it is definitely still in the fledgling stages, but viewable... and it's not bells and whistles yet, but maybe someday as i learn... i think building this new website is helping to keep the neurons in my aging (not old!) brain connected... and it will also showcase available paintings as well as a sold gallery... i hope to add new paintings to my new web galleries everyday (in a perfect world) but i haven't seen brian for two days, picked up a paintbrush or even updated this blog because of this website building stuff!... so it may stay simple for a while.

If you're interested in a portrait, send me a note at
Visit my website
today to learn more about commissioning a portrait.... traditional and alternative styles are available.

Also, please note that i am only going to do a limited number of portraits this year... portraiture is very time intensive with a deadline and brian misses me if i spend too much time in the studio... those of you who know us pretty well know that we have our priorities straight, something we learned when brian was sick... my # 1 priority is brian and spending time with him... never take time for granted, and always let the ones you love know it, by your actions and your words.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind."~ Mahatma Gandhi
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"There are days when I feel I could've painted the Sistine Chapel and, then, there are the days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between these days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill