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, 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