Tag Archives | oil and cold wax

Caught in the Rain and Caught in the Moment

You should see my “Hiking Glacier” book. I couldn’t possible part with it now. The glossy full-color cover is now a thin film separated from card stock, and all 232 pages are as wavy as the flood of water that filled my backpack. That book survived the coldest, wettest, most miserable hike I have ever experienced. My fingers were numb after the 10 miles. All backpack contents needed to be laid out by the fire and one camera body didn’t make it. But my book . . . it lives to tell the tale of a wild and wonderful adventure of moose spotting, rain in an alpine lake home to the icebergs and the warm welcome of strangers sharing shelter beneath the hemlocks as we made it to the lake. They smiled without a single complaint about the weather because they shared our love of mountains, cliffs, rushing water, wind, courage and beauty beyond anything you can experience without getting your feet wet. Take a chance. Take the hike. And take in the marvelous mystery of truly living in nature. Let me know if you want to borrow my book.

PS: This painting is inspired by Upper Grinnell Glacier Lake, and I was grateful for the warm sun that day.

The Restroom Artist

Not surprisingly, tears fell at a dear friend’s memorial service.  But joy was also in the air, as I came to realize that each of us touch others in ways we do not realize.  I learned that day that not only was my art a catalyst to our friendship, but that family time in The Henderson Resort bathrooms was one of the best memories this young nephew had of his wonderful aunt.

Zachary spoke from the heart when he relayed a heartwarming story of “Punkin” taking the family to lunch at The Henderson, with an agenda to include a museum quality tour of both the men’s and women’s restrooms for all to see 27 paintings in each and every stall and wall.  Punkin, asked the hotel staff to guard the doors so this tour remained private while the whole family viewed the creations by her artist friend (that would be me).  His point was she was unique.  My point is we are joined to one another as we journey through this life, and sometimes it’s art that creates the bridge that brings us together.

Today, my car is packed with new works for Art Wave at The Henderson Resort.  It’ll be a great party, as we help to raise funds for South Walton Artificial Reef Association.  I wonder who will be drawn to my paintings, who will like what they see when nature calls and what new friends I will meet.  I’ll be sharing studio adventures with my artist friends, grateful for The Henderson bringing us together.  And I’ll be thinking of Punkin, knowing that in my own small way, I helped a young man with a memory that will bring him smiles for years to come.

With Special Thanks to Melissa Mercer Brown for introducing me to an opportunity of a lifetime.

Where Did That Come From?

Some days, it can feel like magic . . . you go to work in the studio, stand for hours making strokes with paint, and you end up with a “wow” and you question, “where did that come from?” And other days, you start the same but finish with an “ugh” and you question, “where did THAT come from?”

The process of making art is always magical to me, always a time to get lost in the search for something wonderful. On a good day, the process brings a sigh of satisfaction and sense of peace. On a not-so-good day, the process can be painful, and worst of all, that little voice of negativity says the hours were wasted once again. Those are the days I have to quiet the voice and say there is no waste when there is learning.

So where is the consistency? I have not found it yet. I don’t know where it comes from, but I have a feeling that it can be found in perseverance. Or maybe consistency is the carrot I chase, believing with each “wow” that it can be caught.

Today I will gladly try again, and I hope you will, too. Make something beautiful or make someone smile. And know that it came from inside of you.

Roads Less Traveled


Times change and roads that were once void of traffic are discovered, thus losing the loneliness I loved. The only solution for me is to get on a new road — one less traveled. So off we go to the land of the cypress and the tiny town of Wewahitchka. I wished for nature trails and paths to the paveless places. But this town is not looking to be discovered, not looking for fame and fortune. It’s not looking to entice visitors with TripAdvisor attractions.
This is a simple place where white-haired women with tangled fishing lines chat easily with anyone and everyone, and where young men who just moved here from Alabama are quick to share alligator gar stories and smile big while luring bait fish along the cypress banks of Dead Lake. I am here to catch a glimmer of fall Florida color, missing the Jersey leaves but not the northern cold.
The gray sky mimics the cypress trunks as reflections of bronze, rust and gold float on calm water. New colors can be exciting — so unfamiliar to this blue and white based beach girl.
So today, in honor of yesterday, I will travel the quiet roads in my memory and open up to new colors of paint. Let’s try a little change.

A Part of Something Grand

The walls are painted and the hanging system is set to be installed next Monday. Artists bring their works in on Wednesday and SQUARES At 560 opens the Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s 2017-18 season! It’s going to be Grand!

Why do I think so? Because it’s good to be a part of something good and grand to be a part of something grand. ECTC has a killer season lined up, and Lowkylzart (that’s me and my local artist community) is ready to join in with an all-square theme of fantastic new creations to enrich audience experience and support the theatre with art sales. It’s our fifth year working together.

Why squares? Because squares are cool, and easy to share and perfect for so many places in your home. Collectors can connect directly to the artists through Instagram #squaresat560, if unable to see this incredible theatre and art space in person. So follow Lowkylzart on Instagram and Facebook as our journey through the ever-changing, always-inspiring, thought-provoking world of art and theatre afford you the grandest six months at 560 Grand Boulevard Upstairs.

It’s only good to be part of something grand when what you’re a part of is a good thing.

#lowkylzart
#ectheatreco
#loridrew
#squaresat560

The Face of Limitation

These are the faces of my latest limitations.

If I couldn’t use my right hand, I probably would never have attempted new art. I feel like I really had nothing to lose in trying lefty pastels and then my oil and cold wax faces. After all, I wasn’t allowed to paint in familiar ways during the days following carpal tunnel release surgery, so if I wanted to paint, I was going to have to push myself outside the old comfort zone.

My right hand has a long way to go in the healing process, but I think I’ve adapted and even grown. I’m sharing this in case you ever feel frustrated with limitations placed on you. Don’t let them defeat you even for a moment. Just grow where you’ve never thought of growing before.

Letting Go


This painting was chosen yesterday — chosen to leave my little nest for the big city of Atlanta, to live its life in a luxurious loft. I’m a little sad because I always loved it. And I’m a little happy because someone else loved it as much as I did.
This is the life of an artist — a life of letting go.
First you have to let go of inhibition, of perfection, of rejection and of fear, constantly reminding yourself that not everyone is going to like what you create, and it’s ok.
Then, someone comes along who not only likes it but wants to purchase it, and you have to let go again. It’s a roller coaster of emotions on any given day.
So back to the easel I go, getting ready for the next letting go lesson.

Shine

Sometimes you have a day that shines on you — not only in an external way, but inside as well. All the good stuff you feel in your heart and your head somehow surfaces and shows up in your face and in your walk and in the way your carry your burdens. I know this only because it happened to me after a rather enjoyable and productive day “working” in the studio.

Sophie is my dog, and she expects an afternoon stroll to the bay. So that’s where we were going. A new neighbor and her pet crossed our path, and we exchanged pleasantries. She shocked me with a “You look nice today.” Really??? In my old jeans, t-shirt and work boots? It wasn’t the outfit, I realized. It was the “infit.”

I thought about this for quite some time, hoping I could duplicate the day, and keep that look going. The only way, I think, is to take every kind of day and focus with enormous gratitude on every breath with which we are gifted. Then give that gratitude to another with a smile and a strut that shouts of shine.

Have a blessed Easter weekend!

Waiting For A Dial Tone

I am glad those days are over – those waiting days. No longer do I wait for some grand inspiration to strike me upside the head. No longer do I wait for a significant soul to coax me into painting. No longer do I wait for the perfect day, hour or minute to begin creating something new or finishing something from days ago. I’m not going to wait for “the dial tone” that ensures someone out there is listening to my heart that creates art.

I am going to paint today because it is my purpose for being alive today. I feel good that I have a purpose, and at the end of the day, when the sun sets and the lights go out, hopefully I can say I made something good.

Long after the rotary phone started collecting dust, but not really that long ago, I struggled with myself more . . . asking if it was enough to create art. That soul-sucking thought creeps in when I am weak, but most days it is held back by the unexplainable and simple joy I feel when I am in my studio.

No longer can I wait to get in there and see what happens.
Call and come see me sometime, but please don’t wait for the dial tone – regardless of what your purpose is today.

Starting Somewhere

In the beginning there is a desire to paint, to create something beautiful.
With that desire, there is always some level of fear to be conquered, because the voice of self-doubt can easily step in and take over.

Fortunately, I start simply with something called “ground,” and ground it does. It’s so much more than a primer that sets a good base for what comes next. It actually grounds me to my painting. The mere act of applying white all over the surface says to me, “you can do this.” It sets the stage. It opens the door. It not only allows, it welcomes each stroke that follows.

So it only makes sense to start writing on this new website at the beginning – a white page that welcomes thought, honestly and without fear, not sure of what comes next, knowing only that I want to create something beautiful to read – to open a new door so that you can get to know me and my art, because it’s time to share more than the finished painting.

Join me on this artistic journey in oil and cold wax . . . and words.