Daily Painting Made a Finisher out of Me

It hasn’t stopped. At some point everyday, I angle for the studio even if just for 10 minutes to get the hands moving and thinking. I used to average about 3 paintings a year. Never enough for an exhibit. Now, I average a large piece a week with the vision of the final series in mind throughout. I’m not at peace until I finish.

Frequency has a creative soul of it’s own. Like a marriage, there is that 3rd party always at play. Never just the two people. It can make you a bit crazy if you resist.

Mixed media-close up

Mixed media-close up

This is the 2nd mural in a 5 part series of 3 paneled animal murals. They stack and reconfigure in all ways. It’s a very different modality for me. Collage is a bit more meditative and deliberate than my usual comfort zone of flying the paint on canvas.



Panel of Pudgy Birds Close Up

I really like the surprises. And the feeling of molding something, like a cake or sculpture.

Stacked Triangle

Stacked Triangle

Layering and layering until the math is right.

Curious Bird. Close Up

Curious Bird. Close Up

And I let it be a bit rough. I never want to smooth it or have tidy lines. I’m not sure why, just yet.

Folding In

A Beautiful Sunday Morning

This piece will live in my yoga studio for now. I like waking up the body to the birds that woke me up to a new creative avenue.

What’s next? Giraffe’s, Cats, Kangaroos, Zebras, Elephants? Not sure. Feel free to vote. The next piece is 18×24 with 2.5 inch deep sides. So more square than I’ve been working.

Have a wonderful week.


Love Bird(s)

Close up of a larger mixed media work

Close up of a larger mixed media work


This is just a little teaser. I’m working on another 3-paneled piece. Fat, happy, conversational birdies. I have 3 more sets of canvas’s of 3 ready to go (9 of 15 total canvas’s of 3-paneled murals). My goal is that each combination of 3 can fit as a puzzle together in any arrangement. It’s a fun design challenge.

Close Up of Another Love Bird

Close Up of Another Love Bird

By the end of September this new series should be ready to go. YAY. Happy Friday!

Fat Animals Series

What I love about art is that it can begin with most meager expectations — yet, one thing leads to the next and now you find yourself falling in love and sailing around the world.


Panels 1 and 2

My collage experiment began with a long panel because it was on sale at the art store. I filled it with random paper I wanted to recycle. I saw a couple of tall rabbit ears and off I went. One of the rabbits (the one with the apron) got under my skin. He is pudgy with a bow tie and has a story. After the first panel, the poor rabbits had a small request (bodies), but I really wanted to make one long rabbit mural. So back to the art store: 2 more 12 x 48′s and back in the studio to do both. I’ve just ordered 9 more canvas’s to create 3 more series. Fat animals based on the rabbit with the apron. Who turns out to be a personality replica of my fat rabbit, Max. Ah… life, you make me giggle.

Close up on right of panels 1 and 2

Close up on right of panels 1 and 2

Panel 1 at the top and then the bodies underneath. And here is a close up of the rabbit in the clouds:


And now, panel 3 full scope.

Panel 3 to follow 1

Panel 3 to follow 1


The long version of 1 and 3:

14 rabbits there.

14 rabbits there.


And a close up:




The 3 also mix and match well:

3 and 1

3 and 1


And the rabbit bodies (panel 2) looks pretty nice over the bed:

chuckin and jivin


Stay tuned for more of these fun puzzles. Aiming for a full zoo by the end of the summer. Wishing you all the very best this summer. Stay cool.



Big Eared Rabbit Convention

Edna loves the ears - Mixed Media. Close Up. 12x48

Edna loves the ears – Mixed Media. Close Up. 12×48

I’m taking a class (Joy of Collage) that honestly I wasn’t sure I would get into because it’s less about painting and more about shaping. Surprisingly, I’ve fallen utterly and completely in love. This piece is a work in progress – a 2-paneled diptych. I’ll show the full piece completed in a week. In the meantime, some very tall eared rabbits have my full attention.

This rabbit has a story. Mixed Media. Close Up.

This rabbit has a story. Mixed Media. Close Up.

And the final image is the full perspective on the studio table. The studio rabbit, Max is surprisingly quiet about this one. He watches in silence and every so often nudges my leg. I think he wants me to invent him a girlfriend out of this painting and is impatient.

Full View - almost. 12x48 first half of the diptych

Full View – almost. 12×48 first half of the diptych


Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend!

It’s a Series …

Watercolor, pastel, pen

Watercolor, pastel, pen

I have run out of title for my flower forests. I have also run out of reasons to fight it. Believe it or not this began with the same whimsical thought (hope) of simplicity and elegance as all the rest. It’s become clear to me that a mild flu of the wild has caught hold and I’m powerless.

Next step? Go big. And go all out in series mode.

By the way, do you see the girl in the gold, pink dress? The pear that looks like a fish … and the dog that looks like it just did something wrong? Do you see the elephant in the flower that seems to think she is a bee? And the reptile looking monster above the ant eater? Did you notice I refrained from bunnies for the first time in weeks? Are you proud of me?

Forest of Characters

Final Garden Painting - Acrylic on Gesso Board

Final Garden Painting – Acrylic on Gesso Board

I seem to be onto something : : c h a o s : :

I really thought it would be different this time. But there it is … complexity at its finest. Ha!

I do like the girl and snail and blobby character with the skirt. They decided to pay a visit and make me giggle.

Have a great week!

Blowing Flowers Up

Blown Flowers. Acrylic on Paper with a straw and good lungs ...

Blown Flowers. Acrylic on Paper with a straw and good lungs …


From Painting Gardens: blowing paint around with my fancy black straw and spackling with a toothbrush. It’s been wonderful painting daily again. The sense of excitement is the same (even more so). The challenge to make it a priority activity in the midst of work and life demands is the same but easier since the 365 marathon.

By the way, The Art of Daily Cultivation: A Celebration of 365 Story Paintings hardback book arrives Friday June 13th (unless the UPS guy swerves to avoid a squirrel and dumps them into a river or something – but hey I’m not superstitious)!

I will send out the newsletter this weekend. There are new story cards as well and other exciting news. It’s been an awesome June!

Chicken Feet

Chicken Feet. Acrylic on Pine Board

Chicken Feet. Acrylic on Gray Gessoed Pine Board 12 x 7.5′

Nice to be producing a painting a day again. This is from an exercise in “Painting Gardens” on masking. See the lines and squiggles? Oh, and the big footed chicken was in the beginning a flying girl with a shovel. After many masking mistakes the form took me by surprise. Birds are creeping into all my paintings these days.

Hope you are having a fabulous summer.

Jungle Chickens and Critters

Jungle Chickens

Jungle Chickens

For some reason I am enjoying complexity when it comes to painting gardens vs. simplicity. More is more in Niya-land right now.

Enjoy your gardens and summer!

Painting Gardens

Bird, Bunny, Owl Garden

Bird, Bunny, Owl Garden. Acrylic on Gessoed Board

Learning new stuff! These are paintings created over used palettes for other paintings. Cool technique. Kind of rough and textured for an oil painter. But it’s growing on me. I learned this in an online class through Carla Sonheim, taught by Diane Culhane. We are a week into it. So I will post more next week too.

Bunny and Bike Garden

Bunny and Bike Garden. Acrylic on Gessoed Paper

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