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

Birds … they love paint


There are actually six birds in this painting and three different paintings under it. I was inspired to recycle all paintings in my stack I no longer liked after taking the abstract painting class. I felt wild and actually thought I’d get them all done in a week. Four weeks later this crazy bird painting is finally done. The last painting session was in dim light. When I saw the result in the light of day, it made me giggle. A joyful mess of paint … for sure.

5 ft x 5 ft Finger + Palette Knife Oil Painting

5 ft x 5 ft Finger + Palette Knife Oil Painting

And it used to be this:


And then this:

The history of paint

The history of paint

The canvas is thick with paint and marks. It’s been a fun journey. Onward!


Book Galleys – me so happy!

I was a bit nervous reviewing the galleys because the printer was having trouble matching the color. We worked it through and I was amazed by the quality. Books go out to customers June 16th – 3 days before my birthday. Kismet loves me this year!

If you don’t have a book ordered and want one, I have 5 available for order, here.

Food & Wine Spread

Food & Wine Spread

Title page spread







Circles or Triangles

The Art of Daily Cultivation, A Celebration of 365 Story Paintings has gone to print. The book cover design kept me awake at night. So like most would, I went out to my friends and book supporters to vote. I figured this would make everything clear. Guess what? A tie. 50/50. I think it stumped them for the same reasons it stumped me.

Final Dust Jacket Cover

Tough decision, the cover of a book, especially a hardback book with a fancy dust jacket can bring radically change the temperament of blood pressure. I thought a post about the design would be worthy thought note.

Early Design Version-Circles

Early Design Version-Circles

The project content of paintings and stories was created over a 12 month period with 12 themes in 30 day sets. I wanted the cover to express this somehow. While the circles reveal the image more clearly and in a way is more aesthetically pleasing, the composition was a challenge. You see the space to fill here in a 9 x 11 book is large. I worked on making the title larger and more typographically interesting. I filled the cover with the images at one point. I made the circles into a flower to represent blossoming with the months in the center at another point in the design process. In all examples it ended up looking like a splatter plot. The months not in order. I lined up the months with the images in line and it looked like a totem pole or a multi-directional wine country sign.

Triangles Cover

In the end, I agreed with viewers that the triangles – though jagged and not as aesthetically pleasing as the circles did convey integration and the sense of building. The mountainous feeling with the months woven through is more accurate than the scatter plot representation.

So, I’m marinating on the final cover. Hopefully, in time, I will grow more affectionate towards it. It’s never easy to love a product in the initial stages of shipping. I know this as a product designer over the years. You are simply raw initially — wrung out and hopeful that everything will go smoothly.

I am thrilled to be here at this stage of development. I can’t wait to see the proofs. I will post ordering information in the weeks to come. For now, it’s teatime and hot baths.


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