The French Connection

We spend our summers in Southwest France where my love of architecture and art is in perfect balance with the Landscape, Chateaux, Sandstone Villages, and Ancient Bastide Towns of this area. There I am able to visit, and sketch and/or paint the beauty and capture the history all around me. I am working on a book of the Chateaux of Southwest France and many of these pieces are done with that goal in mind. Besides, it's rewarding and lots of fun!!!

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Scratchboard is a piece of hardboard, covered with a layer of white china clay, coated with black ink. When you scratch through the ink the white clay appears. As you scratch, the picture reveals itself in the white clay; this can then be painted with colored ink or watercolor. This is a fascinating process which I find very relaxing. It is, however, backwards in that you are creating the light areas of the picture rather than drawing the dark line. These were finished with watercolor. Scratchboard lends itself beautifully to fur, feathers, rocks, and textures of all kinds. This medium produces dramatic effects.

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We have been privileged to have all kinds of wildlife visit our garden. Deer, Javelina, Coyotes, Reptiles and Birds of all kinds are regulars here. These Bobcats spent a day by our pool and the kitten "posed" for us in a tree below our deck.

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Cactus are the symbols of the desert. Local Native Americans believe that the saguaros embody the spirits of their ancestors. This is easy to understand when you see the often human-like variety of the shapes they display. My favorite desert subject to draw is the saguaro skeleton. I have captured these twisted beauties in all mediums. The vibrant colors of the cactus blossoms mesmerize and amaze me. Each one I see gives me the urge to paint it.

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The infinite beauty and variety of flowers has captured my soul since I was a child. I spent hours happily pouring through pictures in my mother's botanical art books. Now I love to photograph and paint them. A walk through our French garden is a daily pleasure for my husband and me.

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The Barrio

The Barrio is one of the original neighborhoods in Tucson. Many of the homes in these areas still show the style and colors of the Spanish/Mexican influence.

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Each bird has it's own character; many make me laugh—Some, like the quail, display very strong family ties. Some soar and glide, others hover or flap. Some are truly beautiful while others look rather peculiar, but watching them is always fascinating. Drawing and photographing birds is a challenge but I love to try... DARN, If they would only sit still for a little longer!!!

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A Mandala is traditionally a geometric figure representing the "Universe" in Hindu and Buddhist Symbolism. "Mandala" means "circle" but they are often free form. They are a symbol of spiritual awakening and can express an individuals' journey through life. In retrospect, this spiritual journey is what my art appears to represent.

These are done in Pen and Ink on mylar which is laid over a grid. I begin in one of the squares of the grid and without preplanning or judgement I begin to make lines and just let the piece evolve. In essence it is a "moving meditation" and I am amazed by the end result.

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