Monday, December 23, 2013

A Favorite Painting for this Season

Madonna of the Chair ~ Raphael 1514-15

This is to wish all who read this blog a very Merry Christmas and/or a happy holiday.  Appropriately for this season, I am sharing with you one of my very favorite paintings. I was fortunate enough to get to see it up-close-and-personal at the Pitti Palace in Florence some years ago.  Though smaller than I had imagined it was nevertheless breathtaking.  Regardless of your beliefs, I hope you find the painting moving and the subject appealing.  I hope its beauty and message moves you as it does me.  I have always loved the playful and endearing pose as well as the protective look in the Madonna's (mother's) eyes.

Legend says that Raphael happened upon a charming family group such as this.  Grabbing whatever material was available, which apparently was the head of a cask, he quickly sketched out the scene.  And thus, the circular form of the painting came to be.  Whether or not the story is true, no one can say.  But it's fun to imagine it so.

Whatever your reason for celebration at this time of year, I hope that you are blessed with love, family and friends, and make some happy memories.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Especially for Me


"Earth's crammed with Heaven,

and every common bush afire with God;

but only he who sees takes off his shoes.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Last evening was not so good.  Last night wasn't either...I woke up at 3:00a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep.  A lot on my mind.  But on my way to the kitchen this morning, I just happened to look back over my shoulder and noticed this beautiful light and shadow picture.  It seems that the early morning sun was shining through our back windows and deposited the silhouetted image of trees in our backyard, and the star on the top of our Christmas tree, and little wisps of light peeking through the shutters all on my wall.  I noticed it, snapped a picture, enjoyed it, and then it was gone.
Then over breakfast and my personal quiet time, I happened upon the quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  Guess you could say God shared some beauty with me this morning.  I am appreciative and grateful! (And my shoes are off).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Prozac Art"

I'm not all that original.  But I can agree with a good idea when I find one. This week's Blog from the Oil Painters of America website was a good one. One of the points that resonated with me was what Scott Jones of Legacy Gallery (Scottsdale) had to say.  When he speaks of "Prozac Art" he said, "There is enough stress in everyone's lives, people are needing and buying peaceful, pretty art that soothes their minds and souls." Check out the article in its entirety at: Dec 2, 2013 OPA BLOG: How to Prepare a Winning Portfolio

I'm on that same page.  My most recent "ARTIST BIO" states: "Deb has focused primarily on the painting of sheep and pastoral settings...In this sometimes harsh and difficult world in which we live, a kinder-and-gentler art form seems to resonate.  Engaging, uplifting, warm, nurturing, and spiritual, are all descriptors that can be applied to my paintings."

Hmmm...take a look at my latest paintings. They are GREEN (literally) & PASTORAL.

These paintings are available at either GiacobbeFritz Fine Art, the Denver Athletic Club, or The National Western Club Show (at the Denver Stock Show).  Feel free to contact me for more info. 




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side


Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Denver.  Though way past the time for prime fall colors, I took my camera and went for a Walk on the Wild Side.  Well maybe not so WILD, but along one of the urban trails that I'm lucky enough to have by my house.  I was not disappointed!  
The warm sun felt wonderful on my body. The air smelled of dry grass with whiffs of brackish water.  Thoroughly enjoying myself, I snapped away as I walked.  When I got home I had many wonderful pictures as a bonus for a lovely couple of hours spent outdoors. No brightly screaming colors, but rather the subdued ones that speak of quieter, less busy season of life. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This Too Shall Pass

Today is Tuesday and I took a short break from painting.  Every Tuesday I pick up bakery donations from my local King Soopers and deliver them to Christ's Body homeless shelter in Denver.  Besides the bread, I picked up pumpkin, carrot, and angel food cakes, lots of cookies, and a whole bunch of caramel apples.

The back story is that it wasn't always that simple.  When I first started six months ago, I got minimal & poor instructions and did everything wrong.  The warehouse foreman was twice my size, scowled a lot, and was fairly intimidating especially when he yelled at me.  So for a couple of months, I pretty much dreaded the whole experience.

Today I must say that we've come a long way.  The foreman (who shall be nameless) and I have nice conversations.  He offers to help. But I try NOT to be a pest. He is pleasant and courteous and even jokes and smiles now.  Today he thanked me and said, "Have a nice rest of the day!"  WOW!  AND the piece de resistance was that when I unloaded my delivery at Christ's Body, the lady who was doing the cooking came running out to hug me.  She only had 2 little cakes for dessert and my delivery was a timely answer to her prayer.

So what has this to do with anything, you ask?  In the art world or with life in general, the road is often bumpy at first.  Giving the situation some time, being patient, and toughing it out are often necessary components of success.   And this is just a little nudge to remind you that "This too shall pass."

For more information about CHRIST'S BODY MINISTRY or what you can do to support or volunteer, check out:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Not Really a Fat Sheep



Can you see the difference?  In the ORIGINAL painting, I painted what I saw which sometimes isn't the best plan.  What I saw was really 2 sheep but the viewer only sees a little bit of the illuminated backside of the second sheep behind the main subject.  What it looks like to the uninformed is ONE VERY FAT SHEEP. 

In the REWORKED painting, I totally got rid of the second sheep.  Much better don't you think?

The moral of the story...don't be fooled into painting everything that you see!

A GreatTime Was Had by All!

This picture is from the first workshop that I taught this summer at the Art Students League of Denver...Salon des Refuses. We "resurrected" some "dead" paintings and in the process learned a few things and had a great time.

Check out class offerings at:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Salon des Refusés

If you have been putting off signing up for a workshop, you still have 2 days for this one.  I will be teaching an all day workshop at the Art Students League of Denver next Saturday, July 20th.  The deadline for registration is Tuesday the 16th.  YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A MEMBER of the Art Students League in order to participate. 
CLASS DESCRIPTION:  Bring your “problem paintings” from the back of the closet and take advantage of the learning opportunity they create. Through instruction and collaboration in a safe environment, have fun as we work together to right the wrongs, making a happy ending for previously rejected paintings. Special note: Instruction in oil. Acrylics and pastels also welcome.

Follow this link for more details and to register on-line:

(If it's easier, call 303-778-6990 to register via phone)



Monday, June 10, 2013

Not my studio

This is not MY art studio.  Though sometimes I do feel like I have "opportunities" lying around everywhere.  When I shared images of my real studio (on a better day), I received this image in reply.  Craig Marshall Smith sent it to me.  He tried to tell me that this was his studio!!!!  I instantly knew better than that.  Craig is an art instructor I had a Metro State a lot of years ago.  We have reconnected after finding that we were both showing in the Lone Tree Art Exhibition.  Back in my student days, I remember being initially scared of Craig.  I knew him as demanding, difficult (but fair) fastidious, and yes we would both call him a "curmudgeon."

Check out his website at:

THE REST OF THE STORY:  This is actually a photo of Francis Bacon's studio.  Bacon (1909-1992) was an Irish/British figurative painter known for his bold and raw imagery. He was a rather roguish fellow and we shall leave it at that.  What is extremely interesting is his studio.  In 1998, The Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane was bequeathed Francis Bacon's studio and all its contents. Conservators, archaeologists and curators tagged and packed, catalogued and moved everything in his studio including the dust.  The floor, walls, doors, and ceiling were all removed and relocated.  Over 7,000 items were found and catalogued. And in 2001, his relocated studio was opened for public viewing. 

PRICELESS!  Sure makes me feel good about my studio even on a bad day!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Meet Joe

Joe "making his list and checking it twice."
Meet Joe Wilcox.  Now he's my friend, but at one time he was also my boss...the last boss I ever had while working in corporate America.  He is also by far the funniest one with an amazing, wicked sense of humor. His Christmas letter is the one you absolutely can't wait to open because you know he'll have you in stitches. Joe has the distinct honor of knowing me when I was "on the edge of a nervous breakdown" (as he puts it).  So Joe was the recipient of my resignation when I took that leap of faith and jumped from my "day job" to being a full-time artist.  (Gotta love a job that sucks the life out of you.  God doesn't have to beat you up the side of the head with the idea that he has a better plan for you!)...
...FAST FORWARD...  Joe always sends a witty response when I send out my quarterly newsletters and my most recent one was no exception. His note just begged to be shared with a wider audience and so with his permission, I am posting his picture and his story.  In my last newsletter, I shared pictures of my studio and told of the inspiration that I have posted on the bulletin board behind my desk.  Joe graciously sent me his picture to add to my bulletin board as a reminder of where I've come from.   He says, "The fear of where you could have been can drive inspiration when all else fails."  So you guessed it...Joe now has a permanent place on my wall.  And yes, even the worst day painting is better than those "soul-crushing" 60 hour workweeks in corporate America!
PS: Don't you think he kinda looks like Dr. Seuss' "Grinch?" Picture green and add some hair. 

Stay tuned for more stories from my newsletter readers.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Very Still Lifes

"Sunflowers and Pumpkins" Oil 11x14 SOLD
When you think of "still life" what comes to mind? More than likely it's a basket of fruit or an
 arrangement of flowers (like in the 1st image).  I want to propose that a still life can be so much more.  It can be almost anything.  Here are some unarranged, "found" still life images from my day on the backroads of NE Colorado.  Gotta love the colors!  Love the overlapping and repeated lines and shapes! And love the composition.  What a marvel that they were "parked" so painstakingly and artistically?!*!?!   We're not done with images...stay tuned.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

MY FIRST BLOG: Take Your Wife to Work Day

Yesterday was an unofficial “take your wife to work day.”  So I got up early and rode with Frank to Yuma, Colorado, a very small town in the middle of nowhere in the northeastern corner of the state.  I was forewarned that it was a desolate place and most likely I wouldn’t find anything worthy of taking pictures.  That just couldn’t be true, so I took my camera along anyway. 

We started early and drove east just as the sun was coming up.  The day was overcast so it made for an understated landscape with subtle colors.  There were no big surprises…no “rock your world” or “take your breath away” scenes.  As we listened to Allison Krause, I enjoyed the beauty of the serenity of a quiet early April morning.  Sometimes less can be more!  The rolling hills were mostly shades of gray with tinges of green.  There were occasional stands of gray and leafless cottonwood trees along the dried riverbeds and surrounding farmhouses.  Sagebrush and yucca plants added nuances of color to the vast open spaces of the eastern plains.  Often the miles of grazing land was dotted with black angus and longhorn cattle.  Barns and silos and occasional windmills and John Deere tractors made for splashes of brightness.  The roads were labeled CR followed by letters for east-west “county roads” and CR followed by numbers for north-south roads.  I couldn’t help but notice the funny bright yellow road signs that stated “No snowplowing 7pm – 5am.”   There was no lush green foliage, no water tumbling over rocks, actually no water at all, no purple mountain’s majesty.  But there was beauty just the same.  Beauty is everywhere if you have the mindset to find it.