Painting 20 Women Over 50, The Back Story…

I am creating an unusual event, for a future exhibition. At this juncture in my career, putting out this amount of energy into an event like this, might not make sense, so I’m willing to share my thought process.

Women over the age of 50 are very critical about how they look, their fading youth, those wrinkles around there eyes. They have forgotten how beautiful they really are. They see themselves in photos, not in paint–2 different things, entirely.

Paint is the perfect medium for a mature woman, and without false modesty, I am the perfect painter for this particular population.

My true goal, aside from an exhibition, is to publish a book, which will include the process of  photos, preliminary drawings and the painting of each piece. Each woman will have a short bio and I’m hoping for some wisdom quotes from the participants that should occur naturally during the process.

If the project goes forward, it will because the women who participate embrace who they are, not what they used to be. That alone is worth the effort.


The Inside Artist

Using Props… Selling Art and Adoptions

We all know about props.  Stage props, dating props, collections we own,  arranged in boring corners that now create interest and intrigue.  Dressing for a date and your bound to include a few fashion accessory props.  I’m going to share  some of mine, today.  A new client has made an appointment to view my new work, and Since I don’t have a formal  studio, they will come to my home.

For me, this is the best possible scenario. My home is  a picture-perfect showroom.  Some of my best work is hung on my walls.  These works will never be sold, but it tells you a good deal about my thought process.  I watch when my visitor arrives, because I can sense they are beginnng to feel this low-hum of excited expectation. 

I pour them wine and show them where I work.  It is an afterthought.  We discuss another patron who sent them to me.  I know and love all my clients.  My paintings are my children and they will live in your home.  You are very important to me.  I will be invited to your parties and celebrate your children’s birthdays.  I become, “The Family’s Artist”, an honor for me that is the rare air I breathe.

2 decorative easels are placed in the living room, each has a dark cloth covering it.  A few painting I choose earlier sit on th floor.  I place the first on the easel and try to gage their reaction.  It happens to be the best in the lot and each consecutive piece will be judged against it.  So it goes.  10 pieces in all and we are finished. I discuss price and I address their concerns.  Then I give them hand-outs and suggest they go home and think about it.  This IS an adoption, after all

I get a call that evening.  Can they bring a friend to help them.  This is usually a bad idea, but I want them happy and comfortable, so, of course. I say yes.  We make another appointment.  The friend arrives with the couple,  The easels are set, but I excuse myself.  They need to talk freely.  After 45 minutes, I am summoned.  They choose 3 for a grouping  and they have made a mistake.  One of the 3 doesn’t fit well with “her sisters”. It offends my esthetic and I can”t allow it. I am in dangerous territory now.  I  gently share my concern.  The friend is angry with me, my buyers are confused. I show them their grouping with the substitute, and the tension leaves the room.  “Take them home. Live with them for a week.  They will tell you themselves how they should hang.”

And they do…And they did


The Inside Artist / www.

Framing Secrets #2

No framer wants you to know what I’m going to tell you next.  But before we get to the low down on the lowdown, I want to quote my dearly deceased mother.  “Any fool can pay retail”. And I confess, that I have been a fool, just like you., ouch, more than once!

 A few years back I was completing some paintings for a house I owned up in North Carolina.  Not having a “big city” with a lot of choices, and being in a hurry, I used a local retailer.  After I recovered from sticker shock, I hung my head and wallet “in shame” and vowed that would never happen to me again.

The painting in question was a beautiful landscape on stretched canvas.  Because it was in a square format, I wasn’t going to find a ready-made frame.  Ready made frames are usually found in standard rectangles.  A frame for a stretched canvas is entirely different from frames made for works on paper.  These frames often flummox “do-it-your-selfers”, because the painting needs to be fastened into the frame. 

So this is where I tell you to go on “YouTube” and there will be several methods to show you how to do this and what you will need.  But that’s not the secret.  The secret is buying supplies on line, and I will now share with you my SECRET SOURCES…This is where I buy a lot of my framing supplies.   MY SECRET SOURCES ARE… and  (Free Shipping).  And you don’t need a tax ID number.

You’re welcome!


The Inside Artist

Framing Secrets #1

In my last blog, I said I was going to share some hard-core information on purchasing art, home goods, furniture, rugs, and all things home related– and I am!  The first thing I need to say is that I am not being paid by ANY of these companies.  I am sharing information that I know, from my own experience.  Because I have so much information, I’ll need to break it to bite-size portions.  Let’s start with art and framing. This idea is for art done on paper, not canvas.  That’s another blog.

Unless you’re newly married or divorced, you own art.  Your art, however, is tired.  It’s been hanging on your walls uncomplaining for years.  I’m going to assume that you don’t have a ton of money.  I’m going to assume you want to keep your art and you’re looking for a good idea. So here it is:

Most art comes in these standard sizes: 5×7″, 8×10″, 11×14″, 16×20″ and so on.  Measure the height and width of your art.  The image itself, not the mat.  Put that measurement on a piece of paper, put that in your pocket and get in your car.  You’re going to Marshalls, The Home Store, Target, whatever is in your neighborhood.

In their art department you will find gorgeous frames with ugly, commercial art.  You cannot buy these frames and mats anywhere for the prices available at these stores, especially when on sale.  They are not made from wood, but are resin molds made in China.  No one is going to know this but you. If the opening in the mat is the same size as your art–buy it.  Know this, however, you will not be able to return it. 

When you get your treasure home, turn it over, remove the wire with a screwdriver, cut away the paper backing and lift out the cardboard, the mat and art beneath it.   Next, take a hair dryer and blow-out all the dust and bits so your glass is clean.  Since you’ve done the same thing with our old art, you’re now ready to put your beloved art into it’s new frame!  Using artist’s tape (found in any art store)  tape your art to the mat and put everything , minus the paper cover, back in place.

Now, how smart are you? 


The Inside Artist


The Floating Women have created a colony in my collective unconscious! What do you think they do up there all day and night? Floating on moons, playing with stars?  Do they know each other? Do they have lunch on Jupiter?  Whose the smart one, whose got an agenda?

The first “Floating Woman” was “Millies’ Journey.”  I painted her in honor of my doctors mother who had passed.  I liked the real Millie a lot.  She raised him all by herself and worked in his  A strong, selfless woman.  I then painted “Tightrope Dancer” and 4 others.  They were in a gallery show, but I priced them too high and none of them sold.

My daughter asked me for them and so off they went in the moving truck with her husband and my granddaughters.  Several years past.  When I visited the family, their walls boasted of my larger “more important” works and I didn’t realize that “The Ladies” were ‘missing’.

About a year ago, while visiting, I asked about them. I took the ladies home in my suitcase.  Two were beyond repair from being stuffed into a box in their garage. Children are ungrateful beasts. Having them back was, well remarkable.  Like a put-away doll, re-discovered, I fell in love with them all over again.

See the entire collection at


The Inside Artist