Category Archives: Visual Art

What’s in Your Beach Bag?

This submission was just too much fun.  I was focusing on the similar shapes of my chosen beach-themed articles but also incorporated the beach bag as my canvases backdrop and mixed sand in the paint for the beach and salt around the rim of the margarita glass.  Now I’m really ready for summer!

Beach Bag

Week 13 – What’s in Your Beach Bag?

Calendar, Contemplate, Insatiable, Encourage

Week 12 - Calendar, Contemplate, Insatiable, Encourage

Week 12 – Calendar, Contemplate, Insatiable, Encourage

I wouldn’t say these four words, randomly picked from a hat, were easily compatible. But easy is not necessarily the point of this year-long project, now is it? So let me explain this piece. The red individual represents Insatiable. The large, green (envy?) eyes always aware of the calendar and time passing, knowing there is so much more to accomplish but knowing that no achievement will be enough. Insatiable is never satisfied.

The blue, individual is Contemplate. A thinker who is content in their existence and has much wisdom to offer. Contemplate is quietly encouraging, ever hopeful that all will one day find peace in themselves as well.


Week 11 - New&Year

Week 11 – New&Year

Besides the painting in this post, I also designed the logo for this site for this week’s topic. They go hand-in-hand. As mentioned, I went with my first reaction and the significance of the topic in relation to this project. New creations, various mediums, all year long. Simple.

Chicago Bean

Chicago Bean

Week 9 – Chicago Bean

This was an interesting study of reflection and color. I was not about to try to capture this image accurately but I did try to capture the lady in green loosely. It surprised me to see how often she was found in the reflections about the bean. Now I have another destination to add to my list of places I’d like to visit. I could imagine spending a couple hours studying this sculpture live. Very fun!

Got It!

Got It!

Week 8 – Got It!

I used two, actually four, canvases to create the “exclamation point” within an exclamation point for emphasis on the topic – It!

This is another topic I loved yet struggled with.  I knew I wanted to created the double exclamation points by hot gluing the smaller canvases onto the larger ones but wasn’t sure what I wanted the image to represent.  I chose a face reflecting confidence and the approving thumbs up acknowledging the “it”.

More Fun with Less Effort


Week 7 – More Fun with Less Effort (revisiting Week 5, Memory Book)

This topic could have been approached in any of several ways. One would have been to just play without regard to the final product. I revisited Week 5, Memory Book, and created a new, larger collage of miscellaneous found objects and items of interest.

More Fun, Less Effort

Week 7 – More Fun with Less Effort

My second approach was to capture a moment from one of my favorite periods in my life, raising my children. This is an acrylic painting of my son and his best buddy when they were playing in the backyard. “More Fun, Less Effort” perfectly sums up those years when my kids were young and brought me pure joy (as in – before they hit their teens!).

Word on the Street


Week 6 – Word on the Street

This was another of my favorite topics gone bad. The object was to capture bits of conversations off the street and create an interpretation. However, the week was particularly busy and cold, so I was not out and about at all. Went to work, came home, ate, slept, repeated each day. By the time Saturday came around, I was still without a stolen snippet and desperate to get one. I walked into town (there’s always people walking around the stores downtown Bethlehem) and tried to eavesdrop on the few who ventured out that chilly afternoon. This is what happened – the people I encountered either had nothing interesting to say, spoke too softly to their companion or said nothing at all. A very quiet outing. So I resorted to using miscellaneous comments I overheard during the work week. I have to admit that this painting took several weeks/phases to be “complete enough” to my satisfaction. I am trying not to be too critical throughout this project so – it is what it is. But definitely, a topic I may revisit in my spare time.

Memory Book

Memory Book

Week 5 – Memory Book

I set out to begin my collage with miscellaneous items of relevance and/or interesting textures.  I started with a piece of wood, stapled fabric down and gessoed it.  Painted textures and washes and added tissue paper and an actual page from my journal, and watched as the piece came to life.  It is small, approximately 6″ x 9″.  I’d like to try something like this again.  Very fun.


Painting with image and surface upside down.

Painting with image and surface upside down.

I found the stairs I wanted to paint, the stairs that lead up from the Monocacy Creek to Main Street where it bends around Moravian College.  But when I got home I just wasn’t feeling them.  After several attempts, I re-coated the plywood and put it away for several days.

A thought occurred to me one night in bed.  I remembered an exercise from a book I read years ago, “Drawing From the Right Side of Your Brain”.  Turn the image you are drawing to draw upside down.  The theory is that upside down, your brain cannot comprehend the objects and forces you to really “see” the shapes, colors, light and shadows and such that make up the image.  It really works too.  After all of the struggling, when I turned the image right-side up, the painting looked pretty accurate.  Well, I am still no Picasso but I am much more pleased with it.

Week 4 - Stairways

Week 4 – Stairways

Obstacles in My Path

Had to sit with this one a bit.  The main difficulty I was having with this topic was that it carried a negative tone which contradicted the excitement I had been feeling since beginning this project January 1.  But many people struggle when they are “stuck”.  And we are all guilty of coming up with excuses from time to time for why we are not improving, learning, achieving our goals.   “Oh, I will eat better…after the holidays.  I will get in shape…once the weather warms up.  I’ll visit more often…right after my busy season.”  There always seems to be obstacles.  But I think, most times, WE ourselves are the only real obstacle in our path.  So I created an illustration using Adobe Photoshop showing the road we are on cluttered with our own heads rolling about.  The “obstacles” represent various aspects of life.  A more subtle truth is that what we call obstacles in our lives are life itself.  Life is family and work and friends, along with the inevitable challenges that emerge trying to keep it all together.  All those heads are more relevant to our story than the perceived goal awaiting at the end of our path.

Obstacles in My Path

Week 3 – Obstacles in My Path

Sidenote – This week I got sick with what I believe was the closest thing to the flu possible and had an actual obstacle in my path!  That’ll learn me to be judgmental.