On my way to Paris

March 29, 2014


You can find out how and why at that link.

An adventure!


From a few years ago.

August 10, 2013

Christina Sonnemann Baehr portrait

Not the best photo, but here’s one I never posted.

This one of my daughter is from my first “go” at painting, before Christina was married. It’s the 3rd portrait I attempted.

Did I mention this? I only started painting a few years ago then had a several year break;  I’ve now come back to it.

Apparently, It’s never too late to start, then start again.

August 9, 2013


I painted this a few months ago and it’s taken me a little while to post it here because it isn’t quite finished. And, it never will be.

It was another one of  those working-to-a deadline paintings for an Exhibition.  In the end, it had to be delivered to the venue “as is”. I was confident that it would not sell and that I’d be able to complete it later. You may have guessed…I went back to get it after the closing and…it. was. gone.

On the one hand, I’m happy someone liked it.  I want people’s lives to be enriched in some way by my art. But there is this feeling, one I can’t shake:  I didn’t give the person/people who bought it my best.

I’m reminded of Colossians 3:23-24  (NIV)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” [or for myself] “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”  Rewards aside, I really do want to put my whole heart into my work. In some small way the joy I feel in creation mirrors that of the Creator in us.

A Work in Progress

October 1, 2012

If you scroll down to this time last year, you’ll see “Amish Autumn” as it was then.

It often takes time for me to really see what needs to happen to a painting. Sometimes it takes a word or suggestion from a friend.

In this case, I initially imagined “Amish Autumn”as somewhat naive: colors clear and “pretty”, the background misty and very secondary to the children…and all a little impressionistic. Photo-realism can be lovely, but it’s not what I’m trying to achieve. We’ve spent time with these people in Lancaster County, and this is how I saw them. Simple. plain, uncomplicated.

But, in the end, the painting didn’t completely satisfy me. It didn’t seem a “whole”. The children didn’t seem to feel comfortable in their world. Background and fore- seemed out of joint.

A year later, a glaze of raw umber brought some harmony to the work.
We’re works in progress. Sometimes we don’t really “see” until a there’s been a passage of time, a few steps are taken to provide some distance, or the word of a friend comes to bring decisions, change and  resulting good.

Though we may have an idea of what we think the finished work should look like, the Artist, Whose work we are, has the advantage of both intimacy and distance, unerring perspective and purpose and is the friend who always brings harmony, even through the upheaval of change.

Amish Autumn with some changes made

Noir Canard 2

September 29, 2012

My favourite Noir duck lives on.

Noir Canard and the Femme Fatale

Noir Canard and the Woman

I had a week to paint a 2′ x 3′ (61cm x 92cm or just say “life-size”) painting and that should have been incentive enough to action.


If it wasn’t something like the urgent (?) need to check my email, Face Book or respond to a move in Words with Friends, it was definitely time for “just a cup of tea” to get me going. Chocolate, perhaps? Hmmm, nothing in the cupboard; won’t take long to throw some cookies into the oven.

That sort of week.

In the end, I wasn’t really able to finish it, to my satisfaction.  I stayed up half the night turning it around in front of an open convection oven trying to dry it.

So, off goes little Evelyn to an exhibition.  But if I had been more diligent I would be much happier with the result.  I’m thankful that, since she’s in oils, I can finish her later.  You might say that I’ll have another chance to work on both her and procrastination.

We’re like oils in that way, a work in progress. Heading towards the image that the artist has in mind.  Sometimes there seems to be a glitch, a regression or “redo”, a time when nothing much is happening.  Then there’s a time for it to get made right.

my eldest granddaughter


I keep telling myself to stop trying to paint great photographs.  This one was. A great photo just can’t be improved upon, so you end up feeling just a little flat after attempting it.

Perhaps it’s this:  when I see a thing of beauty I just long to paint it, to somehow participate in its loveliness.  Note to self: many things of are gifts from God, meant to be enjoyed.  Just enjoyed; sometimes there is no need to respond by doing.

Amish Autumn

September 24, 2011

Nearly finished...may have to stop so it can dry...

This is what I’ve painted for the Royal Hobart Show this year.  We’ve spent a little time with the Amish and other Plain People of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

After I’d finished it, something about it reminded me of the painting “The Angelus” (1857) by Jean François Millet.