Step outside... the creative comfort zone

This Spring I took a six week course with Lara Call Gastinger on botanical watercolor painting!  I must say, even for a meticulous painter like me, it was a big step outside my comfort zone to work with watercolor this way.  It reminded me that to grow as painters, we must challenge ourselves to create things we never have before - try new reference material, paint from life, use a different type of paint, a new selection of colors or limited palette, different sizes of brushes (in this case TINY), and try painting with other people around to keep a conversation going about the process!  Below is my final project from class, a red lettuce leaf - it needs a bit more work but I'm happy with how it has developed so far... 


New Williamsburg Oil Events!

An exciting opportunity came up for me last year that I am proud to share - I was chosen by Williamsburg Oils to be a part of their new education program and having been going through extensive technical training to be able to conduct lectures on oil painting!  Myself and three other artists spent a week at the Golden Paints factory studying under the Williamsburg oil experts and paint makers to expand our depth of knowledge on the medium, then spent several months doing extensive readings to study the material.  Next steps are to book lectures, so if you know of venues/art groups that would benefit from a technical lecture on oil painting, please let me know so that I can forward the info to Williamsburg to approve an event!

As part of this program, myself and the three other Williamsburg artist lecturers were invited to choose a couple of our favorite colors in the Williamsburg line to be featured in promotional displays this Spring and Fall.  My Spring color is Prussian Blue and the promotional displays can be found in select art stores nationwide!  I was able to see one recently at the Jerry's Artarama in Knoxville, TN when I did a Golden lecture/demo there last month...


 In addition to the oil lectures I will be doing, I will also be starting to offer regular hands-on oil painting workshops at my studio and the first will be happening on Friday June from 12-5pm ($65 fee)!  Drop me a line if you are interested in signing up -



Upcoming Spring/Summer Workshops!

This year has flown by so far and I just can't believe it's already almost mid-May!  Teaching travel has kept me on the road a lot more than expected - good news because I get to see many of you, but bad news is I haven't been able to finish the filming on my online workshop and haven't scheduled many in-person workshops either.  This is all about to change!

June sees many workshops between my studio and other venues, the full details and how to register can be found on my workshops page but for quick reference:

Friday June 2: Oil Painting Essentials, 12-5pm, $65, My Studio in Scottsville, VA

Saturday June 3: Abstract Acrylic Landscapes, 1-6pm, $65, Plaza Art Supply in Rockville, MD

Sunday June 4: Luscious Layers with Gels & Pastes, 1-5pm, $55, My Studio in Scottsville, VA

Saturday June 10: Drawing and Painting Maggie the Peregrine Falcon, 12-4:30pm, $68, Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, VA

Sunday June 25: Mixed Media Monoprints, 1-5pm, $55, My Studio in Scottsville, VA


I will also be doing a free presentation on Golden Paints at the Art Box in Lynchburg on Saturday June 24 from 12-2pm, details on registration can be found here:


As always, if you do not see a workshop topic/date/time that works for you and you want to schedule your own workshop with a group of friends, that option is open!  






Recent Paintings!


I've been a little bit MIA on the blog lately because I've been painting like crazy!  Here are some recent works in oil...

Portrait of Athena, Oil on Panel, 10x8 inches


Painted Bunting, Bald Head Island - Oil on Panel, 10x10 inches


American Kestrel (Male), Oil on Panel, 10x8 inches


Ampersand Art Supply Tutorial: Painterly Illustrations

Just before the holidays, I was invited by Ampersand Art Supply to do a tutorial on a kit they put together - the Smooth Surface Bundle.  The full tutorial can be found here, with video getting added there soon (but if you can't wait, visit my YouTube channel!):