About Me

I am a native of Arkansas, but currently living in Texas. This blog exhibits some of my paintings over the last several years. Since I was young, colors have captivated me, lines and contours drew me in, and light bewitched my senses. My high school art teacher introduced me to oil painting, a medium I cannot get away from because of its simultaneous intensity and serenity in the colors it creates. As my love for painting grows, so does my love and appreciation of the Original Artist, who creates every shape, line, light, color, and contrast new each day. God has given us creative abilities, and I love using them to express his beautiful creation. I hope you enjoy viewing my paintings as much as I enjoyed producing them.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Summer Show July 2012

My family is blessed with good friends who love supporting and promoting my artwork. The first time I had a show was fall of my junior year of college. A good family friend–and also my orthodontist–hosted the event at his house (but let's be real, his wife and my mom did all the work while I was in classes). I displayed about 40-50 pieces. Most were for sale, but others were part of the collection that I just can't let go of. Unfortunately I did not document that show as well as the second one, which was held in July 2012, before I moved to India. This most recent show was hosted by another good friend–my dentist (you'd think I had terrible teeth as a child)– and displayed about 60 pieces ranging from small to large paintings and a few drawings.

I took pictures of the layout. They were gracious enough to take down almost everything from their walls to fit 60 paintings in the downstairs of their house. My mom and I had a lot of help from a local framing warehouse who lent us nice frames and easels to display the paintings. We also made sure each painting had some kind of light shining on it. Presentation is everything. Putting a nice frame on a painting will bring it to the next level and helps the viewers picture it already in their house. I sold several paintings and got many commissions because of the show. As a young artist, I had a variety of pieces in the show as my style is still developing and many paintings were studies to expand my learning. Some people keep a very limited selection of less than thirty paintings for a show, but we could not get that low. I used several of our friends to help us select the paintings we would use, and it surprised me how paintings that I hated were someone else's favorite. You never know what will speak to someone. For this reason we kept the number pretty large (around 60), and I was surprised in the end at some of the paintings that sold.

My friend designed an invitation for me, then the hosts sent it out to their guest list. We decided to have two different times, a couple hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. The morning was much more relaxed, and gave some people the chance to see my work before bringing their husbands back after work. We had refreshments and music, creating a nice, relaxing atmosphere.

Some of the paintings like the sunset on the piano bench had a short paragraph of what the painting meant to me. In this case, my friends and I watched this sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica when we did a summer study abroad for Spanish classes. Most of the paintings from Brasil had a description as well, telling bits and pieces about my experiences with those people.
 To avoid the stress of watching people examine my artwork, I did a demonstration during the show that was auctioned off by the end. People were amazed seeing how a painting can come from looking like scribble and splotches of color to a complete painting. This is the Old Main building on the University of Arkansas' campus, a very recognizable landmark to any Razorback fan.

This is a painting of Indian kids who were standing on a pile of rubble in a slum. Their eyes spoke to me, and I was moved by the dependence of a toddler on his young sister. The child on the left is looking out for them on all sides. It amazes me now that I live in India how much street kids are exposed to at a young age and how they have to survive. 
What Now? (12x12)
I love working in charcoal as well. Below is a drawing of an Indian woman that I displayed at the show. I had these two pieces on a table along with a flyer describing what I would be doing in India for the next two years. The show helped me raise money for living here and to build up some sort of savings once I get back. Also on the flyer I wrote about God's love for all the peoples of the world and asked for prayer while I had the chance to be interacting with them.

Still Life

Here are several of my still life paintings over the last several years. Some were done from life, and others from photographs.

Sunflower Delight (16x20)

Still Life (9x12)

Country Flowers (12x16)

Morning Coffee (11x14)

Pail of Strawberries (16x20)

Poppies (8x16)

Freshly Cut (16x20)

From the Rosebush (18x24)

Garden Fresh (16x20)

Yellow Tulips (8x10)

A Juicy Treat (8x10)

Rainy Day Tea (12x12)

The Rose (5x7)

Abstract Still Life (20x24)

Still Life (16x20)

A Study of...

 Is there any better way to learn than to study the masters?

These next paintings are inspirations from or copies of some of my favorite artists' work. Sometimes I copy paintings because I like the subject of the piece, sometimes because I want to imitate certain styles of brushstrokes, or sometimes because I want to experiment with similar colors or lighting.

If you look at a photograph, you usually do not see all the diverse colors someone like Monet puts into his landscape paintings. This is where artistic license comes in. It takes time to train your eyes to see something and know what colors to use to interpret it. So I choose to see how other artists have expressed what they see in nature and learn from them.

This is Renoir's original painting titled The Heads of Two Young Girls. I love the softness of the lines and brushstrokes, the saturation of the colors, and the various colors seen in the skin tones. When I copy Renoir's painting, I learn his technique (by trial and error of course) as well as how he interprets his real life subjects. Renoir will express skin tones differently than the High Renaissance artist Michelangelo or the Harlem Renaissance artist Jacob Lawrence.

On the left is my study of Renoir's piece done in 2011. As you can see, I could not mimic exactly Renoir's smooth edges or his contrast of intense and subtle colors. Every time I do a study of an artists' work, it expands my style and understanding of art. 

The following are studies or inspirations from the styles of other painters.

Study of Sir Alfred Munnings' The Poppy Field (20x24)

Monet's House at Givenry (12x16), inspired by his impasto and movement of the brushstrokes

Saint Giorgio Maggiore (12x16), inspired by Monet's lighting

Study of Henri's Jessica Penn in Black with White Plumes (16x20)

Study of Monet's The Train Engine in the Snow (11x14)

Still Life in Pink (11x14), inspired by Russian artist Nikolai Blokhin

Study of Renoir's Jeanne Samary (16x20)


My favorite place in the world. Beautiful beaches. Rolling mountains. Palm trees. Brigadeiro. Friendly faces. Guaraná. The world's best football. What's not to love?

Gabriela (9x12)
This is the first painting I did of a little girl in Brasil. 
I hope these paintings can introduce you to some of the faces and scenery of Florianópolis, Brasil. I started going to this incredible coastal city every year since the time I was fifteen. Then I spent a semester living with a family in Floripa working at a community center in a slum. Many of our activities were with children, and I cannot even describe how deeply the children touched my heart and left a lasting imprint. Looking into their faces, sometimes I saw an inexplicable joy, but sometimes it was a quiet desperation. Occasionally I captured a good photograph of this look, and it has been one of my favorite subjects to paint. I truly believe that the eyes in these paintings speak of the reality of these kids' lives. I love painting them and expressing what I see in their faces because they are people very close to my heart. Art always turns out best when you paint something you are passionate about, and I can say that these kids and this place is the beat of my heart.

Acabou o Dia (20x24)

Jorge (8x10)

Julio (8x10)
This is actually a Paraguayan boy, as is Jorge
Guilhermo (8x10)
limited palette of four neutral colors

Textures of Sunset (16x20)
Study of textured brush strokes and exaggerated color

Praia Inglêses (9x12)

As Ruas em Frei Damião (11x14)
This is the favela (slum) I worked in where most of these faces come from. With beautiful mountains in the background, I often thought how surreal it was that I lived in this place.

Brasilian Girl (8x10)
She is one of my favorites. I took a picture of some kids in a classroom making faces, and later I found this look on her face in the background.

Daniela (8x10)
People are surprised to see light eyes and light hair in my pictures from Brasil, but surprisingly there is a high German influence in parts of southern Brasil.

O Canal (16x20)
One of my favorite areas of Floripa is Barra da Lagoa, a fishing village  on the far east side of the island. This canal runs from the lake out to the ocean and at the end of the day is filled with fisherman unloading their catch for the day. Of course the boats and colors and uniqueness of the area caught my attention.

Barra da Lagoa (24x36)

Barra da Lagoa Canal (20x24)
The first ever painting of Barra I did in high school

Luisa (8x10)

Waiting Our Turn (24x36)
We visited a preschool one day to observe the classes and play with the kids. I clicked this picture when they were lined up outside waiting to change rooms.

Honduran Girl (8x10)
This was a commission done for a lady who took this picture in Honduras.