Virtuous, Corrupt, or Something In-Between…

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette – Digital Collage

Is anything ever entirely virtuous or corrupt?

I viewed the Lunagirl Moonbeam Upcoming Challenge List with  a bit of apprehension. We were to take inspiration from Marie Antoinette. Oh no…Marie Antoinette! As I am anything but a royalist, I feared this would truly be a “challenge” for me.

I knew of the clichés attached to her legacy: she was the teen-age Queen with a penchant for extravagant fashion and entertainment; of her flippant “Let them eat cake!” comment which according to sources she never did say; and the belief that she single-handedly caused the French Revolution culminating in her execution by her own subjects at the guillotine. Although she represented everything I found loathsome, I wanted to keep an open mind and began my investigation.

As I research her life, the caricature fell away and slowly I saw her as a flawed ruler cloistered in her world of wealth and privilege.  She saw her subjects simply as fictional characters in a performance.

The digital collage began with Lunagirl’s portrait of Marie. My heart was inspired by the October 1789 Women’s March on Versailles, and I knew I had to give them equal prominence in my work. The balance of the collage drew from digital ephemera in my collection.

As I completed the work I gained a new understanding of Marie. Looking at her life allowed me to view my own with a measure of objectively. How often do clichés replace facts making it easy to view a person or situation as wholly one thing or the other? As artists isn’t it our duty to search for the truth? And more often than not, isn’t the truth shades of both sides?


Greenhouse With Wildflowers / oil

greenhouse with wildflowers

This painting was on hold for months. I painted it in the spring and wanted to wait for the Wildflowers to bloom. All that time, I had it against the wall where I can see it, along with the other paintings in progress. And I wasn’t sure if this one was working out or not.

The thing I wasn’t sure about was those Evergreen trees in the foreground. I painted them a little too big. They covered too much of the hill and path. So today I decided to work on the hill again and put in the Wildflowers. Now I like it more because the viewer can see the way between the trees to the paved path. Also, now I have more space for flowers.

That’s one thing I like about oil paint. If there’s something you want to change, you can easily paint over the bad part, and no one knows, unless you tell them.

Dream With Wild Abandon!


Outgrow Your Shoes – Digital Collage

If you allowed yourself…just once…to dream with wild abandon…where would your dreams take you? Would you be on a wistful journey, meandering through experiences at your own cadence? Or would you rather give up all control and fly unrestrained towards a destination that only Fate can dictate?

The latest Lunagirl Moonbeam Design Team Challenge centered on “Shoes”.  The challenge is shared with Vicki Romaine’s challenge Blog, The Cheerful Stamp Pad.

Thinking about shoes brought me to one of my favourite sayings by Japanese writer and poet, Ryunosuke Satoro: Let Your Dreams Outgrow the Shoes of Your Expectations”. Lunagirl’s images are inspiring as always. I chose a shoe and began my work.

Travel is my sanctuary and the act of my putting on my shoes was always the prelude to a great adventure. I never knew what to expect, but I wandered, ever hopeful that I would experience something different and wonderful.

By allowing my dreams to outgrow my shoes my life, and art, grew in directions I never thought possible. I wouldn’t trade those experiences, the great and the not so wonderful, for anything!

So, fellow Artists and Dreamers…the call to outgrow your shoes is beckoning you. Will you take the dare?

Rose Garden ’15 / oil

I faked in the flowers! hahahahhahahahahaha

I faked in the flowers! hahahahhahahahahaha

When I started this painting a few weeks ago, the roses were in their 1st bloom. The scent was intoxicating! I think the 1st bloom is the best because all the colors of roses bloom at the same time.

I have to work on the background 1st. Working from top to bottom on the canvas and from background to foreground, I want to be sure all the elements of the painting look right compared to each other part. so I’m building up layers of paint in glazes, correcting as I go. I can only stand to be out in the heat for a few hours in the morning, and when it rains, I have to wait for better weather.

Then the rain took out over half of the flowers before I could paint them, since the flowers are on top and needed to be painted last. DANG! Then some friendly gardeners pruned off the rest of the roses, leaving not many. One man told me they bloom every 4 to 6 weeks, so I decided to wait for more flowers and started working on another painting. But the next painting is also waiting for some different flowers to bloom, and I decided to mix my colors for the roses using the few flowers open this week. That’s how I faked in the roses.

Is Looking Through Someone Really Looking Through Yourself?



Change is the only constant in life. How often have you pondered this quote? We welcome change when we feel we are moving in a direction that is good for us. We resist when we are uncertain of what a change hold for our future.

“Looking” is the theme of the Journal sent to me as part of a round-robin Journal exchange. When it arrived, it was like opening a jeweled treasure. The completed pages were incredible, glowing with colour, vision and creativity.

I knew the Journal was on the way to me. Prompted by the theme, The Beatles song, “I’m Looking Through You” kept playing in my mind. The lyrics tell the story of Paul McCartney’s relationship with actress Jane Asher. At the time, they were growing apart, each following their own path. They didn’t see eye to eye on how the relationship was to move forward.

The substrate for the page is heavy white paper. Working my way through a few fashion magazines I had at hand, ripping out photos I liked, I arbitrarily glued them down to the Journal page. My Muse was with me, and everything just seemed to “fit”. I got out an alphabet rubber stamp set in a font I really like. With indigo coloured ink, I randomly stamped the lyrics to the song. Stenciling metallic acrylic paint over the glued images completed the page.

Change. When we become aware of a transformation in others, doesn’t it mirror a shift we are experiencing in ourselves? For good or bad, change will always be with us. How do you recognize the winds of change?

Dali signing Picasso’s name / photo

image lifted from

image lifted from

hahahah I think Picasso is overrated too.

Is Picasso the Daddy of Modern art? Why does the art world love him so much? His paintings show his hate of women. Hey, I’m as smart as freaking Picasso and I can draw better than he could. But there’s no chance the art world will ever recognize my genius. Why not? because I’m a girl. So, because the art world discriminates against women, I’m doomed to never be known as long as I’m alive. The art world does definitely discriminate against women. Look at the work of their hero, Picasso. How many famous female artists can you name? I can only think of a few. Now try to think of the names of famous male artists. You can go on listing them all day. All through history, it’s been that way, with women being ignored and men with overblown egos getting recognized. Now the modern art world thinks what you have to do to be the next great artist is to be more crazy than the next guy. and young artists don’t learn the basic skill of drawing, because their guy Picasso led them to believe it’s not necessary.

I’ll give you some inside information. My brilliant daughter, Sarah Hill, knows how the art world works, and she has a genius marketing plan to put in place when I die. If you like any of my paintings, you should buy them when I’m still alive, because after I die, Sarah will add zeroes to the price I’m asking. And she will sell them. I’ll just have to be happy that I have the opportunity to concentrate on painting, which a lot of talented women don’t ever get the time to do.

They Have A Secret…Do You?


Why We Stand Up Straight – Digital Collage

There is just something about images…still and moving…in black and white that lifts my soul. I guess I’ll always be a “Turner Classic Movies” kind of gal at heart. The drama and the romance the absence of colour brings intrigued me in the past as I am certain it will in the future.

The current Lunagirl Moonbeams challenge is Black & White. This time, the challenge is shared with Vicki Romaine’s challenge Blog, The Cheerful Stamp Pad. The selection of images from Lunagirl’s collection are always inspiring. Looking through the collage sheets my eye was drawn to the women in beautiful dress.

What struck me was their posture…straight, proud, elegant. I loved the smile of the woman wearing the cape.  Who was the recipient of her cheeky grin? Did she have a secret? I built the collage around this woman. From my own digital ephemera collection I chose a landscape I thought would have a mysterious feel when converted into black and white. And then I found my air ship! Perfect. I love the concept of the lighter-than-air ships, gracefully floating while hiding a metal frame. And why did the women stand so straight? I couldn’t resist adding the corsets…just a peek into the private lives of our ladies. Like the airship, they are visible sophistication covering a solid foundation. And often times, the way women balance the explosive and the tranquil aspects of life is a secret only they know.

But isn’t this the story of so many women? We are grace, cleverness, and power in equal measure. What is your secret?


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