I began using wax 37 years ago, for a different application in the business world, and became proficient in its manipulation. It wasn’t until 2012 that I began to explore encaustic painting, and it was a different animal altogether. Although the wax obeyed its rules of behavior, my rules had to change if I was going to get the effects I desired…and so my love affair with wax began, and is ongoing still.

River Serene

River Serene. Encaustic on Panel. 6 x 6 inches


Mandala Journey Into Your Spirit

For those of you who have trouble with traditional meditation, there are alternatives. I use this practice on a regular basis and teach it to others. I create mandalas in all ways, and some time ago developed the Mandala Sojourn Project.

This is the beginning. This one is small, 4″ x 4″, utilizing white oil-based paint on black cardstock. I have photographed individual steps, so you can see the progression.



The white paint is a different medium than I am used to. The black card stock is absorbent and soaks up much of the paint in the beginning, giving a shading effect.



It is about symmetry, but not perfection.



Because the white paint applicator is thicker, details are adapted. The two places where I accidentally got paint where I didn’t want it will be incorporated into the design.



One of the nice things about a meditative mandala is that you don’t have to finish it in one sitting. You can work for 20 minutes and come back to it later. Start slowly, even 5 minutes at a time, to get used to the focus.



Because it is paint and not black ink, I have had to allow for several discrepancies in the shading. I think the variations actually enhance it.



Completed. It is not about the finished product, but about the process, about the journey. If one focuses on imperfections, one misses the beauty of the whole. It will be signed on the back and not the front, because traditionally, the spirit is the creator, the body merely the facilitator.


Print Giveaway


In honor of April’s new baby boy, a digital watercolor print. From now until May 5, everyone commenting will be entered in a random drawing to win this print. Print is 5″ x 7″, mat and frame not included. Giclee printed on Elegance fine art paper. Please remember to include your email address so you can be notified if you win. (We never share email addresses…never, ever!)

Perfect for a baby’s room, or to enhance your already beautiful decor.

This and larger prints available on Etsy on Friday, April 21.

Blessings of Spring and new life!

We have a winner! Congratulations David Jones!


I find rain to inspire me to work on my art. I am not tempted to spend long hours outside, although I do like to go out for just a bit to get a “taste” of the rain. There are always a lot of indoor things for me to do.

Does the rain inspire you? Does it make you feel more down and sluggish? How do you use rainy time?


What, what?


The present series I am working on is of women. The plan is to show their varied qualities and essences. Currently I am working on 3, one of which is a self portrait. I decided to do it in puzzle form as puzzles, codes and ciphers are a strong fascination. This is the just the prep work. I’ll try and show progression as it moves along. Stay tuned. Comments and questions welcome.



nothingTake time to do nothing.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means a waste of time.”
~ J. Lubbock

How do you spend your “nothing” days?

Are You In a Painting Slump?

Sometimes it happens…you want to, you have ideas, you have the materials, but for some reason, you just can’t get started. You go into the studio with all good intentions, clean a few things, and come back out, frustrated and angry with yourself. Is it like writer’s block for painters? Is it artist’s block? Is there a cure?

Yes, there is such a thing as Painter’s Block, but it doesn’t matter what it is, you can trick yourself back. You can find a nicer word if you like, but essentially, that’s what it is. You are getting your subconscious back on the painting track. Here are a few tips:

Find a non-creative paint chore to do. Maybe the window sills need touching up, or the birdhouse could use a fresh coat, or a little touch of black paint will help that really bad scuff on your favorite shoes not to show as much. The secret is to get that paintbrush in your hand and use it. Then you begin to notice how good it feels in your hand, and how your creative juices start to flow, and perhaps that birdhouse suddenly takes on a little extra flair. THAT is the momentum you can use to keep going right into the studio.

The small, manageable bite process also can be helpful. Always keep a few very small potential projects at the ready. It is instant gratification, and more easily discarded if you are totally unhappy with the results. If you keep these small projects inexpensive, you also have not wasted a whole lot of money. You can play without expectation, and it might lead to…wow, maybe your masterpiece!

Get the stress out. The stress of life’s intruding circumstances can leave one blocked in more areas than painting. Try to get adequate rest, meditate if you wish, eat properly. Take good care of yourself, and then just paint anything…splash, scribble, splotch! It will get out the excess tension, perhaps induce that sense of calm, and you may just find your painting spirit there with you.

Go totally out of your element. Try something entirely new for you. Maybe it’s hiking, or bowling, or bird watching, or baking. Whatever it is, if it is something entirely new to you, it will freshen your perspective, and quite possible freshen your painting attitude as well. New things, new perspective, new ideas, new painting!

The 15 minute trick! I like this one best of all and it works for me in a lot of different areas. Tell yourself you will only paint for 15 minutes, set a timer, and at the end of 15 minutes, allow yourself to quit without guilt. More often than not, you will be immersed in what you are doing and will want to keep going.

Try some of these techniques and let me know…and share your own tips and tricks!