Personal style...

I’ve spent a few weeks going through all of my paintings and drawings in an effort to document the early ones from as far back as gradeschool ~ obviously before I understood how important record keeping is for a working artist. It’s a miracle any of the work survived the frequent moves and mayhem. Most of the childhood pieces are on 8.5” x 11” typing paper from a manilla file folder that somehow stayed with me for five decades. As a result of traipsing down memory lane I’ve learned some things I’d like to share over the next few posts.

The question of developing a recognizable personal style keeps some of us up at night.  Not me, I sleep very well, however, you know what I mean. We want to insure we come up with a technique the collectors and galleries will notice as unique to us. 

Here’s a graphite drawing of a model from thirty years ago and a recent oil bar self-portrait posted late last year, reduced to black/white for comparison.


The same raw, brutally honest drawing style I seem to have hit the planet with is evident in both pieces. While my work has been informed by teachers and experiece, and there is always much more to learn, the rendering is clearly mine in both portraits. Whether anyone else thinks they are “good” drawings isn’t my concern.  The issue is to keep making drawings, paintings or sculpture. 

I’ve come to believe if we continue to put one foot in front of the other, do the work as frequently as we’re able and take the next intuitive step in our process, we’ll end up with our desired result ~ a personal style we can enjoy, have confidence in and share. 

All heart....

Graphite Drawing

Waiting for the wheels of big medical business to grind along for a heart scan, I did this drawing. Happy to say it was prophetic…my heart knew all along it was healthy.


Sketch on BFK with colored pencils, 5” x 5”

Learning to use Adobe, a scanner and printer in addition to getting the work done. Hence, the cutout of the Lynx when I was attempting to remember my CS5 class and clean up the sketch done on a triangle of folded paper.

Day One - again.

Colored pencil on BFK, 6.5” x 7.5”, 2011Candied Apples with color…

After adding color this morning, I’m reminded of a statement issued by a gentleman who painted our house years ago: “It ain’t the Mona Lisa ya know.”

The black pencil seemed to contaminate the layered colors, especially in the sticks of the apples. I was getting impatient and ready to work bigger before the sketch was finished.

Candied Apples grisaille…

Black Polychromos pencil on BFK paper. I enjoy the way the support and medium interact. We’ll see how it goes adding color.

Removing the image one step from precious by posting the drawing allows me to immediately see where revisions are needed. Interesting.

I completed the grisaille “watching” a movie with my husband, who generously encourages my creative efforts.


Blue Girl

Pastel on BFK, 30 x 22”, 2010
This is my favorite drawing of the past few months. I’m happy to have captured the model’s intensity. The piece is so powerful up close and personal, people are either repelled or fascinated by it.


I loved the way the model's attitude came through on this piece. Pastel on BFK, 30 x 22”, 2010I enjoyed the way this model’s presence came through.  I also found a new freedom to cut loose with the materials.