Fiddle IV


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The last of the four fiddle paintings doesn’t show all the wear and tear that the other ones did, but I love the curves and the contrast of the warmth of the wood next to the coolth (I know that’s not a word, but if warmth is, coolth should be) of the metal:

Fiddle IV_compressed

Fiddle IV 7″ x 5″ oil on board

Prints and other awesome thingamabobs here.


Fiddle III


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here is the third of the four commissioned fiddle paintings – plenty of bangs and knicks and gashes from this angle, too:

Fiddle III_compressed

Fiddle III 7″ x 5″ oil on board

Prints and other fun schtuff here.

Fiddle II


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday I posted the first of four paintings that were commissioned of a very battle-scarred fiddle. You’ll see what I mean with the next one:

Fiddle II_compressed

Fiddle II 7″ x 5″ oil on board

Prints and other swag here.

Fiddle I


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been working on a series of commissioned paintings of a fiddle that has seen some shit, y’all. It has all these wonderful scratches and knicks and is all kinds of crazy beat-up. It’s wonderful and someday I hope to hear the stories behind the scars. The first of the four paintings doesn’t highlight the more abused spots on the fiddle, so we’ll start with that one. FYI, painting lettering sucks, but I’m happy with how this bit turned out. Painting wood grain is hard on the hands, but oddly satisfying. There’s something soothing about just drawing lines over and over – kind of like painting fur.

Here’s the first fiddle painting:

Fiddle I_compressed

Fiddle I 7″ x 5″ oil on board

Prints and other gear available here.

They’ll Never Have To, But They’ll Never Get To


, , , , , ,

Last night, I found out that someone from my hometown who had dementia died. I had posted about him about a year and a half ago. I never did meet him myself, but I had some contact with his wife and daughter recently as they were making decisions about placing him in a dementia care community. Today, as they were moving him into the facility they’d chosen, he had a heart attack and died. And I don’t know what to feel for them.

I’m devasted for his family. It’s so sudden and so shocking. After agonizing over the decision about how to move forward with his care, it’s all just been undone.

I’m relieved for his family. They won’t have to watch him continue to decline, to lose himself. They won’t spend a fortune on a dementia care facility and worry that the money might run out.

I’m devasted for his family. They don’t get anymore sweet moments with him. No more hugs or holding hands. They don’t have the privilege of caring for him and protecting him. They don’t get to tell him they love him.

I’m relieved for his family. They’ll never have to tell him they love him and have him look back at them blankly, not knowing who they are. They won’t have to fight for him to get the care he deserves, or deal with dirty diapers or disappearing hearing aids or choking incidents.

I’m devasted for his family – especially his daughter, who wasn’t there when it happened and so didn’t get to say goodbye.

I’m relieved for his family. His death was quick – no nights spent in recliners by his deathbed, waiting for his pain to finally end.

There’s no good way for this whole journey to go. There’s no easy path. Dementia sucks, plain and simple. So maybe send a little love out to the universe for his family – and all the other families coping with dementia – today, in the hopes that it will ease some tiny piece of their pain.

Dad and Em at Bodos 10-27-14 2

Monet’s Garden


, , , , , , , , ,

Part of the river cruise that I took last month included a day trip to Giverny and Monet’s garden. Everything was lush and gorgeous and we got good weather and it was pure, unadulterated heaven. In an effort to not be totally derivative by just recreating his waterlily paintings, I opted to paint some of the flowers I photographed instead. There were so many different kinds of tulips I lost count. Here are 2 quick paintings I did based off of a couple, one fairly delicate and one big and bold:

Monet's Garden tulip painting

Monet’s Tulip 8″ x 6″ watercolor on paper

Orange Tulip

A Tulip For Jolee 12″ x 12″ acrylic on canvas


Granted, They Should Be Thanked


, , , , ,

You may remember that, last year, I applied for and received a grant to help me publish Fractured Memories. I realized that I never properly or publicly acknowledged who provided the grant, and I want to do that now. The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County essentially sponsored the book with a generous grant. I’m preparing my final report for them now that the book is complete and out there for the world to see, and realized that I definitely spent way more than the grant awarded, but it was absolutely invaluable in two ways: 1) it allowed me to justify taking some time off from teaching classes because I knew that it was paying for me to hire my instructors to cover those shifts, and 2) it affirmed for me that the project was worth pursuing. We all need a little external affirmation now and then, and getting it from an “official” arts program gave me more confidence going into the writing and publishing process.

So a huge thank you goes out to the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County for helping achieve a dream and further my career as an artist in many senses of the word.

YouTube Book Review


, , , , , , , ,

Brittany, from BrittanyReads, posted her spring indie author wrap-up on youtube, and included a review of my book, Fractured Memories. So now you don’t have to read the review, you can watch it, because screw reading, amiright? Oh, wait. The review of my book starts at around 4 minutes 45 seconds. Please go show her channel a little love, and check out some more indie books!

Getting Your Book Seen


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hello there, glorious Fractured Memories readers!! As you all know, I opted to self-publish Fractured Memories: Because Demented People Need Love, Too, which means that promoting it is up to me. So I’m going to do some uber-begging. First, in order for books (eBooks, soft cover, or hard cover) to be seen on Amazon, they need to have at least 25 reviews. So far, I have 7. That means I need to get at least eleventy more (I’m good at art and writing, not math, people). That means I need help. That means that, if you read and liked the book, you could write a review on Amazon. That means that people would know the book exists. That means people would buy it. That means I wouldn’t have to live off of ramen noodles, which are terrible for my triglyceride counts. Instead, I could live off of cheese, which is equally bad for my triglyceride counts but so much tastier. It also means that I could support my bourbon habit, which sterilizes my insides, washing all those triglycerides out (yup, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works).

And now, another big ask: if you liked the book, tell someone you actually know! You can post about it on social media, or just tell a friend who you think would like it. If they’ve been a caregiver, they’ll be saying, “Me, too!” the whole time they’re reading it. If they haven’t been a caregiver, you’re prepping them for something that most of us will go through at one time or another with a parent or spouse or friend; or, you’re helping them know how to be a better support for the caregivers they know. Win-win! If they want to order a print copy (or if you want to order a copy for them), they can do so on my website at (I make more money this way than on Amazon, AND they’ll save a little money, too). If they’re not interested, try describing the book as “a staggering work of genius,” or “the best thing that ever was – EVER.” If they’re still not interested, they sound like pretty boring people and you should probably not be friends with them anymore.

Many, many (and a few more) thanks in advance!!



, , , , , , , , , ,

One of the things I like about painting the places I’ve visited, is that it makes you stop and examine the details of the things you hurriedly snapped photos of as you wandered around in a daze exploring a city. I tend to take photos with paintings in mind, so there’s not a ton of cropping or other editing necessary. But I’m still so busy photographing everything I find even vaguely interesting, that I don’t process what I’m seeing fully. So, I love sitting down with a paintbrush, examining the photos I’ve taken, and recreating the photo in a new way. Sometimes I’ll do the same scene in different styles, sometimes I just create a quick sketch, and other times I get really detailed with it.

These two paintings are of the same street in Rouen, France, but from opposite ends of that street.

Painting - Rouen 2

Rue Malpalu, Rouen, France 8″ x 6″ watercolor on paper


Painting - Rouen

Rue Malpalu, Rouen, France II 6″ x 8″ watercolor on paper

Generally, getting shots of a street without people in it is a challenge. I take a series of shots from the same angle so that, as people move in and out of view, I can see what’s there when the people aren’t in the way. That way, if someone is blocking a doorway or some shutters in one shot, they won’t be in the next, so between the several photos, I can get an accurate idea of what that doorway or shutter actually looks like. Then I can selectively add or delete people as I sketch out the painting.