“Garlic and Tonic”

Life is in the Light"Garlic and Tonic" 8" x 10" Oil on Linen

We’ve been talking about the idea of “Concepts” in painting in a Still Life Oil Group I host. Concepts are the idea behind a painting and that idea is very personal. It might be beauty or it might be dark, but it’s painted using the Language of Art, something that is conveyed using shadow and light. We’ve discussed finding a common thread of what excites us when we paint, and I find that my concept is usually centered around movement of light from a collection of objects. It’s feels like a dance and when I am done, it feels like magic.

I really concentrated on the low tonal concept in this painting allowing for the quiet movement of light throughout the painting. I used very little brushwork to communicate the form of the water glass in the background as it was a supporting and grounding character. I wanted the flow of light to move through the table top through each item, reflect off the glass and continue on ending in the garlic skin on the left. It was about flow and the dancing of light. Life is IN THE LIGHT.

This item is available to view larger here by clicking on the image.

Hope you enjoy!

Tea Cubby and Grapes

A New Art Hashtag!

I’ve been busy hosting an online still life networking group, and each month we paint a theme and have guest speakers to increase our skillsets. This month we painted Metals, meaning silver, brass or copper. This was my contribution.

Ideas and concepts that fill my photography files or imaginary concepts and rattle away in my head for years before the impulse grabs me with inspiration to paint it. It’s a real exciting experience when a moment of time opens up when you know you have the requisite skill and idea with childlike excitement to create something you think is beautiful and you want to paint it. There ought to be a name for it, like ICANTWAITTOGETPAINTONTHECANVAS. In the meantime it’s a new hashtag.

Enjoy Tea Cubby and Grapes. It’s 8 x 10 and is framed in black, gold or silver. Contact me for more information or see See Available Work.

Springtime – Time for New Beginnings

The Spring Equinox is here! It’s a time for new beginnings and I have two announcements I’d like to share:

Journey Begins

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APRIL 2022 – Reception April 9, 2022 5 – 7

I will be the featured “Artist of the Month” at the Island Art Association (IAA) for the month of April and will be hanging new work. The Island Art Association is located on 2nd Street in Historic Fernandina Beach between Centre Street and Alachua in the event you live on Amelia Island. There will be an evening reception between 5-7 with snacks and refreshments on April 9th, 2022 during the Second Saturday Artwalk, during which time you can see my new work, along with the beautiful work of exhibiting resident artists.

NEW EXHIBITING ARTIST – Island Art Association

I was recently juried in to be a new permanent exhibiting artist at the Island Art Association, so my work will now be permanently featured there beginning in the month of June, 2022. The Island Art Association is home to many artists in Nassau County, Florida and is located in the historic part of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. I’ve been a member of the Association since 2008, so will now have the pleasure of exhibiting there. Many of you know that I was a part of the Blue Door Art Galleries and Studios on Centre Street between 2008 and 2020, but I gave up that space because of COVID. The two locations are a couple of blocks away from each other, so it will be a bit like coming home, where I have many resident exhibiting artist friends there.

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful springtime weather where you are and look forward to seeing you at my art reception if you are able to make it on April 9th!

The Magic of Christmas

The Magic of Christmas is upon us. Our little historic Florida town is alive with lights in the trees and festivities abound which helps us feel like Christmas even though it’s in the 70’s outside!

It’s also a month of friend’s birthdays, including mine, and of course Christmas. Each year when I am honored with a birthday, I like to reflect on the importance of birthdays and Christmases and how we should make every minute count. This year I realized on my birthday that “Today is the oldest I’ve ever been and the youngest I’ll ever be again”, which emphasizes that we never know how many we have left. We might have a lot and maybe we don’t – but you see – it doesn’t matter, because what is important is NOW.

Magic of ChristmasChristmas Goals

Each year I like to set goals for myself. This year follows the importance of NOW and creating memories with family and friends. I want to listen more carefully, love more genuinely, and engage with more interest.

For painting goals, I plan to paint more regularly, paint “larger”, finish my online shop, and network more with artist friends internationally to share our art journeys together.

I also want to start painting more paintings associated with holiday seasons. I am starting with this one to share with you, my friends who follow my ramblings. It blends my love of blue and white vases and bowls with the color red of the season. To view this and my available works, check out my portfolio. 

This I share with you with blessing for a safe and warm Holiday Season.

Freedom of Want

The Art of Thanksgiving

Follow Your Spirit

Sometimes I feel “led” in certain directions during my painting journey. As background, I started a painting when we moved in to the new house that took three years to build (because of COVID), but life got in the way and I had to store the canvas in my art freezer and forgot about it. Fast forward five months, and while I had every intention on working on another painting project I had started, I was led to pull this painting out of the freezer and with 2 subsequent afternoons of painting, I felt like my brush was being guided in some way like magic.

Before I started painting on the first day, I had visions in the shower (where a lot of inspiration happens) of how this painting was going to play out, and I verbally stated in my head “I’m ready for a great piece and I know how it’s going to happen.” It felt like the perfect day for the perfect subject. Painting happens that way. I have about 100 painting ideas in line, but it’s like a box of chocolates. When you wake up and your spirit moves you, you go there because it just feels right.

What surprised me is that when I started painting, I had that “aha” moment when you realize, “Oh my, I AM painting this and his soul is coming forward”. I could see his form coming alive on the page. It felt like a miracle in a way, but then a lot people feel painting comes from spirit, so that’s cool. Whatever it is, it flowed through me, I got goosebumps and felt much joy throughout the process.

Mr. WinklesI’d like to share it with you. Here is the painting subject. You can also view it in “Available Paintings”

I also put together a video which you can see by clicking on the link below with some excerpts from an “Over the Rainbow” song because he is there.

Click here to see a 30 second video of my painting with music

Buttermint Camellia

Art During Covid-19

International Women’s Day 2020 – Celebrating Women in Art

I would like to share the work of a Dutch artist who I deeply admire to celebrate International Women’s Day of 2020.

Rachel Ruysch

Rachel Ruysch was a Dutch painter who lived from 1664 – 1750 and was one of three famous Dutch Golden Age women painters. As you may know, I spent the end of my high school living in Delft, Holland – the home of Vermeer – with my father. While there, I experienced the fantastic light that would filter into the cafes in the afternoon and evenings – that beautiful light which is often seen in a Dutch painting. Those memories stayed with me and found a way into my art today.

Rachel grew up in the 17th-century and was a member of an elite artistic family. Working with her father from a young age, she studied anatomy, insects, and plants, so from a young age she learned much about her future subjects. She also trained with the Willem van Aelst, a famed still life painter and became immensely popular. She was so revered that she only had to work on a few paintings a year to earn a good living. In the 17th century, the Dutch were very interested in flowers and gardening, so paintings that highlighted the beauty of nature were highly valued. This helped to build and maintain Ruysch’s customer base throughout her career.

Notable Painter

In her lifetime, Ruysch’s paintings sold for as high as 1200 Dutch guilders. In comparison, Rembrandt rarely received more than 500 guilders for a painting in his lifetime. It is said that Ruysch’s paintings sold for more than Rembrandt’s when you compare their lifetime work. Interestingly, a painting by Ruysch was discovered in a farmhouse in Normandy in 1999 and was sold at auction for about $508,000.

Ruysch became the first female member of an artist’s society in The Hague in 1701, and later became a court painter for a number of years in Dusseldorf. After winning the lottery in 1722, she no longer had a need for money, but continued painting into her 80s and was a prolific painter of her time. When she died in 1750, eleven poets paid her their respects with poems about her. If you would like to view a 5 minute video about Rachel, you can see it here: National Gallery on Rachel Ruysch

My Painting Endeavors

In my last post, I shared with you that my husband John and I are building a house. We are currently designing the garden (with Camelias, Azaleas, Lariope and Hydrangeas) and I hope to continue painting floral arrangements and studying more from Ruysch and her technique. I am also collecting various vases to include in my floral paintings, so stay tuned to the next few years. Florals are in the painting queue!

For International Women’s Day, I will share one of my works with you I did a couple of years ago from my garden. My husband John picked it for me and it was so beautiful to paint especially when he told me that it was the internationally recognized flower of New Zealand which was the first country in the world to allow women the right to vote.  September 19th of each year is celebrated as White Camellia Day or New Zealand Suffrage Day, the first name after the emblem of the New Zealand suffrage movement: the white camellia. This I share with you.

Camelia from John
5 x 7
Oil on Panel
Suzanne Batchelor


A New Kind of Art: Building a House

Strawberries in Blue Bowl