Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

                      MERRY CHRISTMAS

It is beginning to feel like Christmas and I guess it should since it is already here, ready or not.  Thank you to all from friends who have followed my art journey this year.  I hope you have a very merry joyous Christmas with family and friends.

Thanks so much for all your stopping by this last year.

Tiger WIP

Well for the foreseeable future life is just going to get in the way.  Got a lot of other painting projects, unfortunately not the kind that you do in the art room.  But necessary to do that too as when completed it looks so fresh and clean.  Just what is needed to perk up these long gray drizzly days that we are not getting.

Was able to tell myself it is ok to take today and work a bit in the studio for a couple of hours on this big boy.  Am continuing to work on getting things blocked in.  It just takes longer than I think it will.  I am continuing to work with different brushes to see if I can get the kind of strokes that I want to on the finishing layers.  Haven't found just the right combination yet.  But I am hopeful that over the weekend I can get the remainder of the block-in done.

I am uncertain on how to best place the last piece, horizontal or vertical  What do you think guys?  I think I am almost leaning towards the horizontal as it will pick up the ear and some gree…

Pow Wow

Pow Wow

You can say a lot of things about the internet, many bad, but, I have learned so much from so many sharing artists across the world.  No way would I ever have tried some of things I have.  Yep, another experiment on yet another gray and "wants to" rainy day.

Needed a break from my tiger, so this time I am trying to figure out Ivan Hoo's, an incredibly brilliant artist from Singapore, pastel techniques.  I found him on instagram and have now have looked at his Facebook page and Youtube videos.  He is self-taught and does hyper-realistic portraits,  mainly of animals.  He started using pan/pencil pastels on wood and then has switched to MDF.  So, of course because I have some hardboard  handy ... well, you know - just gotta try it.   Hav…

Tiger Grande WIP

Well  I pretty much have the one panel blocked in, at least enough now to see where I am going.  Probably will go ahead and work on blocking in the second and third panels too so that I can get it to the same stage and then overwork the final coats together so it is more uniform.

Lots of changing going on with this big guy as I work through it.  I lost my drawing, so am just guesstimating where things are placed.  Also I am switching it up with the brushes trying to find the one now that can give me the final fur textures I am looking for.

I think I forgot to tell you that for me this is a pretty huge piece.  Total size will be about 24"x23".   That's one big cat.

It shocks me every time I look at it.  I knew it was going to be large, but man, I sure didn't realize it was going to be this large.

 When I get the other side in it might equalize it.  I know many people who work extra large, this really isn't large compared to many, and I wonder if they have to get…

Experimenting Again

Many thanks to my blogger friend of many years, Nancy Goldman.  She is a brilliant artist in many mediums ranging from acrylics to encaustics.  Yep she uses the blow torch like a pro.  If interested see her many beautiful pictures at

As mentioned previously I really have been in the doldrums and couldn't started painting again after my Thanksgiving break.  Nancy however just completed an 18 canvas wall mural depicting a landscape.  She posted it on her blog and it is quite awesome and got me wondering and feeling that underlying excitement.  Nancy was so helpful in outlining her process.  Well spent the weekend trying to just find a picture I wanted to paint, as this would be a substantial size, so you got to like it.  Then next step is to try to decide how to break it into several parts.  But, of course ended up using something I was going to do and already had the drawing in place, and now just to get the canvases that I need.  So will proba…

Snow and Weaving

Ok, so you have to understand we live in the South, pretty far in the South, and so for us what is a dusting for most of you, is quite the event here in Atlanta.  We had about 8", the most I have ever seen since we lived here.  When you don't have to go out it is quite beautiful.  Even though this was a really wet snow it looked light and lovely coming down.   It snowed starting Friday morning and went into Saturday morning, so it was of long duration.  The only bad news was the trees came down and so did the power.   We were very lucky in comparison to others in the area as our power came back on Saturday.

So what does one do when they have to go on "device" withdrawal.  One puts on lots of warm clothes and gets out one of those unfinished projects.  Since it had gotten cooler here I had gotten busy again on my weaving.   I was fortunate enough several years ago to go to the Folk Art Center in Asheville on weaving day.  One of the Souths best artistic free-style…

Christmas Cards Continued

Here is today's card effort.  Not sure that all of these are going to make the cut, (edit:  one already bit the dust) but it has been interesting to give it a try.  I think I am going to give the word tree (this is neat, but I really botched it so it is dead) another shot, but this time I am just going to pick one color and do it.   I tried it in silver, as I can't find the gold alcohol marker, but it really didn't stand out enough.  So maybe will try it in red and not put in anything to make it look like a tree, just use the words.  I have enough other cards that I can throw that and the poinsettia away if I wake up in the morning and don't like how it came together.

I forgot to tell you that I don't send that many cards and I really haven't done handmade but about 4 or 5 times.  My mind says yes, but I procrastinate and it ends up being bought cards.  One year though I tried to use a program easy on to draw a card design and then reproduced it, but I really…

Christmas Cards

Well it looks like whatever was going on with all those whacko views from Denmark has finally gotten itself straightened out.   Even with going dark I went to Google to see if they could figure out and block it, and maybe that is what happened

Since today is kind of dreary and gray, we are going to get rain and a really cold snap, I decided to finally attack my Christmas cards.  Don't want to say I am slow or anything, but I started thinking back in October it might be nice to make cards again this year.  Usually  no one says anything, but the next year when they don't get them I hear they really enjoy whatever the theme is for the year.

Since I have done, Santas reindeer, angels, poinsettias and am feeling kind of lazy - part of my not really inspired feelings, I decided to look out on YouTube.   I love all the people out there who share and get a kick out of the fact they like to create videos.   Anyway, I am making some of the designs that they have come up with.

I put so…

The Snarl lion pastel portrait

The Snarl
Well am still having motivation issues.  So while I am at loose ends just thought I'd have little fun with they portrait.  I like the way he has his muzzle wrinkled up in a snarl.  And since I was feeling a bit unconventional, hence the colors in tis one.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.



I find that some times when I am away from painting every day I have a problem getting back into the groove and finding inspiration.   That is where I am right now, not really sure what I want to do so am doing some experimentational things until I get momentum again.

I just got back from Home Depot where I bought some hardboard and am going to try to do some things on that as a substitute for stetched canvas.   Why you ask, it is more economical.  I think that actually I might be able to hang it without a frame, or think it might look great in a floating frame.   I wouldn't need a mat or backboard since this is pretty stiff.  I think too, you can work on it gluing on canvas (I am going to try using mod lodge as the glue) or witho…

Les Fleurs acrylic pour of flowers

Les Fleurs
Well took a bit of time to settle back in to being home and in the studio.  So yesterday was destined to be a messy day but one which was inspired with some of the modern art I saw in DC.  "Just let it run" was my motto.  Also, learned a new recycling use for those tp inner cardboard rolls (seems like I have an endless support of them and you can reuse them I think).  You can pour paint into them and it stacks up until you release it.  The paint colors, even though it might be all fluid consistency, have different weights so they suspend and hen spread out at different rates.  But boy did it have a lot of paint, so a long drying time before I could go in and touch things up.  I think they call this technique puddling.

Started …


Ok trying again, me and technology haven't gotten along too great lately.  So this is how I made my flight go fast, saw this face in the flight magazine and just has to do him.  He is primarily .5mm mechanical pencil on plain white paper.  Later went over his dark areas with 4B pencil.  Used the old finger to blend.  I haven't drawn much lately so was surprised how quickly he came together.
Also met the flight attendant who wants to start drawing, hoping I gave him enough information to start.  No such thing as talent, just posts of practice.
Thanks for stopping by to take a look

Scardy Cat

In The Shadows

No the title isn't the name of this picture, it is a name for me!!  Well today's philosophical question is does anyone else ever get scared of their painting.  It might not be cool to tell how insecure one is, but I got to tell someone.  As you know I am trying new things and painting in a different direction and while I have built some confidence in doing the performers series, when I am trying to apply it elsewhere, it just is scary.  Talk about being in the dark.  I am finding that I am thinking a lot, maybe over thinking, while I am painting, not just letting go like I did in some of the other paintings.    And I know, deep down I am afraid it won't turn out.  It is just a piece of board - it shouldn't rattle me if it doesn'…

Tooter acrylic portrait street musician


Ok, I have made it through a couple of days now after I went dark/private and it appears that whoever or whatever has lost interest.  Hope it stays that way.  I don't think I was hacked, not sure how I would know that, just got a lot of views, all from Denmark, that only showed up in country stats and not under individual pictures.  So I am thinking I had some kind of bot.  Who knows in this technology world.

Anyway I have been busy working while I was waiting.  I do post on FB at Nelvia's Fine Art page but I still enjoy being able to write more information here.

I tried a different technique using an empty yogurt cup and just twisting dobs and dabs of paint in a circular motion.  I had someone tell me and now that I look at it agai…

Hawk pastel portrait

Well going to give this a try and see if all the views from Denmark return.  I know that I was getting hit with bots or something but really have never in all the year seen anything like this.  Only way I could fix was to go dark.

This is a 9"x12" quick sketch I did yesterday.  I had lots of canvas backgrounds drying, it was cloudy and dreary foretelling today's rain.   The paint was really drying slow.   Matter of fact I took off some of the stuff I was experimenting with and one background was still wet after all day - tried more drying last nigh and hope to be able to paint today.  Anyway, I digress, I have wanted to do a series for many years with Native Americans, so thought I would check this idea out.  Also wanted to see if I could pull my acrylic method over to the pastel world.  Not sure it worked, but  did give me a good idea in color sketch form of whether or not to continue with this idea.

Thanks for stopping by and hope I am back without having to change ge…

Galactic Wolf acrylic portrait wolf

Galactic Wolf

First let me apologize for asking you to prove you are real.  I don't know if this will help but I am getting hit by hundreds of supposedly views, all coming from Denmark.  I don't know exactly what it is or how to stop it, but I am trying different things in the settings.  Most everything I read is that these are bots and only I see they are hitting the site, but it bugs me!!  I will remove the "prove it" once it settles down.  I might just have to go dark for a while - don't know.

Ok, next is I think I got a little colorful on this one.  But I needed to do something to jazz it up a bit.  After I put the mountains in I really didn't like them and wish I would have added the wolf lower.  Isn't it weird how some times y…

Borrowed Time pastel portrait gorillas

Borrowed Time

Yes, I do get itchy when I go for any length of time and don't do something with pastels.  Still my first love as far as mediums go.  But I thought this was something I wanted to do especially as a direct impact of our visit to the zoo.  As I mentioned we did a trip to the Birmingham, AL Zoo and they do an excellent job of educating on animal conservation and the part zoos today play.  It was appalling how many species are going extinct or no longer exist in the wild, due to droughts, over population, destruction of habitat, etc.

Now, I am usually not much of a political or cause type individual, but I felt compelled to make this emotions and human-like behavior statement, it simply came together and demanded to be painted.   These animals needs our…

Flamingo-esque acrylic portrait of dancer


I know the title is kind of funky, but the post that she has makes me think of a flamingo dancer.  They are always to dramatic I definitely have to find a picture to do of one, all those ruffles and attitude.

This is trying to do a minimal background.  I had a bottle of Spanish wine that had a wrap of plastic mesh.  So when I sacrificed and drank it I cut the mesh off thinking I might be able to use it to make a design by putting the paint on it and then pressing onto the support.  Well it didn't exactly work the way I wanted it to but it did end giving a nice illusion of movement for the background.

Now back to the painting I have been working on and to finish the design of the new one I want to do next.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Galactic Lion acrylic lion portrait

Galactic Lion

Well since I haven't been in painting shape, we decided to take trip to Birmingham, AL.  It is a pleasant drive, even though the roads leave a lot to be desired, lots of construction,  miles barreled off with nothing much getting done and still not a great road in  many spots to ride on.  But it is a short drive and we really enjoy both their zoo and botanical garden, as well as several restaurants.  It is much easier to navigate there than Atlanta traffic.

While at the zoo, we hit a cooler day and the lions, who sleep or rest about 21 hours a day, were sort of awake.   The male, I think his name is Kwanzaa, who was sprawled out decided to sit up and we walked right up to the window separating us, he didn't react, so …

Centerline acrylic portrait street dancer

Centerline is the next of my performers series.  It is actually hard to believe this is #13 and I still have a few more I want to do.  I guess they say the right amount for a series is 20-25 pictures so I am on a good track to have a nice width for the series and probably it will end up about half dancers and half musicians.  It still amazes me also how quickly some of these have come out.

I enjoy doing these abstract painting backgrounds.   It usually takes me a day to do the background.   It also is kind of relaxing too to just put the paint on and then try to manipulate it around.  Most of these patterns were blown with a straw rather than a hair dryer.  I like this look as it can give you marbleization, blown splatters and interesting paint mix…

Spanish Guitar acrylic portrait street performer

Spanish Guitar

Well first off I want to thank Carla and Stephen for giving me the encouragement and support to get this piece brought to completion.   Been fighting with it for over a week now and certainly totally repainted the background guitar at least four times.

I am sure glad that acrylic is so flexible and can go light over dark and dark over light so many times, doing that also contributed to giving the guitar different wood tone effects.  After changing the size, shape, where the center hole hit, etc. so many times before I  thought it looked like correct proportions and composition I was ready to set it aside for a while.

But, talked with one of my friends in Canda, Carla and hubby, Steve, from PMP, we talk via FaceTime frequently, th…

Oh Baby, Baby acrylic portrait baby lion

Oh Baby, Baby

Well there was a purpose to this piece besides the fact that I loved the look of this little guy.   He looks to me like he is already practicing stalking and on the hunt.  Of course, he probably really is just curious as they have no fear at that age.

I wanted to see if I could pull some of the energy and looser brushwork that I found in my performers pieces and translate that into use with my animals.   Since I have been on instagram I have seen so  many wonderful and talented folks who do animals really, really well, that it drives me to try to do more than just recreate the perfect look and try to imbibe some life into the piece.  That means that they aren't perfect, static or you see every hair in place.   I worked on this a …

Contemplation acrylic dancer portrait

Contemplation 14"x17" Acrylic Here is another in the performer series.  Not sure where she found a porthole window like this, but thought it was pretty neat.  Well this one was done with a vision and a big prayer.  I had to believe in the fact that I would like it after I put phthalo blue washes over my grisaille.  I liked it really well just with the grisaille and figured if I had to I could go back over the blue washes with the grays again.  But now I do like how she kind of glows, and I especially like here against the darkest dark of the  lower background.
Then I was pretty tentative with my first saturation of the phthalo blue, and figured, in for a penny, in for a pound.   I went over it several more times with heavier washes to achieve the finished painting.    
Hope you like it.  Thanks for stopping by.

Rumba acrylic portrait of dancers

Well been a busy week.  We had a few cooler days and I took advantage of them to get the garden final trim, pine straw spread, weeds sprayed/pulled and generally ready to be a closed garden for the season.  Yes, we are supposed to get some effects from yet another hurricane - the second impact in 6-8 weeks.  This time supposed to be less rain and wind and rain.  Since we need the rain, please bring it on.

I have been asked how many of these am I going to do, and still have about 8-10 in the planning stages.  Anyway I have a lot of ideas running around in my mind and had a completely different background planned for this.  But I really like this energetic and sexy dance, the rumba, and felt it needed a more robust background.  So I have the spotlights sho…

Triangular pastel portrait street dancer


Well today was just a fun day and trying my street performers out in pastel on black Artagain paper.  I was getting itchy as I haven't painted with chalk now in quite a while.  Actually the inspiration for this piece is I am going to try to get featured in an instagram account, weekly_art_comp.

This weeks challenge is about geometry.  Well got to admit that I wasn't the brightest bulb in this math class.  But I figured that most of the entries are going to being those fabulous mandalas and other really structured pictures.  I don't do those kinds of things as I find them a bit too tedious and I just don't have the patience level for them.

But as I looked at this reference picture that I pulled for street performers, I …

Tango Criollo acrylic dancer portrait

Tango Criollo
We thought I would use the cardstock that I made for the piano man.  I took a piece of cardstock and ran it through the printer to get the music on it.  I couldn't figure out exactly how to utilize it in that piece.  So thought I'd put this couple on it.  Since it is on cardstock and I glued it to a sheet of watercolor paper I am pretty sure it is not longer archival.  But was worth it to see what kind of an effect it would give.   I do like the drama of the dancers poses, while I can't dance this dance i do enjoy watching it.

Thanks for taking a look.

Piano Man acrylic portrait street performer

Piano Man  18"x14" Acrylic Here is the next in the performers series.  Well I think I am finally done fighting with this piece.  I want to thank Diane who told me I couldn't start over and had to figure out how to try to salvage it.  Going to show the stages I went through because originally I fell back to what I always try to do, be  more realistic.   I just didn't have a clear plan for this one and just kept adding and changing on the fly.   Hope at the end though I finally got it right.  The biggest struggle with this one was trying to get movement and some life into the picture.  The piano and player are pretty stagnant, so I decided to add the dog.  Believe it or not I think putting the water bottle in on top of the knapsack also helped.  
Here is where I started out, was going similar to the reference photo putting him in the park outside with lots of people walking by.  But boy I sure didn't like where it was going and felt it was way to dark.  Also, even…

The Leap acrylic dancer portrait

The Leap
Well as they say all good things probably come to an end.  My roll, because that is what it has been, has come to an abrupt stop.  I hit the piano picture and came to a screeching halt.  It just doesn't have any life and I haven't figured out yet how to go about trying to salvage it.  I have ideas, but ...

I have been studying drawing the figure and there was much about the fluid flow of the lines of this piece that caught my attention, as well as the way the head is held.   I really liked the pose in this one.   So  while I am trying to figure out what to do with my unhappy picture I decided to try combining transparent washes with opaque again.   It was a black and white picture and I always think it is fun to try to colorize them.  …

Break Dancing street performer acrylic portrait

Break Dancer
Well we don't watch much on our tv but PBS, sports and weather - can you tell there is a guy in the house?   But I have to admit that I am a fan and either insist on watching or tape So You Think You Can Dance.  Comes from wishing as a kid I could dance, but alas you needed coordination.  Anyway they are the inspiration for the dancers I want to add to this series.

I guess I am changing my series name to street performers because I really want to include some really cool dancers that I have found.  I still want to try to keep to this looser way of painting and really comes down to just mark making.  It is a ton of fun and I am not really finding it stressful at all.  I want to keep on just getting out of the way and letting the brush go. I do ha…

The Guitar Weeps acrylic street musician portrait

The Guitar Weeps

This is the fifth in my street musicians series.  While this isn't a true drip painting it is a quasi drip and ties in with the title of the piece.  I did this background one day and had to let it dry because there was a lot of really liquid paint on it.   I had several subjects in mind, couldn't make up my mind which could go best with the light colors, so sat on it for a couple of days.  I just decided this morning he was the one to go with and because I spent so much time thinking about this piece he really wanted to come out onto the canvas and was out and done in about two hours.    It is the craziest thing right now with this series, just get out of the way and let the brush operate.

I really liked the angle of his head an…

Heart and Soul acrylic street musician portrait

Heart and Soul

This is one is ready to be done, the fourth in my street musician series.  I just loved the concentration that this guy has for his music, and yes I think he is making music from his heart and soul.  I also really like the connection between the musician and the cello.  Yes, I do listen to music while I paint.  I am a person who grew up on classical music, my brother is a very talented musician.  I like to listen to instruments rather than keep track of words.  So the music is often soaring in my art room.

I am having the best time at just shutting up and listening to my heart and letting the brush go for it.  After all these years it is about time I guess.   I also look at this like I am kind of sneaking up on it.  This is larger than I…

The Beat acrylic street musician portrait

The Beat
Forgot to say, we made it through the storm and were very fortunate.  Many here in Atlanta lost power due to falling trees.  I guess we were in a less hectic area and got out of the yellow hand sooner so lucky we did not lose power but for a couple of hiccups.  Just 4 inches of rain and some gusty rains.

Here is the third in my street musician series.  I think this is another New Orleans French Quarter performer.  Ok, I might have gone a bit over the edge in this one, but .. you gotta go with the flow.  Originally I was going to have another spread the paint background of greens and blues, then last minute decided since he looked so classy and kind of elegant I wanted to contrast him with some real street graffiti.  Now I am not f…

The Horn Player acrylic musician portrait

The Horn Player
Well think I am going to get this posted before we lose the power.  Yes!!  Tried to get this finished while we wait for the wrath of Irma.  Thankfully it got really cool and that is surpassing the tornados, so just the rain and wind.  Supposed to start getting progressively worse about now and with all the rain am pretty sure we will be out of power for at least several days.

This is the next in the series of street musicians.  What I loved about this Cuban horn player was his baggy "styling" suit, hat and the tie was just the icing on the cake.   Thought it was pretty cool that it emulated his horn.  The tie is actually almost in better condition than the horn, it was pretty beat up and had lost it's shine.

I am…

Groovin' Street Art Portrait

Got my gansta on - doing a little street art today.  Well trying to bring it, here is another more abstract style based on street art.  I don't exactly have the color blocking done in some of the more spontaneous styles, but the background certainly embraces the graffiti feel.

This picture has been in my head for quite a few years.  But I just didn't think I could paint it.  Now all of a sudden, without a lot of planning, stressing and apprehension, it just flowed onto the paper.

While there isn't a whole lot of painting in this piece, it did take me two days.  I put the background together and because there was a whole lot of paint (I used a palette knife to lay in the colors and move them around) I needed to let it thoroughly dry for 24…

The Vixen Pop Art acrylic portrait

The Vixen
Well am giving this pop art things another go.  I liked the idea of some of these crossing over into fashion art as well.  I have a couple of different treatments from pure pop to street art that I am going to try.  Decided to go ahead and make this more the pop art treatment.  Got some elements of the comic in it, but added a bit more facial shading so it isn't totally flat.  But I do have unconventional coloring.  Can't say I am really happy with the way that the hair turned out.   I would definitely need to look into or practice that a bit more.  I have to say thought that this is really fun and I love the boldness of the color blocks.

Not real sure of the color choices, but I know that the red and yellow pop against each other and didn't …

Woman acrylic Pop Art Portrait

I decided not to do the September 30 day art challenge, but then I decided I am going to try to do a few days, but not be a slave to it.  I needed to come up with a theme.  Well I have to tell you when I let my right brain loose, it tends to go astray, sometimes far far astray.     That happens even though I still only get one martini per week!!

In a couple of weeks we will be back in Washington DC, and spending a lot of time at the various art galleries.  One of the areas I walk through very fast, or never visit, is the modern art areas.  Got to admit I just don't get it.  What with all the dots (except Chuck Close, I love him), paint splatters or canvas painted all red, called Red - I just don't get it.  So thought I'd try some of these styles to see if I can gain some appreciation and this time, spend some time in those parts of the gallery.

Yes, it's a beautiful day and I am feeling a little frisky and wanted to have some fun.  So…