Friday, July 21, 2017

Italy off the beaten track...

Recent pet portrait I gifted to Nancy Medina., image by Carlos Medina
 I am back from a wonderful three week trip to Europe with my hubby. We had a fabulous time exploring Amsterdam, plus Florence, Saint'Angelo in Vado & Bologna, Italy. It's great to be home but my goodness I miss the foods & beauty of Italy! Amsterdam was a blast as well.  I saw so much amazing art along the way.

It all started because I wanted to take a class in Italy with artist Nancy Medina.  I had watched her postings when she did this trip last summer and it looked like a blast. It was.  Organized by Piero Pagliardini and Katherine Cohen of Italiana tours (click this to see details of Nancy's 2018 workshop during TRUFFLE season) - the entire week was amazing. It was truly a case of #deathbyitalianfood - the worst meal we had was wonderful.  Once our group arrive in Bologna we were whisked off to LeMarche and Saint'Angelo in Vado - a truly under appreciated region of Italy.  We had a terrific schedule of painting classes, activities and trips to wonderful spots in the region. If you'd like to explore a truly unique Italy, contact Itlaiana tours!

Sigh.  Where to next?

We were drunk on Sunflowers!

Vista at Terra Cruda Winery

Even the tiny grocery was fodder for a painting!

Nancy Medina (Carlos in the background)

Fresh Figs & Proscutto

My new favorite pasta: Tagliatelle!
I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Redesigning my website...

My husband & I in Monet's Garden, 2011
I am updating my website! I had every intention to join in the January "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge but have instead focused on bringing my site up to day with new painting images and Pet Portrait commission information.  Pets by Marion and Marion Corbin Mayer Fine Art all go to the same site, so I only have to update one.  I am pondering moving my blog to Weebly, but that just might be too darn much change for me to stand at once!

To do this I signed up for Leslie Saeta's "Webinarts" class.  I had used her online class several years ago to create my site originally with Weebly. This new class covers the recent changes that Weebly offers and I have to say it is impressive to discover just how seamlessly it handles videos and Paypal.  Since I had used Weebly I was able to simply change the format but all my info transferred to the new design easily. Whew!  I am grateful to have this blessing in my life.  Now to enter the wonderful world of Keywords, Search Engine Optimization and Product placement.  Feel free to click on my links and let me know if anything bounces.

I've also been exploring Instagram recently. You can find me there by clicking here. Instagram is a visual feast.  PLUS no political posts!  (Love that!) I also got a commission for a pet portrait from Texas through my Instagram posts! Here's a screen shot:

"Aggie" with her portrait & proud pappa!
Stay tuned for more adventures in painting. Tomorrow I start an abstract painting class with Jacqueline Sullivan at our local Plaza Art Supply. I am looking forward to PLAYing with art supplies. OI have decided to declare 2017 the year of PLAY!  Sometimes I get too darn serious with my art, especially commissions.  I love painting pets and really stress out on creating that perfect likeness.  Tomorrow I simply play with mark making and color. Yea!

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Trying to catch up!

Spartina Grass, 6x12", Oil on Panel
5 of 30
I guess it's apparent I've fallen behind on my 30 in 30 commitment, but I am still having fun & slinging paint around.  I have let life get in the way (again). My dog's health is failing. He was adopted 10+ years ago and they said he was 2 at the time, but who really knows how old he is. Over the weekend he was very puny. Congestive heart failure, heart murmer, fluid in the lungs. I was really expecting to have to put him down yesterday but the vet increased his heart meds and he has bounced back from the brink. So glad I did not take him to the emergency vet on Sunday...

This painting is based on an image of Little Tybee Island in Georgia.  I love the waving Spartina Grass in the marsh.  Many thanks to @sundialcharters for posting the image on Facebook!  They offer fabulous personalized nature-themed cruises of #LittleTybeeIsland. If you are in the #Savannah area, give them a call!


my painting set up. 
 I hook my ipad mini up to a larger monitor when working with digital images. It makes the colors so much brighter!

Transparent underpainting
 I use a panel holder created by Leslie Saeta. I imagine she's way too busy to make them any more.

Adding opaque layers
Final version.
It was great to be back in the studio painting, especially since the AC unit is brand new & working nicely.  I am grateful that the weather has cooled off in Cincinnati this week as well.  Now if only my dog would magically be 8 years younger...

Bubba aka Party Dog
I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Monday, September 05, 2016

4 of 30

Just Peachy, 8x10" watercolor
4 of 30
Watercolor again today. Tomorrow the AC is installed (YEA!) At the moment I am being tortured by a neighbor who is grilling some chicken. It smells fabulous. I guess I'm hungry...

Today I used a photo that I created in July after buying half a peck of peached from The Peach Truck.  They come to Cincinnati and dispense wonderful peaches from Georgia.  It was a highlight of my summer and I wanted to preserve the beauty of the HUGE peaches.

I'm still one painting behind but plugging along.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's painting!


I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can


Sunday, September 04, 2016

3 of 30


Fading Flowers, 10 x 8", Watercolor, 3 of 30

Today I am painting at home so I am using watercolors. My cats make it impossible to use oils.  Even so my youngest kitty wanted to paint along with me at times.  I felt inspired by the early morning light on some coneflowers.

I have a painting area at home and always keep my watercolors nearby.
Cheap Joe's Killamanjaro watercolor journal gives a nice painting surface.


I may choose to fool around with pastels on this later, once the AC gets replaced in my studio. I miss having that space to work in, but my home studio area is fine for now. Maybe I will head outside to paint tomorrow because all my supplies are ready in my car...


I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, September 02, 2016

2 of 30 - Daisies & Chicory

Daisies & Chicory, 9x12" Oil on linen, 2 of 30

What a crazy day! Today I stayed close to home to take delivery on some furniture. Thankfully I had "painted ahead" and had this painting ready to launch.  However tomorrow I need to really buckle down to this challenge.  It is Labor Day Weekend.  I no longer care about pools closing and have no plans for travel this weekend, so there go a few of my excuses.  Funny how easily I can be distracted from painting,  And yet I do love to paint. It's a conundrum.

To be able to paint is such a blessing.  One of the best parts of doing this challenge is that all of my excuses fall away.  The negative voices in my head don't matter, only creating on painting a day does.  Just for today, I choose to paint...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Day 1 of 30

 1 of 30, French Vines, 8x10" Oil on Panel
Day 1 of 30
Yea! Finally back at my blog again. Nothing like the 30 in 30 Challenge to get me going again.  This month will be a mix of landscapes and pet portraits. A reprise of "Precious Pets & Places".

Being a full time artist is a blessing and a challenge. I am torn between settling in to paint and "waiting for my family to need me".  As a reformed stay at home mom with a 26 year old daughter, it's really time for me to get over that.  (Sigh.)  This week I am also dealing with the death of the air conditioner in my studio, with no hope of replacement until after Labor Day. I did manage to score a 25,000 BTU unit though, merely because it was lost on the top shelf at Lowes & I just happened to meet the associate who noticed it...

I am blessed to have a 1400 sq ft studio that I share with a really nice guy. Thankfully he agreed to share the cost of replacing the ac unit.  This is the third unit in 12 years.  This month I am celebrating 15 total years at Essex Studios. I committed to a studio on 9/11/01, after seeing the World Trade Center get hit by those planes.  Amazing how the time has flown.

Today's image was painted in a workshop with Bill Farnsworth. I met bill in France, where I took a workshop with him.  This image was taken just down the street from where we all stayed at Haut Baran.  I really recommend William & Rosalee Haas as hosts. It is a beautiful area to paint.

Working from photo reference
Final painting
I really enjoyed hosting Bill for a week here in Cincinnati. It was special to have an art playmate for that long. He was an excellent,, effortless guest & gifted us with 2 paintings.  That was totally unexpected and wonderful.

So here's to September and the 30/30 challenge!  Stay tuned.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can