Living Jewels #19 19 by 33 inches Watercolor $1800.00

This painting is NOT a daily painting but a part of a series called  “Living Jewels” .  I thought it would be nice for those folks who see my daily paintings to see some of my more challenging and artistically complicated watercolors of which I’m known for.

As many of you know I have a koi pond and I love them as pets. Well pets might be the wrong word but I am their care taker. I love watching them because they comfort me and while sitting or standing by the water’s edge, listening to the water fall, I feel a sense of overwhelming serenity like no other thing I’ve ever experienced. Some folks say it meditative, others say its similar to watching a BIG fire on a snowy night.  Seeing how much I love Koi you might think it strange that I would eat fish but I don’t think its odd at all but of course I wouldn’t eat my own Koi.
Don’t get me wrong I love all animals and of course fish too and yes I eat both fish & meat.   I came to terms with that decision many years ago.  I decided that I can’t be vegetarian on the grounds of cruelty unless I also gave up using all animal products. This included everything from Jello to  thousands of  leather products  like shoes, belts, & furniture just to name a few. Don’t forget  feathers, fur  and lots of health products.  Knowing it would be too difficult to eliminate all these things I choose to eat meat and fish.  I do find it interesting that so many vegetarians eat fish and will not eat meat. A vegetarian diet is a very healthy way to go and it’s good for most people.

If healthful living is the reason for you to be a vegetarian, I agree with it 100%.   But…. Vegetarians who feel its unfair and cruel to animals to be used as food but think its not cruel to fish bothers me.  Its difficult to know what is right, but I have been around fish for awhile and from my experience as a angler and as a pond enthusiast I think they feel pain.  I didn’t always think this and my opinion evolved form fishing with barbs to catch and release to not fishing at all.

I was indoctrinated in the catch-and-release ethic that was growing around 1990. (The idea of catch-and-release has been promoted by the conservation group Trout Unlimited and other fish sporting groups since the 1950s, yet there are still many parts of the country where fishermen think it’s ridiculous.

Back when I started fishing, most folks I met on the banks or out on the lake liked to catch their daily limit of fish and eat them.) I did too on occasion but as I started to really watch the fish and fell in love with them, I wanted to learn ways to avoid hurting them, to catch and release the fish properly. Usually I would use a net with a soft mesh rather than the BIG string like net so as not to pull off any scales.   I would wet my hands before handling any fish (so as not to take off the protective slime coat), then gently  I removed the barbless hook from its mouth, and swish it back and forth in the water only letting go when it appears it had its bearings (though fish usually just flit away at the earliest opportunity). Like many fishermen/anglers, I had the experience of catching the same fish twice, and it bothered me to see them thrash about but using my softer technique it appeared as if really I wasn’t hurting them; it was as though we were wrestling. After several years of this type of fishing with my husband  I decided to do a bit of research and found that the latest studies indicate fish feel pain but can tolerate being caught and released. and their movements are not knee jerk reactions.
Research studies backed up the my intuition that catch-and-release worked. Generally, if you don’t deep-hook a fish, exhaust them on the line, hold them out of the water too long, or bash them on the head, they have a good chance of living to fight another day.

Most fishermen will admit fish caught and placed in a boats holding tank don’t seem happy thrashing about in the water, and some fish make an unpleasant croaking sound when you’re trying to get the hook out. Seeing them gasping for air, it’s hard not to feel like a jerk sometimes.

Finally  the 2003 Edinburgh study confirmed that trout have polymodal nociceptors around their face and head—i.e., they have the ability to detect painful stimuli with their nervous system. After reading a bit more I found I would rather keep fish in a pond then try to  catch them for sport or food.

“Pretty Eyes” Koi painting 8″ by 10″ on gessoed masonite $99.00

In several places  on this painting…the paint is thick and it has a tendency to reflect back to the camera lens. You will see this reflection mostly on the reddish orange fish.  In person it does look like this it looks like the thinner paint.

I love painting these Koi just a bit animated or you might say with personality…  Koi speak volumes while looking back at me while I peer down at them thru the water.  It’s amazing how many actually do look up at me.   

This small canvas is 6 inches by 18 inches and it would be perfect for one of those unique small areas that you have been trying to find just the right piece that will make it sing. The paint is thick and rich making this painting very


Lake Wylie (Koi )Tea party

11 by 12  inches, watercolor on paper  $200.00

I love the pattern on the Koi at the bottom, I borrowed this pattern from Asian Tattoo artists who  sometimes draw or paint Koi in this manner.

I’ve been busy all week planting and cleaning up my yard.  I try to get as much done now while the good weather is here so I can avoid the heat of summer.  Don’t get me wrong I love summer, just not the humidity!

This morning on my walk I saw a pretty big hawk and later while gardening, I saw another, three black birds were chasing off  the one near my yard.  The other?  I assume he was hunting and I interrupted his attempt for a bunny or chipmunk.

looking ahead, I plan to paint the tree that I drew while at the lake last week, I’ll try to post it soon.

“Under the falls” oil on gallery wrap one inch canvas. 24 by 24 inches

I have been in a bit of a quandary lately over what to paint next, no not these little paintings, but bigger paintings 1/2 sheets to full size sheets or bigger.

I just finished a series. I decided I wanted to start another series or so I thought. The problem is: I cannot for the life of me get the fourth painting started. I also have been reworking the second in the series even while others tell me to leave it alone, its great. This tells me maybe I really don’t want to make it into a series.  Then again…I have to admit I struggle thru this foggy quagmire of first attempts every time I start a series. It only seems after I’ve painted four or five paintings that I have a sense of what it is that I’m trying to say. It almost like I have to take the idea of a painting from a concept into a breathing living thing. Right now I feel like these paintings need CPR and I can’t remember how to administer mouth to mouth. Until then Until I can breath life into these paintings its just paint, paper and brushes.

As you become a better painter with more skills and techniques, you start to search for your style, you crave uniqueness. Why do painters constantly advocate breaking from the traditional school of thought? Is it the case of attempting to create paintings that will owe nothing to any other piece of work or artist–something unique and original in the world of art?” It’s a wonderful philosophy, but unfortunately an unrealistic delusion, simply because no one has ever been able to demonstrate a work of art that is entirely different. Every painting I ever gazed upon, including those in any gallery and those of the great masters all echo some previous painter’s accomplishments. Painters are by nature trying to achieve something new by using parts of something old. Every work of art, consciously or unconsciously has been subjected to traditional values in one form or another. The truth is that there is nothing original and if it appears as original there are most likely some less known artist doing the same thing but not getting any credit for it.
There may be new mediums, new colors or pigments but the basic way we take paint and create has not changed.


Yellow long fin Koi


5″ by 5″ $50.00 … oil on canvas…. wrap around sides also painted.
very nice painting,in blues and yellow. possible companion piece to follow

Here is another view of this little painting, its not really looking too good in these photos because it seems a bit wet. Oil takes a day or two to loose that shine.


Koi Radiance ll

48 by 48″ oil on canvas, $1800.00 usd email before purchasing with pay pal… for shipping details.

I love this painting the way the fish are all swimming in and out of the frame. I worked on my own Koi pond today because it was pretty warm and I thought they needed a little cool water. When the days get warm very quickly the algae will really bloom, so I decided to vacuumed a section of the pond and added some aeration. Koi need more air when their stressed. I also added some pond salt, this helps provide them with a bit of a slime coat which is good protection for their skin.

Sunny Day Koi


I painted this the other day while I was demonstrating to my art class how the gessoed surface works with watercolor. Because this painting wasn’t finished I went ahead and finished it up in my studio. My Koi are very hungry these days and keep uprooting my lilies which have three or four lilly pads struggling to grow. The nights are still cool but I will assume the weather will be warmer any day now and those koi and the lilies will be growing!
8 by 10 watercolor on gessoed masonite sealed with a polymer clear coat. $95.00