On Gifts…


Two years ago, I decided to paint a small portrait of my friend, Sydelle, who was celebrating the same “big birthday” I was celebrating that year. Wanting to surprise her with it, I couldn’t ask her for a photograph, so I snapped a picture of a framed photo of her with her significant other, my great good friend, Herb, and his dog, Charley, that was on the desk in their kitchen.



I gave her that portrait a few months later and was happy to see it in their family room every time I was there. More than that, Herb was really taken by it and constantly complimented my ability to catch a likeness, encouraging me to market that ability.



Fast forward…now Herb is about to celebrate an even bigger birthday. How could I not paint a portrait of him, after all that praise? Although Sydelle tried to send me photographs to use this time, none of them quite worked for me, so I went back to the same one I had used for her portrait and, just because Herb loves him more than anything on earth, painted Charley as well, on a little 5” X 5” canvas of his own. When I first painted the grisaille for Herb’s portrait, I thought I had not quite caught the likeness yet, so I started calling it “Almost Herb.” The title tickled me, so it stuck, though I do think that anyone who knows Herb Siegel, legendary playboy and lawyer from Buffalo, NY, would recognize him in this.

Almost Herb

Almost Herb



 Happy birthday, Herb!

He’s So Fine…




For no particular reason, I don’t paint very many portraits of men. And when I do, that man is usually in the company of a woman. But I wanted to give one of my paintings as a gift to my very handsome hairdresser, who celebrated the 5th anniversary of the opening of his own salon last fall, and I didn’t think his wife would like it as much if I used an image of him with another woman. Wanting to surprise him, I had to rely on the internet for a photo of him that I thought would work for me, a task made easier by the fact that he’s done some modeling over the years and is currently getting press regarding the launch of his new hair product line, V76 by Vaughn.

Vaughn Acord has been my hairdresser since 2006, first at Bumble & Bumble in New York and then at Mizu New York, the salon he opened on Park Avenue with his partners in the fall of 2008. Trusting him to keep my hair looking as fabulous as possible, I see him every couple of months and have gotten to know him well in the last 8 years.  I think he looks like he could be in Game of Thrones (his kids should love that…or not).  Happy anniversary, Vaughn.





Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, et al



Birds on a Wire

Birds on a Wire



There’s something about pears for me…the shapes, the contours, the colors. Though I’d never turn down the chance to eat a sweet, juicy pear, I’m much more interested in them as subjects for still lifes.  And they’ve got that anthropomorphic thing going for me: I certainly see them as female–all those lovely torsos.  I painted BFF’s to celebrate the friendship between two women (I’m the taller one) and the Birds on a Wire are having a gossipy chat.

When I came across a poem about pears online, it inspired me to paint the pears that hang in my kitchen in Florida, so I  painted the first two lines of the poem in DaVinci script, directly on the painting:
Some say
it was a pear
Eve ate.
Why else the shape
of the womb,
or of the cello?
Some say it was a pear Eve ate...

Some say it was a pear Eve ate…

When I painted The Bartletts, a triptych of eight pears, I used pears I had spent some time selecting at our local fruit store as my models.  I very carefully wrapped them up and kept them at the back of my fruit drawer between painting classes, hoping to keep them from getting too ripe.  I was about half done with the painting when we went away away for the weekend, and as soon as we pulled into our driveway, I knew that our son had been at the house while we were away.  (He just left a light on in the den.)  I had no problem with that until I saw the note he left on the kitchen counter: “Mom, where did you get those pears?  They were awesome!”  He had eaten three of my models!  Don’t think it was so easy to replace them, either.  Who knew that no two pears are alike?

The Bartletts

The Bartletts

About Girlfriends and Birthdays

I have a bff who was approaching a “big birthday” about five years ago.  Her husband was throwing a surprise party for her, and I was thinking about what gift I could give to a woman who really does have everything.  Of course, I would paint something for her, but what?  After awhile, it came to me…

Since my girlfriend and her telephone are never very far apart, I decided to paint a telephone keypad for her, with every number and symbol representing something personal about her.  To make it physically look like a keypad, I painted twelve 8” X 8” canvasses, each an inch and a half deep, to look like buttons.  The result, in its own way, is a portrait of her (I told you I think of all my paintings as portraits).  I’ll explain:

Number 1 is painted on a house.  She’s a very successful realtor and has been the number 1 producer in her agency for most of her career.

Number 2 is a conversation bubble.  She’s a talker.

Number 3 is a nod to our girl golf trips to Aruba and her enjoyment of the craps table.

Number 4 celebrates the game we love to play together.

Number 5 is all about makeup.  Did I say she’s a looker?

Number 6 is a conversation hearts candy.  See number 2.  Her favorite food is candy.

Number 7 is a ticket stub.  She loves plays, musicals, and concerts and is the social director for a group of friends who rely on her to get them tickets too.

Number 8 is a triangle.  Remember the ones you got to play in kindergarten?  She has one.  It makes her happy to play it sometimes.

Number 9 is a mah jongg tile: 9 dot.  Girlfriends like to play games.  See number 3 and 4.

The * key is a magic wand.  She has one and uses it when she thinks she needs it.  See number 8.

The # key is a scale (get it?).  She organized a group that worked with a nutritionist to lose weight and eat healthier.  See number 6.

Operator is a CD.  She’s a big fan of music (see number 7 and 8) and often gifts friends with CD’s she’s burned of her favorite singers.  If you play the notes on the music staff below the CD, you will hear Op-er-a-tor (Jim Croce).

Telephone Keypad

Telephone Keypad

A Word About Commissions…

On my Artwork page, I have displayed all the paintings I have for sale at this time.  Just a little more than half of the paintings exhibited in my Galleries are for sale; the others hang in my home or have been sold or were commissions, and some have been donated to various fundraisers.  I do accept commissions.  You may have noticed that Tango Series IV, 22” X 22,” reappears as High Jinx on a 30” X 40” canvas; Tango Series V, 22” X 22,” transforms into Submission, 40” X 30,” and …To Tango, 12” X 16,” is the same pose as It Takes Two, which is 12” X 12.”  If an image interests me, I might imagine it in a different way, as in Black Swan and Reflection: two very different works, though based on the same image.

So if you see a painting in my Galleries and it’s not offered for sale in Artwork, I will consider painting it again–just for you.  I will change sizes and even colors, if I think it will work for the image.  I paint from photographs, as well as from life, so send me an image that you want reimagined as a painting, and I will be happy to open a dialogue with you about it.

Tango Series V