Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A drum beat with my name on it.

Yesterday I spent the morning with some old friends. (I love how you can not see someone for a really long time...then pick right up where you left off when you get together...you know?) I used to get together to paint with Sherri and Linda a long time ago...but life paths took us in different directions. They are both still on a creative journey, that I love. 
Sherri shared some of her expressions yesterday that I have to pass on to you. Sherri is a sensitive and analytical person. I love this about her so much. In her world, no rock goes unturned and she is in constant pursuit of who she is as a woman, artist, and human being.
What she creates speaks volumes to who she is and what her journey has been. I love it.
This is a portion of her work:
(click on the images to see detail...)
There is a conversation that has been rambling around in my head for some time now. I was talking to Donna a few weeks ago, and she was expressing how in art you have to learn all you can...study the masters, read every book, try every technique, immerse yourself in every aspect of what you love. Then after you have done all of this...you go to your canvas or paper, and forget all of that. Then just paint. But not with anything other than your own voice. Your own passion.
This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn. I keep trying to figure out what I want to "say" in my paintings. Who I am as an artist...I am still on the journey.
But I have to confess that sometimes this journey is very painful for me. I want it all now....I mean RIGHT NOW. OK...maybe the real deal is that I am putting the cart before the horse and what I really need to do is conquer the technique first. Did Rembrandt have a bunch of crap paintings that no one knows about before the masterpieces came? Where are they?

Thank you to my friends who make me think one more time about hard questions. Who make me pick myself and the brush up one more time to try it again.

Isn't self-introspection delicious?


Friday, September 18, 2009

Long Drink of Water

16x12 oil on canvas

Well, I have been painting away, having a great time doing this portrait of my son in law-Jeff. He is a very tall red-head whom we all adore and miss right now because he is away doing training in the Air Force. Hopefully, this will help us all to keep him in our minds, hearts and prayers.
I have really been having a great time lately, with my "painting partners". I've been trying to talk them into doing blogs of their own. I find that artists in the blog world are SO supportive and helpful! It has really been awesome to find a comment here and there...it boosts me and I really appreciate it. (you have no idea...) It really doesn't matter what level you are on, we are all trying to find ourselves, improve, express our ideas...it's all good! I thank you for helping me on my journey.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

get me started....

Lean On Me

8 x 10 Oil on canvas

I am having to jump start myself these days...gotta get me going in a positive direction!! I had a lemon sitting on the counter, just waiting for something wonderful to happen to it... so I borrowed a page from Carol Marine (such an inspiration) and decided to set up a small still life on paper:
(this really is a lemon...looks very orangy in the pic)
What great fun! I had a wonderful morning going crazy with my lemon slices and thinking about what a wonderful thing it is to use complementary colors...talk about zing! I also finished up a painting that has been sitting for awhile:

New Reflections

12 x 16 oil on canvas

This is really the first time I have done silver...a challenge, but great fun.
Just trying to stretch my brain!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Checking in

It has been soooo long since I've posted....life has taken over the last few months and hogged all of my attention! I really haven't had time to paint....BOO! But yesterday I got up and said to myself, "self, you are going to paint today, come hell or high water!" (neither one came) and I painted!! It felt wonderful, and made me realize how much I really need this in my life. So, ON WE GO! (life is full of circles)


Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Friend

This week I have been busy getting ready for my nieces wedding. [something I used to do in a former life, now only reserved for people I really love... :)...] You can check out some of my creative juices on my family blog listed on the sidebar. But in art news, I am working on a new still life right now and thinking of new ideas all the time. My thoughts are always turning to new painting ideas and I can't look at anyone without thinking about how I would paint them!! love that.
Also, I received an email from a wonderful artist that I have linked to, Miro. Please take a look at his wonderful sight. I promise you will be inspired like I have been. His style just takes me away into a happy place...love it!! Thanks, Miro....kind words go along way in helping me be even more jazzed about painting! Here's to being creative!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Winter Walk

11x14 Oil on Canvas

This is from a snapshot of Levi and Sophie taken last year, up at the top of Green Hills in Huntsville. The view from there is spectacular! I wanted to do something with a fairly limited palette, blues and browns and I wanted to focus on the value contrast. I have been feeling very rebellious over the snow lately...(doesn't' mother nature know when enough is enough!!)...but last week I thought, alright--if you can't beat 'em join 'em! Thus, a snow picture. (wait, does that mean if I paint sunshine and flowers...it will happen?....aahh...the power of positive DREAMING!
Hope you like it

Friday, March 20, 2009

Claire in repose

15x30 oil on canvas

Yes...the magic words have been said..."I'm finished!" This month has passed by in a blurr...many things happening at once, but I have kept painting through it all. This is an accomplishment in itself. I am happy to be doing the thing that I love to do. I have had a completely joyful experience with this painting...1st, painting my sweet Claire, and 2nd, painting completely out of my head. Diving in head first is always exhilarating. David Leffel said, "Learning means leaving security and taking risks. Talent is actually the ability to take risks, to attempt different solutions..." I am definitely in search of a new, higher level of painting. Trying to find myself in different styles is part of the process....seeing what speaks to me....helps me define who I am as a painter and what it is I want to say in my paintings. I'm loving the journey.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I know, I know....it takes me forever to finish a painting! I love and have admiration for these blogs from people who pump one out everyday...very impressive. Sorry, I'm not up to that yet...but working on it. I went to Donna's house last night to paint and got alot of work done. I am totally loving my painting so far.
It feels nice to not be bogged down in
brain junk.

For now I : "just keep painting...just keep painting..."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ode to PINO

Yes!!! I have been painting...just not so much posting. I have been working on a painting of my daughter Claire...and I am very out of my comfort zone.
I love it when that happens. It all happened when a friend lent me her PINO book. K...I know probably everyone in the art world knows PINO...but I did'nt until Vicki passed it on. Truly the coolest. (I might add that the book costs a pretty penny and so that she lent it was way generous. love you vicki)
So I have been inspired and am trying to do a study after his amazing style. His work is so emotional. seriously it grabs you and you can't stop looking...not in a train wreck sort of way but more like a thunder storm kind of way...get it? I love it so much!
Check him out...
So I took some pics of Claire in a "PINO" pose. (Thank you Claire for being my guinea pig.) I made a skirt for her for a special wedding she was going to...it turned out really neat, and I wanted to paint her in it...

I am not finished yet, but getting close. I will post in the next week or so. It has been so much fun.... such a great lesson in"loose"!

Painting makes me happy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

There is beauty all around...when there's "no" one home.

Sorry, I don't have a decent title for this one yet...I'll think of something better.....

This is a pic of Donna's play house that is in her backyard. She built this all by herself and it is truly a work of art in itself. She added stained glass windows and really cool doors and all kinds of antiques to the inside and did the stucco on the outside....she is really amazing. I feel priveledged to call her "friend". Did I mention she is also my teacher? ( I will do a post sometime just dedicated to her, so you can get to know her.) Anyway, her play house is totally
"magical". It feels like you are entering Snow White's house and should expect to find dwarves there....way cool. Ms. White, I am sure would agree. (maybe I'll call it ms. white plus 7...?)

I decided to do a study of it and at first I hated it so much! I swear there were elements that made me want to throw it away! ( I did parts of the trees 3 times before I felt it was right!)
But, I persevered and LEARNED so much! I am glad now that I stuck with it. It has been a really good thing for me in the long run.

This is a detail of the finished painting.
The reflections in the puddle on the sidewalk are my favorite. :}

Happy Painting!

Love, Neisy

Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking Back

These are the finished paintings of what I have been working on all through
last fall. Check them out:


oil on canvas
by Denise McConnell

This is a study that a bunch of us did together. All from the same pic. They all turned out sooo different!

"Dream House"

oil painting
by Denise McConnell

This is a from a snapshot of Levi when we took him to Mexico. He was probably around 9 years old then. (he's 20 now!) I have been wanting to paint it forever....It's never to late!

"Doin' Huntsville in 4th Gear!"

oil painting
by Denise McConnell

This was from a collection of pics I took of Mattie. There is no 4th of July celebration as good as the one in Huntsville....my favorite place in the world!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Open Window

This is the painting that Got me started again. I was looking at some pics that Kit had and saw this one that was actually a mistake. (someone's hand was in the way of the shutter...something like that...that's what made it all fuzzy.)

I just knew I could paint it. So one day I picked myself up and said "I am painting today...no matter what!"

I had been having such a block...the likes of which I hope never to have again....and I hope for all artists to never experience. Debilitating really. Anyway....I feel like God reached down and said,"enough is enough....get busy." and I knew I could. Thanks God.

Remember to keep on painting...no matter what.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This blog has changed a bit. It started out for a very different purpose, but circumstances have brought changes. I have, however been bitten by the blog bug! so I've decided to keep it going as a record for myself and others. As they say...when a door closes, a window opens
(and you're still stuck with a draft....).

I am back, as it were, from the dead. I have felt like my creative life was over for a long while. but when the door closed, God opened the window wide and the creative blessing has been flowing hard and fast. I have a lot to catch up on ( I havn't painted for about 10 years) but it's kinda like riding a bike. (you know what i mean.)

So, it really is time for goals and reaching and all that jazz. If you are watching, I will feel like keeping it going.