This time of year everyone gets busy cleaning, organizing, getting rid of excess, waking up from the slumber of winter. We are sweeping out the dust, well at least thinking about doing that and seeing the first signs of a new season. 

Things change but follow a rythmn that ebbs and flows. They say you have to know where you are before you can change those things that don’t work for you. I see my art as an expression of what I believe myself to be. Sometimes that is correct other times that is not. 

But with the ebb and flow of each season I am invigorated with the promise of change. New growth, new green and bright flowers. But in contrast I am intrigued with the color of winter, ice and frozen reflections. I just completed a crazy quilt with the theme of a hidden garden for a calendar competition with a winter scene. 

It was hard to see beauty in the grays and stark white but as I worked it was easy to see the quiet and serenity in the color pallet. I had planned to add a pop of red with an embroidered cardinal. Yet as I look at this I see it is best not to add the bird. 


Step by step

Life is full of happy times, sad times and steps towards the goals that you want each and every day. As an artist I have always had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish. To have my work be recognized for the beauty that I see. To be represented in the art world for my own unique vision of what I see in the beauty of nature. I know I have written this before but it is the best way to describe my work.

I have been entering art shows for several years and while about 65% have turned me down I have had work accepted and sold through these events. As most artists say you can’t predict what a juror will like. Though they all try to be fair it is a subjective process. This can be frustrating if you try to over think the reason you got accepted for one show and not another. However as I get accepted in a show I know it is one more step towards my goal, my dream of sharing my artistic vision.

I have been accepted in a show in Overland Park, Kansas that will open April 1. I have set the art quilt in a matt and went on a shopping search for a frame. I frame my work just as you would a painting maybe because it affirms that the work is art. I also know that once my work is hung it has to be protected under glass. There is no feasible way this artwork could be dusted, thus the frame with glass. It always amazes me how just putting a frame around any art changes your perspective of that work.

I have posted this work before but here is quick shot of Lilac Spring with a matt, sitting on top of the thin black frame it will be set into.

One of the sites I found online is Art Opportunites Monthly which I started as a free trial. I check this often and found it has a depth of listings for artists. If you are interested check the info below. Please note I receive nothing in return just wanting to share the wealth of info that this site provides.


Art Opportunities Monthly Professional (AOM) is offering a free, no-obligation 3-month subscription for those not yet familiar with it. It is for professional artists and protographers, and those who would like to be.

AOM, a monthly list of opportunities (grants, juried shows, public art commissions, etc.) with world-wide circulation, has been around for over 15 years. It screens out the scams and for-profit “contests” and presents each hand-selected, carefully edited opp in a quick-to-scan capsulized form. It is sent in a highly search-able, smartly organized PDF directly to your email address. No passwords to remember or lose.

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This time of year has me yearning for warm weather and green to replace the dull, drab brown of late winter. I know there is beauty in this pallet of gray and brown. But my imagination gets to moving to the colors of spring. I believe it must be my Irish heritage that has me or just that it means spring really is coming. 

I remember an early spring trip with my parents to a state park. Roaming in the woods among the bramble of brown colored trees. What a surprise to come to a glade of Dogwood trees in full bloom. The very stark white petals of the flowers with just a hint of pink at the center. This made my heart sing. Not just that it proved that spring was here but with the beauty that nature is to me. 

I know that was when I decided to try and capture this beauty in my artwork. Imagination of this beauty of nature into art is the hardest thing to produce. For me I want to keep as close to the “truth”. I want the viewer to see and experience that awe of what I feel. This is a challenge sometimes but that makes me wanting to get up each day and try to stick it. There are days that I do and days that I don’t. However my imagination is always striving for more, better work and it is good to have this challenge. 

I had another spark of joy yesterday by finding a clump of early spring flowers in the yard. I don’t garden so the previous owner must have planted these beauties. I don’t recall ever seeing these crocus come up in the past but they are wonderful. I do imagine these colors if not the flower will make a wonderful addition to my next piece.