Hello all! I’m alive! And back to blogging! At least, that’s my story.

First of all, thank you everyone for your lovely can kind words about my last post. In spite of the somewhat gloomy nature of that post, the last month (again, sorry) has been a good one.


My main excuse for not writing a blog post is that I participated in NaNoWriMo. For those of you unfamiliar with the phenomenon, it’s where lots of people (including me this year) spend a month trying to write 1667 words per day to end up with a book of 50,000 words at the end. That is equivalent to about 100 pages, which is a small, but publishable book. Of course, no one would actually PUBLISH the book they wrote in a month. The goal is just to get it started so you have something to work from. There is no right or wrong way to do NaNoWriMo, but it is time consuming. I am proud to report that I “won” this year, meaning that I hit the target.

Beach House Update

In addition to all that writing, I spend some time down at the beach house. I am DELIGHTED to report that the repairs on Mom’s house are finished!

This is not a real estate glamour photo, but I  think it gives you the idea.


I also got in some nice nature watching opportunities around those trips to the coast.

Salem House

Unfortunately, Mom’s house is the good news. My Salem home is probably going to need some major work in the next few months. Since I moved into the house in November 2015, my asthma and general breathing problems have really flared up. Though I’ve had the furnace checked multiple times, Mom would always complain how cold this house was. I have really started to notice how much dust and dirt is on everything, and for the last year, I have been struggling with a rodent problem.

On Friday, I met with several contractors (rodent, heating, foundation, waterproofing) to discuss the various problems. Shockingly, no one said, “Oh, we can fix that for $50.” So, I’m sorting through documentation trying to figure out what the best solution is. Other than moving… which may actually be the easiest solution.

I’m sure there will be more to come on this particular soap opera.

Key & Nose Work

Key and I also snuck in a nose work trial, moving up off the wait list at the last minute. I am delighted to report it was our strongest showing yet, though I made a handling error that cost us. Doh! However, we did get our Vehicle and Exterior titles, which was a nice touch.

Salem Reads

So with “nothing” on my plate this month, have I been lounging around? Ha! I’m already in the middle of projects that I feel confident you will hear A LOT more about in the coming months.

Coming up in February, for the second year in a row, I am participating in the Salem Reads Art Exhibit. The book this year is Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson and I really enjoyed it. I am deep into creating a collage piece based on passage from the book. It’s about body image and gender roles.

I hope all of you will consider attending the reception on February 5, 2020, at the Elsinore Gallery.

Spring Show Entries

Next, I’m trying to finish a few pieces to turn into the WSO and NWWS spring shows. I would really like to finish my piece, Alone With Her Thoughts 2.

It’s a big piece, so I’ve been using some of my digital tricks to vet ideas.

I like the second version, but I know some of that is the filter. How could I do that…


Finally, and this is the big announcement, I have agreed to a solo show in March. Gulp. As you may remember, I was awarded the People’s Choice prize at the Salem Art Association Salon 100 show this last summer. As a “prize”, they offered me a solo show in one of their smaller galleries. Of course, I said yes. Originally, the timeline was for the show to be in 2021 or 2022. I had begun examining some ideas and was determined to do a new body of work for this exciting opportunity.

Then the curator called me up and wanted to know… could they book me for March 2020? I said yes, figuring that it would save 18 months of procrastination on my part. I ditched two of the more complex ideas and began to focus on the “easy” idea. The reception is March 6, 2020, and I really hope you mark your calendars for this one, because I’ll need a good showing!

This weekend I sat down and began to draft out the “rules” of this series.

The Dogs of Minto Brown

  1. Must be about the dogs of Minto Brown (though I can interpret)
  2. I must do three value studies before painting.
  3. Will be on 12″ x 12″ water media panels from American Easel.
  4. All must use same color triad.
  5. All must be painted (no collage or other “ideas”.)
  6. All must be drawn by me (no tracing.)
  7. Each painting should have a single idea that is being explored (pick 1 idea!)

Believe it or not, that is an exhausting list.

In addition to drafting these rules, I spend some time looking through reference photos, gathering new reference photos, and starting value studies of the ideas I am most confident about.

Obviously, this is very much the first draft, but I’m trying to use the facilitator’s mantra: Go slow in the beginning to go fast at the end.


In just under two weeks, I will be starting of on my holiday vacation plan to Monterey. I’m excited, but frankly also nervous about driving over the pass and in California in general.

I’ve also been working on a little project to send to family members. It’s still in the secret phase, unfortunately.

So, I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print. I’ll try to do better about posting, but as you can see, I may be pretty busy. If I get stuck, though, I can always do my usual series of year end posts!

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