At The Ursula Academy For The Supernaturally Gifted, Fawn Fielding Enjoyed Medieval Poetry, Spoke Fluent Italian, And Possessed Above Average Telekinetic Abilities.

At The Ursula Academy For The Supernaturally Gifted, Fawn Fielding Enjoyed Medieval Poetry, Spoke Fluent Italian, And Possessed Above Average Telekinetic Abilities.  16″x20″, oil on canvas.  Sold.

I think I should do more paintings of this strange Ursula Academy.  It seems pretty rich for the storytelling if you ask me.   This is actually born out of a scary experience for me when I was young.   I have this memory of turning on the television in the middle of the afternoon- likely on a Saturday.  I seem to recall that I was enjoying a grape freezie and wearing my pink jelly shoes, but that could be my imagination just playing games on me.   I likely did some channel surfing with one of those clunky looking channel changers circa 1985 until I came across this weird movie.  There was a girl with big curly hair moving things with her mind.  WITH HER MIND!!   This terrified me but I didn’t understand why.  I think I was familiar with the idea of telekinesis having spent many a bored afternoon focused on my Barbie trying to get it to move WITH MY MIND, but it must have been the way it was presented in the film.  I mentioned this to John as I was painting this painting and he immediately recognized it as ‘The Fury’ which was directed by Brian De Palma.   It all made sense.  No one can creep me out as much as Brian De Palma, thank you very much.  John also mentioned that we own the movie so guess what I’m going to do tonight.  Perhaps I’ll watch it while enjoying a cool and refreshing grape freezie too.

I should also mention that my website is being re-designed so from time to time it may look weird.  There’s testing and other web weirdness that will go on behind the scenes for the next few months.  So if you visit and things are all over the place,  don’t worry, it’s not permanent.  Have a grape freezie and stay cool.


Great Ladybug

Great Ladybug, oil on canvas, 11″x14″.  For sale on etsy.

I could be wrong but she might be the same lady featured in my ‘Houseguest’ painting.  The one with the lion on her couch.   She’s in a different living room, so possibly we have time traveled back to her first apartment, but I think it’s the same lady.   Different day, different guest, same problem.


Hotel du Lac

Hotel du Lac, oil on canvas, 20″x24″.  Sold.

It really is the naked man that makes this piece complete.   It was a tough decision though, keeping his swim trunks off.   John and I got into a terrible fight about it the other night while we ate our dinner.  He felt that the naked man was gratuitous and obvious and would detract from the grandeur of the hotel, but I felt that it added a needed tension to the piece.   Plus, I argued that it is European.  John really couldn’t argue with that, but just as we were resolving that dispute,  he muttered under his breath that the bell boy was borrowing a little heavily from Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’.  Smack!   I tried to counter that statement by telling him that I haven’t even seen the film yet.   When you live in a one horse town with one movie theatre that is still showing ‘Spaceballs’,  you quickly get behind on current cinematic offerings.

The truth is that I painted my ultimate dream hotel.   This is a place that greets guests with a synchronized  swimming show, serves fine French cuisine in the hotel restaurant, and encourages you to jump out of your window afterwards for a refreshing evening swim in the temperate lake.


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Twenty: Celebrate Your Accomplishments With Family And Good Friends.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Twenty:  Celebrate Your Accomplishments With Family And Good Friends.   Oil on canvas, 12″x16″.  Sold.

It seems that Miss Moon has completed her lesson plan!   Fortunately it looks like she doesn’t have to grade papers but instead is dishing out ice cream to a bunch of stunned and exhausted students.  Except of course, the King Charles Spaniel (Finnegan) who appears to have made a moat of hotdogs around his little cushion.  This is true to life.  He has a deep seated fear of food being taken from him, even though no one has ever dared (or wanted to) touch his food.

One has to wonder though if Bernie graduated.  He isn’t wearing a graduation cap, just his red beret.  Could he be showing his rebellious artistic temperament?  Or possibly Miss Moon felt he just wasn’t ready?  Hmmm..  I guess you will just have to buy the book in September to find out if he did graduate..    I’ll keep you posted on the release date and other pertinent bits of information on the book as they come.

To see all the fun details of the painting please click here.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Nineteen: Be A Good Sport. Life Is More Fun When You Get Your Hair Wet.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Nineteen:  Be A Good Sport.  Life Is More Fun When You Get Your Hair Wet.  Oil on canvas, 11″x14″. Sold.

I think there is some subtext to this painting.   At first glance, it appears that Miss Moon is conveying this particular lesson to the three fancy dogs standing on the boat with her.   However, if you look closer….and I mean much closer, you can see Miss Moon’s eyes are staring directly at Mr. Bitters.   He is properly attired for swimming (minus bow-tie) and he is actually ‘on’ the water, but he is not exactly in it- is he?   I think he’s hoping that Miss Moon will consider this to be close enough, but we know it isn’t.   Also, notice how he is always wearing orange and red?   I suspect this is a reference Miss Moon’s lovely red hair.


June Everheart’s Splendid Summer Home

June Everheart’s Splendid Summer Home.  20″x24″, oil on canvas.  Sold.

As promised here is one of my larger pieces.   These are fairly rare for me but I just felt like shaking it up a bit.   June is the little lady there in the middle and you may recognize the lady with the kerchief to June’s left- the star of my Brownstones painting.   This answers that question that has been keeping many of you up at night:  where the heck the Brownstones lady was going with all those pastries, coffee and flowers.  Now you know.  It was  June Everheart’s Splendid Summer Home, of course.

There is a lot of detail in this piece so to get a better view of all the nooks and crannies, please view the painting here in my etsy shop.


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Eighteen: Nurture The Environment And You Will Never Be Hungry.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Eighteen:  Nurture The Environment And You Will Never Be Hungry.  Oil on canvas, 11×14″.  Sold.

Only two more Miss Moon lessons to go before the series is complete- sniff sniff.   I’ve been working on some larger pieces (non Miss Moon) so if you are in the market for something a little larger than my usual sizes please keep an eye on the shop this month.  I can’t give a better estimated time of completion as I never know what twists and turns these paintings have in store for me.  Stay warm everyone!


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Seventeen: Present Yourself With Poise, Dignity, And Grace. A Good Walk Is Not A Race.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Seventeen:  Present Yourself With Poise, Dignity, And Grace.  A Good Walk Is Not A Race.  12″x14″, oil on canvas.  Sold.

This is an appropriate lesson for Finnegan who is the biggest spaz on our walks.   My mother would correctly point out that it’s because he was never trained properly.   However,  I’ve seen some King Charles Spaniels that have gone through rigorous training classes that are still naughty walkers.  When Finnegan was a puppy, he would have something called  ‘puppy terrors’.   He would be trotting along quite fine then something would snap:  too much green grass, too much sidewalk space, too much of a good smell and he would stop everything and run in a furious circle at top speed leaving me wrapped up like a mummy in his leash.  I never knew that this behavior had a name until a woman who was walking a very calm golden retriever shouted out to me from across the street that he had a bad case of the ‘puppy terrors’.   Even though Finnegan is no longer a puppy and the terrors have dwindled, he still pulls on his leash much more than necessary, stops short, and refuses to walk west.


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Sixteen. Practice The Art Of Good Conversation; Listen More Than You Speak.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Sixteen:  Practice The Art Of Good Conversation;  Listen More Than You Speak.  Oil on canvas, 12″x14″.  Sold.

We’ve all been here haven’t we?  Stuck next to someone at a party who has a whole lot to say.    Anyone have a good technique to get away from a non-stop talker?   I sometimes practice the wine guzzle method so that I can get away under the guise of refreshing my glass.  It’s a very flawed method though, as I inevitably end up stuck again in the same predicament and there’s only so many times that you can chug a glass of wine before you start to get a reputation.



Ladybirds, oil on canvas, 10″x12″.  Sold.

There’s something about this painting that makes me think of the Wizard Of Oz.   I think it’s the emerald green coat (Emerald City) and those birds are like the fantastical jello-dyed horses.


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Fifteen: Be Generous With Your Love.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Fifteen:  Be Generous With Your Love.  Oil on canvas, 11″x14″.  Sold.

I tried to get this painting completed before Christmas but just couldn’t pull it together.   Was it just me or did this Christmas seem to be on steroids?   Normally we have a quiet and small Christmas, but my brother and family were in Ottawa (normally they are in England) and so on Boxing Day I took the train to see them.   I think I ate four Christmas dinners, at least two pounds of Christmas cake, and quite possibly a partridge and a pear tree.  Needless to say, I am confined to stretchy pants for the next two weeks.

Happy 2014 everyone!

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Thirteen: With A Splash Of Imagination, A Mundane Bath Becomes A Nautical Adventure. Capture Sea Monsters, Battle Thieving Pirates, And Observe Mermaids In Their Natural Setting.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Thirteen:  With A Splash Of Imagination, A Mundane Bath Becomes A Nautical Adventure.   Capture Sea Monsters, Battle Thieving Pirates, And Observe Mermaids In Their Natural Setting.  Oil on canvas.  Sold.

Here we are- Lucky Thirteen!  I never imagined that I would ever paint a plastic green octopus but here it is. Life is full of fun and silly surprises.


The Monster In The Leaf Pile

The Monster In The Leaf Pile.  Oil on canvas, 10″x12″.  Sold.

I know.  I’m totally overdue for a monster in a leaf pile painting.   I feel for our main character though.  She looks seriously concerned about what might be lurking in her pile of leaves.   I almost painted the same lady that was in my ‘Houseguest’ painting but figured she had been through enough with that big lion ruining her good white sofa.

The only other thing that I will add is that this is my twist on American Gothic.  Even included a rake.


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Twelve: Make The Most Of Whatever The Weather May Bring.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Twelve:  Make The Most Of Whatever The Weather May Bring.  Oil on canvas, 11″x14″.  Sold.

I had fun with this one.   In fact, she may be my favourite Miss Moon for the moment.   Perhaps it’s because she seems caught in an uncharacteristic moment of unbridled joy.   I think she’s screaming, but John thinks she’s singing Christmas carols.   We had a minor argument over it and I think I won.

Can anyone else only think of the amount of wet scarves, hats and mittens that she will have to contend with later on?   I had flashbacks to elementary school- just after recess when you had to hang up wet snowsuits and mittens and the puddles they made- not to mention the musty smell of wet wool emanating from the cloakroom.  Then there was always the feeling of dismay at the end of the school day when you had to put the damp hats and scarves back on to go home.    I just wrote ‘cloakroom’ didn’t I?   Do they even use that term anymore?  I’m so out of date.  I don’t own a cellular telephone, and I say ‘cloakroom’.  Time to go watch ‘Little House On the Prairie’.


Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Ten: Sometimes Tricks Are Better Than Treats.

Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Ten:  Sometimes Tricks Are Better Than Treats, oil on canvas, 10″x12″.  Sold.

And speaking of Halloween….Shocktoberfest begins tomorrow.  I think this has to be the forth or fifth year of it- possibly six?  For those who are new to this blog and wondering what the heck Shocktoberfest is- well, it’s a time honored and ridiculously sad tradition that my husband has thrust upon me.   Every evening that I don’t have something better to do during the month of October, I am subjected to watching a scary movie of his choosing.  In his defense, he does censor his cinematic offerings for me and knows that my tolerance level barely goes beyond Walt Disney’s Sleepy Hollow.   Shocktoberfest has also grown in recent years to include decorating the house in tasteful vintage Halloween ornaments (of my choosing), eating Halloween themed meals like ‘Ghoolish Goulash’ and consuming a bottle of red wine each night to drown out the nightmarish imagery so that I can sleep soundly.

Happy Shocktoberfest everyone!



Rosette Westlake Amongst Her Wolfhounds

Rosette Westlake Amongst Her Wolfhounds, oil on canvas, 12″x16″.  For sale on etsy.

Here is the ‘grandmother’ of Black Walnut Manor.   I would suspect that Rosette Westlake is strong yet kind-hearted, outdoorsy but fashionable, and a huge canine lover of course.


The Red Boat

The Red Boat, oil on canvas, 16″x20″.  Sold.

At long last, another ‘Black Walnut Manor’ painting.   We’re doing some time traveling here with this one because it depicts a young Hugo Westlake decked out in his little sailor suit with his mother Rosette.   I’m not entirely certain of what they are doing but I think they are likely heading down to the pond to  go for a ride in the red boat.  Although, she looks pretty dressed up for  sitting in a muddy boat, even if it is a red boat so perhaps they are just going to stand at the edge of the water and admire the boat.   Clearly, I don’t know what I’m talking about so if anyone has a better guess, please share with me.

If you are unfamiliar with Black Walnut Manor, you can check out the other paintings from that series here.    It’s a rambling and completely directionless story that involves a missing guinea pig, a mysterious fox, an ill-fated car ride and several troublesome teenagers.


Madame Zuella’s Magical Miniatures Pet Emporium

Madame Zuella’s Magical Miniatures Pet Emporium.  Oil on stretched canvas, 12″x16″.  Sold.

This one came about after watching Bride of Frankenstein.   It was the scene where Dr. Pretorius reveals his ‘experiments’ which are miniature people creations- ie, a queen, a king, an archbishop, a devil, a ballerina, and a mermaid that he keeps in little glass jars- creepy.   You can see the clip here if you have never watched the film or if you are interested to see what miniature people might look like (it’s not scary).    I wondered what would happen if you could shrink animals and how sad that would be because they would inevitably become like fashion accessories.  There’s my deep thought for the day.