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      Permanent Brush Strokes

      Something To Celebrate!

      Something To Celebrate!

      Featured above, "More Than Enough" / 24 x 12 / Acrylic on canvas / Available


      As we celebrate our twenty-seventh year of marriage and the six year anniversary of LHS, we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic and national economic crisis. Yikes, not an ideal way to celebrate, but God continues to amaze and provide in incredible ways!

      When I started this business years ago, our kids were just starting middle school and I had been prayerfully considering how I could participate in helping my man retire sooner than later. I would have never anticipated the very clear answer I received was: “Paint”.

      Rewind to back when I went to art school (oh so many years ago), my dad encouraged me with this sage piece of advice, “Do what you love, and find a way to make a living at it.” For me that took a couple decades to realize. Some tough life events, a career in business, making the time to be mom to our kids, all these experiences helped prepare me for what God would have me do! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting “Painting” to be the answer, I mean seriously – there are a ton more “normal” vocations that could have yielded much more stable earning opportunities! But painting? Really God??

      I pondered this revelation internally for over a week before discussing the topic with my husband. His initial reaction was “I’m sorry, you want to do what??” I could only respond with, “I don’t just want to, I believe I’m being called to it. Painting?! I’m telling you I didn’t come up with that nugget on my own.”

      He said to take a year and see if it’s really a thing. So, I did. That was six years ago. Last summer, Rob was able to retire and now we are building and nurturing our small but growing art venture together. What an incredible gift: intersecting our life and creative journeys. It hasn’t always been easy and we continue to face our share of bumps along the way, but I can see clearly how these life experiences brought me to this place, and how when I heard the call to “Paint” all those years ago, even though I was nervi-cited (nervous and excited) about stepping into the unknown…I’m grateful I did!

      So, let me encourage you, maybe you find yourself feeling called to “do what you love” but can’t see how you could make a living at it. Don’t give up, maybe it’s just not time yet. Keep taking steps toward your goal and know the experiences you have now will shape you and your perspective as you move into your future endeavor, whatever that may be! I don’t know what my art career would have looked like had I started straight out of art school (I’m guessing not very good), but I am confident that without the culmination of all of these life events (and God’s grace) I would not be on the adventure I’m on today.

      So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to team LHS! And Happy Anniversary to my man!! I couldn’t imagine being on this adventure with anyone else.

      Have a beautiful July my friends! You continue to bless me with your support and encouragement.


      PS: Please share with me the dream you long to fulfill, and I will pray with you on the timing of launching into it with you!


      Summer Festivities

      Summer Festivities

      Featured above, "This Moment" / 24 x 24 / Acrylic on canvas / Available


      With May comes warmer days, paddleboards, BBQ’s, giggles from the neighborhood kiddos playing with their siblings and several special life events: my husband and business partner’s birthday, our Rock-a-versary (eight years already!!), and the season to celebrate those special moms and dads in our lives!!

      For those unfamiliar with why I started painting again: eight years ago, I went through a catastrophic (and might I add a freakish) burn incident after a beach outing with my girls when I picked up what I thought was a piece of amber, ended up being a piece of white phosphorus. It left me in the hospital for 10 days with second-and third-degree burns, six surgeries over the course of the next year along with occupational therapy to get one of my hands working properly again. I never would have thought it, but I believe God used that experience to draw me back to painting and this amazing creative journey. Although one of the most trying times in my history, I am incredibly grateful for the life lessons it taught me. So much so, we celebrate this life-event annually with what we call our “Rock-a-versary”. Long story for another time…

      In addition to our personal family festivities, we can’t forget Mother’s and Father’s Day! Although Mother’s Day has just passed, Father’s Day is just around the corner, and…it’s really never too late to honor the incredible women and men in our lives with the gift of fine art. This year, in addition to the wide array of LHS originals and limited-edition paintings available online, I decided to also offer something completely new…Gift certificates!

      Knowing how “unique” each of our parents are, instead of trying to decide on a work for them, why not give them the opportunity to select it themselves? Cards come in a variety of amounts, are delivered by email and contain instructions on how to redeem at checkout. If you would like to request a specific amount not already offered, no problem, just let me know. Recipients can then shop our website at their leisure or commission an original piece of their own. Easy pease, right?

      But wait, there’s more! We also have exciting news as a result of our recent partnership with UPS. LHS is proud to now provide FREE ground shipping for all US deliveries as well as significant savings on domestic air, freight and international shipping. Let’s start shipping some art!

      Alright sweet friends, I’ve had more than enough to say this time around and it’s time to get back to the studio. Please don’t hesitate to bounce a reply back if you have any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you.

      Be well, be safe…


      Faith, Hope & Love

      She Dances 48x24

      Featured above, "She Dances" / 48 x 24


      To mention COVID-19 or not to mention COVID-19, that is the question…Seriously crazy times we’re living in right now!

      Originally, I was going to tell you about the amazing show we had in Amelia Island Florida and then talk about the great shows coming up this month and next. However, the five events scheduled through the end of May have all been cancelled or postponed until Fall or 2021. So instead, let’s just focus on the positive stuff.

      Breathe in…breathe out.

      The Amelia Island Concours was a really great show! The event was well attended, the weather was beautiful and we were able to connect with many old and new friends. It’s truly an enjoyable event for us and I was so thankful that we had the opportunity to get this one under our belts to start the year as it gave us some much-needed momentum to prepare us for the coming weeks ahead. We returned home from Florida the evening of March 10 and later that week, the Corona Virus changed the world.

      Since I work from my studio in solitude, there’s very little that has changed in my daily work life…except my kids are home all day, and it’s raining…a lot lately. But as an extrovert who has regularly scheduled activities to keep me socialized, this whole “social distancing” business makes me a smidge nuts. I live in Orange County CA, and as most places nowadays, we are on mandated “shelter in place” orders. Only allowed to go out for essential needs. Okay, I can do this…but for how long?

      Texting friends. Calling family. Checking on neighbors. Painting. New projects for collectors (thanks friends!). Doing an inventory for supplies. Organizing the studio and storage unit. Reading. Praying. Playing games with the kids (when they comply/are forced to). Binge watching dumb series on Netflix and Prime. AVOIDING THE NEWS. Finding creative ways to support our local small businesses. Well, that took care of the first 10 days…now what?

      What are some ways that you’re staying healthy, positive, grounded in your quarantine zone? Please share!

      I know that in all this fear is our enemy. There are a ton of reasons for me to spin out with anxiety these days, and I won’t lie, I’ve tiptoed into that dark abyss once or twice over the past couple of weeks. But God, in His infinite grace and mercy, has continued to meet my doubts and fears with an unexpected project from a collector, or an encouraging call from a dear friend who knows her “social” friend is in need of a good laugh. God is good that way!

      All and all I need to keep reminding myself that even in the midst of this scary and perplexing time that there is still beautiful and good things to be found. Hope still shines in the darkness if you look for it. It’s that discovery that called me back into painting years ago and what keeps me going now. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll even be thankful we experienced the Great COVID-19 lockdown of 2020?

      Be well, be safe and simply know that in the quiet of my studio, I’m praying for you.


      Why Palette Knives?

      Why Palette Knives?

      I’ve just finished writing an essay for an independent magazine, “Seen Journal” where I was asked to describe my artistic process, specifically why I use palette knives. Then I thought to myself, ‘have I ever shared this with you, my friends?’ Well if I haven't yet, let me explain!

      A couple years ago the talented folks at Wahoo Films spent an afternoon with me in the studio. They filmed while I painted and asked me a ton of probing and personal questions. Most of the questions Michelle, the director, asked centered on the "why’s". Why the subject matter, why the layers and why knives instead of brushes. I realized that I hadn't really thought much about the "whys" prior to that point and found it to be quite a clarifying exercise for me as I reflected back on the events that shaped my current process. 

      When I first came back to painting, I went the traditional route I was taught in school: brushes on canvas, delicately and thoughtfully applied in the most realistic way possible. About a year into the re-discovery process of finding my voice creatively, I went to an abstract class with a friend to explore a genre I didn’t particularly appreciate. The instructor, a gifted professional artist in her own right, challenged the class (me especially) to get out of our own head and explore the way we approached our artwork by: blind-folding us, having us use different mediums, applicators (including knives), explore color theory and intuitive mark-making. At first, the thing I discovered in this process was when I “intuitively” created, I sucked. No joke.The first few things I created with this new found exploratory endeavor I affectionately called "Purple Vomit". It was plain awful to take these canvases home and sit with their "barfiness" for a week until the next class. I usually turned them around, so I didn’t have to get frustrated looking at them while I was in the studio producing in my familiar style.

      One day while I was working away on another piece, the “Purple Vomit” piece was taunting me with its ugliness saying “you’ll never make this mess better!” Those who know me best know I can be a wee-bit competitive, and on that day, instead of cutting the fabric off of the stretcher bars and tossing it, I decided to paint over it leaving bits of "Purple Vomit" exposed. And I did it using only knives. I renamed the completed revised artwork “Reflections” and I saw the process as a metaphor for life: the layers representing seasons of life, and the knives, oh those hard to manage tools that are more like weapons, those knives were the cornerstone to the entire process! It wasn’t just the tools themselves, it was what they began to represent. Knives are sharp, hard to use, painful when they run across your flesh, they create unexpected bumpy texture with paint. Our lives are often like that: sharp, hard, painful, bumpy. As I was working through the wake of a difficult season personally, I started to see each painting as a metaphor for my life, specifically in my “Petals” (or “Beauty From Ashes”) series.

      We think we can control our lives (I bet God thinks that’s funny…or sad). Painting with knives is unwieldy, nearly impossible to control and super messy. In a way, painting with knives is a lot like life – you really can’t control what’s happening. I mean you can try to a degree, but not fully, and that’s where the real excitement in creating begins – the letting go. For me, the knives help me let go of fixating on the details of the subject I'm painting, embrace the messy, revel in the essence. When I stop and consider how much I try to control my life, I realize when I let least a little, life is more beautiful, less stressful, easier to focus on the essentials. The paintings came from my life experiences and now my life is being modeled by how I create...God's beautiful mess. 

      So that's basically it, why I paint with knives. Hopefully my paintings and the process behind them take on a little different meaning for you now. If you're interested to hear more, here's a link to the Wahoo video.

      Otherwise, as I enter the final few weeks of my three month show sabbatical, I'm putting the finishing touches on several commissioned pieces and prepping for my return to the 25th annual Amelia Island Concours in Florida, March 5-8. Soon after in April I'll be exhibiting for the first time at the La Jolla Concours and then at ArtWalk Mission Federal, both in the San Diego area. If you're in the vicinity please stop in to say hi and check out the latest works of art.

      Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement – you genuinely bless my socks off!

      Cheers friends!


      New Levels Of Gratitude

      New Levels Of Gratitude

      Last year at this time, I wondered where this artistic journey was headed. I was five years in and at a difficult crossroads. The business was struggling, and things weren’t working out as I had planned. Do I keep moving forward? Do I stand still and do nothing? Do I get off the road entirely? There was a wrestling within me like I’ve not known before.

      As I reflect back now, I see that I was trying to hold tight to what I thought was “mine” and make it work at all costs. Ugh! At the time my attitude was definitely not of gratitude. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

      As I wrestled through that season however, I came to realize that although I believed my calling to paint was God given, I was actually the one calling all the shots. It finally dawned on me that what I really needed to do was to step back, include Him in my planning, and try to align my goals with His. This was a big perspective shift for me, that required giving up control and entrusting it all to God and His plan for my life, my business…everything. This was a freaking hard thing to do as a card-carrying control freak- and I might add, it’s an area that I am still continuing to grow in.

      Fortunately, I decided to continue on into 2019 with this renewed perspective and do you know what happened? I had the most exciting, the most amazing, the most hair-blown-back ride of my life…not only for the business, but in my marriage, as a parent and especially my walk with God. I can honestly say I have a deeper level of trust, peace and overwhelming gratitude than ever before.

      What an amazing year it turned out to be. Wow, God - Simply WOW!

      Fast forward to today: I’m sitting at my desk preparing my display for a new home showing in San Diego, in the studio I have a que of commissions in the works for some amazing collectors, I’m planning my new collection of pieces for 2020 and making travel arrangements for a year full of some amazing shows. I have no idea what this year holds for LHS, but it sure is off to an exciting start!

      So, as we start this new year, I continue to be extremely grateful to God for making it clear that this journey is not about me, that He’s got me, and I can trust Him with everything. I’m also very thankful for my family, friends and collectors whose love, prayers, encouragement, commissions and purchases continue to keep me going. Boy, what a blessing you all are!!

      Many, many new levels of gratitude indeed!

      Happy 2020 my friends! We look forward to seeing you sometime this year!