an artful adventure

My last few years of employment with the local newspaper brought me to the main office – smack dab in the middle of the Neon Arts District of downtown Norfolk, Virginia. On our lunch breaks, when the weather allowed, I would gather some adventurous friends and go see something I had not seen before.

We were very close to the Chrysler Museum, so it was an easy walk with plenty to see there, including temporary exhibits featuring Western Art to Toulouse-Lautrec to Vermeer and Van Gogh, and many more, along with the Chrysler’s own nationally renowned collection and daily glass blowing demos.

We tried lots of new restaurants and walked the streets full of lunchtime crowds and cruise ship travelers. We met a local super hero, visited an Oriental garden, walked to the waterfront and toured the many freshly painted murals. I loved being in Norfolk and seeing what it had to offer. These are just a few of the photos I took along the way.

Moral of the story… adventure is everywhere. Go outside and see what you can find.

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“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
                                                                             Helen Keller

locks of love

Hague BridGE, Norfolk VA


I took these photos last March on a walk over a bridge near the Chrysler Museum in downtown Norfolk. I loved the bridge and the love locks that hung from it, but I never got around to posting the photos. Fast forward through summer, fall and the holidays to January’s healthy resolutions, and my last walk took me to the same bridge. Most of the locks had been removed, and the bridge seemed lonely and lost. These photos are dedicated to all the lovers, artists and dreamers who make their mark on the world, even if for a short time…

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lighting the candles


A few years back I took a 3-day painting class at Art & Soul with Dan Carrell. We each painted an amazing landscape using his tried and true method of textures and glazes. Check out his book called ‘Realistic Painting Workshop: Creative Methods for Painting from Life’  here.  I treasure the painting I did that week, but I don’t know if I could do another. He held our hands and led each of us thru the many layers until the very end when he helped me ‘Light the Candles’ on the painting. He said that painting was like baking a layer cake, and at the end, adding the final little details was like lighting the candles on the cake.

You already know that I am an art class junkie… knowing that each class I take adds another layer of knowledge and experience to my work. Right now I am building jewelry for our Friends’ Pop-up Shop in November. These jewelry pieces are a product of many, many classes— soldering, resin, wire, metal work, painting, patinas, beading, clay, assemblage, leather and more… and as I finish each piece, I am asking myself how to light the candles on it. Sometimes it means adding an extra dangle, an extra flash of light, an extra color or special bead. Some have words on them that only the wearer can see — hidden in plain sight to wear next to their heart.

My advice to anyone who wants to make better art or jewelry is to take as many classes as you can. You might not think that a painting class can help your jewelry making, but it can. Open your mind to the possibilities and light the candles!

I take some classes online, some at local art institutions like the Rawls Museum Arts, the Suffolk Art Gallery and Suffolk Art League, and some at Art Retreats like Art & Soul. I’ve been attending Art & Soul each year since 2008 and I have enjoyed each and every class. This year I am slated to take classes in resin, metal, abstract painting, soldering and polymer clay. Hope to see you there.

More info on our Friends Pop-up Art Shop to come…