If you are missing my plein air class at VisArts, this should help fill the gap. I’m offering a five week class on Wednesday mornings, October 19 through October 26, 9:30-12:30. We’ll meet at different locations around Richmond beginning at Pony Pasture (James River Park System) on the 19th. Classes are $30 each.

If you only have single day or weekend availability, the fall Manakintowne Workshop is coming up on October 15. We’ll meet at Huguenot Springs for a day of drawing or painting and a gourmet lunch. Bring your favorite medium or try out our oil pastels with beginner instructions – all supplies provided for oil pastel. The workshop is 9:30-3:30 and the tuition is $120 (If you bring a friend who is new to the workshop, you each get a $10 discount!).

Contact me here for more information or sign up for either of these plein air opportunities!

Capture the fall colors at Huguenot Springs!

Two Meditations

February 3, 2022

These are the two most recent drawings in the group of Meditations. Both are 4″ square and begun on a liquid graphite ground (see previous post for more on the ground).

Catch Up

January 30, 2022

Playing catch up here. Time flies (I’m sure I have written that before), and I haven’t kept up with posting the small (4″ x 4″) Meditations that I continue to make. With many of these I begin with a colored ground (either gesso or acrylic paint) and more recently I have been using a liquid graphite ground. This provides an interesting starting point (once the ground has dried), as it works into the Caran d’Ache wax crayons that are layered on top and also shows through in the texture of the paper. The graphite offers something to work with and against, often yielding surprises along the way. Here are a few from the backlog. And I’ll post a couple of newer images soon.

May Plein Air Classes

April 9, 2015

Spring has sprung at last! My tulips are ready to open any day. So collect your drawing supplies, grab a hat, and sign up for the Manakintowne Workshop or the May Mornings drawing class, or both! Details are below.



A perfect Mother’s Day gift for your favorite mom!

Saturday, May 9,  9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Enjoy a day in the country drawing plein air with oil pastel at historic Huguenot Springs in Powhatan, the sister property of Manakintowne Farm. The site offers beautiful old shade trees and a mature garden filled with peonies and irises. Some previous drawing experience is helpful, but experience with oil pastel is not required. All drawing supplies are provided, making this a good opportunity to try out a new medium. Those continuing with oil pastel are welcome to bring their own drawing supplies. The day begins with a short introduction and demo, and then students select a morning work site. We break for Jo’s gourmet farm lunch and good conversation. After lunch students may either continue with the morning drawing or begin another. Tuition is $115 and includes lunch and drawing materials for the day. More information will be sent upon registration. Sign up early!

A few comments from previous workshops:

A highlight of my year! A very lovely location with great food!

Perfect day in the country – great freedom to explore a new medium.

Such a beautiful day… and the weather was nice too! Thank you for such a wonderful experience.

A good introduction to a new medium. Sarah’s overview and individual attention were very helpful and informative. The setting was beautiful, the weather perfect, and the  food delicious.


Thursdays, May 7,14, 21, and 28, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM


I will be offering this plein air class again this year on four Thursday mornings in May. Bring your oil pastels and paint sticks down to Pony Pasture Park at the James River. We will have the option of staying at this site for all of the classes or moving to Maymont for part of the session, according to class consensus. Please sign up with me as soon as you can, no later than April 30. If you are new to working outside, I am happy to answer any questions you might have regarding supplies you will need. More information will be sent upon registration. Enjoy a quiet morning at the River. Bring a friend!

For sign up or questions regarding either of these classes, contact me here through “comments” or any other way you can find me!

Old Glove

February 12, 2015



Recently I had cause to return to an old and familiar subject: the nest. I hadn’t made any drawings in this series for about four years, but thought I would take time to make a couple in a mid-size (22” x 22” or so), a size I haven’t used since the very beginning of this series. As I began to work on these, the process was immediately like finding an old, favorite glove and slipping it on; it was familiar and comforting (but NOT comfortable!). I quickly remembered how this would go: first the excitement of beginning – of laying in a graphite sketch and seeing it melt when the paint stick went over it; then the delight of watching the form of the nest appear in color over the English red gesso on the paper (like watching a photo come up in the developer); then the moment when the process shifts from allowing the drawing to have full rein over to needing to impose some control over what is happening on the paper; and finally that difficult place of balancing control and release (to the drawing) in order to bring the piece to its completion. This last step involves being open to see the energy and beauty in the imperfections that I am dying to adjust.

This process really applies to all the work, but it is most predictable to me with the nest drawings. And, honestly, the nest drawings and the process of making them have always afforded a metaphor and mirror for life for me. I always learn something from making them, even if just to be reminded of something I already know.

A Few Nests

December 11, 2014

10-11 nest_2

































There are still a few nest images available – drawings, paintings, framed, unframed, small, medium, large – but now is the time to claim one if you are interested.  All of those shown are oil stick on paper. The top two are 7″ x 6 1/2″ and Terra is 8 1/2″ x 11″.  These are image sizes; Sure and Terra are both framed. And there are more nests ready for the right home. Have a look!

Pulse and Tremble

September 12, 2014











This new piece was made for an invitational group show at Linda Matney Gallery in Williamsburg, Virginia. The show, called Matter, was put together by Elizabeth Mead, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at William and Mary. The guidelines were the size (8 ½” x 11”) and a consideration of the use of color in one’s work. My friend and poet Kasey Jueds and I had hoped to work collaboratively but were unable to do so because of time and schedule constraints. In the end my piece, Second Skin/Pulse and Tremble, was a sort of collaboration with Kasey, as I used her poem “The Selkie from Shore” as a starting point. The text itself is an element of the piece, although not completely readable. As I copied the poem numerous times, the words began to murmur and hum in my mind while I worked on the piece (much as the hum of the bees in the poem!), thus weaving into and becoming part of the making. (I loved the good luck that there were bees busy coming and going in the flowers outside my studio window at the same time!) The piece is made from paper, ink, and oil stick on wooden panel. The show opens next Friday, September 19 at 5:30. Stop in if you are nearby!

Although it is not necessary to read the text of Kasey’s poem while viewing the piece, I can’t resist including her lovely poem here for your delight:


The Selkie from Shore


You will tell me what I long for is God.

But I say it is bees, their pulse and tremble

in flowers slackening toward summer’s end,

daylilies spreading rust under dusky oaks.

I say I want a garden for them,

so what is small might return

and be sufficient again. Not God, or sky

streaming light, cathedrals, a wish

I am not big enough to hold – not those

but the slightest tremor of air, and a humming

that has no need of me.


Kasey Jueds in Keeper





It is almost time for our fall drawing workshop at Manakintowne Farm in Powhatan. Details are below. If you are interested, contact me here or on Facebook or contact Manakintowne Growers on Facebook. This day in the country is not to miss if you love drawing, great food, lovely landscape, or if you simply need a short retreat from the real world…



Saturday, October 25,  9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Enjoy a day of plein air drawing with oil pastel at the Powhatan farm of Manakintowne Specialty Growers.  After gathering for a demo, students will choose a work site among the fields.  A farm lunch will be provided.  Some drawing experience is helpful, but experience with oil pastel is not required.  This is a good opportunity to try a new medium!  All drawing materials are provided, but feel free to bring your own. Experienced students may work in their medium of choice. Tuition for the day is $115.

Openings and Leftovers

September 6, 2013


Yesterday was a very long day hanging 55 paintings, drawings, and photographs at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch in preparation for tonight’s opening of the group show HERALD1. This is one of the more challenging venues for hang artwork because of the space and the hanging restrictions. Hanging with monofilament is never fun but especially not with high ceilings and moulding hooks. The work is up, labels attached, trash and ladders cleaned out, and the show looks GREAT!!!!! Come and check it out at tonight’s opening 6:30 – 9:00 PM Richmond Public Library Main Branch. The show runs through the end of October.












I was lucky to be able to hang most of my new pieces (and grateful to my fellow artists for allowing me a big chunk of space!). But there were four framed drawings that aren’t in the show, so I am posting them here.  Anyone who might want a closer look is more than welcome to come by the studio to see them and a few more that aren’t framed!












August 29, 2013


The new drawings for the HERALD1 show opening next week at the Richmond Public Library are a departure from my previous work both in terms of medium (soft pastel) and image (non-representational abstraction). But the ideas and related work go back as far as my art student days and have collected through the years. The origins of the new work are varied and include: a student monotype series, an unrealized photography project, a group of paintings concerned with constructs of perspective in two-dimensional representation, a collaborative project of mixed-media pieces traded back and forth with a friend, and my more recent collages and three-dimensional work. The drawings became a point of intersection for these varied ideas and images.

These drawings are also influenced by several artists whose work I have appreciated over the years including: Sean Scully (his soft pastels are as lush as his large oils), Richard Diebenkorn (color! layers! veils!), Christopher Wilmarth (his minimal glass and steel sculptures are full of mystery and feeling), and Paul Rotterdam (his powerful drawing series Stations of the Cross was exhibited at the Anderson Gallery when I was studying painting at VCU and the images have stayed with me ever since).

Please join us on Friday, September 6 at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch, 6:30-9:00 for the opening of HERALD1. The show remains on exhibit through October 29.