Well, my Muse Sophie went to the Bridge on 9/11/12.
As you may imagine, I was devistated.  She stopped taking her pain pill and when I started to put it in her mouth, she winced with pain.  The next day I made the call.  I never wanted her to suffer or have an awful death so it was time.  I have to say I was steel, steel until the actual injection.  I held her sweet head in my hands as she slipped away. 

So its been awhile. Tears and more tears. Pulling away from people and social events.  Painting, but it was rote. I have lost hair, lost some weight, ate way too many jelly beans, gained some weight, now have a wopping sinus infection.  Ok Sophie, my now Spirit Muse, time to stop grieving and get on.

A dear friend in England, Karen, told me her animal spirits that Soph would let me know she was ok, not by a rainbow as Fergus had, but as a dolphin.  At first I thought..hmm…we live in Florida…by the intercoastal..where Dolphins swim all the time.  How was this going to work.  I did see dolphins, but didn’t feel anything.

Getting ready to go to the studio one morning I just happened to look to the sky over my house and was about to say ” ok girl, where’s my sign?”

I’ll download it from my phone to post as,soon as my computer is fixed, but above my house was a perfectly formed cloud in the shape of a diving Dolphin.  I kid you not.  I took three shots of it before it faded.  My girl is fine and with me.

Some animals are more advanced and have a stronger connection to you.  This was my girl.  I am giving more attention to my goofy wild boy Sammy. Sophie said!! 🙂

Art wise…I started a new web site so you could see more of my work rather than just Labs. I’m hopeful the 2% will see it and just love it. 

Still working towards my goal of traveling..changed my deal for Painting Across America.  More practical.  If I give it all away I will truly be living under the bridge in a box. Lol  My new year mantra? I am a successful artist and live my dreams!!!

Let’s move on fellow friends..may we all have and live our dreams!!!!
My new web site


My studio!!!! Clean but for a few moments….lol

She is still with me but I’m planning ahead. My Muse.

So I mentioned that my goal is to unload everything, buy a 5th wheel, pack up and paint America. I’ve got it into the Universe and I just believe it’s all working. (just wish it would go faster)

We have a hurricane going up the west side of us but the bands are dumping rain and wind where we are. It’s a good day to cuddle  the coach and figure out new marketing ideas and work on the two books I need to finish from my other two projects. One is The Project of a Lifetime…(taking a lifetime) and the other our Labraventure to Scotland last year. That is the one I concentrated on today.

I started a Club for my Painting Across America art. It will be at the start mostly from Florida and South and North Carolina but hey, that is a start. Here is the deal.  For 1 year I am offering to members 30% off any paintings regardless of size. Members will also receive, each month, one small painting from my series. They usually are 6×8 or 5×7. Easy to frame. Then personal updates on what’s happening and what I am working on. The skinny!!! How much?? zillions??? Nope…All this for a year for $50.00.

How can you sign up?? Easy.. JOIN NOW!!!  Contact me…couldn’t get the paypal thing to show up. grrr  sophie@palm-spirit.com

We recently found a great RV place near us. Larry, the owner, finds used RV’s of all sorts, refurbishes them and sells them at reasonable prices.

Today we went to look at Class C, truck and living all in one ,and 5th wheels, a long large rig pulled by a truck.  It was great going in them all. One 5th wheel rig was about 37′ long but had everything one could want. Stairs to the bedroom, washer/dryer, queen size bed with closets and bureaus. Oh..shower!!!!  “Downstairs” had a couch, two comfy recliners, a great kitchen and loads of windows.  We did find out a lot of state parks would not let us in. Too long.

Class C vehicles were really nice but with Labs not enough room.  At least for us.  I need a space to sit and work or chill.  So we then looked at a 33′ rig. The layout  was interesting. Bedroom in front and “upstairs” then the living area with kitchen. In the back there was another room with a door that could be a room for company or a computer area.  I think I really like an open concept.

As we were leaving, Larry said he’d really like to see my artwork and,or, have it hanging for sale in his office. LIGHTBULB moment.

I came home and  got “paintingacrossAmerica.com” as my domain name and now trying to figure out how to do a new blog here with that domain and put art up as we go..or prepare..to go.  I will admit it’s scary to think we wouldn’t have a solid “house” but then the other side is, no lawn to mow, I could still have flowers, no outrageous repairs, but we will have some, no pool to keep clean, we’ll have mountain streams and rivers…crazy neighbors?? we can drive away.

Larry’s business is booming. Hmm. I think the baby boomer generation has decided to finally “drop out” and enjoy once more what we thought life would be like. I’m excited.

I’ll let you know when I get the new blog going…of course it will be small Florida paintings to start..lol…

Before I go..I have been doing acrylic painting again since I have more students coming to my studio. This is an 18 x18 . Hope you like it.

$725.00 framed   Contact me at sophie@palm-spirit.com   Shipping included.

I Had An Angel Appear

Yes I did..also a friend. Today Soph and I drove to the studio when a friend popped in to say she was bringing small canvases to goodwill, would I be interested in them? They are all under 10 x 10 and perfect for Plein air. At one time I counted over 40. I am doing a happy dance today. Sophie was peppy and happy and then the angel with a big container of canvases appeared.

Tonight I have a new student coming to sit in the class since we are finishing a painting started last week. He will start the new session next week. Wow. Is that all?? Oh no. A small paper from Tampa left a message on my phone wanting to talk about the article in the paper on Saturday of Sophie and I.

Things are starting to happen so I need to lift my feet up and go with it. So many times I want to apply brakes but not now.

Found a great site on the internet Fun Stuff about RV-ing and now Roger is excited. Seriously, look at 5th wheels. Some have kitchen islands! Roger’s dream as he is a fantastic chef!!!

Ok..need to feed the kids before I take off for class. I am working on a paintng at the studio and hopefully it will be completed tomorrow!!!

Always Changing

Since the last time I wrote I took Sophie to the vets for what I thought was a sore foot.  She had jumped out of the back of my jeep and I thought for sure that was the problem. Same time frame as our Chocolate Lab Fergus’s diagnosis of a brain tumor last year. Sophie has Melanoma at the back of her gums. Prognosis? 2 to 6 months. 2 months would be right about when we lost Fergus last year. 

I wonder what the Universe has for us. Sophie is my Muse, the reason I paint Labs. What do I do when she goes? After the torrent of tears I stopped and needed to be her “mum”. She’s here doing well. I take her to my studio daily which she loves to do. 

We had an article written this past week about us which was fun. It.s about Sophie!  


My goals? Now, to become a damn good plein air artist, get rid of all the “stuff”, buy an RV and travel with Roger, Sammy and Ozzie. I’ll still do Lab and dog commissions but I’m feeling a change coming on.

We have a goal of a year.  So I guess this blog now will be the daily paintings and ruminations of getting ready to live a simple life and painting my way across America. 

When we moved to Florida, we had no jobs, no savings. Just enough after the sale of our condo to buy this house. Roger got a job on the last day of the month and our first mortgage payment was due. With everyone else, the economy going down took us with it putting our house underwater.  Fergus illness last year set us back a bit more but we always believe that the Universe (God) gives us what we need when we need it.  

So we “put it out there” and I have new students coming for classes and a commission to paint a mural in a bathroom.  It’s in the works! We just have to keep the faith. Now I understand what my mother meant. 

I search and research RV’s every day. We have no savings, no retirement, so the Universe has it’s work cut out. LOL. Do I believe we can do this..YES!!!

If you have any input let me know. 

Back to read about living a free life on the road!!!! 

A real rock star??? Well…sort of.  About a month ago I got an email from Ormond Memorial Museum of Art asking me, inviting me, to be part of their “Dog Days of Summer” exhibition!  Seriously???

I sent in a few images and 4 were chosen.  I was floored. That’s when my studio mates started calling me a Rock Star!!  A Museum asked me to be one of their 12 artists. Needless to say I was thrilled, AM thrilled. It hangs til August 19.

This past Friday night was the opening reception.  What to wear??? First I tried on a black shirt with frills and said, “ahhh. No”  I was beyond frillies. Then, a pair of white linen pants that I have never worn. They fit! I put on a white blouse, sheer and flowy, and thought, ahhhh, maybe.  Then I went on a search of long flowy skirts even though my closet is filled with long flowy skirts. I needed the perfect one for this opening.

The Labs? They sat on the bed watching. Ozzie, our youngest, chewed through the strap of one of my shirts and ended it’s run in the outfit race.

Thursday I had now clue what I was going to wear. I made long earrings from aluminum wire in the shape of a Lab and there I had my ear attire.  A scarf, silk, made on Spoonflower.com from one of my paintings was a definite. Two items ready.

I came home early from the studio and stopped at Marshals and as I walked in saw my perfect skirt. Long, black and tan stripes. Next I picked up a black top and a long SAC black bag and I had it!!!

I need to find an image of the whole getup!!   I was on a high!!! ROCK STAR!!!!!

The reception was great, people were fantastic and there were many!!! The Museum paid for a room at a wonderful resort right on the ocean and we had wine flowing.  Saturday, then we drove home to waving, leaping, wagging Labs.

Now back to the studio! My mates are great, still cheering, but where are the throngs? Why am I still needing to do laundry? Shouldn’t I be able to fly off in a Lear Jet to be with the fans?? What happened to the Paparazzi???  Ahhh…I see.

Reality…my life…I’m back. Don’t get me wrong..I’m loving it.  Rock Stars are just regular people.  So off I went to get 7 mixed media pieces framed and got a great deal. We are all getting ready for our Open House at our Studio and Gallery.  We are also putting together a blog where you can see all the art from our artists so as soon as that is finished I’ll post.

Off to feed the Lab!!! Oh wait…I hear them cheering!!!!! I guess I still am a rock star!!!!!

One Month,14 Days

Ok, that is bad!! But in stead of ruminating over it let’s just move on…or shake it off.!!! Don’t you just love Florence and The Machine!!! My daughter turned me on to her, them, and instantly fell in love. I play her new CD constantly while I play.

The new studio is working out fantastically!!  I go daily and paint away. I took Sophie with me one day and she loved being with me. She slid allot on the wood floors so after awhile we left and I took her to the beach. Brevard county here in Florida just agreed to open a beach for dogs. Ok, it’s like walking on the deck of a ship, a small ship.  Really small but at least we got one. The waves knocked her over. Poor girl. Her rear end is so weak. Then she got the “runs”. Thankfully I had a plastic bag as I scootched behind her picking up piles of sand.  Then we had to get up a flight of stairs. She did ok with me boosting from behind. Since then I have had her come in the pool with me. She hates it but I hold under her stomach and make her use her rear legs. The panic on her face is heartbreaking but she needs to exercise.

Of course I started a series of “nudey” paintings of Sophie at the beach. I loved how the sun hit her fur and the wind in her ears. Then I especially loved the shadows.

This one is a 12″ x 12″

Then when not doing these I am working on commissions. I started doing a daily gratitude, blessings listing. I downloaded The Magic by the author of The Secret on my Kindle and started following the 28 day program. Wow. Magic does start happening. I recommend reading this book especially if you are stuck in one spot. Even if you are not.

The next thing that was exciting that you will be seeing more is mixed media with colored pencil. I was at my studio one day and chatting and my studio mate showed me a book that she loved. Painting Radiant  in Ink,Watercolor and Colored Pencil.

Then I did..

I think I may have found my medium.  I love drawing and I love pencils!!!

So, I extended my network to include all art. artlabs.ning.com   Please pop over and see. We have been alittle quiet, big surprise lol, but I think if we can get more interest it could be a fun and interesting site.

Ok..dinner time.  Chat again soon. I’m working on a new mixed media piece. Here it is in progress.

“The Fisherman” in progress