Betty paintsMy art stuff takes me to a zone beyond words.

Coming from a writer, this might sound strange. But the word-crafting process can get incredibly anal. Oh, the frustration and loneliness…

To restore my inner life, I dive into a world of color. No words. Just color. Rich, wild, intense color. Pale, whispery, quiet color. And gimme those grays!

Why I paint

I began oil painting around 2009. Then in 2015, I discovered watercolor. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m also fond of doodling on my blog posts. I enjoy making quilts and collages, too.

Finding my art head changed me in a million ways, including my relationship to words. For instance, the old me would see an apple and think, take laptop to Apple Store Genius Bar for repair. Buy $2.99 HoneyCrisp apples. From here, control freakish anxiety spiraled. Clean kitchen. Pay bills. Do this. Do that. Hurry, hurry, faster.

Sure, I still keep a to-do list. But my approach is less manic. Now, when I see an apple, I say to myself, hmmm. Then, mmmm, juicy reds and yellows. How interesting, the way the light reflects from from that one quiet spot, making a superstar out of a purple-y-green shadow. Wow. What a voluptuous piece of fruit. Just look at those surfaces and curves.


This new inner conversation feeds my mission to live in the moment. More and more, I’m hitting the pause button to exhale. All around me, there’s color, texture, light, volume and shapes. They are beautiful sources of inspiration and love that provide hope in a terrible world. Having this inner life brings me serenity.


  • Watercoloring gives me the courage to go abstract:


giverny watercolors

Oil painting

  • But I still adore oil painting:


  • Every once in a while, I’ll even sit at my sewing machine and quilt a tiny blanket for a special baby:  nyc baby quilt


My art process 

  • How to live the life that you want. This popular 2011 post is a bit embarrassing now. (In it, I wished out loud to be more, um, sexy.) But blogging and the art process are about being in the moment, right?
  • Improving vision naturally with Marc Grossman. Creativity is good for your health! My eyesight went from legally blind to acceptably near-sighted. Dealing with emotions and simple exercises made the difference. My holistic eye doctor explains it all.
  • This page is about the visual arts. I also have tons of writing blog posts, including how-to, resources, etc. You can access them by clicking on the classes tab of the nav menu.


Related blog posts

  • Learning to see: Drawing hands and feet. A how-to post about drawing the two trickiest body parts because of all the finely articulated joints. If you want to gauge the quality of an artist who works in realism, look at the hands and feet. Are they realistic too? Or clumsy?
  • Developing my artistic self. This 2011 posts describes how I got started with oil paints and includes how-to painting videos with one of my teachers, Karen O’Neil.


My field trips