Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Women Making Faces Portrait Show - Marjorie West

Marjorie West, 24x30" Oil, On Loan from Collection of Mr. and Mrs.Dennis West 

Margie West
World Traveler - Volunteer

Margie West and I share common roots, as we were both born and raised in Michigan. When Margie moved to Scottsdale, she became a buyer for Paddock Pools and then worked as vice president of procurement for Southwest Ambulance. Upon moving to Sedona, she spent 17 years at the Sedona Fire Department before retiring. When my husband and I decided to find a winter home in the Sedona area, we bought the house next door to Margie and her husband, 'Cap', in Oak Creek Valley. Margie is the chair person for the Welcoming Committee and the first neighbor we officially met. She is one of the reasons why we decided to go back to MI and sell our home and become full time residents of Arizona. Margie also works as a volunteer for the Care Committee. She exemplifies a person with a caring heart but she is much, much more. She is witty, smart, sharp as a tack, a world traveler, having been to Russia, the Baltic Sea, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Monte Carlo in just the three years that I have known her! She is vivacious, always on the go, a wonderful hostess and full of life! She is someone that I love, and aspire to be like. She is eternally youthful because to her, age is only a number.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Women Making Faces Portrait Show - Rabbi Alicia Magal

Rabbi Alicia Magal, 36 x 24" Oil, On Loan from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Magal

Rabbi Alicia Magal
Religious Leader – Author - Philanthropist

Rabbi Alicia Magal’s outstanding communication skills are invaluable to a diverse congregation. She leads the congregation with love, creativity, sensitivity and on-going interfaith community outreach. It is her mission to "bring sparks of holiness and joy to the study of Torah”. This year's Philanthropist of the Year award recipient is Rabbi Alicia Magal of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley. The Philanthropist of the Year Award recognizes individuals who consistently commit time and financial assistance to worthy community causes and nonprofits. Rabbi Magal offers opportunities to explore cultural traditions and connect with people of diverse faiths in Sedona and the Verde Valley.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Women Making Faces Portrait Show - Holly Underwood M.D.

Hollis Underwood M.D, 16 x 20" Oil, On Loan from the Collection of Dr. Underwood

Hollis Underwood M.D.
Honor Health Scottsdale

Hollis (Holly) Underwood M.D., is currently on staff as an Internal Medicine provider at Honor Health Scottsdale. She came to Arizona in May 1994. After a 6 yr appointment in the department of Community Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, she became President of Sonoran Health Specialists, Inc., in February 2000 where she developed and crafted her expertise in Integrative Wellness and Anti-Aging medicine. Dr Underwood served on several boards and organizations including the Center for Women’s Health, Vibetree Foundation and Planned Parenthood. She is a contributing author for The African American Woman's Guide to Heart Health and is also active in several organizations including The Links, Inc.,The National Association of Professional Women and The American Association of Anti Aging Medicine.
My lifelong interest in the medical field has lent itself to paying careful attention to anatomy in my portraits. I met Holly when she became my husband’s doctor at Verde Valley Medical Center. We were deeply impressed with her knowledge and caring. She makes a person feel valued as an individual as well as cared for as a patient.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Women Making Faces Portrait Show - Kimberly McWaters

Kimberly McWaters, oil, 36x24", On Loan from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. McWaters

Kim McWaters
Technical Institute – Chairman & CEO

Kim McWaters is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Technical Institute Inc., the nation’s leading provider of training for students seeking careers as automotive, diesel, motorcycle, marine and collision repair technicians. 
McWaters was named Chief Executive Officer in 2003 and led UTI to a successful public offering. McWaters has been a member of the UTI Board for ten years and was named Chairman in 2013. She sits on the Penske Automotive Group Board, the nation’s second largest automotive retailer. In 2014, McWaters was appointed to the Mini Mobile Board, the leading storage company in the nation. She is an active member of the community with a passion for supporting women and children. McWaters has served on the Boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation for more than a decade.   
McWaters holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She has been featured in Forbes, Business Week and Automotive News. In 2009, the Phoenix Business Journal ranked her among “Arizona’s Most Admired CEOs and Top Level Executives.” In 2012, Arizona Business Magazine rated her as one of the “Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business.” 
She has three children and lives with her husband in Scottsdale, Arizona

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Women Making Faces Portrait Show - Beverly Butler Damore

Portrait Of Beverly Damore, oil, 20 x 16"On Loan from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Damore

Beverly Butler Damore
St. Mary's Food Bank - President & CEO

Beverly Butler Damore is active in the community, serving as a member of the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance Board of Directors for six years before joining the staff as Director of Community Relations and Marketing, later serving as Chief Operations Officer and now serving in her fourth year as President & CEO. She is a founding partner of the Phoenix-based corporate communications company Option II Advisors, which specializes in public relations, Web site orchestration, management consulting, community relations, fundraising, and event coordination. Previously, Ms. Damore worked for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and while there, was named co-Interim Chief Executive Officer while also serving as the organization's Chief Operating Officer. Beverly's community involvement began as a reporter for the Tribune Newspapers, where she was responsible for covering Scottsdale and Mesa City Halls; growth and development; and urban affairs. She holds a Masters of Mass Communication degree from the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University. In addition to her board involvement with St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, she is also a founding member of the ASU Craig and Barbara Barrett Honors College Dean's Advisory Board and a former member of the NOAH Board of Directors, a nonprofit focused on providing community access to health care.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Women Making Faces Portrait Show

It has been over a year that I have been working on this show and finally this Friday is the opening. I will have five portraits of my chosen subjects and my self portrait, making a total of six from me. It's been quite a journey and I hope that any of you who are in the area will check it out. There will be approximately 55 portraits exhibited from a variety of artists, all original paintings.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Holding Onto The Dogs

Summer Sky, oil, 5x7" Available

Sometimes, I don't realize how badly I have painted a piece until later. This is usually not only a piece that does not sell, but also one that starts to make me cringe whenever I look at it. I rarely destroy them, because I believe in trying to learn from my mistakes, and believe it or not, sometimes it takes me a while before I figure out what went wrong! Holding on to the dogs, at least for a while, keeps me humble, too.

Eventually, the day comes when as a warm up, I decide to paint over the piece. Sometimes, I sand it down and do something totally different. Other times, I repaint and make the needed improvements to the original painting. Then, this time, I kept the theme, and even the location, but changed the view to something I like better. Here is the original painting:

Both images are from an afternoon as the clouds were building in the heat. The first was as a storm was coming in and has more edge to it. The end result is a calmer, more laid back scene. Now, there is nothing wrong with either in that regard, but the silhouette of the tree in the foreground bothers me and the clouds seem way too harsh. I probably will attempt one day to do another dramatic cloud scene, as I do love them. For me, they are very difficult to do, but I like the challenge.

Friday, April 24, 2015

My bad boyfriend

Thank you, Sara, for your permission to share this on my blog!

Robert & Sara Genn Twice-Weekly Letter -- Insight and inspiration for your artistic career.

My bad boyfriend

Dear Artist,
On last night's flight from New York, I read Amy Poehler's memoir, "Yes Please." An actress, writer, director and producer, Amy describes the distinction between that thing you do as an artist and your career as one. "Creativity is connected to passion -- that light inside that drives you." On the other hand your career, writes Amy, is simply a series of opportunities and jobs, and should be treated with some ambivalence. "Learn to let go of wanting it. Treat your career like a bad boyfriend."

I'm pleased to report that I am the top earner of rejection letters amongst my peers. My early twenties were spent painting, writing impassioned cover letters and compiling slide packs for galleries of international repute. In theatre, this is called a "cold audition." I had misinterpreted what it meant to take responsibility for how my brilliant ideas would be shared with the world. On top of this, somewhere along the line I'd taken on board the idea I had some control over the design of it all.

Instead, something else happened. I call it, "Organic Plodding with Joy." I learned that the healthiest relationships are mutual, and the best galleries are as equally invested in finding you as you are in being with them. Amy writes that people don't want to hear about the fifteen years of doing small shows while you work hard to improve your craft. Add to this that there are better ways to stick your neck out than dropping your script on a famous person's lap while on the train, or building a vision board to hang above your workless desk. Cold auditions of any kind most often amount to not very much. "Almost every job I have ever gotten was due to someone knowing my work and seeing me in something else," writes Amy. Better just to keep busy while waiting for something to happen.

I filed my rejections and went to my easel for real. When I emerged some years later I found I truly had something to love, something to do, and somewhere to be. Amy was teaching improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade and bringing her comedy sketches to the table readings at her new job at Saturday Night Live. I was delivering my paintings to a new neighbourhood, the Park Avenue moon smiling down on another grateful hustler. Some days I even had a little walking around money -- slipped through the hole in my pocket to jangle around in the hem of my coat.



PS: "It likes it when you don't depend on it. It will reward you every time you don't act needy. It will chase you when you act like other things (passion, friendship, family, longevity) are more important to you. If your career is a bad boyfriend, it is healthy to remember you can always leave and go sleep with somebody else." (Amy Poehler)

"Ambivalence is the key to success." (Amy Poehler)

Esoterica: Letting go and caring less about that thing you want so badly is a tricky feat. Amy sums it up like this: Care about the work you do but not about the result. Care about how good you are, but not how good people think you are. It's a hard one, but organic plodding with joy might just get you where you really want to go. "Mix in public opinion and past regrets. Add a dash of future panic and a whole lot of financial uncertainty. Career is something that fools you into thinking you are in control and then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren't. Career is the thing that will not fill you up and will never make you truly whole." Creativity, however -- and that light inside that drives you -- is the love of your life.

If you would like to read more information related to the above, please visit the letter My bad boyfriend and informative responses by readers.


Monday, April 13, 2015


This free event is the annual celebration of the arts in the greater Verde Valley and runs from 10 am to 5 pm daily, April 24-26.  The tour provides thousands of visitors a unique opportunity to meet the artists and see the studios in the greater Verde Valley. There will be over 50 artists participating, working in a variety of mediums, such as: ceramics, painting, fiber, photography, jewelry, watercolors, and sculpture. This is a self-guided tour allowing visitors the opportunity to meet with artists in their daily work spaces, ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of the creative process. Please come out and see me, I am at studio #47.

Maps and artist information is available on-line now at:
http://sedonaartistscoalition.org/openstudios/osmap.html.  Printed maps and brochures will be available in a number of Sedona area businesses and hotels by mid-April.  If you 

have further questions, you can contact Mike Upp at mjupp10@gmail.com or 503.789.4437.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Swans, oil, 5x7", $99

Thought I do the Daily Paintworks Challenge, today. I took the original morgue file photo and altered it considerably in Photoshop. I can view photos from a flash drive on my TV because it has an USB port. Then, I just work from the monitor and never have to print out my reference. This is my new way of working, if I need to work from a photo. I love it. My TV screen is a 43" and I can zoom in on a photo, too. Sometimes, I just love technology.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Backyard Trees

Backyard Trees, oil, 5x7" $99

These trees are in a neighbor's yard that I see from my studio window. I enjoy how the evening light dances upon them. It's the best of both worlds, when I can paint an outdoor scene from life, in the comfort of my studio.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Granny Smith Apple

Granny Smith , oil, 7x5", $99

I try to eat an apple a day. Fuji apples are my favorite for eating. Crisp, juicy and sweet. I love the form and color of this granny, especially with the purple drape. I am going to slice her up and eat her on my salad...yum.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Number 2 Cow

Number 2 Cow, oil, 6x6", $99

I created this painting from a photo I took in CA. I think she is one of those 'California happy cows'. She sure looks happy enough chewing on that grass that I gave her!

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Summer Breeze

Summer Breeze, oil, 8x6" $125

When I saw this lovely lady's photo I just thought of a summer breeze. I love the way the light plays on her face and the sweet expression of her face. I often listen to music when taking my morning walk, riding my bike or painting. Here's the tune:

See the curtains hangin' in the window
In the evenin' on a Friday night
Little light is shinin' through the window
Lets me know everything's alright

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

See the paper layin' on the sidewalk
A little music from the house next door
So I walked on up to the doorstep
Through the screen and across the floor

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
And I come home from a hard day's work
And you're waiting there, not a care in the world

See the smile awaitin' in the kitchen
Food cookin' in the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day is through

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind


Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Number 1 Cow

Number 1 Cow, oil, 6x6", SOLD

I have always been fascinated by cows. I used to love to pick tall grass and feed them through the fence as a child and even as an adult. This is my first closeup 'portrait' of a cow and I didn't notice until I was painting her that her tag read '1'. How apropos! She is also so beautiful, that she is number one in my book!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Red Tea Pot, Mug and Apple

Red Tea Pot, Mug & Apple, oil, 6x8" $125

Thank you,  Jill Rae Martin-Golden for your comment on my cupcake #3 expressing interest in my three color palette for that painting. I replied that I can't really take credit for my palette as it was sort of based on Zorn's, comprised of Ivory Black, Cadmium Red Deep, and Yellow Ochre. Well, that got me to thinking. I have never really tried Anders Zorn's palette for a painting until today. It's pretty easy to focus on the values and play of cools vs warms. Forget about making intense colors, other than red. However, I found it to be a great exercise and I am glad to have done it and learned from it.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Click on the link here to see an earlier version of the same subject that was painted with a full palette.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Lyssandra, oil, 14x11", available

Today, was an 'All-Day Portrait Studio' at the Granite Reef Community Center sponsored by Portrait Artists of Arizona. Lyssandra was our beautiful young model and she is as sweet as she looks. It was hilarious how the men in the group went ga-ga over her and most were old enough to be her grandfather if not her great grandpa! Nothing inappropriate, as we all appreciate beauty, and had a great time getting together and painting.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cupcake #3

Cupcake #3, oil, 7x5", $99

I used a limited palette of only three colors plus black and white. They are: titanium white, ivory black, azo yellow, utrecht red and alizarin crimson. The black mixed with white reads blue, and when the alizarin is added, it reads purple. This cupcake almost painted itself, it went so fast!

Click here to purchase on Etsy

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Water Lily

Water Lily, oil, 5x7", Sold

This is from a photo I came across on Paint my Photo. It reminds me of going out in the rowboat to find and pick water lilies to bring home to my mom.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cupcake #2

Cupcake #2, oil, 7x5", $99

I don't know if painting cupcakes is a good idea for me. I almost convinced my husband to buy me some actual cupcakes for reference. I am not to be trusted! All kidding aside, cupcakes are not as easy as I thought they would be to paint. I think they are a great painting exercise for me, because I just focus on the shapes without any emotional attachment as I would have with a portrait or an animal.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Milk Break

Milk Break, oil, 5x7", $99

I took the reference photos for this painting a few years ago when I lived in the farming community of Manchester, Michigan. It was spring and this little one was adorable!

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Canine Pet Portrait of Faithful Companion

Portrait of Suzy, oil, 10x8" SOLD 

Please say a prayer for Suzy's owner as she is very ill.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This Little Piggy

This Little Piggy, oil 7x5" $99

I loved painting this porker! I used a photo from Paint my Photo. Cool site, cool pig!

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cupcake #1

Cupcake #1, oil, 7x5", $99

This is my first painting of a cupcake. Many more to follow. It was fun, but not easy! I worked from a photograph because I dare not have any in the house, or they will be inside me.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dawn Breaks Over Mt Shasta

Dawn Breaks Over Mt Shasta, oil, 5x7", $99

I took the reference photos for this painting while on a trip up to Oregon over Thanksgiving week. It was a cold morning and the fog had lifted to this majestic scene.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

White Maine Coon Cat

White Maine Coon Cat, oil,  7x5" $99

I decided to participate in Leslie Saeta's "Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge". I had fun painting this cat! I hope each and every piece I create will teach me something new.

Click here to purchase on Etsy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Portrait of Margie

Portrait of Margie, Oil, 24x30 SOLD

I just recently finished this portrait and wanted to share with you my process. Margie is a wonderful person; sophisticated, charming, warm and vivacious! During the photo session, we took photos throughout the house and deck. Margie is photogenic and all the photos looked portrait worthy. Then we decided on a change of outfit and Margie invited me into the bedroom. I loved the warm lighting from her nightstand and the cooler lighting coming in from a window in which hanged a stained glass piece. Margie was all excited to put on her attire that she was taking on her cruise through the Panama Canal. We both giggled like a couple of girls playing 'dress up'. We both knew we had a winner!

Well, while Margie and her husband left for the cruise, and I got started on the portrait.

I began sketching with a brush and paint thinned with mineral spirits. I am most concerned with placement of the elements and not a lot of detail.

Next, I began to wash in some values. I am letting the white of my canvas serve as the light.

I begin fairly early to block in some color with thicker paint. I believe this photo was at the end of day three. I tried not to get too hung up in one spot, but I spent about the whole day fiddling with the face. It was getting close, but not what I wanted. I gave myself permission to take my time on this portrait and not rush too much. However, I did have a deadline to have it done for a Christmas party where it needed to be finished and dry to the touch for an unveiling. No pressure, right?

I have been working with a fairly complex palette: titanium white, naples yellow light, cadmium lemon yellow, transparent oxide yellow, cadmium orange, cadmium red medium, carmine, permanent alizarin crimson, king's blue, ultramarine blue, dioxazine purple, permanent green light, and viridian. My mantra was: cool vs warm, complements of yellow vs violet, blue vs orange, transparent vs opaque, thick vs thin and dark vs light. I kept the most detail to the face and figure, simplifying as much as possible, especially in the background. You can see around the head where I start to mix Neo-Megilp into my paints. I love it even more than Liquin. It stays wetter longer and makes everything luminous, especially the dark colors that tend to sink in.

This necklace was very important to Margie to get it right. The trick was to get enough detail to read as diamonds, but not so much as to take away from her face. I know I got it right when Margie gave me a huge hug when she came over to view the portrait. The best compliment of all, was at the unveiling when Margie's husband got misty eyed!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Feline Repose II

Feline Repose II, giclee, 7x5", $15

I scanned my original drawing before it was sold. I then colorized it in Photoshop to create a digital art piece. I am including a double mat suitable for an 8x10" frame.

Click here to purchase.