Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Okay, certainly not the most creative title, I know. I have been wanting to try my hand at watercolor again. I've never had any real watercolor classes, so I'm just putting ideas on paper to see what happens. This was my second attempt. I like a couple areas of the first one, but overall, this was better. Every painting is an experiment. I'll put this one in my Etsy shop as a 5x7.

Friday, July 31, 2015


Several of us creative types stepped out of our comfort zones yesterday to design silk scarves. What fun! It was a very warmish day outside. So much so that my sweat dripped onto my design a couple times. But that just added to the "uniqueness", right? The others mostly used the marbleizing technique (see an example in the second photo) which was so fascinating. I decided to go big and bold and try my hand at a large floral. For not knowing what we were doing each scarf was a work of art. We had help from an assistant. They place the silk on our floating art and pull it back off and voila! Lots of ohhhs and ahhhs in unison. Can you tell I was pleased? I sure would do this again!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


During Artwalk this last April some friends came to visit my booth. It was love at first sight when the husband saw Mr Big Shot. After I explained the story behind the layers of this collage he asked me to do one for him. 

I began building the story of Kevin's life after several conversations, photos, and using my interior design instincts to design a piece of art that fits their personal style and a good amount of research on my own.

The top of the painting was from a photo I consider iconic for the times. Seems it was mandatory to have a pic in front of the family car, right? I only have a couple dozen photos of myself as a child and sure enough, one is in front of a car! The original photo was so tiny to begin with I had a heck of a time and a few redo's to get his features to my liking. Lots of tiny brushes were used, as you can imagine. I actually moved little Kevin over to a better spot in front of the car. As an artist you get to do that, you know. Just pick em up and move em over. Sorry, I took this pic quickly so it's crooked, but you get the idea.

Kevin's love for water skiing just had to be included. Again, the facial features were so important to me and the hardest to capture. I think that's my 5th try.

When I presented this to Kevin and his wife Karen (my sneaky collaborator) I can't even begin to express the joy I had in watching them discover the layers and hidden meanings that make it so personal for them. Karen texted me later that they were still finding hidden treasures. 

What they don't realize is each layer of Kevin's life was covered equally in paint and prayer. This is my gift back to them. Look out Kevin! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Guess you can tell I love peonies. Well, truth is it's hard to find a flower I don't love, so let me rephrase that. I love PAINTING PEONIES. They are such happy flowers, don't you agree? 

I was in between projects and just had to stop and paint these. I grabbed a canvas board that was conveniently already primed in yellow while back. However, once I completed the painting and went to photograph it I noticed the 6x6 canvas didn't have straight edges. GRRRRR. Normally when I paint small I use smooth hardboard panels that I prepare ahead of time with gesso and an undercoat of paint. I have to say I like the smooth boards better. I prefer the texture of the gesso better than the canvas and whether I cut them or buy them, the hardboard is cut straight. 

All to say, I decided to make this painting into a print, available in my Etsy store in either a 5x5 for $12, or an 8x8 for $18.00 here

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


PANACHE 6x6 acrylic on hardboard $100
It wasn't until I was taking a photo of this painting that oddly it occurred to me how much this reminded me of my daughter's wedding 17 years ago. The celebration was filled with periwinkle dupioni silk, hydrangeas and yellow roses, love, laughter and lots of dancing. Hydrangea planters lining the isle and afterward I kept and planted a couple in my yard and enjoyed them for years. Unexpected memories at unexpected times. 

I pulled out the wedding album and whatya know? Here I am representing the periwinkle glory. I was not only the mother of the bride, but the matron of honor, too. What an honor indeed, but quite busy doing double duty so this is really the only pic of my daughter and I together that entire day. Jennifer looks even more beautiful today. Me? Not so much. I lost my neck somewhere along the way, but gained a few other extras.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


OOMPH 6x6 acrylic on hardboard $100
So, yesterday I joined Daily Paintworks and posted my first painting PIZZAZZ to my gallery. Today I posted this second painting OOMPH and they (DPW) featured it on their Facebook page, which I thought was pretty cool, right? I'm working on a third hydrangea painting today. Good exercise.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


PIZZAZZ  6x6 Acrylic on hardboard
Lots of irons in the fire lately, but in between some art commissions and all of our bathrooms rebelling at once, I just had to escape and paint me some hydrangeas. I used my light box this time to control the lighting and contrast. Being a fabric designer comes in very handy when I need to pull colors for the backdrop. I love how this coral and periwinkle complimented the white flowers causing the colors to bounce off of each other. I'm so happy, I will paint these hydrangeas again! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015


BUNDLE OF JOY 18"x18" acrylic on canvas $650.00
I've been doing more custom painting orders lately, but every once in a while I just have to have to switch out what's on the easel. I paint a bit, then go back to the orders. This one makes me exceedingly happy. I have been buying up the peonies at Trader Joe's because I need more peonies in my life, ya know? We can't grow them here in San Diego but have such fond memories of having them in Indianapolis. And all those ants working so hard. This painting is for sale on my website here.

In other late breaking news; this little guy just landed in the Big Apple to it's new home. I got word he is settling in just fine and his new owner is madly in love. I consider people purchasing my art more like adoptions. I know that might sound a tad weird to some, but makes perfect sense to me, okay?

Now back to the easel. 

Monday, May 4, 2015


So, as most of you know it simply DOES NOT rain in San Diego. That is, unless I sign up for ArtWalk (or fully decorate an indoor tree out in my courtyard at Christmas). It rained the night before and the next morning as we drove to setup in a downpour. But fortunately it was only wet and misty in Little Italy for setup and dry all day until we had to pack everything back up and move it out at 6 PM. 

It's in my DNA to make a space (albeit this was a tent in a sea of tents) feel welcoming so I brought a chest of drawers and rug to zhush up the tent. The rug was black and white and while that seems a crazy choice for an outdoor street fair it was perfect for tying my artwork together and pulling people in. I debated on the rug due to the dampness but at the last minute decided to throw all caution to the wind (literally). As we were rolling it out a little bulldog walked up to the edge and winkled on it! A Christening of sorts. Let the show begin! 

My Mini MacGyver made these hanging walls out of 4 x 8 sheets of pegboard covered in drapery blackout fabric, which, if you know what I'm referring to is like a fabric vinyl. They were suspended from the tent poles with long zip ties. Wind was an issue so we will also secure the bottom of the boards to the poles next time. Several artists announced they were going to copy us. Sigh. 

Here's a view of the left side wall. The animals were the perfect greeters as there were almost as many 4 legged creatures as two legged humans walking the show. The pig, titled "Whatcha Doin?" was adopted by such a lovely gal, I was tempted to email her and ask how the first night went. Guess I get a little too attached. This photo was taken Saturday when it was a bit gloomier out but the next day was perfectly sunny. People commented repeatedly using the word happy to describe my art or how it made them feel. One lady said, "You must be such a positive person" to which I replied, "Um, not really". I still chuckle inside thinking of the look on her face. 

Oh, and a note to myself; tags don't need to stick out like a sore thumb.

Lots of straightening on a windy day.

"Deep Thoughts" went home to live with a new family but not before he photo bombed me. Always the prankster. 

My dear friend Suzanne Brendis stopped in and took some wonderful photos. 

I consider my first show of this kind to be a learning experience and a stepping stone. Very different than those huge permanent showrooms and temporary booth set-ups in New York and Atlanta that I did for years…and the Quilt Shows around the country. Kinda the same and totally different. I'm still processing how I even feel about selling my art in this venue, but as of now I think I'll give it another go. Meeting people that give me such positive feedback (whether I overhear comments or get to chat one on one) is an experience I truly value. The opportunity to collaborate on commission work from the show is quite invigorating and we'll just have to see where life takes me in a year from now. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Being accepted into ArtWalk is one thing. Feeling like I'm "ready" is another story. It's a guessing game which involves lots of paint. I did stop long enough to design some business cards. I LOVE how they turned out,what do you think?

They are like handing out snippets of my paintings..but without painting each one by hand! Which by the way, is what I actually did once! For a Decorator Show House I had this insane idea to hand color each business card. I thought it might draw some extra attention. Not only did the area I designed win a couple awards and a write-up in the newspaper (remember those?) (go read and see before and after images here) I ran out of cards and would have to deliver new hand-painted batches twice a day! I went through almost 4000 cards in three of the longest painting marathons ever. It paid off though, as people held on to those cards because they were so unique and got some great design jobs from it. I'm older and hopefully wiser, so going with this idea for ArtWalk instead. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015


I promise, I haven't been snoozing. In fact, I'm almost done with my website.  I'd love for you to take a peak and let me know what you think. I'm going to offer free shipping, so if there's something you just love, send me a note in Contact and I'll help you. My friend Suzanne came and took a couple pics for my website. I smile every time I see them because of the funny things she said to make me pose. 

I've also been busy with the ole fixer upper; lately with lots of yard work and planting. Since I continue to kill flowers here in draught stricken San Diego, we are yanking out dead stuff and replacing with succulents. Ah, but this Spring the roses are just beautiful. Glorious color. I post on Facebook and Instagram but here's a vase from this morning. 

So, of course I've been painting them. 

COLOR OF JOY by Paula Prass 6x6 acrylic on stretched canvas

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Last month we visited a (very) nearby winery with some friends to enjoy the sunset and a glass of local wine together. I took this photo with my iPhone and even though it wasn't the clearest phot, I still had the image in my head. So, I decided to try my hand at painting it. Cut a canvas board down to the size I desired for a frame I wanted to use.
ALTIPIANO WINERY 5 x 10 acrylic on board

So, don't hate me, but this is what winter looks like here. Suffering through.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


MISTY MORNING by Paula Prass 6x6 acrylic on canvas
I have oh so many pics of this view on my cell phone taken on various times of the day, different times of the year. So far Torrey Pines beach has been our go to beach mostly because it's 20 minutes away, we can get in a five mile walk without even thinking about it and we love collecting the stones and beach glass. This time of year it's so quiet and serene and the chill helps for a brisk walk. 

Then we come back and add the stones to our courtyard garden. it's about the only thing I haven't killed (yet). I am eventually learning that succulents are about all the green this draught can handle. Well, cactus, but I tend to back up into those. It only takes one time, ya know.

Sunday, February 15, 2015



It was exactly six years ago that I asked my blog followers to check out my daughter Jennifer's new blog HERE. A follower of mine popped over there and when Jennifer posted that she was starting to sell a new line of jewelry called Stella and Dot she got one comment. That one comment Jenny led to a gal named Jenny Foley joining Jennifer's new team. Together they have built an amazing team of over 2200 Stella and Dot stylists. This January Jennifer and Jenny took a group of their directors to Napa to celebrate. 

Jennifer (bottom center) with her Stella and Dot Directors at Cakebread Winery

Jennifer, Kelly, Jenny
Jennifer and Jenny were also celebrating Kelly Sears Cox who has reached Platinum Director. BTW, that's huge people!! So, Jennifer and Jenny secretly commissioned me to paint the Cakebread Winery as a gift to Kelly. And this weekend Kelly was surprised with her new painting. That smile says a lot.

Cakebread and Kelly meet
Jessica Herrin and Jennifer Storey
Never underestimate how the smallest things can turn into HUGE blessings. When we simply ask God to use us today; expect it to happen. Six years ago, one blog post, one response and 2200+ women's lives have been touched. So glad I was a part of it.

AND...For the other gals in the photo, or anyone else, I am offering a print of the original painting in my Etsy Shop. Available in a 5x7 or 8x10. If you all live near each other I can fit a few in an envelope to save on shipping. Just send me a note over on Etsy. 

Oh, and to my other friends, since I'm on a Stella and Dot kick, did you all see the founder, Jessica Herrin, on Undercover Boss recently? If you missed it, here's the link-worth the watch.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Let this be a lesson, young (NOT) lady. Here is a perfect example of the need to start with the end in mind. Last week I had a couple friends over for a fun painting day. Between playing hostess with the mostess, turning my dining room into a painting studio, getting the girls set up, making lunch, etc. I didn't pay attention to the fact that where I set up to paint this mandarin orange the leaves were positioned behind the fruit, which wasn't the best view. Then I quickly drew my mandarin and plate while standing, ran off to make lunch, ate and when I came back to paint I was sitting, which changed the vantage point. Forgot to take a photo of the mandarin on the plate before putting it in the frig for the night. As a result, I had a heck of a time. 

So I basically started over on day 2, but with what I already painted the day before. Turned the orange so the leaves looked more interesting and this time took a pic for reference. 

1) Take a reference photo
 Once I moved past reworking the leaves and plate and reshaping the mandarin I liked it better, but then realized it could have been painted much larger or at a more interesting angle. I had too much empty space and it bugged me…and bugged me…

2) Fill up more canvas or choose a dynamic angle
If a dozen people said it was fine, I still had to fix it for me. So I draped some striped fabric over the back of my vignette, painted it and voila! I can sleep now. And by the way, painting a glass dish, especially at that angle was way hard. I was a bad "instructor" (free, but still bad) for thinking the clear glass would be easy to paint. And for not spending more time experimenting with interesting angles beforehand. Overall, we had fun painting together, but I learned more than they did. Better planning upfront and having a procedure to follow may possibly help avoid reworking and correcting during the painting process. In my defense we did talk a lot about the color wheel. Imagine that.

3) Start with the end in mind
That poor little mandarin sat alone on that clear glass plate for way too long, so I named it No Mandarin is an Island.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Last week I created a gallery wall as part of a submission requirement to an art show. Well, by golly, ya do what ya gotta do, right? I basically robbed Peter to pay Paul. Anyone even remember that saying? I have a couple blank walls now with nothing hanging but a nail. It worked as I was accepted and for right now I'm going to leave the wall as is. However, this turned out to be a valuable exercise; there actually is a thread of continuity to what I create! Can you see it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


SUMMER AT THE BEACH  11x14 acrylic on heavy paper
This was painted on the beach in Maui awhile back where I was taking an abstract plein air workshop. Pulled it out this week and added just a few touches. I'll probably stare at it some and might just add another dab or two. And before it's deemed finished I also look at my paintings in different rooms at different times of the day to see if I need to lighten or highlight any areas. 

My friend Lisa Chin has invited me to participate in an art challenge on Facebook. I'll be posting artwork for 5 days and nominating another artist each day to do the same and fill Facebook with beautiful art. Here's Day 1.

Monday, January 12, 2015



Part of organizing my studio in preparation for my anticipated stellar year, I revisited three unfinished paintings. Added several more layers until the paths were formed and the direction became clear. Very pleased with the "direction" my Plane View Series is taking.

Also revisiting that website that continues to hang over my head. There will be a self-imposed completion date, young lady! I have had such a rough time downloading images..until I switched browsers. Voila. So glad I didn't throw my 2 Macs out the window after all. 


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