In & Out of the Studio

I spent the better part of 2021 and 2022 creating the paintings for Morning Leaves: Reflections on Loss, Grief, and Connection by Laing F. Rikkers.

Morning Leaves is a book of poetry inspired by the loss of Laing’s sister. The writing and the artwork encourage us to connect more deeply to nature, one another, and ourselves.

The book is a secret garden filled with reminders of our humanity and the shared life-force that links us and the natural world. The lush descriptions and exquisite artwork will resonate with something deep and true as you explore and discover your own path.

Illustrations for the book were painted by Kelly Leahy Radding, an artist and student of nature. Kelly was able to bring visuals to the words in a way that enhances the reader’s experience and makes the book uniquely beautiful.

Morning Leaves will be published in May 2023 by The Collective Book Studio

In October of 2022 I took my first real road trip since before the pandemic. I arrived in California to attend a Morning Leaves book party and the first Society of Animal Artists annual exhibition since before the pandemic. I tested positive for COVID on day 2 and had to sit out of all the festivities. Luckily, but the time I met my sisters in Reno for the second half of my road trip, I was feeling much better though still positive for a few days. 

The theme for the second half of my road trip with my sisters was searching for and visiting with wild mustangs, hiking up to over 1o,ooo ft above sea level to touch a 3,500 year old Great Basin bristlecone pine tree in Great Basin National Park, fall foliage in the western mountains and many fun miles driving across Nevada on the “loneliest road in the United States” (they aren’t kidding!). 

My travel wanderlust was satisfied and I came home brimming with new ideas and visions of new paintings swimming in my head!

Sketches from Nature blog

What to Paint Next…an Artist’s Eternal Dilemma

What to Paint Next…an Artist’s Eternal Dilemma

It’s the first few weeks of the first month of a new year… what to paint next. Starting a new painting is always an uncertain time for me. I have so many images in my mind’s eye that I want to paint. There are exhibition deadlines on the not-so-distant horizon, but...