Art in the


I decided to try something entirely different: a whimsical valentine. A critic once told me that my problem was not having a recognizable "style". He said, "I can't look at one of your paintings and say, 'There's an Esther'." Others have said they can spot my work in any crowd because they always tell a story. Interesting observations, but immaterial. What a dull world it would be if we saw only one or two images! One or two colors! The idea of painting anything and everything, a tumble of color and form, is fascinating! I want to do it all...
"The Windmill"

My ex-husband's ex-wife bought this. It's rather sweet to keep it in the family, don't you think?
"The Village" - pencil
"Carousel #1"
"Mardi Gras"

The favorite of my daughter, Brooke.
"Shadows & Footprints"

Did you ever notice, shadows and footprints are the same color no matter who casts them?
"Pueblo & Child"
"Blithe Spirit"

As a member of the Hollywood Arts Council, I was participating in an outdoor exhibit. Just before noon, a little boy came running down the sidewalk, headed toward this picture. He  stared up at it, his eyes dancing merrily. Finally, I said, "You like that?" When he nodded, I said, "Well, I'll tell you what. If it hasn't sold by the end of the day, it's yours." He took off running and returned a moment later with his parents who were certain he had misunderstood. I assured them that he hadn't. About five minutes before the closing of the show, the little boy came racing toward the painting, shouting, "It's still here, Momma!" And so, that little boy of perhaps nine, became the owner of an original painting with a value of perhaps $1200.00. I can't remember when I was that happy after an art show. Successful beyond measure!
"Highway in the Sky"

Our Seal Beach, CA home was for sale. A mother and her grown daughter were looking through it, the mother downstairs, the daughter upstairs. Suddenly, we heard a cry from a second floor guest room that sent us both racing up the staircase. There stood the daughter, staring at this painting that hung over a guest bed. She said in a breathy little voice, "Oh, mother! Isn't that the most wonderful painting you've ever seen!" The mother asked me how much I wanted for it. Well, now, in truth, selling is very nice, but the best thing of all is for a painting to mean that much to someone. I proudly gave it to her daughter - and beamed for weeks.
"Hopalong Cassidy"

The Lone Pine Film Festival I've referred to already, was to pay tribute to the late Hopalong Cassidy. His widow, Grace Boyd (Hopalong's real name was William Boyd) would be the guest of honor and I was asked to paint a canvas of Hoppy, to present to her. I was certain she owned every photo and painting of the man that ever been created. What could I do that would be different? I found his most popular pose and put him on the desert. You can't see it in this print, but there is a cactus behind, and a full moon over, him. I called it "Grace Boyd's Midnight Cowboy". The painting is huge. It was put on a platform in the middle of the main street where chairs were set up for myself and other guests. The rest of the street was filled with folding chairs for the public. Mrs. Boyd was brought on stage for the presentation, the picture was undraped - and she immediately put it up for auction! I was mortified! Who in the world would want Grace Boyd's Midnight Cowboy if she didn't even want it!! The bidding began. When it reached $1250, the auctioneer stopped the proceedings saying they had to move along. Two businessmen were prepared to go as high as necessary to obtain the painting! So, they commissioned me to paint them another Hopalong painting! And then two more people asked the same thing. I was sure I was destined to spend the rest of my life painting Hoppy pictures.

This is the painting I did for those two businessmen. A subsequent letter told me that it hangs in a place of honor in their company's home office. Like I say, you never know.... you just never know...

The young lady who came to my door was a missionaryfrom Barcelona. She saw this on my wall and became misty-eyed. I asked her what it reminded her of that brought about such emotion. She said, "Me. At home." And so, of course, she went home with the painting. My gift.
"Harbor Lights"

I'm not sure why this is one of my favorites. I think because it surprised me. A couple of days after I completed it, I noticed that the puffs of what I had intended to be turbulent clouds, were actually skulls! It's one of those delightful things that a brush often does of its own accord.
"Sunset Surfer"

The surfer is craved of balsa wood. The golden waves are tiny metallic threads, some no more than one-eighth of an inch. I picked them up with tweezers, dipped them in glue and set them carefully on the canvas. The darker details are slivers of brown metallic thread.
"The Skiers"

We ask ourselves many things when we're exploring. I asked myself if I could paint snow.
"The Hat"

And then I was curious to know if I could capture the look and feel of "suede" ...
Merry-Go-Rounds galore!

I talk a lot about not painting the same things over and over, but I certainly did go on a carousel binge, I confess!
"The Wooden Horse"

Now, this one really was fun, and really was an experiment. The background and the ornamental details are painted. The horse isn't. What you see is the natural grain of the wood on which it is painted.
"Larry Luttrell"

We met when we both worked on the TV show CHiPs. He was the Location Manager, I was Production Coordinator. Married right after the show was canceled. The marriage was canceled some years later.  
"The Cave"

A gallery owner was hanging this when we paused for a photo. A woman walked in and bought this before we even got it all the way up. I confess, it's one of my favorites.

"Other Worlds"