You got something to say?? Speak up! Let me hear you!


I use WordPress software to write my blog. There has been a steep learning curve since I am not of the younger generation and my brain is not wired to “think like this”… I’ll admit at times there has been smoke coming out of my ears from so much thinking. BUT, that is a good thing right? Recently I’ve had several people tell me that they would have liked to comment on my blog, but it requires signing up for something or it’s just too darn hard to figure out. I promised I would address this, so here are some step by step directions. Once you’ve done it, you’ll see it’s a breeze. Although, trust me, I know how you feel, so give it a whirl! I usually do try to comment back to everyone if possible. If you would like to see my response (emailed to you) as well as anyone else who comments on that particular post, you can click on a button to see just that… Also, DO NOT WORRY THAT YOU DON’T SEE YOUR COMMENT RIGHT AWAY. Because of all the spammers out there (people who “comment” but put links to all kinds of creepy things) I have the comments set to moderate, meaning that I click to approve them. So hey, if you’re creepy and try posting a link to pretty much anything I will most likely mark you as spam and be done with you, please don’t waste your time with me.

The steps are simple

At the bottom of the daily post you will see a LEAVE A COMMENT or 1 COMMENT (2 COMMENTS, etc.) link, click on it.

Then you will see a box pop up to enter your comment. Place your cursor in that box.

Once you place your cursor in the box you will see a few more things. Ways to show me who you are. You have the option of entering your email address (that no one who reads comments will see, only I will see it), and the name that you want to appear to anyone who reads comments. You also have the option of signing in with WordPress [if you have a blog], Facebook, Twitter and Google +). Then click the POST COMMENT button. As soon as I look at the comment to make sure you aren’t a spammer it will appear. You can also click a box so that you receive an email with all comments on that post, mine included… 

Here it is step-by-step… I have lots of screen shots, and am probably over-explaining everything, but it truly is easy. Give it a whirl!

Ok, here goes… Step one… click on the “Leave a Comment” link. You’ll see it at the bottom of each daily post on the left hand side…

Step One...
Step One…

Step two… You will see a box appear. Place your cursor inside the box (click your mouse/trackpad inside the box).

Step two...
Step two…

Step three… and this is it! Enter your comment. Then enter your  email address on that first line. Enter your name on the second line. If you have a respectable website address you can enter it on the WEBSITE line, otherwise, just leave that one blank.

What appears you’re wondering? Your name as you enter it. So if you prefer to only enter a first name, that’s ok… Your comment appears. YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS DOES NOT APPEAR… the only person who can see that is me! If you want to see other comments (mine included) for this post only check the NOTIFY ME OF FOLLOW-UP COMMENTS box. Then… CLICK the POST COMMENT button on bottom right of screen.

Options… Of course WordPress likes to give people options. So if  you don’t want to sign in with your name and email, they give you the choice to sign in with your WordPress account (if you have one), Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Ignore this if you don’t have one of these accounts! Just use your email address and name!

Don't forget to click on Post Comment!
Don’t forget to click on Post Comment!

To clarify… You can click on LEAVE A COMMENT as shown in the first screen shot, or on the number of comments. See how it appears after someone has made a comment? You see 1 Comment (or however many there are), you can click on to either read the comments or to leave a comment.

So to leave a comment, click on LEAVE A COMMENT or on 1 comment (or 2 comments, etc) - you can also click that link to read other comments.
So to leave a comment, click on LEAVE A COMMENT or on “1 Comment” (or 2 Comments, etc) – you can also click that link to read other comments.

I just noticed one more scenario that makes it even quicker for you… sometimes you will not see the comment link (either Leave a Comment or 1 Comment, etc) – this is when you click on the title of the post, or if you click and are looking at a specific post. It will appear with a comment box, so you’re ready to go… Follow the steps above… woohoo… tell me what you’ve got to say!!

Easy as pie… oooh, did someone say pie?
Easy as pie… oooh, did someone say pie?

Hey, THANK YOU, to those of you who have commented over the past (nearly) three years! I have “met” some of the coolest people on earth through this blog!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        I think I’ve found where I want to live… finally!!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Recipe for a crowd, Chicken Sausage Jambalaya with Shrimp!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Meeting for coffee…


Meet my new friend and fellow blogger, Kate Mura. Kate has an interesting daily photo blog (it’s not easy to post something daily!), VISUAL ST. PAUL, check it out if you get a moment!

What a nice lady! We met at Cafe Medley on Sullivan’s Island. What a cool place! Hint, hint… GREAT coffee! They had some good looking food, bottles of wine, all kinds of delicious treats! I see a future post for sure! Fred and I will have to go back in the name of research 😉

Kate is cool. She is so interesting and full of wise words. I hope that I’ll be like that one day! It was nice to meet you Kate! I look forward to meeting you again next time you’re in Charleston!!

Kate and Barbara

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… John Pototschnik!

JohnPototschnik AnotherSnowComing JPfb

“Another Snow Coming” by John Potoschnik

I ran across a painting by John Pototschnik on Facebook and it caught my eye right away. What fabulous work he’s got! I love how this painting captures the light, and those cool blue undertones of the snow with the pinky highlights just set such a mood for this painting. Gorgeous… Also love the tree with the sunlight hitting it so nicely. Great work! If you get a chance, check out his paintings AND his blog! His blog is absolutely amazing, he keeps you up to date on what’s going on as well as interviewing other artists. These are not fluffy interviews, these are MUST READS! He is entertaining and articulate, check it out!

Here’s a blip about John from his website:

John Pototschnik (Poe-toe-sh-nick) was born in St. Ives, Cornwall, England but grew up in Wichita, Kansas. He received his art training at Wichita State University in advertising design, followed by instruction in illustration and design at Art Center College in Los Angeles. Most recently he has studied human anatomy at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut. 

In 1982, Pototschnik began painting professionally in the fine arts. Prior to that, he worked as a freelance illustrator for ten years with many of Dallas’ major advertising agencies and companies. 

Since beginning his fine art career, Pototschnik has become a popular speaker and juror among art organizations. His paintings are in many private collections from Hawaii to Rhode Island and also in several public collections including : cities, banks, corporations and museums. 

Pototschnik resides in Wylie, Texas with his wife Marcia. They have two grown sons. He is a past president of Artists and Craftsmen Associated and the Plano Art Association. He has been honored with four George Washington Honor Medals from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, the John Steven Jones Fellowship, plus many other regional and national awards. He is recognized in “Who’s Who in American Art” and “Who’s Who in the Southwest”. His work has appeared in “First”, “The Artist’s Magazine”, “Southwest Art”, “American Artist”, “PleinAir Magazine”, “American Art Collector” and “International Artist”, plus six books…”The Best of Portrait Painting”, “200 Great Painting Ideas for Artists”, and “Expressing the Visual Language of the Landscape”, “100 Ways to Paint Landscapes”, “100 Ways to Paint Flowers and Gardens”, and “100 Ways to Paint Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes”. Several of his paintings have been published by the New York Graphic Society and Bentley House Publishing. He is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America and the Outdoor Painters Society. 

“My artistic influences are diverse, ranging from the Barbizon painters of Corot, Daubigny and Millet to the American tonalist, George Inness. I believe all I need to know of the principles of art are to be found in the works of the masters. My paintings are not flamboyant, mysterious, trendy or shocking but I am interested in depicting the truth about life, as I see it, in a naturalistic way free of frills and bravado. I enjoy depicting simple, common, everyday life and its objects as things of beauty and worth. I intend to show the dignity and value of the subjects I paint – just as my artistic influences have. Through continued hard work I want to give to society paintings that transcend the culture and it’s ever changing tastes. . . paintings that speak to the heart.”

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Aaron Westerberg!

AaronWesterberg Intent AW

“Intent” by Aaron Westerberg

This painting, “Intent” has been awarded Finalist in the Raymar Juried Competition. I wish I was as eloquent as Michael Godfrey, ha ha… I totally agree with his comment – you have to wonder! At first you think she looks like a “nice girl” until you see what’s in her hand… is she going to go edge a patch of unwieldy grass growing over and spilling into the driveway, or is there a small tree that needs removing… or…. EEEEEEk! Intriguing works of all kinds are on his website… check it out!

Judge’s Comments: I was drawn to this work by the subtle use of complimentary colors of the background in contrast to the model’s coat. It is simply composed in a very shallow space and exhibits technical mastery of the medium, but it goes further. I was so captivated by the beauty of the work that I initially missed the fact that the young woman is holding a hatchet. I laughed. This detail totally changed my thinking about the piece. What is she about to do? – Michael Godfrey

I highly suggest checking out the HOW TO DRAW tutorials that Aaron has posted on his blog! What fabulous information! A great blog full of so much good stuff!

Here’s a blip about Aaron from his website:

Native California Aaron Westerberg grew up in San Diego.  It was a class in Traditional life drawing that drew him to continue his Art training.  He studied with Jeff Watts and later attended the California Art Institute, where he taught and expanded his focus to include the works of nineteenth century American and European Masters. Aaron feels a connection to these great painters of form and light. In his paintings, he strives for elegance and timelessness while striking a balance between classic techniques and contemporary subject matter. Currently Aaron lives in Santa Clarita with his wife Jennifer and four children Stella, Lucy, Violet, and Sen Sei.

 Aaron Westerberg is a member of the Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America and The California Art Club.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A beasty birthday!

The birthday boy, Charlie!

H A P P Y  3 R D  B I R T H D A Y  C H A R L I E !

It’s Charlie’s 3rd birthday today, boy how time flies! If you would like to be entertained by a funny blog accounting for the first year of LIFE WITH CHARLIE, click the link). Initially I created this blog because the only time Charlie would sleep is when I was sitting in my desk chair at the computer. He would curl up behind me and fall into a deep peaceful (for me) sleep… so I created a blog to vent entertain myself, then Charlie started getting people who wanted to know what was going on each day, it was a hoot… after a year he calmed down and I stopped the blog, but it was a great year!

Preparation for Charlie’s birthday hat photo shoot!

Charlie is going to have (another) good day! He’s been so much fun these past several years, here’s to many many more Charlie! May your birthday candles never blow out : )
Have a great day and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Nancy Colella!

“Glorius Fall” by Nancy Colella

Facebook. It’s an amazing way to discover new artists… I’m thrilled to have found artist Nancy Colella! She’s wonderfully talented. Her paintings are happy… you can tell that she’s studied from some of the greats… such as Charles Sovek, Tim Horn and Colin Page (among others!). Those three are just amazing to me and Nancy has that same ‘amazingness’. You must check out her work, it’s brilliant! Fresh, colorful, different and LOOSE! I love “Glorious Fall” (pictured above), I love the contrast! It really stands out, this painting won Honorable Mention at the Duxbury (MA) Art Association Winter Juried Show! In addition to Nancy’s wonderful website she maintains two blogs, both are fabulous, one is SIMPLY PAINTING, it’s a journal of sorts, including her paintings and wonderful stories as well as great bits of information, I’m thrilled to have found it! Another blog entitled PATIENCE WITH PATIENTS just warms my heart to no end. Here’s Nancy’s description:

A year ago, I was asked if I’d like to give “art” lessons to Alzheimer patients. I am not an art therapist and have no experience with Alzheimer’s patients, but I strongly believe “art” opens doors, in some way, for everyone. I took this on as a challenge and started this blog with the hope that sharing my journey would help care givers and family members use “art” to open new doors of communication. 

Talk about amazing! You can see how her art lessons open doors, lets their creativity rein free… I couldn’t help thinking if I were in their position how much an art lesson would mean to me… it would definitely be the bright spot in the day! I think it’s fabulous that Nancy makes the effort because it clearly makes a difference in so many people’s lives… hmmm, a lesson we can all learn from? What can you do to help make someone’s day/week/month better?

A blip about the artist from her website… “Glorius Fall” by Nancy Colella / Image from artist’s website

About the Artist

Nancy was a painting major at Muskingum College and graduated with a BA in Art Education, then continued her studies at the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Paros, Greece and at the Instituto de Allende in San Miquel Mexico. After a career in the Hospitality business and while raising her two children, she began studying again at Mass College of Art in Boston, MA and at the North River Arts Society in Marshfield Hills, MA. She has studied with numerous contemporary impressionist painters; Charles Sovek, Peggi Kroll Roberts, Ken Auster, Kim English, Colin Page, Carol Marine and Karin Jurick, to name a few. She is a gallery artist and faculty member at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA and a member artist at the Copley Societyin Boston. She exhibits regularly in her gallery/ studio where visitors are welcomed.

One more because I just love it… This painting reminds me so much of Charles Sovek and his wonderful work! (All images from artists website):

Your art is amazing Nancy! Catch you back here tomorrow!

POSTADAY2011 Challenge complete! THANK YOU WordPress!

Let me start by saying… HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE! Can you believe how fast time flies?? I want to send a quick Thank You to WordPress… Last year I decided to figure out what a “blog” entailed… why not spend some time each day and see what happens? Can’t hurt, right? After a lot of research I decided on a WordPress blog, and let me say… I’m happy I flew with WordPress! I created this blog on January 1, 2011, and planned to do several posts a week. Then I noticed WordPress had a POSTADAY and a POSTAWEEK challenge… Ok, now my interest is really peaked… a POSTAWEEK challenge really isn’t a challenge for me since I feel I can ramble on about pretty much anything, and doing so only once a week is too easy, but EVERY SINGLE DAY?? Eek, that quickly started to become a challenge. It wasn’t the topics it was the time it took to research and to figure out WHAT… once I have the WHAT I’m set! WordPress has a blog you can subscribe to that gives you ideas of a topic to write about each day, they ENCOURAGE you to write. I would have to say I am THRILLED with WordPress. They strive to be the best and to constantly improve the best of the best. I have contacted their support a few times, and they are wonderful, they respond quickly, and let me just say… they are called HAPPINESS ENGINEERS for a reason! Who couldn’t love that!

Keep it up WordPress… I’ll be with you next year! A big thank you to those of you who have spent the time to follow this blog throughout the year, I have met the coolest people this past year! I’m looking forward to next year…  OK, y’all, have a wonderful New Year’s Eve… be safe, don’t drink and drive… call a taxi or have a designated driver! Catch you back here TOMORROW!

Image via

Artist to watch… Otto Lange!

"Milkman" - Image:

OK, who here remembers the milkman? You know, the man who delivered milk and other dairy products to your house each week. Well now the secret is out, I’m old enough to remember and I kind of miss the concept of the milkman! How nice would it be to answer your door and have your dairy products right there? Or reach inside the milk box that was outside the door in case you weren’t home? Well, I think the milkman era has long been gone, but here is a painting done by a very cool artist entitled “MILKMAN”. I just happened upon this artists website and it’s just so different. Very realistic images. The artist’s name is Otto Lange and he lives in Athens, GA. He has work in several galleries…

He’s been in several publications, has a great BLOG and WEBSITE… So if you get a chance, check him out!

Oh… this has me now thinking about the bread man… He. Had. Pastries. I guess I’m glad there is no longer a bread man… I think I’d be in trouble!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… Greta Van Campen!


Hey! It’s not too late! There’s still time to catch this show at the Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine! I first saw Greta’s name mentioned while reading Colin Page’s Journal (if you haven’t read it… it’s addictive, this is one VERY talented artist, who shares a wealth of information). Greta’s work is so different. I am impressed. This is one girl with some energy! She has a great WEBSITE and BLOG. She’s in a fabulous gallery, the DOWLING WALSH GALLERY. So if you are fortunate enough to live anywhere in the Rockland vicinity and haven’t seen Greta’s show yet… I would find a way to make it over there…

Here’s a blip about Greta from the Dowling Walsh website:

Greta Paints America

“Over the course of 2011, I plan to visit all 50 of the United States and paint a portrait of America. The act of painting helps me to look more closely and honestly at all that is around. I want to explore contemporary America, while also learning about the history of the land and people in our country. I want to meet individuals from all walks of life and listen to their stories. My goal will be to preserve and share the experience of paying close attention to all that I see and learn by capturing it in paint. A car will serve as my main mode of transportation, but I’ll also be traveling by plane, bus, rail, boat, and foot. I want to begin the project with loose guidelines: one year, 50 states, oil paint, an open and curious mind, and the desire to learn, listen, explore, and look closely. Hopefully, if I hold true to those guidelines, the project will develop organically, leading me to many great discoveries!”

Greta will have a solo exhibition at Dowling Walsh Gallery from Friday, September 30th through Sunday, October 30th, 2011.

One more image… from Dowling Walsh’s website… check them out for more!


Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist Carol Marine… House lost in Texas fire, can you help?


I know Carol Marine through her wonderful blog (Carol Marine’s Painting A Day) and Facebook. By now most of you have heard about the devastating fires in Texas… It has destroyed nearly 800 homes and displaced countless people. Artist Carol Marine and her family recently found out from a neighbor that their home was completely destroyed. Absolutely. Nothing. Left. Ugh. The good thing is that Carol, her husband and her 6 year old son are all OK. Her husband was brilliant in thinking to drive both cars, one with the camper… so they are set up in a park until they can determine what to do next. Fire insurance is great, but the benefits aren’t instant. It’ll be a while… It’s hard to imagine losing everything. I don’t know Carol personally. I know a lot of people who DO know her. From what I’ve always heard, she is just the nicest person, willing to help anyone at anytime.


Carol has many friends. She is a fabulous artist. What more can be said? How about… would you like to buy a painting OR contribute to a fund set up to help out?  Artist Frank Gardner has several of Carol’s paintings at Galeria Gardner, he is waiving his portion of the sales so that 100% of the purchase price goes directly to Carol. Another good friend of Carol’s has set up an online fundraiser. Can you help?

Here is a small portion of the entry, click HERE to be taken directly to the online fundraiser page.

They had good insurance, but it will take time for that to all kick in, so I’d like to help them in the meantime.

Please consider making a donation below to help them get back on their feet.

It’s true, the most important thing is that they’re safe. They are my family and I love them all dearly. But my heart aches for everything they lost – all the mementos, all the memories, their sense of sanctuary.

Thanks for your help. And please say prayers for everyone that lost their house, dear pets, or is still in harm’s way.

With love,


We all need to help each other out when we can… if you don’t have extra money right now, a prayer, a good thought, any positive energy sent Carol’s way would be most appreciated.

Catch you back here tomorrow!