Commission for April/ May 2022 

The past few months I have traveled a bit and worked on a personal project Faces, which I will blog about when it's all finished. But I also had the pleasure of creating a large commission for a client. I was given full control for the subject and a little nudge of what colors and themes the client liked. I have a backlog of public domain photos stored away for rainy days, photos I would like to someday turn into paintings and this photo just called to my clients wishes.

The portrait of Henri Groulux with his chicken, cir. 1920 was taken in a Parisian studio. I attempted to do research on how this photo came about but found very little, so I created my own backstory. This also aided my idea to do a mixed media piece and create a background of newspaper clippings about the circus, Charlie Chaplin and even some articles about the writer Proust. This painting turned out to be 75 x 75 cm in acrylic paint on canvas. I am happy with the end result as is the client!

Buy Local Art!! a visit to Southern Suds and Gifts in NC 

Visiting North Carolina, March 21 in downtown Wake Forest. 

So I wandered into this shop and discovered a collection of wonderful handmade art and cards. Ranging from quilts and pottery to paintings and jewelery, I found some wonderful pieces that were inspired and truly different!

What a joy it is to wander into a small town shop and see that artists are supported by their local community.    

Don't forget to support your towns local artist hub, even if its at the coffee shop! Buy local Art! 

Faces a new project  

February has come and gone!

I am starting a new project, faces, three photos of famous African-American woman superimposed with my own. These images were created long ago when I was at university, studying ( of all things) conceptual information arts! We used computer arts- sound, visual and film, to explore how we could bring art to technology. At the time, in 1997, this was really progressive!

I made a self portrait using three African-American women, Shirley Chisholm (a political activist from the 1960's), Mae C. Jemison (the first African-American woman astronaut) and Billie Holliday (singer). I was interested in exploring identity, mainly my own because I was mixed.

 I began painting these images and started a vlog to document my technique with all of you on Instagram #odarleyart

happy painting

2022 New Year Revolution 

Last summer 2021, Baigorry Market

After a successful Summer Season, I took some time off for a major renovation at my home. Instead of painting landscapes and portraits, I was painting walls and ceilings. We completed work in November and I was ready to get back into the studio.

The first week of December our village was hit by a storm that flooded our village, including my studio. It's taken a few months to clean up and dry out the space, 5 paintings were unsalvageable. The lesson learned; pick up and move forward.

I marched down to the local soap shop and asked if I could sell cards of my paintings, it's been nice to have community support. The cards are of Baigorry, town center and an old famous roman bridge, art of my Village Series from 2018.

The flood reminded me to seize the day and start new projects. I will share these adventures in the months to come. I certainly look forward to what 2022 has in-store. 

This moment's mantra: Full of FAITH and trust your GUT.


Summer shows 2021 

Busy summer with lots of markets and expositions. Starting this week!

I have focused on projects for the markets, still painting mountain landscapes but with a new twist. I’m having fun with acrylic painting and oil painting techniques. 
Newest mindfulness mantra is interwoven throughout all the pieces, because my process in painting them took time and thoughtfulness. The month of July has been focusing on patience and letting the little stuff go. So my paintings are not perfect but they are thoughtful. It will be interesting to see how this will affect future portrait paintings! 
thank you for joining me on this journey and for your continued support and inspiration. Happy July!

May 2021 Back to Nature 

A return to nature and mindfulness 

looking up at the sky, looking up at the sky through the trees. Here in springtime the trees awake, the colors bright and the sky is often a cool pale blue. It is still cool here but the sun’s return brings colors of yellow, white and purple wild flowers and greens of all shades, against the sky.

I have been walking around to find trees, young and old, looking up them and seeing magical things! It’s a little abstract but all these paintings are from trees here in this village of Baigorry. Mostly Oaks and Elm, and a few walnuts and cherry trees! I hope you enjoy them as much as I love creating them!

Getting a commission  


Receiving commissions are always fun but also It can be challenging. This fall I received a commission to create a custom size acrylic painting of a photo. My clients who are good friends have left all creative decisions to me but I do have size constraints and that the piece will be mailed to Costa Rica. 
I always start a piece as

a practice so on paper I used watercolor to plan my attack. This painting is going to be 1 meter by 40 cm. I started with my large size watercolor paper 70 cm x 50 and had some wiggle room to figure out what elements in the photo were important. This is always my process for commissions. 
I prepared the canvas, I did not stretch it but I did attach one end to a rod to keep from rolling up since it will be shipped in a tube there was no need to put in on a frame. I started my first layer. I don’t paint with black (ever) so I hit all dark areas with blue. What is great about acrylics is you can use a lot of the same techniques as watercolor to get layers of colors. But until watercolors you can lighten up areas that are too dark. I’m nearly finished but have captured what my progress looks like. 

Portrait project 2020 

I’ve started a project asking friends and family to send me a photo of themselves that they like. I have received 20 photos and began a journey and a challenge for myself. I started with watercolors and have begun to switch to bigger sizes and also to oils. 
it’s been years since I’ve painted portraits but it been a pleasure hearing from friends from all over the world and from all the places I’ve lived and worked. These portraits are of friends, family, students, and co workers from schools, hostels and summer camp! In a way these are the people who have made me and it’s an honor to paint them as they see themselves. 

Art in the time of covid 

I’ve been busy during confinement making many small art pieces in an old book that we were going to donate, instead John Steinbeck’s story “the grapes of wrath” French edition became the backdrop of many pieces I created. It started as a sketchbook and I slowly realized there were many small treasures ready to be framed. It was a nice surprise to get wonderful feedback from the people at the markets where I set up. Here is a delightful example 

Putting up some art 

My friend Jessica owns a salon du the in my village and she invited me to put up a few paintings this summer. It’s always the best opportunity to start sharing my artwork in small spaces before going after bigger restaurants in bigger cities, which of course is the goal. 

So I happily arrived with 4 paintings She was so excited to hang them up and we were finished in a half hour. I had everything ready. Information is key, a price list, a little about the artist sheet in English, French, and basque, with contact information and business Cards. 
The hardest part to putting up a show is putting them up, at least for me, but she did it in a flash. We decided to use natural rope to Give the show a more bohemian look. I’m happy with the results and so was she.