Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Artist to watch out for: Boris Indrikov

Art Deco is revisited with new eyes through the hand Russian illustrator of Boris Indrikov.  Hauntingly psychological, Indrikov blends almost architectural design elements that made Art Deco what it was (Math + Geometry meet nature) with Russian folklore, and finishes it off with a delightful kiss of the erotic and the sensual.

Above: Indrikoff, Boris. The Premonition 
2012. Oil on canvas. 80 x 100 cm.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blessed Solstice, my friends!

Above: St Luke, Portia. Holly King Oak King

2010. Ink on tinted paper highlighted in white. 
Original Available.
(Also available as a poster or as note cards from Zazzle.)

Fix yourself a cup of hot chocolate while I tell you an old story from my homeland, with piece of artwork from a couple of years ago... 

The tale of the Holly King and the Oak King is a timeless myth with origins that run throughout the British Isles.  The Holly King was believed to be crowned every year on the Summer Solstice, only to cede the throne every year come the Winter Solstice to the young Oak King. The Oak King takes his rightful place, knowing he, too, will have to relinquish that same throne in his time.  So it is that the seasons turn, winter to summer and back again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our deepest fear

is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles, (ch. 7. sec. 3)
(Often attributed to Nelson Mandela)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

“If you fear nothing, then you are not brave. You are merely too foolish to be afraid.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton (Skin Trade)

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
– Nelson Mandela

So many exciting things are going on, and I'm really happy.  I can't express anything but gratitude to the universe, but, of course, there's always that little kernel of fear:  fear of failure, fear of looking like an idiot.  The truth is, everybody feels that, all the time.  John Wayne famously said, "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."

Everybody has that fear. Really, It's OK.  Anybody who has ever gone into a creative field has to wonder if they're going to look like a damned fool.  It's a common adage in the art world that to make art is to stand naked on stage.

“Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great.” 

― Cher

When I found this article by author and inspirational speaker Danielle LaPorte, it really spoke to that inner demon.  

Then again, maybe my inner 6-year-old just needs to understand it's OK to be scared.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New this year: Portia St. Luke Christmas Ornament (Blue Jay)

This may be insane, or it may be brilliant, and, either way, I'm excited.  For the first year ever, we're releasing a Portia St. Luke Christmas Ornament.  The painting is a gentle, realistic watercolor and ink painting of a blue-jay perched on a tiny birch sprig. 

 The fearless blue-jay is known for both its talkativeness and its seemingly boundless courage. Much like Magpies, ravens, and crows, they are vocal, expressive and can mimic other birds and humans. Call the energy of the blue-jay into your life to help strengthen your sense of and to find courage to speak out,“find your voice,” and believe in yourself. Those with the blue jay as a totem or spirit guide are often drawn to professions such as sales people, lawyers, politicians, public speakers, and teachers.


Above: St Luke, Portia. Blue-jay and Birches
2008. Mixed media on paper. (Private collection.)

New Product: "Angry Lemur" laptop and tablet case

Such love for the way this design looks on Zazzle's electronics cases!  The ever-popular "Angry Lemur" is now available as an unconventional laptop and tablet case through Zazzle. Steampunk takes an unexpected twist in this unique illustration. Both surreal and whimsical, the “Angry Lemur” is a nod to the political agitators and anarchists in New York City and Boston during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

As always, I'm overjoyed when friends and fans share the love by taking the time to click-and-share the

Above: St Luke, Portia. Angry Lemur.
2008. Mixed media on paper. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Artist to watch out for: Isobel Williams

London figurative artist Isobel Williams is one of those rare, wonderful traditionalists who is wiling to stand in the middle of the great "be here now" and draw the living world around her as it happens. I was introduced to her through this collection of gestural ink drawings on her blog of life drawings, Boulevardisme, but her other blog, Drawing from and Uncomfortable Position, covers her occupation and avocation, court-room drawing in local London courtrooms and general drawing from life. Much of her (best) work could be counted as erotica, and possibly NSFW (depending on where you work), but I felt she was worth taking the time for a click and a look, as an artist who knows her craft and practices it well.  I hope you enjoy her work as much as I did.

Above: Williams, Isobel. 2012
"Financial Times Office"

Artist to watch out for: Javier Perez

Half medical and half biology, Javier Perez creates work that speaks to my inner medical illustrator.  I find in it a strange soul that's both dark and life-affirming at the same time.

Above: Perez, Javier. Untitled.
Represented by Galerie Bartshi

New item: Laptop & tablet cases featuring unique Portia artwork

This is so exciting.  I've found a new design challenge!  Zazzle is now selling custom electronics cases, so I've had a request to make my pieces available as designs for these new items.  We chose to base the first one on "Rabbit Haberdashery ".  This dapper, whimsical rabbit in stylish, bottle-green Victorian dress is among my most popular and beloved designs.  

These laptop and tablet cases offer stylish protection in 3 different sizes for laptops & tablets (10", 13" & 15"), with a top loading zippered enclosure, and 100% satisfaction guaranteed by Zazzle. 

As always, I appreciate it more than I can say when my friends copy, paste, share the link and spread the love:

Above: St Luke, Portia. Rabbit Haberdashery

2008. Mixed media on paper. Private collection.

My "Autumn Fairy" painting

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Trying something new here...

...and using my abstract art skills in creative ways.

Earlier this year, I painted several abstract "space-scapes" in watercolor for the game.  I doubt we'll actually be able to use them, as we've found a much more high-tech sky-box maker, but as unique artwork that stretches beyond my usual scope (and textures for things on Zazzle) they are pretty neat.

They show a very different side of my brain.  Interestingly, I still gravitate to the same colors.  In some way, I'm still me, even when the art is no longer representational.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Great writing by Kate Courageous: The Truth about Getting What You Want

I'm sharing this article by Kate Swoboda, (a.k.a. Kate Courageous) because I've read it several times over the last couple of days and it resonates with me more each time.  A wise woman once told me, "In this life, there are phenomenal cosmic 'yes-es' and then there is everything else. Follow those 'yes-es.'"

In my own life, I have seen this in play countless times.  When I have begun an endeavor because I was "expected" to, knowing my heart really wasn't in it, the project was naturally doomed from the start, whether that was a job as a typesetter or having somebody else's dream of a house in the suburbs.  By contrast, if I care deeply about a project, I know it and the world knows it.  The spirit catches fire.

"The truth about getting what you want is that the things that are most significant in our lives will start to enliven us even with the first step. Even the fear will be accompanied by that sense of vitality–a vitality that shows up as intrigue, or a new bad-ass attitude towards facing fear, or curiosity about facing a challenge.

"Vitality is that way. A life does not wait to begin when something is fully formed; life is happening, right here and right now, with every stage of development, and when I look around at the natural world, it seems to me nothing but sheer celebration, from acorn to root to trunk to tree."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Support small businesses this season

A big round of applause to all of the friends who have encouraged folks to "buy from small businesses, artists, and craftsmen this season."  Some of you ("love!") are compiling lists of those artists and crafters, and have asked for my information.  I'm grateful to have friends who are this organized!

Posters, prints, and cards of original Portia St. Luke artwork are available at: this year:  Yuletide cards!  "Yule Log," and "Freya at Her Spinning Wheel" have been re-imagined as holiday cards. Of course, the earlier Yuletide illustrations, such as "Holly King & Oak King", are still available as blank cards and prints. 

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