Chicken Soup and Chocolate Squares

Inevitably, along with the first breath of spring, the dreaded cold arrives,

extends its stay a lot longer than planned, and finally leaves taking with it

the aggravating symptoms.  Work in the studio continues along with

opportunities for some business networking within the final week of the month.

The paints , brushes, canvases, and paper are placed alongside of Kleenex boxes

and cough lozenge packages, half-emptied. 

The true remedy (at least for me) is the daily dose of chocolate, which I

am convinced is a necessary component of my diet regimen. No one is more delighted

to hear that dark chocolate is actually healthy, and I believe that chicken soup seems

to make everything better, just like Mama always said .

Another painting from the BVI series awaits photography and uploading,

only recent weather has caused a slight delay in completion of that item on

my t0-do list.  Everyone you run into has that “I am so over winter” expression. The small 

portion of today’s sunlight that filtered briefly through the windows seems to be a

sign that it will be a more frequent visitor soon, if we can just hold out until next

month… just in time for the swift arrival of pollen and ragweed allergy season.

Meanwhile, pass the nasal spray. Thank you.

A portion preview of the latest painting exclusively for blog readers;
rest to come soon in next post

“Hibernation and Creation”

Well, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog more frequently, and here it is:  


The last day of the first month in 2013, and I am just now getting to a new post.  My other resolutions, such as the usual exercise routine, blah, blah, blah, hasn’t worked to my advantage either, but I can “justify” it with all kind of excuses. Only one makes any sense to me, and that is “it’s so hard to fit it into my schedule.” The other is the fave of the lizard brain: ” tomorrow is another day.” The lizard will win out on this one but I am promising myself that I will somehow balance the studio time with the rest of life…um, yeah, starting next month.


At least this month has been all about art. I was able to visit the Chihuly exhibit in nearby Richmond while visiting friends and family in mid-month, and during the week days, I have been swamped with commissions for home originals, so that is good. The lizard whispered that all he wanted to do was curl up and hibernate with the snugglies ( a pet name for my pet studio assistants.) I ignored the call and got up, dressed, and showed up anyway, which makes for a much happier camper.


Prior to writing this, I saw stats that informed me that over a thousand spam comments had been averted from appearing on my post pages.  That’s another thing that is probably a curse for the artist: the temptation to be socially plugged in. Is it going to kill me or make me stronger if I miss a day checking my Facebook news feed, Twitter tweets, (does that make me a bad tweep?), etc., etc, etc. (Yes, I have that many connection sites but I refuse to get involved with Instagram or Pinterest.) Hey, people… I need some time for me, and I am going to find it… starting tomorrow.


p.s. Even this post is repeating itself, and I cannot delete it… does that mean it’s time to call it a day? I think so.

The snugglies, my studio assistants


A sample residential original by Kandy Cross 2012 all rights reserved









Hey, people, I need some time for me, and I am going to find it… starting tomorrow.

“So This Is Where the Magic Happens…”

In the aftermath of the unspeakable horror of the recent shooting at the Connecticut elementary school, I, like so many others, am seeking the comfort of the holiday spent with family and friends.  The yards of gift wrap are strewn throughout, the music that is usually non-secular becomes more traditional in lyrics that soothe and bring to mind happier thoughts of Christmases past, and the disorganized chaotic studio space becomes a storage house for more than easel, brushes, and paints. For now, it serves as a reminder of one of the goals for the New Year: make some kind of attempt at organizing this mess.

The title of the post was something one of my collectors actually said when entering my work space. My next dream is to have my own Woman’s Cave on an upper level so that I can have room for the huge drawing table that is being stored elsewhere since it won’t fit into the room where I work now. I envision one side of the studio with a wall of glass to allow lots of light, plenty of wall space to display my future “babies”, room for my large desk and easel, beach-like wooden floors, wall length desk height areas for working , and wall to ceiling bookcases along with tall divided wooden storage areas for canvases in progress. 

A shabby chic sorta Key West interior would be the style that I want to use within my private studio. This year I have become a true Houzz fan, and have started my online ideabook when I see any other artist studios that give me ideas for my own. I would love it if I could get some other suggestions as to how to design it from those artists who have done so, interior designers who love to talk about design, or anyone else who has a flair for planning out spaces. Oh. I just remembered. I also need an office space there with a plush, funky sofa near my desk for my clients when they visit. It will be a happy place that will uplift my spirits just like my paintings, and I look forward to the year in the future where I will be typing my blog on my computer upstairs within my cave.

As I write this, the Mayan prediction of the ending of the present world has not occurred, so I am looking into 2013 with a sense of renewed optimism. I also want to look back upon this year as one of continued growth, and express a personal thank you to my mentors, who have taken me a few more steps higher on the ladder of small business success: ( you girls rock!) Monica Lee, of Smart Creative Women, Kelly Rae Roberts, my ” flight pilot,” Marie Forleo, and Maria Brophy, of And to those who have supported my talents and have contributed to my mission of ridding the world of cancer in all forms, I wish to say that I appreciate you more than I can ever express in words. I hope that all of your dreams come true and that the holidays are filled with laughter and love.

‘Rescued by the Muses’

I haven’t written for quite awhile because it has been a difficult period since the last post.  November is always the time to reflect upon gratitude, and when I am grieving, I find that those moments suggest clarity, and I am once again able to move on, not quickly with confidence, but with baby steps, one foot awkwardly in front of the other, falling down, then gradually getting back up on my feet.

 I won’t bore the reader with a personal gratitude list. There are thousands on the web to read of those.  I am, however, grateful for the presence of the muses, who I tend to picture in my mind as a mischievous group, who derive enjoyment from playing with me just to see if I am indeed focused and paying attention. Oh, let’s fix it so the computer won’t work today. Well, that worked yesterday, so we’ll see how she handles a week of tech support calls about her printer. Hmmm. What next so we can see what makes her sweat? LOL.

Once again, they are defeated. The universe aligns its course and the collectors reappear to keep me occupied with the work I love to do. The days are filled with studio activity and the waves of sadness create a low tide where I can function. The painting becomes therapeutic as multiple commissions are completed and delivered. The pain of losing close friends is buried underneath the surface for the present. There are tons of projects waiting. Why is it so difficult to start the next one? Why do my hands seem to hesitate drawing the next line? Why is it necessary to ask myself these questions?

I miss them because they were my mentors as well as my friends. They were there to support , inform, question, and advise me on this journey of my dreams. They shared the highs and lows, and comforted me when needed. Their presence within my life filled my weeks with joy and shared humor. The void is felt within the circle yet life continues as if they were still here with us. The ending of the year will hopefully provide closure.

‘Sunset Dream’ 2012 12×16″ Kandy Cross




“Moaning and Mooring”

the first of the BVI series of paintings, ‘Cane Garden Bay’ by Kandy Cross

Final day. Coconut Spiked Rum French Toast. What a way to say goodbye to Tortola! The Cane Garden Bay exploration continued with a return visit to Greenvi Studio where we watched a glass blowing session in light rain. A local market offered the usual tourist wares, and as the showers subsided, the beachfront and Dust, a local young man selling rum-filled coconut shells, grabbed our undivided attention. Happy hour appetizers were coconut shrimp skewers and conversation with Lorita and Simone, our friendly servers at Sailor’s Rest, and Mrs. Bean, the owner. Later, the evening ended once again with the sounds of island music along the beachfront and goodbyes to new found friends.


Trip epilogue: Have you ever experienced a serendipitous moment? On the trip, I found out that the captain and his girlfriend were unknown collectors of one of my paintings. They had purchased it during an auction for the local chapter of the ASPCA, and I was invited to their home after our return to see it. During the past month, I have completed the first of the B.V.I. series, ‘Cane Garden Bay’ while listening to island music by Kenny Chesney and The Zac Brown Band. One of the things I love most about the life I live now is the freedom to spend hours of painting subjects that during the weekdays in the studio bring back the memories of good times with good friends.


“Running with the Bigger Dogs”

The group met Lorraine at the Big Banana Cafe for breakfast since Sailor’s Rest was closed for another holiday morning.  There  is just something about a johnny cake on the menu that makes the day begin with a smile. Maybe it was the fact that this wasn’t a familiar menu item back home,  and the cooks were talented in both preparation and presentation.  Next, it was back to the boat and on to Jost Van Dyke, the small island that was visible along the horizon. We had heard of the legendary Foxy at Foxy’s Bar, and were told that by arriving earlier in the day, he would be likely to be on the premises. Sure enough, he was seated within the center of the open-air bungalow, smiling from one ear to another, and talking rapidly to anyone who would listen to his bantering. He proceeded to tell us the multiple (now six) characteristics of an island dog, a lazy Black Lab curled up next to this island legend. (We found out later that this discussion has been recorded on YouTube.) One of the phrases I will always remember is the Foxyism “rain is spitting sunshine.” Cool, huh?

The second stop was in White Bay at the Soggy Dollar Bar, famous for its libation, The Painkiller.  I wasn’t aware that we would be swimming ashore to get there, nor did I realize that it would be quite difficult to get back the same way, as three of us tried to exit via the rocky coastline after several hours’ visit there and to Seddy’s One Love nearby. The return to Cane Garden Bay led us back to Myett’s, where MargaritaBill sang along with the Candyman, a local musician, to end a pleasurable Monday evening.




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