Inspiration from a Friend

A common topic among artists is, “Where do you find inspiration?”

Often when an audience can’t comprehend where your ideas come from they ask this question. As an artist having a dry spell where you find it difficult to write or draw or dance,  you ask this question.

Yesterday I was reading a new blog by one of my friends, Sarah Hanberry Baker. One of my dearest friends. Memories of our riding horses and just being free spirits are always close to the surface in my memory bank. We connected in middle school in New Orleans. We attended Metairie Park Country Day the laboratory that created artists, writers and brains of all dimensions and leanings. You can find the alumni in every industry and art (and

Sarah Hanberry Baker
Sarah Hanberry Baker

Back to my point, Sarah’s new blog is about writing. She has been published many times and has found great success in different genres. To get some insight into the writer’s world I encourage you to check it out:

Dad at the farm in 1967
Dad at the farm in 1967

When Sarah and I would ride horses, whether is was at her Grandmother’s place in Vinton, LA or my parents’ farm in Folsom, LA, we would ride bareback, hell-for-leather.

Over fields.

Down dirt roads.

Laughing and talking.

We wished we were cowgirls in the wild west.

And wished we had Marlboro Man boyfriends.

Flannel shirted Me in 1975 at the farm.
Flannel shirted Me in 1975 at the farm.

If I wasn’t riding Thunder my dear Pinto, I was riding Misty, the big white horse.

Misty oil, 18" x 24" copyright ECR 2013
oil, 18″ x 24″
copyright ECR 2013

So where is inspiration fitting into all of this? Sarah responded to an email I had sent with words that inspired me. Her encouragement got me to the computer to my blog and now as I finish this post to the easel to paint.

Thank you friend!

“Excuse Me!”

Sometimes you have pleasant accidents when you take a photograph. I was trying to take a photo of this.

Graffiti Ladycopyright ECR 2013
Graffiti Lady
copyright ECR 2013

I was having trouble focusing and trying to avoid a glare so I put this Graffiti Lady on my easel on top of another painting I am working on.

The Horses are Backcopyright ECR 2013
The Horses are Back
copyright ECR 2013

and this is what resulted.

Excuse Me!copyright ECR 2013
Excuse Me!
copyright ECR 2013

The message is loud and clear, ” This is my easel, clear out.”






My friend Robyn Hood Black posted the kindest things on her blog, Artsyletters, yesterday. She is a generous person in writing, in art and in person.

Last weekend the announcement was made that I had won a first prize in the  SCBWI Southern Breeze 2012 illustration contest. (SCBWI is the abbreviation for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.) Robyn very kindly wrote about the event and my process.

Please take a minute to check out her blog, this is after all the mutual admiration society, and let her know you dropped by.

P.J. Tried and Tried to Make Friends with the Horses
Acrylic, ink, collage on 18″ x 24″ paper
copyright ECR 2012