Layers and Layers

Since I last wrote my studio has become a laboratory of experimentation.

My treasure trove of collage pieces has found its way to new canvas and wood panels. Maps, wrapping paper, ticket stubs, tissue dress patterns, string, architecture text books, all torn and carefully glued.

mixed media, home, mountains, Beth Rommel, family, love, joy, friends
Home is Where affection Calls, 20″ x 16″, High Country Art Gallery – Blue Ridge, GA

Extra house paint, latex, is painted and rubbed on top of the texture.

Step back.


Change the music.


Look some more.

Acrylics, pastels, charcoal over it all.

These new pieces can all be see at High Country Art Gallery in Blue Ridge, GA. More experiments are stirring in the studio with subject matter such as whales, turtles, horses, and insect life. Stay tuned.

“Can You Make it Rain More?”

Last summer, after the passing of Rock Star Prince, a conversation began.

When Prince was to perform at the Super Bowl in Miami the skies opened up with pouring rain. He was asked what should be done about his show.

He said, ”Can you make it rain more?”

This was an illustration of his work ethic, his understanding of “the show must go on” and the meaning of being a professional.

A man in Orlando heard I was interested in illustrating this event for his art collection. He also wanted a print made of it to present to an employee who was willing to go the “extra mile”.

Our communication was through email and phone calls. I began with a series of rough ideas on lined notebook paper.

I worked on more finished sketches for him. Pastels and watercolors.

We talked about what resonated with him.

The posture of the figure.

The shadow behind the figure.

The difficult road to be traveled through the mountains.


Is it possible to include the phrase, “Can you make it rain more?”

Is it necessary?

A decision was made. We agreed wholeheartedly on which image felt right. #7. So the process of putting oil on  a 30″ x 30″ canvas began.

More depth, more color and the addition of cold wax in the oil paint.


A few details.

Both my client and I were looking at similar challenges in our futures. Some we didn’t even know were ahead. Discussing the meaning of the Prince quotation was heartfelt. We both were sharing our beliefs. The beliefs we have are strong and reinforced daily by our life experiences.

The painting is on its way to a life in New York City and the print is living with an employee who was awarded it for special care and effort.

It was an honor for me to be part of this exchange of ideas.

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!