Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell to 2011

What an incredible year it has been.  Feel grateful for friends, family and a true sense of purpose! I wish the same for you in the New Year. Blessings and love!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lisa & Lola

I finished this Christmas Eve, delivered it Christmas morning, with the paint still wet. Lisa was very surprised, as this painting has been sitting half forgotten and unfinished in my studio for longer than I care to admit. My husband was the one to urge me into the studio saying, "Just get it done!" He has more faith in me than I do sometimes!                                                                                        

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing for you
 a full heart,
a peaceful heart,
                                        love in your heart
                                         in whatever way
                                 you celebrate the season.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

1 Day

As the anticipation and expectations rise, may you find peace in this day.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2 Days

I've been invited to see an IMAX 3D movie with kids and grand kids today? Can I be as excited as if I were headed to the studio? After all, the studio is a safe haven, always there for me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Days

I'm working today but then will have 3 lovely days to enjoy my family. A special time also to reflect on the past year, on each area of my life, where expectations were not realized, where goals were met. I like to use an illustrated journal to do this, filled with inspiring quotes I find, images I like or make right on the page. Maybe I will post at the beginning of each month a page from the journal. I'm thinking out loud...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 Days

Some of the ladies from The Portsmouth Arts Guild  volunteered to wrap gifts at the local Barnes&Noble. We brought brochures about the Guild and our Spring classes brochure.
Dinner last night with husband, 4 kids and 2 grand kids! Now that's joy. Little ones remarkably well behaved, toasting love to each other.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

5 Days

When I made this collage I used the famous blue from a Tiffany ad, but cut the letters from an image that looks like rubble. I'm thinking that the little blue box won't ever fill the vessel that longs for love, human touch, and kindness. That's what I wish for each of you today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

6 Days

Today my son comes in from San Francisco where he has founded a design company. Check it out. Seth Quest. Can't wait to see you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

7 days

A few years ago my sister and I decided to change things in the gift giving department. What do we need anyway? So now instead of exchanging gifts and buying for our husbands, we all contribute and Adopt a Family  through our local Child & Family Services. It's a tradition for us now.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

9 Days, oh no, it's really 8 days

Checking dates, see that I'm off by a day on my countdown to Christmas. Hence, the correction. I am at peace with myself, even when I make mistakes. Mistakes link me up with the rest of  humanity.Yes!

Friday, December 16, 2011

10 days

The guys went up to the mall Wednesday afternoon. They said it wasn't too bad, ie. crowded. I'm not much of a shopper and didn't feel like I had missed anything. However, let me loose in a nice art supply store and that's another story.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

11 Days

When I made this card I wanted to convey how one can find peace, and be at peace when in a crowd, when chaos surrounds us, when the world doesn't feel peaceful. It's an inside job, and I like that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 days

I wanted to share the cards I collaged, wishing I had time to paint,but knowing I will be back in the studio after the holidays. Two sons visiting from California, my life is abundant and beautiful. I wish you the simple things that surround us each day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bella's Book

This handmade book was so much fun to make! I used foam core for the front and back cover, which I wrapped with fabric that had been in my mother's sewing box. I wrote a few words for each letter of my great-granddaughters name, Isabella. There is art and collage on the reverse side. I thought I would share it as this is the season for handmade gifts and could be personalized for whoever YOU love!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hilton Head 11.17.11

Time to ride home!

Low Tide Ride
This trip was a wonderful break from work and  responsibilities, giving me a chance to connect with my husband, nature, and my art spirit! I found this method of art making while away from all my usual materials, studio, and my beloved artist  friends  invigorating and very satisfying. It reminded me that doing things in a different way gives me a new slant on everything. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hilton Head 11.16.11

Every time we go to Hilton Head we have to go the The Jazz Corner which is a fabulous club with super jazz and delicious food. We love Bobby Ryder and that's who was playing this night. I did this totally blind contour drawing, then collaged around it the next morning. Yes, it was a late night and no, I couldn't see what I was drawing. Low lights for atmosphere, right? I am so pleased with what happened here, I hope you like it too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hilton Head 11.15.11

Day 5 on Hilton Head found me out for a morning ride on my bike. There are extensive bike paths, miles of beach to ride and biking is a favored mode of transportation by everyone on the island, locals and tourists alike. Here I am at Java Joe's where the 1st refill is free and the outdoor tables are positioned to take it ALL in. I had fun with this one, with several people asking to see what I was drawing. You have to go with the flow, if you want to work outside with people around. I do have friends who keep their earbuds in to discourage interaction, but that's not me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hilton Head 11.14.11

Started some contour drawing again, trying to keep my eye off the page, filling in with gouache and collage.Looking at values, how very dark the night seen through the French doors reflected in the mirror behind him were.
A complicated scene I tried to simplify down to bare bones. Monday night football...during a commercial!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hilton Head 11.13.11

I ventured outside on my bike to find some people for my subject this morning , day 3 of the vacation.Coligny Plaza, named after the 16th century French Admiral who went on several exploratory expeditions in Hilton Head,  is a spot people really flock to. This particular setting is steps from the beach, shops, and restaurants. I sat on a bench (in the sun) watching people come and go on these great wide wood swings.At home, I added gouache and collage.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hilton Head 11.12.11

Day 2 of our vacation, wanted to do something that wasn't a set up, but just there. The knife rack against the kitchen wall. Showing it to my in laws on Thanksgiving, my 96 year old mother in law, who is technically blind, said, "Shouldn't the knives all be facing in the same direction?" OK, she's way too sharp!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hilton Head 11.11.11

What a busy time of year it is!Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We've been back from Hilton Head for almost a week, but I haven't had a chance to post until today.While we were there, I brought only a few tubes of gouache,a fine ink pen and the magazines I had bought for the plane. I decided to play with those materials and record our trip in that way. Here is day one, starting with a blind contour drawing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Progress

Just starting to work on this, lobster boat on the waterfront of Newport. This stage is just establishing where everything goes on this format of 2 canvases, each 12x24.
I want to compress the space, not showing too much above the dock,but focusing on boat and man.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I really had fun with this, what else do we do with these little pumpkins and gourds? If we are artists, we incorporate them into a painting. I added the striped cloth to play off the stripes. Working with the palette knife again, which keeps me from being too picky and from excessive blending. This is oil on a 12x12 hardboard panel that I add an extra coat of gesso to.
Opening last night at Spring Bull Gallery, where I am the newest artist member. A wonderful and generous group of people.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Framing 101 continued

Showing clamps in place in 2 corners

I use either 1x2 or 1x3 poplar which I buy at home Depot for the sides of the frame. I use 3/8 x 1 5/8 for the inner part that the panel or canvas will rest upon. I like to use a wider piece for this as I sometimes use Velcro for fastening and a wider surface helps the Velcro adhere better. I do this with the little ones 8x10 and under, as making frames is time consuming and that way I can rotate them easily.
1) Measure the art and add 1/8 all around. Cut the 4 base sections first,measuring twice and cutting once! Glue,clamp, and let dry.
2) Place your art on top of the base and smile at the narrow border that surrounds it! On to the next step.
3)Cut the pieces for the sides of the frame, holding it upright in the miter saw to get the cuts as seen in the 1st photo on left.Measure the INSIDE of the outer frame side to match the OUTSIDE of the base piece and it will fit perfectly. Remember to wear eye protection, hair tied back when you work with power tools.I lay a scrap piece of wood with the 90degree edge on top of the piece to be cut and draw a faint pencil line to mark where I will be cutting. Put the blade down manually to test you are in the right place before you cut. That's the measuring twice part. Cut on the outside of the line or else it will be too short! That's happened many times to me!
4)Glue and clamp the sides using 2 pieces at a time. The top and side together doing that twice. So you end up with 2 90degree corners.
5)Determine what height you need the base to be in relation to the sides so that your art fits in with just a bit of the frame extending above it. You don't want it too deep in the frame, or protruding from it. Use scrap pieces to provide a support for the base while you are gluing the sides together.Check this carefully before you move to the next step.
5)This step puts it all together. You put glue on the perimeter sides of the base and then arrange the  side sections in place, gluing the ends of them and clamping it all together. Give it ample time to dry. I use any wood glue.
6) If the frame is larger than 12x12, I would drill small holes at the corners, 2 nails to each side, sink the nails, fill with putty,dry,sand. You will sand anyway when the glue has completely dried. If you wipe any glue overruns off early on, it will save much sanding later.

This has been quite extensive but so many people have asked me how I make frames that I thought I would put it all down. Maybe I should consider making a video to post on my blog. What do you think? I don't know the 1st thing about doing that!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Framing 101

These clamps that I ordered a few years back from Garrett Wade make the job of building frames easier.  I no longer see them on their website, which is really a shame, since they have worked so well for me. I like the look of a floater frame and learned how to make them while I was at  The Lyme Academy. There we had some serious clamps that were mounted to the large worktables in a big bright studio. Now I make my frames in the garage, but they are no less for it.
Basic Equipment: Miter Saw (the miter box and hand saw I found very difficult to get exact cuts, which you must have). Clamps, glue, drill, a flat surface especially if you are doing a large frame.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lunaria annua 2

Turned the branch of this dried Money plant upside down, and tried again, this one 5x5. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lunaria annua 1

I know this as the money plant, but in the US it is know more commonly as Silver Dollars. I love the silvery dried seed pods and had to paint them, mixing the colors as accurately as I could. Some distortion happens on the computer... which is too bad. This is post 200, very exciting to me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Red Grapes

Another study done with the palette knife. I'm going to hang them horizontally and you will see the table top and unity between the last 3 paintings. What's next? Planning a big studio painting of the harbour scene.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2 Red Pears

Used the knife again with a pear duo.I am enjoying the physical properties of painting with a knife. On another note, for some reason I haven't been able to respond to some of you. It doesn't let me identify myself,so then it's anonymous, then it doesn't go through. I just want to let you know that I appreciate your comments, they really lift me up, please continue!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Red Pear

Painted this pear entirely with a palette knife, which is a departure for me. When I took Catherine Kehoe's class this summer, she urged us to mix paint with the knife and not the brush for cleaner,truer color. I have been policing myself to do this (lapsing back to mixing on the palette as I was taught at The Lyme Academy ). One way is not more "right" than the other, for me it is about finding my own path, discovering what works,what excites, what facilitates my expression at a particular moment in time. And this morning, with the pear on a sunny southfacing windowsill, the knife was the way to go!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Morning

The initial attempt of this painting plein air was a scrape off! It looked like night, where was the light?How can this happen on such a sunny morning? I finished it in the studio using the palette knife only, trying to really push myself and concentrate on temperature. It is quite different from my usual, and I tell myself that change is good, that experimentation will help me to grow. That said, it feels a little uncomfortable nevertheless.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Started this plein air on a scale I don't usually do outside (20x20). I was initially intimidated to even attempt such a size, but my painting partner Judy Chaves urged me to get outside my comfort zone. Not one to run from a challenge, I took her (it!) on. After 4 hours the light was entirely different, and I had to call it a day. Finished in the studio as the weather never returned when I had the time to go out. I was forced to use my visual memory in a way as to keep the painting from being overworked. I am grateful that it worked out!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gallery Sitting

Donated this painting I did while gallery sitting to the 1st fundraiser for The Portsmouth Arts Guild which was held last Tuesday night. A well attended event, with proceeds exceeding our goals! Now that's what we were hoping for.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What Matters

A different format-this canvas is 8x24. Liked breaking the rules of having the flag pole dead center, balancing the composition with notes of red, keeping a pretty muted palette throughout. Contemplative.I've been invited by The Spring Bull Gallery to become a member! Of course I accepted, as it's a fine gallery I've admired all the artists there for years. So a new chapter begins.....More updating soon, and more posting too!

Monday, September 26, 2011


This painting is almost completed but I am still trying to solve some problems. Which is a lighter value,the white mast or the grey foggy morning sky? How do I describe the jumble of items in the foreground, but stay abstract? Bisecting the canvas with the flagpole breaks the rules, which is a challenge. Can I make it all work? On a side note, the painting from the previous post DID get accepted! What a diverse and intriguing show up through most of October at the Portsmouth Arts Guild.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Up Again

Working on a 16x20 format, this painting is my entry for a show juried by Roger Kirby, whose work is so diverse and amazing. I like the painting anyway, and won't take it personally if I don't get accepted. This is so hard when you first start entering juried shows, it's a personal affront and so demoralizing if you don't get accepted. We have to develop a thick skin and keep on making the art  that is truest to us. One jurors rejection is another jurors prize winner! I've seen it happen, to myself and to others. Meanwhile, my fingers are crossed....

Monday, September 12, 2011

One Fine Day

More involved with my thought process and the composition of this one, simplifying the background,eliminating really everything but the dock pilings. Trying not to be literal  with the photo reference.I edit so much when I paint plein air, experimenting with doing the same when I am in the studio.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hauled Out

Plein air study at the dock.Windy morning 6 days after Irene hit New England. Many boats were hauled out of the water, couldn't tell if this one was headed back in, or out for the winter. No one around early Saturday morning.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Have wanted to paint these fishing boats on a larger format for some time. This one is 20x20 and it felt good to have the size. This painting is going to The Spring Bull Gallery in Newport where I am the guest artist for August and September. I wanted to bring a new painting in for the opening tomorrow night. I decided to keep the palette limited which helps to quiet the painting and reinforces the solidity of the boats. There is so much information and this was a way to keep the viewer from being overwhelmed. Not so much for the artist!! Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

At The Dock

This was my entry for Wet Paint, the big summer fundraiser for The Newport Art Museum which took place this weekend. A fun event that I've participated in for years, we painted at the State Pier again. I started 2 paintings before this, the 1st boat left the dock, wiped that off. Luckily I hadn't gotten very far into it before the owner and his young daughter came aboard, getting underway 10 minutes later. The 2nd one didn't get too far either before being wiped off. This one came together, but not without a struggle. Took alot of photos for studio paintings. Want to explore a larger format with these boats.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

State Pier

The fishing fleet in Newport has long fascinated me, both as subject to paint and an industry to respect and protect. This view is looking back towards Long Wharf.