Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Sunrise of 2012

On the last day of the year,I send warm thoughts to all who have followed this blog and love making and looking at art as much as I do. May 2013 bring you abundance!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas

Painted this for my sister and her husband, their house before the renovations. 11x14, I had fun with this, from the dried hydrangeas in the foreground to the small piece of Narragansett Bay behind the house. They were thrilled and that made me happy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pell Bridge

This painting was just purchased by a friend for a Christmas gift for her sister. Their mother passed away earlier this year, and her house, which had a view of the bridge has been sold. So now they will always have this view!Painted plein air at Battery Park, this bridge leads to Jamestown and points south from Newport, RI.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


The fourth and final of this series. Nothing is really final though, is it? These are at Imago Gallery in Warren, RI as part of an Invitational Holiday Show.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


As I mentioned in my first post about these citrus fruits, when sectioned they had a thick white skin that I had to slice away to get at that juicy orange flesh. I purposefully avoided using the complement of blue, just because it might be the obvious choice for the shadows and I don't want to paint in the most predictable way. Ever.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Second in this little series is Sliced, again painted on a 6x6 cradled panel. I coated it with gesso first, then sanded it. I could have used a second coat of gesso, but my impatience won out. I played with the edges of the foreground rind, not wanting them to be too well defined. Working quickly, not trying so hard. Against my nature, but then, that's how I grow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The first in a series of four studies of an orange, actually a  tangerine, perhaps a clementine. More useful for this purpose than to eat, as they were disappointingly full of seeds. I used a knife to peel it, and was interested in the shape the peel made, the changes in temperature, and, of course, the shadow shapes.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Posted by PicasaI am showing the stages this painting went through during each 20       minute sitting. You can see the searching and the struggle, and I hope the satisfaction when I finished with a portrait that captures this models features as well as her personality.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Solstice 6

This is the final piece in the series I titled Solstice. I wanted to explore the astronomical influence of the suns position in relation to some forms of nature, namely these branches and leaves. How different these branches would appear if we were approaching the longest day of the year, rather than the shortest. Also, how time is passing, so fleeting, and I want to recognize that too.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Solstice 5

I changed my palette for the shadows in this; wanting to create more warmth. I am enjoying the looseness with which these pieces were painted; I was without expectations and I love how that felt! I feel grateful for the loving support of my friends and family and hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Solstice 4

These paintings are part of an invitational holiday show atDeBlois Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island. There will be something for everyone, and I'm sure these whimsical paintings will quickly find a home!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Solstice 3

I wanted a bit of shimmer so added a gold gouache in areas that would be later painted over in oil. 8x8 on panel, part of a series of 6.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Solstice 2

I set up the branches and leaves, looking closely at the shadows, then worked in a more intuitive way to place forms, deciding where the lights and darks would be most effective in the overall composition.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Solstice 1

A series of abstract leaves using acrylic, metallic gouache and oil paint, these are 8x8 on panel.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


 This is the initial block in of 
Gilbert. I will show in the next 5 images how I progressed in this portrait class taught by Kathy Weber. Her amazing demo was done in 20 minutes making us all feel terribly inadequate. ( I should speak for myself!) I took the next 20 minutes to measure, assess, and take my time to do the drawing.
Back after a short break, I tried to get that large shape of the beret in, noting that I needed to increase the size of it, and his head, quite a bit! I established my initial lights and darks. Remember, this class is the Zorn palette: we use only Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Light, and Ivory Black.
 I was feeling confused by what was happening on the left side of his face, so I put in the background color. I also gave more space behind the ear and to his neck. Kathy noted that his mouth doesn't turn down, as I had it, but is hidden  by his moustache. I was able to see that side of his face better and resolve the lower cheek.
 I added more color to his face, and lightened his forehead, which received the most amount of light. I found the color of his shirt and worked on resizing and replacing the ear. I took photographs after each 20 minute sitting, to see how I was doing.
Final touches include highlight above the eye, the moustache more defined, and a little je ne sais quoi! I feel I am learning alot. Kathy is a wonderful, detailed teacher with both demonstration and explanation.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pink Cloud

Pink cloud: A term used in early recovery when life is amazing, everything is wonderful, you feel high on life, never felt better....then reality sets in and you fall off your pink cloud. Then one day the pink cloud is reality and you understand life is both amazing and terrifying and you are okay with all of it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Self imposed homework

I vow to keep at the self portrait no matter how tough it may seem. I do like certain things about this one. Self imposed homework from the portrait class I'm taking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Another try at the portrait, more difficult as I moved to the side of our model. I found the biggest adjustment came in the size of her neck, I made it way too thin at first. A little toothpick of a neck. So that was a bit of an ahah moment. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The class started with a quick demo where Kathy Weber made it look so easy! Here's my effort, which was not so easy. However, using the limited palette helped to unify the colours. I used a flat soft #8 brush by Creative Mark. I worked on a birch panel, where I gessoed an 8x10 area.I was pleased I was able to make marks then leave them alone!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Zorn Palette

I'm thrilled to be studying again with Kathy Weber, who is teaching a portrait class at The Portsmouth Arts Guild based on the palette of Anders Zorn. Yellow ochre, cadmium red light, titanium white, and ivory black. That's it! Look at the range of colour, and such greys I see in the sea, the clouds. It can be tedious to do colour charts but I found it fascinating, satisfying and almost Zen like in the mixing and the looking, the comparing of values and the direct knife application. It also brought up my perfectionism (arrgh!!), note the freehand size variation of my boxes. A note from The Artist's Handbook by Ralph Mayer: Ivory black is also known as bone black, is the black most widely used by artists, and is made by charring bones.( say what??) It's slow drying, has a brownish undertone, and should never be used full strength for an underpainting, as the next layer of paint will likely crack. Cracking most commonly occurs when the underpainting contains considerably more oil than subsequent layers. "Fat over lean" is a term to describe this process. Mayer suggests the use of Mars Black to avoid this problem. If you click on the colour chart, you can see the colour mixes at the top of each column.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hampton Beach

I painted this during the only clear and dry time of our 3 day camping trip to Hampton Beach, NH. It was early evening, so the light was fading, and I was doing fine until someone walking by commented on the painting looking "so real". I knew I was in trouble, so I got to some serious simplifying! There were blades of grass and wildflowers in the foreground, so they had to go! The result feels much more the mood of the day. But I ask myself, why hadn't I seen that I was getting so fussy?!? How I need to pause, walk away, and then see with new eyes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Coiled in the Sun

When I saw how the sunlight played on this garden hose I knew I wanted to capture that moment. A basic tenet of plein air painting is to find the light or shadow and lay it down early in the development of the painting. The light changes so quickly that you may notice you are modifying and changing it as you go along. This is a tendency that can plague even an experienced painter, trust me! Here is where the camera can come in handy when the light shifts, or disappears for the day.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The tide comes in and the tide goes out

Another look at the ebb of Provincetown's tide. I have lived most of my life by the ocean, on several islands, and yearned for the sounds of crashing waves and the smell of brine when I've been too far away. I am at home by the sea. I find peace at the waters edge. I respect its' forceful power to humble me. It's my "go to" place in nature, what's yours?

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I often hear of working in a series, and agree that much can be learned by repeated looking at a subject. I want to live this quote of Keats, (can't vouch for accuracy though) " Seeing is forgetting the name of what you're looking at."

Saturday, September 29, 2012


These cloud studies are on 6x6 gessoboard and were all painted from my deck facing east. I felt very free, as I only wished to give my interpretation of what I saw in that glorious September sky. Painting without an agenda, interesting.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Breaking Through

Cloud study with the intent to see things more abstractly. Clouds are tough, they are constantly changing. Did I think otherwise? I took a deep breath and let go of my own expectations.I worked quickly and when the blue appeared caught it. That made me smile.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Low Tide

In keeping with Stuart Shils urging his students to draw everything, draw slowly, draw quickly, just draw, I sat on the south end of Second Beach, focusing on shapes and value. Keep it simple.Shils said, "Find the structure of the darks, the structure of the lights.What is important? It can't be everything." 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cross Walk

I have been enjoying working with the photographs I took in Provincetown with my iphone. Seeing once, then reseeing again. While I was there, I saw the Robert Motherwell exhibit titled Beside The Sea at The Provincetown Art Museum which runs through September 30th. Many of the works are held in private collections, so it was a rare treat to see them.The exhibit marks Motherwells' 70th anniversary of his first visit to Provincetown.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

300th Post

This is my 300th post: I am so pleased with my commitment to this blog, as it truly has been an online journal for me to see where I've been, where I am now, and also,where I'm headed. I too, appreciate
all those who have stopped by, and thanks you for all comments. It means so much to me to be part of this wonderful and inspiring community of fellow artists. This was painted plein air in Provincetown, 8x10.

Monday, September 24, 2012

White Wind Inn

Stuart Shils is a big advocate of drawing, telling us that for over a year he didn't paint at all, just took pictures and drew. So the morning after his lecture I set out to do just that, wandering about the streets of Provincetown, not letting the grey overcast skies say anything about the day not being "pretty." As we look at things through the eyes of abstraction, everything can become grist for the mill, Shils points out. Drawing helps us to see the lights and the darks, by assigning a value to a color. Squinting always is the answer!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Passion for Looking

 Stuart Shils gave a wonderful, insightful lecture which I had the good fortune to hear this past Thursday night at the Truro Center for the Arts. One of the things he spoke about was how before we make paintings, we need to develop a passion for looking at things. He uses his iPhone extensively to take pictures of what he calls "accessible images," that are found everywhere.When I wandered out later to the area we had been in for the reception, I noticed the chairs  had been all grouped together, then I  noticed the pattern and shapes and colours of that grouping. He spoke not about using these images to paint from, but more about " spending conscious time to enhance appreciation of what's in front of you."  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Has it really been almost a month?

I can't believe almost a month has gone by since my last post. This plein air view of the rocks at the end of Bailey's Beach in Newport is 5x7. Why haven't I been posting? I got involved with making a book, experimenting with different ideas, it didn't get accepted into the juried show I had tried for. I should know better to be affected, I thought I had a tougher skin, but it was of images of my grandchildren and I think I was too close to the whole project to have even entered it into a show. So I'm in a space with no particular direction.What will I paint next? What am I trying to say anyway? Maybe I'm just thinking too much? I'm going out to Truro tonight to hear Stuart Shils lecture and see his new work. I know I will be inspired.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hot Tub

Another image from the evolving book. It will be entered into a juried show called "The Art of the Book". I can't wait to get it all put together. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking Up the Hill

The vantage point here usually includes St Georges chapel with its beautiful tower, but I was attracted to the complementary barn and field just to the left. We painted under a gazebo usually manned by beach employees monitoring parking; no one there this past Saturday with the rain was coming down hard as we finished our paintings for Wet Paint, the annual Newport Art Museum Event.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bailey's Beach

Thrilled that this painting was among 50 to head to the live auction "under the tent" at the culmination of the Wet Paint event at the Newport Art Museum. I was sitting under an umbrella with the rain coming down hard all around and was so absorbed in painting that it wasn't until I got up that I realized I was soaked to the skin.Talk about being in the zone. My motto for the weekend: Live life and paint often!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Battery Park

The humidity broke on Friday giving me the inspiration to start a plein air series for Wet Paint, the annual fundraiser for the Newport Art Museum. I wanted to be in the shade so I headed to Battery Park on Washington Street overlooking the harbor and the Pell Bridge. It was blissfully quiet and I soaked in gratitude and appreciation for the abundance before my eyes.This little painting is oil on gessoboard 5x7.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gimme Shelter

Another page from the book project, not necessarily in order at this point. The title of the book is One Day and shows children engaged in a variety of summer activities. The photographs are printed on heavy stock that can hold up to the gouache and ink I apply in subsequent layers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rock Play

I've been playing with some ideas and images that I plan to make into a book. A little handmade book, mind you, and probably it won't be for sale. I am experimenting and am not sure how this will turn out, but I am having fun with finding the amount of information to show, to lose, to alter. This image may not be the final cut, that's how "in process" this project is. Do you find this image interesting?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cape Cod Cottages

Started to adjust the sky, bringing in more yellow,want to address the foreground fence, and make the posts more irregular.
The next day, I worked on unifying the left, connecting more of my darks, pumping up the volume of that yellow sky. Softened window by adding soft glaze, the shape suggesting curtains. The background "alien color" which doesn't appear anywhere else, makes a bigger impact for that reason. It's finished.