Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Take Two

Another look at the dried pods and flowers that is part of the large collection of things to paint at the studio. There is never a shortage of items to inspire, but I decided to have a go at the same items but paint it in a different way. I did, however, keep the shadow a large element in my composition, this time cropping the pods quite sharply at the top of the painting. The yellow horizontal band made its' way in to break up the shadow with a structured shape to contrast against the many organic shapes.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dried Pods

Studio still life has many of the elements within my control- what I choose to paint, how it will be lit, the composition of the elements. In this painting I chose to emphasize the shadow as an integral part of the composition. 8x10 on linen. I'm fascinated with rendering the pods with minimum detail while letting the viewer know exactly what they're looking at.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


I wanted to incorporate some pattern into this very simplified still life, while emphasizing the strong verticals along the right side of the piece. This was done with gouache- a small study used to play with a few ideas I'm having.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Heading Home- Travel Journal

We spent a few days before heading back to New England on the Blue Ridge Parkway exploring small towns and hiking the trails with Cooper our Labradoodle who loves being in the woods exploring. 
This campground Chantilly Farm in Floyd, Virginia holds music festivals all summer long featuring bluegrass at its best in a beautiful setting surrounded by hills. In the town of Floyd is the famous Floyd Country Store with their renowned foot tapping Friday night Jamboree and Sunday bluegrass brunch.
I did a small gouache study before we left of the hills at the campground. So peaceful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lighten Up- Travel Journal

I wanted to show in this gouache plein air how I thought it could be improved upon after looking at it the next day. I wanted to put more light into it, so I went back in with a specific plan in mind. I am normally an oil painter and I can keep all my color mixes very clean because I have trained myself to mix with the palette knife. With the gouache I am mixing right on the palette and it is easier for the colors to get muddy, which sometimes results in lovely muted shades and other times results in mud! I went in with clean color the next time and the result made me happier, which is what I wanted with a painting of sunflowers!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bark Beach- Travel Journal

Camping on the Delmarva Peninsula the water was still warm enough for Cooper to swim. He's the soaking wet one on the right with one of his newfound friends. I had no idea how many more people you meet when you have a dog!
I wanted to paint the beach assigned to dogs- the Bark Beach, and was able to do so before the kayaks and paddleboards were put away til next season. Just in time- they were all gone by the next day!
I love the off season- a slower and more relaxed pace for everyone except the dogs!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fishermans Marina- Travel Journal

As I am drawn to the fishing boats at home on Aquidneck Island, I search them out when we travel. Nothing beats standing on a dock and painting these hard working vessels. I have huge respect for the men and women who choose this livelihood- not an easy life out on the ocean. One of the men came up and asked if I wanted some of the coffee he had made! So thoughtful! Meeting so many good people as we travel in our motorhome. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

On the Boardwalk- Travel Journal

I decided to work with gouache on this latest trip. My concerns are simplicity, keeping all the work in one sketchbook, minimum supplies. As primarily an oil painter, I found that I really enjoyed the quick drying aspects of this water based media. I also like the subtle matte finish. What's better than a clear blue sky, the ocean and a paint brush in your hand? Loving the life I live.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Surface Tension

 Just thrilled that my painting titled Scattered Light made it to Surface Tension, an exhibition collaborating works between URI faculty and students as well as members of the Art League of Rhode Island. Held at URI's Main Campus Gallery, the show was on exhibit October11-November 18, 2016. I love forsythia, among the first to bloom in our gardens here in the Northeast, an explosion of the happiest of colors-yellow! This oil painting is 12x24.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Red Umbrella

Set up for my plein air still life class. It's always interesting to see which elements prove to be challenging- in this case it was the chair- not wanting it to be too precisely defined.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Quick Demo

Using big brushes I laid in the shapes quickly. 
I have learned to look longer than I did at first, the excitement of painting outside giving way to looking at my set up, walking around to decide what attracts me most, and perhaps trying a few thumbnails before diving in. It's about holding back a little, so that I can be freer when I do pick up the brush.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Another gouache, playing with color harmonies.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Switching Gears

Getting reading to go on the road for a few weeks and thinking about how I want to work. Fooled around with the tiny artist tiles- only a 4x4 surface- very portable to be sure. Gouache is also easily portable, quick to set up for painting and I love the way you can layer so easily in the same session. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Catching Up

I set up the freshly picked sunflowers in the buckets in a field behind the vineyard. We started painting at 3 and by the time the class was over, it was cold and a heavy mist hung all around. A little tweaking in the studio- 
I'm a believer in making the painting work- sometimes things that aren't that discernible show up with great clarity in the studio. And why not?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Feeling Happy

This image caught my eye as I was headed to Spring Bull Gallery for gallery night. I passed by on my way to get a coffee and noticed the light on the wall and the amazing cast shadows of the hanging basket. The wrought iron bench lent the perfect geometry and contrast of hard edges to the composition and I stopped for a few photos. I knew I had to paint it and though I mainly work from direct observation- this time the photo would be my reference. No regrets!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gallery Night Demo

I volunteered to paint at Spring Bull Gallery on Gallery Night; being prepared helps so much with getting the jitters under control. I also got a rough start on my painting before the actual start of the event so I wouldn't be working from an entirely blank canvas. What helps you when you do a painting demo?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Beach Studio Artists

I'm part of a group show that's going on for the month of September at Spring Bull Gallery  in Newport, RI.
One of my paintings is a view from the studio door- we are located on the second floor of a cool building so close to the beach. Hence our name Beach Studios!

12x24 oil on canvas. I used the verticality of the canvas to emphasize my perspective of looking down to the street view and the New Mexican restaurant- Diego's Bodega that has recently opened next door to the studio. Yum. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to the Garden

Have been exploring the still life en plein air- how ever changing natural light affects temperature shifts in color. Painting from direct observation sharpens my abilities to see nuance.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Narragansett Bay

Will never tire of being close to the water- whether tranquil as glass, choppy or rough I love the smell, the colors and the endless rhythm.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Many childhood summers were spent playing on these rocks in Jamestown, my grandmothers house on Narragansett Bay, staring into tidal pools and collecting mussels. The mussels are all gone but the rocks and my memories remain.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Inspired right where I am

Plein air from my deck. Love painting on location but there's something to be said for stay and paint- right where you are! The most inspiring spot can be right in front of you!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Zero In

I went back to the old barn, the "not so pretty" barn and took a closer look. I cropped the scene using a viewfinder made with my hands- right index finger raised, left thumb and index curved into a c-shape. Primitive but it works! 
I found the major shapes I wanted to emphasize and scrubbed it all in with a thinned down Cadmium Red. I wanted to bring the viewers eye to the shape between the buildings so I made it just a bit larger. 
It took me a long time to use that artistic freedom, but I try to determine what will make a better painting and then do those things. I don't need it to be an exact duplication in oil paint of the scene I'm observing.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Why would you want to paint this old barn?"

Summer road trip to Michigan; making time to paint in Suttons Bay; when I asked permission to paint this old barn from the owner selling strawberries at a roadside stand, she said, "Why this old barn? There are lots of prettier barns around." 
If you like to paint plein air then you know the strange lure of places that aren't particularly pretty. There's an immense appeal to making sense of the jumble, of sorting out shapes, of determining areas of emphasis, not to mention a sort of reverence of these old structures.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cuttyhunk Plein Air

I was fortunate to be part of a group of artists who participated in the first annual Plein Air Festival on the little island of Cuttyhunk. Taking the ferry from New Bedford, MA the scenic and beautiful trip was about an hour of sun and calm seas. We were met by "ambassadors" who gave us a tour of the island in a golf cart so we could choose a spot to paint. I set up in the shade and spent a lovely couple of hours. After painting I walked around exploring the island, watching the other 40 some painters that were part of the event. There was a reception, prizes, sales and then the ferry home.
Sign me up for next year!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Geraniums in the Sun

I often like to paint over old paintings, so I found a figure study I had done years ago, sanded it down well- I didn't want any texture remaining for this one- and did my block in with Cadmium Red. One of my friends said what a shame; it looked like a good painting underneath. 
I let it go and moved to the next step.

My set up was in the deck and the afternoon sun had me in the shade and my plants in the light- perfect!
Several times I ampped up the chroma- I wanted it to really convey the warmth of the day.
12x16 oil on panel

Monday, June 13, 2016

Day 7 #AbundantArtShow

Day 6 was a Sunday- and we got the chance to reflect and rest. The following day I wanted to paint the rose again, this time under natural light- ever changing conditions when we paint outside are par for the course.
The task was to publish our post and ask for likes and shares- again outside of my comfort zone.
But that's part of any challenge right? Stepping away from doing what we always do.
This painting was scraped off completely then the abstract shapes appeared. I'm calling it Wild Rose- my inner artist!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Day 5 #AbundantArtShow

Today we were challenged to make a pitch for a sale and I'm not unlike many artists I talk and work with- we are not inclined to self-promote! I think it must be learned, then practiced.
Here's the painting and my process; I picked the first rose and placed it on the table for Sunday dinner. After dinner and cleanup I went into the studio and painted it-6x6. 5 hours between picking and painting. Kinda like farm to table right? Buy directly from my website under New Work.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Day 4 #AbundantArtShow

The concept today was to show your art in a different way so since I'm often told my paintings look like they are interlocking shapes- like a puzzle- I cropped SOLO to emphasize that. Fun?!

Those are the cropped  pieces- here's the whole painting. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Day 3 #AbundantArtShow

I'm behind in posting this blog as the challenge has me doing other things- the biggest has been uploading new work into my website and I've added a New Work gallery page so that's great.
Here are images from the 3rd day. 
Photo from Sweet Berry Farm where I met a friend for lunch. Loved the light on the table and the challenge of painting an interior!

I took an older painting and sanded it down, then spent 5 minutes looking at the photo and drawing the major lines with a yellow pastel pencil.

Then I painted from memory using a palette knife. An interesting challenge for sure! A different approach for me and may lead to working in a new way. I'm not a big fan of working from photos but this forced me to look hard then rely on memory while I painted.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Day 2 #AbundantArtShow

Work in Progress was today's task- this painting is gallery wrapped canvas 18x24.
Step1: block in major shapes using ultramarine as I want a color palette of seaside blues.
Step 2: get canvas covered so I can establish shapes, where I want the viewers eye to travel and areas of greatest interest. 
Step 3: this step is really several steps as I tweak color choices, spending more time looking at the painting from a distance then adding paint where it needs it. I let the painting "speak to me".

Friday, June 3, 2016


Joined a challenge with The Abundant Artist group- 8 days of posting using social media to sell a painting. Here's my first post which was primarily a public commitment to take the challenge. So many artists have great ideas but lack the persistence to stay with it. I WILL persevere! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Loosen Up

A loose approach works for this painting of the Gerbera daisy- looking at color and shape and MOOD rather than a strict representation. No expectations is a good thing- in the sudio I learn about life.
8x8 gallery wrapped canvas.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pink Geraniums

In between some larger paintings, I am often drawn to paint flowers and these geraniums made it through the winter at Beach Studios. 8x8 gallery wrapped canvas; from direct observation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Newport Art Museum

I got into the Newport Art Museums Members Show with this 30x30 painting. I was drawn to the perspective- from the steps of my studio looking down to the street- and wanted to make the very ordinary scene into something more. The arrangement of shapes, the choices of color, the things to emphasize and the things to leave out were all part of the painting process. The show ends May 22nd, so there's still time to see the exhibit!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Art review mention in the Providence Journal

I was thrilled to find out that my painting Lost in Time was accepted into the national juried show Color at the Providence Art Club. There were 750 entries and only 65 were chosen, so you know that made me feel amazing. Even more excited for a positive mention in the review of that show in the Providence Journal. 24x48. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Do out of town scenes attract collectors?

I'm curious about whether anyone has found that local scenes work better for local markets or do out of town scenes attract the wanderlust in us? 
Here's another one from Lajitas- plein air on location, then tweaked in studio.

Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Been Awhile/ from Lajitas

Our winter RV travels took us to Lajitas Texas, a tiny town next to Big Bend National Park. Painted this along the Rio Grande, amazed at being in so wild and wonderful a setting. 12x16
Finished in the studio

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mc Kinney Falls State Park

I painted this over the course of two afternoons looking at the trees in this amazing state park just outside of Austin. This was our campsite view for 4 nights!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Red Navels

Hadn't tried a red navel orange til I bought some at the Farmers Market in Panama City, Fl.
So then I painted one...