Monday, November 25, 2019


There’s waiting and then there’s waiting. With only one car on our trip, when Ted goes golfing I have to decide - do I want it to go off and do something on my own, or just hang out at the coach.

With a 4+ hour block of time I took the car, then came back to the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf  where he was playing.

It’s in the town of Seaside, not far from Monterey and the Monterey Peninsula. Gorgeous, warm, quiet, and look who appeared as I was finishing up!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Santa Barbara Plein AIr

 Southern California weather makes for a plein air session without some of the usual hassles we find in the Northeast - bugs, wind, too hot or too cold. 
Maybe you who live here don’t agree but it was heaven to me.
I went over to the Santa Barbara Mission but was more interested in this house across the street. I couldn’t resist that tile roof.
In my happy place for a couple of hours!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What’s a quilt trail anyway?

When we were in Tillamook, Oregon I loved these large square format paintings that were on the side of buildings in town. Tillamook County Quilt Trail and learn more. Never knew there was such a thing as a quilt trail but why not? I love seeing and learning about new things, especially when they’re about artistic expression as it relates to place.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Totem Poles of Stanley Park

 Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC. Totem Poles have always fascinated me, so it was a real treat to see these in the park. A huge windstorm devastated the park in 2006 and the poles were rebuilt by talented carvers of the Squamish Nation. They are carved from western red cedar and each tell a story of a real or mythical event. Totem poles are not idols nor are they worshipped. I stood in front of them for a long time.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Catching Up

Have had internet issues (part of RV travel) so now I’m playing  catch up. First plein air of the trip (back at the end of August) on Flathead Lake in Polson, Montana. 
I painted from a parking lot overlooking a meadow leading down to the lake owned by the Conferedated Salish and Kootenai tribes. 
Signs were posted saying this land was sacred tribal ground; I enjoyed the view of this gorgeous lake.

A view from my easel.

A little 5x5 sitting at the campsite overlooking the lake.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Don’t take yourself so seriously

One rainy day, I cut up magazines. I used some curved nail scissors and thought about negative shapes, one color next to another and Matisse.
Which made me smile and feel good about what I was doing. These are just parts of the whole- which I like just as much as the whole collage. 
It’s like that sometime, and I feel satisfied.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Figuring it all out.

I’m finding it so difficult to get anything going on this trip; it makes me wonder if my focus is off. On our travel days, I’m the navigator and when you’re 65ft long (motorhome plus Jeep) you gotta pay attention! So, unlike some artists who manage to paint while their partner does the driving, it doesn’t work that way for me. Maybe I just need to settle in with “what is” rather than “what I want it to be”.
Isn’t that the secret to happiness anyway?
Here’s a collage I made when I had some energy and time. The winning combination.

I did the gouache then the collage. Simplifying so much with the collage.

  • I’m trying to figure it all out. While accepting things as they are.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

How do I make art when traveling? How do you?

This is a question I always struggle with while we travel. In the motorhome for a four month trip, I’m thrilled about seeing so many new to me parts of the US. The itinerary is amazing, yet I start to stress before we even hit the road.
I can’t set up my oil paints inside the motor home and the weather isn’t always conducive to painting outside. I don’t have a studio to work in and sometimes I see the problems more than I see the solutions.
An artist friend posted on FB a quote attributed to Winston Churchill:
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
I need to post that one in my brain!
So... in the vein of doing things differently and truly seeing the opportunity in the perceived  difficulty, I’ve brought watercolors, gouache, scissors, a glue stick, and a nice big sketchbook with heavyweight paper.
My beginning....

I’ll paint plein air when the opportunity arises but for now- no stressing!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Artist’s Eye or how we see things so differently

The Alley off Mill 12x24

                                                        From Trinity Square 12x16

Atop a Rock 24x24

These three paintings are part of a group show at Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, RI.  I’ve been painting Plein air with The Monday's Palette in various locations around Newport - getting ready for this show titled The Artist’s Eye. It’s extraordinary to see the diversity of our work- sometimes standing only a few feet away from each other! The show runs through the end of August, so if you’re in the area, please come in and see it!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Little Compton Summer Show

Lilacs- 6x7, one of my paintings at the Little Compton Community Center Summer Show this past weekend.

Summer Bouquet 11x14

                                        A Closer Look 6x6

                                         After the Rain, which I’ve posted before is 24x24, happily SOLD at the show and is off to live in Canada. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Spring Mix

I’d love to get some mastery over this new I pad of mine, but I’m impatient and want instant success. I need to remind myself that in all things there is a learning curve and I just need to relax and not be so hard on myself.
All the artists I know are self critical and I want to look at the positive aspect of that. Without striving to be better, to want the next level of understanding color, or even to see on a deeper level- without these things I am satisfied with “good enough”.
It’s not the same as being a perfectionist, but it will surely lead to artistic growth if I push myself out of my comfort zone.

5x7 on panel

My inspiration
Painted while gallery sitting at Spring Bull Gallery

Friday, June 28, 2019

Spouting Rock and how things have changed

Years ago, before the signs and the fences, we would climb up and over these rocks to see the high and wild spume that was present at high tide from a deep crevice in the rock face. It fascinated us all and is a childhood memory for my kids. 
Inaccessible today, I painted from the shore. 
8x10, oil on linen panel. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Quiet Cove

Monday was a perfect day and I got to Fort Adams early to scout the area and find where I wanted to set up and paint. I was soon joined by others, Monday’s Palette is the Plein Air group I paint with and we’ve got a show coming up in August at Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, RI.
One boat I had wanted to paint had someone on board- soon the flag was up and the anchor hauled out. I was glad I hadn’t started a painting, but that’s certainly happened to me before.
That’s where the camera does come in handy- I’m not a Plein air purist who never goes back into the work later in the studio to make it a better painting.
My eyes were drawn to the deep green of the water and the reflections
This one is 12x16 on a Centurian Deluxe Oil Primed Linen Panel.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Losing the Edges

Working over an old painting sometimes is good as the surface already has some texture and color. This one was fun as I looked closely at the cyclamen leaves, just loving their shapes. And of course- those red stems! Played with losing edges along the side of the vase and the table as well as the deck railing and vase.
One Morning on the Deck 12 x12, deep cradled wood panel. $400 with free shipping inside the US

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Deck View

I’m taking an online class with Scott Conary which has me stretched me out of my comfort zone. Isn’t that the main reason that we take classes? Maybe uncomfortable, but one way to grow as a painter, and that’s what it’s all about for me.
I attended a workshop with him last summer at The Providence Art Club and enjoy his teaching style as well as his art. Please check out the link to his website for paintings rich with color and sensitivity in paint handling. Wait til you see how he paints an egg, as well as the intimate back story.
The lower painting is my first-then I went back in to deconstruct by massing shapes and turning the narrative of the cup into a simple rectangle of color. Lots of comments from the private FB group made me feel like the group critique of a class.
Can’t wait to get back to the easel- have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 13, 2019

After the Rain and a little update

The same but not the same.
Yes, this is the same image that was in my last post....except that I tweaked it here and there. I had brought what I thought was the finished canvas in our main living area so that I could look at it under different lighting. I started to see some things, areas that could have bolder color- back to the easel.

I felt good enough about the finished painting to enter it into a national juried show. Now I'm waiting. I'll let you know!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Thinking about Matisse

I've been back in Rhode Island for three weeks now and 
am intensely aware of how fast time is going by. Please tell me it's the same for you!

We've had rain 18 out of the last 26 days- that's typical New England. Not quite plein air weather for this fair weather painter.
Here are a couple of process shots of a bunch of daffodils I set up to paint from life. Oil on a gallery wrapped canvas- 24x24. Glad I took a photo because the little blossoms didn't last too long after I picked them and brought them inside.

I've been looking at the influence Matisse had on Diebenkorn after seeing the incredible show at the Baltimore Museum of Art a few years ago. Paintings and drawing of both painters were displayed side by side, progressing along a chronological line. It was an incredible to experience these two greats and see the similarities. 

I wanted to bring some of the patterns of Matisse into this painting. My nod to Matisse is the top right corner and framing with white on two sides- he loved to paint interiors looking out a window.
Happy Spring to all of you- and thanks for looking and taking the time to comment!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Day Starters or Rise and Shine

Was it only my generation, or did you get a morning call to "Rise and Shine"? I usually would be overcome with a desire to pull the covers over my head and snuggle deeper into my own world.

Years later, when I was in the struggle of my addiction to alcohol and drugs, there was no attraction to the morning. The bright light of sunshine made me wish for blackout curtains and the cover of darkness. The attitude of rise and shine belonged to another girl. Not me. I felt the same hopeless feelings as I had the day before...and the day before that.

My newly published memoir Into the Light talks so much of coming out of the darkness, facing the truth about myself, and doing the work so that I could truly participate in my life. No longer a victim, quick to blame people and situations for how my life has turned out, I can now offer hope to those who might still be stuck in the same kind of lies that swirled around my own head.

Lies that told me I was less than, had done things that were unforgiveable, and didn't deserve an abundant life. How very wrong I was. 

This oil painting, 20x20, titled The Day Starters reminds me of the simplicity of life. Morning rituals like a gratitude list and a few minutes of meditation help me to let go of the past, be truly in the present moment, get up, and embrace a new day. 

Rise and Shine!


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Process & Surprises

What do I love about process shots? It's a little like a makeover- starting with a blank canvas- the possibilities are exciting. Do I want drama or security? Neutral daytime or jaw drop night? 
The same thing can happen when I start a painting. 
And... I might change midstream. That's more about what the painting process is for me, to trust and let the painting take me where it wants to go- letting go of preconceived ideas of what it will be all about. 
The result may be a surprise!

Simplified the foreground and lightened the shadow. I did a lot of looking, walking away then coming back into it, scraping and applying more paint. These photos show 5 layers, there were more that I didn't photograph. I hope this breakdown helps you to understand the many stages a painting may go through to reach the point where I can put down my brush and call it finished!

Adding more color, deciding to add the ocean behind, exploring with different shapes and grays.

Tried some tans and grays but didn't get too far.

 I wanted to get the values down- now with oil paint- and I fell a little in love with the pink. Kept the painting like this while I worked on other paintings and became ready to let go, and continue with the process.

I toned the canvas, 11x14 gallery wrapped, with burnt sienna acrylic, then got my composition down with thin oil paint- my typical mix of ultramarine blue and cadmium red light.

Friday, March 8, 2019

What's to love about droopy?

I love spring and one thing that calls me to do as an artist- bring some flowers in to paint! I did some drawing first, hating then loving the droopiness of these pink tulips. Why aren't they standing up better- more like how I imagine and want them to be?

I looked more closely and found another connection.

Not unlike my own body, the perky, springy part is harder to access these days. Yet it is there- often rediscovered through loving kindness to myself and gratitude for all that this body has done for me. Today, free from disease, only hindered by minor aches and pains and my own attachment to them, I delight as another spring comes near. 

In a couple of days the clocks move forward and I'll be right there- celebrating the light and the new season.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Seabirds from another angle

Here is another interpretation of the beach, the ocean tides and the birds that are along the shore. 

I'm very excited as this painting and the one from my post of 1/29/19 were purchased by a couple for their new seaside home. 

Just the perfect location I had hoped for. 

20 x20 gallery wrapped canvas. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Shoulder to Heel

Because I haven't been consistent about my figure drawing practice, I'm relying on techniques I've learned to find where I am. It's so easy to get lost and forget to use the landmarks. So, I left the lines to illustrate how useful they were. 
Top of her left shoulder to heel; one nipple to the other; heel to bent knee are three lines I established to help me get the proportions right.
Although the pose was only 20 minutes, I feel as though I made good use of these techniques instead of aimlessly drawing and hoping for the best! 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Figure Drawing

When I found out there was an open life drawing session coming up at the Hilton Head Art League, I signed right up. It was wonderful to just relax and draw- no expectations. I used a pen for the drawing, then added some broader strokes with a Prismacolor Premier, 50% French Grey. I love this perfect triangle pose- and that hat was sure fun!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Atlantic Seabirds

A different approach for me. We walk the beach every day here in Hilton Head and I've been watching birds and of course, taking I- phone pictures. Try painting from an I-phone! Ha! 
I could have photos printed but.....
Instead, I've used memory and my impressions of the beach. The air, the smell, the colors all around. I'm playing more and have to admit- what fun! 
As an artist who has relied primarily on direct observation- I feel a little like I'm cheating. 
As an artist who wants to push herself- I feel strangely elated!
20x20 oil on gallery wrapped canvas.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The juror didn't chose my painting and that's ok

I submitted this 24x24" oil painting titled Off Mill to the Newport Art Museum for the annual Member's Show and it didn't get in. From a field of 265 - 90 were chosen. Some years I've gotten in, other years not and I can reflect on my own growth over the years since I started submitting.
A thick skin was something I didn't have at all, and not being accepted was always taken personally back in those days. I could intellectually understand that it wasn't about ME but when you're taking a big chance to submit at all and then not chosen- it's hard to not feel hurt. I've been rejected is what just ran through my mind.
A few tips that have helped me over the years-
1. Love my work and feel it represents me in the best possible way. If I submit a piece that doesn't excite or satisfy me in some way, how can I expect it to move a juror?
2. Never paint for a specific show but look through my work to choose a painting that fits the theme. I have learned this the hard way when I once submitted to a colored pencil show and I'm not a colored pencil artist! It was a fun exercise, but not show worthy.
3. Remember that the juror is looking in a subjective way and what may not be chosen for one show can win a prize in another. So many factors go into jurying a show that are beyond my control.
4. My experience with being a juror myself and knowing how hard the choices can be. I looked for work that was technically well done and also roused some emotion in me. I picked work that touched me in a personal way. 

Inspired to paint more, see things differently and push myself to new places is always what I want when I pick up my brush.

And so too in life. There are many stumbles, and times when I didn't get what I wanted at the time. Only to find there were better things waiting for me around the next corner. Don't ever give up!

Sunday, January 6, 2019


Fear of missing out- it used to keep me going when I was already exhausted, overcommitted and running on empty. Then I heard one of my husbands favorite phrases- under commit and over deliver! A concept that has taken me years to really put into action. I am finally ok when I say no to take care of myself first. I've given up the idea that I have to multitask and always be DOING. 
I'm in Hilton Head for the next three months and missed the opening of CITY LIFE, the new show at Spring Bull Gallery, in Newport, RI. 
I missed out and it's okay. A change in my perspective lets me be grateful for what I have and where I am. Each day.
My painting is titled CHAT ROOM  and is oil on panel. 16x20.