Friday, December 24, 2010

"Salt and Kiwi" 10" x 10" oil on linen

I was painting this Roseville baby cup with the kikis and salt shaker. I thought, when through, that the painting looked too symmetrical, so I replaced a kiwi with another salt shaker. Now I really do not like it., but thought that I would show you anyway. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


So today I made flowers. This is made with Liberty cotton lawn for the puffy fabric center, hand- felted wool for the petals and a vintage bakelite button in the shape of a cube for the center. I really needed a break from painting. This flower will top off my pile of cookies to my best friend for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Maxine" 10" x 10" oil on linen

I've been commissioned to do a few pet portraits over the last year. This is one I just painted for myself of my dog, Maxine. She was a real sweetie! My June 2010 post shows another "Max" I painted for a friend from Facebook. I will soon post the third of an Australian Shepherd. I do work from photographs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"About the Glass" oil on linen 18" x 20"

I had mentioned before that I had purchased some pretty blue glass on etsy. The cobalt blue creamer I thought was beautiful in the light. I like the way glass distorts objects viewed through. What I was focusing on in this painting, besides just having it turn out OK, was transparency and opaque, as well as matte and reflective surfaces. I like the fact that in a still- life all of the objects sit still, barring no bumps to the table. Flowers constantly move, people breathe, but, with a consistent light source objects stay put. I use a big black-out cloth for draping my light box, which is set up like the framing of a box, using PVC pipe. Therefore, as the day progresses and the light moves across my studio, I don't have to worry about the light changing. Too bad the present does not contain a reward for all my hard work....just a prop.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"3+4=7" oil on linen 18" x 20"

I have taken an interest in cobalt blue and aqua glass, and with all these tangerines around the house, what a nice compliment in color to paint them together. This is SO obvious, though, that tomorrow I need to find a different color palette to work with. I just found this beautiful little cobalt pitcher on etsy that I want to paint. It's so petite and the light shines through it so beautifully!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Joker" colored pencil and ink on bristol

I've always wanted to design a deck of cards. Well, at least the face cards. Do Joker's count? This was just a fun little exercise.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Cobalt Bottle" 8"x10" oil on linen

When looking for things to set up in a still life, sometimes I am thinking of an "object", while other times I look for colors I want to use. I recently picked up this cobalt blue bottle, thinking orange, orange. I have another blue bottle I am excited about painting, because the shape is just so beautiful.

"Remains of an Egg"

I forgot to post this one with the last. Before I broke this jar in the sink, I did a small painting of the jar after the egg was poured out. Then I broke the jar!      8"x6" oil on panel

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Just a Break" 8"x6" oil

Not a lot of time today but I painted this small 8"x6" panel. Egg yolks can look rather funny in clear glass. I accomplished what I set out to do...a quick study. Upon cleaning out the egg from the jar, I, by accident dropped the jar in the sink, eliminating any possibility of painting this jar again. Oops!

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Not My Coffee!" 6"x6" oil on panel

Well, here is little mouse making another appearance and always wanting something. Last time (a few or so posts ago), mouse wanted the last crumb of cookie, being that he was fully submerge in the jar to begin with. Just like my cats, he thinks he wants a sip of my coffee. But I know that he's only after the rich coffee aroma.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Pecking" 10"x10" oil on linen

I've never painted glass Christmas balls before, and was having difficulty in choosing the colors, knowing they would be reflecting off each other. Then with the placement, I thought I would separate the two, hopefully getting a wonderful shadow shape to work with. I think the end result looks like big bird eyes with a little beak where the nose would be.

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Hop On" 8"x10" oil on linen

There wasn't even a doubt as to whether I would paint today or go out to do necessary errands. I'm sure the stores were mobbed! Errands can always be held off to another day. So today I was thinking while painting, of making every brushstroke that I put down to really matter, meaning that I wanted to say as much as possible with fewer strokes. I clearly knew what I wanted to say and how I felt about what I saw. The light was beautiful! I just get into this thing sometimes where I think just one more bit of paint will do it. Then again...and again. And before I realize it, I've got a thick mess quickly looking like mud. Well, today I took my time, allowing only so many strokes per square inch...basically. I am a bit more pleased with the results, but I probably would have been better off stopping 30 minutes earlier.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Mug Shot # 2" 20" x 20" oil on linen

This is my second post of this particular painting. Actually, I have a series in the works
 using all of my vintage mixers. I love plastic, especially bakelite, once used in the manufacturing of many items used in the kitchen. I even still have my bakelite Viewmaster with many round slide cartridges in their paper sleeves. Crazy 8 ball! Got that, too! My brownie camera from the 50's still hangs on the mirror in my room. Back to this me the top, working body looks like a squid when removed from its' stand. Star Wars planet Hoth also previews a droid that hovers over the snow, looking much like my mixer. Anyway, this is my fourth, but not final, interpretation of this nifty appliance. Stay tuned. Look out eBay!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Kids at the Wedding" 42"x42" oil on linen

"Kids at the Wedding" has been a work in progress for the last 3 years. I always seem quick to critique my own work. For me there will always be more issues I could be resolving daily, but there has to be a point when I must stop. Not quit, but stop for awhile. Nuff said! This painting is too big to get into my car, so you are the first to see it, for it has never left my house.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Kiwi" 6" x 6"

This is one of my recent daily paintings. I don't work this small very often, but find that I can pretty much finish a thought or idea in one sitting... and before my subject dries out from the hot lights! I've been working on a lot of holiday things lately and not found enough time to paint and DO IT ALL. Whew! When will I ever catch up?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Oranges Up Front"

I don't have much to say about this one except that I'm glad I took out the eggs and substituted orange slices. I'm having trouble coming up with composition ideas, but by the end of the day I thought that painting foreshortened sliced fruit with a bit of a tweak on the perspective might be fun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

"One Remaining"

I think sliced oranges give off a beautiful glow with the right light shining through. But not all slices are viewed equally, especially if one is in the deep shadow of a cup. This slice in the little pitcher has but a very small section peaking over the top, therefore giving off a slight glow as the light passes through.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Egg and Honey" 10" x 10" oil on linen

I'm painting most every day. Sometimes I have a little trouble coming up with new ideas. Well, go outside, dummy! The foliage is beautiful...I just get so overwhelmed by the open space above me. I tried to take it a little slow on this piece and not rush through in my excitement to get started.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

House portrait Puzzle

Hand-painted puzzles are a great gift for someone moving in to a new home. I love to paint puzzles, usually with gouache, an opaque watercolor. I've worked on location and worked from a clients favorite photograph. I've painted cars to Christmas cards and Birthday greetings. If you are interested in having a puzzle painted for you, please get in touch with me through my email. We can then discuss subject matter, size and price.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Will You Marry Me" 10" x 10" oil

Well, I'm back from Germany. I did not draw or paint ANYTHING while I was there and I'm not so disappointed, for I had a blast playing with my new grandchild, Max. In the meantime, I've been hunting for little toys on etsy to paint, one of which I have already posted...."Here". This 10" x 10" painting was fun to paint, so I forgot to try really hard to "follow the rules" while working. However, I did play around a little by changing my perspective on the glass holding the flower. Notice it is quite impossible to be looking DOWN on the toy while looking UP on the glass.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Sketching on the Road"


Well, I'm off to Germany to meet my little grandson, "Max", and of course, visit with my daughter, Rachel, and son-in-law, Gerd. About the only thing I enjoy about the actual time of traveling is the opportunity to sit around, for hours in most cases, and watch people. I always carry my sketch book with me most everywhere I go. It's so easy to spend a brief hour or two sitting in one place observing and drawing the activities around me. I never impose or intrude on anyone  and will move to a different location if I am being noticed. Families bond and separate, business deals transpire and many travelers lounge in a complete state of exhaustion, waiting for a much anticipated or dreaded trip to who-knows-where. What better way to pass the time than to document, in my own language, my take on the world passing me by. The making of marks on paper, as my eyes move through the terminal, leaves me with a recorded page in my journal and unique feeling of a "sense of place" in my heart that no purchased souvenir can capture.

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Sea of Green Umbrellas"

This is another painting from my recent Block Island workshop. The day was overcast and I was having problems "settling in" on a subject to paint in town this day. Then, all of a sudden, the owner of this cafe came outside to open all his umbrellas on the patio. Wow! There was this huge horizontal strip of green going through my vision. It looked like a Sea of Green. I found an out-of-the-way spot to park myself for the day and was so lost in thought about how I wanted to say what I needed to say. I worked towards simplification of the shapes, trying not to get hung up on all the little details of the scene. I had no shadows to consider, since the sky was a perfect New England grey. The colors were just popping out!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"The Narragansett 2"

This painting was done in my studio from information I had gathered on site. It's still not what I wanted, so I will make another attempt.  Then I ask myself the question, "Is it possible to ever get it right?"

"The Narragansett"

A few weeks ago I attended a plein air workshop on Block Island with painter Pamela duLong Williams.
The workshop was very helpful in pounding in those academic rules that I tend to forget so easily. One thing I tend to forget  after laying in my darks in the beginning, is to go back and re-establish those darks again throughout the painting process, when I tend to let things get a bit muddy. And to keep my darks rich! I also worked on planning my paintings better in the beginning with small thumbnail sketches. This is a thumbnail of "The Narragansett", one of the large hotels on Block Island on the Great Salt Pond.

 My first attempt at painting, which is oil on wood panel.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Just a Nip"

Cut up orange pieces are fun to work with if the lighting is right passing through the orange, giving a translucent appearance. I have been experimenting with reflected light off this black coffee cup. I find it helpful to keep in mind that the cup is still a black cup regardless of what bright object is reflected off its' surface. I must paint the oranges in a low key, with the colors leaning towards a darker grey on the color scale, to make it believable. The blue background is complimentary to the oranges in the painting, creating a more harmonious feel.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Max" the dog

A few months ago a dear friend on Facebook wrote to me asking if I would do a portrait of her dog, Max. After receiving photos and information about Max I was eager to go. I knew what he smelled like, where he slept, his likes and dislikes of the outdoors and a well-rounded sense of who Max was. With all of his mixed- in good looks from various breeds of dogs, I thought that Max would be best portrayed in a celestial-type painting that included whimsical design. He's a real sweetheart, so why not paint him with trees, little Max's all in a row and the stars. He was very well- behaved and quite the patient sitter!

Monday, May 31, 2010

"Mug Shot # 1"

A few years ago I bought on eBay a vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster. I found the mixer to look not too dissimilar from a squid when the top was popped off, therefore becoming a hand mixer. EBay then had another Sunbeam mixer for auction of a different vintage. The design was similar but the wooden handle had a sleeker design. Once again though, the mixer, to me looked to be the brother of the other one I owned, with it's oblong body, two black eyes and the cord serving as the tentacles. I had to paint these! A series of paintings evolved from my little spending spree on eBay once I became the owner of 3 mixers. I found the best way to show off the similarities of the mixers, but to still exhibit individuality of each was to do mug shot paintings. "Okay number 3, let's see a profile." This painting is of "Mug Shot # 1, with Accomplice", the green bowl.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"I Want More!"

This painting I did from a sketch I made of a mouse hand puppet inside a big glass canister jar. For once I was able to let my imagination take a story and run. I am usually painting what I see, taking into factor my environment (landscape), which I experience before me, or a still-life I have set up. I do not work from photographs but try to rely on sketches and studies I do on location. Trying to figure out where I want to go before I begin a painting is usually the most rewarding route to take in the beginning. However, with this mouse in front of me posed with his hand hanging out of the jar, and a flat felt hand at that, suddenly possessed a  character and personality that only needed a bit of embellishment. And the entire time I painted was actually fun; no struggles with any analysis of what I was doing. If I could only paint like this more frequently I'd be a happy camper. Oil on linen 18"x 14".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"White Pine"

This is one flower that did not get away. These are baby pinecones just formed on a White Pine branch. This is done in gouache.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

painting flowers

About 10 years ago I decided, as a painting discipline, to paint everything that bloomed in my yard as it appeared. Well, I quickly fizzled out on that project when I got to number four, within a week of the first blooms. So much was happening in the yard I had not noticed before. The smells were a give away. Pachysandra smells wonderful in it's early bloom. I moved on to one of the daffodils popping up. I realized a year later, when attempting the project again, that I had never bothered to look up at all the little hellicopters in the maple trees. Then bloomed the lily-of-the-valley... so sweet smelling and only in bloom for a few days. That's when the overwhelming exhaustion set in, either from to much adrenaline or was it the pollen? Every year I tell myself that I'm going to make more progress on "that flower painting project", but I always get sidetracked or realize by then, as usual, that I am so over committed in the art department. Here is the little painting I did of the lily-of-the-valley. First I toned the paper with a blue gouache and before it dried used a rag to lift off the excess paint. Not a particularly great painting, but was then trying to achieve a goal that kept me looking for months at the painting (and flower) that got away.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Grapes" detail

By the time I went to photograph this painting this afternoon, the light was too far gone, so I tried something different. I put the too large canvas in my scanner and scanned at 300 dpi. The editing was interesting, but the colors are true.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Second Cup"

I painted this the same day as the last one, but just took out the egg shells and gave the cup a new spin. I prefer this rendering on the handle and find the egg white to be more translucent.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"Fresh Start"

I began the day painting with a subject I like. Coffee. I like to paint eggs, preferably raw in a clear glass container. I like the way the glass distorts objects, like the bottom of the cup.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"The Lobster Claw"

The last of the daffodils for this spring. I cannot help but think "lobster" when I see these pruners. I'm in a bit of a painting rut now with using the same palette consistently.


The clown said "here"!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I have not posted all my almost daily works, for I'm still getting to know the new features to this blog. On a more productive note, I am always looking for something new to paint to walk through my door. I ordered these 2 infant toys from etsy a few weeks ago, thinking I would begin setting up a little makeshift nursery for my soon-to-arrive grandson. The light was good, so I set up a little still-life with the new toys. I couldn't help but see the "clown" on the left screaming "here"!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


My time has not been my own over the last 4 weeks because a bad storm made a wreck of my yard and a tree fell on my studio, totaling the entire space. But I was able to paint in a makeshift corner for 2 days. When I'm really distracted or worried, I find it difficult to get into my creative zone in my head. But once I start, all seems better with the world. In this little painting, I was trying to capture the luminescence of the orange with the light going through. I purchased this little black cup on eBay, and have used it several times in paintings. It's a challenge painting reflected objects on black, remembering to keep the values low.