Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Mummy's Apples" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

I appear to be working a lot with apples these days, but I really wanted to get to know the apple well. And how to better understand than to draw or paint. I love the shape of apples and how different varieties are rounder than others. The Red Delicious are not round at all, but have odd angles and bumps on the bottoms and tops. The Granny Smith's, which I have painted here, are nice and round with a wonderful hue of green throughout the skin. These mums have been in bloom for me for over 2 weeks and I should have painted them with more frequency. As the Holidays are approaching, I'm trying to come up with some new and different things to paint. Perhaps I should focus more on color rather than object.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Red and Greens" 8" x 8' oil on gessobord

Sometimes during the Holiday Season I will paint a candy cane. Like the mercury balls, why not take advantage of using these unusual objects as my subject for a few weeks out of the year. Though the candy cane is front and center, I did not want to make the painting scream Christmas. Hard not to, huh? Anyway I enjoyed the process, especially with it submerged in clear glass. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Opposing Teams" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

Here we are at that time of the year where all the teams come out wearing opposing colored shirts. I picked blue and gold with a magenta referee. I always think these Christmas balls are going to be a cinch to paint and I'm not sure if it's best to see each ball as a solid value and keep all the colors of that ball one value....or to go outside the predominant value. I will keep trying with these. I cannot draw a circle, but I can paint one. Why is that?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Unscrambled" 8" x 8"

Once again, I'm painting eggs. I usually go back to eggs when I cannot get any other composition to work. The fork, I meant, to come more forward. I guess the way to do that is to make the end larger...foreshortening!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Almost to the Top"

Well, this has been an interesting week. So many people have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy hitting New England. My area has had much flooding, trees down and power lost, but mostly things are OK. No water, electricity, flush, heat, so I have done no painting. But I do have some pieces I have yet to post. Stacking up the cups again and working on the rose here. 

"And Then She Blew Her Top"

Not much to say here but that I tried unsuccessfully to peel this orange in one piece in a circle.

"Mother May I?"

I've been wanting to paint one of my Steiff animals for awhile, so I threw in the apple to give a sense of scale.  So, not a lot going on as far as problem solving, but painting some new things. I hope to have my power back on in a day or two, so I can get back to work.

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Apple Blossom"

Well, I have been busy painting a lot lately. Sunflowers!

"Among the Cups"

I especially like this one with the reflections going on. 
These stacking cups are a relatively new challenge for me. I think I posted one earlier.

"Sharing Sunflowers"

This is a little 6" x 6" I painted, which is an awfully small size to tackle, for I do not like working with small brushes.
I've lost my power 3 times since writing this, because of Sandy(the hurricane), so that's all for now.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Beautiful Grapes" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

I'm working here with most of the grapes in shadow, but love the one that stands alone.

"The Rose with Little Grapes" 8" x 8" oil on gesoobord

I used a piece of glass to create the reflections under the rose and grapes. More difficult thean I thought it would be.


My workshop with Carol Marine was a  blast! I met a lot of wonderful artists and I've got to move on from this workshop, for I am so behind in posting. Here are some studies that I did working along the theme of "white cups".

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Second Choice" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

More flowers! I love painting this particular type of flower, especially the pink ones. The turquoise bottle complimented the color of the flower perfectly. I was with a terrific group of painters in Santa Fe and we were all working with flowers and glass this particular day. I love the energy in the air when painting with a group of artists that have the same goal.....a need to paint!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"First Pick" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

Well, I'm back from my wonderful Advanced Workshop with Carol Marine in Santa Fe. Everything, including the meals, exceeded my expectations. Carol is a fabulous teacher and I met 13 other eager artists ready to shed their egos and allow for mistakes. And the week held quite an amount of diverse talent. One of the exercises we did was to work on painting glass with flowers. Painting clear glass has a different approach than painting colored glass. I was pleased with my study and only reminded myself how much I enjoy challenges.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Ah, The Rose" small painting on gessobord

Roses, I find, very difficult to paint. So much form with translucent light passing through the petals. I still try to paint them once in awhile. I'm off tomorrow to Carol Marine's advanced painting workshop in Santa Fe. My suitcase is filled with tripod, palette, things to paint, lights, camera, backdrops, paints, brushes, bulbs, medium and a few clothes. I plan to post a few "experiments in learning" while away for the week. Yikes! I almost forgot to pack my confidence and patience. Carol is a wonderful teacher, for I was lucky enough to get a spot in her first workshop 5 years ago. I'm looking forward to meeting some wonderful painters there.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Royal Pie" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

I just couldn't resist. Not about painting the pie, but having some to eat. Though under the lights with the color background I used, this pie was more than royal for an hour or two. The pedestal I used I got from my mother-in-law, and I find it one of my favorite silver pieces to paint. I love the shape of the base and pedestal. Here the pie is resting on a white plate, which covers all but a piece of the silver rim. I'm really working on forks now. I prefer to paint them foreshortened, but just getting the shape correct I find a challenge. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Mirror, Mirror" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

Well, my stainless steel bowls arrived....even in different sizes! I know that I will be learning a lot about reflections in Carol Marine's workshop coming up in two weeks. Like what dominates? The reflection of an item or the actual item? Something has to play the dominant roll, and it's not both. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Stack" 8" x 10" oil on gessobord

So, it was late yesterday afternoon and I had attempted 3 paintings and wiped them all off already earlier in the day. I had an hour before the cats came begging for dinner. My kitchen counter top was full of things I've been listing this week for my vintage Etsy shop. And there I saw my next painting. Although often painted by others, I had never painted a stack of cups before. My goal on this painting was to say what I have to say in one hour. That's it! I was so pleased with the way the handles turned out and how the cups "rounded" well. Think I won't sell these in my shop now, but hang onto them for another try. My plums just passed their prime and carrots and orange popsicles are about all the food I have left in the house. So today is another "Well, what do I paint now."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Eggs and Oranges" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

Once again, I love to paint eggs-in-the-raw! I was trying, in this painting, to make the eggs on the plate more a part of the the dark...coming into the light. But I just got carried away with the eggs and kept going back in to make them more important than I meant for them to be. I am still happy with the painting, but some how got off track with my excitement.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Tomato Parade" 12" x 12" oil on gessobord

I've been wanting for awhile to paint something reflected in a bowl. Well, I finally got up the courage to set something up and just used my mixer bowl. I, being a quilter, have a good selection of solid half-yard pieces of fabric that I use in my still-life set ups. I really wanted to work with this piece of fabric which is called "chartreuse" by the manufacturers. Actually it's a Shot Cotton put out by Kaffe Fassett. The warp and the weft of the woven cloth are different colors. Up close the fabric looks quite different than seeing it from a short distance, when your eyes mix the two colors. I highly recommend this fabric for painters to use for still life set ups. But there are so many online quilting stores which supply hundreds of beautiful solids. I like to shop here for fabrics. anyway. I really wanted to challenge myself with mixing this chartreuse color on my palette, especially since I use no greens directly out of the tube. I work with blues and yellows. At the moment I could not recite to you the colors I used, but I had fun in the process.

Friday, September 7, 2012

"Tree in the Hedge" 10"x 10" oil on canvas board

I am a member of a plein air painting group that meets every week from spring to fall. The locations are pre-selected early in the spring. It's just a matter of showing up. I've gotten rather bored with painting boats in the water, not that I have that much experience doing so. But I love to paint architecture and big shapes. I was not feeling up to even getting out of the car this day to set up my easel, so I painted, in oils, from the front seat of my rather small car. Across the street from where i was parked was this huge hedge engulfing this tree. The thing on the right is part of a stockade fence at the foot of someone's driveway. I went home and painted another version of this without the fence and gave more detail to the hedge. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Painting Tomatoes" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

Tomatoes are not as sweet tasting as they used to be when I was young. But these came from my local market, so I knew they were fresh picked and ready to eat. In the South we really knew how to make a great tomato sandwich!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Four Plums" 8" x 8" oil on gessobord

Recently there have been a lot of firsts for me with my painting. Today I painted plums for the first time! I know there are many different kinds of plums in the market, but today I worked with what I had in the refrigerator. These plums were more purple than red, so I tried to use the red just for the lights, though I didn't begin that way. Ugh. I think that I must try them again tomorrow and begin with purple instead of red. I'm so happy to be painting most every day again. It's what truly brings me joy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Contained Rose" 14" x 11" oil on gessoboard

I'm working on varying my set ups somewhat. Here I have a piece of chartreuse paper propped up against a magenta cloth background. To pot is gold ceramic and the rose is wilting fast! My brushstrokes are larger, for I love working with big brushes. I should use the same brushes on a much smaller panel. That would loosen me up!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Tomato Pie"  8" x 8"  oil on gessoboard

I have a pie plate that has a beautiful brown glaze. The plate is small, maybe 8", deep, and has a very scalloped edge that weaves it's way around my pie crusts. Everything I bake in this pie plate looks beautiful, especially top crust apple pie with a little cinnamon sugar sprinkled and bubbling out of the top crust vents. So why not a tomato pie? I especially liked the twisted green vines curling their way through the air. I'd like to try painting this pie plate again soon. These are the same tomatos from "Triplets".

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Which One is Different?"  12" x 12"  oil on gessoboard

Today was my first attempt at painting brass. I plan to paint a similar set up tomorrow with this brass pot. I'm really enjoying the apple thing these days, however, the red one here looks more like a tomato. I've been writing a lot lately while I paint about my thought process and decisions I'm having to make with my color choices and composition. I find this helpful to go back later to see where I went wrong... not right. Really looking forward to Carol Marine's workshop. However, I have to drag all my still life props all the way out to Santa Fe in my luggage, and my easel....everything. I love a challenge when it comes to packing!

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Triplets" 8" x 8" oil on gessoboard

"Triplets" 8" x 8" oil on gessoboard

These tomatoes are slated for my salad tonight. Though I've only painted tomatoes once before, I thought I'd try these cute little ones. These are not from my garden....for those I grow just for the woodchuck that lives in the back  :) oh, and the deer! I haven't posted much lately, though I've been painting every day. Just not happy enough with the results, but I can feel a bit of an improvement today....after 2 wipe outs.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"A Bunch of Roses" 8" x 8" oil on panel

I find flowers to be so difficult to paint. I mean, one really needs to know it's anatomy first. I find myself, at times, getting lazy and just stylizing the flower by the shape and color. This was a bunch of roses, but  one flower resembles a morning glory! I worked with a lot of medium and drippy paint, but wiped out the one major drool. Tough, but I need to get with it and practice. I'm going to Carol Marine's Advanced Workshop in Santa Fe in October. Flowers, among many other difficult projects, will be covered. Yikes!

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Sunny Boys" 12" x 12"  oil on gessoboard

Just a quick trip to Trader Joe's and I will find a huge selection of reasonably priced bundles of flowers.   
So, I love to paint sunflowers, though I haven't shown many paintings of them. It's really hot here in Connecticut with temperatures in the 90's while terrible fires burn in Colorado. I wish safety for them all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Too Many Things" 17" x 20" oil on gessoboard

I thought that I would paint something large for a change. I pick among the things that I have in my still life cupboard. I don't consider my style suitable really for a boat load of "things" crowding the table, but thought the change might be good. I'm also working with improving my compositions through placement, colors, values and patterns. Painting orbs I find a challenge. I'm particularly happy with the reflection on the surface of the big cobalt jar. Although the visuals there are all on the surface of the glass, to me it reads more three dimensional. My show in Rowayton at Brendan's 101 comes down tomorrow and don't know where I will store all these paintings. Guess to Etsy they go!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"A Reflection On Grapes" 8" x 8" oil on gessoboard

I thought of messing around with the photo from this painting in Photoshop. I'm wondering if I should have gone a little easier on the color somewhere, perhaps the pink background. I'm thinking that all the objects have too much intense color, where I should have been more selective. Also, I think that the reflections should have been darker and more grey than the items reflected. However, still trying to post most all of my paintings....the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Seeing Double" 8" x 8" oil on gessoboard

I'm finally trying to "get it" each day I paint by planning out my course of action. This time I did a value study in pencil of the set up, hoping by doing this I could feel (almost) certain that the design and composition were OK. Most of the time I'm just so psyched to get started with the painting that I skip this step. Then half way through painting see that the picture just is not working. This one, I think, is a bit more cohesive. So I'm off now, after mailing in my taxes, to try it again. Think design first!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Seeing Through" 8" x 8" oil on gessoboard

It was late in the day yesterday and the light was still good. So I really needed to create something. I finally listed my latest quilt on my etsy shop here. The setup idea for this painting I got from another artist, who had a similar set up.... different items, same colors. I love to paint all three of these items, especially the glass. 
Happy Easter to everyone. The weather is absolutely beautiful here in New England. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Daffodils and Oranges" 8" x 8" oil on gessoboard

I'm reading a book now on how to improve my painting, and I really tried hard to "listen" to what the book says. There is this "one rule of composition", that when used makes your paintings more readable through the colors and the values (lightness and darkness of a color), and makes your composition exciting. I still find the setting up part so difficult and such a task.  I normally just want to get in and begin painting. And thus begins my downward fall.....or steep decline.....or rugged descent...! I have another painting to post tomorrow that was composed before  reading the book. More details to follow.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Angus 2" 12" x 12" oil on gessoboard

Well, I'm still working on the dogs and loving it. I love the shape of Angus' head and snout and the whole graphic thing going on. Snickers is the lab that has taken partial residence in my home over the last month. She has such a sweet personality and is so happy all the time!

"Snickers" 8" x 8"  oil on gessoboard

I've loved doing these and just need to get myself out there on some bulletin boards. But I do have some more paintings to post. 
The big news is that I have a show currently on exhibit at Brendan's 101 in Rowayton, Ct. I have 21 paintings hanging of still life work exclusively. Not that I'm doing any landscapes anyway. All will be hanging until April 18th and do hope some sales come out of all the work that went into it. So there isn't much in the etsy shop for sale now. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've gone to the dogs!

Well, life goes on and I'm busier with other things besides painting, or at least, trying to finish those paintings. I have received a few pet portrait commissions through FaceBook from some old high school friends. You know, I really like doing this, too. First the client emails me lots of photos, then, we converse about the dog's personally, habits and quirks.  I work up a couple of sketches and drawings in an attempt to capture, without meeting said canine, what I feel would be the best pose. I have decided, based on past experience in painting a mural for a very picky client, to do all the decision making myself with no further contact with the client until the painting is completed. This is my fourth portrait and I haven't had a difficult client yet. I'm, as of yet, not working with a contract and hope that I do not get that busy or have problems that warrant a contract necessary.  One thing I do have in my favor is time.... a June Birthday. So here is the portrait based on this sketch.

I define a sketch as a study in pencil on paper, whereas a drawing, also in pencil, usually takes quite a bit more time and has a more finished quality to it. I have another sketch of this dog, which I see being painted in oils rather flat and more graphic in style. I want to paint this one in gouache with colored markers. 

I just love the shape of his head and body! I thought in the background I would spell out the dog's name the full height of his body with foreshortened letters. I have several cats which are tiger, but through many sketches, I still cannot capture their essence. What was I thinking? The cats know that!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"One Egg" 10" x 8" oil on Ampersand panel

I know that I've painted this similar composition before, but at least I'm painting. Just for a day. I really miss the painting and it shows when I work, how foreign mixing colors is for me. Once again, though, I'll complain about how difficult it is for me to set up a still life. It's almost time to move outdoors for some plein air work, which usually sets me back to the Ice Age progressively when I begin. Have you all checked out I'm giving it a shot at showing my work there. Carol Marine and her husband started this new website where any artist can show their work and have it for sell, if they wish. Carol is an awesome painter and teaches wonderful workshops.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Ranunculus" 8" x 8" oil on panel

Trader Joe's always has the best flowers and reasonably priced. Who can resist Ranunculus, especially knowing that Spring is not too far behind?  I gave myself permission to have a bit of fun on this painting. After all....the flowers looked like orange round shapes to me. I didn't get hung up on any of the details... I paint without my glasses on anyway. That way, if I don't see it, it's not there. If something looks blurred, I try to paint it as such.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Visitors" 8" x 8" Oil on Panel

The Florence Griswold Museum

Well, anyone who knows my work knows that I love to work with eggs. Especially those raw in clear a glass container. The variations of yellow I love with the distortions caused by the glass. I'm working now on putting a little show together for early March. Actually the show is booked, I just need to get everything framed and have cards printed. The last couple of weeks have been rather sad for me, for my best friend and art buddy, Carol Dulaney died. We first met in Studio 2 in Westport, Connecticut in a painting class, then roomed together for my first painting workshop on Block Island. In the late 80's we would drive into NYC every week for 2 years to explore art. Primarily we were hunting out paintings, but found many surprises along the way. Of course lunch, or tea at the Stanhope was mandatory to replenish our thirst and feast our eyes once again. We did a lot of sketching there, too. As the years passed, we still did workshops and gallery hunting, but then there were times when we just sat around talking art and books.   
On one of our last trips together, we checked into a hotel to watch the Presidential Returns with full room service. Carol was so lovely and generous. She was there for my divorce and knee replacement surgery and I would be there for her surgeries. I miss her so much. I will always look at art with a bit of her spin on the academics and theories. She would have loved the opening of the new American Wing at The Met and the latest Biennial Show at the Whitney. One of our favorite museums was at one time a boarding house for an art Colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut, called The Florence Griswold Museum. This was the location of the beginning of American Impressionist Movement and is such a wonderful gallery to see some of these early paintings. I must make a trip back there again soon. Anyway, I dearly miss Carol, as do so many others.

Monday, January 2, 2012

after N.C.Wyeth oil on linen

Copying paintings is supposed to be good long as you give the original artist credit. NC Wyeth was one of my favorite illustrators, though his illustrations did not fulfill his creative mind. He left illustration to paint his own scenes, but his inability to meet his financial needs forced him back to illustration again. The scenes he painted are so filled with emotion and drama. We know him by his dramatic scenes of knights secreting a cave by torchlight or of pirates landing on shore with huge billowing clouds taking two-thirds of the canvas. Wow! I've always been amazed by his wonderful painting and striking scenes from childhood stories. So.... over Christmas, to get the spirit going, I decided to copy one of Wyeth's best loved magazine covers with Santa Clause. I became restless and frustrated early since I did not chart the whole painting out from the beginning, thus not getting critical parts of the painting on the canvas. Perhaps I would like to try this one again. It will be fun, anyway, having this one hanging around the house at Christmas time.