Monday, December 28, 2009

End of year challenge

This is my portrait for the Different Strokes blog end of year challenge. It measures 9"x6" and was really fun to do. I hope I captured this lady's likeness...I'll wait and see, since I have no idea who my mystery portrait person is....I'm going to wish everyone a Happy New Year, because I'll take the rest of the week off and get ready to start off with regular postings again in January. Thanks everyone for all your positive and encouraging comments throughout the year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Joyeux Noel, Froehliche Weihnachten, Mele Kalikimaka, Gledileg Jol, Feliz Navidad and to all a Good Night!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

new subjects

The weekly figure session is on hiatus until mid January, boo hoo. I've gotten quite used to going on a regular basis. I should be less bashful and drag the sketchbook around town and sketch people in cafes and restaurants etc... I've done some of that, but some how the person I've chosen to sketch realizes something is up and gives me the hairy eyeball. I should focus on people who are asleep or mostly turned away from me. Hmm a thought for the new year, find unsuspecting subjects.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Red, red flower

This image is reminding me of all the poinsettias that I'm seeing around the stores. I know they look different, but the close-up and colors are similar. We didn't get any poinsettias this year, so I don't have a reference to paint one...I did do one many years ago for a holiday card...I should go dig that one up and try to post it this week or next....only 9 shopping days left...what does that mean? Maybe try to make something for your loved ones this year! hmmm, there's an idea.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Okay this is the last blatant self promotion post this week! The sketchbook images above were from this past summer's dragonboat races here on Lake Champlain. A portion of the proceeds of the painting I currently have up for auction will go to Dragonheart Vermont, a breast cancer charity. The dragonboat racing involves alot of yelling and very colorful boats and people. It's quite impressive. Enjoy your ends on Sunday! Click this link.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feels abstract

"Reflective Surfaces" 11" x 15" private collection
The wind is howling and the snow has's beginning to look and feel like Winter up here in the great white north. That's a good thing..This is again an older painting, slightly abstract. My studio is currently turned upside down, but I'm hoping for a renewed surge of inspiration and motivation to clean and organize come January! Just a reminder..the auction I'm participating in ends on December 13th...don't miss your chance to own a piece of Vermont art by yours truly, plus other Vermont artists...Click this link.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


"Forgotten Barn" 15" x 22"
This painting is around 10 years old...A little front and center..wish I had set up to paint the barn at an angle..but with the fencing in the front left at a diagonal and the handles of the wheelbarrow going the opposite direction, I think the composition still works. I'll be a little sporadic in postings these next few weeks..the holidays are going to get in the way of any regularity....thought I'd give you an early head's up so you wouldn't wonder where I was hanging out...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Auction painting

"Champlain Summer Sails" 10"x14"
This is a painting I did in August this summer during a day in the shade with fellow members of the Vermont Watercolor Society to celebrate the Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain. Currently the pieces inspired by water and the lake are being auctioned off through our blog. If you have a chance to check it out, click this LINK. Tell all your friends that they too could own a piece of original Vermont art! Click the title to go directly to the ebay page for a chance to bid on my painting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a whole lotta leg

After almost two years plus that I've been going to the figure sessions at my local art center...I think I'm getting a bit better. There's something to be said for consistency and practice, practice, practice. When I was younger I never took that saying too seriously, thinking it couldn't possibly be true....well...I've changed my tune over the years. Wish I could say otherwise, but time put in is always good to further the cause!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Palm shapes

Another sketchbook entry...seems I always have these grandiose ideas while on vacation that I'll just paint and sketch all day long...but then I start reading, looking in the People magazines, walking around, napping...everything else BUT sketching. Oh well, if I manage to squeeze a few in there I'm happy.
On another note...thank you all for your kind words in response to my post yesterday...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

catnip forever!

....tough week behind me...our old lady kitty (she always looked like a young kitten according to many visitors) passed away on Sunday afternoon(19 years old)...while I was petting her and telling her it was okay...oh so tough...those four legged furries have us under their spell and it's so hard to see them go...what a void...a tulip tribute to her and we'll definitely miss her terribly.. already do... :(

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

It's a time for giving Thanks! Thank you to all who have commented, followed and encouraged me on my blogging journey and beyond! I sent this postcard out last week to my mailing list. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

journal brand

I was asked in a comment the other day what type of sketchbook I's a square Holbein, spiral bound sketchbook. I have made my own as well..that's especially handy if you just adore a particular paper and want a specific size. I cut the paper to size and make a cover and back cover out of matboard. Then I take the bundle to a local copy store that does bindings and voila...a custom sketchbook. Make sure that they can handle a certain thickness to punch the binding through. You can then collage your covers or if you use a lighter colored matboard, paint right on there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

gobble, gobble

22"x 30" "Tea-time still life"
This week is going to fly by with Thanksgiving coming up...Time for turkey, stuffing and all that good stuff. Since I spent most of my childhood in the Netherlands, we didn't grow up with Thanksgiving, so therefore I spent many college breaks just hanging out by myself...which was perfectly roommates, the tv remote all to myself...ahhh peace and quiet. Now, however we do make time for turkey and the trimmings in some shape or form..cutlets, breast, whole bird..depending on how much left over we want!

Friday, November 20, 2009

adding to the list

"Savor the Season" 15" x 22"
It's hard to really declare a favorite flower like I did in yesterday's post. Don't get me wrong..the iris ranks up there at the top, but now that I see these delicate peonies...well I guess I just need to expand my top ranking flower list! They are all pretty and colorful and delicate and lovely. Which reminds me...I should hit the road and search out some amaryllis bulbs and paperwhites. 'tis the season for them after all...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

favorite subject

One of my favorite flowers..the iris. I've painted a ton of them over the years...purple, violet, teal, lilac, yellow, white, etc.. They have those delicate almost see-through blossoms and then that angular, sharp leaf. If you want to do some negative painting...the foliage of the iris is just perfect.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


WOW! That's all I have to say after all the comments my piece received yesterday! Thank you so much. Such encouragement in this blogging community. Our Monday night figure session was cancelled again this week...I found out second hand, because I didn't go this week. Hopefully there's next week...I take some different paints with me to this class and give myself permission to experiment and try some new here, the red and green. If you leave them alone and don't "scrub" and "fuss" too much, the pigments will get along fairly well on the paper!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Muted Commuters"

The very quirky assignment for the latest Different Strokes blog. We had three weeks to complete this one and I went almost to the last day. I had printed the image up, but had it kicking around the house all this time. Well last night it felt like I could tackle this and really had fun with it. It seems I try to incorporate my splashes and droplets in all the DSFDF challenges. Or maybe it's just me and I just like them..

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winter bird

A taste of things to come around here. I've been seeing the bright red flash of the male cardinal for a couple days now...they are so skittish. I grab the camera and away he goes. I have yet to see him on our birdfeeder...they like to eat whatever has fallen off the feeder from the ground. I'll stay vigilant and keep trying to capture him...either with camera or paint brush.

Friday, November 13, 2009

less color, more sketch

Today I thought I would go for something a little less colorful and more sketchy. I still am not doing enough of these sketches, but if I look back at this past year, I am getting better at increasing my rate of sketch....on to 2010 and more, more, more. Setting goals, writing them down and trying to achieve them. In this case it's sketching them down..hee hee.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

what ya doin'?

It's a sketchbook kind of week...I did the above painting this summer when there was a festival along the shores of Lake Champlain. Two huge tents and an old building behind's funny how many people look at you and small children point and asking "what ya doin'?" I figure with all these Urban Sketchers across the world, a person painting in broad daylight wouldn't be such an unusual sight!

Monday, November 9, 2009

avoid the MUD

Another summery image from this past year. A small square peony sketch that was done to test some colors and work out some negative spaces. I always have a good time figuring out the layers of leaves..and sometimes I can get a bit carried away and keep layering and layering and layering...going from darkest. Trying very hard not to get muddy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

look on the sunny side

"Sun Giants" 13"x13"
Memories of summer giants, sitting underneath looking up and through at the blue sky beyond. This painting actually started off quite painfully...You know when you have one of those moments while you are painting and you just want to throw in the towel..or the brush in this case. But there is this fine line of persevering and trying to apply everything you know about painting and hoping beyond hope to not come out the other end with a dog...This was one of those times..I ended up being fairly satisfied with this piece and my decision to stick it out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lounging figure

Last night's figure session was cancelled due to "sickness"...don't know if that was the model or the facilitator? But everyone is a little gun shy when it comes to the "sickness", be it flu or worse. It's all over the news, plus with the political ads...yikes. I might need to try some self portraits this week to make up for the missed figure class.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Haunted weekend

"Dutch Vignette" 22"x10"
Another spring image before the weekend...I guess with November on Sunday I'm thinking bulbs...I should take the time in the next few weeks to dig some bulbs into the ground. Speaking of time..I'll probably be a little sporadic with my postings next week, so bear with me. Trying to reorganize the studio, take some new pictures of my work and just taking a little break..Have a great weekend and a very Happy and safe Halloween...enjoy the haunted happenings!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


"Spring faces" 13"x5.5"
It's bulb planting time...I planted some daffodils last year and it was such a pleasure to see them come up this spring...I hope they are just that much stronger and maybe even multiplied this spring. I'd like to get some tulips and get them in for some early color next year. It's hard to think about "gardening" when everything outside is getting ready to take a long winter's nap.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

show season

"Star studded" 15"x15"
The show season has wound down to a slow trickle...I have one piece in an upcoming VT Watercolor Society group show at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, that opening reception is on Halloween from 2 - 4 p.m., but I can't make it to that one and then the small picture exhibition at the Mary Bryan in Jeffersonville has an opening reception on Sunday November 1st from 3 - 5 p.m., which I'll try to make. It's always bitter sweet, but now I'll start to plan for next year...actually December, when there is a winter group show at the gallery in I guess there's still work to do!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mixed media

"Building Blocks" 22" x 15"
This is my contribution this week to the Different Strokes blog. Interesting assignment. I wanted to try my hand at doing the painting on a large sheet of paper, instead of doing the dsfdf work in my sketchbook or journal. I also allowed myself some other materials...I used watersoluble crayons from Stabilo. They are these stubby crayons that are really rich in color and you can wash them out with a wet brush. I also used regular prismacolor pencils in a couple different places. All in all a good time to experiment.

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's Monday night figure session time...I haven't been in a while, seems the end of summer, beginning of fall brings with it lots of things to do and clean up and put away, but hopefully tonight, if there is a class I'm going. The above image was done earlier this year before they stopped for the summer. On another note..for those of you who know my watercolor roosters...I'm now painting some feathered friends in oils and showing them on my other blog. Today's post is the first in a bunch of roosters I've done.. check it out and click this LINK. Let me know what you think and how they compare to my h2o-colors.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Looks like a duck

"Just Ducky" 15"x22"
One more decoy still life from Charles' summer workshop. He said the teapot in the lower right corner was his mother's! It's nice to have such personal items in a set-up. I guess it makes us want to capture those items in the best possible light, to do the memories justice. It's funny what you associate with a particular artist and I guess duck decoys will always remind me of Charles Reid. I was at an antiques show a couple weeks ago and one dealer had a whole bunch of old wooden decoys. I didn't buy any for future still lifes...I left them for Charles!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Public tv Pekoe

"Orange Pekoe" 11" x 15"
I donated this piece to our local public television fundraiser a bunch of years ago. It's nice to give back...I certainly spent many nights watching British comedy on their it was only fitting to give them something to do with tea. Quite proper..ha ha..I hope whoever owns it even likes tea or british comedy for that matter. Not many people like the dry humor or sometimes very outrageous humor like Fawlty towers! love it...anyone remember Red Dwarf?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

meeting fun

"Ruffled Feathers" 15"x11"
Today it's photograph artwork's sufficiently gray here so there shouldn't be any interference from the sun! I'm also getting ready for the Fall meeting of the Vermont Watercolor Society this weekend. It'll be nice to catch up with other watercolor artists from across the state. We are rolling out our new website, voting in new Board positions and one of our members is presenting an alternative surfaces demonstration on Yupo. All in all it should be informative and fun.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"The Soft shoulder"

I haven't been to the weekly figure session in a while, so I'm posting something I did earlier this year. This piece is actually in a small works show in Jeffersonville VT. The show has been up for a while, but the opening reception is on November 1st at the Mary Bryan Memorial Gallery. I decided this year to put two figure pieces in...instead of roosters. Shake things up a bit. Don't want to get too predictable! I had a comment at my solo show last month where someone wrote.."ok flowers and roosters, what else you got?" So I guess I'm showing what else I got...I did have some landscapes in that show, but I guess they didn't rate.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Changing temperatures

"Porch Shadows" 15" x 22"

From one set of shadows to the next. These in a landscape/building painting where the roofline gets defined by a strong cast shadow and hard edges and the porch glows with the soft reflected light bouncing back. There is also contrast in temperature of the shadows, cooler violet greys vs. warmer yellow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

shadow anchors

"Tea-time" 15"x11"
Warm sun streaming in to light up a simple still life. I like the way the shadows anchor the objects to the surface they are sitting on. I guess that's the whole secret to having a believable composition and not having your still life objects floating in space...although I'm sure there are successful paintings out there that challenge that statement...for sure Magritte's floating apple in front of the bowler-wearing man's face! ("Son of Man", 1964)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Laundry day

15" x 22"
Fresh laundry drying outside on the there anything like it? Somehow the clothes feel fresher, you can add all the bounce and dryer sheets you'd like, but there's nothing like sun and air-dried wash. Unfortunately in busy lives there is hardly time for it. We'd save alot of energy, though...anyway an interesting subject with the criss-cross of cords and the daisies in the foreground. Could have kept the colors of the towels a bit less muddy...hmmmmm....maybe they need another wash!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This was a fun composition..working with a long rectangular vertical piece of paper...the property we were painting included these HUGE boulders on the top of this hill...I wondered if the owners unearthed them during construction of their road or their house or actually had them trucked in to place them strategically as their very own replica of Stonehenge! Again working with a limited palette, more water for lighter washes and less water for the strong darks...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Summer scenery

The Vermont summer landscape as seen from a hill looking down towards a valley. I didn't get to do too much painting outdoors this year, but I have a few from a workshop I took that I'll share with you this week. This piece is about 15"x11" and was done with a triad of primaries. I think I used Aureolin, Ultramarine and Alizarin Crimson. Fun to limit yourself to just a few colors, makes things easy and difficult at the same time!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Out with the old

"Abstract Poppies" 15" x 11"
So next week I'll post some more current work...seems like I've been unearthing the historical pieces for quite some time now. I actually haven't painted much with my watercolors lately...but had a full week in the studio with my oils..stay tuned for a whole series of roosters that I'll post on my oil blog! They've been alot of fun, but today it's clean up the oils and make way for the h20-colors...don't want to get too rusty.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dutch Windmill

This painting was a birthday present for my Dad...oh I don't know how many years ago. I had actually been to this windmill and taken a bunch of photos...the building on the can barely see the brown edge had a fantastic pancake house. Not the same pancakes we eat here in the States, but big dinner plate sized with savory filling, but also some sweet. Yummy! Several years ago I visited another windmill that was actually a "paint" mill, where they ground the pigments instead of cool is that?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I was just starting to question if I had done something wrong in regards responding to your comments, because I have not had too many lately...but lo and behold this morning there were 7 comments to moderate, so I'll turn that frown upside down! This is an earlier piece done during a class of a fairly simple still life set up. The fabric scraps and textures really appeal to me. My brush work and color selection has gotten bolder over time...I'll chalk that up to being less timid and just jumping in to the watercolor pools of color with both feet!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fifth and Final

"Burgeoning Blossoms" 15" x 22"
Here is the last painting in the line-up of my latest show here in Northern Vermont...This one is quite bright, but also very drippy and spontaneous. I actually painted the entire painting with a flat brush, which is very unusual for me, since I mostly paint with a number 12 round. I set up my easel in this wonderful Peony garden, where I have taught a workshop these last two years...I'm trying to figure out the date for the 3rd annual peony painting workshop for 2010. It has to coincide with the peak season of the flowers being in bloom and then I also have to keep in mind the possibility of bad weather and securing the indoor classroom at the church where they have the lovely peony gardens...Hopefully in the next two months I'll get it organized.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Number four

"Slices of life" 15" x 22"
I had a comment not too long ago about centering my text under the picture and it seems I've been clicking the wrong button and worrying about having it centered manually under the piece...I think I've got it figured out and maybe this will be the new way of posting..we'll see. Let me know what you think either way. This is number four in the show in you folks in other parts of the world will have seen the show as well, even if you couldn't visit it in person! (the last one tomorrow)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Listening in...

"Flower Power" 22" x 15"
Number three of the five in the show...Last night was the opening reception and it was again wonderful! My paintings are hanging on a long wall with great lighting. It's always fun to hover in the background a bit and listen in on people's discussions of my work..It's not like I'm anonymous...I have my name tag on :) overheard: "ooh too bright for me", "she's gotten better over the years", "wow, great colors, happy work". I know what you all are thinking, because you leave the nicest comments!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Feathers on display

"Majestic" 22" x 19"
Another painting that I brought to the show in Shelburne.
When I was accepted to the show for the first time more
than 6 years ago, I had put a rooster painting in that was hung
right over the sales desk and sold on the opening night...since
then I've had other roosters in that show, but last year was
the first year I didn't put any feathered friends in and many
people asked where they to meet somewhere in the middle
I've decided on this guy to break up the floral bunch!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Resort work

"The potting shed" 15" x 22"
This was such a fun subject..landscape and flats of plants, plus
a structure or two, everything I enjoy painting! Every year a local
resort here in Vermont hosts artists to stay for a couple days and get
inspired by their surroundings. In turn they are asked to create two
works for a show in August along with their "regular" work. It's always
fun to see the results. This painting was done for that show many years
ago and the potting shed was actually quite hidden from view, but
walking around the property I spotted it and thought it would
be a different and unique perspective.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Juried show

"Oriental Coral" 22" x 15"
I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at a painting I just dropped
off at the Shelburne Farms Coach Barn for their annual "Envisioned
in a Pastoral Setting" show. The show will run from October 2 - 25.
I love being a part of this show! I will have 5 original watercolors there
and also a big bin full of my limited edition giclee prints. Hope you have
a chance to stop by. By the way I think I may have committed a
blogging faux pas! I realized I had posted the Brugge rooftop painting
sometime last year already! OOPS, sorry, but thanks for the great
comments! Sometimes double or nothing is okay!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Full circle

"Brugge rooftops" 18"x24"
Twelve years ago while attending the wedding of one of my
oldest friends in the Netherlands, we took a side trip through
various other European cities and this was the view from our
hotel window in from a photograph I later produced
this painting and I think a couple from Belgium bought it at a gallery
here in Vermont and took it back with them...I might be making all
that up, but I'm pretty sure that's what the gallery owner told me!
Talk about full circle!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Early mixed bouquet

18" x 24"
One of my earlier forays in mixed bouquets...I guess the
negative painting has always been there to a certain extent.
I think I started loosening up after I had bought a bunch of
paper and decided that that was exactly what it was...just a
piece of paper! Standing while painting is another way to loosen up
and let the paint drip and dribble. You use your whole arm and
can get a little further away from your work. Try it some time...oh and
bigger brushes!