Friday, January 30, 2009

Bountiful Basket

"Bountiful Basket"
We'll head into the weekend with thoughts of spring blooms.
I painted this also many moons ago...I like the way the blossoms
morph into eachother..that way you create volume without over
thinking each individual flower. Fusing the picture plane. If I had
painted each stem separately it would have looked very stiff. It's okay
to have things touch and overlap...that's the beauty of watercolor, the
fluidity and the "kissing" of neighboring pigments!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Robed in Red

"Robed in Red" 15" x 11"
This was an experiment in colors...trying to work
the foreground and background by overlapping the
negative shapes. I love "carving" out the leaves or
petals of flowers from the first dried washes of the paint.
I simply apply a darker second wash and then avoiding the
shape I wish to have in the negative. I will sometimes pencil
in some guidelines so I don't get lost.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Rose Tree

A sketchbook entry today...thank you to all who got
in touch or left comments yesterday regarding my blogger
troubles..It seems to be fixed (for now!) so happy,
happy, joy, joy once again. Last week I said I was going
to wimp out and paint some winter scenes in the studio..and
that's exactly what I've done...I'll post one of those paintings
next week. I took a bunch of pictures of winter farms and I've
been trying to capture those ever since. I also washed out
one of my large plastic palettes, so I have fresh new colors
squeezed out. I am using some new to me pigments and will
report on those as well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Iris Family

"Iris Family" 15" x 22"
This is another "historical" painting. I did this about 8 years
ago or more...I've really improved on my backgrounds and
negative painting. I have a blogger question for everyone..
have you ever come across blogger not loading your updated
pages? When I load my own blog I get last friday's entry as the
latest post...but when I go to someone else's blog and they have
a link to mine the most current one loads??? HMMMM...any
thoughts on this, or should I start looking inside my own PC?
Computers...they make our lives easier and more difficult at the
same time. If you can, let me know if you are getting the emailed
posts at the regular time like usual.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Orchid Trio

"Orchid Trio" 7.5" x 7.5" private collection
I will have another chance to paint orchids soon, because
my 3 year old orchid has consistently put out flowers and
looks like it is sending out some new stalks as we speak. I
bought the orchid as a disposable plant...treating it like I would
a bouquet of cut flowers...meaning no high hopes of it surviving
longer than two weeks...but surprise, has continued
to display gorgeous white and pink blossoms. Goes to show, you
can always try something new and you might be pleasantly surprised!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Posh Peony

"Posh Peony" 15" x 11"
I am teaching a 1 1/2 day workshop at the Helen
Day Art Center in Stowe in May...ofcourse the focus
will be flowers. I like to buy big bunches of whatever is
at the stores plus intersperse them with some silk flowers
and place fruit and other still life items around on a big
table in the center. I have a collection of fabric pieces, including
napkins that also serve to populate the set-ups. In the works
is another workshop in May for an Arts League and then I would
like to do the second annual Peony painting workshop in June.
That is a one day class at a local church that has the most
incredible peony displays. My college reunion is around the
same time so I will have to plan carefully. Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cottage Garden

'Cottage Garden"
When the flowers are in bloom...this painting was done
during a garden tour event where artists were invited
to paint at various gardens on a tour stop and then the
resulting paintings were displayed at a local gallery. Fun
activity. I did several garden tour events over the years.
I was asked to paint images for posters to announce the
tours and then painted the day of in a couple gardens.
I could watch someone demonstrate their painting technique
for hours. Or any other creative activity for that matter!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Purple and pink

"Purple and pink profusion" 22" x 15" Fabriano Uno CP
This was a little different for me using the teal/turquoise
pigment for the vase. I like how it contrasts with the lemon
yellow and the acidic greens of the apples. That's what I'm
trying to do now is work with some different colors. Either
straight out of the tube or mixed with another pigment that
you normally wouldn't associate with being a good partner
to that color. I could be pleasantly surprised. I also like
looking through some of my art books to see what the authors
look to for unique mixtures.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stars among us

"Stars among us"
Happy inauguration day! The airwaves are
saturated with happenings in Washington D.C.
The crowds are incredible. Enjoy all the buzz.
I've taken a wimpy approach to painting the winter
scenery...taking some pictures and doing the work
inside the studio! We'll see what emerges. I want to
make an attempt to actually do some plein air work, but
the mercury has to rise a bit for me to try it. In one of
the more recent art magazines, someone actually made
a palette and paper holder that had some sort of heating unit
under it so he could paint outside without fear of freezing
pigments and the surface of his painting not responding like
it would under normal outdoor conditions...pretty clever!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Summer respite

This is an older painting and I'm going to
post more of my "historical" work in the coming
weeks. It's fun to see where one comes from. It's
definitely a journey this painting thing! I'm wondering
if anyone can give me some advice on posting a slide
show on their blog. I've seen some of them on other
blogs and wanted to try my hand at it. Hope it's not
too hard to do. We've warmed up to the twenties here
Whoohoo, so this painting warms the soul with summer
blooms and a place to rest.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sunkissed vases

"Sunkissed vases" Fabriano paper
I like that the stems are inside and outside
the vases..also the sharp negative space defining
the handle on the right side. I like playing with horizontal
or vertical pieces of paper. I've seen some really exaggerated
sizes like 6 inches by 30 inches..that would be fun to do. Almost
a panoramic effect. That would work well for a landscape piece.
Tall flowers like sunflowers take well to a tall skinny piece of
paper. Make the size of your surface determine your subject
matter! Have a great weekend everyone..and happy birthday Mom!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slice lemon sketch

Sliced easy still life set up. I always try to
plan something for dinner that will use my "portrait" food!
I hate things to go to waste...I should try some exotic items
from the grocery store, that way my paintings will go in a new
direction and maybe my cooking will as well! I should shop
at the store with some new tube colors in my hand to see which
items will force me to use those paints! What a challenge.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Another trip back to last fall...The colors aren't as vibrant
as I would have liked...let's blame it on my camera settings!
I just got some new colors and I've been trying them out.
I don't have them in front of my, but I will name them later
this week. They are by M. Graham and Co. and the binder they
use is honey...I use a variety of manufacturer's paints, everything
from Winsor Newton, DaVinci, Holbein, Schmincke, Sennelier and
Rembrandt...I have this large gallon lidded jar that has over (!)
200 tubes in it. So I don't have an excuse to try something new.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On a Stroll

"On a stroll" 22" x 15" Fabriano Paper
Taking a leisurely stroll through the grass...
This rooster was done almost two years ago
and I love the contrast between the rusty oranges
and the inky blues. They are quite powerful birds,
just look at his puffed out chest...he's got something
to prove! I start with their combs and work my way
to their feathers..halfway through I'll put the eyes in..
that's when their personalities come into play. Those
sideways glances...not quite sure if they can trust you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Summer Sonata

"Summer Sonata" 7.5" x 7.5" private collection
The files are labelled and the studio is slowly getting in
order. I had a thermostat problem in the studio and it
was dropping below 50 degrees in there at night! But that
is all fixed now and ready to get organized. Tonight is the
first figure session of the year and I'm planning on being
in attendance. New colors, adventurous spirit, nothing
to lose, everything to gain. I'll probably be a bit rusty at
first...but I'm ready to jump in the pool!

Friday, January 9, 2009


I had to post this pool view...sketched a couple years
ago in a warmer and sunnier climate. Ahhhh.
Did anyone make any New Year's resolutions? It is
nice to start something new on January 1st...but it's
another thing all together to stick to it. I just resolved
to be a little more adventurous with my paintings. I don't
know what that means, yet, but I will find out. As I always
say it's just some paper and some pigment...what's the worst
that can happen?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tall Blondes

"Tall Blondes" 22" x 10" Fabriano Paper
Here I go again with the tulips, but I can't
seem to help myself. I just bought a bunch of
purple and pink tulips and they are just now
starting to fade after a week. Did you all know
that tulips continue to grow in the vase? That's
why they twist and turn to nicely and start to flop
over after a while. If you haven't had a chance to
see all the results of the portrait challenge on the
Different Strokes blog..please check it's great fun.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The winter figure sessions are starting again
next week and I'm prepping my travel kit so
I can be in attendance. At first I brought almost
everything I owned so I would have choices while
I was there, but now I've whittled it down to just
a few bare essentials that get the job done just the same.
Plus during the winter months they really crank the heat
up for the models, which means we are nice and toasty
as well!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Summer memory

Visions of summer sunflowers dance through my head!
I went to a great sunflower field this past summer and took
tons of photos of these stately flowers. They towered over
me and nodded their heavy heads. Their leaves were bigger
than my hands! It's amazing how such a little seed can produce
this thick stalked, 8 foot tall blooming giant! I tried to grow them
once, but our local squirrel population liked them as well and
snapped their seedy heads right off. Oh well, then I just have to
buy them at the farmer's markets.

Monday, January 5, 2009


"Leghorn" 15" x 11"
Happy New Year's back to the drawing board
so to speak. A fresh look ahead and hopefully some
great work will emerge. I received notice that my
application for a solo show at the Southern Vermont
Arts Center has been accepted and I will have a show
there this August-September. As I get some more details
I will fill you in. I still haven't gone out to paint any winter
scenes, but we still have many months to go! Yikes.
I have a new digital camera and so will dig through my paintings
and capture some new images for my blog! Stay tuned.