Monday, January 26, 2015

Irish Waves of Montbresia - Day 26 of #jan30in30

10"x10" x1" deep oil on cradled birch panel

Time travel...
thousands of miles away -
a different season -
memories of color, fragrance,
and tiny fluttering wings...
a soft breeze
wraps around my mind.
There is no storm here...
all is calm and well. 
As I painted this, the howling winds of the January 2015 blizzard 'Juno' filled the air. I settled in to my studio, and remembered the colors, the fresh air, and my upcoming trip to Ireland.  The first time I saw these over there, I was quite amazed. The blossoms look so delicate, yet they surely must be hardy to tolerate sea air and a stiff breeze off the ocean.  So of course, when I came home, I asked my garden supplier Petie Reed at Perennial Harmony Garden Shop (in Waterford, CT-click on the link for a VERY zen youtube video) if these would grow here in CT. And she told me they will - if they are in a protected area. They're also known as crocosmia here. So of course, we planted them....and they have spread and grown beautifully. The hummingbirds love them! I've painted them in various incarnations both here and in Ireland. I'm reminded how they bob about in the breeze from the times that I've stood outside and painted them....over and over. I found the process absolutely meditative this evening...and falling in love with this plant over and over again....and came to the realization I will paint these quite large - I see them in a significant space. 

Join me on my workshop in Ireland this June


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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fuchsia - Day 23 of #jan30in30 - experimenting with aquabord

4"x4" oil on aquabord (product by Ampersand)
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

This piece was a bit of experimentation and not entirely on purpose.  The first time I laid oil on this panel I realized I had something different. I thought it was a gessobord panel (a product made by Ampersand). Then I realized it was either claybord, or aquabord, other products also made by the Ampersand company for other painting purposed. And yes, they spell board as 'bord' in their product line. Then I remembered, I had bought these little aquabord panels to try out with watercolor...and NOT oils. It is so absorbent, it pulls the oil right out of the paint. It makes it quite impossible to move...however, it does cause it to dry incredibly quickly (which could be handy in certain circumstances).  I remember a good friend had brought two claybord panels to a plein air competition, and her paintings were beautiful...and probably the only oils hanging in the show that were actually dry! I don't know that I'll try that again.  It's do-able, but not my favorite way to work. I like painting wet into wet, and allowing certain colors to mix & mingle, and this was much more challenging to paint on, even if it did have an interesting effect. 

And the flower itself? A single Fuchsia blossom - they grow wild in huge hedgerows over in southwest Ireland. (The same lovely plants that we buy at the nursery in hanging baskets and promptly kill off because they seem so delicate!)  Every summer they are just one of the many wildflowers that charm the fairies in this magical place! 

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Irish Green Pastures (Workshop in Ireland 2015) - Day 22 of #jan30in30

6"x6" oil on archival panel

When I was a 'wee little girl' old enough to read, my mother gave my a tiny little book with the Twenty-third Psalm. It was a little accordion-fold booklet, beautifully illustrated. Of course as a child, I think it's difficult to have the "big picture' in life...but I loved the pretty little sheep in the illustrations, and the verse was beautiful (and a bit mysterious when it came to the valley of the shadow of death, but I understood it as a scary place!), I read it over and over until it became quite worn from use. 

Now when I think of that verse....I have a picture of western Ireland in my head! Beautiful green pastures; and (sometimes) still waters. But it restores my such a way...that it assures me of those "thin places" in the world  - places where we feel closest to God...and our spirit soars!

I'm returning there this summer, to paint and teach. I hope that you'll join me. Our host Barbara Mastaglio is an American, who owns a cottage over on Valentia Island, (in county Kerry), and lives there part of the year. She has been hosting artist retreats for almost ten years now, and I have to admit I have been on most of them! I taught there last summer, and am returning with some of our merry crew this summer as well. 
2015 Painting Workshop in Ireland
on Valentia Island in the Ring of Kerry, Ireland
June 28 - July 5, 2015
Price: $2500 per person 
Come and experience great painting, great food, great wine and beer, and great company! 

Claim your space - Here's what's included:
Painting on and around Valentia Island and the Ring of Kerry

 1. 7 Nights accommodations at a charming B&B (double occupancy)
 2. Daily classes, demonstrations and critiques with Roxanne
 3. Transportation to/from Shannon Airport which is the arrival/departure point   on  arrival/departure point on arrival/departure day.
 4. Transportation to/from tour sites, restaurants and stores where needed.
 5. Daily full breakfasts.
 6. 6 lunches and 2 dinners.
 7. Arrangements and transportations for restaurants.
 8. On location painting/photo/sketch at areas most beautiful sites.
 9. All taxes and Free WiFi.
10. Our workshop host is Barbara Mastaglio.

What's not included: 
1. Airfare.
2. Single room surcharge $550.

Register here:

Please contact me with any questions you might have regarding this trip and if it's for you. Is plein air painting something you've always wanted to try?! This is the year YOU can go to Ireland. 

 And there you have it - this could be YOU!


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dusk in France, Along the Rhone-Day 21 of #jan30in30

20"x16" oil on gallery wrapped canvas, 1" deep

  On my last trip through France we cruised down the Rhone, stopping in wonderful cities, towns and villages. We traveled mostly at night, so that the days could be spent seeing the sights at our stops along the way.  What a wonderful way to tour. It gave me a great overview of places that I want to return and spend more time in....a dig in as deep as grape vine learn more about this beautiful country.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Table for Two with a Seat for You! Day 20 of #jan30in30

8"x6" oil on linen mounted on archival panel

She's waiting for you, come on! Could be your friend, or more? A nice seat in the shade on a sunny day, what else is blooming besides the flowers? 

Art has the ability to transport us, jump-start our imaginations, bring those emotions bubbling to the surface...I know I'm always glad it's a big part of my life.  
So yes, I am behind in the 30in30. Two paintings I've completed are related to a commission that is a birthday gift & can't yet be I'm actually up to day 18. So...It's possible that I'll catch up. 

Feeling pretty lucky though, I've definitely had my guardian angels following me, earning their wings. Sunday morning I was in the middle of (and survived) a 22 (yes, that's twenty-two) car pile-up here in New London, on the way to choir before church. It could have been worse. Black ice is the worst nightmare. This Florida girl is officially homesick for warm weather where ice is in your tea and not your highway!! 

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Charolais du Rhône - Day 14 of #jan30in30

18"x24" x1" deep, oil on cradled birch panel 
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

Traveling through France along the Rhone River last October gave me the chance to see a lot of my favorite places, and some from a different point of view! On this particular day we were traveling to the next to the next town, passing by some beautiful rural areas, the big creamy white Charolais cows grazing along the banks.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Camargue - Day 13 of #jan30in30

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel

Another 'postcard' from France, memories of our visit to the Camargue, in the south. Vast flat marsh areas with wild white horses, famingos and bulls!

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