Sunday, May 31, 2009

Leif's Studio Garden In Spring, Sunday Afternoon (plein air) - sold

9"x12" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
- Andre' Gide

I enjoyed the afternoon painting with Leif Nilsson at his studio in Chester, CT. A passing front changed the light, but I'm happy with the effort. He is a fellow artist whose work I've admired for many, many years. He had studied with the painter Henry Hensche. and his use of color is amazing. I'm finding that spending the time with a master of color is time well spent.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wisteria Arbor By The Potting Shed

9"x12" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"Beauty can be found in beginnings as well as in endings, for they are each a part of life's journey."
- author unknown

There are some places that I know will be painted many times. This scene from Kentford Farm is one of them. I'll know I'll return as often as I can to paint here again.

Some gardeners know how to make a blissful haven. I'm hoping to eventually create one in my own paint from. All my favorite hardscapes and plantings: a stone wall, a picket fence with an arched arbor and gate. Hydrangeas, roses and others will find their home in this space. We've made a big dent in it already. This weekend we'll be putting in several hydrangeas! I've got my work cut out for me!

For more information about this painting, please email me:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Red Tulip

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"In spring time, when the air is calm and pleasant, it is an injury against nature not to go out, and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth."
- John Milton

I do love these flowers. This particular variety of tulip is as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside. They fade way too fast - so I paint them - so I can remember them throughout the year. When winter is deep and chilly, I love having these flower paintings to remind me of the beauty that will come back in the spring!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Daydreams In Clover - sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way."
- John Muir

I'm starting to get my gear ready for my trip to Ireland and of course I've been thinking of some of the things I'll be seeing and painting over there. I fly into Shannon, where my friend picks me up & we'll drive over to Dingle the first day. We'll be staying at a B&B on Slea Head before heading down to Valentia Island. The B&B is a working farm! Cows & sheep & AMAZING views across to the Blasket Islands. I love seeing the young lambs- they are so adorable, I'd love to take one back home with me! I think the folks in customs would have a tough time believing it's my "seeing eye-lamb"! or "Hey, look what popped into that sweater I bought!" I'm just not certain that I could pull it off!

I finally made the decision to get an "Open Box M" panel holder in the small 8"x10" size. I've been looking at & considering this for a long time, trying to get the weight of my gear down AND still have the convenience of a paint-box that's easy to use. I'll let you know how this compares to other 'travel' easels & pochade boxes that I've used over the years. I'll be giving it a whirl several times this week before I take it with me, so there will be no surprises!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mystic Seaport & The Charles W. Morgan - plein air

9"x12" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"I must go down to the seas again,
For the call of the running tide,
Is a wild call and a clear call,
That may not be denied."
- John Masefield (from Sea Fever, Salt-Water Ballads, 1902)

I spent the afternoon painting over by Mystic Seaport. I'm lucky to live in walking distance of this incredible, historic place. It's a living history museum and you'll find the ship Charles W. Morgan there. The Morgan is the only surviving wooden whaleship from the 1800s American fleet.

For more information about this painting or commissioning a similar one - please email me:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pink Peony, II - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one."
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

From the same bush as the peony I painted (& posted) Tuesday- this one is in full sun though! A bit more challenge! I see more of these blooming around our area-I'll be glad when mine finally bloom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rock Garden By The Sea - sold

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

Click on the image to enlarge it.

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing. It's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
- Margaret Thatcher

Today I painted out at Harkness Park, down along the Long Island Sound. It's such a beautiful place with a variety of gardens there. Just another perfect spring day in CT! I was all set up and a huge group of grade school children from East Lyme came through. They were there to sit and sketch. Of course the teacher brought them down to the little rock garden where I was, describing it as "every artists' dream". Well yeah, that whole place is like that! I guess the kids really "got the big picture"!.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pink Peony

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

Click on the image for a closer look!

"You have an inner voice that is overwhelmingly powerful, and you need to trust in what truly inspires you."
- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I have been scouting out peony blossoms. This was in Stonington last weekend. I'm looking for the dark fuscia ones and am wondering if the nursery down in Old Lyme has cut peonies this year? I'm hoping to find some this week or next!

For purchase information, email me:

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Stepdaughter Is A Gift Of Love - sold

16"X20" oil on canvas mounted on panel (Raymar)

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
- Desmond Tutu

Today's painting is "A Stepdaughter Is A Gift Of Love". Friday morning I finished tweaking this commissioned painting. What an absolute delight and privilege to work on this piece. This pair looks like they enjoy each other's company and have fun together.

If you are interested in commissioning a contemporary impressionist painting of your own, please email me for details!

Friday ended with a bang- I got to see Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster on stage at the Garde Theater in New London. What an amazing show she puts on! Total ENERGY!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Morning At Kentford Farm, plein air - sold

8"x10" oil on linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Today was the perfect day! I spent the morning over at Kentford Farm, painting for a charity art auction they are hosting this Saturday. The charity is Alliance for Living, and the event is called "The Gardener's Delight"

Saturday, May 16, 2009
9:00am - 2:00pm

Proclaimed by Connecticut Magazine to be one of
CT's Premier Perennial Gardens
Master Gardener & Owner,
Paul Coutu, will provide Tours of Kentford Farm
Selected Perennials & Vegetables

Plant Sale:
Home grown plants by Master Gardeners’
Corinne Clevenger, Diane Hitchcock and Paul Coutu

Advanced Tickets:

Total Gardener’s Package $25.00 :
Garden Tours by Owner of Kentford Farm and
Master Gardener, Paul Coutu, and
en Plein Air Art Exhibition, Auction & Champagne Reception

For garden tours only, it is $10 and the tours start at 10 & 12 noon.

You can purchase your tickets in advance by visiting this website
and scrolling down the the May event.

If you are local, I hope you can make it. These are the most beautiful gardens I've seen in a long time....anywhere!

You can see by the photo of the back of the painting, I've started making notes on the back of my plein air pieces. Just noting some thoughts about the day, unrehearsed and unedited, the written word helps to reinforce the visual memory of the day for me. I hope you'll enjoy reading them.

After my beautiful morning, I came home for lunch, then went back to the commission I'm working on. It is of a mother and step-daughter - and what a wonderful pair. They really look like they enjoy each others company - and they are a joy to paint! Since all the ground-work of an underpainting was put in yesterday, I began with the faces, and am working into the back-ground and garments, going back and forth to each part of the painting. All the parts relate to the other- so even though I lay in the darkest darks first, I continue building color in that way. I'll be back to that tomorrow morning and continue the whole day with that painting!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peekaboo Lamb, II - sold

7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
- Andy Warhol

I was debating whether to name this "One if by Lamb" but it's an Irish lamb, so that didn't seem quite right! This little guy was scampering up a cliff-side at the end of Portmagee at Atlantic's edge! There's little pink alpine flowers growing in this area, it just adds to the stark beauty there at the windy edge of the sea. I've painted this image before, but I was wanting to try it in palette knife.

Today was quite the productive day. I got off to a great start and made some good progress on a commission painting. I'm really enjoying it! I'll post it when it's complete!

Friday, May 8, 2009


7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"The air came laden with the fragrance it caught upon its way, and the bees, upborne upon its scented breath, hummed forth their drowsy satisfaction as they floated by."
- Charles Dickens

I went back to the apple orchard look for bees! Big fuzzy bumble bees. They hummed lazily around all the blossoms...but didn't stay still quite long enough. hmm, busy bees!

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $100 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Berries 'n Blue

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite panel

"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

YUM - strawberries! I love to eat them from my favorite blue & white china. Of course I love to paint them, too! I'm really enjoying the light from my studio window (north) when I can't get outside. It's nice and even all day, allowing me to look at this set-up clearly. The thing I like about blue & white china are the subtle grays you see in the shadows & whether they tend to go warm or cool depending on the light.

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $100 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Apple Orchard, Mystic in Spring- plein-aire

9"x12" oil on canvas mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"Faith is an internal knowing that the All-Creating Spirit provides what you need precisely on schedule."
- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Is Spring a religious experience or is religion a Spring experience? Ah- today was heaven out in the apple orchard around the corner from where I live. I am sooo glad to be outside painting again - this weather is perfect for that!

To purchase this painting, please email me: