Monday, August 31, 2009

Wet Nappies (Beaches of Ireland series) - sold

10"x8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas (.75" deep)

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
- Elizabeth Stone

No, it doesn't matter how old they get. I totally see that now. I'm feeling rather sappy as one of my daughters packs up her stuff to move out this week. We've been helping her prepare, finding things she needs for her apartment; researching insurance so she can make the call & arrange for this. All these changes - it's different from sending them off to college....Now that she's graduated, this seems so much more 'permanent'. I've been thinking about this all summer, back when I watched this mom playing at the beach in of the warmest June days I've ever seen over there. It was such a delight to watch these two play. It certainly brought back lots of fun 'little kid' memories. I knew this summer would hold lots of changes for our they're here, hope I keep my head on straight, now that my heart is hanging around on the 'outside of my body'. whew.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cows by the Cliffs - Sketch

10"x 8" Sharpie marker ink sketches

"When one is out of touch with oneself, one cannot touch others."
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Didn't get to open the paints today, whoa- I have one week left before my daughter moves back down to northern Virginia. We've been trying to get all the loose ends together, pulling together some house-hold basics that she previously shared with roomies in FL & will now need. Reviewing insurance, ugh, that's the next big task we need to put attention on.

I did get several requests for the recipe for "Giada's Basil Pesto" (from Food Network fame, google her name!) that I made yesterday. It is soo good and really easy!

Giada's Basil Pesto

2c. packed fresh basil
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
about 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. grated parmesan

In a food processor, pulse basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper until finely chopped. With food processor running, add oil to smooth consistency, transfer to a bowl, and stir in cheese.

*My daughter tells me that this can be frozen for later if you freeze it before you add the cheese- only add the parmesan once you've thawed out the frozen pesto & then stir it in.

*Another friend wrote & said she makes up big batches when she has lots of basil, and freezes hers in ice cube trays. She then puts the frozen cubes in a "freezer bag" and when they have pasta, they take out only enough cubes for what they need. I like that idea- no waste!

Thanks for sharing your good ideas, fellow foodies!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Morning Glory Morning

6"x 6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Earthly life is an eternal miracle. In a moment of grace, we can grasp eternity in the palm of our hand. This is the gift given to creative individuals who can identify with the mysteries of life through art. It is a divine gift, this spirit of humanity. It is the fight for light over shadow."
- Marcel Marceau

Early morning has a strong pull over me. The quiet part of the morning, once the sun comes up, lights up the distant valley and makes its way over to my yard, up and over the fence...opens up the morning glories and their colors of blue and magenta along the fence line of my front garden. They've arrived just in time, as the nasturtiums have gone all leggy and pale. One thing replaces another in the garden as the summer rolls straight on towards fall.

After I finished painting the morning glories, I 'harvested' a load of basil. In the evening, I made up some pesto sauce! This is such delicious stuff - and I think things taste better when you know they've grown right in your front yard! It's a Giada De Laurentiis recipe that my daughter found on-line for me! It's fabulous! Write me & I'll share it with you!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wet Nappies (Beaches of Ireland series)- Sketch

10" x 8" sharpie marker in sketch book

"Anything, everything, little or big becomes an adventure when the right person shares it."
- Kathleen Norris

On my visit to Ireland this past June, I got to experience two of the warmest 'beaches days' I've ever gotten to spend in Ireland! So many people flocked to the beach to play in the water! This mother & toddler had quite a delightful time ...of course it was fun for me to watch, too...and notice the interesting shadow forms, and reflections into the water & wet sand!

I'll be alternating my painting days with more from my own garden as well as local New England scenes (the weather's still great for plein air painting)....AND landscapes & scenes from this year's trip to Ireland.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Farm Fresh Flowers

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

"Be in awe of all that is alive.
Be in natural wonder.
It is the pace of peace."
- Gunilla Norris, from "A Mystic Garden"

Click on the image for a close-up!

It has been a bit of a hectic pace in our lives lately. One daughter is moving to northern Virginia and we spent last week down there looking for an apartment. It was our good fortune to stay & visit with dear friends that we have known since our children were toddlers, and now they are grown! I am relieved and happy that this is the city where one daughters next adventure will start (and perhaps both of them!).

It was a wonderful thing to come home to a garden growing into a bit of wildness, but not too far gone to craziness! The flowers I had cut from the farm market for my last painting were still alive, save for just a few blossoms. So I cut them down to arrange again for a new painting. Just goes to show you, when they are cut fresh from the ground, they can last for a long time! It felt like forever since I had last painted! I do take a sketch pad with me everywhere, so I can at least "think out loud" on paper, even on hectic trips, I get a few sketches in here & there. So I'll have some material from my sketch book to paint from, too.

Please email me - for more information & pricing of this painting!

This afternoon a friend dropped by & was surprised how 'tame' the hummingbirds are in my front garden. I was so happy that she could share in the 'enchanted-ness' of this little retreat outside my front door. It is such a peaceful place for me. I have a load of basil to harvest out there! The 'Brandeywine' tomatoes are getting bigger still, not red yet, but at least a lighter green! The morning glories are taking over the fence, just in time as the nasturtiums that were once so gorgeous, are now leggy and sad (they got cut back today). We commented on how full and lush it will look next year! I'm still surprised at how far things have come.

One of my collectors wrote to ask if I'll be doing some more Irish landscapes from my last trip over. Yes, indeed- of course! I had full intentions of starting them before now, but was quite distracted by this garden. Naturally I'll be painting some more of the rocky coastal scenes of Kerry, and town-scapes as well. I also have started some sketches (in the idea birthing stage) of some of the figures I saw playing on the beach- two of the warmest beach days I've ever seen in Ireland in June!
And naturally, more boats around Dingle and Portmagee! I'm grateful to my friend Barbara for introducing me to this area- she has posted her new retreat dates for 2010 on her website.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Afternoon Tea, Plein Air in the Artist's Garden

20"x24" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

"If a summer night could talk, it would probably boast that it invented romance."
- Bern Williams

This is the largest one I've painted en plein-air. Usually I save these larger sizes for in the studio, but I've really been enjoying my garden to the max this summer! I hope you do, too!

">How to Purchase:
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Many people have asked me what kind of brushes I use to get such texture. The answer is - I don't....I use a palette knife. Lately I've been using a large one with a rounded tip. It really gathers and moves more paint around, yet even small details are possible with a delicate touch! For the last two afternoons, I've been painting in my garden. Usually there is a rounded wooden bench here, but I dragged the little 'bistro' set out from the back yard. How could I resist? When I bought the flowers for my glass pitcher/jug at the farm market the other day, it was raining & I seriously considered setting up another 'interior view' in my studio window. I had been re-arranging a few furniture pieces for that as well! But Friday it was beautiful & sunny...and today, too - making it possible to finish this painting under similar light (and still make it to the neighborhood picnic for dinner!).

Back to the topic of brushes and knives though....even though I mostly use knives, I'd never get rid of my brushes! There are times when they may be 'just the ticket' for the look you want! Why exclude any tools in your tool-box as a painter? Part of why I paint is that excitement of manipulating the luscious oils and leaving an interesting texture. But composition comes first! It's not about texture alone (otherwise we'd be happy with lumpy linen!).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Like Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

8"x8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas (staples on back, no need to frame)

"Love gave me confidence and adversity gave me purpose."
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Today brought some rainy drizzle through parts of the day - it was so nice to get one more painting out of this batch of flowers! I started humming "My Girl"...made me think about sunflowers again...what good - strong - happy - energy they bring into your day. The 'vase' is a big glass pickle or olive jar (?), I saved because I loved the shape of it! I wanted to be able to see the stems through the glass & see the interesting abstract shapes of reflections with water, glass, & curves. Just another one of those 'faves' that I keep in the still-life stash for paintings to come!

For purchase information, email me:

Between rain showers this morning, we did get out to Holmberg Orchards to pick some peaches, raspberries & fresh-cut flowers (zinnias & black-eyed Susans). I'll begin setting up tomorrow's painting this evening, to be ready for the daylight tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunnies In The Ginger Jar

20"x20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas (.75" deep)

Luscious paint & color on this! Click on the image to see the surface close up!

"Art is a staple, like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Man's spirit grows hungry for art in the same way his stomach growls for food."
- Irving Stone

Here it is, the finished painting, "Sunnies In The Ginger Jar" - it has taken several days in a row to work on in the afternoon light of my studio. Sunflowers are some of my favorite blossoms - I love how the warm tones progress as the petals curve away from the center, and the slight variations in the dark centers as well. They move during the day, changing the direction of their faces....they definitely have a "happy energy"!!

How to Purchase:
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sunflowers and Sassafras - sold

20"x20" oil on .75" gallery wrap canvas

Luscious paint & color on this! Click on the image to see the surface close up!

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."
- Luciano Pavarotti

And now that I'm finished painting these...I think I'll go have a peach or two! This was so much fun to paint. I enjoy looking for all the places where an object reflects its color into its surrounding objects & surfaces. Color and its behavior is one of the things that truly excites well as texture, if you haven't guessed that already!

How to Purchase:
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Well, this is now sold, but you can email me if there's a certain painting you'd like to commission, or ask a question, or hey, just say 'hi'! Thanks again for following my blog!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sneak Preview portion - "Sunflowers and Sassafras"

"just a 'lil bit" of this painting I'll post tomorrow - luscious oil paints applied with a palette knife - the finished painting is 20"x20"

"Man must search for what is right, and let happiness come on its own."
- Johann Pestalozzi

Todays partial view of a painting is a sneak peak of what I'm currently working on since I've been home. You're looking at a portion of "Sunflowers and Sassafras". We got home Sunday evening VERY LATE after driving 14 hours- ugh! AND this whole trip was six (yes 6) days of driving in a row! The daughters are home from college for now (until they are ready to move out.....hopefully it won't be THAT far of a drive!).

So Monday on my trip to the grocery store to re-stock the fridge, I got myself some sunflowers to paint in my studio! I didn't have any greenery, so I went into the woods behind our house where there are some sassafras saplings & cut some of these to fill in the vase. Some peaches added some more warm tones to the foreground, and my favorite little cream colored pitcher catches some beautiful reflected color in it's surface. I'm almost finished...I think I'll be able to post it to my blog tomorrow afternoon at some point! I'm so excited to be back home painting again. Long road trips where the trip is solid driving (and there's no time for leisurely la-di-da kind of time) take their toll on me. This one nearly did me in! ....but I think I've survived yet another one! ;-)