Thursday, April 29, 2010

Take Me Home, Kerry Roads - sold

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival board (Raymar)

"Green, in the wizard arms
Of the foam-bearded Atlantic,
An isle of old enchantment,
A melancholy isle,
Enchanted and dreaming lies...."
- John Todhunter

Have you ever been to a new place and not felt at all like a stranger? Like you've been there before (or some part of you has)? Over the last five years of traveling over to Ireland, I've felt so very welcome, perfectly at home, and I think of my travels almost everyday that I am actually back home. I'm enjoying going through all my photos & reference materials for these new paintings I'm working on.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New blog out there in the blogosphere!!

I am thrilled to be a part of a new blog for palette knife painters, with knife painters from around the world! Have a look, lots of exciting work here already!

This blog was created by Judy Mackey to showcase the works of artists around the world who paint primarily with the palette knife.

Blissful Baaaah - sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs."
- Sir John Pentland Mahaffy

I think this is the first summer I won't make it over to Ireland,after traveling over there for the last five years. But I will be going there in paintings - and sharing more of these visions with you! I have tons of reference photos, notes, sketches & small plein-air paintings that I've make over there to work from along with some truly treasured memories!

When I went over, I never thought I'd be so enchanted by simple sheep! They were honestly as cute as could be. But one day, I took a walk by myself up to Bray Head at the end of Valentia Island. It was quite sunny that morning, and a nice breeze was blowing in off the Atlantic. The sheep and lambs were all in the pastures over looking the sea, they looked happy in the warm sunshine, and I felt,,,mesmerized! My heart rate slowed, I felt a real sense of calm (which I do over there anyway, but even more so). They brought such a smile to my face, as I studied their shapes, their movements, how they lay in the fields. Now I find that I've painted them many times over, and I never get tired of them, they still make me smile!

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

North Light Flowers

24"x36" oil on stretched linen

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've been enjoying working in my studio on these blooms while I wait for more blooms outside to open up. This is a larger one, 24"x36", named "North Light Flowers" - and is the reason why I enjoy my studio space so much. It has nice even light all day long. It's really a delight to work in this space - especially when I'm surrounded by flowers!

Email me for more information about this painting:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wrestling Alligators & Shipping Large Paintings

Just sharing some thoughts with other artists the last few days about the difficulty of shipping large works (36"x48"). I commented that the last huge one I did really felt like wrestling an alligator- you need a large cleared space, and there are certain parts that you can't/don't want to let go of while you're in the middle of this.

Now, I know there is the option of taking the whole canvas off of the stretcher bars, rolling it & shipping it in a tube container. But, if your work has the edges painted, and a lot of texture like mine....I'm quite concerned with disturbing the surface of the work.

- First a use a thin foam sheeting(comes on a roll, from U-line) to wrap the painting in. It's enough to keep the next layers from rubbing/marring the surface & edges.

-Next, I make a "sandwich" of a heavy-duty corrugated cardboard...AND THE SIZE MUST EXTEND PAST THE EDGES OF YOUR PAINTING. First I tape the foam wrapped painting to the bottom layer of the sandwich, then lay the top part on & tape it to the assembled stack, marking the outer layer with any instructions you might want to give to the person opening. This essentially prevents the edges from getting dinged and hopefully (unless they drive a truck over the thing) keeps your canvas from being punctured.

- Then - you need a box that is bigger than this should hopefully extend out past the edges 2-4 inches on each edge. I save the boxes from my framing company for the really large ones- It is the heaviest/thickest corrugated cardboard I've found. For smaller/midsized paintings, I use boxes from U-line. Depending on how your box opens will determine how you set it in there- but essentially all that empty space surrounding your "sandwich" will be filled with foam (I use foam peanuts & YES, I do recycle them).

- So far, this has been effective (over the last 4 years that I've been mailing/shipping pieces around). The smaller works go via Priority Mail & anything larger than 11x14 goes UPS. I think the biggest concern for shipping a large stretched canvas would be risk of puncture, so your "inner sandwich" should be a heavy-duty card board.

Now, all that said, there are some others who have various methods of shipping, one I'd love to point out is Stapleton Kearns, on building a crate. Quite effective, but I haven't given this one the 'ole "Girl Scout Try" just yet!

Please comment here if you have more questions, or email me at


Monday, April 19, 2010

Summer: It's All About The Hats!

8"x8" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Warm summer sun, shine kindly here."
- Robert Richardson

Spring has been such a tease, warm one day, then a blast of chilly stuff for a few more. I think we're getting a warm up again though! One warm day makes me think of all the wonderful things I love about summer, picnics with friends, big brimmed hats, strappy shirts & shoes, no shoes! Bring it on Summer, I'm waiting!

Email me for more information about this painting:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Rain Forecast, Smyrski Farm, New Milford, CT

10"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar)

"A coincidence is a small miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous."

Honestly, I don't know who said that...but I felt rather lucky coming across it, as it was something I was thinking about earlier today.

Now, funny thing is, a small miracle can come in the form of a guy in his PJs waving at me from his mailbox at 2pm.....It was Friday, I was on my way to New Milford, CT to meet up with the CT Plein Air Painters. The group was going to spend Friday through Monday at the Smyrsky farm, which is part of the Weatinogue Land Trust. I knew it was a long trip to the other side of the state (which seems odd, since CT is such a small place). It took me 3 1/2 hours to get in the 'vicinity' of the place. From the directions I had, I knew I was close, but nothing looked like the place I had seen online, so that's where the guy in the PJs comes into the story. I had passed 2 red barns that I knew were NOT the ones I was to show up at, so I pulled into a road that went up a really high hill, thinking I might spot it from up there. It went into a neighborhood, and voila, here's the guy in the PJs getting his mail out of his box at 2pm & he waves as I'm driving by. First, as a transplant from 'not around these parts', I've noticed not too many people will wave at you as you drive by, unless they know you. This guy might be quite the nutter! But I was desperate, slammed on the brakes, threw it into reverse and rolled down the window. Yep, he was still watching, and probably suspected that I was indeed the 'nutter' in the van! So I begged forgiveness for being lost in his neighborhood as I asked directions....turns out I was really close. "Close" in relative terms but at least I now knew to go just a bit further! I'm so glad I did! The place is beautiful, gentle rolling pastures with lots of black cows, a couple different barns on the property, but I chose the view of the old white barn with the small brook running through the pasture at the low place. The weather was chilly, overcast & threatening rain. Someone nearby had a wood-fire burning, the smell of it carried in the thick mist of the weather. The cows were mooing in the pastures below. Mentally, I had these wonderful flashbacks of painting in Ireland. The afternoon passed quickly, and I drew to a finish, by this time, chilled to the bone. As I drove off to head home, the rain began...and I decided to call this "Spring Rain Forecast", (Smyrski Farm, New Milford, CT).

Spring Rain Forecast, Smyrski Farm, New Milford, CT

About This Painting:
I'm an Impressionist here in the area of CT known as "Birthplace of American Impressionism". As a member of Lyme Art Association, I currently show work there, as well as galleries in CT and VA.

Media: oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard
Size: 8 in X 10 in (20.3 cm X 25.4 cm)

How to Purchase:
send me an email

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Full Sunlight Flowers

12"x16" oil on linen mounted on archival board (Raymar)

"The great difference between voyages rests not in ships but in the people you meet on them."
- Amelia Burr

Catching up to the blogging...I have been painting this week, just not writing about it! This painting, "Full Sunlight" (12"x16" oil on linen mounted on board) is my effort from Thursday. Another artist friend, Cheryl Kling, came over to my studio for lunch & brought a load of flowers!! We sorted them into a couple of vases and had a really nice afternoon of painting! It is indeed fun for artists to get together to paint & share thoughts. We usually work in solitude, so this communal time is really nice!

Full Sunlight Flowers

About This Painting:
I'm an Impressionist here in the area of CT known as "Birthplace of American Impressionism". As a member of Lyme Art Association, I currently show work there, as well as galleries in CT and VA.

Media: oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard
Size: 16 in X 12 in (40.6 cm X 30.5 cm)

How to Purchase:
send me an email

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Iris Into Evening - sold

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar)

"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a life time."
- Gail Godwin

Wow, so much going on this week. Still playing catch-up from being out of town for so long. Tuesday I did have a nice visit with another artist friend, Jan Blencowe. We went to New Haven to visit the Yale Center for British Art.....straight up to the 4th floor where the Turners & Constables are hanging. I particularly love seeing series of studies...Constable's cloud studies are ones that I could look at over & over....mesmerizing.

Wednesday, I did get to paint, just ran out of time to post it to my blog. I'm still thinking about those warm days of summer, when the light casts long shadows late in the day, illuminating things the way it never can at mid-day.....there's a glow, an extra warmth in the light, the ordinary looks so much more ....beautiful at 'that golden hour'. Then before you know it, the sun finishes setting and the final part of the day is over. But the painting remains.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sure Sign It's Spring

8"x6" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival board (Raymar)

"Spring is a heart full of hope and a shoe full of rain."
- author unknown

Yeesh, who ever said that hasn't seen my neighbors' basements. It has been a crazy opening to spring so far here in New England! But I'm focused on the 'hopeful' part!

What to do when you want to get back outside to paint, but have a million chores inside to keep you from getting very far? Well,... sneak off to the back yard. Our daffodils have rewarded us kindly with a whopping spread of blossoms! I just wanted to paint one! A single blossom, just to get up close & personal with nature. Those paintings done outdoors feed the memory banks of color & weather sense, all things you draw upon when painting back in the studio. There's nothing like it. What I especially loved noticing while sitting out there on this little camp stool face-to-face with flowers....the sun coming from behind them, is how the base of the stem lit up a glowing yellowy-green, and casting a dark plummy shadow toward me on the leafy forest floor. (Yes, I DO call that part of the yard our 'forest'. This summer we'll be working on our 'shady woodland path' part of the yard & gardens!!

Well, that was my happy-painting-fix today; I still haven't done the vacuum cleaning!

Sure Sign It's Spring

About This Painting:
I'm an Impressionist here in the area of CT known as "Birthplace of American Impressionism". As a member of Lyme Art Association, I currently show work there, as well as galleries in CT and VA.

Media: oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard
Size: 6 in X 8 in (15.2 cm X 20.3 cm)

How to Purchase:
send me an email

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tulips, Tea, & Time

16"x20" oil on canvas mounted on archival artboard (Raymar)

"The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so."
- William Ralph Inge

Today's painting is called "Tulips, Tea and Time". I actually considered calling it, Tulips, Tea, & Time with the Masters"....since I had a stack of some favorite art books in the arrangement. I've brought them home from some of my favorite museum exhibits. While there is nothing like seeing the 'real life' original in front of you; a museum catalog/book is a great reminder of what you saw, in what exhibit, where it was, etc.

Tulips, Tea, & Time

About This Painting:
I'm an Impressionist here in the area of CT known as "Birthplace of American Impressionism". As a member of Lyme Art Association, I currently show work there, as well as galleries in CT and VA.

Media: oil on canvas mounted on archival board (Raymar)
Size: 20 in X 16 in (50.8 cm X 40.6 cm)

How to Purchase:
send me an email

Monday, April 5, 2010

La Vie Claire

12"x12" on archival gessoed masonite artboard

Today's painting is called "La Vie Claire"...named for my favorite magazine. It's the one that I can never throw away ANY of the issues! I also like the thought behind that name, meaning "the clear life". After the winter spent dealing with health issues (surgery for breast cancer, then a couple months radiation treatments, humble attempts at recuperation, then an unexpected trip south for my father-in-law's funeral....I had been feeling rather "run-through-the wringer" of life. The one thing that events like this - (all strung in a row) - do that I was forced to slow down a bit. Okay, a lot. I'm chomping at the bit for spring, and here it is bursting forth as I write! I've had way too much time to be introspective, but I certainly know more about what is important to me. One of those things is keeping life in some sort of balance....even when things seem tilted at precarious levels. I remember a violin teacher in my past telling me, "Hey, remember to breath!" hehe, some times we all need to be reminded to breath, especially when we're putting so much effort into 'something' that we're trying our darnedest to do!

Now that I feel like my biggie health scare is behind me, I want to thank you all for your kind notes, emails, cards, prayers, good karma, smiles & cheer that you've sent me over the last five months! I truly believe God sends us friends that work the miracles in our lives.....when we're not looking & when we least expect it! For that I'm ever grateful!

Now back to the business of painting! I think it's going to hit 80 degrees here in CT on Wednesday!! Are they kidding?? I'd better make sure my carry-along pack is filled with paint & ready to go!

The show "Incredible and Unforgettable Ireland" opened last weekend to a great, wonderful crowd. I've sold some and some are still needing a home to go to, could it be yours? The location is: London Square Gallery, 4410 Colley Av. Norfolk, VA; call 757-440-0269 for directions & hours! Don't miss out getting to see this memorable show in you're in the Hampton Roads area!

Back to the easel, I've got another arrangement of Easter tulips I'm hoping to finish painting!

La Vie Claire

About This Painting:
I'm an Impressionist here in the area of CT known as "Birthplace of American Impressionism". As a member of Lyme Art Association, I currently show work there, as well as galleries in CT and VA.

Media: oil on gessoed masonite artboard
Size: 12 in X 12 in (30.5 cm X 30.5 cm)

How to Purchase:
send me an email