Thursday, April 28, 2011

Refresh, Renew, & Simplify - Floral Bouquet

6"x6" oil on archival panel

“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.”

Thomas Kempis

I finished painting this last week before I left for VA to give a demo/presentation at London Square Gallery (more about that in the next post).

This was a rather large bouquet, one that I normally would paint at least 12"x12". I wanted to use this as an exercise to simplify this down to fit a 6"x6" panel. To do so would mean I'd have to really observe the big shapes/ keep it at it's simplest form...details only if there was space to indicate it. I'm rather happy with how this fit down into this size. Of course, larger would allow for more details in the flowers, etc.

To purchase while it's still wet, please visit my gallery/store.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strawberry Splash

8"x8" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel

"An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh."

- Will Rogers

Tuesday I stayed in the studio making good use of this batch of flowers, as well as catch up on laundry, and clean up before I head down to Norfolk, VA this week. It's been a while since I pulled my dragon-fly teapot down to use with some flowers. It makes such a nice contrast against the pink cloth. I also enjoy getting the lighting such as to leave part of the daisies in shadow, it makes such interesting effects. I haven't opened the little jar of strawberries, in fact I can't ever remember buying canned/jarred strawberries before- but they looked interesting enough to paint! To purchase online, please visit my gallery.

*****Just a reminder for my Hampton Roads friends; this week I'm headed to Norfolk! Saturday, April 30th I'll be demo-ing palette knife techniques and speaking about "Finding Your Artistic Voice" at London Square Gallery from noon to 2pm. I'd love for you to join us!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Afternoon Prelude, Floral

12"x12" oil on gessoed archival panel

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”

- Swedish Proverb

Thursday was windy and chilly, so I stayed in to get caught up with all my framing for the paintings I'm taking down to Norfolk, VA next week. Early Friday morning I went out for some flowers to paint. All the colors they have now that it's Easter week- hehe, they called some of them "Jelly-bean Bouquets", and the colors were just like that! I've set this arrangement up as sort of a tea-break before afternoon- sort of an afternoon 'fortification'. These paintings I've done in this series are a reminder to bring these things into our lives; flowers for the table, a cup of tea, a bit of honey to sweeten, a bit of fruit, and some colorful linens just for the cheer of it. Hope you can make room in your life for some of these things.

To purchase this painting:
Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $550 USD
Or, send me an email

*****Just a reminder for my Hampton Roads friends; next week I'm headed to Norfolk! Saturday, April 30th I'll be demo-ing palette knife techniques and speaking about "Finding Your Artistic Voice" at London Square Gallery from noon to 2pm. I'd love for you to join us!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inlet To Goshen Cove, Gray Day

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"Make voyages! Attempt them! There's nothing else."

- Tennessee Williams

Wednesday opened on another gray day...perfect for heading over to the cove at Harkness Park. I'm so glad to live so close to the shoreline, the area has certainly provided some wonderful inspiration. While this morning looked a lot like yesterday, and I was probably not a mile further down the coastline, and I dressed about the same, I was cold to the bone. At least my hands and feet were quite chilled being out in this damp air. But the effects of that heavy mist in the air is so interesting. There are some places where the fresh greens of spring grasses are starting to show near the waters edge. The fog hangs thick over the distant horizon, making it look even further away than it really is. Depending on how the air is moving, it thickens and thins in those distant places. Nothing enhances memory of a place, like standing out in it for several hours, and recording everything on your canvas, and on your heart.

*****Just a reminder for my Hampton Roads friends; next week I'm headed to Norfolk! Saturday, April 30th I'll be demo-ing palette knife techniques and speaking about "Finding Your Artistic Voice" at London Square Gallery from noon to 2pm. I'd love for you to join us!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dunes and Wetlands, Gray Day

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."

- George Santayana

Tuesday was calling for rain. There was that wonderful heavy mist in the air, but still okay visibility. I knew the colors of the wetlands behind the dunes over at Waterford Beach would bring me another great morning of interesting color. I finished just as the sprinkles starting getting heavier.

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Nordic Tug 39, Essex

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen/mounted on archival panel

"If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him."
- Seneca

Monday morning was bright and clear. The Connecticut Plein Air Painters were all meeting in the town of Essex, to paint about town & down at the end of town at the boatyards. So I drove down, staked out my favorite spot in front of this little tug at the boatyard. What a beautiful little thing it is. For more information about Nordic Tug, click here. To buy the boat, you'll need to go to Essex, CT, their office is in the lighthouse shaped building on the left. To purchase the painting, contact me here.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Comes To The Shoreline

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away, till what we put off til tomorrow has now become today. So don't you sit upon the shoreline and say you're satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide."

-author unknown

Thursday morning the sun was out, and the remains of the storm clouds were breaking away. So of course I headed back to the same area, there is so much to paint there near Waterford Beach. I love this little spit of land where the rocks jut out into the water, and the evergreens offer continuous color throughout the year. The morning didn't disappoint me, and the clouds were such a wonderful comparison to the skies of earlier in the week. I am determined to spend as much time outdoors painting this year as I possibly can! This week has been quite rewarding!

Welcome to my latest new subscribers! I do hope you enjoy the paintings, photos & stories! I always love hearing comments from my readers!!

Contact me here, to purchase this painting.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peer Pressure

6"x6" oil on archival panel

"The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself."

-Rita Mae Brown

My daughters always scold me about laughing at my own jokes. Wednesday morning it was pouring outside, so I set up a still life that I'd been wanting to paint ever since I put the idea into my sketch book umm, maybe a month ago! "Peer Pressure" just reminded me of the things people do when they are egged on by others, whether it's a good idea or not. I had just finished the painting & called my husband in to have a look. So the big guy comes to stand before the painting and the set-up when, kerplunk, the little chunk of orange and spoon go rolling off of the cup. "He did it!" spouts my husband......and how could I help but laugh!

While it's wet;

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $150 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

Since I shared my outdoor set-up with you yesterday, I thought I'd share my current work-space set-up for small paintings.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Incoming Front Over Ledge Light - sold!!

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots."

-Frank Howard Clark

Tuesday morning I went out in hopes of painting before the rains came. I was certainly lucky as I got just what I was after! Interesting cloud shapes and color filled the sky over the Wetlands Overlook at Waterford Beach. Looking out toward the Long Island Sound, I could see Ledge Light in the distance, where just the day before everything was enveloped in a very thick fog.

I had mentioned in a previous post about keeping your plein air gear light for travel. This is whether you're flying to a far destination, or just hiking in to your local park. It's all too easy to try stuffing 'just one more thing' into your bag/backpack. If you've got to carry that any distance, you'll be tired & regretting it before you even set up to paint. Over the years I've tried just about everything out there on the market until I finally came upon this combination. An 8x10 Open Box M easel/palette screws right onto a simple camera tripod (not a heavy one either, just a very basic one (got it for under $20 years ago). I have a little sack attached to the legs for laying rocks in for weight if it's a bit windy. If you're trying to paint in a gale, well, suffer the consequences...wind is just about the worst problem to deal with when painting outdoors. Keeping it simple is still the best idea. If you're determined to 'gut-it-out' in wind, you could detach the small box from the easel & hold it.

Other supplies that fit into this pack are an 8"x10" Raymar wet panel box, it holds 3 panels, but for most nearby outings I just take 2 panels. I bring 2 different palette knives, a couple bulldog clips to hold my trash bag onto the set-up, Kleenex, paper towels, a small container of wet-wipes/baby-wipes (yes they are GREAT for getting paint off your skin). In summer I bring a small bug-spray. I try to remember a water bottle, & a camera, but I've left home without them & it's been fine. For paints, I take a warm & cool of each primary, plus white. If you're working with a palette knife, you don't need any medium, solvents, and clean-up is so much simpler. The little rolling back-pack I found at Wal-Mart ($35 if I remember correctly), allowing you to roll it if you're in an area with sidewalks or hoist it up on your back if you have to hike into an area. This has been the most versatile set-up I've used over the years, and of course, may get tweaked over time as all things seem to. And of course, there's no "one WAY" to rig your set-up, what-ever works for YOU is the key thing! Hope it helps you if you're looking to lighten your load and get out to paint more often!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chase The Sun

8"x8" oil on archival panel

"A good laugh is sunshine in the house."

-William Makepeace Thackeray

Monday afternoon I came back inside to paint another cheery bouquet. These yellow daisies and purple statice flowers have lasted so long! It's such fun to change the colored cloths around with each arrangement, looking for every subtle color influence, cast shadows, reflections, all interesting to the eye. I chose the name "Chasing The Sun" since I have a feeling we're going to be doing that this week here in coastal Connecticut. The good thing is, all these April showers are going to make for a fabulous May!
Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $380 USD
Or, send me an email

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Foggy Day Wetlands, Spring Thaw

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."

-Henry Van Dyke

Early Monday morning I went down to the shoreline to the wetlands overlook at Waterford Beach, here in CT. I think this is the first outdoor painting I've done this year. A heavy fog had rolled in over night and mist filled the air, it was actually quite beautiful! And it felt GREAT to be back outside painting again! Contact me here, for purchase information.

**A tip for painters- if you are going to paint outdoors in heavy mist (or possible light rain), you will want to make sure you are working on an oil primed surface. I learned this from a friend in Ireland several years ago while painting out in a light misty/rain. He was painting on an acrylic primed canvas and it began absorbing water and resisted the oil paint like a batik. This was certainly not the look he was after, and was so disappointed. I was painting next to him, and using an oil primed linen mounted on panel (from Raymar) the water beaded up & I was able to push it away with the paint brush/knife. I've since seen this a few times and was glad I had brought along the oil primed panels! AND, it's a great idea to keep your gear light, just in the chance that the weather gets worse and you have to pack up pronto to head for dryer, safer ground.

If you're in Norfolk, VA at the end of the month, I have begun framing new works to take to London Square Gallery in Norfolk, VA; where I'll be doing a demonstration of my palette knife work on Saturday, April 30th. If you're in town, I'd love to have you stop in to visit!

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

October Wedding (a 2nd commission) - sold

10"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."

- Robert Browning

Yes, it's been a few days since I've posted here on this blog. I've been working on a few things this week, including this commission piece- quite similar to one I finished this past November. It is for the same family, but a different family member! I'm so happy and grateful to help my collectors commemorate the big events in their lives in a very special way. Please contact me here if you'd like to find out more about commissioning a painting for a special event in your or a loved ones life

I also have begun framing new works to take to London Square Gallery in Norfolk, VA; where I'll be doing a demonstration of my palette knife work on Saturday, April 30th. If you're in town, I'd love to have you stop in to visit! More information on tomorrow's blog post (or sign up for my Cheer Factor email newsletter here.)

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Sunday, April 3, 2011


12"x12" oil on archival panel

"Our ancestors viewed the earth as rich and bountiful, which it is."

-Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

"Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe endlessly bountiful."

- Mahatma Gandhi

"Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."

- Ovid, ancient Roman classical poet

"Bountiful" 12"x12" oil on archival panel, framed, $550.
When I went to look up some thoughts on the word 'bountiful', I found it fascinating to come across the quotes of these three.

You bring your 'gifts' to the world each and every day, no matter what your calling is, artist, scientist, attorney, homemaker, engineer, teacher, etc.

You are the 'bountiful' in the lives of others. Wishing you a day filled with beauty.

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