Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Mist 2011

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."
-Albert Einstein

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel

This morning I set out to paint my annual 'Memorial Day' painting, with the bunting on my front fence....when thunder started rolling. The skies were already dark, but I thought I could get a small painting in before anything blew through. Well, the wind picked up, too. So I picked up my gear & headed to the front porch where I could just paint another section of the garden. Glad I did, I wasn't painting very long before a light rain started falling.

The day did redeem itself, the sun came out in late afternoon, and I am getting ready to cook for some good friends who are coming over this evening.

Yes, I've been away for almost two weeks now, no blogging or painting happening here. Like Einstein says in the quote above, there are things you just need to give full attention to. I've been down at my mom's house in Florida, helping her move to a smaller place. She's moved to smaller digs in a retirement community, and the house she's leaving is where we grew up, she'd been there for forty-three years. It felt so strange to say good-bye to the place. But mom is ready, and chose the place where her new apartment is, saying she wished she had done this last year. And as one dear friend reminded me, "Home is where your mom is" (thanks Norma!).

Looks like it will be a very busy week. Tuesday, I'm headed to a plein-air paint out in Danbury, CT at Tarrywile Park and Mansion. Hoping to get some good painting time in this week! More about the show and sale in my upcoming blog-notes!

This painting is available in my gallery. (will show up Tuesday morning)

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Red Right Returning

15"x30" oil on deep gallery wrapped linen

Everybody's talking at me.
I don't hear a word they're saying,
Only the echoes of my mind.
People stopping staring,
I can't see their faces,
Only the shadows of their eyes.

I'm going where the sun keeps shining
Thru' the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes,
Backing off of the North East wind,
Sailing on summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone.
- Harry Nilsson

As I was posting this painting, I just kept thinking about "sailin' on a summer breeze"...and honestly - if you're my age, you just can't say that phrase without singing it to Harry Nilsson's tune. With all the chilly rain we've had lately, this is one fine daydream, to recall the sunny days out on the water last summer! Watching the boats go by!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gray Day Spring, Third Year In The Artist's Garden, Plein Air

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

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

This week I've spent a lot of time painting BIG! I've been staining/weather-proofing my back deck. I'm reminded how much energy is spent when you are using your whole body in the painting process. Man I am worn-out, but am happy to have completed this project, before this week's coming rains set in! Saturday, once I unfolded all the achy parts of my back and every limb I decided to paint outside. It was that soft gray day, with no cast shadows, no strong sunlight, but no dark clouds just yet either. It has been really fun documenting the changes in this garden over the past three years. Sometimes it's hard to believe all this has been created in such a short time. The rose canes are thick and strong, arching across the fence line, with so many buds forming to blossom in the coming weeks! The creeping phlox is blooming in great mounds of lavender and pink. Soon their show will fade and something else will come along to add some color. It's going to be quite the year in this garden!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sweeping Evergreen Plein air

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

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."

-Mark Twain

Monday afternoon I went back over to Haley Farm, a local state park close to us. It was such a nice, bright sunny day. There are so many wonderful views at the park, at every turn of the trail. This huge evergreen with wide sweeping boughs, has part of the trail passing right beneath it. Last fall there was a humongous hornets nest up in there! Yikes! Glad I didn't have a 'close encounter' of the wildlife kind!

To purchase this painting, contact me here.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Apple Blossom Spring Morning

"Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms."

-Ikkyu Sojun

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

Monday morning opened on a beautiful sunny day, and the apple blossoms are opening every where up here in our corner of Connecticut. This old tree is one of my favorites to see in bloom, I wait to go rush and see it in Spring, like an old friend, willing to commune for a while and be ( in its presence. It's over at Haley Farm, a local state park close to us.

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $450 USD
Or, send me an email

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Friday, May 6, 2011

"An Easy Start"- Floral

12"x16" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you - life."

- anonymous

"An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest."- Spanish proverb

"There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there's a hell of a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect." -Roseanne Barr

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." -Anthony Brandt

It's been a busy week, shipping out two paintings that were dry and ready to ship, framing up another one that's ready to deliver next. And of course, painting. "An Easy Start" is a little larger than most in my current series of florals (the Sunshine Series). It pictures what I imagine to be an 'easy start' to a day, flowers, and a cup of something hot, perhaps a lump or two of sugar if you prefer?

I also knew that with my time restraints this week from other appointments, that I might take a bit longer to finish this one. So instead of the Cremnitz white that I usually use, I did use Titanium white on this one. Some of the attendees at my demo last Saturday might recall that I usually use Cremnitz white in my work. It is a lead based paint that really has a wonderful consistency and sets up within a day or so, without the stickiness that some alkyd paints have, or runnyness that an alkyd medium might have. This painting, I knew I didn't want it drying too fast on me, so back to the Titanium white paint. Now it will probably take several weeks to dry to the touch on the surface.

Some of my blog readers might remember that last summer I did a little 'white paint experiment' testing out just about every type of white oil paint out there. They do vary by brand and by color name. Each has it's own particular qualities, thicknesses, opaqueness vs. transparency, & drying times. It's useful to know what you can expect out of the tube that you buy. As an artist, you'll find it so helpful to know your materials as well as you can.

*****I hope you enjoy your Mother's Day weekend- whether you are a mom, or are spending time with your mom....or honoring the memory of her, or even being a 'stand-in mom' of sorts to those you love. I think Roseanne Barr would agree, it's a lot more complicated than many would suspect!

Contact me here, for more information or to purchase.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finding Your Artistic Voice - Daisy Sunshine

8"x8" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel

"It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent."

- Madeleine Albright

I'm back from a wonderful, though mighty short weekend in Norfolk, VA. I was given the opportunity to present "Finding Your Artistic Voice" and a demo on palette knife painting techniques at London Square Gallery in Norfolk. An enthusiastic group showed up for the demo and talk. Since it was a two hour presentation, I provided a hand-out with information to supplement both these topics as well as a "home-work" assignment! It's an exercise that I found about six years ago, recommended by Kevin Macpherson, which provided a huge breakthrough for me at that time. When I explained the process, I saw heads nodding, wow, yes, that would indeed make a difference! For those in attendance that do try it, I'd love to hear back from you!

One of the fun parts of a demo, is bringing 'the magic' to a blank canvas/empty board.

I'd love to expand this to a full workshop, so that those in attendance will have the opportunity to try their hand at it as well!

I am so grateful to Scott London, of London Square Gallery for hosting this event, and for all those who attended Saturday! Thanks boodles!! If you live in the Hampton Roads area, please stop in to see the eleven new paintings I delivered! They are all part of my 'Sunshine Series' of florals I've been working on the last few months in my anxious wait for Spring to arrive here in New England. They are the pieces that got me through 'bleak winter'. These florals over-flow the boundaries of the canvas with simple, yet beautiful things...which is metaphoric for what I want in my life..the feeling of "good things running over"..... simple but bountiful; full of life, love and light.

London Square Gallery is located at 4410 Colley Ave. in Norfolk, Va. Call for hours: 757-440-0269.

Contact me for more information here.

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