Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Water's Edge", Watch Rock Preserve, Old Lyme, CT, IRISH TRAVEL JOURNAL artist's workshop

6"x6"x1" oil on archival cradled panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here.

I am really enjoying the process of these paintings - starting with a watercolor sketch on location, and basing an oil painting on these, using intuition, memory and the color sketch. 

This is such great fun, and I find that I'm able to record a lot of 'usable' information visually. Not only do I get to enjoy the sketch journal, but I enjoy them a second time when I use them for the basis of an oil painting. 

If you like this idea, you should consider joining me this September in Ireland! I am leading & teaching an IRISH TRAVEL JOURNAL workshop. We'll be based on Valentia Island, with Barbara Mastaglio's Art on the Ring of Kerry (Ireland) Plein Air Artist's Retreat. I've been there many times now....8? 9? or 10? after a while, who's counting- I'm welcomed like a local, and you will be, too! Barbara lives there when she's not in the U.S. and we are able to see and experience some incredible things! Mark your calendar for September 11-18th, 2016. The website will be updated soon will this year's information: In the mean time, enjoy the scenery!


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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

December Gold, Old Lyme, Watch Rock Preserve, CT

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel

I've embarked on a fun series of paintings along the Connecticut River. They'll be part of a show this summer in Old Lyme, CT.  Back in November, when it started getting chilly, I started taking my sketch-book all around with me, and sought out places along the river. A friend of mine directed me to Watch Rock Preserve, and I have to admit, I've fallen in love with the all seasons.  Carrying my sketchbook along became pretty efficient for me, and I decided to paint in oils from these sketches and memory.  My oil paintings aren't a "botanical review" by any means, but an interpretation of the brilliance and exuberance I feel from the good energy of the river!

Here's a view of the quick sketch from my sketch-book:
I know a lot of artists really resist painting on location, and paint only from photos. While photos can be an 'okay' memory jogger, there's nothing like capturing 'color notes' on location, while the 'exciting thing' is staring you in the face! Hearing the birds, smelling the brine of the water at low tide, watch the water sparkle as the sun burns through mist...all those things stay with you when you take part in just sitting ...slowing down...and observing. Your heart rate slows, your breathing steadies, ahh....nature therapy is the best prescription for any thing that ails you!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

And the decorations are coming down....

Starting with the angel, and the ribbons, then the glass icicles, gold glass balls, and all the pretty little things...they will all get stored away for another year! Between all the family, fun and festivities...I stretched out the making of these 2 pages over several days! Yes, it's in a Stillman & Birn Zeta series sketchbook. I'm usually quite fond of a textured paper, but this is smooth, and I'm finding that I'm enjoying this type of paper as well.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ascension - Memory is one of the Most Beautiful Realities of the Soul

"Memory is one of the most beautiful realities of the soul." - John O'Donohue (from Anam Cara)
Monday a week ago, (at the end of December), it was so warm here in Connecticut, another gorgeous balmy day (ok in the mid 40s not bad for a New England winter). I was determined to get as many sketches in as I could before cold weather came. My phone rang on the way out to the painting site. Then I got a text....and another phone call. My friend's son had passed away the day before. He's just a year younger than my own daughters. My heart felt like I had a brick on my chest. 

I was determined to sit and paint...and capture the sky-scape that I had come to paint. My intention is to paint this quite large, in oils on canvas. My thoughts were on my friend, my brush went on automatic. That beautiful sky....his new home....but here on earth, our hearts deeply crushed. 

Over the many years that I have painted, there are always some that are a struggle, others that fall off the brush in ease, some that fill your heart when you see them, some you remember every bit about the day at the moment you painted the scene. I will always remember this one. 

It's difficult to start the year with such a post. This weekend, we celebrate the life of this young man. It will be a hard day. Yet my heart is hopeful that we will bring some comfort to this family. There will likely be a lot of friends attending, grieving with the family. 

I've been reading "Anum Cara - A Book of Celtic Wisdom" by John O'Donohue, and found this quote really resonating with me, "I like to imagine that death is about rebirth. The soul is now free in a new world where there is no more separation or shadow or tears." 
I'd like to share a reading by Mr. O'Donohue, reading his poem Beannacht - A Blessing for the New Year (it's lovely to hear that Irish lilt in his voice, but the poem is exquisite). 

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