Thursday, May 31, 2007

Summer on the Cove - sold

8"x8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas, 1 1/2" deep

This scene was on this same beautiful day (Monday when we went for a hike at Bluff Point in Groton, CT). Families were out on the water, on the beach, playing, and just having a good time. There were slight hints of golden pinks in the lower clouds near the horizon (I swear that color makes your skin glow and look really fabulous!- who wouldn't feel good outside on a day like that!!) My favorite kind of day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

draw-in of Summer on the Cove

8"x8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas,1 1/2" deep

I'm still thinking about our hike on Monday. Near the end of this little spit of land on the marsh-side of the cove a family had their boat pulled up near a bit of shore (I was surprised they had it this far up, I know there's shallows and drop-offs in this area, but I didn't think it was very deep). The kids were playing & it looked like another great way to spend a beautiful day.

In preparation to paint I like to have a warm under-painting for my landscapes. Then I keep the drawing very simple, more as a guide for placement. I draw in paint, so I can make corrections easily by just wiping away. But I do take the time to double check the horizon line - is it level? Since this is a gallery wrap style canvas, I carry the design around on all sides. Right now everything is weighted very heavy on the right. The boat is white & really caught the sun. There was a small red inflatable boat on the left....which I think I may change to a canoe. (There was one further down the shore which I liked & decided to include). I've left it loosely indicated as a smudge for now. I had not decided how I wanted to place this before I had to clean up for dinner & a meeting. I'll be glad to get some more paint on this tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Marsh Side of the Dune - sold

8"x8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas, 1 1/2 " deep

Another scene from Bluff Point State Park. This is on the other side of the dune, on the marshy side. We came upon 2 vultures "guarding something" - as we approached, they flew off reluctantly, I saw what they had - it was an enormous fish! The thing must've been at LEAST 20 pounds! It seemed a bit over 3 foot - and it's head was mostly missing, bleh. I can barely imagine what dragged this whopper out of the water! We did spot several osprey, can they tackle something that big? What a day! and yeah, I'm glad the vultures flew away so we could pass by that spot!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dune Crest - sold

8"x8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas 1 1/2" deep

Today the weather was beautiful and we took a hike out at Bluff Point State Park over in Groton. There is a long strip of land that extends from the beach. Sort of like one big dune. One side faces the sound, the other side faces the cove & a marshy area. It's incredible out there. Amazing views, great birdwatching, just all around happiness for me!

Way back when...I remember reading in Pat Conroy's "Prince of Tides" (I think that was the one) where they are talking about the fact that these tidal marshes go all the way up the east coast from Florida to Maine. Maybe that's why I feel so at home here & feel so connected with these places....and they're a continual theme in my landscapes. These places all remind me of growing up, time spent around these areas.....& even memorable times in my adult life. Perhaps you, too have these places in your memory - meaningful places you'd like to re-visit.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lilacs and Pears - finished!

20"x24" oil on canvas

Well I missed posting before midnight, we went out to see the 'Pirates' movie. But I think I am finished. I've added just enough detail without adding too much & corrected the left side of the jug. I'll put it aside for a few days & see if there's anything else that catches my eye. But for now, I am happy with this painting.... and I know I really enjoy painting lilacs!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

block in of Lilacs and Pears

20"x24" oil on canvas

Today I went on to the next step, blocking in darks, lights, and midtones. The entire canvas is covered and tomorrow I will go back & carve & push, & paint in some details. Oh, these colors are fun. I still have blooms on the bush outside, if the heat doesn't shrivel them up, I may get to do another one (maybe in another colored pitcher). I still agree with all those who paint from life - there's nothing like it for seeing color, just relax the eyes, and really look.....hints of color in shadow, reflections, we are so blessed to have the gift of a beautiful world to live in ......if we take the time to really look at it!

Hope to have this one finished up soon!

Friday, May 25, 2007

draw-in of Lilacs and Pears

20"x24" oil on stretched canvas

I have 2 lilac bushes in bloom this year! One is a light purple and the other is a dark purple. I've never had lilacs in my yard until we moved to this house here in CT. When I cut the stems to place in my favorite green pitcher, I was surprised at how easy it was to make these blossoms look grand! They just flowed & filled out in such an incredible way. The yellow green pears I had looked like they would be such fun to paint, and the colors contrasted beautifully. By the time I got to this stage of painting, the afternoon was getting late & I had lost my light. But tomorrow will give me another chance to (at least) get the color/shapes/darks/lights blocked in!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Through the Garden Gate

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

This scene is from a garden I visited in New York a while ago. It was a grey-misty day, yet every thing was so beautiful....the misty-fog gave a sense of mystery & perhaps discovery to the day. What treasures lie through the gate in the yards beyond?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hollyhocks Heaven - sold

7"x5"oil on gessoed masonite

I'm trying to figure out what else I could grow in the back row of my flower bed in the front of the house....Hollyhocks are so beautiful....and I just love to see them in New England gardens! I've never grown them & I'm in a case of wistful thinking? Could I get them to tower over the rest of the flowers out there?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tidewater - sold

12"x16" oil on stretched linen canvas

Today I decided to re-work this painting I had been unsatisfied with. I had done a very small one of this scene much earlier, but I couldn't get the same feeling transferred to this size. I really wanted to push the perspective, loosen the brush strokes (the smaller view really had a sense of distance & was quite painterly). I think this is the effect I'm after. I will put it aside & look at it again in a day or so & determine if it is finished.

Monday, May 21, 2007


30"x40" oil on stretched linen canvas

framed, gold leaf with linen liner

I spent most of today down in Madison, delivering this painting to Foxglove Gallery....then made it home to get a major haul of groceries later.

This painting is one of my favorites, done from life with these lilies opening as I painted. Each day the strong fragrance grew - I knew I had to finish before I became delirious! They will open over the course of a few days- and as each bud opens the fragrance becomes more & more intense!

Please contact me if you are interested in this painting:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Seaside Cottage - sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite

This house is the next block over from me & sits right on the water! It's typical of our area of New England, weathered cedar shingle siding & white trim & railings. It has these incredible views across the Long Island Sound - I love to see the sailboats out there when I'm taking my morning walk. The forsythias have been beautiful this spring - and are the first real dose of color we get...along with the grass greening up. Spring is when our senses come alive again with the colors, the smells- ocean & salt air & growing things, along with the sounds of water lapping at the shore. We begin to slow down & savor life again.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Flowers at the Window

20"x20" oil on canvas

I think it's done! I'll put it aside & see if there are any glaring things that bother me, but for now I think it's done. I do enjoy the painting things that are backlit (usually flowers & things I can place in a window area). I like the colors in the shadow area.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wind in the Sails - sold

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

This is the same boat that I painted the other day, as it sailed down the CT River off of Old Saybrook. It's just further down the river now, the wind has caught it's sails - man - he can really move out! It's a beautiful boat, I've seen it around here before. One of those things of great beauty that makes a non-sailor want to learn how.

A friend sent me this poem the other day after seeing the first sailboat painting. It's by one of her favorite poet mystics, Rumi.

On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open
and the world is full of beauty,
today is such a day.

There is a breeze that can enter the soul.
This love we know plays a drum.
Arms move around us,
who can contain themselves before such beauty?

On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open
and the love begins.

Today is such a day,
today is such a day!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shelter - sold

8"x10" oil on linen mounted on board

I went out my front door the other day & noticed that the porch needed sweeping. There were twiggy things & grasses laying all over it. As I went back in the front door, I noticed right at eye level - a bird nest situated snugly in the wreath hanging on the door! At the time, it was empty, I wasn't sure if it had been abandoned or was just being started. Well, by that afternoon I had my answer.....there was a pretty little Robin's egg in there. The next day there was another one, and today a third egg! Now we don't go out the front door. Momma robin is sitting in the nest - she owns this space now. It is a nice covered porch next to a flower garden with soft dirt & earthworms for sure. What a great place to shelter for one smart birdie!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Flowers at the Window- unfinished

20"x20" oil on canvas

Here's the next pass at this one. I've deepened the values of the back-lit objects, almost done.... more to come.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sailboat from Old Saybrook - sold

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

The view is from Old Saybrook, looking across the Connecticut River towards Old Lyme. I hadn't realized you could see the steeple that far away (is it the First Congregational Church?) I'll have to drive back & see! Anyways, the weather has been delightful, people are getting their boats out of storage, which is fun for me to watch & paint!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Flowers at the Window- unfinished

20" x 20" oil on canvas

Here is the beginning block-in, indicating placement of all the items. More to come!

So We Ate Cake!

ice cream cake made of pineapple soft serve in one layer, and coconut ice cream in the other layer, separated by cookie crumble layer, lattice work frosting on sides - custom tops!

One of my daughters works at Michael's Dairy this summer, scooping ice-cream, and making ice-cream cakes! Since she worked yesterday, we took a hike today & ate cake after dinner.

I am currently working on a large painting, which I will add in a separate post!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lotsa Lemons - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

I got a new bowl the other day at "Home Goods". It's from Japan & has such a pretty design....inside and out. Blue & white dishes seem to show off food, really accent the colors, and I couldn't resist filling this with lemons. This sat on the counter top all day & I finally responded to the call.....,"paint me!". There you have it!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Flowers in the Window - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

This little painting is actually a small study for a larger painting that I have blocked in . Sometimes it's easier to work out ideas & questions on a small scale before going on with the bigger ones. I enjoy still life set-ups that are back lit from an open window, I find the colors on the shadowed side can be quite interesting.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Red Phone Booth, London - sold

7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite

Who can resist these beautiful red phone booths that you see in London. I hadn't even seen a phone booth in the states in ages. Now that I'm back home I realize I didn't even go inside one! Guess I have a reason to go back.....(add that to the list!).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hot Chilli Peppers

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite

The other night I was hungry for Thai food - I have a favorite cookbook from the bargain shelf at Borders for just this purpose. I made a stir-fried chicken with basil & I needed these peppers. They are such a pretty color of red & an interesting shape, I knew they would be fun subject matter to paint....but here I was cooking & everyone was hungry. The next day I went back to the store for 2 little peppers just to paint! first!.....then cook later!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Green Laundry - sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite

While I'd certainly hate to give up my washer & dryer.....there is something quite beautiful (weirdly romantic perhaps?) about the site of clean cotton or linen fabrics blowing & flapping about in the breeze. hmm..clean & green, well- there's a thought....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tulips!! - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

Each morning when my neighbors and I go for our walk, we pass by another house in the neighborhood that has these fabulous tulips blooming! The colors made me think of salsa and San Diego - all warm things & places. Even though it's still just feeling like spring here in New England - colors give us a sense of things to come!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bloom Where You're Planted- sold

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

Yesterday I went to the nearest plant nursery and got a load of color! Oranges, hot pinks, fuscias, blues, reds & lavenders - all in various flowers to put in my front flower beds. But in my favorite blue ceramic pots at my front door...I wanted geraniums - when I saw the various pinks - I knew that's what it would take to brighten up my front door, a pale pink and a hot fuscia pink! Another little vine like plant will trail out in white flowers around the edges of the pot. After a grey morning, the sun came out to light up the porch. My favorite time of when it's time to plant flowers!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Boats in the Cove at Dusk- sold

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

I'm looking forward to those summer evenings when the fog settles over the boats in the cove - you can barely see the far shore! The light becomes all silvery blue, before it slowly grows inky blue. Then we walk home in the dark as the fireflies begin to twinkle!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Rooftop Gardens, Rome (Spanish Steps) - sold

5"x7" oil on gesso board

In Rome this past March, my daughters & I got up early in the morning and walked to the Spanish Steps. The view from the top is beautiful in all directions. On this side was a very inviting looking outdoor rooftop garden cafe'. We loved being outdoors in the brilliant light and the warm air. Colors of the buildings and plantings reflected the beautiful warm light. It is one of my favorite places to 'just be'.