Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lilac Brunch on the Patio

16"x20" oil on oil-primed canvas mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

Today was SO MUCH FUN!!! Although, I thought at first it might be 'impending doom'. I started the morning by cutting these lilac blossoms - I knew they weren't going to last if I didn't get going! I had a day full of sun shine predicted so I set this arrangement in my favorite green pottery pitcher out on the back patio. As I went into the house to gather the rest of my 'still-life' set-up of pears & dishes as well as my paint gear, my daughter called out "Mom, your flowers just blew over, but I picked them up". Well, over they went again, water dumped out all over, & blossoms disheveled. But lilacs hold up fairly well (at least after 2 dumpings). So I filled up the pitcher & this time placed 2 huge rocks around the pitcher to keep it from falling again. (My daughter told me I should have put the rocks inside the pitcher....but it was too full & they were too big!).

The breeze was cool, but the sun was strong on the patio - lighting everything beautifully. The rock wall & stone surface of the patio was so warm in the sunshine. I will miss this part of the house when we move in July. This has been a fun- old house to rent...lots of painterly character! But I'm looking forward to settling down, post-Navy-life and having a place of our own.

I intend to build a garden space as inviting as this one in our new place - where the sun warms a beautiful stone patio and lilacs and other blossoms flourish in beautiful painterly places!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring Fields of the Eastern Shore, II - sold

10"x10" oil on oil primed gallery wrapped canvas 1.5" deep

Back in the zone with oils this point I really knew what I wanted to express with this scene. A simple field of waving grasses,yellow actually has hints of so many other colors when you stand and look across a field. And if you spend much time outdoors, each scene brings back memories of similar places you've been & experienced. These little yellow wildflowers reminds me of back when I still had my horse. Every April in Virginia, these things would bloom wild in the fields and pastures. Just walking your horse through them would leave you both coated with yellow pollen all over your legs! I guess that was when 'sneezy' season started, too!

I've also been studying some of the color theory by Charles Hawthorne, who was a student of William Merritt Chase and the founder in 1899 of The Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, MA. I don't know any other way to state it, but color just gets me excited about life (and is inseparable from it)!

Click on image to enlarge & see palette knife work!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spring Fields of the Eastern Shore

10"x10" acrylic on 1.5" deep gallery wrap canvas

I had an inkling to get out my acrylic paints for fun- I had not used them in years. I had wanted to paint this particular farm I had seen on the way home from Virginia (from April's trip). Now I'll do it again tomorrow, in oil, just for comparison!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

The Engagement - sold

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

This painting was commissioned as a wedding gift for someone who got engaged in this park in Savannah. What a wonderfully thoughtful & memorable idea!

If you are interested in commissioning a memory of one of your favorite views, contact me

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Picnic in the Park

20" x 20" x 1.5" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Walking up one of the gently rolling hills at nearby Harkness Park, I noticed from a distance that the picnic tables were under this huge stand of old trees. Dapples of sun and shade made for a perfect place for an afternoon repast.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spring Violets - sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite professional artoboard

These are another one of my favorite things about spring! These little violets are just so cute as they grow up against a rock wall. Some are purple, some white, and some are a blend of the two. AND there are some that are fragrant! Some people consider these weeds - but I truly adore them!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Apple Tree in Spring Blossom - sold

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

Our Sunday afternoon hike found us over at Haley Farm in Groton (CT). When Caleb Haley owned and farmed the land in the late 19th to 20th centuries, he had a very unique hobby which can be seen throughout the park: the building of stone walls. Boulders found on the property were extracted and placed by an ox drawn stone-puller. The walls separated a number of pastures. An ancient apple tree on the edge of this pasture lane caught my eye. It's so huge, if I had not seen it in bloom I probably wouldn't have recognized it as an apple tree! The light sweet fragrance is wonderful - and the deep shade under the tree will be a summer delight!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gnarly Spring Tree mini

3"x4" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

Sunday was a beautiful day. I was able to spend part of it with my family walking through a park which is an old abandoned farmstead. Remnants of old orchards are there, some trees blooming, everything greening up. The craggy old trunks are the most interesting shapes, growing to be a part of old stone walls. What a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


24"x36" oil on canvas

I'm re-posting this one...Hope all the moms out there had an abundance of love on this Mother's Day. Both of my daughters had the afternoon off from work. It was nice to enjoy some time outdoors with them!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Apple Blossom Time - sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

I LOVE this time of year in New England! Every kind of flowering tree is blooming and the place looks like an impressionist painting. I saw this tree over at Waterford Beach the other day when my daughters and I went to look for sea glass. Today was beautiful outside- the most inspiring day for me. AND today was 'free-day' over at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT (close to where I live). So the three of us went over to see the exhibit "Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France". Between that exhibit and the house museum where Miss Florence took in her artist boarders - and the gardens & river behind the house.....well it was a PERFECT day for me. They even had the folks from "Old Lyme Ice Cream" there giving out free samples of "Giverny Vanilla" ice cream - especially made up for the exhibit!! Pinch me! - am I dreaming?? What an incredible treat this was today!!! Click on the image to enlarge & see close up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gorse in Glenbeigh

20"x20" oil on 1.5" deep gallery wrap canvas

My last trip to Ireland began at the end of February. Arriving in Shannon, we drove from there to Valentia Island, stopping at several places along the way. Around the area of Glenbeigh we came through a valley of lush green - and the most vibrant yellow- gorse! Now from a distance the stuff is beautiful. On closer inspection it's quite the un-friendly looking stuff. Full of thorns & rather rugged, tough looking, it's flowers are definitely it's best feature. This farm-stead we came upon was so beautiful, I felt like I was in a movie set. Could any place real be this lovely? The old stone bridge crossed the creek with banks of gorse and led to the cottage on the other side. Far in the distance across the valley are Macgillycuddy's Reeks (dark purply mountains). I find myself saying these place names over & over...just to hear the sound of them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pink Roses - Pink Ribbon - sold

3"x4" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

This little miniature is dedicated to those survivors (& those still fighting) breast cancer. There are some florists who put a really beautiful ribbon on a bouquet of cut flowers that really graces the whole arrangement. When I arrange a floral still-life, I love to include a gorgeous, flowing ribbon, to weave through the elements of the set-up.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Skelligs Calling - Valentia Island, Ireland - sold

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

During my last visit to Valentia, I bought two books by Michael Kirby. They are: Skelligs Calling, and Skelligs Sunset. He was a fisherman, a writer, poet and painter. He died in his 100th year in April 2005. I'm really enjoying his written memories & poems about his life. I only wish I could see what he painted! This painting is of my memories of the island - an early morning during the first few days of March....sun shining, lighting up one half of Puffin Rock over on the PortMagee side. The skelligs are visible on the horizon. The light hits the side of the cottages on the land below as the pastures stretch out to the sea. Ahh, what a gorgeous morning, a fine day to be in Ireland!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Flowering Quince on a Rock Wall

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

This is one of my favorite things about spring! When everything starts blooming here in New England. There's a house on the next block over that has these short bushes that are crawling over the edge of a rock wall. When the long branches of these start filling out with these coral orange blossoms and bright green leaves wow! These blossom clusters are so beautiful. Click on the image to enlarge and see brush work.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Florida Evening

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

This is the one scene I took the time to paint while working at my mom's down in Florida this past week. I had had enough of helping her sort paper for the day. I went outside just as the sun was beginning it's descent. I sat on the driveway and watched the light on the trees in the neighbors yard. The light, the fragrance of the blooming flowers and trees, the sounds...all of these brought back memories of the this very place I sat as a child. At that time 40 years ago, I sat in a little red wagon, with a Bic pen and notebook paper, doodling whatever came to mind. The trees are much bigger now, more Spanish moss adorns the limbs, hanging heavy in the evening air. It's still such a beautiful place to me and I especially miss the warm winters and the flowers that seem to grow non-stop all year! (sigh). Paintings are memory keepers for the artist as well as the viewer, keeping all those things in view to remind us of the places we love.

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