Sunday, November 30, 2008

Late Afternoon By The Window- sketch

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. (Sir Francis Bacon)

I hope your holiday was a delight and spent in the company of your favorite people!(or at least some of them!). I certainly enjoyed spending time with my daughters & was sad to see them go. They are finally back at school after a long flight delay due to weather. My husband & I spent this evening playing some tunes with Marc Bernier & friends at the Harp & Hound here in Mystic. What an absolute delight! I know I'll be warmed up for another Irish landscape this week! well as spending much of tomorrow wrapping up several paintings to ship out that sold this weekend! Many thanks to my new collectors in Arkansas, Kentucky & California!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kerry Fields

24"x36" oil on canvas

"God is good, but never dance in a small boat." - Irish proverb

Of course the quote has nothing to do with the painting...except that it's of Ireland! And- it brought a smile to my face in a completely different way. I hope your Thanksgiving was a fine one - with some time to enjoy your family. I did the cooking today, whew, I had forgotten how what a marathon it can be! It's an all day affair at this house! For the last many years, we've spent Thanksgiving elsewhere....and I had not done the major part of the cooking. I did get cleaned up however- and have enough time to finish painting the sheep this evening. Now of course it's almost midnight - and I'm hungry again!

So, more about the painting: as you leave Shannon airport and head west, you eventually come into County Kerry. The hills begin to rise up and so many pastures spread out like patchwork separated by 'seams' of hedges. Mid to late summer brings different kinds of wild-flowers growing up in these ridges, fuscia and montbresia being my favorites! They are ones I tend to kill off here in the states. Over there, the fuscia is huge! Big mounds of it grow like crazy. In my favorite field that I've noticed each time I go over, there are several varieties of sheep; black face, all black ones, and then there are some really big, fat ones with long blowy wool. It seems such a different texture than the curly ones. There are lots of young ones still in June and July. They are all so cute- I find them irrestible!

This painting is for sale and available from my Daily Painters Gallery. Click on the link and then click on the painting you are interested in. There will then be a paypal button to click with more information. You can pay with a credit card, and no paypal account is needed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chelsea in the Garden - sketch

Here's one of those girls of mine I'm picking up at the airport soon! I'm getting close to being finished with the Kerry Fields...I'll post that tomorrow. I've just got the sheep left to paint. I'm sitting there thinking how cute they to have a few wandering in the back- yard...except I think it's a bit small back there! They'd have it chewed down in no time! They are so cute over there....they even baahhh in a lilting accent! Do ya think I'm kiddin' ya now?

Happy Thanksgiving! I am incredibly grateful for my family (all of 'em, everywhere) and friends (some spread too far away for everyday good fun). Wishing blessings to you today and everyday!

Tag, You're It!

Tagging season is in full swing and I've been tagged by fellow Daily Painter artist Kay Crain. She is an awesome painter that I've been following for a long while now. She paints a lot of "people in your life" kind of scenes from the 50's & 60's. Wow - does this bring back some childhood flashbacks!! Very cool! Thanks for honoring me with the distinction of your tag!

This is a fun way to get to know your blogger friends in art! The rules of this great game are:

1. Put a link in your posting to the person who tagged you.

2. List 7 unusual things about yourself.

3. Tag 7 other bloggers at the end of your post and comment on their blogs to let them know.

These are my seven;

1. I LOVE Irish traditional music...and am a fiddler. I even got to play on 'Trad night' at a bar in PortMagee, Ireland! I played a set of jigs & a set of polkas (yeah, the Irish have them, too!)....I'm thinking I played a couple reels, too? I used to play in a session with other Irish musicians at a pub in Virginia Beach when I lived there. They are fabulous & I miss them A LOT!!

2. I began learning fiddle tunes when I lived in San Diego. My husband played in an Irish band there (flute & pennywhistle) - that played at "The Field" downtown in SD every Sunday evening. I asked the fiddler in their band if she'd teach me to play. After years of piano lessons during childhood, this beat the heck outa that! Love that place, too!

3. My daughters (twins, now 21yo) dance competitively in Irish dance at the 'Championship' level. I've heard enough accordian music to last a lifetime- but I still want to get up & dance when I hear it!.

4. I can't dance a single step of Irish dance - but would love to learn something of it!

5. I'm going to watch them(daughters) compete in Orlando next weekend at the Southern Region Oireachtas (sounds like: or-rock'-tas). Yeah, it's big- the top 5 go to 'Worlds'. I CAN HARDLY STAND THE WAIT!!!! WOOHOO!!!

6. I love to travel when I can scrape the $$ together (well that's no secret). The farthest away I've been was Singapore (husband was there on business! - so I took the kids with me, too- very cool experience...and sorta turned them into 'mini-me's' they love travel, too!)

7. My first trip to Ireland, in 2006 was with a group of artist friends from Virginia. One is a fellow Daily Painter (Norma Wilson)-that I've known for a long time now. Our host over there is also another Virginia artist living in Ireland part of the year! What a great retreat she runs! I am so grateful that she introduced me to "Valentia Island"!!

8. okay - an extra one for good measure, you can never have too much on a list!- Norma Wilson & I shared studio space for a while back in Virginia Beach at the Artists Gallery (jeez, 5 years or so ago now?) We both painted primarily with pastels back then!

Now, let's see...I'm tagging the following artists: (I hope they play along, too!)

1. Norma Wilson

2. Vicki Shuck

3. George Coll

4. Robin Cheers

5. Susan Greaves

6. Connie Chadwell

7. Diane Barbee

Now I hope my fellow bloggers forgive me....but I do enjoy your work & would love to read more about you! Happy painting (and yes, blogging!).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kerry Fields (unfinished)

24"x36" oil on canvas

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at - but a manner of traveling."
-Margaret Lee Runbeck

Today's painting is the continuation of "Kerry Fields". It's about 1/3 to 1/2 finished. I'll continue tomorrow with the fields in the foreground, indicating the placement of the sheep & painting them in. I'll also be adjusting the shapes & colors of some of the fields & hedges as I go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kerry Fields (underpainting)

24"x36" oil on canvas

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Here is the under-painting I spoke of in yesterday's entry. Just a road map of sorts to indicate where I want it all to go. I'm off to New Hampshire for the weekend. We are joining friends to celebrate his Change of Command on the USS Oklahoma City. I'll be back Sunday .....I have a few paintings that are finally dry enough to ship out on Monday!! Thank you to my new collectors for your patience! There's nothing slower than watching paint dry!!

*******Also, this morning I finished the final edit on an essay I've written that will be included in the new book our group is putting out! There is a page from each one of our artists in this new book! This should be available soon (right after Thanksgiving) for Christmas purchases. More news about this soon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Small Color Study for Kerry Fields

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Today's painting is "Small Study for Kerry Fields". Just a small study (5x7") for a much larger landscape scene (24"x36") that I also blocked in this afternoon. Once you land in Shannon airport, Ireland- we head west and approach mountains to the left of us. The distant hills rise up into the mist and the valley is marked off into a beautiful patchwork. Among the varied green squares the are flocks of sheep. Early to mid-summer there are still young ones bounding around, chomping circles around the older ones! I did the small one today as a color study for this larger painting! I got the larger one blocked in & it looks like it will be fun!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lace at the Window, Tunes at the Hearth - sold

8"x8" oil on canvas mounted on archival board (Utrecht)

"People live in each other's shelter." - Irish Proverb

I love this quote above - our friends and family help us to become the people we are truly meant to be. I really "had my Irish on" today. I've been reminiscing about my friend Barbara's cottage in Ireland, and its garden in the front. There are geraniums, daisies, montbresia, and herbs for cooking! It is protected by a high wall on the north side protecting the garden area from the toughest north winter winds. The wall around the front & southern end is almost waist high. The lace curtains are so welcoming, but the thing I love when you approach the front door - it is directly across from a window on the back of the house which looks out on the Atlantic Ocean and the skelligs beyond. The stone walk is like gently tousled hair with a bit of grass or herbs coming up between the big stones. Smaller smooth stones from beach combing line some of the edges. And a big rustic red bench calls to you from the front door step, along with some fisherman's bits of netting washed in from the sea, hanging on a hook on the little porch. Inside the cottage there's a wonderful fireplace that heats the whole place, essentially one big room downstairs. A neighbor friend sent up a fiddle for me to loan for a few days...oh what a wonderful treat! I carried so much painting gear with me on the trip over, there was just no way I felt able to carry-on an instrument on the flight as well. So I sat by the hearth & played everything I could remember from every session I'd ever played in. What great fun!

But for today back at home,as I painted, I listened to another great cd, Liz Carroll & John Doyle "In Play". (click on the link to hear samples). In between painting, I'd go click on my daughter's you-tube videos from their latest Irish dance performances during homecoming week at Florida State. I stand to paint...& I'm practically dancing at this point! While I'm painting, I'm immersed in it all.....and when the painting is's like arriving back at home, with very fond memories.

If you are an artist seeking a boost in your creativity- an artistic retreat is something you should start planning for. The time to immerse yourself in your favorite endeavor, in the company of a small group of fellow artists is so enriching. Visit this link for more about Barbara's Valentia Island Artists Retreat.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

October Afternoon - West Cornwall Bridge - sold

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

"To those who can dream there is no such place as faraway."
- anonymous

There is such a delight in seeing these old bridges...especially this one...especially in a gorgeous state of "autumn color" surrounding it like a golden bouquet. I have been holding on to this's time for it to see another part of the world!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Celtic Crossings, Kerry Cows, Dohilla, Valentia Island - sold

oil on 6"x12" museum quality panel, the top view is a close up!

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.
- Irish Blessing

Today was misty and rainy here in Mystic, CT. I listened to some great fiddle tunes by Liz Knowles (The Celtic Fiddle) all afternoon while reminiscing & painting this scene from one of my trips to Valentia Island, Ireland. On the steep road that drops down to Valentia Lighthouse, there is a place to pull over at the bottom, near the water. The last few times I've been, we set up & paint the lighthouse, but looking back up the hill....there are cows grazing in the the very top of this hill stands a Celtic cross- the cross for the Knights of Kerry.
The winds blow the grasses in the pasture and the water crashes on the rocks in the channel below, muffling the sounds of the cows. There is such a wonderful peace in these elements.

Here it is late fall, the time to buy airline tickets if I am to go back next summer -...I am disappointed with the economy lately...who's not?! But I'm still holding out hope to get back there next year. Many have been asking me when I'm going to paint more Irish here we go- I am offering some of my larger ones for lower prices than earlier this year, think of Christmas gifts for loved ones. Even in crummy times something beautiful to look at is a balm for the soul.

One of my collectors, who lives in constant pain, hung a large work of mine in her living room across from her couch, so she could sit and look at it- she claimed it brought her great peace.

Another collector hung her painting of sailboats in a harbor in her bedroom so that she could see it every morning when she woke up.

Another couple hung their painting of Chincoteague in their bedroom to remind them of a romantic trip there.

One young woman commissioned me to paint the fishing boats by the pier in Portmagee, Ireland, (where she was married & spent her honeymoon)as an anniversary present for her husband....(and yes, her wedding pictures were so romantic!!)

Yet another collector commissioned me to paint a particular fountain in Savannah, GA (another favorite town of mine) as a wedding gift, where the groom had proposed to his bride!

Yes, art, whether big or small, brings great joy and a sense of peace to a weary world. So when we at first think of art as a luxury, even a small treasure is an uplifting thing to have in our lives. We may remember a family event, commemorate a great celebration, or simple escapism to a place we'd rather be.

Even high-end collectors who buy the Monets, Renoirs, etc., when asked art because they "love it".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chelsea and the Lilacs

14"x11" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

"You may find that traveling along your path is sometimes elusive and challenging, but your desire to find your hidden voice must outweigh your fear of failure and your disappointments."
- Dan McCaw

Oh this brings back such good memories for me! At our last house we lived in, there were several old lilac bushes that put out gobs of gorgeous blooms each year. I'd plan the whole bloom time to get in a couple good plein air paintings with fresh cut blossoms arranged...paint what I could while they were in bloom AND take photographs to paint later in the year (when flowers were lacking but my need for them is not!). This year has been an incredibly beautiful spring, summer and fall in New England. I feel so lucky as some years it can be dreary, too hot, too wet, too whatever. With all our good fortune are we due to "pay the piper" this winter? hmm, (always have a plan B)- mine is to hunker down & paint (and maybe visit my mom in FL when the winter seems to last a bit too long)!

I really have enjoyed the last couple 'figures in the landscape' type paintings done with palette knife. It enables me to express my true vision.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chelsea and the Lilacs - sketch

"Regardless of your current station in life, you have a spiritual contract to make joy your constant companion."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer

Today's sketch is "Chelsea and the Lilacs". I do like 'Sharpie" markers for drawing---well, for quick sketches that is. Not a meticulous finished drawing, but more of getting the idea on paper kind of thing. So yes, there are initial lines across the mid-section of the head that I start with that if using pencil or charcoal, they'd get either drawn into the finished drawing or erased out. But here, all lines are left....then if I proceed to make it a painting- corrections & adjustments are made there....where they can be wiped off or painted over in an instant.

It was a good day of packing & shipping one painting on it's way to Utah; underpainting a large canvas 24"x36" for another one in my Ireland series......and then late afternoon I caught the last half of the Florida State vs. Clemson game on tv! WOOHOO! GO 'NOLES! Their coach, Bobby Bowden was celebrating his 79th birthday - & near the end of the game - the whole stadium sang 'Happy Birthday' to him...awwww - now that's love & admiration!

I do welcome requests for commissions. Please contact me at for a price list per size.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Roses and Ribbon

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Flowers always make people better and happier; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul."
- Luther Burbank

Today's painting is "Roses and Ribbon". A nice small square one is fun after a larger painting. Small can be a challenge after painting larger though. Using a palette knife helps you paint, rather than 'draw' - as you have to simplify, simplify, simplify! You are reduced to indicating shapes of darks & lights, no matter how subtle....and the viewer's eye puts it together to tell the brain exactly what those masses of lights & darks are. Very fun indeed!

I do welcome requests for commissions. Please contact me at for a price list per size.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pondering the Rose Garden

16"x20" oil on canvas mounted on board (Raymar)

I hope you simply have a happy Thursday.

"Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal to what we are given by the senses."
- Hannah Arendt

Today's painting is "Pondering the Rose Garden". Here it is - finally finished...and you've gotten to see the process from beginning to end! That quote just about sums up why I paint.....I feel my words are insufficient to describe the incredible things that we take in through our I represent those memories visually...hopefully to make a connection with the viewer and evoke similar memories. A walk through a lush garden, an abundance of flowers, colors surrounding me, fragrance enveloping me. I relish the visual memory to evoke that "sense of place" that I try to represent in my paintings. I love to use the textures of oil paint to connect with the tactile senses - again, to hit that "memory recall" of the viewers' experience of being in a certain place. Click on the image for a close up of the palette knife work that I find so exciting.

I do welcome requests for commissions. Please contact me at for a price list per size.

and last news of the several paintings varnished today & hopefully I'll have several ready to ship to their new homes soon!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pondering the Rose Garden (unfinished tribute)

Welcome to Wednesday- and literally- the dawn of a new era in our country.

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."
- Abraham Lincoln

16"x20" oil on canvas mounted on board (Raymar)

Today's painting is "Pondering the Rose Garden". It is still unfinished....I just had to watch the election returns....painting had to wait. Two of the most gracious speeches I've ever heard. And we still have lots of work to do over the next four years.....
but back to painting- it's almost done...Just a bit of tweaking here & there as well as finish the roses, the figure, and pull it all together at the end. So that will be my task Wednesday morning when I show up to work first thing! Now normally I hate to post unfinished works....sometimes it gets ugly before it gets 'pretty'. At our online gallery, we are posting a tribute to Barbara Haukenberry today. I met this woman a little over a year ago when she began collecting my work, and she found so many artists on DailyPainters whose work she also loved & collected. We corresponded via email almost every day, talking about art (of course), family, our similar event that linked us (a horrible car accident & one particular painting), and just life in general. As a tribute to Barbara Haukenberry.... well, she always encouraged me to try new things. I've been wanting to paint the figure in a landscape with palette knives. I think Barbara would be very happy with this effort. I do miss her and her brilliant wit, interesting commentary & insights. She really enjoyed when I began to paint with more impasto, whether with brush or palette knife. And I enjoyed this as well, continuing to use this as a means of expression.

I am so grateful for her friendship, and I truly miss her input in my life. May she rest in peace and grace.

*******As for the Chinese company (online artsales of copies of originals taken from Daily that we thought was taken down....before lunch time it was already back up - and I did find 7 images of my paintings on there (as well as tons of works from other members of Daily Painters). Several letters were sent to them regarding their crimes of copyright infringement, as well as Paypal- who they use for processing payments on their site. By late this evening, the images seem to be removed from the site. Let's hope this is true & stays this way. But I do keep thinking about that phrase "like mushrooms after rain".....something like this will pop up somewhere else. Thanks again to our collectors who buy originals directly from the artist or their designated galleries.

I do welcome requests for commissions. Please contact me at for a price list per size.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pondering the Rose Garden (oil sketch)

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

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."
- Anais Nin

Today's painting is "Pondering the Rose Garden (oil sketch)". Didn't get too far on this. I lay in a turpsy wash & begin to draw the figure freehand with brush & paint, continuing to measure, wipe out, correct, re-draw, re-measure, wipe off, paint in a small mass here & there. When happy enough with the figure, I'll loosely indicate the darks of the landscape & any significant 'landmarks' and proceed to block in 'in mass' from that point. But I take the time to get happy with the drawing of the figure before I proceed. There is much give & take in the next many steps.

*******I spent a good bit of the morning sifting through a Chinese website (though written in English!) selling what they claim to be "originals". When in fact they had stolen thousands of images from our Daily Painters website. These were mixed in between images of Monet, Renoir, Rembrandt, yes, all the classic masters. Yes, a few of these were my own. This company then would make 'paintings' in any size requested of these stolen images for a price. Well.....short-story version: Among our group of Daily Painters, we began sifting through the literally tens of thousands of images on this site tracking down our works....we've managed to get the site shut down! But as one of our members commented (who had dealt with copy-right infringment before) another company like this will pop up like "mushrooms after rain". We at wish to inform our collectors of this problem and that we take much effort to protect our works and prevent copy-right abuses such as this. Our thanks go out to all our collectors and friends for buying original art either directly from the artist or his representative gallery(ies)....whether they be on-line galleries or brick and mortar galleries. Now that that is behind us, I hope to get back to some serious painting!

I do welcome requests for commissions. Please contact me at for a price list per size.