Friday, January 30, 2009

Skellig Boats Pierside - Portmagee, Ireland-palette knife painting

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

"The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities."
- Jose' Ortega Y Gasset

Whenever I am coming into Portmagee, I like to look down toward the pier and see if Pat Joe Murphy's boat 'Shelluna' is there. I've been out to Skellig Michael 4 times now on his boat - and the last trip out this past summer was sooo memorable. It was a beautiful day- the best venture out I'd had yet. A small boat feels even smaller out on open ocean, yet the sea was calm. Just beyond us a school of large fish was rushing ahead. Pat Joe turns a bit off course and speeds up to give chase, he looks back at us, smiling! They were all so beautiful!! - my heart was flying and a smile wrapped itself around to the back of my head! They were fast & rushed out of reach, cresting the water as they went. So back we turned toward the skellig, with one adventure of the morning already under our hat!

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Price: $150 USD plus $12 USD s/h
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Giddy & Windblown.......ndp

"When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself."
- Isak Dinesen

Today's photograph is called, "Giddy and Windblown". No painting today, but I'm still giddy with delight over finishing a long tedious task of last year's book-keeping. I have gradually figured out the program to make it work, and each bit I did got easier each time I worked with it. I also spent time today buying new ink cartridges, cleaning out what I could and nursing this printer back to health...for a bit longer anyway! Tomorrow (Friday) I'll be wrapping paintings to ship, and start a new painting of boats from my travels around Ireland!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rush Hour, II... Changing Pastures - sold

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on board (Raymar)

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.”
-George Eliot

Painting these wonderful places & scenes from my travels in Ireland is such joyful escapism for me. When I'm in the middle of a painting, it's like I am transported to another place. I remember my surroundings, the look, the feel of the air, the sounds & smells of the land. Can you tell I miss the place?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Brilliant Light Over Portmagee & Puffin Island

36"x48" oil on linen

Okay. THIS IS HUGE! Measure it out yourself! This is quite the whopper...and gives you a true sense of this place, standing on Valentia Island, Ireland; looking over to Portmagee. In the summer the clouds roll through casting their shadows on the hills and cliffs beyond. They don't stay for long, constantly moving with the steady breeze.

As you stand on this piece of land, not only do you feel a spiritual connection to this place, but you are also near a recent (in the big picture of things) historic feat- The first transAtlantic telegraph cable was connected here from Newfoundland in 1866. In the summer, the Atlantic can be relatively calm unless there's a storm. But winter storms are ferocious, with the waves crashing above these grassy edges! You can see how big pieces of earth have been eaten away by the sea! It is an awesome place where land meets the sea at this spot!

This painting is currently available from my Ebay store.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blocking in of Brilliant Light Over Portmagee & Puffin Island, Ireland

36"x48" oil on stretched linen

"Trusting our intuition often saves us from disaster."
- Anne Wilson Schaef

This was so much fun to continue on today. Working this large is sooo different. The large palette knife is very flexible and working on stretched canvas rather than that mounted on board adds a lot of flexibility to the surface as well. I feel like I'm standing on a sail boat! Luckily the floor is steady! Once I get the rest of the surface blocked in, the paint is still malleable enough to change some shapes, alter the color a bit (if necessary). All the while, I'm walking back & forth, to the canvas to paint, and back away again to the far side of the room to get a distant view. Very satisfying to see it come together.

Friday, January 16, 2009

draw in of Brilliant Light Over Portmagee & Puffin Island, Ireland

36"x48" oil on Belgian linen (stretched on stretcher bars)

"Let us open up our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness."
- O.S. Marden

Ooh what a brutally cold day outside here in CT! Spent lots of time catching up with some laundry & necessities. But I did get a good start to this painting. I did the little sketch yesterday as a color study, & to see if placement of the land masses made sense, values looked accurate. I actually got a little further than this - starting working in the sky, you'll see that tomorrow. You can see from the block-in that I had started another block-in of two figures sitting on a couch (done from life). Changed my mind about completing that one, but had this fabulous piece of linen, so over it goes- a new block-in!

I hope you enjoy seeing the process of how a painting progresses. I know I like to see other artists working methods. I generally work through the same process, usually using a toned canvas. I like working on oil-primed canvas, as it's easier to wipe back the areas you'd like to have a lighter tone. Then I mass in the darks. From there I usually go from the farthest distance to the nearest, ending with what is closest in the foreground. Thanks for following along!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brilliant Light Over Portmagee & Puffin Island (sketch)

6"x8" oil on canvas mounted on board

"It is the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive."
- C.W. Leadbeater

I was trying out a new little "thumb-box" today. This is a small (tiny in fact) little paint box that holds a 6x8 inch panel and is very light weight. It is the holy-grail of plein-air painters to find something small and lightweight to work with and haul around, yet substantial enough to actually WORK with. The jury is still out on this little thing. It might be good for 'painting emergencies' in the car when the weather is too crummy to stand out in the stuff, but it's near impossible to manuever a palette knife around the edges of this thing. hmm. It IS light weight...Well the little sketch is just that- a color sketch for a much larger painting I plan to start. It is available for purchase from my Daily Painters Gallery.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Down by the Sea Near St. Finian's Bay, Ireland

12"x16" oil on linen mounted on board (Raymar)

Sea Magic

O, bitter sea
Of green froth spume,
Brimming, breaking, spilling,
Swirling, foaming, roaring,
Yet in my soul
I love you!
Now, calm sea,
Kissing, waving, lapping,
Turning and washing
Blue pebbles
On the shore,
Still I love you more.

Why do my thoughts
Mingle with
The curling, waving weave
Of your magic spell
That makes me part of you?
- Michael Kirby (from "Skelligs Sunset")

As you leave Portmagee & go south along the coast past St. Finian's bay, there is an old white cottage on the hillside that slopes down to the sea. It seems that every time I've traveled this way the hillside is partially shrouded in a fine silvery mist. This painting is of an area not too far from where Michael Kirby is from in Ballinskelligs. Mr. Kirby was a fisherman, sailor, writer, poet and painter. I came across two of his books while in Portmagee on one of my last visits to Ireland. The stories and poems are so lyrical and expressive. When I read through these books (over & over again) they bring back such a visual image of this place that I've come to know a little bit about. I realize I've just uncovered the surface- a place truly takes a life-time to know well! The beauty of this place just calls to me- and will NOT let go!

This painting is available from my Daily Painters Gallery.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Singapore Tea Mug

7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose; you can smell it and that is all."
- W. Somerset Maugham

Many years ago I had the opportunity to visit Singapore. What an amazing place- overwhelming in its beauty, so many cultures in one city-country. I brought home loads of photos....and a set of these simple little tea mugs. I'm a fan of blue & white china dishes and these mugs with the koi fish were so special to me. I wrapped each of the four so carefully in my suitcase to bring home back then. They've made it half way around the world and across the US as well. I took one out to have a hot cup of tea today....and all the beautiful memories came pouring back! Oh to be in that tropical heaven right now! (bliss).

This painting is available from my Daily Painters Gallery for $100 plus $10 for shipping.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kerry Fields & Exhibit in Manhattan!

24"x36" oil on stretched canvas

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- Anais Nin

Click on the images for a closer view of the brush & palette knife work!

I am so excited by all the events of the day today. I got to go down to Manhattan and take a selection of paintings to the Chelsea32 Art Group. There, I met the Art Director, Rachel Kim, a lovely young woman with a real passion for art. The gallery is in "Little Korea", right in the middle of so many exciting things, close to the Empire State Building, and MACY's ;-) it just makes for a very fun visit to the city!

She chose ten of my paintings, including this one "Kerry Fields", for their upcoming exhibit to open this Friday, January 16th! I'll let you know more about it in the next few blog entries! In the mean-time, please take a quick video tour of Chelsea32 Art Group. The rest of their web-site will have updates later this week!

If you live nearby or are visiting NYC, please stop by and chat with Rachel. The gallery is located at:
2 West 32nd Street
New York, NY 10001

phone: 646 - 548 - 7991

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Welcoming Committee at the Lucky Star Bar, Inishmor, Ireland

9"x12" oil on stretched canvas

"Life is too short for a long story."
-Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Well, you've now heard all about these chickens, this for the painting - I knew it needed something else- chickens in the road right in front of the walk path into the bar. There you have it. For purchase information, email me:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unruffled - Inishmor Chicken, Ireland

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"To survive we must begin to know sacredness. The pace at which most of us live prevents this."

This is the 4th in my series of 6"x6" 'Fine Feathered Fowl of Inishmor'. There's always someone in a group that stays calm, no matter what....hence the idea for "Unruffled". This little red hen was not as impressed by me as I was of her!

I've finally indulged that desire to have chickens running around me...although it won't last for long, three of these recent paintings have sold (one the 8x10 palette knife painting)- and there are two left that are part of the set of original four- (both with the dark tails)! These two would make a nice set together (if you're thinking like I'm thinking)!

oops...well, I had this posted & another one sold just this evening - so now "Unruffled" is indeed the last of the four looking for a new home! It can be purchased from my Daily Painters Gallery for $100 plus $10 for shipping.

Thank you to all my collectors for making this a great start to the new year! And a big thanks to all those who send your kind comments & thoughts and sharing quotes and good stories as well. You all fuel my creativity and make me a happy soul!

oh yes, I do take commissions as well! If these roosters went faster than you could catch me - we'll cluck errr talk about it & I'll send you a price list by size.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sharp Stepper-Inishmor Rooster, Ireland-palette knife painting- SOLD

8"x10" oil on linen mounted on archival board (Raymar)

"Men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed."
- Lloyd Jones

Back to the chickens with knives! Palette knives that is. I find it difficult to paint very small with the going up just a little bigger allows a little elbow room to manipulate some paint. Drop the details- focus on the values. This is the same little fellow that I posted a smaller version (done with a brush) yesterday. One tool is not any 'better' than the other - it's just a tool- and what you do with it is the important part!

This painting will be for sale from my Daily Painters Gallery.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Steppin' Out-Inishmor Rooster, Ireland - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"The girl who can't dance says the band can't play."
- Yiddish proverb

Ah, another one of these fine feathered friends. When they did come running all at once, I was concerned I'd be pecked to death on a foreign shore, never to be seen again. But I stood my ground with my camera, they all 'put on the brakes' and looked up at me with all their chicken clucking going on. Now I know it seems funny that I'd go so far away to take photos of a bunch of chickens...but I've always loved chickens. So this was just a lucky bonus in addition to all the wonderful things I saw in Ireland. My grandmother ran a hatchery in addition to a big dairy barn and I always loved going to help gather eggs! As I got older, every county fair, I'd love to go see the 4-H exhibits & look at all the varieties of chickens people would bring. In fact I'd always wanted to have a place where I could keep chickens....but that hasn't come to fruition...yet. I might just have to keep visiting those county fairs in the fall!

This painting is sold!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sassy - Inishmore Rooster - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings."
- Samuel Johnson

This is another little one in a series that I'm doing of this great little flock of fowl that I saw over on Inishmore in Ireland. They had the run of a fenced part of the yard beside the Lucky Star Bar. The building itself was painted the most vibrant mustard yellow with red trim...these chickens added to the excitement of color, sight & sound! They were just dashing all around their little yard & came rushing up when I stood at the short fence to take some pictures. Did you ever get worried that a huge mass of chickens might run you over? They calmed down when they realized we weren't there to feed them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Loves to Laugh! hehehe (self characature)

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"There once was a man with a wooden leg named Smith"
"Oh yeah, what was the name of his other leg?"
- from Mary Poppins, the movie

First fact- today is a self-portrait day among us!!!

Yep, tell me a joke, the goofier, the better. Tell me a story, give us a tune, sing your song. I just love to laugh...and those that know me will probably recognize this picture from the hearty har-har all over my face, the downward slope of the eyes, and wild hair (before I recently chopped it all off in back!)

I don't know why that particular joke came to mind, (except I am humming this goofy song now...."loves to laugh, ha-ha-ha!"...) but we do have a 'family story' related to this one. From the time my daughters were toddlers they would watch this movie (Mary Poppins) until they could repeat it verbatim. It wasn't until they were in middle school that we were talking about goofy jokes....and one daughter suddenly gets this wide-eyed look. "I just got that I know what they are talkin' about". I laughed harder than I ever had. I couldn't believe this brilliant offspring of mine had gone for so many years not "getting it"....aww. I still love her...& yes, she really is brilliant...and funny!.

Gosh look at all that reflective shine on this little painting- is that my 'inner-sparkle'?? or perhaps really wet oil paint? umm- we don't hafta tella soul!

Now if you are not smiling enough each day, please- email me & ask, "Roxanne, please sign me up for your daily "Cheer-Factor emails". You'll get to see the latest daily painting, and get an uplifting quote to start your day with, (and if you're really a slow-starter before coffee, a reminder of what day it really is). oh yeah, that's

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lively Strut-Inishmor Rooster - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear."
- Italo Calvino

Did you hear the one about the rooster at the 'Lucky Star Bar'?...does sound like the beginning of a good joke. On last summer's trip to Ireland my friends and I went over to the Aran Islands, staying at Inishmor over night. We came across a wonderfully painted bar (yes, the Lucky Star Bar) with a sad looking rooster sitting on the wall outside the place. Poor thing looked like he had gone swimming in a tank of Guiness, pretty woozy looking compared to all the chickens in the adjoining yard. I've been wanting to go back and paint a few more of these fine feathered fowl from my photos. Here is the first one, indeed, with a lively strut!

This painting is sold!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day After the Blizzard

6"X6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it"
- Mary Oliver

I had to smile when a friend sent me this quote yesterday. Yes, it is truly good advice. Now of course the curmudgeons are going to want to temper this saying with "use good judgement so you don't become astonished over the ordinary". But so many people fail to see the beauty in the ordinary...they simply overlook it.

This view is of course the same as yesterday. But today the sun was out- YAY! But the temperature never did rise above 25 degrees - which gave me the good fortune to paint this same scene in the late afternoon light. This is what I see looking out of the front of my house. The sun comes from behind my house & is low in the horizon. The brilliant light just hits a band across the mid-trunk level of the trees, illuminating & warming some of the trunks against the deep purpley grays of the mass of trees. Some of the lower brush still has some of the reddish brown leaves clinging to them, warming up the winter landscape somewhat. The expanse of snow covering the ground at this time of day is already in shade, making it appear a cooler white. Now it's 30 minutes later that I'm writing this (about 4:30pm) & the sun is already gone. The light outside is very blue/gray. I am indeed looking forward to spring, but it's a mighty long wait!

Other good news...I've made some updates to my website today! If it's been a while since you've had a look, please have a visit, - thanks!