Friday, July 23, 2010

Cottage Windowboxes

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite

"Nothing determines your creative life more than doing it. This is so obvious and fundamental, yet how much energy is wasted on speculation, worry and doubt without the relief of action."
- Ian Roberts, from Creative Authenticity

I know there's a trend here. I've always painted what I love- whether places, people, or things. The gardens I'm most attracted to are little vignettes of cozy places, that feel like home....nothing too stuffy or formal, something you might see from the comfort of your lawn chair....or a sight that invites you in....

These window-boxes are from the shops where I have some of work, "Artisan Framing & Gallery" up in Marlborough, CT. It's such an inviting colonial style/farmhouse looking structure, with a nice front porch! Our plein-air exhibit is up through August, if you haven't had a chance to see it yet!

Well, as I mentioned in a recent post, I'm off to a workshop this coming week. Not sure if I'll have time to post or not. I'm going to study with Camille Przewodek! I've admired her work for so long and can't wait to learn some new color insights from her! I'm so looking forward to this! Hope hubby can fend for himself in the kitchen while I'm gone!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Late Day Sunlight On Coneflowers - SOLD!

7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are certain times of day when it's fun to see what gets illuminated in the garden. As the light moves around the house from sunup until dusk, it's like a showcase of various points in the garden. Around late afternoon the stems of these coneflowers become lit up, and seeing the colors that come out of this is really fascinating to me! Our childhood brain might say "flowers have green stems" but if you really look at how light hits certain ones, you really have a lot of color in them!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Red Day Lilies

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."
- Henry Thoreau

Well, this quote really gave me cause to grin...and yet give some forethought as to how awful it would be to reach the point of not being enthusiastic about anything! One thing that I'm definitely enthusiastic about is summer- flowers, food, sunshine, heat! all of it! There is just an abundance of wonderful things to catch my eye and paint this summer, my neighbors RED day lilies are just one of them. And another one of those things I notice every morning on my daily walk.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunny Side Of The Sunflowers

8"x6" oil on Belgian linen mounted on museum quality panel

"Grab your coat, don't forget your hat
But, leave your worries on the doorstep
Life can be so sweet, just direct your feet
To the sunny side of the street."
- Jimmy McHugh

On my morning walks with my neighbors, we pass by this big display of sunflowers. Right about quarter of eight when we pass by, the side of the house is lit and the front is in shade. It's such a wonderful contrast, and it catches our breath every time....that is on days when we stop talking long enough to look! It is rather funny, there's 3, sometimes 4 of us, (and all gardeners & flower lovers) so when there's some new unusual bloom, conversation stops...oohs & ahhs abound. It's a great way to start the day, a walk with friends, to take in all the sights of the season.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Grey Day, Boats At Inis Mor (Ireland)

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"To be happy, drop the words, "if only" and substitute instead the words "next time".
- Smiley Blanton, M.D.

A grey day on Inis Mor, little boats for a big Galway bay. On my travels over in Ireland I was always attracted to the hull shapes of these colorful boats.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tied Up At The Moment (Fishing Boat, Portmagee, Ireland)

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"There are two types of fisherman - those who fish for sport and those who fish for fish." ~Author Unknown

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Llittle Elbow Room; Portmagee Summer Sunset

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

"May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live."
- Irish blessing

Still on the armchair travels to Ireland this week! A little elbow room is the expanse of space I feel standing on Valentia Island looking over to Portmagee. Wild skies, and wilder cliffs, long expanses of green, and this view during the late sunsets of summer is so wonderful, a continual color-show until the sun finally sets (realllllly late by the way!). I also took a 'tongue in cheek' elbow room with stepping up to a much bigger palette knife- a trowel actually, and used it in a more painterly fashion - painting with the 'whole arm' rather than just the wrist. What freedom- a more expressive paint handling (reminding me of how Dan McCaw moves paint with a big brush).

Will try to re-photograph this one tomorrow, I find the larger ones difficult to get accurate color.

A Little Elbow Room; Portmagee Summer Sunset

About This Painting:
Media: oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard
Size: 16 in X 12 in (40.6 cm X 30.5 cm)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Repairs At The Pier, Portmagee, Ireland

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it."
~Irish Blessing

This painting is worked in both brush and knife. The pier there in Portmagee is such a busy place, always a hub of action. It's exciting with all the colorful boats coming and going, and the various work being done.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Far End of Pormagee, Looking Back

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing."
- Irish Blessing

Being a bit of an arm-chair traveler today. I'm lamenting the fact that this is the first summer in five years that I was not able to go over to Ireland. But I do think about it all the time! So I had a bit of fun reminiscing through my old photos and playing some Liz Carroll cd's, planning what else I'll be painting this week. I'd like to fit in some time for a larger one this week as well!

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bed Of Ivy Cat Nap

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen on archival panel

“If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?”

- Stephen Wright

How is it that cats are so smart? (or at least the ones I've known?). They always have the knack for finding a great spot for a nap, even on a hot summer day, like this one, on a cushy bed of ivy, in a nice shady spot. Would I get better sleep if I had a "cat detection device" to point out the best napping places?

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Tropical Sunset Coneflowers

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for."
- Claude Monet

The last arrangement of the week- it's an unusual variety of coneflowers that our local garden center had. The color was listed as 'Tropical sunset" if I remember correctly. And like any good perennial, it has come back even bigger & better this year. I chose this color for my garden, rather than the standard purple coneflowers because the color reminded me of the Florida, where I grew up. I cut some yesterday to bring in & the color of the blossoms looked great against my limey green this is what is in my studio window right now, underneath the glass container.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Whose Side Are You On Anyway?

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite board

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
- Vincent Van Gogh

This might be the last of the sweet peas, at least for a little while. It's been fun arranging the various colors we've planted this year, they range from dark blue to pale blue, pale pinks to dark fuschia & coral! The fragrance is what really amazes me.
I broke out the brushes on this one. It did feel a bit odd, as I've been using a palette knife for about the last 2 years solid. Just a fun bit of experimentation, starting with a flat sable brush, and then moving up to a big round bristle brush for more texture in the blossoms.

It's sort of funny, when I laid out the cherries, the stems were all pointing at each other. Sort of in an accusing manner, hence the title, "Whose Side Are You On Anyway?" Never thought they'd take on such personality!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Short Glass Of Sweet Peas

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival artboard

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back."
- Arthur Rubinstein

Here is a little short water glass of sweet-peas from the big batch of blossoms I cut the other day. They hold up pretty well if you bring them inside,and keep the water level up! Never thought I'd see the time when I'd be painting them for a whole week!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sweet Peas In Cobalt Blue Vase, North Light Studio Window

8"x8" oil on gessoed masonite archival board

"The further I go, the more I see how hard I must work to render what I am trying for, that instantaneousness. Above all the outer surface, the same light spred everywhere....For me, the subject is insignificant. What I wish to reproduce is what is between the subject and myself."
- Claude Monet

Another nature filled day- sweet peas from the garden, studying light, this time as it comes from behind, through blue glass on a white cloth. There were enough flower cuttings to fill several different containers, I was scrambling trying to find a few more to fill!

Later in the afternoon, looking out my kitchen window, there was a HAWK sitting in my bird-bath! It was the oddest looking thing. After you've seen tons of little gold-finches flitting in & out of this same bird-bath, seeing this thing sitting in it, made me realize how huge she is! She nests near us, she marks her return each year with screeching & shrieking!

Ended the day with some home-made basil pesto with pasta for dinner. Basil right out of the garden, what a nice treat!

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Sweet Peas In North Light - sold

8"x6" oil on Belgian linen mounted on museum quality board

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Light and color...are there any other things that excite an artist so? If you've followed my work for a while, you know this is my studio window, facing north. I've really found it intriguing to study the qualities of light in this situation: the reflective light on a white cloth, cool and warm light bouncing next to each other, the variety of color within a shadow, a pale object that when backlit, appears darker than the light behind it. I can see an endless variety of studies right here in this very spot.

My husband planted sweet peas this year. We've never tried planting them before, as we've always lived places that are way too hot. Well, the fences are springing forth with 'gushers' of blossoms....the more you cut, the more they produce. We'll see how long this lasts, maybe another month?? Hope so. The fragrance is heavenly sweet! And I'm grateful that he's so sweet to plant these for me to paint!

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Friday, July 2, 2010

New England Summer By The Shore

6"x8" oil on museum quality Belgian linen board

"Don't follow the critics too much. Art appreciation, like love, cannot be done by proxy. It is a very personal affair & is necessary to each individual."
~ Robert Henri

My fellow artist & friend Don Watson found this quote by Henri. I was so glad to come across it, it was like another reminder to pull R. Henri's book, "The Art Spirit" off the shelf for another read through.

What a fabulous day we had again today! Now I know if you've followed this blog for more than six months, you've heard me wail about bleak New England winters. But summer is here and life is GREAT! Here on the shoreline, we even get the 'bonus- breeze'. It'll probably get all muggy in a few days, just because I took a notion to brag on the weather up here. Everyone else is sweltering with the heat & humidity....but I think as it moves up past the mid-Atlantic, we'll be having a "fire-cracker" 4th of July like the rest of the Atlantic coast.

We are so lucky to have Harkness Park as a state park, here in CT. It is one of the lovliest places I've ever seen...and that's in all seasons. Right now, everything is blooming like crazy! There's a large rose arbor to the left, it's tall enough for even very tall people to walk under. Today I could hear the birds echoing inside the thing from across the lawn while I painted. The day lilies are in full bloom, in so many wonderful colors, from pale yellow, peachy cream, orange, all the way to a deep burgundy red. The air was clear and the water sparkled off in the distance, and the breeze was certainly welcomed today. Ahh, can you tell I'm loving summer? By the sounds of all the happy people today, I know I'm not the only one!

While it's wet & unframed:
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