Saturday, July 30, 2011

Front Garden, Daylilies and Coneflowers

9"x12" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Deep into mid-summer and so many things are still blooming their hearts out! The view of this front garden is interesting from so many angles! Here, I'm looking out from my garage, this time, instead of avoiding the rain, I was seeking a bit of shade. But how wonderful to see things from different view points. Which is helpful in more things than we care to admit!

This painting (unframed) can be purchased directly from my gallery store.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011


12"x12" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same. Pointless and necessary, that's hard for a Puritan to understand." - Gunter Grass

This was such a wonderful day outside painting this from life. This is one of my favorite plants that blooms in the summer, that I had originally learned of in Ireland. Over there, it grows wild in hedgerows, just crazy lush each summer. It's the most wonderful shade of hot-red-warm orangey brilliance, and the foliage seems to vary from lime-green to blue-green depending upon how the sun light is hitting it. While I'm standing there painting, a couple hummingbirds are darting in and out among the blossoms- they LOVE this color of red. I think this is the plant that makes our hummers the happiest. Even with the wind blowing that sunny day and the flowers bobbing up and down, those little birds are tougher than any fighter pilots- they can maneuver in any direction while these flowers are bobbing in the wind. They are so tenacious!

I knew this summer I would get a painting of these from life and it would not be a 'botanical type rendering' but more of an impressionist viewpoint of the feeling I get from these incredible plants. Known as Montbresia or Crocosmia as well, I was happy to find that it would survive in southern New England, if in a protected area. This stand of them has tripled since we planted them. They are protected on one side by tall ornamental grasses and butterfly bushes.

This painting can be purchased directly from me from my gallery store

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Open To Possibilities

14"x11" oil on linen mounted on archival board

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be." - Abraham Maslow

Open to possibilities....a period of growth...thoughts of change. I have been wanting to work bigger for a while, so I'm inching up gradually again. For work on location, smaller surfaces means I can capture the light before it changes, get my ideas down in a limited amount of time and space. It also means I can keep my gear light. I've worked larger canvases indoors in my studio, but not so much outside. But a bit of exploration is in order. Over the remaining weeks of summer I intend to try to some bigger canvases outdoors. Even if I end up bringing them back into the studio to finish, I know there will be much gained from the effort.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lavender and Coneflowers by the Fence

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel

"A multitude of small delights constitute happiness." - Charles Baudelaire

At any given moment, this fence-line is full of small delights. And it surround my front porch, so that I can sit right there in a bit of shade and just look....and paint. I LOVE it when the lavender is in full bloom, the row of it in this flower bed just smells so wonderful. The arch of roses on the fence had finished its first round of blooms a few weeks ago, but a second round is on its way. Even the New Guinea impatiens in the huge blue pot were filling in their big dash of color. Later afternoon the sun comes from the west (or from the left side of this painting) and hits the tops of the fence, warming those rails before it finally sets in the evening.

Don't we all need a spot like this in our gardens?....that multitude of small delights?

This painting is available directly from me and can be purchased unframed from my gallery store.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Cloudy With A Strong Chance Of Flowers

9"x12" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory." - Friedrich Engels

During my 'computer crash' time I decided I'd push a little larger on some of my plein-air work. I had been working on a steady stream of 8x10s, and wanted to gradually push towards some larger pieces. This was not a huge stretch into bigger sizes by any means, but I was pleased with the results!

They were calling for thunder storms the day I painted this. I didn't want to get caught out in bad weather, but didn't want to loose any painting days outside if possible - so, from the protection of my garage, this side of our lawn was a perfect view! Somehow on a gray day colors of flowers seem even more intense. The sun isn't bleaching out the color nor is it so blinding that you can't see. Which makes those gray days quite enjoyable for painting!

This painting can be purchased directly from me in my gallery store.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Coastal Fog, Harkness Park, Coastal CT - sold!

10"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival board

"It's hotter than hell, but not as hot as Texas!" - R. Steed

Seems like I had vanished off the planet for a while there. I just survived a pretty big computer crash/mishap/disaster. What ever you call it, it was not fun. Two weeks without my work-companion left me feeling adrift! At the same time we had our credit card number stolen, and I got a nail in my tire (that was not pluggable). They say things come in threes, so looks like I'm over that hump and am coasting for some good things to come my way! At least that's how one friend suggested I look at it!

In the mean time, I did do a lot of painting done. On the first day back to my easel after "the crash" (as we'll call this computer disaster) I went over to Harkness Park, a favorite spot of mine, whether to paint, walk, or just un-wind. The fog was thick over the coast line during this morning of painting, and was just starting to burn-off, a ray of light seeming to cut through to the garden space I was viewing. For those familiar with the park, this is the area behind the old mansion, where weddings are now held, looking over into the walled garden. The fairy-roses were in their full glory arching over the walls of that garden space.

My postings to come will be like a garden tour of sorts. Today I'm continuing a large painting (24"x24") I started yesterday on the back deck. It's a certainly a challenge to go big when you're working outside. Most of my plein air works are 9"x12" or smaller. But that's a post for another day!

Thanks for following along, and thanks to those of you who asked "where are you"!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Beach Day 4th of July

8"x6" oil on linen mounted on archival panel

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.”

--Robert Henri

I've had a delightful long weekend, with both of my daughters visiting from Arlington, Virginia. We've been hiking, playing cards, and just enjoying each other's company. Today we went out to the beach where I got to paint a quick sketch of Chelsea, based on Henry Hensche's "mud head" paintings. I brought my little 'thumb-box' once again, to keep things very light weight. With a limited palette this exercise came together quite easily- which was a very nice surprise. I've been trying to push my comfort level on a few things this summer with some of my plein air works.

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