Sunday, 31 August 2008

still life 101 - red

I finished the tomato still life (11X14) this morning because the light was pretty good before the sun came in the window. My cat had also decided that the table it was set up on was the only place in the entire world that she wanted to be! She really is amazing in her ability to determine the worst possible, I decided that I had better not wait until this afternoon. I am more pleased with this than the last one I attempted (I scraped it off) but not completely happy nonetheless. Practice, practice, practice.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

portrait study

We had a rainy day today - not what was fore casted but a nice surprise. I went to the farmer's market in Tiverton and bought some interesting looking heirloom tomatoes and set up a still life. Of course it's not done yet but it's nearly done and I expect to finish it tomorrow. I am enjoying the variety of reds/salmons and yellow-orange-ish green and it expands my color mixing skills. So, tonight I will post an 11X14 portrait study. It looks like it's clearing and the morning will be nice to go to Seapowet......I can't seem to stay away from the place. Then I will finish the still life in afternoon light. My home is very cramped and I find it difficult to set up objects to paint but I am working on that since winter is coming and I seem to want to paint all the time now, more than last year where I allowed daylight to limit me.

Friday, 29 August 2008

color study

Despite the fact that clouds moved in shortly after I roughed things in, it was a pleasant morning at Sachuest. I was trying to concentrate on the color and texture of what I was seeing rather than the drawing/composition. I used the palette knife quite a bit to lay color in and then move paint around until I achieved the effect I was looking for.............the picture is small, 9X12.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


Damn, I just did an entire post and it disappeared. I worked all morning on the picture I posted yesterday but then had to put the brushes down and go to a doctor's appointment and re-up on food for my ancient and demanding cat, Yakov. Now I am back and going to begin work again but won't be able to post that, I am going to post a larger study of the flowers in my window box (16X12). I am really having fun with the Colombian picture and had a great time at drawing last night. I continued with the graphite and made some progress with seeing the form and not just indicating it with broad strokes of conte. The weather has been awesome and I hope to get out into the world again tomorrow morning. I have no idea why this photo saved with a white border but it adds a bit of variety so I won't change it.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


I am nearly done with this one - I am enjoying experimenting with my memories of that intense Colombian color. I have to keep closing my eyes and visualizing how it felt. I will post a photo when it is done but I may go out to paint tomorrow since I am ready to see green again. I have figure drawing group tonight and have to get ready to leave. This painting is 11X14.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


I used to have terrible fall allergies but thanks to a combination of claritan and benedryl, I now only have a few bad days - today was one of them. I worked all morning but did not finish the picture so I am posting a portrait study I did during the spring. This guy was like 83 and a total moving target - I made him much younger and I am still not sure why. I was so annoyed I needed a mental game to allow myself to be "nice." The picture is 12" square. I hope to finish the small one I have worked on yesterday and today by tomorrow morning.

Monday, 25 August 2008

a bit of rain

It's raining at the moment but I was working inside today anyway and listening to the democratic convention coverage as I worked. I began a picture of a scene in Colombia - I went there to visit my daughter a couple of years ago and loved it.......she was studying on a Fullbright and lived there for close to two years. Maybe I will move there if McCain wins and we are thrown into a terrible depression. Oh, I won't be able to afford it because the dollar will collapse! I am moving fast on the picture but it won't be ready until tomorrow so I am posting a picture of some flowers on my is 9X12 oil/canvas.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

2nd beach

I went to the beach after all, it wasn't too crowded........of course I went before 8 am. The water had lots of red seaweed so no one was really in the water except for some surfers in wet suits. Then I came home and planted a fall crop of greens and mowed the yard. There was a freshly dug spot at the front of the shed so I am sure another woodchuck has moved in.......jeez, they're everywhere. I'll just have to watch it when the salad greens sprout. This picture is oil/canvas and 11X14.

Saturday, 23 August 2008


I finished the small picture I began yesterday - since the weather was so beautiful I decided to set up on the porch rather than fight the crowds at the beach. Interesting that working small is so much less comfortable for me even though at 8X10 this is less small than I have been trying. Soon the beaches will be available again since, no matter the weather, not many folks go after Labor Day.....I cannot believe that August is nearly gone.

Friday, 22 August 2008

green, green, green

Well, I reached my saturation point with summer's green this morning so I went down the east side of the bay to Little Compton, RI. I avoid some of the area during the summer since there is no place to park and all of the beaches are can't even pay to park (which I am unwilling to do anyway). Sakonnet Point used to have a place where one could park.......but they have been building a new yacht club and I discovered that there is now NO PLACE to park at all. Feeling very discouraged, I headed home searching for a "non-green" place to luck. When I got home I found a photo that I have wanted to experiment with and decided to try what I had been thinking of. If I hadn't used so much gas and time I would have gone to Newport or Bristol (the other side of the bay) where there are free places but I wanted to get busy and went with the photo. I might try one of those two locales tomorrow morning even though it is a weekend. I am posting a picture I did on site in NC during a family reunion - I have not finished what I started after I got home. The storms come in quickly at the Carolina coast, the clouds build and build or disappear into haze......the painting is 11X14.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

morning sun

This is a view from my porch - my neighbor's mountain ash trees (I am pretty sure). I couldn't quite finish it yesterday before the light totally changed and I was exploring the colors and shapes of the shadows. I worked on something else in the afternoon and then got ready to go into Providence for my figure drawing group. I have begun to experiment with different drawing materials and things went pretty well. This picture is 11X14 and I am on to another subject.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

In progress

I could not allow myself to go out and paint plein air today.............not only did I have 17 errands (exaggeration) to do but I have several pieces that I am determined to complete. All of them are rather large and are beginning to wear on me by their presence. This picture is one of them - it is of a marsh in Westport and only a few hours away from being done. After taking a photo of it I realize that I am being too picky again and need to just tone down the color in the stream a bit and soften many of the edges and call it quits. I am all about moving on these days since that is what allows for progress. Tomorrow is my life drawing group and I don't want to miss it this week since I did last week after burning my fingers......I am going to force myself to abandon the conte crayon since I feel like I need to try something new, like plain old pencil! I put the music from Mali on and am ready to move out of recent ruts. Later.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Tiverton Harbor

I did this picture standing in a church parking lot overlooking the harbor. This year there are practically no power boats and a lot of empty moorings. In past Augusts the place would be packed but every power boat seems to be at the marina wearing a "for sale" sign, a consequence of high fuel prices I am certain. I have wanted to do this view for some time and decided that today was the day. I am beginning to use my palette knife more since I can cover larger areas quickly and then have plenty of paint to move around the way I want to. It was wicked hot from the moment I unpacked my stuff and I think I might use the a/c for the first time in weeks. This painting is 12" square.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

No glasses

I went out early today and painted exactly what I wanted without trying to force myself to learn somthing.............turns out that the learning happens anyway when you simply look. I have been taking my glasses off more and more because I feel that it frees me from focusing on the micro rather than the entirety of what I am seeing and allows me to stay with the concept of what I am seeing. This picture is 12" square and that size is comfortably large enough so I don't feel cramped or forced. I was pleased with the results.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

"Wet Paint"

I am back from painting at wet paint.........I enjoyed it. The day turned out to be really nice and sunny. I picked out a good spot at one of the entrances to the cliff walk and looked back away from the water at this neat building and a portion of the actual walk - since the sun was over my left shoulder and behind, I had a pretty good amount of time without radical changes in the light. Throngs of tourists arrived about a half hour after I did but at least I got a parking space. It did remind me why I stay away from Newport until the winter, however. It was next to impossible to get a decent photo or get my car out of that great parking space due to the huge crowds of people on the street, the walk and the grassy areas. Surprisingly there was a parking space behind the museum so I didn't have to walk far to drop the painting off.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Elephant rock

I went down to Newport this morning and went to check out the set up for the "Wet Paint" event that I am doing tomorrow, a fund raiser for the Newport Art Museum. I saw some good Wm. Trost Richards originals and looked at the Grosvenor show. The traffic was incredible, even on a Friday, so I am going to leave pretty early to ensure that I can not only find a place that I want to paint but find a place somewhat convenient to park. When I got home I started a small picture of some roses from my garden but the light changed really fast and I didn't finish it to my satisfaction. I am still acclimating to smaller sizes, smaller brushes and smaller hand movements so, despite the fact that I am not unhappy with what I painted this afternoon, I am not ready to post it. I am posting another plein air that I did last fall at a beach in's larger (11X14). I am bringing my camera tomorrow so I can take a photo of what I paint before I drop it off for the auction. I neglected to do this at the New Bedford event because I was worried about rain and the camera getting wet and regret not having a photo of that painting.

Thursday, 14 August 2008


Boy, did I burn myself yesterday. I was so frustrated at the lawn mower's constant stalling, that I reached down to make sure the spark plug was secure, grabbed it and burned my right thumb and index fingers. Dumb, dumb, dumb, but luckily the blisters aren't bad today and I was able to paint (bandages galore). The lawn is still not fully mowed but I have put it off until I feel like it - the edges are done at least. Just finished my daily painting and will change the band aids and go on to the larger pictures. This picture is 8X10 and a view from my front door up the hill in my neighborhood as the rather dense fog was lifting pre-noon.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

completing things

In the process of cleaning and organizing I decided that I would finish some of the pictures that I had put aside for one reason or another. This piece was begun last year and is sold (to a friend) already, I just hadn't gotten around to finishing it. Things went quite well and, hopefully, I will finish it tomorrow.............the light was fading as I took the photo so I will take another in better light when it's done. The painting is inspired by a scene I saw from the side of a boat off the coast of Cartegena, Colombia.......the small islands were amazingly beautiful and I loved traveling there.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


I went to Portland to visit my son on Saturday. Fully expecting to accomplish 2 pictures, I came back with zero! It took me about 4.5 hours to get there on Saturday because of the traffic.............I was totally hungry by the time I got there so all we did was go out to eat and then to bed. Sunday morning I was up early but the fog was so dense that all I could do was take a walk..... it cleared a bit by 1 and we went out to Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth where I began a picture that I wiped completely off. Then I started another that I also wiped off and then the clouds and fog came in again!!! So, I left early Monday morning and hit rain all the way home. I started work on making my daughter's room into a winter studio - I have now completed that and the rain has stopped so I will be out early tomorrow and will, hopefully have something besides a clean studio to show for it. I am posting an 11X14 I did at a prior time.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Rolling, distant thunder

That's what I am listening to at the moment.........went down to Little Compton to paint yesterday and stayed till after dark so it was too late to photograph anything. I got a quick chance this morning but was rushed to get to a funeral and the light wasn't really good and it's raining now so I will post the photo I took this morning. I am leaving for Portland in the afternoon on Saturday to visit my son and do some painting there. I might not have internet for 2 days since I have not gotten to the point where I bring my computer with me when I go places. I am getting much faster outside and I can finish an 11 X 14 or 12 X 12 in one sitting..............I do not like finishing things later since the spirit of the experience is so different. Studio work is different and has a reality all its own - this picture is 12 X 12 and the people it belongs to (0r will when it's dry, signed, etc.) loved it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Since it cleared enough to take a photo, I decided to re-post. This is a small study that I did to experiment with the color, it's 6X8 with little detail but this seems like a good way to figure this out without wasting a lot of paint when the color mixing might not work to my to drawing.

Heavy rain and gloom

Worked on color studies for a larger work today.............too dark to take pictures of what I was doing. Tonight I will be going in to Providence since our weekly figure drawing group is starting up again after a brief summer recess. Tomorrow is supposed to be better which is good since I am going to Little Compton to do a commissioned landscape - a wedding present to be done on site. I am posting a picture I did during the winter which was auctioned off at a fund raiser for public television.............11X14. I am going to visit my son in Portland Maine on friday so I am unsure if I will be able to post but I do plan on painting.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Try again

Well, it worked this morning.............must have been blogspot. Until tonight.

Monday, 4 August 2008

5X7 - all day

Hey all.....I worked from 6 this morning till evening on a 5X7" picture from a photo. The relative dimness of the light by the time I took the photo explains the dimness of the picture as you shall see it. I was a little bit happy with my progress since I did not wipe it all off. I am less uncomfortable with the size and the brushes I had to use to do this picture than I was yesterday and I ha a lot of fun doing it when I wasn't feeling all cramped and too close to the thing. I think I could learn to like working small - it will be an adjustment and today was certainly NOT a time saver in any way but it sort of worked. Therefore I will post it and reward myself with going outside and working as big as I want to tomorrow. Well, now I can't upload the damn says there is some sort of internal error - I am too tired to fix it so I will try again tomorrow. Oh, maybe I will try an old picture...........we shall see. That one won't either, night.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Cadmium red

I worked all day on a small painting of a weird tomato (that I had started yesterday) only to wipe it all off in disgust. I am trying to work outside of my comfort zone and learn to paint smaller, quicker and to really reduce each subject to its essence. Boy can that be frustrating! I then began a 6X6 picture of a rose/violet colored hydrangea flower...........made some progress but I don't like it enough to post it today so I am posting a picture I did at Warren's Point last summer. I am going to start a new small one tonight from a photo I took in Colombia - we shall see. I might just put all of the tiny boards and canvasses away until my hands shrink (?). I might have used half a tube of cad red today and then at least a full roll of paper towels to clean up the mess. I don't spend nearly this amount of time on things over 11X14 and over and I don't have that cramped feeling. Ah, tommorrow's another day...............and now the cat is pawing me, begging for "fourth meal."

Saturday, 2 August 2008

One of those days

I began and nearly completed 2 pictures today. Alas, the wind and rain arrived as I was painting a scene of docks, boats and trees by Tiverton harbor and my easel almost blew into the water. I came home and started another of this totally weird tomato on a striped cloth but simply ran out of light. Both will hopefully be completed tomorrow since it looks like it is clearing. So, I am posting another portrait study for today. I am loving trying to mix reds, a color that is often only something I mix with other colors..........quite a challenge.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Night Off

Yesterday was a "business day" - picked up some paint at Utrecht, took my daughter out to dinner in Providence and did a multitude of things that needed to be done. I got home after 7 and was tired so I sat on the porch and watched the fog come in for nearly an hour. The light was gorgeous and the clouds/fog coming in was definitely better than tv or a book. I was up and busy early today and finished the small figure study I had begun. It took too long in my opinion and I wasn't fully satisfied but have realized that one has to move on and not get stuck on perfection. Trying to apply life visual lessons to photos is good practice but can be frustrating.............also working small is difficult for me. This picture is 8X8 and I am glad I have decided it is done (or that I am done with it) since it is just a study and I feel like I learned a lot doing it. I will be back outdoors tomorrow and cannot wait until our portrait group starts up again in the fall..............I can't afford to hire models right now.