Monday 29 December 2008

Almost back to normal....................

I have been squeezing painting in with cooking, shopping, celebrating Christmas with my family and the like. I have been out to this site to do several small color studies and have made a lot of progress with expanding the smaller studies and bringing them into the studio. Am pretty much "getting there" with this one and have several things in the gestation period. The refrigerator is nearly cleared of leftovers and I have no desire to eat turkey for a very long time! I met my daughter and her friend Tiffany for brunch yesterday and was so desperate to eat something light that I went to Whole Foods and bought red kale and mustard greens............I plan on having them tonight with tofu. Sorry that this photo is so awful but it is super hard to get everything right with artificial light.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

golden, slanted light

It has been really gloomy around here for the past two or three days. I have been working on a picture that I posted's 22" square. I am hoping that the sun comes out between 9 and 10 am tomorrow since I need some more color info. The adjustment in paint mixing for a picture of that size took me close to an hour this morning since I have been regularly working in a smaller format for the past year. I had a very good time after I got crazy with the amount of paint and put my #2 brushes away. The site for this picture is this little side road under the Sakonnet Bridge down next to Tiverton Harbor. I have been scoping it out for quite some time and have done several studies in the area but the concept finally came together for me. I will definitely have to make a stop at Utrecht tomorrow to get some more of certain colors.

Monday 15 December 2008

the week in review!

I have been remiss about posting but have been exceptionally busy............finishing things and beginning things in addition to Christmas prep. I find that the studio work I am interested in is larger, more complicated and less immediate, less likely to be finished in a day. I finished a picture that is sold but needed a few tweaks and nearly finished the two figures walking (it is way too wet to complete the lettering on the sign). I went out and completed a color study for the newest picture I have started.......the light changed completely within 45 minutes so I slapped down color, did a drawing and took a couple of photos; then began a rather large canvas. I find that the winter allows me to distill some of the outdoor visual learning I have accumulated into larger and more constructed work. Last year I was not nearly as aware of this but this year it seems is more the lack of light than the cold that forces me in. So, after my son called me to ask why I have not posted for a week, I will now post a bit of the week past. I am still waiting to paint some snow!

Tuesday 9 December 2008

working steady indoors

I got up wicked early today and am fading fast..............worked on a couple of things and went to the gym. This picture is the one I am most into at the moment and the other ones are just things I have to finish this week. The temperature went up dramatically this afternoon and it doesn't feel nearly as bitter as it did this morning (it was about 8 degrees). The Christmas season seems to be approaching at warp speed and I find that I am not really worried this year, it will be what it is.

Monday 8 December 2008

creek study

I had a great time visiting with my snow until I left, though. I did manage to get in a little painting in the woods behind his house; it was freezing and took me several hours to warm up afterwards but it was fun. Winter is such a totally different palette than even fall. Within hours after I left it was a veritable blizzard! Today I just worked on a picture inside and wasn't tempted to venture out except for going to the gym.

Thursday 4 December 2008


I really don't have anything to post today.............just a better picture of the picture I was working on yesterday. I did go out and paint all morning (in the car) but ended up with a picture that I wasn't willing to wipe off because of a couple of areas where I feel I made some progress but one that I wasn't willing to publish either. Then I made an enormous batch of beef stew to bring to my father tomorrow. I am off as early as I can get out of the house and am hoping for not too much snow as I approach the Adirondacks......the photo is a little better.

Wednesday 3 December 2008


I tried to work outside but the wind killed my plans so I came home. It was a beautiful day anyway and I took a bunch of photos on my road trip. It is also a fight to take decent photos this time of year - I could never live with less daylight than we have in New England during this season. I am posting a photo (poor quality) of a 12 x 24 picture I just began. One more day at home and I head off for upstate NY to visit my hoping there will be some snow to paint!

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Nature vs Christmas

I brought some paintings down to the Spring Bull Gallery in Newport today - for their small painting Christmas show and was immediately torn between beginning to shop for Christmas and blowing it all off and painting at the beach. Since I was starving I opted for a quick shopping mission and then home for something to eat. God, I detest stores; I was fortunate to find what I was looking for quickly and headed home. I am now working on a larger picture since it is nearly dark at 4:30. Hopefully I will get out early tomorrow. I am posting last night's portrait which is 10" square.............oh, and the model actually had green streaks in her hair (I'm not sure how one actually does that to dark hair).

Sunday 30 November 2008

One down, one to go

Well, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is rapidly approaching. I have been incommunicado the past week - a combination of "internet rebellion," cooking and business. I swear I varnished, signed and framed about 20 pictures; then delivered them to their appropriate spots. I went up to Rockport last weekend for the final days of the Emil Gruppe exhibit - it blew me away! Then I had some customers come on Sunday (I sold a painting) and buckled down for the week of decisions and framing stuff. By late Tuesday I was cooking and we all know the routine after that. I finished a small picture today but it is not photographing well. The weather was awful today and this is the best picture I was able to take. I had planned on going out to paint (by car) a particular place because I wanted clouds - it was so gloomy I did not even try!

Friday 21 November 2008

Adjusting values - sold

I have posted this picture before, it is still not completed. I have to finish it in the next couple of weeks so I figured that I had better get to it. I decided that the values were wrong and have made some corrections, especially in the trees on the right, the dirt strip bordering the water and the water itself. Unfortunately, my visual memories of Colombia are fading and I am having to rely on New England atmospheric knowledge for tropical atmospheric knowledge. I am tempted to start all over but know I will not. Anyway, I spent most of today repainting it and am somewhat pleased that the values are better - now I have to wait for daylight to adjust the color. The picture remains 16X20.

Thursday 20 November 2008


I began a still life yesterday, worked on it this morning and then wiped it out. Feeling I absolutely had to get out, I went to paint alongside the bay - it was freezing! The light changed wicked fast so I am now working on it inside. It's too dark to get anything but a somewhat blurry photo........maybe by the end of the winter, I will be able to photograph at night with more skill. This painting is 10" square, obviously it isn't done yet. I feel sick listening to the economic news on the radio...........I got a newsletter from the retirement board today reassuring all of us that the state benefits we were promised are safe and for life but I feel so damn terrible for corporate retirees and wonder where the hell this is all going.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

better light

I had much better light last night when I painted this..............not like last week. Boy, one gets spoiled during the summer months - you get too tired to paint anymore before the sun goes down. I have to make allowances now that it gets dark so early! I did buy one of those Ott lights and it works quite well, I will have to re-acclimate myself to using it. I ended up picking my last three rows of lettuce this afternoon because I was afraid of losing it all. This picture is 1o" square and I simply could not get a shot without glare.

Sunday 16 November 2008

weather change

Boy, today is a complete difference from yesterday was close to seventy and now feels as if it will snow. I am posting the final version of the picture I posted the other day. I believe I have finished it although I always end up correcting a few things as it sits in my view. The electrician showed up at 2:30 on Friday and I had no power until nearly 7. I now have all new electrical boxes except for the one that was the initial problem..............they have to put an entire new line in. The candles I was using to see made it hard to paint but made the kitchen look quite nice.

Thursday 13 November 2008


I am a little conflicted about whether to post every day...............I have committed myself to painting every day and often paint for way more than a typical 8 hour day; it has truly become my sole focus in life. I am conflicted because I often choose to work on larger pictures that take more than a day........and then feel disappointed if I do not have a complete picture for that day. I have been posting works in progress because of that reason. Now that winter approaches, it will be far less comfortable to paint outdoors (even utilizing my increasingly paint covered Rav4) and I often do not feel like painting a still life indoors because I am solving another problem. Today's post is a case in point - I have painted at the site for two mornings and recorded lots of good information about the effect that I wished to paint. I ended up redoing a ton of the picture this afternoon, indoors and from my impressions of what I have been looking at for much of the week. So, I will post this "work in progress" and stop worrying about an arbitrary goal I have set for really is all about the process.

Wednesday 12 November 2008


I wasn't going to post the portrait I did Monday night...........I sort of lost the effect I was working on and wasn't able to get it back. The place I paint at on Monday nights is usually pretty well lit but some of the lights were out and I picked a darker spot than usual. When I looked at the picture the next morning, I sort of did a little squeal at how bizarre the colors were. Yesterday I made some good progress on a car painting but do not wish to post it yet...........I worked on that one again today. After painting I went to the gym up the street and signed up (I had let my membership lapse), I really don't have any excuse for not exercising and walking to a painting spot even with art materials just doesn't cut it. I did feel a lot more energetic after I left and am now ready to pick up my brushes again. Oh, how easily we fall into ruts and bad habits!

Monday 10 November 2008

Making sense of fall color

I am determined to figure out how to interlock fall colors in receding trees............this is the initial stage of my attempt. It really is like a puzzle and it's hard to not make the colors too intense and reserve the bright spots for where the light hits the leaves and high spots. I wiped a lot of this off and moved more of it around than I intended but I am beginning to figure it out - we shall see, it may never go anywhere. This canvas is 12x16 since I couldn't struggle with size and the task I have set for myself.

Sunday 9 November 2008


I intended to paint fall color today but took a wrong turn and ended up at a gorgeous ocean cliff in Little Compton, RI...........I have been there once before but you have to take several small turns and I have never found it again. I believe it is "resident's only" in the summer anyway. Departing from my plan, I decided to stay since it was such a beautiful scene and the weather is so great today. Since I was only going to do a small color study I only brought a small (8x10")canvas panel.

Saturday 8 November 2008

Hazy light - sold

It's not hazy here - more like foggy, but really unseasonably warm again. I went to the farmer's market this morning and there were only a few vendors so, despite the warmth, the growing season is nearing its natural conclusion. I painted today's picture from a photo I took this past summer in North Carolina - I have tried to capture the bright haziness that surrounded all of the figures. That shimmering light that prohibits one from focusing or seeing anything sharply........I also really tried to render how, despite the brightness, the sand was quite cool in color.

Friday 7 November 2008


I have pretty much finished this picture and am only waiting for dryness to add the final highlights, straighten out the roof line highlights, sharpen the feet of the figure and add the power lines to a very wet sky. I began another picture's kind of an experiment but it doesn't photograph well at night so I didn't add it to tonight's entry. Boy, was it warm here today..........I didn't go out to paint because I was waiting for the electrician. He had said he would be back today - no call, no show........grrrrr.

Thursday 6 November 2008

shades of white?

It is incredibly warm and rainy here but I just had to go out and paint. I went to Surfer's Beach near Newport, RI. Oddly, it was crowded and the waves were huge. I did a car sketch attempting to make a realistic color study without using so much was pretty impossible and I had to keep adding white. If I had been able to get out of the car or turn the wipers off I might have been able to see it better. I did manage to get a walk in........seconds before I got back to the car, it started pouring. The waves were really neat but I had forgotten my camera, too bad.

Wednesday 5 November 2008


I am thrilled at the results of the election and stayed up way too late to watch last night. I was stuck in the house today (and it felt like summer) because I had an electrician here rewiring the I worked on larger stuff that I have been putting off. I am posting yesterday's effort - an 8x10 wooden panel.

Tuesday 4 November 2008


This weekend was aggravating, though beautiful weatherwise- no matter how much I want to post every day, there are days when I refuse to take a picture of what I have worked on. I have been attempting to acclimate myself to small panels and have been making progress but this weekend, nothing worked and I became totally frustrated wiping off everything I did. Last night I switched back to canvas for portrait group and felt like I was coming home. After my daughter took me out to breakfast and we voted, I ventured out and used another panel..........I actually became a bit angry but things seemed to work a little better so I kept what I did. I am posting the portrait study tonight (11X14) and will attempt another panel quickie tomorrow (I am nothing if not stubborn!)

Friday 31 October 2008

2pac and candy

This is the theme of my day.............after "handling" the computer, I needed to go for a long walk and chose the Sachuest Nature Preserve in Middletown, RI. I had a great long walk, came back and worked on the painting I started yesterday (still didn't finish). Now I am painting, passing out candy and cooking dinner (it's after 8). For some reason I totally wanted to listen to rap music and have Tupac Shakur going in the background..........I have always loved his music. I will post another photo of the current painting even though it's not done and I have taken the picture at really doesn't look that bad.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Computer hell.............

I was unsure if I would be able to log on at all today so I took this photo in the morning before I had made a lot of progress (it's too dark now). My computer has been running slower (and weirder) every day but I haven't feel like driving all the way over to Circuit City to have them fix it. Today's error message mentioned the term "phishing filter" and I know I am way beyond my ability to do anything by myself! So........I will be off in the morning to have it fixed. This picture is 12" square and on linen, I have been thinking about this idea for a while and decided to work out any problems prior to doing it larger. I will be adding a figure crossing the street after I have worked out the colors and values of the street.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

moving on

I have finished this picture - moving on is important when you simply can't say anymore. I used to work on things until I sucked the life out of them, always trying to ensure that every detail was perfect in my literal mind. I have realized that my literal mind is not a visual mind and it lies; that practice will enable me to refine my skills and will allow me to capture the visual statement I am trying to make. So, for me, moving on is not giving up but accepting that there are going to be plenty of times when my skills fall short of the goal I have set. After all of that, I am not displeased with this picture despite finding flaws.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Potrait night

I struggled with this one a bit...............wiped her face of twice and it still doesn't really look much like her. Once again, practice, practice and more practice. Last night's model was Tish Adams, a wonderful Providence jazz/blues singer. Some nights after I have painted outside in bright sun most of the day my eyes are just tired. Not much chance of bright sun today - it's pouring!

Monday 27 October 2008

Fall color

Even though I had stuff inside that I really should have worked on, I could not stand being inside. I found this great place called Stafford Pond. The color was breathtaking and I did not do it justice but that's why I went, to practice. Let's face it, you have to grab these days.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Step 1

Saturday has become my day for shopping and the like - principally because the farmer's market is in progress. Today, despite a very early start, I took a huge break in painting. Now that darkness is fast descending, I took a photo of what I intend on finishing tonight but will not be able to photograph later (because it will be dark - getting used to that). In my quest for surviving by utilizing the local economy, I also went to the Globe Flea market in Fall God, it was like shopping in the third world. There were individual vendors for everything from electronics to magazines to incense - all crammed into an old brick warehouse. Fall River is looking more and more like South America.............nothing wasted and everything for sale. After shopping I had to tend to my garden for a bit - sometimes I just like being active out there anyway, not looking, just doing. I picked some basil and a few peppers I had missed earlier this week. I should get back to work and stop myself before I get political.

Friday 24 October 2008

Near Horseneck

I went to Westport Harbor today............took a ton of photos, did a painting and took a long walk on Horseneck Beach. I always seem to take a lot of photos this time of year in case I want to paint from them during the grey days. I really don't like using photos but they come in handy as a sort of pattern at times. Photos never represent the color as I remember and seem to reduce the depth of a scene. Horseneck is a state beach in Westport, MA and densely crowded during the summer - today there was hardly anyone else there although one old guy seemed to actually be swimming! The painting is 8x10" on a wood panel.

Thursday 23 October 2008

Getting there

Another half day of painting due to another doctor's appointment..........came home and have nearly finished this painting. The color is really much better in person because I cannot seem to find the correct light to photograph it. I will work more tonight and am trying to find the exact greenish/brownish/yellowish dark for the house if that makes a bit of sense...........sunset awaits me.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

Grey, cold day, hot color

This combination was so hot I couldn't resist. I hunted around the house for something weird to paint and found these old firecrackers in a drawer, put them on a manila envelope and created a little heat. I am very conscious of energy conservation and have made it a game to see how little of everything I can survive on but did give in a bit today and turn the heat up to sixty. I am also trying to learn how to mix colors that I do not normally use..............manila seems so boring until you begin to mix it. I used a panel again (8" square) and am liking that my method of paint application is definitely changing.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Icky day

I began the day with my yearly medical tests (mammogram & the like) and then went off to paint. It promptly began to pour so I headed stopped raining as soon as I pulled into the driveway. Then my mailman told me it might actually SNOW tonight so I thought I should probably bring in my remaining houseplants (the two huge ones that weigh a ton). It is now 3PM and I feel like either going to bed or having a glass of wine........I think I'll just throw some things down and get to work instead. Portrait group was great last night. I just love, love, love painting portraits. The 8x10" panel worked out fine (I am adjusting) and I am posting that picture.

Monday 20 October 2008

summer is definitely gone

This morning was quite cold and felt like the approaching wasn't even truly light until seven. I had set myself an indoor goal anyway and did another still life on a panel. The panel doesn't seem to allow for a wash drawing or toning very well so I began with a sparse drawing with relatively thick neutral paint and it seemed to work OK. Our portrait group starts tonight and I am considering working on a panel but will be prepared with some linen just in case. This picture is 8x10" - lemon slices and a hot pepper on some aluminum foil. The foil is very hard to paint but the affect is quite beautiful - I am hoping to do it justice soon.

Sunday 19 October 2008


Today is extremely windy so I thought I would do a picture in the car and went to Colt State Park in Bristol, RI. After struggling with a landscape on a luan panel again, I came home determined to try something simpler inside - I am finally beginning to adapt to the surface and quickly did a small still life of papayas that I basically threw on a paper plate on top of a shoebox. I certainly have gotten a lot of mileage out of one 8X10" panel. Who knew that NE has their own native papayas.......they grew in Tiverton, RI.

Saturday 18 October 2008


I have been working on some stuff inside the last couple of days as well as experimenting with painting on panels.............the panel is so incredibly different from canvas. I wiped two off but am beginning to get the hang of it - the paint doesn't seem to adhere as well as to canvas. I am posting a "start" today, it's a view from my porch down the street to the bay. It is very hard to get a picture of this because it is quite dark and it is very hard to mix darks in the dark. This picture seems blurry but using a flash was even worse. To produce a "satisfactory" painting every day is a discipline and probably not practical unless one stays in the "safe zone" and doesn't try new things. I think that the real fascination of painting is the learning of how to express things better and more meaningfully - so here is today's product (warts and all).

Wednesday 15 October 2008


I tried a painting in the car again with slightly better results. This one is 6X8" and done under the Mt. Hope bridge. It was broiling hot. I realized that I could put the entire box on the passenger seat to get some distance and felt a little bit less cramped than the last time I tried this. I am going to have to try the 8 x 10" and larger sizes since I am not comfortable working this small.

Tuesday 14 October 2008


I had a couple of things from last fall that I never had time to, I worked on one of them today. It was fun and interesting to see how much more assured I have become with daily work. Of course I repainted the entire picture but I found that areas that had confused me last year were no longer as difficult to see. I also realized how much more of an understanding of color mixing I possess today. The picture is 12" square and of a beach path at Warren's Beach in Little Compton, RI.

Monday 13 October 2008

No more plans

All of my social events are now completed...........the big wedding of my best friend's daughter was this past weekend. It was a beautiful wedding and my own daughter looked beautiful as well (she was a bridesmaid). I am back home and painting again; I even felt a bit rusty after several days off. It was a gorgeous day but I had cleaned the car out for traveling and neglected to put the paint thinner back - rather than freak out, I found a hardware store, got lost and found a wonderful view of a farm I had never seen before. The fall colors are much more subdued here than they were in northern MA but the summer greens are definitely disappearing. This picture is 9X12.

Thursday 9 October 2008


I tried something new today and used my standard size Open Box M in the car and behind the wheel.............not while the car was moving, of course. Kathy Weber had turned me on to the idea but it has been so nice recently I had not tried it yet. It works!!! which will come in handy when the weather turns bad. I did something smaller than usual (6X8), on a surface I don't normally use and did feel a little crowded - I can adjust. I wasn't really satisfied but didn't want to wipe it off either.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

A quickie

I got up at 5:30 this morning and have been working on a studio painting so I am posting a small still life sketch I did the other day - it is 8" square. I stayed up late last night to watch the debate and the landlord has been here all day painting the ceilings so I had to stay home today.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Fall is arriving

After struggling a bit yesterday...........I painted all day and wiped everything off, I hit the road this morning. I went to the Pardon Gray Preserve in Tiverton, deciding to work on greens and fencing (I am doing another picture with these elements in the studio). The leaves are beginning to turn now. The colors were quite nice in upstate NY this past weekend but it's colder there. This painting is 12"square. Anyway, listening to the economic news all day on the radio was putting me on edge.

Sunday 5 October 2008


I am back from NY, boy am I beat. Two days of continuous driving with a burial in between and all I could do when I got home was have a glass of wine and clean. I have noticed that the "clock" is incorrect on this thing.............I will figure out how to reset it after a good night's sleep. A Block Island picture today (10" square) since the closest I have gotten to paint this afternoon is giving my open box M a thorough cleaning. I am now bringing houseplants plants in from outside - it just seems too cold for them. This picture is of South Light.

Thursday 2 October 2008

Departing again

I am posting another Block Island picture today and heading off to NY early in the morning. No painting this weekend, it's for the burial of my mother's ashes. I'll be on the road tomorrow and then again Sunday. Honestly, I have no idea how I had time to work so many hours per week for all of those years and get anything at all done. Now I paint more than that but everything seems to have its correct relative weight in my life.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Block Island rain

This picture (11X14) was done under the porch due to the stormy weather. I started a new picture today that has a figure and horses, needless to say I have not finished and am rushing off to Providence.

Tuesday 30 September 2008

Errand day - sold

We always have those days; I did business stuff, shopping and the like until I finally found several hours to paint. I finished the late day Little Compton picture - the painting is 11X14.

Monday 29 September 2008


Since it was raining hard this morning I worked inside on the picture I posted on the has finally cleared (sort of) here and remains warm. I will be outside first thing. The garden is definitely on it last legs, many of the remaining flowers and squash seem like they are rotting. I have been listening to the ecomomic news today and it is putting me on edge but I am so glad that congress turned down the enormous heist Bush had counted on. Another Block Island post today, a 10" square and another view from the yard of the place we stayed.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Back from Block Island

I have returned home from a week (Mon - Fri) of painting on Block Island. The "retreat" was hosted by the East Side Art Center in Providence, RI. and we had a wonderful time. We were supposed to leave on the ferry on Friday but had to stay until Saturday since the ferry was canceled on Friday due to bad weather. I met some terrific artists I didn't know and enjoyed the company of those I already did. It was nice to be free of routine distractions and know that all you had to do was paint. I will be posting paintings from the trip as the week progresses. The next two weeks are intensely busy for me anyway with a trip to NY next weekend and then a big wedding the next. I'll have to be very busy this week to keep on track before the rush starts, my daughter has already informed me she is assisting me with clothes for the wedding - too bad jeans won't do. This picture is small (8" square) and done from the yard of the place we stayed. I am finding the small format easier with practice - I am seeing it's advantages in the ability to work quickly and the way it forces one to distill the composition into it's basic elements.

Saturday 20 September 2008

working from the inside

Yesterday was pretty much a washout since I had lots of pain in my mouth. Today, I am 100%, yippee! I began this picture (11X14) iearly today and most likely will finish it before bedtime. The days are definitely growing shorter and I knew I wouldn't be able to get a decent photo later so I decided to post an "in progress" tonight. The edges are not firmed up yet since I am working from the center planes of sections and attempting to get that little color vibration that occurs when masses meet. The architecture is where I have to resist my natural inclination to "draw" the outsides of each form. So far so good. I am nearly ready to leave for Block Island on Monday and am getting more excited by the moment......looks like the weather will be sunny but chilly. I just ruined my last presentable white t-shirt but no one will care since all of us will probably have paint covered clothes.