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.