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!)