Thursday 31 December 2009

green triple decker - 10x8

Even though I didn't finish this today as I planned, I just had to post on the last day of the year and decade! I promise a completed (and much more accurate photo) painting tomorrow. I remember 10 years ago tonight when everyone was so freaked out by Y2K and my unit had to work overtime all night just in case the world fell apart - it makes me smile now to remember that. The challenges of our world are so much greater than what we think yet we remain so distracted in our concerns. I hope this new year will bring the hope, intelligence and courage that are needed - enough said. Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday 30 December 2009

roughing in - 18x14

This is the beginning of a portrait commission. The wind finally died down enough for me to take a picture outside. I went to figure drawing this morning so I haven't made much progress on the "daily" I began yesterday. I have found a way to deal with the season's lack of light by late afternoon. I usually do an under painting in the evening by working out the composition and drawing. In the morning I start right in with color and usually finish mid-day. I don't like mixing color by artificial light and have found that this system is working for me.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Flo's (famous for clams) - 10x8

Wow, is it freezing here today; no chance for taking a picture outside, it would surely blow away in the strong wind off the water. I have painted Flo's before but this illustrates the bright, angled winter light I have been loving lately. It is obviously closed for the season.

Monday 28 December 2009

three dogs - 20x16

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, I certainly did. My son left last night and I am back at work........the refrigerator isn't even crammed anymore. This picture was a commissioned work so it is sold.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

sea wall - 10x8

I am now starting to feel the Christmas spirit a little and my son is due in tomorrow - it might be time to start wrapping something. I had a bit of a camera crisis but it us resolved now (I think). I lost a bunch of stuff I took today when I went out to the dreaded Ocean State Job Lot. It remains quite cold but it is sunny.

Monday 21 December 2009

sea wall (start) - 10x8

Wow, what a storm we had this has to be 2' deep here. I did manage to get out this morning but the roads in Fall River were awful, school was cancelled and everyone was pretty much digging out. I had to pick up my camera from my daughter who had borrowed it for a few days so I got a late start painting this morning and am posting a "beginning" since the light it is going fast. Today is the shortest day of the year so there will be more and more each day (yippee). This picture is taken from the Island Park beach, a sort of run down beach community that is a part of Portsmouth, RI. - it has real character rather than being all polished and renovated.

Friday 18 December 2009

tree on antique quilt - 10x8

I love my little tree on the table and it was so easy! I was sick of looking at my photos and it was too cold to paint outside so I decided to paint my tree..........a crummy photo (again, I do apologize) but I simply couldn't get rid of the glare. One of these days I must take a photography course so I learn what I am doing.

Thursday 17 December 2009

roller coaster - 10x8

This roller coaster is obviously abandoned and is located in the town of Dartmouth, MA. I have wanted to paint it for sometime and finally found a way to sort of sneak in (it wasn't hard). They have the grounds of this old amusement park fenced off with a sign stating that it is to be developed; the sign has faded and I don't see much development going on so I believe the project has been shelved for years. I doubt the current economic climate will allow further consideration and I must say that pleases me - I hate to see these old structures go. I am becoming more and more enamored with the angled winter light. I will probably sharpen this up some more and get a better photo tomorrow. I tried something new with this one; painted the sky and let it dry completely before attempting to establish the structure of this since it was so complicated.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

beach walk - 5" square

My tree is up, I went to Macy's and got a few presents, my cold is gone and my days are free to paint again for a bit. I even went for a long walk at the beach at Island Park this afternoon (where I nearly got stuck in what seemed like quicksand aside a drainage area). I am posting another small beach study today.

Sunday 13 December 2009

weird metal tank? - 10x8

I have no idea what this thing is but I liked it - especially in late afternoon light. It is raining again and this is the best photo I could get but I felt guilty for not posting anything the last few days. Just a combination of beating my cold and being exceptionally busy. I finally got a Christmas tree! I decided I would get a little one this year instead of the monster-sized ones that take me days to decorate and boy, do I feel relieved. The next couple of weeks are going to be busy as well since I have not begun to shop.

Thursday 10 December 2009

westport fishing boats - 10" square

I feel much, much better today; not even a trace of a headache! This is not the best photo but the best I can do for now - I was able to finish and begin a new picture so I am definitely on the mend............onward and upward.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

still recovering (or just in bed?)

I tried to work today; went to figure drawing in a snowstorm this morning but had to leave early because the headache came back with a vengeance. I thought I would post a painting I have started and am now letting dry so I can apply color - this portrait is from a tiny, blurry black and white photo of my mother taken in 1952. It took me three days of reworking to get her likeness and realize that no one ever paints portraits with teeth! I hope I won't lose the likeness after the under painting has set up but if anyone has ever done a project like this and had success, let me know. Now it is back to bed with a book.

Tuesday 8 December 2009


I had to leave work at the gallery in Westport early yesterday - I had the worst headache! I am working today on a commission and I began the daily I am posting but I'm moving slow and about to head back to bed with a book to continue recovering from what I am now not sure is a sinus infection.. This picture is 10" square. When I was getting irritable about how fast the light was fading I checked the sunrise/sunset times for Alaska - wow, did that make me feel better. Sunrise was at 10am with sunset quickly following at 3:45pm. So, I did what I could to feel better, went to vote in the special primary election (to replace Ted Kennedy) and worked as much as I could.

Sunday 6 December 2009

Arctic Isle - 8x10

It snowed here last night and my cold has moved into a sinus infection as of this morning - so much for my cockiness that I had beaten my cold! This picture has a different kind of chill. I am also posting a better photo of the marina picture; one that was actually taken on a sunny day.

Friday 4 December 2009

commission #1 completed - yipee!

I am going to post day 2 of the picture I posted the other day since I have been quite busy on commissions. I did complete one of them today so I only have one more to finish in the next week. Normally this 8" square painting would not be a "posting in stages painting" but I could only scrounge an hour or so today before I totally lost the light. I dropped off six paintings for the Westport Art Group Holiday Show yesterday so.................everyone in this area should definitely stop by this weekend for some good deals and a chance to win a painting by Dora Atwater Milikin in a raffle. Also I want to give a plug for Kris Donovan's Holiday sale at her studio in Little Compton. My cold is better but I did run out of the Zicam swabs which I swear by and are no longer available at all.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

standish docks - 8x8

I still feel kind of terrible and so achy I couldn't stay in bed. What is better than painting for that? I decided to treat myself and not work on the commission so I began something new and have nearly finished - have to wait til the paint sets up overnight to finish. I took a photo of these boats at Standish boatyard when I was painting outside there this past summer - this is exactly the kind of subject that photos come in handy for, those natural patterns that do not hold still and I have been having fun with this.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

boat study - pastel

I am still working on commissions and woke up in the middle of the night with a cold! Well, at least it will be over before Christmas. This is a pastel study of a boat docked at the pier in New Bedford.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Back from Maine

I had a great Thanksgiving in Portland and am now back to work. My daughter and I stopped at her friend's organic vegetable farm as well and got a tour. What a great thing to see - they are making a living selling at the farmer's markets. The weather was drizzly, the meal was wonderful and it was nice to get away to a place without streetlights. I have been working on a commission but decided to take a break and do something really small. I did another beach figure thing this afternoon - it is 5" square and the smallest picture I have ever done (probably including drawings). It wasn't all that uncomfortable so I am learning.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Roger Williams Park - 10x8

I just began this picture but didn't think I would even have time for this much this week! Went painting with Kathy Weber on Saturday and wiped out several starts but took some photos. I am off to Portland for Thanksgiving at my son's and will be incommunicado for several days. I hope anyone who might read this blog has a very happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday 22 November 2009

feed the blog

I read this term on another blog and it is totally true. Normally it isn't a problem when you paint every day but occasionally one has a spell where nothing clicks or you just cannot post what you are working on. I have painted outside for 2 straight days with not much to show for the effort. So (out of pressure mostly) I am posting what I did today since the upcoming week might be difficult - I am cooking and going to Maine for Thanksgiving.

Friday 20 November 2009

late summer lawn - 10x8

Today began with a torrential downpour and changed into pure beauty..........too bad I absolutely had to go to Providence and buy paint. The weather was warm but the grass isn't as green as it was in August. Sorry about the glare but it was too late to go outside with my camera.

Thursday 19 November 2009

walker's fall - 10x8

This was wicked hard to do - mixing oranges. yellow greens and tannish pumpkins that are all basically the same value without washing them out was quite a challenge. When I went outside to take the photo I noticed that someone had stolen one of the green plastic chairs off of my porch. This kind of thing always bothers me not because of the value of the item stolen but because I cannot imagine what possesses someone to do they need the thing so badly or are they just total jerks? One time someone stole a small bottle of that bubble solution that kids play with (I confess they were mine). Too weird.

Tuesday 17 November 2009


No verbal imagination today for titles.......instead of running out to buy Sarah Palin's new book I decided to finish this painting and begin another. I mean, isn't her book pretty much a figment of her own imagination?

Sunday 15 November 2009

sakonnet light/completed - 10x8

This picture was taken in actual daylight because it wasn't raining! I went out for a hike this morning to Fort Barton in Tiverton. Despite living about three miles from the place I have never gone there; it was breathtaking! I will have to go back on a day when I can actually see the harbor but what a vista and what a painting spot. I read all of the historical signs and discovered that it was an important place during the Revolutionary War when the British invaded Adquidneck Island and Newport. I hiked in for a couple of miles until I felt like I was serving in the war due to the amount of gunfire that was constantly off in the distance. I know there is no hunting there but I started to get a bit concerned anyway..........another hiker told me that the shots were coming from someones private shooting range and were much farther away than they seemed (she also said that they had a knife-throwing range which kind of creeped me out). I still have not figured out how to post 2 photos so they lay out well!

Saturday 14 November 2009

north tiverton 10x8

Since I usually work on several paintings at once, I find myself in the position of having to show partially completed work...........this is one of those that I have been working on today since the Sakonnet picture is still too wet to do what I want to do with it. I am also working on a larger commissioned piece which I cannot post yet. Today was a total washout as far as weather went and the vendors at the farmer's market were packing up to leave at 9am. Later in the day the rain let up and I took a walk to get some milk; the world was all misty and warm and foggy. Tonight I will probably hear the foghorns so I am happy.

Friday 13 November 2009

sakonnet light - 10x8

I was waiting for it to get light today so I could take some photos but, alas, it never really least it was pretty warm. We are supposed to get heavy wind and rain tonight and tomorrow; a remnant of TS Ida merged with another low pressure system. I feel bad for the vendors at the farmer's market - another wretched Saturday and the second to last of the year. I have been wicked busy the last few days; framing and delivering work to both galleries. The painting time I have had has been sort of chopped up and, yesterday, I could not get a decent photo so I thought I would wait. Have had the chance to add some detail to the factory painting and begin the Sakonnet light picture.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

factory light 8x10

I am unsure if I will be able to post since I am getting some weird "cookie message" for the first time in months and I have no desire to figure it out at the moment. So, this is a test of sorts and I might have to post the photo separately. Well, I guess it worked since the picture is there........I have more refining to do but decided to post it anyway since I might not have the time to get on the computer for the next day or so and do not wish to get out of the habit of daily entries when at all possible. This picture would have been done except that there is a lot of heavy paint and I could not get the details I wanted without them disappearing into the already heavy and very wet paint.

Monday 9 November 2009

beach series 10" square

I have discovered the liberation of naming things "series;" no trite or awkward titles! Just a thought.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Fogland study - 10x8

It is just so warm out today that I had to go to the beach. Even this time of year Sundays can be difficult, crowded with dog walkers and the like. Today was no exception and by the time I was ready to paint the left foreground the area was packed with cars. It's nice that I feel like I have enough painting time now that I feel free enough to do studies and experiment. I would have liked to finish that area better but it was OK and I had fun.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Gooseberry Beach dwellings - 24x18

I have had tonight's posting kicking around for years and have never come even close to finishing it.........probably because I had been squeezing painting time in around my nightly 3x11 shift and partly because I had just picked up oils again after years and my knowledge and abilities wouldn't permit me to go further than I had. For some strange reason I put it on my large easel tonight after working on another beach series picture for much of the day today. I have been eyeing this old thing for quite awhile knowing that I wasn't going to reuse the canvas and would likely feel the urge to finish it; the time seems to have come. The buildings in this painting have been renovated and, though they remain and look like buildings that would be more valuable and more pleasant to live in, they have lost the essence that I found so wonderful in the first place. I might not show it again for a bit but I am committed to finish it now.

The opening last night was fun and I sold a painting! I met a bunch of other artists from this area that I had not met before..............all in all it was nice to get out with other like minded people and socialize for a change.

Friday 6 November 2009

portrait study 9x12

I can not go anywhere near my paints at the moment since I have put on decent clothes for the opening of the new gallery in Westport me it's not easy to pull an outfit together these days! It almost makes me want to buy a dress since I wouldn't have to worry about coordinating anything. I could throw it in the back of my closet for events like this.......but then I would have to have dressy shoes and pantyhose and that stops me right there. So, I put my brushes down about two hours ago and don't dare go near what I am working on since paint seems to fly onto my clothes from quite a distance. This portrait is from the past year and I don't remember when.

Thursday 5 November 2009

part 2

I finished the Gaspee today, removing the pilings on the left because I felt that they interrupted the flow of things. I am now going to be showing my work at a new gallery that is opening in Westport, MA. The name is: Central Village Art Gallery at 770 Main Road. I am excited to be a part of this undertaking which represents a group of very good local artists. The opening is tomorrow evening from 4-8 pm.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

2 step process - Gaspee 8x10

I went to figure drawing this morning and tried to finish this one when I got home but have to wait till tomorrow. It is so wet that I could go no further. I did color studies on site yesterday and then roughed this out in umber when I got home. This tug is docked and hasn't moved for months; the guys who let me into their parking lot told me that a guy lives on it and, sure enough, I noticed a grill off to the side. I wonder how he gets water..........the boat is named the "Gaspee."

Tuesday 3 November 2009

better photo 8x10

This photo is much better and the painting is done. It was beautiful here today and I went out to paint color studies near the state pier this morning............back to work.

Monday 2 November 2009

braids 10x8

This is a very bad photo of an unfinished picture; it should be finished by tomorrow. I started the day by meeting some other members of the Monday morning group to paint outside. It was one of those chilly New England days at the shore - all grey horizontals and very windy to boot. We all retired to Lee's for coffee, checked out another site when it began to rain and then split up accepting the reality of an indoor day. I worked as long as I could but it is way too wet to proceed and way too dark to judge color properly.

Sunday 1 November 2009

bev's backyard 8x10

The light in my friend Bev's backyard was beautiful the other day so I took some photos. My neighborhood, on the other hand, isn't and when I went for a walk this morning I saw tons of gang graffiti spray painted on the back of the elementary school that closed last year......I think I might do a painting of it anyway just to see if I can make it work.

Friday 30 October 2009

fall fog - 7x5

I am trying to paint small so I can do lots of studies quickly; an especially handy ability for an outdoor painter especially in this latitude with its shortening days. This picture is of Warren's Point in Little Compton, RI and is the first painting this small that I have not wiped off - ta da!

Thursday 29 October 2009

rice city pond 11x14

I went on a field trip today to visit where I used to live - Uxbridge, ma. I wanted to see a lot of fall color and try to paint it without getting garish..........I find that fall is hard to paint without lots of practice. I did a couple of small things which I wiped off and then this one which isn't great but isn't totally wretched either. This pond (which is huge and seems to transcend the term pond) is part of the Blackstone River watershed and I used to know the area pretty well but don't anymore. I was thrown off by the fact that there were no tides - the water changed constantly but remained the same level. It was hard to get a decent photo since it is so late.............not used to that rush hour traffic anymore!

Wednesday 28 October 2009


I decided to draw from the figure this morning rather than paint - I felt so rusty since I haven't been for a month or so. Amazing how important that constant figure work is for me in keeping my skills sharp. I also forced myself to use all different types of drawing implements throughout the three was fun. I have spent the last three days trying to work out a composition that I have in mind and wiped the entire thing out in frustration last night.

Tuesday 27 October 2009


I have been busy reconstructing a beach picture and am uncertain whether I will finish or not today so I decided to post an older pastel of some fishing boats. I did pastel for several years but returned to my first love - oils. It is going to rain here for the next day or so and is damp and chilly in addition to raining, very gloomy.

Monday 26 October 2009

Sunspot 10" square

I have not been able to get out to paint for over a has either been pouring or I had a commitment. It shouldn't come as any big surprise to me that the days are getting shorter but it was surprising just how much shorter they have become.......good thing I didn't waste any time driving and went to Seapowet. When I finished, I figured it had to be almost 6 but it was only 4. The "sunspot" on the water practically flew off to the right.

Saturday 24 October 2009

vernal pool - 10x10

I remain uncertain if this picture is going to work..............lots of thinking about how to achieve what I want. We shall see, but I thought I would post it anyway to view the progress myself. We are having a very weird weather day here.........quite magical with heavy wind and skies full of rapidly speeding clouds. We are supposed to get a lot of rain tonight but, again, we shall see. The orange spots will be leaves under the water, not goldfish as they appear right now.

Thursday 22 October 2009

underpaintings and methods

I had to be home today because my porch was being rebuilt...........of course it was gorgeous, in the 70s and I would have loved to be painting outside. I began two paintings - an 8" square in the beach people theme and another 10" square of the "vernal pool" I hiked to the other day. When I work from a photo I often grid it into quarters to help me not waste a ton of time with placement; you can see this in the beach people picture.....I really don't pay too much attention to the photo after I have placed the figures. The woodsy picture is going to be very difficult, I have already wiped it down twice and decided that I had to let the under painting dry or I would make a mess. The values are quite limited but there are a kazillion shades of every color and grey.................I wanted to capture all of that and the movement of the water distorting the reflections in circular patterns. Needless to say, you may never see this one again but I am really attracted to the abstract quality of the design. I am also posting a photo of the sirius..............I am unsure if this is the final stage of the bloom but it is pretty spectacular as it is right now. I would love to paint it but am afraid I would kill it if I moved it and would have to lie on the floor and look up to actually paint it (not likely).

Wednesday 21 October 2009

another day, another beach - 8x8

I was really into exploring this topic further today..............more work needed on the feet but the painting was so wet that I was making a mess and decided to let it set up overnight. I mentioned that I had a night-blooming sirius that was about to bloom over a week ago..............I obviously had no idea how long this would take and it is now about to burst. I will post a photo tomorrow because I think it is just so cool looking.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

hiking and painting

The title is indicative of my day............despite the relatively warm weather I decided to hike this morning rather than paint, I just felt like moving. I have been exploring places near my home that I might want to paint at but also wish to explore. Today I went to Copicut Woods in Fall was awesome and thank goodness they had maps at the parking lot because the place is huge and meanders across several roads. I merely got an overview today even though I walked for miles..............there were numerous other trails that went to the reservoir but I didn't go that far. There were several stream crossings and what was listed on the map as a "vernal pond," wow, was it beautiful. Then I got home and painted a beach scene so it was a pretty perfect day. The photo of the painting is challenged since it has been dark for hours and I just finished the picture (8" square) looks much warmer than it really is but I didn't mind the photo enough to not post it.