Saturday 31 January 2009

bus stop development

I have been working on this picture today since it was so cold and windy I wasn't even tempted to go out to take pictures or be a part of the outside world. Actually, I began a new still life last night (in the dark with a spot lamp) but didn't finish so I am waiting for dark to work on it. My house is kind of messy at the moment with two easels and a still life set up, art stuff daughter dropped by with two of her co-workers this morning and I began to apologize for the mess and then stopped and wondered why on earth I was doing that. Shades of my mother's disapproval ringing in my head, I realized that vacuum cleaner marks on the rug aren't all they're cracked up to be. So, on that note, I will get back to work and probably make an even bigger mess by the time I am done.

Friday 30 January 2009

still life

I am getting into this practice of still life again...............funny how I manage to channel myself in one direction or another and forget how much I enjoy subject matter I have not done for a while. I suppose that is what keeps art so interesting. No heavy message here, just really thinking about how the colors work and how I can learn to mix and combine them to the best advantage.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

paper towels

I have more paper towels in the trash than painting on the easel today..............I wiped off several starts prior to beginning the picture I am posting. The day was pretty fun despite my waste of paper products and I feel like I am learning a lot by forcing myself to work on a still life from life rather than comfortably progressing on a landscape that I have already begun. I am aware that I need more practice in rendering/seeing objects not previously, despite a day of rather awkward work, my stubbornness forces me to post this still life. It is 9:30 and I am too tired to work further so I stopped to wind down (and eat something). It is now pouring rain here and I just spoke with my son in Maine who drove home from work in a blizzard..........still no ability to paint outside for us New Englanders.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

another storm?

According to my neighbors, we are to get another storm tonight (sigh) and this one is supposed to be an ice storm (double sigh). Ice storms are pretty ugly and, despite keeping my thermostat at around 60, my gas bill is beginning to climb. Enough complaining for me............portrait group was great last night so I am posting that painting. Everything flowed and I had a great time.

Monday 26 January 2009

adding color

Today was very cold again so I decided to work inside............I have been really itching to get outside again but just simply do not enjoy being there in single digit temperatures. It did get a little warmer by noon but I was already involved. Have to quit a bit early today since tonight is portrait group and nearly all of my favorite brushes are too dirty for use. I began to add color to the bus stop picture so I am posting the progress of that.

Saturday 24 January 2009

dark and frigid!

I will re-photograph this in better light since I did not finish it til tonight. I went to a talk on selling your art last night and then decided to read when I got home because I was tired............I finished this today but it was dark when I took the photo so it is really difficult to see. The wind has really picked up today and the temperature is going to drop to about 3 degrees...........I wasn't tempted to do much besides paint and bring the compost out. I made some potato soup in between brushstrokes, have some good bread and the book that I began last night so I am all set for tonight.

Friday 23 January 2009

still life practice

I didn't feel like working on anything large today and had bought a rose yesterday so I decided to practice.............and I certainly need more. I will have to figure out a way to control light better since it changed constantly while I worked on this despite the fact that I thought I had controlled for that. Time for working on the picture I began yesterday, the light is getting right for it. I had to turn the radio off today since the economic reports are so terrible it was making me all distracted and anxious. The only thing that made me smile was the news that the Pope now has his own "you tube" channel..............I simply cannot imagine going to that site.

Thursday 22 January 2009

nearly dark

I have a small window with this one...............the light is only right from about 4:45 til 5:00 pm. I began and then took a picture so we shall see if I can do it justice. This view is from the road at the top of the hill near my house. There is an absolutely fantastic view of the harbor off towards Bristol and the Mt. Hope bridge.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

morning snowstorm

I finished this one of the storm we had this past weekend........the sky was a very dark and angry color and you couldn't see the far shore at all. Funny, but while trying to work fast on a scene like this, in an unfamiliar color palette, I relied way too much on white. Beginning another picture allowed me to correct the color and get rid of the chalky quality of the initial study. I was hoping to get outside and paint this afternoon but it remains too cold so I'm going to grab the camera and explore instead.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

late start

I had several cups of coffee at portrait group last night, wiped three starts off and then couldn't fall asleep when I got home from Providence.............even though, it was an awesome morning watching the inauguration. So.............I got a late start (after lunch) and decided to use the horrible study I posted yesterday and begin a new, more organized small picture from that. I haven't finished but the light was fading fast so I took a picture. I don't feel much like writing but I am so glad that we have a new president and will go to bed early tonight........relieved.

Monday 19 January 2009

stormy weekend

I have decided to post a picture that I did yesterday morning while looking out my kitchen window...........the scene was really cool and I didn't come close to capturing it but I will use this study to do another picture so I decided to bite the bullet and post something that I would not normally show a single soul. I shoveled snow for hours yesterday and strained something in my leg so I am trying to sit as I paint's hard. Well, happy MLK day to all............I have been listening to some of King's speeches on"" which is a truly awesome resource if you wish to learn about what's behind all of the news. King really had it all figured out and it's amazing to listen to his indictment of corporatism as far back as 1967. I have sworn not to get all political on this site but today seemed as if it warranted at least a statement since I believe that Obama's inauguration tomorrow could begin a new direction for this country if people are just willing to suspend their fear and insecurity for long enough to see what is happening to their lives and their country. I am simply not willing to live in the way that I did for many many of the people that I worked with longed to get out but stayed (unhappily) for that last dollar in their deferred comp, that last percentage point in their retirement benefit only to see it all disappear in this economic crisis - that "security" was an illusion. I hope that we can move forward from the cynicism and materialism of the past several decades to a period where human values can again matter. Peace and prosperity to all.

Thursday 15 January 2009

too cold

I really wanted to get out this morning but changed my mind as soon as I brought the trash out. I feel so sorry for everyone in the upper mid west where the temperature is nearly thirty degrees colder. I worked on the finishing touches (really) to the buildings painting and then decided to do a still life since I am so out of practice doing them........I was going to wipe it off but then yelled at myself and actually had fun. Pomegranates are pretty hard and one has to give in to not being able to actually "draw" all of the details. I had bought this 9 pack of 8" square canvases on sale so I used one of them. Now I can go back to the bigger stuff for tonight. Since tomorrow will be even colder I may just try another little still life.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

understanding hibernation

I can completely understand the benefits of hibernation today..............after working this morning I am now overcome with the need to take a nap (something I never do). There is no light outside for the most part either and I believe it will begin to snow soon by the looks of it. I am posting last night's 11x14 portrait and giving in to my strong desire to sleep for a bit.

Monday 12 January 2009

bus stop 14x11

I started this picture this morning.............Fall River used to stop at every single child's home but this year began grouping the kids for fewer stops. My house is on this corner so I see them and their parents morning and afternoon. We had a storm this weekend so I worked on the design for this and other things. Already the days are noticeably longer which lifts my heart and helps with painting. Sometimes, with complicated pictures I start with a fairly detailed colored underpainting.................I wanted the shadows to be warm so I used a warmer brown. The season is fall and the time early morning.

Friday 9 January 2009


This picture is done for the most part................I will have to stare at it on the wall for a bir until I eliminate every little thing that annoys me or strikes the wrong note. I am beginning something new and doing the final touches on the larger picture that I have posted several times.............and waiting with excitement for a new winter storm that is approaching our south coast. How funny that I now look forward with excitement to these weather events rather than dreading the inevitable. I am grateful on a daily basis for my state pension but more grateful that I have reclaimed the life that I was meant to live.

Thursday 8 January 2009

It worked!!

Yipee.........I guess it was blogspot or something way beyond my comprehension.

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Try again...............

Well, it's still not allowing me to upload anything................grrrr. Does anyone have any suggestions? I only get the message that there was an "internal error during upload." Maybe it is actually blogspot rather than my increasingly slow and pain in the butt computer.

miserable weather day

My God, it was ugly outside today - I never even took off my ugg slippers and have now turned the heat up after shivering all day. The freezing rain turned to a cold rain early but it seems like it is about to turn back to something frozen soon. I have really learned to appreciate the weather on most days so I was surprised by my feelings about today. It is really great to have the option of staying in and painting all day. I'm not done yet but the minimal light was beginning to disappear and I realized I would have to get that picture taken. This painting is 11X14" and from a photo I took the other day when there was some light. I just couldn't get enough of the tree shadows on the snow. Well.................I cannot seem to upload the photo so I will have to logout and try again.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

more work and a better photo

I am really enjoying this picture............I worked on it for much of today but most of that work was adjustments in value and temperature and then adding layers in the complicated areas of brush. I began another snow picture as well (maybe a photo tomorrow?). At least this photo is better since I had the foresight to take the picture before it got dark.

Monday 5 January 2009

New Year

I have been working inside recently on a large picture but yesterday was so breathtakingly beautiful that I had to get outside to work. I went exploring and found the Westport Town Farm which still had an ample amount of snow. I have really, really wanted to do some snow pictures but the simple fact is that we don't get all that much snow on the least not for the past several years. I could drive inland 50 miles but I spent so many years driving to work in wretched conditions because we were termed "essential personnel" that I have been totally enjoying not having to have to do that. What I thought was a hatred of winter was actually a hatred of having to drive 75 miles to work in the midst of a blizzard and then having to do the same thing to get home! So, I will put my large picture back up for this afternoon's work but will be back out there as soon as I can.