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.

Monday 19 October 2009

on the beach - 8x10

A nice day today after a pretty wet fact yesterday was so dark and it rained so heavily that it was hard to paint even with spot lamps and artificial lighting. There is something about the atmosphere on days like that that make it hard for me to judge the atmosphere just sucks the light out of a room, weird, I know. I gave up eventually and watched geeky documentaries on the computer! I am trying to practice my boat rendering skills and I think this one came out pretty well.......I will have to refine it when the paint sets up a bit.

Saturday 17 October 2009

sakonnet point fading light - 8x8

I have been trying to expand my repertoire of skills to include painting on different types of surfaces for many reasons. Primarily because my limited space is crammed with stretched canvases that have not sold or I simply don't want to keep or throw away I have been taking them off the bars and placing the paintings in a drawer. Since panels store more easily, I have been experimenting with them and finding the birch plywood much to my liking. This picture is on a purchased canvas panel (Everlast archival) and I don't like the surface as much as the birch but since I ordered about 60 of them I suppose I will get used to them. I am also posting a better photo of the backyards picture I showed the other day. I am still attempting to figure out how to arrange the photos in a pleasing manner but haven't figured it out yet without losing the post or messing it all up.

Thursday 15 October 2009

backyards 8x10

It never really got light here today so this picture is a little glary and blurry..........and isn't done yet but I thought I would grab the last vestige of available light for a photo. My almost cold is fighting me for dominance and might win soon but I am still working until it does. We are supposed to get a nor'easter with heavy rain and wind for tonight and tomorrow and it is quite raw so I am grateful to be indoors.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

plein air underpainting

I didn't have much time to paint today since I went to a funeral that was relatively far away where I used to live. I figured that I would post one of the underpaintings that I did during the summer (it feels weird to say that since it was just last week).........I had this idea that if I could store up enough canvases for the winter it would be just like painting outside. The only problem was that I tended to finish things on site so I don't have all that many stored up but this is one of them. The picture is mostly washes of thin color so I could revise it without much effort - it is 12" square. The funeral was beautiful (I don't usually think that) and I saw tons of people I have not seen for at least ten years...........we have all aged and that was weird but it was good to see them nonetheless. I came home and finished moving my huge collection of plants inside for the winter: including the night-blooming sirius which still has not bloomed. After that I set up to paint on something I started yesterday but I am fading fast and think I am getting a cold (damn). Until tomorrow.

Tuesday 13 October 2009


I finished both of these 8x10s............I find it is important for me to stop and move on when I have done everything I know to do rather than try to achieve some sort of arbitrary and lifeless perfection. Therefore, these studies are complete and I am going to work on other things. It is raining again and I have to go to calling hours for my best friend's mother who died on Sunday, the funeral is tomorrow. The photo of the red house isn't too great but I simply could not get rid of the glare indoors.

Sunday 11 October 2009

dilapidated house - 8x10

I began this picture last night and it isn't done yet but I thought I would post a "progress" report. In addition, I was going to post the marvelous photos I took of my night-blooming sirius but it has not bloomed yet. I was like a crazy lady last night, dashing out with my camera every hour until I finally gave up around ten. The bud looks a little bigger today but, having never seen it bloom before, I am not really sure so I will just have to be patient.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Warren's Point - 8x10

I have been really busy all day..........helped my third floor neighbor Carrie move to East Providence this morning and then had to organize some of my plants for the winter move indoors. I am just setting up to paint now and it's nearly dinner time. I am posting a study I did on Monday at Warren's Point. While moving plants I discovered that the huge night-blooming Sirius (sp?) is about to bloom. With the excitement of a documentary film producer I have set up for it's big night! Hopefully I will be able to get a photo after dark - this plant was my mother's and rarely blooms..........last year I discovered it had only after the fact while the bloom was sagging.

Friday 9 October 2009

Peak's Island - 8x10

Peak's Island is off the coast of Portland in Maine...............I went to visit my son last spring and we took the ferry out to this island (I had never heard of it). It was raining today and I decided to work from a photo since winter is coming and I need to get used to it again. I do find that using the photo as a sort of pattern and recalling outdoor experience is beginning to work better for me than it did last year. I have a little more to do on this one but it was sooooo wet and I was losing all semblance of light for photo taking. Happy Birthday to my daughter Elizabeth whose birthday is tomorrow!

Wednesday 7 October 2009

weird weather day - 8x10

So much for plans.................I was all excited to go out to the same place to paint but the weather had other plans. I woke to an absolute downpour and heavy wind and it was dark, dark, dark. I set my easel at a distance in front of the computer and brought up a photo that I took yesterday to spur my memory. It was so dark that even with lighting I felt like I was in a cave. Right now the sun is bright but the wind is so strong that I had to weigh the easel indoors or close the window..............that's pretty windy.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Somerset house

I decided to really try to break my pattern of always trying to draw everything is difficult to retain the skills but not let them hinder what you see. I think I had a measure of success with this 9x12. I saw many more motifs in the area that I want to paint so I will return to the same spot tomorrow.

Monday 5 October 2009

Warren's Point

I did two small pictures this morning...............I am posting a 10" square one. The weather was lovely but the angle of the sun is changing to its end of the year slant. The Wesport group met again for a non-scheduled Monday session. The goldenrod is in full bloom and I am trying to get it as yellow as it looks without making it harsh.....the air is really clear again, no summer humidity left to gray the sky.

Sunday 4 October 2009


The spiders in my back yard are huge..........I decided to do a study (8x10 panel) including one of them this afternoon. I stood behind my shed in very poor light praying that I had found all of the spiders and that they were in front of me. Boy, these guys move more than models do for sure. I have had a week of mixed results studies and am hoping for a winner soon..........this one isn't it but I learned a lot.

Saturday 3 October 2009

quick color study

Today was an absolute downpour..............not exactly an outdoor painting day. I started a still life but the light was so bad I didn't take a picture. I am posting a small color study done outside during the summer. I do lots of these and often wipe them off but I liked the yellow/violet transitions of this one and saved it for reference. This picture is 8x10 and was done at Seapowet.

Friday 2 October 2009

beach day

I simply had to go to Warren's Point today...............I have been subpoenaed to testify in a trial that begins next week and have been on edge about it. It is funny how the thought of simply being back in that environment puts me in a bad mood now that I spend my days painting and being outside. I must have gotten out of that line of work in time to save my sanity. The particulars of the case have faded from my memory leaving more elemental visual details........the sense of passions spent, the look and feel of a post-crime setting and the blood. That is why I had to be somewhere clean and free of people today. I picked a very hard that I intend to master this winter now that the beaches are free again. The layers of beach fence with the ocean behind it......mixed results today but progress. When I got home I could not get the Internet to work and spent nearly an hour on the phone with a computer voice at Verizon.........."she" disconnected me several times and I finally got it to work myself. I am all done for the day. Now that I have posted this I noticed that the horizon line is slanted.........oh well, I'll fix it later!