Friday 28 December 2012

babysitting - 12x24" (nearing completion)

I am making progress with this one but I am feeling the lack of light as I usually do this time of year. I don't think I could take a place like Alaska and having to use only artificial lighting for months at a time. I probably have another day on this one (I had to completely re-draw the figure on the right).......though I have mixed up a bit of paint in advance (much easier in natural light) and will keep going until I can't. I can't believe we are nearly at, Happy New Year!

Wednesday 26 December 2012

happy holidays delayed

Hopefully you all had a wonderful holiday - I did. I went to my sister's for a day and a half in Charleston. My kids and I pretty much combined holiday togetherness at Thanksgiving. Prior to that I began this but felt a certain rebelliousness towards picking up the brushes and went for some long walks at the beach to just explore without paints. I love the light of winter but sometimes I want a broader view of everything rather than focusing on one view as one tends to do when painting.........since winter light changes so quickly and it's so comfortable (at least here) it seems a good time to do that. There is something about the solstice that makes me quite I just go with it more than I used to.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

marsh color study - 11x14"

I am probably going to do more on this but it's so wet right now that I can't........I really felt like fooling around with color today so the marsh in my backyard served my purposes well.

Monday 17 December 2012

lagoon complete - 18" square

I don't have much to say today..........I'm glad I finished this and have begun another. I am in "finishing things up mode" and remain so saddened by Friday's shooting in Connecticut that it's hard to sound upbeat and positive in a blog post. Sometimes I become so sickened by our American culture - its blatant materialism, violence and intentional ignorance - all I can do is paint.

Thursday 13 December 2012

the lagoon - 18x18"

I started this painting last spring when I was pretty new to the area.............not familiar with the shape of the trees or the lay of the landscape. Needless to say, I got a bit stuck and put it on the "drying wall." After a summer of painting outdoors at this location I felt like I wanted and could finish it so I picked it up again and have pretty much re-done the entire thing (it's nearing completion). Another way I have to motivate myself to finish a painting I know I want to finish is to order a frame for it..........nothing lost because I can always use the frame but it gives me that impetus to at least try to get it done. 

Tuesday 11 December 2012

refinery light - 14x11"

I had never really seen an oil refinery prior to my drive to Austin......I wasn't prepared for mile after mile of them stretching from mid-Louisiana into Eastern Texas. The air was bright and totally filled with an acrid haze that seemed to make everything uncomfortable to look at. My eyes burned and the air smelled.............I had just driven through a visual paradise of swamps and wetlands so it was rather shocking to reach "oil-land." How anyone could not see and feel the pollution everywhere is beyond me. So, I thought I would make a stab at painting it.

Thursday 6 December 2012

let's explore - 9x12"

I have a cat and they don't travel well so I really love to watch dogs at the beach........they seem so delighted to be out and thrilled by everything (including the pile of net they were exploring when I saw them).

Tuesday 4 December 2012

New Orleans Doorway - 12" square

I really loved New Orleans...............this bar was open early Sunday morning in the French Quarter and the streets were sort of crowded for mid November. I am definitely going back for a few days just to paint.

Sunday 2 December 2012

tangerines (10x8" study)

It was so nice out that I had to work there today..................Since I consider still-lifes my weakest area, every once in a while I get a strong desire to improve at them. I never really had the space to do set-ups so I feel all thumbs when I attempt one. I decided that I would paint a portion of my tangerine tree since it requires no set-up at all!

Friday 30 November 2012

New Orleans Doorway - 12" square

I just had to share a photo of work on my new easel! My open box M is about five years old and, besides getting a new and sturdier tripod, was becoming rickety. I have seen the Soltek easel for years but was satisfied with what I had and not willing to spend the money. Seeing Randall Sexton using it at the workshop in Georgia caused me to just go ahead and get it. I am totally glad I did - it is very sturdy and will come in handy for larger sized canvases (a limitation with my old easel).

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Back Home!!!! & a news article from Donovan Gallery

I'm back from Austin and glad to be "home." It's funny but I truly feel like I am home now after the year and a half of disruption from my father's death and then the long move. I couldn't wait to pick up a paintbrush - despite bringing my stuff with me there really wasn't enough time to pull off and paint or I wouldn't have gotten there. Kris Donovan (owner of Donovan Gallery) sent me this article that appeared in the Fall River Herald News so I thought I would post it today since I have just begun a new painting. I had a great Thanksgiving with my kids and always love, I took much of a day to explore New Orleans, a place I have always wanted to see. I fell completely in love with New Orleans and am definitely taking a painting trip of a few days duration there soon.

Sunday 11 November 2012

nearly done

I am getting really close to finishing this painting................I had to totally redraw her lower half because of drawing errors. It's hard to do this without overworking so I ended up painting out a bunch of that area with white paint and then beginning again. I will be on the road for a couple of weeks - on my way to visit my daughter (and son who is flying in) in Austin for Thanksgiving. I am excited since I have never been to this part of the country. I won't be posting much for the rest of the month but will try to get in another one before I leave

Friday 9 November 2012

country road - 14x11"


Finished the "coastal erosion" painting and began the painting at the top. To find any hills at all around here, you have to drive inland for about twenty miles..............which is what I did for this picture. I was pretty excited about finding some hilly territory! I'm going to try and finish this one today. I am extremely relieved about the election but haven't spoken much about it down here since I am pretty much surrounded by people that disagree with me. Thanks, MA voters for electing Elizabeth Warren to the senate!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

coastal erosion - 12x9"

I can't believe it is already the 6th..... I am finally feeling relatively pain-free after my seven hour ordeal in the dental chair last Thursday and thought I should get something posted soon. This house fascinated me from the moment I saw it. It is situated on the outer edge of Hunting Island - the area has been steadily eroding for years and there are signs everywhere warning people to be careful. The amazing thing about this place is that there are still plastic chairs and a grill on that little porch up there. Someone that volunteers with me at the Nature Center told me that people were still living there until a few years ago!

Wednesday 31 October 2012

a couple of things

I had to put the house painting aside for a little bit since I got a little stuck. Since I didn't want to get going on something big I started the little girl in the yellow life vest. I was hoping to finish the little girl today but I am running out of light and might not accomplish that. I have a very long dental appointment tomorrow (the entire day!) and even though the dentist told me I wouldn't be in much pain afterwards I am not quite trusting that will be the case.

Sunday 28 October 2012

southern green - 16x12"

For some reason I was really in the mood to paint greens - this one certainly has just about every variety!

Saturday 27 October 2012

stormy weather - 16x12"

The title of this post is appropriate for this painting and today's weather here in Beaufort. We aren't going to get tropical storm Sandy but we have had tons of wind, mist and clouds. Good luck to all of my friends in New England with this storm - it looks quite powerful.  

Tuesday 23 October 2012

block island gray - 16x12" (uncompleted)

I have been feeling a bit homesick for New England recently..............not surprising since I have spent most of my life there. At any rate, I went back to my photos and chose a picture that actually embodies the main reason that I moved (the low gray clouds). This photo is way too warm but since I will post a completed version I didn't move it to get a better shot since the edges are quite wet.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

edge of the waves - 9x12"

Not much to say today...........had to finish this one sitting down (rather than standing the way I usually paint). I managed to injure one of the tendons in my right foot after going to the gym......spent most of my day yesterday at urgent care and am now on crutches. Nothing too serious but I don't like limitations and it is really frustrating to get yourself into an exercise routine (it doesn't come naturally to me, I have to force it) and then get sidelined.

Monday 15 October 2012

indian pipe (aka: weird little study) - 10x8"

 Not like my usual posts but for some reason I felt like showing this.........I have been watching this little plant in my backyard for several days. At first I thought it was some type of fungus or mushroom but I went on the internet and found out that it is a chlorophyll- less plant called "Indian Pipe." For some reason I just had to paint its weird little portrait..........the plant pushes up through the leaf litter and pine needles on the ground forcing the ground up in this mound shape. Pretty interesting to study.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

purple tank top - 8x16"

I have some more work to do on this but the essence is done enough to post (her hand, notably). I have been experimenting with getting clarity and softening edges at the same time. Since I live under large pines that block the light during parts of the day, I was caught off guard by how early the light faded's been gloomy the past few days so it was kind of hard to tell. Today it was clear and I realized that, despite it being so warm, it's not summer anymore.

Sunday 7 October 2012

aqua skirt - 11x14"

I am near the end on this one - I did a study from the model at the workshop but the light changed very quickly to something else so my painting changed. I took a photo at the time and decided I wished to do what I had originally begun so I started this one.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

rain coming in - 14x11" - plein air study

I barely beat the downpour yesterday........I was stuck under a bunch of palmettos to get this view and didn't really notice the storm till it was on me.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

workshop study - 14x11"

This is one of the studies that I did at the recent workshop I took with Randall Sexton at Anderson Fine Art in Saint Simons GA. I am not going to finish it because I feel that its purpose was accomplished at the time. We had a great week - the weather was just how I like it: high 80's and humid!

Monday 24 September 2012

continuing - 24x20"

This painting is one that has been hanging on the wall for a while while I tried to figure out what was wrong with it.........In the past week I have redone a bunch of it but realized that I was fighting with the shadows on the dock that I had already painted. I did a lot of work on other portions and then decided to just paint out the entire dock with a relatively neutral color (which looks too warm in this photo). So..........I will be busy at a workshop till Saturday - I will have to pick it up when that is done.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

redrawn - 11x14"

Pretty much done - now it goes on my "drying wall" where I glance at drying work to see if problems leap out at me that require fixing. I am trying to finish a couple of other paintings that have been on that wall for a bit too long. For some reason this one was hard to photograph.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

striped chairs - 11x14"

 I was hoping to have this painting done today but I ran into some difficulty with the drawing on the right side. I had to scrape it off and am now going to have to redraw that part. After losing last week to "dentistry" I decided to post anyway. I am taking my first workshop in years next week and am really excited about it - Randall Sexton's "Figure en Plein Air." I usually can't afford to take workshops but this one is close enough to drive so I decided to go for it!

Friday 14 September 2012

high tide - 12x9"

I had oral surgery to complete a root canal on Monday and, by the time I got back from the gym on Tuesday, I knew I was in trouble. I am finally feeling better today and my face is nearly normal size again. I absolutely had to go out today or the kitty would leave home (I had run out of the food she likes) and I was able to finish this. So.............when the tide is high here, the marsh fills with passageways that don't seem to be there when it's low. I love the way the shrimpers look like they are pushing through land as they return to their docks.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

heading off - 14x11"

I find kyaks totally alluring to paint. If one stands on the pier at Hunting Island State Park you can often see groups of kyaks heading to what is called the lagoon........a protected waterway that runs behind the beach.

Friday 7 September 2012

sisters (yes, again)


I know, I know.......another update. One of the biggest downsides of a blog is to come up with something new on a pretty regular basis. I love doing the blog but tend to feel guilty if I concentrate on things that aren't readily postable. I have been really into this one but spent two entire days scraping and redrawing to get what I want....a few years ago I would have put the painting aside and done several small things just to fill the gap but.......I didn't want to let this one sit. So, I am nearly done and glad that I planned my week this way. When one is self-employed, it is so easy to become stalled by not knowing what to do next or how best to plan....I just decided to finish this and continue planning for next large picture.

Monday 3 September 2012

sisters update - 20"square

Just an update on this picture. I have been doing some studies outside that have no compositional value but are solely for color and working on this one so I thought I would do an update. We have severe storm warnings again so I had to work inside today anyway.........the photo is a little dark.

Friday 31 August 2012

sunset violet - 8" square

I've had this study kicking around for a while and decided to post it because it is growing on me a bit......that happens a lot. Sometimes if I just set something aside after experiencing a certain frustration level, I decide not to destroy it. Went out plein air painting yesterday but had to leave because even the deet insect repellent I bought for the jungle in South America wasn't working......several bugs flying into my mouth caused me to flee.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

sisters underpainting - 20x20"

I finished the little boy with the truck and began a larger painting of two sisters I found at the beach. I have been planning this one for a while and debated how large and what format I wanted to make it. Since the gesture/movement of the figures is so important in this painting, I decided to use a grid to check myself for errors and save a bit of time while getting it on to the canvas (you can see it). I will often divide the canvas in quarters if I am using a photo for a candid figure painting for that reason. Let's face it, you simply cannot get people to pose in mid-run.

Sunday 26 August 2012

trucking - 11x14"

This one isn't quite done yet but I was feeling guilty for not posting all week. I went and got a new Canon SLR on my way home from dropping my daughter off at the airport in Charleston yesterday........I had tried everything I knew to get my old one to work without luck and a camera is pretty much a necessity these days. It was great to see my daughter even though the weather was a little gloomy (the gloomiest we have had all summer); it's good she likes rain. 

Sunday 19 August 2012

savannah industrial 2.0 (aka: almost done)

This photo is terrible but, alas, my Canon SLR digital seems to have least I can't get it to focus. Bottom line, I had to use my iphone to take the photo. I have realized that the older my poor camera gets, the more sensitive the settings are to the battery dying. Either that will work or I will be shopping for a new one. My daughter is arriving from Texas on Tuesday for a quick visit and wants to go to the beach a lot so I will hopefully get some studies in while she suns..........otherwise I have been working inside recently because of the heat & humidity.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

savannah industrial - 16x15" step 1.5

I am pretty much making this one up because I wanted to combine a stormy, dramatic tropical sky with a brightly lit industrial scene..............ah, all those bad plein air studies that I have never posted come in handy for memory work! I don't fret too much anymore about the things I don't wish to post because I really do consider it like a musician practicing their instrument.

Monday 13 August 2012

cloud play - completed

I finished this one and don't really have much to say today.........back to work.

Friday 10 August 2012

cloud play - 12x24"

I was hoping to finish this picture today but I "lost" Wednesday at the dentist's and the root canal isn't even completed - now I have to see a specialist. I become all anxious in the 24 hours prior to a dental appointment and then am ruined for the remainder of the day following the appointment. My new dentist is wonderful and gentle but I can't seem to shake my dental anxiety (it did take me years to learn it though)! Anyway..........we have had several weeks of storminess and I absolutely love the way the weather system and clouds build at Hunting Island so I thought I would insert some figures into a larger cloud painting.

Monday 6 August 2012

Beaufort Art Association Exhibit

I thought I would begin to get involved in the local art community now that I feel settled I have joined the Beaufort Art Association as an exhibiting member (I worked my first full day in the gallery today). The paintings above are now on display for the next six weeks. Since I am working on a couple of larger pieces and have a root canal this week, I might be a little short on brand new stuff...we shall see.

Saturday 4 August 2012

cloudy but nice - 12" square

I really love the gray days down here - maybe because it feels a bit like permanent summer. It isn't as if one is desperate for light all the time so you can relax a bit and enjoy the varied weather. 

Monday 30 July 2012

dock - mid step - 24x20"

Not the best photo as it is inky dark outside right now..............we have had amazing tropical thunderstorms every afternoon for over a week. Since I have been working on this a lot, I figured I would post it. I have simplified several areas and removed things that did not add to the composition.

Thursday 26 July 2012

gray's hill landing - 10x10 plein air study

Gray's Hill is an area west of Beaufort and, despite its name, I have yet to find a hill. It is a very nice place to paint - I stood right on the floating landing and caught some blue crabs while painting. This was done weeks ago before it became hot and humid (it was just hot then). I have been pretty much working inside this week and have had an abscessed tooth so I have been less than productive. After a trip to the dentist and some prescriptions I am starting to feel better - cannot wait for my root canal in ten days!

Saturday 21 July 2012

dock at Gay Fish - 24x20" - beginning

I have just begun this and it's large so it may take me a bit of time. The heat here has been pretty constant and I find that if I don't go out really early to paint, I tend to work inside............kind of the the opposite of winter in New England. I love the heat and humidity but by 1 pm it is probably not wise to spend hours in the hot sun, I totally hate sweat in my eyes and no matter what I wear as a sweatband, the salty stuff pours in after I have been out there even briefly. Gay Fish is this awesome place to buy shrimp - in fact it was featured in the movie "Forrest Gump"- I buy shrimp there every week and find it completely captivating to paint.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

hot day in the fields - 16x8"

St. Helena Island is east of Beaufort towards the open ocean; there are quite a few large farms there. I have a huge regard for the farmworkers that work in the humid heat and hot sun of the South Carolina summer. I chanced on this scene on the way back from painting at one of the boat landings and managed to get a photo. While working on it I discovered that just because the scene was so bright and intense, it wasn't terribly light in value. Oh, and an anniversary of is my 600th post!

Thursday 12 July 2012

on the intracoastal - 14x11"

I found a good spot along the canal right downtown near the bridge to the Sea Islands and painted this today. I had intended on finishing a different painting that I started on Monday but promptly ruined it......sometimes it just doesn't work out to do a study over the course of two days.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

little house in the trees - plein air on paper - 10x8"

Last year I bought a bunch of brown card style paper from Guerilla Painters, put it in the backpack that I use for outdoor painting and then forgot to use it. I finally remembered to add some masking tape to the pack so I could tape the paper to a panel - I decided to use it today. The paper takes a little getting used to because it is somewhat absorbent but I adjusted pretty quickly and enjoyed the experience. You can't really see just what I was looking at in this photo but for some reason I thought having some background might be neat. Plus, a wet painting on paper is pretty hard to put anywhere to take a photo!