Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Big Pears11x14

11"x14"  acrylic
I ate one of these enormous pears when I finished the painting!  It is a demo for a class I am teaching.  We were focusing on how to use light and shadow to create volume.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Little Pumpkin

5"x7" acrylic SOLD
Coming out of the fog of 4 days without electricity, internet or telephones.  It is really beautiful here..kind of like a magical winter wonderland, but there is a harsh side to the reality.  One that requires preparation...a generator, woodstove, lanterns and down comforters.  Once those things are taken care of, our attitudes can switch from "what we don't have" to "what an amazing place this is!"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Daddy Day

8"x8" oil
It is so fun to watch parents teach their little ones how to ski.  Kids pick it up so easily but it takes a lot of control and strength for the parent to ski down the mountain in this position.  Even though you can't see it, there are giant smiles on their faces!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


11"x14" acrylic
I had so much fun painting this.  It was for a "Sip N' Dip" painting session I facilitated.  Basically people come to the art center and pay a fee to get to do a painting in one evening.  I have done many of these and they are always a treat.  It allows me to just enjoy the painting process and help others to feel it too.  I always focus on a couple of lessons to help them understand the decisions an artist needs to make.  In this case it was choosing analogous colors and complimentary colors using a design that was both objective and abstract.  I try to give the participants a lot of choices to make along the way.The coolest part of the session is at the end when we line up all the paintings and see how creative and different they all are even though they were based on a design. It also gives me a chance to paint in acrylic which is not my first medium of choice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


6.5"x6" acrylic
I am grateful for my knees.  I am sure that sounds odd, but I am facing double knee replacement surgery this month (my Christmas present to myself) and it makes me appreciate all the hard work my knees have done over the years and the hope I have getting new ones that will be pain free and strong.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lingering Impressions

12"x12" oil
As I was driving home from my daily routine at the gym I saw this scene.  It is one that I always love because it offers a broad view that changes daily with the light and humidity.  November in Vermont can be cloudy every day which makes the world look gray.  However if you look carefully, all those grays have unique characteristics...unique flavors...some leaning yellow or lavender or all the other color influences.  Today when I saw this in passing, I knew I wanted to remember it as well as I could and try to recreate what I saw.  I am happy that I gave this exercise its due.  I watched a demo by Peter Huntoon who said that "painting is like bungee jumping...requiring great attention and focus but itbrings great joy. "   I loved that quote but I think he left out the part about how they both start with a wave of fear!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


2"x6.5" acrylic
These abstracts are a result of a Mareva Millarc workshop I attended.  I titled this one "Music" because it has order and rhythm and little singing notes!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bone Puzzles

2"x6.5" acrylic
Yesterday was full of doctor visits but no painting.  Knee surgery is scheduled for the end of December.  That sounds so matter-of-fact and simple, but I was in a whirlwind last night thinking about it.  Today, however, I am feeling calm and optimistic and grateful.  I am disappointed that ski season  is over for me and I haven't even been out yet!  I will be painting skiers, and snowshoers, and other winter sports as a substitute.  This abstract I call "Bone Puzzles."  I painted it last weekend, before I know I would be having double knee replacements, and feel like it is serendipitous that I am posting it today!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Good Day

8"x8" original oil
It is cold enough for the brave to be out skiing today, but there are not a lot of trails open yet.  I love skiing.  It is invigorating, pushes me to my limits, and I think it is just breath taking to ride the lift up to the top of the mountain and see such grand vistas.  I have been wanting to do a series of ski paintings for a few years and I think I am finally ready to do it. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

8"x8" oil
I set up this still life in my little solarium with natural light on it and the background with the back yard through a window.    I was just playing around with some things I like, a patina bronze bird sculpture and a  antique bluish glass bottle I found at a yard sale/plant sale.  I was there for the plants, but didn't find any I liked and as I was leaving this bottle called out to me.  I really don't like yard sales or collecting things I don't use, but this bottle was such a lovely color, I new I wanted to paint it.  So it has been sitting around for a while and this is my first attempt.  I don't know why I put the mum on the back of the bird...but I did and I like it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Copper Cup

6"x6" watercolor
I was going to post watercolors and abstracts on the weekend, but this weekend I was incapacitated with my knee up and on ice, so I wasn't able to paint (actually my arms worked fine, but getting to the studio was the problem.  So I did this copper cup for a DPW challenge.  It is a very simple subject, but getting the idea that it is a hard copper surface, not so easy. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

There is a Season

8"x8" original oil
 II needed to do this painting.  I needed to loosen up and go a bit abstract and this painting accomplished that for me.  What I learned from this (I borrowed that from Jo Mackenzie, an artist I greatly admire) is that cobalt blue and alizarin crimson make a lovely purplish-gray....the color of today.  There is a big story that goes with this cat.  I will leave it at that!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Big One

6"x6" oil
Honestly, I have been struggling for a while.  I could make a list of reasons why, but the bottom line is that is doesn't always come easy and sometimes it is easy to get lost.  I just keep plowing through hoping that something will suddenly make sense.  This may not be a brilliant painting, but it is a great story and they really did catch this big trout by themselves and they were pleased as punch once they got over the shock!  This was on a day where the blues weren't so blue, the reds weren't so red and the there were no shadows...but I can't help myself when it comes to punching up the colors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Browns

12"x12" oil Sold
This is a commission which took me forever to frame.  I don't know what I was thinking when I painted it in this diamond shape...sometimes doing something different backfires!  Anyway, I am happy with how it turned out and am hoping the Browns feel the same way.  They are such a beautiful family.  I added the suggestion of a white fence to help ground the diamond shape.  I think that works.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

East Meets West

11"x11" original oil painting
So...this may not be my most brilliant painting, but I learned a bunch doing it. I think I achieved the feeling of the place, even though I beat it to death with my paint brush back in my studio. I wish I had photographed it along the way because I made so many changes including removing a barn, numerous boulders and added a few bits too.  What I can say is that it was a really beautiful spot that is hard to capture...not impossible, but it offers plenty of challenges.  I would love to know what you think!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Artist's Studio

original oil 11"x11"
I started this one plein air and finally finished it in the studio, after making some changes.  I find I really enjoy just letting a painting tell me what to do.  If something isn't working, change it or eliminate it.  This really gives me a feeling of creative freedom.  When I look at this I can remember how it felt to be there;what the temperature was and how the air felt. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Crowded Room

3"x7" original mixed media
I went to a workshop with abstract artist Mareva Millarc.  She utilizes the "left over" materials from her husband's workshop.  He is landscape painter Peter Huntoon who does beautiful watercolors and oils.  Mareva's method includes, music, mixed materials, freedom and identifying the interesting shapes and lines needed to make a statement.  Mostly it was just a lot of fun to try out someone else's method.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lighthouse #5

3.5"x5" watercolor on 400lb. paper
I have been experimenting a lot lately...drawing, watercolor and I even took an abstract painting workshop.  I find I tend to do this when I am full of ideas with no clear direction I want to take.  There is value in sticking with a subject, style, palette, medium, to master those things...to become really familiar with them and know what to do.  On the other hand, experimenting reminds me why I work so hard at this.  I have fun, learn some things, and come back to what I do with a fresh perspective.  I also think it just might push me onto a completely different path that might be the journey I should take.  I am trying to relegate my watercolor and mixed media experiments to the weekends.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sumac Triptyque

7"x12" original oil painting
I love Sumac! I love its bony structure that casts beautiful shadows, its horn-like berries sticking up on top, and its brilliant red in the autumn!  Today is a typical early November day in Vermont, meaning it is cold, rainy and very gray.  This explains why this photo looks so dark.  I shoot my images outside and the weather affects the result.  I should have tweaked it in editing before posting it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In Good Hands

7"x7" graphite drawing SOLD
Here is something different!  I haven't done a serious drawing for a long time...years in fact.  I do love to draw but most of the time I am just doing sketches without shading and modeling.  I was asked to do this image and decided pencil was the way to go.  I had much fun doing it and it makes me want to do more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


2"x4" miniature acrylic sold
I did another batch of miniatures of which this is one.  They are all sold, which is nice.  The painting is so much better than this image.

Monday, November 3, 2014


original oil 11"x11" 

The morning was chilly and I stood in the shade painting and shivering.  As soon as I finished I stood in the bright sunshine all afternoon trying to warm up. I didn't pay much attention to my location, other than facing directly into the sun, but this is what I saw: a lovely bridge with flower baskets over a beautiful river lined with rocks and boulders.  It was a good afternoon!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lemon Tree

7"x7" original watercolor
I decided to post drawings and watercolors on the weekends.  My painting friend, Betsy Moakley had the photo reference for this painting, but was uninspired to use it so I tried my hand at it.  I like the abstract elements in this.  I like watercolor more every time I try it.  I have a long way to go in learning it, but it is nice to be working on something new.
To purchase this please contact me.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Chairs By the Pond

original oil 8"x8"
This was painted at the end of Sept. when the brightest of the trees were just beginning to change.  Now, only the yellow leaves are clinging to the branches.  It was a very chilly day so I kind of rushed this one and had to do some re-dressing back in the studio.  Everywhere you look there are Adirondack chairs in Vermont.  I think we should come up with a variation and call it "The Green Mountain chair!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


original oil 8"x10"
IIt was such a lovely day when I painted this.  The sun was bright and the sky blue and it was just a tad bit cool.  The white against the blue and green and the plum colored maple out front all charmed me!
To find out more about this or purchase it click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shed In the Grove

The way the sky peaks through the tall trees is what drew me to this composition.  It just seemed so lovely and simple, but not simple to paint.  It was actually pretty complicated and took some effort to eliminate confusing shapes and colors.  I wanted a feeling of late summer coolness and I think I have accomplished it.  It is just a little shed in a grove of tall trees.  A nice place to feel alive!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Play By the Wall

8"x10" oil
I think I am finally over the flu, although there are symptoms that appear to be very fond of me and want to stick around for a while.  But, I went out today!  I am itching to start new projects and paint up a storm, so I think all systems are 'Go!"  The paintings I am posting this week are ones I did in Sept., plein air.  I really hit the darks hard in these.  I think that is because I was painting in bright light, as opposed to painting in artificial light inside.  Since I am a neophyte at this process, I think my methods should improve with time.  I don't think I will be like Eric Tobin or Peter Huntoon though, who paint outside all winter long.  I was drawn to the bright light on the field behind the wall, and the setting which suggests children playing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


original plein air oil 8"x8"
The title says it all.  My daughter and her family left to move to Oregon today.  I am elatedly happy for them and seriously sad to be missing them already.  They sold their house yesterday...how fortunate is that, since they only put it on the market 2 weeks ago?!  Anyway, this painting is titled "Moody" and that is how I am feeling.  Thank goodness for Skype, unlimited long distance, and jet airplanes!  I can't imagine how mothers felt when their children took off from the East to travel the Oregon Trail.....yikes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hay Bales

original plein air oil 11"x14"
My goal in painting this painting was to capture the light and the diagonals of the hills.  My painting friend Heather Shay, who has a really good eye for evaluating the things that work and don't work in a painting, didn't like the look or placement of the hay bales on the hill, but this was one instance where I didn't follow her advice (feel free to write a comment letting me know your take on this).  My eye was really drawn to those hay bales, and they do tell a bit of a story so I left their odd placement as my focal point.  Sometimes the rules need to be broken (at least this is my excuse).  The deep coolness of the copse of trees had a magical quality that I tried to capture.  When I started the painting there was a herd of cows in their shade, but they quickly got up and left and then returned as soon as I was ready to pack up.  I guess they were a bit self conscience.  I will try to capture cows on another trip.  Did I say, I love plein air painting?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Side Yard

original oil 11"x14"
 Recently I was wishing for some time to be bored.  Be careful for what you wish.  I realize that there are a few things that will guarantee having boredom time, one being getting the flu.  I don't recommend it and being bored is overrated anyway.  I just felt like I was over-scheduled and over-committed. The only way to slow time down seems to be having lots of time to do "nothing."  Apparently being confined to bed is my only option at this point.  This painting was from a workshop I did with Randall Sexton.  His advice helped push me to make bolder strokes.  It was a plein air (outdoor) workshop in Vermont just prior to peak foliage.  This day I was enchanted by the way the light fell on this hilly back slope of a beautiful colonial house right in town.  I set up my easel in the shade of the house and proceeded to freeze all morning painting this.  In the afternoon I moved into full sun and finally was warmed up.  Honestly painting, particularly plein air painting, stops time if only for a few minutes.  It is one of the reasons I love to go to that place...the zone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


11"x14" original plein air oil
This is a plein air oil painting I did while attending Susan Abbott's workshop.  It is a church in Plainfield, VT, a lovely, quintessential Vermont setting.  Susan emphasized having a visual idea to work with and having a plan that includes the structure of the space. There are a lot of things I like about this painting, including the three strong verticals with the poles and steeple.  The large masses of red and green trees with the white of the building and the electric/phone lines that dissect the space.  I highly recommend Susan as a teacher.  She structures her workshops with studio exercises and outdoor painting and she focuses on specific concepts to work with.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Final Grouping

These are 29 of the 30 paintings I did for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  The last one was a watercolor so I didn't include it here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

30-30 Challenge #29

2"x4.5" acrylic SOLD 
There is a pond behind my house that has a creek running into it and creek running out.  It provides the lovely sound of babbling water and frogs in the summer.  My grandkids love to fish there, although actually catching a fish is secondary to just standing or sitting on the dock with a fishing pole!  We get interesting visitors to that pond , including an occasional heron and ducks and geese.  I have seen a ermine and on rare occasion a moose or bear.  This photo reference was the product of wildlife photographer Dale Waack, whom I really appreciate giving me permission to study it and use it for this painting.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

30-30 Challenge #28

2"x4.5" acrylic SOLD
This is an image I have wanted to paint for years, but never got around to it.  I took a photo when visiting Florida (my birth state) because I was so blown away by a garden filled with orchids.  They provide the image of such interesting structure.  I love how they smell and how they make me feel and I have the perfect place to grow them indoors, but I won't because I could not bare to kill them or let them die, and that is a very likely scenario!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

30-30 Challenge #27

2"x4.5" acrylic  SOLD
I have to remember to plant zinnias and cosmos next year.  They offer such easy to grow options that create such a beautiful design through the summer and into fall.  What I really liked about painting this one is the patterns of the flowers, stems, "leaves" and buds.  Pattern is so important in paintings and I sometimes forget that, and then other times it becomes the theme of the painting.

Friday, September 26, 2014

30-30 Challenge #26

2"x4.5"  acrylic SOLD 
This little miniature was purchased a couple of weeks before I painted it or even knew what I was going to paint. That's fun!  My childhood friend, the friend that goes back in time to pre-school, the daughter of my mom's best friend, and my buddy for all those years in school, purchased it.  Neither of us are butterflies...but the world is lovely to both of us.  We are both optimists and love to laugh.  We have spent some of the best moments of our lives together.  I hope this painting reflects that emotion.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

30-30 Challenge #25

2"x4.5"  acrylic SOLD
I am currently at a Susan Abbott workshop in Marshfield, VT, during an incredibly beautiful Vermont fall with lovely temps in the 60's and 70's.  And then...winter comes (which I also love) but at the end of winter is mud season which they call spring in other parts of the country.  Our spring is usually very short, but when those crocuses pop up (frequently through the snow) it gives hope for a very green season.  Crocuses make me happy.  They seem like an especially sweet gift.  I hope it makes you feel that way too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30-30 Challenge #24

2"x4.5" acrylic
This is #24 in the 30 day painting challenge.  I am so glad I decided to do miniatures as I have learned a lot including the importance of composition.  I missed that a bit with this one as the top bird is not quite positioned at the most advantageous place.  But my main concern with this one is that it looks like the wings are moving and I think I got that.  Value is so important in painting and I continue to see that when something isn't working, frequently it has something to do with the values (light and dark) against each other.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

30-30 Challenge #23

This is painting #23 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  It is from a photo reference taken by wildlife photographer Dale Waack.  He generously gave me permission to use his photos to paint from for this challenge.  I chose to do 2"x4.5" miniatures.  On top of that, I am going to 2 workshops this month.  So, I put myself in the awkward position of painting in 3 different styles this month.  I am feeling like a total amateur....but I am learning!  It is good to be on a learning curve, but I think I just made a lot of confusion for myself this month.  Can you relate?

Monday, September 22, 2014

30-30 #22

2"x4.5" acrylic  sold
This is #22 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge given by Leslie Saeta.  It inspired me I thnk because my grandkids were visiting for the weekend.  I find it almost impossible to paint when they are here (a very small sacrifice) but I was able to squeeze this one in.  Other than that, their grandfather and I got to do some outdoors fun things with them like fishing and hiking to the Clarenton Gorge.  We also picked mint, grapes and tomatoes and did some fine cooking.  The boys are 3 and 5 and their little sister, who is almost sitting up and almost crawling, is 6 months.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

30-30 #21

This also is from a reference photo by Dale Waack.  It was hard to paint this mighty bird with enough detail and energy to suggest its magnificence and strength, but I had fun trying and also to make it worthy of copying the photo...like adding enough color to the water to make it interesting.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

30-30 #20

This painting is from a reference photo by Dale Waack, who is a wonderful wildlife photographer.  It is a red winged black bird, one of my personal favorites because of the brilliant flashes of color they have on their wings.

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