Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wading In Gold

8"x8" Acrylic SOLD
This was a commission I did in acrylic so it would dry quickly and I could varnish it and frame it.  I did something different by painting in thin layers with a small paintbrush.  Mostly it was an experiment and I really like some of the affects that created.  This as well, was of necessity because I am somewhat home bound and have limited supplies available.  Most importantly the person who bought it was really happy with the results.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Not Photo Realistic

7"x7" oil

This is loosely based on a lovely photo by Lowell Klock who is a member of the art group I am in.  She graciously offered several photos for our group to interpret with paint.  I loved the photo she took, and I also saw in it a way to paint it quite differently from the source photo.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Seeking the Destination

5"x7" oil
I can't help but wonder what makes couples attracted to each other.  Beautiful looking people often pair with beautiful people and their attraction, which could be much deeper, may also just be based on that, but what attracts people who seem so different from each other?  What made me want to paint this one was the interesting texture of  their hair.  Both of them had big hair that was kind of fuzzy.  I wonder if that was their first point of attraction?  Could be.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Loosley Geraniums

5"x7" oil on archival paper
This painting came from a challenge the art group I am in decided to do.  We voted on a group of photos and the geraniums were the winner (I didn't vote for geraniums).  So I decided to do it abstractly, experiment with shapes and tools and to do it on a surface I have been wondering about, archival watercolor paper.  I prepped the front of the paper with acrylic medium and later decided to do the back side too, then painted with oils on it.  I love the results.  I used a variety of mixed reds that don't show their subtle differences so well in the photo I took, but it is rich and fun. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Feeding the Deer

6"x6" oil
I passed this guy picking apples for the deer and immediately saw a painting.  The background was originally a cool blue of a house, but it just didn't work so I warmed it up with yellow and really liked that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Heart of the Matter

6"x6" oil

It kind of looks like an orange heart....even has the heart symbol shape...and it is good for your heart too if you eat it...which I did!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Leaf Showers

11"x14" oil
We had a spectacular fall in the NE and then had a huge wind storm.  One day I looked out the window and saw the leaves blowing across the back yard and wanted to capture what I saw from memory.  I spend a few moments studying the big pieces of composition and note the values and colors.  The blue of the sky and water are much less colorful in the painting...more of a whitish gray with a tint of blue.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Top Hat and His Tomato

6"x6"  oil
OK the title probably isn't very P.C. but I couldn't help myself.  Forgive me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Good Health

6"x6" oil
Roses are given meanings by their colors.  Yellow roses stand for friendship and good health.  I am trying to stack the cards on the side of good health so I decided to add a yellow rose to my bouquet.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Falling Lemons

8"x10" oil

You know that phrase about "when life gives you lemons make lemonade"?  Well I have been given lemons this year so this painting is about lemons falling.  When my lemon situation corrects itself I will paint a glass of lemonade!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Three Barns and a View

6"x6" oil
I tried this for a 3 color challenge for Daily Paintworks.  I used blue, yellow and red.  It really was a challenge for me and I so wanted to throw in some other colors or even more shades of the three I chose.  You could also use white and black and I did use white but not black.  I like it better after coming back to it.  There is a lot of texture.  It is a grouping of barns near where I live  A couple of years ago they painted the traditional red barn a deep yellow.  Actually it is more of an ochre color but I chose cad. yellow light, so it is a brighter tone than the real barn.  I love that you can make up your own world when painting and sincee we can't compete with the real one, we might as well!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Visitor

6"x6" oil 
In the summer I frequently have visitors that are not of the human species because mu studio has garage doors I open.  Hummingbirds have made numerous visits and chipmunks seems to love my work as well!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Facing the Stage

7"x7" oil
Nature plays out her drama in vivid colors in this early fall foliage pageant.  I was going to call it "Dressed In Red" but really this is one of those perfectly staged scenes put together by naturally occurring elements plus a few chairs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Washed Up

8"x10" oil 
First some complaining...I had a really hard time getting good photos today as everything has a glare.  I am re-doing, fixing up, or repainting some things I have previously done.  Although I don't necessarily solve all the problems, I am learning a ton from the exercise and am much happier with the results.  Some artists just stop when it isn't working and start a new painting, but I tend to prefer to work on it until I apply enough of what I know to make it work out satisfactorily, at least to my current standards.  Hopefully the bar will go up in my expectations over time.  This is from one of our gorgeous lakes in a state park and now I don't think it is all washed up! 

Mia Loves Maizie

This is a watercolor sketch for an illustration for a children's book.
My art group went to Peter Huntoon's studio today for a demo.  It was so much fun to see how he loosely begins his work and turns a scene which may not be particularly exciting into an athletic and stunning work of art.  Peter has recently added oil painting to his repertoire of watermedia and he approaches it very similarly as he would a watercolor painting, with lots of drips and splashes and interesting tools.  He is one of the quintessential Vermont painters.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Autumn Crossroads

7"x7" oil
This was a challenge for our art group for this month.  We are having a meeting later this month and will share our results.  It is from the center of the crossroads in Chittendon, VT.  Like so many Vermont towns, it is a lovely community made up of crossroads and various  roads winding through the mountains.  One of the coolest PK-8 community schools is located here.  It is an old school built in 1933 that has been added to in an architecturally consistent way, maintaining its charm.  It has a fabulous playground that has a premier view of the surrounding mountains.  I think the kids must adore playing in this environment. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lost and Found

11"x11"  oil 
I called this one "Lost and Found" because it is another resurrected painting from my box of failures.  I do think that failures or wipe-outs are good educational tools but it is also fun when I can salvage them.  I originally painted this plein air but it didn't have any punch which was so disappointing because it was such a lovely place to paint on a cool, but sunny day.  This has a nice play of tight and loose which is nice.  I am not very good at painting architectural features accurately and also with a fresh looseness mainly because I can't draw a straight line.  Have you ever heard that phrase?

Saturday, October 17, 2015


8"x10" oil
I decided I needed to thin out my loser box.  That is where I put paintings that just aren't right and make me uncomfortable.  Using a razor blade I scraped off edges of the brushwork that showed.  I did this instead of sanding to reduce dust, and breathing toxic chemicals.  Then I painted a solid color over them.  A few of the paintings I decided had good enough starts to try and resurrect them, and this was one. Originally I painted it plein air (outside on the spot) but I finished it in the studio letting the painting tell me what to do, instead of looking at a reference photo.  I am pretty happy actually with the results.  It is a small church in a beautiful and picturesque town in southern Vermont. It is for sale by auction on Daily Paintworks.  Click to bid on the button under the image.

Friday, October 16, 2015


4"x10" oil
After not painting for days, I did a complete wipe-out painting. It may also have had to do with the fact that I have been doing only watercolors for the last 5 weeks. So I had to get back on the horse and I did this little "Panorama" with limited brushwork, to warm up, and I really liked the muted foreground. Not something I would normally do.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Remembered Landscape #4 Going Over the Pass

                                                                         4"x6" oil
Almost everyday I drive these mountains and am filled with their beauty, but I am also busy driving, so, although simplified, this is the impression on a cloudy day of the autumn colors changing the landscape. But beyond the heavy layer of clouds is a blue sky.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Remembered Landscape #3- The Creek

6"x4" oil
I am just getting over the flu so haven't painted for a week.
This was harder to do because there were several days between actually seeing it and then painting it from memory and it was kind of complicated. I think the key is to keep it loose and not too detailed. I may have to rethink this one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Remembered Landscape #1 The Meadow

4"x6" oil  Price $45
 I have several projects going at once right now (not my favorite way to work) but I am happy that I am inspired and able to do this.  This project is to do small oil paintings of remembered landscapes.  I drive to the gym every morning and am so fortunate to have so many beautiful things to look at along the way.  I study what I see and then when I have time, I recall what I saw and paint it.  I think it is a wonderful way to train myself to quickly record an idea made of shapes and color and then when I think about it later, the key features are what comes out.  I started very simply for this 1st one.  They will get more complicated as I go, I think, although that is not my intention.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Butterfly Zentangle

5"x10" watercolor and ink
I have been wanting to try zentangle so here it is. I know I didn't follow "the rules" but then, I never do. It was fun, but very time consuming. It is meditative, but I think most of creating art can be that way. Not always, but frequently.

Laundry Day

This was just for fun. I made it for an online card about my high school reunion which is coming up.  Below is the card.  It is just kind of silly, but I am still counting it toward my 30 paintings in 30 days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Portrait Study

I want to do a bunch of portraits for practice so I decided to try this one in watercolor.  I was trying to get the correct look of the sitter, but I at some point, I just wanted to get a decent painting, so it isn't very 'exact' but it is close.  Sometimes I just can't figure out what it is I need to do to make it right.  Other times, just a tiny change makes all the difference.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Hop Shop

5"x7" watercolor NFS

I painted this and then decided to go back in with ink which I have been playing with lately.  The top photo is a little more exposed then the bottom one, so the colors are more true.  I love the look of the dancing lines of ink over the watercolor, but I think maybe I did more than I needed.  It is always an exploration...a journey, an experiment.  It can be quite thrilling sometimes!
This is "The Hop Shop" in Kent, England.  It is at the Castle Farm where they grow lavender and hops.  My daughter took me there 9 years ago to buy the decorations for her wedding reception; it was a  treat  as I have a passion for lavender.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Deep Thought

9"x10" Watercolor  $50
9"x11" watercolor NFS
I love this one of the little boy.  The second image is Monarch #9 which I also forgot to post.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


 9"x11" watercolor
Monarch #12   11"x14" watercolor

I really like the concept with the first image, but am not completely happy with all my choices.  I may have to try another one and see how I can change it.  The second one I forgot to post, so here it is!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monarch #14

9"x11" watercolor NFS
Still figuring out the best technique for me in using watercolors.  I eventually want to allow myself to paint in a looser style, but for this project, I need to stay a little tighter.  I really enjoy layering the colors which is interesting because I have to let them dry between layers to get the affect I want, and I am not a very patient painter which is why I like little alla prima (done all at once) oil painting.  I don't think watercolors are harder than oils; watercolor just takes a different approach.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monarch #13

9"x10" watercolor
What a special moment my friend and photographer, Lowell Klock, captured when this Monarch and Swallowtail decided to nectar up on the same flower.  There are a lot of decisions to make when interpreting a photo into paint.  I chose to add ink lines in the end to tie the darks together.  I like how it gives it a very illustrative effect.  The brownish/purplish background was achieved with many layers of colors which dried in between applications.  I really like this approach to watercolor and hope I can master how to use it effectively.

Monday, September 21, 2015

An Important Woman

11"x14" watercolor
$50 Buy with PayPal

 I wasn't able to bring my oil painting set up for the demo so I stepped out on a limb and decided to do it in watercolor. It turned out OK, but I don't suggest using an unfamiliar medium to demo a painting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mouse and Crabapples

10"x9" watercolor NFS
I am not getting around very well but I was able to get outside with my watercolors and sit and paint this.  I grabbed the little mouse figurine as I was walking out and cut the crabapple from the tree drooping down to the porch.  It has more crabapples this year than ever before.  It felt so good to be outside and it almost always feels good to be painting.  I like the transparency of this one and I really like painting simple subjects.
Below shows the other painting project I did.  I painted my crutches lavender.  It's like doing the glass half full thing.  I am going to add some beads and ribbons next.  It looks like I am going to using them for another long stretch of time, so they might as well act as an accessory. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Not Just a Pretty Painting

9"x10" Watermedia NFS
Today I have much to say.  Something changed for me.  I am sure it started a long time ago, but the realization just struck me today.  I have been going through a really tough year, physically, with a lot of pain, disappointments and incapacitation.  Although it may have been the biggest physical challenge of my life, and I am still in an unresolved condition, I have been able to stay afloat mentally and even been jolly a lot of the time.  I have attributed this to a number of things including:  having a generally bouyant personality, having inherited my mom's optimism in dealing with life, having a spiritual foundation, having a good family, lots of friends and many reasons to be happy.  None of these things really can be attributed to anything I "do."  It is dumb luck for the most part.  But today, I saw a pattern that has been growing in my life and it has everything to do with daily painting.  For the last 5 years I have attempted to have a daily painting habit.  There have been stretches of time when I didn't do that for very legitimate reasons, but mostly I have developed this habit.  All kinds of things can be said about that, but what I realized today, is that the most important part is that every day I look for things that excite my eye or create a feeling of joy and love in my heart/mind.  I have, through the daily painting process, developed the desire to find beauty no matter what else is going on.  So for me, it isn't really about my art career, or the product I produce, but it is about how I live my life, what I see and feel moment to moment despite the circumstances.  This is what has saved me this year.  This is what is inside me and what I have to say through my art.  It isn't going to be "dark" or probably "deep," but it will reflect what joy I am finding in my daily life.

This painting was a huge struggle for me and I think it was a metaphor for what I have been experiencing. It was a conflict alternating between beating it to death and trying to breathe life into it.  I worked it, reworked it, tried again, and then did some more.  So, at least for me, it's "Not Just a Pretty Painting," but a map of a battle and in it are a lot of lessons for me.  It probably won't ever get framed and hang on someone's wall to bring them a reminder of beauty and joy, but I will keep it to remind myself of this amazing and cathartic day in the life of this daily painter.
This is as profound as I get.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Monarch #10

4"x8" watercolor NFS
This is my favorite of this series, so far. I am 1/3 of the way through my goal of 30 watercolor paintings of monarchs in Sept. I have learned from experience that this is a very arbitrary goal, and it can actually be counter productive. The idea is to be a little better each day and to do that requires working hard to do your best. Therefore, setting a number of paintings as a goal only serves to get an artist to the studio to work. That is worthwhile, of course, but it isn't worth sacrificing quality for quantity. But I really like this one!
This is Monarch #9 out of 30 I plan to do. If you have a great Monarch photo you would like to see in paint, please send it to me. I do not have 30 of my own! These paintings are for a project I am working on and are NFS, but I hope you are enjoying my little foray into watercolor.
This second image is Monarch #7 revised.  After studying it for a couple of days I decided to add some fun and darker value to the background.  Although this doesn't really "read" as sky, like it previously did, I think it is much more interesting and artistic, which is after all what I am attempting to do.  I heard a good quote today from some TV production about being an artist is about facing a new mystery every day and having the opportunity to learn a new lesson.  It is a long job description, but that is how I feel about what I do.
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