Monday, December 12, 2016

Figuratively Speaking-Innocent Delight

6"x6" oil Sold
             I visited my neighbor today who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this weekend.  She is perfect, soft and miniature!  There is something so unique about being around a newborn.  They are so fresh and unimprinted.  When they look around there is a surprise and wonderment in their eyes.  That seems to slowly change over time as we get older and more aware of the ins and outs of how the world works.  Still there are those moments of astonishment that can catch the most cynical of us with "Innocent Delight."  I believe it is a worthwhile mission to seek that out, whether in others or by looking for the miracles in the way life and our physical world are created.  I will be with my grandkids on Christmas morning and I am looking forward to their delight that the cookies have been eaten and mystery behind the pretty wrapped packages.  I would love to hear about your moments of innocent delight and I wish you many more!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Figuratively Speaking - Sisters

6"x6" oil  SOLD
The thing about sisters.....where do I begin?  I am blessed with 4 sisters and several more almost sisters.  They each are unique, individualistic, self assured, talented and opinionated.  I am second in line, got hand me downs (which I never minded) was the most rebellious, and was always in awe of one of my other sisters.  My older sister, is one of the most generous and giving of women I know.  She is also hard headed, creative, imaginative, evasive and stronger than she realizes.  She has always loved books and reading which is amazing because I remember my father teaching her how to read and it was a painful process.  It was so painful, I decided I would learn on my own!  The same thing happened when we started to drive.  There were times when we just butted heads, and she knew, better than anyone,  how to get me to cry. But,  there have been more times where we have been best of friends.  All of my sisters are creative and beautiful.  Linda paints and knits.  Barb sews and gardens and raised 7 kids.  Sharon makes beautiful handmade cards and never forgets an event, anniversary, birthday or holiday.  Patty could be anything she set her mind to.  She is a natural at interior decorating and fashion (neither of which I know anything about).  Then there is Mary who is smart and so, so funny and Brenda who is sweet, smart, organized and full of surprises.  I don't think any of them read my blog, but I love them all and am OK saying it to my little world of which you are included.  Let me know who is special to you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Figuratively Speaking - Take a Moment

8"x8" oil SOLD
This is always a hectic month.  I am not sure how you avoid the hustle and bustle but I do know that taking a few moments on a regular basis to just breathe is a great idea.  Some of the ways I take it in is to take a walk, especially in the woods, do yoga, swim, and of course paint.  However, those things only work if I am willing to let everything else go and just be in the moment.  I am curious how you relax and regain sanity.  Do you read a good book or listen to or play music?  Let me know!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Figuratively Speaking - The Good and the Not So GoodThe

The Good and Not So Good     11"x14" acrylic Price $200
The heater of the pool at the sports club has been broken for a few days so the water temperature is dropping rapidly.  There were only a handful of us hearty souls willing to take the plunge today.  Everyone else thought we were crazy.  Once you move fast enough and your body heats up, it becomes tolerable and dreaming about taking a hot shower and sitting in the sauna kept us motivated.  The other issue at the club is that they are replacing the women's showers, so there is no shower to take and since the sauna is next to the showers, it also is closed.  That's the way life goes.  Sometimes you just wake up and get a bucket of lemons.  There are a lot of things to be grateful for in this story, like being able to swim, having a pool to go to, etc, etc, but it is not November (the Thankful month) it is December (the Giving month) so I won't wax on about gratitude.  So, on to the gifting part.  That came after I dried off, got dressed and walked outside where the snow was falling sideways which means the wind was blowing.  However, after that invigorating swim, it felt great!  My body was completely adjusted to dealing with the cold and I felt more energized than I have for a long time!  So, that is the lemonade part.

This is life...the good and not so good.  We keep moving along and try to grab a hold of the wonderful moments and get through the tough ones.  I paint happy paintings because, well they are easy to look at and they make me feel good. 

What kind of paintings are your favorites?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Figuratively Speaking: Multi-tasking

5"x7" oil Price $100

Figuratively Speaking
Jet Blue has a travel bank and I had $XXX dollars in it that I had to use today.  My nephew was generous enough to decide to get married in Colorado in February, so I had a destination I was going to have to fly to anyway.  The problem is that we live in Vermont not an easy place to get to on major transportation, and none of the flights, buses, train schedules
match up to make it easy.  So there are extra days added on, extra hotels, rental cars and everything that goes with it.  On top of that, we are flying out of Boston which means we now have to plan our trip there an extra day early and come back a day later (more hotels etc.).  All of this so we don't lose the significant $XXX in our travel bank.  Did I say I had to use those today or lose them? 

My painting, "Multi-tasking" seems like such a perfect match for today.

I need a cup of hot chocolate!  Don' t you?  (you deserve it you know!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


8"x10" oil  Price $200

Figuratively Speaking - Art as Communication
I saw a quote today in a post by Brain Pickings  (an online newsletter that is the source of almost all my reading material) that so caught my attention, I decided to write my own blog post around the idea.  Even though this was written about words, I think it totally applies to paintings which are just chemical colors on something flat, at the basic level, but come to life and create a magic at the hand of an artist.  Ursula K. Le Guin put it best in contemplating the magic of real human communication: “Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.”  
A good painting does the same thing.  It can be any style, any subject matter, but when someone is moved by it, it becomes a conversation.  
I work at an artists' guild gallery a few days every month and I  am always conscience that each person who comes in is seeking to interact with something.  What is amazing, is that with all the diversity of types of objects and art, there is a different person to appreciate each and every piece.  Frequently someone will fall in love with something that doesn't move me at all.  I really like that because it reminds me that I am only one little (well, not so little) person with one little opinion. Even though there are others who would agree with that opinion, it really doesn't make it more valid or right.  That is always a good lesson!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Figuratively Speaking-Christmas Cookies

Swirly Cupcake  4"x4" oil  $60
My mom made the most wonderful Christmas cookies.  It was an annual ritual we shared with homes all over the world.  She would make all our favorites and decorate them with beautiful designs.  She was an artist as well as a cook.  There is an art to making a good cookie just like there is to making good bread.  With the abundance of cookies available to us, you would think there would be boat loads of great cookies, but alas I feel like the skill of making great cookies is being lost even in the face of much higher sugar consumption in the population.  I have kind of given up on sweets so my contribution to Christmas cookie making is my Booster Balls (does this bring to mind an NPR skit on an old Saturday Night Live?).  They are made from whatever I have that I can throw in, but this batch was made mostly with pecans, coconut, walnuts, almond butter, cocoa, and dried mangos.  I don't cook them, but mix it all together in my food processor and then roll them into balls.  They kind of look like meatballs, but they taste better and are better for you.  I put them on a pretty plate. tomake up for their lack of aesthetic appeal.

My mom learned to cook when she was growing up in a household of 13 children.  She was about in the middle of the lineup, so while the older kids were helping bring in money and being more grown-up, my mom was staying at home and helping to take care of her younger sibs and cooking and cleaning.  She got pretty good at it.  Her mom died when she was 12 so she had a lot of responsibility, and as a result and the fact that she was dyslexic and left handed, she didn't get a good education.  But, she was brilliant and a survivor, so she carved out a nice life for herself, had 5 kids of her own, 16 grandkids, and as of today, 12 great grandkids. I miss her and I miss her wonderful cookies, but succeeding generations need to improve upon what their parents taught them, and I am choosing to eat healthy while still appreciating (from a distance) the art of fine cookie baking.

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

5"x7" oil SOLD

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!  It is such a lovely idea to spend a day giving thanks.  If you have a chance, take some time alone with someone you care about and just be totally with them.  I like the idea of taking one of my grandkids by the hand and walking with them in the woods just to see what they see and talk about what they want to talk about.  Taking a walk after a big feast is also a good idea.  I just wish you a day of joy, and contentment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


6"6" SOLD
Sometimes I think I am a real smarty pants and just about that time the universe gives me one of those painful humbling lessons.  Right now I am trying to learn a bunch of stuff about how computers work and how to utilize software and clever apps.  I feel like I am a Stranger In a Strange Land.  Can you relate?  One of my big tasks is organizing my photos, which were casually sorted before I got a new laptop and new software, so now it is a complete mess. The whole smarty pants concept can be applied to my pride over the 600 billion photos I have least until I started to reorganize them.  Well, at least now I have something to occupy me for the rest of my time on this planet. Go Figure!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Going Out

6"x6" oil SOLD
What does "Stepping Out"mean to you?  It used to mean going dancing to me, but funny thing, once I got married my husband lost interest in dancing.  Clearly his motivation to kick up his heals was different than mine.  So, in our slower, and early to bed days, it probably means going to a concert or the theater, or maybe out to eat with friends.  My dancing is relegated to aerobics or maybe Zumba.  So, what is your idea of "going out?"

Friday, November 18, 2016

Little Elf and the Magic Egg

8"x10" oil $200
Everything seems topsy turvy.  I am in the process of redefining myself as an artist.  There are a lot of invisible things happening that are filed under "the learning curve" folder.  In a short while I will be revamping my blog, my website and all those social media sites I am afraid to go to.  I have been wanting to take my painting in slightly a different direction, and this one kind of reflects that.  Hopefully I will be able to unveil the new direction of my art business as well.  So, figuratively speaking, I am putting on a new dress and dancing to a new drummer!  What is new in your life?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Laundry Day

8"x10" oil Not for Sale
I felt like painting laundry drying and found this photo I had been given at a Dreama Tolle Perry workshop, but had never painted.  I switched around some of the items in the photo and played with color.  Dreama has a direct approach, starting with transparent colors and then frosting them with opaques.  It gives her paintings a fresh look with very clean color.  I actually did this in two settings, focusing on the darks first and then adding the lights.  It is not my usual working method but I am trying out different things right now.  Since I used her photo for reference, I am not selling this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lefferts Pond

12"x16" acrylic Price $400
I do very few acrylic paintings; this is one of them.  It was such a beautiful day, and although the colors weren't at peak, it was still unbelievably glorious.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

There is a bit of a glare on the photo.  Don't you just love the colors of fall?  I snapped a photo of these mums and pumpkins at the Champlain Orchards when I went apple picking with my neighbor, her 4 year old son, and her mother from Romania.  I might also say for the record that they are the best neighbors ever and we are all excited about the soon to arrive addition to their family.  I painted this loose and it has a a bit of a jigsaw puzzle look that I like.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Squash with Orange

Orange and Blue are complementary colors.  Complements can be a subject for a painting as they tend to create an energy when they vibrate with each other.  I loved the look of the Patty Pan squash (also known as white scalloped squash) with the orange vase and pumpkin.  A few black eyed Susans confirms the season.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Blue Umbrella

I like the geometric shapes in this and the striped pattern.  It was an odd angle to paint, but fun figuring out the foreshortening of the body.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wedding Portrait

8"x10" oil SOLD
There is a shadow on the top of this because I photographed it on the easel.  It is a commissioned portrait for a newly married couple.  I think they are adorable.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

11"x14" oil price $300
Another pose by the model under a red umbrella.  She wore different outfits each time we painted her.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


11"x11" oil  Price $300
This is some of what I learned from the Nancy Boren workshop I attended:  find the mystery in the subject, once you establish the center of interest you can destroy the rest, and it is important to find the hard edge and soften the rest.  This was my most successful painting of the workshop. We had a lovely model who was willing to pose anyway we wanted.  She set up outside under a blue umbrella.  It was fabulous to paint with such talented artists.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Shoppers On the Go

6"x6" oil Price $100
This is the last painting for the 30 in 30 challenge.  These shoppers are taking off for new and more exciting things and so am I (in the painting realm at least).  This was fun to paint with all the blacks and movement.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The S6"x6" inger

6"x6" oil price $100
One of the nice things about going to gallery openings, besides the wine and appetizers, good company, and great art, is the music.  I took a photo of this musician singing and playing at the Chaffee Art Center which is housed in a lovely old mansion.  It really is a treasure for Rutland City, and the central Vermont area.  I liked using the birch panel for the floors and walls.  Actually the walls are white and the floor is oak.  I do not know this musician and am sorry I didn't write his name down. He looked to me to be part Native American.  Is it wrong to mention what you think someone's ethnic background is???  Mine is Dutch, English, Irish and German.  There You go!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sand Play

6"x6" oil Price $100
It is hard enough for adults to gracefully navigate deep sand, but for a little one whose balance is questionable to begin with, it is quite the exercise.  The cool thing about sand and going to the beach is that it truly is ageless entertainment.  Tiny people to really old people love to just be there and it requires very little to keep them entertained.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Calm Morning

6"x6" oil $100
I love the idea of paddle boards.  I love the idea of doing yoga on one.  I love watching people navigate waves and dance around a body of water.  But, they are HEAVY and really big and not cheap!  It is on my bucket list, but I am going to choose a lake where I can unload where there is a boat access.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And the Road Goes Here

6"x6" oil Price $100
This young man on the right is giving engineering layouts to his patient dad while little brother gets to work on his part of the castle.

And the Road Goes Here

6"x6" oil
Kid's with their dad on the beach are a compelling subject matter.  What really got me about this trio where the dynamics of their personalities, which I hope I captured here.  The older brother on the left is clearly the engineer,  dad is patiently taking instructions while little brother has no patience for all the talking and planning and he just wants to get to work.  They actually weren't all dressed identically, but I thought that brought unity to this piece.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016


6"x6" oil Price $100
Something different for Day 23 of the 30 in 30 challenge.  I accepted a challenge to paint a cat and got the photo from a fellow painter. When I first painted it, it looked like a ball of fluff so I softened the edges and darkened it so that it would blend into the background better.  Mostly it is about the beautiful emerald green eyes.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Harpist

This piece tells too much of the story.  I liked yesterday's painting better because it told only enough of the story...her hands.  I also liked the abstract quality of that painting.  I am learning....and one thing that really struck me this week is the importance of some mystery in the work.  I think that is true. This is Day 22.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This dog is not happy to be dragged into this crazy, swirly, loud movement of waves.  His owner is trying to convince him but it is a no-go as far as he is concerned.  It was a good idea on the drawing board, but alas, it doesn't always work out.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stroll Down the Street

6"x6" oil  Price $100
I took a photo this summer in Provincetown during that golden hour when the colors are golden and the shadows are long.  I was captivated by the blue-ness of the shadows and have exaggerated it in the painting.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Morning Walk

6"x6" oil Price $100
Every morning this lady does her fast walk along the beach. I thought she was bold to wear a bikini because....well she wasn't that young! I also kind of admired her boldness...what difference does it make anyway? She is out taking in the beauty of the ocean daily. Her life is good!

Saturday, September 17, 2016


6"x6" oil Price $100
This is one of those cool sports that is really fun to watch and kids can do it with some practice.  I love watching people play at the beach.  Besides swimming, body surfing, splashing in the waves, building sand castles, flying kites, throwing things for dogs to fetch, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, gymnastics, there is always the fascinating sunbathers and those crazy people in the sky, like those parasailing.  All in all, the beach is quite entertaining.

Friday, September 16, 2016

6"x6" oil Price $100
Day 16 two gardeners heading out to the fields.  I think using the birch background works well on this one.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Beach Fairy

6"x6" oil  Price $100
I saw an add in a magazine when I was looking for something to draw and decided to use it as inspiration for this painting.  I made numerous changes and am happy with the result.  Sometimes when I am in a situation where I want to draw and can't get inspired by my surroundings I will practice drawing figures from magazines.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Work To Do

I took a photo in a park forest in Portland, OR, of this person walking down a path with a determined stride.  The big hat and tight posture caught my eye.  I liked how the image is framed by two large Douglas Firs with the light filtering through the background forest.  This is Day 14.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


I love the circus acrobats.  I love Cirque De Soleil, Circus Smirkus, the Big Apple Circus, and even Circus Circus.  I love the Olympics and other sporting events.  It is thrilling to see what the human body can do with determined effort and practice.  This board is completely covered in paint which wasn't my initial plan, but as I worked on it I just felt it needed more paint to accomplish the lighting effectively.

Friday, September 9, 2016

I Can Do It

6"x6" oil

Day 9 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  She was so serious about trying to catch the ball.  She clearly didn't understand that holding rigid and not moving does not aid catching the ball!  We just hoped she would loosen up and stick with it without giving up out of frustration.  My granddaughter is trying to learn to do a handstand and all I can do is encourage her to keep trying.  I would show her how, but I just don't trust my joints to that extent! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ready For the Pros

Day 8 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  We are at the beach and the weather is not that perfect blue sky, warm breeze kind we all love.  However, for what we lose in sunshine we gain in waves for body boarding!  There are lots of other things to do as well, including playing this game with fuzzy balls and a Velcro mitt.  This young man really knew how to balance his body for maximum efficiency and I loved trying to capture it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Good Form

6"x6" oil
Day 7 of the 30 in 30 day challenge.  Again I covered the whole piece with paint only leaving little bits of the drawing showing.  I made up the background which was fun and allowed me to think more abstractly using patterns.  We have been having beautiful weather this summer and I know my golfing friends have made the most of it.  It has been really dry though, and I can't help but think that they must have watered the golf courses a lot.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Swimmer

Add caption6"x6" oil
Day 6 in the 30 in 30 challenge by Leslie Saeta.  I painted this from a life drawing I did.  Actually all the paintings I am doing this month, so far, have been from drawings and then I paint them without photo references.  There are things to be learned from this.  It makes me think carefully about the colors I want to use and it frees me from trying to interpret a photo.  I am having fun with the process.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Better With a Straw

6"x6" oil
Milk is good for you but it is better with a straw.  I like the magic look of a bit of paint on top of the board.  It is like a ghost image appeared in full color.  I am still figuring out how to keep pencil marks visible....not there yet.  This is day 5 in Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 Challenge.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Boys Club

6"x6" oil
Day 4 of the 30 in 30 challenge by Leslie Saeta.  Day four is special because Mother Theresa is becoming an official saint by the Catholic Church and it is my daughter's birthday.  I find that interesting because my daughter, Ruthann, was blessed by Mother Theresa when I met her in 1977.  This painting is completely covered in paint which wasn't my original intention, but sometimes you have to switch tracks in the middle. The Boys Club is that group of men who sit on the sidelines while their wives shop, or go to art museums, or flower gardens.  I do like the soft look of these paintings.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Drummer

6"x6" oil
This is day 3 of the 30 in 30 Challenge by Leslie Saeta.  I am painting on birch panels coated with a clear gesso.  I am trying to use slightly less saturated colors than my normal palette, leave some of the birch showing, and although it is not evident in this one, I am trying to also leave some of the original drawing.  I am learning a lot and tweaking this method with the hopes that I find a technique that really works for me combining realism and abstraction in a pleasing way.

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Long Journey - 30 in 30 Challenge #2

Day 2 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge by Leslie Seata, is of my friend Susan walking along a path at Lefferts Pond. I am really loving painting on birch panels covered with clear gesso.  My goal is to leave some of the wood showing as well as using more subtle color choices and leaving an element of the original drawing evident.  This is a really fun experiment.  My hope is to do 30 figurative works in this style.
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