Sunday, January 31, 2016


6"x6" oil  
I am taking an online painting course with Dreama Tolle Perry and this painting is the result of the first week's class.  I have taken workshops with Dreama several times and love her overall approach as well as her teaching technique.  At the same time, I am trying to use more grays in my work so I made sure I added plenty here.
Also, I finished Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge and below is a collage of my 30 paintings on slate.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Red and Green

11"x14" acrylic on slate
Everyone loves Cardinals....what's not to like about them?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day 27 Slate - Bluebird

14"x11" acrylic on slate
He is a regal looking guy isn't he.  I am making good progress on the studio, doing a little bit each day.  If I get it to a place where it looks lovely, I may post a photo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day 26 slate - Let It Snow

14"x11" acrylic on slate
I have shifted my efforts to cleaning my studio which desperately needs it, cobwebs and all!  I constantly seem to be accumulating and it is hard to decide what I really should get rid of.  Eventually I get around to using everything, but is it just a distraction to make jewelry or carve stone or do ceramics when I am trying to be an oil painter?  Questions I do ask myself.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Day 25 Slate - Skiing III

14" x11" acrylic on slate 
This has a glare on the upper right, but it kind of emphasizes that it is a bright day and this guy is  skiing Ovation at Killington, whose slogan is Tame the Beast.  It is a 45 degree slope.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 24 Slate - Skiing II

14" x 11" acrylic on slate 

Another skier on slate.  The last week of the 30 day challenge is always the hardest for me because I am ready to move on to a different project.  However, I am having fun with these skiers.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Day 23 slate - Skier I

14"x11" acrylic on slate 
I wish I was skiing, but am not yet able to venture that direction as I can barely walk around the grocery store!  However, there is always next year!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Day 22 Slate- Mother and Child

14"x11" acrylic on slate SOLD
This piece is shown with the ribbon and bow hanger for the stylized Mother and Child.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 20 Slate - Cardinal

11"x14" acrylic on slate 
It is a beautiful sunny, but chilly day in the Northeast.  I am hoping to accomplish a lot today.  As I wind down in this 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge, I will be returning to oil painting on panels.  I have enjoyed doing this challenge and painting on slate.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day 19 slate- two sisters

11"x17" acrylic on slate

Two sisters, one very proper and one very silly. That pretty much explains my elder sister and myself.  Guess which one I am?  I find that painting on slate gives me the incentive to go a little funky and more whimsical.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Day 18 slate - Dancers

11"x17" acrylic on slate 
I have been fascinated lately by little ballerinas.  I think I must be missing my granddaughters.  They are both willing dancers and my son loves to put on music and dance with them.  The youngest is a climber (danger baby) and her older sister is very lady like, with a touch of wildness.  They epitomize the expression of 'Dance is the hidden language of the soul," which I believe is a quote by Martha Graham.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day 17 Slate - Downy Woodpecker

11"x17"  Acrylic on slate 
We get a lot of Downy Woodpeckers at our crabapple tree, in part because it is getting old and is full of insects, and also because we have a suet feeder.  They can be pretty piggish about their eating habits at the feeder, staying for long periods of time and sucking down that seed filled fat.  I think I need to do bluebirds and cardinals, but I need to change subject matter for the moment.  I think I have a short attention span.  So this will be the last bird for a  while.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

Day 15 Slate - Dark Eyed Juncos

11"x14"  acrylic on slate
This is a sweet little bird familiar to residents all over America.  While the chickadees and nuthatches flit among the trees, the Mourning Doves and Juncos can be found under the bird feeders on the ground.  The Mourning Doves walk and the Juncos hop.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Day 14 Slate - Mourning Doves

11"x14" acrylic on slate
Mourning doves have such an interesting shape with their round little heads and plump bodies.  The dots on their wings remind me of Lady Bugs.  In England Lady Bugs are called Lady Birds, but I think Mourning Doves could comfortably embrace that monicker.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Day 13 - nuthatches

11"x14" acrylic on slate
Onward and upward with the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  I have been painting the birds I see outside my window, like these interesting nuthatches, painted slightly more blue than they appear in R.L. (real life) so that they contrast with the gray background slate.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 12 Slate - Chickadees

11"x14" acrylic on slate
Chickadees are the sweetest little song birds.  They have the perfect "cute" shape are sociable and don't descend in frantic hoards.  They also have lovely markings and are one of my absolute favorites at the bird feeder.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Day 11 Slate - Ballerina

11"x14" acrylic on slate 
Some of the things I have figured out about painting on slate:
     I like painting sweet things that contrast with the rough stone
     The grey background is fabulous and really makes me think about values
     I love the texture and if I keep the layers thin and rub them in, it gives a nice effect
     Using a variety of shades within a shape helps give it volume
      It is much easier than painting with oils on a canvas or panel.
Also, and this applies to my painting in general, I love painting kids!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

day 10 Slate a walk in the woods11"x14

11"x14" acrylic on slate SOLD
This is a little different.  Firstly, it is a remembered landscape, meaning that I took a drive with my sister-in-law on a back road and decided to study a spot and later paint it from memory.  Two ladies in black with red mittens caught my attention.  To get the feel for a deep forest I dribbled black paint onto the slate first, blowing it around and dripping it until I thought it resembled trees.  Then I painted in the background, path, people and underbrush.  I am experimenting, trying to find the best subject and techniques to use on the slate.  I think I am beginning to come up with a plan that pleases me.  The next few I do will be quite different, so stay tuned in!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Day 9 Slate -

11"x14' acrylic on slate
How fun...pulling the little one on a sled and then coming home to hot chocolate and the promise of mom-time while the babe sleeps.  But, alas too tired to think, mom falls asleep in the chair by the fire and wakes just in time to start dinner.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Day 8 slate - Grandkids Are A Gift

11"x14" acrylic on slate
I painted this in honor of 3 of my grandkids.  They live across the country from me and since I haven't been able to travel, I am really missing them.  Each of them has an animal image they use to label things in their home.  The oldest is a blue bird, the middle one is a hedgehog and the baby is a Lady Bug.  The gift is my symbol for how I feel about them.  Cute and sweet I think.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Day 7 slate - Easter Bunny

11"x14" acrylic on Vermont Slate
My friend Heather Shay and I painted slate the day before she took off for Costa Rica and then on to Guatemala.  I won't see her again until June because she lives an adventuresome life of the explorer. We had a great time.  I was feeling whimsical so I did the Easter Bunny skiing and she did Santa on skiis.  I am having fun...can you tell?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day 6 - Killington Ski Resort

8"x8" acrylic on slate
This photo makes the slate look really dark and the subtle colors are lost.  It is an image of Killington Ski Resort with a happy full moon overlooking it.  The moon was inspired by the talking moon from the BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh which is a very bizarre show created by two very talented guys.

Day 5 Slate 11"x14" - Skiing

11"x14" acrylic on slate
I live in ski country so inevitably all local artists end up doing at least a few ski paintings.  Like any other subject, it helps if you actually ski and have an idea of how people use their bodies, even if it isn't the "correct" posture or ski position.  I am a very mediocre skier, but I know how much fun it is to get out on the slopes with incredible vistas and just glide down the mountain as fast as you safely can (I am very slow).  It will be fun to see if these are popular at the gallery on the mountain.  People like to take a piece of the local scene home with them.  I hope some take home a skier painted on slate.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 4 Slate - X-Country Skiing

11x14"  Acrylic on slate
This is inspired by a photo posted by Penny Kipley from a Cross Country Ski day, I believe in Colorado.  I painted it on slate, as I am doing this entire month for the 30 in 30 challenge sponsored by Leslie Saeta.  I loved the original photo which told a story and had all the lovely elements of value contrast between the snow and trees, and the zooming distance implied by the trail.  I, of course, used it as inspiration and then did what I thought was necessary to make it a fun painting.  Photography and painting are two different art forms and need to be respected as such.  Thank you Penny!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Day 3 Slate Piece - Cedar Waxwing

acrylic on Vermont slate   11"x14"
Fun things about painting on slate include the background texture and colors.  I like how the paint grips the surface, which is so different from painting with oils on a slick panel.  I don't even consider painting the background, rather, it is about painting objects on the surface.  This Cedar Waxwing, displaying it's full colors in all their glory, was a great subject.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day 1 and 2

Slate Day 2
Slate day 1
I am participating in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge. I decided to paint on Vermont slate which is really fun and something different to do.  I am approaching these more decoratively and graphically which is also a nice change.  I drill holes in them and attach ribbons to hang them and they are quite lovely.  This is day 1 and 2 because I started it yesterday.

Friday, January 1, 2016

3 Pear

8"x8" oil
This has been an incredibly difficult year for me, but being able, when I can, to paint and more importantly, being able to see beauty moment to moment has been the vehicle which has carried me through these trying times.  I am so excited about 2016 and the wonderful things it will bring into our lives. It is my hope that 2016 is the best year yet for you.  In the past I always made New Year's resolutions and printed them out to remind me through the year.  It has been a good goal setting exercise for me but this year I just hope I can continue to see and experience joy and beauty and live so that my life reflects the gratitude I feel.

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