Tuesday, March 26, 2019


There has been little consistency in my artwork lately, other than the presence of a figureand that I am doing it every day. I have been experimenting with abstracting the figure.  So far, I don’t think I have pushed the actual abstractness of the figure very far, just the backgrounds or the style of presenting the figure.  I worked really hard to create a consistency in my work and now, I am all over the place using different mediums and different styles.  And, I am having a lot of fun.  I am feeling confident enough to play around.  I was talking to some artists yesterday about how hard they work and how they are trying to convince the people around them that it isn’t a hobby, but serious work.  I get that.  We all want to be taken seriously in what we are trying to perfect.  But, even in the midst of hard work, it should be fun I think and I am currently at that place because I gave myself permission to see what I could do.  Anyway, there is no convincing others of the value of your work.  You just have to keep going out to the studio and do it.  There is no perfecting in creating artwork.  You can build skills if you work at it, but there is no final destination.  Doing it is the process of learning and learning should be fun I think.  I don’t think I will ever be “taken seriously” at least by my family.  Go Figure!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Self Portrait

This is me in a box.  Why am I in a box and why do I look so haggered?  Good questions.  When you stare into a mirror intensely to see what you look like, all the imperfections seem to show.  This is not an unhappy painting.  It is not like I want to hide in a box or anything.  However, I do have fond memories of making secret little play houses out of boxes as a kid.  Occasionally my mom would arrange to have a refrigerator box delivered for our creative pleasure.  Back then, those boxes seemed like a mansion and refrigerators were a lot smaller then they are now.  I wonder if I could get an appliance delivery person to drop one off at my house?  Sounds like a perfect grandkid activity.  A box for one of those double doored monstrosities would make a good duplex. I admit it, I am as goofy as this self portrait portrays.  Go Figure!

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Balloons are one of those conflicting things in life.  They represent fun times, childhood, birthday parties, circuses and baby showers.  They are colorful and full of memories, and they are fun to pop.  If you let go of them they propel wildly making farting noises.  If they are full of helium and you let go, they fly up and up and up forever.  But, the reality is that they don’t disappear into the nether reaches, they submit to gravity and fall to the earth as more plastic waste which works its way to the oceans and wildlife along with plastic bags, 6-pack holders and lost flip flops.  The above illustration, which I did with watercolor, colored pencils and ink, represents the happier story.  Apparently the new Halloween tradition is to hand out goodies out of he trunk of your car so kids avoid going to strangers houses, although my mother would have freaked out if I took something from the back end of a car. Times have changed and the more conscientious parent gives out treats that won’t rot your teeth.  This brings us back to balloons, a good alternative, right? I really know how to take the fun out of balloons don’t I?  Go Figure!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Snow Day 8”x8” acrylic

Who doesn’t remember the thrill of a snow day, especially if it meant not having to go to school and getting to play all day until your clothes were dripping wet and your lips blue?  My grandkids in New Jersey had a snow day.  It. Is a bit different for them because they are home schooled by my very talented and educated daughter.  Never-the-less, it meant a change of pace and some great outdoor fun.  Of course everything they do is somehow tied to their education so they did a project based on the work of Ezra Jack Keats and his book, “The Snowy Day.”  If you are unfamiliar with him, he is worth checking out.  I talked with the kids that day and after explaining their projects, they  challenged me to do a painting inspired by the same book.  Keats cleverly uses collage in his work, which I did not do.  Instead I used the photo they sent me of them expressing their joy in the snow, chose a simple palette of blue, red and white, painted flat shapes on a black background and called it done.  It is different from what I usually do, and I loved the challenge and the outcome. Today is also a snowy day here in Vermont, with a brilliant sunshiny blue sky.  The snow is very sparkly and although it is cold, it feels like a great day to play in the snow, even for all-grown-up artists!  Go Figure.

Monday, February 25, 2019

A Bit of Cold 11x14 acrylic

The last time I posted was last August, when it was very warm and all you had to wear was a swim suit and cover-up.  Today I drove through the worst blizzard conditions of this winter.  It was a complete white out and it occurred to me that my mission did not justify the risks I was taking to get to my destination.  All turned out well and I came home with a desire to reintroduce myself to the opportunities available through technology.  So, I am posting on my blog, intend to post on my art facebook page and, even do Instagram.  The thing about technology is that there is always a learning curve to get back track after taking a break. At least that is true for me, which is why I have taken so long to talk myself into it.  I am stumbling around a bit, but with the effort I will get good at this again.  So, on this chilly winter day I am posting icebergs from Alaska.  Have I ever been to Alaska?  No. Have I ever seen an iceberg?  No.  Did I paint this from a photo I took?  No.  All those things disqualify me in some critics eyes, but as I always tell my students,  "whatever you are painting, it is just a combination of values, lines, shapes, colors and brushwork."  So I saw this photo and just wanted to paint all those blues.  I did it with a limited number of colors, blue, black, white, and yellow ochre.  It was fun.  It was different.  And I learned a few things.  Go Figure!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Leap of Faith - Figuratively Speaking

6"x6" oil 
Remember me?  I haven't posted in a while, in part because there are so many other things to do, and in part because I have changed my routines and this one fell to the wayside and has been patiently awaiting for me to rescue it. 
It is summertime and the livin' is easy.  I love not having to wear layers of clothing and being able to walk outside barefooted.  There are marble, granite and slate quarries near where I live.  This one is pretty spectacular with high jumps into clear water that reflects the colors of the green woodlands surrounding it.  It has been unusually hot this summer so swimming and boating are at a premium. 
I am lucky enough to have my immediate family within a day's drive so have been doing the grandma thing frequently.  I have also been painting, teaching and showing my work, so I have not been idle, but I have neglected posting.  But, between all the physical activities I have been doing and enjoying company who have been awesome enough to make the trip, I don't regret losing a few routines, especailly when I can breathe new life into them when they return.  This weekend is a big art fair in our area, Art In the Park, and I am manning a tent with my paintings for sale.  If you are in the Rutland, VT, area, please come by.  Right now the forecast is looking good...but I am not going to hold my breath on that promise....Go Figure!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - A Bit of Sunshine

8"x8" acrylic
I painted this on a gloomy February day.  Our weather has been above normal for the last couple of weeks, meaning rain instead of snow and slippery ice.  This is my least favorite weather of all.  Give me cold temperatures and loads of snow and I am happy even on a cloudy day.  I am not sure if it was the weather, or recuperation from my grandchildren visiting, or general malaize, but I didn't get out of bed until noon yesterday and never got dressed. I binge watched comedies on Netflix.  When I finally got up and did some chores I realized I felt a lot better moving than moping around.  That really isn't like me, I usually am .  I was totally unmotivated and indulgent.  Today the sun came out and even though I still feel tired, I had a productive day.  In general I think the best medicine is exercise and painting.  The thing is, you have to be willing to push through the doldrums and get moving to understand the benefits.  So to help me out, I painted a cheerful sunflower.  Sometimes, faking it until you make it is the best solution.  Go Figure!
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