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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Up To No Good, 11x17 Oil

A little blurry - I will try to replace it on the blog with a sharper photo. Today began with the SUN (we think... we haven't seen it in so long we're not sure...) and soon the western horizon started with a line of clouds, which are now forming the thunderheads that will douse us with rain this afternoon. I was thinking Colin Page again, trying to get the most out of his workshop. I used decisive brushstrokes and looked for nuances and color changes in every shape. Also his sparkle in the water, with a light touch, of many shades of white (yellow-white, rose-white, green-white, blue-white). As the winds pick up the sailboats are having a rough time of it, but this morning was beautiful.

And Paco slept against my ankle so I couldn't move away (or back) without him knowing it. Even though he was too hot and I had to keep wetting him.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kane's Coconut, 8x8 oil

As an anniversary treat my husband took the day off and took me anywhere I wanted to go. First stop, Kane's Donuts in Saugus, where Paula and Nina Villanova went and enjoyed the World Famous Donuts introduced to Paula by Katie May McElwain (all bloggers, BTW). We had the pup with us (no pics of Paco there, because the 'gentleman' waiting on us practically growled as Paco cried for me at the door), and I should have gotten a shot of that. All of the donuts looked like blue ribbon examples of their breed. But I am fond of coconut, so I painted one today. If you are ever in Saugus - let me amend that by saying if you are every driving BY Saugus, be sure to stop in and get a sugar fix at this cute little place! Could I have picked a harder donut to paint? But I was channeling Colin Page (not Colin Powell....) and treating the white coconuts as 'sparkle'... all different 'colors' of white dancing on the top of the cake...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From The Garden, 6x8, Oil

The strawberries are ripening (if they all don't mold out - seriously!), and if they survive Paco, they're delicious. He loves ripe strawberries more than almost anything! and this Peony was supposed to be all fluffy pink, but had a wrong label at the garden store - we like them anyway! I worried about the lavender, pink and reds together, but was in the mood for a challenge. My days have been filled with dog poop, and I was just thrilled to be able to paint a Daily Painting. I think my pup-ternity leave should be over next Monday - Planning on being back in the painting saddle.
It's my 32nd anniversary today (yay!) and I'm thrilled that after a nice dinner out tonight, Tim's taking the day off to just go driving with me tomorrow. It promises to be a sunny day, and after basically 4 weeks of gray, rainy weather - we're keeping our fingers crossed! So... probably no Daily Painting tomorrow! Thank you to everyone who is checking in to Paco's Blog, too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quiet Day

After giving my talk on "Blogging Your Art" (my first talk, BTW ... shake... sweat..) I took yesterday to just 'chill'. I stayed in my yard with my watercolor sketchbook and Paco and just painted what I could see. The floral paintings all came out too blurry in the photos - just too small, I guess - these are about 3x5 inches. Anyway, the group was very enthusiastic, and asked good questions, so it was fun!
Tea in the morning, tea in the afternoon....
My sweet little island (well, not MY island, but I can see it from the house, so I look at it hundreds of times a day!), so different looking in every light...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Colin Page Workshop

This weekend I attended a Colin Page (above) workshop at the North River Arts Society in Marshfield, MA. The class was overwhelmingly filled with my 'peeps' from the South Shore - and we had a lot of laughs as well as good lessons in observation and working with values and color.
The first day we were at Scituate Harbor, it being primarily a Plein Air workshop, and I struggled with this little lobster boat (they MOVE!). I was thinking of Colin's loose but definitive brushwork for the background trees, and his 'sparkle' in the water. The hardest part was the 'dark white' of the side of the boat in shadow.
I thought what I loved about this painting above was the 'pop' of blue inside the boat, but what turns out to have grabbed me was the color changes in the water from blue to lavender to 'muddy' green... Also the man who owns this boat came to talk to me, and it turns out that THIS boat was built in Warren, RI, where my studio is! How about that?
The second day it rained, so we painted indoors. Oh, what was I thinking with this figurine (it was Colin's and actually had a smiley face painted on its belly)????? I was happiest with the blue pitcher in the background...
I painted this because there was nowhere else to sit when it turned out I had to move after we'd started painting. I have an allergy to turps except Gamsol, and there was someone using Turpenoid, so when my eyes started burning and lips started tingling I knew I couldn't paint the pink carnations in a jar I'd chosen. I was almost in despair over this (all blue? stripes? a painted pitcher????) but Colin helped me eliminate the non-essentials and calm down and just DO it. :) If you ever get a chance.. it's a worthwhile workshop!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Plein Air Practice

This coming weekend I'm taking a workshop with Colin Page, and I'm VERY excited! I believe we'll be doing plein air, and I'm a liiiiittle rusty with that, so I thought I'd do a study every day this week to kind of warm up. Of course the weather promises to be grey, misty, rainy and chilly (CHILLY! It's JUNE!) this week. So today I set up in my back entry and painted the view from there. I'm at the bottom of a hill, so that in itself is a challenge. The quality of the photo is bad - overexposed on the real view, very dark on the painting. Ah well, a long way to go!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Air and Water, Watercolor, 3x4 each

Yesterday was a negative in terms of physical health - the neck got worse because I thought it was getting better and started lugging things around.... But in the morning I just sat at my dining room table with my little watercolor sketch pad and tried to pry off the 7 year old encrusted caps to the paints! I just observed the changing light and color of the Sakonnet River, the play between water and sky back and forth - blue-ish, green-ish, yellow-ish and back. It all depended on the thickness of the cloud cover, and the angle of the sun. For the life of me I couldn't get my camera, in any mode, to focus on these subtle wash paintings. So, even though they are loose, they are not THIS fuzzy... if I get better ones today, I'll substitute. Thanks, for looking and all your well wishes!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Here's how it goes as you get older: You wake to a beautiful, pearl blue dawn, whisper a prayer of thanks, and slide to the edge of the bed to sit up and... DOH! Sizzling pain in your neck, cascading down over your shoulder - for what? One bone in your spine got slightly out of line as you sat up????? So now you can't hold your head up straight, and your whole vision is tinged with red from the pain. Studio? I don't think so! Well, this was my day yesterday, and though I did try to paint (don't tell Tim, I promised I wouldn't!) because I couldn't help it! Nothing worked out that I tried, so I spent the whole day in a beach chair in the garden with ice on my neck, and a steady stream of Advil in my bloodstream. So here's what the garden looks like (from a watercolor journal from 2 years ago - everything's still the same!):
And below a splashy rendition of my beloved geraniums:
And Harry the cat, my special baby, claiming his right to Paco's newest sleeping crate (Harry THINKS he's a Dog Whisperer, but I bet there are those who would disagree!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cumpcake, 6x6 Oil


Well, it looked a bit better BEFORE I dropped it and smashed it against the easel and had to repair it! When I was a little girl my best friend was this adorable little girl whose first language was Portuguese. She only spoke English at school, and for some reason she stuck 'm's in a lot of words, one I remember is 'cupcake'. She called them 'cumpcakes'. ;) Hey, she was little!

Anyway today was my first 'real' full day at the studio with Paco. All I can say is I STARTED putting paint on the panel at 4 p.m. There is a video and short take on Paco's Blog.
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