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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Work In Progress, Mailbox

The North River Arts Society  in Marshfield, MA, has a big Festival every Memorial Day weekend, and they ask artists to help with fundraising.  This year it is mailboxes.  I spent some time at Sally Dean's studio on Tuesday when I went to pick mine up and she offered invaluable advice (sand it, wipe it with a tack cloth) that NEVER would have occurred to me.  I always get nervous painting on anything other than canvas or board or paper.   Last year, you may remember my hyperventilating over the pillows we were supposed to decorate (for good reason - my 2 pillows were among the handful that did NOT sell!).  

I have learned a lesson (thank you, Sally).  I was thinking "What would people want on their mailboxes?"  Sally said "NO.  Think... 'What do I like to paint?"   Ahhhh.... well, birds!  I love to photograph, draw and paint them!  So here's my start ... and man, did I LOVE painting on the metal!  It's acrylic, and they will get a couple of coats of protection to deal with the harsh New England weather.  All will be on sale (and I'll also have about 20 unframed, bargain priced pieces at Art In The Barn) during the festival.  I'll show this (both sides) when I'm done!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Painting of Harry, 11x14 acrylic

$125 & S&H via Paypal
Not a 'Daily' painting here, but I've had it in my mind for a while to do this.. I just need to work on the fur a bit more, but this is SUCH a classic look from my lovable (to me) kitty, Harry.  His attitude is "We'll do things MY way..." and I love him so much I go for it every time!  He likes to lay on my FACE while I read at night.  (So, yes, here's a little struggle we have - I just need my EYES clear, you know?)  You may not understand our 'relationship', and think it's one-sided, but this kitty does not EAT if I'm away.  Not a bite.  For however long I'm gone.  (Which makes it really hard for me to leave, right?)  Anyway, I have no illusions that this will be in any of the upcoming shows, but it was in me, and I needed to do it!

*** I'm teaching a Beginner's Outdoor Painting Workshop May 19,20 and 21 in Humarock, MA.  Email me at for more information***

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If You Can Stand Another One....

ANOTHER floral painting! As I was packing up to leave the studio I looked at the tulips from yesterday, and 'saw' a new composition.  They'd sat and gotten 'comfortable' under the light, and were opening up a little, and I painted them with a light lilac background.  Now I have my 5 floral 12x12's for my submission.  And now I think.... "they'll HATE floral still lifes!"  Maybe I should put older work in! Deciding what to submit to juries is the hardest thing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tulips, 12x12, Oil

Big fan of tulips, here.  Any color, any kind.  A few years ago a few fellow painters and I made a trip to Holland to paint the tulip fields.  We did our research, but ended up arriving  after 5 days of a freak heat wave that killed all the tulips!  No matter, we found one field that was being mowed under, and painted like crazy.  Then we went to Keukenhof , a gardener's dream come true.  Also Holland itself was very beautiful, and paintable.  I will definitely return.  The Van Gogh Museum alone was worth the trip.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wiper, Plus... A Studio Visitor

Can't say exactly what one thing led to this paintings demise... but when I finished it I said "Yuk", and grabbed a towel and wiped it off.  Seems to be contagious on the blogsphere lately, you hear everyone talking about wiping off their paintings.  At any rate, I'll try again.

While I was painting this a strange thing happened..  I saw movement out of the corner of my eye...
Can't see it?  Look closer...

Oh, oh!  Look what it's doing!
In. My. Studio.

I think the lamp must have heated up the soil too much!  Also, when I bought these flowers (check out Paco's blog for a photo) they were BLUE.  After sitting under the lamp they turned violet and pink - no lie.  
He was released, unharmed, to the grass outside the studio. *shiver*....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Portrait Challenge, First Try, Acrylic

This month my Challenge group is doing portraits of each other.  Whose terrible idea was that?  Mine.  I don't know what I was thinking!  I've decided to do the portrait of fellow artist and all around dear person first in acrylics, then in oil.  This acrylic painting, in a 6x8 in format, took about 3 hours - wayyyy too long for what it was.  And truthfully, this looks nothing like her.  So.  I have my work cut out for me, and will try again probably next week.  But now I've analyzed the image I'm working from pretty thoroughly.  I'm a little dazed from the Marathon day yesterday.  I cannot imagine what it's like to actually RUN it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Baby's a Marathoner!

No painting today, because I spent ALL of Marathon Monday on the Route!  It was thrilling and awe inspiring to see these people give it their all.  My Molly virtually sailed through the race - for someone who said she 'just wanted to finish', she did well, 26 miles in 4 hours, 28 minutes.  All that training paid off!  THANK YOU to all for your good wishes, thoughts and prayers for today.

We tried to get to the start - missed it between leaving the house too late and driving endlessly in Hopkinton trying to figure out where to park.  BUT we raced on to Natick and saw her there, then again at Woodland Station, and again at the finish line.  The crowd was unbelievable - 30,000 RUNNERS (then add families and friends for each!).  There was a lovely party at Symphony 8, and we brought PACO by to visit with everyone.  Molly's boyfriend was a rock - he coordinated Tim and I and his parents and made sure we were at the perfect spot in Newton, and kept a good eye on Molly as she walked from Copley Square to Symphony Hall after that big run - I don't know about her but I have a blister or two!  Here's Molly, then our family at the party.  Missed Molly's big brother, Rory, who started a new job today and couldn't come!

We'll have a new painting up tomorrow, for sure.  Thanks for all your love and support!

Monday, April 19, 2010

White Quince, 12x12, Oil

New camera, WOO-HOO!  I decided on a Lumix ZS7 with a 12x zoom.  I thought it would give me truer color, but.... ah, well.  These quince flowers stay mostly white when you clip them and they open indoors, but outside on the shrub they get really rosy.  When I set this up, once again, I got all nervous because of the cluster of blooms and bus at the lip of the vase, but.... yes, breathe, and just tackle once section at a time... and it worked out.  I loved seeing the little cup-shaped flowers come to life as I just painted shadows and light.... like a miracle, only really just painting!~
This painting is not for sale till June...I'l post it again when it's available!

Today my daughter Molly runs the Boston Marathon - thank all of your for your support - she is very grateful!  Wish her luck!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Last Jack, 6x8, Oil

Just some varnish and this is ready to go.  Took the photo with my new camera, albeit under the worst lighting conditions so there's a lot of glare in the background.  

Thanks to Chris M. for commissioning this, and I hope everyone thinks of my daughter tomorrow and wishes her success in the Boston Marathon!!!  Thanks everyone for your support!  It means a lot to Molly AND to me!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Girl And Her Dad, 9x12 Oil

This is from a little while ago - I kept going in and adding layers and working on the figures - which I didn't do as portraits per se.  This painting was inspired by a photo in the literature of a gentleman who is in the alternative energy business - and his daughter - having a talk in a place of extreme beauty. It looks like a place that should be preserved, doesn't it?  I'm guessing it's in the Northwest.   I didn't ask too many questions about the who/when/where of it, I just was inspired by the peaceful setting and the interaction between the figures.  What young girl doesn't want special time like this with her dad?
This one is NFS.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Quince II, 12x12, Oil

Isn't technology something?  I killed my camera yesterday and was bereft because I didn't want to interrupt blogging, and I don't want to just choose any old camera - I live by my camera, so it's got to be just right!  Well, here's a photo taken with my husband's iPhone - sent to me via email, cropped in Photoshop.... and... voila!  Funny thing... to me I'm in heaven looking at this painting because I got to use my favorite "Horizon Blue" by Holbein for the Van-Gogh inspired flat background.  My husband likes the painting EXCEPT for the background color!  
This one won't be available till early June, either....  submissions, submissions!

Once again, thank you all for your comments - they matter!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Haze, 40x30, Oil

That's right, 40x30... not a Daily Painting!  Do not adjust your 'sets', I am simply experiencing technical difficulties (can you actually 'wear out' your camera?).  So for a couple of days I'll be posting larger paintings that I"ve done, since the "Jack Daniel's III" that I did today couldn't be photographed.  Every photo comes out black, and my viewfinder is black as well ... time for a visit to Hunt's Camera!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Little Quince, 6x8, Oil


Our first home had a huge quince shrub in the front yard, and it was the first time I'd ever been aware of the beautiful, delicate flowers, which have huge thorns and a bit of an oriental look to them.  When we moved to Rhode Island I wanted another quince bush, but couldn't decide on coral or white flowers, so we got both.  Every Spring now I brave the thorny branches to get cuttings of the flowers, which grow on the inside of the shrub, on the old wood.  
$100 & $10 S&H via PayPal

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hazy Evening, 8x10, Oil

My plans were to go to the beach last night to paint, but it was so gray/silver with so much haze I thought I'd just wait till sunset to see if that brought any color.  It did, and this was a plein air piece done from my front porch.  Sorry it didn't make it into the post Thursday morning, my laptop 'mouse' froze up and I was WITHOUT INTERNET for the evening and morning.  Talk about withdrawals!
$100 & 10 S&H via Paypal  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's A Lemon Reamer, 8x6, Oil

This was such a hard thing to paint, in so many ways!  First the architecture of the reamer.  Then I used a  board with a lot of smooth 'ground', which actually was slick, and difficult to paint on- you can see the ridges where the sanding didn't go down far enough.  I had to practically sculpt the paint on.  Didn't like doing it, I was sweating like Hurley (hey, LOST fans!) trying to get the paint not to slide into other colors.  I thought this reamer was so cool till I saw one yesterday at Crate & Barrel for half the price.  I hate that!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tools Of The Trade, 6x12, Oil

This pot that holds my brushes came from Sweden.  I have always loved paintings that artists do of their pots of brushes, so I wanted to do one.  As an aside... don't think I'm crazy, but I visited a Medium this afternoon... hoping to 'hear' from my parents, who, I've mentioned, have passed on.  I was hoping for a  wonderful and loving message, something that would touch my heart - if indeed it was 'for real'.  Imagine my surprise when the Medium got a funny look on her face and said "Do you have a lot of .... brushes?"  And I said, yes, I'm a painter, I do, indeed, have tons of them.  Then she smiled and said "Well, your Dad said you should take better care of them - they're in terrible shape!"  Hmmmmm.... maybe it's NOT make-believe.....

This one, also is NFS, until June!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Egg Beater, Oil, 10x10

I love the translucency of Jadite.  This bowl came from Tim's family - an aunt, I believe.  The whisk was my mom's  - she used it all her married life.  I like the colors of the red and the green together, and painting the eggs was fun, too.  Lots of colors in those whites!  This is painted on cradled wood, which I LOVE painting on.  This painting is for a submission next month, and won't be available till after May 30th.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Memory, Oil, 10x10

Thinking of my Dad, who passed away 6 years ago this week, and I always like to associate Pussy Willows with him, and this time of year in general.  My son Conor made this wonderful vase with a blue glaze and a design left unglazed that looks 'wrapped around'.  A bit of a change from glass and ice, I'll tell you!
This is also not for sale, at least till after June....

And THANK you for all your comments - you really keep me going!
I'm taking Good Friday off, and I'll see you on Monday.  I hope if you celebrate a religious holiday this week, it's a good one, and you enjoy your family!
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