Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An apology

To anyone that has visited my website in the last month or so I do apologise. I have had a lot of personal things going on and have not had time to paint or keep up my website.  Hopefully I will be back to doing both again very soon.
Thank you

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Accident

This is one of the first palette knife paintings I did and it was out of frustration. I had been trying to capture the contrast between the valley of the mountains and the sky. It was very dramatic in the photo and I could not seem to show that in the painting.  Out of frustration I scraped the whole painting and liked what was left. Adding texture and contrast seemed so much easier with a palette knife than with the brush.  I really like the feeling of this painting

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When it is this hot for so long you start daydreaming about cooler places. I tend to daydream about the mountains or Maine. I have a love/hate relationship with Maine. I love it because it is not just one state but many, with many states of mind. 
This is my friend's house in Maine in a small town about an hour from Bangor. It is not quite isolated but pretty close. She has a river behind the house that you can still canoe, kayak or tube on and go quite awhile without seeing someone. That is the love portion. The hate portion is that this playfulness is so fleeting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Salt and Pepper

Sometimes the most common objects can make interesting subjects.  When you paint your always looking for "set ups", things to paint, tableau's whatever your call them or think of when searching.  Sometimes you feel like doing people or landscapes of sometimes you just feel like really looking at something very ordinary and appreciating it's function or design.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It is Hot Hot Hot

It seems like Florida is not the only hot place this summer, all of the U.S. seems to be in a "hotter than normal" mode.  It is sometimes hard to work up the energy to do things you normally enjoy, like painting when it is like  this.  I decided to paint something cool and juicy to get me going. I used a palette knife for this so I could paint faster and eat up this refreshing treat.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Playing around

I have been experimenting with other techniques other than painting and have just finsihed a tile, glass table.  I took a workshop with a local tile artist and started the table in that workshop.  It was great fun but much more time consuming than I thought it would be.  The process can be tedious and labor intensive and I wish I had started with a smaller piece.  I did enjoy it and am going to do some smaller pieces on my own.

This is the how the whole table looks

This is a close up of the top.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finished Workshop Painting

A while ago I posted some photos of a painting we were doing at Bill McCoy's workshop.  My unfinished attempt sat in the corner for quite awhile with many good intentions.  I hated that I could not get to it right away and each week that passed made it seem like a futile effort to even start but I finally dug out my notes and photos and went to it.  I don't know how much different it would have looked if I had gotten to it sooner but as I was painting I kept thinking back to things Bill had told us and realized that I had actually retained and was using some information without realizing it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Testing the waters

I am back and hopefully for awhile. I have been blogging and posting on the Pieces of Eight blogsite and am going to try my own again.
The summer is hot, hot, hot and I have mountain envy. One friend is in the mountains and one is going and I am not so I am looking at old photos and paintings of my own mountain jaunts.
This is Childers Barn just down the road from a friends N.C. summer place. I just love the way it sits in the shadow of the mountain in a field of green upon green.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Part II of Workshop

Part two of the workshop with Bill McCoy was last week and it went great. We had the choice of bringing in our first paintings to work on or do another with Bill. You could also just bring in your first painting if you were having problems or any questions and Bill would help you.
This painting was simplier but harder in a way. It was just a lone building on a marsh but it also had a buoy. First you had to decide if the building or the buoy were the main interest and how to make a big blob of color look interesting.
It was a wonderful excercise and I am including a few photos of Bill's lecture. His initial drawing and his nearly done final painting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Along the river

Painting Plein Air is so interesting. Sometimes there is so much to paint you are overwhelmed. Other times there is not much there or everything looks the same. You also never know what will catch your eye and excite you.
We were at a park that had a wonderful view of a Marina, houses, pelicans and distant views but it was these Palm Trees that caught my fancy. I think I am in a tree frame of mind.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Plein Air

Our group has been painting outside now for a few weeks and it has been heaven. It is so wonderful to be in the breezy shade lost in the feel of painting in the moment. We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful places to paint in our area. We were at a small park along the river called Pineapple Park which has many majestic oak trees with wonderful strong forms that capture your eye.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

workshop news

The local workshop I just attended was really refreshing. It was a two day but only 1/2 day each day, which was new for me. I really enjoyed the pace. Usually you are so tired at the end of a day from all the concentration and focus and by the end of the workshop you are a puddle. Doing the workshop this way left you refreshed and wanting more!
Bill McCoy is a good teacher and his demos were great. I learned a lot about color mixing with a limited pallette. The first thing that teaches you is to take your time. A lesson I needed.
The second half of the workshop is in April and I am looking forward to it. We can finish our paintings on our own or bring them back and work on them at the workshop.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Workshop

I am lucky enough to be taking a workshop this week-end with a very talented local artist Bill McCoy. We will be doing a landscape which will be a great treat for me.
Looking back on some of my older paintings I found a small landscape I did of a fall marsh, I hope you like it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Will we ever be warm again?

This winter has been very cold for us Floridians. Even we newcomers are feeling the chill. It is hard to think of painting seascapes or plein air when you have to wear your fleece and gloves.
I will not complain too much because the northern states are dealing with cold, snow, wind, sleet and ice. I remember those elements all too well.
Here is a summery painting to help us remember spring is on the way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Projects

After posting my beach photo I finally dug out some of my black and whites that I have been saving to color. I really enjoy the process and final result of the photos but it is hard to get started because it takes so long to get to a point where you see results, anyway it is for me.
I cleared an area of my worktable and decided I could do two things at the same time. I am writing this so I will have to follow through!!
Here are some fun jewels to look at while I start my new photos.

On my face was a big smile
when I looked at that sparkling pile
and I knew without fail
if I was offered the sale
I would have traded off Manhattan Isle

What is it about sparkly things?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I was looking over some photos to post on my blog when I came across some of my hand colored black and white photos. One in particular caught my eye. It was a photo I took in Gloucester, MA. at Good Harbor Beach. It was a day in late fall when the beach was deserted and cold.
I love the colors you can create with the thin oils used for this process. It is a test of your patience but worth it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Museum Day

Several of the "Pieces" and myself spend the morning at the Vero museum. We went to see the 19th Century Marine Artist exhibit which was really wonderful. I grew up in Gloucester Ma. and had always been exposed to that kind of art but had forgotten how truly beautiful it was. The colors the "luminostiy" of the paintings and the way Bradford and Lane captured light, fog, sunsets and water were inspiring.
They also had an outdoor exhibit of sculpture, "Food For Thought" by Luis Montonya and Leslie Ortiz. That was playful and whimsical.
Seeing all these wonderful pieces just brought to mind how varying and creative the human mind is.

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Workshop Jitters

The day is finally here
time to face all of our fear
even though your quite faint's just paint
grab your brush, go forth and smear

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Still in Workshop Mode

The workshop has still not worn off. I had several days of downtime with a really bad headcold but as soon as I felt better I wanted to try another portrait of the same person. I am still working on it but was happy that I seemed to retain some of my "lessons learned".
I really tried looking at her face as shapes not eyes or a nose and I turned my canvas upside down and on it's side a few times. It is a wonderful excercise.
I am posting the portrait from the workshop and the still life. I am a slow painter so getting these done as much as they were is an accomplishment for me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A new week

Well everything seems to be falling into place for some art time. My workshop is over and my new camera arrived!! I will finally be able to take some photos of my recent paintings for the blog, including my workshop paintings.
This week-end was my long awaited workshop with Sandy Johnson. Sandy is a very talented, well known artist, who lives in Melbourne. This was an oil workshop with a still life set-up the first day and a portrait on day 2. It sounds like a lot and it was but moved along at a doable pace with lots of time for questions and dialogue.
One of the best things about taking a workshop is seeing new techniques. Not just from the teacher but from other students. I think we all feel a little intimidated when we go into a room full of other artists. We worry about being judged, being the worst artist in the group, what will others think of us etc. etc. Once we cross that threshold and start setting up all that seems to go away. You realize everyone is learning. There really is no best or worst because everyone is so different in there approach. Someone may stand out be everyone learns and that's what makes you a better painter.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

art show

I still have not settled down since all my company left. The house is in pretty good order. My studio, of which half becomes a playroom, is all set again. All the paints, turps and strong, smelly stuff back in place. Just having trouble focusing. I know it happens to all of us.
I went to a small art show in Cocoa, Fl. and bought a wonderful little sculpture by Joe Thompson. You can see his work at
He does wonderful things with silverware and other metals.

It's funny what catches your eye
when a booth you go stolling by
spoons bent out of shape
a fishy shaped plate
and when you buy it you get that great high

Group tomorrow!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Am I really back??

Well it is a new year and hopefully time to move forward. Here is a little thought for the day as we blissfully start our well planned, well intentioned journey toward 2010

As we happily take our first step
We are full of swagger and pep
Then life gives us a tug
pulls out the rug
and says "hey there, hold on a sec"