Monday, November 19, 2012

Home for the holiday

As I was going through some old photographs I came across a hand colored black and white photo I had painted several years ago.  I haven't used this medium for awhile and I really enjoyed looking at the picture and thinking about the whole hand coloring process. 
Hand painting photos is a slow, gradual build up of color that takes a long time and is not appealing to most artists. It involves developing the photograph, using special oil paints, cotton balls, cotton tipped sticks and special colored pencils.  You have to add the color then wipe it off many times before the build up is dark enough to be seen.  I got involved in it because I love the subtle color of the old hand tinted photographs and post cards from the early 1900's. 
This photograph was taken at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Ma. and since I will be there again for Thanksgiving maybe it is time for some new photos using old techniques.  Now if I can just stay on that cold and windy beach for enough time to get some good shots.

Good Harbor Beach

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pieces of Eight Annual Holiday Sale

This year we are having our annual Holiday Art Sale on Saturday Dec. 8 (remember the 8's on the 8th). You can expect anything from fine art, collage, pottery, pillows, books of original poetry from our "Resident Muse", poet and writer Fay Picardi and this year's jewelry. We made a fun collection of mix and match black and white earrings, that you can buy individually to make your own "pair". We are a diverse group with lots of interests and ideas so come join us for some unique gift ideas for the holidays.

Here are a few things that I will be offering this year.

Geisha...Collage 8x8

Rooster with an attitude..Oil 5x7

Please join the Pieces of Eight on Dec. 3 9-4
3532 Samuel Place Melbourne, Fl

Friday, September 14, 2012

Collage ala Clarice Cliff

The Pieces are just back from their yearly "art retreat" full of new ideas and enthusiasm.  We saw weavers, painters, potters and wonderful art that has no description, it is just art.  The museum in Boone was small but very interesting, especially the exhibit of Polish artists who seemed to have such a unique outlook.  We also had the chance to visit a local oil painter Kevin Beck.  He was very gracious and spent lots of time showing us his work and art studio. 
After being home for a few days, unpacking and finishing up a few oils I had started before I left I felt like doing something different.  I decided to do some experimenting with acrylics and also to take out my collage materials again and maybe try some mixed media.
I found this little collage I had done awhile ago as a homage to Clarice Cliff a wonderful English ceramic artist from the Arts and Crafts movement.  Clarice was known for her Tea Pots and innovative china patterns and designs.

I love the childlike simplicity of her patterns, her use of  one color for one object or blocks of colors.   I feel like playing more than painting right now and Clarice seems a good inspiration.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hello Kitty

My brother-in-law is a cat lover.  He has owned cats as long as I can remember and gets very attached to them.  Several years ago he lost Calliope and vowed that was it, until now.  He recently "adopted" 2 cats, brothers, that he helped place several years ago.  Their owners were moving to New Mexico and did not want to take the them so after careful thought Michael decided to adopt Rocky and Rambo. He is a happy man. 
I was visiting and decided to take some photos of my new nephews and although Rocky is the king of all he surveys, Rambo is more elusive and not so interested in being the center of interest.  I loved this photo of Rocky doing his catly duty of guarding Michael's shoes and socks, a task I am told he takes very seriously. I don't ususally paint animals but I really wanted to try a Rocky portrait.  Here is a photo of the picture I took next to the painting.  As you can see I took one of the socks out so it had more contrast.  I hope the boys like it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Memory Lane

I just returned from a wonderful trip to New England for a class reunion and a dear friends annivserary.  We got to stay with our old neighbors, just across the street from where we used to live and our kids grew up.  The neighborhood has really changed but being at our friends felt just like we had never left.
On a beautiful, picture perfect New England day I asked my granddaughter to drive me around so I could take some photos of my favorite spots in Ipswich.  I would love to share a few with you.

Looking through the screen porch at an old pier on the lake we used to live on.  It was so peaceful and so quiet.

One of the beautiful stone bridges on The Ipswich River.

The marsh, always beautiful.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sandals Redux

Before I left for England I posted a pair of sandals I had been working on. They were just a pair of black rubber sandals laying in the sand but I was really intrigued by the shape, color, contrast and texture of the photo.
That unfinished painting was sitting on my easel when I got back and I thought it would be a good place to start to get into the swing of painting again. I have to confess I had a hard time with it. It was dull and had no life and just wasn't interesting anymore. I couldn't seem to capture any of the real charm I had seen. I spoke to my mentor and fellow painter Carol Schiff and she reminded me that I had to stop being so literal, punch it up a little put in interesting colors add some contrast, add some I did. I am happy with the final results and hope you like it too.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Home again

I am home from my sisters trip to England. The whole trip was great but I had a chance to experience something really unique that I just have to share. The small town our friend Annie lives in is called Haworth. It is famous for 3 things; the wild and beautiful moors where it is situated, being the home of the Bronte sisters and it's annual 1940's week-end. I have lovely photos of the moors and even photos of the church and graveyard where the Brontes are buried but best of all I have many wonderful photos and memories of being transported back in time to the England of WWII. The charm of it is how wonderfully everyone gets into the spirit of that time. People dress in everything from service uniforms to "land girls" ( the girls who were sent to the countryside to work on farms) to fancy ladies in fox stoles. Everything is authentic including nylons with seams to red cross uniforms.

Doesn't this gentleman look like he served?

Two lovely ladies dressed to the nine's.

Two "land girls" enjoying a jitterbug at the town picnic.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

UK Bound

I will be leaving for England next week for two weeks with my two sisters.  This will be our first "real" vacation together and we are all very excited.  We will be going to Haworth, in northern England first to stay with a friend for a week.  Hopefully we will get to Edinburgh while we are there too.  Lots of moors, castles, Hadrian's Wall and the famous WWII week-end!! 
When we are in London we plan on seeing all of the sights.  We even have tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.  If anyone has any suggestions about sights to see, places to go or places to eat, I would love to hear them.
Here is a painting I started in group yesterday and hope to finish tomorrow.  It will be drying while I am gone.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Looking Good

There is something about roosters. I don't know what it is that captivates us so.  Is it their colorful feathers, their strut or their attitude?  Whatever it is there is not an artist I know that can resist painting a rooster at least once.
This guy was strutting around a parking lot at a small shopping area in The Keys.  He was oblivious to all traffic, motorized or pedestrian.  He was really the cock of the walk.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Homage to the Ladies and Literature of the 50'S

Well as usual brainstorming for a direction to go for a piece in black and white took many turns before it finally settled on this poor unsuspecting mannequin.  I was going to be a good girl but those darn, oh so intriguing oh so tempting, oh so wonderful Pulp Fiction covers just kept popping into my head.  I knew it was useless to fight it so I just decided that everyone should get a little peek at the more Noir side of the 50's. 

Here is a distant view of her in all her glory, full of thoughts, words and deed.

If you get really close you can see what enticed men and boys to ask the man in the "paper store" what he had behind the counter.  I am sure that outside of Massachusetts these magazines were on the shelves along with Readers Digest and Popular Mechanics!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Riding the waves

A few years ago my grandson Nic was here for a visit. We went to Cocoa Beach and he took a few surfing lessons.  It was a great day for surfing. A storm front was moving in so there were waves and clouds and it felt a lot wilder than it really was.  To an eleven year old it was the pipeline off the North Shore of Hawaii.
I always loved the photo I took of him when he finally got up and "rode a wave" into shore so I decided to do a painting that would show him in action.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Direction

Sometimes you have to change things up a little. It can be something as simple as doing Plein Air instead of staying in the studio or changing your medium. Change can be scary, it is safe to stay with what you are good at or know but change can be good. If you remember that it is only paint and don't take it too seriously it can be fun.
This is an abstract using acrylics. I like acrylics when doing a more free form painting because you can thin it and it has a flow to it. Also the colors can be very rich. Acrylics dry quickly so you have to paint fast which can be very freeing.
This painting reminds me of the Southwest and I have no idea why but that is what I think of when I look at it. That is the fun of abstract it can be anything to anyone.