Friday, April 21, 2017

Snow Patch

Oil on board, about 8" x 10"
I did get out once this winter to paint, on a mild day when the snow patches were melting fast, at a wildlife preserve near my house.  It's a little late to be posting this now that the daffodils are blooming, I know, but I like it too much to wait for next winter ( :

Friday, March 3, 2017

Portrait drawing and painting

I have a number of classes in the works for this spring, starting in mid-March. 
Portrait Drawing, 2 Wednesday mornings starting March 15 at the Portsmouth Arts Guild, Portsmouth RI.
Portrait Painting, Wednesday mornings at the Portsmouth Arts Guild, March 29-April 26.
Portrait Workshop, April 7 & 8 at the Westport Art Group, Westport MA..
Portrait Painting, Tuesday mornings at the South County Art Association, Kingston RI, starting April 11.
For members of the Handicraft Club in Providence, portrait classes will start Fridays, April 29 for 4 weeks.

 And, Monday mornings in June I'll have a figure drawing class at the Wickford Art Association, Wickford, RI.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

palette knifes and odd shapes

I've really been enjoying the class I'm taking with George Nick. Each week there's a new assignment. We started with a red/green still life, 16 x 20, then a blue/orange cloth, in a square, 20 x 20, a yellow/purple interior in a circle, and a long narrow landscape, 8 x 32. All had to be painted with ONLY six tone-values ( think six pieces of colored paper) and, after the first red/green painting, they all had to be painted with a palette knife.

The boots (or still life) had to be painted on a 14 x 20 oval. (My oval is a little wobbly.) Painting a relatively large painting with a palette knife week after week gets you out of the habit of being too fussy and detail oriented and skimpy with the paint, and the odd shapes force you to think about the design of the canvas. Using only 6 colors makes you combine and simplify shapes and boy, do you spend a lot of time mixing the exact right color. When you're limited to six, each one needs to be right.

Last Saturday, George asked me if I ADORED the background color of the boots. Strong word, adored. All I could say was that I really liked it. Could I have mixed a better color? I don't know, but he made his point. What's painting about, anyhow?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Moon setting

Oil on panel, 6" x 6", $100.
I looked out my window very early the other morning and saw this scene. That little oak tree holds onto its leaves all winter, giving a little color to the winter landscape.  I realized it would make a great little painting, so I worked from memory but then finished it from observation early the next morning.

Oil on canvas, 18" x 18"
I liked it so much I had to do it larger. I didn't include the larger shed in the first one but decided it was a good element for the second piece.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Oil on panel, 6" x 6"

I lost interest in painting for a good part of the last year, but have been getting back into it lately. When I heard about a master class that George Nick was offering, I decided to sign up for it, because so much of what I have been painting just felt so uninspired. 

The first assignment was a 16 x 20 still life in no more than 6 shades of black and white. So I decided to paint my husband's hiking boots.

The thing about using such a limited value scheme is that it forces you to simplify and, in the process, to eliminate edges and other unimportant details. I'd never painted such a big value study before, and I found it liberating. I would recommend it as an exercise to anyone. It forced me to simplify the shadow areas and let them blend into the background.

Boots, 16" x 20" oil on canvas

The photo heightened the contrast in the background of this painting, in reality it's a little flatter and less brushy looking.
After I painted the big black and white, I painted the 6x6 in color, letting any detail in the shadows remain indistinct, and detailing only the light areas.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Oscar and the Artist Co-op

These portraits were actually done quite a while ago but they remain among my favorites. I just reframed them and they are now on display at the artist co-op that I joined about a year ago in Warren, RI. It's called Made in Warren and I'm really enjoying being a member. A great group of people and a lovely storefront on Main St. in Warren.

"Beer for Breakfast"- this was to be a 3 week pose. I did the pastel as a study for an oil painting. The next week he showed up with a shaved head! Just not the same. The painting didn't survive. And no one was having beer for breakfast; it was just the name that popped into my head.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Meadow with Goldenrod

Oil on canvas, approx. 7" x 14"
This is a painting I did last year. I did most of it on location; then pulled it out recently and realized it was much too dark. Getting the values right can be a challenge when you're painting something complex and don't have much time. Luckily I had taken a photo so I reworked it more to my satisfaction.

$250.00 plus shipping

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yellow Hollyhocks- sold

Back to the hollyhocks that I liked painting so much last summer, only this time they're yellow.
Oil on panel, 6" x 6"

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sketching at the Coffee Depot

I was so happy when this girl with the red cap sat down at the table right in front of me.
 Pencil, colored pencil and white paint on gray paper, approx. 9" x 12"

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Recent portraits

Oil, 12"x16"

Oil, 12" x 16"

Oil, 9" x 12"
I've been enjoying painting portraits again. Here are a few done recently. I'm scheduled to teach a few classes in the spring, at the Portsmouth Arts Guild and the South County Art Association in Rhode Island and a workshop in Westport, Massachusetts. Email me if you want more info.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Drawing the music

It's great to be able to listen to music and sketch at the same time.
The other night I attended a practice session of a group of musicians who meet every other Wednesday night at the Barrington Community Center in Barrington RI to play from the Django Rinehart songbook. They are a fantastic group, and I couldn't believe that my friend and I were the only ones there listening to them.
There were about eight people, including this accordion player, another guitar player and a pianist hidden in the corner.

The frying pan and spoon playing was at a different event in early September, the Fiddle and Folk Fest, at Haines Park, also in Barrington. It's been going on for several years now and it's free. If you like this kind of music and live nearby, put it on your calendar for next year.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Take a deep breath

"Fall Foliage", oil, 5" x 7"

I've been thinking of resuming blogging for a few weeks now but have been putting it off because I didn't know what to say. The last time I posted on my blog was May 29, when my husband was in the hospital. He passed away in early July.

We were together for almost 40 years, so adjusting to life without him has been sad, uncomfortable,  lonely. I'm so grateful to the friends and family who have helped me get through this difficult time.

Recently I started painting again, going out with my friend Ann for a few plein air excursions and meeting up with the portrait group I've been going to for quite a few years. Keeping busy, putting one foot in front of the other, you get used to your "new normal". Time does heal, slowly, and getting out on a warm autumn day in the woods is restorative.