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.