Monday, December 31, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Girl with earrings

Oil on panel, 12" x 9"
December has been kind of busy, but I finally got back to portrait painting the other night. I'll be teaching my limited color portrait class in March at both the Portsmouth Art Guild and the
South County Art Association. Both sides of the bay, take your pick!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Birthday cakes and monkeys

Cleaning out my files recently, I found these two greeting card illustrations I did years ago. They're both done in gouache, they both measure approximately 5.5" x8". No Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator! I had a steady hand and a very fine paintbrush.

I'm willing to let them go now, they'd make a nice decoration for your favorite child's room.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One night at Nickanees

Oil on canvas, 10" x 8"
Once in a great while, we meet friends at a bar in Providence and actually stay long enough to see the band come on. This painting is not so much about the musicians as it is about the split complementary color scheme (yellow/orange/purple), and the way the light travels across and around.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Birds and babies- sold

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
Late afternoon on the beach last summer. This is a study for a larger painting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Hostess

Oil on canvas, 10" x 8"
We had fun this past weekend at a restaurant in Cambridge MA where the hostesses and wait staff dress to kill. I couldn't resist snapping a few photos and doing this painting of one young woman.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blue Water- sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"
I like watching videos of painters whose work I admire, and recently I found this Passport and Palette series which was created a few years ago for PBS. Kevin Macpherson, Joe Anna Arnett, Kenn Backhaus and James Asher are all plein air painters who are filmed working on several different paintings each.

For $1.99 mo., you can watch all of the episodes as many times as you want. And since there are only four episodes, you can easily watch all of them in one month (and then cancel your subscription). I've watched all four of them and can honestly say I would have paid double or triple the price! I'll probably watch them a few more times before I cancel.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spiffy skiff- sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"
Another in my sporadic series of skiffs. This one was in Bristol RI, just after Hurricane Sandy. A little dash of red can liven up anything!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Business lunch- sold

Oil on canvas, 8" x 10"
I did a smaller version of this some time ago, but wanted to revisit it. I've been trying to find that sweet spot where there's enough detail to tell the story but enough looseness in the paint handling to keep the painting fresh.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Music in the park

Oil on canvas, 10" x 8"
Trying to keep things loose and letting the underpainting show through. The location is Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The jacket

Oil on panel, 8" x 6"
I met this gentleman at an event not long ago and couldn't resist asking him if I could take his picture, then did this little painting. Who could resist? Kind of like Santa wearing a flag. He's holding a jar of jelly from the church fair. I'm trying to decide if I should do a larger painting of him.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I'm loving my class at the Portsmouth Art Guild, I've got a great group of students. I start each class with a short demo, trying to illustrate the planes of the face and how to use the limited color palette. The model yesterday gave me a great compliment, saying that she's modeled a lot and was really impressed with the work being done by this class and by the amount of attention I lavish on them. I'll be teaching it again in the spring, and we're discussing doing a plein air class with a model next summer. How great would that be! I'd sign up for that, if I wasn't already teaching it...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hats- sold

Oil on canvas, 6" x 6"
The RISD Alumni Sale happened recently. Several blocks on the east side of Providence get closed off so people can shop for paintings, jewelry and other good stuff. If it's a sunny day I like to go and take photos, the people watching is always good. I liked the hats on these two ladies, backlit by the sun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


On my way out the door to teach my limited color portrait class. Here's the one I did last night at the Mill Gallery in Pawtucket RI. Tuesday nights from 7-10PM if you want to join us. Alternating nude and clothed models.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Camden Harbor

Oil on panel, approx. 5" x 8"
A quick sketch done in Camden with the threat of rain. I really didn't know what to do with all those boats in the harbor. Can you tell?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Approaching storm

Oil on canvas board, approx. 6" x 7"
I was in Maine last week, painting on the coast. This is at a beautiful beach called Birch Point State Park, near Rockland. It was a gorgeous sunny day with a 10% chance of rain. Then this storm rolled in and suddenly it was raining. An hour later, the sun was shining.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Walking the dog-sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 10"
From the same morning at the beach.

Tonight (Wednesday 9/19) is the Providence Rotary Club's Paint Off! $45.00 at the door, 8 artists painting for 2 hours, all for charity. At the Providence Art Club in Providence RI.

And, my limited color portrait class starts on October 3 at the Portsmouth Art Guild in Portsmouth, RI.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Marsh with egrets- sold

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
Back home again, at the Tillinghast Estate in Barrington RI. I don't always like painting marshes- not enough verticals!- but the egrets provided an interesting accent.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cove with canoe- sold

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
While on Deer Isle, we stopped one morning at this absolutely beautiful cove to paint. The coast of Maine- what can I say- it's breathtaking.
Email me for price.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

House on a hill-sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"
Another painting from Stonington, looking uphill.

I found a great book when I was there, it's called "How Photography Can Make You A Better Painter" by Michael Weymouth. He is a professional photographer, designer and painter. His paintings are quite loose and beautiful, they don't look at all like they were done from photos, and he has some good advice on what to do and not do when using photos for reference. (I paid $30. for it at a touristy shop in Maine but it's $22.80 at Amazon.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Providence Paint Off

I'm taking part this year in the Providence (Rhode Island) Rotary Club's Providence Paint Off on Wednesday, September 19. Eight artists painting for two hours at a cocktail reception, at the end of which the paintings, as well as some other fabulous items, will be auctioned off to raise money for charity. Should be fun!

Tickets are $35.00 in advance, $45.00 at the door.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunset Yacht Club

Oil on panel, 6" x 8"
The dock of the yacht club at Sunset on Deer Isle- aptly named, it faces west, giving residents stunning views of the sun setting over the water each evening.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The top of the hill- sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"
This old Victorian sits on the top of the hill in Stonington, with a killer view of the harbor.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Painting on the coast of Maine-Sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 8"
I just got back from a stay at a lovely old house on the water in Deer Isle, Maine with some other painters. We had fantastic weather, sunny almost every day except for one morning when it rained, and you need an excuse to go shopping anyhow, don't you?

This was the first painting I did there, that cute little skiff providing the perfect accent.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Trees by the road- sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"
Painted these trees as the sun was rising yesterday morning. I should probably tone down my color when painting roads. I always seem to see them as being very orange.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My plein air set up

I was asked about the pochade box I use so decided to do this post. I have three different portable easels that I've bought over the years. The first was a full box Julian French easel. Well built but heavy. I still use it, but mostly as a second easel indoors.

This is my second one, a pochade box by Open Box M. I bought the lightweight tripod from a friend who bought a bunch of them off Ebay a long time ago. It cost me $15.00. It has a quick release mount so it sets up in seconds.

 On the lid is a list I made for myself of things to remember to bring. It reads:" Paint, Turp, Brushes, Rags, Panels or canvas, Hat, Easel, Suntan lotion, Bug spray, Water, food". I try to remember to actually read this before I leave the house. Recently I almost walked out without my brushes. This box was expensive, but it's gotten a lot of use and held up well.

Here it is actually set up. It has a spring mounted clip that will hold a 10" wide panel or canvas. There is actually a little storage space behind the panel which I never use.

The first palette bit the dust so I made another. It's a bit smaller than the original, which fit so snugly that in humid weather I had a hard time getting it out of the box because it would swell. I tape wax paper to the palette before I lay out my paints so it makes clean up a lot easier. Wax paper is somewhat porous, so some paint residue does get through.

 There is storage space under the palette. In this I put extra pieces of wax paper, a palette knife, tape, business cards, and a couple of viewfinders which I made and find very useful. One is square, the other more rectangular. There is an S hook fastened to a string taped to the bottom of the box. This fits in the corner of the box when it's open and I hang my turp container from it. The string prevents it from falling off and getting lost.
I carry paint, brushes, turp, rags or paper towels in a backpack. Often I also use a small tote bag to carry an extra panel or two, food, water, hat, etc. All together, it's pretty light weight and portable and still my favorite set up for outdoors.

Recently I bought a Coulter Plein Air System so that I could paint larger pieces outdoors but have to admit I haven't used it much.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yellow house at sunset- sold

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
I was painting on the bike path one evening and had packed up to go home. I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of this house. I looked at it for a few seconds and thought, should I or shouldn't I, because I knew the light would only last a couple of minutes. I decided to go for it, dropped my backpack on the ground, set up my painting gear (love that quick release tripod and pochade box), took a quick photo for reference, and practically threw paint at the panel.

I ended up reworking the house somewhat from the photo, mostly to correct architectural details. I'm pretty happy with it, maybe I'll try a larger version.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

view from Corn Hill- sold

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"
While on Cape Cod for a few days I painted these little cottages at the top of Corn Hill (another place you want to get permission before you paint). One of the few places on the Cape where you're up high and have a wonderful view.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hazy morning on the river

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
Saturday morning Mike and I painted in Barrington along the river. Very hot and hazy. The color in the original is a little pinker and softer than this.

On another note- if you're in the Providence area and are interested in a 3 hour painting session with a clothed (more or less) model, a new class (no instruction) is being offered by the Pawtucket Arts Council starting Tuesday, August 21 from 7-10 PM at the Mill Gallery, 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket. Cost is $10.00. Bring your own easel, no odor turp, dropcloth if you're messy because it will be held in the art gallery. Questions- call Ann 401-241-7725.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The best view in East Providence- sold

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
Painter Mike Rooney stopped in East Providence on his way to Cape Cod this weekend and I had fun showing him how beautiful the East Bay area of Rhode Island is. We painted this view of Pomham Rocks lighthouse from the grounds of a condominium complex. If you want to paint there, be sure to get permission from the board of directors first ( :

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cloud study 2

Oil on panel, 8" x 10"
Another study from Allen's Pond. This is painted on a scrap of board with uneven edges so the price is lower than usual for my 8x10's.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cloud study- sold

We went back to the Allen's Pond Audubon Preserve this week. I really love that place- so serene, so few people around. I've been trying to figure out how to paint clouds, so I did this study. They change so fast. My latest theory- design/ place the clouds, then work them from the inside out, work the sky blue from the outside in, keep the edges soft and loose for as long as possible. Oh, and remember that they aren't white. They're pale yellow, or peach, or something...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Portrait Class

I've been enjoying teaching my Limited Color Portrait class this summer at the South County Art Association. I start each class with a short demo, about 20 minutes. Since most of the students have very limited portrait experience, they find this really helpful.

My goal is to show, fairly quickly, how to get started. I want them to see the big light and dark shapes, and to understand the structure, while still leaving most of the class time to do their own painting. I'm finding that painting demos is an art in itself.

I'll be teaching this again in the fall at the Portsmouth Art Guild (once a week for 5 weeks), and have tentatively scheduled a one day workshop at Jerry's ASW in Providence in October. Stay tuned for the date if you're interested.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stone walls and chicory- sold

Oil on canvas, 8" x 6"
We went back to the Audubon Reserve in Westport to paint the other morning. Lots of chicory and Queen Anne's lace. Love that blue!