Thursday, June 22, 2017

Plein Air Painting

My first plein air outing of the season this week
with my friend Sally Dean 
didn't work out so well.
(see note below)   
I've come to realize that using oils outside is
not for me anymore.
When I got home, I did this small gouache study
from the image taken on location. 

9 x 9 gouache on paper

Think I'll pack up small gouache kit for 
spontaneous plein air outings this summer. 


I was battling the usual obstacles;
wind, forgotten equipment,
 and a bit of distraction. 
Our son and his wife had just had a baby girl that morning! 
 (Their #2. My 3rd Grandchild and only girl)

Welcome Phoebe Esther Colella!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Checking In

We've moved back to our beach community for the summer 
where the light is extremely intense.   

"Checking In"
9 x 12 

I exaggerated the colors and values here
to express that feeling.  

Summer has arrived! 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Procreate App

"Close Quarters"
9 x 9 oil on panel 

I've been teaching myself to use Procreate,
a painting app on my I Pad Pro. 
I start with an image like this. 

In the app, I can "paint over" the details in order to 
break it down into big broad shapes.

Then I use that image to paint from.
It's a great tool for re-arranging 
 colors, shapes, and compositions
before committing anything to canvas and paint. 
Just another great tool to get you where you want to go! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Initial Block In

I took the reference for this
 on the Garden Club trip to Maine last week,
and did this initial block-in today.

"Spring Garden Tour"
14 x 18 

I loosely filled in the big shapes with a small brush and thin paint, 
letting some of the under painting show.  
Not sure where this will go from here,
but I hope it's not too far! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Beach Weather is Coming

We are finally going to get some real beach weather
and I'm looking forward to new reference material
showing up.
I'm in the mood for some color!
I finished this one up today 
(From a reference taken last summer)  

"Summer School"
12 x 12 

I also started this one. 

Untitled as yet 
8 x 16 


I went to Maine with my Garden Club this week 
where we met Mark Brandhorst  at 
in South Paris, ME

He creates these amazing "landscapes" 
in an old stone foundation with succulents.


Then, when I arrived home,
 I got to spend time with this little peanut. 

Homer at 8 weeks

Life is full. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017


 I have not given up blogging and look forward to posting again,
when I paint something worth talking about!

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying doing everything else
life offers this time of year;
spring cleaning, organizing, moving,
reading, researching, and playing.

Meanwhile, at the Matisse exhibit at the MFA a few weeks ago
I was impressed by his cut paper collages.  

Matisse achieved a new level of concentrated formal expression with his cut-outs.
 With scissors, he carved shapes from brightly colored paper, 
which he then arranged into compositions 
that meld color, line and the movement of the artist’s hand. 
He condensed elements to become, in his words, 
“The briefest possible indication of the character of a thing. 
A sign. “

Talk about inspiration!  

Stay tuned. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Introducing New Exercises

I taught a one day workshop at the 
where I introduced some new exercises. 

First, I combined "designing with three values" 
with a "value to color" exercise.  

It worked out well, but next time
we will use four values.
Using only three is too limiting. 

In the afternoon we did a series of 
"generational contour drawings",
zooming in on objects in a busy still life.  

Then we did paintings from our sketches, 
thinking about the relationships of shape, line, and color.   
My friend Page Railsback came up with this gem! 

These talented artists were all   
"willing to try anything"
and I learned so much from them. 

Now it's time to get to work,
 and practice what I just taught! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Studio time

I've been using the cool grey days lately 
to put some time in the studio.   
This painting took many twists and turns
throughout the week, 
to be sure.  

"Sea Level Seating" 
12 x 12 oil 

That painting inspired me to do this collage
for the annual 
NRAS Festival Silent Auction donation.
Each artist member was given a 16 x 16 cradled wood support 
to create a work reflecting a word. 

My word is "Relax"

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Letting it Out

While talking about our painting journeys recently,
a friend said,
"At this stage, it's all in there.
Our job is to just let it out".   

I love that.
I'm feeling like I'm at that stage these days, 
so I went to my favorite subject matter
and approached it without thinking too much. 

"Beach Happy"
On the easel (wip) 
16 x 16 

The use of large flat shapes of color 
has been an evolving element 
throughout my painting journey
and it feels good to be just 
letting it out! 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Spring is arriving (slowly)

Spring is arriving in New England 
without much fan fare this year. 
(little sun)
However, there are signs of it everywhere. 

Spring Project 
14 x 11
I painted this after a recent visit to my friend's garden. 
Her potting shed/ green house was just beginning to get organized,
and I found the chaos inspiring. 

What a difference a season makes!  

Gordon's Pond February 1

same spot May 1 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Still At It

Another experiment with a play ground. 

Play Ground 2
20 x 16 oil 

Not sure how I feel about this. 

After taking so many new classes and workshops this winter, 
I'm feeling a bit over loaded with information. 
My work is all over the place, trying new approaches
and I'm getting lost. 
Think I need to take a break from experimenting,  
relax, breathe, and just paint for the fun of it. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

I did it again! 
This feels over worked and too literal,   

20 x 16 oil 

compared to my initial impression.   

I wish I had left it alone. 
Shoulda coulda woulda.    

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Connected Online

I am blessed to be connected
 to so many other artists on line. 

Recently, a former student (and friend) sent me an image 
asking for advice on cropping.  
After editing it, I asked her if I could 
experiment with it myself.

My first version 

"Woman with Hat" 
8 x 8 
oil on carton board 

Version Two 

"Woman with Hat"
20 x 20 
oil on canvas 

I'm finally experimenting with a new approach
I learned at MDN workshop in AZ last month.


I sent this image of my initial start to an artist I met in AZ  
and was flattered that she wrote back that it reminded her
of this incredible painting.  

"Seated Figure with Hat" 
Richard Diebenkorn 

I wish! 

Oh how I love the Internet.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Painting in Stages

Painting in stages is foreign to me. 
When I let the paint dry in between visits, 
I tend to loose my immediate, intuitive reaction to the subject
and I end up changing the whole idea with each visit. 

Day 1:
My quick block in 
(over an old painting)

 Day 2:
(After fooling around with it on my I Pad)
I lightened the background, outlined some shapes, 
and changed the red flower in front to yellow. 

Then I fixed the vase and cleaned up the shapes.

I like the first one best.
Need to do some more of this. 

This approach allows for some 
wonderful texture!  

New Approach

 I'm experimenting with painting over old paintings, 
loosely washing in the shapes of color,
then letting it dry, before I go back in to it. 

(work in progress) 

This is a totally new approach for me 
(I used to teach a class called the One Hour Painting!) 
and find it intriguing. 
It gives me time in between sessions 
to think about where I want to take it next. 

The trick will be 
to keep from overworking it.   

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Local Color" Collage program

Yesterday I did a program on Collage
with my fellow Garden Club members.
Our topic was "Celebrating our Local Landscape."
They picked locations out of a hat 
for inspiration. 

Here are just a few of the incredible works  
done by these "non-artists".  

The Glades 

Powder Point Bridge 

World's End 

Peggotty Beach 

Saquish Light

Cranberry Bogs 

Collage is liberating and allows magic to happen. 
There is a reason it is becoming so popular.

Our daughter and her husband had their baby boy on Saturday April 5.  
He was three weeks early and happily, all is well.
They are home now have begun their amazing journey!   

Homer Edward Colwell
7 lb. 1 oz. 

Needless to say, I haven't had much studio time lately. 
 Looking forward to getting back to painting when the dust settles!  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Posted Too Soon

After re-looking at the painting I posted yesterday,
I realized it needed some tweeking.
Today I rounded out the figures
and changed the color of the blue jacket. 

The New MIT 

First version:

I toned some big canvas's today
and got out some old paintings to paint over.
No telling when I'll get to them.
Spring is here and it's time to play.
(and gather reference material!)

Happy Spring! 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kendall Square

I recently re-discovered Kendall Square in Cambridge. 
Having not been there for years,  
I was impressed by all the 
modern construction! 

"The New MIT"
9 x 9 oil on board 

I did this for the Copley Society's 
May 4
Members were asked to represent a location 
in or around Boston for our donation, 
so I chose Kendall Square.   

Here is another one I've been working on. 

The New Kendall Square 
11 x 14 oil 

Not sure which one I'll submit. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mass Art Auction

I'm pleased that my painting 
"Pink Sheets" 
will be part of the Annual Mass Art Auction this Saturday.

Pink Sheets 
16 x 24  oil 

The proceeds provide vital scholarship aid and
academic program support for deserving students.

You can see all the artwork available and
bid on line

Have a great weekend.