Monday, November 28, 2011


I spent yesterday afternoon in the North End.
It was kind of overcast with hazy sunshine,
which made these yellow awnings just pop!    

16  x 20 

I wasn't sure about including the cars, 
but how can you do a painting of the North End 
and not include cars! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pure Joy!

"Pure Joy"
6  x 8 

The Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge this month is "JOY" 
A young boy playing on the the beach, to me, embodies pure joy! 
Meanwhile, the "Girls" are having a show of 
previous challenge paintings 
at the James Library 
during the month of December.
The opening is this Fri 
and it promises to be a magical affaire. 
(over 80 paintings, 11 woman artists, and all their friends!) 
Come by if you can!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

To Grid or not To Grid

After my recent post about 
using a grid when painting larger, 
many artists shared my concern that doing a grid 
can stifle spontaneity and an intuitive approach.
 I'm trying to avoid letting that happen. 

Corner of N. Margin
16 x 20
(sorry about the glare) 

Once I got the composition for this laid in, in the proper proportions, 
I had a blast applying all those dark values 
and playing with the paint application.
Knowing the drawing is correct is liberating!  

I'm finding doing a grid an invaluable tool 
with these larger architectural pieces.
Maybe not so much with landscapes and small still lives.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Drive By Shooting" painting lesson

I had the delightful opportunity to give a 27 year old woman 
a private painting lesson last week. 
She is a full time nurse who has a never painted before. 

Her Work in Progress

 I gave her what I call my "drive by shooting" painting lesson. 
(Everything I know about painting in one three hour session!) 

"Yellow Pepper"
8 x 10 
by Sarah

She clearly "got it"and we had so much fun, 
she's coming back for more!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Up sizing" tips (and a critique!)

There is a lot of buzz about painting bigger in the blogger world right now.
I've had inquires about tips I've learned 
during my recent "upsizing".
The #1 one tool that has helped me the most is using a grid. 
I did this 24 x 30 in 2008 
"Weekly Rental" 
24 x 30 
I remember painting it free hand from an 8 x 10 photo. 
Back then, I thought the awkward angles 
and incorrect perspective gave it "character." 
I wouldn't even attempt this now, without using a grid! 
(once you get the drawing right, you can just have fun with the paint!)    

#2 is to change up your equipment! 
I cover a rolling kitchen cart with freezer paper to use for a pallet. 
That way I can squeeze out a ton of paint and 
use a big brush! 

But really, the best tip I've heard along the way about painting bigger has been:
"Try it!" 

News: This blog has just been given a critique by 
"Independent critiques of artwork and artist blogs
 to guide and inform the worldwide art-buying public 
and the commercial art gallery industry" 
(Click HERE to read)
You gotta love this guy! 
What a concept. 
And he's in Australia! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Glorious Fall

"Glorious Fall"
10 x 12 

We are having a glorious Fall in New England!
The colors are almost surreal. 

I read somewhere that Ernest Hemingway 
always wrote the first sentence to his next chapter 
before leaving his typewriter for the day.
That way, he could be thinking about 
what he was going to write next
 the whole time he was gone. 

I like to have my next painting mapped out on the easel 
before I leave the studio for the day. 

I did this before I left the studio last night. 
That's what motivated me to get to it this afternoon.
I couldn't wait!  

Friday, November 11, 2011


 I've been spending a lot of time in the North End of Boston lately. 
While walking down the narrow, bustling streets and alleys, 
I noticed how the sunlight "pops" off all those brick buildings. 

North End Peek
16 x 20 

I rarely do cityscapes because I find "all that stuff" rather overwhelming! 
I had to force myself to only focus on the big shapes here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tis the Season!

Tis the season for "Small Works" 
that make wonderful gifts. 
This weekend the NRAS is hosting it's annual 
Holiday Sale!
Check it out here.  
Here are just a few of my pieces I've submitted 
at very reasonable prices! 

Three's a Crowd 
8 x 10 

Fall Goes Out with a Bang
9 x 12 

Heading Out 
8 x 10 

Stop by if you are in the neighborhood! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Post Tweak"

"A Cape"
24 x 30 

Here is the painting I did on Saturday 
"post tweak."
I adjusted the value of the right side of the house, 
lightened some of the trees in the background.
Re-stated the door, and lightened the sky.
I feel much better about this now.  
Note:  This image was taken outside so the colors are much more true.  
(The previous post image was taken using the light on my easel, 
making it look too pink)  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I've moved "inland" (away from the beach) 
and am now happily surrounded by 
my other favorite subject:
quintessential rural New England.

"A Cape" 
24 x 30

This one has been in my head for weeks, 
so today I finally just did it. 
If this were smaller, I'd leave it alone.
But I will go in and tweak this a bit. 
 Eeesh. That is where trouble can start! 
I like the overall feel of this, 
so I don't want to over work it!