Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Color Mixing Exercise

After missing two weeks of class
(due to blizzard, then school vacation)
 we got right to work today.
I pre-prepared one of these for each student 
by mixing up a dulled down, low intensity color 
of each of the primaries. 
They were to use only cad yellow, alizarine, ultramarine blue
and white and try to "match" the colors,
while testing below the sample given.  

There was lot of decision making and trial and error
and the value of using a color isolator became very clear!   
They were then given two setups,
 that mixed muted "dulled down" objects (terra cotta vase) 
with "vivid intense" objects (lemons),
both using neutral backgrounds

As always, I was amazed at how well 
they translated the exercise in to the practice. 
There was an energetic dialogue throughout, 
about color combinations and color relationships.
Just what I was after!  

We have a wonderfully dynamic group here and 
I am learning so much from each one of them! 

So happy to be back at it!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I talk a lot about "indicators" when teaching.  
(parts of the scene that indicate clearly where the light is coming from.)
In this case, it is the shadow from the pipe on the roof,
and the shadows from trees and overhang.

"Little Gem"
8 x 8 

This is a newer version of a painting I did years ago
 of this little cottage on the beach in Truro, MA.

I had a show entitled "Little Gems" at the NRAS in 2003. 
This is taken from the postcard for the show!  

The painting is long gone, and of course, 
there are no digital images from then. 
What a new world we live in! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Surf Side Colony

Surf Side Colony 

is a seaside cottage community in Wellfleet, Ma 
that was founded in the late 40's early 50"s. 
Many of them are tiny  (800 sq ft) 
and are on the beach or within walking distance. 
They are now privately owned and some are available for rent. 

Beachcomber Cottage 
6 x 8 

I am a big fan of Mid Century simplicity,
especially at the beach.  
What more does anyone need? 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Accepting Winter

I've decided to accept the fact that I live in New England
and our winters are cold, snowy, and long. 
It's time to capture the joy of the season and do a 
"snow painting" or two. 
(Plein air is out of the question. 
Just taking Cello for a walk in the woods 
with the ice and downed trees, is like Chinese torture)

Winter Warmth
12 x 12 

My husband recently e-mailed me an image he'd found and said;
"this would make a good painting". 
I rarely paint from images I don't take myself, 
but this was compelling and had promise.   

How fun is that? 
He gets the whole light and shadow thing! 
Thanks hon!  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Our GJWP challenge this month is
Very appropriate, given where we live 
and the winter we are having!  
Sam Art Dog inspired me with her 
zippy fish post a few days ago.

"Zippy Fish"
6 x 8 

It was fun to get out the 
Cobalt Turquoise, Cadmium Green, and 
Quinacridone Red! 
I've been jonesing for bright color lately! 
Thanks Sam! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Nestled Inn"

We are pretty much back to normal now, 
so I was happy to spend a few hours 
"on the Cape" yesterday.  

"Nestled Inn" 
11 x 14 

It's difficult to put a stroke down and leave it alone 
on these larger architectural pieces.   
Since having an accurate drawing is so important, 
I tend to fuss too much,
which takes the freshness out of them. 
The smaller ones "read" better I think.   

I almost like the sketch better than the painting!   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nemo Aftermath

The aftermath of Nemo is making everyone 
"winter weary"and cranky, including me. 
So I was thrilled to be back in my warm studio today! 
(I'm one of the lucky ones, believe me)
I'd mapped out a few painting ideas on canvas's 
before the storm, so I was able to get right to work. 

"Chatham Bars" Blue 
8 x 10 

I've painted this cottage before but I took a lot of detail out this time. 
I'm trying out a new surface here-
The jury is still out, but I think I like it. 

Storm Note: 
We got our power back yesterday 
so I spent the day putting things back together
and running errands.
I found this on the counter when I got home!  

My dear friend Sally did this for my birthday! 
Nemo flying over our house in Humarock Beach,
an area that gets hit incredibly hard during storms. 
(Thankfully, we had little to no damage!) 
I love her magical little watercolors.
Check them out here

Meanwhile: That's how strong the waves were!
Look at the size of that washed up rope 
compared to Cello. !  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzard 2013

We haven't had power since Friday night 
and no one knows when it will be restored.
It's a real mess out there. 
I managed to do a few sketches on Saturday 
sitting by the fire.  

That was fun for about an hour.
By Sunday night we couldn't take it anymore,
so we moved in to a hotel. 
A hot shower never felt so good! 

Will keep you posted! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Life On Hold

A major storm is coming tonight so life, in general, is on hold.  
Watching the news just makes me anxious, 
so I spent a few happy hours in the studio
painting this as the snow arrived.    
Summer Camp
11 x 14 

I've been organizing my photos lately and found 
some great images of Cape Cod architecture.
 Trying out some ideas for my show at the 
Cove Gallery in Wellfleet, MA
this summer.

Now, back to reality.
Stay safe everyone! 
I'll be grateful for every minute 
that we have power! 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Value to Color

Back To Basics 
Class #3 

"Value does all the work, color gets all the credit"
I love that!
This week we worked on seeing value in color.

We first did a value study
using only a 
darkest dark, lightest light, and middle value.
Your big shapes have to fall into one of those values. 
Because the value jumps are so exaggerated, 
the result is a very dramatic design.

We then did the same set up using color,
trying to maintain the drama.
We mixed up the color, then compared the value of it
directly on the black and white study.
(the dots above)

It is amazing how far off you can be! 

This exercise really helps you see color as a value.
Everyone "got it" and the results were amazing!
Unfortunately, I didn't get great images of them with my I Phone
but you get the idea!


Monday, February 4, 2013

One Year Anniversay

A year ago this week, sweet Cello joined our family. 
Admittedly, we had forgotten how much work puppies can be,
but she has made it all worth it. 
Today, she's a mellow, sweet (slightly mischievous) teen ager
who fills us with incredible joy.   

In honor of her anniversary,
I did a few small paintings of her. 

"On Guard"
6 x 8 

"Waiting for Dad"
5 x 7  

I did those last week and then saw
Carol Marine's awesome head study of a pup today,
and had to try one. 
Head Study
6 x 6  

Well. I am no Carol Marine.
(her brush strokes and color sense are incredible)     
but I had fun with this. 
I tried to just focus on the shapes, 
but her personality kept getting in the way!
Feb 6, 2012

Labrador Retrievers were voted the most popular 
breed in America for the 20th year in a row! 
We second that!  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Love is......?

In addition to the "dessert" paintings
some of us are doing for the 
I had six 7th and 8th grade girls come to the studio this week 
to do small "heart" paintings to sell and donate the proceeds.

I bought eighteen 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas's,
and spray painted them black.
Then made a heart stencil that would fill the square 
(a la Jim Dine) and let them do whatever they wanted.
 For inspiration, we had them think about a title 
starting with "Love is.....?"

Here a just a few samples,
although every one of them is priceless. 
"Love is Bubbly"
"Love is on Fire"

"Love Grows"

"Love Fades"

"Love is in the Stars"

A fun project and for such a great cause! 
These will be sold $20 each.
Great job girls!