Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Painting with Purpose

The value plan for this 
was laid in right before the holidays. 
I finally got in the studio to work on it this week. 

"Full Swing"
24 x 24 oil 

Working on paintings over a few sessions,
is a new approach for me.

I'm naturally drawn to a more spontaneous and intuitive approach,
so slowing down and planning,
is helping me think about every stroke.

I feel like I'm painting more


Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Wishes

Here's to more creativity
in 2017! 

"Happy Holidays" 
8 x 10 
paper collage

"Every child is an artist, 
the problem is staying an artist when you grow up."
Pablo Picasso

I recently hosted a "Painting with Paper" party 
for a few non-artist friends
and it was such fun. 

We laid out all kinds of paper,
 grabbed glue sticks, scissors, wine 
and went to town. 

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone! 
See you in 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

All Systems Go

All Systems Go
24 x 36 oil 

A friend suggested I put large pieces of cardboard
 behind the canvas when painting larger  
to prevent the "bounce" affect.
It works.

I had more control and could focus more 
on the shapes and colors. 
For this one, I started with the bright orange side of the building
then compared all other colors to that. 

That is a new approach for me,
and I find it challenging and fun! 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Back to Work

I've been happily getting some quality time 
in the studio these days. 
I'm painting over old paintings on canvas 
that I've toned with yellow ochre. 

Standing By
(Work in Progress)
24 x 24 oil 

A long time fan of Mitchell Johnson,
I've been re-visiting his work.
His use of large blocks of color inspire me to no end! 

From NY Times  58 x 75 oil 
by Mitchell Johnson

 After digging a little deeper, I found this one! 

Cape Porpoise
18 x 28 oil 
by Mitchell Johnson 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Residency Benefits

I've come to realize that 
one of the most valuable benefits of the residency, 
was that I began to really see.   
Without any distractions for the whole month, 
I was able to sit still and "be present"
for long periods of time. 
I began focussing on shapes and color,
and the affect they have on each other. 
My paintings are beginning to reflect that,
I think. 

High Noon, Low Tide
24 x 30 oil 

I'm finally getting to work on some ideas using 
images, sketches, and notes I took up there. 
Trying out some larger formats, 
experimenting with paint handling and edges....
stay tuned. 

I did this on a stretched canvas 
which is not my favorite surface to work on. 
I find the "bounce back" factor a little frustrating. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Residency Wrap Up

Another "zoom in" Harbor study 
for a larger piece. 
Having fun with these.....

Harbor Shapes 8 x 10 oil 

I went to Gloucester yesterday for a  
Residency "wrap up" meeting. 

I'd like to thank Ted and Jan Charles,
the generous sponsors of the program,
the Cape Ann Museum, and the Copley Society
for providing me with such a positive experience, 
both personally and professionally.  

If you ever get an opportunity to participate in an 
Artist Residency,
I highly recommend it. 

I can't wait to see what's next!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Good Morning Gloucester

 I started this en plein air on one of my last days in Goucester
and just recently got around to working on it. 

Good Morning Gloucester!
10 x 8 oil
(study for a larger piece?)  

The working harbor continues to 
intrigue and inspire me. 
I'm experimenting with zooming in on the large 
colorful shapes of the architecture 
and fishing boats.

Luckily, I have hundreds of images 
to work from this winter!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Glorious Color

Nature certainly put on quite a show this year!
I couldn't let all that glorious color leave
without trying to capture it with paint.

"Last Blast"
24 x 24 oil 

I took the demo I did in class last week,
turned it upside down, drew in some big shapes with charcoal
and laid in some darks. 

Then just 
 "let the painting tell me what it needed". 
Not always so easy! 

Happy Thanksgiving! 
I hope everyone has a 
healthy and safe holiday weekend. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Teach What I Want to Learn

For our last class of this semester, 
we tried something completely new.

I'm calling it the "Three Line Abstract Approach"  
borrowing from the principles of cubism.  

I've discovered that many modern painters began each painting
 by drawing three straight lines, edge to edge, 
creating a simplified foundation before applying paint. 

I set up a very large and busy still life
for us to "hone in on".

We did a few practice designs on paper first.

We chose the design we liked best, 
and transferred that to our large canvas'.

I didn't give them much direction 
and it was certainly a challenge for most of us! 
However, as always, they were troopers and 
we all learned from each other  

My phone died halfway through the class 
so I wasn't able to get many images. 
Here is a detail of the one I worked on......

And student sent me this after the fact....

If anything, it's an eye opening exercise. 
The possiblities are endless. 

It was such fun to work with this wonderful group of artists.
They were willing to try anything
and it was thrilling to see so many discoveries 
happen each week! 
I'm going to miss teaching for a few months, 
but it's time for me to get in the studio and get to work. 
Stay tuned and Happy Holidays!  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Upcoming Workshops

I'm excited to announce some winter/early spring
1 and 2 day workshops I've got scheduled! 
More to come. 

Some may not be listed on the websites just yet. 

March 21, 22 
(Tues and Wed)

April 1, 2 
(Sat and Sun) 

 May 20

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Surface Texture

Surface texture and interesting edges add excitement to a painting 
and engage the viewer longer. 
However, those two tools are so personal and intuitive,
it's difficult to teach. 
It really just takes a lot of experimenting,
so that's what we did in class this week. 

We applied thin paint in the shadow areas,
thick paint in the light areas,
then broke out the palette knives!  

Some of the class work:

Textured paintings are difficult to photograph,
so forgive the glare. 

There was a lot of discovery happening! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Zooming In

I finally got to work on some ideas
 that have been simmering since Gloucester. 

I tried to focus on big shapes of color 
by "zooming in".

(Work in Progress)
Roht Marine  
24 x 24 

 For some reason, this became very representational,
which was not my intention.
So I did this gouache study to remind myself to think more simply. 

Then I figured I couldn't ruin an "already bad" painting, 
so I took a palette knife to it
and experimented with paint application.....

Who am I? 
I think I may be done with this one for now.
It's about to get scraped off. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Paint Handling /Surface Quality

We will be talking about surface quality (or paint handling) 
this week in class. 

In preparation, I worked on this today
 to use as an example. 

Daylight Savings 
9 x 12 oil 

I took the demo I did 
"in the style of Henry Isaac"
and applied thick paint with a palette knife 
to most of the big shapes. 

Then I added shapes of similar values 
to break them up. 

Using plenty of paint with brushes and palette knife 
is always fun. 
You never know what will happen! 

Cello and I are both SO happy to be back together,  
hunkering down in the studio.  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Painting With Paper Exercise

"Painting with paper" is one of the best ways
 to see big shapes of color,
and how they relate to each other.

There are many incredible artists doing paper paintings
and one of my favorites is Chris Liberti.

We used magazines, construction paper, tissue paper, 
scissors and glue sticks and
went to town! 

Some of the awesome results! 

It was a great way to explore and play!

I did this during class (with paper).

Referencing this painting, I had done previously. 

From his photo. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pattern Painting

This week we did one of my favorite exercises.
Pattern Painting.

It's a great way to use shape, line, and color,
to design a strong composition.
(instead of merely copying what is in front of you)
I am always amazed by the results! 

 My demo:

Just a few cool examples of class work: 

Everyone interprets the exercise their own way 
and it just thrills me. 
Every time!

PS I forgot to take pictures of the homework they did! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


For homework last week, I had the class research an "expressionist" artist 
whose style appeals to them for some reason,
and present it to the class. 

I chose Henry Issacs,
a Vermont artist, whose work I recently discovered.
(Thank you Judythe!) 

Homework this week is to do a small painting 
in that artist's style. 

Here is my interpretation of an early fall evening
in his style. 

I did a quick gouache study first, 
to plan the shapes and colors. 

I can't wait to see what they come up with!