Thursday, December 29, 2011

Still Life to Scale


This is an entirely new style in still life for me... the cluttered-piled-seemingly-mismatched-items-all-in-one-small-space kind of still life. My daughter, Edwina, set it up for us to paint the other day. She just got back from a semester abroad in Florence, Italy where she studied painting among other things. It is pretty cool when your child teaches you a trick or two... not to mention the thrill it is to share a similar passion.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reflected Sailboat


This week's Daily Paintworks Challenge was to paint reflections in water. I just happened to have a photograph of this covered little sailboat that I took last summer. I was so happy to finally get to paint it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


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 The boys featured are my friend Peter's nephews. He had a few old photographs of them - they are both now in college - and wondered if I could create a painting for him. I did. He plans to surprise his brother and sister-in-law with it for their upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. Some great uncle... some great brother, and a really great friend! Thanks, Peter, for all your support.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dreama Cat


This is my friend Jenny's cat.  I never would have thought to grab my camera and snap a photo of him, if it wasn't for the work of artist Dreama Tolle Perry. In truth, I am not much of a "cat person," but Perry paints cats all the time, and they are quite beautiful. She certainly has changed my perspective, as any good artist should. For the Daily Paintworks Challenge this week, we had to paint in the style of one of our favorite artist. So I am choosing Perry. While I didn't quite capture her style, she most certainly influenced the painting. If you'd like to see her gallery, click here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Florentine Bike


When I was in Florence a few weeks ago, I was drawn to all the bicycles in that lovely Italian city. It was sweet to see them along the narrow streets, left unattended and often unlocked - waiting patiently for their owners to return. And what a sight to see them all in motion at rush hour!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sails and Raffle

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On one of the last evenings of summer, I managed to catch these sailboats just as the sun was setting on Shelter Island. The painting is going to be raffled off on December 11th as part of a fundraiser for the East Hampton Day Care Learning Center.  I love it when my paintings help support important causes and hope this one pulls in some serious cash! If you would like to buy a chance to win this painting and help out an important organization as well,  please visit the day care's website.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Worcestershire and Lemons


   I had most of my family for Thanksgiving this year. Everybody brought something. As always,  my father was in charge of the shrimp. He makes a spicy cocktail sauce to go along with it. One of his special ingredients is Worcestershire sauce. During the commotion of getting dinner on the table, I caught a glance of his bottle of sauce sitting alongside three beautiful lemons. The color combination was striking. It had to be painted.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Love My Betsey Johnson's


I never tried painting shoes before until it was suggested in last week's Daily Paintwork's challenge. I loved the experience so much, that I hit up my daughter's closet again! She's got quite an eclectic collection... I could be at this a while.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sole Sistas

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Okay. So these are not my shoes. They belong to my powerfully beautiful, fiercely determined daughter, MollyKay. I borrowed them from her closet for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge. I am dedicating this painting to her, as next week she "steps" out into her new career ... yes,  in the beauty industry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Florentine Beauty

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A few weeks ago I travelled to Florence, Italy to see my daughter who is studying there this semester. She is taking painting, photography, jewelry and art history. While there, I took lots of pictures to paint from when I got back home. I've started with this one. It's her, outside a cafe, waiting for a cappuccino. That's my husband inside, figuring out the euro conversion. Notice her shoes - Italian, hand-made and already her favorites. There are amazingly beautiful things to see in Florence, but without a doubt, she is the most beautiful. Counting the days until her homecoming.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunlit Shelter


I am trying to stop overworking my paintings. One way to do this, is to only give myself one session to complete a piece - alla prima. This seascape was executed today... and with the shortened days now, I had to keep moving and stay focused. It is actually a study for a pending commission which also helped me to keep it suggestive and painterly.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Full Color

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   This is my most recent private commission. It was an interesting assignment, in that the woman who commissioned the painting, wanted me to work from a black and white photograph of her children when they were younger. So, in effect, this was a value study. To aid in my color selection, she supplied me with fabric swatches from the room in which it will hang. Every time I am working on a painting and something just doesn't look right, nine out of ten times it is a problem with value. I actually think that working from a black and white photograph this time helped me to stay true to the value more easily than when working from a colored photo or from life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunlit Sisters

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     It is so good to be back painting and posting. Since my return from Florence, last weekend, I have been working on this private commission. It was promised for November, so I had to get cracking. From the minute I snapped the photograph of these sisters, I knew the painting was going to be about the sun on the dresses and grass, and the reflected light on their faces. I really had to pay attention to values and temperature. I am quite satisfied with the feeling of warmth and atmosphere I was able to capture, and their likeness is good, too. As an aside, I donated this commission at a fundraiser for my nieces' and nephew's grammar school. It brought a substantial donation for the school. It is an added bonus for me when my paintings can help support important organizations.  (Pardon the glare.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


     This is my beautiful daughter. She is currently studying abroad.... making jewelry, painting and taking photography in Florence, Italy. How awesome is that?! Even more awesome,  I am going to visit her for two weeks! I leave tomorrow.  I won't be posting for a bit but will let you know how it all went when I return. Ciao for now!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rose Hips


The latest Daily Paintworks Challenge required priming the painting surface with a bright color and celebrating the arrival of autumn. I started with a background of lime green and cut some rose hips from my garden to welcome in the new season. When I "googled" rose hips to check the spelling, I was surprised to find out that they are edible. In fact, rose hips, which are the seed pods of roses, make a delicious hot tea.  Hmmmm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So Happy Together

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     This little bottle with its long elegant neck, only had room for two ...  but, oh, what a happy and beautiful couple they are! This piece was painted from life.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bloom and Bud


     Only a handful of these delicate blooms are left in my garden. There's a sense of urgency in my need to paint them.  I guess it's my way of preserving them. The bottle is a yard sale find. This piece was painted from life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peach Rose in Amber Bottle


I am trying to remain conscious of values. I am using more paint. I am practicing self-restraint by putting down a stroke and trying to leaving it alone. I am also over the top in love with these delicate little roses  still blossoming in my garden.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time in a Bottle


I approached this still-life with three ideas in mind: ... draw with the paint ...  load the brush ...  put a stroke down and leave it alone! Keeping it simple proved very effective.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peach Roses


For years, I painted from photographs, primarily because the actual time I had to paint was scarce and intermittent. Yup, I was raising my family! But now, with an empty nest, I have stretches of uninterrupted time and so I've set a personal goal to paint from life - indoors and out. Here's a little still life I painted in the studio today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple For Teacher

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So we are a few weeks into the new school year, and I figured right about now, some teacher, somewhere, needs an apple.... at least!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Old Entry

Every time I walk through Sag Harbor, this colorful door catches my eye. The other morning, a bright orange bloom just added to the glory and stopped me dead in my tracks.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Warm Welcome


I've decided to do a little series of paintings featuring the architectural gems in Sag Harbor. This house, which is a retail space now, sits up high on Main Street. When the sun is setting in summer, it lights up the entry way of this old beauty - making for a very warm welcome.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Big Blue Peak


     Lately, I am trying to focus on values and shapes. This gem of a house in Sag Harbor lent itself beautifully to my efforts with its rectangles, triangles, deep darks, luminous middle values and bright highlights.  I'm quite happy with this one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Big Cedar


I am really trying to get comfortable painting out of doors. I've decided to set myself up for success by keeping it simple and starting in my own backyard. This beautiful cedar tree is my latest inspiration.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Valued Cedars

I painted outside again today - and produced not just one, but two paintings. Hooray for me! The first was for this week's DPW challenge. I could use only 4 values of grey and had to see and think and paint in terms of shapes. I've posted that painting below. The exercise was extremely helpful because I can be so overwhelmed by all the color, and temperature and details of what I see when I paint out of doors. So now I have this great tool to help me simplify my plein aire experience. Painting the cedars in color was easier after the exercise.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Open Roses

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These roses were cut from my garden today. There is something lovely about late season blooms. They look like they had to struggle to appear. Even on their very first day, they are somehow weaker and more fragile than their early season predecessors who unfurled firmly and in full color confidence. These late bloomers fall open as if gasping, having made it just in time to see another day. They make me happy and sad. Happy because they assure me that a handful of warm sunny days lie ahead, and sad that it is only a handful.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fair Weather Friends


I haven't posted on my blog in a few weeks because I decided to enjoy the final days of summer with my family. An uninvited guest, Hurricane Irene, left us without power for 5 days which prolonged my time away from the easel. In prepping for the storm, we, like many people in Sag Harbor, had to get our boat out of the water. I painted these little boats after Irene was gone and it was safe to go back in the water!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crown Jewel


This is the tippy top of my town's municipal building. To my mind, it is the crown jewel of Sag Harbor. It is visible from the bridge when you drive into town, and you can see it from virtually any spot along Main Street if you look up!

Friday, August 12, 2011


I took my favorite blue bottle outside today and plunked an orange zinnia in it. Then I scrambled to catch the colors quickly and stay ahead of a swiftly moving sun. Plein aire.... an amazing challenge and so good for this artist's soul.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Got Each Other's Backs

Here's a private commission I just completed. I worked from a photograph given to me by these adult children's father. As I was painting it, I imagined how proud he and his wife must feel about the beautiful family they have raised. I thought about the lifetime of comfort and strength brothers and sisters can give each other if they so choose.  And the dog, their furry mascot, won my heart with his evident loyalty. I feel especially honored to have been asked to do this commission because I knew this little family way back when.....

Yup, here they are back in the day... probably painted about 10 years ago!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crowded Sill

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I painted this from a black and white photograph as part of this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge. There was great freedom in choosing the color palette completely from my imagination. I must say, the color charts I rely on while painting came in very handy because this challenge was really about values. That is, the darkness or lightness of a color. My color charts run from the darkest value of a color to the lightest. So, if I squinted at the photograph and then squinted at my color chart, I could see what color to mix to get the appropriate value. Just before completeing, I took a photo of my painting and eliminated the color to see how I did with the values. You be the judge!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Garden 'Bud'dies"

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     Here's another plein aire piece that I painted using only three colors - red, yellow and blue. I painted this on an overcast day, and while that made it more comfortable for me physically, it made it a little more difficult for me as an artist. The very definite darks and lights that a sunny day naturally creates with highlights and shadow were missing. So the variations in the greens were subtle and especially challenging. The silver lining of this cloudy day was that it made drawing attention to the focus of the painting, the little zinnia buddies - easier than usual.  This painting outside stuff is teaching me lots. I am going to keep at it with a very new respect for plein aire painters!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Almost Ready

I went way, way, way out of my comfort zone for this one! I painted OUTDOORS for starters. I only used THREE colors:  cadmium yellow light, cadmium red and ultramarine blue, and I used THREE brushes: large, medium and small. In addition, I finished the painting in ONE HOUR.  Why such strict parameters, you ask? Well, it was another Daily Paintworks Challenge! I must admit, I felt like a beginner today... especially when it took me about an hour just to remember how to unfold my plein aire easel. Tough as this one was, these challenges are great. I have new found respect for plein aire painters and it was nice to teach this old dog a new trick.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Zinnia with Wings

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     Zinnias are abundant in my garden and I am taking full advantage! Each one has its own little charm. I picked this one because of its yellow crown and widespread leaves. It is plopped in a little bottle I picked up at a yard sale last weekend for a dollar. While I was spending time with this flower, painting each tiny petal, it started to look to me like it was about to take off... like it could flit right up out of the bottle. So it was named. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sag Harbor Music Festival

     My artwork is being used to promote the very first Sag Harbor American Music Festival! It should be a wonderful weekend celebrating the talented musicians on the East End of Long Island in one of the sweetest towns I know. I am so happy and honored to be a part of it! Here's a preview of the image. If you are in the neighborhood, why not come join the festivities? It is set for Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st. Learn more about the festival by Clicking Here

Monday, July 18, 2011

Orange Zinnias


     I am in love with zinnias. They are a great flower to paint!  They don't wilt under the hot lights and can last overnight if I don't finish in one painting session. I also love the fact that I grew these colorful babies from seed.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Olive Reflections on Jarlsburg


This week's entry to the DPW Challenge - paint reflections. Must say, it was a challenge...keeping my dogs, (aka my studio helpers,) from jumping up and eating the cheese as it baked under the hot lights of the set-up. Thanks again to Daily Paintworks for pushing me out of my comfort zone.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stand-art Oil

The challenge this week - to paint what you paint with. Here is my entry, and I must admit I am very satisfied.  I especially like the movement of the brushstrokes and color variation. I really paid attention to temperature and I'm sure that added to the overall success. Thanks for looking. You can see other artists' entries by clicking on the "Daily Paintworks Challenge," icon on this blog.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


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This is a little painting I made for my sister and brother-in-law's 60th birthday present. It is of their 4 grandchildren. The 60th birthday party was two years ago, and I am delivering the painting today! Everyone is two years older... but I still live by the motto - better late than never!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Soaking Siblings

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When I was commissioned to paint these children, I was amazed at how "at home" they were in the water. On this particular day, the ocean was incredibly rough (end of August,) and was rushing way up onto the beach, creating tidal pools and rivers of water. It was like a water amusement park for these two and they just could not get enough!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brother and Sisters

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      I have been organizing all the photographs I have of my work... years and years worth - from the pre-digital days. I am scanning them and uploading them into computer files. A lot of work. I came across this one.  It is a private commission I did several years ago. I haven't seen it in a while... and still like it. I guess that 's a good thing. Thought you might like to see it, too.