Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lemon Yellow Roses

Boy, Christmas will screw up plans for a painting a day! Feels like I've been away from my easel for months. Anyway, I am back at it and oh so happy. Believe it or not, these roses are from my garden. It is the end of December and I live on the east end of Long Island, NY, and my rose bushes are still supplying me with THE most beautiful subject matter for my paintings. Global warming, perhaps? I'd rather think of it as a Christmas miracle!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Old Bottle and Pears

So there's a little story about this bottle. My husband and I often take walks through a nature preserve near our house. The last time we went out for a walk was just after Hurricane Sandy had blown through our area. There was a lot of erosion and in one upturned section, we noticed broken bits of pottery lying exposed in the dirt. We started to dig and unearthed this beautiful green bottle. A piece of the pottery found at the same time had markings dating it back to the 1880s. Maybe I should have called this piece, 'Really Old Bottle and Pears!"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

View towards Pumpkin Farm

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I went back to the pumpkin farm. The combination of the barn in the far distance, the dash of bright orange mid-range and the opening in the rustic fence make for a winning composition. Not to mention, the spot is so peaceful, located at the end of a long road just near the bay. On this day, flocks of geese flew overhead all afternoon in their typical V-formation, while swans floated out on the bay. I will definitely be going back... soon.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Farm in December

I am falling in love with painting outside, especially in winter. It is so quiet. I am finding that it's best to be out painting by 10 o'clock in the morning. That gives me steady light until around 2:30. During that span, the light changes, but subtly. Once 3 o'clock hits, the sun starts to take an ever-quickening nose dive into night. I now understand that old cowboy line,"move it along, we're burnin' daylight!"

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Farm in Late Fall

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About an hour into this painting, I got a visit from one of the farm's residents. A very spunky Jack Russell Terrier raced out to see what I was doing and he was not too thrilled! He barked and barked and barked and barked. For a little guy, he made quite a big commotion and it went on for what seemed like forever.  I was actually thinking I might have to pack it in when fortunately, he was called back into the farmhouse.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Red Farmhouse

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I was back outside with my easel this week. When driving around the back roads of Bridgehampton scanning for a scene to paint, I spied this old red farmhouse. Alongside it was an open field, glowing bright green in the morning sun. The juxtaposition of these complimentary colors drew me in and sealed the deal. It was a glorious painting session, complete with an occasional "cock-a-doodle-do," from the resident rooster!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Large Ceramic Pot with Sunflowers

I have been attempting to create two paintings from the same still life setup. I usually start with a smaller panel, 6"x6" and then go a bit bigger for the second painting, 8"x8". Here is the second, larger painting from the kitchen setup I did yesterday. You would think that because I worked out the colors and light and values in the smaller version, this one would almost paint itself. Not so much!  ;)

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sunflowers in Ceramic Pot

I find painting still life in natural light to be so challenging. A setup on my kitchen table is especially difficult as there are two sources of light. One window lets in warm sunlight while the the other lets in cool north light. As the day progresses, and the sun moves around the house, that north light window eventually is warm with sunlight. Add in that the sun is basically down by 4 pm and I am literally racing with the clock. Ultimately, as I chase the sun, putting cool light down over an underlayment of warm, a wonderful vibration of color starts to happen. That is what I love the most and while challenging, painting still life in natural light is oh so worth it!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bridgehampton Pumpkin Farm

I wanted to participate in the art fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy victims offered through Daily Paintworks. So I set out with my easel and headed to this farm in Bridgehampton which is located on the south shore of eastern Long Island. The farm touches on Mecox Bay and had clearly been flooded during the storm. Here it was a week later, and the grounds were still very wet and puddled. Two farmers happened to walk out across the field while I was painting, and I overheard them talking about how high up into the farmland the bay waters had come during the storm. They remarked that it was like nothing they had ever seen before.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Copper Pot of Sunflowers with Pears

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Since sunflowers last a long time, I decided to create a large painting of this still life.  It is 11"x14" - way bigger than my usual 6"x 6" -  and took two sessions to complete. The sunflowers held up nicely. Overall, they are a very forgiving flower to paint, unlike roses where one false stroke, and you might end up with a tulip on your hands... or canvas! Think I might be off to buy another bunch of these beauties tomorrow. Available as a note card.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sunflowers and Pears

There is a wonderful little farm stand just down the road from my house. The other day in the pouring rain, I pulled over, ran in and grabbed up this bouquet of sunflowers. "Oh, won't these brighten up your house on such a gloomy day," said the owner as she wrapped them up. Little did she know what I was really going to do with them when I got home!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Half Measures

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This painting was as much about space and atmosphere and emptiness as it was about the the apples and the rose. I am loving the pursuit of these invisible entities and sensitivities in my paintings.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two Roses and Two and a Half Apples

I am experimenting with point of view. I have noticed that my compositions are clearly more challenging but may also be more interesting when I am looking down on the still life. I have had to get very close to my shadow box and have needed to put my easel off to the side a bit. Basically, I was contorted when I painted this... but it was so worth it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yellow Rose Surrounded by Apples

I broke out the palette knife on this one as I strive to create atmosphere in my still life paintings. Again, I am trying to pay close attention to value and notice lost and found edges. This time, I also applied the paint a bit thicker than usual, and am very happy with the outcome.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pears and Ceramic Pot

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 The paintings I admire most are ones that have been painted in natural light. There is a tenderness and a subtlety to the colors and values that I just love. It happens that wonderful north light floods my kitchen for most of the day, so I have started painting in my kitchen... and as long as I am not cooking, being in the kitchen is just fine with me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pears in Red and Yellow

My exploration of lost and found edges, atmosphere and value continues in this painting. The study is made so much more enjoyable with the inclusion of the last few blooms from my yellow rose bush and with the pear, a wonderful fruit that comes in an endless variety of shapes and colors!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pinkish Pear and Yellow Rose

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I am trying to soften my edges to create atmosphere between the objects in my still life paintings. One of the tips I got from artist Melissa Franklin Sanchez when I took her workshop this past summer was NOT to work too much in the shadows. Shadows of the proper value, with little or no detail,  help create that feeling of atmosphere.  I am happy with the way this one turned out.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yellow Roses in Soft Light

I believe that this big, beautiful, yellow bloom is the last offering from my rose bush this season. It filled  my studio with a heavenly scent as I painted it adieu. Lusciousness.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blue Vase with Flowers and Fruit


Lost and found edges, values, color, composition, brush work - so much to consider. The discipline of painting daily and painting small and all in one sitting is moving me closer to the way I want to paint... one day at a time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Yellow Roses and Pears

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I loved the small study I did of this still live set-up, so I decided to do it again on a bigger scale. Having already worked out the coloration and composition in the earlier painting made executing this larger one much easier. I am giving a"thumbs up" to this process.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yellow Roses and Pears

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 I have decided to start adding more elements to my still life set-ups. Ironically, I think it was easier to execute this painting with the additional subject matter than others I've painted in the past with just one focal point. Perhaps I am on to something here!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lily Bouquet in Blue

White lilies are some of my favorite flowers to paint. Their subtle color changes and curled and trumpeted shapes lend some measure of abstraction that I find quite intriguing. Oh, and when I place them in my favorite cobalt blue vase, well, how can I lose?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Delicate Trio

These are my favorite little roses, so sweet and delicate and deliciously fragrant. There are still quite a few on the bushes outside, so I can enjoy painting them for a bit longer. Hooray.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Circle Beach September

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I set out just after lunch to this quiet little beach near my house. I really expected not to be interrupted while I painted there, it being September and all. Most people leave at summer's end. Boy was I wrong, the interruptions were simply unbelievable! The first one came just a few minutes after I started painting.

You can see them there... two baby deer... spots and all, splashing and running all over the place.  Not long after that, a couple of trumpet swans flew above my head with their whooshing sounds and flapping wings. And as if that wasn't enough...

then their whole entire family dropped by. It is a wonder I got a thing done!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Old Firehouse

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After painting boats for the past couple of days, it was nice to paint something that stood still! This is Sag Harbor's original firehouse. Now longer used in its original capacity, the structure now serves as a museum containing lots of memorabilia from back in the day. At one time, the firehouse also held the town jail in its basement. You can see the door and window indicated on the left side of the building.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Three for the Sea

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I went back to the harbor today. These three beauties were lined up just floating in the sun and waiting to be painted. It was a glorious day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sunflower Farm

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I went down to the harbor today to paint more boats, but it was way too windy. So, I made an about face and headed out to the farmland where I found this little cluster of charm -  beautiful white farm in the middle of the big bright blue with a great big tree, surrounded by sunflowers! Pinch me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rowboat at Day's End

The second in my rowboat series. I started on this painting at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I had to paint quickly to keep ahead of the setting sun. The last few minutes of painting called for lots of yellows and radiant violet as the sun lit up the water's surface. A very intense and frenetic experience, and I loved every minute of it!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quiet Connection

This rowboat steals my heart. It sits so quietly in the same little spot all summer long and has done so for as far back as I can remember. I finally got down to painting it. In fact, I spent several days last week working on different versions of it, at different times of the day. Here's the first in a series.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Roses Late Summer

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It has been a few days - feels more like weeks since I last painted.  I was away from my home and studio for a bit but am now back. Hooray! I wiped out the first version of this painting after working on it for about two hours. I was going to call it quits, when my husband called and said it would still be an hour until he got home. So.... I went at it again and managed to get this done before the sun went down and I lost the natural light.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Purple Petunias

A big pot of petunias was getting a little leggy, so I snipped off some blooms and put them in my favorite glass vase. One look was all it took. These purple petunias had to be painted. So I lugged out the easel and set to work right in the backyard. Now, if only I could find a way to capture the sweet scent that went with this little arrangement.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bottle and Pear

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I was lucky enough to take a still life workshop last week with artist Melissa Franklin Sanchez. She is classically trained and studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, where she still lives. Sanchez shows at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor and this summer offered a workshop through The Hamptons Studio of Fine Art which is also in Sag Harbor. I have very little formal painting instruction and so was delighted to study with this wonderful artist and teacher. We used a very limited palette -  white, cad yellow, yellow ochre, cad red, English red, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, and black. Sanchez stressed value, continually reminded us to squint and taught me a new way to soften my edges. I will try to demonstrate her technique in an upcoming post.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yellow Flowers in Glass Bottle

I am staying at my sister's house for a few weeks and found these sweet yellow flowers growing on a bush in her backyard. I have no idea what type of flower they are and even tried "googling" them to find out. No luck on the name, but I am very happy with the still life. It is simple and quiet and peaceful.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sunhat Sisters

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It looked so nice, I painted it twice. I had so much interest in this piece when I painted it last spring that I decided to give it another go.  The first version was 11"x14". This one is a bit smaller.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Musicians at Old Whalers' Church

Sag Harbor is getting ready to celebrate it's amazing musicians, historical landmarks and small town charm, once again. This year's Sag Harbor American Music Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday, the 28th and 29th of September. The opening event featuring legendary bluesman John Hammond will be held at the Old Whalers' Church. I am thrilled that again this year, my artwork is celebrating and promoting this extraordinary "feel good" event. If you missed last year's inaugural festival, don't make the same mistake twice. It is so much fun.... and for the most part, it is free. For more information go to: Sag Harbor American Music Festival.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lily White Urn


I was back at the The Sag Harbor Florist this week, and they set me up with this beautiful arrangement to paint. Just as I was finishing up, a blast of sunlight hit the still life and just lit it up. It was great fun albeit a little stressful to get it all done while it lasted.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rocky Sea

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So, I tackled the rocks, again... a different day and a slightly different angle. It so happens that these rocks are located along a busy road just outside Sag Harbor. I never knew I had so many friends in town... a lot of honking and waving. So sweet.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sea Rocks

I love this grouping of rocks along the edge of Noyac Bay just outside of Sag Harbor. This particular morning it was very hazy.... and hot. I am trying to integrate all the information I learned while studying with artist Ben Fenske a few weeks ago. I think I managed to capture the atmosphere and the depth. I am looking forward to tackling these rocks, again.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trees in a Sunlit Field

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Yet another little study from my landscape workshop with artist Ben Fenske.  Again, the goal here was to try to create depth and atmosphere. I really loved this little field in Wainscott which is just outside East Hampton, NY.  I plan to go back on my own to do a few more paintings.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hazy, Hot and Humid

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So this is another landscape completed just after taking the plein aire workshop with artist Ben Fenske as offered through The Hampton Studio of Fine Art here in Sag Harbor. Fenske recommended that I do small paintings/studies for a while and then try larger canvases. Even so, I feel like the 6"x6" size is a little too small for the great outdoors - even if the goal is just a study.  My plan is to go a bit bigger, maybe an 8"x8" (that's the size of the painting I posted yesterday, and it seemed to work better.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



I am just getting around to posting some of the paintings I did during a landscape painting workshop I took a few weeks ago. The instructor was artist Ben Fenske, a graduate of The Florence Academy of Art, and an avid landscape and portrait painter... not to mention an awesome guy. The first thing Fenske pointed out to me, was that my landscape paintings lacked depth. He was right. The painting above is one I did after a little instruction from the master. It's got some depth and atmosphere. I was pleased, and so was he!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Geranium on Outdoor Patio


I have not posted for quite some time. The reason, I rented out my house in Sag Harbor for a few weeks to some lovely folks who wanted to vacation in "the Hamptons." This is the first time I have ever done this, and the hardest part for me, was deciding on what paint supplies I truly had to bring with me and what would be over-kill. Happily, the packing and moving is behind me now for a bit and I get to get back to painting. This pot of geraniums is a loving touch I found on the front porch of the sweet house where we are living for the rest of the summer.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Single Cedar

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I took my easel out for a walk today. It has been a while. I won't bore you with the details... Anyway, I ended up in an old cemetery in Sag Harbor. It is so old that several soldiers who died in the American Revolution are buried there. Perched atop one of the hills on the cemetery grounds, stands this sole sentinel... a single cedar. I had to paint it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Little Green Vase with Roses


I have a collection of little vases. This green one is one of my favorites. It was quite a challenge to paint it, today however, as it was close to 95 degrees - quite a scorching start to summer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glowing Roses

This is the same still life from yesterday. So different, right? The blooms have opened up a bit more, so that explains some of it. However, I think the biggest difference has to do with the color of the underpainting. In this case, I think it was permanent rose or magenta? Can't remember. The overall painting is so much brighter as a result. Makes me think I should be a little more thoughtful about the color with which I prime the gessobord. I usually just pick a tube and go. Ahh, you live, you observe and you learn.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cluster of Roses

I keep thinking that I should really get outside and paint some landscapes plein aire. But I just can't stop painting the flowers from my garden. They are so beautiful and enjoying them in this special way is an absolute pleasure. In truth, the roses should exhaust themselves by mid-July, and then I'll take my easel out for a walk. Until then... more roses!