Thursday, December 31, 2020

Sweet Peas and Peonies

I am very please with the colors in this piece and the sense of light. Color and light are two aspects of painting that I have been honing for years, and am starting to feel a sense of confidence in those areas. I am currently trying to up my composition game, and made two choices that I believe were successful here. The first was to juxtapose soft curving flower forms with the straight edges of a square glass vase. Secondly, I paid extra attention to the placement of the subject matter in the canvas space. Here, I made sure that the distance between the edge of the canvas and the painted object closest to that edge was the same on all sides. Again, I believe it was successful. 

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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Zinnias in Glass

By the time I finished this painting, I had probably gone through 2 different bunches of zinnias. Working from life with flowers as subject matter, means that I have to have a strategy for getting the work completed before the blooms fade. In this case, I was lucky in that zinnias have a long season, and the farm that grows them is just down the street. I began by arranging the flowers in a way that drew me in, then quickly went to work starting with the vase and the flowers that hung down around it. I worked my way up, making sure to get the key (anchoring) blooms painted in next. Those would be the large reddish orange one near the center and the yellow one to the right of it. By that time, I needed fresh flowers and added them in to the existing fading blooms, placing them as needed to create an interesting completion of the composition. The three outstretching blooms at the top are examples. I "posed" them in such a way as to create a graceful twist and sway to the arrangement. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

The Verdict is In .... and Kirkus Reviews says, "GET IT!"


                                              with a wonderful review!

Read the Review in it's entirety below...and get a copy of the book by visiting My Website. I will be happy to dedicate and autograph your copy.

Seven circles of light explore mortality in this spiritual picture book.

In a fairy-tale–like opening, the Brightest Light lives alone, content, in the Big Quiet. But “one day, a Sharp Desire came…and changed everything.” The Brightest Light, looking like a soft white ball surrounded by darkness, encounters a prism that refracts light into colors. Now, the Brightest Light and seven balls of color live happily until the colors encounter a desire for more. The colors leave the Big Quiet for a world like Earth, becoming plants, animals, forces of nature, and humans. Violet and Red turn into lonely human girls who find each other and become friends, experiencing the strange feeling that they’ve met before. Eventually, the colors realize the time is coming to leave their incarnations and return to the Brightest Light, once again content until the desire for change resurfaces. Lucas does an impressive job of making this philosophical theme feel approachable and grounded. The author’s images vary in style. One resembles a doodle in a digital paint program while the images on the Earth-like world are more detailed cartoon illustrations with full backgrounds and a diverse human cast. Her handling of time passing in a panel-packed page seems natural, and the hints at death feel merely part of a cycle rather than sad.

An engaging conversation starter for parents and children about growth, change, death, and life.


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Zinnias in Glass

Zinnias are by far my most favorite flower to paint. First off... what about those colors? It is pure joy to  squirt out hefty piles of pinks and yellows and oranges and just letting them swirl. How about the structure of the blooms? They are architectural masterpieces, with so many interesting details, big chunky centers and sturdy petals not to mention an array of assorted shapes. Finally, zinnias have a very long hang time... they really do hold their shape and keep their perky little heads up for many, many days. Knowing ahead of time that I do not have to race to finish the painting because the flowers are NOT wilting before my eyes, leaves me with a wonderful sense of calm that I believe translates into the finished piece. Before the zinnia season is over here on the eastern end of Long Island... I plan to do another still life, and then a landscape of the farm that grows them. Wish me luck and ... I'll keep you posted. 


Monday, July 6, 2020

Turtle Island in Late Spring

The eastern coast of Long Island is populated by clusters of cedar trees that provide structure and color to the overall deciduous environment in winter and early spring. I've begun painting them and exploring the way they punctuate this landscape that I have loved since my childhood. Pictured here is Turtle Island, the magical isle I would swim out to in summer. I can remember exploring it in my wet bathing suit with bare feet hopping over rocks and shells, always in search of something. The victory of an abandoned bird's nest, or a dried clutch of wildflowers meant swimming back with the treasure held high above the water. They were my most favorite days, and so imagine the joy I had painting this place over 50 years later.
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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Stand Your Ground

This is quite a departure from my usual subject matter... well, its flowers, and I often paint flowers, but here's what is different. The three foxglove plants are still in their pots. I bought them at the nursery when it was still cold and rainy outside. So, I set them up in my studio and draped a neutral colored cloth behind them. It was a delight to paint the little bells on the long stems, but when it came to the background, it made no real sense to paint it as a drapery. So I used my imagination, took a bit of artistic license and conjured a gloomy, mysterious sky behind it. Very different for me, but I think it worked.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Dancing Roses

It was such an amazing experience making this painting. I stood before this every changing, moving, shifting, blooming, fading burst of color for four days... and tried to translate its beauty, to pin its glory down and contain it within a 30" x 40" two-dimensional space. How crazy am I to even try? Crazy happy. Crazy content.
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