Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Oil on canvas, 12x12

I loved painting Mabel, truly. I love bulldogs, and this one had such an expression of lost confusion, and trust of her owner and friend; this dog's heart was all in her eyes.

I think that's where we all are, really. That's where our hearts and our spirits show and meet - in our eyes and in our actions. The rest is window dressing.

Except, with Mabel, there are those nose wrinkles...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce 
Oil on canvas, 12x24
Please email me at for price and shipping/delivery info.

After a weekend teaching and painting in New York state, I am in New York City at a conference for

It has been a long, long time since I attended a work conference, and an even longer time since I worked for a company that was willing to shell out what are obviously big bucks for such a conference.

The hotel was beautiful, this meeting site is big and hip, and the caterer is talented. Last night, there was a crowded party with a band, food (all with gluten, so I couldn't eat any) and free booze (22 years sober; I wasn't tempted) - for those who were into it, it was great. I walked back to the hotel through a warm New York City night, enjoying the sights and sounds, and glad to be free of the party.

The trees were burnished gold and bronze as I drove from the country to the city, and it was a joy to see them, soft and warm against the gray sky. It is an amazing world, indeed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Old Girl

Good Old Girl
Oil on canvas, 12x12, commission

Fall is blowing in with all its light and all its color and all its sadness. The trees shine as if illuminated from inside, the yellows this year particularly vibrant, especially today, against the gray sky.

The wind yanks leaves from the limbs and then those leaves drop like brilliant snow, covering the ground.

Our old dog will not make it through this winter. She shuffles through the leaves, walking, yes, but now unwilling to go far at all. And yet, when she turns to make her unswerving way home,  long before I would have turned, she looks over her shoulder, taunting, with merry eyes and a big smile. She's had enough, she's going home, and there's nothing I can do about it.

There is a lot that's like that. Life goes on, people do what they will, and laugh about it, the joy of the decision as rich as any reward. I remind myself often these days to be merry, to enjoy all of this, for as long as I have it, as long as I can enjoy it. If misery is optional, that must mean joy is, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Petit Chien

Petit Chien
Oil on canvas, 8x10, commission

The other night, honestly, I was feeling pretty low, and I'd been venting by sniping at Peter, who had seemed to be sulky and angry.

"Well you haven't exactly been a bowl of sunshine these past few days, either," he said.

Well, I hadn't, I mournfully confessed, the tears rising. I was not enjoying my job. I hated being yanked around, told to do one thing one day and another thing the next. I was being pressured to finish the directory listings, like yesterday - a task I don't like and am not good at. I don't like this, I said, I don't like this at all.

Most of all, I was feeling angry about the fact that these weeks of working have meant very little painting - and if I was looking at a future of very little painting, I was looking at a future I didn't like much.

So what was I doing? Why was I working - in journalism, no less - when all I really want to do is paint?

I felt angry, I felt sad, I felt trapped, I felt sulky and whiny and miserable. I could hear my voice rising, and shaking, tears and frustration all wound together -

And then it all changed.

Just like that, I realized that I wasn't going to quit this job, and so this, all this misery, all this whining, all this anger - it was just me, stamping my feet and jumping up and down, throwing a tantrum, crying "poor me."

It was all optional, every bit of it.

The truth is, I have a job, with a paycheck and health insurance. Very soon, I am going to be done with the directory listings, and I'm going to be out in the community, meeting people and writing stories.

And I can make time to paint.

Sure, there will be many, many days when I have to do stuff I don't want to do, when I have to follow instructions - even instructions I feel are stupid, pointless, hysterical. Yup. That's why they're paying me. That's why it's called work.

Peter and I, and our dogs, are worlds better off now than we were six weeks ago. And I am grateful, grateful beyond belief that I have an income, a way to make a living while I work to make a career.


It is not too late to commission me to make a painting for you for the holidays! Send me a photo - of a landscape, a beloved pet, a house, a garden that you love, and I will have a beautiful palette-knife painting for you within a few weeks. The commissions are rolling in, so do it sooner, rather than later!

As always, thank you for reading and looking. I appreciate your support, and I always will.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Small Fall

Small Fall
Oil on gessoboard panel, 4x4
Contact Center Framing & Art (860-233-7804) for price and delivery information

This morning, up before dawn, I stepped out on the deck. Cold air pressed in on me, and it was crisp and clean and every bit the best of autumn. The stars gleamed and there was no noise, no sound other than my breath, and the steps squeaking beneath my bare, cold feet.

This is the time I love the best, just before full-fledged autumn. The promises are so big now! The promise of more of these crystal mornings. The promise of a riot of color. The promise of sudden blusters blowing swirls of leaves along the still-green grass, while big white clouds puff up in a too-blue sky. And then the promise of winter, with all its silence and all its storms and all its hibernating.

Tomorrow, there will be frost on the deck, if the weather guys are to be believed. And I will believe them, and get up early, and see. Another promise.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Little Italy

Little Italy
Oil on gessoboard panel, 4x4
In the midst of work that sometimes has seemed too daunting, in the midst of commitments from one life overlapping another life, in the midst of colds and illness and an opening that not a single person attended, I have found out that I've been accepted again into the Paradise City show in Northampton, Mass.

This is a very high-end show, massively advertised and very well attended by people who come to buy art and high-end crafts. Honestly, it was being accepted into this show last year that made me think that maybe, just maybe, I could make it as an artist. And though I am working for a paycheck and benefits now, and though my time is squeezed, I still believe I can make it as an artist - and that is my intent. Being accepted again into Paradise City has filled me with new hope, new energy.

If Paradise City weren't enough, Chris Rose at the Lighthouse Gallery has said he'd love to have me show there again, this time in July. And after an incredibly complex series of negotiations, I have been told that my show at the Wallkill River School will be in February. I will be showing alone in one room, while seniors from the town of Montgomery show in the other. So three shows for next year are mapped out.

For now, as I learn my way around (my new gig), I'll be mostly making small paintings, with a larger one here and there. I love this little painting, which I did with a palette knife and a brush. It's very different, making small paintings. It's a new challenge - and a fast one, so it's just right for me, now.