Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie
As I was making this painting, I did begin to wonder if this is how Vincent Van Gogh began to go nuts, painting circle around the sun.

It is so much fun to do this, it is so oddly alluring, exciting and calming at the same time, I barely know how to explain it. I do know that I am just loving these paintings, and I am following my heart and intuition here, into some unknown place that, for me, is pretty thrilling.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

This photo doesn't show the painting as well as I had hoped, but I am so excited about it that I wanted to put it up on the blog anyways. The moon has some hints of a very light yellow in it, as do the spaces just above and below the horizon. The rest of it is true to color, though - and really, it's beautiful, much more beautiful than in the photo.

Yes, my heart does sing to blue. And to yellow, too, but today, it seems that blue is carrying the tune.

Hey, if you are in the area, come to the Lighthouse Gallery in Groton on Friday for a show of fishing and fish-related art and artistry. Chris Rose has invited a group of fishing types to show a bunch of different stuff, ranging from paintings and drawings to flies and lures and even a kayak. The opening is from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, and it's bound to be fun!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reservoir Sunrise

Reservoir Sunrise
Oil on canvas, 24x24
Please contact me for price and delivery information

I have stumbled on an idea that's really jazzing me. It's to take a shape, an easy shape, and make all the strokes in the painting follow on the lines of the shape, no matter what the content.

So in this painting (you might be able to see, if you click on it and look at it large) I've painted the hills and the reflections of the hills all in the same circular stroke pattern as the sky around the sun. Cool idea, huh?

Of course, this will become more difficult as I put more complicated stuff in the paintings (houses, trees, cows), but it will be a challenge, and is bound to improve my skills. Meantime, it's really fun! And I absolutely love these paintings.

My next plan is one with all shades and tones of blue - maybe a moonscape.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Afternoon Sun

Afernoon Sun

Let's just say that Paradise City was no paradise for me.

The show itself was fabulous! The stuff there was absolutely gorgeous - glassware that looked like the morning breeze swirling over a valley, tabletops made from slices of tree trunks my arms could not span, clothing made from handmade fabrics the color of a summer's dawn - and I saw people buying. All around me, people were buying - buying jewelry, and T-shirts, mugs and cast-iron candlesticks.
But no one was buying paintings.

I was one of five painters in the show, and we all bombed. Many of them have been doing this far longer than I have, and said that this show is usually one of their best.

I had lots of positive comments on my work. Lots of engagement. I met interesting people and had interesting conversations. But it was an exhausting and expensive few days.

So I am home now, licking my wounds and gathering my courage to go on to the next show - another Paradise City venture, this one in Northampton, Mass. I had a good show in this venue last year, and so I am hopeful.

And I love this painting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuscan Sunflowers

Tuscan Sunflowers
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 24x48
Please contact me for price and delivery options

It has been a hectic day. I took a second show's worth of paintings to Chris Rose at the Lighthouse Gallery today. I took my first show down, the one with my newest paintings, packed it into the car, and left Chris to puzzle and ponder and hang my older paintings.

In the garage here, I found all my show stuff, my S-hooks and my tablecloths, my exhibition grids and my guestbook and my receipt book and my price tags, my cards and postcards and all the little stuff I need for the Paradise City show in Marlborough, Mass.

The van is filled to the brim, I have a stupid amount of work left to do, and I need to pack my clothes and frame two more paintings, but sometime Thursday morning, I will leave for the show with my heart thumping.

I do all this, and I paint, and I work, and I worry about my job, and the house and Peter and the dogs, and I stress and fret that someone at the show will find out that I really don't know how to paint, but am only doing this because it is so very much fun - and then I think about Japan, and the earthquake and tsunami, and nuclear meltdown and the end of the world, and I am stopped short.

It would be all to easy just to say, Enough, and to stay inside and live a life of fear and worry and despair, but I can't do that. I won't do that. I will not give in. I will keep painting, and working too hard, and not sleeping enough. I will keep hugging my husband and petting my dogs, and yelling at my cats, and hoping that today, the sun will shine on my family and my friends, and there will be joy in our world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blue Dreams

Blue Dreams

On Wednesday, I will go over the the Lighthouse Gallery, take my show down, replace the paintings with other paintings, and drive what is essentially my Lighthouse show to Boston for Paradise City.

Chris Rose, curator of the Lighthouse Gallery, came over to my studio the other day to select the replacement paintings, and he put some notions in my head.

One was to try (again) a limited palette. The other was to work on two paintings at the same time.

I like a challenge, and I like Chris, so I tried both - and am I glad I did. I really love this painting. I can't say that I understand it or can explain it. I can't say that it adheres to anything in reality, or to any rules - but it has a soft feeling that really appeals to me. Also I am a sucker for blue, so there you go.

I will post the other painting - this one's opposite, soon.

These are versions of a painting that I think might be the best one I ever did, which was bought by a dear friend of mine at the show in New York. Ellen Levine is the widow of my friend and boss Mike Levine. They both love art - well, loved - and they both love me - and I am honored that Ellen now has the painting - and in a way, is responsible for this one, too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Oil on canvas, 8x10

My third human, and I really like this one. Maybe the answer for me is to do men, or to demand that people close their mouths so I don't have to paint teeth.

I'm kidding, of course. The answer is to paint a thousand faces, and learn how to do it. After all, everything on a face is simply a shape, with light and dark on it. That's it.

I've been told that if I am having trouble, and I'm painting from a photograph, I should turn the photo upside down, and turn the painting upside down. It will keep me from painting "nose," and instead, have me painting a shape with a light side and a dark side.

I found out something interesting in making this painting of Pietro. Hair matters.

Sounds infantile, I know - but I always figured hair was sort of extra. Decoration. I had Pietro's face, and I could tell it was pretty close - but when I put his hair on, it nudged his face into "very close." So that's a breakthrough in thinking for me. And it's especially good because painting hair is much like painting dogs - and I know what I am doing when I'm painting dogs!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Oil on canvas, 8x10

Well my second attempt at a human is not as pleasing as my first. But I am undaunted. As Chris Rose, curator of Lighthouse Gallery, said when he saw my first effort: "Well, that's nice. Now go and do 200 more." So, 199 and counting. 

It is interesting to see the painting and the photo side by each, as they say in RI, and with a night's sleep between me and the effort. The left eyelid needs repair, teeth are amazingly difficult to do, and I am not helping myself by letting her hair go off the canvas. 

Where do you see problems? 

I am going to try again. I am undaunted. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Outside Gaspe

Outside Gaspe
Oil on board, 5x7, not for sale

This is one of a number of smaller pieces I've been doing recently, a tactic I think I will continue. It is a way to strengthen my skills, and also to expand my inventory

I usually have paintings ranging from $45 to $1,000 in my shows, so there's usually something for everyone, if they want to buy. Many artists sell prints for more than I ask for my paintings. Whether that's right or wrong, I don't know. I do know that $65 is $65, and that buys groceries or gas or a bunch of plants for the garden. 

I'd much rather have an interested person buy a painting than a print. And I think most people would rather have a painting than a print. So we shall see. These seem to sell well, in spurts. 

I will be at the Paradise City show in Marlborough, MA, March 18-21. I have never exhibited at this show, and am honored to have been juried in. It's a very high-end art and craft show, at the Royal Plaza Trade Center. Click here to go to the website, get directions and see a sample of the fabulous stuff in the show! 

Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out I was accepted! 

Photos from an exhibition

Summer and her mom, Elissa

Lori Rembetski, an amazingly talented sculptor. I have three of her dog sculptures, and they make me smile every day.

On the left, Laura Maiolo, whose beautiful work shares the space with my paintings for the rest of the month

Chris Rose, Lighthouse Gallery curator, maker of large gestures. 

We had a good turnout for the opening reception! 

Chris Rose, curator, talks with friends and supporters at the opening of "Oil & Water, Sunlight & Shadow" at the Lighthouse Gallery on March 4. 

The guy in the hat is my godson and son-in-law, Jon Mowrey. He and our daughter, Erika, came to the opening.

Laura Maiolo and I had a fabulous opening reception on Friday at the Lighthouse Gallery in Groton. Chris Rose, the curator, said he thought 60 people came through during the event. 

Many friends and co-workers from Patch came to the show, and that really touched my heart. Those of us who work for Patch work alone, in our houses, in our cars, in our cluttered and often dark heads, and so to see so many come out, and get together and have fun - and see my work! - well, it was a treat indeed. 

If you didn't make the show, no worries. It will be up at the Lighthouse Gallery through the end of the month, with the minor exception of March 17 and 18, when I will be taking the bulk of the work to the Paradise City show in Marlborough, MA

This is a big deal show that I've gotten into, a very high-end collection of artists and craftspeople, and I am thrilled to be included. It's at the Royal Plaza Trade Center. Directions are on the website.

In the meantime, if you're in the area here, please stop in to the Lighthouse Gallery. If you have been considering buying a piece of mine or Laura's, this is a great place to buy. Commissions go to help the Lighthouse Voc-Ed program, which helps kids with developmental disabilites. It's a wonderful program run by dedicated, caring people, and I love that my sales help them. 

And if you came to the opening, thank you! You made my heart sing.