Sunday, February 26, 2012

Heading Home

Heading Home
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

It feels like I've been painting a lot of sunflowers, and while that's wonderful, and I love sunflowers, I wanted something darker, something moodier.

It's been too windy, and I mean really too windy, to paint outside, so I went through my photographs and found this one that I took in Ohio on my very first painting trip. I knew it was a cool painting, and I knew that sometime, I would understand how to paint it.

And so, today, I did.

I remember a man, from North Carolina, I think, who made only paintings of roads. Well, I don't remember the man, but I do remember the paintings. They were mostly big, and they were all luscious. This was 20 years ago, and I didn't have the nerve to ask him to let me pay over time, or barter something for one of those paintings. I can see them still - and while this little painting is not like his, it does bring his to mind. I still wish I had one of that man's paintings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vertical Sunflowers.... or Something

Vertical Sunflowers
Oil on canvas, 6x18
I think this painting should have a better name... but when I try for "better" names, I nearly inevitably end up with something just dorky.

"Reaching for the Sky," for instance. That's one that came to mind.

"Sunflower Blues." Not quite so dorky.

Do you have an idea for the title for this one? It was sort of an experiment, this vertical piece... "Vertigo"??

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sign of Things to Come

Sign for my booth
Oil on canvas, 12x36

Yesterday, I was rejected from one show (Amagansett, on Long Island) and accepted into another (Nassau County Museum of Art). So who the HECK knows?

One thing I do know is that I am upgrading my display this year. I am probably buying a tent, am certainly buying a new display-panel system, and now I have a sign.

At first, I thought I should get someone to make me a sign - and then I realized that I could and should just make one myself! So here it is. I was planning on covering it with a thick layer of clear polyurethene, so the surface is flat and shiny, but now I'm thinking of just leaving it nice and bumpy, as is.

What do you all think?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Low Tide

Low Tide
Oil on canvas, 10x10 $100

I made this painting from a photograph Peter took while we were in Virginia recently. I really like the shine on the water near the boat, and the way the sun highlights the boat and the banks of the marsh.

Also, I think, it looks like the boat is IN the water. Looks like it is floating, and displacing at least a little water.

I find boats difficult. I sailed when I was a kid, but beyond that, I've not been around boats much. Their structures are alien to me, as are their proportions and lines. It's going to take some study and a lot of bad boats, I think, before I find a way in. Before I find a vocabulary.

Clearly, the thing to do is to start with simple boats like this one. And maybe to stick to low tide, too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Teeny-Weeny Jelly-Beeny

Hmm, the right-hand one is sideways

These mini sunflower paintings are in the window at Center Framing & Art  in West Hartford Center, CT.

They were the idea of Lori Chozik, who runs the gallery and frame store. She's a wonderful person, a fantastic salesperson, and a generator of very good ideas.

When she says - Carrie, you ought to try this - I listen.

I had been making paintings of dogs and cats before I met Lori, but it was her idea to focus on them, to paint only their faces, and to do them on square canvases.

She's gone a little nuts over the sunflower paintings I've been making, and has asked for more - and has been selling them nearly as fast as I can make them. So when she said why not do some sunflower minis, I was all ears.

I have to say, I love making these teeny paintings. Each has the potential to be a little gem - and it's FUN to make them! The ones pictured here range from 1 inch by 1 inch (the one just below) to 2 inches by 3 inches.

The whole crop of minis together! 
Minis in the window at Center Framing & Art, 56 Lasalle Road, West Hartford CT

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Afternoon in Clinton

Afternoon in Clinton
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

There is something about these afternoons of clear light in winter and in spring that seems to open my eyes and my heart. The air, thin and clear, picks up golden colors and blues, and sometimes an amazing pink, and the world looks new and bright and pretty.

Today, I saw robins - two of them, fat and happy, lighting on a branch outside my window. A small woodpecker joined them for a moment, and then they all flew off, in search of something better than the meager seeds here. Spring is coming, indeed.

I woke to a beautiful bouquet of daisies and roses, carnations and lilies, and a balloon that talks to me when I tap it, and tells me how beautiful and HOT I am. I've spent the day smelling the flowers and tapping on that balloon, and being happy to be married to Peter, who is willing to accompany me on all of these adventures.

I hope that this Valentine's Day is filled with love for all of you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Otisville Afternoon Revisited

Otisville Afternoon Revisited
Oil on canvas, 11x14

I have had the remarkable opportunity lately to repaint a few already sold paintings that collectors want afresh. It's been a thrill, and a challenge.

Paintings aren't photographs, and my paintings, relying as heavily as they do on accident, randomness and chance, are really not like photographs.

I've replicated paintings before, and it's fun. Still, mid-painting, every time, I grow uneasy. I see the inexactitude. I see the variations in color, in stroke, in light - and I worry.

Of course, I grow uneasy in the middle of pretty much every painting. There is always - always - a point where I think - this is terrible, it's a disaster, I won't be able to pull it out of the fire.

But I push the feeling back, or down, or away, and I push on, and in time, the painting becomes itself, and takes me somewhere. While these paintings have the same general feel, and the same subject matter as the first ones I painted, they are different. They take on a life of their own - and I welcome that!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brown-eyed Handsome Dog

Brown-eyed Handsome Dog
not for sale

This is Smokey, one of our dogs. He's a chow-sharpei mix (we think) and is one of the sweetest dogs on the planet.

He is also one of the fiercest! He doesn't look it in this painting, but he would take your arm off if he thought you were going to hurt me, or any of the other dogs, or mess with our house. Every day, when I take the dogs out in the mornings, Smokey (who is always on a leash) stands at the edge of the deck and refuses to come in until all the others are in. He is guarding them.

I really love this painting. It's funny to me how my paintings are either loaded with paint, or have nearly no paint on them at all. There are few in the middle. This is one of the minimal ones, like my painting of Bert, and my painting of Gus, both from a while ago.

Nobody except my brother has ever asked me to paint one of these minimalist pieces - even though I think they are among my best animal portraits. But they are thin, and sketchy - they feel to me like thoughts snatched from a conversation, or ideas grabbed from a daydream.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these minimal paintings. Please be sure to click through to the Bert and Gus paintings and take a look at them!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Passages - Sunflowers

Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

Here are things that make me happy:

My husband, our family and our families
My friends
My sobriety
Strong weather of any kind
The feeling of freedom, even if it's fleeting, even if it's just a taste
A big sky, with no pesky trees
Knowing something before others do
A clean house
The smell of dust rising in the early moments of a rain storm
The spring songs of birds
Going somewhere I've never been

And you? What makes you happy?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Red Sunflowers

Red Sunflowers
Oil on canvas, 12x48

My, this is a raw thing to do, this painting thing. Your whole insides are on display, all the time.

I have applied to a whole bunch of shows, good shows, top shows. Two days ago, I got one rejection, yesterday, I got another. Yes, my skin is getting thicker, but still, ouch.

And then, hours after the second rejection, I stopped painting to check the computer, and there were two emails from people wanting to buy paintings from me. And today, I finished this sunflower painting - and though you can't truly tell from the photo, it's a fantastic painting, maybe the best I've ever made. It sings with color and heat and sunshine, and the sweet warm promise of summer. I'm thrilled.

And so it goes. Vast gulping terror. Swift, sharp pain. And unbounded joy. All in a day. No wonder I feel raw.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Oil on canvas, 30x40
Going on sale soon at Center Framing & Art, West Hartford Center, CT

Ronet Noe and I had a grand time painting on a very cold sidewalk Saturday in front of Center Framing & Art in West Hartford Center, CT.

The Center is a fun place, especially on a weekend! Well-dressed people walk nicely groomed and well-behaved dogs, and are happy to talk and supportive, too! They are shopping, window-shopping, dining, chatting, meeting friends and generally having a fine weekend time.

It's the kind of afternoon you remember from your childhood, if you're old enough and grew up in a place with a downtown. You're out - and chances are you're going to see pretty much everyone you know, because they're all out, too.

It was a little windy to be working on such a large canvas, on an easel (well, two actually) - but I'd started the painting here, Lori wanted it for my window that's coming up, and so I took my chances. I experimented in places, having fun - this is not a good photo, but I will get one and replace it, so that you can see some of the cool, small stuff!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Four in Hand

Four in Hand, Quadtych
Four paintings, oil on canvas, each 10x10
Please contact me for price and delivery info

This was such a fun thing to do!

I taped brown paper to my studio easel for a backing, then I balanced two 10x10s on two 10x10s, and went about painting as though I were working on one canvas.

Then, I carefully carefully separated the paintings, painted around the edges (all four, not the usual three!) and set the canvases on the floor to dry.

I should have put the hanging hooks on the backs of the canvases first, and I am not sure at all about painting around the edges. Also, it is hard as HECK to get a photo. This is about the 20th I tried, and it is still not wonderful. But the paintings are going to Center Framing & Art today, so I wanted to shoot them before I put them up for sale.

The colors and textures in the quadtych (!! I looked it up!) are really wonderful. Better than they show up in the photo... If you're in Connecticut, why not stop by Center Framing & Art, 56 LaSalle Road, West Hartford Center, and see them?