Friday, May 31, 2013

Frederick Farm Revisited - Just in Time for the Frederick Arts Festival!

Frederick Farm
Oil on canvas, 30x36

The Paradise City show gave us New England at its gnarliest: raining, frigid, with gusting wind - but people came out to the show anyway, had springtime fun in wintertime weather, looked, oohed and aahed - and bought art. I wore pretty much all the clothes I'd brought, and then I bought a hat, and happily wore a scarf that a friend and collector lent me.

Friends and family visited, too, surprising and delighting me, and making the show feel like a homecoming. What a treat!

In terms of sales, the show was a little slow for me until the end, when the Oklahoma Cowscape sold. In past years, I have been juried into the spring and fall shows there in Northampton. This year, I am thinking of doing a different show Columbus Day weekend, one that is less expensive and closer to home.

I am studying, learning, asking questions, trying new things, and this is one idea that has struck me - that maybe, a spring show and fall show in the same place, year after year, is too much. Bud, the mobile maker, told me he is heading to the Midwest for shows this summer. People have told him they have as many mobiles as they are going to buy. So I will find out from him if this idea of changing venues works.

Meantime, I am in a brand-new-to-me show this weekend, in Frederick, MD. Artists I've spoken to who have been in this show say it's a lovely event, and fun! I am going to be in Booth 78, and from what I can tell from the map, I am right in front of Ben and Jerry's.

Click here for more info on the show - and if you are in the area, please stop by and say hello!


Here's me in my new hat:


And here is the Dog of the Day! 

It's Xena, who lives with my friends Tiffany and Bruce Williams, and their son Devin. 

Xena is a dear girl, patient and kind - and she puts up with a lot, especially with the homeless pets the Williams family fosters. 

Want your dog to be Dog of the Day? Send me a photo! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oklahoma Cowscape and How to Help - and Paradise City!

Oklahoma Cowscape
I had a few looong days driving back from Tubac (check out the Tubac and Back blog!). One of them started in New Mexico and ended in Shawnee, OK. I'd been driving for 14 hours, but I got off the road mostly because the sky was so scary-looking:

Above and below, the sky over Shawnee, OK

Shawnee was a one- and two-story town, with some interesting-looking shops and restaurants, some beautiful landscapes, and some of the friendliest people I met on the trip. Whenever I end up somewhere, I always think about what it would be like to live there, and I thought Shawnee would be a pretty good spot.

Except for the tornadoes.

I remember how horrible it felt when, while we were living near the Neversink River in New York, a flood destroyed a lifetime's worth of memories and a basement's worth of possessions. It mangled our land and left a crater in our driveway, making it impassable.

I remember the terror, then the utter, bone-deep dismay, the terrible sense of loss, and, finally, the overwhelming joy that Peter and all the animals and I made it through alive.

My heart goes out to those families in Oklahoma. I have just the barest idea of what they are feeling, but even from my relatively tiny experience, I can tell you it's awful.

Here are some ways you can help:

SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND MONDAY, I'll be at the Paradise City Art Fair in Northampton, MA! Click here to check the website for directions and discounts on tickets

I'll be in Booth 407, which is probably in the Morgan Barn. 

Paradise City is a fantastic display of beautiful, creative, gorgeous art and high-end craft. It's fun, there's excellent food, and easy parking. It's mostly inside, too, so rain, shine, snow - it doesn't matter. 

Please come! And find me and say hi. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summer Garden - and Another Good Show

 Summer Garden
Oil on seven canvases, 34x64
I am gratefully celebrating another good show! 

Stockley Gardens, in downtown Norfolk, is a lovely, shady neighborhood of late Victorian homes. Some are still one-family homes; some are apartments or condos. I was directly across the street from one with big, screened-in porches where it would be great to have a nap in a hammock or spend the afternoon reading.

The show was in this lovely park, and I had the great good fortune to be under a tree, and near a gorgeous display of flowers that were for sale as a fund-raiser. The entire event was to raise funds for and awareness of Hope House Foundation, which helps adults with developmental disabilities.

Here are a couple photos of the area by my tent:

I set up on Friday afternoon. It poured Friday night, and it poured Saturday as I drove to the show. Poured so hard I could hardly see. But the sky cleared as I pulled into Norfolk, and happily, my tent held and, inside, my space was dry. Others in the park were not so lucky.

People came out in droves, in spite of the weather, and they bought. The very best thing for me was that both days, people bought my art moments after the show opened.

I hadn't realized the psychic toll that the early-day stretches of no sales take on me. So I need to be better prepared for this!

At any rate, I had excellent sales on both days. The buyers were about the most delightful people you'd ever want to meet, and I am so happy that they responded so strongly to my paintings. I  feel honored that my art is going to hang in their homes.


'SUMMER GARDEN' is a huge experiment for me. It's a seven-canvas painting, and I think it's really interesting, fun, bold, captivating.

Sure, it will be hard to hang (the peg board I'm using in the photo makes it pretty much impossible to line it up correctly) - but what a splash in the right room! I've included a couple photos, below, of the piece in progress.

The very start of it 

Midway through


ONE OF THE VERY EXCELLENT THINGS that happened during the show was running into a colleague from the Times Herald-Record. Dianna Cahn left the Record to work for Stars & Stripes, where she found herself in the front lines in Afghanistan and other places. Dangerous, difficult, important work. She's now writing military news for the Virginian-Pilot. It was a delight to see her again! 


p.s., APPARENTLY, the video of grass blowing that I referenced in my most recent post didn't come through when the blog was emailed. Some folks couldn't make it work from the blog itself, either! Having no knowledge with which to fix either situation, I uploaded it to YouTube, so if you want to see it, here you go: Click here! 
Dog of the Day

THE DOG OF THE DAY today is my dear Jojo, who is getting gray in the face. She's become a real studio dog, enjoying hanging around with me while I paint. I hate to think of her growing old, so all these gray hairs really touched me. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Eastern Shore Farm - Plus Two Art Shows and a Video!

Eastern Shore Farm
Oil on canvas, 24x24

Thank you for all the kind birthday wishes! It was great to hear from so many of you - and to have "Happy Birthday to You" sung to me so many times in one day. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to videotape all the serenades!

There are two things I'd like to add to my birthday post  - along with my younger-self knees, I wish I had my younger-self feet. In fact, I wish I had feet from some other person, in some other family, but that's another story.

And second, while I want less - what I do want, I want with more passion, more verve, more desire than I've ever known in my life. I want to paint - landscapes, animals, nature, flowers - and I want to succeed, and sell my paintings, and make my living - our living - doing it. And I want this more than I have ever wanted anything, except to have my mother back among the living.

So, on my birthday, I drove way, way, WAY down the shore to paint a farm I've passed again and again, but never taken the time or used the gas to paint it. You can only see this place as you're driving north, and so I never even remember until I am on the way home, inevitably too tired, or traveling too late in the day to paint. 

The day was warm and sunny, and the sky blue with wispy clouds as I set up. By the time I was finishing, the wind was blowing, dark clouds had moved in, and the rye grass was bending in beautiful waves (check out the video below).

I love my painting from my birthday! And if you want to see it in real life, come to the Stockley Gardens Art Show this weekend in Norfolk, VA. There might be some rain - but not enough to stop an art show!

My painting in the landscape 

AND IF YOU ARE on the Eastern Shore on Saturday, please stop in to Seaside Antiques, on Main Street, for an art and antiques show. My husband Peter will be there, with some of his photographs, some of my paintings, and some of his amazing flies and lures. 

There will also be art by the amazing Linda Cicoria, my friend Pat Hart, Ann Crain - and MORE! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Early Morning Farm - and a Birthday

 Early Morning Farm
Oil on canvas, 12x24
Please contact me for price and delivery options 

On Thursday, I turn 57. It’s not a monumental year, not a 40 or a 50 or a 65. It’s one of those strange ages – 32, 37, 43. Indeterminate. Unheralded. Not loaded with meaning.

At this edge of this unimportant age, I realize that I do not miss my youth.

I miss my young knees and my young skin. I miss the red hair that for so many years was the bane of my existence.

But the rest of it, I am glad to leave behind. The struggles to define what my heart wanted, and to show what my brain knew. The fight to get ahead, to climb, to earn praise and promotion.

These days, I realize more and more that I know less and less. I read things I wrote back then and wonder at what I knew – and what I was happy to imply that I knew. I think I was smarter then – and certainly, I was interested in seeming smarter.

These days,  I realize, I desire less and less. I buy clothes only when I need them. I rarely wear jewelry. For my birthday dinner, I’m hoping my husband will cook burgers and oven fries, and I’ll splurge with an extra slice of cheese.

I have no regrets, not really. I wish I had the money that I spent on clothes and jewelry and other fancy things – but that spending brought me many happy moments, and I don’t regret a second.

These days, these insignificant days in the middle of an insignificant decade, these days I’m happy to be doing the work of a lifetime, making art and selling it to people who are made happy by it.

I am happy with the today’s gifts: a gentle sunrise, a loving dog, a husband I adore, a family and friends who stand by my side, no matter what. 

I'm happy to live in a small house in a small town in a beautiful place, and to live a quiet little life, rich with faith and hope and the joy of making beautiful things.

Thank you, all of you who read my blog, and buy my paintings, and accompany me on this adventure. Thank you for enriching my life with your presence and support. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hillside Farm, and One Angry Man

Hillside Farm
Oil on canvas, 20x20
Yesterday,  I'd pulled over in a small parking lot of a small church, and was setting up to paint when a woman pulled up. She lived in the house I was looking at, and wanted to know what I was doing, and what I planned to paint. 

The barn, I told her, and the house, and perhaps another barn that I could see from my vantage point. She wanted to know what I was going to do with the painting, and I told her. She asked if she could see it when I finished. 

I told her about this blog, and gave her a card.

"Oh no," she said, "We don't do that Internet stuff." 

"OK," I said, and offered to make a print of the painting and send it to her. She gave me her address, told me her grandparents had built the house, and she'd lived in it for 66 years. Then she told me to be careful, that the whole town would want to know what I was doing, and she drove off. 

Thirty minutes later, her husband drove up, got out of the car, and began yelling at me. 

"I don't want our house painted," he said. Angrily. Nastily. "I don't want you painting a picture of our house. You stop right now and give me back that piece of paper my wife gave you." 

I could have argued with the guy, put up a fight, invoked my rights - but I didn't have explicit permission from the church to be in the parking lot, and honestly, it wasn't worth it, so I left and found a more delightful scene. 

I guess living near a church doesn't help you be a better person. 

On my drive yesterday, I saw a herd of miniature horses and donkeys, and stopped to take some photos. Guess they are the Dogs of the Day! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

April Salt Marsh and a Good Show in Charlotte

April Salt Marsh
Oil on canvas, 10x10

I had an excellent show in Charlotte, and am breathing a sigh of relief and gratitude. A big sunflower painting, a big cowscape, and my beloved "Road to Warwick" all sold, along with three pet portraits and the plein air piece I posted yesterday, which was bought long-distance by a collector (and friend).

I feel very lucky, indeed, as there were not many people at the show.

The folks who bought my paintings were delightful, too! They loved my work; they were open, optimistic and friendly people, and it was just great to have shared the moments that we did, and to have those people in my life. Selling a painting to a person who touches your heart is one of the best feelings in the world.

I did have an experience at the show that brought me up a bit short. Decades ago, at the Mystic Outdoor Art Show, I saw paintings of roads that I really loved. They were moody, interesting, beautiful paintings, and fascinating, too. Through the years, I've remembered them, and that lasting emotion was one of the things that drew me to painting.

The man who made them was at this show, and I found him and introduced myself, and told him my story and how he had figured in it.

He could not have been more gloomy or ungracious or unfriendly. Later, he walked by my booth and I could see from 20 feet that he really disliked my paintings. "Bet these sell," was all he said.

Wow. There was so little joy in this man, I had to wonder why he keeps painting.

Lucky for me, I know why I do!


Here are some photos from the show:

 Here's my booth, above, and booths and work by others, below

And here's a Dog of the Day, from my friend Pem! 
Want your dog to be Dog of the Day? Send me a photo! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Afternoon Shadows, and a Prayer for the Mothers

Afternoon Shadows, Mt. Pleasant, NC
Oil on canvas, 10x10

 A prayer for all the mothers:

May love be the road you walk, with your children and your own mom. It might not be an easy road, or a straight one. It might not be paved smooth and even. But it’s the best road, the surest road, the one that passes through the heart.

May you have the courage to hold fast to your convictions and your ethics, and to teach your children the hard lessons, the ones that will help them make their own best choices.

May you find the energy to seek your own inspiration, your own truths, your own beliefs. May you find the strength to follow them, and be the example for those who love you.

May you have the joy of laughter shared, the rich pleasure of solitude, the comfort of family and friends when times are tough.

And may hope and faith be yours, today and every day.

My painting in the landscape, in Mt. Pleasant, NC

You can see this painting and others through Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. 

The Fine Art Show I'm in is intimate, high-end, lovely. There's jewelry, glass, painting, photography and woodworking. It's a nice show! 

If you live in the area, please consider stopping in - and bringing your friends! If you don't live near Charlotte, but you know people who do, please let them know about the show. 

Thank you!