Monday, July 29, 2013

Chance - and a GREAT Surprise

Want a painting of your dog? Send an email to me at

One of the great things that happened at the show in Old Saybrook had its start at the May show at Paradise City.

There's I'd donated a painting to a silent auction to benefit a nonprofit group. The women who won the painting got it for their daughter, whose dog Chance had died that very morning.

I made the painting, and we arranged to meet at the Old Saybrook show. Carly, their daughter, knew nothing about the painting.

One of the mothers came by when they arrived, and I put the painting on the wall, with a postcard saying "To Carly, Love, Chance."

And here's what happened:

The painting of Chance was hanging on the wall of my tent 
when Carly and her moms and grandmother showed up.

Here's Carly seeing the painting of Chance for the first time. 

"Oh my God, that looks like Chance," Carly says. 
And then, she realizes that it IS Chance. 

Carly is caught between laughing and crying over the painting of her dog. 

 Here's Carly with the painting and her two mothers, who arranged 
the whole thing. Believe me, we were all in tears. 
Here's the painting of Chance.

Scenes from the Day

Other great stuff happened at Old Sabrook, too! 
Here's my friend Tiffany, who wore her beautiful tie-dyed T-shirt 
when she visited me at the show.

Forrest and Laurie stopped by, too! 

Gail was one of the volunteers at the Old Saybrook show. She was a dear, and helped me all weekend.

On the way, I found myself behind a truck from the Dainty Garbage Truck Co. 
Below the name is a line reading "We Love Garbage!" 

Dog of the Day

A dog I met at the show in Old Saybrook. Gotta love those crazy eyes! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunny Valley - and Old Saybrook Coming Up!

Sunny Valley Road
Oil on canvas, 18x24
Please contact me for price and delivery options

I've been away from home, and away from Peter for a while now, and it shows on me, I think.  Peter sets me right. When I am with him, the gears that make me run mesh smoothly. It's easier to make decisions, and they feel more solid. 

But I have spent time with good friends on this trip, and am on my way to spend time with family, and I talk to my sister every day, and all that helps, too. 

I've spent some time thinking about what puts me right and what puts me wrong...

Bad food
Bad sleep
Mean people
No sales

These things all put me wrong. 

What puts me right, aside from Peter and home and family, is

Good friends
Good food, and especially cooking good food
Having an excellent audiobook
Meeting nice dogs. 

What about you? 


THE OLD SAYBROOK Arts and Crafts Show is Saturday and Sunday in Old Saybrook, CT. It's the 50th year of the show, and I am happy to be in it! I'll be in Booth 87, which apparently is near Main Street and Liberty Bank. So if you are around Southeastern Connecticut this weekend, please stop by and say hello! 

Dog of the Day

THIS IS SOX the final Lori Rowe Dog of the Day. Isn't he a cutie? 

Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Madison II - and a Big Box of JoJo

Madison II
Oil on canvas, 20x20
Please contact me for price and delivery options

The Westport show was fun - but hot, hot, hot! I think people don't want to buy art when they are hot, hot, hot. I did OK at the show - and well, if you count selling "October Salt Marsh" to a sweet collector from North Carolina. 

There's little that's more exciting in this life than waking up to find that overnight, a painting has sold. Talk about starting the day on a positive note! 


I WATCHED A WOMAN walking along on Saturday with a little white dog on a leash. The dog was having fun, sniffing and smelling and poking along. The woman wasn't paying much attention to the dog, but was walking slowly, letting the dog do her thing. 

I found myself thinking about dogs and how they trust us. They are at one end of the leash, and we are at the other, and between us is that dog's absolute and unshakeable trust. 

They trust that we will keep them safe. They trust that we will not bring them into harm's way. They trust that we will not take them out on a day that is too hot, pavement that is too scalding, events that are too crowded. Without questioning us, or who we are, or what we are thinking about, they put themselves in our hands and trust that we will treat them well and keep them safe. 


Scenes from the show

This baby Scottie was 11 weeks old and maybe the cutest dog ever! 

There were lots of cool cars in the parking lot behind the show, 
but this genuine (not kit) Cobra was the best! 

My friends Marilyn and Gene Bove came all the way from the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York to visit me at the show. You can actually see Marilyn's pretty face in the photo below! 

This was the scene across the inlet

Here's my booth on the first day. The salt marsh painting on the back wall
 sold to a collector in North Carolina. Yay! 

This guy was part of the entertainment at the show. He would set up his little stand, and then strike artful poses. More than one adult and any number of kids thought he was a real statue! 

Dog of the Day

Who doesn't need a big box of JoJo??? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Purple House

The Purple House
oil on canvas, 12x36
Please contact me for price and delivery options

Like my painting itself, these new paintings sort of showed up out of the blue. There were hints of them early on, in how much I loved certain paintings in an "unfinished" stage... but for the most part, these paintings have simply appeared and declared themselves, and left it to me to make something of them. 

It's pretty clear that these are a good addition to my portfolio, in terms of sales. Of nine paintings that have sold in the past two shows, seven have been these minimal ones - and I have not priced them cheaply. 

I need to find out how to be sure they are a good addition in terms of heart and soul and the character of my painting. I need to apply myself, learn what works in these and what doesn't. Learn how to make them interesting and evocative and exuberant, when they are so lean and so spare. Learn how much is enough, how much is too much and how much is not enough. 

I like knowing that I'm facing these challenges, and finding these answers. Any reactions you all have, I'd love to hear them, too. 


IT'S BEEN SEVEN years since my mother died, and I miss her every day. 

Many days, when I think of her, I miss her but am able to focus on how wonderful she was, and how lucky I was to have her as my mom. She enriched my life every day, with her insights and her laughter, her honesty and her courage. She'd call me to tell me some funny thing and make me laugh, or share some sad thing with me to ease her pain. She'd call to ask me about a recipe, tell me about a movie, let me know that someone had died (nearly inevitably, someone I didn't know or didn't remember), or tell me about a house she'd seen that she might love to live in. I still find myself reaching for the phone now and then to call her with some bit of news. 

A couple weeks ago, I was in the studio, painting, when I was hit with a wave of grief about her. The studio is the former boat garage, and I paint in there with the garage door, the back door and all the windows open. I was crying loudly, wailing really, when I realized that the propane guys had come into the yard to make a delivery. How Mom would have laughed at me, and at the looks on their faces! 

Dogs of the Day

The Fatheads, as they are lovingly called, are Vinnie and Patsy, cousins of George and Zack
dogs of my good friends Cynthia Battista and Kevin Ireton. 

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Safe at Anchor

Safe at Anchor
Oil on canvas, 12x48
The storms move in, and with them comes the promise of relief, a cooling off, a waning of humidity. 

In these thick days, the slightest effort leaves me slick and stained with sweat. I train myself to consider it cleansing, a gift, a way to chase the toxins out. Native Americans use sweat lodges. Norsemen use saunas. This year, all of us on the East Coast simply use the summer. 

Even painting raises perspiration. And it is OK. What I don't like are the bugs, the ticks, the wasps, the huge green flies that take chunks out of me. 

So I use the bug spray, and I use the sun screen, and I use deodorant, and I drink water All The Time, and I remember to be grateful. 

This summer, I am outdoors. This summer, July's heat has crept into my skin and into my bones. This summer, the long arcs of evening aren't wasted on me. I am out in them, and savoring them, and sweating in them. 


Dogs of the Day

Here are Catherine Lenoci's three dogs! From left, Georgia, a mini Australian shepherd who was given to Cat by her kids when she turned 50... next is Guinness, a full-sized Aussie, and Whitey, a 10-year-old Lab. 

I met Cat years ago at the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival. She bought a painting from me, signed up for the blog, and we've been friends ever since. She's an artist, too, who makes delightful paintings, but doesn't sell them. 

Want your pets to be the dog of the day? Send a jpg to me at

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Maryland Barns

Maryland Barns
Oil on canvas, 6x12

I've been having a blast with these minimal paintings, experimenting, testing, seeing what I like, trying to understand what works and what doesn't.

I'm also interested in just what kind of scene will translate into one of these paintings vs. one of my more typical pile-on-the-paint paintings.

It seems it might just be a decision, and nothing more than that. I'm going to make this painting with a ton of paint, or I am going to make this painting with not much paint.

But my guess is that, as I continue to paint these, I will begin to understand what works and why. I have yet to make one of the minimal ones that is pure landscape, with no objects (I've included buildings and boats). So that will be interesting.


WANT TO SEE some of these in person? Come to the Wickford Outdoor Art Festival this weekend in Wickford, RI. The show is Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., though I do remember it closing earlier than 6 on Sunday. But there's a new director this year, so perhaps the Sunday hours have changed!

It's a really good show of paintings, drawings, mixed media, photography and sculpture. No jewelry, no ceramics, no clothes, so be forewarned!

Dogs of the Day

Here are Finnegan and Cooper, two more dogs who live with the talented artist Lori Rowe, outside Chicago. Thanks for sending them!

Want your pet to be the DOD? Send a photo to me at

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

And Archie Makes Three...

Archie (now Timmy)
Oil on canvas, 12x12

This painting of my brother's dog, Archie, was truly the first of the minimal paintings I made since the end of June. And on Saturday, it, and "Neighbors" sold at the Amagansett Fine Arts Festival, here on Long Island.

Sometimes God, or the universe, or whatever you want to call the thing that's bigger than us, speaks in whispers, and sometimes it shouts.

This time, it's shouting.


Dog of the Day

Lori Rowe, a fantastic artist who specializes in delightful and often whimsical paintings of dogs (check out her stuff by clicking here!) sent me this photo of Maggie, who will be 20 - TWENTY! - come August.

Lori used to live near us when we lived in Ledyard, though she and her husband moved first to New Mexico and next to Chicagoland. She's a huge Red Sox fan, a rescuer and lover of dogs, and a great person, on top of everything else.

Want your dog to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

Saturday, July 6, 2013

October Salt Marsh Revisited - and a Thrilling Sale!

October Salt Marsh
oil on canvas, 36x48

Some of you will recognize this painting as one I've painted before - but I wanted another try at it, and took it on again last month.

The first version, "Light Beneath the Clouds,"  is in Center Framing and Art in West Hartford Center, CT. I really like the original version, but this one has a shine and a bounce that the first one didn't have. The first one, I think, has a darkness and depth that the new one doesn't have - but both paintings work - at least to my eye. 

What do you think? 


ON ANOTHER NOTE, the painting that sold first here at Amagansett was "Beach Houses," the first "minimal" painting I ever made. All day, it and its successor, "Neighbors," drew the largest share of attention in my tent. 

This is so exciting to me, because I am so excited about these paintings! It is just an incredible pleasure to see people responding with the interest and spirit that I feel - and to watch and hear them talk about these paintings, and fill in the spaces with their own ideas, their own emotions. It's great! 

The Amagansett Fine Arts Festival  continues through Sunday, on the lawn at the American Legion Hall at the corner of Abraham's Path and Route 27, just outside of East Hampton, here on Long Island.

Dog of the Day

OK, I know it's not a dog. But sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. 

This cat belongs to Cam Chapman, a photographer who specializes in lighthouses. You can see some of his work by clicking here. 

I met Cam at the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, soon after he had left his regular job, sold everything he owned, and bought a motor home. His plan was to tour the country, doing art shows - and lo and behold, he has. 

Along with the motor coach, he has a big trailer, that holds not only his tent and luscious photographs, but also a motorcycle that he uses to get around while he's doing shows. The cat has a great time, Cam says, even if he does sit in the window and bellow. 

Several of you responded to my plea and send DOD candidates, so, YAY! Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at


AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU all so much for reading, for supporting me spiritually and financially, for cheering me on - for being there. I appreciate each and every one of you. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

East Hampton Cove - More AND Less!

East Hampton Cove, Minimal
Oil on canvas, 10x10

East Hampton Cove, Maximum
Oil on canvas
This morning, before set-up began for the show at Amagansett, I took a spin around East Hampton, NY, where I'm staying. I drove past the house where Jackson Pollock lived with Lee Krasner during Pollock's most productive, most amazing years. 

Down the street, I found a dead-end road with a beautiful view and room to park the big van. 

In light of my newest paintings, Beach Houses and Neighbors, I decided to try a minimal painting AND a maximum painting... one with almost no paint and one with a lot of paint. It was fun! 

Above, the minimal painting in the landscape. Below, the maximum painting in the landscape. 

HERE'S MY BOOTH in Amagansett. I think it looks pretty good!

The show, by the bye, is amazing. The quality of the work is beyond any show I've been in. I'm honored and just plain excited to be with these artists! If you're on Long Island, or know anyone who is, send them out to Amagansett. The show is on the grounds of the the American Legion Hall, at the intersection of Route 27 and Abraham's Path.


Dog of the Day

His name is Frank, and he's one of the friendliest dogs ever. He can also sniff out lunch about a mile away. He tried to get some of my lunch, tried to get in my van, licked me all over (sorry, JoJo!) and then went off to get lunch from another artist.

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpeg to me at

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Franklin - and the Land of the Free

Oil on canvas, 12x12

Franklin! Can't you tell he's a devil of a dog? I have not met him in person, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that he is more than a handful. I really love this painting!

Want me to make a painting of your pet? Prices start at $350 for a 12-inch by 12-inch painting. I make bigger ones, too! All I need is a jpg of your pet, a deposit, and an idea of what colors you like. Click here to send me an email for more info.


THE AMAGANSETT FINE ARTS FESTIVAL starts on Friday and I am pretty excited about it. I have really great new work to show, the festival is in a pretty place, and this area is loaded with people. It makes driving a nightmare, but is great if you're in an art festival.

I don't know what my booth number will be, but the show is small, on the grounds of the American Legion Hall, and I think it will be easy to find me.

Want more info? Click here.


ON THIS FOURTH OF JULY, I find I am glad to be an American. While I do wish that as a country we were a little more free, and a little more brave, I celebrate the freedoms that I have, and the bravery that I can muster to address and use those freedoms.


Dog of the Day

Having no new Dog of the Day candidates, I offer up Jojo! 
Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Neighbors - and Your Thoughts

Oil on canvas, 18x18
Honestly, it's a little difficult to pinpoint why I love these empty paintings so much. First, I think, is the strength of the light. It is unimpeded by trees or hills or mountains or backgrounds. The light in the paintings is direct and bright, and the white of the canvas emphasizes that directness. 

Second, I think they appeal to me because they invite me, and anyone looking at them, to complete them. In your mind, it could be a sunny day, or the light could be coming underneath the clouds on a winter afternoon. There could be cars, or an ocean, or mountains in the background. There could be anything - and your mind and mood and spirit will supply that anything. 

I do like this one with the little bit of sky. 

Galen  Like all art , it is an opinion. Does someone's opinion make it good/better? It is totally up to the artist.

I like the painting, however, I don't like just bare canvas showing through - even a color wash ? would be preferable to ME!!!!


I don't think every painting has to touch 
All sides and down to the frame 
I leave some of my watercolors with
A lot of white space.   I think it adds intrigue
and makes the viewer wonder about 
that white space 

Ron van Gogh
I didn't see a comment box on my screen, but for what it's worth, I really like this painting the way it is.
I love the houses. Can't tell there beach houses. It's kinda neat that you can put them anywhere. But I would not buy this painting.
I have to say that I really like the sketchy lines, and the whole thing is growing on me more and more.  I like the composition.  I like the extra space.

I liked the painting..for me, you said what you wanted to say.

You are remarkable; loved the beach houses. It's finished. What's next? 


Dog of the Day

Muppet Ammenheuser lives in Nashville. His owners decided to get him, a purebred Bichon, after meeting our dog, Gus, about 17 years ago.

Happy Birthday! 

July 3 is my brother's birthday! Happy Birthday, Rand!