Monday, June 30, 2014

What a Pair! Longhorn and Scottish Highlander

 What A Pair! 
Longhorn and Scottish Highlander, each 15x60
When I was painting my first long, long, longhorn piece, it came to me that it might be a great idea to make two similar paintings that could go together. If that piece hadn't sold at the show in New Milford, CT, I was going to come home and make the second one.

Instead, I got two more of the 15x60 canvases, and painted this pair. I'll sell them separately, but I am hoping to find someone who will buy both of them. They look really fabulous end to end. I would put one on one wall and the other on the adjacent wall, I think.

WHILE I WAS walking around Wachapreague this week, I got a great idea! (When I say something like this to Peter, he always says, "Uh-oh, not another great idea...")

While the sun is shining and the days are hot, I'm going to make 30 small paintings of summertime in Wachapreague. Sun on the porch, hydrangeas in bloom, tomatoes reddening on the vine, people boating... and I'm going to put them up on my newly revamped website starting in November. Each day, a new painting will go up. They'll be priced well for Christmas presents!

Dog of the Day

It's JoJo the wonder dog! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Duke - and Manayunk, Too

Oil on canvas, 12x12, commission

I had a fun time painting Duke, a calm Weimeraner,  who lives in South Carolina. The commission came to me after the show I did in Pendleton, and it was a Father's Day present for the buyer's husband. 

Their son liked it, too! I am particularly glad to see that I was painting for a Red Sox fan. We all need something special this season, all of us Sox fans... 


I AM HAPPILY back home for a few weeks, before heading to Rhode Island for the Wickford Art Festival, July 12 and 13. And it's great to be home, just great. 

I had a pretty good show in Manayunk, PA. Not a great one, but well worth doing. And it was fun! The area where the show took place is the main drag in Manayunk, and it was a lovely spot, filled with interesting shops, restaurants with outdoor terraces, and lots of people with great dogs. 

This bichon had a stroke when she was young - just about 3, her owner said. The owner got her some wheels, and she took to them right away. This was a happy, lively dog, much adored. 


I HAD SOME nice sales at the show in Manayunk. I had fun with the couple who bought the North Carolina storm painting, and a good conversation with the man who bought the painting of Las Cruces. I failed to take a photo of the very cool woman who bought one of my sunflower paintings, but you'll be hearing more about her in the future!

One of my paintings,  "Riders on the Storm," below, is now hanging in the home of the man who was William Penn's personal secretary! I love that!

The man who bought the piece was as nice as could be. He and his wife and four children "blew up our lives," he said, moving from the suburbs to downtown Philadelphia. They bought the house, which is right near Independence Hall and all the famous Philly stuff - and they began a major, major renovation. I'm just tickled that my contemporary cowboy painting is hanging in a home of such history.

Dog of the Day

This guy, who is about 11, clearly adores his human. But what he adores even more, she told me, is bananas. That's what's going on here - sheer and unadulterated banana lust. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wittersley Road - and a Philadelphia Show

Wittersley Road, 10x10

My friends Cynthia and Kevin showed me this lovely sight, just outside of their hometown, New Milford, CT. 

I found a place to pull over and paint, and watch the clouds roll in, and wonder if the sky would truly cook up a storm. In the time it took me to paint this, the thunderheads grew and grew, but never broke. 

I really like the way this painting captures the light, and the threat, too, way off in the distance. 

My painting in the landscape

IF YOU'RE NEAR Philadelphia, please come to the Manayunk Arts Festival this weekend. It takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. I'm in Booth 85... and I think that's on Main Street, but we'll see. This is a new show for me, and I'm excited about it! 

SO, SATURDAY IS the longest day of the year. And yet again, it seems that the days are going to start getting shorter - and summer's barely here. 

Today, I realized that that my consternation comes from being correct. The days ARE getting shorter - well, sunset is getting earlier - and yes, summer's barely here. It starts on the 21st. So all this buildup is spring. Finally, an explanation! Every year, I think - oh NO! The days are already getting shorter, and I haven't taken advantage of it. I haven't spent those long evenings outdoors, I haven't worn sleeveless shirts, I haven't picked strawberries or gotten really tan, or even gone swimming. 

Well, summer hasn't even started! I feel better about it all now. 

Dog of the Day

I met this fine French bulldog at the New Milford Arts and Crafts festival. Cute! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Through the River (Again) - and a Storytelling Extravaganza

Through the River
Oil on black canvas, 24x36

Yes, I have painted this before - but not on black! I love these four horsemen splashing into the water, with their heads low and lariats high. I really love it on the black canvas, which I think adds to the drama and the movement of the piece. If you click on it to make it big, you might see the smallest splashes of water, which I'm very pleased about. They came out great!

So yes, the urge to paint cowboys continues - and it makes me smile every time I see or start one of these paintings.

THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 20, at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT, my brother - Rand Cooper - will participate in a series called The MOuTH, (which by the spelling, I think must be sort of akin to the Moth Radio Series)... storytellers at the Mark Twain House will be sharing their tales of interactions with famous people.

Here's what Rand wrote in an email invite: "The theme of the evening is 'brushes with fame/the famous,' and I am going to be telling the audacious, incredible, impossible but TRUE story of how I once had this woman ..."

..."on my waterbed, live, in the flesh and giggling. And yes, it is who you think it is..."

Heck, I didn't even know Rand had a waterbed.

It sounds fun, doesn't it? The cost to get in is $5, and it promises an evening of fun entertainment. If I was going to be in that part of the world, I'd be there for sure.

Click here for more info, about the program and the Mark Twain House and museum. 

THE SHOW in New Milford was a success, and I couldn't be happier! I sold one small painting, of a storm near Tubac, and then my newest piece, "Long, Long Longhorn," sold to a delightful couple who were just in love with it.

It is always great when a painting sells, and I am always happy to see one of my pieces get a new home. But when a buyer is just absolutely head over heels over a painting, as crazy about it as I am, it makes it all that much more special.

Here's a picture of the new owners:

ON MONDAY, my friend Kevin Ireton and I worked on renovating my van. Well, he did the hard work, and I did the lackeying. The renovation has given me an astonishing amount of extra space, and created far better holding areas than I have ever had. Here are some photos: 

 Above and below, the van as it was (empty and packed) before the renovation. 

Above,, you see a cubby on the left for tent pieces that never quite fit underneath... An upright to store paintings securely, and a slot where I can put wet paintings to dry safely. 

Above, a second upright, and then, below, a shelf that attaches to that upright. 

And here is the renovated van, all packed - and with lots of room to spare! If you'd like to talk to Kevin about renovating your van, please email me and I'll get you in touch with him. 

Dog of the Day
It's George, Cynthia and Kevin's dog... Just out of the photo Zack, their other dog, is eating his breakfast... I thought George looked guilty, but Cynthia said she thought he was trying to make her feel guilty enough to give him a second breakfast. In retrospect, I think she's right. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Long, Long Longhorn - and a Good Show in Annapolis

Long, Long Longhorn
Oil on canvas 15x60

I had an absolute blast making this painting! I bought the canvas because the shape intrigued me, but I had no idea what to paint on it, or even whether I should make a vertical painting or a horizontal one. Vertical would be easier to show in my tent, I know, but at least in my initial thinking, vertical offered fewer possibilities. Horizontally, the canvas offered a richness of width, a long sweep of landscape or garden or sky or.... horns. 

And so I set out to find a photo of a longhorn that would work, and then I painted more or less like a crazy person, with sweat pouring off of me, until this piece was finished. And I have to say that I love it! I have another canvas that's more or less the same shape and size, and I'm thinking of doing a companion piece. Doesn't this guy need a friend? 

Want to see it in person? I'll have it at the Art and Craft Festival in New Milford, CT, this coming weekend. 

I HAD A really good show this past weekend in Annapolis, at the Art, Craft and Wine Festival. It is an odd festival, and a hard one to do, but both times I've done it, I've found success. 

The festival takes place in the parking lot of the Navy-Marine Corps stadium in Annapolis. There are no trees, no shade, no break from the brutal sun. Add to this the fact that I set up my tent wrong, so I couldn't put up the awning, and I ended up sitting inside my tent, which I never do. 

But it wasn't enough to scare off the buyers, so, yay! The nicest folks bought paintings from me this weekend! Here are photos of them with their purchases: 

He bought the zinnia painting - even though it wasn't QUITE dry! 

They bought "In the Curl," the minimalist wave painting! 

He bought "Combs Ridge," the largest plein-air piece I made on my southwest trip this winter. 


This is just a pretty sight I saw one morning in Annapolis. 

Dog of the Day

I've written about this before, I know, but I was struck again this weekend by the trust that our dogs put in us. We put them at one end of a leash, and we put ourselves at the other, and off we go. Time and again, I see the dogs trotting along, sniffing here, taking a quick glance there, and then, always, looking back at their humans, trusting them entirely, knowing that, at the other end of the leash, we have their welfare in mind, and are walking with them, keeping them safe. I know that's not always true, but I hope that people will think of this post when they're contemplating taking their dogs to a place that might be too hot, too cold or too crowded for them. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Zinnias - and a Mean Town

Oil on canvas, 30x30
Please contact Lori at Center Framing & Art for price and delivery/shipping/pickup info! 

These zinnias are my newest experiment in florals. The paint is thick and deep and rich, and the colors just sing. I had a great time painting them, and I'm honored to have them displayed so prominently at Center Framing and Art in West Hartford Center, CT! 


ON MY WAY to Indiana, I drove along the so-called National Freeway, Interstate 68 from Maryland into West Virginia. It was a scary drive, because the highway climbs way up into the mountains, and the clouds were so low that, until I crossed the summit, it was like driving in the thickest fog I'd ever seen. 

Just before I got onto I-68, I left the highway to get gas. I found myself in the town of Hancock, MD. This little town really got me thinking. 

Like so many of the towns in that area, it's built on a series of hillsides. And it was probably built when mining was big. That would be my guess, at any rate. 

I couldn't get back onto the highway near the exit where I got off, so I had to drive through the town to return to the highway. The more I drove, the worse I felt for the people who lived there. 

It's not that it was a terrible, dilapidated town. It wasn't a ghetto, or a testament to poverty. I've seen those towns, and they are sad. But this, this was sadder, in a way. It was a town with no future. The thought that this was a mean town came to me - not that the people are mean, though they might be. But the town itself is mean, in what I'd guess is the Victorian sense of the word. 

I compared Hancock to other small towns I've known and lived in, including Wachapreague, and found myself returning again and again to the idea that the town was so mean that it would be next to impossible for anyone to dream of much more than leaving - and even that would be a stretch. 

The experience, though brief, hit me hard. And it left me feeling grateful that I didn't grow up in a place like that, and never had the misfortune to live in a place like that. 


Shows, shows and more shows! 

The zinnia painting (I love it!) along with a whole bunch of my best paintings, are on display right now, and for sale, at Center Framing & Art in West Hartford, CT. That's the window, below. 

Also this week, I brought work to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, in Mystic, CT. Elissa Bass and I had a fun time hanging my teeny paintings and some larger ones, too. The photos below show how it came out. The show will be up through July! 

And I have two new pieces at Art Gallery H in Tubac, AZ. Here's Audrey Hoffmann, one of the owners, sitting in the midst of my paintings. The new paintings  are on the wall 
closest to  the sunflower painting. 

I WILL BE in Annapolis, MD, this weekend for the Annapolis Arts, Crafts and Wine Festival, which takes place at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. 
Don't know my booth number yet, but I'll post it here when I do. 

THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND, I'm in the New Milford Historical Society Arts Festival, with my friend, the fabulous jeweler Cynthia Battista. It should be a fun show, and I always love seeing Cynthia and Kevin, and their dogs Zack and George. 

Dog of the Day

Met this guy - a youngster, four months old! - in a parking lot in Pawcatuck, CT. 
He might look fierce, but he was a dear.