Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rhythm & Blues

"Rhythmic Blues" 9x12 gallery wrap
Daybreak Beach Stroll 16x20Gentle rolling waves,  the advancing and receding patterns of the water, the light bouncing off the surface or shining through the crest of the wave all capture my attention. Mostly, I paint my impressions of it, as it  rapidly changes and is a fluid, dynamic experience.  Colors change with wind and clouds -and alter the patterns even in a moments time; sand churns up from the bottom and colors ebb and flow with the water,  but there is a consistency that is evident. It seduces me every time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Frog's Fantasy

"A Frog's Fantasy" 11x14

"A Frog's Fantasy 2"  24x30    
When painting the first Frog's fantasy, I was really excited about the complexity of the layers in the water. The natural layers of things that were visible below the surface and the color changes associated with the depth changes were exciting; but adding the sky and weed reflections took it to another whole level. I enjoyed playing with the pinks and violets and creating a fanciful landscape that I think any frog would have been psyched to encounter. It was such a pleasure to paint, I decided I really must do it big. I don't know which one I enjoyed painting more, but the big brushes and the many layers I built up in creating the 2nd one put me in the zone so much that I didn't realize someone stood watching me a half hour before I even became aware they were there.   Since I "retired' my goal is to paint what I want and to get better. I don't want to be motivated by whether or not something will sell. I really want to focus on my own expression. I loved creating this piece! I was happy someone else loved it too.

In the Zone in South Natick

South Natick waterfall 16x20
Sometimes people ask, "How can you paint with all those people watching you?" After 36 years in front of a classroom filled with students and parents watching me demonstrate and having to use both the left brain and right brain simultaneously (which is very difficult to do), being watched stopped being an issue for me. Now, the luxurious feeling of "just painting" is wonderful. A friend says she wears earphones-even if she isn't listening to anything-so she can stay focused on what she is doing. She said another trick is to just put a hat out there with some money in it and then people tend to leave her alone. At best, she makes a couple bucks extra. I was mesmerized by the three types of water at this site. The sun was strong. The upper water was calm and reflective with duckweed and leaves floating on top, the waterfall was roaring and powerful with water splashing upward at it's base and the area below displayed patterns and a rhythm in the strong current. For me, I get in the "zone". I literally am not even aware of people staring or taking photos. When I did this painting in South Natick, MA, I may have been too in the zone; I got home  to Walpole and realized I had left my pocketbook back on the park bench in Natick. The young girl that found it returned it to me via the police station. I let the painting dry, framed it and dropped it by her house several weeks later as a thank you. She was absolutely stunned that I had tracked her down and equally thrilled with her "thank you". I was grateful my bag was found by such a nice honest young woman.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Art in Bloom"

Jonathan's Peonie's


Marion Blues  16x20

"English Garden" 8x10 -
"Lucy's Lupine

 "Lucy's Garden" 16x20
Flowers are nostalgic. They remind me of people, places, and moments experienced when all alone. I'm not a big floral painter per se, but  I do love landscapes with flowers in them. My friend Lucy has an amazing perenial farm in York. It's  inspirational and always changing with the seasons. I love the old fashioned New England flowers: hollyhocks and lupine,peonies and lavender, morning glories and larkspur. Painting flowers is discovering patterns and color variations. Light hitting a thistle, for example, has a halation effect that is unique and beautiful. Atmospheric perspective can be manipulated to create a transition in colors as they fade into the distance. When painting flowers outdoors, speed is of the essence. They really need to be captured in a small window of time.

Antique cars-it's a family thing!

"Wavecrest Woodie"
16x20 oil

"Ken's World" 18x24 oil

My brother restores antique cars. Since the early 1960's, wherever he is, there has always been a car in the process of being reassembled or proudly displayed. Woodies were always our family car during my childhood and my brother has two beautifully restored ones at the moment. The green one in the painting received the coveted "Dearborn Award". He loves his cars and I love to paint them. They are particularly challenging since any mistakes in drawing are very obvious to a car connaiseur. They do lend a certain charm to a scene with their warm wood tones and shiny glass and metal components. Once put into a setting that I like, I think of it like painting a still life;-size and color relationships, light and then relating to the background. "Ken's World"is on it's way to be displayed at the Northern Virginia Car Club show.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Winter Blues

Winter's Glory-Bird Park at dusk
Winter Stream-Fairfax, VT

Beautiful Dawn-
Winter Wonderland

2013 should be synonymous with SNOW. Here it is March 18th and yet another big storm is forecast. For some this might not be exciting....But...
I love snow! When I wake up in the morning and look out the window I am always astonished by the sheer beauty of everything blanketed in a new fresh coat of white. For a brief time everything looks clean. My thoughts go to days off when I was little; a kind of gift to have the freedom to play and take a break from the daily grind. I think of the exhilarating feeling of being on top of a mountain about to ski down and looking out over the snow covered world below. Fresh tracks when no one has gone before. Snow provides an opportunity to get "centered". There is a serenity that I feel and that I like to try to capture when I paint a snow scene. I love the cool blue shadows dancing across the surface, the warm lights hitting the snow and reflecting back, and the branches that hang heavy under the weight of their new visitor.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sometimes a still life

My first still life in oils -11x14-Juicy  Nectarines
This won honorable mention in the Art in the Park show
 in Norwood, MA 2011

I had fiddled around with painting things before actually doing still life paintings.
18x24-primarily peppers
Sometimes a still life is a good way to hone skills and focus on technique, color, composition,etc. without packing everything up and facing the inevitable question-"what shall I paint today?" I am fortunate to have a really great group to paint with. Feedback from other artists is helpful. Having a quiet uninterrupted time to paint is essential.
"Autumn's Delights" was juried into a show at Fountain Street Fine Art in Framingham, MA (11x14)                                                                                                                



Judge's Choice Award!

I was honored to receive the judge's choice award in the Hull Museum show. There were many outstanding works and seeing the ribbon on my painting evoked a certain pride knowing that others enjoyed it too. One of the judges commented, "I wish that I had painted this!"


Church St. Burlington ,VT  18x24---

Swanboat Memories 16x20---

The old and the new, Oxford University, UK-16x20-

Winooski Falls, Winooski, VT-

When thinking about painting  city scenes, first thoughts are the downtown hustle and bustle. The great thing in exploring a city is discovering what makes it unique and what makes it universal. The old mill towns in New England are great;  factory buildings are converted and the flavor of the community is preserved. Some old mills are marketplaces, artist studios, restaurants, fitness centers and a multitude of other things. In some cities parks and walking streets provide places to gather or relax. Sometimes it's the history that attracts me. Although painting the city provides a lot of opportunity, I have much more exploring to do in this area. I was able to set up my easel on my daughter's balcony to paint the Winooski Falls. The blue and orange harmony attracted me as well as the rushing  water patterns;  but today that view is gone as new high rise condos went up right after I painted this one. Some scenes, like the swanboats, are iconic and others are pure luck. When I saw the students come through the doorway at Oxford it was the moment when it all came together. I was already hooked on the lighting, but the new and modern juxtaposed with the old and established was the moment I wanted to capture. Church Street in Burlington is another iconic scene with the white steepled church at one end. Sometimes there are banners and flags or street performers and pushcarts or in the winter-lights and people bundled up against the VT cold. Any season is a good one to paint Church Street.