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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Still Life

A few years ago I was one of a few who were asked to illustrate a church cookbook. One of my sections to illustrate was  a section on vegetables. I did several arrangements and this was one of my favorites i guess because I was able to sneak in some flowers!

Saturday, April 22, 2017


I remember all those years ago when Earth Day began. It had a kind of hippie like vibe; seems like everything back then did. I admit I wasn't always  aware of  how important it was. As I have grown older I  realize how much we need to take care of the earth. I now am so much more awed by the beauty of flowers and trees. I am lucky to live conveniently near the city with all of its conveniences but suburban enough to hear birds outside my windows and see squirrels scampering up and down trees.Flowers still excite me and am so blessed to be able to paint what I love.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sunflower Surprise

I used to think there was just one kind of sunflower- the stereotypical large yellow petaled , huge dark brown centered flower of illustrations. I now know of all the varieties. These sunflowers are the milder cousins to those showy flowers. Of course they have as much impact, just a little quieter, introverts!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Crowd Surfing

This is a detail from a larger painting. My favorite thing about the piece and also the larger painting is the relationship between all the colors. The aqua surface beneath the pots is a perfect color to show off the flowers. I could say it was all a perfect plan but sometimes the colors are a trial and error. This time I got it right first try. Lucky!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Old Fashioned Peonies

this watercolor painting of peonies was done a while ago in a class I took in Pennsylvania . The instructor brought in fresh flowers to class each time. It was a pleasure to paint such beauty.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

White Wall

This is a small(6x6) painting of some geraniums in an enamel pot. It brings back memories to me of being a young child visiting my aunt who was quite a bit older than my mother.There were several kitchen pans like this one.She lived out in the country and even had an outhouse although she did eventually get an indoor toilet! It was kind of exotic to me but of course I only visited in the summer . I am sure I would have a different opinion if I had to visit the outhouse on a cold night.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blue Bowl

This is another painting  from the Karen O'Neil workshop in Woodstock ,N.Y last August.She had several still life arrangements set up around the studio and I was drawn to this beautiful glass bowl. It was a little intimidating but I knew I could always wipe it and start over if I needed to. That is the beauty of oil painting vs. watercolor. When I exclusively did watercolors it was hard to remedy a mistake. An important part of painting is observation. I took a long time to look at the bowl. It is amazing how many different colors and shapes are involved in this one  object. Carol  Marine gave some advice in another workshop to not fall in love with your artwork. This one hadn't sold yet on dailypaintworks but I don't mind keeping it around the studio. Something about that blue glass speaks to me .

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Charleston Market

My long time friends and I went to Charleston for a girls trip a few years ago.we had a great time in this picturesque city. The market there is very lively and colorful. I noticed this woman intently marking prices on the produce she was selling.She seemed to be the epitome of the strong matriarch .
A striking subject matter for sure..

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cozy Corner

Often  the most ordinary thing can be beautiful. These three pots standing  alone would not make much impact but grouped together make an interesting still life. I think it is about the warmth of the terra cotta paired with the bits of living plants and flowers as a contrast. A kind of cozy corner.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Equity Report

Tulips are in my top five of favorite flowers. These were so beautiful that I wanted to paint them. When deciding on the composition of flowers that are similar to each other in size and color, a lot of problems have to be solved.When objects are similar something has to be done to make them more interesting. One way to solve the problem is placement. I placed the tulips at varying heights on the plane to show depth. I also varied the size and color of the blooms  slightly. The tulips in the background have less precise shape and detail to push them farther back.Hopefully this draws the eye into the picture.Another rule of composition is to not put something of importance on the edge of the picture plane because it draws the eye out of the painting.So many rules to think about but after a number of years it becomes intuitive. Worth the trouble!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chicken Basket

i did this still life in watercolor some years ago.Toward the end of my mother's life we went to garage sales with her. I had picked up a little basket at a flea market in Maine and had given it to her. She loved it and we searched every garage sale from then on to find more. We were surprisingly lucky to find several more of all sizes. Adding this one to a group of vegetables and fruits made the painting much more personal to me.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catch the Light

I have lately been interested in abstract paintings. I study them and decide what are the things that draw my attention to a particular painting. It is often about color and shapes that are exciting to me.I have seen some in places like the Guggenheim and MOMA in New York that seem like a gimmick that is worth a lot of money but does nothing to pique my interest.
I have been incorporating abstract elements into my paintings lately. This painting is a good example of that. The flowers may seem traditional but I have tried to make each stroke deliberate, especially the background. The subject is still recognizable but with fewer strokes.
I don't want to become too predictable by always painting the same way.Although medicare is looming in about 6 months, I like to stay young!

Friday, March 17, 2017


Some of my favorite paintings have a darker background. I guess the darkness brings out the colors in a more dramatic way. I have  painted  similar paintings this way. I never tire of the way these colors are so pleasing to the eye.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

April Vase

My goal with this painting was to emphasize texture. I have painted these type of flowers hundreds of times but wanted to try something different.The smooth texture of the glass is a contrast to the rougher texture of the wall.It gives the painting a little interest and excitement.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

White Garden

I love color but I also like to paint with a limited palette. White is always exciting to me because it adds a punch of interest to the painting. I planted white tulips at my house this year and they are so good because they really show up in the yard compared to other colors that blend into the landscape. I am always amazed at the different greens in nature. Some beginner artists make the mistake of using green right out of the tube.I most often mix blue and yellow on the palette to get vibrant greens. A way to make a duller green is to add a bit of red, the complement of green. There goes that sneaky color theory again!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunny Window

I am drawn to windows and doors on houses rather than the whole structure. I think this is because I am not fond of drawing things that require using a straight edge. It seems like a kind of art that I avoid. The pots of flowers add some interest to the window and the sun and shadows add some life to the painting. No rulers were harmed in this endeavor.


A little self promotion. I entered two paintings in our local art league show. They both were juried in and one won an award for best use of color. There were a lot of great paintings entered and I am honored to be included. Most of my paintings are sent out to people that I never get a chance to meet so it was nice to interact with artists and art admirers in person.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Three Peonies

This is another peony painting.I get started and can't stop. The glass jars are a favorite theme of mine; even better when they come in threes. One rule of design that  works well is to have an odd number of objects in a painting.An even number seems to split the painting down the middle instead of keeping your eyes moving around the painting.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dappled Geraniums

I like to paint from life but sometimes it is practical to take photos outdoors. The best day to do that for me is a sunny day bcause of all the wonderful shadows. Sometimes they become the star of the painting rather than the subject matter. These geraniums were begging to be photographed!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Peonies Please

I feel the same way about peonies as I do about water towers. I know, that is weird! I think it is the way they seem to have the shape that can be held oin your hand; the rounded cupped shape. Of course the water tower can't be held- just in my mind. Peonies are so lush and beautiful, they strike a chord in the viewer. This one is headed to Orlando,Florida in a few days.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

English Garden

One of my favorite things about England was seeing all of the gardens. We saw plenty in London, often more formal. We were lucky to go to the Cotswolds , away from the city. The area is famous for its thatched roofs and idyllic views  of sheep in the fields. The gardens were glorious. They were often with the most unassuming cottages; making the house seem grander than they were.This painting reminds  me of the old fashioned feeling of the English country garden.

Friday, February 24, 2017


I learned in a workshop once that it is a good idea to change colors every few inches in a painting.. This is to keep the painting interesting. I don't always remember to do that but I think I was successful in this painting. I didn't have the idea that it was  in moonlight until I finished painting. That is one of the things I love about painting; there is always room to be surprised.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Raise the Bar

Since moving from Pennsylvania where thousands of tulips were just two miles away from me; I savor every one I see. My husband always plants daftodils and tulips every year for me. It is a great Valentines day present to me. Because it has been so warm, the daffodils are already blooming. The Japanese magnolia, bradford pears and forsythia are also competing for attention. But tulips are always first in my heart.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Another take on zinnias! These remind me of a group of friends squeezing in to take a selfie, trying to make sure their faces show up in the picture. I don't think of them as shy, retiring flowers. They are full of self esteem ready to be elected cheerleaders.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Rose

i like  close ups of flowers. The first time I tried it I was intimidated because it seemed so complicated. But I soon realized it wasn't as hard as I thought when I knew that I did not have to draw every single petal; there would be no visit from "the rose police" to arrest me if it wasn't exactly like the actual rose. It then became pleasurable!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Another important thing in art is composition. I don't always follow the rules; they are made to be broken. But some rules are worthwhile. A painting composition is much more dynamic with some diagonal lines.It has something to do with drawing the observer's eye into the picture plane. That is not to say that I couldn't paint these pots of flowers in a straight line; just that I could do something else in the composition to make it interesting. That could be done with color, value or texture.


Whoever invented the color wheel knew what they were doing. I remember in college doing what I thought were boring exercises using different color schemes. I now know they were very important. This painting has an analogous color scheme. In elementary school language that means neighboring colors. The blues, greens and turquoises help each other out to make a soothing combination.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

By the Book

I do love roses. This simple arrangement seems very tranquil to me; just a few elements to take in.Glass is an obsession with me. I remember painting it for the first time. I was very intimidated but it is like a lot of things in life- you just have to try it. The worst thing that could happen is that I might fail and try again.

Monday, February 6, 2017

School House

I found this old photo at a flea market in Maine years ago. It is of students and teachers obviously posing in front of a schoolhouse somewhere probably in New England. It gives a glimpse at what the social structure was at the time.Some of the students are barefoot and in overalls. They must have been the rural farm kids. Some others have nice clothing and shoes; perhaps they are the town children- sons and daughters of the banker or merchants.
My cousins went to a one room schoolhouse for part of their schooling. When my family visited my aunt's family I went to school for a few days in the little school.the teacher taught all 8 grades and did it very well.I went to a suburban elementary at the time and certainly not accustomed to such a small place but it was a great experience.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Great Delta Tour

I went to New Orleans a foggy morning a few weeks ago. While there I went with some friends on the Great Delta Tour of the swamp and delta area of the river. We had a knowledgeable tour guide who was also a bird expert.Although it was a foggy morning , we were able to see a lot .
This is a photograph of the area that I added a filter to make it more interesting. I hope to use it to make a piece of art work.