Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mt. Ascutney

Mt. Ascutney
5x7 oil on panel

I am playing around with thicker paint, quicker application and mindful brushwork. This was done from a reference photo I took last summer.

This photo is not good, I think it has to do with blogger because the same photo comes out fine in DPW.  My computer has been acting a little crazy with lots of pop-ups and pop-ups telling me to quickly hit this button to avoid pop-ups.  I did that once and by the time the virus was done destroying everything, I needed a new computer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Summer in the White Mountains

"Summer in the White Mountains"
8x10 oil on panel
I spent a lot of time with my daughter last summer in the White Mountains.  I called this morning thinking it would be a good time for a ride up.  She said there is a foot of snow from last week's storm and it is snowing sideways now.  My reference photos will have to do.
I don't know what happened to this image on blogger.  I actually like the pixelated look but it is not an accurate representation of the painting.  It came out fine in Daily Paintworks!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Marsh at Plum Island

 14x18 soft pastel on art spectrum suede
This is the larger version based on yesterday's study.  At first it seemed easy and the study was helpful but I ended up brushing it down three times.  It's done, maybe I'll revisit it later. I'm not completely happy with it.  Sometimes pastels seem to paint themselves, when they are this difficult I put away the pastels and give myself a break.  If I paint tomorrow it will be in oils.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pastel Study

Marsh Study
5.5x7.5 Soft pastel
I know the value of doing a study, I just don't always do it.  Yesterday's post started out as a study and three hours later I realized I had done a small painting.  Today I stayed focused, I even counted strokes (until I lost count!)
What I learned from this: I would like to try it larger, on a darker surface that is smoother or with a value study and alcohol wash. I will adjust the curve of the front grass mass and make the distant grasses recede. Maybe I saved myself and a larger piece of paper from a few mistakes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


8x10 soft pastel on colorfix suede
My plan was to do several quick studies and choose  one  do a large painting.  I forgot about the quick part and kept on working.  This may be the one I do large.
I delivered several paintings to Sullivan Framing yesterday when I picked up my framed pastels.  I got a call today that four of them sold! I think all of them were flowers.  Welcome Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Returning Loostrife

"Returning Loostrife"
12x18 Soft Pastel on LaCarte (peach)
I picked this up today at Sullivan Framing in Bedford NH.  Amy did a great job framing it, I love the way pastels look under museum glass with a spacer and no mat.
I have always loved the loostrife.  I remember it as a child in the dry Merrimack river bed and wondered how it got there. August fields were lit up with its breathtaking color. It was controlled because its invasive nature was overwhelming other native plants and fields that were once permanent magenta became goldenrod.  Now it is slowly returning and adds to a more balanced color.  Any landscape painter knows that the secret to green is orange and purple is the friend.
Today is the first day of Spring and I long for this much color.  The snow has been beautiful but I am ready for a change.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Into the Woods

"Into the Woods"
11x14 soft pastel on colorfix suede
This pastel did not get juried into the IAPS exhibit at Vose Gallery.  I think I will buy myself more pastels as a consolation prize!
From posts I've seen it looks like it will be a terrific show, I can't wait to see it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spicket River

Spicket River
5x7 pastel
Tomorrow I will be notified whether or not my pastel "Into the Woods" was accepted into the IAPS
exhibit at Vose Gallery in Boston so today I decided to get back into pastels. My plan was to choose 5 to 10 reference photos, design the composition and do quick studies. This one was the first and not all that quick!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Weaver's Tools

The Weaver's Tools
10x10 oil on panel $200
The first in a series of Tools of the Trade.  Technically there has to be a second for it to be considered a series but I am optimistic.  I thought it would be difficult to go from 6x6 to 10x10 but this panel seemed just the right size.

Wild Rabbit

Wild Rabbit
6x6 oil on panel
This is a re-do of yesterday's painting. I am much happier now!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Rabbit in the Lettuce Patch

Wild Rabbit
6x6 oil on panel
This was done for the fundraiser at Sullivan Framing.  The theme had to be animal related.  This rabbit just finished eating all my celery and was getting started on the lettuce.  I am  not sure if I will send this in - I think it is creepy and I'm not sure why. I think the values are too similar but then again the rabbit was trying to hide.  I might try it tomorrow without the lettuce.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Bouquet

Spring Bouquet (on light background)
8x8 oil on panel
I tried it again, same flowers different day. The lighter background is more cheerful and I think I like it better. I stopped painting this but I'm not sure I'm finished.  I am just way too tired, I may revisit it tomorrow.
My dad used to say I was burning the candle at both ends.  Everything looks better in the morning.
This is yesterday's version.  Which do you like better?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Bouquet

Spring Bouquet
8x8 oil on panel
Alla Prima.  This was fun to paint, I kept it painterly and tried to avoid overworking.  I painted the background black to make the colors pop but I'm not sure how I feel about the finished piece. I think I will try this again with a light background.
Black sure is hard to photograph!
I am gearing up for some pastel work.  I've printed my reference photos and plan to start with small studies before I take out the big sheets.  We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 10, 2014


6x12 oil on panel NFS
Another impressionistic flower study.  Can you tell I can't wait for Spring?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tulip Impressions

Tulip Impressions
6x6 oil on panel $100
These grocery store tulips have been reminding me that Spring is near. I wanted to give an impression rather than a tight rendering.  It was a lot of fun to do.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


6x6 oil on panel
This went through several transitions as I worked through ideas. I wiped out two versions last night and started fresh this morning. I worked on lost  and found edges and softened some.
I have not decided whether I want to paint with classical realism or impressionistic brushwork, both styles appeal to me but I don't like being in the middle of the two.
I read a quote on Cathleen Rehfeld's blog attributed to Miles Davis "Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself." So I guess I will keep playing until my art work finds it's direction.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Crazy 8

Crazy 8
I couldn't paint before work today, I was just too slow moving.  In the evening I tried a still life of a pear and it just didn't work out. I decided I was just too tired. Then I remembered my Crazy 8s!
Terry Ludwig Pastels has a sale once a year of broken, imperfect, discontinued pastels.  The sale started Sunday and I bought two sets.  They arrived today.  I don't usually do still lifes in pastel but when nothing is working - try something different.
I used all but one of the pastels that came in these little sets and it was fun.  I think I will be doing more pastel still lifes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Three Cherries

Three Cherries
5x5 oil on Arches paper for oil
I was inspired by Kelli Folsom who starts her day with a little painting. I did this little study before I left for work.  I may do it every day.  Next time I will lay our all my supplies ahead of time.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Red Pepper

Red Pepper
5x5 oil on Arches paper
If I can paint every day for 1/2 hour just imagine what I can accomplish next time I have 4 hours in a row!
My paintings have a better social life than I do.  I am keeping a calendar to remind me when each one has to be delivered and picked up.  Unfortunately there are a lot of conflicts and I have to choose which event I prefer.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Clementines and cup

Clementines with cup
5x5 oil on arches oil paper
I started doing a series of oil studies on paper.  Just a half hour, something to help me loosen up.  I like the Arches oil paper - it's not like anything I've used before.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Still Life with Clementines

Still Life with Clementines
8x8 oil on panel
I reworked this a bit but mostly just photographed it better.  Black is so hard to capture without glare.