Thursday, December 31, 2015

30 in 30

Well I just joined Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge, nothing like waiting to the last minute! She promises easier uploads with her new site. I was going to start off with a trip to Blick until my daughter reminded me First Night in Boston starts in a few hours.

My plan is to try new things, new techniques, new materials, new styles, practice what I have learned in last years workshops and document what works and what does not.
I will start with landscapes and pastels but that can change and anything can happen.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rachel"s Song

"Rachel's Song" 16x20 oil on panel

I visited the Rachel Carson wildlife refuge on the coast of Maine this summer and referenced one of my photos for this scene.  I am working on staying loose even if it means wiping out and starting over.  The reflections were done at least five times! This was large for me, a way to celebrate my new, much larger studio.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Dunes 11x17 soft pastel
This painting will be hanging in the Pelham Library for the month of August.
They have a wonderful hanging system and a very helpful staff.  It was a pleasure to work with them.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Phippsburg Afternoon
12x12 soft pastel on Uart
This one was done in a workshop with Ed Chesnovitch, I learned so much from him.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Featured Artist

Essex 11x14 soft pastel
12x16 soft pastel
I am the featured artist at the Pelham NH library for the month of August and I have 18 pastel paintings on display.  The Library staff were so friendly and helpful with the hanging, they were a pleasure to work with.  Tomorrow is their arts and blues festival from 10 to 1.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Marsh Magic

Marsh Magic #3
6x6 pastel on Pastel Premier
I took a workshop with Ed Chsnovitch and have been playing with color ever since.  This started out as a complementary underpainting but I was having so much fun I kept going with the warms.
I plan to use the same reference (this was from Small Point, Me.) and play around with different colorways.  Next I will start like this one but continue on with complementary local colors.  We will see!
My studio is about 3/4 of the way finished. I set up my large Dakota box as a studio box and ordered a new set of Senneliers and large paper to celebrate.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Catching the Light

Catching the Light
10x10 oil on panel
I love the way the light hit the side of this vase and just the edge of the hydrangeas.  I have been experimenting lately and just plain having fun.  For this I used a ground of cad red and neomeglip as a medium.  I like them both.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Peaches and Hydrangeas
6x6 oil on panel
I have been spending my painting time experimenting, playing around and trying something different. This study was done with neo meglip as a medium on an oil primed ground toned with cad red.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Playing with Cad Red

Wearing Red
6x6 oil on panel
I wanted to try something different, to experiment.  I've often toned my panel with earth orange, this time I tried Cadmium Red. I liked the way this turned out and I know I will try it again.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Demo at GSAA

On Thursday I did a demo for GSAA. I explained that my paintings proceed in three steps.  The first is planning and design and involves taking my own reference photos, creating thumbnails using three values. I use a golden section grid and rearrange objects to suit my composition, I then transfer the idea to a mounted pastel paper limiting my design to five basic shapes.  All of this was done before the demo. Next I chose hard pastels for my under painting paying attention to values with cools in the background and warmer in the foreground. This was quickly washed with alcohol to create a toned surface. I love having some of the deep red violets peek through the green. I then quickly added layers of pastel to suggest the scene without being too literal. When I start to feel the tendency to overwork I stop and take a break to observe and make some decisions. This is how the painting looked at the end of my demo.

Back on my easel I put the reference photo away and made some observations:

  • Add some bright golds to the foreground field to invite the eye in. Some of these should overlap the next layer to create depth.
  •  Soften the back layer of trees to break the barrier to the mountain and add variety to this edge.
  • Make the right hand distance tree more dominant and minimize the left so they don't compete for attention.
  • Adjust the brush to allow access to the field.
  • Reshape the front and center bush and adjust the other two so they do not mimic the first.
  •  Add wild flowers in the field to pull the eye in. Add blue violets in the foreground just for fun.

This is how the painting looks after this step:
Just a few more corrections needed:
  • Soften the ridge line to the left of the left tree
  • Break up the rows on the left
  • Make the large tree even more dominant

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Pear studies
Pear 1

Pear 2
I did these little pear studies today as an experiment.  I am trying to work with lost and found edges and to not over-work.  I wish these were more dramatic, had a little more punch.  Sometimes my paintings "sing" these don't but I like the edges and I had fun painting these.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Today I received a notice that I was accepted into the Pastel Society of America.  I am thrilled beyond words!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lemons and Bowl with early Daffs

Lemons and Bowl with Early Daffs
10x10 oil on panel
I enjoyed painting Friday's daffs so much that I bought two more bunches when I went out for groceries.  It is snowing again and is forecast to continue until the end of the day tomorrow. A foot or two on top of the three feet we had last week. There isn't a better way to spend the time than inside the warm studio painting daffodils and thinking of spring.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lemons and Daffs

Lemons and Daffs
6x6 oil on panel
This one is almost done, just needs a little tweeking.
I started with a wash of sienna and a sketch with umber, wiping out the lights.
Block -in

Adjusting.  This is where I notice it is almost finished and that it might be ok.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Copper Pot

Copper Pot
6x8 oil on RayMar Panel
When something isn't working, try something different. I had been working on a pastel landscape.  I did multiple versions of it on different surfaces.  They were all ok but none were great and they were not getting better.  I hung them all so I could evaluate and I put the pastels away.
This is an oil study based on Kelli Folsom's video on painting metallic objects. I watched it for the third time while I painted along with her.  She doesn't use OMS to mix her paints or clean her brushes, just wipes down with a paper towel. This is also the first time I used oil primed linen and I could not believe how easily the paint moved around.  These are definitely techniques I will use again!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Maine Marsh 2

Maine Marsh 2
6x8 pastel on colorfix rose gray
The same reference photo as yesterday, I am playing around with different surfaces and underpaintings. I used nupastels for the underpainting and girault for the final version.
Underpainting using 3 values of nu pastels

alcohol wash

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Maine Marsh

Maine Marsh
12x16 soft pastel on canson mi teintes paper
 I was not happy with it when I finished it a week ago so I left it on the easel to think about.  Today I made a few corrections and I like it now. I hope to get back to this spot next summer.