Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Reading and Commission

A couple weeks ago my husband and I stopped into our local used bookstore and I picked up this autobiography of Norman Rockwell. What a pleasant read! Like his paintings, his anecdotes are charming and detailed illustrations about very colorful characters. Loved it!

In other news . . . I can't remember if I shared my finished commission with you. It's a painting based on a few black and white photos of a childhood home. It's a little more interpretive than what I usually paint but most important was for me to portray a sense of place and nostalgia that would conjure up happy memories for the recipient. Hopefully I was able to achieve that. 

"Ebenwood Farm"
12" x 12"
(watercolor on aquabord)

I am always grateful when approached to do a commission. This was no exception . . . and a treat to reconnect with an old classmate.  Thanks, Mitch!  :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

"S" Is For Summer And Spontaneity!

Last week I had the good-fortune of taking a spontaneous trip to Nantucket for a couple days. My dear friends are vacationing there for a couple weeks and invited me to come stay with them. With my husband's blessing I hopped the ferry last Tuesday morning and came back late Wednesday night. It was a glorious break . . . beautiful, fun, artful and inspiring. Needless to say I have lots of photos and paintings planned!

I am back at work now, planning my 2018 calendar and working on paintings for Christmas cards.   

"Deerfield Door" - almost finished
14" x 11"
(watercolor on aquabord)

"Kringle Santa" - wip
12" x 12"
(watercolor on aquabord)

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Switching It Up . . . Again

work in progress
14" x 11"
(watercolor on aquabord)

Hello All!  My posts have been spotty at best this summer, but that doesn't mean I haven't been painting. Although I admit I've been spending more time working outdoors, reading and traveling around collecting photos for inspiration. 

In typical fashion, I've bounced around from painting to painting. I must finish the images for this year's Christmas cards, so I put my Baby Lilacs aside to again continue making progress on this little ditty. It's getting there . . . 

I hope all my Northern Hemisphere friends are enjoying your summer!

Monday, June 26, 2017

No Rest For The Weary

14" x 11"
(watercolor on aquabord)

I finished up "Signs" -- my fourth painting from my Amsterdam,  The Netherlands series.  I've also begun some new paintings.  I was inspired by my beautiful baby lilacs this season and have messed around a bit with the color.  So I have a couple paintings of this subject planned.  I'm also toying with architectural structures as a theme, so I've been playing around with some images I captured while visiting Georgetown (Virginia) over the fall.  (Don't worry, I haven't abandoned Amsterdam . . . I've got those paintings planned and ready to go.)

works in progress
left to right:  "Baby Lilacs" -- study?
Georgetown painting -- unnamed

Finally, I am working on a commission for a friend.  I will be very busy this week.  I've been painting a lot and so my house and gardens are a mess . . . ha!  Hopefully I can become a little more balanced in the upcoming weeks.  But I figure if I can paint enough, maybe I can hire a housekeeper and gardner!  Ha!  (one can always dream, eh?) 

Have a great start to your week!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Inching Along

"Signs" - work in progress
14" x 11"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)

Just taking a minute before bed to post my progress.  Have a good night!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Signs Progression

#3 -- pulled out the lettering on the black sign
I like this much better

Thought I'd catch you up on my progress on "Signs." I can't remember what I've shared of this one already.  As you may tell, I paint things, then I take them out, then I paint them again.  I find this process adds to the realism.  (oh . . . and it allows me to try things that I can change if I want) 

 #2 -- More work . . .
got rid of the lettering on the black sign as it just wasn't working

#1 -- First pass . . . just laying down the basic washes and a some lettering
I masked out the lettering on the black sign, only to hate it -- ha!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Laundry Day

"Laundry Day"
11" x 14"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)

I let this one sit for a while and did a little more tweaking on Monday.  I think it's finally safe to say "she's done!" Now it's off to varnish!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Part Two

"At CCD"
8" x 8"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)

This is the painting I did for Sister Angela who has taken another position within the Diocese after 30+ years serving the people of our church. Together, Father and Sister were a team and built a beautiful and loyal community within our Parish. It is very sad to see them go.

These two folks have great senses of humor, so I'm hopeful that Sister "schooling" Father at CCD will be well-received.  :)

More Amsterdam paintings to come this week, so stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Taking Risks

"Watching the Red Sox"
8" x 8"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)

I took a little detour from my Amsterdam paintings to work on a couple of gifts. While I haven't yet delivered them, I'm pretty sure the recipients don't follow me online, so I think I'm safe. And yes, that's a priest.  :)  Our dear Parish Pastor, Father Fitzgerald, has retired after 30+ years and we are all sad to see him go. He and his loyal sidekick, Sister Angela actually look a lot like these Fisher Price people -- Father and Sister are the cutest, most adorable little people I know . . . and one of the great teams in history. 

Anyway . . . I did a painting for each of them . . . this one is for Father. But there is a painting lesson in here that I wanted to share with you. Take a look at the version of this painting mid-way, below:

It's horrible! The reference image had the background darker, and in shadow, so that is what I aimed to paint. And if you are familiar with the Fisher Price toys of this era, the blue on the walls is a weird, almost dirty looking blue. Too often I succumb to being a slave to the photo -- something I am really striving to avoid these days . . . but alas, I was sucked in and my painting was lifeless and dirty looking.  There was no way I could continue it like this. I would either have to do something drastic or start over.  So I went "drastic" and decided to wash off the background. (This is one of the perks of aquabord.)

To the sink I went . . . and carefully holding the board under the running water, only where I wanted to "erase," I began to get rid of the majority of paint in the background. The Winsor blue is a staining pigment so I knew it wasn't all going to wash off, however, I wanted to leave a ghost image so I knew where to re-paint. 

Luckily, it worked like a charm and I could revise the background.  I brightened it up, making new decisions about what the painting needed as opposed to what the photo was showing me.  

So I validated two valuable lessons here (I say "validated" because deep down I know these things, I just don't always apply them):

1)  Let your painting speak to you . . . and be sure to listen. It will tell you where to go and what it needs.  Don't just paint your reference photo.

2)  Take a risk on a painting that isn't working. The worst that can happen is you start over . . . the best is that you salvage something that would never have worked in the first place.

Thanks for popping by.  Tomorrow I will share the painting I did for Sister Angela.  :)

Monday, June 5, 2017


"Princeton Barn"
12" x 9"
(framed watercolor on aquabord)

I did some framing over the weekend and decided to share the fruits of my labor.  "Princeton Barn" is framed in a beautiful plein air frame from Randy Higbee's collection.  The other three, shown below are framed in Ampersand's black floater frames.

I am happy to announce that "Princeton Barn" has found its "forever home" (many thanks to my newest collectors) and now "Truro Light" is looking to find its new home.  I'm going to hang onto the Amsterdam paintings for shows, but if you are interested in "Truro Light" you can get a better view of it at my DPW Gallery.

"Truro Light" (10" x 8")
"Canal House Copper" ("14" x 11")
"Parked" (14" x 11")

"Truro Light" - $300 
Click here to purchase.

Have a great start to your week!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Almost There and Signs

"Laundry Day" - work in progress
11" x 14"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)
I'm still here and working. Progress usually gets slow as I near completion on my paintings.  It takes time to work finer details and I spend a lot of time just looking and thinking, carefully planning my next move. So while "Laundry Day" may look finished, I have some more tweaking to do to get it just how I want it.

In the meantime, I began painting "Signs" (below). It's a nod to my friend, Debbie Shirley, she paints wonderfully colorful scenes of signs and other nostalgic items. As soon as I saw these signs and their perspective, I thought of Debbie!  Be sure to take a look at her work, it's fun and engaging. You won't be disappointed.

work in progress
14" x 11"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)

Ciao for now! Thank you for coming by.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Getting Close

"Laundry Day"
11" x 14"
(watercolor on cradled aquabord)

Tweaking and taking care of the final details.  Hope you all had a lovely long weekend.