Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thank You Pratique Des Arts

I spent a wonderful day in Concord yesterday, with my sister-in-law Hallie, only to have the excitement continue when I reached home to see that I had received in the mail the issue of the latest Pratique Des Arts, the beautiful French watercolor magazine.  As you can see above, they published 3 of my paintings in their International Portfolio feature.  I am very grateful for the inclusion.  This issue features many amazing artists whose paintings I've long admired and I am extremely humbled to have work among theirs . . . including Carrie Waller's beautiful painting "Nostalgia."  It's been a favorite of mine ever since I saw it on her blog.  Congratulations Carrie -- I was very excited when I turned the page and saw your painting!  :)  

Thanks for letting me share my news . . . have a great weekend.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bulbs and Stripes

"Bulbs and Stripes"
6" x 6"

(what this painting could look like framed)

Click here to bid

Here's the latest Christmas painting.  I took a bunch of photos when I was planning my Christmas card so I thought I might as well put them to good use.  It will give me some things to choose from next year when I find myself behind the eight ball and needing an image for my cards.  Hope you enjoy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Retro Bulb

"A Retro Bulb"
5" x 7"

Here's the little painting I finished over the weekend.  Now, back to decorating!  Fa-la-la-la-laaaa!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Cards

I just received the proofs for my Christmas cards -- LOVE THEM!  If you haven't ever tried you should give them a whirl -- I use them for all my printed cards.  I particularly like the little holly leaf and berry I put on the inside sentiment for the "Vintage Bulb" card -- I wanted you to see that little detail.  :)

ALSO . . . I would like to thank Carrie Waller for interviewing me for her blog. Below is her painting, "Pomegranates and Cranberries." 

Carrie is a fellow watercolorist and blogger.  In addition to posting her own work she also features different artists on Fridays. I was quite tickled when she asked if she could interview me and post some of my work. I had long admired hers, so of course said yes. So if you're interested in seeing some more of her beautiful work or finding out more about my work process (or whether I prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream) :) check out her blog or her latest post.  

And speaking of paintings -- I've been a little lame lately, but I assure you I'll be posting a new one this weekend, so stay tuned!  :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"A Vintage Bulb"
8.25" x 10"

(what this painting could look like framed)

Click here to bid

Well finally I'm posting again. Good grief! I apologize for the delay. It gets a little hectic around here at the holidays -- lots of cleaning and decorating to do. But alas, here is my latest. I make my own Christmas cards every year and have them printed over at Once I get that all ready, I'll post so you can see the finished product. It's always exciting. I also make cards for my dad to use too. It's a fun tradition. And I love seeing my paintings in miniature!  :)

Just in case you're interested, I took some pictures during the process of this painting. Because the photographs were taken at various times of day, the colors may be a little off -- especially in the second step image.  That one is a little heavy on the red. But other than that, this will give you an idea of what goes on "behind the scenes." Have a great day!

After drawing my image on the watercolor paper, I masked out some of the "glitter" areas on the bulb and a couple small highlights. Then covered the painting in wet-on-wet washes of Alizarin Crimson Hue, Cobalt and New Gamboge.  

Next I added a couple washes of local color -- adding the green for the "wallpaper" and leaves. I also added a few more shadows on the bulb as well.

More details . . . In this step I started to build up the values, adding depth to the cloth and bulb.

More local color, worked on the leaves. Oh! . . . and I mustn't forget those circles on the "wallpaper!"  I cut out a small circle stencil and used that over and over again on the background.  Call me crazy!

Here I added more detail and value to the bulb.  I like working on Fabriano hot-pressed paper because it allows me to "push and pull" on my paintings.  (That's what I call it) . . . I add and most importantly, take away, scrubbing out areas that may get too dark.  At about this point I carefully added some Alizarin Crimson to the bulb making sure not to paint areas that I'd want to pull color out from later on as this pigment stains.  

Final details!  I added some green to the shadow under the holly leaf in the foreground, played with the cloth a little more, and obviously layered and layered color over the other leaves.  I also eliminated the masking fluid from the bulb and worked on the "glitter" design - scrubbing out color and picking out small highlights with an X-acto knife after the paint was dry.  While I work I make sure to keep checking the overall values and their relationship to each other within the entire painting, I assess and adjust what I think needs more work, giving additional depth to each item.

I hope you found this "step-by-step" informative!  (Oh and if you click on any of the images, you can view them larger . . . and you can sequence through the process which is kind of cool.)  Ok that's all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wrapped and Ready To Go

3 commissioned pieces -- 10" x 10" each

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a wonderful day.  My brother and his wife handle Thanksgiving every year (he's a tremendous cook and she bakes and handles decorating the house and setting a beautiful table -- I should've taken pictures, everything was just beautiful.)  We also stopped by and visited with my husband's family before we headed over to my brother's.  It was a great day . . . and I'm looking forward to some leftovers today (we all leave with care packages - so good).

I thought you might like to see all three of the commissioned paintings together so I snapped the photo above.  They are wrapped and ready to go -- yippee! While I was painting this series, I painted two "Stand Outs." Because I didn't think the first one I painted fit in with the other two paintings as well as it should, I painted the one shown above that I think works better. The second one that I painted is shown below and that one I'm posting and auctioning off over at  So if you're interested in seeing it up close and personal you can check it out by clicking on the "click here to bid" below where you'll be able to zoom in and scroll around the painting. 

Anyway . . . have a great day and let the Christmas season begin - Fa-la-la-la-laaa La-laaa La Laaa!  :)

"Stand Out II"
10" x 10"

(what this painting could look like framed)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blueberry Commissions

"Blueberries IV"
10" x 10"

I am very grateful for having 3 commissions recently for my blueberry paintings.  This is a new composition and thought I'd share it.  The other two are larger paintings of previous compositions.  I think I'm becoming an expert on the intricacies of the blueberry.  :)  Hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fresh Kicks

"Kickin' It Old School"
8" x 8"

(what this painting could look like framed)

Click here to bid

I decided to "kick it old school" for last week's DPW Challenge by using my old Saucony sneaker as the subject for this little painting.  Now it's back to finishing up a few commissions I've been working on. Have a good rest of the weekend.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tweaked and Matted

(what this painting could look like framed)

I made a few minor adjustments to this painting and put it up for auction over at the Daily Paintworks site.  It comes matted in a white mat, with a foamcore backing and wrapped in a plastic sleeve.  The actual exposed painting is slightly smaller than 9" x 11" and the mat is about 2 1/2 inches around measuring 14" x 16".   Have a good week -- I'll be in touch.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Glass Apple

"The Glass Apple"
approximately  9" x 11"

I thought I'd post this painting that I worked on in my class on Wednesday.  Some students wanted a lesson on glass, so our instructor brought in a photo she took of this still life she set up at home.   Although  I have a little "fixing" yet to still do on it - softening up a couple areas, and working on a couple shadows (especially that one on the bottom right -- yeeow! -- must fix -- looks like a hole!  Ha!) I thought you'd be interested to see what I've been working on.  This is just one of a few paintings that I'm juggling.  I love having a bunch going at once -- keeps things interesting.  :)   But for now, stick a fork in me, I'm done.  Much too tired for any more painting tonight . . .  I'm headed to bed.  :)

So until we meet again -- dream paint!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Old Painting Revisited

10" x 10"

(what this painting could look like framed)

First off -- thank you to all who sent me well-wishes while the power was out.  :)  So much like living like a pioneer.  Good grief!  It feels so good to be clean -- like really clean -- again.  

I have been somewhat productive -- working on a few commissions while finishing this little ditty.  Quite a few months back I began a large 24" x 24" painting (I called it "Big Tomatoes") and had posted a couple "in the process" pics and blogged about my progress.  Well I hit a wall with it.  I just felt like I got too opaque and wasn't quite sure how to proceed.  And the illustration board I was working on was frustrating me.  So the painting is still sitting in my studio somewhere -- I'll probably go back to it sometime, but for now I'm uninspired.  That being said, I was never uninspired with the subject.  Always game to "give it another shot" I tried it again, smaller, at 10" x 10" to see if I could improve any.  I think I made some definite strides in the right direction.  Although there always seems to be steps that I wish I could go back and "undo," overall I'm pleased.  And then when you put that "virtual frame" on it -- well, who can go wrong?  It's such a fun final touch.  :)  

Have a great week . . . I hope to be posting a few more times this week -- have a lot of irons in the fire.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MIA . . . Halloween Snowstorm

You'll have to pardon the lack of art but we were hit with a crazy snow storm on Saturday night and have been without power ever since.  EEEEiyow!  It's a bit chilly, but not as bad as it could be.  The only thing that really rots is we're without water because we have a well (and no generator!)  Boo!!!  So I'm living like a colonial -- I should be all excited about it, as I'm a huge lover of antiques, Old Sturbridge Village, old homes, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But the lack of running water has me a bit put out.  I feel like I'm living with an inch of grunge on everything -- with dogs running all over the place, wet and dirty paws and me having to ration the water we do have.  But my friends have let us use their shower -- thank goodness!

I was able to get a little internet to write this post at my friend June's.  She owns June's Bakeshop  right down the road.  (BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS cookies and cakes) and I take care of her website - if you have a moment, check her out.  (and she ships!)  :)  I've been working on some paintings so I'll have some things to show you once we get our cable up and running again.  (The cable is literally lying on the ground in the front yard.  How nuts is that?  Luckily we don't have live wires, but it's creepy driving around dodging wires and trees.)

So that's the scoop here.  Not exactly sure when we'll be back up and running or I'll be clean again.  :)  I'm hearing Thursday.  Let's hope!  We've actually been very lucky . . . the past few years have brought some wild weather with major power outages to this area and we've dodged it all, so it's our turn.  That being said -- until we're juiced again --- Cheerio!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just About Done

"Autumn Bittersweet"
13" x 18"

I did a lot more work on Wednesday in class with this piece.  I think it's just about done.  I may go back in to do a little tweaking but I'm going to let it sit.  I'm planning on putting it in a local sale/show coming up at the Petersham Town Hall on November 4, 5 & 6.  If it doesn't sell, I'll then be putting it up for auction on the DPW site.  So stay tuned.  Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blue Pitcher

"Blue Pitcher"
5.75" x 6.25"

Years ago I thought "hey . . . I'm going to make a quilted table runner . . . how hard can sewing a bunch of random squares be?  Little girls in 4H do it all the time!"  Well those little girls ROCK!  Because sewing little squares together so that they line up is wicked hard.  (At least for me it is, although that's not saying much.)  I never got around to backing and quilting the squares, but it has still served me well, appearing in some of my still lifes . . . and well, here it is again.  Although I haven't yet, I'll be putting this painting up for auction over at DPW in a couple days.  You know how I love messing around with "virtual framing" . . . so here's what this could look like.

Anyway . . . I've been jumping around working on about 4 different paintings at once (very exciting! . . . truly satisfies the ADD in me), and preparing some others for upcoming shows. So back to work and I must gather my supplies for class tomorrow -- Weeeee! Have a good day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm A Scrubber

"Pumpkin Shadows"
9.75" x 9.75"

(an example of what this could look like when framed)

Click Here To Bid

When in doubt -- scrub it out.  I thought I had once again ruined this painting.  (For those of you who have been following my blog you might remember my numerous failed attempts at this painting last Fall -- ha!)  Well . . . I tried it again.  About 3/4 of the way through, I thought I had gotten too dark with the shadows so I decided to scrub them out.  Then I thought the pumpkins were too dark.  So I scrubbed them out.  Then I thought that everything appeared too muddy so scrubbed some more and then threw on some more washes (YEEEow! - scarey stuff!) I think it all worked out though in the end.  While I really enjoy the push/pull of watercolor (i.e. putting color down, then lifting it out), my goal is still to achieve proper values earlier on, without having to scrub.  It always gets dicey when you're playing with color that way.  Anyway . . . thanks for looking -- have a good day!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Save The Drama For Your Mama!

"Autumn Drama"
6" x 7"

This subject has been my nemesis for the past few days. This is the only painting (out of four attempts!!) worth showing. (Can you say OCD?)  I have a little more tweaking to do, but I thought I'd share it. It has been such a great learning experience.  It's still not exactly what I had intended, but I really started understanding a lot more about the process of creating a very dark background.  (My hat's off to Carrie Waller and Jacqueline Gnott - they're both experts in working with rich darks and dramatic lighting - check their work out if you're not already familiar with it).  The photo of the painting isn't great -- there's a little glare on the top right, I took it under artificial light -- but other than that, it's pretty true to life - although the jug is a little washed out.  (I didn't feel like fiddling too much with it in Photoshop.  Too tired . . . painting the same thing four times will do that to a person.)  :)

Hasta Velveeta!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great Day

What a fantastic class today!  :)  I worked a tiny bit more on my big painting, but I mostly concentrated on creating washes and figuring out what happens when one wash is added to another.  SO MUCH FUN!  The bottom examples are of exercises we did for homework and in class.  We worked out some interesting compositions using only a circle, triangle and rectangle, then filled them in with wet in wet washes.  (The one I did for homework is on the right and as you can see I messed around with it quite a bit). Thinking about composition is such an important part of painting.  I used to tell my students that no matter how wonderful their skills, a poor composition could deter anyone from even looking at their painting.  I used to give them a list of "10 Rules to a Good Composition" making the task of designing a compelling composition more objective and hopefully easier. Rules in art can always be broken, however learning the rules first is imperative to initial success and understanding.  After practicing those rules, they can then be broken for more interesting and unique solutions.  Well . . . that's what I believe anyway.

Ok . . . enough blah, blah, blah-ing!  Oh . . . but one more thing.  The composition exercise alone was very worthwhile . . . but then adding the washes helped to practice that skill without the pressure of having to produce an actual still life painting.  So good!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Auction and "Every Mother Counts"

"Insight Into My Sole"
12" x 16"

(what this painting looks like framed)

I recently decided it was about time to put this painting up for auction.  It's larger than my 6" x 6" paintings (obviously) and different than what I've been painting recently (I finished it last winter) but I thought, "what the hey?" Nothing ventured, nothing gained I guess. Perhaps there are some shoe aficionados out there, eh?  :)

The following painting is part of the "Every Mother Counts" art auction over at Daily Paintworks.  You can read more about it here.  If this painting sells -- all proceeds (minus shipping) will be donated to "Every Mother Counts." 

Bidding begins at $50 and you can click here to bid.  

"Coffee Pot Abstract"
6" x 6"

In the meantime, I've been struggling with a couple paintings.  Does anyone else out there struggle?  It seems like every other day I'm fighting with my paints.  Good Grief Charlie Brown!  I like to think they're growing pains. I have to believe I'm ultimately making progress, but sometimes it just doesn't feel that way.  I have my class tomorrow and am looking forward to it.  Hopefully I can work out some problems and post something good and new for you all.  Anyhoo . . . you have a great day . . . "Onward and Upward!"  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Watercolor Class

13" x 18"

This is the beginning of a painting that I started today in a watercolor class that I'm taking at the Concord Art Association in Concord, Mass. (a beautiful town if you've never been).  The class is with Marla Greenfield, who is an amazing watercolorist.  I've known of her work for a few years now through various shows and the internet, so I was very excited when my friend suggested that we take a class at Concord and I saw that Marla was teaching one.  Everything's going well except for a couple issues beyond those of an artistic nature as:  1. I am driving my friend crazy because every five minutes I say "isn't this the best?  aren't you excited?  don't you just love to paint?" . . . and 2.  I felt a little goofy at first, meeting Marla whose work I've followed because I don't want to seem like some kind of "Kathy Bates -- I'm your biggest fan" cyberstalking wacko.  Not to mention I keep saying "I'm so excited . . . isn't this the best?  this is what people who like riding rollercoasters must feel like."  Good Lord.  I must get out more.  Other than that, I'm having a complete blast, and who cares if I make a mess of this painting (or drive my friend batty) this is fun, yippee!  

So anyway . . . this painting looks a little crazy for now - Marla begins with warm, cool and yellow "glow" washes and glazes local color over top.  You can read about her process in last Winter's issue of Watercolor magazine found on her website.  I'm very excited to learn how to create glow - hopefully I won't be too much of a dunce. So that's the scoop for today.  Have a great night.  :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"A Bittersweet Pumpkin"
8" x 8"

(Example of what this painting could look like framed.)

Although the weather hasn't much felt like it, Fall is finally here in Massachusetts.  This morning the air today was a bit crisper than what it's been.  I'm not complaining though . . . the 70 and 80 degree days have been AWESOME!  :)  Wherever you are in the world, hope you are enjoying your season.  I'm going to go eat some cider donuts . . . keep painting!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steam Heat

"Steam Heat"
6" x 6"

Sometimes I get excited when I finish a painting . . . and I really liked this one, so I thought I'd share it right away.  This is the Le Creuset kettle I use every morning -- and I love it!  I'm on a "Blueberry Green Tea" (Bigelow) kick right now (in case anyone cares).  So that's all.  Have a lovely day . . . and keep on painting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Patterns In Blue

"Patterns In Blue"
6" x 6"

I'm getting back into the swing of things again with this little painting in blue, between saving the little pumpkins I placed around the backyard for decoration, from the dogs.  They are little devils who cannot be trusted.  Last week I spied on them through the window as they pushed a pumpkin down the hill and watched it roll into the pool.  When I asked them what they were up to -- they looked VERY guilty . . .  for all about 3 seconds then started wagging their tails and "doggy-laughing" which consists of lots of butt-wiggling.  So naughty!  (but so stinkin' cute)  :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank You

notecards -- 4.25" x 5.5"

Thank you to all who came out to support the many artists on the Backroads Studio Tour here in central Massachusetts last weekend. Although the weather could've cooperated a little more to facilitate better "leaf-peeping" the Tour was nonetheless a huge success . . . and a big "thank you" to all who ventured out despite the rain.  It was great fun to meet so many of you.  I am humbled and extremely grateful for your continued support and encouragement; please know how much you are appreciated.

Among the originals and prints that were available, I also had many notecards in singles and packages of 3 for sale, as pictured above.  I intend on making these available for purchase online in the near future, so keep an eye out for that post if you are interested.  In the meantime, you can email me for more information regarding a specific image of a past painting.  Prices are as follows:

single notecard with envelope:  $2
package of three notecards with envelopes:  $5
shipping and handling within the U.S.:  $3.50

After resting yesterday from the busy weekend, I am back to painting and getting into my normal routine (although in a much cleaner and better organized studio I must say!)  I have lots of potential paintings ready to go, so I'm excited to get started.  Unfortunately a quick visit to the allergist this afternoon will interrupt my day -- but I'm looking forward to doing some painting before I leave and later this evening.  So paint on, my friends . . . and have a good day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last Bits of Summer

"Black-eyed Susans"
(image size:  4.5" x 6")
just an example of what this could look like framed

I changed the cropping on this and like it so much better.  The "virtual frame" above is just an example of what this could look like with a double mat and frame.  For a close-up of this painting you can click above to be taken to it's auction page over at the Daily Paintworks site.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Grandmother's Pillow

"Grandmother's Pillow"
10" x 12"

example of possible framing

So I think I'm finished, but I'm going to let it set for a spell.  You never know what you might see after a day or two.  Overall though, I'm pleased and looking forward to sharing this with my grandmother.  I think she'll be tickled.  I'm not putting it up for sale yet as I want to get it over to my printer for giclee reproductions.  (But I'll post it again when it goes up for sale).  In the meantime I'll be working on some new paintings and finishing up the ones I posted yesterday.  I'll also be cleaning my studio (I've got the Backroads Studio Tour coming up -- yeeeow!) and this place is a disaster.  I need to get into my basement storage area too - horribly disorganized.  So if I don't post again by Tuesday, call in the National Guard, I may have been swallowed up by the mess!  Have a good weekend ya'll!  :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Study and New Paintings

"Porch Pumpkins" (a study)
6" x 9.5"

"Black-eyed Susans" (in progress)
6" x 6"

"Grandmother's Pillow" (in progress)
10" x 12"

I really haven't been slacking all week, but have been working on a few paintings and sketches.  The first painting is a small study I did for a larger painting.  I've started the big one, but I'm HATING the paper.  A friend of mine gave me a couple sheets of Arches Rough that she had bought years ago.  I don't normally use rough, but I thought it would be good for the texture of the boards.  Well, I don't know if the paper is too old or maybe it's just one of the qualities of "rough" but it's not allowing for any lifting of color at all and it's doing some weird bleeding.  It's horrible.  The study was done on some illustration board I had . . . which was supposed to be cold pressed watercolor board, but apparently wasn't, and so it's not as sharp as I'd like it, but I worked out some things that I needed to anyway.  More importantly, here's the good news . . . my Jerry's Artarama order came in today with oodles of paper and boards that I ordered, so I'm looking forward to restarting "Porch Pumpkins" and lifting to my heart's content.  (Don't you just love when art supply orders come in?  It's like Christmas!)

And the other two paintings are just about done.  Just some more tweaking, nothing major.  The images here, aren't of great quality . . . I didn't fuss with the colors too much and it's dark and rainy here but they give you the idea.

Anyhow -- Happy Friday, Happy Painting and have a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"West Road Barns"

Oops . . . I was trying to edit the previous post of this painting, to mark it as sold and unfortunately I deleted it -- gaaahhh!  So here it is again, but without the rambling commentary.  :)