Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gift Tags and Stickers & A Throwback Thursday Painting

"Christmas in June" - 6 x 6" original watercolor on paper
package of 24 gift tags with envelopes
sheet of 24 "Jolly Old Elf" stickers

I just mailed out the door prize from my Holiday Open Studio. The prize consisted of this original holiday themed watercolor on paper (a bit of a throwback from a couple years ago), a package of gift tags and a package of stickers. I think this was a good gift don't you?

I have a few packages of gift tags and stickers left over and have just uploaded them to my website. I think they'll really make a splash on packages and holiday envelopes. Zoom on over to my site for a closer look and to purchase.

one gift tag measures 2" x 3.5" and comes with envelope

package of 24 gift tags
Click here to purchase.  (scroll down for tags)

on "Jolly Old Elf" sticker
measures about 1.5" in diameter
comes in sheet of 24 stickers

Click here to purchase.  (scroll down for stickers)

Hope you all are getting in the spirit of the season!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Open Studio Update and Wine Totes

`Tis the festive holiday season once again, can you believe it? Time flies!

Over the weekend I had my second annual Holiday Open Studio and it was delightful!  Many, many thanks to all who came out to shop, visit and snack. I am extremely grateful for all my collectors and friends who continue to demonstrate their support of my work. Without you all, I wouldn't be able to do what I do, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Poinsettia Patterned Wine Tote -- wine not included  -- aw shucks!
Click here to purchase.

One of the new items I have for sale in my studio this year, is this festive wine tote. I am very impressed with the high quality of this tote -- it's made of a sturdy insulated fabric that lends itself well to crisp, vibrant printing.  I think a tote is lovely way to present a hostess with a gift bottle of wine, don't you?

Stay tuned for a few more little festive items I will be adding to my website's online store.  

Thanks for taking a peek!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday -- "Nantucket Christmas"

"Nantucket Christmas"
9.25" x 5.5"
(matted and framed watercolor on paper)
Click here to purchase.

This painting served as one of my Christmas cards last year.  This year I'm hoping that the original painting will find a good home so I can make room in the studio for some new paintings.  As a little extra gift, I will throw in a box of 10 of "Deerfield Wreath," this year's cards, with the purchase of this painting.

"Deerfield Wreath"

`Tis the season and thank you for all your kind comments and support throughout the year.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Getting Engaged? . . . Paper Heart No. 1

"Paper Heart No. 1"
6" x 6"
(watercolor on paper)
Click here to purchase.

So I've been going through some of my older paintings and thinking of different ways to market them. Besides this one going into a little girl's room, or as a Valentine's gift (all great ideas), I thought that it could also be a lovely gift for someone who is getting engaged. Can you just picture it? It's Christmas -- and the recipient might be expecting an engagement ring but first opens this instead, which of course under normal circumstances would be a perfectly lovely gift. 

(thought bubble: Thank you honey, but where's my ring?) 

Doh!  Another gift.  Oh boy . . . out comes the little gift-wrapped box.  Hmmmm . . . a little paper heart like the one in the painting.  (thought bubble:  Oh wow . . . now that's really disappointing.)

Oh, but wait . . . no worries . . . there's another gift . . . (cue the little box, the violins, the kneeling) . . . "Will You Marry Me?"  

Why of course!  (Oh joy!  Crisis averted.)  :)

This painting comes matted and framed under plexiglas, as shown above, and is ready to hang (commemorating your special event).  And included is a paper heart like the one in the painting. (Unfortunately I think the original heart is long gone, but I made a new one just like it.)

And don't forget . . . if you are around Central Massachusetts, please come by my Open Studio on Dec. 2nd or 3rd.  Karen Healey of "The Dappled Ewe" will be here with me. She dyes wool, hooks rugs and makes decorative hangings.  Her work is just beautiful. You can read more about her here

It's also "White Christmas" that weekend in the center of West Brookfield with lots of shops to visit and food to eat, not to mention my friend, June of  "June's Bakeshop" is just up the road.  She has a charming shop full of beautiful cookies, cakes, cupcakes and other treats.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Mill No. 1 - A Throwback Thursday Production

"Mill No."
6" x 6"
(watercolor on 7/8" cradled aquabord)
Click here to bid.

Every so often I find myself longing for sepia tones. This little painting is of a mill in a nearby town. I just love the way light plays on the geometric structures of factory architecture. And New England mills are just a delightful subject in general don't you think?

I painted this last year as the beginning of a series of 6 sepia mill paintings.  Admittedly I'm still haven't moved on to No. 2 yet.  Doh!  Oh me and my "big" ideas. I have problems. Maybe 2018 will be the year to see this series through, eh?

"hashtag: startingthingsandnotfinishingthem"   :)

And in the spirit of the season . . . let's open an auction on this baby and start the bidding at the bargain-basement price of $85 -- Holy Smokes!  I need to make room for some 2018 paintings.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Little People Prints

Looking for some art for your baby or toddler's room?  Or maybe you're just a vintage Fisher Price fan like me.  I've recently uploaded these images onto my gallery.  You can access it through my website here.  At Imagekind you can choose your size and whether you want a stretched canvas print or one on paper.  They will even mat and frame for you!  

I'm hoping to upload some more images in the near future and am presently working on a new desk calendar for 2018 so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Holiday Open Studio

Come join me on December 2nd and 3rd at my studio and start your Christmas shopping!  There will be a door prize . . . Christmas cards, original paintings and other gifty items. My friend, Karen Healey  of The Dappled Ewe will be here too with her amazingly beautiful hooked rugs, patterns, and wool. And just up the road is June's Bakeshop, an absolutely charming shop full of fancy holiday cookies, cakes and other tasty confections. 

Also that weekend the town will be abuzz for its White Christmas celebration and is sure to get you in the Holiday Spirit!  HO! HO! HO!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday

"Baby Dahlia"
8" x 8"
(framed watercolor on aquabord)
Click here to purchase.

I'm throwing it back to this little ditty. A couple of years ago, a delightful man who visited my studio during The Backroads Studio Tour brought me a bouquet of dahlias from his yard. This little one was just so sweet it begged to be painted. It has spent some time in my studio and is now looking to find its "forever home."  With Christmas approaching, perhaps it will get lucky.

Have a happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Flags, Flags and More Flags

So this painting has been spending quite a lot of time on my easel.  I've had to take a lot of breaks from it though. Painting stars has me going a little googly. On the bright side I finished at least 4 paintings and began a bunch more since I started this one. 

But alas, I must get this done as it is going to be my July painting for my 2018 calendar and I must get those ordered . . . so I'm off to paint and finally finish it.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Yellow House & Alphabet Soup

work in progress
12" x 12"
(watercolor on aquabord)

I began this painting a long time ago. It's one of my first attempts on aquabord.  And boy did I HATE it - the painting AND the aquabord!  I didn't throw out the painting but I stopped painting on aquabord for a long time before trying it again. (and well you know how that story ends) . . .  

Anyway, the other day as I was scrounging around I once again became reunited with this little yellow house.  I found it in my "where-paintings-go-to-die drawer" to be exact, and thought I'd try to breathe some new life into it. After performing a little CPR and giving it some TLC I'm happy to report that it's on the mend. Having learned over the years that aquabord requires lots of patience and layers and layers, I'm hopeful that after a couple of days in ICU it will head for some PT and then a forever home!  :)

Hope you are having a creative day. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Happy Patient

"The Happy Patient"
8" x 8"
(watercolor on aquabord)

I finished this little ditty today for a dear old friend who is a pediatric surgeon.  Below is what it will look like when it's all framed (in an Ampersand floater frame).

I'm on a Fisher Price still life kick again, having ordered a whole bunch of "new" vintage toys from ebay.  I'm very excited!  :)

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lights . . . Camera . . . Auction!

"Daisies Squared"
6" x 6"
(watercolor on aquabord)

Click here to bid.

After struggling a bit on the background I finally came up with something I like.  "Daisies Squared" is a square composition of an earlier painting I did on paper (that one was a long rectangle).  I decided to put this little one up for auction on my DailyPaintworks site. Bidding begins at $100. This painting doesn't come framed, however the image below shows what it could look like when framed.

(although this painting does not come framed, this is what it could look like)

Thanks so much for visiting!  I'm off to paint the next . . .

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A New Little Painting

"Cape Cod Pumpkins"
11" x 6.75"
(framed watercolor on aquabord)
Click here to purchase.

Last week I had the good fortune of presenting a demonstration at the Agawam Public Library to the Agawam Artists. It was a most delightful evening spent with some very lovely people. In preparation for my demo, I started digging around my pile of small, incomplete paintings and came up with this little ditty. The scene is from a charming little house on Cape Cod during the month of October. What a joyful time to be tooling around the Cape - with the crisp, cool air, clear sunlight and very little traffic!  Huzzah!

Using a painting I had already begun, I was easily able to show how I lift pigment out and spray water back over existing patches of color. Many thanks to the artists of Agawam, MA!  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Prints for Sale!

I've recently subscribed to imagekind - a site where you can order high quality reproductions of my work in many different sizes on either paper or canvas, framed or unframed.  You can visit my storefront here to check out what's for sale.  I recently ordered a very large print on canvas of "Signs" (shown above) and it's awesome!  

close-up of the wrapped canvas print with black border

 Even though the original painting is only 14" x 11" -- the image quality (original resolution) is high enough that enlarging the image is not an issue.  It looks fantastic in person!  I don't normally paint this large, so seeing my work this size is very exciting.

a large wrapped canvas -- 30.5" x 24"
(don't mind the yellow hue -- that's just my lighting -- the print looks great in person)

I think this would look so cool in a bar, restaurant or loft, don't cha think?  :)

I hope you'll visit my new store for reproductions and that you like what you see!  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Crazy Surprises!

So the craziest thing happened to me last night.  I was with my husband and we were sitting at the kitchen table.  I saw that my "The Art of Watercolour" magazine had come in the mail so I started to flip through it and mentioned how I would love to try to get into this magazine.  No sooner had I said that, I turned a couple more pages and saw this:

Imagine my surprise! I was dumbfounded! I had forgotten that a few months ago on a whim, I entered this painting into a contest hosted by the magazine.  I don't enter many contests and I've had so much going on lately that I never thought about it again after I hit "send."  

"Canal House Copper"
14" x 11"
(watercolor on aquabord)

I am grateful and humbled to have had this painting chosen. "The Art of Watercolour" is a beautiful and inspiring magazine full of incredibly talented artists and full color reproductions of their stunning work. My little story is an example that anything is possible as long as you throw your hat in the ring.  :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Christmas Paintings

"Deerfield Christmas"
14" x 11"
(watercolor on aquabord)

Bricks, bricks and more bricks!  I can't tell you how long these took . . . it was crazy-making.  I don't know why I labor so long, but I do. For a while, the pushing around of pigment is fun . . . almost meditative . . . but then it becomes so tedious and boring I can barely force myself to finish. 

"A Jolly Old Elf"
12" x 12"
(watercolor on aquabord)

Santa came together pretty quickly, but as I got closer to finishing, I did lots of work on details and bringing out the pigments of his skin.

I'm planning on having cards made up of both of these prints for Christmas cards.  I'll be sure to share those with you when they come in.  :)

Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, August 28, 2017

So Much To Share

14" x 11"
(watercolor on aquabord)

It's amazing how time flies.  I knew I hadn't posted in a while but I never imagined it had been a month!  Whoa!

Since my last post, I've finished the two Christmas card paintings, a commissioned home portrait and have been working on this painting. It's from a photo I took last November in Georgetown, Washington D.C. I think after this one, I am done with painting bricks for a while. 

I hope you all have been enjoying your summer!

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.  :)