Monday, October 27, 2014

Jumping Around

I haven't finished anything yet, but I AM working.  :)  As you can see, I'm still in the 6"x 6" aquabord groove.

Sugar Pumpkin
watercolor on aquabord

I've painted a couple versions of this, although a slightly different composition and never on aquabord before.  My "painting ladies" wanted to try a pumpkin on aquabord.  I'm going at it a little more meticulously than usual.  It's fun, but time-consuming.  I'm really concentrating on the realism -- I was inspired by a gallery on Nantucket.  I need to find my style and stick with it though.  That's one of the hardest things about painting I think.

Daisy Closeup
watercolor on aquabord

Another one that I began a long time ago.  I'm just now getting around to working on it again. Have a lovely day and thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

One Week, Two Week

Carol Marine's new book

I had decided to take a week off after my Backroads Tour, but that week sort of turned into two! (Although technically, I did do a lot of work on my online store, I just didn't paint or blog, so I guess I was working some.)  Anyway --  now I have a few different things to report on.

Oh boy!  Those shoes look very familiar!

Carol Marine (of fame) recently wrote a book and was kind enough to include a little blurb about me and my work in it.  My copy arrived in the mail on Monday and I've been devouring it ever since.  It's a great resource and story; very inspiring. Carol is a fantastic writer so I encourage you to head on over to Amazon and order a copy today.  (It also makes a great Christmas gift!)

"Late Afternoon"

On Monday, my friend June and I took a ride to the Cape to pick up my painting "Late Afternoon" that had been juried into the Cape Cod Art Association's "All New England" show.  The Association is located in Barnstable and is a lovely facility. You can access their website here.

Being the crazy, spontaneous chicks that we are, June suggested we take a ferry ride over to Nantucket!  What!?  So we did!  I have never been, but I assure you, I will be going back. It was a beautiful day and personally, I loved that it was off-season: easier to maneuver without crowds and shoot reference photos.  Even though not all the stores were open - plenty were and it was just magical. We also checked out some galleries which got me all juiced to paint. And this all counts as research for work -- I have a great job don't I?  Thank you for a perfect day, Junie!  :)

leaving Hyannis

two crazy chicks

beautiful street shot - is it really Autumn?

So today I am back painting and like the Pointer Sisters sing:  "I'm so excited!"  I have so many things to think about and do.  Nantucket was incredibly inspiring.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Studio Shots

Aaaahhhh . . . back to normal.  After my Open Studio it's always nice to get things back to a very clean normal.  It won't look like this for long, but I thought I'd share some art studio photos.  Have a lovely day!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Adventures In Sewing

a quilted table-topper and infinity scarf
(and yes . . . a couple Autumn lilacs from my garden - how delightful is that?!)

I've been taking a break this past week and so I pulled out my mom's old sewing machine, dusted it off, watched some youTube videos and gave a couple projects a try with the blueberry fabric I designed.  Sew much fun!  (So bad . . . excuse the pun, I couldn't resist).  To purchase the blueberry fabric for your own projects, visit my Spoonflower shop.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shorter Post Today


Rest assured that today's post is much shorter than yesterday's.  :)  Above is a collage of the 15 paintings I completed for Leslie Saeta's "30 Day Painting Challenge" in September.  What a great event and motivator -- thank you, Leslie!  

I would also like to thank Nancy over at Giclee of New England in Palmer for the beautiful fine art prints of my paintings -- she does wonderful work!  

(clockwise from top left:  "Backyard Sunlight," "Knight's Store,"
"Morning Sun," "E-Z," and "Parlor Afternoon")

I am working on getting my new online store up and running.  In the meantime, if you see a print you may be interested in purchasing, please don't hesitate to email me at  Have a great day and thanks for popping by.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop!

Fasten your seat belts and grab a cup of tea because today's post is a novel.  :)

My post today is in response to an email I received from Carmella Tuliszewski, inviting me to participate in the "Around The World Blog Hop!"  Thank you, Carmella.  :)  So I'll be responding to a few questions regarding my paintings and will be sharing with you links to 3 people I've invited to participate in this online event.

First off . . . if you are not familiar with Carmella's work, you should be.  :)  I've been a long time fan.  She paints skillfully designed vibrant watercolors, that are full of detail.  I particularly love her use of fabric with repeating motifs in her still life paintings, however she also has a wonderful collection of florals that mustn't be overlooked.  Carmella's experience in the arts is vast, varied and interesting.  (How's that for a teaser?) . . . To read more about Carmella and view more of her work, be sure to visit Carmella's blog and website.  I find her work and personal story most inspiring and I'm sure you will too.

Onto the questions:

1.  What am I working on?

Nothing.  I am taking a vacation this week - ha!  Last month I participated in Leslie Saeta's 30 Day Painting Challenge and completed 15 paintings for a series I'm calling "Vessels."  I have more planned out, so most likely I will start working on completing a few more of those.  My 30-Day collage is below, so you can see what the heck I'm talking about!  :)

15 paintings
6" x 6" - watercolor on aquabord

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Good question . . . If we're speaking in terms of "watercolor or style" as a genre, I think when most people think of watercolor, they generally think of loose, washy paintings. Mine are very different from that.  While I love and appreciate that looser approach, it's just not my style.  I tend to start loose and tighten up as I layer and apply detail.  Of course as I write this I realize I have mentioned in this blog, 3 watercolorists who paint less loose and more like me -- maybe I'm not as different as I think!  Ha!  :)

"Morning Sun"

However, if we're speaking of "genre" in terms of subject matter I may have two that are a little different from the norm.  I am most naturally drawn to New England and early American subjects (all mainly still life with the exception of a few architectural/landscape paintings) -- simple, quiet images that (hopefully) evoke feelings of warmth, serenity and a peaceful sense of place.  The colors in these, tend to be more subdued and generally capture some kind of light.  (That's my goal anyway.)  :)  I don't know that I see many paintings out there, with this kind of subject matter, so I think that makes my paintings a little different. (below l to r:  "Parlor Afternoon" and "Late Afternoon")

"Knight's Store"

Another genre that I think is a little more unique to me, is my Little People series of still lifes.  I tend to switch gears after my "quiet" paintings and need more color . . . excuse me . . . not just color, but COLOR!!!  I like these paintings to be full of happy energy.  I loved Fisher Price Little People as a youth, and have recaptured some of my childlike joy by purchasing these old playthings on eBay and painting them in goofy and colorful still lifes.  They make me smile.

"Like Farmer, Like Son

"Number, Please"

"The Parking Ticket"

3.  How does my creating process work?

I would consider myself mostly a still life painter.  So basically, I set up my subjects -- I take LOTS OF photos, always arranging and re-arranging the items while I shoot.  Then I edit my photos in Photoshop, cropping them into the best compositions, tossing out lousy images, fiddling with value and color, etc.  I then size my image.  I print out an outline, sometimes draw into it and transfer this onto my watercolor paper, this way I don't have to worry about the placement of basic or tricky shapes.  Next I draw back into my drawing, working on details and such while examining my reference.  This is a vital part of the process, because photos don't always provide you what you need.  At this point, I am also beginning to plan out my "attack:"  my painting sequence and colors.  Sometimes I do some small sketches and swatches in a notebook before I start the "real" painting.

When I begin painting, I like to first fill it in with washes. This helps me envision the relationships between the different colors and values. Then I work around the painting, laying down more washes, and more washes until I'm ready for detail.  My brushes start large and get smaller as I progress.  I just keep doing this until I'm done.  :)

"Berries & Cherries" - progress shots

A couple other notes about my work process are:  I like using Fabriano brand papers -- I find them very forgiving as I like to put down pigment and lift it out as I go, figuring out the various value relationships while I work.  I also use a pretty limited palette of colors -- usually only about 4 or 5 colors - a variation of primaries and burnt sienna.  If I need a unique local color, I'll add a tube to my limited palette.

To view more of my work you can visit my online gallery.

And now for my invitees who will be blogging next Monday - October 13th.

Arena Shawn - is an amazing watercolorists who specializes in mainly floral paintings.  Although she has some incredible landscapes that are full of rich, luscious washes, applied with minimal, but deliberate strokes, demonstrating her mastery of medium.  Arena is enrolled in an atelier and is also concentrating on classical drawing methods beginning with the figure and has won awards for both her paintings and drawings.  Be sure to visit her blog to read more about her and view her work.

Carrie Waller - is also an award-winning watercolorists.  I was immediately drawn to Carrie's paintings years ago, as I think we share a similar sensibility in our work.  She paints mainly rich, detailed still lifes filled with meaningful objects, textures, reflections and pattern.  Her designs and approach are deliberate and skillful, without being overworked, and every painting draws you in.  I get lost in Carrie's paintings, am in awe of her skill and look forward to the day when I can see them in person.  You shouldn't miss Carrie's interview next week on her blog.

Nora Bergman -- I've always said that if I painted in oil, I'd want to paint like Nora.  Nora is also an award-winning painter.  I think what immediately drew me to Nora's work is its clarity of design.  There is something crisp, exact and graphic I think, about Nora's paintings.  Her still life work is clear, thoughtfully composed and often playful; her landscapes make me feel as if I've visited that place before and there's never a question as to what time of day her painting reflects . . . she's that good.  You must check out Nora's work as well.

Whew!  Well this was quite the long post!  If you're still with me by now . . . thanks for stopping by!  :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Backroads Studio Tour - 2014

Had a great day today at my Open Studio.  Here are some photos of the studio before my guests arrived today.  I'm hoping to open an online store in the coming weeks.  

framed original - "Early Morning Bottles"

new tote bags

Blueberries and buckles!

1 month - 15 watercolors - 6" x 6" - on aquabord

Commissioned Pet Portraits

The "Little People" series
originals - prints - notecards - notebooks - desktop calendars

New! 12" cotton cocktail napkins
from an original design
set of 4 for $30

"Holy Cannoli!"
original watercolor on aquabord

Many new prints

2015 wall calendars

more "Vessels"

Add caption

If you have any inquiries with regards to purchasing, please feel free to email me at  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Autumn Newsletter and Backroads

My framed painting, "Yellow Slip" and it's inspiration.

I may not have been posting much, but things are a'buzzin' here at the studio.  I'm gearing up for the Backroads Studio Tour -- lots of new stuff.  I also got my Autumn newsletter out last night before heading out to my "Guided Watercolors" class at Workshop13.  I have very talented and motivated students and am looking forward to sharing their works in progress with you.  So stay tuned.  And if you'd like to check out my newsletter or subscribe to it, click here.

A sampling of buckles
(l to r:  Country Nosegay, Grandmother's Quilt & Summer Blues) 

In addition to new work -- originals, prints and notecards -- I have many new items for sale that I'll be rolling out during Backroads.  I'm excited to share with you, my belts and belt buckles, inspired by some of my paintings.  I have nine different designs from which to choose and I plan to include them in the online store I'm developing.  (Oh so much to do!  It's exciting!)  In addition to buckles, I've designed some napkins and will have tote bags, and two new 2015 calendars:  a fun "Little People" desktop calendar and the more traditional wall calendar for sale.  I will be offering a few other new items as well.  Everything will be up on my store in the near future, so stay tuned.  It will be up and running in plenty of time for your holiday shopping.

Thanks for stopping by.