Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My latest pastel attempt.....I hope you enjoy it.

I've been watching birds for some time now, and heron have always been a favorite. About ten years ago I lived in Lawrence, MA; an old mill town. The Merrimac River runs right through Lawrence. This once majestic river is recovering from the assault of dyes dumped into it when the mills were most productive. I'm happy to say that the wildlife is slowly returning with it.

I had a favorite "perch" back then and often watched cormorants, blue herons, egrets; all types of water fowl. One afternoon I was taking in the view, and in the distance an American Eagle came into view! I couldn't believe my eyes! His wing-span was massive. Occasionally tipping his wings he glided along the length of the river just a few feet above the water. I watched in silent awe for as long as the eye could see....breathtaking!

It's ironic that this gorgeous natural scene unfolded before me in the center of an old, now down-trodden industrial city. I feel lucky and grateful to have been able to capture this wonderful memory from such a dismal place.

Thank you for stopping by, and please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quarter Mile Pond - Stoneham, MA

Today was my own...this is what I did with it.

I visited this place two summers ago on a nature walk and snapped a's practically in my back yard. The photo was taken at the northern-most tip of the pond, and it's my favorite view of the place. It surfaced while I was sifting thru resource material. Perfect !

No particular purpose, no particular subject....but, fits the mood ..... peace and warmth.

I hope you enjoy it, and thank you for stopping in.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"The Forest in Autumn"

I haven't used my acrylics for quite some time, and I suddenly felt the need. I decided to "feed the need" and am happy that I did. It feels wonderful to see this painting finished because it took longer to paint than anything I've ever done.
......seems to me .... the more it is suggested to me that I should try to move out of poring over projects, the more time I spend doing just that ....... (this painting took over a month to complete).
I am happy with it, though. What do you think? Please leave a comment, and let me know.
Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Moonlit Stroll After a Storm"

I painted this one a couple of weeks ago. At the time, I didn't feel it post-worthy, but at the last minute decided it's not a bad thing to post paintings that aren't my favorite. Every Day Matters is the best place to get ideas about what I could have done to make it better, and there's no way to get their input if I don't post.....

I'm not exactly sure what it is I don't like about this one, but I was in love with the idea when I did it. Perhaps I got carried away with the reds, or the compostion is too dark. My daughter Amy and I were sitting at the table trying to decide what to paint when she asked if I had ever tried using black pastel paper. It occurred to me that I had not, and, voila!!

I still think the idea was a good one ... just not the best execution effort. What do you think could have made it nicer? I'd appreciate the input as I intend to try again. Thanks...

"My Favorite Bench" - Portsmouth, New Hamshire

This is an acrylic rendition of my favorite public bench in the gardens at Strawberry Banks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I haven't gone painting with acrylics in a very long time because I've been so caught up in working with pastels lately......I really like how loose the composition is. I'm still working hard at not being so detail oriented with my work.

I had a wonderful day, and it felt like it was finished very quickly. ..... was good to get out with my paints again to capture a favorite place on canvas. Of course, this doesn't exactly depict the place, but definitely portrays how this place feels to me when I visit.

I'd love to hear what you think so, please, feel free to leave a comment. Thank you !

"Morgan Beth" - My Granddaughter

This is Morgan in graphite. She's is six years old, she's all girl, and she loves to paint as much as I do-we paint together quite a bit.

I took this image from a photograph.....In it she's wearing her favorite, yellow headband, and smiling "cheese" for the camera. Her mom hasn't seen this yet so I'm posting it as a birthday surprise for her. "Happy Birthday, Karen!"

Thank you for stopping by, and please, feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Imaginary Sunset"

This was my first experiment painting sunset silhouettes. say the least.
I spent lots more time than I thought I'd need to depicting mountains silhouetted against fading sunlight ...... water mirroring all.
Whenever I see artwork or photographs done this way I'm captivated; so, finally tried it. to keep at it to get it just right, but I had a great time working on it. I call it "imginary" sunset because the end result looks nothing like where I was when I started the project.
It would be helpful to hear what you think and to get feedback on what would make the next one better. Thanks.

"Open Meadow"

One of my latest pastel attempts..
Originally, I was going to crop the grass in the front out, but I worked it a little longer and decided to post the entire attempt.
The transition from the grass in the distance to the front still needs work, but I didn't want to risk the color becoming "muddy from overwork.
I'd love to know what you think.....thank you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blue Flag Iris - Speed and Tone Study

This is another of the quick studies I have been practicing (in an attempt to work beyond the confines of extreme detail).

This one took me only half an hour to finish, and I must say I'm not sure whether it's more difficult to include the detail or to keep it in the front of my mind while I'm working not to.......

The color choices for the flower itself are intentional as I'm also working to be conscious of tone in composition.

Please comment; good or bad, as it contributes to the effort. Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tiffany Stained Glass c.1905 - "Hollyhocks and Arbor Vitae"

I'm really enjoying the challenge of capturing the look of stained glass w/my soft pastel crayons.

The stained glass attempt I previously posted is full of amber tones so I chose this one for it's greens and "comfortable, standby" pallette. Hollyhocks are especially appealing to me as the tall-standing, simple and graceful flowers are very old-fashioned. At the turn of the century they were often found in the gardens of glorious Victorian homes. In fact, when and where ever I see hollyhocks I am immediately reminded of the Victorian era.

This composition represents an irresistable combination for me; stained glass, greens and blues, and hollyhocks bordered by rich, green Arbor Vitae. I couldn't help myself. I hope you enjoy the view as much as I enjoyed depicting it.

Please comment if you wish; I'd love to know what you think.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Tiffany Stained Glass Peacock"

I have always loved to look at stained glass; it's translucense and "rich" look and feel are so appealing to me. Many of the old Victorian style houses I've visited (and I have visited many) have stained glass built into them somewhere.....
Soft pastels (my new favorite medium) are wonderful because they feel bright and "creamy" when I pull them across fine-grit sandpaper. The combination is irresistible to me. While gazing at this image (from a miniature calendar one of my customers gave to me for a job well done) trying to get inspired, it occurred to me that pastels might be a wonderful medium for depicting the colorful, marbelized look of stained glass. I thought - try it!

There are things about the composition that made depicting it an absolute challenge for me. i.e. lots of detail, the attempt at translucence, and the peacock. (I usually do a poor job of drawing/painting birds or creatures of any kind....)

Looking at it now the many colors of the finished project lean it toward "gaudy", but there are areas of it that I like! For example, the colors on the peacock's neck , the peacock itself, and the sailboats worked out nicely. However, as a whole...I think the composition is too busy......
Oh, well. Back to the drawing board !

What do you think? I'd live to hear your comments....good and bad...Thank you !

"The Mittens (Utah) at Sunset"

As much as I love trees I'm bored with them as subject matter for my landscape paintings. I was leafing thru a "coffee table picture book" this past weekend, and I came across this image.
Although the pallette is limited, I found it more difficult to depict that I had originally imagined. I found the transition from dark to light/and light to dark to be extremely difficult to execute, but in the end I think it's a decent effort. Again, I tried to complete the painting in under and hour; this one took me just over that much time; it took an hour and twenty minutes......
I hope you like it....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Atlantic Coast"

I really enjoyed working this one out because it's a lot different from the landscapes I usually work on. I usually depict forests, parks; really anyplace with lots of trees. I have to laugh at myself because I remained true to form and at the last minute added the tree at the top of the cliff. I think it finished the scene off nicely.

Please feel free to leave your comments. Thank you for visiting.

"Riverside Path - Midmorning"

This project was taken from a photograph I came across in my collection of source materials. The original image was taken in the Nancy Pond region of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. I used to hike up there a lot some years back. The original scene is adjusted a bit. I added the ambling river in an attempt to make the composition more interesting. The original image was mostly trees.
Please feel free to comment, and thank you....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Village In the Valley" - Quick Pastel Study

It was brought to my attention recently that I normally pore over my work - including as much detail as possible. The idea here was for me to move out of this "comfort zone" and try to work as quickly as possible. This painting took me just under an hour to complete, and though I'm not thrilled with it I'm happy that it turned out to be a reasonable facsimile of it's title. Please feel free to leave a comment, and thank you.


Saturday, June 14, 2008


This past week or so I've been "blocked". I always want to be painting; nothing in mind to actually "kick start" is problematic. The harder one thinks...the less spontaneity....

Finally, last night in the wee hours I came out with this ...... Feel free to comment. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Path to the Old North Bridge" - Concord, MA

This time last year I visited the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA to enjoy an afternoon plein aire art session. This composition is taken at a slightly different angle from the one I posted last year (see North Bridge from my 2007 postings); however, I was standing on the same overlook for both paintings and both were done at the same time of day. It's interesting and fun to compare the two efforts. I hadn't realized (and am pleased) at how much the execution has changed. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Sandy's Island" - Winchester, MA

The first plein aire landscape this season.
I'm not happy with it.....but, I promised my daughter that I'd post even if I wasn't happy with the finished product.....
This one's for you, Ame.
Was fun to be in the field with my paints again, tho...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Wild Willow" from Elizabeth Mowry's Landscape Meditations

This is one of the few finished paintings I've done with pastels.
The more I work with the medium the more I enjoy it. This past winter one of my daughters and I spent a considerable amount of time doing art together. Amy's favorite medium is pastels, and her works show her talent with them. I envy how simple she makes it look; and her results. Watching her and experimenting has brought me to understand pastels a little, and I'm no longer so intimidated.
I like that they're messy to work with, too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

"My Grandson Sam" - First & Final Attempts

The sketch above is the one I consider finished. I've been working with pastels for the past two weeks because I could never quite get comfortable with them. For the first time I can say....pastels are truly versatile and really fun!! I posted the two sketches together to compare the differences between monochromatic composition and when a bit of pastel color is added....... For me, the differences are dramatic. What do you think?
Eric and Kirsten; I had as much fun working this out as I did working on Ted's sketch. I hope the final sketch meets with your approval as I enjoyed working on this project very much.
Love all of you..... See you very soon....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Almost Magenta"

Had to get a break from watercolor...but, not completely. This image is from memory but of a painting I saw done in a impressionist Chinese Brush technique book, "Sumi-e DreamBook", by Yolanda Mayhall. This image stays planted in my mind. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Two Preliminary Sketches - Acrylic Desert Landscape Project for Anthony

These two pieces have been posted to show Anthony (my nephew) the process, and for him to see that I am working on the project he challenged me to. They are preliminary studies for the final acrylic desert landscape I promised to paint for him.
The colored pastel sketch was done to help me w/tone placement and pallette choices for the final painting, and the graphite sketch was done to imprint a plan in my mind for composition.
I show my art blog to the family as often as I can because I'm trying to get them involved in creative expression (perhaps inspire them to give it a try). I believe that the drive to express creatively is hereditary, and I'm interested to see who else in my family (besides my daughters and me) has it......

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Twilight - Browse at Water's Edge"

This is one of my older acrylic on canvas projects that I gifted to my husband before he became my husband. I have tried to convince him to allow me to change this piece in an attempt to improve it, but he won't let me touch it. I post it now to show a comparison in technique, compostion and pallette from then to now. Comments are always welcomed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Tudor Barn" - The Fells, Stoneham, MA

......yet another try at watercolor - from a photo taken during a nature walk I took in a local park during this past summer. The building has been in this spot for about two hundred years. I grew up in this area and never knew it was there. Neat surprise.....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Watercolor - Crocus

This is my second watercolor attempt. I chose this particular flower because with all of the snow and cold weather I needed a splash of Spring color. This was taken from a photo I took in Hyannis, MA in the Spring of '07.