Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Bouquet

I received this bouquet as a gift from my cousin, Lisa, who is a premier floral designer. It was so gorgeous, I had to paint it before it withered away. It was fun to use luscious reds and oranges right out of the tube. There was some great reflected light that carried the warm color to the surrounding objects.

This was painted from life in my studio.

"Red Amarillis" Oil on Canvas, 14" x11", sold.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Here's a commission for a Christmas present. This is Piero, a gorgeous parrot that is much loved by its owner. Apparently, he takes him into the shower with him and they talk parrot to one another. What a cutie.

It is 12" x 9", oil on canvas over panel.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bonaire Oil Paintings

This is a jetty made up of limestone rock, whose previous life was coral. The beaches were washed away by the hurricane three weeks before, but there was still some room for sunbathing. The water was clear and gorgeous, with different shades of green, aqua, and blue. You could see the dead white coral on the shore and under the water for quite a few feet. The iguanas love to sit and sunbathe on the rocks just like the tourists.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bonaire Trip Paintings

I went to Bonaire for a week in early November. The weather was hot, sunny, and beautiful. I managed to do these two gouache paintings while sitting at the swimming pool on two separate evenings. The palm trees are tall and beautiful with striking yellow coconuts. The bright yellow, pink, and blue hotel was a great backdrop for the pretty green fronds.
I really enjoy doing gouache. It is a little easier than watercolor, but just as portable and fun. The colors are vibrant.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Still Life Class with Jack Keledjian

On Saturday, October 18, I drove up to Putney, Vermont to take another class with Jack Kelejian. We painted a still life of apples and a white dish. There were seven other students, most of them regular followers of Jack’s. It was a chilly fall day, so we all elected to stay inside to paint.
I decided to watch Jack paint for a while instead of painting along with him. It was interesting to watch his approach, which was to put down a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Transparent Oxide Red with a large brush, in a criss-cross motion. Then, he wiped out the area for the white dish and the apples. He laid down color in solid long strokes, keeping the warm tones in the shadows and putting some juicy reds in the apples. I will continue to work on this, as my leaves need some work and maybe some more items to add to the composition. It seems empty right now. Still, I’m pleased with the progress on this painting so far.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Emil's Bench

Recently, I made a weekend trip to Maine with two friends to visit Marge, another friend, and her husband. We stayed at Marge’s sister-in-law’s house for the weekend while she and her husband were away on a month-long meander through France (How lucky for them!). The house is a four-year-old, upscale two-level colonial, with tenderly cared for gardens and flowing paths, that backs up to Penobscot Bay on the east. The view from the back of the house, which is lined with large picture windows overlooking the bay, was breathtaking, especially in the morning when the sun slowly shows its face above the horizon. Marge drove us early the first day to a few local sights where she thought that I might find some good places to paint. One place was a campground, with a long winding road to a very high vantage point that overlooked Camden Harbor. Later that day, my friends and I went back there and I set up my easel. I painted the busy harbor with its many boats and the view of the bay while my friends read their books and relaxed. The fall colors were just starting to infuse the scenery, so the painting is splashed with shades of red, yellow, orange, and green and lined from above with the sea-blue ocean and bay. With the crisp fall air, it was a wonderful day to paint.

While up in Maine, Marge asked if I could paint a painting of a hand-hewn wood bench that her husband Emil’s father made many years ago. It is now in his sister’s possession sitting amongst the flowers, trees, and young bushes in her side garden. With my camera, I took several photos of the bench from different angles. One photo included a red wooden bird house, which I thought looked great with the bench. I used this photo as a reference and created a cozy, mini painting of the scene. The leaves were starting to change colors, so there were some light oranges and yellows, plus a strong beam of light on the bench that became the focus of the composition.

Emil's Bench, Oil on canvas over board, 6"x8"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Girls Day at the Beach

These ladies decided to grab their chairs and towels and head for the beach for some sun. There were a few other families there, though it was a private beach, so it wasn't really crowded. I used a warm color palette on this one, and I'm happy with the turnout. The ladies were quite surprised to be the subject of my painting, but pleased nonetheless.

Oil on Canvas, 11"x14", Sold

Monday, August 4, 2008

Farmer's Market

Here's my latest painting. I used a photo reference that I took last fall when all of the mums and pumpkins were on display. It was so colorful and it was a gorgeous day. This market has wonderful plants and produce for sale during the warm months of the year. The girl standing in the picture was actually there, browsing through the flowers. She really was a perfect focal point for the painting.
Oil on Canvas, 18" x 24", $449.
To purchase, go to my Website,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Straw Hat With Zinnias

I was having a frustrating day. Nothing was going as I had hoped, so I decided to paint to ease my anxiety. Here's the result. I did this from life, in my studio. I had some lovely zinnias that my cousin gave to me that brightened up my house, and worked really well in this piece. It's a mini painting, only 6" x 8", but a lot of fun to do.

Oil on Canvas over panel, 6"x8", $149.
To purchase, go to my Website,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Plein Air in Old Saybrook

I went out to Old Saybrook to paint one day last week. The weather was perfect and there was a slight breeze off of the calm water. The tide was low with a significant amount of sand bars peaking through the water. I was so involved with executing this painting that I painted nonstop for four hours. I am pretty happy with the results of this one. It really captured the mood and the light of the day.

Oil on Canvas, 11"x14", $350.
To purchase, go to my Website,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Flower Pots

Here's a still life that I did while studying under Jack Keledjian. The pots sit on a table just above eye level. Jack's influence was more in the initial laydown of values, warm colors, and composition. I rather like the blue pot with its color variations.

Oil on Canvas, 20"x16", $450.
To purchase, go to my Website,

Stickney Falls

Here's the final painting that I started in Jack's class. This was of the falls coming over a group of large, flat rocks. The colors were earth colors, mostly, in warm tones. It was a fun exercise and I learned a lot about applying color, working with values, and painting water.

Oil on Canvas over panel, 9"x12", $250.
To purchase, go to my Website,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stickney Falls Paintout

I took the day off and went up to Stickney Falls in Vermont to paint with Jack Keledjian. Stickney Falls is near Putney, in a wooded area tucked away in the hills. It was a gorgeous sunny day in the 70s, and the falls were beautiful. I remember the place from taking Albert's class in the fall of last year, so I knew I was in for a wonderful treat. The class was small but nice. I got some great pointers on how to start, layout a composition, and put in a waterfall. I hope to post the painting later once I touch it up a little bit. Everyone did a great job, thanks to Jack's guidance. I also brought some paintings along for a critique, which was very helpful. Jack is a good and patient teacher. What more can you ask for?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Drawing with Paint Study

I took a drawing class with Jack (Hagop) Keledjian recently. We painted a figure with monochrome paint. I used Transparent Oxide Red, some Ultramarine Blue for the darks, and white. It was an interesting exercise. I got to concentrate on values, not color. The outline came first, then the darks, then the lighter tones, and finally I mixed in whites.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Putney Painters Art Show in Madison

I ducked out on Friday night to see the Art show for some of the Putney Painters at Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison. It was jam packed when I got there. The place is tiny, but it was full of interested artists and art lovers. The wine was flowing and the food was exotic and delicious. But the best part was viewing the paintings. They were definitely influenced by the Putney style, with bright colors and a painterly style reminiscent of Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik. Many of the paintings sold early. I especially liked Kathy Anderson's renderings of flower arrangements and Katy Swatland's marshes and sailboat scenes. Kathy was there, oohing at all of the great work as well. It was definitely an impressive display of good artwork.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Class With Jack Keledjian

The class in Vermont yesterday was a lot of fun. We painted from a live model, a local girl who was very attractive. The pose was quite nice. She sat on the loveseat and posed with good arm and leg movement. My setup viewed her from a 3/4 view, which was just what I wanted. I mixed up a brown with ultramarine blue and yellow ochre, which was a bit too cool a color. I will need to get some transparent oxide brown for the next one. The first one that I did was too small for the canvas, so I restarted it, with Jack's help. The second one came out much better. I will need to use some charcoal next time to draw out the model before I paint, I think. Using one color to paint is an interesting approach. A lot of people went on to color, but I kind of liked using the one color with white. The class was small, but nice. I hope to take another one soon, possibly in May. It's nice to be back in a classroom again. I really miss listening to the ramble and art talk, and also seeing what others are doing. Publish Post

Monday, April 14, 2008

Class in Putney, VT

Finally, they are going ahead with the Drawing with a Brush class at Village Arts of Putney. I can't wait. It's being taught by Jack Keledjian. I have so admired his work and I'm looking forward to taking this class. The first class will be with a live model. There will be six of us in the class, which is a nice small size. Hopefully, I'll have something to post soon.

Meanwhile, I've got a portrait commission to do on 18-month-old twins and will have one on two laborador retrievers. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Log Cabin in Winter

This is a plein air painting that I did from my bathroom window, looking out over the right of way to the log cabin home next door. It had just snowed that morning, so the snow was still fresh and bright. The sun was out and the birds were looking for food and enjoying the fair weather. It was chilly and a fire was going in the chimney. The far hills still had a frosting of snow near the skyline.

Oil on Canvas, 24" x 30", $900.
To purchase, go to my Website,

Lucy's Portrait

This is Lucy, the sweet golden retriever, owned by friends from the Dive Shop. She is still very active, though she is getting old. I had fun with the fur on this one, and those eyes were so expressive.
Oil on canvas over panel, 6" x 8", sold.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lucy's Turn

My latest series of paintings focuses on animals. I’ve added a new page to my Website just for animal paintings. Most of my inspiration comes from pets of mine and some of my friends.
Lucy is a friend’s golden retriever. She is an older dog, but still quite energetic and loves to sit out on the porch of their beach house and check out the comings and goings of the neighborhood.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Seven Components in Painting

You should be mindful of the Seven Components when you undertake a painting. The drawing and composition, in my opinion, are the most important elements. Within each component is a checklist of things to watch for and to be aware of.

It is so important to have a strong drawing, and a well thought out layout. If the drawing is weak, you will struggle with the paint in an effort to make it work.

1. Upside down - Check the painting upside down for errors in the drawing
2. Negative space
3. Proportion midpoint, relative, foreshortening
4. Anatomy
5. Perspective sighting, people, buildings, interiors, aerial
6. Gesture
7. Seeing vs. knowing

Tone Values
1. Shape of dark and light
2. Five tone values
3. Non-reflective light
4. Reflective light
5. Value dominance
6. Local value/home value

Found/lost Line
1. Contour drawing basic/one-line
2. Hard/soft edges

Rhythm of Application
1. Strokes
2. Paint quality
3. Sliced-bread theory
4. Slow strokes
5. Fast strokes
6. Long strokes
7. Short strokes

1. Imitate/emulate: studying old/new master paintings
2. Golden mean
3. Focal area
4. Twelve-shape design
5. Tie shapes together

Design of light
1. Color/ value dominance
2. Tangents
3. Balancing extremes
4. Cropping format
5. Working from photos
6. Setting up still life
7. One scene, four versions

1. Tone value in color
2. Colorist vs. tonalist
3. Limited palette: one color, two colors, three colors, four colors
4. Bracketing your colors
5. Color and complement
6. Color dominance
7. Color temperature

Motivation or Concept: Why are you doing this piece?
1. Relaxation
2. Stress management
3. Nurturing your creativity
4. For a gift
5. Learn or improve certain skills
6. Impress friends
7. Rite of passage
8. Fun


Ollie 6x8 Oil on Canvas over Panel

This is my boxer, Ollie. He is so regal looking in this painting. This is one in a series of dog paintings that I will be doing in the next few months.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Practicing Art, Repetition Works!

Albert Handell said it over and over, and Richard agreed that you have to stop trying to think in terms of making money from art and just practice your art. Keep working on something (one thing) until you get good at it. For example, in my critique, he noticed that I like to do red brick buildings, so he told me to paint twenty paintings of red brick buildings. That’s quite a task, but maybe it’s a good idea. I haven’t done it yet, but I do like to paint street scenes so I may concentrate on that. There are lots of old brick buildings in my area that would make good subjects.

I also think that drawing more would be a good idea. I just don’t do this enough and I need to get back into doing it on a daily basis. I do keep a Moleskin notebook in my purse at all times, but I've got to use it more. I have lots of sketch pads too, so there’s no excuse. I did do some sketching at a recent state women's club conference. I drew head poses of several women there. It was fun and I was able to pass the time while the speakers took their turns at the podium.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Small Paintings and Value Study

I’ve noticed that a lot of artists do small paintings and sell them either on eBay or their blogs. I’ve sold a few small paintings at the store in Milford, CT. I’m going to work on more of those and see what happens.

The small paintings are a lot of fun to do, and since they are small, I don’t labor over them as much. They are a great way to practice value studies too. I’ve found that my weakness is getting the values in my paintings just right. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around this concept. It’s in all of the art books and every teacher I’ve ever had emphasizes it, but it’s not easy to translate it on the canvas. Watching Richard Schmid, I noticed that he starts at his center of interest and works outward, but he doesn’t rework a stroke. He puts one down, leaves it, and works on one next to it. This is how he compares his values. It seems that if you go from one stroke to the next one over, you can tell better if your values are off. I can see how that might be true. Richard works with such certainty. It’s a confidence that is born from years of experience, I figure. I am trying to do this, but it’s really difficult. That’s way starting with something small works best for me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Notes on Art Marketing

I’ve been thinking seriously lately about how to market myself judiciously as an artist. With the economy sinking and near recession, it just doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on a canopy and outdoor festival fees. Plus, it would really eat into my time for creating art. I’ve kind of gone back and forth on this in my mind. I need to get my work out in the public, but how do I do it without running all over the place, wasting time, and without spending a lot of money?

And what about entering my work into area society shows? Is it worth it to do that, or should I just stay away for a while and concentrate on working on my art? I just don’t know.

I’m hoping that having a blog will help bring viewers to my Website . I’m also trying out some online galleries, like Boundless Gallery . I’ve been reading in Art Calendar about how so many artists are using the Internet to display their art and to attract viewers to their sites. Does this work really, or does it really depend on the artwork? How do I find my audience?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Landscapes in Oils at Boutique in Milford, CT


I've got some of my work at a wonderful boutique and gift shop in Milford, CT. It's called Something of Bev's. Bev is a wonderful warm person, and she is the best person to work with. This painting, Duck Sitting on Falls, is featured at her store.

Albert Handell Workshop, Day One

Day one was spent with a morning lecture about pastels and color theory. It included demonstrations on how to divide up a pastel box into six different values of colors, from light to dark. I had never seen a pastel demonstration before, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was definitely an eye-opener.

Albert works on Kitty Wallis paper, on 12 x 18 size paper. Anita uses panels. Panels do not let light shine through when painting outdoors.

Anita mentioned that you can keep pastels clean by shaking them up with cornmeal and drain the meal off in a colander.

To figure out if the values are the same, you would put two colors up against one another and look for an edge. If there is no edge, it means that they are in the same value group. If they are the same value, you can use them together and you will not get muddy color. But, you must keep to the same value. Albert started with the darks and then lay in the lights. He said to be aware of the temperature. A good varied temperature includes 2-3 darks, 2-3 midtones, and 2-3 lights.

Albert also spoke about the direction of the sun and how it looks on paper. A flat look is one where the sun is behind the object, a rimmed look is where the sun shines on the front of the object, and the half view is when the sun is shining across from one side. For the half view, you must quickly do the patterns of shadow before they change. It is important to capture proportion and placement.

Another thing to consider is lost and found edges and space. Things that are behind a subject get softened.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scenes from New England


I love to paint scenery in my native countryside. I am lucky to have friends who have homes in Cape Cod, Old Saybrook, Ct, New York State, and in the Boston area who have offered their homes as weekend retreats so that I could set up and paint.

This painting of a friend's cabin in upstate New York is an example of my attempts at plein air painting.