Monday, June 29, 2009

Bellissima World-Sunflowers in a white pitcher

"Bellissima World", 12x16, oil on linen panel

This painting was done with palette knife and brushes and has nice impasto throughout.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rainy Season- God Bless the Rains

"Jungle Music- God Bless the Rains", 11x14, oil on canvas panel
Note : please click on the image to see the impasto.

This one is pretty wild, but it's also rather cool. I like it a lot, because the strokes seem to be dancing. Must be because I was listening to Toto's Africa, recorded by the Colgate 13, while I was painting this. Wanna listen to the Toto version? It's really cool, though I like the Colgate 13 version , too, which was done a capella. My son was leader of the group when they recorded it for their Cadence album in 2001. Here's the Toto version:

This painting has been accepted into Art Center Sarasota's "Green" exhibition, through September 12th. Contact me after that date if you wish to purchase this painting. And if you like acapella music done really well, purchase some CD's by the Colgate Thirteen. My favorite albums are Cadence and Stargazing. You can listen to Africa sung a capella by clicking this link and going to the Stargazing album, and then clicking on track #11. I like this version a lot, though I like the version on the Cadence CD better.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

"Nantucket Morning"

"Nantucket Morning", 12x16, oil on wrapped canvas

I am very pleased to be represented by Lorica Artworks, in Andover , Massachusetts. Please stop by if you are in the area and visit this beautiful gallery just north of Boston. "Nantucket Morning" is one the paintings that are featured there. It is a very serene scene culled from my memories of trips that the hubby and I would take in the summertime to one of three of our favorite vacation destinations- Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Newport were places where the scenery was always lovely, the salt air was invigorating and the chowdah was the best around!

If you would like to purchase this painting, please contact Lorica Artworks at (978)470-1829 .

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nadia, portrait study

"Nadia", 14x18, oil on linen

Tuesday morning is my day to paint from a live model at a private studio. Although I was totally out of sorts this week, I did manage to turn out a decent painting, I believe. This week our model was Nadia, a woman with wonderful features, and very different from Carl of last week. It was her first time to model for painters and she kept changing position, but her large lips, small nose and Mediterranean coloring made up for it. Nadia is part Spanish with I think some Romanian blood as well, and overall she made for a very interesting model. We asked her to come back next week as well.

Although I should probably develop this painting a little more, I think I am going to put it aside for now and concentrate on new pieces for my upcoming solo exhibit in Venice in July. I am running out of time! If you have any interest in purchasing this painting, please email me at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Effortless- ballet art, dancers

"Effortless", 8x10, oil on gallery-wrapped linen (Masterpiece) canvas.

I must admit that the one show that I never miss an episode of is "So You Think You Can Dance". I was heartbroken when Danny Tidwell was eliminated (he came in second) two seasons ago, because they guy literally brought a lump to my throat every time I watched his incredible grande leaps, high jumps and long, lyrical lines that moved like molten lava in their slow effortless intensity across the dance floor.

This year , my vote is definitely going to go for Melissa Sandvig, who also has the grace and fluidity that makes for great dancing. She is the first dancer on the show, to my knowledge at least, who is a professionally trained ballerina, and that ballet training will shine through loud and clear in the weeks ahead on the show, in my humble opinion. She danced a contemporary piece last week, with her partner, Ade, and it was just beautiful to watch. I saw the little elonge of the wrist at the end of the arabesque , so I am betting she was trained in the Vaganova pedagogue, as well, which was how I trained my dancers. My painting above, reminds me a little bit of Melissa, and I am eager to see what she will do in tonight's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance!"

The trick to being a good or great dancer, is to make one's movements look effortless, in spite of the hard work involved to get to the point where a dancer can make her movements as light and effortless as a feather.

Painting is like that also, where less is more and an overworked canvas can be the death knell to what started out as a good painting. This painting took me a while to do, but thanks to the wonderful Masterpiece Vincent canvas that I used for a support, I was able to make changes to it and not have it look overworked.New!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Organic Vegetables- a painting of peppers and an avocado

SOLD Organic Vegetables, 12x16, oil on gallery-wrapped canvas

The shape of peppers is quite intriguing as a paint subject. Like people, there are a lot of hollows, valleys and plane changes that occur within a pepper that make for some very interesting paint choices. The deep green of the avocado against the colorful peppers makes for wonderful contrasts! Although this painting is sold, if you would like me to paint something similar for you, please email me at

Also, thanks very much to Magdalene at Gifts of Creation, for nominating me for a blog award! I am very grateful that God has given me the opportunity to create things of beauty for people's enjoyment! Thanks again for the compliment! You can visit Magdalene's blog here, and see more gifts of creation from other artists!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Colle Verde Vineyard-Summer

SOLD"Colle Verde Vineyard-Summer"-24x36, oil on canvas

Back in the spring, I was invited to participate in the Venice Art Center's annual plein air festival.

The evening of the reception I was approached by some people who asked me if I would be interested in doing a satellite exhibit for the art center at some of downtown Venice's business venues. Venice is a lovely tourist town , and I felt very honored to have been asked to do a personal exhibit for the sponsors. Recently, I was informed that my first exhibit in this venue will be at Back Eddy's Bistro, on the island in downtown Venice. On Friday evening the hubby and I had one of the most memorable meals we have had in ages at Back Eddy's. The food was absolutely scrumptious cuisine, (I had the salmon in dill and he had the duck), but the dinner also gave me an opportunity to view the wall space- which is quite expansive, and try to plan on what paintings will be placed on exhibit.

I realized that evening, that I need some BIG pieces! So I immediately started painting on Saturday morning. I painted a new version of "Colle Verde Vineyard" , after a recent award winning painting, only I made it warmer to reflect the summer light in Tuscany.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I'll probably get up and decide whether or not to include this painting in the exhibit. In the meanwhile, I am enjoying painting on a larger format these days, thanks to a recent commission and this new exhibit venue, and although I have been using tons of paint doing these big pieces, I do love the bigger formats for expressive palette knife work.

Please let me know what you think, too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Fisherman's Sunset

"A Fisherman's Sunset", 12x16, oil on canvas panel

Sometimes an event will happen in our lives that leaves us unnerved, off balance, and totally out of control. I now understand what it's like to literally "See red". This happened to me a few days ago. Without repeating the incident, suffice it to say that a person whom I love very, very much, hurt me deeply. The feelings that I felt after a one minute phone call left me feeling simultaneously empty, incredibly sad, and trying to control an anger that was beyond my ability to control.

I had been painting when the phone call came. I can't even remember what I had been painting. After the phone call, I couldn't think of anything other than trying to deal with the anger and pain that I felt. I picked up my palette knife and began smearing paint all over my canvas. Red paint. Red, hot, orangey strokes plastered on the canvas like flaming embers. I just kept smearing and smashing red and orange cadmiums onto the canvas, without even being aware of what I was doing. Not long afterwards, the phone rang again and it was someone else. We talked and I became calmer as a result of this voice of reason and grace. I cleaned off my palette knife and stuck the canvas in a place where the cats would not walk through it and make cadmium red footprints all through the house. (Yes, that has happened before, as a result of not having a studio and painting in one's kitchen where everything is accessible and paintings are as vulnerable to cat-paws as mosquito-landings. )

The next day I was still upset. But by the end of the day I had settled myself, knowing that only God can change people and things, and there is nothing I can do to change or help a loved one once they've reached an age where they are capable of making their own choices- be they bad or good. Nothing, that is, except to continue to pray and have faith that God will touch that person and change them from within.

I took out the painting with the red strokes of flaming anger written all over it and looked at it again. I decided that I wanted to create something soothing out of the chaos I had rendered the night before. Recently, I had read something on the Daily Painter's forum about the deep pervading loneliness that can ensue for a fisherman's wife, when the husband goes off to sea. Fisherman, or sailors, especially those in the military who are submarine sailors, leave home and often are not heard from for months at a time- and the fear and loneliness that ensues until their return can be heart wrenching.

So with that thought fresh in my mind, I decided to make my angry painting into something much different- hopefully a reminder of how wonderful it is when a loved one returns home after a period of absence and darkness, and an example of how inevitably hope reigns eternal in humans that in the end love and goodness and mercy for all- even the lost- shall prevail. I guess the story of The Prodigal Son comes to mind here, and I sincerely hope that God in His infinite mercy can truly forgive all the prodigals in this sad world of ours.

This red hot painting of anger, frustration and sadness has hopefully evolved into something a little more peaceful now that I've re-worked it. The globs of red paint dried overnight for some weird reason, since I live in Florida

But life is filled with challenges. Each day is a new day and we must try to love to the best of our abilities, even when the loved one has hurt us deeply, or the paint has gotten dry and unwieldy, and hope becomes dimmed by repetition of failure. I hope this painting has some beauty in it, despite its origins. And I hope that anyone reading this who can identify with the deep emotions that render us helpless at times will realize that we are only human, and judgment of others is foolish in view of one’s own human frailties. Luckily for me, I have an outlet for my emotions. I am very grateful for that.

Thanks for listening. Now you know how some paintings come about....

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tranquility, 24x36

"Tranquility", 24x36, oil on canvas

This painting is large enough to place over a couch or sofa and looks lovely framed. I currently have it framed in a wooden carved frame and it acts as a focal point in the room where I have it displayed. The painting contains a palette of fall colors and for this reason it will automatically pick up tones of color in most decors that include fall colors with greens, ochres and magentas.

If you would like to purchase this painting, please contact me at, for purchase information.

Monday, June 08, 2009

"All the way home"

"All the Way Home", 24x36, oil on canvas

I always love the joy of going back home after an absence, even if the absence involved a vacation to a beautiful or exotic place. There is something very special about going home, and in this painting I tried to create a path of happiness leading to the ultimate place of peace- home.

John 14: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I hope the house that God has prepared for me has a wildflower field in front of it!

This painting was a commissioned piece and it is sold. Although I rarely take on commissions, I enjoyed doing this one.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Pacific Blues- impressionist painting of Big Sur Coastline

"Pacific Blues", 12x16, oil on canvas panel

This is the 4th painting that I have done of the Big Sur Coastline, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Big Sur is located along Scenic Highway One, approximately 150 miles south of San Francisco and 300 miles north of Los Angeles. Historically, the name Big Sur was derived from that unexplored and unmapped wilderness which lays along the coast south of Monterey. It is a 90 mile stretch of rugged and heart-wrenchingly beautiful coastline between Carmel to the north and San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to the south. Highway One winds snakes along the coast at sometimes heart-stopping heights with the majestic Santa Lucia mountain range on one side and the rocky Pacific coast on the other.

This particular stretch that I painted is just north of the beautiful Julia Pfeiffer Falls and south of "Nepenthe". Locals know exactly what "Nepenthe" means, but for those not yet privy to this information, here goes.

According to Wikipedia, Nepenthe is a drug of forgetfulness mentioned in Greek mythology, depicted as originating in Egypt.

The word "Nepenthe" first appears in the fourth book (vv. 220-221) of the Odyssey of Homer. Literally, it means "the one that chases away sorrow" (ne = not, penthos = grief, sorrow). In the Odyssey, "Nepenthes pharmakon" (i.e. a drug that chases away sorrow) is a magical potion given to Helen by an Egyptian queen. It quells all sorrows with forgetfulness.

So what does this have to do with my painting? Not much, other than when I first saw the beautiful Pacific Coast at Big Sur, I can honestly say that I forgot all my troubles. We did stop at the Nepenthe restaurant for lunch, where a large Phoenix rising from the ashes is carved from a wooden tree stump and greets the many visitors that have passed through this restaurant over the years.

Here's the view you get to see over lunch or dinner:

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

"Cocky", and an art award

"Cocky", 8x10, oil on canvas, (Note: Click on the photo to see a close up of the texture.)

I was thrilled with how quickly this one came together for me. I used leftovers on my palette to 'smear' in the background, and I think it gave a cohesive look to the entire painting. Don't ya just love when that happens? This was painted with palette knife only, and has lots of juicy texture.

Last weekend I received an award for my painting, "Colle Verde Vineyard" at the Venice Art Center's Spring all-media exhibit.

That's me far left standing next to Juror Susan J. Klein. Klein's work has been exhibited internationally and has garnered numerous awards and honors, most notably the selection of one of her paintings to adorn the American Embassy in Rome as part of the Art in Embassies program directed by the American Department of State.

I was thrilled to have been chosen to receive an award in this competitive exhibit!

Here's the painting "Colle Verde Vineyard" displayed with ribbon. I normally don't buy black frames, but in this case, it complimented the piece beautifully!

If you would like to purchase "Cocky", please contact Lorica Artworks at (978)470-1829.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Nantucket Morning, 12x16-New England seascape


"Nantucket Morning", 12x16, oil on wrapped canvas

This is a feel good kind of painting. A peaceful water scene forms the subtle background of the sunlit windowsill, where fruit, flowers and a ginger jar invite the viewer's eye to roam through the scene. The challenge here, was to keep the background scene secondary from the foreground, which I hopefully accomplished by muting the colors quite a bit.

If you would like to purchase this painting, please contact Lorica Artworks in Andover, Massachusetts at (978)-470-1829.

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