Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Remembering you, Mr. Van Gogh", 10x10, oil on linen

SOLD"Remembering You , Mr. Van Gogh", 10by10, oil on linen-

I bought a book in the airport recently to read on the plane when I returned from visiting with my mom. It was a blessing that I did, since we sat on the tarmac for three hours during stormy weather! The book was called The Rembrandt Affair, by Daniel Silva, and although I have not finished it yet, I am enjoying it quite a bit. The book is a mystery about the heist of an unknown work of Rembrandt's, valued in the millions. The book describes how under-protected the great masterpieces truly are, and the fact that there are many art heists of masterpieces every year in large museums and elsewhere.

Just a few days a go, I happened to pick up the newspaper and read that one of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings had been stolen from a museum in Egypt. The painting, tiled "Vase with Flowers" was worth $55 million dollars!

"Vase with flowers and poppies" by Vincent Van Gogh"

There is something so incredibly poignant, unassuming and melancholy about many of Van Gogh's paintings. I love the simplicity and innocence in this piece and would want it in my home even if it was not worth $55 million dollars!

I wish Vincent Van Gogh would have known how much joy his paintings would bring to others, in his own lifetime. For me, I have come to realize that that is what is the most important part of painting for me- giving other people a sense of joy, peace and a sense of poignancy. I dedicated this little floral to Vincent Van Gogh in the title. I hope he is enjoying many starry, starry nights, and the fragrance of lovely little flowers in his place of eternal peace and rest.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Window with an Water view", 14x11, oil on linen


"Window with an Ocean View", 14x11, oil on linen

I decided to re-work this painting that I did last week, because my daughter-in-law told me that it could use a little more development. Since she is an artist herself, I took her advice and re-worked some of the passages.

It's funny , but I changed my studio to a room with north light a few months ago, and i think it's noticeable in my paintings that I have been struggling with the new light source. I have had a dreadful time adjusting to the cold northern light, and as a result I sometimes move back into the kitchen, where I used to paint and where the light is very warm. This painting was done in the north light room, and I think that's why I had trouble with it. I'm not sure that north light works for me, personally, though I know many artists swear by it. At any rate, I warmed up some passages, cleaned up some messy areas and added more paint to the flower arrangement and now it is definitely finished and re-named. Here are some of my thoughts about the last few months and how the Gulf disaster has affected my ability to be creative.

Over the past three months I have lost interest in painting. I have become a bit of an activist, in
trying to make the public more aware of how the oil disaster here in the Gulf has affected so many lives, especially of fisherman and their families, in a very horrendous way. I am very hopeful that the worst is behind us now and that the well will be sealed permanently soon.

So as my mind has returned to a tiny semblance of normalcy, I have tried to begin painting again. Although I have been painting infrequently these past months, it is not as though I have completely given up the love I have for painting beautiful things. Rather, let's just say that I have put my passion on a back burner in the hopes of doing something more productive for others during this difficult time.

This painting, too, is overall a success in my opinion- loose and generous with paint where it needs to be, and also restrained in areas where more modest color and brush strokes take a back seat to the lush floral bouquet in the foreground. It was tricky trying to do a painting like this, because the background needs to be painted first. The hard part is to keep the background from interfering with the focal point, while still incorporating its story into the overall theme. I hope that I was successful in that.

The background is a scene from a lovely little fishing town in Nova Scotia, called Peggy's Cove. I took some liberties with the setting and hope no one minds that I sat my window sill right smack in the middle of St. Margaret's Bay, overlooking a little fisherman's hut.

If you are interested in this painting, please send me an email at, or call Leah Sherman directly at Collector's Gallery and Framery at 941-488-3029.

Fantasy Impromptu, oil on linen, 18x24

"Fantasy Impromptu", 18x24, oil on linen panel

This painting has just sold through Collector's Gallery and Framery to a collector in Texas. I have been having good luck with Texas art collectors purchasing my art work recently. I am wondering if there is a gallery out there, perhaps in Houston, looking for me? I'd love to have some representation there!

As a child I played the piano every day and was considered an accomplished pianist by the time I was in high school. It was my love for classical music that led me to my next passion, which was ballet. I loved losing myself in ballet class to both the beautiful piano music as well as the physical demands of classical ballet training, and I would always leave class totally relaxed and in a positive frame of mind.

How I miss taking ballet class!

Every day before I begin a painting, the choice of music that I listen to becomes just as important as the lighting in the studio, and I believe that it ultimately affects the success of my painting.

I named this painting after my favorite composer Frederic Chopin. His hauntingly beautiful piece, "Fantasy Impromptu" is probably my favorite of all of Chopin's compositions. I hope he would be pleased with the outcome of this painting, as he has certainly supplied me with a great deal of listening pleasure over the years!

This painting won a second place ribbon at The Ringling College's Englewood Center and has also been exhibited in Sarasota.