Friday, February 15, 2013

"Simple Abundance", 16x20, oil on linen, hibiscus, red hibiscus, apple, green apple, fish shack

"Simple Abundance", 16x20, oil on linen
Note: Click on the image to see it better!

A few days ago I picked some hibiscus from the garden and arranged them in a vase with some apples. After working at it for a few hours, I was almost finished the flowers and thought they were looking pretty good. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of the set-up and to my dismay the next morning the flowers were all curled up and wilted! So I went back into the garden and brought in some more and tried to set them up in the same way. No chance! It is amazing how every single flower is extremely unique, and since hibiscus is a very complex flower to paint I began feeling frustrated.  I had to basically scrape out most of what I had done the day before and start over. This time I did take a photo of the flowers knowing I'd have to keep working the painting the next day.

Since yesterday was Valentine's Day, I think I had red on the brain. So I added the background after painting the flowers using an old red fish shack from Peggy's Cove. I kind of liked the idea of putting tropical flowers in a northern setting! It was a quirky idea that grew on me as I went along. I added other objects as I went along and finally today I called it done. It was a challenging painting for me, but worth the effort in the end.


Life is a flower of which love is the honey. – Victor Hugo

If you’ve seen a Hummingbird suck the nectar out of a Hibiscus flower, you will know what Hugo means when he refers to life as a ‘flower’ and love as ‘honey’.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

"Morning at the Park", 11x14, oil on linen

"Morning at the Park", 11x14, oil on linen

Today Val Sandell did a demo at Oscar Scherer State Park  for the Light-Chasers plein air group. It is always interesting to see how different and varied an artist's technique can be. Val tones her canvas with the Richard Schmid concoction of black and Terra Rosa. This was new to me, but since I don't use black, I don't think I'll try it. She also uses small brushes throughout her painting process and yet in spite of that she had a great deal of her painting finished in only an hour. Now that's a pro! She used colors I don't use like raw sienna and raw umber and such but she does a wonderful job with those colors and none of her colors get muddy , as sometimes hapeens to me when I use earth tones.

I was inspired to paint after watching her and so above is the painting that I turned out today.

Here is Val's painting in progress after only an hour. Fellow plein air painter and friend Tony D'Amico happened to be walking by as I shot this, so I hope he doesn't mind being in the picture!

 As usual, there was a nice group of devoted Light-Chasers who turned out to watch the demo this morning!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Three Doors Down", 14x11, oil on linen

"Three Doors Down", 14x11, oil on linen

The house with the pink bougainvillea wrapping around the column is just three doors down from where I live. The owners obviously have a green thumb becuase the whole property is gorgeous to look at. I had been wanting to paint this bougainvillea for a while now, and so yesterday, I finally asked permission to stand on the lawn and paint the house.

Today I went down and spent an hour and a half painting the front porch. After that, I decided the light was changing too quickly so I finished it up in my studio. I am going to try it again on a different day because Is struggled with the dappled light on the door and walkway and need to practice  doing it more often.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

"That Kind of Day", 8x10, oil on panel, paintings of baots, dingies, Nova Scotia, clouds, water

"That Kind of Day", 8x10, oil on panel

Sometimes it's just that kind of day. You know what I mean?

Painted with a limited palette of four colors plus white.

Please email me at if you wish to purchase "That Kind of Day"

Saturday, February 02, 2013

"Red Bridge Statue, Magnolia Plantation", 12x16, oil on linen, paintings of statues, Charleston, South Carolina, red bridge, Magnolia Plantation


"Red Bridge Statue, Magnolia Plantation", 12x16, oil on linen

We spent some time in Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago and during our trip we visited the bewitching Magnolia Plantation , just outside of town. The plantation is steeped in history and is gorgeous year round with flowering trees, shrubs, and live oaks adorned with yards of Spanish moss. There are many footpaths and bridges, and when I came across this statue, covered with lichen , I decided it would make a nice painting one day. This was my reference photo:

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please send me an email at