Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Top Prize!

I won it! Most Luminous Landscape in the 2016 Vermont Pastel Society Members' Exhibit at Arts Alive in Burlington. The judge, Mickey Myers (from the Bryan Memorial Art Gallery in Jeffersonville, VT), said this about my painting Winter Garden 4pm:
This piece has such an unusual luminosity to it.  At once it is sweeping, and it is intimate.  It pulls the viewer to what lies ahead at a distance, and it pulls the viewer back to the crunch of the ground under foot.    That ironic concept of a “Winter Garden” in the title explains why the luminosity of this piece provides more than just a seasonal picture – it provides the depth of the season itself.  
 I appreciate the judge's comments. More judges should take the time to talk about why they chose what they chose. It can be helpful to the few artists who won awards and the many who did not win this time. She advised members to "watch your frames". Many good paintings look bad when placed in uncomplimentary frames.

I have not seen the show yet, but look forward to seeing it during the last week of April on a short mother/daughter trip to Burlington. The Arts Alive gallery is open 9-5 on weekdays.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Drawing, Sketching

"I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing."
 Vincent van Gogh

Me, too. Delightful, yes. Some days the drawing just rolls from my eyes/brain through my fingers on to the blank page. Other days there is rather more angst in the process and sweat on the paper. Whatever ...I Would Rather Be Drawing...than Not. Anyone else feel that way?

In my seventieth year, I tend to forget things and lose things. Drawing is a tool that has helped me learn and figure out my world all my life. It is my refuge and meditation and solace. I would sooner leave my house without earrings than without my sketchbook. In the above quick drawing I bundled up and drew my reflection in the glass door at a frigid 23 degrees. I know this winter has been unusually mild, but I have learned I can draw outside for limited duration at most any temperatures over 15! Choose a quivery subject....and put a heat pack in your pocket

 The above small sketch of my friend in class was done in 3 minutes or less. I was looking for her attitude and concentration rather than accuracy.

This large charcoal drawing of Martina is about mystery and mood.

My big cat Charley Parker has found the one spot he blends in to his surroundings while perched on an old brush pile.
In this pencil drawing I was exploring options for winter garden paintings I am presently working on.

What have you been doing these long winter days?

You may want to look at Vincent Van Gogh The Drawings 2005 The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY.  Check it out or order it from your local library.  It is a heavy book, good for at least a week of dedicated perusal.

The geese just went by Southern Vermont this morning, heading North! YES!

Look at my upcoming Events in right column.  And write to me.

Monday, August 17, 2015


New York

My project over the last six years is complete. I painted a plein air pastel painting - on location - in every state. One early watercolor was grandfathered in because it was my first of a long tradition of looking for funky, homey, beautiful American scenes to paint while I sat outside in Beach Haven, NJ with a line of fishermen's shacks in front of me. Some of those flowers were plastic as I recall.
New Jersey



 I look forward to exhibiting selections of the project. I am in the phase of looking at venues to show these relatively small pastels.

 The place that you can look at all of them right now is here. Please read my brief travelogue of ups and downs and faux pas along the way. Travel is always amusing, at least. Then let me know of your travels, art work, etc.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Garden Watercolors

Camassia and Tulips
(SOLD - inquire about similar work)
I am all about my garden at this time of year and am painting some small (4" x 10") watercolors in it...of it.

Hate to tear myself away, but Alaska calls...and Oregon and Washington.  When I return I hope I can see the 36" tall poppy heads over the weeds...and I am dreaming of the fabulous roses of the northwest...and the Cascade Mountains, Columbia River, Kenai Peninsula, and midnight sun.   These are the last 3 states for my Fifty State Plein Air Painting Project 
which you may have heard me mention...a few thousand times...over the last 7 years...yes? 

Tell me about your trips, garden, paintings, dogs or plans. (bunions, bad knees, thanks).    North to the Future!

See side bar for the exhibit at Butternut of Garden art work .

Monday, May 18, 2015


Highlights of my week (and it was a wonderful one):

Spent Mothers' Day helping my daughter at her booth in SOWA Fine Arts Market in Boston. Yes, it was crowded and hot but we braved it together and anticipated a great get-away week to follow. Mothers Day is good, but I will always turn it into a week if I can.  (Zoe's Etsy things!)

my pen and ink sketch in Arnold Arboretum

We walked all over Back Bay/ South End; ate some very nice food (Barcelona); visited Arnold Arboretum at the height of lilac season; took in Hokusai show at Museum of Fine Arts; drank coffee at the Buttery; and did just what we wanted to. Then headed up to Portsmouth for some fresh clean salt air and more food - Black Truffle - paella to die for with fiddleheads, asparagus, shrimp and chorizo. 

Finally I returned home to the good news that my charcoal drawing of Woman in Big Hat had won an award in focus juried exhibit at Butternut Gallery in Montrose, PA. Saturday night opening was a hard one for me to miss. Yes, I do miss my friends and artists in NE Pennsylvania. Maybe you missed it, too? Maybe you over-indulged in a little too much chocolate and wine? You can still see all the ART...go before focus closes on June 7.  regular gallery hours: Thursday-Saturday 11am-5pm. 570-278-4011. 

 Write and tell me what I missed...and any other news you have. I will gladly send you my photo of Charley Parker flying.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Still Drawing Daily

Now I'm working out of two sketchbooks; a Moleskine and a Strathmore watercolor,  both 5.5 x 8 inches, but with different orientations. I am posting some of them below including one from the "unfinished and/or abandoned or total failure" category.

Most of us experience different levels of inspiration at different times or days. When I committed (on January first 2015) to drawing daily I knew there would be some duds. I do not dwell on those, but I usually let them live in (besmirch) my sketchbooks. The ebb and flow of inspiration is quite apparent when you do not have any days off...or pages ripped out.


The three sketches above were all done with a combination of Lamy fountain pen, Copic marker and transparent watercolor. Lamy pens are clog-free due largely to their use of water-soluble ink. This can be worked with and I went from the first drawing which was a total surprise to more control and forethought by the third one. It has a unique look.

The three above, are watercolor, no ink.

 There is something to be learned from this sketch of the Connecticut River bank and Brattleboro;
1. Try to plan your time so you can finish in one sitting on location. At the very least, get enough down on paper so you can complete later and not lose the feeling of the day. 
2. Avoid putting a boring object in the foreground (never draw another patio heater?). 
3. Quit only when you have clearly lost the game! 

How have you been surviving this long winter into spring? (Or, to quote the parking meter attendant..."sprinter"; the season just before MUD in Vermont.)
Let me know what you have been doing, painting, writing, traveling, seeing.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Garden Pool

A new pastel painting that I just sent to Butternut Gallery and Second Story Books,  Montrose, PA. This 8 x 10 nocturne is priced to sell. Four other new paintings, too. Hope you will stop in to have a look at all their exhibits, this year. The original art, gifts and well-chosen books make it a Northeastern Pennsylvania hidden treasure.

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