Saturday, November 20, 2010

American Eyes

American Eyes: Art from the Collection of Gil and Deborah Williams is at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in Ithaca NY until January 9, 2011. Don't miss it.

My husband and I just spent a wonderful afternoon in the museum today. This is a small selection from a vast personal collection of a lifetime. The Williams are astute collectors and my husband and I just kept going from piece to piece exclaiming to each other "wow, look at this color woodblock", "did you see that watercolor?" "I've never seen such a beautiful gouache painting!" Others were looking with equal enthusiasm. This 20th century exhibit, curated by Nancy Green, is primarily works on paper; interesting examples of etchings, drawings, lithographs and most every kind of print and painting, including one of my plein air pastels: Agricultural History.(above)

I was awed to be represented in an exhibit that contains Thomas Moran, Thomas Hart Benton, Frederick Church, Charles Burchfield, Fairfield Porter and many other notable American artists. What thrilled me most was to be hanging in the same room with a stunning Marguerite Zorach silkscreen!!! She is one of my favorites! For many years I have had the nasty habit of tallying ratios of male to female artists represented on museum walls. This show passed with flying colors. The women artists don't necessarily have the most recognizable names but their work is top notch and I hope every one of you can get to Ithaca for this show. (It's free and there are several other exhibits there that we liked, too.)

No photography allowed or you'd be seeing a photo of me next to my painting rubbing shoulders with Charles Burchfield's Sunflowers, grinning from ear to ear.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Watercolor Demo

This is the 10" x 10" watercolor demo I started on October 12th on the patio while some of you watched. It took another few hours to get this far. It's close to finished, but I'm leaving for my 7 state southern loop tomorrow. So, it will settle until I return and see what needs to be changed.

Look to the right>>>>>>>>>>>>>and up; the email subscription box has returned. My daughter of pearled earth found it! Now you can subscribe and not miss a post. Thanks to all of you who comment regularly. I love it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A thank you & a (mild) scolding

photo by Rodrica Tilley
Thank you to the hordes of happy art lovers who turned out for the Artists' Open House Weekend...I was too busy selling & wrapping originals & prints to actually take any photos of you all enjoying the fabulous autumn weather in my garden. It was a wonderful ending to my 14 years on this county-wide studio tour. I'm moving to Vermont in 2011 as most of you know. I so enjoyed seeing friends, fans & familiar faces.

The garden received many compliments. People were surprised that it was colourful! To my way of thinking a fall garden can be a little too subdued without DAHLIAS! Yes, they are a fair amount of must dig, wash, label & store them after the frost...sort of like potatoes; you need a cool, frost-free storage the basement. But, that done you can forget about them until mid- to late April. Then drop the tubers in pots of gro-mix in the greenhouse or sunporch or living room window. When they sprout, water them and plant them out with 4' stakes in mid to late May. So those of you who go to the trouble of growing tomatoes & marigolds, may want to steal a corner for some real fall color. And in a lucky year that may begin in July and last until October. Your house will be full of bouquets.

Swan Island Dahlias is my favorite source...and their catalogue is great reading. I don't go for the dinner plate dahlias, but you may. Dahlias are a great them once...plant & give away forever.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Four Nocturnes

These are the four nocturnes that I mentioned in the previous post...well, actually they might more accurately be termed "almost-nocturnes". They are all on the edge of day...but leading towards night: two moons, two suns. They are hanging at my studio ready to greet visitors to the 14th Annual
Artists Open House Weekend...October 9, 10 & 11. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sometimes the Moon Just Blows Me Away

A stormy night just after sunset at my place, is the source of this 9 x 12 pastel painting. It, and a few other small nocturnes will be for sale here at my studio during
The 14th Annual Artists Open House Weekend ; studio tour in Susquehanna County PA coming up on Columbus Day Weekend.

I will be doing demonstrations on Monday, October 11th: watercolor at 11 am and pastel at 2pm.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nasturtiums in Creamer

Another watercolor...and more nasturtiums in Nan Burti's cream pitcher....I do love these two small clay pieces, but so far I've used them in several paintings and never put cream or sugar in them. They have nice necks for flowers and I love the glaze colors.

I used the roughest watercolor paper I had for this just to see what would happen. Besides, I did a similar pitcher full of nasturtiums last year at the Artists' Open House Weekend on a very smooth - hot press paper- so I wanted to mix it up a bit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Night Watchman

This 9 x 12 sunset beach scene was done in the studio today recalling my lovely trip to Delaware in May. I thought it a fitting and reverent way to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy; by thinking and wishing for peace and tolerance among all people - religious or not. And by acknowledging those who now rest in peace. And by offering comfort to those who miss them with every waking breath. I titled it in hopes that our protectors are vigilant and watchful.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Watercolor Bouquets

These orange nasturtiums in one of Zoƫ Tilley Poster's vases are one of several small paintings I'm doing this September. There are also roses and sweet peas, so far. I always do these from life...set-up on my drawing board under the skylights so the light is quite clear and somewhat flat giving a specific characteristic quality to the colors. These will be available at my studio during the Artists' Open House Weekend in October.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In the Footsteps of Georgia O'Keeffe

I spent last week in Northern New Mexico with eleven other women from the Montrose Area Adult School. (the title of the course is the title of this blog post)

We began in Taos at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. I slept in her bed! A great place to stay when you are in Taos....the stories those walls could tell. The breakfasts were fabulous and the staff friendly & helpful. For those of you who love houses, this is the place...second floor bathroom windows painted by D.H. Lawrence! Two nights here gave us a chance to explore the Taos area as well as sample the margaritas, birdwatch, visit museums, shop, walk over the Rio Grand river gorge on America's most beautiful steel span bridge and get used to the dry air at almost 7000' above sea level. We visited the often painted and photographed Rancho de Taos Church.

Driving up to Abiquiu was breath-takingly beautiful for our planned-long-in-advance special tour of Georgia O'Keeffe's home & studio. We were guided by the Historic Properties Manager of the Georgia O'keeffe Museum, who worked with Ms. O'Keeffe for 10 years. Most of our group had studied the artist's life and work before arriving and speaking for myself it was a thrill to stand in her studio, kitchen, garden and see the scenes that inspired some of her paintings.

Then on to Ghost Ranch...home of the best sunsets in the west. I love staying there in spite of the "ranch food". We took a landscape tour and saw the exact spot where many of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings were done on location in the desert; Cedar Tree with Lavendar Hills and others.

At the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe we viewed Abstraction. We were able to see how the artist worked in series, starting with a "realistic" interpretation and changing her vision in subsequent paintings until an abstract image resulted. There were some very powerful painting that I had never seen before. It was an exciting exhibit....and showed that she contributed greatly to American Modernism. She was truly an innovative American painter. For months I've been hearing from some of you how much you enjoyed this exhibit when it was in New York and then Washington, DC. I couldn't agree more. I've seen many exhibits of her work and this one was particularly enlightening.

Still there were galleries, museums, shopping, mineral hot springs, pueblos, pots and more margaritas awaiting. I wish you were there, too.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Fenced Sunflowers

This past Sunday morning I was visited by some young artists from Camp Susquehannock. They drew in charcoal and I worked at the bottom of the garden on this pastel painting. For those of you not living in white-tail deer country, we must fence the deer out of our gardens especially when we grow sunflowers - a gourmet item on the deer menu! This is a 16 x 20; rather large for me to complete in one sitting en plein air. I had to finish it up this morning in the garden. The light was coming from the same direction, but it was much stronger this morning. A newly hatched family of tufted titmouses (titmice?) were practicing their whistles & cheeps in the branches over my head.

Michael Poster, my husband took some photos of the kids and made a slideshow with music by Booker T & the MG's.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lilium 'Pizzazz'

I've been amusing myself by painting some of my wonderful Asiatic & hybrid lilies in watercolor. The weather has cooled off a bit and is more conducive to spending time in the garden- painting or weeding. This is a small 4" x 4" and there are a few other companions to it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Fine Home

It was nice to see so many of you turn out at the opening last night of Three Artists Paint Their County. Yes, the gallery is air conditioned and the show will continue until August 22; wed-sat 11-5 and sunday 12-4. 570-278-4011

I love this spot. I've painted it before. This time a small trailer (mobile home, RV?) had appeared in the window created in the trees. I like the winter landscape colors and most of all the open expanses of sky, field and view. The tongue in cheek title is actually a sincere expression of what I think constitutes a "fine" home; fresh air, clean landscape, nature all around and plenty of long distance views. It is included in the Three Artists Paint Their County Exhibit at the Butternut Gallery in Montrose.
It is 18 x 18 image size.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Whistle Stops & Depots

All aboard, railroad buffs! An exhibit of railway-related artworks by the members of Pennsylvania En Plein Air Society. Opening reception Friday July 23, 2010 6pm ? Music by Steamtown Ramblers with songs of railroads and hobos. This is your chance to attend a party and add a piece of original art to your collection. There will be oils and watercolors, acrylics and pastels; stations and trains. The work will be varied in size and scope, but all will be reasonably priced. Meet the artists; some are established well known names in Northeastern PA and some are emerging talent. All have taken on a two year project of recording our local railroading history on canvas and paper. It is a beautiful sight, if you love trains and history...or just ART!

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 5-8pm through August 25. Schulman Gallery, 2nd floor of the Campus Center at Luzerne County Community College, 1333 South Prospect Street, Nanticoke, PA.
My pastel painting, Alford Switch Tower is included.

The switching tower, built in 1915, was used to switch the multiple tracks in use at the time. It was all done mechanically w
ith steel rods and levers and muscle power.

Three Artists Paint Their County

Betty Bryden, Bob Smith and Rodrica Tilley paint and draw inspiration from Susquehanna County, PA July 24 - August 22 at the Butternut Gallery 42 Church St., Montrose, PA 570-278-4011

This is my pastel painting; My Neighbor's Garden as it is featured on the invitation card. The image size is 18 x 18 inches, soft pastel on Wallis paper. Opening reception is Saturday July 24 6-8pm.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Garden

This is the plein air demo that I started for a group of Hill Country Artists 2 weeks ago Thursday evening. I love painting for them. They are an interested group of painters with many questions. I did a little work on it later in the studio, framed and hung it on the wall.

I usually avoid yellow in the garden and in paintings, but other people like it and this is one of the rare garden exceptions. In July it is a hot, happy border with sort of a Chinese Restaurant style color scheme. It's 11 x 14 on Wallis paper mounted on thin gator foam.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Annual Summer Art Exhibit

I have been having a rather exciting spring...painting, watching a den of red foxes on my property, traveling to Delaware for a few sublime beach painting days, looking for the kit red foxes, weeding the garden, smelling the roses, wandering through the woods with binoculars peering around trees to spy the adorable little foxes, finding a rafter of wild turkey poults and thinking what a good meal they will make for the foxes (my apologies, hunters), wondering who will eat our blueberries this year...turkeys or foxes.

Please come to my July 2 opening reception here from 6-8pm. The annual summer art exhibit continues through July 11th. Open every day 10-6 - except one - closing at 4pm on the 11th. I will be showing pastels and watercolors of landscapes, rivers, flowers, gardens, travel...and, you guessed it, foxes!

Artists are invited to set up easels and paint in the garden any day during the exhibit.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Birch Trees Dancing

I was invited to a paint out yesterday by members of Hill Country Artists. At Christine Olson's home there were many wonderful trees and flowers to paint but these two caught my eye. In fact, it seemed like they were the only couple on the dance floor, gracefully swaying in the morning light. For such a simple subject they gave me a surprisingly difficult time. I'd love a chance to paint them again; I think I could use fewer strokes, a smaller amount of pastel and considerably less sweat and swearing the second time around. I'm not even sure this painting is finished now. Maybe tomorrow will bring even further clarity.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rose and Pansy Bouquet

A small watercolor done yesterday; I set up a tiny vase on my drawing table containing what I consider to be a wonderful bouquet of a single blossom of Winter Sunset Rose and some almost black, huge pansies.

It will be for sale during my upcoming Annual Summer Art Exhibit July2 through 11 here at the studio. The exhibit is open daily 10am-6pm with the following exceptions: July 2nd is an opening reception only from 6-8pm and July 11th the show closes at 4pm.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dame's Rocket

I finally got out to paint today. Actually I just walked down the pathway from my home & studio and found this wonderful patch of Hesperis matronalis, commonly mistaken for phlox. It is not a phlox. It has 4 petals. Phlox has 5. It is all over the rural northeastern US right now and it is commonly called Dame's Rocket.

I amused my husband by loading my easel, pastels, sketching chair & a few dog biscuits in the wheelbarrow and disappearing into the green jungle at the bottom of the garden.

This 12 x 9 pastel was done on Belgian Mist Wallis paper with very soft pastels - Senneliers, mostly. The dog biscuits were used for holding Rosalita's interest while I asked her to "down-stay." She's a good little blue heeler, but she does love to chase other mammals; not conducive to concentrating on a painting.

I collected & scattered seed for these flowers decades ago. Now they are sprinkled cheerily around the borders of my woods. Every June I proudly enjoy the lovely shades of orchid-pink-white that I have encouraged. Imagine my surprise when my google search turned up a caution not to let this invasive species run rampant. !!! That's just what I want. The authority said no known ill effects, but nevertheless it is an invasive species. There are thugs and there are really bad criminals in the plant world, too. Garlic mustard & poison ivy being Charles Manson; Dame's Rocket being your teenager arrested for shoplifting. There will be no paintings of garlic mustard that's an invasive species! And one I am waging war on here daily...and losing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Art of Rejection

This painting is named for Pierre Bonnard & his wife Marta. The French Impressionist, Bonnard, inspired it. His paintings are rich and lively with color, patterns & pets. They often have a gauzy or whimsical bent. One of his favorite themes was a set table and the family life surrounding it. So I thought it a fine subject for one of my entries into FOCUS, a regional show. The juror thought otherwise, apparently. The Red Shirt is included in the show until June 5 at The Butternut Gallery in Montrose.
Pierre and Marta -18 x 24 image size- for sale this summer at the studio.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Forget-me-not on Berry Street

There is legislation being introduced in Pennsylvania by Rep. James Casario that will, if passed, limit the length of time and conditions under which Pennsylvania dogs can be tethered out. You can find out why I think this is a good thing here. And it's not just dogs who are endangered by this neglectful practice.

Not all dogs are as lucky as this one who gets to lie in a field of flowers with shade & water and then go inside with her family.

This 18 x 18 pastel painting will be shown later in the summer at The Butternut Gallery in Montrose, PA

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

'RIVERS' at Summerhouse

This Sunday, April 11th, the reception for my exhibit of river paintings is from 2-3pm (not as previously stated - 2:30). It's Free. I'd love to see you and share my paintings of rivers around the US.

This pastel painting is Up River from Great Bend and features the Susquehanna River.

The Summerhouse is located at 32A (rear) South Main Street, Montrose, PA 570-278-2000.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

August Evening

This is an 11 x 14 studio painting depicting a typical summer evening scene near my home in Susquehanna County, PA. It is heart-breakingly pastoral. I can only hope we will continue to see this kind of beauty, peace and productivity on a daily basis here in the future. Neighborhoods change, but mine is undergoing a radical and brutal transformation. The best I can do is continue to record the beauty of this landscape as I have done for 35 years. Thanks for looking. Leave a comment.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I was asked to do a mini-workshop on a lovely Sunday afternoon at my favorite Montrose, PA restaurant, Summerhouse. The brunch people lingered to watch and I set up this still-life in a corner and blocked it in. I brought it back to the studio to finish and I think it a nice way to start spring; with a painting I like. I love the colors. I relied on a few eggs for spring symbolism - fertility. I used one of my own framed paintings for background element and a bit of reflection and depth.

I think some guidelines for setting up a still life should be:
1. Pick some objects you have an affinity for.
2. Make them visually contrasting; size, texture, etc.
3. Unite them with a theme; color, purpose, mood; a cloth or surface can tie elements together.
4. Keep in mind the basics of composition...leading the eye around inside the painting and not off the edge.

I am still working on this painting, but it won't change much. I see no big problems...some small areas may be improved a bit over the next week before it gets framed.

It will be for sale by June 4 & 5 when the Montrose Garden Club sponsors an open garden tour & my studio shows some floral and garden paintings by Betty Bryden and me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Garrison Road Plein Air

Yesterday was my first plein air day of the year. As I navigated the rutted, frost heaved gravel (MUD) roads of my rural county I finally found the picture I wanted to paint; this long view of rolling hills, farm and wood land, but...Oh, no, I had no long paper in the car. Luckily I did have two 9 x 12 sheets of UArt #500 so I taped them together (adjacent) and ran my painting across both sheets. I think I will frame it just like that. Why not? 9 x 24.

Good new! My optometrist today pronounced my eyes in excellent health...that is a refreshing diagnosis.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Looking East from My Studio Window

Returning from a month in sunny, but cold, northern New Mexico
this sight was a bit of a shock. It turned out OK though (most of the shovelling and plowing was all ready done); just left me with some easel work to pull this together. It is 9 x12 and will be put in a black rustic wide wood frame with a thin gold bevel to match the snow scene from January. Thanks for having a look and keeping the homefires burning.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hawley Farm

Unusually restrained color for me in this typical Susquehanna County Farm scene. The image is 18 x 18 and will be for sale this summer at the Butternut Gallery. I am working on some new Susquehanna County pieces for an August showing by Bob Smith, Betty Bryden & me; part of a year-long celebration of the 200th birthday of our county. My focus for these new paintings will be places and small scenes that interest me; not the county icons. I'm on the look out for little buildings and quirky twists to a typical scene.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Moonlit Winter Garden

This small painting was done in the studio yesterday, but the scene is outside my studio window. It is my snow covered garden complete with shadowy creatures and a crescent moon. 9 x12.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Earth Stewards Coalition Art Show

I am feeling very possessive about the beautiful Susquehanna River. A half century of canoe trips gave me an intimate knowledge of her islands and banks. I’ve swum in her waters; cold, rushing, warm, meandering; sometimes murky, sometimes clear. I’ve slept on her gravel banks next to toads and herons. I’ve shared her beauty and adventure with my own daughter and saw her grow strong, as I did when I took some of the river’s power and made it my own.

And I’ve seen the devastation that this river is capable of. Don’t anger her.

More river paintings at

The Earth Stewards Coalition Art Show is organized by an ad hoc collectiveof activist women artists called "The Gaia Grrrls: from Binghamton NYwho are trying to increase awareness about the potential ramifications of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation of New York State & Pennsylvania. The purpose of this show is to give artists an opportunity to express their feelings about the situation, and hopefully to alert the public at large to what may happen in our communities.

First Fridays in February & March (2/5 and 3/5) from 6-9pm in City Plaza Gallery, as well as during regular business hours in Binghamton, NY's City Hall. City Plaza Gallery is located in Binghamton's City Hall. My painting is a large pastel of Standing Stone in Bradford County and it will be for sale after the exhibit.

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