Monday, January 31, 2011

Zen Moment at the Salon

I've been home with a cold for the past few days and it has paid off as far as painting goes.  That's about the only good thing I can say about it!  This painting was a little difficult.  My main focus was the lighting on the gown (or cover up) that the woman was wearing, as well as all of the folds.  I wound up experimenting with color and shapes, and it seems to have worked.  Another difficult area was the angle of the head.  The way it tilted back was a challenge.  I call the painting a Zen moment because having one's hair washed is always like a massage.  It never lasts long enough!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hair and Gossip

What better place to find out what's going on in the neighborhood than the hair salon.  While I was waiting, I sketched this scene and caught up on the news.  I find that bringing my sketch book with me when I think I might have to wait always pays off.  This was a fun painting to do.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Motoring Home


This was a painting I completed during the summer, but since today is sunny and spring-like, it made me think summer is right around the corner and it would be a good time to put it up on the blog.  Water is always a challenge for me, but something I seem to have a need to do.  I think it must have something to do with growing up on Long Island.  I enjoy living on a lake, but it is not the same as living right on the bay or ocean.  There is nothing like the smell of the sea or the sound of crashing waves, and the beaches of Long Island and Fire Island are absolutely beautiful. I don't think there is another place that can match them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rainy Day Street Musician

I lived in New York City for about 5 years and used to love to hang out in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and watch the people go by.  You can learn so much by just sitting quietly and observing.  Charleston, South Carolina is another good place to observe life.  I saw this man two years ago on our visit.  He was playing for money in the rain.  The weather didn't seem to bother him.  I took his picture at that time.  This year, he was on  the same corner, dressed the same way, sitting the same way, with an identical bottle of soda placed in the exact same place.  It was like deja vu!  I took his photo again, and when I compare them, the only difference is the weather.   I'm pleased with the way this one came out, and it will always be one of my favorites.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Art Auction

The paintings were lined up along the wall, and the auctioneer was busy auctioning about 90 pieces of work.  All the people there were on alert for the particular piece of work they were going to bid on.  The action was fast and furious, and you had to check your catalog as well as keep your eye on the auctioneer.  It was so much fun to watch the action, but I made sure I didn't make any gesture that would indicate I was buying a $50,000 piece of art... I did this painting rather fast, but still like the general feel of it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Church Glow

This is a beautiful old church in South Carolina that we visited.  I loved the way the sun's glow on the church floor drew us in.  It was so quiet, peaceful, and cool on that hot summer day.  Now that the painting is done, when I look at it I can still feel the comfort of being there...and taste the ice cream cone we ate afterwards!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rib Man - Up in Smoke

I had fun with this quick painting.  Basically, I was trying to paint the smoke which obscured the person grilling our ribs.  He was trying to lean as far back as possible, so his position was awkward;  his head back, one leg forward, one back.  I must say, though, they were the best ribs I've ever had!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goin' Down the Highway

This is another painting I am going to enter into an upcoming show.  I'm really happy with the way it came out.  The motorcyclist was riding next to my car, and his boot caught my eye.  To me, this is the essential element of the painting.  I also was interested in getting a small portion of his tattoo.  I didn't need any other information.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The "Captain"


This handsome man was eating his breakfast at the table next to me.  I asked him if I could take his picture for a painting.  He turned his head for a profile.  He reminded me so much of the sea captain (Rex Harrison) in "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."  I wish I had taken more of him, but I didn't want to impose.  I'm happy with the way this painting came out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Old Seaside Beauty

Ah, the open window!  Don't you wonder what is going on in there?  When I saw this old house on Monhegan Island I automatically thought about what the room looked like on the inside.  I think if the window had been closed, I wouldn't have been as interested or inspired.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Studio View, Dusk

I was working on finishing up a painting when this view appeared.  I immediately stopped doing what I was doing and started painting this as the sun set.  I couldn't get to the colors fast enough!  Again, this is a little loose because I only had a few minutes before darkness set in.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wanda - Sitting Proud and Pretty

This beautiful woman sat for a group of fellow artists a while ago.  I took lots of photos and have painted her before, but I like this one the best.  My main goal was to play with the skin tones and see how much color I could layer.  I did this one in less than an hour as an exercise, but really like it.  I left a lot of the ground color showing all through the painting.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Breakfast Plate

This is one of my quirky paintings, but I really like it.  I don't know what made me take a photo of my breakfast plate while I was eating, but I'm pretty pleased with the painting.  For some reason, it makes me smile.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beasts of Burden

These "beasts" were pulling a carriage in Charleston.  Normally I wouldn't pay much attention to them, but one of them seemed to have something stuck in his teeth and kept sticking his tongue out.  I must say, it was a mighty big tongue!  I was going to paint it, but thought better of it.  Again, this is a rough painting, but the more daily paintings I do, the better I like the freshness of them.  I exaggerated the colors a little, but enjoyed every minute of it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Museum in Pairs

It's fun to watch people in galleries and museums.  Each person's perspective is so different, and their body language usually tells it all.  Bags slung over their shoulders, the tilt of their heads, I love it all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Generation Gap at the Museum - A Dichotomy

At a recent museum visit, I saw these two visitors and grabbed my camera!  How perfect.  The older gentleman with his back to the contemporary art almost in protest, and the young boy with spiked hair studying it.  It was a perfect dichotomy.  I had such fun painting this one.

Heading to the Bank

This gentleman reminded me of Charlie Chaplin.  He was walking very slowly down a Charleston street with an envelope in his pocket.  I was thinking he must be heading to the bank.  But what I really liked was the way he was dressed to go out.  It was definitely from a different time and place.  I tried to stick to the darks and lights while painting it, for contrast.   I'm very happy with it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Artist's Subject Eavesdropping on the Artist

Happy 2011 everyone!  This year I am going to continue to paint as often as I can (hopefully each day) and try to post at least one or two new pieces each week.  I've been doing this blog for one month and have been surprised and thrilled with how many hits I've had.  I've sold two paintings that I attribute to this blog just this month.  I do appreciate it!  If you have any questions concerning my artwork, you can email me at,  and I will add them to the FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions) section here.

This painting is from a photo I took at a workshop given by a wonderful Virginia artist.  It's a little "rough" around the edges, but I like the spontaneity of it.  What I liked about the subject is that the cow became an active part of the workshop as the artist progressed with it.  It came to life.  I tried to recreate that here.  I will probably do this again with less "spontaneity!"