Thursday, December 27, 2012

Art On the Go

6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

I really love watching Plein Air painters at work.  They are usually so engrossed in what they are doing, they don't even focus on the crowd that is watching them.  I, on the other hand, always feel I have to talk to everyone.  (I can hear all my friends saying "Surprise, Surprise.")  I also tend to feel like I'm at an audition and people are judging every stroke I make.  My plan for 2013 is to change all that and just go out there and paint.  Bugs are another issue.  I'm the one you will see running around swatting at insects with my brush...A friend told me that Listerine keeps the bugs away.  Well, I sprayed it all over me and the bugs loved it.  Meanwhile, I smelled "Minty Fresh" for weeks, as did all my art supplies.  So, resolutions for 2013...Paint Plein Air and really enjoy it, and start talking to the bugs.  Maybe they'll get bored and go away :-)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  LET'S HOPE 2013 IS A SAFE, PEACEFUL ONE!!  Thank you all who have visited my blog and who encourage me to keep on 'keeping on.'  Love you All!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

This painting was done on December 19th, 2009 during a huge snowstorm here at Smith Mountain Lake.  At least it was huge for Virginia.  That storm wound up closing roads and schools for quite a while, mostly because we are not prepared for that amount of snow.  I know it was over a foot.  Up North, a drop in the bucket...

I wish you all a safe holiday.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Let's hope 2013 brings us all peace.  (I would insert a peace sign, but there isn't one :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ho! Ho! Ho! ..Or Not!

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This "Santa" man looked like he had the world on his shoulders as he walked by me at the Hotel Roanoke.  He was dressed the part, though.  He had on a red velvet jacket and, of course, the hat.  His wife was leading the way and the interesting thing is that she was not dressed "Christmasy" at all.  As a matter of fact, she looked rather plain, so I wonder what the scene was like at their house that morning as they dressed.  Whatever it was, I so enjoyed painting him!  Bah Humbug and Merry Christmas all rolled into one.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas at the Pump

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

I'm thinking that this was a trial run for a Christmas trip.  This was the day after Thanksgiving.  Do you think his wife made him wear the sweater? The temperature was 70 degrees and it was Winter Park, Florida.  I liked his "cowboy" stance :-)  This is what happens when I have my camera and have time to kill.  Most people just fill up and go, but I look for photo opportunities...This is the second, and I promise the last painting done at this gas station.  You notice I didn't say "any" gas station....just "this" gas station.

This painting is being auctioned at Daily Paintworks.  If interested in bidding, click on the DPW Link on the right and go to the Auction page.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2013 Smith Mountain Lake Calendars

GOOD NEWS!  My 2013 art calendars have all sold out at The General Store here at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
MORE GOOD NEWS!  Since they were so popular, they have ordered more and they are available now.  They can be purchased exclusively at The General Store, and they go fast so hurry in if you are in the area.  They are located at 213 Scruggs Road and their phone number is 540-721-3009.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Waiting, and More Waiting

6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This was "Flu Shot Central" at the doctor's office.  It was close to closing with just a few people left to get their shots.  Aren't Smart Phones great?!  Before we had them we had to rely on magazines that were years old to keep us amused while waiting.  Quite often, you would be reading something that you found interesting only to flip to the next page and find that someone had ripped out a recipe or something.  This woman never looked up once, and we were there for quite a while.  The older woman behind her kept getting up and pacing.  No Smart Phone :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Still Life with Reflections

9 1/2 x 7 1/2 Pastel on Wallis Paper

This is a departure from the oils I've been doing. This is an older painting, but I really do like it and thought I'd post it again.   I usually don't paint a still life, but I was attracted to the way the light from the Venetian blinds reflected on the pottery.  I must admit, I did enjoy painting these flowers, but not as much as painting quirky people.  Not sure what a psychiatrist would have to say about that, and I probably don't want to know. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rolling Along

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

There is a great trail in Winter Park, Florida, made specifically for biking, running, skating, dog walking, and just plain walking.  This was the day before Thanksgiving, and the weather couldn't have been better.  It was cool and sunny.  Perfect for any outdoor activity.  As these two women passed us, I snapped a picture.  The painting is a quick study of that moment.  For me, painting these scenes takes me back to each person and place, like listening to music and remembering exactly when and where you were when you first heard it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tallulah, Queen of the Couch

Oil on Arches Paper for Oil
12 x 16 Matted

They told me to stay off the couch.  Technically, I'm not on the couch...I'm above it.  If they look at my expression, I'm letting them know that and they better not mess with me.  Comfort is my number one priority.  I've got 'living for the moment' a science.  These humans just have to follow my lead :-)

This painting is being auctioned at Daily Paintworks, DPW.  If you are interested in bidding, go to the DPW link on the right and to my Auction page.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sharing the Earbuds

8 1/2 x 11 Oil on Canvas

This must be the greatest grandfather, and he must also be partially or totally deaf if he is listening to his granddaughter's music.  He looks too peaceful for it to be Rap...I know that my father would not have been sharing my earbuds (if they had them back then).  He allowed me 1/2 hour to listen to Rock and Roll in the car, and then we had to switch back to classical or opera.  Even my children, when they were growing up, complained about my music in the car.  They hated that I played "Alice's Restaurant" on the way to their grandparents' for Thanksgiving each year, and really hated Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.  Now they appreciate my taste in music, as I appreciate my father's.  Thankfully, we all change and hopefully grow...although I still love the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan :-)  Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Meltdown

5 x 7 Oil.on Gessobord

I'm not really sure what was going on with these two people, but the body language really struck me.  The young woman's pose reminded me of "The Scream," by Edvard Munch, and the man looked really aloof.  This was at an outdoor festival.  Perhaps the woman didn't like the music playing or couldn't decide what piece of pottery to buy...a drama queen type.  Whatever it was, they were an interesting couple to paint. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hat Trick

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

I loved doing this painting!  I tried working on this once before, and it was one of those days when I wasn't satisfied with anything I did; but today, it just happened.  I really felt like painting, and that seems to be when things work out for me.  What a great sense of accomplishment I get at times like this :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One World Trade Center

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

The new Trade Tower was still under construction, but certainly stood up tall and proud Downtown.  The reflection of the sky on the windows was really breathtaking.  I debated about putting in the construction bins along the street, but decided to keep them as they draw one's eye to the tower.  I wonder if the construction workers thought of that when they placed them there....

This painting is being auctioned at Daily Paintworks, DPW.  If you are interested in bidding, please go to the DPW link on the right and then to my Auction page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An Acorn and a Parrot

8 x 11 Oil on Arches Oil Paper

An acorn and a parrot were on a Brooklyn brownstone stoop...Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?  These two were certainly excited about Halloween.  The parrot must have decided to take his parrot head off.  I'm not sure why, but I love the wisp of hair sticking straight up :-)  His costume actually reminds me of Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean."  More flamboyant pirate than parrot...They are both so cute!  Smile on my face painting this one ...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sketching the Masters


7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

Another New York moment!  It was hard to find a quiet spot at the museum, but this woman did.  She was tucked into a place where she wouldn't have people gawking at her or stepping on her, and she was really focused.  There's no better way to learn from the Masters, and how lucky to have access to that wonderful art.  This donated piece was sold and 100% of the sale went to The American Red Cross Hurricane Rescue Fund.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Donation Update


Both of the paintings I put on auction with Daily Paintworks to benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief have sold.  I want to thank everyone for their interest in my work and for helping to get all of those people who have lost so much back on their feet.  Every little bit helps!  Please continue to watch my blog for future events and to keep up with my new work.

Again, Thank You!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grand Central Haze


Matted 8 x 10 Oil on Canvas

I don't know why, but I've started about three or four different paintings and have walked away from them for a while because I'm not satisfied with them. I know when I go back later on I'll get inspired again, but for now, it seems better to just put them aside and wait.  This piece, however, was fun to do.  It started as what I considered a failure, and wound up as something that I really like.  For me, it captures the feeling of midday at Grand Central Station. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Train Spotting

9 x 12 Oil on Canvas
12 x 16 Matted

One of my favorite subjects, Rocky.  He's the comedian who stuck his head in the water in one of the previous paintings I did.  Here, he seems to be getting a better view of his trains.  It was pointed out to me that Thomas the engine should be in front, but obviously Rocky has a different take on it.  I go with his interpretation...Be Your Own Man :-)  I love this kid!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

UPDATE:  "Glorious Fall" has sold!  Thank you for your donation to help those in need.

To all those who have suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy, my thoughts go out to you and your families.  I have joined other artists on Daily Paintworks in a Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser.  I have added two paintings to the Fundraiser.  One is entitled "Glorious Fall" and the other is "Sketching the Masters".  Currently, there is a bid on each of these.  If you would like to bid, you can either wait until the paintings show up on the widget on the right, or pull up, and put in my name.  If you go to the Auction screen, you can just pick either of these and bid.  This is such a great way to help those in need, and get a painting, too!   100% of the proceeds will go to a relief group of your choice. Thank you, and again, my thoughts and prayers are with you all Up North.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Attentive Listener

10 x 8 Oil on Arches Oil Paper

This is the same figure I did in the painting "Chillin" but more of a portrait than a study.  I generally don't paint portraits, but lately I've been really attracted to them.  It's my "What have I got to lose" theory.  All through this, my mantra was "It's only paper..."  I must say, I really love the way this turned out.  I tried hard to capture the subject's persona, not necessarily trying to get every detail down.  So...Here it is :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Glorious Fall

12 x 16 Oil on Gessoed Artist Canvas

Fall is one of my favorite times of year.  I could almost smell the dried leaves and crisp air while I was painting this.  Add the smell of roasted chestnuts, and it would be a perfect world...Oh, wait!  That's New York City.  I used to love passing the vendors selling roasted chestnuts.  Well, this is in New Hampshire at a Shaker Village my wonderful cousin took me to.  After this weekend and the storm that is coming, I imagine most of the leaves will be gone. With what the Weather Channel is predicting, I hope the house is still there :-) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just Another Pretty Face

12 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

You are probably asking yourself what kind of strange artist would paint something like this.  Well, it was the challenge of it that attracted me.  My daughter had a conference in Washington and took a side trip to the Smithsonian.  She sent me some photos, and what immediately interested me were the shadows.  This is Ecocene's Big Bird.  I suppose he is related to our Big Bird only not as yellow, and has apparently been on Weight Watchers.....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tourist Heaven

11 x 7 Oil on Arches Paper

This tour bus passed us as we were walking from the hotel to the MET.  If I could have flagged it down and hopped on, I would have.  We thought we knew where we were going, but wound up walking way out of our way...What felt like miles out of our way.  I really loved the man looking up with his mouth open.  In the city, that's probably not a good thing.  One never knows what might fall in :-) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rockin' At the MoMA

8 x 11 Oil on Arches Paper for Oil

Well, it was hard to decide if I wanted to pay attention to the artwork or this couple.  They were a distraction, I have to admit :-)  I followed them around at a distance for a while, trying to get a good photo of them from the front, but settled on this rear view, which I really love.  I'm glad they chose the MoMA to visit.  They really seemed into the art.  It was interesting to see the looks they got from the other visitors.  It obviously didn't bother them, and I'm glad.  I'll bet if the other male visitors could have gotten away with pants that tight, they would have been thrilled :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


This is the husband of a wonderful local artist who just happens to have a great face to paint.  I think I was told that he doesn't like his picture to be taken, so that just encourages me to take that picture and paint him as well.  In fact, I might paint him again because I have a wonderful close-up, too. :-)  I'm pretty sure he knew I was taking photos of him here.  He totally ignored me, probably hoping I would go away.  Not very likely...Love that pose!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Painting Behind Monhegan School

8 x 11 Oil on Canvas

This was such a fun trip!  It is wonderful just being around other artists and being out in the salt air.  I learn so much from seeing what other artists choose to paint.  It's interesting to find out what captures their attention.  What I think of as mundane, others will make into masterpieces.  This was a perfect spot and a perfect day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cowboy Boots and Short Shorts

8 x 10 Oil on Arches Oil Paper

I was doing an outdoor art show and these two teen girls strolled by in their boots and shorts.  I'm relatively sure they coordinated their outfits before leaving for the day. I'm always amazed that kids (and perhaps some adults) think they are being so original...exactly like everyone else.  During the 60's (Yes, I'm dating myself), my "original" uniform was faded, ripped jeans, tie-dyed everything, straight long hair (a la Mary of Peter, and Paul fame) and sandals, even though my  feet were freezing in the winter :-), or black tights and black short skirts for dress...That's what pretty much everyone wore in the Village in New York.  Yes, originality at it's best...OK..I'm really feeling old now!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Free Spirit

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord


I have done many versions of this gentleman and I say each one is my favorite, but this is definitely my favorite ... until the next.  I never get tired of painting his face.  It's so expressive and, to me, wonderful.  He was walking in Roanoke when I saw him.  He has that weathered look which I find fascinating.  This is as close to a portrait as I will probably get.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Golden Fall Morning

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord


There are a few days during the year when the view becomes spectacular.  This was one of them.  These are the hard paintings to do because it is difficult to do justice to nature.  I painted this landscape from my studio at Smith Mountain Lake.  Believe it or not, the rusts and oranges were brighter than they appear here, so much so that when I tried to capture the colors, it wasn't believable.  This is pretty close, though :-)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Claytor Nature Study Center Plein Air

6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Our art group, Artists on the Loose, spent a day at Claytor Nature Study Center last week.  What a beautiful place that is.  There is so much to see and paint, but we were attacked by stink bugs, so our day was a little shorter than it could have been :-)  This was a very fast painting done in between swatting and running.  I thought about doing more to it at home, but am going to leave it as is. Not too bad for painting on the run....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Layer Upon Layer

14 x 11 Oil on Canvas Board

I really love this view at the Museum in NYC.  What really attracted me to this scene were the silhouettes on the third level.  I'm not crazy about canvas board because it seems to absorb all the oil and I had to do layer upon in the name of this painting :-)  I'm extremely happy with the way this turned out considering the architectural angles and the fight with the canvas...I think I might do it again on a different surface just to see the difference in the way it turns out. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Heaven

9 x 12 Oil on Artist Canvas

Better to paint a lot of pumpkins than just one.  My theory, at least!  I was tempted to put a face on a few, but decided against it.  I really love this time of year, but miss the cold, crisp days up North.  We'll get them, but they just don't last long enough. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shari, Blowin' in the Wind

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

This was a quick little painting, but sometimes those turn out the best..  There are a few things I could go back in to "fix" but will not because I love the looseness of this, and if I go back into it, it will become a "portrait" and will lose its spontaneity. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clowning Around

5 x 8 Oil on Artist Canvas Sheet
11 x 14 Matted

The boots were obviously meant to keep Rocky's feet dry, but no one thought to provide him with a swim cap :-)  This is my cousin's grandson who is too cute not to paint.  He is the same child that I painted on the slide.  It's getting to the point where I can't wait until he visits my cousin because I then get more opportunities to paint him.  If and when he returns to Australia, his real home, I will really miss these fun paintings.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rat Messenger, New York City

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

Crazy, huh?!  We passed this rat sitting across from Trump Tower in New York City, displaying his message to all who walked by.  Apparently, they pop up with different messages at different times.  When I lived in the City, I saw a few rats but they were scurrying across the avenue and heading for the subways.  They usually didn't wear aprons with messages on them :-)  Some were pretty big, but this guy must have been a couch potato....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Playground Tete-a-Tete

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

This started out to be my cousin's son and grandson, but morphed into unknown people.  I've grown to like them, though.  After you work and re-work so many times, your subjects become friends :-)  I almost gave up on this and thought about wiping it off, but changed my mind.  I'm glad I stuck with it.  It serves as a study for another piece, perhaps morphing back into my cousin's son and grandson....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sailing on Smith Mountain Lake

6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

I never get tired of painting this scene, and I've done it year after year.  Another of our glorious windy days which are perfect for sailing.  We have wind here in the Spring and Fall, but usually in the summer it's difficult to move.  You just bob around.  This happened to be a rare windy day and there were a lot of people out there taking advantage of it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Too Many Cupcakes

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

Who could resist this?  A man asleep on a bench outside of a cupcake shop.  Well, this was just too good :-)  What fun this was to paint. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Tallulah's First Birthday

A slight variation from my artwork, but Tallulah deserves a post to celebrate her first birthday.  It's especially exciting because that means she is closer to being an adult Sproodle dog, and less like teenager :-)  At least one can hope... She thanks those that sent cards and gifts.  They are much appreciated.  OK..tomorrow, more artwork ...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Looking at the World Through Psychedelic Glasses

10 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This gentleman was enjoying the Smith Mountain Lake view through his thoroughly awesome psychedelic glasses.  My daughter, who realizes what crazy things interest me, used her cell phone to snap the picture.  He seemed oblivious, which was a good thing.  Taking pictures of people is a really touchy thing.  His glasses were a bluish green with what looked like spirals in them.  Very Cool!! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

OOF - Say What?!


5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

There was a line to get to the information label on Edward Ruscha's painting called "OOF,"  and each person left with a smile and quizzical look on their face.  I must say, it was striking when one walked into the room where it was hung at the MOMA.  My main focus in this little piece was the women peering at the information.  "OOF" was painted by Ruscha in 1962.  He said "I was interested in monosyllabic word sounds that seemed to have a certain comedic value to them."  I know I walked away smiling :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Holland Tunnel Glow

8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

Believe it or not, the Holland Tunnel has the most beautiful glow at certain times.  The last part of our trip into NYC was a challenge due to a terrible rain storm, but once inside it was so quiet and peaceful.  Not much traffic.  Just this golden glow...and then we exited to thunder and lightening and rain so heavy we couldn't see.  We really would have liked to go back in.  Bet not too many people say that!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tattoos R Us

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

In Singapore, apparently there are tattoo places in the malls.  You just go in while you are shopping, I guess, and pick up a quick tattoo.  My wonderful daughter-in-law, who takes great photos, took this for me.  She knows the quirky subjects I like to paint :-)  I'm not sure I'd be too quick to get a tattoo in a mall, but this young woman didn't seem to be too concerned, although she was gripping the side of the chair.  This was done right in the middle of a store, not behind any kind of screen or anything.  YIKES!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Seven Seated Figures at the MET

11 x 14 Oil on Gessoed WC Paper

What attracted me to this scene was the row of six people sitting in this great hall at the MET along with the seated sculpture.  Perhaps each of these people would have preferred being on a pedestal, too :-)  One of my favorite parts of travelling is coming home and reliving everything in paint.  It doesn't get any better than that!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Standing Guard

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

I'm not sure if this is Patience or Fortitude.  One lion sits on one side of the steps of the New York Public Library on Fifth and 42nd Street, and one sits on the other.  One of my favorite things to do when I lived in New York was to stop and see these beautiful pieces of sculpture.  I would pass by them so often, but never got tired of looking at them.  They have been there since their dedication on May 23rd, 1911.  I was not there for that!!  :-)  The sculptor was Edward Clark Potter.  He was paid $8,000, and the Piccirilli Brothers executed the carving for $5,000.  Not a bad price for two marble pieces of work...I must say, I really love this painting :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In Awe of Perseus

7 x 5 oil on Gessobord

This man spent a lot of time looking at "Perseus with the Head of Medusa," a sculpture by Antonio Canova, 1804-6, at the MET in New York.  He kept circling and circling this wonderful piece of work. It is truly a marvel!  It was a challenge to paint, so I can't imagine what it was like to sculpt!  This hall is filled with pieces from the past.  How wonderful to have them preserved forever and accessible in a structure like the MET.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Confused at the MOMA

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

This gentleman seemed totally confused while looking at Picasso's "Violin and Grapes" at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.  I think he was scratching his head and thinking "Where are the grapes?", "Where is the Violin?" and "Why??"  He also apparently had hit the Museum store and was lugging all his purchases around.  This is the first of my NYC series.  Can't wait to paint more!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Smith Mountain Lake Vista

9 x 12 Pastel on Wallis Paper


This pastel was done a while ago, but I love it and thought I'd put it up on the blog.  I haven't been doing pastel since I discovered oils, but will get back to it at some point.  I have to because of all the $$ that went into supplies :-)  Of course, that's true with my oil supplies as well...I feel extremely lucky to pass by this particular scene when I'm out doing my exercise walking.  It is so very beautiful.  Smith Mountain Lake at its best.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New York City Canyon

5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord

We just came back from a few days in NYC, and I'm trying to get used to the slower pace of Virginia now.  This is really abstract, and some of it was done with the best tools of least a little :-)  I just went with whatever happened and left it for the art gods to determine the outcome.  Tomorrow, I will start to paint some of the sights and scenes of Manhattan.  There is nothing like the City!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monhegan Landmark

8 x 10 Oil

Everything on Monhegan remains the same year after year.  This house is always rented by an artist when we are there.  He paints wonderful little paintings of the Island and sells them from the steps of this house.  He arranges them along each step, so people passing by can stop and browse.  The light on this particular day was really wonderful. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beach Work

6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

So much to do at the beach!  Lots of fish to catch and mud pies to make. Emerald Isle, NC. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Poised to Go

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord


This is the last (probably) in the series of pool paintings I did while our power was out and we were AC-less.  These really did make me feel a little cooler.  Strange how the mind works...mine at least :-)  I played with the background a little to add some movement to it.  I think the four paintings would make a good display side by side.