Monday, November 30, 2009

"Spring's promise" 8" x 8" oil on panel

Tomorrow I will plant these bulbs- I've been meaning to do it all fall- procrastinating. We planted a few of these at my stepfathers gravestone last month, and the remainder will be buried just outside my studio door.
I love the hope embodied in these simple bulbs, the delayed gratification in the process of planting them.
It's a joy to see the blossoms in spring and I am always grateful to myself for taking the effort to plant them.
I will be on my knees tomorrow digging in.
And speaking of knees- my love goes out to my friend Patty , who is now in rehab  recovering from a double knee replacement. What an inspiration Patty is-she took the plunge and went under the knife knowing the happiness that will come from having two new knees. I cant believe the pain she has endured and am glad she is on the healing end of the ordeal, but there is still a lot of physical therapy and healing yet to come. She has undergone such positive change this year and continues to amaze us all. She is funny as hell and a great person to know -I am blessed to have her in my life.

If you can't tell thats a bulb planter on the left....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

geraniums in blue vase 8" x 8 " oil on panel

I tried something different here- I used a white panel and painted with transparent washes
to attempt to capture the translucent quality of the petals. Wiping with a rag, reapplying paint, and wiping again, Still struggling with the beautiful fuschia blue red color, just coming close....
Its fun to try something different- there are so many ways to approach paintings.
I was at my neighbor Tori Brega's house yesterday, letting her dogs out for a romp, and swiped this blossom from her plant. I am so lucky to have this very special person right across the street. She is an amazing artist and works, like me, in many different mediums, Anything she touches has that special "Toriness" about it- cookies and treats, lovely jeweled creations,sparkly gift-wrapped surprises.
A lot of people may know that Tori is a beautiful and talented woman creating beaded creations, but few know the depth of her abilities.
I snapped this picture of a perfectly magical snowy road that Tori painted  a while ago. Tori is an illustrator and I am sure someday she will publish a beautiful book. I hope she lives across the street for a long long time, for having a neighbor like Tori is a dream come true.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sack o' Sunflower Seeds 8" x 8" oil on panel

I love to feed my birds. I am about to fill my feeders.
I don't feed them in the summer- I am under the impression that birds eat bugs and plants in the summer and don't need seed- plus its pretty pricey!
I did find this 50 lb sack at Ocean State Job Lot for $19.99 . No millet or other filler that birds just throw aside- 100% black oil sunflower seed.
I think there is nothing cuter than a chickadee with snow on its tiny head!
Another simple pleasure of life...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mimi's myrtle ...8" x 8" oil on panel

My husbands mother (Mimi) is moving out of her house and into my sister-in-law's house until the addition they are building is completed. Mimi's house was pretty much emptied out today by 13 of us (Mimi has 6 kids so there is always a good gang of us). My husband and his siblings and Mimi  had packed everything really well and  it was all super organized, so loading the truck was a piece of cake!
We have had a lot of fun in her sweet little house.
It always felt like a chalet to me with its cathedral ceiling and warm wood walls -always bright and cheerful and welcoming. These flowers were blooming in her front yard, a few blossoms even in November! I also was given this sweet little vase by her...
She moved there soon after Al and I were married- we celebrated many fourth of julys, birthdays, thanksgivings, Christmasses, baby and wedding showers, and simple fun get togethers. I know my kids will miss it as it was always Mimis house to them.  I enjoyed a few getaways there on my own and enjoyed spending one on one time with Mimi. Her new digs will be great, and she will not have the worries of upkeep that come with a owning a house. She will be surrounded by loving family and we look forward to moving her into her finished house when it is completed.
We will miss the old, but we look forward and welcome this change, for change is good.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

" Offering" 8" x 8" oil on panel

Happy Thanksgiving- I love this day.
I actually started out with the intention of painting a bowl(with flowers on it) and spoon and spices on a cook book, but in my studio I have a little shrine with this Skookum Native American doll in it- I love her- she guards my door. I chose to paint her with this flower- still blooming outside.
I think about the Native Americans a lot this time of year -this is in honor of those beautiful people.

Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we 
share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, 
winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers,
plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.

Native American Elder

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Its for You!" 8" x8 "oil on panel

The telephone. What a cool thing!
 Alexander Graham Bell would be amazed at how his invention has transformed the world.
Back in the day getting a call was exciting, a mystery as to who was on the other end. Getting the cord stretched as long as possible as to steal a little privacy. Polite callers identified themselves to the person receiving the call. I always felt embarrassed to say "this is Sally, may I please speak to so and so?"
There was a time limit to our calls as someone was undoubtably waiting for a call, or wanting to make one. Calling to find out what  time it was was so fun fun ( dial "m-e-r-m-a-i-d-) and of course prank calls were untraceable ( oh no- I never did that!)
Plans could be made or spoiled depending on whether or not you get the call.
Now, of course-now its all different.
We are connected, at all times. I guess that's good, but we have lost something too- the down times,the mystery. Admittedly I am totally addicted to my IPhone, it's unbelievable. I am as obnoxious as the next guy. This past summer I left it behind at a restaurant in Boston and had a freak out until my sweet husband drove there and fetched it the next day. Im hooked ( no pun intended) and there's no turning back. 
I wonder if i could actually have a cell free day. It would be cool- but I might miss something!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

birds on a wire 8" x 8" oil and collage on panel

This was inspired by a pattern on a friends purse- and I also felt like painting birds today...and I felt like collaging! So I did all three.
I loved the rain today- makes my studio deliciously cozy.

 I am happy- my oldest girl arrived home from college this afternoon, its so good to have her back. I am taking nothing for granted. I know I am lucky and I hope those I love around me find peace and comfort during their individual challenges of health and losses of dear loved ones.

Monday, November 23, 2009

tablescape-work in progress 24 " x 32 " mixed media

I worked on this in the morning- went to my yoga class, then came back to work on it some more-when I discovered- my freaking dog ate the oranges! Right off the plate!( it is a low table)
I had to sort of improvise from there...Not sure its done, but here it is.
I loved doing this one...but I am so mad at Ollie!
(sorry for the glare-upper right corner)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

tablescape-work in progress 24 " x 32 " mixed media

I was very inspired by the current exhibit at the Art Complex - Judith Brassard Brown . She gave a gallery talk on friday - it was fantastic. I really related to her approach- she is funny and out of the box.
Her pieces in the show have lots of collage elements in them , and cold wax, so i thought I would try a little of her technique today.
I also have the urge to paint bigger- so this is going to talk me a few days-and I will post it in stages.

This is the primed canvas with the collage elements with black outline(acrylic)
I love to outline-it makes me feel secure.

Here is the first layer of acrylic paint.

Here is the oil paint starting to go on. It's archivally ok to put oil on top of acrylic grounds- but you cannot then put acrylic back on the oil. Well, you can, but its eventually going to fall off!
I ran out of steam- can't wait till tomorrow. I love having a work in progress. AND I get to do yoga and have the whole rest of the day to play and paint!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

leather posie pins

Today was a marathon day- up at 6-even though it was Saturday! I just felt like making a crafty thing- so with Oliver ( my dog) next to me on the couch and a delicious espresso I made these posies with scraps given to me by my friend Cheryl . I feel the Christmas elf energy brewing here...
Cheryl works at a beautiful furniture store and gives me the discontinued leather and fabric samples.Thanks Cheryl! I use old buttons for the center of the flowers,

I love to craft things-These will be pins or pendants...(Not the greatest photo...)
Back to PAINT tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cyclamen 8" x 8" oil on panel

This plant has bloomed consistently for a whole year- i don't know why- usually my cyclamen sort of peter out...I love its heart shaped leaves and upward reaching fuschia petals. ( I need paint that color- can't get the vibrant pink it needs!)There are lots of hopeful buds coming up underneath. I think its success might be because it lives on my kitchen windowsill and I water it at its first sign of wilt, unlike my other houseplants gasping in the other room!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"In this moment" 7" x 9 "watercolor on paper

Every month I get to paint with a wonderful group of people.
We sit in the gallery on thursday mornings, enjoying the beautiful art on the walls and paint. I put on music, lay out the paint and paper and they just pick up the brush and go.
It's one of my favorite parts of my job. These people are retired lawyers, doctors. artists, dentists, musicians and many other professions. They are all here together because they share one thing- they all have early Alzheimer's disease. Painting and being together in this way is one less pill to take, one more way to be in the world. They are dignified, intelligent and loving people. They have taught me so much.
I am blessed to have them in my life. They are assisted by qualified and sensitive staff and volunteers from the local senior center.
Certain ones come for a while, then stop coming, and I miss them terribly when they do. Looking at art unlocks memories. I try not to be sad about it- these are not my parents, grandparents or loved ones.
They are just people, not suffering, at least when they are painting. I know it's the ones that are at home that hurt the most. I pray they find a cure for this terrible disease, but until they do, we can paint together and be here now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Buddha "8x8" oil on panel

I got this Buddha statue at the Christmas Tree Shop.
I think this sorta says it all.
( I think the right eye needs a little help...funny how it shows up in the picture!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Artichokes" 8" x 8" acrylic and oil on panel

I love artichokes- always have- and many thanks to the first human that tried them. How did they know to steam them and dip them in butter and not eat the choke? Isn't it great that someone did all that research about wierd food for us?
The cashier gave me the "what the heck are these" look as she was looking up the price.
I adore those those cute young things- so much to learn ! I did a little research ( bear with me) and found out that......
The origin of artichokes is unknown, though they are said to have come from the Maghreb (North Africa), where they are still found in the wild state. The Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus)[2] is a perennial thistle originating in southern Europe around the Mediterranean. It grows to 1.5–2 m tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves 50–82 cm long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke". These are inedible in older larger flower.( thank you WIKIPEDIA)
I like them also with mayonnaise and even cold in a salad.
I do not like them pickled as much....but are nice in hot dips!
In other news- This weekend is the annual art sale at the  North River Arts in Marshfield Hills, MA (Old Main Road, right off 3A) where they will be part of the Holiday Sale THIS Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21 and 22. 10-4 are the regular hours. Those in the 'know' show up (and pay $15) for the 'Early Bird' hour, from 9-10 on Saturday, they get to scope out the deals from all the fine artists in the South Shore Area. 
I have 20 paintings there at rock bottom prices - and also don't miss my pal and mentor
Kelley MacDonald who's awesome blog got me in all this trouble.She has her incredible daily works at a reduced one time only price as well. Check her out.
Wait! There's more! -  Rockland open studios where several of my friends will be -be-don't miss MarySheehan Winn's studio-at the Sandpaper building- she's the bomb!
One last thing- I went to the "Avante Garde"opening at Oceanside friday- it was a blast.

Here is Tina Watson of Cohassett looking quite fetching next to the Zebra cow...

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Anticipation" 8" x 8 "oil on panel

My friend Kim gave me this amaryllis the other night-I planted it in the amazing wafer mix that puffs up with water- and now I wait. I will paint it weekly so you can see its progress.

I bet you all have them too- they are in all the stores! I think getting them to bloom again will be a challenge-so cool that something that looks as droll as  like this is going to be so beautiful! I did this one rather quickly- and listened to a beautiful African cd while I painted-seems to have a folk art look to it....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Asparagus 9" x 12" oil on panel

I always love the way asparagus looks in their sporty double purple rubber bands.
We had some in our pathetic little garden when we bought our house, but it only sent up 2 or 3 shoots at a time- not enough to really serve as a side dish- but fascinating.
I learned a few things about this sumptuous green veggie tonight...
Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. It leads nearly all produce items in the wide array of nutrients it supplies in significant amounts for a healthy diet.
AND-Of course- there is the "funny pee" factor that I have to mention ( not the I ever have that problem!)
Most authorities feel that the compound that causes the odor in urine after consumption of asparagus is methylmercaptan, which is a sulfur-containing derivative of the amino acid, methionine. 
Hmmmmm very interesting.
maybe this is just TOO MUCH INFORMATION....
I like it and it's yummy .

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanksgiving Cactus 8" x 8" oil on panel

I thought this was a Christmas cactus so I got all festive in my studio 
this morning and listened to James Taylor's Christmas CD
 and whipped this off 
( I had very little time - this study took me about 30 minutes). 
I've done a little research and the
 web tells my that the Christmas cactus has rounded leaves and the
 Thanksgiving one has more jagged edges- 
so thats why its blooming now!

This small neglected dusty 
little scrap of a plant rewarded
me with  a few poofy blossoms this week.
I really should be nicer to it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

figure study 12" x 12" oil on canvas

This is the first figure painting i have done in years! I found it to be a huge challenge-especially in the color of the skin. She is a beautiful young girl but looks older here than in reality. Karl Nestleberger runs the figure drop in session at the North River Arts Society on Thursdays- is really a great thing to go. I need to go more! The music is fantastic and he lights it perfectly.

I want sure if I wanted to put her tattoo in but I did- and its a flower!(and a skull)
There is a lot of glare in the lower right side of the photo-but here it is.

The other people are a lot of fun and we celebrated after class at the new Tinker's Son Irish pub in Norwell. Beautiful live music by local talent Sam Chase. It was fun! I'm too old to be out this late... Thank goodness I have this painting to post - (I have to work today and am a leeetle bit tired!)
We are so fortunate here to have several drop in figure sessions 3 or 4 times a week in this area.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gerbera daisies 8" x 8" oil on panel

These beauties were given to me by a dear friend last night- she has never ever darkened my doorstep without a gift in hand-and last night was no exception. Seven of my dearest friends and I caroused and played on our (turning out to be our weekly wacky wednesday get together.
Friends like these are addicting-we cant get enough of each other.
We actually got together to paint a banner for the arrival of the Tour De Hunter-a cross country bike trip that concludes this Saturday in Duxbury. ( read the link- its an amazing story)
I honestly think that this trip that Jenna, Brendan and Jeremy have taken inspired me to paint every day.
Compared to riding a bike across the country- sitting on my butt and painting flowers is easy-and a lot more comfortable! I really am blown away by their accomplishment.
The night ended with an email from Gail Hunter- the person I STOLE from the other night- lo and behold- look what turned up in her house!
OK- nothing is safe anymore-let the games begin!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Poppies-after Georgia O'Keefe"oil 8" x 8" oil on panel

Veterans Day- a day of remembrance. I gave a vet a little pocket change in front of the market the other day and he gave me a little red poppy.
I was going to paint that one, but while in my studio I came across Georgia O'Keefe's beautiful poppy -so I copied it. I went with my husband and brother  to the graveyard where my stepdads stone is, and where we buried his ashes. He served in the Army.We put a small flag there.
I thank him, my Dad in Hawaii, a Marine, and my grandfather, who was in the Navy,
and all the other vets who served and are serving our country.
Veteran's Day is about everybody who wore or continues to wear the uniform. It is a very select group of American citizens that have had the opportunity to do that.
I am glad we celebrated this day on the actual day, November 11.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"For Kate" 8" x 8" oil on canvas

Old friends are precious -Kate is one of my oldest friends( not that she's OLD!) she and I were in the same kindergarten class and were friends all the way through graduation.
She's from a huge wonderful family and I spent many an afternoon hanging out at her grand old home on Main street.
All my friends loved going to the Lyons home- Mrs Lyons was like all of our mothers, always quick to hug and always something good to eat- always sharing with others even with her large family to feed.. She would lay the line too-and was an important role model for many. Kate and I reconnected later in life, after being busy with marriage and kids and homes- and we  both have pursued careers in the arts. Kate works tirelessly . She runs classes and her shop and tends bar at Bellas in Randolph- she's never one to sit around.I always thought she was the BEST artist- and I can truly say that she was one of the reasons why I became an artist.(a lofty term to call myself but fits the best)
Kate has just come through a very difficult operation on her brain.
I know her strength and tenacity will carry her through this, also with the love and support of her family and firnds.
We all love Kate-and look forward to seeing her back at the pottery wheel, the easel, the bar and in our lives, cracking us up, just being our Kate.
Stay strong dear Kate.
This green mug is one I bought from her only a couple of weeks ago- before all this happened. I love it- its shape and color is luscious.
It serves me well.
I encourage all of you to go to Norwell Clayworks and buy her beautiful pottery- as it will help her and her family.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Avante garde in her yard 22"x28'' acrylic and oil on canvas

I finished this one today ( I think) for the upcoming Avante Garde show at Oceanside gallery- opening has been in the works for a while...
I also finished the Sacagewea piece with all the cut up cans.


Creative Blogger Award

Thank you, KELLEY MACDONALD, for this award! Kelley is the person who inspired and encouraged me to do this blog (as well as MSW- you know who you are) and I have learned so much from her daily paintings! She is personal and humble and funny in her posts-she also blogs about her adorable and incorrigible pug Paco. Not to mention a FANTASTIC artist!
Well, now I'm supposed to reveal 7 non-art things about myself (you get enough of these awards, and there's not much people won't know about you!). So here goes:
1) I have two corgis- Oliver and Winnie, and sometimes Winnie attacks Ollie. She's usually cute but sometimes.....
2) I love snow and take my cross country skis to local  places when the conditions are right- once I skiied in the back woods and golf course at work during my lunch break!
3) My favorite restaurant is El Serape in Weymouth and I love the "Camarones Javier the best ( with a marguerita!)try it!
4)When I was 5 I was swimming in the North River at the Union Street bridge -and got caught in the current there- some random guy saved me( I wasn't drowning but panicked) When I was in high school I spent my summers jumping off the very same bridge!
5) I have two amazing daughters- one is an interior design major at Syracuse and the other is about to graduate High school...applying to lots of colleges...
6) I love to shop at the dump and find free stuff
7) My dad lives on the big island of Hawaii with his wife on a sheep farm and I am going to visit again this spring when its lambing season!They have 2 dogs, a cat, chickens, 2 cows ( I think unless one has gone off to heaven(:) and lots and lots of sheep! Its the best painting place ever.
OK!~ Now for passing on this wonderful award! To the recipients: just list 7 things about yourself (non-art related) and then kindly pass on the award to 7 deserving bloggers! Here goes, check these guys out:
1)  Diane Hoeptner - she does some amazing flowers- inspires me a lot!
2)  Mary Sheehan Winn- great artist and funny as all get out
3) Pat Isaac- wonderful artist and teacher
4) Bryson Dean- my best sister ever and incredible graphic designer and teacher-motivated!
5) Myra Jae- creative and fun - love the coffee
6) Karin Jurick - Outrageously good painter-unconventional(love that)
7) Paula Villanova- last but not least-awesome artist with her very own style!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Sacajewea" mixed media

I am working on this piece for an upcoming show-"Avant Garde" at the Oceanside Gallery
opening this Friday the 13th!
I didn't oil paint today- I attended a cheerleading tournament in Foxboro to see my girl cheer-then shopped- now dinner.
What's an artist to do? Sometimes life has other plans.

I am making festoons of leave cut out of coke cans to put all around her-I have to get her done tomorrow!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"eat your brussel sprouts" 8" x 8: oil on panel

I got these brussel sprouts at the best food store in the world-TRADER JOES!
I love that place and its always an adventure to go. There were these amazing brussel sprouts on the stalk and there was a feeding frenzy of middle aged women there- sharing recipes and frothing over these things. I HATED them as a child (who didn't?) but now I love them. I thought they would be cool to paint but it turns out they are hard as hell to do.

I made it abstract and then it was more fun,
Here is what they looked like

I propped my painting on the floor and went in the house, when I returned it looked a little smoooshy...
I wonder why?

Oliver has green paint on his butt!

Friday, November 6, 2009

"wheres my sushi?" 12" x 12"Oil on canvas

Today I did a demo with artist extrodinaire and partner in crime Mary Sheehan -Winn at the Middle School in Marshfield, for their  monthly artist in residence program. We did the same set up and the kids came in sessions to observe and ask questions.
It's really fun and I talked a lot about all sorts of stuff with the kids- I am a ham in front of a captive audience! The kids are great and asked lots of excellent questions.

It is a wonderful program and has been going strong since spearheaded by Liz Haywood- Sullivan and others several years ago.

This is my painting...

students watching...

and MSW in action...

and here is one of the students artworks hanging in the hallway- lovely! I wanted to say I did it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Gail's Hunting" oil on panel 8" x 8"

I love a good caper- and here's one- this lovely black tin was stolen last night from my friends kitchen  after a wonderful gathering . I admired it, and upon leaving, swiped it !
Of course- I plan on returning it- but I think it would be fun to steal from my friends and surprise them with the missing item on my blog! A whole new twist the aquisition of floral objects!
I hope you didn't worry too much about it Gail- I did remove the tea that was in it but found a few stray bags at the bottom- I had a nice cup of jasmine tea-sip- aaahhhh.

For some reason the tin appears to be levitating....probably adjusting the shadow might be the trick.
Well, it was "lifted"!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

surprise inside 8" x 10" oil on panel

Who doesn't love a present? The anticipation is everything-as is the presentation.
What's inside is the lasting remembrance-not always living up to it's expectations...but hopefully just right.

I often find that painting something with the intention of giving it away to someone is much better than thinking about selling or competing. I have that person in mind and it fuels the creative act.
My husband didn't see flowers here.
Ha! Men.
They are there- in the wrapping paper-just budding.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marsh 8"x 10" oil on canvas

this was done off Rt 3A- its a busy road but there is a pull off and a place to set up across the road.
Lovely day. A few tiny flowers here and there left- mostly clover.
Sparkling water. I just  enjoyed being there!

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Charlie" 8''x 10'' oil on canvas

This is Charlie.
He is actually white-but I made him extremely blue. My Mom adopted him from an animal shelter in Scituate. We looked at all the available cats and she thought this one spoke to her. He is about 1 year old- he'd been there since July.

He is very friendly and loves attention. He is a great companion for my Mom.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dark Side of the Lemon "7 x 10" oil on canvas

Okay-what the heck is it with yellow?
 Why so hard to paint? I think purple is the shadow color but somehow it didn't read ..I threw cerulean blue in hoping...then I scratched through to the grey underpainting..still not working- shape off too-.but it was still fun to paint.Artists out there please tell me what I am missing here!
I am learning so much about color and paint with these dailies,,,but sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board. The flowers are hiding under the plate in the floral placemat.
What a beautiful balmy weekend- last night halloween was just lovely-my friends and I dressed up and walked around Marshfield hills and had so much fun- it is just classic there- full moon, ghosts and goblins,spooky lit up houses- mummies hanging from trees- pumpkins, crunchy leaves, cider and donuts at the general store..Loved it.Ok we are a little old to trick or treat-no candy for us- just fun. I think grown ups should be allowed to have fun too- don't you?