Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tonight I went to the drop in  figure painting at the North River Arts Society- It was a lot of fun to paint this beautiful young girl- she is the granddaughter of a friend and fellow painter, Jeanne MacFarland. Not my genre maybe- but I loved painting her.
She owns this hoop dress and participates in historical reenactments of the Civil War.
I truly pushed myself to be there- it was a long day- but so worth going!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

watercolors from workshop

Last Sunday at the museum we had our first ever "yoga and painting" workshop. The wonderful yoginni Marnie Bacon led the yoga .She played her harmonium and sang to us in her lovely hypnotic voice for the resting pose, sivasana.

  I led the painting part- it was a wonderfully creative and restful way to spend a morning.
I cut up sticks from trees around the museum and carved them into drawing pens-we used ink with the sticks to draw on rice paper and then painted with liquid watercolors.
We will be doing it again! By the way- if you are not on the Art Complex mailing list reply to this email and I will get you on it!
These are my pieces- it was fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Johnny Jump ups in handmade mug 8"x8" oil on panel

Today was a cool, damp day- the best kind of studio day. I worked on several different projects and was happy as a clam to be in my warm little studio. My friend Kelley spontaneously drove to my studio from Rhode Island (!) bearing gifts- Lebanese pies and this sweet mug her son Conor made, with flowers! We dined and chatted and painted while her funny pug Paco
ran around and tried to eat push pins and wire spools. Thanks Paco- he managed to find the caster I was missing on my easel- much steadier now! I love sharing time with artist friends, all we need is a little space, time and art supplies and we are in heaven.
Okay, the dogs are important too, but really Paco- push pins?
We saw a cardinal and a finch at the feeder in my  studio window and Kelley painted birds. It was a great day. As a write this I can smell lilacs that I picked from my yard- white ones- there is no other smell in the world that tops that -(well maybe chocolate) I put them by my bed at night and have sweet dreams. They remind me and many others I know of our grandmothers. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tulip and some kind of flower that i don't know the name of

My neighbor gave me the yellow flower ( Tori whats it called?)
It has filled out nicely and has a lovely blossom.
I was up at 3:45 AM- couldn't sleep - so I got up and went out to the studio. It was great to be out there working- so quiet. Lots accomplished- I even cleaned my attic! It was cool and cloudy and I kept waiting for the rain-but it never came!
I did this little 8"x8" study in the afternoon- I was SO tired by then, but I am glad I did it.
I do hope it rains tomorrow-gently-I planted lettuce in my garden and I want it to germinate.  of course I COULD water it...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

29 gifts-

At age 33 Cami Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the life she knew changed forever. Then, as a remedy for her condition, she received an uncommon prescription from a friend, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami was amazed by what unfolded during her month-long journey. See this if you want to read more about the challenge
My friend Kimi told me about this book and I am reading it- and inspired .
Kim has been sick so I made her a gift- 29 notes of positive affirmations- folded and sealed  with a flower. 29 flowers!, and I decoupaged a recycled soap bottle for the container. The flowers are punched out of layered origami paper  and topped with a sparkly jewel. Kim loves sparkly things!
 I love making gifts. I want to do the 29 gift challenge! The gifts don't always have to be material things.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A three song painting -9"x12" oil on canvas

I was totally hyper today- must have been the sun plus the medium coffee from Dunkin Donuts this morning!
I did this painting in my front yard while I listened to my ipod- i have "Riverdance" on there- and did this in 3 songs.
Its really fast paced music! I love painting to Irish music.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

I spent ALL DAY being creative- making bread, stripping paint off a floor, cleaning and  I designed a business card for a friend.
I took a walk on the beach with my neighbor pal Tori and said I wasnt feeling the love of oils just now- and we decided we both were in a drawing mood- and then I found a ton of scrap matboard all cut into postcard sizes. Inspiration! So I did this little pansy face on one- it was fun from start to finish.
It is prismacolor pencil on board prepared with a sanded ground. 
I think the attitude need a little adjusting!
I appreciated all your comments from yesterday- It made me SO happy.

I am heading out to the Scituate Art Association opening tonight to see if I can find my friend Jeannie MacFarland- she won best in show !
Congrats Jeannie! 
I am proud to be her friend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I am struggling. All the spring flowers around me are incredibly beautiful - it's overwhelming me- I don't even know where to start. I want to drink them all up!
Yet, bringing them inside seems odd. Putting a light on them seems artificial.
I looked forward to spring all year, and now it's here and I am feeling stuck-  it's so beautiful outside- I just want to BE, not paint, not create, just be.
I think I will paint outside for a while- as hard as that can be.
 I have lots of commission stuff piling up and I need to tackle it. Yet- I am still going to do my daily flower. I made a commitment. If I think of it as a meditation, then it doesn't  really matter what the product is. It's just taking the time to sit quietly with a flower. So that's what it is going to be. I need to shut the judgemental voice in my head OFF.
I hope I am not lamenting too much here- just keeping it real.
The creative process is a journey and sometimes the road doesn't take me where I think it should go.....
Here's my  daily painting of a quince blossom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

pretty in pink 8"x10" oil on panel

These are mayflowers, or viburnum- that are blooming in my yard.
The scent is heavenly.
I grabbed a pink towel that belongs to my daughter Markie, who is in London, and is on my mind a lot these days. I miss her a lot and am excited for her to come home next month- looks like the airways are opening up.
I think the pink on pink was a bit of a sabotage color choice for my set up, but I did do this first thing this morning, and it felt good to be in my studio in front of my easel.
It is my meditation. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

itsy bitsy pansy painting 3''x3" oil on canvas

I painted this little baby at the end of the day- and truly- the beginning of the day is my best painting time. I tried to paint a beautiful white barn at the end of my street at 4 oclock with my friend Nancy Colella today- she got a nice painting- I got a wipe out.
So because I feel obligated ( is that a good thing?) I did this baby for the blog.
Is the obligation a good thing? Not sure. It does keep me going, that is for sure.
I find spring can be a little overwhelming- all the outside work, gardening, painting, cleaning and stuff- and the beauty of the world beckons to be painted- but where is the time?
I do love pansies- and cant resist them. They end up in the pots for a while till I get around to planting them, but eventually make it to my my borders and containers. Happy little kitten- faced flowers- sweet! 

Monday, April 19, 2010

tulips in the garden

I did this painting last fall- before I planted these bulbs. I am now so glad I planted them!
Today I painted the flowers in the garden- I was a little loose and scattered- not my usual first thing in the morning focused work- so it got a little away from me...

It was fun to let the colors go a little crazy.
I've been commissioned to do a tee-shirt design for Worlds End- and I walked to the spot that they wanted the image from. It was a glorious day and I loved being out there. Lots of people enjoying the sunshine.

When I was a little girl I literally thought that this was the end of the world. Maybe it is!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

10th Congressional High School Art Competition

Here is the winner of the the annual competition we host at the museum where I work. Each spring  Congressman Delahunt  hosts an art competition to showcase high school talent in the visual arts. The congressional art caucus was developed in 1984 with every representative encouraged to participate. One or two congressional offices volunteer to take on organizing the program for the entire country and it is completely run by US reps. All 435 US districts are invited, many but not all participate
This girl was so humble- she "didnt expect to win" and was thrilled to be chosen - The winning piece hangs with the other winners from all other districts who participate in the tunnel connecting the Senate and House of Representatives office building to the congressional building in Washington DC.
These kids inspire me - and they are so excited when they receive this recognition- every single entry in the show to me was a winner .

For today , these fresh faces are my "flowers," these young people forging ahead in their lives. I love them and their youthful positive energy. They are our future.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Goddess Linda Watercolor on paper 6 "x8"

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY LINDA! You are a yoga goddess ( doing the goddess pose)
Linda is one of the most loving, wonderful, nurturing woman I know. She is endlessly doing for others.
I went to her surprise party tonight- really fun! lots of folks from my childhood there- and it was a lavish spread all thanks to husband Billy and their kids. Linda was truly surprised! Wish I had taken some pics- she looked so adorable.
We are getting a lot done around the house and yard this week- our not going to England vacation opened up all this time to tackle projects- and we are a little bit psyched!
Here is Al burning in the back...

 I hope my friends in Ireland can get home safely. We might be considering ocean travel to get my daughter home May 7th...hmmmm - it's gotta be okay by then but who knows? I hear this volcano is just getting going!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Goddess Kimi Watercolor on paper 6 "x8"

My dear friend Kim is not feeling well - I made this for her. Kim, I  wish you a speedy recovery and imagine you reveling in your beautiful blooming poppies! Lots and lots of them! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Volcanos and very sad family

Smoke and ash billows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland
This is the Icelandic volcano.
I don't think we were supposed to fly through this we are not. I spent most of the day being sad and my husband spent all day on the computer and phone trying to get us to our oldest  daughter in London. No such luck and we've come to grips that this was not meant to be. Ahhh -life.
I had to go to Hingham this afternoon to do an errand and popped into the new "Fresh Market" to see what it was like- and a very nice woman from Ohio named Julia gave me this red flower.

I almost hugged her and of course told her my sad saga- she was very sweet. So , we are going to figure out a new plan- and it will be ok, a huge disappointment for sure, but with these volcanic lemons we are making lemonade! ( I think I will add some vodka to mine thank you!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

breakin in the sketchbook

This is from the end of the dock behind my brothers house, which is across the street from my house. I am so not a marsh painter- but it was such a lovely day, and I spent much of it inside, so it was nice to just look at the marsh and attempt to paint it. but in my mind this is a bit of a bomb....
My dogs were there and whiney- it was suppertime.
I bought this book to fill in London- so I broke it in today.
I leave tomorrow. I hope to have lots of time to paint the classic architecture there-and I am only bringing carry-on this trip. So it's watercolors! I love to paint with this medium- it is so fresh and easy to carry- but I am out of practice.
Maluhia Farm update- right after I left there were twins born, then triplets!
Im sad that I missed it.
Heres Hermione with twins Fred and George...
And the triplets.
Oh come on! Cuteness!
I need to find a farm in Massachusetts that has baby animals- anyone know of any?
I am having withdrawal big time.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

white quince 9"x12" oil on panel

I'm very busy these days- a little too busy-( leaving for London for a week- and yes- blogging from there) on Thursday My internal time clock is almost reset from Hawaii and now I am going to throw it off even more!  My family is going for a week to see my oldest who has been studying there this semester .
I did this painting in about 45 minutes. I was rushed and busy , but it was still a joy to do. This daily painting challenge isn't always about the product- it's about fitting creative time into my day- no matter how busy. All the other stuff still gets done, somehow.
The shrub that I picked this flower from was a gift from Karen, my husbands sister- who is just great. She and her husband Paul gave this beautiful plant to us many years ago-and it blooms twice a year.
 I was very blessed to have married into this family- Al has wonderful siblings. We always have fun when we get together- and all of our kids do too. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

weeping Cherry 8''x8" oil on panel

This tree was a gift from the school's PTA when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten.
I did a lot of volunteer art work in the school and was presented with the tree. It was wonderful to be recognized for doing stuff that I loved doing anyway, and what a great thing to be given- a beautiful tree that blossoms every spring. My daughter will be graduating from college next year- and thats pretty amazing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

from the farmers market- Waimea- 8" 8" oil on canvas

I thought I posted this in Hawaii but it never  made it on the blog- which is GREAT because I didn't get to paint a flower today- which is not good , but happens! It was a wonderful day- got my water garden mucked out - 7 year old my nephew Chris came over and we captured a ton of pollywogs (or tadpoles- not sure if that is the same thing) for him to take home in a jar  and I got my waterfall running again. There were two big frogs in the pond- one alive and well- the other not so well-sadly-he got chucked over the fence.
This afternoon my daughter Maddie and I went to the matinee of RENT at the Company Theatre in Norwell to see our friend Shawn Verrier ( Angel) it was amazing. It's there through the 18th so if you are in these parts try to go. I loved it.
Shawn was the best! What a voice !

Saturday, April 10, 2010

" red bridge " 12"x12" oil on canvas

I had started this on early on my trip- still needed tweaking -as I look at it now it looks like the blue grey river rock is water ( in the foreground) might need to fix that! Today I could only handle about 20 minutes of painting. Jet lag finally set in today- flying against the sun is tough( boo- hoo- poor me!). I went to Lowes in the early afternoon and got some composted cow manure and soil and flowers to bring over to Kate DiSantis' house- there was a work party there to help her, she is fighting brain cancer. I did a little- not much, and of course there was great  food( of course- it was the Lyons family!)
I know she will come through this- she is a wonderful person and has given so much to so many for years- now it's time to give back . It was an inspiration to see  so many cheerful loving hands  at work mulching, weeding, digging, painting, cleaning and burning in her yard and house. 
                                          And the sun shined gloriously  all day!
PS- sorry for the extra post yesterday- i did a little editing and republished- didn't realize it would go out twice!

Friday, April 9, 2010

" mimi's myrtle" altered book

I have some of my mother-in-laws myrtle blooming for the first time in my yard.
I love the periwinkle blue color, and that fact that it is from her garden, from the house that holds so many wonderful family memories.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

There's No Place like Home

When I left Marshfield everything was black and white- and when I returned- color!  Spring! The flights back were perfectly uneventful- and I got in on time and even a little early. The only negative was the fight movie choice- a move called Hatchi with Richard Gere- based on a true story about a Japanese dog- let me tell you- it was so sad- I actually had to go to the teeny restroom to cry! And talk about red eye! Please- airline people- no sad movies on flights out of Hawaii! That is sad enough!
Other than that it was fine. I even made it back in time to hear my daughter sing at the high school spring concert- perfect re-entry- especially because the last song was very Hawaiian. Sweet!
I had a wonderful session making mosaics today at the Bay Farm Montessori school in Duxbury- ( luckily after lunch!) and here are the kids enjoying the process. They created two nautical themed stained glass mosaic windows for their annual auction.
Here is my flower of the day- I designed this for the school garden in Waimea. HI. The original painting is for the auction they have there, and the image will be also be used for a tee-shirt.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Aloha, Hawaii, until we meet again

I sat on this cliff and meditated ( or tried to- mostly was scared I would fall off)
I have this island in my soul- and aloha
( the meaning of that word is "generosity of spirit" ) the giving and loving energy.
I hate to leave, but of course- love to get home to my turf- my peeps- my wonderful New England. 

this is the road out of the secret cliff spot.

Here is the 1930's theater where we saw "Alice in Wonderland (no - not in 3d)
Its a wonderful old theater- reminded me of Loring Hall in Hingham
movie was fun too- loved tweedle- dee and tweedle- dum...

A mural in Honoka'a depicting the sugarcane workers, and my flower- something i did 15 years ago,

Its a wood construction- I did a lot of these at one time-- I had  given it to my Dad and Jan and it hangs in the loft.
No post tomorrow- I will be traveling....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Lamb( one day late)

Lavender surprised us with a lamb- a baby ewe! She is 9 lbs- a very nice size!
She is adorable. 

Here is Joanna helping her to latch on. 

Here are the boys- Sherman (in front) is the proud father. He's waiting for a cigar!

This is what MY Dad does while this is all going on- he hides in his woodshop!

Here is the baby-still unnamed...lying in the grass, SOOOOOO cute!

This is one of the paintings of the day-
And this is the portrait of Nicole- commission ( thanks Nicole's Mom!)
Nicole came as the sheep shearer and ended moving into a tent on the property, she now lives in town. She is doing her thesis on agricultural community of the Hamakua district, at UH-Manoa ( Owahu)
Nicole is, simply put , THE BEST. One of those people you meet and love immediately. 
I hope I captured her natural beauty!