Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Final Post and the last two paintings of 2011!

New Year's Eve Morning, 8x10 oil on linen panel
     What a beautiful day to wake up to!  Considering what a difficult year this has been for so many and all the extraordinary natural disasters, it was encouraging to end the year celebrating such peaceful beauty as I experienced today.
      This was the first painting of the day which was to be filled with fast moving, wonderful cloud formations.  Oddly enough there was hardly a breeze which made painting very easy.  I guess the air was moving faster above.  I loved the silvery effect of this morning light.

     This was my second and final painting of the day.  All I did was turn my easel around and face north.  The cloud show was magnificent!  Just when I thought I had the best formation another wonderful one would float by.  It was frustrating.  I also found it difficult to get as much luminosity into the clouds as I wished.  Adding a little cadmium lemon yellow to titanium white helped for the brightest spots. 
New Year's Eve Afternoon, 8x10 oil on panel

    I want to thank all of you who have spent a few minutes visiting me and my work this year.  I have only been blogging since July and I wasn't sure I would like it but I must say I do.  It helps to put down my thoughts and I love the opportunity of reaching a much wider audience than I ordinarily would.  I do hope some of you feel moved to leave comments from time to time.  Feedback is always good to have. 
      This has been a trying year for the world.  My wish for all of us is for more peace, happiness and success and much less hatred, war and destruction.  That may sound cliche but I can't think of a better way to state it.  I hope the beauty I find in nature and that I try to express in my paintings says it best of all.  So world, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Let's do it better in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Last Plein Air Painting of 2011?

"Winter Dune"8x10 oil on linen panel
     Maybe.  There is still tomorrow and I am sure I will want to get out and enjoy painting while this beautiful weather holds.  I am on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in a small town called Duck.  I love the winter light here! 
     The narrow path you see weaving along the top of the dune in this painting was not made by humans.  It is in fact a deer track.  In the warmer months the vegetation on the dune is very thick and prickly.  This is not a path you would want to follow at that time.  In the winter, however, it is quite easy.  This may not be a spot where you would expect to see deer but believe me they are here.  There are lots of dense thickets and groves of live oaks that provide comfortable homes for numerous rabbits, deer and fox.  Until recent years you would also encounter wild horses but the herd has been penned up in Corolla for its own protection.  I can remember when they were still roaming free and I miss that.  I would much prefer fewer houses and more horses!
Just before I took this photo a gust of wind came up and apparently I didn't have my panel secured tight enough.  The painting flipped forward and landed upside down (thank goodness) on the palette:)  The back of the painting now looks like an abstract as I used my palette knife and paper towels to clean it up as best I could.  I always carry painter's tape in my backpack and I wish I would remember to  place a wad of it behind the panel as an extra precaution.  If you are not new to this blog then you know this has happened to me more than once.  I am a slow learner.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ending the year on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

around 4:30 P.M. on the beach in Duck
      Since we only arrived a couple of hours ago I don't have any paintings to show you as yet.  I was eager to hit the beach while there was still light and I enjoyed taking a few photos.  I love the irredescent reflections of the sky on the wet sand.  I walked for a while and then fed the dogs and caught the sunset on Currituck Sound.  I would like to say you can expect some sunrise paintings but after the hustle of the last couple of weeks I think I will be sleeping through it!  Maybe some more sunset studies though.

                                                about a half an hour later  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Infusing an interior with feeling

Underpainting for interior, 14x11 oil on panel
      I have continued my tonal paintings in the hope that I will end up with two that I feel pleased enough with to send to the Black and White Show at the Salmagundi Club in NYC.  I have turned my attention to the space in my house where the bulk of  my time is spent.  I want to do more than simply record the space.  I love it here, this is home, this is where I paint and am surrounded by books, paintings and objects I love. A recording of it is not enough.  Years ago when I studied interior design (decided it wasn't for me and didn't follow through) we were taught to paint and draw interiors but that kind of work would not suffice here. How, with just a tube of Holbein's sepia and titanium white do I express how I feel in this space?  I have been revisiting Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Sargent to name a few.  There is a soul to the spaces they have painted. 
      I know what my goal is but succeeding is another matter.  To the left is the underpainting which was done on a white panel.  You will see that it is an enlargement of the little 8x6 study I showed you a couple of posts ago.  You are looking into the room that opens into my studio.  They are separated by glass pocket doors that I usually keep open so it is one continuous space.  There is a short step up from my studio.  I am standing at the easel and this is what I see everyday.  Behind me are large windows facing north, east and south.  In this room the window and the window alluded to in the painting are facing north.
In Progress and almost complete
Today I got this far on the painting and feel I need to step back a bit.  It needs some finishing but part of that finishing might be a "fuzzing" up of things, not so much a clarification.  I don't want to get too precise.  I am not cataloguing my space I am trying to infuse it with what I feel looking into it.  Getting picky about the pattern of the rug is not going to accomplish what I want here.  It is hard to describe what I mean but the light tells the story.  OK, I'm getting cryptic.  Artists can be a real bore when they start talking too much about what they are painting.  I will know what I mean when I see it and hopefully you will too.  I will continue to do more of these interiors but I am beginning to be eager to get back to color.
    Even though I am pretty sure most of you won't be reading this until after the holidays I want to wish all of you who drop in here for a visit a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a most HAPPY HANUKKAH!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Tonal Studies

No title as yet, 10x8 on clear primed linen panel
    I have been missing in action for a few days partly because of the busy Christmas season but also because I had difficulty accessing my blog.  Since I usually do this at night I was just too tired to take the time to straighten the problem out.  Tonight I decided to bite the bullet and so I'm back.
    I completed this small painting over the weekend.  I let the natural linen color of this clear primed linen panel come through in places and I like the effect.  I am working on these in preparation for the Black and White Show at the Salmagundi Club in January.  This is their oldest running show and used to be quite famous.  Works can be in black and white or sepia only.  No color accents at all.  I wonder if the warm linen coming through the cooler black and white would constitute a color accent.  I don't think so but I should check.  I don't have a title for this as yet but the subject is the Old Potowmack Canal which I have frequently painted and I recently exhibited a painting by that name.  I'll have to come up with a different title if I send this to the show.  I started another interior today which is a larger version of the one I showed you earlier and brings in more elements in the room.  I will post it tomorrow even if it is not finished as I like to show works in progress.  I just didn't remember to take a photo today.

      Just a reminder that the Thumb Box Show at the Salmagundi openend on Monday, December 5th and will run until January 1st. I have three paintings in the show, or I should say two because one of them sold on Tuesday.  I understand it will be off to a happy new home in Northern California. You can find more information at    
      Here are three paintings in that show:
Rainy Night on Lower 5th

Late October, Wide Water, Potomac MD

The C&O Canal, Potomac MD

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Exhibit

Evening Descends on Black Pond, 24x48 oil on canvas
     I spent the evening at the Art League Gallery in Old Town Alexandria where we just hung the December all media exhibit.  My painting "Evening Descends on Black Pond" was one of the paintings selected for the show.  It was interesting that the jurors selected so many very large pieces this month. As you can see by the dimensions mine is on the large side but it was dwarfed by some of the other pieces in the show.  I enjoyed the fact that there were so many large works probably because I have been attending all the small works shows that predominate at this time of year.  Also, I am delighted to have a little more room in the studio now that two of my large paintings have left for Macedonia and this painting will be on exhibit for a month at the Art League Gallery.  If I am lucky it will sell and find a happy new home. Those of us who hung the show felt we had had a real workout.  Seriously, it was very physical work this evening and we were short handed.  I forgot to ask how many works were accepted but I am guessing there were around 125 to 130.  It is a very striking and colorful show with all styles and medias represented.  If you are in the area it is a must see!
Red Roof, 11x14 oil on panel
     Also on exhibit at the Art League Bin Gallery for the month is "Red Roof" painted last winter.  Looking at it I do look forward to doing more snow pieces.  I only did two last year and I love the possibilities but have to find a better way to deal with the cold.  Last year some of the storms made driving prohibitive so I am hoping for moderate snow and a quick clearing of the roads. "Hope springs eternal".

If you are in New York City you can see three of my small works at the annual Thumb Box Exhibit at the Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Avenue.  It will be running through the month of December and gallery hours can be found at  The paintings are "Rainy Night on Lower 5th", "The C&O Canal, Potomac Md." and "Morning at Wide Water, Potomac MD"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Something New!

Interior Tonal Study, 8x6 oil on panel
      In my last post, which I was surprised to see was actually four days ago, I said I was going to embark on some interior paintings.  I am really getting interested in that. This tiny painting on the left is a tonal study I did from my studio.  This room is separated from the studio by glass pocket doors which I usually keep open.  I was in the studio sitting on the floor with my books on Sargent, Greg Kreuz and the American Impressionists and just had to do a study right then and there.  One of the reasons I wanted to do a tonal one is I had just read the prospectus for the annual Black and White show at the Salmagundi Club which is a show with a very long tradition and I would like to participate.  I had thought I would do drawings for it but then I decided I would rather do some oil sketches.  We can do black and white or sepia but can't add any color at all.  This little piece is a test run both for that show and for an interior painting.  I like this one.  I laid the paint on thickly and took a more sculptural approach than a drawing one. I am looking forward to expanding on it and doing it in color.  The rug has some wonderful blue and burgundy colors that will look great against the golden wood floors. 

     I know I have referred to the "pile" in the past.  That is the growing stack of failed plein air pieces done on various types of panels.  I said in one post that I keep them around both to remind me of what not to do but also because some have portions that have useful information for studio pieces.  However, these are tough economic times and there are a lot of really nice panels just sitting there begging for a coat or two of gesso.  So I took out some of the real stinkers and did just that.  This little study is painted over one of those failures. I'm glad I did it.

     When I write I forget that not all of you have been following this blog so I apologize for referring to paintings and events like you are supposed to know what I'm talking about!  In the last post I said that "Spring Rush" and "Between the Sun and the Moon" were picked up last Monday by the State Department's Art in the Embassies Program to be shipped to Soltje, Macedonia and the U.S Embassy there.  I didn't show you the paintings.  If you go to the blog Archive and look backwards to the post titled "I have almost finished my homework" which I think was in October you will find the paintings there and a link to Art in the Embassies. You can also go to my website and see them there. 

     I will be Christmas shopping all day tomorrow.  I have five grandchildren, need I say more.  I'll be back with more on interiors as soon as I can. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So, What's next?

The Lookout, 10x8 oil on linen panel
       I am back from our trip to the Outer Banks and you know from my earlier posts that while there I busied myself trying to paint the sun as it went down.  Three of the results were O.K. but only two would I consider framing.  I don't mind since that was not my goal.  It was a challenge and a lot of fun. 
      I hit the ground running when we got home because I found out while we were away that on Monday Art in the Embassies wanted to pick up my two paintings going to the U.S. Embassy in Soltje, Macedonia. "Spring Rush" and "Between the Sun and the Moon" are now on their way.They were framed and wired but it was time to varnish them and I wanted that done before they left.  Also on Monday I was shipping three small works to the Salmagundi Club in NYC for the annual Thumb Box show.  I sent the three I showed you in the "More Small Works" post.  That done I took an inventory of the studio and ordered more supplies.  OK, now I am all caught up and as I ask, what's next?  Good question.
        The leaves are gone and all that beatiful fall color and golden days I loved being outdoors painting are gone as well.  Am I already in the winter doldrums?  Winter has its beauty too but I am just not into it yet.  I can look forward to snow on the ground because of all the beautiful colors reflected off of it.  Meanwhile I think I will look inward.  By inward I mean indoors.  I have included these two small paintings of interiors from last fall.  I have decided to paint "plein living room".  There I am seeing beautiful golden light and wonderful reflections off the floors.  I spent some time rearranging the living room furniture today and will set up my plein air easel when the sun is out.  I think it will be fun!  I have also been revisiting interior paintings by artists I admire.  Among contemporary painters I love the interiors of New York artists Jacob Collins and Greg Kreuz.  The 19th century interiors painted by Sargent, William Merrit Chase and Frank Benson are wonderful and I really must go back and look closely again at Vermeer. I am looking forward to both the studying and the painting! 

October Afternoon, 10x8 oil on panel

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Gray Day Sunset

Sudden Sunset, November 21st
     I mentioned yesterday that we had had an all day gray day and I figured I would not be painting a sunset afterall.  Fortunately I had everything setup ready to start at 4:30 but it wasn't until the sun was practically set that there were sudden bursts of gold pushing through the clouds.  I know I said I was doing these in under an hour but this one had to be uber fast!  I was using the knife to get a load of paint on really fast and there was no possibility of refining.  I just put the colors down where I was seeing them and as close to how they appeared without stopping to do much mixing.
      It's not a bad expression of the moment but I wish the golden light wasn't sitting on top of the gray clouds.  I dragged the gray over the gold in some places but was too busy getting the color down to pay much attention to my edges.  This was an exercise after all and it served it's purpose.
       We left early for a favorite restaurant this evening as I was sure the milky gray sky was not going to reveal anything worth painting but for five minutes I was wrong again.  Still, after the speed of this painting I don't think I could have managed much in the even shorter time frame tonight!  After all, tomorrow is another day:)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Sunset from the OBX (Outer Banks)

November 19th on the top and the 20th below
     As I mentioned in yesterday's post I am technologically limited here on the Outer Banks so I am only uploading one image a day and I can't crop or photo shop. 
     These are the sunsets from November 19th and 20th which I  laid down on the deck boards to photograph.  Todays painting I will have to photograph during the daylight tomorrow as it was too dark when I finished.  Today was an all day gray day and I wondered what the evening would bring.  It wasn't very encouraging but then around 5:00 some golden light broke through the clouds and gave me an opportunity.
      I know I said I wasn't going to correct or try to improve these studies but I am really itching to improve that land line at the horizon on the lower painting.  It's not really changing the painting so I think I will just go ahead and do it:)
       I am still determined to do one of these each evening.  My daytime painting plans have changed a little because of the incredible amount of mosquitoes along the Sound.  I want to get out on the docks jutting into Currituck Sound and look back at some of the shingle cottages dotting the shoreland and paint them.  I will wait for the cooler weather at the end of the week in the hopes the mosquitoes will find the climate not to their liking!
      I received an email today from the State Department's Art in Embassies program informing me that my paintings "Spring Rush" and "Between the Sun and the Moon" will be picked up early next week for their trip to Soltje Macedonia.  They will be part of an exhibit at the U.S.Embassy there for at least a year.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In the Chase on the Outer 'Banks

11/19 between 4:30 and 5:00 P.M.
    I haven't posted in some days because I was busy getting things done before my husband, three dogs and I left for a week on the Outer Banks of NC.  I love it here!  I packed all my plein air gear and plan to paint as often as weather permits.  These first two days I have spent the time relaxing and waiting for evening so I could start the series of small, quick sunset paintings I decided I would do this trip.  I want to do all of them in under an hour. 
      The little 6x8 painting you see on the easel was done last evening but I had forgotten to take photos and so I propped it on the easel for a picture before starting todays painting.  Yesterday I also forgot to use the umbrella.  I thought I would go blind looking into the sun.  No matter how hard I would sqint as soon as I looked back at the canvas all I saw was black and white.  I had to wait for my eyes to readjust.  Yes, I could have gotten the brollie but it would have taken valuable time.  The sun goes down fast!
     Todays sky was less dramatic than yesterday but the colors were very much the same.  I will upload the new painting tomorrow because every time I try to add an additional photo I get bounced off the blog.  I am using the laptop and things don't seem to work the same. 
     Painting like this is fast work for me and out of my comfort zone.  That is why I am doing it.  I have promised myself not to continue work on the paintings after the initial session and that is hard because I always want to improve  them.  I am using this as an exercise to see how much I can improve over the week if at all.  I just wish I had more of these 6x8's but I only had two left.  I brought down 8x10's and 9x12's because I didn't have time to shop and that is too bad because the smaller ones are best for this. It would have been great to have a week's worth of sunset paintings all the same size and then choose the four best to frame the same and hang as a group.  I need to slow up and plan better!

Reminder: ON EXHIBIT at the Art League Gallery, "Berry Strawberry" and "The Knitter" are in the small works show and "Festival Tents" is in the Bin Gallery

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More Small Works

The C&O Canal , Potomac MD  6x8 oil on panel
     This is the time of year for the traditional small works shows in hopes that holiday shoppers will add gifts of original art to their shopping lists.  In my previous post I showed you the two pieces I have on exhibit at the Art League Gallery's Small Works show that will be up for the rest of the month.  It is a HUGE show!  Besides this show there is also "What to Wear", wearable art in the solo gallery and our monthly exhibit in the Bin Gallery.  There really is something for everyone here! 
      There were almost 900 entries for the small works and the poor juror had to review them all and make her selections in one afternoon.  After that our Hanging Committee comes in to hang the show.  I chair that committee.  I wish we had a better name for it.  Anyway, this year instead of combining the small works with a large works show we decided to devote the entire gallery space to the small pieces.  It is a large gallery.  My first thought when I walked in and saw everything lying on the floor and the non accepted works stored in more boxes than I wanted to count was WHAT WERE WE THINKING!  My amazing crew and I hung over 300 works of art.  Would you believe that by 7:00 we were all finished and sitting around enjoying Bugsy's wonderful pizza together?  Well, we were.  That is what comes of having a great group of people work together for 6 years and enjoy the process.  We have fun.  I hope those of you who are in the area will come in and see this.  I suggest you bring your checkbooks because there will be works and prices you will not be able to resist!  Oh, and if you have an inner Lady Ga Ga screaming to get out there is a pair of must have boots in the "What to Wear" show!  You can see some of the works and read more if you check those links.

Along the C&O Canal  8x6 oil on panel
       As you can see, I liked this view.  This was the first of the two paintings and inspired the second because the vertical format didn't let me paint the beautiful pinkish gold dappled light on the ground.  I loved the effect and the colors.  I also find I like doing these really tiny paintings.  Weird because I have always preferred working large. Usually I find getting pieces ready for the small works shows a real chore.  That is not the case this year.  I have friends who do a tiny painting a day as a learning experience and now I understand the benefits.  I want to get looser in my painting.  Working at this scale I need to put down the large forms and learn to edit to put in only the important information.  I can also experiment more easily with new surfaces because of the very much smaller financial investment.  I have been working smaller on my plein air paintings in preparation for the small works season but I think I will continue and perhaps do multiple paintings on each outing.  In the studio it is great fun to just pick up things from around the house to paint or tack up a couple of photos from my folders and approach them like a plein air piece. 

Rainy night on lower 5th, 10x8 oil on panel
    I used that approach with this small painting based on a photo I took on 5th Avenue in August.  Cityscapes are new and challenging for me.  I was trained as a landscape designer and spent a lot of time drafting blueprints.  When faced with architecture in a painting my instinct is to try to get very precise.  It is a challenge for me to stay loose, not use a straight edge or even a preliminary sketch.  I am happy with the sparkling, jewel like light coming from up the avenue in this painting.  That was the main inspiration for it.  With practice I hope I will develop more ease with the buildings and cars.  The more I paint the more I need to learn!
      I will be sending three paintings off to the Salmagundi Club for the Thumb Box show in December, this may be one of the ones I send as it may appeal to New Yorkers for obvious reasons.
      I will be updating my website in the upcoming week so be sure to check in there for more small paintings.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dick and Jean's New York Adventure

Entrance to the Salmagundi Club for the AAPL 83rd Grand National
We were off to NYC bright and early last Sunday to attend the American Artists Professioinal League's 83rd Grand National  Exhibit held at the Salmagundi Club on 5th Avenue.  We looked forward to attending the painting demonstration by artist Charles Brandenburg which was starting at noon, so we were sure to be on the 9:00 A.M. Acela.  We were right on time and had great seats and then we waited to roll...and...we waited.  Announcements began to be made every couple of minutes updating us on the "technical difficulties" that would be resolved shortly.  Finally a resigned announcement came over and I quote "Folks this train is going nowhere"!  We were told another train was being brought in two tracks over so we all bustled our way there and then waited for the food car to be stocked :(  Finally we left right before the 10:00, more as a matter of form I think.  So we arrived at Penn Station and I won't take your time here with the taxi debacle and the heated words between our taxi driver ant the Little Caesar Penn Station employeed who wanted to run the show.  We told them to take it up with one another later and hit the road!  We arrived at the Salmagundi just as Mr. Brandenburg finished his painting.  So much for well made plans.
       We were starving and the wonderful aromas from the restaurant downstairs lured us the the much acclaimed Salmagundi Brunch.  It did not disappoint. Then off to enjoy the show......It is a beauty!  Now, I knew Jill Banks also had a painting on exhibit but what I didn't know was that friend and fellow ALPAP (Art League Plein Air Painters) Lynn Mehta also had a piece selected.  Just as I found mine, I turned around and there was Lynn who had just found hers!  We were both very pleasantly surprised:)  Lynn's lovely painting, "Appalachian Valley" won the John Collins Memorial Award!  A post or two down you can see Lynn at work painting when we went to Wide Water.

Lynn standing below her "Appalachian Valley"

Me next to my "Along the Old Potowmack Canal"

A very nice color catalogue of the exhibit was available and I brought one home for posterity.  I have also been juried in as an artist member of the Salmagundi so I was very happy to receive a tour of the "inner sanctum" by member Roger Rossi who has been extremely helpful and welcoming.  I said after my first trip here that the first thing that struck me when I passed throught the door was the warm and welcoming atmosphere of this place.  I suppose the imposing elegance of this 19th century mansion on 5th Avenue might make you forget that it is inhabited by friendly artists eager to share their work.  As a lover of history the tour meant a lot to me.  I have read about the famous artists who were members here and seeing the palettes and brushes of artists such as Childe Hassam and William Merrit Chase was for me like a baseball buff seeing Babe Ruths bat or having an original Mickie Mantle baseball card! The library was really something!  When you take the tour online you don't get to see the size of it.  The walls are lined with books that must be treasures.  Between the tops of the bookcases and the ceiling are all the palettes of noted members.  In cases and on the mantle are the porcelain beer mugs the members used to paint and hope to sell.  The original tiles, hand painted by artists members, that made up the fireplace surround in the first Salmagundi location were moved to surround the fireplace in the conference room here at their permanent home. This magnificent mansion has been the home of the Salmagundi Club since 1917.
      The main gallery has a large tray ceiling which used to be an enormous skylight.  This coming June work will begin to recreate that skylight and the gallery will be filled with natural light!  Big job! Exciting time to be here.

      Also on exhibit right now at the Art League Gallery in Old Town Alexandria in our annual Small Works Exhibit are "Berry Strawberry" and "The Knitter"

"Berry Strawberry" 8x6 oil on panel
"The Knitter" 8x6 oil on linen panel

Friday, November 4, 2011

Painting at Roosevelt Island Washington DC

My comfortalbe nook with a great view of Key Bridge and Georgetown
     So much for being a daily blogger.  It's just not going to happen.  Plain and simply there is just not enough time.  So what have I been up to all week you might ask.  Well, 90% of it was art related and depending on who you talk to that is either a good thing or makes me terribly negligent.
     I serve on the Board of the Art League and all of us serve on at least three committees.  That keeps the lot of us really hopping!  Tuesday I spent the day in the studio finishing off some small works to be ready to enter at the League next week and then for the Salmagundi Club's annual Thumb Box show.  That is their name for the small works show that they have been doing for years.  Wednesday I spent the day framing five paintings and varnishing, Thursday I was in Old Town to attend a meeting and to drop in to my favorite art gallery, The Principle Gallery on King Street.  I recommend it to all.

      Today, as you can see from the photo was spent with the Art League Plein Air painters on Roosevelt Island here in DC.  We all found wonderful little nooks to set up in that gave us great views of the Key Bridge and Georgetown across the water.  The only problem was that after a week of magnificent skies and fall color we had a flat, gray morning.  The good thing was the yellows really stood out.  Anyway, off we went to make what we could of it and fortunately I wasn't too far into the painting when the 20 mph winds came up.  No matter, I was solidly entrenched and warmly dressed and the wind chased the clouds and brought in beatiful blasts of sun.  My only complaint was my eyes watered so profusely there were times I couldn't see to paint:)  I amped up the colors a bit to go with the change and worked until I thought I had gone as far as I could with it for the day. Tomorrow I want to add some more strong color. When I started there was a bit of sandy beach exposed dappled with leaves so I painted that and eliminated the boulder.  When I finished the tide had come in covering the beach and I liked that better because of the reflections.  I took some photos so maybe tomorrow I will paint out the beach, put in more water and the boulder in the foreground.....or not.

       Just a reminder....."Along the Old Potowmack Canal "is on exhibit at the American Artists Professional League's 83rd Grand National  which is being held at the Salmagundi Club  Dick and I are travelling up on Sunday for the reception from 2:00 to 5:00 and I am really looking forward to it!

"Along the Old Potowmack Canal" 24x18 oil on canvas

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two for Small Works shows

"Knitting", 8x6 oil on linen panel
     I mentioned earlier that I need to concentrate on small works and with that in mind I spent the afternoon in the studio creating this small painting of Jesse knitting.  This summer I took you through the process of creating the painting "Jesse Waiting" so the model may look familiar to you.  As I explained then, this is another image from the photo shoot I did along with three artist friends of our wonderful artist model, Jesse.  Jesse also happens to be my granddaughter! 
     It is interesting to me that a photo of the painting points out some little adjustments I should make that I did not see in the painting itself.  In my defense, the light had changed dramatically and I can see how I might have missed these things.  I am talking about the shadow under the leg of the bench and also Jesse's shaded right arm.  There appears to be a line there near her shoulder that I didn't see. Also the leg of the bench where it meets the stone wall should be a different value.  Small things, an easy fix.

"October Morning, Wide Water" 8x10 oil on panel
      Also touched up and ready for a small works show is this painting from my last post about our paint out at Wide Water in Potomac, Maryland.  All I did was lighten the foreground shadows and I am happy with the resulting painting.  I haven't decided yet which paintings are being submitted to which shows as I would like to complete a couple more before making that determination. 
      This Friday the Art League Plein Air painters will be painting on Roosevelt Island on the Potomac across from Georgetown.  I am hoping for a good view of the city across the water but the trees may not be bare enought yet to provide that.  We shall see.  I can always paint from the footbridge over to the Island. I am going to attempt to upload the promised images from Friday's paint out but I am not optimistic:(  Once I get to the third image things go haywire and I may have to contact Blogger for some assistance.  Here goes.....If you don't see any images then I failed.

Lynn Mehta
Lynn's painting

Well, at least I got the images of Lynn Mehta up.  I had added all the others successfully and then the last one came up over everything and resisted all attempts to remove it until I removed all but these two.  Frustrating. I will have to look into it.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Great Day at Wide Water!

"Late October at Wide Water" 8x10 oil on panel
      The Art League Plein Air painters had a strong turnout today at Wide Water on the Potomac.  This spot is located just down from the C&O Canal in Potomac Maryland.  Also located here is the historic Old Angler's Inn which played a pleasant role in today's outing.  Not everyone was able to stay for lunch but eight cold and hungry painters enjoyed the warm Inn and delicious food!
     Because I want to enter a couple of holiday small works shows I am keeping my paintings to 8x10 inches or smaller right now.  This photo was taken at my stopping point.  When I got home I lightened the foreground shadows which I think helped a lot.  I tried to photograph the painting to post but it was dark and under the studio lights everything got very orangey.  I will take it outside tomorrow and try again.  I am rather happy with it and think it will frame up nicely and be an entry for one of the shows.  You may remember my last painting from this spot which was focused downriver.  Today I was standing in about the same placed but turned to catch the view upriver with the morning light hitting the rocks. There was a lot more color in the trees today. Boy, did we luck out with the weather this morning!  By noon the sun was gone, the sky gray, the wind blowing and it was downright cold.  Maybe we are going to get the predicted snow tomorrow after all.  Weird for October!
      Yesterday I received some very good news.  I have been juried in to the Salmagundi Club in NYC as an artist member!  If you have been reading this blog then you know that I have had paintings accepted in a couple of national shows held at the Club.  I did a lengthy blog in August about our experience at the reception there for the Salmagundi non Member Show and recently one about the upcoming American Artists Professional League's 83rd Grand National which will open on November 1st at the Club.  I liked it there so much and the quality of the paintings was really impressive!  I now have a number of exhibition opportunities there at the Salmaguni and one of the small works shows I want to enter will be held there.  It is the Annual Thumb Box Show and I would like today's painting to be one of my entries.

The lunch bunch with Jean 
The lunch bunch with Ellie
     Since I am usually behind the camera Ellie was good enough to take my picture with everyone so I have included one with me and one with her:)  Left to right around the table are Caroline Town, Lynn Mehta, Susan Johnson, Kim Stenberg, Theresa Miller and me in the first photo and then Ellie Kilcline in my place in the second photo.     
     I just tried to upload a sampling of today's great paintings but I only got two of them uploaded before everything went bananas.  The only way out was to remove those two and right now I am too tired to start over.  I will do a fresh blog tomorrow and show you those paintings (there were some stunners!) and the finished version of mine.  Time to crash and watch some "crap telly".


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small Works

"The Falls" 8x5 oil on linen panel
      As much as I like to work large I am having a good time doing tiny, 6x8 paintings. I want to have work on hand for whatever Small Works shows come up over the holidays.  They are quick and give me a chance to try new things without a large investment in materials and time.  I find it is a good way to play with different techniques and I am already getting ideas for larger paintings.
     This small  painting of  a portion of the Great Falls in Virginia was not done on site but was culled from one of my larger paintings of the same subject. I painted it in the studio today. I have done a number of very large pieces depicting areas of the Falls and I have done very well with them.  I haven't done one in a while and now I think I would like to do a series of small ones.  The texture of this linen panel is just right for them.

     Tomorrow morning I plan to go out riding and since my horse lives on the property where we painted on Friday I will bring my unfinished painting with me and see if I can complete it on site.  Not, however, from horseback:)

     Speaking of horses......I have had two life long passions, horses and art.  Horses came first and my obsession for drawing them had a lot to do with my becoming an artist.  I was that horse crazy kid I am sure many of you have known.  My parents said I started begging for one about the same time I started talking.  I am not sure that is an exageration!  Owning a horse was not possible and my folks were advised that I would eventually grow out of it.  Right!  I became very creative as a kid in finding ways to ride and when I couldn't I made myself happy by drawing horses and reading every novel ever written about them and seeing every movie.  I still tear up when I watch "National Velvet"!  Happily as an adult I have been able to be a horse owner and have been for 31 years!  So...where are the horses in my paintings you ask?  Good question.  I get asked that a lot and I am not sure what the answer is.  When I was a kid I always painted horses in a very romantic way, galloping with their manes flowing.  I don't think that is how I want to paint them now.  I will ponder this from the back of my mare Gypsy and see what I come up with.
Gypsy and Me, October 7, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Turkey Run Park and Madeira

Part of the view I was capturing

"Turkey Run" 14x11 oil on panel
           Thursday morning I met Linda Beardsley, Jack Dyer and Dick Neff at Turkey Run Park which is located along the George Washington Parkway overlooking the Potomac River.  We had hoped for some spectacular river views to paint but found the trails to the river almost vertical and slippery with leaves.  We opted to try our hands at the woodland views instead. It was a windy day making the light really shimmery and appealing but somehow I just didn't rise to the occasion.  I didn't make the right decisions early on and things got pretty muddy instead of the desired golden, flickering light.  I lightened things up when I got the painting home but the freshness was gone for me.  I have painted a fair number of woodland themed paintings but I usually hone in on rocks and streams and do them very close up.  I think I need to get out and practice in the woods a little more!

"Winding the Bend" 12x16 oil on panel (in progress)
       Friday morning I was happy to head to a more familiar scene.  I met Susan Johnson, Ellie Kilcline and Kim Stenberg at the Madeira School where we set up behind the chapel on the heights over the Potomac.  I have painted here many times and I think the view here is one of the most spectacular ones of the Potomac in the Washington DC area.  However, instead of painting my usual view I was surprised to be able see clearly down river for the first time and set up apart from my friends to capture this scene.  This is thanks to the fact that a tree went down and took a lot of the uderbrush with it.  I hate to see trees go but thank you Mother Nature for the new subject to paint!    
      The painting is incomplete and since I forgot to take a photo while I was working I will either have to go back when the light is similar or just finish from memory.  I will post the final painting when it is finished.  I am much more satisfied with this painting than the one from the day before!




Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Happy Ending!

Erik's Pond, 30x40 oil on linen
     Well, here is Erik's Pond all dressed up in it's beautiful new frame and hung in the place of honor over Erik's mantel! 
      Those of you who read my blog this summer would have followed this painting from the very beginning.  Actually before the beginning since I started posting about the commission when I showed you the four 8x10 studies I did for Erik to choose from.  After that I posted the progress of the painting from the underpainting, through the "tunnel of ugly" to it's emergence as the finished painting.  I am very pleased with it and more importantly Erik was:)
                                                                                                                                                                Thank you Erik for sending this photo.  It is great to be able to see it in place!  I have no idea where most of my paintings are and I sometimes wonder about them.  I hope it will live in this place and be a source of pleasure for Erik and his family for a long time.
            Tomorrow I will show you what I have been doing for the last couple of days.  The fall weather has been spectacular so I have been outdoors virtually all day everyday and have been off painting with friends and riding my horse.  I got one good painting under way thanks to Friday's paint out but the painting from Thursday is screaming for help!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Berry Strawberry!

"Berry Strawberry! 8x6 oil on panel
       Today was a very rainy and windy day so it was a great time to stay in the studio and get going on those small works I was talking about.  This little 8x6 inch painting was the result of today's efforts.  I had some great looking strawberries (now a little worse for wear) and I always like to paint reflective surfaces so the little pewter bowl seemed a good pairing with the berries.
      I guess the title is a little corny but once it entered my mind I couldn't come up with anything else:) 
     I plan on painting out both tomorrow and Friday unless rained on again in which case I will do another couple of 6x8 paintings in the studio.  I guess I should start thinking of subjects.  Maybe a trip to the grocery store is in order....Back with more tomorrow!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Plein Air Show and Tell

"Wide Water at the Old Angler's Inn", 12x16 oil on panel
     Today I was confined to home waiting for our plumber.  Somehow when I think of the great artists I have studied and admired I don't think of them doing things like waiting for plumbers, walking and cleaning up after their dogs etc. I think of them leading romantic lives and completely devoting themselves to their art.  What a fairy tale!  I am sure there are some that fit that mold but I am betting more of them had concerns similar to mine and most of the artists I know.  Even Vermeer had a business to run and struggled to find time to paint. So, I turned a sows ear into a silk purse and had a great day in the studio instead of getting out to paint.  I did the finishing on yesterdays plein air painting that I had posted I would do and here is the completed painting.  I hope you enjoy it!

"Festival Tents" 11x14 oil on panel

    I forgot to show you the finished painting from last week's paint out at the Alexandria West End Art and Wine Festival. "Festival Tents" captures the brilliant sunlight on the tents and the dappled shade that inspired me to paint it.  This is a better image than the one I posted on my website because this is in natural light.  I will have to replace the other with this. 

     Below is a painting I completely forgot about and it was sitting in it's wet paint carrier since September. I painted it from our porch at the beach.  I may actually hold on to this one and hang it in the beach house, I think it belongs there.

"End of Summer" 11x14 oil on panel