Friday, December 21, 2012

Season's Greetings!

Ginger, Twinkle and Lucky
     The year has been a whirlwind!  It has definitely been one of highs and lows.  Although I have much to be thankful for during this holiday season I am very aware of the sadness, despair and pain being suffered by so many others.  It is difficult to feel the joy and peace that the songs of the season extoll.  Somehow we really have to do better.  We have the tools and the intelligence.
       My family (human, canine and equine) is healthy and happy.  I can't ask for more than that!  I hope that many of my readers can say the same.

       My last post was quite some time ago.  I have been busy like the rest of you bustling around getting ready for the holidays.  I have also been busy in the studio with sketching, prepping plein air panels and framing.  I know better than to start anything major until after the first of the year.  I hate working in a stop and go mode and it always shows in the paintings.  I only have a small bit of work to do on the commission I talked about which is a large version of the small plein air painting I showed you "Clouds and Gulls".  As soon as it is finished I will post it.

We are planning to be on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for New Years and if you go back to the posts at the end of December 2011 you can see the plein air work I did there last year.  We had extraordinary weather and I am hoping for the same this year.  I will have plenty to work on in the studio when we come home.
     This will probably be my last post until after Christmas.  I want to wish you all health, happiness, optimism, prosperity, in short...everything good!  We need it.  You deserve it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Show Time

"Morning, Washington Square Park" 20x16 oil on gessoboard
This is always a busy time of the year because of the holidays but it is also busy because of the number of art exhibits going on.  There have been plenty all fall and I will be hopping  until the end of January. 

The painting on the left, "Morning, Washington Square Park" is currently on exhibit at THE ART LEAGUE GALLERY in Alexandria for this month's juried all media show. The show opened Wednesday, December 5th and will be on display until January 2nd. You can view the entire show by going to the webpage and click on the Flkr symbol. The inspiration for the painting was the same August morning I spent in that park (which is located in Greenwich Village, NYC) and was inspired to paint "5th and Waverly".  That painting was on exhibit last month at the Salmagundi Club, NYC.

     THE 104th ANNUAL THUMB BOX SHOW at the SALMAGUNDI CLUB opened last night and will be on exhibit until January 7th 2013.  This show is one of my favorites.  It is a much anticipated show each year for many New Yorkers as it is an opportunity to purchase a small gem of a painting for a small price!  Perfect for finding the perfect gift for the holidays. No image can be larger than 8x10 inches. This year I sent two 8x10 inch plein air paintings from the Outer Banks as well as an 8x6 inch painting of my granddaughter Jesse knitting.  This 2012 show looks especially good and there truly is something there for everyone.  If you go to the Salmagundi Blog, The Salmagundian and go to the December 3rd post you can take a virtual tour of the show wall by wall.  My paintings come up towards the end on frame 69.  Below are the three paintings I have in the show.  I should say "had" in the show as "Clouds and Gulls" sold last night at the opening.  Since the show will be running until January I have the option to send another painting up to replace the one that sold.  I plan to do that.
                                                                       "Clouds and Gulls" 8x10 oil on linen panel

               "The Knitter" 8x6 oil on linen panel            

"Deer Track on the Dune" 8x10 oil on linen panel

ALSO ON EXHIBIT:  From my last post..."Storm Clouds Over Morven Park" is on exhibit in the lobby of the Marion duPont Scott, Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia

Online through December 30th....THE AMERICAN ARTISTS PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE'S 84th GRAND NATIONAL.  "Camelot on the Potomac" is on exhibit there.
Also online through December 30th....THE 77th AUDUBON ARTISTS ANNUAL EXHIBIT. "Morning at River Bend" is on exhibit in that show.

"May Morning Above the Potomac" 24x30 oil on linen
SOLD and off to a wonderful new home "May Morning Above the Potomac" will now be residing above the Potomac down river from where it was painted.  Dick and I had the pleasure of delivering this painting to its new owner and assisting in hanging it.  It is beautifully placed and I am proud to be the new addition to this collectors fine collection of landscape paintings. I have also received an invitation from the owner to come paint from the balcony with a magnificent view of Old Town Alexandria, the Potomac and the Wilson Bridge.  I plan on doing just that this spring!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Return to the Virginia Tech Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center

Dr. James Brown and me with "Storm Clouds Over Morven Park"
(Morven Park is the adjoining property and what I was looking towards)
This time I returned to the Equine Center sans horse but with this painting in tow instead.  Gypsy was back home happily munching hay having made a full recovery from her surgery this summer.  Some of you who are long time readers of this blog are familiar with the saga of Gypsy during July, August and September.  Dr. Brown was her surgeon and he performed emergency colic surgery on her on July 11th.  That was the beginning of a 19 day odyssey. If you go back to my July and August entries you can read the story and see this painting progress from the beginning.

      Regarding the painting....I believe it was July 18th when this massive thunderstorm was rolling in as I was preparing to leave the Center.  I knew I needed to get on the road and beat the storm home but I just had to take some photos first.  As I was doing that words went through my head such as, overwhelming, frightening, threatening, uncertain but beautiful.  I was aware that some of those words described what my experience there at the Equine Center was.  When I got home I printed out some of the photos and got to work on drawings as I knew I wanted to paint this. Working in the studio after my visits really helped me to unwind.  The title ,"Storm Clouds Over Morven Park",was clear from the beginning.  I know it is an obvious metaphor but it certainly was not contrived.  The drawing selected, the canvas prepared and the layout oil sketched in, I started the painting in earnest the day Gypsy came home.  It only took a couple of days to complete as I knew exactly what I wanted.  I also knew that I wanted this painting to help me thank and give support back to the Equine Center.
       The painting will be on display in the lobby of the Virginia Tech Marion duPont Scott Equine Center in Leesburg Virginia.  It is for sale and all the proceeds of the sale will go to the Center as an unrestricted gift. We timed the delivery of it to coincide with the beginning of a series of Tuesday Talks which will take place there in the lobby.  Dr. Brown will be giving the first talk this Tuesday evening, December 4th at 7:00 PM and I look forward to attending.
      Anyone interested in the purchase of this painting should contact Richard Gargagliano or Sharon Peart at the Virginia Tech Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center.  You might also enjoy an online visit to the Equine Center at  You can take a virtual tour and also read about all the state of the art medical assistance available there.

I love this photo of Gypsy taken a couple of days before our discharge.
She looked so wistful, I wonder what she was thinking...


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


"Different Paths" 18x24 oil on gessoboard
     This painting and the one before it, "Daybreak on the Inlet"  took forever to photograph!  That is one reason I haven't posted.  This is about as close as I could get but the original has a little more blue/purple in the sky, however, not as much as what you saw in the post before.  I tried everything, times of day, camera settings, supplemental light and finally I got this.  I will also post another copy of "Daybreak" as the last one was too purple.  I had great fun painting them though:)

    Since I finally got some decent photos I went ahead with the update to my website.  Yes, wonder of wonders I updated it.  I don't want to get that far behind again.  I think the last exhibit I posted was in May! I still haven't weaned out the older work nor have I made the format changes I thought I would make.  I felt it more important just to get the information up there. All this social media has its perks but it sure is time consuming and I would really rather be painting.  Still, it is nice to be able to share my work, thoughts and experiences as a painter with a much larger audience.  It is also good for me to go back and read about my own experiences just as artists used to do with their journals.

THE 129TH SALMAGUNDI MEMBERS EXHIBIT is in full swing having been delayed for almost two weeks by Hurricane Sandy.  Although the Club has posted a walk through of the show for members they have not as yet posted the images on the website but I believe there is a plan to do so.  I think they all need a break up there!  Many members suffered damage to their homes and the Club also had to make repairs not to mention not having power for days.  Having a truncated exhibition time pales by comparison.  I am just thankful it got hung at all!  You can read about the exhibit at

I have been busy working with the Art League in my capacity as a member of the Board of Directors for the last couple of days so I have not yet started my commissioned painting.  I plan to do so over the Thanksgiving Holiday and will post as soon as it is underway.  I don't have to cook!  We're going to my son's house:)
"Daybreak on the Inlet" 20x16 oil on gessoboard

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Different Paths", still in progress

"Different Paths" 18x24 oil on gessoboard
    We are back in town and I resumed work on "Different Paths" today. The only thing I don't like about this time of year is the shortness of the days.  I had to stop work around 4:00 because I had been working in natural light and when I turned the lights on I was concerned I would make changes I would later regret.  This really needs just one more session to complete and then I will let it sit for a time before I consider it finished.  This has gone as planned from the beginning so I think it will be a keeper.

      What is next?  I have a commission I need to start work on.  I have primed and toned the 24x30 gallery wrap canvas and will get it going this week.  The painting will be based on my 8x10 plein air painting "Clouds and Gulls".  Since that is one of the paintings that will be going to the Salmagundi Club for the annual Thumb Box Show in December I want to start the larger version right away since I will be working from the smaller painting.  I can photograph it but I would prefer to have the actual painting in front of me.  I will also be working on some drawings in preparation for two more paintings I am eager to start.  I will talk about them in an upcoming post and hope to have some sketches to show you.

        I know I posted an image of my recent painting "Daybreak on the Inlet" just short of completion so I now want to show you the finished piece.  I have been looking at it long enough to know I will leave it alone.  I debated whether or not to paint over areas where I let some of the underpainting show through but I like the effect and the coloration it gives to the clouds is in fact what nature does.  So, here it is...
"Daybreak on the Inlet" 20x16 oil on gessoboard

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A New Painting in Progress

"Different Paths" 18x24 oil on gessoboard
     As for most people here in the Mid Atlantic the time between Hurricane Sandy and election day was an extremely busy one.  There was precious little time to paint and I have a lot of paintings begging for my time. 
     After voting I headed down to the Art League to hang the November show and upon arriving home around 8:00 I found myself immediately pulled in by the election coverage.  I forced myself to turn off the TV and get some sleep as I was pretty well exhausted and it was a challenge to keep myself from turning it back on.  Instead I awoke at 5:00 AM to get the news. I am seldom up at that hour and I couldn't get back to sleep so I headed to the studio to start work on a painting that was in my head.  I was going to photograph it from the very start but I was completely immersed in it and didn't stop until it had reached this stage.  It is well on its way!  The title is "Different Paths" and at this point that does not seem a clear title for this work but it will be.  I am glad I was able to bring it this far in the one session because I am leaving town tomorrow for a few days.  At this stage I am OK with working wet on dry as I have a lot of good painterly wet on wet going on.

THE SALMAGUNDI CLUB ANNUAL MEMBERS SHOW will open this Wednesday the 14th and run until November 30th.  If you are in NYC do stop in to see it and if not you will be able to view it online at  The Club address is 47 5th Ave. NY, NY.  See the post below to view my painting that will be part of this show.

Friday, October 26, 2012

129th Annual Member's Exhibition

"5th and Waverly" 20x16 oil on gessoboard
     This is my accepted entry for this major exhibit at the Salmagundi Club.  I say major because it is the most historic exhibit held at the Club and the one that members submit their best work for.  We usually are able to submit 2 or 3 works to be juried for shows and can have all of them accepted.  This exhibit only allows us to submit one work.  I held several favorites in reserve for this show and I waffled back and forth about which one to submit.  I wondered if sending a NYC scene would be like sending coal to Newcastle or would it strike a cord.  Two of my three candidates were NY scenes.  Finally I chose "5th and Waverly".  I really enjoy this one and I really enjoyed painting it!  Go back on the menu to, I think, either August or September of 2011 and you can watch  the progress on this painting from the very first strokes.  Maybe it was July?  I should have checked first but you can find it.

     Well, Sandy the "Frankenstorm" is expected to arrive sometime on Sunday evening.  I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't feel sure we will be losing power again.  All you have to do is sneeze in this neighborhood and the power goes out.  Discouraging!  I am also annoyed with myself for procrastinating all month about getting out and painting.  October offered some beautiful days but I always seemed to have something else that needed doing and I kept feeling there was still enough time to paint the foliage.  This year peak color was reached early and now with this storm imminent I think it is fair to say we will be kissing the leaves good bye:(   Bummer.

      THE 129TH ANNUAL MEMBER'S EXHIBITION; Monday, November 5 through Friday, November 30, 2012.  The main gallery at the Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Ave., NY, NY

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Morning on the Inlet

"Morning on the Inlet" 20x16 oil on gessoboard
     Here is the finished version of the painting I have been showing you in progress over the last two posts.  Actually I still have some rigging to add on the boat but at this point I want to have the paint really dry.  I usually don't wait this long to add details like rigging because I prefer to do lines like that by dragging the end of the handle of my brush through the wet paint.  Also there is less at stake at that point.  I didn't do that on this painting because the lines would be too light if scraped down to the ochre underpainting.  I would rather they be blue/gray and in shadow.  I will use my rigger brush, take a deep breath and just do the lines in single strokes.  I hope.

       As you can see I have given it a title.  The inlet referred to is the inlet  from the Cornell Boat House out to Lake Cayuga in Ithaca New York.  We were fortunate to have such a beautiful dawn to witness.

       ON EXHIBIT:  Just a reminder that the exhibition "Color Sphere" runs until November 2nd at the Art League Gallery in Old Town Alexandria.  My painting "May Morning Above the Potomac" won an honorable mention in this show.  The Art League Bin Gallery has my plein air painting "Fast Moving Clouds" on view for the same dates as "Color Sphere".
        ONLINE SHOWS:  American Artists Professional League 84th Grand National can be viewed at My painting "Camelot on the Potomac" is part of this show.
Also online is Audubon Artists Annual Show 2012 at and my painting "Morning at River Bend" is part of that exhibit.

       Continued good news!  Today I received notice that my entry for the Salmagundi Club's Annual Member Exhibit, "Fifth and Waverly" has been accepted for that show.  That will take place at the Club in the Main Gallery and I will post an image and dates soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Second Session

Untitled, 20x16 oil on gessoboard
      This is shaping up rather quickly.  I was still working wet into wet here but areas of the painting are beginning to set up already and that in between stage is always tricky.  I might let the sky dry a little more before adding some finishing touches but the paint on the water is still very wet and workable. 
       Next session I will work on the shoreline and bring in the dock.  The hill and the glow behind it needs touching up.  The last thing I will do is the rigging on the boat.  I still don't have a title in mind.  This is at the break of day on Lake Cuyaga in Ithaca NY.  I decided to edit out the other boats and just have the one vessel.  Somewhere between "dawn" and "vessel" there is a title lurking

       I am pleased to be included in so many shows right now and you can read the post below to find links to them.  I am beginning to get ready for several small works exhibits which are always popular in November and December.  The largest paintings will be 8x10 and I will also have some 6x8's. I will post about them as soon as I know what is going where.

     Instead of riding everyday I should be out painting in this remarkable weather.  I love this season so much!  I am outdoors most of the day and start my studio work late in the afternoon.  I know I will be spending most of my time in the studio all too soon so I want to maximize the time I have outside.  My horse Gypsy is really getting her strength back and I tell myself I need to ride everyday for her sake but really it is for both of us.  I will take a day off this week and spend a day painting somewhere.  I might go back to the Marion du Pont Center where she was hospitalized and paint that wonderful landscape.

           A fun event is coming up at the Art League in Alexandria.  ART ON THE ROCKS!  This is an annual event at the gallery. Six Old Town Alexandria restaurants send their mixologists to create a drink inspired by the art work of their choice from the current show. This month the show is "COLOR SPHERE" and in my last post you can see the painting I have in this show. Besides a creative drink the restaurants also provide hors d'oeuvres.   The ticket price is $35 which entitles you to all six drinks ( if you can handle it) and the food provided.  The event takes place WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24TH from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.   I will definitely be attending, hopefully with a couple of friends.  You can read more on the Art League blog.  Go to and click on the symbol for the blog at the lower right hand corner of the opening page.  You can see what art works were selected to be cocktails this year:)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More First Strokes

To Be Determined...
   Yesterday afternoon I started a new painting.  It is 20x16 and is on gessoboard.  Instead of leaving the board smooth I chose to texture it heavily with gesso and then lay down a yellow ochre underpainting.  Sometimes I enjoy the way the grooves left by the gesso brush grab the paint.  I had fun just moving color around and making vague commitments. As you will see in the second photo, I do have a plan in mind and the final painting will be very much like I have sketched out.  The paint dries more slowly on gessoboard so I will be working wet into wet over the next couple of days.  I took it much further today but forgot to take a photo before it got dark.  So far so good!
        The photo below shows the thumbnail sketch on graph paper that allows me to more easily set up the composition on the gessoboard.  Perhaps when you click on the photo you will be able to see the texture of the board.  My early morning photo of boats on Lake Cuyuga in Ithaca NY is my color reference and the inspiration for the painting.

Ready to start

EXHIBITS:  "Sunrise, Sunset" at the Salmagundi Club in NYC closed on October 5th and I am happy to report that all three of my paintings in the show sold.  One of them is coming back to my own neighborhood!  A neighbor who already owns an 8x10 sunrise painting of mine now has a companion piece in the 8x10 "Millwood Pond, Sunset".
   "Color Sphere" at the Art League Gallery, Alexandria VA will be on view until Monday, November 1st.  On exhibit is "May Morning Above the Potomac".  The artists reception will be tomorrow evening from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
     "84th Grand National Exhibition", The American Artists Professional League Inc. You can view my "Camelot on the Potomac" as well as many other beautiful paintings until December 30th at
     Audubon Artists Incorporated, Annual Show 2012,  I am participating in this show for the first time and there is much for you to view there as well.  My painting in that show is "Morning at River Bend" and you can view all at  This show will also run through December.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On Exhibit

"Morning at River Bend" 11x14 oil on panel
     As many of my artist friends know, exhibiting ones work can be a feast or famine.  Like it says in my blog title, the highs and lows of being an artist.  Well this month is a feast month.  Believe me I can use the boost! 
     The image on the left is the painting that was accepted for the Audubon Artists 2012 Annual Show.  It is a small plein air painting that I did last August while painting with friends at River Bend Park on the Potomac in Great Falls.  Yes, the Potomac River is my favorite subject! That shadow on the right is being cast by the frame and I didn't want to crop the image to remove it as it would have cut off some of the rock formation.  This is one of my personal favorites among my plein air paintings.  I hope it will find a loving home:)
      The Audubon Artists are not, as you might expect, a group of artists exclusively involved in creating paintings concerning conservation or birds.  In fact the only connection to Audubon is that he was one of the founding members and they used to meet at his home.  This is another group that usually has its show at the Salmagundi Club in NYC but for the same reasons (renovations) that I mentioned in my last post concerning the AAPL, this show will also be held online this year.  The show will run from October 9th until December 31st.  You can read about the organization (I love their mission statement) on their website  and that is where you should go to see the show when it opens on the 9th.  I have also accepted their generous offer of membership and I am now an Audubon artist!
"May Morning Above the Potomac", 24x30 oil on linen
 ON EXHIBIT AT THE ART LEAGUE GALLERY:  I have just returned from hanging the monthly show at the Art League Gallery.  I have enjoyed chairing the hanging committee for over seven years now and I must confess I enjoy it more when I am part of the show:)  My committe likes it better too because they don't have to hear the gnashing of teeth or my mutterings.  So what I am saying is my painting, pictured above, is part of this month's show.  The title of the show is "Color Sphere" and as the theme suggests the gallery is bursting with it!  I am also happy to say that my painting received an Honorable Mention.  As my fellow Art Leaguer's know it is good to savor the moment because you never know what will happen the next month.  That famine I mentioned earlier is not unknown to me. There are so many entries each month and even though the gallery is a large one it is not large enough for all of us.  I pity the jurors.
"Fast Moving Clouds", 9x12 oil on gessoboard
        This painting was painted last April from the deck of our house in Duck, North Carolina.  I am painting from the west deck which overlooks Currituck Sound and I am looking North with the bulk of the Sound off to my left.  Currituck Sound is another favorite subject of mine, particulary in the evening. The sunsets are incredible!
     I know I said yesterday that today I was going to write about my thoughts concerning online exhibits but I am running out of steam.  That will be a good subject for tomorrow.  It is time for me to call it a day!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The American Artists Professional League 84th Grand National Exhibit

"Camelot on the Potomac" 30x24 oil on linen
     I mentioned yesterday that I have paintings juried in  both the Audubon Artists Annual show and the AAPL 84th Grand National.  The latter opens first so I will start with that.
      On the left is the painting that will be in that show.  The starting point for the view is looking up river (the Potomac) from the Chain Bridge. For those of you unfamiliar with this area the Chain Bridge crosses the Potomac between Virginia (on the left here) and Washington DC (on the right side). I have painted this view many times but this time I took some liberties with it.  In reality there is an arm of land that runs into the river from the right and from the bridge you get the impression that it extends all the way across.  It would come across just about at the point where you see the castle but I wanted the river to flow uninterrupted to the horizon. The view beyond that point is true to the site.  The doesn't exist there.  However, it does exist further down the river at the Georgetown Reservoir.  I just decided to move it up river because the painting was begging for a castle.  Ah, artists license!

      About the show and the AAPL.  Usually this organization holds this show at the Salmagundi Club in NYC.  I had a painting exhibited in last year's show and we went up for the opening reception.  It was a wonderful show and therefore I was eager to enter again this year.  I am really happy to be included again!  What will be different this year is the show will be held online.  As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts the Club has been experiencing some renovations and it was supposed to be closed at this time to restore the ceiling in the main gallery to its original state as a huge skylight.  Because of that the AALP was going to have to find another location.  They were not able to find one that offered the space that the Salmagundi has and decided to take the bold step of holding the show online instead. When the Club announced that the skylight plan had been decided against and the regular show schedule could resume it was a little late for the AALP to reverse its plan.  So, this will be interesting.
       The show will open on Saturday, October 6th and will run until Sunday, December 30th.  All paintings on exhibit will be for sale and instructions for purchase will be posted online. There will be a catalogue of the exhibit for sale.  You can read about the American Artists Professional League by visiting their website   That is also the link you will need to view the show starting on Saturday.  I will keep listing it in future posts.
       I have some thoughts, both plus and minus, on the subject of online exhibits.  There are more and more of them and I would like to talk about that in my next post. Check back tomorrow for the Audubon painting!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Everything Going on at Once!

"September Afternoon at the Barn", 9x12 oil on gessoboard
      I have been away.  Just for a long weekend and I will talk about that in a moment but first I wanted to show you the finished painting that you could see on my plein air easel in the last post.  As I walked into the studio this morning and saw it sitting there along with the other paintings I did this summer I was struck by how bright, happy and up beat they all were.  You would think I had the most pleasant summer enjoying beautiful weather without a care in the world.  If you have been reading this blog then you know quite the opposite is true.  I shed a lot of tears this summer. 
     A comment was left on my last post questioning why art was so important to some of us. He asked for enlightenment from anyone out there.  I often wonder the same.  I sometimes get glimpses of why it is so for me.  I just made the observation that my paintings this summer were so different from my experience.  Clearly, for me, art does not always express what I am feeling but rather what I want to feel.  It was an escape for me this summer.  I missed painting so much.  I did what I could and when I did I wanted to be outdoors revelling in the light, colors and peace around me. I was not feeling peaceful but I found it in those moments.
       I have had two life long passions.  Horses and art.  My family and I have no idea why I have always adored horses and have needed to be near them.  I certainly wasn't surrounded by them in my childhood.  I lived just outside NYC in a suburban community and my mother had to drive me 45 minutes for a once a week riding lesson.  When I couldn't be near horses I painted and drew them.  I think I learned to draw because of horses. Owning a horse was out of the question. Again, it was something I didn't have but wanted and the drawings helped.  I could create whatever horse I desired.
      My mother had an easier time fanning the fire where my passion for art was concerned.  I had plenty of art supplies, art books and many trips to NYC to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Throughout my life my two passions have given me much.  They are somehow linked.  Sometimes more time is spent on the one rather than the other which was the case this summer.  However, I wonder how much the success of the summer paintings and the joy I had painting them was because of the troubles in the equine part of my life.

ON EXHIBIT:  A very busy fall is ahead.  I will give more information on these exhibits in separate posts but will mention here that I have been juried into the AUDUBON ARTISTS 70th ANNUAL SHOW and the AMERICAN ARTISTS PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE 84th GRAND NATIONAL.  Both shows open the end of this week and I will post the paintings and give you the information tomorrow.
SUNRISE, SUNSET, at the Salmagundi Club, NYC is in its last week and the final day for placing a bid on the paintings I showed you in the earlier posts will be Friday the 5th. 

COMING UP:  THE ANNUAL MEMBERS SHOW at the Salmagundi which will open in November and
THE ANNUAL THUMB BOX SHOW at the Salmagundi which will open in December

      I mentioned I was away.....Thursday through Saturday we were in Ithaca New York which is one of my favorite places on earth.  Driving north was like driving through the seasons.  We left home in 80+ degree weather with green leaves on the trees.  By the time we were in Pennsylvania the temperature had dropped considerably and the fall colors were well underway. By the time we reached Ithaca it was 54 degrees and the leaves were almost at peak color!
      We were there both to see our granddaughter who is at Ithaca College and also to attend an event we sponsor each year at Cornell University.  I took so many photos with both my i phone and Nikon!  Everywhere I looked I could see a painting.  I have so many ideas in my head that I will have to start painting like crazy.  I will share below just two of the hundreds of images I took.  The two I show you here were taken on the inlet near the Cornell Boat House and we were heading out to the open water on Lake Cayuga.  Cayuga is one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.  All are very beautiful and deep glacial lakes. I hope you enjoy these photos.

Early morning, the launches heading out to view the crew races. I am taking this photo from the third launch
Two of the crews rowing for home

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gypsy Update

Painting in Progress, 9x12 oil on gessoboard
      Back in July I posted images of my mare Gypsy in the isolation unit at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center where she had colic surgery and was hospitalized for 19 days.  She came home the first week of August and everything was progressing nicely...until it wasn't.  She ended up back in the hospital last week heading back down the colic trail but happily we nipped this one in the bud.  Both episodes occurred after severe storms that brought a dramatic change in climate.  We are quite certain there is a connection.  Anyway, she is back home and we are picking up where we left off.  I am able to ride her at the walk now and since the property she lives on is very hilly we go hill climbing.  Needless to say my commitment to her has really had an impact on my plein air painting this summer.  The current weather is entirely too good to miss so today I packed my gear and after our ride, with Gypsy happily back in  her stall munching hay, I set up under a large shade tree and started this painting of the barn.
     The broad path you see runs all through the various fields and that is what Gypsy and I go walking on every morning.  Over hill and dale you could say:)  The barn is a perfect subject to paint with its white walls and bright red roof contrasting with the greens and golds of the trees and grass and the brilliant blue sky.  This little painting is off to a good start and I plan to finish it tomorrow.  There is a lot to paint here so I think my Jeep will stay packed with my gear.  I miss painting with my plein air group but at least I am out painting!  Most of my friends prefer to paint in the morning but since it is now cooler maybe I can convince some of them to join me here.

     ON EXHIBIT:  "Sunrise, Sunset" opened Monday at the Salmagundi Club in NYC.  As explained in my last post this is a silent auction.  Bidding started on Wednesday the 19th and will continue until the exhibit closes on Friday, October 5th.  Go to to read more.  You can call to place a bid (212-255-7740)
     There will be a lot on the schedule this fall so be sure to check back to see what will be where!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Show Opens at the Salmagundi Club

Summer Evening, Millwood Pond, 8x10 oil on linen panel
     Today the exhibit "Sunrise, Sunset" opened at the Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Ave. NY, NY.  As I talked about in my last post I have three paintings in this show and all are sunset views of Millwood Pond in Great Falls, VA.   The show is a fundraiser for the Club building fund and sales will be by silent auction.  In the spirit of the event I have made the amount for my opening bid on each painting very low, just $160 each.  I must say my hope is that all three will be purchased as a set.  I became quite used to looking at them in that way while they resided in my studio. However, what will be will be.  All three are framed as you see here.
     This year the Salmagundi is making sure our 1852, historic club house remains structurally and aesthetically sound.  It is the last remaining brownstone mansion on lower 5th Avenue and if you care to take the virtual tour at you will see it is a stunning building.  Recently the television show "Law and Order" used the two parlors on the main floor to shoot one of their episodes.  It was sort of fun to see it in a different context.  Anyway, part of the plan was to return the large tray ceiling in the main gallery back to its original state which was a huge glass and iron skylight.  We were all excited about the prospect of all that natural light!  There aren't many galleries that could boast a ceiling like that.  However, further studies made it clear that the huge expense would have required taking out a loan and there would also be maintenance expenses after completion.  The Board voted to retain the existing ceiling (which is already incredibly nice) and just improve the gallery lighting.  I was a little disappointed but I have to say they made the right decision.  It is wiser to spend the money on less sexy but vital improvements.  Also wiser not to be in debt!  Hence the additional fundraiser.  I say additional because traditionally there is a live auction every fall and spring.  The fall auction will be coming up in October.  The other advantage is that we are back on the annual show schedule which was going to be disrupted because of the construction.  So, I had better get cracking and decide what I am entering and get the pieces framed!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Sunrise, Sunset"

"Summer Evening, Millwood Pond", 8x10 oil on linen panel
      "Sunrise, Sunset" is the theme of the upcoming exhibit in the main gallery at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.  All three of the paintings shown on this page have been juried into this show.  I have changed the titles from when I showed them in earlier posts because I didn't want to just go with the same title and then #1,2,3.  All were paintings done as studies for the large painting I did on commission in July 2011.  The commissioned painting is titled "Erik's Pond" as it is Erik who owns the beatiful Millwood Pond.  You can go back to my posts from July 2011 to see that painting in progress.  You will quickly see that it was study #3 which was the one Erik chose as the model for the final painting.

"Afterglow on Millwood Pond", 8x10 oil on linen panel
     The exhibit will run from Monday, September 17 through Friday, October 5, 2012.  What is interesting is that the paintings will be sold via silent auction and 50% of the sale will go to the Club BuildingFund.  (More about that in another post) Rather than price the paintings we have been asked to put a minimum bid amount for each painting.  We have also been asked to keep the minimum bid low to encourage bidding and sales.  I have done that.  The opening bid for each of these works will be only $160!  So, if any of you out there have been thinking you would like to own one of my paintings this is a great opportunity to get one at a very good price. 
     The auction will begin on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH.  So, mark  you calendars!

"Millwood Pond, Sunset" 8x10 oil on panel
     If  you want to place a bid you should contact the Salmagundi Club starting on that date.  The address is 47 5th Ave., NY, NY 10003.  The phone number is 202-255-7740.
I will post more information as I receive it and there may be a way to place a bid online.  I will find out.  Meanwhile, I have to hustle and get these packed and shipped in time for receiving up there. 
     I think this will be a beautiful exhibit.  I can only imagine the impact of color upon entering the gallery!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sunfish Off Daingerfield Island

"Sunfish Off Daingerfield Island", 12x24 oil on gessoboard
     As anticipated it didn't take long to finish this painting today.  I have renamed it preferring this title to the title in my last post.  At the end I found it tricky to indicate the figures on the boats but felt they were necessary.  It was important that they just be tiny gestures.  I also questioned the wisdom of the brightly colored sail on the boat in the foreground and briefly turned it to white but I didn't like it so I went back to the colors.  I started with them more muted but one of the last things I did was amp up the color because I just plain liked it that way.  To support the stronger color I made sure I put more warm tones in the water beneath the boat. I added a pronounced, orangey shadow and allowed more of the orange underpainting show through the blue paint in that part of the painting. Without those additions the boat would have look tacked on.  So, now I need to put it out of harms way.  That is to say I need to put it in the closet so I don't fiddle with it.  This is a happy, spontaneous painting and I want to keep it that way:)

     I received a shipment of frames today so tomorrow I will unpack them and frame some pieces to take to the Art League on Monday.  I enjoy framing my paintings.  I like to put on an old movie when I frame and just relax.  I can't decide what I want to start next but I have a number of paintings in mind and will start sketching them out.  I do need to have a black and white in play because so much of my work time is stretching into the evening. I can work on the black and whites in changing light much more easily than works in color.

     GYPSY UPDATE: She is doing really, really well. I spend the mornings with her and usually get home around 1:30.  We have a routine down and she seems to thrive on it.  I hand walk her and graze her everyday and as I look at her it is as though she is slowly being inflated back to her normal self.  The weight is finally starting to come back on.  I have been taking photos and will choose a good one to upload on my next post.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Work in Progress

"Sailing School off Daingerfield Island", 12x24 oil on gessoboard
     If you go back to my post on August 16th you will see the start of this painting on my easel at Daingerfield Island on the Potomac.  My desire was to go back to that site to complete the painting but it seems that the only times available to me were ones that weren't very good for working on this piece.  Today would have been wonderful because it was sunny, the skies brilliant and the temperature perfect.  A nicer day than the one when the painting was begun.  So, since there wasn't the time to get to Daingerfield I worked on the painting in the studio and only had to look out the windows to see the sky I wanted in the painting.  The clouds had already been added on the 16th but the colors in them were more intense late this afternoon as was the blue of the sky.I am keeping it loose as I do when painting plein air and you can see that I have chosen to let some of the underpainting show through as it represents the light hitting the water surface in those areas.  The underpainting I used was a wash of cadmium orange.  I often use that for sunny day paintings. 
      As you can see I have begun adding the boats and am pleased with this placement of them.  I won't need much time tomorrow afternoon to finish this.

      My studio is filled with summer paintings and I have them lined up around me for inspiration.  I wish there was a place I could exhibit them all together.  Because of my need to care for my horse Gypsy this summer I didn't paint out as often as I usually do this time of year but somehow managed to put together a good series of paintings.  They are happy paintings.  I wonder how they will look combined with my fall paintings from last year and I will lay some of those out with them tomorrow.  It is a good way to see where I am going stylistically.  I seem to have evolved into impressionism.  Interesting.  How I paint plein air has affected how I paint in the studio and I think it is a good thing!

      Regarding my website.... what began as procrastination has turned into thoughts about rearranging it.  I am glad I didn't go ahead and upload everything as I think I will create new pages to divide the work up more.  I have actually begun to plan it so I should have it completed soon.  If you have never visited it before you can click on this  Also, visit the Salmagundi online exhibit at  It is the "Summer Potpourri" exhibit of member works.  Go to the bottom of page 13 and the top of 14 for my paintings.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Day of Inspiration, the George Bellows Exhibit

"The Lone Tenement" by George Bellows 36 1/8"x 48 1/8"
     Today my husband and I spent the afternoon at the National Gallery of Art here in Washington DC to see the huge exhibit of paintings, drawings and prints by George Bellows.  Jaw dropping!  I have seen many a wonderful exhibit here at the NGA but I think this one tops them all! 
     The painting I have posted here belongs to the NGA permanent collection and I took this photo back in January when it was hanging in its usual spot in the American galleries.  Today while part of this enormous,  special exhibit I was unable to take pictures of it or any other painting in the show which is customary in a special, travelling exhibit.  There were so many Bellows paintings here beyond what I have seen in my lifetime either at museums or in books.  The accompanying exhibition catalogue is a gem and was a must buy for me.  It is packed with color plates some taking up both pages and the colors are spot on.  I was relieved because there are so many paintings I want to remember and study.  The River scenes are my favorites and this painting "The Lone Tenement" has been one of my favorites for a long time.  Another thing that struck me was the remarkable condition the paintings are in.  Some of the sea scapes look as though they were just painted they were so fresh.  Happily the show is up until October 8th which will allow for repeat visits and it is free.  It will be travelling to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC next and then to the National Gallery in London.  If you are able to visit any of these institutions I doubt you will be disappointed in this exhibit.

"Evening on the Pond #1" 8x10 oil on linen panel
      So, what have I been up to?  I haven't had time to blog, that's for sure.  I have been taking photos of paintings, varnishing, framing and getting show entries in.  I will upload more photos ( as soon as I take them) of the three paintings I am sending to the Salmagundi Club for "Sunrise, Sunset". Pictured above is one of the three, all of which are part of a series of paintings I did in preparation for "Erik's Pond".  I have been doing some sketching for new paintings and I must say that after seeing the Bellows exhibit I am itching to do some more cityscapes.  I guess you could say I am in organization and planning mode.  I also want to finish my Daingerfield Island painting and it would be great to get back there this week.
      I won't bother to say "more tomorrow" because I don't seem able to keep that promise.  After all painting is the main thing and I am sure you get that.

      Lastly, I want to recommend the Art League auction of faculty paintings that begins at 6:00 PM this evening and runs until 5:00 PM on the 28th.  If you go to click on the symbol for our blog at the bottom of the page.  A couple of posts down you will find and article on the auction and a direct link to the auction site.  I didn't write it down but I think it might be and at least if this doesn't work you will know how to find it.  The opening bids are low and the work is by award winning, prominent artists.  Check it out, you may find something.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today on Daingerfield Island

Childrens Sailing Class
     Today was a long but extremely pleasant day.  I spent the morning at the barn with Gypsy hand walking and hand grazing her and then headed home for lunch.  Afterwards I headed to the Washington Sailing Marina on Daingerfield Island to paint with Bobbi Pratte who is a friend and fellow ALPAP (Art League Plein Air Painter). We found a wonderful spot in the shade of a large tree on the point and could watch the action around  us.  People were fishing, sailing school was in session and in the distance you can see the end of the runway at Reagan National Airport.  Planes landing and taking off added to the entertainment. 

         This second  photo gives you an idea of what I was after in my painting.  I left out the foreground objects and concentrated on the landscape, river and the boats.  The sailing school reminded me of dancers entering a stage.  They come around the point single file then circle and follow the directions from the instructor who is in a launch.  I did a quick sketch because I knew the boats wouldn't be around for long.                                                                                       

Currently untitled, 12x24 oil on gessoboard
      Usually I stand when I paint but today I was pretty tired so I sat at my easel.  Having the easel lower to the ground proved to be wise because the afternoon became quite windy and I had to clamp my panel down well.  You can see the little sketch I did illustrating my concept for the finished painting.  Both Bobbi and I agreed that today painting was a good excuse to sit and relax and enjoy a lively conversation in a resort like atmosphere. We did quite a lot of brain storming for future ALPAP events.
        This photo shows the painting where I left off.  Around 5:00 PM hunger proved a strong motivation to head home.  I have a strong start on this one and I know where I want to go with it.  The wise thing would be to leave it until next week and come back to this spot to finish but I am already itching to work on it.  I have enough information on the panel and in the sketch and photos.  We'll see.  and....That's right folks, I still haven't updated my website.  I am hopeless!  "Summer Potpourri" is still on exhibit online.  Good show!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Storm Clouds Over Morven Park, completed

"Storm Clouds Over Morven Park" 24x30 oil on linen
     As planned, I finished "Storm Clouds" today.  There are a couple of really minor things I might tweak, not even worth mentioning as I don't thing anyone would notice besides myself.  I am pleased with the finished painting and looking forward to the next one.  This view is looking towards Southern Planter Lane in Morven Park.  I am standing in a paddock at the Marion Du Pont Scotte Equine Medical Center with my mare Gypsy.  If you would like to see more of Morven Park you might want to visit their website at

     In the view seen in this painting I  have my back to the subject of my next painting which looks towards the Blue Ridge Mountains.  That will be of a day with a very blue sky and frothy white clouds.  Tomorrow I will start a sketch but most of my studio time will be taken up with framing, gessoing and varnishing.  While doing those simple things I will be thinking of the new painting.  Below are a couple of close up details of "Storm Clouds".  I think both details could stand on their own as finished paintings.  As you can see, I had fun with my palette knives!

detail of ' Storm Clouds"

detail #2 of "Storm Clouds"


Sunday, August 12, 2012

This Weekend's Work

"Storm Clouds Over Morven Park" 24x30 (in progress)
     Saturday afternoon I got back to work on "Storm Clouds" and took this picture when I had to break for the day.  It is all falling into place very easily.  Sometimes they just flow from beginning to end and happily this is one of those paintings.  I will have to take a close up when it is done as you can't really appreciate the texture when seen from a distance.  I am using both brushes and palette knives and working quickly and spontaneously.  I have my sketch for reference and sky photos to refer to as well but mostly this one is in my head.  I had plenty of time to stand and imprint it on my mind while grazing Gypsy.

Still in Progress on Sunday
     Today, Sunday, I made quite a lot of progress and would have finished it if the light had not died on me.  It was time to stop and prepare dinner and rather than go back to work after dark I thought it best to wait until tomorrow to finish up.  This photo is a little dark because I wanted to take it without the studio lights on which would have given quite a golden cast to it. The colors in the clouds to the right are more like you see them in the photo from Saturday.
      There are at least two more paintings from this series that I will do in progression.  I know for sure I have another linen canvas this size but I might not have a third.  I would like all three to be 24x30 and I have already decided how I want them framed.

Framing!  That is something I really have to spend time on this week.  I have ordered more materials, I have the frames but not the offset clips, tape or paper backing.  They should arrive tomorrow which would be great because I need to send three up to the Salmagundi for the next show...."Sunrise, Sunset".  I have plenty of paintings to select from that fit that theme but would like to send very small ones so I can get all three in one box and not spend a fortune

She is progressing really well and keeping busy eating to make up for all the weight she lost.  I hand walk and hand graze her every morning and she gets stronger every single day.  So much so that she really has to stay tethered to me so that she doesn't go for a run.  She just knows that she feels better and Mother Nature hasn't informed her that she is stitched and glued together.  Yes, glued!  Tissue glue (like Super Glue) was used to close her up rather than traditional stitches.  I am being a "helicopter mom":)
Gypsy with her head in her feed bucket with her friend Diego for company
                                                 Visit the online exhibit "Summer Pot Pourri" and check pages 13 & 14 to view my paintings. "Evening Descends on Black Pond" and "Winter Gold"

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Storm Clouds Over Morven Park", first strokes

Left side of the studio with the start of "Storm Clouds"
     I am ready for some new beginnings.  I reorganized my studio in anticipation of the work station I was purchasing from an artist friend who works in pastel.  She found that the Todd Rieffer work station did not suit her needs and wondered if I would like to purchase it.  I jumped at the chance!  It works perfectly for me.  Temporarily I am using my plein air palette but I will be purchasing a sheet of glass to cover that entire space you see the palette, sketch book and can of knives sitting on. That will then be my palette area.  I am the perfect distance from my easel and there is a roll top that covers the open space you see.  That helps to keep the paint on the palette space moist as well as providing a great surface to do some framing on.  I now have everything I need in easy reach plus I have added to my storage space.  I am a happy camper.
       That is the left side of the studio.  I have left the center of the room empty so I can walk back and forward as I paint.  Below is the right side of the studio with my small taboret and table top easel.  I have a chair on casters that I use when painting at that station and I can zoom back and forth across the room on the chair.  I love this!

sketch for "Storm Clouds Over Morven Park"
         In the first photo you can see the beginning of my latest painting, "Storm Clouds Over Morven Park".  I had toned the linen canvas with yellow ochre and this afternoon put in the first couple of hours work on this painting.  To the left is the graphite and Prisamcolor marker sketch I did for the painting and you can see this small study sitting on the work station in the first photo.  Morven Park is in Leesburg Virginia and is the property immediately adjacent to the Marion Du Pont Scott Equine Medical Center.  As you have already read below, I spent 19 days there with my horse Gypsy.  When I was finally allowed to hand graze her I found myself surrounded in every direction by magnificent vistas.  Paintings began to form in my mind.  I will definitely be going back there this fall to do some plein air paintings but meanwhile I have plenty of material to work from in the studio.  This is just the first studio piece in that series.
"Storm Clouds Over Morven Park", 24x30 oil on linen
      This is where I left off this afternoon and I am happy with this start.  I hope to show you more tomorrow.
                    Please take a few minutes to view the online exhibit at the Salmagundi Club in NYC (47 5th Ave. NY, NY) at  The exhibit is "Summer Pot Pourri" and I have fall and winter paintings in that pot pourri, so no, it is not a selection of summer paintings.
                    Still no time to update my website.  I am not lazy folks, just too busy and I have to prioritize. Please stop by