Monday, February 12, 2018

69. Winter in the Studio: Little Big Skies, the first installment

Storm at Sea, 6x6

I feel like I just slipped into this series - unintentionally beginning something that I am not sure where it will take me.  This is the beginning of the my Little Big Skies paintings.  I had painted another painting of this scene on this panel and didn't like it.  So I sanded it down (like I do all paintings that I don't like, unless I wipe it down before it dries), and was going to put it in the pile of canvases when I thought:  why not try it again?  So I did, and I really liked it.  Actually I love it.  There was a freedom and painterliness that I had been reaching for. 

Then I  thought, I am liking this small size a little better now, maybe I should try it again.....

Storm at Sea 6x6

This is the second in the series (although it was really a series in my mind yet)  I liked this one well enough to paint a larger one from it (more on that later).  

I felt like I was getting somewhere now, so I painted another big sky painting - or a "cloudscape" as my sister Rachael like to call them!

Layers of Light 6x6

While I do like this one (I didn't sand it down after all!), it is not as lose as the first that I fell in love with in the very beginning...

 So another one:
Big Clouds 6x6  (Little Big Sky #4)

Now I am thinking of this as a series.  I can't wait to start the next one!
So I asked my husband to cut some panels for me - he cut 20 panels and I have clear coated them 3 times, and sanded them all down.  A bit of work, but they are my new favorite support!  What to do in Maine in the winter?  PAINT! 

Friday, February 9, 2018

68. Painting in Winter: In the Studio

We have been living in Maine 7 months!  And so here we are, in the midst of our first winter in Maine.  While it is cold, it is not unbearable - even though this has been one of the coldedst winters in 50 years.  Surprisingly, at least to me, I have found that I really like the winter season!  I like the 30 degree days better than the 5 degree days, but I love the season - the stillness,  the clearness of the skies, the stars that dazzle and the moon that glows on the snow. 

I have been painting steadily in my studio, which is probably another reason that I am loving these winter days so much.  I have been dividing my time between still lifes and landscapes.  The landscapes are developed from sketches , plein aire paintings and photos.

Here is a series of peonies that I have been working on.

It is interesting what you learn from working in a series - painting basically the same thing over and over.    I can look at the finished painting and decide what I liked about it - what worked, what I want to lean in on in the next painting.  These two paintings are very similar set-ups, but  painted at a slightly different vantage point and on slightly different size canvases.  the first is 8x10 and the second 9x12. 

I realize that I can also vary the materials - the surface that is is painted on, or the size.  Or sometimes the cropping of the subject.  This one is 6x6, painted on primed panel.  So it was very slick to paint on.  I cropped the subject - so it has as slightly abstract feel.

The next three have the same vase - but different backgrounds and different size canvases. The first is 8x10, then 9x12 and the next 12x12.

The next two are a different vase - a pewter mug. I had never painted pewter before - so that was fun.  The second one I limited myself to 20 minutes.  I was participating in a challenge to complete a 20 minute painting every day.  

My last one may in fact be my favorite one - I was trying to keep it all much more tonal  - so that the backdrop and  the horizontal plane were similar in color and value. I love the quality of light in this one - warm and glowy.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

67. Progress in Maine

An update on the our progress in Maine.  The renovations on our farmhouse are ongoing!  Here is an action shot taken on October 7.  We removed a window in the wall (you can see the new infill framing behind me) It should have been such an easy project!  Unfortunately we discovered that the the window had been installed without flashing and that someone had covered over rot with new siding.  So we uncovered, re-framed, re-sheathed and re-sided the wall, pretty much the entire wall,up to the top.  I have no idea why we did not discover mold. 

We took out the lower window (in the basement) and insulated that wall.  We rebuilt the door and added a layer if insulation in it as well.  We also poured two new grade beams replacing portions of a rotten perimeter beam.  23 bags of concrete!   I am very good at mixing concrete now...not a skill that I was really seeking!  In the photo you can seek that Lee spot primnes over the nails, but we ran out of weather warm enough to paint the exterior.  While it is still getting up into the 50's, it is not warm enough to paint.

We have also installed new kitchen cabinet - the counters will be delivered on Friday.  It will be very nice to have a sink and functioning range again.  As I write, Lee is framing the master closet.  This afternoon we will hang sheetrock.  Needless to day, I have not had much time to paint!

Monday, September 18, 2017

66. Boothbay Harbor Painting event

A few weeks ago, I painted at a 7 day plein-aire painting event in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  It was a great event!  I painted several paintings a day - it was so beautiful there, inspiration was around every corner.  

I was not sure that I was ready to participate in such a demainding painting event so soon after moving, but I decided that I would regret it if I didn't.  So I dove in!  I had set several deliberate goals for myself.  I wanted to find beautiful places to paint, maybe even some that I would be willing to drive back to once the festival was over.  Ocean Point definitely fit that bill - I painted there 3 different times and sold one of them!  I wanted to meet other artists in the area and hopefully find a group to paint with.  I did meet a lot of other artists and have found 2 groups that I can paint with - so happy!  I wanted to paint thing s that I normally don't paint - so boats, rocks, and houses.  As you can see - I did paint some rocks and houses!  Here are some of my favorite paintings from my week in Boothbay Harbor!
Fog at Ocean Point, 11x14  

Before the Rain, 12x12

Rising Tide, 8x10

Afternoon with Zinnias, 7x12

Wisteria Welcome 11x14

Thursday, August 24, 2017


After years of planning, dreaming and saving, we have moved to Maine!  We have been here about 7 weeks now, and while there is still so much to do, I am starting to feel lighter.  We bought an old farm house (1850!) that definitely needs work (a lot of work!!) but is habitable.  The renovations on the house and barn have begun!

My goal for this new life is to paint more than I was able to in Maryland and to focus on the business side of being an artist.  I had planned to start slowly, but I found several opportunities to participate in art events and to exhibit my work here, so I decided to jump in!  Some events have been more successful than others - but I have sold paintings at every event, found beautiful new places to paint and have met other artists.  So I am glad that I found the courage to step forward and join in.

Here are some of my favorite recent paintings!
 Golden Light 11x14

Ready for Ice Cream  8x10

Perennial Border 8x10 SOLD

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

64. Poppies on a June Day

"Poppies on a June Day"
30" x 30"  

I just learned that this painting has been accepted into a juried show at the crystal Moll Gallery in Baltimore - ad the image will be on the invitation!  So exciting!

 This is one of my favorite paintings has the looseness that I am striving for in the my paintings (but don't always achieve). 

Friday, November 18, 2016

63. Fall Color

"Fall Color"
8x10, oil on linen panel

We have had great weather this Autumn!  And so I have been trying to paint outside as much as possible.  This time of the year, the trees have an amazing variety of edges and such a rich assortment of colors.  It becomes a challenge to balance out all of the reds and ranges with some strategic greens and dark accents.