Sunday, October 4, 2015

Boston Public Library - The Sargent Paintings

This week I had the opportunity to attend a private tour and lecture of the Sargent Murals at the BPL.  For years I heard about and read about these paintings.  I finally got to see them and under special circumstances as David P. Curtis and Judith Curtis were the presenters.  Video link - Murals.

David is another of my excellent art teachers who promotes plein air painting on Cape Ann, and Judy is his wife and a knowledgeable art historian and writer who has written many books.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The First Operations--famous paintings

I saw a really wonderful movie this week:  The Physician.
Watch trailer here:
See photos at bottom of page.

In the movie there was a scene, which is only too quickly and not very well captured here in the trailer, of what signified the first time a living person was cut open to perform an operation--it was rather beautifully done in the movie.  The scene was special to me for a couple of reasons.  In my early art training I was privileged to learn a lot about the artist Thomas Eakins and his techniques.  Eakins painted the famous critically acclaimed painting "The Gross Clinic" which memorialized the rather gory operation and "The Agnew Clinic".  He painted 2 famous paintings about operations.

That art education was at the hands of Joel Babb.  Joel Babb, some 130 years after Eakins, was commissioned to paint "First Successful Organ Transplant", 1996, oil on linen, 70x88" and "Coronary Bypass Operation at Brigham and Women's", Boston 2010, oil on linen, 40x70".  He painted 2 paintings about operations as well.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Odds and Ends

Just a note to let you know I'm still being busy with things in process.  
Rink outside wall:  I had to repaint a gallon of paint as one of the gallons wasn't the right color, slightly darker, so that had to be redone.
Portraits:  I started on one of two portraits that have been commissioned and worked on it twice so far.  It takes twice as long to paint a portrait from a photo than it does from life.  I worked with Mark Hayden on Thursday and I also attended the Haverhill Art Association, twice a month, portrait painting session last Saturday and did a fair job.  I've been away from portraits for a while and I'm feeling very rusty.
Volunteer:  I've done some art association volunteering lately. I like doing that.
Demo:  Today I'll go to the Buttonwoods Museum for a demo by Allan Bull.
Big Mural Project:  I'm busy purchasing supplies and equipment and designing the mural.  I got a fair start yesterday on the drawing (working on scale on paper not on the actual wall)  but it will take a while.  Along with the design and composition aspect, working in a different medium (airbrush and spray guns) the process or procedure is different and will take some planning.  Stencils have to be made for some other areas of the rink as well as some for this wall, and the layering aspect is something that takes thought.  I had a phone conversation with the famous mural artist, Jody Barrio, I can't believe he called me in response to an email I sent and talked about equipment, etc.  He is totally amazing!
Teaching:  I'm still working with a student who is coming along very well and she makes me shift gears to think about other aspects of painting.
Small works:  I've painted two small flower paintings, both 8x8".  One is a field of hollyhocks, I like hollyhocks.
Magazines:  Of course, I've read a lot as usual.  I spend a lot of time either reading books, magazines or things on-line about art, and watching videos to learn more about airbrush and airbrush equipment.
Time:  When I do get started painting the mural, it will be during the night.  I'm not looking forward to cleaning up after a long night of painting, where you have to take the equipment outside and hose it down, etc.  It makes a huge mess.  It's getting cold outside now in the mornings.
I'll work on this one again tomorrow.

Wild Hollyhocks in a Field

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rink Walls

Here are pictures of the rink improvements I've done over the past couple of weeks.  
The men's and ladies' rooms were painted as well a light gray with dark gray trim.

Front wall being scraped, wire brushed and primed and weeded.
Front wall final paint job.
Taken from other end, sun was too strong.
Street side inside wall, before.  Light purple mountains were done over
and horizon line moved down and changed to a different green color.
Same wall as above-redesigned blue mountains.  Blacklight and iridescent paint to be added later.
Back side inside wall, before.  Wood was added to existing wall mural because of breaks in plaster.  
Same wall as above-background blue painted over all except extreme top area.
Gold Medal Skater Cliff  helped--pictured with me.
 Marc refinished the main floor and the ladies, mens, snack bar, and skateroom floors.  New stalls were added to the bathrooms and a beautiful black granite countertop with silver faucets was installed in the ladies room.  Next, new showcases for the sales area and always more new sound and lighting.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rink renovation, murals, etc.

It's now close to the end of our 2-week renovation where the floor is resurfaced and lots of other things are done, things that take time and cannot be accomplished during the regular weekly schedule of public and private sessions.  I've been putting in very long days, you have no idea, but proof of this is that I just fell asleep in front of my computer.!!
Tomorrow night we re-open but there is plenty more to do.  I'll post pictures over the weekend when I have a little time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Student and Gift

I worked with my art student this week for two days (make up dates) and we worked on 8x8s as a gift to the person who does our facials who is getting married.  We agreed to do a flower painting, and it was this cosmetologist who introduced us years ago, so it will be special to her.
Bee Balm,
8x8, oil on stretched canvas with deep stretchers

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cooper Portrait

Went to the Bradford Church Haverhill Art Association portrait session this morning.  Cooper was the model and all the same people were painting there today that were there the last time I was there, and that was a long time now, maybe a year.  It's been a while for me now since I did a portrait, but I enjoyed the 2 hours and even though I forgot most of my paint colors, I had a good time.  I have two portraits to paint and I'm going to make a good effort this week to get them started.  Here's Cooper:

Trip to Monhegan

What a great time I had.  There is something incredibly different and peaceful about that place.

I drove up, met the boat with just the right amount of time left to park the car and grab a tea.  The one-hour boat trip was fine, open water so nothing to see, there were probably as many dogs as there were people on board, strange.  Upon landing, the various hotels' pickup trucks loaded up the luggage and took it to the hotel.  I slowly walked (there are only dirt roads there and no cars except absolute necessities) into the village, had a crab roll at the fish pier, ventured up to my room where my bags were waiting, separated out the art supplies and hit the road to paint the wreck.  It was a perfect day but slightly more windy than was comfortable in that my eyes were getting wind-burned.  Lots of people came and went and the painting progressed well.  For now I'm finished with it, but it will need a few touch ups.

 Dinner was expensive and the portions were as small as an appetizer, so I ordered an actual appetizer for dessert.  I turned in early, reading up on more airbrush information.  The decor was monastic but having the windows open made for a comfortable night's sleep.  I went down early for breakfast that was good and free--perfectly cooked bacon which I never eat anymore, and I met an artist in the lobby who has been staying there every summer for about 25 years, and we had a nice chat about the Art Students League in NY and about my upcoming project at the rink.  I set off right away up the hill to the lighthouse.  It is a very steep hill and I went up there a few times during the day.  It was a foggy day so all I could do on my lighthouse painting was correct the drawing a bit and repaint the lighthouse.  Met lots more people.  It opened at 11:30 and I went into the Lighthouse Museum and also saw the exhibit of Lemar Dodd whose work was very high end, a great show.
 I had set up my painting of the big panorama of the island, the third painting I brought along to do some improvements on, but the fog was so thick I could only see the foreground area.  I never did see the accompanying island across the straight or the horizon line to be sure.  I decided to go down for lunch and wandered around the entire village and up the adjacent hill, visiting here and there, into galleries, shops, and ran into an artist I had met earlier on the trip who had work in a gallery by the fish pier.  We goes up for a month every summer and a gallery goes with the room she rents.  Sweet deal!  I got a chowder and ate it with her while we chatted.  You won't believe this, but the fog cleared while I was having lunch, then it rolled in again when I got back up the hill to my painting!  Well, I worked on the foreground that coincidently never had any attention on my previous visit, but the painting will have to wait for, yet, another visit to get anyway near completion.
 I folded my tents, as they say, and went to the hotel to repack my gear for the trip home.  The boat trip was totally fogged in, we couldn't even see the rest of the boat, but I was traveling with a couple of women I had met in the village and we just joked and laughed all the way back to Port Clyde.  I drove home for three hours in the dense fog and in the dark and when I got to the Massachusetts border the fog lifted and the thought occurred to me that it must be like having cataract surgery because everything was so clear all of a sudden.

So I finally painted because I felt like it, and tomorrow morning I'll go paint a portrait at the Church in Bradford with the Haverhill artists and Mark Hayden and Mimi.  I might have chosen to go to the Greenbelt with David Curtis except that rain in predicted.  If you are still reading this very long story you must realize by now that it is the longest post I've ever written and I promise to be quicker or shorter next time! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monhegan Island - painting trip

So the last time I was there was 2009 and I started a painting of "The Wreck".  I like it a lot and hope that I won't wreck it myself when I take it back there to try to complete it.  I'll travel up there tomorrow morning and get the 10:30 boat to the island.  The weather looks good, cloudy but that's ok, and it's warm - 80s in the day, 60s at night.  When I return, I'll let you know how it went and post a pic.
Now I'm getting my stuff together for the 3-hour drive up there in the a.m.

The Great Jeff Weaver - Demo

Sunday at the North Shore Art Association, Jeff Weaver did a demo as a fundraiser for their restoration fund.  It was full of information, working on three canvases during a one-hour demo, he was animated and entertaining and funny.  He is totally one of my favs.  I should make a list I guess.  I did capture a couple of nice videos, one is great but it's too long to download (for now anyway) so here is a short one:  :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Two Show Openings

I watched more airbrush videos today and then traveled to Ogunquit and Newburyport for show openings.
 Black Bear Fine Art
Upstairs in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, ME
Artist Talk & Refreshments 
Band of Brushes, Through Our Eyes
August 11-23, 2015, Newburyport Art Association
2015 bob front card (1)I used to belong to this plein air group so it was very nice to see a lot of familiar faces and their work. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Art New England Magazine

The celebration party last night for the Art New England Magazine was a very nice affair.  I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the new executive director of the Rockport Art Association, Abby Battis.  The people from the magazine were there and introduced themselves and asked people to come forward to talk about what they were doing or mention upcoming events.  It was truly a breath of fresh air as many people spoke up and one couple had flown up here from Florida to attend.  There was a wine table, a chocolate table, and a very delicious hor d'oeuvres table.  I met and talked with some very interesting people and many people swapped cards.  I do subscribe to that magazine, but was able to pick up a couple of issues that I didn't remember having.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The New Clark Museum, Williamstown, MA

I very much enjoyed my visit yesterday to the new Clark to see the Van Gogh and the rest of the museum.    Whistler's Mother is another exhibit currently there. Many argue that the new architecture doesn't please them, but I liked it and it feels like you are 'one' with the landscape-another wonderful feature of the site.  There are hiking trails as well and I'd recommend that you bring a picnic and enjoy the scenery.

Still reading up on the airbrush technique that I'm pretty sure I'll use for my next mural at the rink. 

Tonight I'm visiting the Newburyport Art Association's shows on my way to the Rockport Art Association for a reception celebrating the new issue of Art New England Magazine at 6 p.m.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Video Tutorials and research on Airbrush Techniques

I've spent the entire day watching and learning and taking notes about airbrush painting in preparation for doing a mural at the skating rink.  The first wall will be about 16' tall and 160' long.  The design elements will be a space theme with black light and flourescent paint.  I think I will truly enjoy this adventure.  There is a lot of expense with equipment, paint, etc., but I'm thinking it will work up faster than the regular paint brush techniques I've used in the past.  Only time will tell, and I'll be talking about it as I progress.

A couple of days ago I went into Boston's MFA and saw the extensive Hokusai exhibition.  Talk about prolific, he was amazing, what a fantastic draftsman.  He worked in ink and various water paints on many surfaces and did woodblock prints.  In one day he painted a banner 6 stories high using 14 gallons of paint.  He could work big and tiny.  It is mind boggling, be sure to look him up!

This week coming up, I'm going out toWilliamsburg MA (western Massachusetts) to see the much talked about Van Gogh exhibit at the Clark, staying overnight.

Did I mention that I just returned from Santa Fe, New Mexico and Scottsdale, AZ and saw some very exciting art.  If I'm not motivated now, I'll never be!

Saturday, June 27, 2015


I'm enjoying and relaxing and wanted to let people know that all is well and I'm not pushing myself to produce art that I can post here.  I've been absorbed as usual in "art", going to shows, reading, etc., just not focused enough to be in the grove.
I sold two paintings lately and, just to prove that I need to be better organized, I couldn't find them!  Oh, I did, eventually, but had to scour the house about three times before finding them.  Two separate occasions, mind you.  I was afraid I was really losing it.  One I had brought up to the studio to paint some more on it, so it was in that pile of paintings.  The other one was in a box of small paintings which I had quickly looked through, but simply missed it the first time through.  I haven't been very good at updating my web site either, sorry.
So briefly, I've been doing more skating coaching as it's the competitive season right now until the beginning of August; doing yard work as it's the growing season; and having people over to grill and sit on the deck.
I've booked some art travel to follow the skating nationals trip and will visit Santa Fe, Taos and Scottsdale in early August.  Yup, it will be HOT. :)
(Today is the two-month anniversary of my husband's death.  I've made pretty good progress with the clothing donations to charity and reorganizing. The paperwork people talk about has not been that bad.)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

David P. Curtis Demo - Kittery, Maine

Today I attended a demo by David Curtis at the beautiful and large studio of Lorwen Nagle.  This was a kick-off event for a 3-day (only $300) workshop coming up June 19 - 21 as a fundraiser for the Kittery Art Association.  For further information contact them, space is still available.

The 2-hour demo/lecture was chuck full of information from the master who delves into all the nooks and crannies of your mind and makes your head spin.  Seriously though, he is an endless source of anecdotes, quotes, references, experience and knowledge, in particular about Cape Ann or the New England coastal atmosphere.

His wife, Judith, author of many art books and articles in art magazines, will give a lecture there on July 12th on The History of American Impressionism.
Judith and David Curtis

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One Month Anniversary

I can't believe that today is a month since George passed away--I've only painted a tiny bit and that was because of having a painting student.  I do have a couple of commissions that I have to get done, and they will be first on my list.  In the month that has just passed, we went from winter to summer--today is 90 degrees, and I guess that I have spent most of that month doing yard work and enjoying the garden.

Today the man from the electric stair chair company is coming to remove the chair from the runner so I can more easily bring furniture, etc. up and down the stairs.  I'm storing the chair in a closet and had to clean out the closet.  This was a good thing as I removed a dozen suits and now can figure out where and how to donate them.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

George Pyche, Nov. 23, 1930 - April 27, 2015

My husband and soul mate passed away this week.  It was quick and relatively peaceful.  It was a prolonged lung disease that was not painful.  He was sweet, cooperative, brave and cheerful to the end.  We shared a long and good life together.  I am a lucky woman.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 Regional Show Reception

The Reception 
for the 2015 Regional Show at Newburyport Art Association
 is Sunday, May 3rd from 2:00 - 4:00.  
The reception is free and open to the public. 

I am honored to be juried in with this original oil painting called The Red Lily.
Framed 11x14" on board with gold frame

Monday, April 13, 2015

All is well, I'm still on my break.

Spring has arrived up here in New England and I'm loving every minute of it.  I've been walking every day again, doing some spring cleaning, doing yardwork, listening to the birds and smelling the fresh air.

The portrait people have, for the most part, picked up their portraits, and I did the interview on the local TV channel.  To that end, I practiced talking for a week and I'm thankful to a friend, Ed, who taught me something about voice control, and I'm able to speak better.  Now I need acting lessons!

I sold a small painting and took a drive to Rockport and Gloucester to see the current shows, but, they were both closed.  Luckily, I enjoyed the drive with new tires on my car.  Later that night, though, it was icey on the roads, lots of accidents, but I was not one of them.

Like looking at pictures?  When you have a small space of time and wonder what to do to relax, try looking at pictures and ideas on Pinterest.  When I have a few minutes I'm going to check out some of the topics on this page. Pinterest link.  I could spend a week on her page--relaxing and learning at the same time.  How great is that?

It is always a thrill to find your stuff on other people's pages or to come across yourself in an unexpected place on the internet.

Lots of skating lately, tis the season.

Nice thought:  Your wings are ready, try them anytime now.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter :)

I wish you a happy and peaceful and restful Easter.  
I hope the sun is shining for you today and you have the opportunity to enjoy it your way. :)  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A few days off

Red Lily, 9x12" oil on board,  $300  (after the show) with gold frame.
I tried to channel Richard Smidt with the background strokes.
Photo taken on a sunny morning in my garden,
I really tried to get the feeling of sun coming from the left.
I had a few rest days, more or less, and tried to get caught up on my sleep.

I really have to get organized again, paintings are everywhere in my house.  I picked up my paintings, and other people's paintings as well, and closed down the portrait show at the library.  Now close to 20 people will be coming to my house to pick up their paintings. If spring really does arrive, spring cleaning will be a focus for me, not to mention the yard work!

I had a nice dinner with my son for his birthday.  I've been feeling like a regular person these few days doing regular people things.  I'm leary about a lot of things that are coming up that will be separating me from the time I need to paint.  I should be thankful (which I am) for the quiet times I've had this week.

Next thing
I'll be getting back to the 'door' painting as soon as I can clear the path to the studio door!

Above painting
I'm happy that one of my paintings has been juried into the 18th Annual Regional Juried Show.  I would think that they would indicate which region they are talking about--it's the Northeast Region I would imagine, unless they mean the eastern part of Massachusetts region?  Who knows?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Restful Weekend

Read more about Cyclorama buildings

Art and Design Show Boston
My friend, Ed, and I did our annual visit to the AD show on Saturday.  I think Ed is buying designer side tables and coffee table for over $2000.  He has a wonderful urban inn in the south end of Boston.  We started at the BeeHive Restaurant with brunch, it's close by Cyclorama and it was snowing and sleeting.  The great majority of time that I go in to see something at the Cyclorama, its raining.  Luckily there is a parking garage just behind it and the elevator door opens practically next to the front doorwary.  The show this year didn't have a good attendance, so I hope it continues.  After the long winter we have had, people may be staying in.
I love this building, and one of the most wonderful experiences I've had on my European travels was to visit the cyclorama building in Lucerne.  The history of these buildings is very interesting but the painting (The Bourbaki Panorama) on the walls of the building in Lucerne is mind-blowing.
Live Jazz playing here at the BeeHive

The BeeHive
Local TV channel
I'll be doing an interview on the local TV channel and selectman Laura Dillingham Mailman on Thursday, April 9th.  I am no public speaker and have a small voice and lots of lapses of memory and never could remember people's names, so this could be a catastrophe.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so off I go again, jumping off the proverbial cliff.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Taking it easy

Meeting friends at my show
Paula and Ralph, my good friends who have just returned from Canada, met me at the People Painting People - The Merrimacians show at the Merrimac Library today and then we had a great lunch at the Rhythm Cafe.  Lots of talk about art as Paula is an artist.

Should I put my shovels away?  It was warm today.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nice drive to Rockport

Brought 'Garden Pathways-After the Rain' to Rockport
On my first day of wearing a sweater instead of a winter jacket, I got to take a nice drive to Rockport to deliver my painting for the next show (2 hours of driving), reception is this Sunday from 2 to 4, free and open to the public.
Local TV channel interview
I was invited by Carol Trainer to do an interview along with Selectman Laura Dillingham Mailman.
2 Commissions
A woman who owns a local farm phoned me and came to visit.  She would like portraits of her two grandchildren painted.
Next project-plein air house portraits
Her farm would be a good one to include in my next project (for this summer).  Here is a little nonsense she was up to, picture taken from newspaper story.
Boston Red Sox