Saturday, November 22, 2014

DPW makes me smile!

It's only been an hour or so since I put up a small painting and it has a bid already!  I guess I should pay more attention to the little things in life. :)  ;)   :)

After working on this small painting, I was able to just about complete the portrait of Ray!  He was/is hard to paint. Tomorrow is another model for my project--almost finished with this aspect of the project.

Having Fun Again - Red Pin Cushion

I thought I'd paint a small painting this morning to loosen up for the portrait of the day.  So I decided to paint this cute little red pincushion.  It came out pretty good so I posted it to DPW.
This type of painting gets you going and usually makes you happy before delving into the work of the day.
Little Red Pin Cushion, 6x6", oil on masonite

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sold a painting yesterday

A woman who has shown interest in this painting for years was able to buy it.  As you can imagine, it is a long story, but she is VERY happy now.  It is a painting of her house and the pump on the town common.
She saw it in the West Newbury Library Show that took place pre-Christmas of 2011 or 2012.
We had a lovely visit at my house, she and her husband and I.  I enjoyed meeting them and plan to paint together with her husband next summer.  We have a common love of day lilies.  I was truly delighted to see that this painting found a happy home.
To see the painting, look back through this blog to October 2011.

Fighting with Ray

Ray is a portrait that I've been working on and having a hard time with.  I see that we can learn a lot from our mistakes, for sure!  And you won't believe this one, "measure twice, paint once"!  Oh well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Portrait # 23, Charles Piecewicz

Sunday the 16th, we had our 23rd model, Charles Piecewicz.  There was some concern that being a youngster, maybe our youngest, he would not be able to sit still or last for 3 hours, BUT HE DID, and he did a great job.  Everyone enjoyed Charles as he was checking all the artists' work at the breaks and talking a lot about art and his ease with computer games.  We were thinking that another model would pose for the last couple of hours, and Grace Tierney came for that purpose, but since Charles did a fabulous job, Grace will return probably on the 30th.  My project is now going into December but I'm getting very close to my 30 people.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Third portrait - Megan

Now that I'm working every day on these portraits, I like the rhythm, more or less, that occurs of setting up and attacking the work. I did this one yesterday, and today I'm away until early afternoon, but I actually can't wait to start on the next one this afternoon.  Who will it be?  I haven't decided yet.
Again, this one still has some finishing touches that I only catch afterwards with the camera or mirror.  This one was on a strong sienna ground which peeks through a tiny bit.

I almost want to do another one of Megan, Her nose is wider and eyes are wider apart and I would work her coloring with softer richer colors.  The photo of my still unfinished painting isn't a nice as the real thing color-wise.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Second portrait almost finished

Second day of painting
Yesterday I worked on the Maureen Wimmer portrait.  I'm making a list of things that need to be done with it, and most of these corrections are a result of looking at this photo.  I think that I'll create a pile of  paintings with their lists to work on the third time around, sort of putting the highlights on a painting, you have to wait until the last minute to put that frosting on the cake.
First sitting
Today I'll work on one of the children that were in the group.  I'm happy that we will  have a good cross-section of people in the Merrimacians exhibit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Double Checking - Self Critiques

I spent yesterday painting on one of the PPP (People Painting People) portraits.  I chose the one that was bothering me the most.  This part of the process takes way more time than the actual painting done from life.  Maybe because this one needed a lot of help.  First I determined that my drawing was off a lot proportion-wise.  So along with moving the eyes down about an inch and also the ear that was the only part of the painting that I originally liked, I tried to change her expression to a more pleasant one.  I struggled with the lighting.  First I had too much light and so the overall painting was coming out too dark-thus another coat of paint.  I should have cleaned my palette and didn't so I had some muddy color to contend with.  I repositioned my back mirror last thing last night and saw some other problems to correct.  This morning I reappraised the situation and took photos.  It's always a surprise how instantly the mistakes pop out on a photo.  OK, so I made a list of corrections to be done and will wait until later (maybe today) after I've warmed up, to make those.
Yesterday I received Carol Marine's new book in the mail and read about 1/3 of it last night.  She has some mighty good tricks up her sleeve.

There is a big difference between a sketch and a formal portrait, and also between a sketch done on location in a couple of hours and a touched up version.  I much prefer the original, usually, but sometimes other work must be done to make serious corrections. I try to remember to take a few photos to document the original light and, even when in doors with controlled lighting, the light will change because of outdoor conditions---I know, hard to believe.  So I take a few as I go along and the model relaxes and things change a little.  It's nice, sometimes, to be able to have those reference photos to 'improve' the design a little.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ready for studio painting--Yea!

 I spent the past three days lugging stuff from my downstairs (which used to be my presentation space, and is now again) to my studio upstairs.  I must have made at least thirty, maybe more, trips up three flights of steps and down again and carried hundreds of pounds of art related materials.  All this because for two years I've held my art class there.  I cancelled the class for three months (at least) for now because of my husband's health and having to either stay in his room with him, pay a caregiver, or if he's having a good day, I sneak out of the room.  Today I'm getting a baby monitor.   So now all that stuff is in my studio space and has been sorted out and put away.  My house is seriously top heavy.  If I teach again, the area will have to be left the way we found it.  I'll use my portable setup as I do when I paint outside.  
Its so therapeutic to be organized.  Usually this is the time of year when I try to complete all the paintings that were unfinished during the plein air season and post work to the totally wonderful Daily Paintworks site. Carol and David Marine have done and continue to do the most wonderful job of building that site and advertising and allowing artists to promote their work.  Be sure to check out Carol's new book.
Although my portrait project will come first, I can 'warm-up' on those paintings that need to be completed that are in the "need to be completed" pile!  
My Studio Space 28x32'
Somehow this photo doesn't begin to show how much stuff is tucked into every nook and cranny.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Starting to edit portraits

I'm a little sad to realize that I'm only 2/3s the way through, seeing that I need another 8 portraits to reach the 30 I want to do.  I did some inventory yesterday and collected the ones I've done so far and took rough photos of them so I can access which ones I'll start to edit first.  Funny that I'm using computer lingo lately for art processes.  I could start with the ones that need the most work, that seems like a plan.  Or I could take a few that have the same 'tone' and work on them simultaneously.
Since my husband now needs constant monitoring, I'm wondering if I should create a studio in the room next to his and try to keep the fumes down.  A friend came over and helped me install an iCam that would allow me to watch him on a monitor.  My husband even said he would agree to use a cow bell so I would know when he is getting up.  I kind of like that one.
I have cancelled my art student temporarily and she is traveling also, so I won't see her for about 3 months.  This will encourage me to clean and reorganize my presentation space downstairs where I have been using it for studio space with my student.  That will feel rally good and then I'll know what end is up (where all my stored paintings are).
I also have to do a self-portrait and one of my husband to add to the project paintings.  I also have to set up a time table to get everything accomplished in time for the show at the end of January.  It's not far off considering what needs to be done.
Here is a collage of the work that has been done before the edits begin.  Total painting time over the 3 hour sitting is 2 hrs, so each painting was painted in a 2-hour painting session.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Portraits are IT for now

Father George


One good part

The portrait project is winding down and the next phase will be to edit them (computer lingo).  If I can get a couple more, that will bring me up to the 30 I was hoping for.  I'll do a selfie (again phone lingo) and one of my husband to round out the project. See the project here.
What does IT mean?  Well, I think that the portraits are going to be all I'm doing for the next few months.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2,000 photos edited

I've just finished editing over 2,000 photos of my Italy (Umbria and Capri) trip and have posted some of the selected ones to my adventures blog.  It will take another day or so to finish the postings.  It is a sad moment to feel in many ways that the trip is over, this being another one of the things that completes the adventure.
You can see my various blogs in the margin here or go to

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's in the news!

While I was away, this appeared in our local newspaper!  I'm very happy with the spot I got, upper left portrait picture!  Naturally, nothing was mentioned in the text as my subject was a controversial figure in his/her day.  The show at the Newburyport Art Association was about noteworthy persons from Newburyport on the 250th anniversary of the city.  A book accompanies the show.  40 entries were accepted.  Ask me, if you want to know more.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Getting back on track

I got home 1 week ago tonight and it's been a whirlwind week trying to get back to normal.  I'm ready to begin phase 2 of the portrait project starting this Sunday morning.  I only have 7 people so far and need 8 more, so I better do something about that right away as it's already October.  I painted with my student on Monday at Lowell's Boat Shop and did a 9x12 looking toward the bridge that's being replaced.  I'll try to go back this Monday to finish it and the fall foliage will be more intense.  On Thursday I painted with Mark Hayden and that group and did a 24x30 of a big pot of flowers from a print I have always liked and not for the flowers but for the effect of the plantation shades behind it and the glow that was accomplished by the tints of cool and warm colors.  Basically, gray backgrounds would always make colors pop! 
Last night I attended the North Shore Art Association annual potluck and show to celebrate the end of a really great season--Ken Knowles has done a remarkable job and I like the changes that have taken place.  Tonight I wish I could attend an event at the Lyme Art Association but it just won't fit into my schedule, being a 2-hour drive in each direction.  My past favorite art teacher JOEL BABB has some work in this show and a few other wonderful artists are showing as well.
Later today I hope to get my art spaces cleaned up and reorganized.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

End of Italy trip

Wow, what a great time I've had over the past 18 days, good experiences and good luck. It seems forever since I've been home.  I'm hitting the ground running though and it seems a little scary to have to quickly get back into the grouve. My husband sounds fine and I'll get him today from his daughters house which will entail lots of driving and packing. I'd like to see the portrait show I'm in at NAA today before it comes down tomorrow. I can't wait to look at all my photos and put some up on the Vacation blog.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Packing day for Capri trip

I'm a little anxious today as we leave our friends in Umbria and set off at 4 tomorrow morning for the bus to Capri. We were lucky to get a driver from here to Rome to meet our next tour bus.  There is nothing scheduled for today so it will be great to relax, etc.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Start of Italy Trip

Today is the day.  I'm trying to stay calm and get my bags packed which naturally includes the ever-changing paint kit.  This year I'm going lighter than ever.  I am still doing errands and housework, last minute stuff, cutting the grass, library, etc.  Haven't packed a thing yet, nothing like prolonging the inevitable.  My flight is leaving late tonight and so far I love that idea.  I'll be posting to my adventures blog while I'm away, at least that is the plan--bringing my iPad.  Stay tuned.
Look in the right margin for that blog or go to

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Winding down for this month (People Painting People)

The People Painting People--The Merrimacians project for the month of August is coming to a close.  There will have been 15 models painted for this month.
Take a look at the project page.

I have some appointments for October which is when the project will resume.  I'm hoping for another 15 people.  I just realized that since I'll be away most of September (painting in Italy) I won't be here to book or invite people for October.  Somehow since there was a month in-between I though I'd have plenty of time to work on October's list.

There are people of all ages represented and so many interesting people and stories. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

August was busy

I know there is still some time left in August but my mind is starting to shift towards my upcoming trip to Italy.  I am so busy that I won't be able to really pack or even think about it much until the week before I leave.  I'm happy that I'm pretty much keeping on track with all my projects so that feels good.  I'll be so relaxed when I get back from my trip that it will be hard to get back in gear.  
Take a look at the People Painting People project, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Outdoor Portrait today

Our project, People Painting People - The Merrimacians, is moving along--today was #9.  We painted Grace, a teenager, in her yard.  I'm working on portrait colors and still not getting where I want to be.  I'm pretty determined and will continue to pursue this goal.  I thought of a way to display these 12x12" panels in the Library Show.  I'll put 10 on each of three panels (two rows of five on each), make them with either Masonite or luan and paint them a dark gray, and attach them with mirror mounts.  Then I can wire up the  back of each large panel and hang them on the hanging rods.
Grace Handy in her yard-unfinished

An artists work is never done.

I'm working with my student and attending Mark Hayden's painting group and painting portraits for the People Painting People project.

Tonight I have another portrait to paint and the local TV station is coming in to do an interview and do some filming.
My total house renovation project is winding down also and that will feel soooo good when it's over with.
I'm beginning to realize that my September painting trip to Umbria is closing in as well.
Here's a few pics of my painting subject from this morning--animals at a farm.  Well, I'll download them later tonight, I'm not as good at downloading from my phone (forgot the camera today).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All in a day's work

Yesterday morning I painted plein air at Pierce Little Farm in Newbury with my student.  I used Lori Putnum's primary palette.  It is important to realize that these outdoor sketches are only meant to acquaint yourself with the subject in order to do a larger studio painting.  Analyzing this and comparing it to the photo I can see how I would amplify the colors.

Subject:  Pierce Little House (I love the colors on the front facade)

Then in the evening I painted another portrait for my People Painting People project.
Model Deborah Ketchen

Saturday, August 9, 2014

8x8 Show

After painting a portrait at the church this morning I went over to Newburyport to see the 8x8 show.  It looks so great, four walls of paintings all the same size.  They were wonderful!  Here are the two that I put in.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Good Times

I found a few more helpful tools, thanks to my friend Liz.  A great white (not a whale), using a magnifying glass that does the opposite, changing some of my palette colors.  The project is coming along very well, it feels really nice to be there and participate with friends where everyone is 'in the zone'.

Simone Cartier, the model

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wyeth video

I delivered my painting to NAA Friday and forgot to photograph the two 8x8s.  I guess I'll have to do it at the show.

Here is a video of Jamie Wyeth.  Years ago while on a painting trip with the Band of Brushes to Maine, on a rainy day, we all went into the Farnsworth's exhibit on Jamie's work, and there was a video there on how he painted.  I actually also like to paint on cardboard.  Here he paints with watercolor used in a non-traditional way, and he uses a lot of spit.  I especially like the shot at the end of the film of the island in the sea.