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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Frame complete

Frame for the Garden Painting
This frame was a bit tricky.  I have a strip that is the gutter and it's painted brick red.  Then I have another strip that would generally be the outer strip and the edge would be flush with the surface of the painting, but I'm attaching another strip of actual picture frame molding to that one.  The tricky part is that I cut the first two strips to have a butt joint and I want the picture frame molding to have a mitered corner joint.  I also want to attach the picture frame molding to the strip molding to make it one piece before attaching it to the first strip (gutter strip).  I had the picture frame molding that was given to me years ago by an art association when they were cleaning out their basement, and the rest of the lumber, etc. cost me $55. Well, it all worked out OK.  Here's a photo of the corner of my floater frame.
back view showing butt joint and miter joint

front view showing brick colored gutter

straight on view

side view of outer edge, my stain was a good match
Countdown complete
I'm delivering it to Rockport on Wednesday for their Associate Members Show.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Preparation for framing

Framing the Garden
I painted the gutter strip brick red and stained the outer strip that the picture frame molding will be attached to.

What's Next?
I'll go back to working on the 'door' and make some adjustments before tackling the lower section of the open door and it's cast shadows.

Student Resuming
My student will be resuming her studies with me starting early April.  She's excited to get outdoors and paint the landscape.

Camera Lesson
I was going to return my camera because I couldn't figure out how to learn about the color settings, but a friend came over and helped me to understand some of the settings and download the big manual, so I guess I'll be ok once I have the time to study the 214 pages.  Another good thing about this is that I have a BIG camera, that I've had for probably more than 5 years, and I never used it for this same reason--there are lots of manual settings that I couldn't understand.  That camera is a lot better than a point-and-shoot and it would take much better photos of my finished paintings.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Garden Pathways-ready to frame

The Garden Pathways After the Rain
I repainted the paths several more times, can't get the effect I wanted.  I'm finished for now.
After the Rain, 30x40" acrylic on stretched canvas
Maybe my studio lights are also giving me troubles.
I am afraid that when it's hung at Rockport it will look different again.
I decided on a rather plain wood frame and will attach it to the strip frame I'll make and stain the same color and add a reveal or gutter.  The wood compliments the greens.

Still can't figure out this camera, and now I set something so the screen is black and you have to look through the viewfinder.  The colors looked dusty and not very green.  Using the enhancer in the smart mode in the post processor (Elements-Photoshop) gives me more accurate color.

3 days left
I stopped today at Home Depot and got the strips and stain to make the frame tomorrow.

Click here to see another of my palm trees in today's DPW auction entry.

Interesting story in today's Globe about avant-guard art.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Playing in the purple mud

Painting the Garden
I've strolled down those garden paths quite a few times, trying to find the right color and value to portray the mud in the paths and I haven't even started on the puddles.  Finally, I had scrap the purple idea, it needed more light and the cool color wasn't working.  I worked with the puddles too for a while and scrapped them as well.

I did check my inventory of moldings and have a half dozen that will work, so when it's finished I'll take it downstairs to my carpentry shop and see which one works best.

I'm really getting fond of these acrylic paints.  It seems that I can work closer to my own speed with them.  When you want to rework an area, it only takes a few minutes and you can go back into it and the colors stay as intense as you mix them.

Today's post to DPW's auction, click to bid.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Getting out of the woods

Out of the woods
I worked on the upper left section of the canvas today and still have a few adjustments to make there, and tomorrow I'll move to the section just below.  I brightened up the bush in the bottom left corner.

Countdown to delivery=5 days.

I found some decorative picture moldings that I forgot I had and will see if using that in conjunction to strip framing will work for this piece since I don't have enough of the nicer bigger molding.

Read the booklet, but there are still lots of questions I can't figure out.

George's day of beauty  
We had the foot doctor come and give him a pedicure, the shave girl came and shaved him, and then his barber came and cut his hair.  He loves the way the barber cuts his hair.  He's feeling good. (p.s.  my husband is in hospice with Pulmonary Fibrosis and can only stay in an area of 6 sq. ft.  When I paint in my studio I have him on a baby monitor and can talk to him when he wakes up, then I go down and make him tea and whatever else he needs.)

My right foot
When the foot doctor came he also did my feet and I have a callus that I've had all my life on my second toe of my right foot, and he said surgery could help with that, so maybe some day.  I would have had this done years ago if I had known.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Time Management-not the best

In this blog:
   Time Management-show countdown
   Bad Pictures Colorwise-new camera
   The Business End-50%?
   Getting Out of the House-necessities
   Would You Believe?

Time Management
A bunch of things that took up too much time today and I didn't paint on the garden painting and since everything is going south, I better wait until tomorrow or I'll make mistakes.  The countdown to deliver this painting is 6 days from now.  I guess that is one advantage of painting with acrylics.

Bad Pictures Colorwise
I decided to add 5 palm tree paintings to my DPW page and couldn't locate those files on my computer so I tried to take new photos with my new camera.  The colors are way off, and this camera should be taking better pictures than my old one.  So I really need to read up on this new camera.
After uploading one photo, I decided to wait and see if I could get a better picture and then load the palm tree paintings up one day at a time. I never put them up before for the same reason, the colors just are nowhere like the paintings.
I did try to fix it with the post processing but couldn't get anywhere.
For example, the sky is pink and purple and it feels like a hot day.

The Business End
I also had to work on my inventory sheets and did a little other administrative stuff.  The artists on the talk radio shows and in magazines who are asked what percentage of their time they spend on actual painting usually say close to 50% because of all the other things that have to be attended to.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a booklet on Word and today went in to work on it again.  I'm new at Word and couldn't figure it out.  Wow, what a test of my patience.  I was good at WordPerfect and would like to make the change to Word.

Getting Out of the House
I didn't get to the grocery store either, so tomorrow first thing-- I'll grocery shop - and go to the post office to send off the small paintings that have found a home.

Would You Believe?
Then, it was cold in the house when the afternoon came around and upon investigation found that I had run out of oil.   So I had to pay the extra money to have a same day and after hours delivery and have the system restarted.

So now you can see why I should quit while I'm ahead today (or behind, whichever!).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stuck in the bushes

Garden Pathways
The upper right corner (bushes and trees) of the garden painting got my attention all day today.  Puddles are still waiting to be done and I'm thinking about how to do them all the time.  Usually I work all over the painting, but this time I'm tackling the sections that are calling out to me, I think in order to keep the relationships working together.  Perhaps this is because I'm new to working in acrylics.  I want it to be finished in only a few more days so I can make the frame and bring it on Wednesday for receiving in Rockport.  Do you think I'll make it?

It seems a little dreary, but it is a rainy day.  I want the paths to brighten it up.  Notice the rose bushes?

Here's a gift
Take a peek at the beautiful work of Clyde Aspevig!

More good news
Sold three more paintings!  I had started to make a small booklet to include with my shipped paintings and this week I don't have time to finish it in order to enclose it with these works.  Maybe I can make up a few abbreviated versions.

Small painting frame options
I like to put the small paintings on easels on tables, shelves, etc., but they look really fabulous in a frame for hanging on your walls.  I especially like some of the frames at King of Frame, mostly the floating versions.  For approx. $40 you can have a very professional, well made, beautifully finished frame, and their floating frames look like your typical frame but you set the painting into it from the front with a couple of spots of glue on the back of the painting.  That frame comes beautifully finished on the backside with paper and wire hangers already attached.

I'll be varnishing this today and it will darken the background--in real life, it's not this purple.
  There is nice juicy paint on the onion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Planting flowers and painting brick walls

Another stroll in the garden

For about 4 hours I worked on Garden Pathways.  It's not as lose as I'd like.  In my old age, I'm getting more and more neat and organized in my daily life and it's translating to my art work.
This is to show you how I hung my reference nearby so I could see it.  This
acrylic painting business uses both hands and then some so far anyway.

Now that I see it photographed this way, I see that perhaps I should chop off
the bottom part.  Painting is like eating, I save the best part for last.
So the wet paths with maybe a puddle or two, will come at the end.

Picking up art work

By 1 p.m. I had to stop and get ready to go do a few things and pick up my paintings from the 3-day weekend show at 50 Island Street Studios in Lawrence.  My friend, Liz Peck, has a beautiful studio there and let me use the hallway leading to it which comes off the main hallway.  Today there was quite a to-do because she wants to move to another studio, a very nice big one with big north windows, but there is some disagreement over who was first in line for it.

Excerpt from today in ArtAcademy.comby Michael Britton

Steadfastly crossing deserts of disappointing painting contributes significantly to the development of an artist's voice that is honest and, hand in hand with sure technique, powerful. 
A successful passage to constructing an honest voice is fully incumbent on two pillars: first, having faith in yourself. Lacking resolve and commitment to your art guarantees that you will perish in the desert. The second pillar is a sound foundation in the craft of painting.
The craft of painting is comprised of four elements: foremost is color and composition. Painting, at base, is the arrangement of colored shape. This is as true for realist works as it is for abstract and non-objective paintings. Your first, and most important shape is the canvas: the pictorial surface.
Color and composition is followed by drawing. Edwin Dickinson epitomized drawing as assessing how wide by how high and getting the angles. Whether painting a premier coup (a first strike) oil sketch or drawing a portrait correctly establishing the overall shape is critical.
Drawing also denotes rhythm. I refer to drawing the overall shape as striking the arabesque. Terminology implies intent. Contour is static, Arabesque infers movement and velocity, hence rhythm.
The fourth element is the abstract structural patina of the paint surface. This is the expressive autographic brushwork.
A brilliant painting is the result of a wholly correspondent union of these four elements. Dickenson's Providence, Long Island, 1935, as with Adams 1923 journey, was the near instantaneous culmination of a painful slog of several months through a barren wasteland.
The reward of these difficult journeys is that singular painting that is the spark that ignites a profound body of work upon which a career is built.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Experimenting with acrylics

Broke the Record - Weather Report worth reporting!
Yesterday, Sunday, March 15th, we broke the snow record!  Read article here.   Read it in the paper and see other events of the day.  

Painted in the Garden
I spent another 4 hours or so on the Garden Paths painting.  I want to find a way to get interesting texture and marks on it.  I used my knife a little and I'm not really a knife painter.  From a box of sample mediums I used some gritty stuff, now I'm not so glad about that because when you look at the painting from the side you see this stuff that makes it's own pattern--like when your oil painting has shiny and dull areas.  Oh well, we'll see what happens today.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Painting with acrylics is working out

Camera stuff
It took a while but I finally got the photos off my memory card from the broken camera.  It was a project, the solution was simple, but getting there wasn't.  I took a couple of photos with the new camera, but I haven't set it up yet or read the book.  There is always a new learning curve, isn't there?

Using acrylics
Watched some videos, looking for ways to organize myself while doing acrylic paintings.  I painted for probably 6 hours and I'm liking working with acrylics so far.  My hold back right now is being afraid to ruin brushes.  Everyone says acrylics are so hard on brushes, so I'm only using old brushes that are already ruined somewhat.  I'm getting better at not making such a mess of myself and the surrounding area.

Weather report
It is snowing today and we definitely got the 2" they say we need to break the all-time record but I haven't turned on the TV to find out.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Day of Rest

Garden Paths perspective

Show this weekend at Lawrence Studios
(where the painting kept falling off the wall)
Carnival - the painting on the wall on the right. 
The hallway by Liz Peck's Studio.  The biggest one on the right kept falling down.
I make my frames, have the molding made at a mill, that one is hard maple but
it's toast now.  I can salvage some of it and make a smaller frame.
I liked this artwork and had my friend and artist, Georgia Renfroe, stand there for size reference.
Famous Artist
If you want to try to be a famous artist, all you have to do it this.  Spend about 5 years at the Angel Academy in Florence.  If you want to see what you would be in for, check this out.  It's 3 years for the fundamental course and 2 years each for 2 post grad programs.  Now I wish I could live to be 100, then I could attend here and still have a few years left to paint!
Paint Palette tip
I like this tip from Tom Brown.
Usually I just leave my paint on the glass palette in my pochade box.  Then when I get home, I just take it out and start painting again, but this would be cleaner, we'll see.

Lately in the studio I've gone back to using my old fashioned hand held palette.  I think because it's light weight and I can hold it and myself closer to my work for those subtle adjustments, all the while using the 20 foot brush!

My Favorite Teacher
Heard from my very favorite art teacher on Friday the 13th.  It meant a lot to me.  He is an amazing teacher.  I ordered a book that was written on him, and here is a link to his web site (note the size of his paintings).

Also dropped my camera, one of my best friends.  Friday the 13th is usually a good day for me, so we'll just suppose that dropping the camera was a good thing?

I have a new friend...Went to Best Buy and got a new camera, Canon PowerShot G16.  I like a small, lightweight camera BUT this one is bigger and heavier :(   The good thing factor?  It has some features that might help me, I'll have to report after I try it out.

Magazine Day
Then when I got home, the mailbox was full of art magazines!  I'm in heaven.  They all came on the same day.  Now, to paint or not to paint, that is the question.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

More trouble with perspective.

Cameras and keystoning
I went back to my photo montage where I cut and pasted to make the idea for this painting.  I made a photocopy of it to draw out the perspective lines and they don't come out right on the photo either, no wonder I'm having trouble.  I don't think the trouble is with the paste up I made, but I think the camera makes changes, for example, when you take a picture of a NY street scene, the buildings keystone which is leaning more than it would if you were actually looking at it with your eyes, the camera makes this adjustment.  See here.
I wanted to post my garden path subject here but dropped the camera and it won't work.  I'll post it later.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I started with emails and somehow got involved with posting about a thousand pictures to my Pinterest page for skating.  The rink website will be converting to a new one, and so all these wonderful memories of the past will be able to live in cyberspace through this Pinterest page.  It's 4 o'clock in the afternoon now, and I've been doing it all day long.

Kind of late to be starting painting for the day, but I went up and made some corrections on the perspective without much success I might add.  I tried a lot of things and it's not right yet.  I'm taking my time and working out some other aspects of the composition.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Beautiful weather today!

Big break in the weather, YAY!

I sanded the area on the door painting where there was a split in the canvas, sort of looked like a tear but not all the way through but had rough edges, and it did smooth out very well, and I think when I paint over that section which is not finished yet anyway, it won't be noticeable.

Had to do some inventory, posting, and other administrative work, then I worked on the acrylic painting.  It is going to be a challenge to pull it together.  I do love working with acrylic so far and think that I need to wear a raincoat in order to keep myself clean.  Who says oil is messier?