Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top Shelf Aucton for Maine Discovery Museum

It's been along time between blogs. Summer is a wonderful memory of many warm and bright sunny of the best summers that we recall. We were busy every week. Now the crisp fall air is here and filled with smells of wood smoke, cooling earth and molding leaves. Things are winding down. We 're closing up the yard for winter and have a new garden shed to store plant pots, outdoor furniture and tools. Last week I made a delicious caribou stew, courtesy of a coworker whose husband got it during a hunting trip to Labrador. It was the first of many slow cooked comfort foods to come.

Every year at this time the Maine Discovery Museum's Annual Fall Gala and Auction in Bangor comes around. This show title is called, "Top Shelf" and was so named for the wall shelves painted by Maine artists invited for this year's show . The dinner gala is a big event in Bangor and I'm very excited to be included. The date for the gala is November 19.

It's always interesting to see what other artists chose do for their pieces.

I decided to paint a scene of Schoodic Point in Downeast Maine. We traveled through Acadia National Park in August and went just a little further north to this remote region of the park. It was one of my favorite locations....especially this beach on Frenchmen's Bay facing Cadillac Mountain in the distance.The clouds were so low and puffy we thought we could reach up and touch them as they floated overhead.

For info on how to bid for your favorite shelf go to

Two special pieces are offered on of them is donated by author Stephen King!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An afternoon in Shapleigh

My work keeps me pretty busy and it's interesting but I really look forward to my days off, especially when the weather is so nice. Steve needed photos of a new listing in Shapleigh so we made an afternoon of it.
While he was at the town hall gathering information I took Koda for a walk through the sweet park in the village center. I was surprised by a pair of handsome Canadian geese with a family of seven fluffy gray sygnets. Dad and mom walked toward me with threatening looks as I approached them for photos. You can see the pond and bridge in the photo of the geese. The gardens and gazebo are beautiful too. From the poo covered sidewalks I'd say they own the place for now.
When Steve finished we headed north to Limerick to pick up lunch, then we found a quiet lakeside spot on West Pond in Parsonsfield to eat.
The bottom photo is of old Mousam Grange which is across from the town hall and the park.
I'm inspired by the scenery in Maine and paint these places in my head..getting to the studio is quite another thing....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

3 Phases of the painting "Native Son"

Here are three phases of an acrylic painting called, "Native Son", which was completed two years ago.
I couldn't get the photos set up correctly on this blog so the first phase is actually the one on the bottom . The canvas has been covered with a terra cotta underpainting which is just like the papers and panels used in my pastel paintings. The warm tone makes the cool color palette in my work sparkle. It's rare that I paint on a white or light toned background.
I paint with a big brush(house trim painting size)
and use all the tips and edges for blocking in and shapes right down to the smallest areas including the mooring line. The only time I use a small brush is for my signature. I found that this works for me because I have to move my whole arm to get what I want...there's more energy in the strokes. Yellow was added midway then white and green mixtures were scumbled over areas of the boat. I used a dry scumble of greens on the water for depth and reflections.
The scene is from memory. When I was a kid we lived near Casco Bay and these islands could be seen from the beach where I spent many summers. How fortunate I was....

The outboard motor was my favorite thing to the shape of it, especially the little prop in the sun.

The clouds came from a photo I took in the California desert around Palm Springs.

The skiff....well... she was on dry land in the middle of December...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who's your Buddy now.

This is 'Buddy' a handsome mixed breed dog owned by a friend. He reminds me of a German Shepherd in this portrait, especially with his large upright ears and coloring. His direct gaze speaks to his personality which I'm told is strong and energetic but lovable.
This guy loves to run and he has just the right home for it with a big beautiful field on the owner's property and plenty of pesky wildlife around to keep him a family of foxes.
His new mother loved him from the start, but he was a handful and his dad wasn't quite sold on the idea. It took a little time but Buddy worked his way into everyone's hearts and now his dad takes him everywhere.
This is acrylic with touches of casein mixed in, painted on a terra cotta toned panel. I started using toned pastel papers several years ago and use that same underpainting for acrylic and casein. You can see it peeking through in the background and in areas of Buddy's chest and neck. I like the warmth and cohesive quality of this method.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photoshop experiments

The pastel panels I ordered should arrive tomorrow and until that happens I'm playing with recently finished acrylic paintings in Photoshop. We've had this program for about 12 years now and it's been really helpful when it comes to altering paintings for the "What ifs". I'm never satisfied with a finished painting...there's always something I should've done differently and this program gives me a chance to try it. I've also found that by flipping a painting horizontally distortions are easy to spot. That's come in very handy since there's no mirror in the studio and dragging some of my paintings down spiral stairs to the bathroom is an accident waiting to happen.

Here are three versions of the acrylic painting 'Puddy' and it's interesting how the hues and tone values change the feeling. One of the applications makes him look like he's moving.

These are my favorites..

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cape Porpoise In Winter Light

Easter was a great day for Steve and I. We had a good hike in the morning then a short break before going to our son's home to celebrate the holiday and two family birthdays. The weather was cooperating for a change so we had a cookout prepared on their new hot dog cart that will be set up in Freeport this summer. Check it out on Depot Street.

After such a full day I like to go to the studio in the evening to paint. The act of painting has become almost like an act of meditation. I think it's the result of painting more often in the past two months and just getting into a rhythm. I care less and less about little mistakes and let them be.

I liked the roof shapes in this scene of Cape Porpoise, the dock with the light bouncing off the poles and the land across the cove. This little harbor will be busy soon...I like to remember it this way.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A walk in the woods

On Easter morning we decided to take a short hike on a new trail here in Pownal, cleared by volunteers of the Royal River Conservation Trust. This organization received grant money to install two bridges and extend a public trail system connecting Bradbury Mountain State Park to Pineland Farm in New Gloucester. The new section includes a beautiful wooden and steel bridge that spans the Chandler River and was just completed about a month ago. The trails are all open, free to the public, for hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing and horse back riding. We are fortunate to live in a place where these natural amenities are at our doorstep and can be enjoyed every day.

We met like minded neighbors who were hiking with their two boys and were just as impressed with the work as we were. We plan to go back often this summer and bring our family members too. Koda enjoyed the walk and gave me a happy face on the bridge.

One of the photos shows an ancient piece of farm equipment left there long ago. Many of the original farm's stone walls are still intact and run everywhere through the woods down to the river. They are covered with rich

green lichen now and mark off old cow pastures.