Friday, December 25, 2009

Blueberry Field - Friendship in the Fall

In a previous blog I mentioned our trip up the coast. One of our destinations was through a small unspoiled fishing village called Friendship.
It sits at the end of a peninsula just east of Waldoboro. Friendship is very much a working community and the lobster boats were still moored just off the main dock in their well protected harbor. The lobster season was winding down, traps were being pulled and stacked and summer homes were closed up tight for the winter. Friendship bustles with activity in summer but you'd never know it now. Only the local people remain, holding down the fort during the cold long months of winter until the sun warms the earth and the fishing season begins again.
It's interesting to travel through these parts of Maine when the 'People from away" are gone. The true character of a region remains.
We spotted this blueberry field as we headed northeast out of the village. The stark colorless sky of that afternoon, rich brown tone values and textures of the leaves and ledges were hauntingly beautiful and reminded me so much of Andrew Wyeth's melancholy paintings.
It's hard to believe that this field will brim with sweet juicy blueberries next summer, but the plants are there, hunkered down for the winter, hibernating just like the locals until the frost leaves the ground and life bursts forth again.
This is acrylic on prepared wood panel, size is 11 x 24 and available for purchase.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birdman Cloud

I'm feeliing guilty because there is a beautiful stockpile of pastels packed away in the studio and they haven't been used in quite awhile. Acrylics have captured my attention, at least for now. Maybe it's because of a too busy schedule and this medium provides instant gratification. This acrylic painting(11 x 14) called 'Evening Clouds', is from a photo I took late this summer. We had some dramatic skies this year due to a weird weather system and this was one of them.
I had to paint it because the darkest cloud formation looked so much like a birdman to me. Nature provides the most interesting images doesn't she? I'll leave the meaning of this shape in the clouds for you to interpret.
I loved the bright yellow white light around the head and wings...couldn't have framed it better myself.
Christmas is just around the corner so there may not be another post until after the holidays.
I wish you and your loved ones the best of everything at Christmas time and a very Happy New Year! Let's hope for peace and prosperity for everyone.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Taste of Maine

It's fair to say that my landscape paintings are inspired by Maine so I thought this blog would feature the "before" images that may end up in my work.
We took a three day getaway trip to Camden last week and enjoyed a stay at the Windward House B & B on Main St.. Our room was charming and included a private deck that faced the well known landmark, Mt. Battie. The deck was peaceful in the evening as you can see from this shot with the cresent moon overhead. I sat with a glass of wine in the chill air watching the light fade.

We had a mission the next day to check out one of the local wineries, Savage Oakes Farm, in Union. The
weather was sunny and clear so I was able to get photos with good color and shadow along the way. Our digital camera is my sketchbook and invaluable when it comes to capturing scenes for paintings. The second photo is of the blueberry fields we passed by in the town of Hope. The reds, oranges and purples of the leaves stopped us in our tracks! There were several fields like this on our way to the vineyard in Union. Blueberries are big business in Maine.
Savage Oakes Farm is located on top of a hill on a back road. When we arrived, the tasting room was full and in progress so we joined the group(at 11 a.m. on sunday no less). We were surprised at the number of varieties offered and the superb quality. Their grape wines are elegant and very smooth and they offer two blueberry dessert wines that were also quite delicious.. The farm is open to the public so we walked through the fields to see the animals and vineyard. It was astonishing to see blueberry fields flanking the vineyard..who knew these plants could thrive side by side here in Maine. We bought bottles of Rose and White and enjoyed them with our family on Thanksgiving. Both wines were made only with grapes grown on the Savage Farm.
I'll post other photos of this trip in another blog featuring scenes of detours to places neither of us had visited before(even though my husband is a native!). So much to little time.

Some of these images will show up in future paintings ..maybe you'll recognize a few.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Tapestry - Campobello

Several years ago Steve and I decided to take a
fall trip to northern Maine. I've written about it in previous blogs. In middle October we headed up the coast and made a late afternoon detour onto Campobello Island in Canada, which is across the bridge from the village of Lubec.
As it turns out it was the last day that the famous summer cottage owned by President Franklin Roosevelt was open to the public. We arrived late and had only a short time to see it all before the staff closed it up for the season. We were surprised at it's unpretentious size and furnishings.....and it's remote location. The cottage is not an easy destination even today, but in Roosevelt's time a ferry had to transport them across the bay because there was no bridge from Lubec to the island. After our hurried tour of the camp we drove around the island knowing there was only about an hour's worth of light left. Except for a few local families who remain there year around the island was deserted. We felt quite alone, but the autumn light cast a beautiful warm glow on's a spellbinding time of day and season ...and it seemed that we had the whole island to ourselves .
The narrow winding road took us through a little village where we stopped to take photos of this abandoned old farm. It stood precariously close to the road which wound around the corner and up over another hill behind it. The building appeared to be disintegrating into the ground and looked as though it would fall in at any time. We wondered what life had been like there when the place was built long ago. Across the road and out of frame was a cove with an old wharf and a view of Eastport across the bay. The former owners had been fisherman no doubt. Winters there must have been a challenge but just then, at that moment, the spot was lovely and so peaceful...It was easy to understand Roosevelt's affection for a place like this in summer.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tray Chic-Maine Discovery Museum Auction

The "Tray Chic Auction Catalog" is up and most of the tray tables for the auction are ready for viewing...and bidding. The contributing artists put their hearts and souls into the furniture pieces this year which makes it so hard to choose from but I'm putting my money on two that really strike me.
At the last minute I decided to add my reading glasses to the tray before it was sent off. It's impossible to see much or paint without them, and that includes reading the books that I use for reference painted on the table top... so there you have it....Some of my favorite things.
Check out the other great tables in the catalog...the rest are on their way and will be posted very soon...Pick your favorite and make a bid. It's for a great cause because this museum encourages children of all ages(my age too) to explore and enjoy the world around us. The bidding ends in November with a dinner bash at the museum. Check the site for details.
The table was primed then painted with two coats of a high quality latex. The images were sealed with two coats of an acrylic sealer for protection. I signed the bottom of the tray and the table. Good luck with your bids!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rise'n Swine

For the Skyline Museum Art Show and Sale this year I asked my carpenter son Eric to build another big bench similar to the one we made for the Maine Discovery Museum last year.
As usual he came through with a beauty made of solid wood. My husband Steve painted the body color corn flower blue then I painted a couple of images to finish it off. ..A true family effort this time. I want the benches to be something the owner will enjoy for a long time so I chose a theme that seemed timeless and slightly whimsical...pigs.
This bench is about 65" high and 32 inches wide. The seat is 23 inches from front to back with plenty of storage underneath for boots, scarves, mittens or other paraphernalia.
The opening reception was last night and judging by the large turnout(and the line of people knocking on the door before the opening time) it was a big success. The museum is open on saturdays from noon - 3 and open by appointment for anyone wanting a private look at other times.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Native Son

The opening date for Skyline Farm's Fall Exhibition is approaching fast. I'm so excited about this year's show because there are fine craftspeople included this year...I know many of them and the quality of their work is really outstanding. The Museum has made a concerted effort in the past three years to bring artists from Maine into their exhibitions and there is a wealth of talent to choose from here. Metal sculptures and furniture, blown glass, felted wool, jewelry, bone carving, wood engravings, just to name a few of the crafts included. There will be paintings and photography by 12 other artists as well. The artist reception is next Friday evening from 5-7. We hope you will come, meet and talk with the artists and craftspeople and enjoy what Maine art and craft has to offer. Everything is for sale and many of the participants offer commission work. The holidays are just around the corner and this a great opportunity to purchase something very special that's Made in Maine and help support the local economy.

This painting of Billy O'Reilly's working skiff is in the show. A little boat like this may be lacking in the beauty or speed department but it's seaworthy, dependable and used often....Rough and Ready! There are skiffs similar to this one in all the local working waterfronts, sometimes filled with baskets of lobsters or equipment being tranferred from the main boat to the dock. "Native Son", acrylic at 16 x 20.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Promise

This fishing boat, filled with lines and nets is part of Billy O'Reilly's arsenal of equipment he needs to make a living on Cliff Island. I took the photo for this a few years ago and the image has haunted me since. The upcoming Skyline Show, "Maine Harvest, Land and Sea", provides a venue for this painting and two others I'll be exhibiting about this subject. These works are part of an ongoing series that was started a few years ago and I'm excited about exploring this subject again.
Billy's property in winter is chock full of equipment like this...and so much more. I'm amazed at the amount of work and resources it takes to bring food in from the sea. This rugged dory along with several others around the property are stored safely on land for the next season's endeavors. They might look clumsy on land but in the water these hearty craft can take on big swells with ease.
Winslow Homer's paintings of fishermen show many of them working on dangerlously high seas in the same type of boats. The bow and stern are pointed to ensure that they ride right over the waves.
This painting and others as well as fine crafts by some of Maine's finest artists will be available for sale through Skyline Farm.
I'll post more info about that very soon with a link to see work by other artists in the show.
There will be an auction of donated works too.....and you can bid on line.

This is acrylic on canvas.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tools of the trade

I just finished painting the table and tray for the Maine Discovery Museum Auction..A little behind in my commitments..but it's been a bit crazy this month with so many deadlines coming at once. The base color for the table is Cornflower and the paintings are acrylic with a sealer to protect the images. I really hope the museum does well with their auction in November..I may bid on a table myself. It would great to own one done by another artist. All proceeds from the sales will go to the museum. I had some fun showing a few paints and a favorite small brush that has seen better days..but I love it anyway, scrunched bristles and all. The painted tray sits on top of this.
On to the next projects...The paintings for Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum..and a bench my son Eric just finished building for that show that will have more Tromp l'oeil images too....wonder what to paint on that...hmmmm. Portrait commissions to do also...
The painted tray was featured in a recent blog so check that out if you haven't seen it..some of my favorite artists are represented on that.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Maine Arts Commission Grant Award

Freeport Creative Arts and the Town of Freeport
Invite you!

Experiencing Freeport, Maine, Showing Our Town through Art-Art Installation Celebration!

Freeport Village Station Main Street Freeport US
Friday, September 4, 5:00PM to 6:30PM
Sponsored by an Artists In Maine Communities Grant from the Maine Arts Commission,
an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and partners – Town of Freeport, Freeport Square Gallery, LL Bean, Berenson Associates, Key Bank and Freeport Community Improvement Association.
Artwork by members of the Freeport Creative Arts
Highlighting Freeport's history and natural beauty.
James Chute, Sebastian Meade, Becca Case,
Karen Pettengill, Kathi Peters, William Larkins,
Jennifer Moore, Kathleen Meade, Natalie Nye,
Petrea Noyes, and Alice Kirkpatrick.

Meet the artists, see the work!
Refreshments by Dinner at Your Door.
Music by Not Too Shaap!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My favorite painters

The Maine Discovery Museum's asked 60 Maine artists to paint butler tables with trays for this year's annual auction called, "Tray Chic". What a clever name!
Last year my dog theme was a great success on a bench but this time I wanted to pay homage to painters who's work I admire very much. I have a small library of art books, so two books were chosen for the tray top..There will be a little surprise under the tray on the table top..and that come's later.
Trompe l'oeil, or "fool the eye", is a painting technique that looks three dimensional and I wanted the books to look real...even the tattered edges were added on the upper left corner of the book "Wonderous Strange", that features work by Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, and Andrew and Jamie Wyeth.... one of my most often used reference books. The book of Remington's nocturnal paintings is just amazing..he was so good at capturing the subtleties of night light, regardless of the subject matter.
I'll post more info about bidding on the auction tables as November draws near, which is when the bidding will end. There will be on line bidding for those who can't view them in person at the museum or who can't attend the opening reception and the link will be provided here.
I used cornflower blue as the base color for this piece.
Nothing like a good book to read.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Early Morn on Harraseeket Road

I'm one of ten artists from the Freeport Creative Arts group to receive a grant from the Maine Arts Commission! This is very exciting news and I'm honored to be included. The grant is for a project called, "Art in our Town", and we were given instructions to provide paintings that would fill a 4 foot by 4 foot space. The criteria for subject matter was left to our descretion but it had to pertain to the Freeport area, past or present.
Within the past 25 years Freeport has transformed from a sleepy little shoemaking town to a shopping mecca largely because of L.L Bean's flagship store and main operations center. Big name outlets, local boutiques, galleries, restaurants, hotels and inns have sprung up all over. Visitors from all parts of the globe make Freeport a favorite Maine destination for shopping and award winning eats, international music provided by Bean's summer concert series and some other attractions such as Wolfe Neck State Park. My favorite part of the area is just a short hop away from all the action(you know me.. a country girl)in South Freeport. You won't find any shopping there or big crowds. It's appeal comes from a decidedly low key village by the sea atmosphere overlooking the harbor and marina of Harraseeket which means "River of Many Fish". Our favorite summer eatery with the freshest seafood around is right on the town dock and we go there often. After dinner we drive up and down the tree lined streets admiring the lovely old homes, or "cottages" as some call them, and abundant gardens. While the main drag in Freeport bustles with people and traffic this area still remains untouched by commericalism. One residence in particular strikes my fancy and it sits atop an outcropping of granite ledges overlooking the entire harbor below. What a spot! The gardens, not fully in bloom when this was painted, wind all around the house and are tucked neatly into every crevice of the massive boulders... I had to paint it...
The paintings will be exhibited in windows of buildings in various locations around town..not sure where mine will be yet..
The opening party and reception is Sept 4, at the new Village Station shopping center, from 5-6:30, with music, and refreshments. Please come meet the artists and non artists who helped make this possible.
This is 4ft. x 4ft. acrylic and available for purhase during the December Winter Gala Event which will be mentioned in a later blog.
I really enjoyed working on this large size's hard to paint small now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tied Up

I've been busy working on a small series of paintings for the Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum fall exhibition and this year the show is titled, "Cornucopia -Maine Harvest from Land and Sea".
I returned to a subject matter that I started a few years ago about a lobsterman from Cliff Island, named Bill O'Reilly.
The Lobstering Industry here in Maine is going through very tough times with government regulations squeezing many out of business and lobster prices at an all time low. The situation is tense in some coastal areas and violence among the fishermen has been reported. ..This is life or death for the men and women who earn a living on the sea and now feel that their livelihood may be slipping away.
The show, which opens at the end of September, is a great opportunity to feature someone like Billy doing what he knows and loves so much...lobstering. Joann Lapomarda, who is Billy's long time partner and sometime Sternman, will be collaberating with me on a statement about their experiences for the show catalog. Some of the photos used as reference material for this work were also taken by Joann.
I'm particularly excited for a another reason as well. Included in this exhibit are many of Maine's finest crafts people. I'll talk more about the show exhibitors in my next stay tuned...
This painting is acrylic 30 x 24 gallery wrap canvas and will be available through Skyline.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Studio painter

I really admire plein air painters for their ability to focus during outings and the scenery in this region provides all kinds of opportunities for artists to produce a wide variety of outstanding work. Lots of Plein air groups have sprouted up recently and offer artists a chance to meet other kindred spirits who enjoy painting out doors. The experiences of painting on site infuse work with an honesty that sometimes can't be achieved in the studio. It hones ones abilities of observation just as life drawing does. Dragging art equipment on site, fighting insects, the wind, rain, cold or heat, adds more drama and time than I can manage. I've painted plein air a few times and have to's not for me. I'll stick with my camera for memory references for the time being. The comfort and convenience of the studio provides a place where I can focus completely on my work. (there are enough distractions right now). The studio is a place where I can get into "the zone"....which is solitary and peaceful(not to be confused with lonely), kind of like meditation. When I'm painting everything else is far away.... I believe the sole objective for each artist isn't just a finished work, it's also the individual experience it takes to get there...the journey is just as important and just as individual for each artist. Here are a few photos from a recent drive my husband and I took to a favorite place along the coast not far from here. These will be used for future work. We love this area...fairly lacking in the usual summer traffic.. a real gem.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head....

I can hear the rain pounding on our roof for the umpteenth time in the past ten days but it won't dampen my spirits because of some very exciting news ..Unfortunately I can't share it with you yet.
I needed a break from the studio and other work, so we took a day trip to a favorite location called Evan's Notch. Its in the foothills of the White Mountains and borders New Hampshire. Route 113 winds back and forth from the northern entrance in Gilead then south to Fryeburg. Part of the road hugs the Saco and Androscoggin Rivers, both of which under normal weather conditions run peacefully through the notch. Not so this year! The torrential rains have swollen the rivers into raging and roiling white water in many areas and low lying regions are in flood danger. We stopped to take photos about half way down and the sound of the rushing water was deafening. On the opposite side of the road waterfalls poured over steep ledges running across the road in some places. Today this part of the National Park looked like a veritable rain forest with lush green undergrowth and trees filling every available space.
When the sun finally does make an appearance(and it will) it will be a glorious sight.
Stay tuned for a posting of a new large painting and an the mean time..let it rain..

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Garden Path

This is one of three paintings to be entered into the Freeport Creative Arts Member Show that will be curated by well known American art collector Bruce Brown who has graciously agreed to judge our show for a second year. The exhibition opens on June 14 at Freeport Square Gallery and ends on the 28th, with a reception on June 21 from 4-6.
It's one of my favorite pastel paintings and with the gardens around here flourishing and birds singing all day it seems an appropriate theme. Summer has finally arrived.
A friend's backyard garden provided the scene ..she moved away several years ago and I doubt if the gardens are tended as well, but at the time the climbing roses covered a simple arbor made by her husband. The chestnut tree provided a soothing cool canopy on hot summer days and the inviting stone path led to a view of her horses' pastures in the fields beyond the fence.
I'm still debating which other two pieces will be submitted for Mr. Brown's selection...and then there's the dreaded artist statement to be included...that little project has plagued me recently but I'll let you know which of the two paintings are chosen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where There's hope There's Art

The UMVA exhibition is up and ready for the public to view at Freeport Square Gallery on Main Street in Freeport, Maine. The show runs through June 1 and the artist reception is coming up on this Sunday, the 24th, between 4-6 p.m.. Members from southern most Maine all the way to Bar Harbor submitted work for this show. It includes paintings, photography, encaustic, sculptures in wood, clay and mixed media.
Many thanks to Caren Marie Michel for her help and to Maria Castellano-Usery, Ken Sahr and Nicole Herz for use of their artwork for show PR.
If you're in the Freeport area this sunday please stop in to check out the show, meet some of the artists and share some food and refreshments.
Here's a listing of the artists in the show. Please check out these websites for more artwork by some very talented and dedicated Maine artists.

If you're in the Freeport area, please stop by on Sunday to meet the artists, check out the show and share a bit of food and refreshment with us...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scratching in the Dirt

Writing my statement has always been a problem and as my work evolves the statement should too. I'm in a transition period right now...kind of like closing one door behind me and slowly opening another, but not knowing what's on the other side. So I attended a small workshop to help artists define their statements...good timing.
It was very interesting to hear the statements of others and they all had a good handle on the reasons why they create or perform. When it was my turn to speak... I was stumped.
The conversations of that meeting churned through my head for several days while I tried to pin down verbally my own reason for painting.
I wondered...why are we so different than non artistic people and driven to express ourselves visually? Could it be that artists are closer kin to the individuals who painted animals on cave walls, or who carved the history of their civilization into stone and wood, or made up dances and music that told stories of important earthly events that would be passed down from generation to generation. Our earliest ancient human history has been preserved through those types of visual arts. It was all created by the artists of those times and predates the developement of the written word.
Just think..thousands of years ago, the first artist picked up a stick, scribbled a symbol into the dirt and communicated an idea to another human.
We, artists that is, are moved to communicate visually because there are elements of our existance that still can't be expressed through words. First pictures..then words.
My statement is starting to take shape..but feels like I'm just scratching in the dirt..

Friday, May 8, 2009

My friend Kathi

This is a recent portrait of me in casein done by my best friend and artist Kathi Peters. Kathi is most well known for her contemporary realist equine work but she is adept in all genres including the figure as shown here. Kathi's in Lexington tonight with her husband Les, attending the opening of her first really important solo show called, "Finding My Voice", at Gallery B and I'm thinking of her now....
Kathi's story is an inspiration to me and everyone who knows her. She suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and has traveled a long and arduous road back to recovery. I'm in awe of the courage and determination she's shown during this period because she's had to overcome many serious physical and emotional obstacles that come as the result of a stroke. One of her most remarkable accomplishments is that her artwork has become more powerful, focused and better than ever.
Please click here to see her story and more of her paintings, drawings and papercuts.
Since her stroke she's become an advocate for other stroke victims and is dedicated to getting the word out about stroke symptoms and warning signs.
I hope she's having the greatest time this evening and enjoying the limelight that she so deserves.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Girls Girls Girls

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our next granddaughter and we're just as excited about this little one as we were the first. We had three robust boys in our family..... so girly stuff was not in the picture for quite some time.(I was out numbered on all fronts believe me) It was a huge relief to me when more women finally came onto the scene. First came the three daughters in law and then granddaughters. At last I could commiserate with family members who understood and appreciated the female perspective! The men and boys remain forever perplexed by us...and we them.
Here are two paintings of granddaughters Sydney and Madeline..Kelsey's painting is a work in progress and will be posted when complete. She is tall and lovely and looking forward to being the big sister. She'll be taking riding lessons this summer...horses, horses, horses..
Sydney, with golden hair flowing and wearing her favorite sunglasses looks like a glamour queen in this painting. She's a beauty and so sweet to her little brother.
Madeline seems pensive and thoughtful as a three year old in the graphite drawing..She's now 8 and skis like a champion.
The boys deserve attention so paintings of them are on the way. These aren't for sale...just wanted to show off the girls....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Instead of April

This painting was posted a short time ago on the blogg called April Bouquet..not quite finished. Here it is all done. I changed the rose bud blossoms to a soft green which is closer to the actual hue..this also breaks up all of the oranges that were in the previous image. I added a lone purple blossom on the left for the same reason and to give it balance compositionally.
I have three new paintings for the UMVA show which is coming up in less than a month..Now to choose frames that will tie them all interesting process in itself.
The Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor has asked me to participate again in their annual fall auction called, "Save Me a Seat". Last year the beautiful bench my son and I collaberated on got the top price in the auction. This year the subject is tables...Time to start thinking about the theme for that...I really enjoy this kind of challenge....and deadlines are a good thing for artists...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Heading Home-Pownal

I've passed this farm a million times since we moved to this area over 30 years ago. It's a local landmark known as the Knight Farm and is only a few miles from our house. Everday this property changes with the light and the seasons...stoic, vigilant, timeless..a welcoming facade that sits right next to the road as you come up over the hill then down to the center of town.

Sweeping meadows drop down behind it and the attached barn is still straight and impressive. Once a successful working farm the majority of the land was recently donated by the family to a Conservation Land Trust and is now preserved for the public to use for all kinds of recreation and also abuts a state park. The fields are cut and baled every year and small herds of deer often graze there at night. Late one rainy night a large buck ran out in front of my truck, then bounded across the road after just knicking my rear view mirror.

The setting sun hit the windows and car just right and luckily we had the camera with us..I had to paint it..the sky was a million colors..yellow, orange, all kinds of blue...with thin feathery clouds streaking across. A magical moment to me.

This is a study in casein...11 x 14 on prepared plywood.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where There's Hope There's Art

The Union of Maine Visual Artists is Maine's largest single visual art organization in the state with over 350 members in three regional chapters. This year there's a big member show coming up at Freeport Square Gallery called, "Where There's Hope There's Art", which opens on May 19 and runs through Memorial Day weekend. So far there are 40 artists from all three chapters in the show.

As the show organizer I am very excited to bring you a few of the works that are in this tremendous exhibition. These talented artists prove beyond a doubt that the creative spirit is alive and well here in Maine. These artists have given permission to use their images for you get a sneak preview of coming attractions. The work you see here is by, Maria Castellano-Usery of Brunswick, Ken Sahr of Northeast Harbor, and Nicole Herz. There are photographers, sculptors and mixed media artists as well.

All art will be for sale and there's an artist reception(party ..and yes, you can come) on May 24 at the gallery between 4-6 p.m..

There will be another show update on this blog one more time before the show begins.

By the way...Board Members of this organization have spent the past several years producing seven documentaries called the Maine Masters Series which explore the lives and work of significant Maine artists such as Dahlov Ipcar(my favorite), Stephan Pace and Alan Magee to name a few. There are several more documentaries in production stages as well. The UMVA recently received a grant from the Maine Arts Commission to send DVDs of the documentaries to all 185 school systems in the state. The films have been shown nationwide on PBS too. To find out more about the UMVA go to

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Bouquet

The weather and scenery haven't provided much in the way of inspiration lately. The landscape is gray and muddy, downright depressing if you ask in lieu of that I decided to set up a colorful still life in my studio. A bouquet of yellow roses edged with red, together with pinkish purple chrysanthemums looked so lively and was just the thing. The Chinese bowl lined with a lime green glaze adds an interesting jolt of color and the carved cat gives a little twist.

I prefer painting on hard panels as opposed to canvas and this is a 17 x 16 piece of prepared plywood. I covered it with Colourfix terra cotta primer too which adds so much depth and richness to the glazes. I'm still working with casein and acrylic..just love the earthy colors and wet, swishy medium..pastels will have to wait.

This isn't quite finished yet..but it's far enough along so that I can step back for a few days and get a fresh perspective on the final touches. I'll post this again when it's done.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring in Maine

It was blustery and cold today. I can still walk on top of the snow but see bare patches of ground popping through everywhere. On warm days our driveway is like a mud the boots right off your feet. This back and forth season is typical of spring in Maine. Someday soon it will be summer..the change is that quick.

Today is Gracie's last day with us. She goes home to her real family and Koda will be missing her for sure. We, on the other hand, will not miss having a dog, who feels like a 35lb sack of potatoes wedged between us, sleeping on our bed. I posted an ablum on Facebook of the two playing together..real buds.

My website has been updated with new work from the past few months as older work has been sold and gone to good homes. There is a new photo of me on the artist page. ('s not Martha Stewart)

I'm coordinating a member show for the Union of Maine Visual Artists in May. It's going to be a great many talented artists in this group. Information about the show will appear here as time draws closer.

In the mean time I'll be working on new paintings for the show and they'll be posted here as well.

The last blog didn't get sent out..don't know what happened there, but scroll down to read it if you have time.

This is a pastel painting called "Keep to the Right" and is a road not far from here. Right now the field is covered in snow, but will be just like this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Silver Moon

I hesitated to put this image on my blog. An artist needs to show consistency in her work and this is very differnet from my ususal style. It's one of my first casein paintings and is a portrait of my Tennesse Walker mare Reggie. She often had a far away look in her eyes...who knows what she was thinking. I always wondered and hoped it wasn't a sadness or longing for something. Guess that's what I was trying express here.
Experimentation with materials, application methods and subject matter are integral to my creative process. The image is mysterious but simple and expressed what I saw in her. It sold quickly so it must have touched a chord with the buyer too.
Maybe there's a lesson in this...
By the way..the reception at the cabaret went very well. One of my favorite paintings sold. Peculiar feeling though..I'm at once thrilled that someone loves it enough to buy it..but tinged with melancholy that I won't see it again.....kind of like what's in this painting.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Artist Reception

This weekend on Sunday, the Freeport Cabaret will be hosting a reception for me between 2-4! I'm very excited about this event because the cabaret is a popular place for fine wine, food and great music in the Freeport area. I've invited alot of people including family, friends and collectors so I hope that everyone will come and enjoy the party. There will be live music as well..piano played by "Flash" Allen!
This painting is of a distant view in Aroostook County, Maine...way up country and very rural. The area was known for its large potato farms years ago but has fallen on hard times. When we were at this road intersection we decided not to make the 11 mile drive to Quimby because the sun was going down and we had a schedule. I'll always regret our decision because the soft light lent a mystical look to the distant hills....maybe we'll go back some day to see that little village.
The sky colors and cloud shapes were so unusual that evening..this is watercolor 4.5 x10 and it's part of the 21 paintings in the show.

Monday, March 9, 2009


In a recent blog I mentioned that time away from a painting has a way of making one see things from a fresher stand point.
The door frame in the original painting was too bright and distracting ..I wanted it toned down to a warm gray so a mixture of cerulean blue, naples yellow and cadmium orange was scumbled across it. Titanium white was added to lighten it. .. more yellow or orange on areas of reflected light.
The original orange base proved to be helpful and peaks through the final layer. I didn't want a solid color..a broken surface keeps the eye moving.
The wall partition behind the plant needed adjustment on the end..that was cooled down too and helps to keep the focus where it should be ..on the main subject.
Some of the colors are slightly softer in reality..this photo was taken with a flash..
I just gessoed some hard panel boards in preparation for the next few paintings....There's something I always wanted try..

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just Thinkin'

I've been focused on Koda as my subject for the past several studies and small paintings. Some of those will be used for larger paintings but I've come to a point where some ruminating has to take place before those happen. This last(for now anyway), painting of Koda, was finished late last night. I was inspired by a Wyeth watercolor of his dog Nell called "The Kass'. Wyeth's painting is very simple but so poignant..Nell is lying on the floor in front of an imposing Pennsylvania Dutch armoire called a Kass that was given to Wyeth as a gift from a grateful client. Sunlight pours in bathing Nell and just hitting the elegant carved details of the cabinet. My house is less grand but this scene of our great room was just right.
This is 11 x 14 casein on Jack Richeson pastel board.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This Is Mine

I couldn't believe my luck when I saw the photo of Koda used for this painting. The picture was taken about a week ago. I clicked away on the digital as she raced around almost running me over with her beloved soccer ball. The ferocious look in her eyes, the weird angle of her tail, and the flying ears just cracked me up. I dare you to catch her when she has this ball! NO CAN DO!..The only way to get her is to wear her out..which wears me out!
This is 5 x7 casein on heavy card stock with terra cotta Colourfix primer as an the stuff..the dog too.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Koda Under the Leaves

I've had an idea for this painting of Koda mulling around in my head for a while. Don't know why but the idea of wallpaper designs got me started. My thought was to put her against that type of background and it had to be harmonious and decorative but not distracting. To show more movement and energy I placed the leaves or feathers, whichever you prefer, randomly across the if floating or dropping. Not sure why the leaves or feathers either..just like the shapes and the green harmonizes with her reddish coat.
Koda was reluctant to pose for me..I woke her from a nap but she came through and gave me just the right look. What a clever girl..
This is casein on 11 x 14 Jack Richeson toned pastel board...

Koda's Path

It felt great to get back into the studio again. I finished up the painting of Koda in the snow and left most detail out of her face and lightened up the tracks. I spent some time recently photographing Koda outside...really interesting shadows and colors to get for future work.... Might at well strike while the irons hot(or cold as I sit here with many layers on)There's another snow painting coming with something different in store.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

Just getting back to normal here..what ever that is...after a tremendous snow and ice storm swept through several days ago. We lost power for two days but consider ourselves fortunate because there are still people without it! We have a generator and that sweet little machine kept us here and comfortable too...a very good investment..
Not much opportunity to get into the studio however...digging out takes a lot of time....
But there is always a positive I posted some photos taken right after the storm and a day or two since..The snow is still sticking to the north side of the trees even after 5 days. ..the wind really blew and plastered everything. It is quite beautiful around here but very costly and time consuming to clean dams on the roof, drains to clear, snow banks to push back so we can see traffic when heading out. Steve took an afternoon to straighten up the graceful birches that line our driveway..they were completely bent over, bowing to the snow god. The bird feeders are almost level with the snow..the squirrels are ecstatic.
It's so lovely but exhausting.
By the way my studio is the second floor of our home which is in one of the photos here. I'll post a few photos taken from that perspective on the next blog.
We live in a winter wonderland..might as well enjoy...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dog Path-winter

This casein underpainting is of a play break with Koda during a very sunny day last week. On some winter days the sunshine reflecting off the snow is just blinding. It takes a moment for ones eyes to adjust. As I squinted to look for my dog I was struck by the contrast of an orangey red form coming toward me through the bright cool colors of the snow. It was if Koda had materialized out of the light and suddenly there she was. She had completed her mission..her tail wagging happily....time to go in.
I loved the brilliant blue of the deep footprints and Koda's shadow...(what is it about blue...)
There are a few more things to do with this then the finished painting will posted...kinda like it roughed in like this's all I could really see..

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Barn Cat and other stuff

I came across this older colored pencil drawing of a cat we owned several years ago named McGhee. She was affectionate and sweet but had a screw loose.. Probably the result of inbreeding. She was a bob tail but had the ear tufts, size and coloring of a Maine Coon Cat. Her fur was almost a violet color in certain light..very striking in appearance really.
We took in as her previous owner couldn't deal with her messy habits. I loved her exotic green eyes and high cheek bones...with a face like that all was forgiven...

Just a quick note to mention that I'm on Facebook now..please join if you're so inclined..or just check it out.