Monday, May 2, 2016

Satsuma Mandarin and Grapes - 8x8 inches - oil on canvas

Satsuma Mandarin and Grapes - 8x8 inches - oil on canvas
There is a farm stand near my home, Idylwilde Farms, that I really enjoy.  It is actually much more than a farm stand.  They have a green house, a bakery, a deli counter, meats, fish, cheeses, wines, a large selection of gourmet products, and of course, great fresh produce.

On a recent visit, I spotted a bin of Satsuma Mandarins, a fruit I had never seen.  Most of the fruits had a stem with some leaves attached.  I probably spent 15 minutes digging through the bin to find a pleasing subject to paint.  Some had a giant cluster of leaves.  Some had leaves that were bent.  Some fruits didn't have a stem at all.  Finally, I found one that I liked.  

I never did eat the Satsuma Mandarin so I can't report on what it tastes like.  It sat in my studio a bit too long and spent too much time under a hot light surrounded by oil paints.  Hmmm.  Not too appealing for an afternoon snack.

"Satsuma Mandarin and Grapes" is an 8x8 oil on canvas painting with a wood floating frame (see photo below).  This painting is available at Artists Corner and Gallery in West Acton, MA, or, you can buy it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below.








Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

I Wanna Hold Your Hand - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

Naming a painting can be difficult.  Sometimes, as I'm painting, an obvious title pops into my head.  Other times, I'm at a complete loss.  

One artist that I know, Tamara Gonda, uses Judy Collins songs as inspiration for her painting titles.  Since I've always been a Beatles fan, I thought I'd use her technique, hence the name of this painting.

Lately I've been going back to familiar subjects that I love to paint.  Cherries make great subjects with their smooth shiny skin and expressive stems.

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is an 8 inch square painting.  This painting is framed (see photo below).  You can buy it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below or, from Artists Corner and Gallery in West Acton, MA.




Monday, April 18, 2016

Kiss Me! - 4 x 4 inches - oil on canvas (plus some stained glass fun)

"Kiss Me!"  - 4 x 4 inches - oil on canvas

My Hershey Kiss phase continues.  I love painting the foil wrapper.  I start with fairly dark colors, then add my medium tones, and, finally, the foil starts to come alive as I add the bright highlights.  It seems like magic!  

This painting is framed in a simple floating frame (see additional photo below) and the painting is available at Periwinkle Glassworks in West Acton, MA, or directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below.






Speaking of Periwinkle Glassworks, I spent a fun Friday evening with a group of friends making another stained glass piece.  I've started to incorporate sea glass that I've collected into these small collages.  Below is a photo of my latest one...so much fun to do and I love looking at it hanging in my window!



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Pickle Jar" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

"Pickle Jar" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas, framed
I love painting pickles!  The variety of soft, muted greens...capturing the surface of the pickle juice ...the reflections on the glass jar....all good fun.

I love the color scheme in this painting - the pinks and oranges in contrast to the greens.  Makes me smile.  That's what I hope when someone buys my work that it will bring them joy every time they look at it.

"Pickle Jar" is an 8 inch square painting.  This painting is framed (see photo below).  You can buy it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below or, from Artists Corner and Gallery in West Acton, MA.





Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"New York Style" - 20 x 20 inches - oil on canvas

"New York Style" - 20 x 20 inches - oil on canvas

Most people, when they look quickly, think this is another donut painting.  Look carefully....these are all bagels!  

I'm not sure how this idea popped into my head but I got pretty excited and went to the market to buy a selection of bagels.  I think I only found 5 kinds and then googled other bagel flavors to find reference photos to create the rest.  This was a fun one to paint that came together quickly...enjoy!


"New York Style" is a 20 inch square painting.  You can buy it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below or, from Artists Corner and Gallery in West Acton, MA.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Flirt - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas

"Flirt"  - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas
As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been going through Hershey Kiss phase lately.  This time, I set them up on top of an antique wood box that I picked up at a vintage fair.  The box was a challenge to paint but I love its character and and it makes for a nice base for my two kisses.

"Flirt" is a 6 inch square painting framed in a  floating frame (additional photos below) and is available for $75. You can buy it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below or, visit Artists Corner & Gallery. in West Acton, MA






Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hershey Kiss Series - Petite Paintings - SOLD

I went through a "Hershey Kiss phase" recently and did a series of petite paintings of these little gems.  I love that the paper "stem" gives each chocolate kiss a bit of personality depending on whether it is short, long, bent, standing tall or crumpled.  I also love how the foil just jumps off the canvas.  Someone asked if I used metallic paint but it is just a combo of plain old blue, red, yellow and white.


Each canvas is 3 x 3 inches and each are framed so the total width is about 4 x 4 inches. 


"Kiss!" -  3 x 3 inches - oil on canvas, framed

"Exposed" - 3 x 3 inches - oil on canvas, framed

"It's a Wrap" - 3 x 3 inches - oil on canvas, framed








Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Bog Shadows" - 5 x 7 inches - oil on paper

"Bog Shadows" - 5 x 7 inches - oil on paper

This piece was painted "en plein air" which is just a fancy way of saying that I painted it on location.  I've painted at this cranberry bog many times.  The colors change dramatically with each season and on any given day depending on the weather and lighting conditions.

I really wanted to keep this loose and abstract and really pushed the colors.  I really love this one!  This painting can be purchased at The Artists Corner & Gallery in Acton, MA, or, directly from me.  Purchase info is at the bottom of this post.

In other news: last Saturday night, I attended the opening reception for "Feast: Images of the Edible" at Gallery Seven in Maynard, MA.  Kelli Costa, the gallery owner had a beautiful spread of food and it was crazy crowded (in a great way!)  I was proud to have my painting "Pop!" displayed just over my friend Tamara Gonda's "Cotton Candy."






"Bog Shadows" is 5 x 7 inches; oil on paper.  It comes matted and is ready for any standard 8 x 10 inch frame.  $60 shipping included.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

"Fall Splendor" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

"Fall Splendor" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas
I painted this back in November on a relatively warm day.  I set up my easel on the edge of a field and painted as fast as I could (I didn't have much time).  I wanted to keep the painting loose and somewhat abstract so have a time restriction was a good thing as it forced me to put down the large shapes and not sweat the details.   

I donated this painting to the Commonwealth Ballet for their benefit gala last month.  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pop!

Pop!  - oil on canvas - 16 x 16 inches 
I'm excited to announce that my painting, Pop!, was accepted into the "FEAST: Images of the Edible" show at Gallery Seven.   The show runs through April 2, 2016 with the opening reception on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 7 - 9 p.m.  Everyone is welcome!

This was really fun to paint as the kernels seemed to literally pop off the canvas.  I started with a pink wash over my entire canvas but I left 25 white areas for the kernels.  I then blocked in the background color.  One by one, I painted each kernel and really paid attention to their unique forms and color.  Below are some progress photos:







"Pop!" is a 16 inch square painting framed in a black floating frame and is available for $600.  If you are interested purchasing it, please contact Kelli Costa at Gallery Seven at info@gallerysevenmaynard.com or 978.897.9777.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Magic of Plein Air Painting

"Plein air" painting is just a fancy way of saying "painting outside" or painting in "plain air."  Plein air painting can be a lot of fun but it also has many challenges. 

One of the biggest challenges is that the lighting conditions change quickly.  At the start of your painting experience, the sun might be directly overhead and a tree has a shadow directly underneath.  Within an hour, the sun has moved and the shadows move accordingly.  Most plein air artists work relatively small so they can quickly capture the essence of the scene and avoid the problem of "chasing shadows."

Other plein air painting challenges are environmental conditions.  Wind, rain, bugs, heat, and cold can add complexity to the painting experience.  I've not only been bitten by bugs but also had bugs fly onto my canvas and get stuck in the paint.  Windy conditions can be especially challenging as I've had my easel blown over by a strong gust of wind.  An umbrella or finding shade can be crucial in the heat of summer.  And, of course, cold weather painting requires hat, gloves and a warm clothing.

With all these challenges, why leave the comfort of your climate-controlled studio to paint outside?  There are many reasons why plein air painting can be a  magical experience.  

When traveling, have you ever taken a photo of a beautiful vista and somehow when you get home, you look at the photo and it looks dull and ordinary?  As an artist, you pick a location because something about it inspires you.  Being on location you get an emotional response that comes through in your painting.  Below is a photo of sand dunes on Plum Island and the painting that I created called "Dunes in Purple."  The photo looks pretty bland and yet my painting is filled with color -- colors that can't always be captured by a photo.




Painting is a very solitary activity so it is fun to get outside.  I've met some really nice folks while plein air painting.  Below is a photo of a hot dog vendor that I met a couple years ago.  I set up my easel a short distance away from her cart and happily painted.  Eventually, she got curious and headed over to see what I was doing.  We ended up chatting and she was tickled that I had chosen her as my subject. 

           


Plein air painting is challenging for sure, but it is worth the extra work and hassle and is an important part of my journey as an artist.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Pick Me!" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

"Pick Me!" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas
Happy New Year!   I thought I'd start out 2015 with a happy donut painting, and, as a bonus, it is calorie free!  There is something about painting donuts that makes me smile.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of painting them!  

This painting is available at the Artists Corner & Gallery in West Acton, MA.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Halcyon Days" - 12 x 12 inches - sea glass collage - SOLD

"Halcyon Days" - 12 x 12 inches framed - sea glass collage
Back to another sea glass collage but before I talk about it, I just want to say happy holidays and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015! 

"Halcyon Days" was created using sea glass that I collected from beaches in New England.  I have not altered the glass in any way -- they are exactly as I found them - tumbled smooth by the ocean over many years.

This collage is one of a kind and can never be duplicated as each piece of glass has a unique shape, size, and color.  This collage contains 78 pieces of sea glass.

The frame is 12 x 12 inches.  More photos are below.






Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stained Glass Collage

"Stained Glass Collage" with sea glass
For those who follow my blog, you know that I'm obsessed with sea glass.  What you might not know is that I've always been fascinated with stained glass as well.  

Last week, I arranged a "Girls Night Out" with a group of my buddies and we spent a really fun evening at Periwinkle Glassworks making stained glass collages.  I was able to incorporate a few pieces of my own sea glass into my creation so it has personal meaning to me.  The three pieces are the brown "Vita" piece in the upper right corner, the deep green bottle top in the lower left and the ridged white piece in the lower right.

The process was really interesting.  We spent about an hour arranging scraps of colored glass until we were satisfied with our overall design.  

The second step is to wrap each piece with copper foil.  This is quite time consuming and you need to burnish the foil to make sure it is smooth and adheres well to the glass.  You can see my piece in progress in the lower right corner. 



The next step is a quick brush of a liquid called "flux" that helps the solder stick to the copper foil.  And finally, we used a hot solder iron to melt solder and fuse all the pieces together.  I left my solder quite bumpy and chunky as I liked the irregular effect and thought it added to the charm of my piece.



I now have a huge appreciation for stained glass artists!  Although fun, it was quite tedious and there is a tremendous amount of skill and knowledge required.  I definitely want to go again and am already thinking about what to do for my next creation!




Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Sea Spray" - sea glass collage - SOLD

"Sea Spray" - 7 x 9 inches - sea glass collage - SOLD
Ever since a trip to France about 10 years ago, I've been fascinated with collecting sea glass.  I spent an afternoon on a Mediterranean beach finding a couple handfuls of smooth, tumbled sea glass in a range of pastel colors.  I was in awe and couldn't stop!  When I got home, I put together an abstract collage that hangs on my wall and it is one of my treasured souvenirs from that trip.

This obsession with sea glass has ruined my ability to go to a beach and simply relax and enjoy the experience.  I'm always walking with eyes down looking for colored bits of tumbled glass.  So, over the years, I've garnered quite a collection and I'm always looking for creative things to do with it.

"Sea Spray" was created using sea glass that I collected -- mostly from beaches in New England.  I spent a long time arranging the pieces and trying to come up with a pleasing composition.  This piece is unique and can never be duplicated again. 







Friday, November 21, 2014

2015 Desk Calendars are Here!

side view


2015 Desk Calendar

My 2015 desk calendars are here!  I select 12 of my favorite paintings that I've created from the past year and put them together in this handy desktop calendar.  The calendar measures 8 x 4 inches and the base is 2 inches wide so it sits nicely on a desk, countertop or windowsill.  See below for more images.  Quantities are limited.  Makes a great stocking stuffer!






Side view