Monday, July 27, 2015

Perkasie from Cemetery Hill

  pencil, pen and ink 6.25"x11"

My favorite view of my favorite small town.

I'm always surprised by how dark my pen and ink drawings get, because I don't plan them that way. I guess I really love how dark the ink can get, and also love strong contrast between my lights and darks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


oil on linen mounted on board 10"x10"

It's been a while since I last posted. I was away for a bit, then painted something that didn't cut the mustard.

This painting of a large shell in front of a still life took me a month. Is that too long? Not long enough? Who knows, certainly not me!

The green cloth is painted a bright phalo green, much brighter than this photo shows. Kind of like this:

A couple days before the end my studio skylight inexpicably shattered, raining tiny shards of glass all over my set up. I had to finish from memory. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


oil on linen mounted on board 8"x16"
click here to purchase

I like using my still life objects as though they have personalities, with feelings and desires. In this still life, everyone is comfortably nesting, as though they are birds resting after a long flight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kitchen Table with Daffodils and iPad

graphite 12"x9"

Daffodils from Trader Joes (a dozen for $1.79!) and some reflections in my iPad. I'm tried here to not be a slave to what I actually saw, but to experiment a little by emphasizing the negative spaces and keeping the forms simplified, but with clear edges. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lilies and Blue Table

oil on board 6"x12"
click here to bid

It feels like I spent forever on this, but it was only about two and a half weeks. The blue table gave me a devil of a time, but the flowers came much more easily. 

I think now I'll paint something more quickly. It seems I need a balance of approaches to keep sane in the studio.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Irish Coast

oil on board 6"x8"

I painted this Irish coastal scene from a black and white image, but with a limited palette of white, cadmium lemon yellow, cadmium red and ultramarine blue.

I used an image I found on Morguefile (which allows usage of the photos), but converted the original to black and white. Here is what I viewed while painting:

It was an experiment to see if matching values carefully while having the freedom to choose my own colors would allow me to create a decent painting. I'm planning on having my painting class try this technique too.

I loved this exercise and want to try more, but want to see Ireland in person even more!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Long and Accidental Still Life

graphite 9"x12"

I often lug a ton of still life paraphernalia to my painting classes. Last week after I got back to my studio, I hastily took everything back out the bags and lay them on a studio table, where I'd been working on my taxes. Once I finished with my taxes, I put my papers away (which had all been on the front section of the table) and noticed an interesting arrangement. 

I like the idea of taking an unplanned arrangement of things and uncovering relationships by emphasizing overall shape over detail. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Farewell to my doggie

graphite 6"x8"

Here is my 15 year old wire-haired fox terrier on the last day of her life, which was this past Monday. 

She had a difficult final year, and so I'm glad her suffering is over- but it's still quite sad. In the end, the only time she seemed content was when I held her in my lap, stroking her. Now I wish I'd done more of that. 

I've been working on some larger paintings and experimental stuff, so haven't been posting quite so often. Hope you will bear with me!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tulips with Carved Ornament

oil on board 6"x8"
Sure, flowers are a pretty subject, but I'm interested in painting them as somewhat melancholy things. 

Is painting about creating beauty? Not for me. I find the things of this world, lit just right, are more beautiful than any old painting. As an old friend used to say, it keeps you humble.

This took me almost two weeks, which is a much more patient approach than I've used in most of my paintings these past few years.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lilies with Carved Ornament

charcoal 16"x11"

When I teach drawing classes, I try and remember to bring along a can of reworkable spray fixitive. Once a student asked me why it's called "reworkable". I wasn't sure, but said that I thought you could "fix" your drawing, then add more marks over that. For the first time that is what I did with this drawing- when I'd almost had enough of it, I sprayed it and then added some additional layers of shadow. Charcoal is such an ephemeral (and sometimes maddening) medium that it was really cool to be able to make it stay in place and continue to work. I think I'll try this again. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Self Portrait (struggle)

graphite 12"x9"

I've always found drawing or painting a self-portrait to be monstrously difficult. I can look at other people's faces calmly and somewhat objectively, but I turn into a slithering pile of self-doubt when I contemplate my own. 

I think this drawing is passable, plus has a nice searching-in-the-dark quality- a grasping at understanding who I am now, at this middle-aged state of being a 55 year old woman.

As just about every woman past the age of 40 must think, it's awfully difficult to get older and begin to feel relatively invisible.  I hope to try many other self-portraits as a way to prove to myself that I'm not invisible at all. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Children Sleeping

Five drawings of my sleeping children, Julia and Will. A lovely subject as close to my heart as a subject can get.

I will be leaving Daily Paintworks on February 20. I've got just a few paintings left for sale there, and you can view them here. My two art tutorials will continue to be available.

I'm now working on paintings and drawings that I don't finish in a few days, and much of my future finished pieces will still be for sale via this page.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dog in Sunlight

 oil on board 6"x8"
When I paint something, the hours spent staring at the subject often has me thinking how strange and beautiful it is. Everything on this planet is wonderfully strange, even a dog, if you try and imagine you're a Martian, on earth for the first time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dreaming Cow

charcoal 11"x17"

I've been teaching charcoal drawing to a private student, and decided that I needed (and wanted) to get back to using this medium. It's difficult, to say the least, but forces you to see the big picture. Even the thin vine sticks are not good for detail. I find it's quite similar to using a paint brush, and so it's a good prelude to learning to paint. Using the kneaded eraser feels like using white paint- as though you aren't really erasing, but adding whites.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Three Cows Watching

oil on board 6"x8"

The gentle, passive curiosity of cows is endlessly appealing to me. 

Since September I've been posting new paintings quite infrequently, due to lingering issues with my vision since cataract surgery. Finally I've got a pair of prescription glasses so I can focus both near and far- thus can happily paint again. I feel like a whole new ball game just got started!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Trotting Pig

oil on board 5"x7"

Lucky in our modern world is the pig with the freedom to trot around on a grassy field.

This auction is starting with a low opening bid of $50. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quebec City Chimneys

pen and ink wash 7"x7"
click here to bid or purchase

I love this view of just the top parts of a long row of beautiful homes in Quebec City. See the lower chimneys in the lower left corner? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Carriage Horse

oil on board 6"x8"

This carriage horse is working in Philadelphia's Independence Mall area. I like the swirling composition created by all the black lines against the horse's whiteness, as the head turns. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Philadelphia and I-95

graphite 6 and 3/4"x 9"

I found some great views of Philadelphia by walking partway across the Ben Franklin Bridge. Here is a section of Old City, contained and wrapped around by the enormous concrete ribbon of the adjoining I-95 highway.

It's been a little over a week since cataract surgery was done on my second eye. Although I'm still adjusting to the changes, the world looks a hundred times more beautiful now.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Girl in a Museum

oil on board 8"x6"

I love the pose this little girl stricks, as her mom looks at Van Gogh's "Sunflowers".  I'm happy with the way this turned out, especially the way the two figures fit together, and the way the mother seems to be in motion while the daughter is not.