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. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Girl with Cezanne's Flowers

oil on board 8"x6"

I belatedly realized that my last painting was a bomb, so I deleted it. I'm happy with this one though. 

This girl was visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art with her family, and seemed distracted from looking at the art. She instead was busy absorbing the atmosphere of the place on a crowded Sunday, and I kind of thought she was a work of art in her own right. I have to be really sneaky with my camera.

The painting behind her is Cezanne's "Still Life with Flowers in an Olive Jar". 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Three Musicians

oil on board 6.5"x7"

This young woman is contemplating Picasso's "Three Musicians" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

End of a Summer Day, Saint-Roch, Quebec City

pencil, pen and ink wash 4.75" x 12"

How I love pen and ink. I like the way I have to incorporate accidents into the overall aim of the drawing- it's difficult to be too perfectionistic with a medium that is unerasable. I always start with a very faint wash, and often end up being surprised at how dark the darks end up being.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Two Good Things: Cataract Surgery and an Article

I've been reluctant to mention this, but over the past year or so I've been having problems with painting from life.  It's hasn't been so bad to paint from the brightness and saturated color of my iMac monitor, but trying to work from a still life or landscape has been awfully hard. Turns out it has been the fault of my eyes- I've had early onset cararacts. It may have been caused by years of painting outdoors in full sunlight.

I just had surgery on the first eye, and am excited and eager to paint, but need to take it a little easy this week. It feels like my eye and brain and trying to catch up with each other.

Meanwhile, Bucks County Magazine just published a nice article about my work, written by Michele Malinchak. You can read part of it here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

View of Old Quebec from the Saint Lawrence River

pencil, pen and ink wash on paper

This view of Quebec City shows a slice of both the Upper Town (Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (Basse-Ville) as seen from the Saint Lawrence River. You can see here some of the beautifully geometric buildings from the University of Laval's School of Architecture.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


oil on board 8"x6"

This woman is studying a Van Gogh painting of sunflowers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I like the way her blond hair in a bun blends in with the flowers, seemingly adding to the generous bouquet.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Girl Among Orchids

oil on board 7"x 5"

My mom gave me the idea to take pictures of people in public gardens, so I took a trip to one of her favorite places, Longwood Public Gardens. This girl is inside the huge glass conservatory, admiring the orchids in the Orchid Room.

My mom has always been super supportive of my work. Tomorrow we'll celebrate her 83rd birthday- Happy Birthday Mom!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mother and Daughter

oil on panel 6.5"x 6.5"

This young mother and her daughter are waiting to cross a street in Quebec City. The late afternoon light on them was so beautiful. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Girl in Madagascar

graphite on paper 9 3/4" 6 3/16"

This drawing is based on a photograph by world-traveling photographer Steve Evans, taken on a visit to Madagascar. I was quite taken with this girl's beautiful eyes, and her open, unselfconscious expression. 

Steve generously allows artists to use his photographs as reference material, as long as he is given credit.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Stabled Horse

oil on board 6.5"x 6.5"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Plans

oil on board 5"x7"

At times this was really fun and satisfying to paint, but also very difficult. The patterns in this young woman's hair were wonderful to capture, but overall it sure took a while to get a good balance of light and shadow. The shadowed skin tones needed to be deep enough to keep the backlighting dramatic, but also have a glow from the reflected sun on the waters of the Casco Bay. But now I'm happy with it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bird Watching

oil on board 6"x 6"
click here to bid or purchase

Last month on a business trip, my daughter found this kitten wandering the streets of Atlantic City. I told her that no, he couldn't stay, but since then have become very attached to him. We still haven't named him! 

Usually I paint on flat hardboard panels, but this one is on a 3/4" cradled panel, which doesn't necessarily need a frame.