Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Nancy Pelosi

oil on board 6" x 8"

Saturday, June 8, 2019

21B Rooftop Study

21B Rooftop Study
conte pencil

My landlord has allowed me access to the roof. I've spend much time up there this week, sketching and getting acquainted with the views.

It's a little difficult getting up there; I have to climb an extension ladder then pull myself and all my supplies up through a skinny hatch in the ceiling. I have a fear but also a fascination with heights- I think the worry keeps me on high alert.

The other day I slipped up there and landed hard on my tailbone. Today I dropped my new metal easel on my own head as I was trying to get through the hatch. Hope that was it for the mishaps up there- for a while.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Spring Onions

oil on board 8"x6"

The local farmer's market opened for the season on Saturday, and I'm hoping to find inspiration there each week for a while. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Life Drawing (and Painting)

I'm running a life drawing/painting group, and so I HAVE to show up every week. The fifth month in, I'm feeling more confident. What great practice, and what great fun it is!

Painting from a live model is exciting the way painting outdoors is- there is a strict time limit imposed, so you have to make clear, concise and quick decisions, focusing on what really matters.

We alternate weeks between shorter poses and one three hour pose. Here are some of the drawings and paintings I've been the most happy with, starting with a painting from last night:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Saint-Sauveur, Quebec City

oil on board 8"x6"

I used a restrained color palette here of Ivory Black, Ultramarine Blue and Yellow Ocher, then added just a touch of red here and there. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Harsh Morning Light on Arch Street

oil on board 8"x6"

I prepped a board with clear acylic gesso because I wanted to try painting on a beautiful ocher-y surface instead of my usual white gesso. It took three days of slathering the paint on to get the painting to have a good sense of light- it seems I had to paint very very thickly to get a light color to not show the brown surface coming through. But this was wonderful! The thick texture was fun to work with, and I used a palette knife in the lightest areas.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Conch Shell in Daylight

oil on board 8" x 8"

I've been fiddling around with palette knife painting lately, and this is my second try. I began with a careful drawing, then painted the entire thing with my palette knives. Spreading the paint with knifes is wonderfully fun but also daunting. It's kind of like eating without utensils- or even eating with furry paws or something. 

I am happy with the colors here, and it's probably a good way for me to paint from time to time, as I do normally get so caught up in detail, losing the forest for the trees. 


oil on linen mounted on board 12" x 12"

I was thinking of possible titles, such as "Tulips with Greens" (which sounded too much like a description of a dish), but then settled on what I feel this painting is all about- longing. Longing for something unnameable, ungraspable, and outside that window. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Little Gargoyle and Poplano Pepper

oil on canvas mounted on board 8" x 6"

Here is a wee painting of two things that don't seem to belong together, but that's what makes the little scene pleasing to me. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Duct with Orange

pastel on pastel board 13.5" x 13.5"

Pastels still feel like a new medium, but I'm beginning to realize that despite what I've heard, it's not necessary to have 500 pastel sticks to get the colors you need- just keep blending, then layering, etc. But I am starting to dream of having 500, no mistake about it! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Six Oranges

oil on canvas mounted on board 12 1/4" x 15

This is a study of oranges in preparation for a class. Turns out I kind of like it.

My business is humming along pretty well for being so new. Life Drawing on Sundays has been filling up, as are my classes and classes taught by others.

Here are some negative space studies by some students in charcoal that I think are quite effective:

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Blue Mood

charcoal and white pastel on blue paper 18" x 12"

Time has flown by since I opened my new business, and things are going well. I taught four classes this fall, and am getting ready to teach two this winter, and they are almost full. My four rentable studios are rented (one to me of course!)

But it's hard to not feel a little blue at my lack of time to focus on my own work. At least I fit this drawing in!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Opening Day at 7th Street Studios

Yesterday the doors to 7th Street Studios opened to the public. An avalanche of hard work has devoured all my time (and the time of some lovely volunteers) for the past two months, so today I think I'll.......just relax and do some laundry.

Anyhow, here are some photos of the place all fixed up. The only things missing are the shoji screens I've ordered, which will be put into floor stands so the panels line up straight, and used to divide a few studios off from the large, main space.

These photos were all taken before any people came, but there were many visitors!

Classes begin Oct. 18. 

Looking north, with a painting by muralist Tim Gibson in the background.

A place to relax.

 My still life collection- finally enough space for it all and room for more!

 A collection of plaster casts, several from the Giust Gallery near Boston.
Three more are on the way!

Classes begin Oct. 18. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A New Art Center

I've got intense plans underway to open an art center in my hometown of Perkasie, which is central to the Upper Bucks County area. 7th Street Studios will have some exhibition space, and room for an art supply retail shop, but the primary use will be for drawing and painting classes and open membership studio space for artists.

One major draw is going to be a fine collection of plaster cast sculptures for subject matter, as well as large collections of seashells, old tools, plants- anything that holds visual fascination for artists.
Here are a few sculptures on my shopping list, all sold by the Guist Gallery, near Boston. The quality seems so superior to other plaster casts sold online in the U.S. Which ones do you like best?

I have a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2000- which I must meet or I get nothing. This will help pay for the sculptures, wooden easels and a digital projector for "artist talks". I'm using my own funds to cover the other costs (of which there are many!)

If you would consider giving any amount at all- even $1- please go for it! Thanks so much.

More details about 7th Street Studios can be found at the website.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Spiral and Twist

oil on linen mounted on board 8" x 8"

I've been patiently plugging away at this painting of a shell hung on my studio wall, but now that it's finished I'm changing direction for a while. 

I'm excited and proud to say that I'm going to be opening a new business in September, and need to spend August getting ready. 

7th Street Studios will open its doors this fall in Perkasie, PA. It's a beautiful 3000 square foot space that will be home to several studio spaces as well as two teaching areas, exhibition space and room for things such as group crits, artist talks and watching films about art and artists. It's a dream I've had for a long time, and I'm super excited. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018


oil on canvas mounted on board 6" x 6"

I love the shape of all pears, but especially this one with its chunky bottom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

White Stack

oil on canvas mounted on board 8" x 6"

I'm running a summer painting group, where we try out a new challenge each week. The idea is to try something a little different- a new technique or subject matter that we aren't quite comfortable using yet. 

This week's challenge was to paint on black gesso. I found the process intriguing. It felt more like using pastel than paint, because the lights stand out so beautifully against the dark surface, but the paint had to be built up thickly to really cover the black. 

I enjoyed keeping the shadow areas large simple shapes, and letting the black peep through here and there. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Robert Mueller (second portrait)

oil on board 8" x 6"

I still have my mind on this guy. My first portrait of him was a profile view, and I wanted to try painting his full face. I like his expression here, which I interpret as a mixture of caution and intelligence. 

When I paint a portrait, getting a likeness that satisfies me usually doesn't happen until the final day. There is lots of fussing over the mouth and eyes, but overall I may spend more time on the non-features, like the folds of skin under the eyes, and the shape of the forehead, cheeks and chin. That's where the real likeness is found. 

My recipe for painting a portrait from an image:

1. Paint simultaneously from a color image and a black-and-white version to get both the colors and values right.

2. Paint the entire thing upside down, but frequently turn it right-side up to check results.

3. Paint the details, then when you get tired of them and the painting seems to be going nowhere, move your easel back 12 feet from the images and paint from that distance. It's help pull the portrait together, and the main large shapes will be more apparent. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mirrored Still Life with Wooden Garlic

oil on canvas mounted on board 8"x 8"

This was a tough one. The still life was lit with such a strong spotlight that I needed to keep the shadows fairly dark in order to show their strong contrast with the brilliantly lit areas. As always, I never seem to feel sure as to how much detail I want to include. Sometimes lots of detail helps a painting be strong, sometimes it hurts! 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

White Tulips

charcoal and conte crayon 12" x 9"

I love working in charcoal, but sometimes feel like I'm fighting against the old-timey look that seems part of the medium. I ended up using a whole lot of white crayon, which was enjoyable.