Thursday, December 31, 2020


pastel on pastelbord 6"x9"

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky! Goodbye 2020! 

It's wonderful to work on a scene quickly, limiting myself to 1-2 days, before my strong feelings for the subject have a chance to die down. 

Still entranced with pastels, I'm finding they are sweetly agreeable when tackling the soft subject of clouds. Photo credit goes to Roger Brown, a lifetime good friend. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Turban Squash

pastel on pastel card 14"x17.5"

I'm continuing to try and teach myself pastels. My likes and frustrations are probably the same as other artists who struggle with the medium after being comfortable with using oils. I'm entranced by the texture, and the way areas can be left showing either lots of pastel strokes or else easily blended softness. I'm frustrated at not always having the exact colors I need (I have a somewhat small supply), as sometimes only a pure color is what is needed. 

This drawing took me two weeks, and is larger than I normally work. An oil this size would have taken me at least a month. So that's a plus. A minus is the way the dark colors of the background would rain down on the squash whenever I worked back there. And that I can't spray it!! I did purchase some expensive fixitive made specially for pastels and tried it on something else- it darkens and dulls the colors just like any other fixitive. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Half a Shell

pastel on pastelbord 9.5" x 19"

An instructor of mine from my days at PAFA (The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) thought that the practice of cropping a subject is a detriment to the world of painting. He would say that it broke the illusion of a "poetic" dimensional space by bringing too much attention to the edges. Since then I've become a fan of cropping intentionally. I like the tension it can create, and the element of surprise. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Turnips on a Box


oil on paper mounted on board 6"x 7"

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

oil on linen mounted on board 8" x 6"

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Delaware Canal Towpath

oil on linen mounted on board 6" x 8"

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Quiet Los Angeles

oil on paper mounted on board 6.75" x 9"

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

John Robert Lewis


oil on linen mounted on board 8" x 6"

Saturday, June 27, 2020

White Leghorn

oil on linen panel 12" x 6"

So much depends upon the beauty of the ordinary.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Eyes Shut, Mouth Open

oil on board 8"x 6"

A few years ago a friend told me that if I painted "any more zoo animals" he would grab my paintbrushes from me (I had just painted a rhinoceros). Which I think was silly.

Anyhow, who wouldn't want to paint a monkey? Especially one with such great color, and with an expression that holds great significance in the charged atmosphere of late? 

Photo credit goes to Steve Evans. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

I Can't Breathe

oil on board 7" x 8"
bid or purchase

Here is you-know-who headed to Lafayette Square right after it had been cleared of protesters, briefly seen in front of a wall of graffiti.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Jack at Five Months

oil on linen mounted on board 8"x6"

My grandson Jack! 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Sour Cherries

oil on canvas mounted on board 5"x 7"

I've never painted cherries before, and although it seemed very hard at first to paint them as looking obviously like cherries, I discovered that it's all in the reflection and highlights, plus of course the selectively saturated reds. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Grand Canyon

oil on paper mounted on board 6 5/8" x 10"

Still traveling in my mind, I painted from a photo of the Grand Canyon that I found on a Wikipedia page. I love trying to capture great distances in a painting. 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Belgian Lighthouse

oil on paper mounted on board 7" x 7"

Since it's near impossible to do much traveling right now, I'm enjoying finding photos of some faraway places and turning them into paintings. 

This photo is from Facebook's "Artist Reference Photos", a free resource for artists.  

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Oregon Coast

oil on linen mounted on board 8" x 6"

It's time to loosen up, after two months of working slowly and trying to put down everything I see. I painted this study in one five-hour shot and will continue this method until I feel like slowing down again. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Fruit Machine

oil on linen panel 10" x 10"

The still life allows me to slow way down, and so does Pennsylvania's Shelter-in-Place mandate. 
I love painting slowly, sometimes even setting up a peephole viewer to get the colors just right, and work in little sections at a time. 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Pink Ribbon Eggplant

oil on paper mounted on panel 11" x 7"

Dark purple eggplant is gorgeously colored and glossy, picking up surrounding colors with depth and subtlety. Yet they are so very dark that I like to place them next to lighter, more saturated colors. Plus I find this juxtaposition of the pink ribbon on the lumbering shape of the eggplant funny.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


oil on panel 8" x 6"

This is my niece Abby, who will join the Milwaukee Ballet in the fall.  

Friday, April 3, 2020


oil on linen mounted on board 10"x10"

The world has come to stillness, and time seems to expand. Now there is more than enough time for painting, enough time for taking hour long walks, for reading, for catching up with people on the phone. Enough time to be really, really lazy, and for worrying about the future and then coming up with plans. 

Everyone please be as safe as you can! 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Seashells on Pink

oil on linen mounted on board 12" x 6"

The trick for me as an artist is to not allow the anxiety from this pandemic to kill my desire to create. My classes are all cancelled, and my studio mates have moved back to their home studios, so I have plenty of time, which feels strange. 

Here is part of a poem a friend posted the other day that has been helpful for me. Perhaps you'll like it too. 

This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

-John O'Donohue

Excerpt from his books, To Bless the Space Between Us

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Jack at Three Weeks

oil on board 8"x6"

My first grandson, Jack, was born in December. It was lovely to work on a portrait of him, but not easy!