Tuesday, April 01, 2014

"Under the Stars" oil 8 x 6

Our challenge for this month in my painting group was the theme "open".  I mulled it over for awhile, and decided on "Open Air Concert".  Especially during this long, long, long gray winter, I pine for the evenings of summer outside, listening to music, or in this case, watching Boston's Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Common.  
Thanks for looking!  

Friday, March 07, 2014

"Favorites" mixed media 8 x 6

My teaching schedule includes one block a week where I get to teach art.  We have been working on value, and the five zones of light.  Next week we'll try this exercise using white crayon and a watercolor wash.  The students will make a contour drawing, all closed shapes, and label the shapes from 1 to 5, lightest to darkest.  They'll apply white crayon to the lightest areas, and then cover with a watercolor wash.  When that wash dries, they'll rub white crayon on the next lightest areas, then wash again, and so on.  The result is a lovely, toned piece where the darkest darks receive 6 washes, and the image emerges with each subsequent wash... a bit like batik.  
This month's Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge theme was mixed media.  I took my "Favorites" study, and added some soft pasted accents.   See the rest of their work here.  Let me know what you think.  Thank you!

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Tabletop - Mason Hudson" watercolor & ink 3 x 9

Because we visit Monhegan Island for the same weeks each summer, we often see the same people who are visiting on a matching schedule.  We have made friends over this dozen years, friends we see on the Island, and sometimes off the Island.  We have watched our friends' children grow up.  They have watched our daughter grow up.  I love seeing the inside of different cottages that our friends rent.  This is the tabletop inside one of those cottages.  Books, wildflowers, hurricane lamps, sun streaming across the table, shelves holding dog-eared books, and well-used board games. And, a beautiful painting of the harbor, with Manana as its backdrop.

Thanks for looking. I'm enjoying this exploration of summer from the gray and more gray of this winter.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Fishing" watercolor and ink 5 x 5

Back to my sketchbook during this long, gray, snowy winter.  I have a lot of source material from Monhegan Island, and am working on a series of images from the dock.  Everyday, there are young (and older) people on the dock passing the time in ways that hearken back to another era.  They fish, they read, they swim, and toss things, and just hang out. 
When I was a child, my parents owned a house on Cape Cod. We spent a month there every summer and commuted every weekend during the school year as well, at least for the first few years before sports took over our free time.  On the weekends, I spent hours sitting on the dock at the public beach nearby.  I would watch, listen, and absorb the rhythm of the waves below me.  These children on the dock remind me of those times.  I'm going to build on the series, and use these as studies for some oil paintings. 
In the spirit of the Olympics, check out this very short video I shot on the Monhegan dock a couple of summers ago.  You'll see what I'm talking about:

Thanks for looking, as always, I love your comments. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

"Downtown Dusk" 8 x 6 oil on board New Year's intentions

The December challenge for Girls Just Wanna Paint was "intentions".  December is a tricky time to think about intentions. Busy. Busy.   I choose to think about being more intentional, choosing my path rather than reacting to what is on my plate.  One of my goals during this coming year is to spend more time in the city.  I love the streets, people, constantly shifting view as the juxstaposition of buildings and light is constantly rearranging itself.  The city is so stimulating.  I love it.  My husband, daughter and I spent New Year's Eve afternoon, and evening in Boston, walking across the city, dining, watching the wonderful and eclectic parade and then fireworks.  We positioned ourselves on Boylston Street across from the Trinity Church where we could see all the festivities.  I loved every minute despite the cold.  So, my intention is to treat myself to the stimulation of the city more frequently... sort of a gift to me!  "Downtown Dusk" is my intention on canvas. 
 I often look at my paintings in black and white to see if the light and shadow pattern holds.  It's a good way to pick up any value shifts that are breaking the pattern.  I'm pretty satisfied with the results here, but may make a change or two in the coming days.   
See the other interpretations of last month's challenge here. 

Thanks for looking, Happy New Year, and see you in the city.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Chinese Chime" oil 16" x 12"

This is one of my favorite studies, and one of my paintings that I am keeping in my own collection.  Over the years, there have been a few paintings that I know I will keep.  Sometimes it is the time, place, event, a memory, perhaps, that motivate me to keep a painting.  I love this painting for its complex simplicity, and for its edges, and because every stroke has meaning, which is always my goal.  I try to get my idea across with as little detail as possible, but lots of information.

 You can see the combination of hard and soft edges, and the brushwork, thick and thin paint.  

Thanks for looking, and Joyful Christmas!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

"Rupert" watercolor & ink 6 x 8

This month's theme for Girls Just Wanna Paint is "birds".  Several summers ago, we met a gull on Monhegan.  Of course, there are hundreds of gulls on Monhegan, but this one had a very distinctive square head, and markings, and showed up day after day on our deck. We named him Rupert (no idea why).  Rupert has good lines, and looked lovely in the late afternoon sun.  He spent one summer with some viridian green on his head, which I guess he found on an artist's palette on our deck.  One of the things I love about Monhegan is watching gulls fly from east to the west side of the island each morning, a distance of about a half mile, then back again in the evening.  I think they must nest in the nooks and crannies of the cliffs each night.  Their cries are synonymous with salt, sea, sand... 
See the rest of this month's challenge paintings here.   As always, thanks for looking, feel free to share.