Saturday, August 01, 2020

ring-billed gulls

Another from one of my photos.
Overworked it a bit, but it's okay: this is just practice. Hope to do it larger, where I'll have more room for details in the eyes, beaks, and wings.
One thing I do really like is that blue and ochre bloom on the bottom left!

herring gull


From a photo I took.
A lot of people around here dislike gulls because they are such scavengers; they tear up bags of garbage people put out.
You know what I dont like? People who dont secure their garbage!
I like the gulls just fine. I think they're beautiful.

Monday, July 27, 2020



A couple more oystercatchers.

Sunday, July 26, 2020



Very humid here, so I got a lot of fuzzy edges, but the humidity also allowed me to keep dropping color into the darks to make them darker.

Saturday, July 25, 2020



I visited a nearby gallery with my friend Gina this week and saw some lovely, simple watercolors of shorebirds.
Made me want to paint!
Starting off with one of my favorites, the American oystercatcher.
I may go back and add some dry brush texture to the wing; overworked the chest and wound up having to add a schmear of white gouache.

Friday, July 24, 2020

kitchen table still life


I don't know why, despite my desire and intent, I cannot maintain a consistent painting practice. I am going to keep trying.
My kitchen table was covered with colorful fruit and vegetables after a trip to the farm market.
Sat down and had at it, no plan. ... I like the way the yellow of the lemons bled into the purple: that's my favorite part!
So, I was going to add something on the left, to, I hoped, help the composition, which is pretty awful.
But, typically, I can't decide what to do. A bowl? A vase? Maybe wallpaper?
Sometimes plunging in leads to unsolvable problems down the road.
At least I got the paints wet!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

trumpet vine


Even though I have many lovely flowers blooming in my yard, I have not had the desire to paint in quite a while.
I picked these sprigs of trumpet vine--I love the dark orange color--this morning and literally forced myself to make a loose sketch.
I'm not happy with it, of course!
But ... gotta start somewhere.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

philadelphia ave.


Painted this from a photo I took last summer.
I like scenes with rooftops.
I got a lot of blooms in the foreground: it was an accident, but I like them; they kind of suggest the ripples or drifts you sometimes see in sand.


This is an abandoned building in a town up the road from me called Shellpile.
I always liked this scene, but I'm not sure it works as a painting. Too much "empty" space; maybe a dramatic sky?

Thursday, June 04, 2020

plein air: ocean ave

                        11x15 (unfinished)

Today my friend Diane and I met and painted for about 3 hours in Cape May.

I drew the roofline of the Queen Victoria b&b (below), which took me a while and still isnt 100% correct.
But when I started to paint, I saw the paper was defective; the paint soaked right in.
So I'll trace my drawing onto another sheet to paint another day.

Then I turned around and drew the building across the street from the b&b (above).

I went out this morning planning to do loose, un-detailed sketches! And I did just the opposite!
Blame the Victorian architecture!


wildwood ave. beach


Another go at this scene.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

plein air prep


Plein air time is coming. I am going to try to focus on two goals:
1. Simplify
2. Don't overwork
Made small sketches of two scenes near my house, and tried to paint them quickly, simply. Hoping this will help me distill the qualities I want when I try a larger version.

Friday, May 22, 2020

plein air?


It's almost plein air season here at the Jersey Shore.
Our governor has opened beaches, with restrictions. I'm a little worried about what's going to happen when the Cape fills up with out-of-towners, but, since I am hoping to get outside and on my kayak, I guess others are hoping the same.
At least my friends and I can paint 6 feet apart!

In this painting--done indoors from a photo, not on location--I was trying to simplify and to push color.
The hump of grass on the left could probably use more work but since I'm really not sure what to do, I'm going to leave it alone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020



The irises have been in bloom for a couple of days--and it's 45 degrees here today, which I hope won't inhibit or kill them!--so time to get busy!

Sunday, May 03, 2020



This is a study for a larger painting ...
which I messed up!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dpw challenge: spotlight


Last week Joe Milligan got a few local artists together, virtually, for a daily painting challenge. Since it ended, none of us has painted! So I suggested we take a look at Daily Paintworks's challenges.
This is my response to this week's challenge.
I set up this still life after looking at paintings by one of my favorite still life artists, Giorgio Morandi.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020



Revisiting of a subject I've painted before ... I always tighten up too much when painting the reflections. Have to go faster and wetter!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

day 9: "sea life"


This is the last day of our challenge. It's been a good kick-start.
For this painting I combined two photos I took ten years ago in Trellis Bay, Tortola, BVI, a beautiful place where I happened on these men working on their boat.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

day 8: "new life"


I switched to hot press for today's painting of a sprig of weigela.
I started at the top and worked my way down the page.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

day 7: " in and out"


A value study I did after I finished the painting. I am not happy with the painting itself and thought a value study might help me see what went wrong ... 
I think the problem turns out not to be the values but ( the usual culprit) overworking: I wasn't getting the result I wanted, so I kept on ot and on it ...


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

day 6: "what I miss"


So many ideas came to mind in response to this prompt!
Above is a painting of my brother in front of a tiny Audubon-protected island we kayak to in Florida. It's usually covered with nesting cormorants and herons.


And this is me and my brother atabout favorite beach.

Monday, April 20, 2020

day 5: "people"


Today's prompt was "people," and this photo that was in this week of Trump supporters demanding that the economy be reopened came to mind. Such an ugly image. Occurs to me now I should have painted them like some Egon Schiele people, a sickly green with grotesque mouths.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

day 4: "good enough to eat"


I don't have much that's " good to eat" in the house, but I do have a few jars of homemade blueberry jam, which is very good to eat! I spoon it on my Greek yogurt!
I overworked the shadows on the napkin, especially on the right ... and there are a few other little things--which I'm not about to point out!
I was thinking painting and the desire for perfection. I imagine painters, artists of all kinds, must desire perfection ... but perfection in the right things, whatever they think those are.
For example, here some of my curves are not right, not perfect, but that honestly does not concern me so much.
What does bother me, where this painting falls short for me, is in the overworked sections; because for me, in my watercolors, "perfection" is freshness, ease, the flow of the paint.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

day 3: "ABC 123"


Okay, so I have no idea what this prompt was meant to elicit, and its issue, Geralyn, gave no clues!
So I decided to paint something with letters in it (there's a number too, 18, on the magazine cover).
I think I will darken some shadows and crop tighter.
These challenges have been ... challenging. I've been spending most of the morning on them, and it's good to feel I've accomplished something!
3 down, 6 to go.