Wednesday, November 26, 2008


From a photo I took a few years ago in Concord, NH--a beautiful place!



Beginnings from two more NH photos. I've been wanting to paint these scenes for some time; this reminds me of John Singer Sargent's Adirondacks painting--which I think I'll take a look at before going on.
This morning I was in line at the supermarket behind a petite very young woman who was buying all the elements of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce and, touchingly, I thought, canned turkey gravy. As the cashier, a lovely woman from Russia was checking her out, the younger woman began talking to her in Russian; she was from Russia too and celebrating her first Thanksgiving. I felt a surge of love for America and all the pilgrims, early and late.
~-~Happy Thanksgiving~-~
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Monday, November 24, 2008

holiday cards





Small scenes I worked on yesterday to send out as cards; think I will add a splash of snow to each first.
Added some snow to finish this one:

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

november virtual sketch date


In like the cool branches in the upper right, but always struggle with dappled shadows! I think I may crop it:

In-progress photos: I have to remember to photograph paintings in-progress more often; looking at these makes at least part of me wish I had stopped after the first go-round.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

different strokes


Last week's challenge on Karin Jurick's Different Strokes blog was to draw and/or paint the reference photo upside down. All the geometric shapes in this image lent themselves to this problem ... the person was a bit stickier!
I'm a day late with this and so can't post it to Karin's fabulous blog, but we have two weeks to complete the next challenge, so maybe between pie baking and appetizer making (my contributions to Thanksgiving dinner), I'll manage to finish.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

VSD preview


This month's Virtual Sketch Date subject is one I'm always drawn to and challenged by: a tree--with branches and twigs and dappled shadow and light ... I thought I'd try a practice run with watercolor and watercolor pencil. I used hot press papaer, and think I'll probably switch to cold press for the final version. When I first started painting, hp was my preference, but now it strikes me as often resulting a certain flatness; here, the watercolor pencils help counteract that.
If you haven't, check out Karin Jurick's blog, Different Strokes from Different Folks, where she posts a new reference photo every Wednesday night. The paintings and drawings she receives in response a week later are amazing! It's too late to post it on her blog, but I have made the drawing for her "upside-down walker" challenge and will post the results here. Go to her blog to read more about.
I want to thank everyone for their comments on my "slump"; I received a lot of good advice, encouragement, and, from at least one correspondent (you know who you are!) an exasperated kick in the behind.
I think I will now trudge on and stop with the complaining.
Many people reminded me, and it's so true, that doing the painting is what matters.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

little snow scenes

(3x11 each)


Yesterday afternoon in class, as we do each year before the holidays, we played around inventing little snowscenes. You just flood the sky with color, then pull it down into the foreground and see what suggests itself to you. Add salt or white spatter for snow.
Several can be made at once for holiday cards.
I'd like to do a few more with bare trees.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

slump continues!

The slump goes on. I'm beginning to feel a little panicky/superstitious about it ... Maybe I need to make a sacrifice? This is weird; I've never experienced anything exactly like this. Throughout the years I've been painting I've had to force myself to paint and, of course, I've been unhappy with results before, but without this feeling of failure. Nothing "works." I'm puzzled, exasperated, hoping it'll turn around soon.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

working on ...


From class Monday afternoon. I joined the class already in progress and didn't know what they'd be working on; turned out to be white buildings, so I pulled out a few photos ... A little apprehensive and overambitious, but it was a good three hours.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

winter squash


I love the shapes and colors of winter squash. I wish I had kept the colors here a bit fresher--as in the white acorn squash, which is actually a creamier white--in the orange one in particular.
It's not finished, but I think I'll stop--I don't see it resolving into anything.
I'll try another another before I bake and eat them!

This afternoon I'll be starting a six-session class in Ocean City with Marie Natale, a great watercolorist and teacher. I've painted with Marie before, in OC and on location. I'm looking forward the class--it'll give self-discipline a little kick-start.
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

cezanne copy


A Cezanne show is coming to Philadelphia this winter, so I've been looking through my Cezanne books. Yesterday I did a copy of this painting, Winding Road in Provence, from the book, Cezanne: The Early Years.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

fort, puerto rico



Doing some much-needed maintenance work around the house today, including trying to set up an office space and reconnecting my desktop, which has been sitting in a box for months! Hope to get to painting later in the day, but in case I don't ...
I found this card I painted for my friend Sue's birthday a few years ago in my desktop's files.
Sue won a trip for two to Puerto Rico for the Pablo Casals festival and she took me along--what a great trip; I painted these from photos taken on that trip.
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

mabel dodge luhan's backyard


A quick, small study of a view in New Mexico that I love: looking into the Native American reservation behind Luhan's house.
My earlier, larger start is below.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008



Other than seagull shapes, I've never attempted to paint a bird before ... A cardinal is probably a good place to start.

I'm going to try, as a jump-start, to participate in Leah's Art Every Day Month.
Sounds daunting, I know, but there's no pressure; Leah invites you to break the rules! A little outside impetus is sometimes what I need!
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a new day

It happened--redemption is ours! I feel empty: watching the faces of the people in Grant Park, I felt all the bitter and disfiguring cynicism and anger of the last eight years flowing out of me.
And this morning, watching the elated reaction around the world, I feel America is no longer an adolescent.

Well, George Bush thought he was going to preside over the Rapture, and, I guess in a way he has; he has been such an abysmal and divisive president, his disdain and contempt so poisonous, that he has catalyzed this tremendous change! Thanks, George, and GOODBYE!

One sad note though: It was a bad night for gay rights. Apparently that's one prejudice that was not transcended last night.
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008




Enough procrastinating! I haven't painted in weeks, and am finding it hard to start again. Every day goes by without my taking time paint (kind of like the days go by without going to the gym), while I'm simultaneously feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things I want to paint! Even when I have set aside a little time in the last week or so, I couldn't decide what to do.
So these are my icebreakers: messy, overworked, and maybe a little hysterical? but a start. Maybe tomorrow will be easier now.
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Sunday, November 02, 2008

(constructive) avoidance

Another day of postponing painting. On the plus side, though, I did work a little more on getting my so-called painting room ready and I made this chart showing the colors on the four palettes I use most often: I want to hand it on the wall for easy reference. I am so susceptible to buying new colors that I confuse myself.
When I first fill a palette, I make a list of the colors used, but I'm always mislaying them, and, consequently, I can now see I've made a few mistakes when refilling wells, leading to, for example, having no warm red on two fo these palettes!
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