Saturday, June 29, 2013


A painting of a great place to eat in Cape May.
I'm not happy with the tree--as I feared would be the case. I wanted a lighter feel, and should have keep my green washes lighter ... Might crop it to a square format, lopping off the uppermost branches.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

girls of summer

On better paper this time ...
After I painted the girls' hair I thought of a show from when I was a kid, Petticoat Junction, that featured three sisters: Betty Jo, a redhead (brain); Billie Jo, a blonde (beauty); and Bobbie Jo, a brunette (bimbo). The show was pretty dumb, but I found it fascinating: I couldn't understand how three sisters could all have different colored hair.
So imagine these girls all diving into a huge watertank in Hooterville.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013


From a reference photo by Ruth Archer at Paint My Photo.
Early on (see below) I was ready to abandon this; then I realized the reflection of the boat had to be darker ... it made a huge difference!
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Monday, June 24, 2013

finished brandywine light

I could go in and do more on the rocks, but I'm holding off ... and will consider it finished for now.
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Saturday, June 22, 2013


The gull above was painted on 140lb. Fabriano paper; the two below on some 86lb. Lanaquarelle paper I had, which I figured would do as long as I didn't try to use too many washes ...


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Friday, June 21, 2013

lilies and trumpet vine

Picked a few lilies and trumpet vines from an abandoned lot: I love the shapes and colors of both. I had hoped to do several little paintings of them, but only managed to do one.
May have to return to the lot.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

(stalled) wip

Another Brandywine Light painting, in progress. I used mask to save the railings, so I there's a little time pressure to finish if I want to be able to get the mask off. (I used a Masquepen, which allows you to draw fine lines with the mask.)

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Cape May, Gecko's. (If you go do not miss the pear-cornmeal cake.) The tree is really the show, though, and I'm afraid to paint trees ... I was building up washes of green (I should have varied the colors in each glaze more) but not being pleased with the results thought I'd try a few branches, and I'm more pleased with them.
I painted them with burnt sienna, violet, raw sie
nna and some ultramarine blue, trying to vary and mingle the colors as I went. I think I'll do more of them, then go back to the foliage.

Lilies and trumpet vines I plucked from an empty lot on my bike ride today.
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Monday, June 17, 2013

first go ...

Looking through my reference photos to make a few smallish pictures to donate to a raffle next month to help out one of my high school English teachers who is very ill. He was just out of college when I was in HS, and for many years directed the school play ... being involved with which was the only entertainment here in the winters back then. I never tried out for a part; I painted scenery ... and thus had entree to the nightly parties.
I think I'll have to do these both over.
The one of the three girls on heavier paper: this is 90lb., which I thought would be okay because my idea was to "get it" in two washes. Next time, I think I'll give the middle girl a left arm! (She's probably holding her nose!)
The one of the two sunbathers (which is from Daily Paintworks challenges) doesn't feel lightstruck enough to me: next time I'll try leaving more white and maybe using hotter colors in the shadows.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

beach huts

This is from a photo of beach huts by Ruth Archer at Paint My Photo.
I love the subject.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

brandywine light

I bought a set of Cheap Joe's soft-sided sketchbooks, thinking I'd devote each one to a different subject/experience: one for travels, one for boating, etc.
I promptly got some sort of oily stain on the cover of the one I'd designated for boating, so I glued some watercolor paper over it and painted this picture of the Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse, which I think is the prettiest lighthouse in the Delaware Bay.

Lilies blooming in my yard, photographed in a rare moment of sunshine.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013


These are little (9x12-ish) studies from the workshop I took last week. They're about the ratio of paint to water (I always have too much water ... or maybe it's not enough paint?). For example, the treeline on the horizon was painted with thick paint, picking up the bead of water from the wetter-painted sky, so the paint dispersed a little, creating a look of distance.
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Monday, June 10, 2013

rained in

Our plein air workshop got rained in on Friday. We painted impromptu still lifes in the Chalfonte Hotel's not-lit-for-painting dining room

Our teacher, Marie Natale, who would never let an all-day downpour stop her, or us, from painting, wanted us to focus on brushwork--put the brush down on the paper to its belly, smush it around--and on not fussing about details or correcting, or as she calls it, tickling; keeping it fresh and letting the paint do what it does.

 It should have been a disappointment, but wasn't: it was an enjoyable day of painting and everyone in the class produced really nice work! I wish I had brought my camera.
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Monday, June 03, 2013

cape may

Some photos and paintings from a two-day plein air workshop I took last June with my teacher Marie Natale.
I'll be joining her workshop again this year, June 6 and 7.
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Sunday, June 02, 2013

trois mouettes

Grays are so beautiful. Why don't I mix them more often?

p.s. Alas, my lawn-mowing neighbor is not just being neighborly; he's a passive-aggressive busybody who mows the lawn to let me know he doesn't like how I keep my yard, and is always after me to cut down trees because he can't see to back out of his driveway. I avoid him. And do what I want.
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Saturday, June 01, 2013

full stop

Another go at these two ... both unfinished: I just get to a point where I don't know what to do next. Which I am now taking as a signal to stop with these and move on!

Since I've come back to painting, and trying to get into a semi-daily practice again, I have not been able to achieve "flow"--that coveted state of doing without thinking, or without being aware of thinking is probably more accurate. That's when, for me, it happens!
I'll get there, but I'm not there yet. 

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