Monday, August 30, 2021

birgit o'connor workshop


Painted in Birgit's Nature's Abstraction workshop.
I like the idea--the extreme close up. And I'd like to try it with some dune grasses ... even though such subjects addle my brain.
And I like Birgit's approach--planning, working in sections, mingling colors.
Even though I used the exact same colors as she used, I got a very different result. Birgit's was much cooler, and I overworked mine a bit trying, unsuccessfully, to tone it down.

Friday, August 27, 2021

plein air: rea's farm


Met friends at a West Cape May farm at 8 a.m. to paint sunflowers.
But, as previously when I've painted there, I just could not figure out how to paint a field of sunflowers.
Decided to start with a couple of little sketches, hoping I'd be able to figure out how to divide the space, arrange the elements.
After an hour, a little before 9, it got too hot for me, so the sketches are as far as I got.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

zoom landscape class


This was the last in the latest session of classes.
I like painting the sand and sea wetter, letting them softly meld. Some darks or other colors added when it's dry, or drier!

Hoping to get out for plein air Friday.
Lately it has been either too or too rainy.
And too humid in my art room too.
Thanks, climate change.😠

Sunday, August 15, 2021

carroll villa


The Carroll Villa in Cape May.
As you can probably tell, I started at the top and ran out of energy before I got to the bottom!

Also site of the Mad Batter restaurant, which has been around for a long time, has great food and a wonderful bar!

Monday, August 09, 2021

plein air: cape may harbor

Small studies. Our teacher, Joe Milligan, challenged us to paint a few studies to see what we could learn from one to the next and to see if we would loosen up.
I don't think I got looser ... and I'm not sure what I learned--maybe that doing studies before tackling a complicated subject is a good idea.
My last study (bottom right) isn't quite finished. And none of the boats' rigging has been added.
From study to study I was exasperated by trying to figure out how to paint what was behind the docked fishing boats. I could see a lot of stuff but only wanted to paint enough to frame the boats ... something I was not successful at in any of my attempts.
What really drew me to the scene was the little sailboat and I realized too late that I should have made it the sole subject and dispensed with the background!

Coming soon:

Sunday, August 08, 2021



Practice. Trying to keep it loose.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

hazel soan zoom workshop



Took a 3-hour workshop with Hazel Soan on painting people on the beach through Studio 56 for Creatives. I've been a fan of Soan's for a long time and often when I have no ideas or am painting too tight I try to loosen up with a 10- minute paintings, an idea I first read about in one of her books.
This workshop was a good deal: they supply the reference photos and you paint along. Though keeping up with Hazel isn't always easy! I did enjoy listening to her talk--to us, I guess, but it sounded like she was talking to herself, making her thought process a running commentary.
You get the workshop and a recording of it (they did have a few technical glitches, which I think will be edited out of the final recording) that will not expire.

Friday, August 06, 2021



I need a lot more practice doing boat reflections: mine are usually too stiff, like here.
After the first wash I realized I had some orange in reflection where it couldnt logically be. So I tried to more clearly define the reflection of the boat. Kinda fixed it, but it looks overworked to me.
To make prettier reflections I think I need to 1) paint wetter and 2) try to get the values right first time!

Thursday, August 05, 2021

st mary's by the sea


The perpetual painting subject at Cape May Point. It's irresistible--the distinctive red roofline, the crosses againt the sky--but confounding somehow. I must've painted  it a dozen times over the years... it never comes out quite right.
This one is overworked--except for the foreground, which I painted early on then didn't fiddle with because I was happy with it!
Maybe I should pray.
I console myself with remembering that Charles Reid, when he taught a workshop here, seemed to struggle with his St Mary's painting. (And with the local monstrosity known as the Physick Estate: I refuse to even contemplate painting it ... In Reid's class I turned around and painted what was across the street.)
 I was able to get this photo of the inner courtyard--the building is U-shaped, the open side facing the bay--because it's currently unoccupied. The order of nuns who own it want to return this prime waterfront land to nature. I hope their wishes will be honored.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

fishing boat


A rough little sketch of a fishing boat on a misty morning.

Monday, August 02, 2021



I have a few photos, somewhere, of all these whelk and conch shells on a dune fence. The light is so dramatic I always wanted to paint them. Made two attempts before this. I think I am getting closer: using a red-yellow-blue triad definitely has helped me get some subtleties without sacrificing color ... or so it seems to me.

Sunday, August 01, 2021



From a photo I took a couple of years ago. I added the person.
I loved the yellow stripes on the cabanas. I started to get a little impatient painting them and wasnt too careful about accuracy! I wish I had done a few on wet paper or softened some edges ... but luckily they are yellow and therefore a bit weak. In a stronger color I think the stripes would be dizzying!