Wednesday, September 27, 2023

sketchbook page

A little sketch made from a photo my friend Gina took when we were in VT. This was at a distillery in Barre.

Looking around the house for still life objects.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


More experimenting in the style of Charles Demuth.
This was a tremendous learning experience for me.
I think mainly in that I had to be more deliberate than I customarily am. For one, I had to let things dry! Which I did not always succeed in doing! 
I noticed that Demuth makes his shadows and "fractures" another value of the underlying color-- eg, not blue or violet.
The most intriguing mind game was deciding where to drop the lines ... nervewracking since the painting was pretty much done! In future I think I'll xerox my drawing and try out different ways to intersect the scene on them.
Of course, I see a problem, or two, but overall this was a fun challenge, involved a lot of thought, even obsession, and I'm pretty pleased.

Monday, September 25, 2023

plein air: Atlantic avenue


A little plein air painting this a.m. with a few friends.
Didn't get out much this summer; hope to make up for it this fall!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

sketchbook page

The beautiful dunes of Cape Henlopen, DE.
If the republicans shut down the government on 10/1 our annual camping trip will be moved from Assateague National Seashore to the state park at Cape Henlopen.
I'll miss Assateague, but DE beaches are a pretty good consolation.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

"of the January sun"


We have been looking at Charles Demuth in one of my art classes, and our assignment was to try his techniques.
I selected a photo I had taken in Lewes, DE, and cropped it down to just roofs.
When I did my drawing, below, I thought it needed something ...
Then looking through my Demuth books I saw his painting Trees and Barns, Bermuda (1917), which has all these barely-painted tree trunks appearing and disappearing.
I added a few trunks to my drawing but really could not get the speckled quality his trunks had; nor could I make the ends of my branches just fade away as he does!
The plan was to blot the washes, like Demuth does--but I discovered it was very hard (in fact I wasn't able to do it at all!) to achieve the effect he gets. My washes were too wet or too dry!
I wish I hadn't gotten so dark with some of my midtones and that I had left more white.
We'll see what my classmates say Tuesday!

Friday, September 22, 2023

is it done?


Is it done? Sadly it's already overworked--and the perspective on the dock is wonky--but I don't think it is finished. Unhappy with the foremost piling, and the shadow.
May be fixable, or I can think of this one as practice.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

manifesting ponies

For the past 5 years my brother and I and our dear friends have camped at Assateague National Seashore in October.
This year it looks like the Republican idiots in Congress may foil our plans.
The news is all bad, so I painted this to manifest some positivity!

Rene PleinAir has kindly informed me that comments to my posts are being blocked; working on fixing it. Thanks, Rene!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

thumbnail sketches

Really enjoying thumbnails of late.
I divide the format in 4 and start drawing, trying not to lift my pencil from the page, which seems to encourage a more exploratory, less error-correcting mindset.
To me, these drawings have an appeal in themselves, but I find them even more intriguing as a step in a process.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

more trees

I painted this from a photo I took in FL of a palm tree with a traveler vine around it.

This photo was taken near my house. It reminded me of some Cezanne paintings, which really influenced this painting.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


Got out a couple of photos I've taken of trees to practice on.
Could both use more darks I think.

revisiting, 2

Trying to salvage this painting of ibises. The darks really helped.

This loose little sketch benefits from cropping, especially as I wasn't really interested in painting the space in the background!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

american kestrel


First bird of the fall session with SaltyWaterArt, an Amercan kestrel.
Sometimes I look at my paintings and think I go both too far and not far enough.

A new practice I'm trying out: painting before coffee!
I had these small Notans in my sketchbook--made from photos I took in the Virgin Islands some years back--and I used them to directly paint small studies, meaning no drawing first.

Friday, September 15, 2023

sketchbook page

I'm liking this practice: draw the subject, then paint it below, without drawing, using the sketch as a reference.
This sketchbook isn't watercolor paper, and there was a lot of bleeding, but I don't mind.
I drew it in landscape format then painted it in a square ... no idea why!

My cat Gilly took a selfie while playing with my phone.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

I don't always remember but I try to join Chloe Briggs's 1 hour online drawing session on Mondays: she selects a participant who we all then draw for the length of a song.
It's challenging-- I usually don't make it through the whole hour!-- but also kind of exhilarating and calming!
Using it as an opportunity to try different mediums and methods, and also trying to give myself room to react to each new face.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

NYC scenes

A couple of smallish, 7x11, paintings I started from photos I took this spring in NYC.
I think they both have potential; the strong shadows drew me to both.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

revisiting discarded paintings

Going through a pile of paintings I wasn't happy with or that are just unfinished.
I always liked this photo I took, but my first attempt to paint it was weak. 
I added more darks to some wings and also added a few streaks of pure cobalt.
It's an improvement. Sorry didn't think to photograph it first!

This is an abandoned painting that I can maybe salvage.
Planning to extend the dark rock on the right.
Also need to clarify that all the negative space is water, that is, that it is one plane-- which it definitely doesn't look like now!

Monday, September 11, 2023

sketchbook explorations

A sketchbook page.
I like this photo I took of a boatyard, the shapes were almost abstract.
I think I can zoom in and crop and get more abstract.
I drew two rectangles, divided them into 4, and divided the photo in four too.
First I drew the pen version, going quadrant by quadrant.
Then I wanted to try building the scene by blocking in colors, which seemed like a job for gouache.
I don't have much experience with gouache and thinned it out too much, I guess, not getting the opacity and covering power I expected.
But I can see its use as a sketching medium and as a tool to maybe simplify shapes and values.
May do it again in black and white!

Sunday, September 10, 2023


Here's one I attempted on my own at home, using a limited palette: a triad of Winsor red, cerulean, and raw sienna, with a little ultramarine blue and Winsor orange.
I think there may be more I can add to this, maybe a little glazing too, when the humidity drops! Currently 89%.

Saturday, September 09, 2023