Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cup, Pear and Lemon

This is the painting completed just before Christmas. As in most of my paintings, the light source is on the left. This time, taking a clue from Qiang-Huang, I blocked the light from falling on the background on the left side of the painting.

Monday, December 20, 2010

White Cup with Shells

I am not posting today's painting because I am not quite sure it is finished; I need to look at it again over breakfast. (The kitchen is the place where the final decisions are made.) This painting was actually done right before the similar painting with the little pitcher. I think I prefer this one because of the more subdued colors of the background and tabletop.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Handle

I was reading Hawthorne on Painting, first published in 1938. In the introduction, he talks about seeing the beauty of the ugly and the commonplace; "it is better to make a big thing out of a little subject than to make a little thing out of a big one."
This red handled fork is old, fairly beat up and at one time was probably commonplace.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Daisy with Limes

The above painting is now hanging in an eight person group show at Case Memorial Library in Orange, CT for the month of December. The group is the Artclectics whose members have been painting and drawing together once a week for over 5 years. The Artclectics work in a variety of mediums and their work ranges from abstract to representational. Come join us if you can for the opening reception on Thursday, December 9th from 5 to 7 p.m. in the library's second floor meeting room.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chicken Little

We use this little pitcher for maple syrup but I thought he looked better with eggshells than with scattered pancakes. This painting was done a few days ago. Yesterday's painting was a scraper--all the paint scraped off with the palette knife after many hours of work. I think everyone who paints has had that experience (well, maybe almost everyone).

Monday, November 29, 2010


Like some previous paintings, this was done on a panel first toned dark green. This eliminates having to fight all that white in the beginning but necessitates laying down the lighter values with copious amounts of paint.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rose with Apple

Although I love oils, every now and then I like to play with acrylics. You acrylic painters out there amaze me. This stuff dries so fast!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Last week, the demonstrator at the Hamden Art League meeting was Dick McEvoy, who gave a very energetic pastel landscape demo. His major point was to have fun while making art (which he clearly did during the demo). He snatched random colors from his pastel box, made lively marks and color patches and in the end, the painting read as trees and a stream alive with color and movement.
Inspired by the fun motif, I changed by usual perspective (still life at eye level) and put in color patches not seen in real life (just because I felt like it). The result is the above painting.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chocolate Covered

I was in the mood for something more decadent than a pear. The doughnut was from a local shop, Whitney Donut. It was funny looking over the selection not with taste but with visual appeal in mind. At the time, I wasn't thinking about including the bag in the composition but I liked the white bag and the bag was the more challenging to paint.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Single Blue

In this painting, I used a variation of a technique learned at Stanley Bielen's workshop. I toned the panel with dark green acrylic -- because it dries within minutes there was no waiting to start painting. The challenge was to get the illusion of petals without painting each one individually.
As always, these dark paintings are more difficult to photograph accurately, the background is not quite as dark as it appears and excuse the glare on the upper right.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lemons (Twice)

The painting below was painted a while ago and put in the not good enough to show, not bad enough to throw out right away rack. It just felt too timid. This week, I had another go at it and the result is the above painting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eggs, Three Ways

This painting continues my keep it simple mood. Before I started this, Humpty Dumpty came to mind and I thought it might be less messy to use blown out eggs. I had to google how to do it and I must say it took some severe lip pursing to get the job done.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meadow Grass

While walking by a roadside meadow a few days ago, I spotted tall, thin grasses with these wispy cattails. They were so delicate; I thought it would be an interesting challenge to paint something with essentially no mass placed in a jar with no water. Primarily, it is a painting of air.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Wow, look, it is not a still life. Although I suspect portraiture will never be my thing, after watching Sherrie McGraw do a portrait demo, I attempted to apply some of her portrait principles while doing the above study. Some of her recommendations: Don't model in the shadow--the shadow is the stability and should be simple and structural; Don't over soften the transitions from shadow to light and finally-- Go for the easiest solution!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sherrie McGraw Workshop

Last week I attended a Sherrie McGraw workshop at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts in Wethersfield, CT. Sherrie is an incredibly accomplished artist, a generous and gentle person and a wonderful teacher. Above, you see Sherrie, her still life setup and the beginning of her painting on a toned canvas. Her first suggestion?-- work on the still life set up until you are dying to paint it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big and Small (A Second Look)

I didn't have much time for painting this week so I mucked about with the painting below which was previously posted. The rather sharp transition from the light to the shadow side of the large mug bothered me so I made it a more gradual change. Somehow, the background color ended up changing as well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sea and Egg (Shells)

This painting just got dropped off at Gabe Da Silva's lovely Frame Shop and Westville Gallery on Whalley Ave. in New Haven. Although I will be at Erector Square this weekend, several new paintings will be hanging at Gabe's gallery for this weekend and beyond. So if you can't make it to Erector Square this weekend stop by Gabe's sometime.
The studios at Erector Square will be open noon to 5, Sept. 25 and 26. I will be on the first floor of building 3.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eggshells with Lime

City Wide Open Studios is next weekend! The above painting isn't brand new but I will have it with me at Erector Square, Building 3, Room A 2-4, September 25th and 26th from 12 to 5. Just like last year, Rita Brieger, Rob Jacoby and I will be sharing a space. The buildings will be full of interesting art.
For more details about the whole event which occurs over several weekends visit
If you are any where near Erector Square, 315 Peck St., New Haven, CT. next weekend come say hello!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lime with Pear and Vase

This will be in the upcoming New Haven Paint and Clay Club Members Exhibit which opens September 19th at the John Slade Ely House in New Haven. I had lots of fun with this one--used loads of paint and painted rapidly--sometimes it feels great not to think too much--just let the paint fly.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lemon Wedge with Two Cherries

Here is one more cherry painting with the last of this season's cherries. (Where has this summer gone?) This painting is now at Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison, CT.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This painting combines two tag sale finds--the small scale milk bottle and the latest find, the glass bluebird.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tidal River

I was in the mood for painting something other than a still life, so took a tour through my old vacation photos. This painting was based on a photo taken while on Edisto Island, South Carolina several years ago. I remember lovely tidal rivers and marshlands.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bull Thistle

The purple flowers of this thistle looked so pretty out there in the field. When I went to pick some -- ouch, ouch, ouch -- every bit of this plant was covered with spines. Since then someone told me it is bull thistle. I found a funny site on line called Eat the Weeds. You can actually eat the stalks after stripping off all the spines. Supposedly, the stalks taste like bitter celery. I am going to take his word for it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Untitled 102

Leftover paint plus playing with shapes and colors yields another untitled landscape.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mixed Bouquet

Here's one of my last paintings from the workshop and the last technique tip from Stanley Bielen about painting a still life arrangement against a dark background. You start with toned paper. Stanley generously provided some pre-cut pieces of dark green Canson Mi-Teintes paper that he had sealed with matte medium. When painting, you then match the value of the paint to the paper for the background. You can then focus on the bright colors and lighter values of your subject -- here a bouquet of marigolds and carnations.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lemon, Bowl and White Cup

These were done during the recent workshop. The top one was completed first. Mr. Bielen's only comment was "paint it again". I had to change the setup a little, hence the spinning lemon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This was the first painting I did at the Stanley Bielen workshop. Below you can see Stanley beginning the first of two demos he did during the week. Here he had quickly toned the canvas using Indian yellow mixed with a little black.
This was about halfway into the demo. After the toning, there was a quick underpainting. This was followed by the "loading the lights"; using generous amounts of paint to establish the light values.

Monday, July 26, 2010

King of the Hill

I just got back from Bennington, Vermont where I took a fabulous still life painting workshop with Stanley Bielen. It was an Art New England workshop which is sponsored by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
The above painting was done before I left for the workshop. On upcoming posts, I will tell you more about Stanley Bielen and the workshop and show you some of the work I completed there.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shaker and Jars

For this painting, I toned the panel with red acrylic. I then painted with oils, "lifting" the oil paint to expose a few bits of red.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Untitled 101

The actual title for this painting is failed still life turned upside down and turned into a landscape--but that seemed too long. Actually, the still life disaster turned into a good opportunity to just play with colors and shapes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lindy's Orchid

I don't grow orchids but my friend Lindy in Texas does. This was painted from a photo taken at my last visit. Some frown on painting from photos but I think whatever inspires you to paint is fair game.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tall Pear

This still life was, of course, painted indoors but somehow blue skies are coming to mind.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Three Cherries

Happy 4th everyone. Red and green--this little painting feels like Christmas in July.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Think Pink

For some reason, while I was doing this painting, the song "Think Pink" from the Audrey Hepburn movie, Funny Face, popped into my head and wouldn't leave. You can watch the movie performance of this song on youtube--one of the lines from the song is "think pink and you're Michelangelo". Too funny.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pear and Eggshell

Beautiful day in Connecticut today. Stopped by Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison to bring in this recent painting and to see the new David Dunlop exhibit (so worth a trip).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Roadside Daisy

Thought I would try a different flower with a dark background before hightailing it back to my comfort zone of lighter backgrounds.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Two for the Road

I decided to finish this study which had been started in Qiang Huang's workshop last weekend. (Did I mention it was fabulous?) Qiang often uses dark backgrounds which are lovely and mysterious. I find them a challenge.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Versus Three

This painting was done a while ago. It is oil on gessoed watercolor paper. (I have lots of watercolor paper in the mini art supply store otherwise known as my basement.) I painted this weekend but nothing that I am going to post yet. I was at a weekend workshop given by Qiang Huang, who is pictured below giving a mini demo on the last day. Qiang is a wonderful teacher-- generous, patient, organized and full of info.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Little Pitcher

Although the pitcher and lemon take center stage, the red background will not be denied its place in this scenario. The power of cadmium red--amazing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Red Grapes and Pear

Just completed this larger still life featuring my favorite milk bottle. ( Favorite things - I feel like bursting into song like Julie Andrews.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pink Roses

The roses are in a small square glass milk bottle from a dairy in Connecticut that no longer exists. I love this little bottle--I wonder if anyone still makes glass milk bottles? (Please forgive glare on photo.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010