Friday, December 12, 2014

One More Cat

I came across this cat on an adoption site I think.  It is just the right type of photo that makes for a good painting.  This was the initial block in and now all that is left is finessing the brush strokes.


6" x 6" x 1.5" Oil on wood cradled panel

I do enjoy painting white animals.  Both Dallas of the last blog entry and Keghan of this post were done this week and were lovely to do.  The same can be said of black.  There are a lot of colours involved in painting black and white.  The challenge is to start with a depth that allows the final
punctuation of pure white or pure black to be effective.

Saturday, December 06, 2014


6" x 6"
Oil on wood cradled panel

Dallas belonged to our Fire Chief, a neighbour, a friend.

Ronin and the Red Door

6" x 6"
oil on wood cradled panel

I knew when I saw this photo of my nephew that it could make a good reference for a painting.
However painting a portrait that included plaid on a 6" x 6" canvas was maybe a little ambitious.
Head size is less than 1.25" high so I tried my best to get a good likeness.  Will stop now and not
overwork.  Just letting it simmer for a bit and will decide what's left to tweak.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Good Start

I should have known that getting a likeness on a surface this small (6x6) would be a bit of a challenge but it's more than just the face, it's the body language too.  The head is about 1 1/2" high so I just kept telling myself to keep it simple.  I've since painted the (plaid!) shirt and the jeans so I have only the red door to finish.  My daily paintings sometimes do take a bit more time but the light is not the best to paint by right now so I'll finish this one up in the morning.

Woodland Wreath

One of the Christmas cards I designed this season.  And I have ideas for many more but there is only so much time left.  At least I know I enjoyed making these enough to continue with into the new year.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some Cheering Up

November needs some cheering up.   Thanksgiving and Halloween have come and gone and the leaves are down.  But taking out my watercolors brightens things up considerably.  These are the new
projects I have this year.  Maybe it was growing up in the sixties when illustration was in it's heyday,
but I have just reconnected with my love for illustration and paper projects.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jessie II

On my easel today.  I've been busy with collage and sketches but felt uneasy about not having
painted lately.  So today I fixed that.  Jessie needs the final touches still especially the eyes.  I start
by painting the eyes as a point of reference for the rest of the painting but the final touches are
saved for last.  

The Busy Season

The same sketches that I had printed to fabric are being used on a new card line that I've been
working on.  I've been painting with paper these days!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Just a little water-colour...

I've been working on a series of watercolors for a greeting card line and this is one of them.
Just having fun with the watercolors for now until the next phase, using them to integrate into a
line of bespoke greeting cards.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Teacup with Lemon

I knew once September rolled around that it would become incredibly busy.  Usually in a good way.
It's time to set up more still life groupings to carry me through the winter.  So hopefully my next
paintings will reflect the coming season (my favourite).

This is, once again a small format oil on wood cradled panel measuring 6" x 6" x 1.5" deep.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Back to old favourites

6" x 6" Oil on wood cradled panel

When I started these small format paintings, I meant for them to be simpler with the emphasis on brushwork but I keep going back to trickier subject matter....ellipses for example.  I do like teacups so they do end up in my paintings quite often.  I'll post the painting when I'm sure I'm happy with the end result.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Sky on His Back

8" x 10" Collage

The quote is from Henry David Thoreau - "The Bluebird carries the sky on his back"  Do you think I could borrow this quote for my bluejay?  Different kinds of birds but still with the beautiful blue.
I am enjoying the series of birds but my next one might be a different subject.  I'm acquiring papers
and techniques that I'd like to apply to other images.  As with the others, I used hand painted papers and magazine clippings.

Time now to go back and take a look at my approach since the first one (the chickadee).  There are
elements about the simpler way I started them that I like but at the same time some subject matter simply needs to be handled with more intensity.  This bluejay with the black stripes for example.

Please email me with inquiries.  I will eventually place on Etsy but would be happy to answer any
questions you may have.  Not entirely sure whether I will mount this to a wood panel and still have
it frameable or use a mat and put it under glass.

Friday, August 01, 2014


...and here is my painting Jax from the last post.  Painted slightly larger than most of my recent work at 8" square.  I may continue this size format for awhile.  This painting is a little more loose from my previous painting and the size increase helped.  One more painting of a dog before I go back to my usual subject matter.  Now this next one may be more of a challenge as it is of a dalmatian who is no
longer around and either the spottiness will make it easier to paint or harder - I'll  find out soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Next on my easel....

Jax is his name .... I'm painting this one a little larger than the usual 6" x 6" and he is on canvas.
Want to get this one finished before I return to the collage series of birds.

A Doxie named Rocky

6 x 6 x 1.5 inches
oil on wood cradled panel

My niece's beloved doxie, Rocky.  I couldn't help but want to paint him as I've had four doxies of my own.  Unfortunately he succumbed to the dreaded doxie back problem at the age of four.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Robin Collage

8" x 10" 
collage on 3/4" wood panel

I am thoroughly enjoying this series and picking up techniques along the way.  Next up will be a 
Bluejay simply because I have some beautiful blue papers to use.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cardinal Collage

I enjoy making textured and painted papers but don't seem to use them enough.  Having started this
bird series is the first time I am really using them in a way that justifies making more.  So all is good.
These are done on a card stock weight of paper but I'm thinking I may use the wood panels that I use
for the small daily paintings because the grain of the wood might be nice to use too.  I can see myself
adapting this newfound interest to the use of fabrics.  Something I've admired in art quilters but didn't think I'd get around to trying.  
Computer monitors vary quite a bit but for some reason the background green is more saturated than
my scan.  It's only when I bring it into this blog that is becomes a little too strong for my liking otherwise the original and the prints I'm making from it are a much nicer earthier green.
The original measures 8" x 10"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


6" x 6" x 1.5"
Oil on wood panel

It feels good to be painting again.  Jessie was a sweetheart of a wire haired doxie (dachshund) that I
had the pleasure to do a painting of.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A companion

Having fun with these.  This now completes a series of three chickadees but definitely not a completion of this media.  My next one might be a cardinal.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Explore a Different Path

I think I'm getting the hang of this....

Explore a Different Path

Creating an image in collage is a different than when painting for obvious reasons.  Having completed this second one, I am starting to accumulate a few notes on a working approach.  Really looking forward to starting the next one with a new and improved work flow.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Something I've been meaning to do....

For various reasons I've been making painted papers over the years and for some reason, I haven't had a reason to use them.   Some papers I like so much as is that I hesitate to tear them apart.  But this time I felt motivated enough to make this little collage of a chickadee.  Funny enough, most of my papers were of very saturated high key colours (which were fun to make) but for this collage I need mostly neutrals.  It doesn't take much but it's nice to have a ready assortment to pick and choose from.  So having done this one, I'm going to make a few more.  But not before I make another assortment of beautiful neutrals.  Once I've completed a few more, I'll put these up as prints and notecards in my Etsy shop which I've sadly neglected in recent months.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A bit of organization

I was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest (bottom image) and it was brilliant!  I had an old dough board (I've had it for 25 years) in my attic.  At least I think it's a dough board.  I hesitated using it but thought it would finally be appreciated rather than tucked away unseen.  Love how it turned out.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Everything changes.......

My last post was in early March….the winter was showing no sign of letting up and I was looking forward to following the progression of Spring as each flower would come into bloom and I would take my camera and record the changing of the seasons.   My sentence began….”This is the month when everything changes…..”   What I didn’t know then is that by the end of the month my world would change forever.  On the 21st my husband passed away after a short illness. I’ve retreated into a quiet place while my heart attempts to heal.  I make attempts to paint because that is where my comfort zone is and having this place to record my artistic progress helps to bring me back to that familiar comforting place.  So gradually I will return….

Saturday, March 01, 2014

A little of this and a little of that...

This is is, the month where everything changes.  I expect to see these by the end of this month.
I think I'm entering into a water-colour phase with this little piece.  Will be working on some lilacs next for a fabric I want to design.  
The sketch below is less about my accomplishing this than it is about the photographer (my daughter) and the sitter who models for her quite often.  Both lovely young women.  I just love the pensive mood.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sketching Again

It's a grey day and I'm doing a little bit of everything trying to get a feel for ...something?  I thought if
I did some sketching I'd feel like I'd accomplished something worthwhile today.  Now I have the
desire to do more....which was the point.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Emilie at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Here is the final version just waiting to be varnished.  

Started this the week before Christmas and didn't get back to it until now.  My husband's favourite painting by Winslow Homer and my daughter.  Will post a proper photo as soon as I tweak the little things I'm seeing that will bug me if I don't!

Here's the link to the start of this painting.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Single Pear From Above

Single Pear From Above
6" X 6" x 1.5"
Oil on Wood Panel

The last of the four pear paintings from last week.   I've enjoyed this colour palette.  I may shoot some more set ups with this tablecloth and perhaps some blue bottles.  I will be putting them up on
Etsy tomorrow.
P.S.  I've just noticed that my page is loading a little crowded looking.  I'll look into that tomorrow.
I had been trying different page templates and in returning to my original, I may have disturbed a few

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Pears and Pallettes

Blue and yellow is such a pleasant colour combination.  Perhaps that's why I felt compelled to do four of these in a row.  I was thoroughly enjoying painting the yellow pears.  I so often put my palette aside when I finish painting but sometimes I notice how wonderful the paint looks just as it is.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Three Pears on Linen

6" x 6" x 1.5"
Oil on wood panel

This is one of those paintings that is deceptive.  It's the third one I've done of this pear series so I felt confident going into it.  But...the lighting was subdued and therefore it surprised me how dark the "white" of the linen had to be painted.  I knew if I kept going, it would work out and it did.  I knew the pears would really come forward against the sombre background and it did.  I can still see a tiny bit of tweaking to do but otherwise I'm happy with it.

I also generally avoid wiping out portions of a painting but I did this time.  I had to wipe out two of the three pears because I used a brush that was too small for the area.  I had forgotten one of my
intentions was to simplify and work more loosely and that means working with a larger brush and
choosing my strokes carefully rather than fussing.  So that necessitated wiping out.  And I'm glad I did.  The switch to the larger brush kept the pears more interesting than they started out.   I will
remind myself to not hesitate wiping out and re-working.

As always, comments, critiques and constructive criticism is always welcome.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The best place to be....

To the left of my table and easel is our old trusty Vermont Castings wood stove.  It kept us going in the great ice storm of '96.  And with nasty weather in the forecast today (just the usual winter weather stuff) Laycie and Louie know where to be.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three Pears in a Teal bowl

I noticed my paintings had become a little fussy again.  Not that it was wrong but my intention has been to simplify and make brushstrokes more interesting.  So I think this is more like it.  Comments and critiques are always welcome.

Next Up...

I had a few good photos of this particular session and decided to make a little series of them.  This one on the easel still needs some tweaking but I'm almost there.

Friday, January 24, 2014

First Painting of 2014

and it feels good to be painting again.  I've already almost finished the second one and it will be a somewhat snowy Saturday afternoon so I will complete a third this weekend.  I will post better photos when I take photos in the light of day.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Slow Start to a New Year

...but that's okay.  I'm absorbing thoughts and ideas.  I am trying to be more selective about what to spend my time on.  Unofficially (because I don't make New Year's resolutions) I made a mental note to do more portrait and figurative work this year.  So quick sketches such as the one posted here is something I will try to make more time for.  I may even work on my journals and sketchbooks more this year....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A New Year

A slow start to a new year but I'm just re-charging.  January for me (as it is with most people I would think) is a time to re-assess and prioritize.  I never make resolutions but I do make lists of what I'd like to accomplish.  I like having that list to confirm where my energy was spent in the previous year.

I know that this year, I'd like to do more figurative work, some portraits, learn the ins and outs of collagraphs and work larger.  Having said that I love the small formats too and will not be ignoring that.  But after playing around in photoshop to drop my small format paintings into this blank wall photo, it does get me fired up to do something large again just for the drama.

Here is wishing everyone who visits a happy, safe New Year.