Friday, October 27, 2006

Angel Back

In art class Wednesday we had Angel as our model again, the guy with a body like a classical Greek statue! :-) The easel I was at originally faced him from the front, but I really wanted to do a back view and was able to move to a different easel since some folks were missing. As a result I think I have a picture here I can show in public, LOL. This was actually rather fun to do, as I loved the dramatic lights and shadows on him.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Festive Apples

Last Saturday I took a drive up into New York State with two friends to tour "Boscobel" a lovely Federalist-style mansion dating from 1804, which sits right on the bank of the Hudson River, opposite West Point. It was a a gorgeous autumn day - crisp and sunny - and the leaves were just lovely. I got several beautiful photos. However, the one that caught my eye the most was this display of apples at the Boscobel gift store. It looked so festive, and who can resist apples?

Monday, October 23, 2006

The last of the Dancer

This is my effort from art class the last week of the dancer pose. I erased and redrew my picture 3-4 times, totally unsure of what I wanted. Finally wound up with this, but difficult as always with life drawing, as each time the model would get up and sit down again there would be so many changes. The flow of her skirt was never the same, nor was the foot she was sitting on.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October Sky

On WetCanvas we have a monthly Pastel Challenge where someone posts a reference photo of their choice, and everyone who participates is supposed to paint their version of it. I loved this month's reference, and this is my version of it which I painted this Sunday. This is a "fast and loose" painting which I only spent about 30-40 minutes on, but I'm happy with it.

And I found out from the person who posted the original photo that the photo was taken on Prince Edward Island. The bridge to PEI is only minutes from our Canadian farm and I have been to PEI many times, so it made me feel even more connected to this picture. :-)

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Seated Dancer - Take Two

This is from last week's art class. I was feeling exceptionally uninspired last week, and erased two complete initial sketches, unable to settle on what I wanted to do. I finally realized I could do the reflection in the mirror! I'm not happy with it overall as I think her head and profile are pretty bad, but I do like the drama of the lighting in this one. Maybe I'll just crop her head off as I do with many of my paintings. :-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Seated Dancer

Well, autumn classes have started at the museum, so it's back to my weekly figure studies. Alex is the instructor again. Our model was a bit late arriving, due to a small family crisis. Once she did arrive we worked with several quick 5-15 minute poses before settling on the "long" pose she will do for the next three weeks.

She did not start the long pose until almost 8:30 PM, so this was what I got done in the last hour of class.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Canadian sunrise

This is the most recent of my "Canadian farm" series, but I figure I'll try to do at least four more, and have enough to make a calendar! :-) This was done from a reference photo I took early one morning when the dogs got me up and out early, with the sun just rising in the east, with its light just "kissing" the edge of the roof on the small shed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Canadian memories

I have fond memories of sleeping in the bedroom, the lampshade tilted so that I could get the most light on me to read in bed, and then waking up in the morning to look out the window and see the lovely bay. This year we even got new mattresses, so the beds are even almost comfy!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Canadian stained glass

I love the stained glass front windows in our Canadian farmhouse. On sunny days the light sparkles through them and casts colored red and blue shadows on the walls and floor. The day I painted this picture the light was more gray and cloudy, so so sparkles around, but I still love the view and the glass anyway.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Canadian hallway chest

This is the next in my "Canadian farm" series. The objects here are all "found" items that were in the farmhouse when my parents first bought it 33 years ago, a sturdy old wooden chest, a young girl's straw hat, and a beautifully framed old photograph of someone whose identity we will never know.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Canadian Corner

Ths is the fourth of my Canadian vacation paintings. This is a corner of the living room. Unfortunately I see this photo came out a bit tilted, although the actual painting itself is not, LOL. Myabe I'll try to correct that and redo this post.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Canadian Farmhouse

This is the third in my Canadian series, and is the actual farmhouse itself! My son had asked me to paint a picture of the farm, and he wanted it from a particular angle which always said "arriving at the farm" to him. I sure hope I got the right angle. :-)

Of course the problem with that angle is that it's a perspective nightmare, with all those varying roofs and dormers! So I was dragging my heels on it, until my daughter-in-law told me I should just go ahead and do it. Well the day I chose was not a classic "farmy" day with bright blue skies and puffy white clouds, but a stormy-looking day with ominous gray clouds scudding across the horizon. However I found I was fascinated by those clouds and felt it made a more interesting picture than that puffy white ones would have made. After all, good stormy days are classic 'farmy" days too.

But it was cool out, and windy, and thundery, and the rain threatened, so I tried to work fast to capture what I could while the rain held. Luckily I was *almost* done when raindrops began appearing. I had to grab the painting and race inside with it, and then come back for my easel and supplies. But most of what I wanted was there, and I was able to put some final touches on it the next day in my "studio" (the back shed of the farmhouse).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Canadian Washing Day

This is the second of my Canadian farm vacation paintings. This was done plein air, which I always find a struggle. It's always too hot or too windy or too buggy or too "something" for me. LOL. But this was just a nice sunny day with a mild breeze blowing - perfect for whipping the clothes dry and wrinkle-free, and with that marvelous fresh-air scent I love.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Canadian Farm Kitchen

This is the first of a series of paintings I'll be posting. I'm just back from two weeks at our summer home in New Brunswick, Canada. I brought my painting supplies with me and was determined to do a series of paintings from life up there. I was *hoping* to do a painting every day, though I knew it was unlikely, LOL. I did actually manage to paint six so feel good about that, and I took a lot of photos too - so I can continue the series even here at home. I love the farm, so it' a real pleasure to paint scenes of it. This is the first, which I did on our first or second day there, when it was stormy and rainy, so no way to paint outdoors, but I found I enjoy the interior views.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sea Ducks

In art class it's always *people, people, people* and I just get tired of painting people all the time! Just not had much time for art outside the classroom for a while though. But this week I squeezed out 30 minutes and did this quick sketch from a photo I took earlier this summer. It's only a rough 30-minute shot, but it felt so good to be doing something other than a person. :-)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Portraits of John

I took a two-session workshop at the museum on pastel portraiture. Portraits are still a struggle for me, and not even a primary interest, but I figure working on them has to help me develop my eye. Being the speed demon I am I finished a portrait the first night of class, while all the other students were still struggling with their drawing.

So since I had this one already finished I started a new portrait the second session. I took this one about as far as I could, but am not as happy with it as I was with the portrait from the first session. He looks far too "flat" and 2D.

And even with that portrait being done I still had about 25 minutes left in the workshop, so the instructor suggested I move to a different vantage point, and try a quick charcoal sketch of John. I don't like working in charcoal nearly as much as I like working in color, but it was fun to try, and I was pretty happy with the result for a 20-minute effort.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Art of the Drape

That was the name of a workshop I took at the museum last week. I was looking forward to it as I love to paint drapes but am utterly self-taught, and wanted to pick up some pointers. I was disappointed, though, to find we were supposed to work only in black and white! I'm such a color freak, LOL. So in that sense the workshop was not much fun. I just could not *enjoy* it working in mostly monochrome. But I did like the instructor and his suggestions. I didn't learn as much new stuff as I'd hoped, but it was excellent practice - and this is the result of my evening's work.

Friday, July 21, 2006

after Modigliani

Art class was an "eating my broccoli" sort of night this Wednesday. Same model and same pose as last week, but I didn't feel like doing the same painting, so decided to concentrate on her head. But I *do* hate trying to do portraits! I can create an image that is recognizably a person, but not necessarily the person I'm trying to paint, LOL. But I still plug away, and am even taking a 2-session workshop in portraiture early in August.

However I did end up enjoying this, and was pleased with how the hair turned out, and the shadows. One of the other students said it reminded her of Modigliani, and I can see a bit of resemblance to his work in her long, thin face - maybe a bit similar to this one .

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Back to School

Well it's me who is back to school. Back to art class with Alex again. It's interesting that there are so many new faces in the class this summer. Ed is the only one of the "regulars" who is back. The rest are all new. I was the only one in class who used color last night, which made my picture stand out a bit, though Ed started adding pastel towards the end of the evening.

Anyway, as before, if you want to see the full picture please check it out at: Wet Canvas

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Well we are still using the same nude model in art class this week, so once again I'm posting the more suitably modest version. LOL. As before, you must go to Wet Canvas to see the unexpurgated version.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Seated Nude

Wow, I got stuck at work for a bit last night, and didn't get home until 7 PM, which is when I'm due at art class. Naturally it was a rush and I was 30 minutes late. But in the end it was my best class of the whole session! I was just in the groove, one of those nights where the painting seemed to paint itself. This whole spring session has seemed such a struggle. I have not posted a single painting here from my spring class as I have not felt any were worthwhile - but tonight I'll post.

Other artist friends have posted nudes on blogger, so maybe it is okay, but after being so badly burned by Yahoo blog when I posted my nude artwork I'm afraid to even take the change. So here on my blog you see the silly bowdlerized version. Once again, if you want to see the original version you much look for it at: Wet Canvas

Thursday, May 25, 2006


It seems like it has been an age since I have posted a new picture. Life has just gotten in the way of producing anything I felt the least bit happy about - but I want to try to make more time for art, and having something to post. I saw this guy at the zoo a few weeks ago and decided he needed to be painted, even though I could not coax him to fan his tail more fully!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Yellow Shoes

I've been too busy to paint lately, between my dad's illness and surgery, and my sister visiting me from NC. However the spring art classes started again last night, so now at least once a week I'll be painting for the next ten weeks. It was fun to be back in class, and to see Alex and everyone else. I did feel a little rusty, but this picture was what I worked on in class.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Crumpled Cotton

This was a piece I tried when I was playing around with creating something with a more abstracted feel. I've been driven to abstraction lately by the fact that my blog has been inaccessible for days, and gives everyone just a plain blank screen - so I'm seeing what happens if I try to add something to it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Male Torso

In life drawing class we are equal opportunists and have male models as well as female ones, LOL. This painting was a departure for me as I did it using oil pastels rather than the dry pastels which I generally use. They have a very different feel to them. I like the dry pastels the best so far, but would like to try more with the oilies when I have time.

As with the previous nude, you must go to Wet Canvas to see the original.

Comfy Pillows

I truly don't think an artistic nude would be considered obscene or harmful to minors, or violate any terms of service. But I already was censored by a previous blog for posting nude paintings on my blog, so I guess I just had better play it safe. However I still enjoy painting these pictures in my life drawing classes at the art museum, and will share them this way. If anyone wants to see the complete image you must go to Wet Canvas to see it.


Snickers was the first pet portrait I tried. He came out a little misproportioned, and ended up looking more like a cartoon cat or a stuffed animal! LOL, it did suit his personality since there does seem to be a bit of the cartoon cat in him indeed. He is such a funny little character. But I decided that I would try him again today and see if I could make him look a little more like a real cat and not a toy, and this is the result.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Deer Lake

One need not travel as far as Canada, however, to find lovely scenery. This image is right here in New Jersey in the early autumn. Deer Lake is a lake club my family used to belong to when I was a teenager and I still have a special fondness for it.

Port Elgin Pond

Landscapes are still quite a struggle for me, but I love trying them anyway. There are just so many gorgeous things out there to try to depict, and I'll never be able to do it unless I practice. This one is a picture of a lovely bird sanctuary area in the town of Port Elgin, New Brunswick, Canada. My family owns a summer place near there and I have been going there for vacations for more years than I can care to count!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I guess I should give homage where homage is due. The end of February my sister had a birthday. It was one of those "big" birthdays, the kind that have a zero on the end of them! I wanted to do some special things for her, and I had the idea that I would paint a portrait of her dog. I had never painted a portrait of a pet before so it was a bit presumpuous of me. However Honey is one of those photogenic dogs who just looks so darned cute no matter what view you get of her, so she seemed like a good candidate to start with.

So this was my very first pet portrait. I was actually pretty happy with how it turned out, and it looks just like Honey indeed. Now I'm practicing painting my own pets, and if I get successful at it maybe one day I'll paint pets for other people too.


Amber is the second of my three cats. Her colors are tough to capture, so I struggled a bit with her, but it's all a good learning experience.


Lately I have been taken with an urge to paint pictures of my pets. This is a new direction for me, as I have never painted animals really. But I do love pets and think it would be a fun thing to try. With five pets of my own I have plenty of models to start with. This is my cat Ming. Her name surprises people, who expect her to be a sleek and haughty Siamese, not a fat calico cat.

Seashore memories

This is from my last Tuesday night art class with Roy Kinzer. I love Roy but don't think I can continue to take two classes a week in the spring session, and I really want to continue with pastel tips from Alex. I think I'll have to skip the Tuesday class this spring, but that will be sad.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Purple Remnants

Starting later this week Alex Piccirillo's students will have their works on display at the Montclair Art Museum for six weeks. This is the one I chose for the show. It's fairly monochromatic in its colors, but I like the play of shadows. These objects were leftover paper goods from a meeting I attended at church. As I sat there with them in front of me I thought how much I enjoyed the different shades of purple, so instead of tossing them in the garbage at the end of the evening, as everyone else did, I brought them home and set up a still life! Another reminder that art need not be grand, but can be created from humble images too.

The Last of the Wine

This is from my most recent Tuesday night art class. The instructor cancelled the live model for the last three weeks, so once again we had the chance to set up a still life. I had a little more time to think about it this week, and more time to work on it too! I found a lovely piece of polished cotton that I liked, and after starting with that was able to find a few objects I liked as well, and this was the result.

Having a chance to set up still lifes has been a lot of fun, more fun than painting live models actually, LOL. But learning to paint people from life is one of those things I feel is "good for me" as an artist, rather like taking my medicine or eating my broccoli. Not much fun but I feel I should do it!

Tango Rose

In my Tuesday night art class we usually do life drawing from nude and clothed models, but two weeks ago our model never showed up. We waited around for a while, but eventually realized she was a "no show", so the instuctor told us we could investigate the storage cupboard in the room, and set up our own individual still lifes.

I started out quite tamely with a traditional bowl filled with (fake) fruit, but decided it was boring so put it all away and started from scratch again. Unfortunately most stuff in the cupboard was pretty boring, but I finally would up with the objects I have here.
Once a month the art museum has Tango Night, and so many tangoers show up that it's hard to find a parking place to get in for my lesson! At any rate these objects I chose make me think of the tangoers, so that's where the painting's title came from.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Red, White and Apple

Another "Red" candidate. I actually did two paintings of this image, which is from a wonderful public domain photo that Dianna Ponting placed in the Reference Image Library at Wet Canvas . This is the smaller of the two paintings I did at 9x12, but also the second of the two so I felt a little more confident with it.

Dianna's original painting was posted to Wetcanvas here. and was part of the weekly WDE thread here. And there are other Wetcanvas threads about it such as here

Pepper Pot

Not an apple this time, but I still was actively pursuing the "Red" issue when I did this one. This was another contender for the "Red" art show, but I ended up preferring the apples. However I do like the crisp edges in this one, and the constrast between the lights and shadows.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Earthenware and Apples

This one was the runner-up, the also ran, the picture I almost put in the "Red" art show. I like it, but felt it would not catch the eye as much as the one with the blue background. It was early fall when I painted these, so I guess I was on an apple kick! This one was also sold at a charity auction.

Apples out of the blue

This is not my first painting, but I will begin my journey here. This was the picture I displayed in the "Red" art show, my first picture to be on display. It was later sold in a charity art auction. I have a soft spot in my heart for it.This is not my first painting, but I will begin here.