Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Today I drove down to Providence, RI, to pick up my two paintings from the Royal Gallery.  This gallery hosted the Art League of Rhode Island Holiday Small Works exhibit from  November 17th  to this past Saturday, December 19th.  From day one, this gallery has been a joy to work with.  Their level of professionalism, service and courtesy to both artists and clients is superb.  Even though this exhibit was just up for a month, the gallery hosted three special events to promote the show.  The staff assembled a excellent portfolio of each artist featured that would be a model to emulate for any other show/gallery.  Today  my paintings were waiting for me, each wrapped in crisp white paper and  labeled.  When I unwrapped the work at home I found a card with holiday greetings from the gallery.  Plus the young woman who gave me my paintings said to me, "I just love your work."   I just love their style.  They are the Royal gallery.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Last night was rough.  I tossed all night while sleeping. This morning the cats looked shipwreaked and I felt like I had been dragged through a turbulent sea. Through all the turmoil in dreamland the name Joan Brown kept surfacing.  Who is Joan Brown you may ask?  Joan Brown orginally Joan Vivien Beatty was a Bay Area Figurative artist from 1955 - 1965 before she changed her style and subject matter.  During those years she studied with Elmer Bishoff, Frank Lobdell, and David Park. Her second marriage was to Manuel Neri.  On becoming a mother she starting painting her life and her work became autobiographical.  "I feel most of my work, if not all of it, is like keeping a diary." 

I haven't thought of Joan Brown in months and I am still unsure why her name visited my dreams...but this morning she did make me pull out my book Bay Area Figurative Art 1950-1965 by Caroline A. Jones and reread her history and study her paintings.  One of my favorites of her paintings is called Green Bowl, oil on canvas from 1964.

"I did not want to be "turning out a product," so I began to look at new things, artists I had not looked at before--Morandi, Oriental art,...Ingres.  I made a decision to put away the trowels and the large format.  I stretched a canvas 2 x 3 feet, and I took an egg and a cucumber out of the refrigerator, and I worked on painting only that for one whole year, and I found the freshness and energy I lost."

I feel there is an important message here and I hope that this message will reveal itself in the coming days.  Oh, sweet dreams.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Tuesday was my last drawing class at the Museum school.  Fourteen weeks later it is all over.  We spent the time eating, drawing, drinking and chatting in a festive holiday spirit. And we did talk about books too.  The latest one is The Red Book and no this is not another book on color and is available for a small sum of $195.00.  The full name is The Red Book of C. G. Jung: Creation of a New Cosmolgy.  The illustrations alone are a fascinating chroncile of the private life of Jung.  He worked on this tome during a 16 year period.  I have yet to see the real McCoy, but am very intrigued to peruse a copy just to look at the pictures.  Currently the book is on display in NYC in a special exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art until mid-February.  Another good excuse to go to NYC.  So I have a ton of drawings from this class, all of faces that once I thought I could never capture on paper.  And I have yet to purchase a book from this fascinating class of introductions and recommendations but I now have a better education in the diversity and talent of artists to know and study and a decent pile of drawings.    

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Yesterday, for the first time, I visited a friend's studio.  The studio is in a beautiful old brick building in a nearby town.  Close enough to be geographically desirable yet a fair distance to be away from the home front and all the demands that place holds.  The building is slightly set back from a major street and you would seldom notice it driving by.  Finding it reminds me of the Harry Potter stories where those young wizards crash through the train platform walls and enter into a magical world.  The studio is on the top floor and upon entering I am filled with awe.  Sunlight comes streaming through the large windows. The ceilings are unreachable.  The walls are a mixture of brick and white panels decorated with finished work, art in process and inspiring finds.  This would be heaven for this artist.  We spent two hours that seemed like minutes talking and looking at the work and the tools of the trade.  I could have stayed all day soaking up the spirit of the space, the light, the views from the windows, the quiet and the work.  I left renewed about this path I have chosen.  From there I had to go to Macy's at the Burlington Mall.  From long traffic lines, a overflowing parking lot, aisles crammed with glitzy merchandise that will soon tarnish in appeal and mulitudes of anxious shoppers rushing about-- my morning mood simply vanished.  Oh to be Harry Potter.

To protect the identity of the place these photos are from MASS MOCA

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


In December there is drama in the evening sky.

Lake Auburn, Maine

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Last night I went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts to pick up my work from the InsideOut sale.  I was expecting to be lugging all four paintings home so I was surprised (totally) when told two of my watercolors had sold.  While trying to remain somewhat composed-- inside myself  I am jumping up and down with glee.  And with this outward composure I made the mature  response of  "Really?"  A sale of my work can produce such powerful emotions.  First there is a sense of surprise, then awe that leads to excitement/delight blended with feeling extremely honored that my painting has grabbed someone's attention and spoken to them in such a way that they will then invite this work into their home.  And with each sale the element of surprise and delight never diminishes.  A buyer not only empowers an artist by supporting their endeavors in the studio but they also by give us that springboard to jump in "cannonball style" with a big smile and to continue splashing!  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I am reading "Wolf Kahn Pastels" by Wolf Kahn.  Besides his amazing talent as a painter he is a gifted writer.  I would highly recommend reading this.  In discussing one's work I like what he has written:  "The moment you know how to do certain things, you should by right stop doing them.  You would be ceasing to search and starting to perform.  You would become your own expert, and your art will become an exercise in self-congratulation....We must try to keep all things in suspension so that the possiblilty of revision or the space for new insights remains ever present."   

Friday, November 27, 2009


Grey skies again. Day four already of this November weather.  So while on break from the studio project and also dreaming of a sunny day I came across this quote from Anne Vachon's book "Colors":

I was pleased with myself when I discovered that sunlight, for example, could not be reproduced, but that I had to represent it by some other means...by color.

Paul Cezanne (1839 - 1906)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Today I went to see the InsideOut Show at the SMFA.  I got there about 1:30 PM.  Paintings had been sold and the walls refreshed with new ones and more paintings were being purchased while I was there.  Refreshingly the energy of consumerism was in the air (the MFA also set up a small gift shop) and a steady traffic of viewers were cycling  through.  A worthwhile show to see for many reasons.  It is an interesting mix of well known artists along with local knowns and yet to be discovered.  The range of work runs from (as we say in retail on assortments) good, better and best with typical imagery along with technically skilled to wild streaks of creativity.  While I did not see my submissions on the wall, at least my unframed pieces were hanging out in the bins.  By going through the binned work I learned that one does not have to spend hours carefully cutting mats for the work as most are submitted unmatted.  Good to know!  From there I went to Cambridge to see 1/2 of the RED show at University Place Gallery.  (And full disclosure here my work was not accepted in this show).  There are some stand out pieces and some I have to question why...but okay.  And I will see the other half of the RED show at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery soon.   And again lesson learned or a reaffirmation...art is many things and one must honor the process and the spirit of the work. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The white canvas--it's like a layer of dust that covers up the real painting.  It's just a matter of cleaning it.  I have a little brush to clear away the blue, another for the red, and another brush for the green.  And when I've finished cleaning, the picture is all there.

- Georges Braque  (1882-1963)

From "COLORS What They Mean and How To Make Them" by Anne Varichon,  Abrams New York

Monday, November 16, 2009


If you like the lighter side of movies and seeing the humor in fashion, music and art you must see this movie called (UNTITLED).  It is a funny romp into the NYC art world and the characters it attracts.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Today, Friday the thirteenth, I am happy to report that the gallery called to say this painting sold!

16 x 20

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Yesterday afternoon armed with the shop vacuum, a mask, work gloves and protective eyewear I tackled the studio dust and clutter. It wasn't pretty, nor was I afterwards, but progress is being made.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Last week I received a call from an interested party who had seen my work locally. This person wanted to buy my painting but was not sure how to go about it.  There was no information at the exhibition space nor anyone there to talk to about purchasing - a missed marketing opportunity for a non-profit organization.  I was surprised and pleased that this potential buyer took the time to contact me.  How many people make this kind of effort to purchase art?  I too could not get anyone on the phone so I drove there in search of information.  I met an empowered employee and passed the contact name and number on to my potential buyer.  Last night this still interested person calls me to say  no one can be reached at the organization: "no one answers the phone."  Again, today, I drove there and while the go-to-person was not in yet a friendly volunteer tried to assist me even though she too did not have the information.  This is what artists (and non-profits too) are up against...missed opportunities for sales and good will, a failure in communication, convenience and customer satisfaction.  The ARTS suffer and we artists suffer along with it.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Today is gorgeous outside, 70 degrees, bright sun and fall breezes playing tag with the remaining leaves on the branches.  I should be out there storing up on Vitamin D and enjoying this sumptuous day.  Instead I am in the cellar tackling the studio project.  How else could one poetically describe cleaning up this mess?  It is a tad overwhelming.  In July my studio was packed up and inundated with stuff from other rooms while another home construction project began.  This construction is now over and my husband has moved into his bright, clean, dust and clutter free home office.  And I am envisoning the same for my studio....shortly. 

Friday, November 6, 2009


Sometimes it is not the brand new art book that is most desirable with it's crisp clean pages, high end printing, stiff spine and being the first viewer to explore the magic inside.  Sometimes the book most desired is the one explored with such devotion it is barely contained.  The spine is broken, the pages tattered and loose, numerous Post Its and torn paper mark important passages and its disheveled self holds mystery and magic of inspiration, of great art not frequently seen, and examples of mastery and execution within an artistic passion.  Such a book I have seen the last few classes.  This one is The Art of Responsive Drawing by Nathan Goldstein.  The sixth edition is now available but it is the edition that our professor owns that is most intriguing as it is this example of a well loved used book just described.  He uses this fine edition to teach, to inspire, to help us think about our drawing but we also get an inkling into the spirit of another artist and that too is truly inspiring.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


November already and it has been awhile since I last posted.  Time flys and needs catching.  Last week was the trifecta of rejections.  Two juried shows and a painting considered sold that suddenly became unsold.  Though my husband was happy to hear that as he likes this particular painting.  He likes most of my work and is my biggest collector by default.  So lessons relearned from last week: things do happen in threes, wait until the check clears, and the stings will fade.  It is already another week.    

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Never paint if you wish to live tranquilly.
                                   Corot, to a friend

Friday, October 23, 2009


It is 4 AM.  The night is still on. Outside it is dark.  And sleep is ignoring me.  A good time to think about sand castles on the beach.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yesterday our tax accountant stated that I had to be in business to make money and if I showed a loss again this year my status as an artist would be considered a hobby by the IRS.  So I checked The American Hertitage Dictionary of the English Language for the definition:

"1. An occuptation, activity or interest as stamp collecting or gardening engaged in primarily for pleasure, a pastime."

This gets even better in Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 10th Edition  (ok I need to upgrade)
"A pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation."

Just delicious!  The IRS should come up with  a more descriptive positive noun for this passion.   No wonder artists get no respect when even our goverment determines a negative value to our occupation.  And unless we make money and profit we are only doing this as a pastime.  One cannot be more present in one's work when they are creating.  I do not think I have worked harder at this to not only create a body of work, but by also working in sales, marketing, inventory control, shipping, quality control, publication and research.  A pastime?  Again Merriam Webster: "something that amuses and serves to make time pass agreeably: Diversion."   Amusing indeed!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Since Monday was a holiday we did not have class on Tuesday night.  (This does not make sense to me either.)  So last night I was browsing at the MFA bookstore while waiting for the Robert Irwin lecture to start.  I saw the exquisite new Kandinsky book based on the current exhibit at the Guggenheim priced at only $55.00.  And after drooling a bit over that publication I then leafed through the precious and weighty book of Georgia O'Keefe's Abstractions now exhibiting at the Whitney Museum.  This gem is a mere $65.00.  Worth it if one does not spend the money to go to New York and see these shows.  But really is it worth it to buy the books instead of seeing the actual original paintings on the walls of the Whitney or the Guggenheim Museum?  I keep doing the math in my head (and that may be the problem) and I have to say Manhattan calls.  Besides one could always buy a trinket or two to remember the trip.  What does a postcard go for at these fine establishments?  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Upon visiting the Farnsworth Museum this past summer I came across this:

It is no accident that we all lie nestled

Together in the curves of the universe.

We are tugged by forces of celestial tides.

Time folds on itself and outward again

In gladness as we spin around,

Each of us an utter miracle

In the sea of tiny white stars.

Jamien C. Morehouse 1999

Monday, October 12, 2009


The gallery called me yesterday with some fun news. Two of my paintings sold over the weekend. Both are watercolors too. This is Wandering (20 x 16) painted this summer and part of a series I have been working on dealing with memory.  The other painting sold is Stillness (14 x 11) that I wrote about in this blog on September 8th.  I am so happy both have found a new home outside the gallery and studio.  While I have had several discusions with other artists about the dilemma of painting to sell or painting for oneself—a sale of one's work does magic for the creative spirit.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today is a gorgeous day to be painting outside.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


With the rain falling it feels like a quiet day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The autumn colors in Maine this weekend are so delicious that one wants to eat them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Last night at class we did not peruse any new art books.  Instead there was a buzz in the room about the recent publication on David Park  While no one had the book yet we did discuss who had it on order and when they would  let us see it.  This monograph David Park, Painter: Nothing Held Back is written by his daughter Helen Park Bigelow.  With the ability to study his work for decades Park Bigelow chronicles his prolific yet brief career as an artist and integral member of the Bay Area Figurative painters and features over 100 of his paintings.  As an owner of the book Bay Area Figurative Art 1950-1965 and others of Diebenkorn, Bischoff, and Oliveira this too will just have to be an addition to my fan club of immensely gifted artists who created an inspiring art movement.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


A friend and artist offered me some watercolors that she had received by mistake.  I accepted thinking it was a couple of tubes and after making sure she really didn't want to keep them.  I was surprised by the generosity of this gift.  This was not just a couple of tubes but several and all are exciting fun colors like Leaf Green, Horizon Blue and Jaune Brilliant #2.  When it comes to art supplies I am a hoarder.  Everything else in my house, except for family and pets, gets edited and sent packing.  This is due to living for several years in a New York City studio apartment where one learns to perform spring cleaning  in all seasons.  But art supplies are a different matter.  They may sit for months in my studio waiting for attention.  They are emblematic of "what if " and "someday" and also, like a new toy, they ask me to play.  So my friend if you are reading this I thank you for this generous gift of new shiny toys.

Monday, September 28, 2009


A large steel M is something I would like on the roof of my studio.  This letter can mean many things besides my name and today I am thinking of the largeness of Monday, the start of another week, the day after a relaxing Sunday, the day one needs to get serious and back to work.  For most artists like myself everyday we are working at our profession and no matter if we are distracted by other endeavors of employment or life's daily demands we are thinking, feeling, scribbling, and projecting in our mind about work in our studio and those paintings yet to be painted.  I had a very jammed pack weekend of working and that ability to work without interruption has inspired me to jump on the day and start anew.  I wish  everyone a beautiful Monday!   

Friday, September 25, 2009


16 x 20 framed
sold September 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Today I changed my profile photo on Facebook.  Since I am a former fashion designer I thought a painting of clothes would be a better representation than the mug shot.  This is an oil on canvas done in 2007.  I have been going through the archives of stacked canvases looking for inspiration.   The photo is focused.  It is the painting that is fuzzy as it has never been finished.  Unfinished work can be inspiring and motivating.  What is hiding in your studio?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I will have to do a weekly post after my drawing class and call it the Tuesday Night Book Club.  Once again I have been dazzled by more inspiring artist publications.  At class last night I was introduced to the work of Euan Uglow in the book Euan Uglow: the Complete Paintings.  And I thought that introduction alone was worth the price of admission.  Yet  another superb artist was revealed in the book Bruno Fonseca: The Secret Life of Painting.  This class could get expensive in acquiring these books and more if each week reveals published works of new artists  For now I will add them to my wish list and stay inspired by their work to get to work in the studio.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


On Tuesday nights I am taking a drawing class at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts .  I love taking art classes and workshops not just to sharpen my skills and learn new methods of working but also for the discovery of new books.  This book was introduced to the class: Colors  What They Mean and How to Make Them by Anne Varichon, Harry N. Abrams Press, 2007.  This is a delicious book I now must own (and read).  The author, an archaeologist and ethnologist, writes of their history, production from olden days to modern techniques, cultural symbolism and mythology and takes us around the world and through  the centuries.  Of course this would already break my September resolution of not buying anymore art books until I read or reread my current collection.  More on that later....

Sunday, September 13, 2009


oil on canvas
10 x 8

This was inspired by the beach cabana at Fogland.  I love that name.  It conjures a place of mystery, magic and atmoshere and makes me want to do a series of paintings based on the name alone.  (please note this was also taken w/ my digital camera with only 72 ppi.)


Next Door
oil on canvas
10 x 8


Saturday night the gallery had a reception and even though a drizzly rain fell we still had a enthusiatic gathering of art fans. I discovered that my painting Stillness did not sell but it was another small painting called The Summer House (oil on canvas 10 x 8).  While I do not have a clear image of this work (my digital camera at only 72 ppi) one can get an idea.  This is all palette knife done plein- air.   I did three of these 8 x 10 oils while staying in Tiverton, RI during a sizzling week in August.  Quite a contrast from a rainy two days.  The other two paintings are Next Door and  is the house across the road and August the beach cabana at Fogland Beach (see next post).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I love those special calls from the gallery telling me a painting has sold.  It is such an honor to have someone like your work enough to purchase and bring the painting into their home.  This weekend my watercolor Stillness was bought.  I painted this in 2007 and it has not been shown until this year- first in the South Coast Open Studio tour in July and just recently brought to the gallery.   All my watercolors are large measuring 22" x 30" on full sheets of 300 lb paper.  This one is small and simple yet rich in color. Sometimes it is important to remember to work this way and know it would be welcomed into the world. 

Monday, August 31, 2009


Yes, again rejected or "not selected" for a juried show. Something that still stings but can fade to dullness once the letter is filed away. Does it help to know how many works are submitted (over 1000) by how many artists (over 300) from how many states (over 35) plus Canada? And to know only 65 pieces were chosen? Maybe...probably. Kudos to those artists accepted!
I am a fan of this juror's curatorial skills. But after three times entering shows this juror juried and not receiving the check mark to "your entry has been accepted" the message seems clear. With every rejection I have to pull out my copy of Robert Henri's The Art Spirit and turn to page 14. His words soothe the "not selected" soul.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009


RED. I seen a lot of red these past few days on the beaches of RI and MA. Hurricane Bill blew in and drifted out over the weekend causing the closing of beaches to swimming. Bill's brief stay however brought out a healthy supply of fit, tanned life guards adorned in red along with red flags flapping at every beach entrance and on every life guard stand. Yesterday while a smokey southwesterly wind blew these red floats stood guard as portals to the sea.

Monday, August 24, 2009

watercolor, gesso, graphite
30 x 22
was accepted in the Rhode Island Watercolor Society 16th Annual National Show, October 4-29, 2009, in Pawtucket, RI. www.riws.org