Friday, December 31, 2010


"Paintings, like poetry or music, are essential nutrients that help people sustain healthy lives. They’re not recreational pleasures or sidelines. They are tools that help us grasp the diversity of the world and its history, and explore the emotional capacities with which we navigate that world. They illuminate, they humble, they nurture, they inspire. They teach us to use our eyes and to know ourselves by knowing others."

Beautifully written by Roberta Smith in the introduction to the article "A World of Paintings in One City," in today's  New York Times Weekend Arts section.  And an eloquent thought to finish this year with and start anew in 2011.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


On these wintry eves wishing everyone red skies to light their nights.

Monday, December 20, 2010


There is something magical about the Maine coast in the winter time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We came north in search of winter and found it:

And now we feel the magic of the christmas spirit.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Two books I can highly recommend reading over the holidays, if such time allows, or add these titles to your New Year's lists, are Seven Days in the Art World and Chuck Close Life.

Not new but very timely still is Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton.  This is a fascinating insider point of view into the big events of the insular contemporary art world from the crit at CalArts, to the Turner prize workings and onto the studio visit of Murakami(!).  I would have preferred a studio visit of a working artist on a smaller scale not the global company of Murakami, but that is my only complaint.  Definately this is a worthwhile read and a hard book to put down until you finish it.

The other book is Christopher Finch's Chuck Close Life.  This book too is difficult to leave alone once you start.  Finch's weaves an insightful tale of the life and work of artist Close.  Not only is Close intelligent and talented but also he is highly likeable for such an art star. What I found a tad frustrating was Finch's idolization of Close in his portrayal even though we have to absolutely admire how Close overcame many challenging and life threatening difficulties.  And by the end of the story the person who remains of the most interest, to me, anyway, is the woman behind the great man - his former wife, Leslie.  Since privacy is crucial to her she will remain a mystery.  Still read this as Finch also provides invaluable history of the New York City art world starting in the 60s.  What a time to be an artist! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Inspired by my friend Barbara, from Montreal, I decided yesterday to cut up some old watercolors and make holiday cards for my family and friends.  This turned out to be fun and also inspires me on some concepts for  a series to paint.  So far I have 12 different designs for cards.  Here are four that I really like.  Note though these images are scanned so the color quality is not as crisp as the original.  Isn't that always the case.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


For the Winterlude show I had some cards of my paintings printed.  I chose seven images: three are of buildings, two seascapes, and two flowers.  Cards were the hot sellers of the two day show - I was fortunate to sell many.  Interestingly the image most popular was this painting:

Memories of Home
18 x 22

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


On those December days when the sun is hibernating surround yourself with blooms of yellow flowers.

Monday, December 13, 2010


This year, with 3 other artists, I join Frankie Brackley Tolman in a 2 day art show and sale called Winterlude at the Peterborough Historical Society in Peterborough, NH. This took place on December 3rd and 4th.  Since I do not own a set up for display I was lucky to have generous friends (Adria Arch & Jeanne Williamson) who allowed me to borrow their grids.  These grids are very versatile, lightweight and easy to set up. My husband, Pip, helped me with the set up thus making it a breeze.  Plus we learned some lessons if there is ever a next time.   I used white paper in 3 ft by 30 ft rolls from Staples for the backing.  Lesson 1: The paper can be put up after the paintings are hung.  Lesson 2: Borrow the hanging hooks offered by the grid's owner, in this case my friend Jeanne.  I thought "S" hooks would be a simple solution for hanging.  Lesson 3: Make sure all the screws for securing the stands are of the right size.  And lesson 4: Know where the local hardware store is.  The most essential tool for this set became the binder clip.  These were used to secure the paper to the back of the grid, to keep the "S" hook from sliding on the grid and extend the paintings' wiring for hanging.  Lesson 5: Make my mom proud and iron the table cloths.

Lighting was key but outlets were not abundent, so we used our photo floods for lighting.

The show started at 3 PM on Friday and lasted until 9 PM. During that time we had about 70 visitors.  Saturday the show was from 10 AM until 6 PM and we also had a steady flow but I soon lost count of the numbers.  Everyone commented on the work, "loving it" but sales were scarce this year.  Notecards were the hot item.  Regardless of the lack of painting sales it was fun meeting and talking to the visitors who passed through.  And I think I sold a few subscriptions to Wild Apples art journal and also to The Palette Magazine.

Here are my friends' set up:  Elaine A Cummings

And Deborah Lloyd Kaufman:

Unfortunately I was remiss in not taking pictures of Frankie's and Joanne Boudreau's booth.  Overall our collaboration presented a colorful event with each having a unique vision in paint.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


This photo, by my husband, Pip Shepley, called Whiplash was accepted into BLUE.  This is his first juried show he has entered.  Along with this acceptance he is now a member of the Cambridge Art Association.  This image can be seen along with my painting Twilight Regrets at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery on 25 Lowell Street in Cambridge until January 12th.  It is beautifully matted and framed I might add.