Nov 12, 2010

North River Arts Society Art Sale

Every year the North River Arts Society has a wonderful art sale. There is fantastic original art, prints and tons of other items all priced just right for the upcoming holidays. So if you want to start your shopping early and are tired of giving out those traditional boring shirts and ties, come on by and add some spice to your gift giving.
I will be selling framed originals, unframed originals, some prints in these fantastic little stand alone easels that sit right on a small coffee table and coasters.
Many of my first-rate artist friends will have their gorgeous items there, also. Somehow I always end up spending part of what I earn cause I just can't help but grab that scrumptious landscape at it's marvelous price.
Get there early as it's always a popular event!

Nov 1, 2010

Golden Light

The Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod will be having their annual Member's Show to be held at the Brewster's Ladies Library-1822 Main St., Brewster Ma. The opening reception is November 6th, from 3-5 and the show runs through the 30th. I have entered this little 8"X8" fall piece (and it is for sale). The lighting was extraordinary that day casting a golden glow on the river. I found this fall fantastic for painting with our unusually warm crystal clear weather and gorgeous skies. Made up for the fact that the leaves on the trees, although still stunning in places, were not quite as vibrant as past years.

Oct 28, 2010

126 Front Street

I finished this piece a while back and hope to enter it in some upcoming shows. There are many elements that are represented within the painting that depict the contrast between gaiety and innocence and the desperation of our social times.
The subdued tones of the worker's attire reflect the resignation of the figure to his situation in life. In addition, he is surrounded by the crumbling, faded brick building.
Although currently trapped behind bars, the children's lighthearted pink painting on the door suggests that there can be hope for the future.

Sep 27, 2010

Arts On

There is a great event happening this weekend for anyone interested in some fantastic silent auction prizes, a tasting of some premium wines or a tour of some very talented artist's studios. Should be a lot of fun! And all to help support a wonderful arts organization...

Sep 24, 2010

A New Leaf

Out walking yesterday on the first day of fall and came across this remarkable brilliant red leaf on the ground. First brightly colored leaf I had happened upon this new season. "How appropriate and beautiful," I thought. After I picked it up and studied it, I looked up and around trying to find which tree or bush it had come from. The only other red leaves I could find were a patch of poison ivy. I had already been holding the leaf for a few moments and grazing it gently with my fingers when I came to this realization that I may have ruined my day. I gingerly tiptoed up to the poison ivy patch for a closer look making sure not to inadvertently touch the nasty stuff and much to my relief, my leaf was somewhat different. So I took it home and did a painting of it...Anyone know what it is?

Also, I am testing out the different grades of Uart Pastel paper. This was done on the 800 grade. I found it very much less granular. It doesn't allow you to scumble as much as the lower grades. And gives kind of a fuzzy effect and a mushy feeling. Getting tight details is a little hard. Good for if you want to not be too tight with your work.

Anyone looking for a plein air umbrella? I have a new box that has a specific umbrella that works with it. So my other very lightly used one is up for bids. Comes with carrying case and accesories...

Sep 21, 2010


It has been at least 30 days since I dropped my middle child off to college. There is a definite missing piece around the house without him here. While watching the late night news if I hear a sound, I absentmindedly think it is Jarrod coming through the door, only to be disappointed that it is the house settling in for the night. I miss those hilarious, animated midnight stories of his adventures or misadventures of the day.
I made my first fall dinner of home made beef stew the other night. One of his favorites. And felt guilty eating it without him present. My husband and youngest child did not have the same concern.
Time really does fly by too fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I captured he and his friends “crabbin” in the pool tides. I know he must now yearn for those lazy summer days when his only concern was making sure his fingers weren’t pinched by the wary crustaceans. Now his responsibilities are studying, grade point average, professors and girls. Of course, he is also having the time of his life taking in incredible Penn State football games, clubs and just hanging out with a slew of brand new friends.
So while I do have my extreme moments of melancholy, I only have to imagine Jarrod now in a group of Penn State friends laughing infectiously as they walk the narrow paths of the campus and I feel much better.

Sep 13, 2010

Beginning of Summer

I had done a small 8"X8" plein aire piece for a fundraising event at the North River Arts Society, Out of the Box (or OTB). In that event, everyone is given a small square formatted board to work on. When I was out painting it, I thought it would be nice to actually compose the scene in a long horizontal format, so I used the plein aire piece and my reference to complete this larger painting. I couldn't post my larger piece or even the smaller piece until the Out of the Box event was done, because part of the fun and mystery of that event is to keep secret who the artist is who did the painting until bidding has ended. Well, the event ended this past Saturday night with a great party, absolutely fantastic Choclatinis and lots of happy people leaving with their newly won artwork.
So here is my longer 13" X 27" composition piece...

Aug 25, 2010


Recently made a trip to Wellfleet to deliver some news paintings to the Kendall Gallery. I love Wellfleet. It has such a free spirited character about it. Where else can you jump in the car and catch a movie at the Drive-In Theatre or pick up any floatie you could imagine and head to the beautiful unspoiled sandy beaches?
The Kendall Gallery has a warm charm of it's own with a wonderful assortment of artwork featured in the main gallery and when you venture out to the back, an outside sculpture garden that offers little nooks and crannies and quiet spots to sit and contemplate and which also leads you to a second beautiful gallery area and frame shop.
The owner's, Walter and Myra Dorrell, always make you feel welcome, comfortable and at home. Walter's watercolors always amaze me. He creates striking rich colors in his paintings that defy the medium.
It is a joy to be included in this gallery. Thanks Walter and Myra!

Jun 30, 2010


Recently finished teaching a great class to a fantastic group. We had a perfect weather day one day and headed over to Scituate Harbor to the little beach tucked in by the Y.C. I was so thrilled with how great the class progressed. Funny moment of the day was when I, the teacher, was critiquing a painting and stepped backward and didn't realize there was a nice size rock behind me. I never realized you could actually force your body to fall in slow motion. Actually landed pretty softly. The only thing bruised was my ego...haha.

Jun 14, 2010

For Pastels Only on Cape Cod

Available at Kendall Art Gallery, Wellfleet, Ma

I went to a lively opening of the For Pastels Only on Cape Cod show sponsored by the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. The show is being held at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth through the 27th. The space is quite beautiful. It is a renovated bank and has some really interesting architectural elements which made for fun viewing. There are even paintings hung in the old vault room which still has the original vaulted door. I was honored to receive The Landscape Award sponsored by Liz Haywood-Sullivan, especially since Liz is a fellow pastelist and wonderful friend. Richard McKinley and Margaret Dyer were the Jurors of Selection and Awards and I, along with my fellow paparazzi artists, were thrilled to meet Mr. McKinley first hand. (He must have been blind by the end of the night with everyone taking turns to have their picture taken with him.) This is the picture that I was lucky enough to win the award for...

This show has now been extended, so for anyone down near the Cultural Center, it is now running until July 7th!

Jun 4, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

My Daughter told me about a great fundraising project put on by the Art House Co-op. You sign up for a sketchbook and pick a theme and when it is done, send it back and it is viewed at the Brooklyn Art Library. And you can have it digitized to be viewed online.
Here is the link to my daughters blog which then links you to the sight...(I know, I am being lazy)
Can't wait until my sketchbook comes in the mail! Fun, fun. For my theme I chose inside/outside. I can be literal or play on the words. You'll have to wait and see.
Thanks, Rachael

May 17, 2010



I had bought some flowers and started playing by just doing a vine charcoal value drawing on some extra Canson Mi Teintes paper. I threw a hint of pastel over it, as I felt it needed something more. I like the effect and think I will play with this idea a little more later. Maybe get more in depth. Sometimes I get so serious about work that I forget to just play.

May 7, 2010

Spring Saltmarsh

I taught a wonderful class a few days ago and the weather was no less than perfect. I started the session with a very quick pastel painting to demo underpainting in watercolor when you are plein aire painting. Although the weather has been incredibly warm with plants blooming way before their usual time, the salt marsh is still a nice subdued green.

Apr 14, 2010


Seems like for the last two weeks, I have been going at 90 miles an hour. Too much to do, too little time, yada yada yada... So today I just took a much needed relaxing long walk with my pup and brought along my camera. Felt so good to take things down a notch and just experience this fantastic warm spring day. I could actually feel the tension melting away. Need to remind myself to do this way more often.

Apr 7, 2010

Taste of the Town and Silent Auction

Click here for more info on event

6"X 8" Wind Ensemble

My son has been on the Wind Ensemble at his High School and he is coming up to his last concerts before he graduates. I cannot say enough about the enjoyment we, and he, has garnered from Wind Ensemble and Band. And also what a fantastic job the music program and all their support team does, starting right at grade school, in our public school system. A big Thanks to all. Our biggest fear is losing this phenomenal educational and inspiring program to all the budget cuts.
I just finished a piece for the Marshfield Friends of Music biggest fundraiser, A Taste of the Town & Silent Auction. I have donated this piece to be auctioned off. There are also other great items available, too. Takes place this April 10th! Proceeds benefit Marshfield's Public Schools' Music Program...Check it out by clicking the link below the image. Lots of fun!

Mar 29, 2010

Painted Cakes and Flowers

With all this cold weather and dreary rain, my daughter and I decided to take in the Flower Show this weekend to catch a glimpse of what we would like this spring to mirror. After parking the car and sprinting through the frigid cold to the Seaport World Trade Center, we were greeted with pure color, delight and warmth. How nice to be surrounded by luscious greens and brightly colored flowers. As always at the flower show, we came across spectacular varieties of plants and flowers that we had never seen before and can't pronounce anyway. I am hoping that I will be able to find some of these in local garden centers when spring truly arrives. It also made me long for warm plein aire painting days to arrive soon.

I came across a landscaping idea that I want my husband to now do to our back yard. It should be easy, right hun? haha!

We also came across these incredibly flower decorated cakes. I loved this painted one. I could do that...just paint on Fondant. I never even knew what Fondant was until my fam started watching The Cake Boss.

Funniest moment there...watching this older gentleman holding his camera, that must also takes videos-(I hope), at arms length above his head. He walked the whole show that way. We continually would catch glimpses of him here and there. His arm must have been exhausted by the end of his stay. And I can't quite fathom how this video must have come out.

Mar 15, 2010


contact artist if interested in purchasing/6"X6" Pastel

Just finished another still life with the Mary figurine, but in color. When I was arranging the lily it enwrapped the figurine and I loved the effect so I left it. Happy accident. It was a real challenge with the white lily against the white figurine. Lots of little subtleties.

Mar 12, 2010


I drew this portrait of Ivy a while back and have entered it in a few shows. Ivy's mom just purchased the drawing and so she is now home. Appropriate. The medium I used was sanguine and white conté. I started using conté back at art school during my life drawing class. I think it gives a drawing a nice old world feeling. When I first met Ivy, she looked to me like she was from a past era with her gorgeous curly hair and her beautiful ivory complexion, so it made total sense to me to use this medium. It was one of those drawings that I envisioned what I wanted it to look like before I even put down the first mark on paper. Great advice from William Merritt Chase-"Try to see your picture...drawn and painted, always anticipating a success and never a failure. You should always see your motive painted before you attempt it, and choose as simple a subject as possible."

Mar 5, 2010

Demo Middle School

Today I gave a quick demo at our local middle school. I set up a little still life and worked directly from that. The kids were so inquisitive. They were truly interested and eager to learn about the materials you are using and the process. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by such great kids. Just so there is no confusion, the photo of my easel shows oil paints on the palette. That was just left over from another painting. The demo is a pastel painting.

Feb 24, 2010

How cool

Since my blog is essentially a babyblog, meaning a new endeavor, I was thrilled to be awarded a sunshine award from Sally Dean. Thanks, Sally! Sally's blog is inspirational. Her goal is a painting or drawing a day with some use of a flower within it and to accomplish this for 365 days. Whew. She has been so creative in her thought process for executing this, too. You are inspiring, Sally.
Here are my recipients(in no particular order):
12)Drawing & Painting Steve Doherty

All are creative, fun and addicting. They should really call it blogcrastination as I find myself immersed in reading and keeping up and not tending to my own work at hand, sometimes.
Of course, there are a ton of others that I would give this award to, but I was told to list just 12...
Here are the "official" rules-
Take the picture of the flower and put it on your blog. Pick 12 recipients and link them to your blog. Notify these people.
Lots of work, but they all give me joy.

Feb 17, 2010


After posting the drawing yesterday, I decided to do a little research. When I placed the lily by the statue I was aware that it was symbolic to Christian and Catholic faith and knew that it was associated with the Virgin Mary and her purity. And so I thought it was a meaningful flower to incorporate into the drawing not only for those reasons, but because I knew my mother and mother-in-law both loved receiving these flowers during the Easter season. Well, to my amazement and enlightenment this is what I found. In Christian faith the white lily is the associated flower and symbol of the Virgin Mary and the parts of the flower itself have their own significance. The stem represents the Virgin Mary's faithful mind. The petals, her purity and virginity. The scent, her divinity and the leaves, her humility. (I am sure my grandmother is now rolling her eyes at me up in heaven at my lack of knowledge. I admit I was not one to pay attention in CCD. And I am positive that when and if my brother-in-law Tom reads this will have the same reaction as my grandmother. He is an inspiration to us all with his incredible faith and knowledge.)

Feb 16, 2010

For My Mothers

click here to bid

My mother gave me this little statue years and years ago. It sits on my bureau and often when I am just waking the morning light hits it in such a way that I am mesmerized. It is a wonderful way to greet the day. I have often thought I would do a painting of it, but decided to start with a simple conte drawing. I named it For My Mothers, as a tribute to my mom and my mother-in-law who had such incredible faith and of course, for Mary.

Feb 3, 2010

Art Supplies

My students always inquire as to where I shop for my art supplies. Unless I need supplies in a hurry, online is where I get the majority of my supplies. It is so easy to comparison shop and get the most for your money. I always check on shipping costs as that will greatly effect your final price. Companies will always send you their catalog for free if you request them, so you can easily see what is offered before you go online. Here are some of my recommendations (not in any particular order):

New York Central Art Supply - This company has many hard to find and unique items. They also have specialty catalogs that you may request.

Terry Ludwig Pastels Great luscious colors and wonderful personal service.

Some great plein aire easels and pochade boxes are offered by varying companies. I recently bought an EasyL which I adjusted to my needs. I created 2 boxes which fit within the main box. One box holds my pastels, the other holds a palette for oils. I alternate the box inserts depending on what my desired medium is for the day. You can see the box with the pastel insert in the photos of my demo at the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. I will include a picture of the oil palette in the next few days.

I purchased my EasyL here:

Judsons Art Outfitters is currently having a seconds special on some of their boxes.

Happy Shopping!

Jan 26, 2010

Small Pond Winter


I started this painting around a week ago and just got to finish it during the weekend. Busy week last week. The pond is at the end of our street and I loved the long shadows across the snow and the gorgeous reds in the trees and bushes. Usually during the winter once the ice is frozen all the neighborhood kids and parents clear off the snow and spend their afternoons skating. Each time they tried this year it would snow on their efforts and so I think they gave up in frustration. On the bright side, they did get in lots of sledding.
I remember one year the conditions being exceptionally good for a long stretch of time. One of those nights a moon was shining big and bright and full. Enough light shown across the pond that the kids could keep skating. The wind was hushed and the air clean and crisp. We built a small fire and had hot cocoa on hand to keep warm.
With the two warm days and pouring rain that we just had, the snow is now gone off the pond. The winter is still very young, though and we could have another cold snap that will allow the kids to skate again. That's life in New England.

Jan 15, 2010


Just like most of the world, I am feeling somewhat helpless at what is happening in Haiti. So with today's post I am simply offering prayers and a link.

Jan 13, 2010

Morning Snow and Pines


Two days ago I readied for the day and upon entering my kitchen was greeted with this view through the window of this wonderful morning light filtering through the trees. Set down the tea, grab the pastels and get to work...The challenge was all the dark vertical lines of the trees and the horizontals of the snow and light. Also, how quickly I knew the light was going to change. I chose the view which kept some of the lighter valued trees in the forefront so the painting would stay light and airy. I also chose to use a vertical format to suggest the height of the trees.

Jan 7, 2010

Watercolor underpainting demo

Here are some images from a demo I gave for the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. A method I use quite extensively is to underpaint with watercolor and then apply pastel over that underpainting. The watercolor keeps the painting light and airy underneath, but still reads through beautifully even after applying my layers of pastel. I was referring to a small painting done on location and some photo reference. I love working from my small plein air pieces as they help to keep the colors and inspiration true. (The final painting is available for purchase and details can be viewed at my main website.) (Thank-you to Elaine Cunniff for the jpg images of the demo day)

Jan 6, 2010

It's about time


My son will be proud of me. Months ago he helped me start the set up of this blog. And here it finally goes. It is with some fear that I am jumping into this venture, but I have expectations that it will end up being fun. And here is my first painting on my blog. This is a pastel painting I did just a few short months ago on a gloriously warm late fall day. The road leads to my house and is covered with lots of snow now. It feels more like New Hampshire around here this year than the SouthEast. My children will now have the same memories that I had of high climbing snow banks and lots of sledding when they grow up.