Friday, August 7, 2015

Patty Larkin

Hydrangeas in Cobalt Vase, 2015, Oil on Board, 10"x10"
This painting has found a lovely home in Boston.  It sits on a wall near a door where is can be seen regularly.  The new owners are great appreciators of art, nature, animals, and all things beautiful.  
Having delivered Hydrangeas, my house critic and I met friends at the MFA to hear Patty Larkin perform in the courtyard.  We arrived early and spent time in the American Wing looking at a small curated show of 100 years of American Ceramics.  Most interested were pieces from The Saturday Evening Girls' Club (SEG).  The designs evoke the Arts and Crafts Movement.  Read more about the club, its purpose and Sara Galner, one of the best artists here.  This club is a significant part of a book I recently read, The Boston Girl, by Anita Daimant.  More about the show in here.

Sara Galner, right, and her work, left.

We listened to the Patty Larkin concert from Bravo's balcony where we had dinner.  The sound was somewhat distorted from there, but it was more pleasant than sitting on sand chairs.  The sky stayed blue throughout the concert and the sun cast pink and purple light on the spars clouds.  

Monday, June 8, 2015

New Directions

Still Life, Hydrangea, Oil on Board, 12" x 12"
I've decided to take this blog in a new direction. I acknowledge that I am my only audience.  From the onset I have been posting these pictures so that I could watch the development of the paintings.  This was more out of curiosity than any instructional or artistic purpose.  With the advent of so many online options for storing photographs, it is no longer necessary.  So, I'm going to use this as a means to expand my knowledge of ... anything ... something ... associated with the painting but not necessarily the plastic aspects.  It will be a more free association.  I will continue to insert a small picture of the painting I am working on.  
Speaking of free association, I might as well start this new direction by noting that my House Critic and I are reading Ulysses by James Joyce.  We are greatly help by a Great Courses video and an edition of Ulysses by Shmoop that provides analysis and summary of each chapter.  This reading is in preparation of a trip to Ireland that includes a few days in Dublin.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Still Life, Hydrangeas

Still Life, Hydrangeas, Oil on Board, 12" x12"
I'm doing a second hydrangeas in cobalt bowl.  The leaves are a bit different and the color of the hydrangea is more pink.  Otherwise, it's the same as my earlier one.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Common Grackle

Common Grackle, 8"x8", Oil on Board
The brow.  The stare.  The color.  An amazing bird.  

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Grackle, Oil on Board, 8"x8"
The grackles have arrived in force.  They don't stick around too long.  They are voracious eaters that can empty our 3 gallon feeder in a day.  I love the iridescence of their feathers.  This is the first stage of blocking in the values and colors.  This guy has such a fierce look.  

Monday, April 27, 2015


Goldfinch, 8"x8", Oil on Board
The goldfinch regales us each spring with his beautiful transition from the winter green/brown feathers he wears to the beautiful golden, yellow robe capped with a little black crown.  This guy had just grabbed a thistle seed and was looking to fly away.  

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Chickadee, Oil on Board, 8"x8"
I've been working on this painting at the end of each studio day while I finished the Sippican Harbor piece.  I've mostly been playing with the ground color.  You can see the transitions that led from a gray to the last blue.  Fat little thing.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sippican Harbor

Sippican Harbor, Oil on Board, 18"x36"
I began this painting to exhibit at Anthi's Drawing room during the Marion Art Center's Arts in the Park.  It has taken a different route and is now being considered for display and sale at the Wequasett Resort and Golf Club.  It could still find its way to Arts in the Park should the Resort reject it.  I'm really not confident that the Resort will sell any works.  These attempts rarely ever result in sales.
The scene is from a photograph I took in 1978.  This point of view of the harbor has little changed since then.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lilacs in the Mist

Lilacs, Oil on Board, 24"x17"
I made some minor adjustments when we returned from Florida.  Fresh eyes are always helpful.  I darkened the middle ground, brought the ski down a bit, and took out some leaves.  Hopefully this improved the focal point and compositional movement.  The piece is now in the Roger's Gallery awaiting a new home.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee, 8"x10", Oil on Board
The most taxing part of this painting was achieving depth in the black feathers.  I'm reminded of the beautiful blacks of Manet's paintings, particularly La Muerte del Torero. This little guy is all puffed up with the cold which softens all the feathers and blends what texture would be present.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Towhee and Bluejay

Towhee, 10"x8", Oil on Board
This is my second session on this eastern towhee whose photograph was generously provided by Jim Sears.  Towhees are a kind of large sparrow with a chunky body and a long rounded tail.  They rummage in the undergrowth for food making more noise than expected.  This one is making his way through the snow for seeds fallen from the feeder.

Bluejay, 10"x8", Oil on Board
I've been struggling with the ground on this bluejay painting. Yesterday's work yielded a much more orange ground.  I toned that today with some naples yellow and burnt sienna.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Cardinals, 8"x8", Oil on Board
After spending 12 days in Costa Rica, I am more intrigued than ever by our feathered friends.  The diversity of the birds in Costa Rica is phenomenal.  However, I'm sticking with birds I live with and are indigenous to New England.  These two female cardinals represent how color can vary with light and weather.  The lady on the right is sitting in rain with her crown pulled back.  The light was low and gray.  The left hand cardinal sits on a branch in a bright snowy day.  She was chirping away and proud of her crown.