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Showing posts from July, 2015

Packing Up...Westward Ho!

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I'm about to drive across the country. Half excited, half dreading the long journey, I'm making decisions of what art supplies to pack. Really, you'd think this would be a simple task...just bring everything! Of course, I envision stopping roadside to capture every new plant life, river & mountain.
I will be resting along the highways & byways to picnic in a bucolic setting watching the sunsets as I go west, painting en plain air.....ahhhhno.
Recently I returned from one trip to New Hampshire & Maine and another from the Adirondacks of New York. I am more fully aware and at ease with the methods and habits of my day as an artist that have worked for me over the years. Always changing as I've added new skills, I've also learned to be kind to myself and not beat myself up when that gorgeous sunrise was not captured, brush in hand at that moment right there on the spot or sketched in newly purchased journals.
       You see, I was present, but I had …

Daily Rhythm

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My day has a certain flow to it. Habits and patterns have been established over years. I must admit it probably reflects a little OCD also! I don't think about it much until it's not there. I know that this week,  traveling, catching up on the mundane house chores, paying bills...  I've lost my rhythm.
My paints have dried on the palette, a painting that I'm stuck on remains untouched on my easel and I'll find every reason not to walk into the studio. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter all beckoning with feeds that distract me...even a good book. It is depressing and I need to follow my own past advice.
Just start...scribble, throw paint and play. 
In the past this has always lead me out of my doldrums. When the colors hit the paper or canvas I start to feel better. Just the pure activity of painting, since I was a child, has brought back my joy, and minimized problems real or imagined. I think perhaps the resurgence of coloring books that now fill adult book store she…

Going Home

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This past week I enjoyed a trip away from my studio. I revisited my home in upstate New York, near Albany.  I had a wonderful time revisiting the fields I ran in as a child, the hills I flew down on my bike and the lakes where I  learned to swim. While  catching up with a childhood friend, a suggestion to go see a Van Gogh exhibit at The Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA became an exciting unexpected side trip.
As we drove up Rt.43 from NY state to MA, I recalled the source of  my paintings! I had absorbed that land as a child and never left it behind.  More gently rolling mountains than the soaring ones I saw last month in New Hampshire and Maine, expanses of pastures broken by the now green swath of ski runs, with glittering lakes tucked into every turn. My head was on swivel as my hands painted the air.
   I entered The Clark and walked the Van Gogh exhibit. Painting after painting I saw work of this artist that I had never seen before. Sketches were next to paintings working out th…

So you think you got it right...this time?

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On January 1, 2015
I wrote and posted the following:
"So each of us start out with that same clean canvas or paper. We attack it with all our gusto. Paint and brush fly to the rhythm of our music and ......blah. Does your canvas get relegated to a dark corner of your studio?  Do you actually convince yourself that it is an ok painting ....even frame it?
Do I hear a mumbled  "Yes!"
I know that I've sat staring at an unsold work on my living room wall debating ..leave it and just go from here, throw it out, hide it and pretend it was from your first year of painting....or learn from it. Unframe it, rework it, draw on it, wipe out whole areas.
Use this effort to move forward and rejoice that you have come a long way ....at least far enough to be your own critic!
This is YOUR painting until it is sold."
(Click on this link to see the the unsold original painting which I reworked and then ...it sold!
Crystal Lake Falls)

Well it has happened ...again ...this original ve…

Do I need a bigger studio $!?

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I have found myself muttering to my canvases lately. Stepping back, tripping over my desk chair, backing into book cases and knocking over my water containers. What had been a comfortable,well lit studio space for my watercolors has become a very uncomfortable and too dark space for my acrylics!
  Just as I found out that I could not think watercolor and then paint with acrylics, so it follows my physical surroundings have been slowly changing as I paint in acrylic each day. It was a slow adaptive change, nothing sudden, just a slow incorporation of different tools, timing, lighting and attitude toward my subject matter.
Did I need a bigger space? Increasing the footprint of the room was not possible, using a different
room did not solve the lighting situation. What to do, what to do?


Solution! I rebuilt my old classic drafting table into a full size easel. Used upright now for acrylic canvases rather than flat for watercolors giving me the added foot space. I enlarged the surface ar…