Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Firth of Forth

James and I took Uncle Jimmy out to lunch today. Since his last chemo treatment, he tells me that his body is all confused. His legs are weak and it is harder to breathe but today he is well enough to come out to lunch. When we brought him back home he gave me something that he didn't want to get lost in the shuffle after he is gone. He gave me a painting which was the first commission that my Mother ever had as an artist. When I was a little girl my Mom had a studio where I used to go to watch her paint. She made several paintings for family members and for our house mostly of whaling scenes and sea side towns and buildings. Uncle Jimmy told me that the painting is called The Firth of Forth. He said it was in Scotland. I don't have any paintings that my Mother made so this meant so much to me on so many levels. I can remember this painting hanging at Uncle Jimmy's and Aunt Helen's house every time we would visit. There are so many great memories of sleep overs and breakfasts and tea (one lump or two?) and stories retold so many times that I could have finished anyone of them if something was forgotten...but nothing ever was. The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, betweenFife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times. from Wikipedia

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Painting Demonstration at The Blue Dory Gallery

Laurel Meads, owner of the Blue Dory Gallery in Fairhaven, took this photo earlier today of me while giving a painting demonstration. The large window had several people peeking in and stopping in to see what was going on. I will be teaching basic drawing and painting techniques for adults this summer at Laurel's gallery. Class size is limited to seven people so that everyone can get personalized instruction. Workshop information is listed on my website. If you have any questions, contact me through my site and I will be happy to answer them.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hooded Alex

Posting has taken a back burner while I am getting ready to show about 20 of my works for the month of June plus I have been painting everyday to get some paintings for the Norton Gallery. The whole gallery is getting a make-over and I have three new paintings for Phil to consider and plan to do a few more in the next few weeks. The weather is warming up but it is still windy. Alex was good enough to pose by the ocean on a bench. It was nice that the sky was grey behind her yet the sun was shining down on us keeping us warm. This is a quick 40 min oil sketch. There are no real details but it is very Alex to me. I keep remembering my teachers saying, "Too human too quick" and so I ignore the features and try to get the basic colors in the right positions and it does end up looking like her. Zoom in and see what I mean. There is not much to her face at all. This is an 8 x 10" and I am using an Italian metal easel and one messenger bag to hold everything. This system is so efficient that I only need half an hour or 45 mins to do a quick oil study. It makes it so easy to paint anywhere. I plan on teaching the basics of outdoor painting this summer. This will be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It was very dark and rainy today. The light was not good to work in oils. Alexandra asked if I could do her portrait in charcoal. It is amazing to draw my children because I think that I know their faces but they are always changing. Alex looks so womanly now. She is a woman but in my head, she is much younger still. She laughs as she reads this over my shoulder.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I had to stop touching up this one. There always seemed to be something that I could do to give it that soft quiet peace that seems to be part of Liz. Liz's hair is very blond on the ends and her skin is so light that I wanted to try adding a dark background for contrast. It does make her pop out. Also, I wasn't sure if I should include her lip ring but both times that I asked, she said that she wanted it drawn in so here it is. The look works. This is the first time that I found the 19" x 25" paper limiting having to turn it horizontal so that her arms could be included. The whole work came out pretty peaceful. Thank you Liz.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Good Friend, Art Landry

Since coming back from Annapolis two weeks ago, I have had several friends and family offer to sit for me. Yesterday, my good friend Art Landry came by to give me the chance to do his portrait. I have known Art for about a decade now and he is one of the best friends I could ever want to have. Generally, when we are together I talk pretty much constantly and Art is a man of few words. The fun thing about having Art sit for me, is that I was not talking very much because I was focused on drawing and, low and behold, Art started talking more than I have ever heard him talk! He told me great stories and every now and then I would have to ask him to get back into position but the fact that he talked and moved, helped me to better understand his face for this drawing. There is a hint of a smile here and when I look at this one, I feel that he is just about to start telling me something new. Thank you so much, Art for sitting for me.
I had a great time as usual!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


About a week ago I asked for volunteers to sit for me so that I could hone my skills that I learned in Annapolis. This is Patrick and he was a very still sitter. After breaks he could get right back into position without much adjusting. Thank you, Patrick for sitting.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Charcoal of James

I have been away in Annapolis studying portraiture at Maryland Hall and with Cedric and Joanette Egeli since the first week of September. I am so glad to be home.
What did I learn while I was there? I learned too much to type it all here but some of the best things that I came away with are the ability to handle charcoal, how to set up a model with one light source (that is why there is a red blanket on the window behind James) and how to think about the structure of the skull and muscles under the skin on the face. I am still thrilled to use charcoal.
I included some photos of what I have had to do to my living room in order to have a good work space. The model stand doubles as our coffee table. Also, I noticed that you can see the window on the stair landing is blocked by another painting to keep out the light. As always, James and Alex are ever handy models but I am going to start looking for people who can pose for me for two days, two hours each day in intervals of 20 mins posing and then resting for 10. That is plenty of time to do a charcoal from life.
For James, I popped in a two hour movie and that helps to pass the time. So, in the time it takes to watch a couple of movies, it would be done. So if you know anyone who would like to sit for me...I need the practice but I also need some works to show people what I can do. Almost all of the works that I make are commissions so there is never an actual work to show people who are interested- just my online photos and that isn't the same. If you are interested in posing, contact me and we could discuss compensation and arrangements.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

John Singer Sargent Charcoal Study

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a book on John Singer Sargent titled the Sensualist. It has great charcoal figure studies. He made them all on the standard 19x25" paper. I thought that I would try a study of one of these in the same size. It was fun doing a torso on this scale. It is a good back study and doing a lot more of them would be helpful. This was also done with a new charcoal that didn't have the rough little bits that I have been finding in other charcoals. It also comes in these great tubes so the sticks wont break as easily. It is by Creative Mark and I bought it at Jerry's Artarama in Providence yesterday.