Saturday, May 31, 2008

June 1, 2008 Gilligan's Island Relocated in Potomac Haze

9x12 pastel and watercolor on wallis board
This island is at the bend in the river just before it drives down to Great Falls. This one I did yesterday in the warm haze before the storm. Much softer than the one I posted yesterday...amazing I did both on the same day. I will post today's work tomorrow.

May 31, 2008 Sing the Blues

9x12, pastel and watercolor on marble dust board
Worked in a slightly different way today and I was happy with the results. The river is my friend.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 29,2008 From the Rocks

9x12, pastel on marble dust board
The river was blinding today. What a place!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008 Sand Bar Rising

7x14 pastel and watercolor on wallis board
Yesterday afternoon it turned SO windy that I had to paint in the car. On this one I focused on trying to make the sky luminous. Keep trying.

Monday, May 26, 2008

May 26, 2008 Still Water, Early Morning

9x12, Pastel on sanded paper
Sometimes it still amazes me that I can begin with a blank sheet of paper/board and within hours create a 3d image on a 2d surface! I am still at Chincoteague and this morning was VERY still. On top of the marshy waters lay a film of pollen and stuff that reflected a lot of light. It made a very different look...all those particles reflecting different colors of light, sky, landscape and if the water was shallow picking up the underlying colors.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 25, 2008 Silver and Gold

9x12, pastel on board
I am here at Chincoteague again and since we have had so much rain the wetlands are full of water and birds. It's beautiful.
Today I painted in the early morning. The black ibises were feeding right past the marsh grass. They have elegant silhouettes with long necks and beaks. In my painting they are so far away you can't notice that.

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008 The Mystery of Light and Cows

14x14, pastel and oil on marble dust board- finished
On the first morning I was at Hameau Farm I was painting on the hillside facing west. There were low clouds and the light was limited. All of a sudden I felt light behind me and turned around to see this. My mouth dropped open, "Oh my goodness!" Mystery lives on.
I still can't believe that Gay (the wonderful farm owner) gets to live there ALL the time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008 Mystery and Cows (unfinished)

14x14 pastel and oil on marble dust board
Dusk and dawn are the two times of day that it is easy to feel the mystery of life. Ethereal light touches earth in a new way each day. We all feel it and sometimes believe MORE at this moment. How does an artist capture that with just 12 sticks of pastel? I love the challenge.
This one has been in the works all week and is still unfinished. More later.
Thanks to all my viewers who take the time to check my blog each day. I appreciate all of your support! XO

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21, 2008 The Line-up

9x12, pastel and watercolor on marble dust board
I am so glad I was able to get away to the farm and paint. This is the line of trees on the hill opposite the sunrise. The thick rain clouds are leaving.
In my spare time (??) I have been ready about the science of clouds. Fascinating stuff, those clouds! I figure, if I am going to paint them I need to understand how they're formed. It's sort of like studying the skeleton so that you can paint the figure.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20, 2008 Summer is Coming

9x18, pastel on masonite boards with ground
Hameau Farm has the best skyscapes. Fair weather clouds like these let you know summer is on the way. I can't wait!

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008, Cow Heaven (Looking out from Gay's Porch)

5x12, pastel and watercolor on marble dust board
I can't imagine what it is like to live in a place surrounded by so much beauty. This is the view from Gay's back porch. Imagine she can sit there sipping a coffee taking in the beauty of her land....any time she wants!
The cows are animals that understand time. There they were grazing on the hillside and all of a sudden, as if they were called, every single one of them high- tailed out of there and down to the low field. And the amazing part is they do it every night. Go figure. Cows are pretty cool.
This one took a lot of work in the studio, after the initial plein air piece.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May 18, 2008 Golden Light

7x17 pastel and watercolor on marble dust board
Yesterday morning, before breakfast I made my way to the top of the hill overlooking the farm. The light was filled with moisture from the prior day's rain and the sun was low. Both elements made for a blinding light, golden -rose colored. Wow! I completed a watercolor under -painting there and today, in the studio, I did the pastel from my memory. When on the field, the jersey cows kept coming up to my backpack sniffing for some goodies. The cows made for some interesting adventures....more later.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 17, 2008 Cloud Dance over Hameau

12x16 pastel on board
This afternoon I returned from my glorious experience at the artist retreat at Hameau Farm. What can I say, but, it was amazing! Susan Nicholas Gephart, a talent artist and warm, wonderful person organized the whole thing. It was held in Big Meadow, an Amish farm community. The Hameau Farm is run and owned by a really cool woman named Gay. Check out both of their websites, and
The sky was so big out here that it called like a siren..,"Paint me, paint me!" So I did.
I will post more paintings as I finish them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008 To the Toy Store

6x8 pastel and watercolor on wallis board
Rain, rain and more rain makes for nice reflections.
Tomorrow I leave for a painting retreat in Pennsylvania. I am sure there is no Internet simply because there is no electricity or running water in the cabins! Beautiful scenery though. Therefore this will be the last post until after I return on Saturday.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12, 2008 All Quiet at Riverbend and Ode to the Dogs

All Quiet at Riverbend, 8 x10, pastel and watercolor on marble dust board
Good news, I was invited to compete in the Plein Air event at Riverbend Park on June 7th. I am thrilled to be one of the 30 juried artists. What a group of amazing, accomplished artists they are!
So, yesterday I visited Riverbend on the Virginia side of the river. Beautiful, quiet. I started the watercolor portion of this painting there and finished the pastel today in the studio.
Finished, 15x 15, pastel and watercolor on marble dust board.
I made the necessary changes. Done!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 10 and 11 Buttercups for the Dogs (Ode to the Dogs)

17x17, pastel and watercolor on marble dust board
When I worked at this field on Wednesday I found out I had placed myself on the neighborhood dog run. I can be oblivious sometimes, but it is hard to ignore dog after dog running up to me and coming to a fast halt. Each dog looked bewildered ( What is this stuff in my way???) So this one is an ode to all the dogs in the world and their wonderful companions.
This is a studio piece from Wednesday's plein air work. It's almost done. Worked on it all day yesterday and today. I decided to take time to do bigger pieces, therefore I may post less often.
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 9, 2008 Through the Windshield

4.5x8.5 pastel and watercolor on wallis paper
This morning it rained hard. So I parked at the train station and painted in the opposite direction (from yesterday.) The bottom one is the watercolor underpainting. I think I like it better than the finished,: it's rainier.
Funny thing happened, I sat listening to the radio and wipers going for so long that my battery gave out. Called AAA and went to get a chai. When I returned it started like a dream and I canceled AAA. Chais can cure everything!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 8, 2008 Warehouse Row

6x6, pastel and watercolor on marble board
When we paint, we draw from the energy inside our soul. Painting from nature, as you experience it, replenishes that energy.
I feel it is very important to paint from real life and not images. When painting from photos it is easy to paint things instead of painting feelings of what you see and are experiencing. Therefore anything can be beautiful. That's why I went to warehouse row today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008 Bloomin' Buttercups

8x10, pastel and watercolor on marble board
Fields are my favorite thing to paint (fields and the river, I guess.) I think I like them for their beauty and the fact that they have no "structure." I get the build the structure through lights and darks.
This is a field on West Beach Drive, near the school where I teach. The buttercups are blooming. Yay! This is one painting that I think may become bigger in the studio.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6, 2008 Decisions

9x12, pastel and watercolor on wallis board
The parents escort their goslings across the path while zebra butterflies play/eat in the mud; it is full, beautiful spring by the river. Decisions- one way I look is into bright golden light that is so bright it bounces and turn the other way and it is quiet reflections on the water. Decisions, decisions. Life is good.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May 5, 2008 Cat Feet on the Housatonic

8x10 pastel and watercolor on wallis board
This weekend we drove up to Connecticut for my nephew's First Communion. I managed to paint on Sunday morning, but not to finish. Today I completed it in the studio.
Connecticut was still in "baby spring," three weeks behind us in DC. The Housatonic River was absolutely beautiful in the morning fog. I am a sucker for a good river...and fog.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008 Peek at Virginia

6x6, pastel and watercolor on board
Today was one of those days. The river was so full that I couldn't even go down to any of my spots. I painted at the canal and wiped one painting after another. Each one was a bigger dog than the prior. So I came home this evening to try again, this time I decided to finish one I had begun earlier.
A bad day at the easel is better than a good day working a "real job."
Oh, you can see two of my paintings at the Rockville Arts Center, Glenview Mansion. One of them earned a first place! I feel privileged to be in the company of so many fine artists.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1, 2008, Into the Light

9x12, pastel and watercolor on wallis board
Another city scene, this time it is the corner of Western and Wisconsin, right near the metro. The sun had just broken through the clouds and covered everything in a fresh light. I struggling with making light and not things and the balance of both.