Friday, April 30, 2010

Feeling a little melancholy

I am feeling a little melancholy today. I think partly because of the unexpected news of the passing of a former colleague this week. And partly because I am feeling that there is so much more I'd still like to do with my art, my life, my future. 

Ever hear a song on the radio that you've probably heard a hundred times and suddenly you really listen to the words and they speak to you?  That happened to me the other day with this song by Natasha Bedingfield. 


Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined

I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance

So close you can almost taste it

Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin

No one else can feel it for you

Only you can let it in

No one else, no one else

Can speak the words on your lips

Drench yourself in words unspoken

Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten

Ok-I'm staring at the blank canvas before me, ready to release my inhibitions. Bring it on.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Looking Down
Oil with a palette knife on board
8" x 8"
Click on the image to enlarge

I'm excited because a painting of mine hanging at 13Forest Gallery sold this month.  If it looks familiar, that may be because I've posted it before when I entered it into Karin Jurick's blog Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge last year. I just read that Karin may be starting up this blog again which has been on hiatus for several months.  I've really enjoy participating in this blog because it's challenged me to paint subject matter that I probably would never have thought to paint myself. I think the pieces I've painted for those challenges are some of my strongest pieces. You can see the entire collection by clicking here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A new blog just for Palette Knife Painters

I was recently invited to join a new blog just for Palette Knife Painters. It was started by the talented artist, Judy Mackey whose work I have been following for awhile. I'm excited to have another venue to share my work and to be inspired by other artists who share the same passion for using the blades! I think there is a great variety of style and subject matter.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The longest porch in the world

Alice and Dani, Summer of '68
Oil with a palette knife on cradled artist board
12" x 9" x 1.5"
Click on the image to enlarge

This is a recent painting from my family photos series. This was painted from a photo of my good friend Danielle and her mother Alice taken in 1968 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. This hotel boasts the longest porch in the world and it is one of Danielle's favorite childhood memories. Danielle, an only child, lost her mother earlier this year, but she told me that this is one of the most treasured photos of them together. So of course, I had to paint it.

And now for some macro zoom photo fun with the painting. I love the abstract quality of these. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is the start of something BIG

It's not done yet, but I wanted to share some progress on a larger painting I'm working on.

Sketch Stage

Stage 2

Stage 3

This painting is 36" by 24" on a 2" cradled artists panel. Holy cow. That's a much bigger size than I usually paint. I've been working on this painting in stages for about a year, leaving it for long periods of time and coming back to it. I've taken photos along the way and I thought it would be interesting to see the progress. I've painted this view down Berkeley Street in Boston not once, but twice before (both SOLD) but those were about one sixth of this size. It's quite a different experience painting it so large.

I find it less daunting to think of it as several smaller paintings so that I don't get too anxious and try to finish everything at once (I normally can complete a painting in 1 or 2 sittings). It's been fun using my larger painting knives and adding the impasto helped when I hadn't mixed up enough of a certain color.

Next time I photograph it, I think I need to include something to show the scale. The goal is to complete it by our show in June so stay tuned for the reveal of the final piece.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My pre-palette knife era

Red Poppy
24" x 24"
Acrylic on canvas
$200 unframed

Yellow Flower
24" x 24"
Acrylic on canvas
$200 unframed

One good thing about the recent basement flooding we had was discovering some old artwork that needed rescuing. I rediscovered these two pieces that I painted with acrylic in 1998. I remember that I had them hanging in my old condo to cover up the electrical panel in the hallway. Ha! They are quite large (each about 2 1/2 feet square) and have quite an "in your face" presence about them. Bright and colorful, they still make me feel good.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I've always wanted to be a famous catalog model

Hey. This is exciting. I just found out that one of my paintings will be featured on the painting knives page of the national Fall 2010 catalog for Dick Blick art supplies. How cool is that? The designer was nice enough to send me his layout for the page. Doesn't it look great? I am thrilled. And it makes me want to buy every knife on the page (although I own most of them already). I feel so famous.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Boylston Street Boston

Lunch on Boylston Street
Oil with a palette knife on cradled artist board
12" x 9" x 1.5"

I went for a walk the other day during my lunch hour and took some photos around the Back Bay area. I liked this one because it was a nice juxtaposition between the old and new architecture that makes Boston so unique. I had fun adding dabs of people walking by and eating at the restaurant in the bottom left corner. Here is a photo I took using that Macro Zoom feature on my camera. It focused in so well that you can even see a little fuzzy that had landed on my painting. So cool.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

What a beautiful Easter weekend we had here in New England. Much deserved after the horrible rains and flooding we've had in March. Last Friday, I had a wonderful conversation with my good friend Joan. She posted a photo of a charm on her blog that looked so professional and so I asked her about what kind of camera she had. She told me she took it using the Macro Zoom feature on her digital camera. She gets in really close, like 1/4" away from the subject, and then points her finger where she wants the camera to focus in the photo before she shoots-you know, how you hold the button down halfway to focus before shooting?

I remembered seeing that Macro Zoom feature on my camera so I couldn't wait to try the technique out for myself on this amazing bouquet of yellow roses we purchased at Costco last week. (Yes- purchased last week and still opening bright, brilliant, sunny yellow. My favorite color next to red.)  I think this feature probably works best in the daytime, but I wanted to give it a try just using the existing light in the room. Cameras are really incredible these days, aren't they?
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