Sunday, July 3, 2022

Portrait sketch of my 2nd great grandmother...

My reference for this watercolor project was a photograph of my 2nd Great Grandmother,  Mary Adeline Benson.

Mary was born in 1863 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The photo was taken of Mary shortly before her 1884 marriage to Harry Herbert Stone (1858-1941). At the time of their marriage, both worked in factories in West Brookfield -- he in a box factory and she in a corset factory. 

Although this is a sepia-toned photo, I chose blue for Mary's eyes, as both of her parents' photographs show them with light-colored eyes. I used a pencil to mark the spacing for eyes, nose, and mouth, but my goal was to paint "freehand" as much as possible. 

I worked with a limited palette for this portrait sketch: Transparent Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, Transparent Brown, and Mineral Violet for face, hair, and dress, and Cobalt Blue, Payne's Gray, and Ultramarine Blue for the background. 

A close look at the reference photo, reveals a slender gold bar pin that Mary pinned to her white collar. That small pin was saved by Mary's youngest daughter, my Great-great Aunt Maude. Before she died, my aunt gave the pin (now more than 130 years old) to me.

Mary Adeline Benson, age 20

Sheep thrills...

Not sure why I find it so satisfying to paint sheep. These are two studies I retrieved from a box of unfinished work in need of attention. Sometimes quick sketches can be saved, but there's no guarantee. These two provided an hour or so of welcome diversion in my air-conditioned studio during a hot and humid holiday afternoon.

"Beyond the City Limits"  
transparent watercolor  10" x 7" unframed

"Sheep VII"  
transparent watercolor  8" x 6" unframed

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

10th Annual ArtsWorcester Members show

The Tenth Annual One: A Members' Exhibition runs from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, August 21, 2022, at ArtsWorcester,  44 Portland St. Worcester MA. A public reception for the The Tenth Annual One: A Members' Exhibition is on Friday, July 15, 2022, from  6:00-9:00 p.m.
$500 in prizes will be awarded by Karl Cole, Art Historian and Curator of Images of Davis Publications and Co-Curator of the Davis Art Gallery, and will be announced at the reception.
Free and open to the public.

My entry to the Member exhibition this year is a transparent watercolor, "Alabaster Vase" (previously titled "Ivory Vase"). It is available for purchase through ArtsWorcester. 

"Alabaster Vase" 

Transparent watercolor,  11" x 14" matted & framed

Thursday, June 23, 2022

"The National 2022" at the Cape Cod Art Center

Thrilled to learn that my watercolor, "Peony Awakening," was juried into the upcoming show, "The National" opens July 11 and runs through August 13 at the Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable, MA, 3480 Route 6A (Main Street) Barnstable, MA   Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  (508) 362-2909 

"Peony Awakening"
transparent watercolor      23" x 19"

Monday, June 13, 2022

New exhibit opens this week, Cape Cod Art Center, Barnstable MA

I've submitted this painting to the "Town or Country" exhibit for Juried Artist Members of the CCAC.  One of my favorite subjects -- European landscapes!  The countryside in this alpine area, which is about 25 miles from Salzburg, Austria, is stunning.  The exhibit runs from June 13 through July 9, 2022. Find out more about the Cape Cod Art Center, including directions, here

"Ramsau, Bavarian Alps" 
transparent watercolor

Framed, with double mat; 20.5" x 17.5"

This and other paintings are available at my Daily Paintworks gallery. 
Click here for access to the gallery.

FYI: my reference photo, taken while traveling through Germany and Austria, isn't the best -- I took it from the passenger's side of a moving car!! But it's a great memento of an unforgettable vacation.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Small Stones Festival of the Arts 2021

My painting, Peony Awakening, sure gets around! Earlier this year she was on exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum, and then later at the ArtsWorcester gallery on Portland St. Now, she can be seen in Grafton, MA, at this year's "Small Stones Festival of the Arts" at the Town Hall.

In addition, two more of my watercolors "Feeling Cheerful" and "Sunlight & Shadow," can be seen here, in the online gallery posted by the Small Stones Festival.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Northeast Fine Arts Exhibition...

Very pleased that my watercolor "Peony Awakening" has been juried into the 2021 Northeast Fine Arts Exhibition of Traditional Realism at Workshop13, which is located at 13 Church St. Ware, MA. 

The exhibit opens with a reception on September 25 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., and will continue on weekend through October 10. The gallery is open Fridays 4:00 -7:00 p.m., and Saturdays & Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

Peony Awakening  
transparent watercolor    23" x 19"  matted and framed


Friday, August 20, 2021

Juried Show at Rhode Island Watercolor Society...

Pleased to learn that my painting, "Going by Train to Delft" has been juried into "Near and Far," a national  exhibition that will be online from August 21 to October 1, 2021, at the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, Pawtucket, RI. The juror for this show is Kathleen Conover. 
You can check out the step-by-step process I used with this painting at my earlier blog entry HERE

"Traveling by Train to Delft"    transparent watercolor    17" x 14" matted & framed
Price upon request


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Honorable Mention received at Cape Cod Art Center...

So pleased to announce that my watercolor, Ivory Vase, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Juried Artist Member Show, "Minimalism," opening today, August 17 and running through September 17, 2021, at the Cape Cod Art Center, 3480 Rte. 6A,  Barnstable, MA. 

This floral painting was previously juried into the Oct. - Nov. 2020 at the Rhode Island Watercolor Society show, "Paint What You Love," and was also on exhibit in the 2020 Small Stones Festival of the Arts, Covid-19 Edition" online exhibit, in Grafton, MA, in October 2020. 

            "Ivory Vase"    transparent watercolor        11" x 14"

Monday, June 28, 2021


After participating in a two-day Zoom workshop with Iain Stewart, I'm focused on my watercolor sketchbook as a way to strengthen my skills and try out some new angles. The workshop was enormously motivating, and Iain is a great instructor. (Click here for more information about "GoTerracotta," the workshop platform, and to see available openings for classes with a range of superb artists).  
We focused on several landscape techniques. Here is one of my sketches from Saturday's session.

After working on a few other landscapes, this morning I felt the need to branch out a bit and do a portrait sketch of my mother. Here is a step-by-step "description" of the process I used that that sketch. (I originally planned to paint her with her glasses on -- as shown in the first image -- but decided against it as I completed the sketch.)


Sunday, June 20, 2021


 A few Old Sturbridge Village entries from my watercolor sketchbook... freehand painting with #8 and #4 Da Vinci Cosmotop Spin brushes.