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. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Recent works...

Between taking a short vacation break and spending time with family (unmasked!), my painting discipline was put on hold. Back in the saddle now, with a few recent sketches to share (some finished paintings -- not shown -- are being framed for entry in several upcoming shows. More on all that in another post.). 

Each of these sketches, done in different styles with varying color palettes, have been useful for determining what works and what could use some further study or attention. 

Availability/purchase details for these sketches HERE.

"Clearing near Boone, NC"
5" x 8.5"

"Cool Koi"
14" x 10"

"Fields, Hills, and Sky"
8.5" x 12"

"Aquinnah Rocks" 
6.5" x 8.5"

"Surf at Aquinnah"
8.5" x 9.5"

"Porch at the Pequot Hotel"
8.5" x 6.5"


Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Monday's efforts. Nice to be outside and enjoying the local beach (Lake Quinsigamond). A real stretch for me to paint quickly without concern for details, etc. Just trying to capture the basics of what I see.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Wild Tomato Plant...

Something about this time of year pushes me toward the brightest colors on my palette –– especially on a day like this, when we've had a few inches of unexpected snow. Last summer, I took photos at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Mass., and have had my eye on this image, as the subject of a painting, ever since. I love the vivid contrast between red foliage and the surrounding grasses. The plant is a variety of solanum lycospersicum, a wild tomato named "Barry's Crazy Cherry." 

My goal for this painting is to capture the sunlight and shadow that enlivens the ruffled leaves, and to play up the strong contrast between greens and reds (two colors almost directly opposite each other on the color wheel).  After lightly sketching the plant shape, I painted the background around it, carefully leaving the plant shape white. I'm aiming for a sun-drenched feel overall, rather than an exact copy of the grasses and other leaves surrounding the wild tomato plant. The pigment mingled freely on wet paper and resulted in interesting "blooms" (dreaded when doing a flat wash, but in this painting very deliberately invited to form by adding drops of wet wash here and there on top of the background layer which was slightly damp. 

The background wash is done in stages by working from bottom to top, primarily in different intensities of Winsor & Newton Green Gold, sometimes slightly modified with W&N Winsor Blue GS (green shade). I mixed a few puddles of these colors on my palette, keeping them wet and making sure the surface of the paper was damp as I moved upwards. To keep the visual weight at the bottom of the painting, as I neared the top the wash was thinned out as I added more and more water until I reached the top edge where the yellow-green color is very pale. 

When the background was completely dry, I erased any visible pencil lines and applied a pale wash of W&N Carmine to give the plant shape an underlying pink tone. Once that dried I began putting darker tones on each leaf, again working from the bottom up. There are plenty of interesting shapes in this subject, because of the shadows and the backlighting (the late-afternoon sun was slanting low, behind the plant). 

I'm giving attention to adding detail in the leaf veins, but aiming for restraint when working on the shadow details. I'm using only a few colors throughout –– mostly on transparent or semi-transparent staining pigments, so adding successive layers of glazing on the background the underneath layers won't lift.

Stay tuned... 

Saturday, April 10, 2021


As there are several days left in my "waiting period" following my second covid19 vaccine, I'm keeping a low profile and working mostly in the studio. Today, however, I tried out a new mixed media sketchbook and challenged myself to work outdoors. Our back yard doesn't offer the most picturesque scenes, but I was intrigued with the thought of painting some angle of our house. 

I chose a view of a shadowy overhang where our second-story deck provides support for a sturdy wire trellis. My husband started some grapevines a few years ago, and although they're cut back now they will, in a fairly short time, again be filling out with leaves, then blossoms, and –– grapes! 

Because I'm particularly dismal at painting rocks, our lovely stone retaining wall running along one edge of yard is only suggested with some dabs of gray and tan. However, spending 30 minutes with the sketchbook was satisfying. I'll give it another try soon.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Hollyhocks in progress...

Progress - View #1
For the past week or so, I've been working on a new floral painting, using a new-to-me paper which I like very much -- actually, it's a not paper, exactly, but Strathmore 500 Illustration Board for Wet Media. It's a smoother surface than I normally work on, which is a bit challenging but so far I'm liking the results. It holds up well to multiple layers of glazing. 

My reference photos are a series of shots I took at a local garden center. It was near the end of the season and there were only a few smallish hollyhock plants available, but their purple blossoms and tall, gangly stalks were appealing. 

My palette for this painting is: Opera, Quinacridone Fuchsia, Mineral Violet, Winsor Violet, Green Gold, Sap Green, Shadow Green, and Winsor Blue GS. And I'm using several sizes of round brushes from the Da Vinci Cosmotop Spin series -- mostly #8 and #4.

I'll post the final steps and finished painting in a few days. 

Progress - View #2

Progress - View #3

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Now that the worst of winter is behind us, I'm motivated to spend more time in my studio where I've been experimenting with a palette emphasizing bold colors. I just received an order of three new brushes -- Da Vinci Cosmotop Spin Rounds, sizes 4, 8, and 12, which are great: they maintain a sharp point, hold a nice load of pigment, and are affordable. They're available online at Jerry's Artarama
My new favorite paper is Saunders Waterford 140# cold press paper, which I purchase in full sheets, 22" x 30", and which also comes in block format. Right now I'm painting on a 10" x 14" block. These are available from DickBlick). 

I buy most of my watercolors online, usually from Cheap Joe's. In this current painting, I'm using two different brands of artist-grade pigments: Winsor & Newton Green Gold; Transparent Yellow; Transparent Orange; Winsor Blue GS; and from Holbein Brilliant Orange; Burnt Sienna; Opera Pink.

I did a light pencil outline of the three koi, and left white space around the fish so the colors will blend, wet-into-wet on the paper, and result in serendipitous shapes. I'm using a #12 Round brush.

The next stage is to add details to each fish. A wet-into-wet application of color makes beautiful runs and blossoms, and the advantage to using a watercolor block is that a painting-in-progress can be turned easily to encourage flow and blending. One of the three koi is nearing completion -- it just needs some scales.