Friday, September 7, 2012

Water Lilies 9 x 12" oil

 I love the dream like quality that water lilies have. don't you just wonder what's going on underneath them?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two for the Price of One

This is another 6" x 8" oil painting from a photo I took in Vermont. I cropped the picture to do a different view without the shack, so I could concentrate on the sky this time. Below is the first painting done about a year ago. I've been working on my larger painting this week and hope to be able to post about that soon.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I liked this collection of buoys hanging on a pole in Maine near a great restaurant (which I have forgotten the name of), but I do remember the great fried haddock and blueberry pie.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turquoise Protector

Shot of the pool at Greenville Arms Inn

There were several of these tables with really nice umbrellas. I just loved the turquoise stripes.

Friday, August 24, 2012


This is a painting of one of my fellow workshop attendees. Instead of listening to the the teacher, I was snapping pictures of stuff I thought might make a good painting. Shame on me! But I really did love this hat and white blouse. They were super fun to paint.

All week I've been teaching at the local YMCA outdoor art camp. We have about 75 students 6-12 years old. It's always fun, hot, tiring and challenging. It's Friday - and I've been in my pjs since I got home and showered at 4:30pm. The ac was like heaven when I walked in the door- and my bed looks REALLY inviting.

Monday, August 20, 2012

This is a grouping of several of the paper paintings I did. I used liquid watercolors by Dick Blick. I put the water colors into spray bottles and used stencils to create the paper. A Cherry on Top online website has a great selection of the Crafter's Workshop Templates, which I really like. Make sure to wear gloves if you give this a try. The liquid watercolors are very intense and are usually diluted 4-1. I find this to be a really fun diversion from painting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Annie's Garden

This was painted from a photo I had taken in Vermont last summer during the Susan Abbott Workshop. I had tried to do a oil sketch while I was there but I lost the light and couldn't finish. So it was fun to finally get this painting on canvas the was I was seeing it in my head. Have you heard of Annie's Homegrown line of organic goodies? We love the bunny pasta and salad dressing. Well, Annie is a real person and she was in the workshop. She graciously let us come and paint in plein air on her property. There were so many things to see and at least a hundred paintings to paint. I took a bunch of pictures, but now I wish I had taken many, many more. Annie showed us the gardens that were once used for the test kitchen.

 What caught my attention right away were the two beautiful gazing globes, one on a pedestal and one suspended on a pole. Of course I love flowers and thought this was an amazing garden. I did this 9 x 12" and still think I'd like to do one more a bit larger.

Monday, August 13, 2012

20 strokes

I decided to use an exercise that I'd tried before. I set my watch for 30 minutes and took only 20 strokes to do each painting. I used a 6 x 8" canvas and picked photographs I thought would lend themselves to this idea. It really helps to mix up all your colors as best as you can before hand. Then use a big brush, because you need to scoop up lots of paint so you can do a big section with one stroke. As long as your brush doesn't leave the canvas it's still the same stroke. So the sky in the first one was done with one stroke. try it - it's really fun and the results are pretty cool.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


9 x 12" oil on canvas board

So here is my friend Lucy. I met her when I was in Vermont last year. I was staying at a wonderful bed and breakfast called Fruitlands. They raise a few llamas, blueberries and raspberries and sell maple syrup.  Blueberries were in season when I was there.  I got to eat some of the blueberries and they were so so good. Fresh from the garden. That inspired me to try and grow some here, but alas, no luck yet.

Anyway, about Lucy. She was pretty shy and was separated from the rest of the herd. It was her job to guard the guinea hen chicks that had just hatched before we got there. They were cool also, but too quick to dive under the bushes to stay hidden. I never got a picture of them. I did collect one of their pretty tail feathers. I tried to make friends with Lucy and did manage to get one kiss, but that was it.  So this year at the retreat I decided to warm up doing a loose portrait of her. Ode to Lucy- the guinea hen chick protector! 

So if you don't know anything about Guinea Hens you can check out this short website. Hmmm.........
I wonder how they'd do in the backyard?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Momma and babies

One side of our property butts against a wooded area so we have a lot  of deer traipsing through our yard doing as they please. But this was so cute I couldn't resist. The retreat was fabulous and super productive and I'll be posting more of the work I got done. If you ever need to get away to make some art - retreats are the way to go. I did over twenty painted paper pieces and 15 oil paintings. Amazing the creative energy was really flowing. But re-entry is not always easy, as any astronaut will tell you. I've been battling the enormous tomato crop (a good thing) that needs to be made into sauce or something and other family stuff. So I am looking forward to painting tomorrow. Watch for the new paintings.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Being Productive

 We are making wonderful progress. Each artist is focused on completing various projects, yet everyone takes time to share and encourage each other. Every medium seems represented from oils, to watercolor, acrylics and encaustics. This is how much table space I have - two 8 foot tables per artist.
 Here are just a few of the paintings being pumped out by everyone. I just put away all the mixed media supplies last night and have started painting outside. I'll post them later. But just to give you an idea of how the creative juices are flowing I finished four small paintings so far today and we still have several hours to go.  This is a blast.
One wall where wet paintings go up to dry.

Monday, July 30, 2012

 So it's the end of our first full day at the art retreat. There are seven of us so there is plenty of room to spread out. Everyone is doing something different. Several of the artists have come here many times for both the retreats and the workshops. Here are some of the painted papers I am working on. This is new for me. I am really having fun just playing with the liquid watercolors to see what they can do.
 Here is a shot of the studio. If you want more info check out their site at
This is one of the pieces I finished today. The food is awesome - homemade blueberry pie and banana saffron ice cream tonight, AND there is homemade chocolate for sale. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


For the last few days we have been having this little family of two fawns and their mother visit us just before dinner. I took this photo from our deck and was really surprised how well the zoom works. I got this Canon Power Shot 5x20 about 2 years ago and it is my favorite camera so far. The deer are so brave. They walk all over the neighborhood helping themselves to whatever they fancy.

I am off to a self directed art workshop at  Greenville Arms Art Workshops, in Greenville, New York. Usually they have instructors, either for painting or fiber arts, but this is for people who just want some focused time without instruction to create.Two years ago I took a three day workshop with Carol Marine which was fabulous. I am all packed and ready to go. Not sure if I can blog from there, but I will if I can. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Here's a few more pages from my sketchbook. the one on the right was done while my son and I where thinking about food and how to have a show on.Food Network. When I am scraping the bottom of he barrel and don't know what to cook I go into my magic cupboard (the pantry) and see what is in there that I can use to whip up a meal. Dan got the idea of "Midnight Madness" making munchies from the magic cupboard. I thought that was pretty funny and that's where the sketch came from.

Speaking of sketchbooks, I went to our local art store: The Art Store  yesterday to see a demo presentation of a new line of sketchbooks. The company,  Stillman & Birn is only a year and a half old. Their goal is to be the best line of skechtbooks out there. I am in love with these new books. They come hardbound and spiral bound. The hardbound books can lay COMPLETELY FLAT! All the books take all softs of wet media including spray paint. So I am excited to experiment with mine.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Buddy

 So, no painting today because I take care of my friend's grandson on Thursdays. She gets a break and I get some little kid fun time! I am waterlogged after two hours in the kiddy pool at the YMCA, but it's worth it at the end of the day to hear," I had a great day with you today, Dawn!" Melts my heart.
 I thought I'd share another picture of another buddy of mine- Mr. Gus. He is my side kick. He loves to hang out with me wherever I go, and make sure I'm safe, and that I share all my good treats with him, and him alone. I did a quick sketch of him in pencil and then he moved. So I filled the rest in with flowers and doodles. Just look at that mug- who could resist thst face?
...........feed me, pet me , walk me, feed me...........

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birthday Cake Dilemma

So I've been working on the Spring still life again. It's 36 x 36". I paint a section at a time. I just added a delicious slice of chocolate cake because I wanted to represent all the spring birthdays in the family. The brown color of the frosting was actually tricky. I am posting this photo (did you think it was the painting?) so you can see how I decided to work with still life items that either get eaten (like this cake!) or perish quickly, like flowers. 
I set  up my object where it's going in the still life and paint from life as much as I can in one sitting.Then I make sure to take a photograph from exactly where I was standing to get the right angle. Then I can come back to the object and make corrections. I still feel like everything is painted from life. I am using the photos to see detail and check perspective, stuff like that. Think I'll have another slick of cake.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Backyard Vista

This is a pastel of the backyard, done earlier in the spring, before everything was burnt to a crisp. The neighbors have this one tree that is so yellow-green is the spring it looks like the foliage in fall. Their   Royal Red Maple is a brighter red also.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Laundry Day

This is from another photo taken in Vermont. We were invited to paint at a textile artist's home, who is a friend of Susan Abbott. She had a huge barn behind her house. Her house was so cool - very Early American. This was the view from the front, minus the big tree that holds up the clothesline. The sky really was that beautiful blue color. Her garden was spectacular. I wish I wrote down her name because she is a weaver and teaches classes. In the barn there were several large looms and we met on of her students that was staying there doing an internship.

By the way, for those of you who are leaving comments, thanks so much for the encouraging words. I am unable to respond for some reason. It keeps saying:  choose a profile. I hope to figure this out asap. I can't leave comments on any blogs. Weird I know. Anyway thanks for cheering me on. I really appreciate it!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chittenago Falls

Well, I debated whether or not to post this one. There are parts I like and parts that I don't. I haven't done much painting outside because of the extreme heat we are having here in Central New York. Probably nothing compared to those of you in the south, but to us it's scorching. No significant rain in many weeks and the landscape is starting to show the stress from lack of water. Anyway, I got up and out by 7:00 am to try and paint for a few hours. I lasted til 8:45 and boy was I hot! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Little Gems

I have this nice 12" x 12" stencil that has different size squares and rectangles. I used to use it for scrapbooking, but now I use it to divide up the blank white page  that just stares at me, daring me to start drawing. I can handle a 2" square! Bring it on. I just sit in my favorite chair and listen to the news (don't look at the pictures on screen because they are too disturbing) and draw happy little doodles in the different squares and rectangles. Sometimes I just do one. The doodles seem to counterbalance all the lies being told by the newscasters. Cheap therapy, what can I say!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Backyard Beauty 11 x 14" oil on canvas board

11 x 14" oil on canvas board
I love to paint clouds, don't ask me why. I did this from a photograph I took In Susan Abbott's backyard last summer, during her 5 day plein air workshop. She is a wonderful, knowledgeable teacher, and Vermont is a beautiful place to paint.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Taking good photos of your work.

I wanted to show how I take pictures of my paintings. I learned this is in Qiang Huang workshop this spring. He posts everyday, Because at first he was working full time and painting at night, he came up with a good way to photograph his work inside, save it to a jump drive, then post at work during his lunch hour. So I tried it and liked the results. In Fayetteville we can't always  count on the sun shining to take pictures outside.  So I would get behind on posting waiting for a good day to take pictures. so this method is a life saver.
    Take a box - like a pizza box, that has edges about 2" wide. Set your artwork up and place it on a chair. Make sure the light is coming from the sides, no direct sunlight coming toward the painting. I have windows on either side of my studio (which would be left and right of my chair in the photo). Then take the picture. It seems to be a good option and I don't have to fight with glare. Give it a try!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sketchbook Fun

I have been taking an online class about lettering by Joanne Sharpe. It's LetterLove 101 on Joanne's blog "Whimspirations". Really fun and something I've been wanting to work on. I use a sketchbook that is made from heavy watercolor or mixed media paper, 90 lbs or heavier, because I like to used markers, paint, colored pencil and all kinds of pens -besides pencils- in my book. The first page was painted with black gesso by Liquitex. It dries really fast and make a great surface for metallic gel pens. Very fun.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Environmental Art by my Students

I wanted to share this example of environmental art done by one of my students age 7. We looked at the DVD "Rivers and Tides" about Andy Goldsworthy's work with water, stone and other materials found in nature. It is a fascinating documentary on how he builds some of his structures. I got it from the local library. anyway the assignment was to make something non representational using red, black, white and gold stones and pebbles on the gray stone surface. 
This was done by two little girls. The challenge was to build a nest using the dried stalks in the field.
This was done by a group of girls. They had to use whatever they could find.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

This was the first painting I did in the workshop with Qiang. We did a value study first in burnt umber. He talks a lot about painting the ligh. He is very good at keeping everything subdued, yet beautiful, so the areas of dramatic light that he wants to emphasize, really stand out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Weekend

Straight ahead we saw this..... our right there was a thick,dense cloud of deep pink with a complete rainbow.

This was the dramatic sky I saw on my way home from Albany on Wednesday evening. We are busy preparing to celebrate Easter tomorrow and I thought this sky was a wonderful reminder of the Glory of God that we as artists see all around us in His creation. I have never seen such a sky before. Monday I will take pictures of the paintings I did at the workshop and post about some of the things I took away from the teaching. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Workshop with Qiang Huang

Well there is so much to tell about the workshop I'll have to break it up into a few posts. Unfortunately it is back to the real world as soon as I got home and this will be short. Let me just say Qiang Huang is a marvelous, generous and patient teacher. His presentation is very organized and if you come willing to learn, you will. The first photo is one of the demos he did for us on the second day so we could watch him paint roses in a still life. Each and every stroke he takes is well thought out and deliberate.  

          If you get an opportunity to study with him you will not be disappointed! More tomorrow.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

road trip

I am heading to Albany, NY for a three day workshop with  Qiang Huang. I have admired his skill with still life and have been following his career for awhile. It will be very exciting to meet him and watch him paint. Last I heard there was still a space open because of a cancelation. Contact Kristin at I'll post some pictures when I get back.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Face# 47

Blue eyes are fun to paint.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Faces #44

Another face. Getting close to #50. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


6" x 8" oil on canvas board

This is the view of the back of our house and the yellow house next door.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

REd Roof 6" x 8" oil

This is the view from our backyard looking down the hill towards the barn that was made into a house. It was one of the original steel frame barns in the country.

Monday, March 19, 2012

EArly spring 8" x 8" oil

We are having a wonderful early spring with summer temperature no less! Sat. It was 77 degrees so I did my first plein air painting of the season in my backyard. Fun, fun, fun. The weather is suppose to hold all week so maybe I'll get in a few more small paintings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Faces #42 4" x 4" oil

Back to the faces. I am getting close to half way and would like to get there by this weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Full Moon 11x 14" oil

Saw this really cool full moon just as it started rise and light up the night sky. It was beautiful.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Christmas Sampler 36" x 36" oil

Well I think I'm done. Just wanted to share - it's not even dry and I couldn't take a good photo outside because of the rain- but I am so glad it's done. There is a little glare showing by the three oranges but just pretend it's not there I'll repost with a better pic later. I really had to push myself to finish up all the little detail/spots that were needing to be cleaned up. This was hard because I am so used to painting and finishing in a few hours. I still might make one more change to the white stocking.  Not sure.... gotta live with it for a few days. So next is the second in the series on spring.

Monday, February 27, 2012


These are two shoots of the deep blue shadows that caught my eye all day yesterday. They were everywhere because we got some fresh snow and a really azure blue sky.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Moving Day!

Well it's been a year and a half since I moved out of my studio space above our garage and my daughter moved in. Today we reversed that. She helped me carry all my stuff up there and I am set and ready to paint. Best of all my daughter will be painting with me and we have room for visiting artists to drop by and paint for the day. This is a great room with two skylights and two big windows. Lots of light and good privacy from the rest of the house. Can't wait to get started tomorrow.