Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I have been excited about this painting from the minute I spied these ornaments 
on my daughter-in-law's table as a Christmas decoration. (Thank you Jenni!)
These are Shiny Brite vintage ornaments popular in the 1950s.
Another thrift store find.
The spheres with all their colors, scratches, reflections are just luscious to work with!

Watercolor, 20" x 24"

When I set this scene up for the photo shoot, I climbed up on my ladder, 
looked down and was thrilled at what I saw.  
All the circular crystal on the blue green pattern and cast shadows 
appeared to swim in front of my eyes!  
It had the feel of the image liquifying in front of me leaving the spheres to bob and float 
on the surface creating ripples as in rain drops on a still lake.
(How's THAT for an overactive imagination! haha)

I tried to keep that effect while working. 
All the background blues unify the piece where otherwise the colored spheres may have 
looked spotty on the page.
All the years I spent as a commercial illustrator always help when I organize a composition.
The dishes almost form a gathered circle adding to the theme.
Also I always like to have the image go off the edges of the page in at least two sides.
It just looks more interesting to me and brings the viewer into the scene.

Also if you looked carefully you will see yours truly reflected in most of the spheres.
That strange black rectangle is me up on my ladder holding my camera up while photographing.

Actually I found the spheres easy and fun to work with but it was the crystal that near drove me mad!
Its all a puzzel as you lay in one section next to the other.

I had some great news last week!
My painting "Summer Harvest" has been juried into the 
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society International Exhibition.
120 paintings were choosen from over 500 entries representing
34 states and 7 countries.
I will receive my Signature Membership status at the awards ceremony in September.
It has been a fabulous show year for me of which I am very grateful.
I know how tough the competition is for these society shows 
and how very many deserving paintings entered.

"Summer Harvest"
Watercolor, 18" x 24"

Next week I am off to Seattle for the NWWS International Exhibition.
I will post the sights on my Facebook Studio page all week.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Show Time!

"Light Reigns" is all dressed up and ready for its trip to Seattle!
I always send these paintings off with a bit of trepidation.
There are so many unfortunate shipping horror stories out there.
But I've shipped a few large paintings at this point and so far so good.

Here you see the painting ready for packing in a float box.
They are so easy for packing and reusable.
I have three in various sizes and have used all of them mutiple times.

Since "Light Reigns" has a more modern feel to it,  I have chosen a simple
 black frame to set off the coloring and composition.

Larry and I will follow out to Seattle shortly for the opening gala reception.
My painting, along with other selected exhibitors, will show in the 
Washington State Convention Center
July 1 through September 30, 2015.

Because NWWS is celebrating its 75th anniversary they have gone all out and are hosting a day of workshops for the particiapting artists along with a vendor convention.
I have four workshops that weekend, one with Brigit O'Conner, which I am over the moon about!
In fact every time I mention the Artists Convention Larry chuckles a little because of
 how excited I am about it.  
Just the thought of meeting so many other artists in the workshops, touring the Dainel Smith facility and the vendors with all their lovely paints, papers and brushes sets my geeky little artist heart all a flutter!
Larry will be salmon fishing while I'm at the convention and we are looking 
forward to visiting all the Seattle sights.

But for now I'm off to the UPS Store and then back to work!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Working Away!

Just dropping by to share my progress so far.

"Ripples" WIP
Watercolor, 22" x 24"
300 lb Cold Press Arches

I am just entralled with the color I have to work with here.
The glowing, the reflections are all facinating to paint!

I am just starting with the shadow work, which along with the cloth,
 are what I'll work on today before moving onto the large plate.

I now have a working title, "Ripples".
Sounds odd but let me explain.
When I first set this still life up I took a ton of photos as I always do.
When I climbed up on my ladder to get an overhead shot I saw an illusion I wasn't expecting.
As I looked down the glass and shadows looked like a water scene with the 
spheres bobbing and floating on top.  
That along with the blue/green/white striped fabric all added to the feel
of water and that ripple effect as when raindrops fall on still water.

A little out there and maybe I'm the only one who will ever see it that way but I'm going with it!
Of course if I can't pull off the effect in the final painting I may change all that :)

So I'm slowly getting there.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I am still working on my sparkley new still life, albeit at a snails pace.
But I am enjoying the subject and the process so no complaints here.

Because my studies are often color saturated it can be challenging to seek out 
the true high and low key areas of the composition.  
To this end, I keep a black and white copy of the set up near by.
This makes it much easier to pick out the highlights and shadows.

The cut crystal bowls are a delicate balance of refracted color from the underlying fabric
and the various twisted planes of the glass.  
But that's exactly why I chose this subject to study.

It may take a while but I do love coming down to my table every morning to have this waiting for me.
I'll finish it…eventually!

In the meantime I have weedy gardens to tame, a shore house to organize and a 
little grandson to get to know.

Meet Henry.
Born May 6, 2015

Have a good Holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Little Exhibit with Charm

Last night we attended the opening reception of a show in Skippack Village featuring artists from my local art league.  Skippack Village is a little town about 20 minutes west of my house in PA.
A beautiful little place with shops and cafes galore and last night was First Friday.

There was a juggler and various musicians performing on the sidewalks and the shops were all very inviting and quaint.  I loved the shop our art show was featured in.  The art was displayed on scraped, shabby chic old doors within the center of the shop.
Larry and I met interesting artists and patrons alike.
It was the most unusual show I've ever had my work in and I have to say I kind of loved it! 

It was a perfect Spring night for walking around the village and we also enjoyed a great dinner sitting by an open doorway and sipping wine.

Our weekend is off to a great start and I hope yours is too!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A little painting gets the spotlight.

It was so nice to recieve this e-mail last week.

Greater Norristown Area Art League - 
Features Six Committee Selected Artists

Congratulations! Your work has been chosen to be included in the GNAL show at the
Green Wolf’s Village Barn show in Skippack, PA for the month of May. 
There will be a wine and cheese reception with the artists on
Friday May 1st from 5-7pm. 

"Sapphire", original watercolor, 8" x 10" with frame 16" x 18",
will be on display and available for purchase.

I just finished preparing this little painting for the show.
I found this vintage frame in an antique shop and I think it compliments the painting very well.
Whenever possible I like to find a one of a kind frame especially for a particular painting.

The back was in rough shape and the picture it came with was tossed aside.
But the corners were solid and no chips anywhere within the frame.
And with a little furniture polish, window cleaner and fresh backing 
it now looks like a professional framing, as it should.

The GNAL is my local art league.  They do a fantastic job of making venues available 
for its members to show their work.  This is my second GNAL show to be juried into.

A local art league provides these show opportunities as well as great classes, demos and lectures.
A very active member of GNAL is James McFarland, 
the current president of the American Watercolor Society (not too shabby!).  
And last Fall he gave a slide presentation of all the entries into the Aud'Aquarelle world wide watercolor competition, of which he was one of the jurors. 
He talked about what worked and what didn't, which he liked and why, etc. 
Possibly the most enlightening lecture I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

 But what local art leagues really provide is contact with other artists in your area.

Well, back to work! 
I've got something started and will be back once I really get it underway.
Thank you. Have a good week!

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Weekend in New Orleans for the LWS Show

It has been a busy time for me the past two weeks traveling to California and New Orleans 
for long weekends.  But, of course, there's no place like home. 
 I am very happy to be home and back at my table.  Before we left for New Orleans I had a bright sunny day out on my patio photographing a new still life set up that I am very excited to start.  
So today I will be going through my options, editing and beginning the drawing.  
I don't mind telling you that I feel a bit rusty after such a long break so it could be a slow start.

As you may know we were in New Orleans for the Louisianna Watercolor Society Exhibit.
I am so excited to have one of my paintings in this beautiful show!

While at the show I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with two artists who were my inspiration when I began to work seriously in watercolor five years ago.
Marsha Chandler (center) and juror Chris Krupinski are still life painters of masterful works and they continue to awe and inspire me in my own work.
Chris even gave me a critique of my painting and reasons why she choose it for the show.

I also met many other impressive artists and wish I had taken more pictures!
But at the time I was more interested in taking in the experience.
It was some effort to plan and travel to New Orleans for the show but I am so glad I did.

And all the credit for getting me there goes to my sweetheart of a husband, Larry.
He's always so supportive and the first to make travel plans when I learn I am lucky 
enough to get into a show across the country.
I am also a bit timid about walking into a room of strangers and talking about my work.
Having him there is wonderful to share the experience with and a confidence builder.

Our nephew Brian and his wife Amelia, who live in the New Orleans area,
 stopped in for the show.  And after took us to a great little local restaurant for dinner.
So nice to spend time with them.

Brian and Amelia also took us by the Edgar Degas House on our way back to the Quarter.

A stunning house that can be toured and used as a special event venue. 
There was a wedding reception happening while we were there. Can you imagine that!?

We stayed in the French Quarter while there and here are a few of our experiences.

We walked the entire French Quarter our first morning there.
Stopped in a jazz bar on Bourbon Street for a couple of hours.
Visited Jackson Square

We cruised the Mississippi on a steam paddle boat.

I just loved these old live oaks!

There was so much more than I can share here but safe to say we packed as much of 
New Orleans in three days as possible!

Sunday live jazz brunch at The Court of the Two sisters and then off to the airport.

Our next trip will be the Baltimore Watercolor Society Show where my "Daydreamer"
will be exhibited.  We know Baltimore very well, as it's close to Philly, and our son attended undergrad there.  So we are looking forward to a return in June.

I hope I didn't go on too long!
It was all really great but now back to work on my new project.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

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