Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Sketch Paintings

Sketch 6

Sketch 7

Sketch 8

Sketch 9

Sketch 10

Sketch 11
More Sketch Paintings available at


Sketched yesterday, painted today. I love my buddy Leo. He's a one eyed superstar.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Painterly Sketches

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

Sketch 3

Sketch 4

Sketch 5

This new numbered series has been a lot of fun. Each sketch painting is fast and loose - trying out various marks, textures and color combinations. I'm offering them for sale in my new Etsy section called SKETCH PAINTINGS.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What's new today

My commissioned ostrich painting is coming along. This picture didn't get the colors right, but at least you can see the composition. The background is a brighter orange and the birds are black/white/grey NOT blue (I think I need to change the camera batteries). This painting is a follow up to the Okapi painting for my friend's son.

I also happened to stumble upon a new weekly sketch group on Etsy, "Sketch Tuesday". I think this is great because 365 Sketch was way too much to take on but a weekly commitment is just right. See this Etsy thread for sketches from participating artists.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dance of the Inner Child

Dance of the Inner Child
Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009. Available at

This is just a really fun, playful piece I made about a week or two ago but didn't scan until today. Last night, while talking with my husband, I was referring to someone I admire that's maybe twenty years older than me and said "I mean, she's a grown woman.." in the conversation and Rob started laughing. I didn't get it. He had to repeat it for me. Sometimes I forget, oh yeah! So am I! I know I'm 31 years old but I can certainly feel, let's just say "youthful" a lot of the time. The inner child is alive and thriving. I wonder if I'll ever feel "grown up"? But being a kid at heart comes with a lot of perks like still laughing till you cry with your best friends over stupid jokes or building sand castles at the beach - not just because a child wants you to join them but because the child in you is eager to get in there and play. If I ever get too serious, feel free to poke me and tell me to go outside and play.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Long Way Home

Long Way Home
Acrylic on 36" x 75" canvas, 2009
I've decided to include the Gallery Collection in my Etsy shop. That is where most of my buyers find me, so it just makes good sense. See the new section at

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

World of Imagination Vol. 2 Show

Here are the four paintings I'll be sending to NY soon for the World of Imagination Vol. 2 exhibit. You can send up to five but I spaced out at the art supply store and only bought four of these canvases. Once I got home I realized four was a good number. I like the balance of a set of four. So four it is.

Anyhow, I've been staring at these for weeks since I got them to this point. I have been waiting and looking to figure out if I want to take them further. But right now, I'm thinking they might just be finished as is. What do you think?
Ok, it's official - these are DONE! Thank you for your helpful comments - sometimes it helps to just have another pair of eyes to convince you of something you already knew.

Featured Artist

I'm the featured artist at today through Thursday! I want to thank the creator of the site for this great honor. Thank you, Travis!

Thank you Suze!

I'm so honored to have been featured on Suze's blog Gallerie Suze. You made my day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pinching Pennies

I've had a website ( with the alternate domain of for several years now. I've changed the look of it about a thousand times. Well, maybe not that much, but it has felt like every time I revamp my site, it's only about a month or two before I start thinking about a new design and format. I'm not a web designer, I was self taught through trial and error using Yahoo's Sitebuilder.

It's been a good experience and I have enjoyed having the opportunity to have a one of a kind site. But the reality is, these days every dollar should go to more supplies. Most of my family, fans and friends keep up with my art and links through my blog and I get more traffic to my Etsy shop, artwanted gallery and other venues than my personal website. The monthly payments to maintain my site aren't a reasonable investment anymore. Especially when I can do pretty much the same thing for free with a one time domain charge using WordPress.

Tonight I'm working on setting things up there, adding pages and links to my various shops and products. I like that it's clean, simple - the basics. A no fuss home base.

I'm uncertain what sort of posting I will do there. It won't be like my blog here (which isn't going anywhere and will stay the same) - in fact, I don't want it to have a really "blog" feel to it. Perhaps I will just add new paintings as they are created with links to where they are available and announcements about shows, etc.

Do you have a WordPress account? What do you use it for? Is it your main blog or website? I'd love to hear more seasoned WordPress users thoughts about this. Thanks!

Here's the link -

Meghan Henley of shared a youtube link in a comment on one of my other posts. This man is amazing and what he's doing is simply awe inspiring. Creative, eco conscious, and empowering for all involved. THIS is the future of building, as long as no one gets in it's way (and I'm sure there are many that would like to). I'll keep my fingers crossed that logic and good sense will prevail and people who have the dream of owning their own home and are willing to work will be able to realize that goal while treading lightly on the earth. YAY!

Getting Closer

Well, I carved into some of the composition today. I like the energy now much more than before. That top right side loops you back in instead of dropping off the side like before. The colors will still be manipulated as I continue to add layers but things are starting to come together.


Here's the latest work in progress shot of the biggie in the basement. In the last post you saw how I worked out the composition. Now it's getting to the color stage. First, I just fill in the spaces with whatever colors I've got around, it doesn't really matter (though I do end up having some kind of unintended harmony regardless). The second layer of color is when I start testing out the colors in my mind on the surface - like how would a lime green look here? - as well as getting more fine tuned in application. The first coat soaks into the canvas, the second creates that "plastic-y" acrylic film that I really love and the third (and forth, fifth, whatever) is sure to have the level of density that I'm looking for. As it stands now, I'm 95% finished with the second coat. Now I have to go down and start really thinking and tweaking things. Standing back and looking for a long time at the whole and it's parts and back to the whole again...
So don't get too attached to these colors as they will surely change with the final layers. Up towards the top, there is a strong horizontal line that cuts down in an angle to the right. I'm wondering if that's too solid, too heavily directing the eye down and off the side of the canvas instead of bouncing it around the whole surface. It feels too tilted. Maybe I can break up that line in some places and find a way to redirect the eye back into the whole...
Time to get back to work.

Monday, February 09, 2009


This has been my mantra lately and it's like an obvious light has been turned on. When things get tight, don't get desperate, work with what you've got. I tend to save things for the perfect time or occassion. Use it, utilize it, "Make it work!" as the great Tim Gunn would say. When times got tough before I'd get desperate. I don't need to explain how, but I did as an artist. NO MORE. It's proven that acts of desperation don't work, they are money and time (and inspiration too, ultimately) down the drain. So in these economic times, am I painting little cheap give away paintings?

NOPE - I'm painting huge monster paintings!

Something most of us artists discuss amongst ourselves is the balance between being the artist we want to be and the creative fears, personal doubts and concerns that limit us. We all seem to agree that when you make something that you think/hope others will like, they will see right through it, or as a good friend said, see it as "pandering" to your audience. Guilty as charged, but right now I'm not going to do it.

Right now I'm going for the full dream. I'm going for the monster jam.

What did I want/have on the to do list that I couldn't provide for this or that reason?
-My shed/studio to be heated
-Lots of new ready to hang canvases

What did I have? (work with what you've got)
-A relatively empty basement that's warm enough
-A bulk of unprimed canvas and a bucket of gesso

I am much more linear thinking that I thought I was.

How could an artist NOT be thinking, "Hey I've got this that and the other to work with, let's do this!" when you've got a bunch of canvas laying around? Apparently I really have been too focused on the business end of things and less as an artist true to her craft FIRST.

Being true to myself as a painter is what got me into this world of selling my art to people I don't know around the world. Putting it all out there, taking chances. The meat and pulp of the artist on display for all to see. This is what it is all about. Work with what you've got.

For this work in progress, let me first say this is prepared to be 36" x 75" long - it will be shipped unstretched so that the buyer's framer can stretch it for much cheaper than it would be for me to ship it stretched.

Canvas had been primed. (Since I'll be shipping these biggies unstretched, I'm thinking my next big purchase at the art supply store will be a roll of pre-primed canvas.) First gestures of paint. Not feeling it. Go for some sticks of loose charcoal to sketch out a composition.

The charcoal composition evolves...

Navy blue/black paint over sketched composition...

The first layers of paint.

There will be many more layers of paint over this. This is just a shadow or actually skeleton of what this painting will end up looking like, but it's fun to share the process with you.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

True Blue

I stayed up until the wee hours finishing up this new painting. It's a biggie and I'm so happy with how the colors worked out. The composition was working right from the start, but the lines were in red and the other colors were just - so off. My husband took a look at it, with both of our head's cocked to the same side.
ME: I'm liking the composition-
HIM: Yeah.
ME: -but the colors aren't working for me.
HIM: Me neither. I think you need some blues and purples.

I overhauled the palette with a layer of phalo over the whole canvas. That toned things down right away for me and then I got into the line work with black and filling in the other chunks of color with more shades of blue and purple. Then it looked a little too predictable in that all cool palette. Once I introduced the earthier tones I knew I was heading in the right direction.
This painting is available in my Etsy shop for now...
This is the scale I want to work in for the Gallery Collection and it's also not "ready to hang" like my latest Etsy motto. But I'm impatient and just wanted to share it as soon as I could! I'll be taking this piece off the board and priming a new piece of canvas tonight. I'm still on the fence about what to do with these G.C. paintings - most likely they'll be split between Boundless Gallery and Discovered Artists. We shall see...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Drifting Through Time

This picture doesn't give this new piece justice. It is a four panel painting on cavas covered wood panels. See it on Etsy at

Friday, February 06, 2009

Dedication to my Grandmother

I got an Etsy Treasury today and dedicated it to my grandmother Irma. You can see the Treasury HERE. (If you aren't familiar with Treasuries, they are like miniature curated exhibits of items available on Etsy with a unified theme or concept that have an exhibit time of about 2 days).

My grandmother and I had a very special bond in the ten years we were blessed with to get to know and love each other. She passed away over twenty years ago but her spirit and memories of our time spent together are still ever so close to my heart. Each of these items tell a bit of a story about her and our cherished time together.

House Dress from Retrogirlgypsyarchade

Even just around the house, my grandmother always looked beautiful. She had an eye for fashion and an understated style that was smart, graceful and flattering to her tall, elegant frame.

Milk Glass Creamer from beautifulvintage

My grandmother had a collection of milk glass pitchers, vases and candy dishes. They were stored in the pantry on shelves that caught the light streaming in through one window. My favorite view of the pantry was when the forsythia was blooming outside and the light created colorful shadows on the white milk glass, crystal and drinking glasses.

Vintage Radio from desertnana

This was included because I have fond memories of dancing around the kitchen standing on my grandfather's feet to big band jazz playing on a old radio in the room. I see my grandmother cooking or preparing a meal laughing and smiling at us. There was so much love in that house.

Wren Art Print from laurascstudio

My grandmother was an amazing artist. She painted in oils and watercolor paint and birds were a favorite subject. This piece reminds me of her delicate touch and natural palette.

Vintage Buttons from 5dollarfrenchmarket

Grandma's button box was a treasure trove! I didn't have any projects in mind, I just loved looking over every single unique button in the box. Some were carved, some had sparkle, some were plain but just the most beautiful colors you'd ever seen.

Pyrex Tea Cups from muchodesign

These are the EXACT same tea cups (and full dinner set) that are still in my grandfather's house for daily use! So many cups of coffee and tea have filled these cups with so many stories exchanged between family.

Vintage Blouse from savoybetty

I spoke earlier about my grandmother's classy and keen fashion sense. Feminine and sophisticated and this lovely blouse is a good example of that. She was so humble and from what my mother has told me, really never understood how beautiful she was. But I looked at her and I saw a glamorous woman, a movie star. Pictures of her when she was young with her jet black hair, dark eyes and high Hungarian cheekbones made me dream of looking like her when I grew up.

Set of Handkerchiefs from jenscloset

In the bedroom my mother and one of her sister's shared growing up was an old vanity with drawers that were revealed when you opened the front doors of the vanity. It was a curious and beautiful little piece of furniture (and it makes sense now that I was as interested as I was in furniture then - after all, furniture can be a work of art too). My hands would follow the curves of the dainty piece and I'd arrange still lives of assorted objects on the table top. Inside the drawers was a collection of handkerchiefs. Some pure lace, others embroidered, and many handmade by my grandmother or others in the family. The tiny details pleased me then and now.

Watercolor Rose Print from doodlebirdie

Another popular subject that she painted was flowers, most often displayed in one of her vases as a still life on a doily. I chose this piece because sometimes she would do simple studies of an individual sprig much like a painting of a bird on a limb. I also chose this piece because she took such good care of her roses and all of her gardens. She might have thought of herself as a black eyed susan or some other common wildflower - I will always think of her as a prize winning rose.

Vintage Ceramic Planter from susantique

This sweet little planter is another object of interest I can imagine stumbling upon during an afternoon with Grandma. Of course, there would be a violet or spider plant blooming in the middle. It also reminds me of my mom and her two sisters - this is something they could own as well. I love it.

Vintage Tea Cup from EmilyLynch

One of my favorite ways to help Grandma around the house was dusting. It wasn't hard when she kept the house so well maintained! My absolute favorite thing to dust was a display shelf of her finest tea cups in the living room. I would zone in and tediously take each piece off of the multi tiered shelf, dust, and then zen-like replace them as she had them displayed, tweaking things just a bit, maybe giving one tea cup a little more of the spot light than another. This prized tea cup reminds me of some in her collection - I remember wondering "Is that REAL gold!?".

Tobacco Barn ACEO Print from Lynxes123

My grandparent's lived on a multi generational tobacco farm. I mentioned birds and still lives already in Irma's painting repertoire. The other subject she liked to paint were landscapes that were familiar to her, most often with some form of architecture included. Barns, local churches or covered bridges in Vermont from their fishing trips together were common subjects. I love this painting because it captures the glow from inside the barn when the burners are going to dry the harvest. It also reminds me of a specific barn on the farm that is next to a tree (like the painting) that has the best grape vines on it. Grandpa would pull up "Big Red" so we could all stand on the back of the truck and pick grapes for homemade wine. I should take a picture of that barn so you can see just how close this painting is to that scene. I love it.

I so enjoyed creating this and connecting with my memories. I love you, Grandma. You are always and in all ways with me.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Scene of the Crime

I stretched canvas over 7 wood boards today and primed them too (as seen above). I'm waiting for the backs to dry right now. I'm so excited to get working on these! It's so rewarding to prepare your surface. There's no denying pre made canvases these days are sleek and sexy (adjectives for a canvas only a fellow painter could understand) but doing it yourself just feels so good.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fall Series back on Etsy

Something Powerful Speaks in This Quiet Moment
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas available at

I brought my Fall 2008 series back to my Etsy shop today. They were on Boundless Gallery for the last two months. As I think I've already mentioned, I'm working towards having everything in my Etsy shop be ready to hang. That means no more ACEOs, works on paper, canvas panels and stretched canvases with staples. For the canvas panels and standard canvases, I am considering framing them so I can still offer them in my shop. I think as a buyer myself it's always more enticing to purchase art knowing it's ready to go straight from the box to your wall with nothing more than a nail.

(Speaking of which, I did a trade with the fabulous Kendra Zvonik and I'm admiring this piece that's already up and hanging right across from me! I love it!)

Tomorrow I'll be back at work painting. I've got four paintings I'll be sending to the World of Imagination Vol. 2 show that just need a few more layers and tweaking. They have a lot of energy as a set and individually. Really experimental and free - I think you'll like them! Hopefully I'll have pictures tomorrow. Also, I'll be stretching some canvas over several blocks of wood I picked up at my parent's house yesterday. (Thanks for cutting those down for me Dad!). I'm really looking forward to working on them for my Etsy shop. It will be fun to be able to really dig into the canvas with the wood support.

Paint on!

Small Radio - I Love You

2009 marks my tenth year out of college and even though I'm far from the campus, far from the way of life back then, I still love my college radio baby. I'm lucky here in northern Connecticut. There is a great radio station out of UHart, there are great stations I can only sometimes pick up out of the seven sisters of Western Massachusetts and then the low on the dial small station out of Springfield that supplies the best of R&B, rap, hip hop, soul, funk, blues and jazz.

Small radio stations make me so very happy. You never know what you'll get and very often you will catch yourself driving and wanting to pull over to listen full blast and enjoy a pleasant view at the same time. Well, at least I do.

I heard this song on a drive today and all of a sudden I am a new fan of Chad VanGaalen. Poof! That's how fast it happens. One day you don't know a song and the next you love it and it's part of you.

Ok, now I've stumbled on the discovery that this artist is also an artist. This just keeps getting better. I love the radio.

Monday, February 02, 2009

New work

Small Works Set Three