Monday, January 31, 2011

Professor Plum in the Billiard Room with the Wrench

Love all the little weapons, except the pipe because it is too simplistic. But all the rest were pretty cool in their detail for game pieces.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Moment of Reflection XIII

So many catboats wind up in my "Reflection" painting series. There is just something about their lines that I like. That being said, it's not like I allow you see much of the boats themselves in most of the series anyway.

This one is so abstract and for me, has a joyful, playful quality to it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Oh how I used to love these tough little candies when I was a kid. Weird as it sounds, I liked them even better when they were a little stale and harder. Sometimes I'd get one stuck on a tooth so firmly, that I thought it would take the filling right with it when I pried it off.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Miss Scarlett in the Hall with the Candlestick

Crazy busy day here yesterday and I never got around to posting. The NY weather terrorists underestimated the snowfall when forecasting (Now how's that for unusual! I call the weather people on TV weather terrorists because they usually like to get people all worked up over the weather and over-forecast. "Oh my God, people! There's going to be 3" of rain tomorrow, start building your arks now and make sure you run to the nearest grocery store and buy up  all the milk, eggs and bread you can get your hands on!" Then, as if 3" of rain were something to freak out over anyway, we only get 1/2".) and we really got dumped on, on top of deep snow that never melted from the last storm. Going into the second day of no landline phone service.

Anyway... here's my next painting. I, probably like most girls, always wanted to play the Miss Scarlett game piece. Mrs. Peacock looked like too much of a fuddy-duddy and Mrs. White was a little scary. I always imagined that she looked like she wanted to clock you with her rolling pin.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mrs. Peacock in the Dining Room with the Rope

Growing up, my family was always big on playing board games together in the evenings. Clue was one of our favorites. While working on this painting and observing the board so closely after all these years, I realized that I had forgotten how simplisticly rendered the illustrations of the rooms are. They have a charm all their own. And how nice to handle actual wooden playing pieces rather than plastic! Very appealing to the visual and tactile sensibilities and brings back a lot of fond memories.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kirk Dougherty

Another Bronx Opera Company  portrait. A baby face with beautiful, mature, tenor tones coming out of it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

All Stirred Up

I use this cute little ceramic creamer to store an assortment of wacky drink stirrers. They make an intriguing bouquet. I especially like the seahorse.

Cocktails anyone?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peppy Morning Wake-up

Well, from a little girl's point of view, I used to think Pepé (read Peppy in the title) LePew was pretty cute. I always cheered him on in his romantic quest of the black cat.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fine Fisherman's Trio

An Avon men's cologne bottle stands before two Antinori (?) Soave wine bottles. I think that's the name of the wine that came in these. I've had them for so long, I don't remember. I don't think they make these bottles anymore. Too bad!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mermaid of Trafalgar Square

There's a lot going on in each of the sculptural pieces within this fountain and that makes it a lot of fun to look at. Poseidon, mermaids, sharks, dolphins, fish, if it's a sea creature, it's probably there somewhere.

My favorite thing about this painting is the damp atmosphere from the windblown spray. I think that comes across very well.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dots Nostalgia

I'm pre-posting this as I will be on the road all day tomorrow. 

Another piece of the autobiography gets cemented in place with this piece. Yes, I have a sweet tooth! (This is just in case you missed that fact from the other candy paintings in this Painting a Day project.) Who didn't love these as a kid?

It strikes me that this is another case of the scan method not doing the painting justice. The scanner seems to have a real problem with the darkest darks, which, of course, make up the background here. It looks very choppy and a little unpleasant. In reality it is much deeper and more refined. Maybe I'll try photographing it and post the 2 together so the difference can be seen. Except for areas  that are large and dark in certain images, I have felt that through scanning and adjustment, I could get closer to the original than a photograph.

Across the Ages

Entering the Tower of London compound, the warder tour guide linked arms with a pretty young girl and this great scene just fell into place. That's a rare happening. Usually, as artists, we are always adjusting what we see to create a better composition, or lighting. This was just right, right away.

The title not only refers to the covered causeway that brings visitors from the hustle and bustle of modern-day London into the Tower of London compound that immerses you in another age, but also to the relating of the young woman to the older man, communication across/between the ages.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Primrose Man

I love this guy. He was a vendor at the Chelsea Flower Show in England. His focus was all these perfect primrose specimens. He was surrounded by such a riot of color in stark contrast to his muted clothing. I also love the contrasts the his dress presents, the formal bowler and the casual jacket and shirt.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Challenging Parliament

Another piece created from my photos of my trip to England.This statue of Richard the Lionhearted with his sword raised looks  like he is declaring a challenge to Parliament.

Yes, I know, I jump around all over the place with my paintings. It is just an indication of how my mind works, probably not the most orderly, but I think it keeps me motivated and hopefully, always improving.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pepper Tonsils

A silly name, but somehow, I just couldn't get away from it. The opening created by the 2 thick ribs looks like the back of the throat and the portion of the third rib beyond looks a bit like the tonsils.

Anyway, one of my crusty old cheese boxes makes an interesting pedestal. There's a lot of nice contrasts here. Dark vs. light, smooth vs. rough, fresh and new vs. old and dusty.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Those Were the Days

My husband (boyfriend then) and I had more than one "hippie van" back in the day, both of which I painted up. They were Fords, not Volkswagens, but when my friend Mary heard about them, she couldn't resist buying this little toy and giving it to me. It cruises along the lid of my fish tank and always makes me smile and remember those days of reckless freedom.

Truthfully, however, things haven't changed so drastically. We may have bills to pay and more "stuff", but we still take off in our (mini) van and travel. In October we spent 3 weeks on the road. The first stop was Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. It was really wonderful and exceeded our expectations. After that, we headed down to Keystone, South Dakota which he have visited many times before, viewing Custer State Park, the Badlands National Park, the Crazy Horse carving, Mount Rushmore and more over the years. The next stop after that was Colorado Springs where we get up into the Rockies west of town to St. Peter's Dome for rockhounding and on to the old gold rush town of Victor and then Phantom Canyon. This year, however, I wandered farther into the mountains in pursuit of crystals and lost my bearings completely. My husband had stayed back at the van relaxing knowing I am usually gone for less than an hour. To make a long story short, when I finally found a way out and onto a road and hitched a ride back, it was 5 hours later and my hubby had search and rescue on the line and had found a hiker to help him search in the meantime. 

I'm making light of it here, but it was VERY harrowing. We were both so shaken that we abandoned the plan to head on to Victor and just decided to get in the car and start our drive back east to NC. This involves getting down to 40 which meant we had to drive south for a while. We aimed for Amarillo and severely underestimated time and distance. We didn't pull in there until 10:30 that night. You would have thought I would have been exhausted, but I hardly slept. All I could think about was that I could have been spending the night alone on that mountain instead of in a warm motel room! Thank you God and all my angels that helped me out of there!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sweet Treat

Purple foil, fun to paint! Almost as good, I got to eat them as a reward for finishing the painting!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trail Blazer's Treasure

Wish I could say that I found this pretty crystal cluster myself during a rockhounding jaunt, but alas, no. I did find the old battery operated Trail Blazer light at a flea market though. That's a little treasure to me. 

Again, painting something as seemingly complicated as a crystal cluster is really all about observation and breaking down an object into shapes of color. In the end, it is most important to recreate the feeling, however, rather than being 100% literal which can wind up looking stiff.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Biloxi Miss

Here's another the those great "antique" cans paired up with a funny salt and pepper shaker set. All the better to season your canned gourmet alligator meat with. Yum!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Passion for Perfume

These perfume bottles are only about an inch and a half high. The backlighting is the star here, creating a glowing heart to the shadows. So ethereal.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Decked Out in Blue

It was challenging to to paint this piece with all the interwoven shadows cast by the transparent and opaque objects and the different textures. I love colored glass and the cobalts are probably my favorite.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wisteria Sky

Wisteria blooms in the spring in North Carolina all through the woods and is considered by some to be an invasive vine. I was brought up in the Bronx were my mother prized her wisteria bush in our back yard. I always thought it was something special, so that when I came to NC and found myself surrounded by the heady, sweet scent, I was delighted.

I painted this backlit bloom with a bottle of Sky vodka casting its blue light across the florets. I must say that for some reason it was a bit of a struggle to paint the background! I tried several colorings and compromised with this which I think pulls the piece towards a more "decorative" feeling than my usual paintings.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Workshop Nook

This montage of items required no staging at all. My husband's basement workshop and garage present hundreds of opportunities for interesting paintings. He doesn't try to make interesting compositions of things, they just happen.

It's actually one of the wonderful things about doing daily paintings, looking at my surroundings and considering subjects I never would have before. Elevating the mundane by utilizing unusual viewpoints, manipulating color and  lighting and working alla prima is a great way to continue to learn and grow as an artist. I think it also results in images that  resonate with a wide audience.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pop Caps and Pop Art IX

The foundation for this piece is a James Rosenquist work that always reminds me of the Fourth of July and the innocence of childhood in a simpler age.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Moment of Reflection XII

Here's a small scale take on a series I have pursued in much larger paintings. I am always intrigued by the reflections of objects in gently moving water. By only including a small portion of the actual object that is reflected, a very interesting abstract results that I believe really intrigues and draws the viewer in.

Only the fine  vertical white lines were reserved with masking fluid.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Salt & Pepper Bake-off

I'm pre-posting tonight for tomorrow because I will be up and off early.

Here's another funny little set of salt and pepper shakers. The container parts themselves are very small, they are the beaters on the mixer! I put my ancient rolling pin in there for scale. Anyone seriously using them for mealtimes with a family must have had to fill them up daily!

Pop Caps of Childhood II

I first masked out my bottle caps, washed the background color on and was then free to fling some paint around. My intent was to imply spilled soda without being literal. Not sure that came off so well, but it did add interest to the background.

The little Eskimo on the ginger ale cap is so cute. I wonder what company used him as a logo?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Glowing Scent II

A grey, foggy morning here, and another good day to post a warm and cheery little painting.

Actually, we went out for breakfast this a.m. and the coloring and atmospherics were off the charts amazing. At one point, coming back, we were on the road by Orchard Beach with the sun still low and trying to break through the fog with a warm golden/peachy light. No one else on the wet roads and the bare winter trees layered in lavender grays receding into the fog. Wow!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Piggy Bank

Here he is again. He has a wistful expression and looks a bit lonesome. Maybe that's because his belly is empty. But it's a New Year and he has hopes that soon he will be full.

That is my wish to all of you...a New Year of health, happiness, success and dreams fulfilled! If we so believe, so shall it be!