Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Smithy Gallery (and other art shows)

I'm pleased to announce that I've been invited to participate in the group show "Earthly Possessions" at the Smithy Gallery in Cooperstown, NY this summer. 
Among the paintings of mine selected was The Things We Carry

The Things We Carry, an oil painting montage of 8 women's purses surrounding an image of symbolic purse contents, was inspired by the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O'Brien. In the book Mr. O'Brien writes about the Vietnam War, it's aftermath, and what the soldiers actually carried in their backpacks and the emotions they carried both during and after the war. After reading the book, I was intrigued by what women carry in their pocketbooks, both actual and emotional.

Other spring and summer venues I'll be participating in so far are:

 2nd Annual Lion's Park Art Festival
   May 26th (rain date May 27th)

Stockade Villager's Outdoor Art Show
    September 8th

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bagel and Knife

This composition started as a value drawing. In figuring out the value structure I was able to visualize the drawing as a completed painting.  I found that planning a painting in this way increases the likelihood that it will work out.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

How I Frame my Paintings -Update

I first posted this tutorial on February 2015. Since then I've found other/new floating frames that are worth a look: - Blick Grande Wood Floater Frames
Some of these frames may only accommodate painting panels with a cradled backing. In that case the panel attaches to the frame from the backside with screws. Other ways to attach cradled panels to floaters are with some sort of offset clips as shown below.   - Illusions Floater Canvas Frames 3/4" Deep - 1.25" Deep BLACK Floater Frames (7/8" rabbet)

My Post from 2015

Supplies needed (most are available at any local arts and crafts store):
  • floating frame (I recommend those at
  • hanging hardware: D-ring hangers and braided picture wire
  • clear all purpose household caulking (available at most hardware stores)
  • black foam board
  • mat cutter
  • mat cutting board
  • metal ruler
  • screwdriver
I'm using a 6" x 6" floating frame from but you can use any available size to match your painting. I paint on Ampersand Gessobord 1/8" flat panels available at Jerry's Artarama.

Attach the hanging hardware to the back of the floating frame. 

Using the mat cutter, ruler, and cutting board, cut two pieces from black foam board. One piece is 6 1/8" x 6 1/8" (the interior dimensions of the floating frame) to insert into the front of the frame. The second piece is 5" x 5" to place on top of the first piece.

Run a bead of clear household caulking around the inner ledge of the floating frame and press the 6 1/8" x 6 1/8" foam board in place. Place several dabs of caulking onto the 5" x 5" foam board. Center and attach it to the top of the larger foam board piece.

Place several dabs of caulking on top of the smaller foam board piece. Making sure that the painting and the frame are both right-side up (with the hanging hardware near the top of the frame), adhere the painting to smaller foam board.

The painting will appear to float in frame.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Nectarines in White Bowl on Pink Cloth

The idea for this painting came after I drew the nectarines in a white bowl and then decided it would be a more interesting and colorful painting if I put the bowl on a colored cloth. Actually, the cloth is my husband's shirt and it wasn't my first color choice. My first choice was an orange shirt! Painting is a series of decisions. It can also be trial and error. That's what makes it both fun and challenging. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A tour of my Home Studio

My studio is in my home. It was the guest bedroom but I took out all the furniture and added all the things I need to paint. I must still think it’s a bedroom because you can find me there painting in my pajamas some mornings.

A tour of the second half of my home studio. It has everything I need. Small shelves to hold gesso panels while drying, a Sears utility cabinet for paints and tools, a mirror to view my work in progress, two fluorescent ceiling lamps and works by other artists to inspire me.

Log onto my Instagram account to see my paintings and other videos.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Amber Bowl and Grapes

Last weekend I went to an antiques fair at the church in my neighborhood. It runs a few nice shows each year. This one was small and located on the bottom floor of their community building. Their summer show uses both floors and has stalls outside. I was looking for a still life object in cobalt teal (a new paint color I purchased) which I wanted to try out. I didn't find anything in that color, but found this little glass bowl. It took me a couple of tries, but I think I figured it out. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Blue Color Charts

Artist's Magazine had an article and color chart in their Brushing Up section on blue oil paints by Michael Chesley Johnson, October 2013.
I decided to do a blue color chart of my own and here's what I discovered:

I love Ultramaine Blue and Cerulean Blue Hue. I know how to use them, they're creamy, opaque and mix well with the other colors on my palette.

Many blues are so close in color that my eye isn't sensitive enough to see a distinctive difference.

Manganese Blue Hue (Gamblin) is surprisingly transparent.

My chart shattered my belief that hues (mixtures) were inferior to pure colors. It depends on the color and manufacturer, e.g. Cerulean Blue Hue (Utrecht) is more opaque than Cerulean Blue Pure (Utrecht).

Cobalt Teal is a lovely color and it would make a great addition to my palette.

I knew that tinting a color with white would lighten it but may make it look chalky. Adding a bit of Naples Yellow to the white will dull it down but keep it light (I did that to the last three colors of my chart and will try it with the rest in the future).

I used all the blues in my studio for this chart. I hardly ever used all of them in the past and that won't change.

Magazines colors are pretty accurate but sometimes they are off.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pears and Bag

In this painting I've combined two of my interests, pears and a paper bag. I've tried to paint each with facets. The pears are ready to eat now that I'm done painting them.
On another topic, I've just received my Gamblin order of blue oil paints (Cobalt Teal and Manganese Blue Hue) from and I'm excited to see how they work.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

D'Anjou Pears

It's the new year and I wish everyone good health. I'm ready to get back to painting. I haven't painted in about three weeks. Of course, I have the perfect excuse. My family and I went to Taiwan for my oldest son's wedding during Christmas week. I hope to post pictures on Facebook soon. This painting was inspired by two painters. Cezanne, whose fruit tumble around the canvas and Michael Weller, whom I discovered online. I love his greens and blues.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Most Viewed 2017

 These are some of my most viewed images from 2017.
 Thanks to everyone for a great year.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wedding Shoes

My son is getting married and this is a painting of the black patent leather shoes I purchased for the wedding. My dress is a lace sheath dress in charcoal with an illusion neck. It's very pretty and such an exciting time!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bag on Paper

I've been asked why paint a paper bag, it's not colorful like your other paintings? My answer was that I could see the finished painting even before I began. I'm thrilled when that happens because that's half the work already done for me. This happens when I'm painting a lot. This painting was both interesting and a fun challenge because of the minimal palette.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Painting Lessons make the Perfect Gift


Adults can learn the basics of oil painting. 
 In six lessons you'll learn about:
  • Studio set up and painting equipment such as surfaces and brushes
  • Color temperature or how colors lean – warm/cool and how to use this information to name and mix your colors
  • Color intensity – saturated/dull and how to use complementary colors
  • Color value – all colors have an intrinsic lightness or darkness right out of the tube
  • How to compose a painting 
  • Brushwork 
  • Drawing techniques
  • Framing 
  • Reading references
To learn more, click on Thumbtack or the orange button at the right this post.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fruit and Dishes

This painting was all about me following the form of the objects with my brush strokes. The light on the objects creates facets plus their shape determines the direction of my strokes.  My interest in art started with sculpture and photography. This has affected my painting style.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gift Giving this Holiday Season

Thinking of the perfect gift for the holidays, check out the beautiful artwork at the 
Saratoga Arts Members' Show.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Large White Rose of Sharon

This painting was created in March of 2015. I was getting ready for a show and in the process I neglected to post it on my blog. I've started a new category on my DPW Gallery called Larger Work.  I'm excited to display this and other large paintings. I hope viewers will find my bigger pieces interesting and like my point of view.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Under the Glass Table

This painting was inspired by one seen in the National Portrait Gallery in London during our trip there last month.  We visited five museums during our week's stay. The painting was a portrait of a man with his feet under a glass table which seemed to be both figurative and a still life. This idea was new and challenging to me. I wanted to create an interesting point of view and something different from my usual still lifes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lemon and Blue Bowl

Yellow has always been a challenging color for me and lemons are at the apex of that color confrontation. The problem is how to paint what I actually see (a lemon in shadow) and not my idea of a yellow lemon that never gets as dark as it actually appears.  I wanted a warm, vibrant, not greenish or a dull color. I decided upon a color not on my palette, raw sienna and I liked it.  How do I know I made my lemon in shadow dark enough? I used my new little MVP :)  Framed.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rethinking Directional Lines

I recently purchased Haidee-Jo Summers' new book Vibrant Oils and found it helpful in rethinking this older painting. On page 47 she writes "Avoid these common compositional mistakes: Directional lines that lead the viewer's eye towards the edge of the painting and then out the picture space."  In the top painting I have a line running from the top to the bottom in the painting and the bowl and my eye seems to slip downward. In the bottom painting, I removed the line and consolidated the colors, now my eye stays in the bowl and lingers there.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The JRM Artists' Space at the National Bottle Museum

Looks to be a great show. 
Many Oakroom Artists exhibiting multiple pieces. 
I have three new pieces I'm excited to show.

Artists' Reception October 15 2-4 PM

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Black-eyed Susans in Clear Glass Vase

It seems I paint these Black-eyed Susans every year like the Rose of Sharon flowers in my garden. I painted quick and thick, trying for an impression of them. This year they seemed a little past their prime but no matter, I see them as beautiful.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rose of Sharon 2017

This year's Rose of Sharon painting has two flower heads and an orange daylily. I always enjoy the challenge of creating a new version and comparing it to the Rose of Sharon paintings I've done in the past. Click here for previous Rose of Sharon (and other flower) images.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pale Yellow Glass and Plum

This past weekend was the Washington County Antiques Festival in Greenwich, NY. It was huge and had lots of booths with glassware and dishes. Perfect for a still life painter. This glass teacup and saucer radiated yellow and gold as I walked by it, as if it was calling to me. The dealer called it Cambridge glass. So I bought it and two interesting frames for works of art I recently purchased. I'm definitely going back to this festival next year.

Monday, July 31, 2017

White Still Life with Blue Glass Goblet

This painting was inspired by Giorgio Morandi, in the compositional sense, and in keeping to a simple palette. I'm usually a quick painter, but this painting took me a lot longer than usual. There were a lot of decisions. I've learned simple is not always easy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Drawing by Kelly Smith

This large drawing (charcoal, 32 x 40 ) was created by my friend Kelly Smith. She's a dedicated artist and a wonderful drawer.  She lives and works in Saratoga Springs, NY.  When I saw this drawing at her studio, I fell in love with it. Next, I saw it in a small gallery show in a cafe. Originally she didn't want to sell it, saying it was a study of a detail of a girl from a James Gurney illustration.  I'm happy she changed her mind and I'm excited to have her.  Once framed, she will look lovely in my house.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Inspired by Giorgio Morandi

Painting is a crazy business, at least for me lately. My current painting is inspired by  Giorgio Morandi and what better way to understand someone's work than to make it your own.

His still life paintings are deceptively simple and minimal. There are subtle variations in his values and colors and his compositions are balanced, although tightly packed. When I looked at his work in my library books, I thought okay that's doable. I'm so naive. I based my composition on his work and not on his colors or paint application. The more I worked on my painting the more he impressed me. I like his thick paint, but chose not to apply mine too thickly. To get those subtle grays for my painting I changed my light bulb, tried many color combinations for black (there are a lot!) and decided to tone my canvas. My challenge is to paint all the objects (except the blue glass goblet that reflects everywhere) shades of gray so that they still look like white bottles yet can support my highlights and have depth. I'm 1/3 of the way through the painting and every day is a crazy, mind boggling experience. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Boxes and Books

I had an idea for this painting after a similar one I completed last summer, The Bookshelf. I painted a small cardboard box on the bottom shelf. I liked the simplicity, colors and values of it; I decided to make the boxes the main subject here.  Inspiration comes from many things, this one came from Donald Judd's sculpture of a stack of colored plexiglass blocks attached to the wall which I saw in a museum in NYC. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bowl, Fruit and Striped Cloth "Reimagined"

I had to revisit this painting several times until I was satisfied. The hardest thing about painting is getting those last few strokes right. It seems the design, drawing in, and even painting the majority of the objects goes smoothly. Towards the end, when I'm happy with what I've done, I seem to choke up. I see this on TV when a new golfer plays in a major tournament. They must feel there's a lot at stake and in those last few holes they fall apart.  In my painting, there was too much texture and fussiness in the original hobnail bowl so I smoothed it out and I substituted a couple of (what seemed) over large lemons for an orange.