Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lincoln Street - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I enjoy doing architectural paintings and especially enjoy painting old houses with a lot of character. This painting depicts Lincoln Street which is a small street in Westford center along one side of the town common.

I work hard to keep all vertical lines straight so that the buildings don't appear to be tipping. The cars were painted with just a few strokes and I added strong reflections so they'd look shiny. Finally, I simplified the area at the end of the street into a dark and uniform shape to add a feeling of depth.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guitar Club - Oil on canvas - 12 x 12 inches

A bandstand was recently built on the town common in Westford, MA. On this particular day, the "Guitar Club", a group of high school kids, took turns performing during the weekly Farmers Market. The afternoon light was strong and created dramatic shadows around the figures. I purposely tried to keep my brushstrokes loose and impressionistic. This painting brings me right back to that October day with the warm sun, the music, and the crowd on the common enjoying a perfect fall day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Summer Crowds - Oil on canvas - 12 x 12 inches

I haven't posted for over a week as we had an ice storm that crippled much of New England. Unfortunately, I was without power for 6 days! I've had electricity for less than 48 hours and we're now in the midst of a major snowstorm. I figured I'd better update this blog before I lose power again :)

I was getting ready to post this painting and noticed that I didn't have a shadow under the most prominent cherry stem. I don't know how I could have missed it the first time around. Most artists have an excellent eye with the ability to see shapes, values and colors easily. However, it is easy to become blind to your own work. For that reason, I almost always ask someone to critique my work. My kids are my best critics. I've modified many paintings based on their suggestions. Another trick is to put a painting away for a few weeks ... the next time you see it, you'll have fresh eyes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Three's a Crowd - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

These nectarines were sitting on my kitchen counter in a blue bowl. They caught my eye as the blue bowl really makes the orange color "sing". I played with how the nectarines are "facing" as I manipulated their placement in the bowl. The top nectarine is "looking" directly at the viewer while the other two face inward. I also added a bit of yellow to the inside rim of the bowl to "warm" up the color and add some visual interest. I thought this painting was a fairly realistic depiction of three nectarines but a friend commented, "Those are great apples." :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bog - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on Canvas

There is a cranberry bog not far from where I live...a great place to walk, bird watch, skip rocks and just soak up the sun. I painted this landscape on location, or, "en plein air". On this particular day, the weather was warm, the winds were light and I wasn't bothered by bugs...a perfect day to set up an easel and get totally absorbed in the process of creating.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Days 1958 - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I spotted this car at a used car dealership in town. I believe this is a '58 Chevy Impala. It caught my eye so I stopped and snapped a variety of pictures. I debated about how much of the car to paint and at what angle. In the end, I settled on this view as I really liked the headlights and that massive chrome grill.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mixed Company - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

Apple picking has become an annual tradition in my family so I usually have an abundance of apples in the fall. I arranged these apples, decided on an overhead viewpoint, and then used a strong light source to create interesting highlights and deep shadows.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Escape - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

Cantaloupe happens to be one of my favorite fruits...sweet, juicy, refreshing. After slicing open this one, I couldn't help but marvel at the rich oranges, yellows, and that bright circle of lime green. No one is a better artist than Mother Nature!

I wanted to keep this painting simple and just focus on the simple beauty that was right in front of me. I added the knife with the dark handle to balance out the composition.

The seeds look like they are trying to escape after being liberated from the core...hence the title.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Squeaky Clean - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I don't have a dishwasher so I'm frequently at my sink cleaning and stacking dishes. The afternoon sun created an interesting pattern of shadows on the plates in the rack. I decided to add the glass jelly jar as another element of interest and to help balance out the composition.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunbeam - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I love this Sunbeam vintage hand mixer. It was my grandmothers so I think of her everytime I pull it out of the cupboard. I was getting ready to mix up pancake batter and was inspired by the reflections picked up in the metal spoon, glass bowl and the plastic mixer. I played with the placement of the eggs, measuring spoon and power cord before deciding on this composition. The spoon and power cord are placed at opposite angles from the mixer and beaters to help keep your eye in the painting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Morning - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

It's funny how something so mundane can become an inspiration for a painting. Early one morning, I noticed the soft, glowing light in my bathroom. I liked the way the light reflected off the soap dispenser and the chrome faucet. In actuality, the sink is white but I decided to make it blue to complement the yellows and oranges which makes them glow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jelly Jar - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I wanted to paint daisies and had a hard time finding some. I finally found these growing along a stone wall. I decided to put them inside a jelly jar as I like the way the stems get distorted as you look through the glass. I chose a blue background to complement the orange in the center of the flowers. This is just a happy, simple painting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Waiting - 12 x 12 - Oil on canvas

Some paintings just paint themselves. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's pure joy. Somehow, with this painting, my brush knew exactly what to do. Cooper, our dog, has the most beautiful auburn coat. If he could speak, I really think he'd be pleased with this portrait. Below is a photo of Cooper when he was just a pup...cute, huh?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Condiment Face-off - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

My initial idea was to have a trio of objects and include a bottle of mustard. Somehow, I just couldn't make the composition work (I wasn't crazy about the color combinations) and ended up with two instead. I like the "face off" between these two characters as they seem to be challenging each other.

This painting was definitely a learning process for me. Because I'm a relatively new oil painter (after years of watercolors), I'm still experimenting. The background layer of blue color was slightly tacky when I applied a second layer of yellow to it. I liked the textured effect that was created by the sticky undercoat.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Plugged In and Turned On - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I really had a lot of fun painting this one. This outlet/plug is in my dining room. I liked how the cord's shadow danced along the wall.

Notice the slight splash of yellow to the right of the plug to compliment the purple shadow and really make it "pop".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Morning Fix - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Okay. I have a little confession to make. The coffee mug is actually filled with coke, not coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker but thought "coffee and donuts" is a classic combination. So, I found the closest substitution that I could find when setting up my still life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Slices of Summer - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I spent a long time figuring out the composition of this painting. I struggled with the placement of the watermelon. The painting finally came together when I added the knife across the bottom of the plate to keep your eye inside the composition.

Monday, November 3, 2008

En Plein Air - Painting at Cranberry Bog

Painting "en plein air" can be a real challenge....wind, bugs, bright sunlight are just a few of the potential hazards. I've been trying to whittle down my painting supplies to make it easier to "pick up and go" when the weather is nice. With watercolors, I can fit everything into a small backpack. Oils are a bit more challenging since the paint on the canvas and the palette are wet and need special care when transporting them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lounging Around - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Even though this painting is a "light subject" of a couple of glazed donuts, it has a meditative quality to it. I almost imagine these donuts as two friends sitting quietly, gazing up at the clouds on a lazy afternoon.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Prom Queen - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Since this cupcake is so dressed and elegant, I thought "Prom Queen" is a fitting title. She is painted on a 12 x 12 inch canvas. I love the reflection on the white plate and the deep purple background. When people see this painting, they immediately smile...who wouldn't like to dip their finger into that sugary frosting?