Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Limelight - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas

I stole these limes from a friend ... I’m not much of a lime fan and never buy them. For whatever reason, she had about a dozen leftover from Thanksgiving…. she mentioned something about Margaritas. I didn't realize that was traditional as I'm used to the basics: turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

In any case, I wanted a strong light source to show the translucence of the limes. I added subtle touches of yellow-orange here and there which add a nice, warm glow. I tried to keep my brush strokes loose and expressive and not get too bogged down with detail.

This 6 inch square painting is available for $60.  Click the Buy Now button below or click here for other payment options.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Pretty in Pink" - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I spotted this cyclamen in a country store and had to buy it. After my purchase, they wrapped the plant in a shiny piece of foil that I thought would be fun to paint. But, after fooling with it for a while, I just couldn't get a shape that I liked. The foil just overwhelmed everything else. Eventually, I removed it and settled on the plain green pot.

I confess that I’m not great at caring for houseplants. My daughter left her spider plant (named “Algebra”) in my care. I remember to water it whenever she is scheduled to visit (every few months). I’ve found that spider plants are impossible to kill and don’t seem to mind having bone-dry soil. I hope my new plant is just as forgiving!

This painting is available for sale by contacting me directly, or, you can purchase it at “Art on Main”, 40 Main Street, Westford, MA where it will be hanging. The cost is $150. Shipping is $12. (MA sales tax applies for MA residents).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Mac Attack - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Meet Macintosh. Apparently, this big boy has quite the appetite! I've never met Mac but got to know him through a series of pictures. The actual photo that I selected as a reference showed Mac sprawled across the carpet but I felt there would be too much white space to include his entire body. So, I cropped the image and just kept enough of his torso to show his beautiful coat. The light blue area around Mac and the green bag is referred to as "negative space". I was careful to vary the size and shape of these areas as the negative space is just as important as the main points of interest in creating a solid composition. This painting was a commission will be shipped off to the owner after it has a chance to dry for a bit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday Night Meeting - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I've been itching to paint a night scene for some time now. I tried to capture the glow of the lights as they illuminate the front entrance. I chose mainly warm colors – yellows and oranges – probably since the weather is still relatively warm and the fall decorations were in place. You can contrast this with another night scene I painted several years ago (mainly cool colors - blues and purples - using watercolors). The title, "Monday Night Meeting", stems from our weekly meetings at the "Art on Main" gallery.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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

This painting is based on a photo I took several years ago just after we installed a G-clef on the PCA's bell tower. This particular Spring morning, the Westford Common was filled with campaign signs and sandwich boards. Traffic was starting to pick up as people rushed to do errands. I tried to capture a sense of this energy along with the morning light as it reflected off the road and the cars.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Acorn Scramble - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I've become a bit obsessed with acorns. The past couple months, I've collected quite a few and have lined them up on my bedroom windowsill. When fresh, acorns are a beautiful shade of green. Unfortunately, they dry out and fade to a dull, tan color. These acorns were actually quite dull so I used some artistic license to punch up their color. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"2nd Bloom" - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I’ve had my eye on this violet for a while now. I finally asked my friend Cathy if I could borrow it. She is very proud that it is in bloom for the second time (hence the title, “2nd Bloom”). I love the pinkish underside of the leaves as they make a nice contrast to the green on top. The plant is like a crown on top of this little hand painted pot. I just couldn’t resist.
To those who requested a photo of my reception, below is a nice panoramic taken by my sister.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

View from the Ferry - 12 x 12 inches- Oil on canvas - SOLD

Well, my life has been a whirlwind this month. My Opening Reception for “Reflections on Fifty” was all that I dreamed of and more. I had 150+ guests come through and enjoy a really nice evening of live music, gourmet food and a lively and friendly atmosphere. My friends and family pitched in and it was a smashing success…thank you to all those that helped!  Of the 50 paintings, only 7 are still available. Wow. I never imagined the response to my artwork would be so overwhelmingly positive.

Well, on to new work. The above painting is based on a photo I took from the Boston Harbor Islands ferry. I had a pretty clear vision of how I wanted it to turn out. The sky was incredibly dramatic as storms passed through. The clouds were a strong mix of deep grays and purples. The foreground water was a blue-green, almost teal color. I kept the buildings simple and wanted this to be a fairly abstract painting.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Stony Brook Reflections - 12 x 12 - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I donated this painting to the "Westford Friends of East Boston Camps" for their Fall Foliage Festival which included a silent auction.  Over 600 people attended and they raised a chunk of money to help preserve and maintain a beautiful piece of property recently purchased by the town.

I don't think landscapes are my strong suit but, with each one that I attempt, I'm getting better so I keep plugging away.  At one point, this painting looked a bit too tropical so I had to rework the shape of the foliage and tone down some of the strong blue/green colors.  I'm fairly pleased with the final result and hope whoever bought it is enjoying it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Reflections on Fifty" Show Preparations

Life has been very busy for the past few weeks! With help from artist friend Gail Flannery and my son Jason, we hung all fifty paintings at the PCA earlier this week for my show, "Reflections on Fifty". My first gallery hours are this Sunday from noon to 2 p.m with my Opening Reception on Saturday, October 10 from 7 -9:30 p.m. For directions to the PCA, visit, Everyone is welcome!

My other big news is that I've partnered with 8 other artists to open a gallery called "Art on Main" which is located at 40 Main Street, Westford, MA. We officially opened our doors on October 1st and have a grand opening scheduled for Thursday, October 29. For more info, check out our website at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Party Time - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

Karin Jurick, a fantastic artist that I admire, created a blog called Every so often, Karin posts a reference photo of a particular subject. Artists are invited to create a painting based on the photo and Karin posts the results on her blog. It is fascinating to see the variety of styles and interpretations of the same subject. I finally took the challenge but then missed the deadline for submitting it! Oh well...maybe next time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cranberry Bog Upper Pond - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Last Saturday I once again headed for the cranberry bog (one of my favorite painting spots) and spent a sunny afternoon painting by the upper pond. I selected a canvas that I had previously covered with a pink/orange hue. As I painted, I didn't completely cover the background and allowed the color to shine through. This was one of those rare days when the paints flowed just right and I didn't struggle too much along the way.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wentworth - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Last weekend I reunited with a group of college friends to celebrate our 50th birthdays. We stayed at Wentworth by the Sea - a beautiful hotel/resort in New Castle, NH. On Saturday morning, I walked through the marina to the end of the docks and set up my easel to paint. It was very overcast. About half way through my painting, it started to rain. A gentleman offered me his umbrella which I gratefully accepted as it was really starting to rain -- hard. (You can see a drip on the right side of the canvas as evidence!). I continued to paint with one hand holding his umbrella and the other with my paintbrush. After about a half hour, when sneakers were getting soaked, I decided it was time to pack up to get warm and dry.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Self Portrait - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

First off, who, other than maybe my mother, would want to buy this painting! It's been hanging on the wall opposite my desk and it is a bit startling to look up and see yourself staring at yourself. In any case, officially, this is painting #50...the last 12 x 12 for my upcoming solo show, "Reflections on Fifty", which opens one month from today. It's been a great journey and I've learned a lot along the way. But, don't despair, this blog will continue with more paintings so stay tuned. To those who emailed and posted comments...thanks and keep 'em coming!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Carlisle Bog - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I took advantage of a beautiful day and spent a couple happy hours painting at the cranberry bog in Carlisle, MA. When painting on location, a viewfinder is critical in helping me figure out how to transfer the vista in front of me onto a small canvas. The viewfinder not only helps me "crop" the scene into a managable piece but also helps me figure out the correct proportions. For example, the sky and background trees take up just about the top half of the canvas. Using the viewfinder and noting these proportions, I sketch the basic outline of my composition onto the canvas. This is actually one of the more difficult (but critical pieces) of starting a painting. I'll step back, look at my sketch, and make modifications until I'm happy. Once the sketch is complete, I can start the process of filling in each area, usuallly working from the background (top) to the foreground (bottom).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Party on a Plate - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas

My greatest source of inspiration is the grocery store. I had no intention of buying cupcakes until I passed the bakery department and spotted these little guys. When I arranged them, their little sprinkles fell all over the plate and it looks like a really festive celebration.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Overflow - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I recently read a book on color theory by Betty Edwards. Betty talks about color choices and selecting colors that work well together. This painting uses primarily analogous colors…those that are next to each other on the color wheel...greens - blues and purples. I think this makes for a "quiet" painting. If I had added an object with a color like yellow, orange or red, it would have changed the entire feeling of the painting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Follow the Leader - 6 x 6 - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I've never been a huge fan of blueberries. To me, eating them is a bit like playing Russian Roulette. You'll be eating along and tasting wonderful, sweet berries and then all of the sudden, when you least expect it, you bite into a really sour, mouth-puckering one. It can be very stressful :) Since blueberries are now considered a "super food", I've faced my "fear of the unexpected sour blueberry" and have taken to sprinkling them on my cereal. When I occasionally hit that sour one, it is at least tempered by the rest of the flavors in the bowl.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pickles on Polka Dots - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas- SOLD

Pickles are great fun to paint with their neon green color. For whatever reason, I wanted to put this pickle jar on polka dots. For a reference, I used a hole punch to create the dots and then spread them on a board under the jar. It is so much easier, at least in my experience, to paint with a reference than strictly from my imagination.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Plum Island Marshes - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I think marshes are very beautiful. I love the way the water winds its way around the tall mounds of grasses to create meandering pathways. For this painting, I covered the canvas with a layer of yellow. You can see the yellow shining through at various points....especially noticeable in the sky area. This painting is based on a photo I took of Plum Island in the fall.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cherries Jubilee - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

It's always interesting to look and really study something. If I didn't paint these cherries, I probably wouldn't have noticed how incredibly shiny they are...almost like glass marbles. When setting up this composition, I tried to follow the basic rule of good composition - "create variation in all aspects of the design". So, the gaps between the cherries are all slightly different, each cherry is in a slightly different position, the stems are all different, the top surface is a smaller width than the front, etc, etc. And, even though there are large, solid areas of color, these also contain subtle changes in color as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

You Say Tomato - 6 x 6 - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I'm not sure what variety of tomato this is but it was very round like a ball. It was also quite tasty ... I enjoyed it once it's modeling career was over :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Strawberry - 6 x 6 - Oil on canvas - SOLD

When I set up this simple still life, I thought it was going to be a quick and easy painting...wrong! The body of the strawberry went pretty smoothly, however, those leaves were a struggle! I ended up with an ugly mass of green. I was starting to regret that I positioned the strawberry to show the leafy crown. To fix the green mess, I had to really focus on each leaf and pay attention to its individual shape, color and value. As I worked methodically through the leaves, the top finally began to take shape.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stony Brook - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

This is another small painting done on location in the great outdoors. This vista is actually just to the left of the rusty railroad bridge that I painted and posted back in March 2009 (click this link to see what I'm talking about: There was no wind so the water was like a mirror making a perfect reflection of the trees and sky.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Carlisle Bog - 6 x 6 - Oil on canvas

I recently bought an "OpenBox M" painting box (see below) so that I can easily pack up and travel to any location to paint "en plein air". I squeeze out my paints in the bottom of the box and the lid has an adjustable, spring-loaded clamp to hold a canvas. The box is easily attached to a tripod to make a perfect easel with attached palette. Last week, I took advantage of a glorious sunny day and went to the cranberry bog in Carlisle, MA. For a couple hours, I painted in the shade of a huge oak tree and enjoyed a cool breeze, the sound of birds chirping, and a beautiful view.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shortcake Line Up - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Every year in June, the "Strawberry and Arts" Festival is held on the Westford common. Artists set up tents to sell jewelry, paintings, toys and other hand crafted items. Throughout the day, the crowds are treated to live music by local musicians. Probably the main attraction is the strawberry shortcake. For five dollars, you get a large serving, a dollop of whipped cream and a glass of lemonade. In this painting, I tried to convey a sense of the bustling activity and the overall feeling of the festival...always a fun afternoon to browse, people watch and enjoy some sweet treats.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Panda - Oil on canvas - 12 x 12 inches

This painting is based on a photo taken by my daughter. I love that it tells a story. The cat, Panda, spends his mornings lusting after squirrels. Unfortunately for Panda, he's an indoor cat and can only dream of the possibilities. The squirrel seems to enjoy his position of power over this helpless cat.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Onion Trio - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

Onions make an interesting subject to paint. They come in a nice variety of shapes and a wide range of colors…whites, yellows, oranges, reds and purples. I wanted to capture the papery and translucent nature of the skin so I used thin layers (or glazes) of paint starting with light colors and then gradually adding deeper colors to create the round forms. The knife adds an element of interest and creates some tension. It almost looks like the three onions are “looking” at the knife and wondering, “What’s that?”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

No Peeking - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I was in the mood for a food painting … my last one was the trio of pears that I did a couple months ago. After rummaging through my refrigerator, I settled on these nectarines. I started by covering my canvas with a bright green wash. After letting it dry, I completed my painting allowing the green color to shine through. This is a really simple painting but I love the color combination of the oranges, purples and greens. For those who remember the basics in art, these all secondary colors on the color wheel - created by mixing primary colors – red, yellow and blue. When coming up with the title, it seemed like they were about to play a game of hide and seek with one nectarine covering his 'eye'.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jeter - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

When visiting my sister a few weeks ago, I snapped a bunch of photos of her cat, Jeter. He was playing with a bug and I tried to get a good shot of him with his paw extended but never got exactly what I was looking for. When I looked through my photos, I liked this top-down view. I added the yarn as a matter of interest as I thought the painting needed something else in the composition. I tried to capture his beautiful coat which has many shades of grey, black and brown. I would like to say that Jeter enjoyed our visit but I think he was relieved when we made our exit at the end of the day. Julie probably was too.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blue Bird - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

These objects sit on my kitchen window sill. Illuminated with strong afternoon sunlight, they made a perfect subject to paint. The small glass is holding some flowers presented to me on Mothers Day by my daughter (along with a hearty breakfast). I bought the blue ceramic bird in France five years ago and keep it inside a small pottery bowl made by my sister. It fits perfectly and looks like a cozy nest. The pot, a new addition to my windowsill, is filled with chives that I dug from my garden.

The background foliage was a challenge to paint. I wanted to simply indicate the leaves and branches. Showing too much detail would have competed with the foreground objects. I was pleased with the final result but it took quite a bit of painting, wiping and then painting again.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Painter - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

You don't realize how large the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) is until you see someone right against the building to put it all in perspective. Just look how this painter, who is probably 6 feet tall, is dwarfed by these massive windows. The stained glass was a bit of a challenge. I had to tone down the color and subdue the details to help keep the focus on the figure. I also wanted to "suggest" the clapboards but not draw in every detail so you see the occasional horizontal line running across the canvas. I'm always struck by how many decisions it takes to create a painting...sometimes it just hurts my brain.

Below is a photo of the PCA taken several years ago. The painter was working on the left between the two large windows.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Me and My Shadow - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

As I was walking our dog Cooper, I was inspired by the strong cast shadows and figured it would make an interesting painting. Having my camera handy, I took photos for the rest of our walk (which must have looked pretty strange). Our walk was fairly late in the day so the shadows were actually very long. I had to shorten and modify the shadows to get the look that I wanted. I debated about adding more details to the ground such as the sidewalk, grass, etc. In the end, I really liked the simplicity of just the dog, leash, and shadows.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Think Pink - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I was looking for a subject to paint and asked a friend to set up a still life using any combination of objects. She had just purchased some beautiful pink tulips and used them to come up with this arrangement. The cloth, with all of its folds and wrinkles was challenging as I don't have a lot of experience painting fabric. I really like the little ceramic bunny as it catches the strong light from the window.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bathing Beauties - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

These ladies were wading in the shallow waters at Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, MA. This particular scene actually included much more…large rocks, a lighhouse in the distance, boats, etc. I could have "panned" out to include them but really wanted to focus on this trio and the beautiful reflections created in the water in front of them.

SAVE THE DATE! On another note, it's official: The opening reception for my show is the evening of Saturday, October 10th, 2009 at the Parish Center for the Arts in Westford, MA. ( I haven't decided on the exact time but everyone will get an official invitation as the time approaches. All 50 paintings (along with a few other goodies) will go on sale when the show is hung on October 1st.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Concert - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

The challenge of this painting was fitting so much stuff onto a small canvas. I wanted to keep the figures in the foreground fairly dark to emphasize the light on the stage. However, I didn't want to go too dark and lose all the details of their clothing, hair, etc. I had to include the theatre lights at the top of the painting to help balance out the composition.

Some paintings are easy to title. For this one, I debated between "Quintet" and "The Concert". I chose the latter since the painting is really about the entire experience of attending a performance and not really focused on the specific entertainment. Any thoughts on a better title?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Graniteville Foundry - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I can easily find beauty in an industrial area that might contain dilapidated buildings, rusty machines and other assorted goodies. I was initially inspired by the light green building that contrasts with the tall red tower. This painting is really all about the shapes created by the awning, the stairs, the pipes and all the other elements. I love the subtle shades of greens, reds and grays.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tic-Tac-Toe - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I think acorns are adorable. They have tremendous personality with their chunky bodies and oversized hats. If you look closely, they're all slightly different - some are almost square with a flat bottom while others are more sleek and rounded. Their colors also vary from a light tan to a deep, almost purplish, brown. As with most paintings, the shadows are incredibly important for both the composition and for creating depth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trio - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I recently hosted an oil painting workshop given by Carol Marine, a wonderful artist from Texas. When the workshop was over, students left their still life materials behind so I had a glut of fruits and vegetables sitting on my counter. This trio of pears was neatly lined up on my kitchen counter. I liked how they cast a shadow against the wall and left a reflection on my dark counter top. I painted this one in a slightly different style as I tried to keep my brushstrokes very loose and expressive.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dreamy Day - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

This painting is very loosely based on some reference photos of Plum Island. I basically just let the paint flow and tried to create a simple and peaceful scene. A note about painting skies: if you look at the sky on a bright and sunny day, you'll notice that the color overhead is a very deep and rich blue. If you look towards the horizon, the blue becomes lighter and grayer. This also holds true for any object - colors are brighter and richer in the foreground but fade to a grayer (less saturated) color in the background.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Open Wide - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Apparently, inspiration comes at strange times and in strange places. I was having a tooth prepped for a crown, and looked up at my dentist, Dr. Martin, peering into my mouth and thought, "this would make a cool painting". After he finished, I asked him to pose so that I could get a few reference photos. He graciously put back on his mask, glasses, gloves etc. and peered into my camera. Like many of my paintings, I used pieces of several photos to design the composition. I liked his hand position in one photo and the angle of his head in another. I added the light in the background by referring to some photos I found on the internet.

On another note, I was flattered to receive 1st place in the Westford Regional Art Event 2009 in the Professional/Experienced - Oil/Acrylic category. My painting, "Morning" was picked from almost 50 works from some artists that I really respect and admire. I'm truly humbled to have received this honor. Below is a photo of my winning entry along with a photo of the show - check out the magnificent paper sculpture of a magnolia tree in the center of the room. The buildling was filled with almost 500 pieces of art!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weight Limit 3 Tons - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

I occasionally pass under this rusty, narrow railroad bridge. There are actually a lot of electrical and telephone wires that run across this roadway that I was initially going to include in the composition. In the end, I settled on a closer, more cropped view. On this winter day, the scene was rather dull and drab. So, using some artistic license, I added interest with shades of pink, blue and other variations of gray.