Saturday, December 25, 2010

"Roudenbush" - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas - sold

This painting is of the Roudenbush Community Center which sits in Westford Center. The building, built in 1897, has tremendous character with its complicated roof and tall steeple. I have fond memories of taking both my daughter and later my son to attend preschool classes here. At that time, Roudenbush was one of the few preschool options in town. Folks would line up in the early dawn hours to be the first line to sign up their child. I can remember meeting a friend at something like 5:30 a.m., bundled in winter clothes, equipped with lawn chairs, blankets, and a hot thermos of tea. As the crowd gathered, it usually turned into a fun party with folks sharing hot coffee and donuts while we watched the sunrise and waited for the doors to open.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Lincoln Street Late Afternoon" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I looked down Lincoln Street late one afternoon and saw the front of these buildings illuminated by the afternoon sun and had to capture it on canvas. I always carry my camera so I snapped a couple of reference photos.
While working along, I carefully painted in the flag not really thinking about where it was attached (and kind of assuming it was attached to the yellow house). I realized, much to my dismay, that the flag is actually attached to the pole (which I had no intention of including)! This is one of the hazards of painting from photos ... you simply see a flattened version of a scene and the connection/placement/distance, etc. between objects can get confusing. In the end, I decided that I really like the pole as it creates more depth. What do you think?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Boston Skyline" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

This is my second painting of the same reference photo of the Boston skyline that I took from a ferry in the Boston harbor about a year ago. I painted a larger version and enjoyed it so much that I decided to paint it again, a bit looser, in a smaller version.

This painting would definitely be classified as a “low key” painting meaning that it is mostly medium and dark values with very few light. Because of the storm that passed through, a low key painting helps create the ominous mood.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Town Hall" - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas - sold

This is a painting of Westford’s town hall. She recently received the most beautiful coat of grey-blue paint with an off-white trim. The building was previously all white and I didn’t realize how the darker paint color could make the architectural details stand out so beautifully. I just love the harmony of the colors in this painting -- it feels very happy to me.

I recently had a nice experience where someone found one of my paintings by using Yahoo’s image search. They were specifically looking for a painting of blueberries and came across my “Blueberry Blues.” She contacted me and was thrilled that it was still available. I just shipped it off to New York City to its new home...very cool!

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Golden Grasses" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - sold

I was attracted to this scene by the beautiful golden grasses which contrast so nicely with the deep blue/green ocean water. There was a gusty breeze and I was afraid that my easel would tip over if stood to paint (which I prefer). So, I decided to paint sitting down. After about 45 minutes of sitting on a cold, hard rock, I was more than ready to stand up, stretch my legs and finish the painting from a standing position. Considering that this completely changed my vantage point, it was a challenge to finish the painting as I had to keep crouching down. The good news was that the wind had died down somewhat and my easel never went flying.

For me, each painting is like a diary entry and brings me right back to that moment when I was creating it…especially paintings like this that are created on location (en plein air). This painting will always bring me back to that crisp fall day on the rocky coast of Maine.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"House Portrait" - 16 x 16 inches - oil on canvas - sold

I finished this commission several weeks ago but had to wait for the birthday boy (also known as ‘Pool Boy’) to get it. The best thing about this house is the beautifully landscaped backyard with an in-ground pool. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a few toasty summer afternoons floating around in it. Pool Boy works hard to keep it crystal clear.

Before I started painting, I took a pile of reference photos of the house at different angles and different lighting conditions. I narrowed the choices down to three and let the owner decide. As with many of my paintings, I started with a wash of pink underneath and let a bit of it peek through here and there. Apparently, Pool Boy was very happy with his birthday gift.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Late Day Apples" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - sold

I set these apples up by the window. I like the “slices of white” between the apples which create interesting shapes on the windowsill. I tried to capture the subtle shades of deep red to light pink as the apple is illuminated by the light.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Fall Bog" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas

I spent last Thursday with two college friends to celebrate my birthday. We wondered why we are still friends as we have absolutely nothing in common. We do make each other laugh and have a long history together so that must be the glue that bonds us. We had lunch at a charming country store and fortunately it was a beautiful day so they indulged me for a bit while I painted and they took a walk. All in all, it was great day with lots of laughs.

I painted quickly as I didn’t want to keep my buddies waiting too long. I first painted in the sky and the water below and then filled in the landscape moving from background to foreground. I tried not to fuss and to keep everything very loose.

This painting is available for $50.  You can purchase it at the Art on Main gallery, or, directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gather 'Round - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

The big onion looks like he’s trying to round up the 3 little ones hence the title, “Gather 'Round.” I bought these cute little red onions at the Farmers Market last week. I was getting quizzical looks from the vendor as I examined the onions carefully, turning them over, etc. I finally explained that I was more interested in painting them than eating them.

In my composition, I originally had the three onions across the top and thought the shadows would be interesting enough for the bottom half of the canvas. When I finished, I realized that it needed something else so I added the fourth onion. As always, I tried to vary the placement, the color and the shape of each onion for the strongest composition.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2011 Desk Calendar

I'm pleased to announce my second annual desk calendar for 2011! Each month features a different painting that I created in the past year. The calendar comes packaged in a CD-like case that opens to display each month:
These make great holiday gifts. If you live in the Westford, MA area, you can pick them up at Art on Main. Or, you can purchase them here...

...the cost is $20 plus $3 shipping.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Onion on Cloth Napkin" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas

I painted this by first covering my canvas with a light wash of burnt umber (a rich brown color). While the canvas was still damp, I began to paint and the brown color mixed with each color I added. When I finished, I realized that the cloth napkin was a bit too dark so after the painting was fairly dry, I added a wash of light yellow to several areas to lighten it up.

This painting has a bit of sentimental value as the cloth napkin belonged to my grandmother, Lillian. I’m just glad I didn’t get any paint on it!

This painting is available for $50. If you’re interested, contact me at

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Plums on Pink" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I just spent 3 days at a painting workshop with artist Carol Marine at the Parish Center for the Arts. Not only is she a great painter, but she is a great instructor (and a really nice person too!)

We did several different painting exercises throughout the workshop. For this painting, we were supposed to pick up a slightly different color from our palette after each brush stroke. I like this funky color combination of the deep purple plums, the pinkish cloth and the bits of green.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Groton Pumpkins" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I spotted this vista in Groton, MA when I was scouting for something interesting to paint. I loved the scrambled rows of bright orange pumpkins. This painting is a good lesson in perspective. To get the feeling of distance, I had to make the distant row of trees quite small – they are less than an inch high. You’ll also notice how the pumpkins get progressively larger from background to foreground.

It was a lovely summer day to paint outside for a couple hours. The experience would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for the little bug that crawled under my sandal strap and bit my foot. Oh well, that is just one of the hazards of plein air painting.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Bog Field" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

This landscape was painted a week or two ago at my favorite cranberry bog in Carlisle, MA. I used some artistic license to punch up the color of the purples and greens to add a bit more interest. Landscapes are really challenging as you have so much information in front of you and need to figure out what details to capture and what to simply leave out…a real balancing act for sure.

For those who live in the area, be sure to stop by Art on Main on Thursday, Sept. 2 from 5 – 8 p.m. We’re having our monthly “Wine and Nibbles” open house. Bob Frank, a wonderful watercolorist, is our featured guest artist for the month of September.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kennebunkport II - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I started this painting in Kennebunkport, ME while on vacation a few weeks ago. It was my second painting that day so I ran out of steam about halfway... the lure of the beach was too strong. So, while gallery sitting at Art on Main today, I finished up using a reference photo and some good, old-fashioned imagination.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Ocean Dip" - 16 x 16 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

This painting is based on a few photos I snapped while vacationing in Kennebunkport, Maine I was standing on an outcropping and had a perfect view of this yellow lab as he swam back and forth to retrieve a stick that his owner kept throwing for him.

To start, I coated the canvas with a wash of orange. I specifically chose orange since the painting was primarily blue. As complementary colors, those bits of orange really make the blue glow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Kennebunkport" - 6 x 6 - oil on canvas - SOLD

Last week I vacationed in Kennebunkport, Maine with my family. We enjoyed a few lazy days of hanging at the beach, reading, skipping stones, combing the beach for interesting rocks and sea glass, playing games, and fishing. I was able to get in a few hours of plein air painting in a shady spot overlooking this grassy field that leads to the beach. I’m quite pleased with the outcome and love how the initial wash of pink over the canvas still shines through and helps to unify the painting.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Shipley Circle" - 16 x 16 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I recently finished painting this house portrait of 8 Shipley Circle, Westford, MA. Apparently, the family who owns this house is moving to Bermuda for a couple years and their house is up for sale. A group of friends are giving this painting as a farewell gift to the family. I hope it brings back fond memories of their time living in Westford.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Boston Road Rooftops" - 12 x 12 - Oil on canvas - SOLD

This is the view that welcomes me as I get off the highway and head up Boston Road to the center of Westford. Whenever I see the Museum's cupola, I know I'm almost home.

I had a request to show a painting in progress so I took some pictures along the way.

First, I put a light wash of Alizarin Crimson over the canvas but lift off the color to leave the sky area a very light pint color. I then sketch in my guidelines using a wash of Yellow Ochre. I transfer the image from my reference photo using a grid method - I had divided my canvas into nine squares and you can see my guidelines below.

I usually work from back to front so I started by filling in the sky area and the green tree on the right. I modify the cupola's shape as I get into more detail and study this area.

Next, I start working on the reddish tree on the left. I'm careful to leave some open areas so that the trees don't become solid masses of color. (I had a painting instructor that said the birds need space to fly through).

I wasn't happy with the dome shape of the green tree so I add more leaves on either side to modify the shape. I then start working on the cupola.

I continue to work forward as I paint in the house on the left and a large bush in the foreground. I also lay in the roof of the house on the right.

At this point, the house in the foreground is all that is left. Below is the finished painting once again. I've lightened the left center panel of the cupola as I realized it was too dark. I also changed the shape of the reddish tree on the left to make it more pleasing. I continue to make minor modifications to some shapes and values. Finally, when I'm happy, I paint in my signature and put down my brush. Sometimes, it is hard to know when you are finished!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Pat's Gift" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I needed some serious motivation to clean my house so I invited a few friends over. (Oh, and I also thought it might be fun). In any case, my friend Pat arrived with these beautiful hydrangeas that she had cut from her yard. Since I don’t own a vase, we ended up putting them in a plastic container for holding scraps for the compost pile. Well, that wouldn’t have made a very nice painting so I found a clear plastic tube that held bungee cords. (I just love bungee cords). I had to cut it down a bit as it was too tall but now it makes a rather nice vase.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"J.V. Fletcher" - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I feel fortunate to live in a town with a nice library. I snapped a few photos one sunny Sunday afternoon and was inspired to paint this Westford landmark : the J.V. Fletcher library. I debated a long time about whether or not to include the parked car. I could have easily eliminated it but considering that there are almost always cars parked in front, I figured it was fitting to leave it in.

This Saturday, I'll be participating in the Strawberry n' Arts Festival on the Westford common as the Art on Main gallery is having a booth. If you live in the Westford area, be sure to stop by the festival. It is a great event with live music, many artisans, food vendors and, of course, Strawberry shortcake.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Long Sought for Pond" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

This is a painting of "Long Sought for Pond", a really dopey name if you ask me. I guess someone was looking for it for a very long time and finally found it. It is actually more of a lake than a pond (does anyone know the difference?) and is popular spot for swimming, fishing and boating. I stood on the banks and painted for a couple of delightful hours.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Blueberry Blues" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

Just before heading to Art on Main for my weekly shift at the gallery, I rummaged through my refrigerator for something to paint. The cupboard was pretty bare but I managed to find these blueberries. I set them up on a small white plate next to the window. Two of the blueberries still have a small stem so I flipped them over, stem-side up, to add a bit of interest. I guess it isn't quite blueberry season yet as these little guys didn't taste like much of anything.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Bug II" - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas

I enjoyed painting “Bug” so much that I decided to paint a 2nd version from a different angle. The composition on this one was tough. If I had included the entire car, there would have been a significant amount of “negative” space on the canvas – the space above and below the car. I played with different configurations and decided this was my favorite option - simply cut off the back end.

This painting is available for $50 at Art on Main or by contacting me directly at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Bug" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

Vintage VW bugs make me smile every time I see them. Growing up, my Aunt Rachel had a black VW bug. When I was about 7 or 8, my cousin Debbie drove me, my sisters and my cousin Shelley to an ice cream parlor in Manchester, CT that was famous for making huge ice cream sundaes with 10 or 12 scoops of ice cream. We sat around a small marble table with long spoons in hand and ate until we could eat no more. It was a long drive home for cousin Shelley who hung her head out the window to keep the car interior clean.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Berry Bright" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I set up my easel and started this painting at "Wine and Nibbles" - the monthly open house at Art on Main. My canvas was originally covered in a a wash of Cadmium Red which I allowed to peek through. Strawberries are a lot harder to paint that you'd think. At one point, Marie, the shop owner from next door, took a look at my canvas and said, "It looks like a shoe... you need to fix that." Damn that Marie. but she was right. I had painted a big red shoe. When the painting was finally finished, Marie gave her coveted "seal of approval."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Spring Creek" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

Last Saturday was a near perfect day for plein air painting. I set up my easel near the Courier Corporation in Westford where a creek runs along the entrance. The trees are budding and don't yet have strong color. I just enjoyed playing with the colors and interpreting the scene in front of me without getting too hung up on details.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Morning Light - First Parish" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

When dropping some books off at the library, I noticed the morning light shining on the First Parish Church and snapped a couple photos. As usual, I printed two copies of my reference photos: one in color and one in black & white. In the color photo, the shadow side of the building appeared to be almost exactly the same value as the sky. However, in my black & white photo, the building was actually a few shades darker. Having that black & white reference is very helpful as it is often difficult to determine the subtle value changes in a color reference.
For those who live in the Westford area, drop by Art on Main on Thursday, May 6 from 5 - 8 p.m. for our monthly "Wine and Nibbles". This month, in honor of spring, the theme is "blooms". It's a fun party with food, wine, and new art to check out. Marie's shop, Le Gourmet Jardin, will also be open.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hello Kitty - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas

This kitty, whose name is “Moo”, used to hide in my garden under the daylilies and hostas. He really has the most amazing green eyes. The painting is available for $150 … contact me if you’re interested …

The painting is actually for the next “Wine and Nibbles” at Art on Main on Thursday, May 6 from 5 – 8 p.m. The theme is “Blooms”…stop by and join the party.

One other item of note: My buddy, Sue Haley, is having a solo show at the Parish Center for the Arts called "France — A journey of the heart, soul and spirit". The opening reception is Friday, April 30 from 7 – 9:30 p.m. and the show runs through the month of May...don't miss it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Carlisle Cows - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I painted this scene in Carlisle, MA, the next town over from where I live. About half way through my painting session, I heard a distant drum beat…a slow, repetition of boom…boom…boom. Suddenly, the cows looked up, turned, and started trotting towards the barn. Apparently, that drum beat is the signal for the cows to come home. The whole experience made me smile :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Citgo - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

Whenever I'm in Boston, I always look for the Citgo sign which is located in the Back Bay area and overlooks Fenway Park. Some years back, Citgo was going to tear down their weather-beaten sign. However, they were met with tremendous resistance from Bostonians who have great affection for this landmark.
This painting is based on a photo that I snapped while caught in traffic on Storrow Drive. The red tail lights create a line that moves your eye into the lower right corner of the canvas. This balances nicely with the red Citgo sign in the upper left. To get the composition that I wanted, I used Photoshop to modify my reference photo and moved the sign (along with some buildings) further to the right.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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

I dream about days like this where the beach is warm and inviting, the sky is a clear, deep blue filled with puffy clouds that morph into interesting shapes as they float by.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Slices of Light - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

When looking for stuff to paint, I prefer to use natural light from a window instead of setting up a still life illuminated by a lamp. However, natural light changes quickly so you have very limited time to capture highlights and shadows before they change. As a result, I usually photograph my subject right away. I painted this during my gallery sitting time at Art on Main, so, before going to the gallery, I set up this arrangement at home, took a photograph, and then brought everything with me. Having the actual Clementine sections with me was extremely helpful in trying to capture the original feeling of the set up. They also became my snack at the end of the day :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Opportunity Knocks - 12 x 12 inches - Oil on canvas

This painting is dedicated to my Dad, Kenneth L. Miller, who passed away on February 17, 2010. He loved spaghetti :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ruby Red II - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I enjoyed the previous grapefruit painting so much that I decided to tackle the same subject from a slightly different angle. This time, instead of blue, I toned my canvas with a wash of red. The end result is quite different with a much softer and “warmer” glow. The spoon was a challenge from that angle and I’m pretty pleased with the end result.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ruby Red I - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

This is actually my 2nd attempt painting this set up. In my first try, I made the spoon too small. When I stood back, it seemed funky and out of proportion. That was actually a good reminder to periodically step back when I’m painting. It is amazing how I can be merrily painting along and things seem to be going well. Then , I'll cross the room to look from a distance and something will immediately jump out at me that is definitely out of kilter!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cupcake on Stripes - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I’ve painted cupcakes before and will probably paint them again. They are very cute and lovable (and usually taste damn good too!). In honor of Valentine’s Day, I picked a pink frosted beauty with red and white sprinkles. I wanted this painting to be fun, funky and festive so I used bright colors and just let the paints fly.
This painting is available for $50 and will hang at Art on Main. It can also be purchased directly by contacting me. 6.25% sales tax applies to MA residents. Shipping is $8.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Perfect Pair - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

I have Marie to thank for the title of this one. Marie's shop, Le Gourmet Jardin, is connected to Art on Main. I always bring my paints and use my gallery sitting time to work on a painting. Marie wandered down the hall and asked if I had already thought of a title. When I said no, she told me she had the perfect title and I agree!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Waiting for Spring - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny, winter day. I gathered up my painting stuff and headed out to find an interesting spot. I decided to head to Forge Pond and spotted this stream which leads down to the beach. I was very happy to sit in my car and paint although it was a little cramped having my canvas up against the steering wheel. I probably should have moved to the passenger seat but I was too lazy to move and just wanted to get the paints flowing. It felt really good to be painting "en plein air" once again.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Chaperone - 6 x 6 inches - Oil on canvas - SOLD

This painting is unusual in that I actually thought of the title before I started painting. I lined up these cherries on the windowsill. I put the two smaller ones touching with their stems crossed and the larger one “looking” over them. The title just seems like a natural fit! I tried to keep this painting very loose and expressive and not get bogged down with too many details.