Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Blueberry Muffins on Main" - SOLD

"Blueberry Muffins on Main" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas
My art is on display at Muffins on Main through the end of this month.  I was commissioned to create a painting with one of their mugs, trays, and muffins on top of one of their tables.  So, they were pretty specific in what they wanted.

As usual, I started by photographing the set up from multiple angles, different lighting, and different arrangements of the elements.  Even though I took 30-40 photos, I still ended up using Photoshop to move some items to my liking.  

At home, I recreated the set up in my studio as I much prefer to paint from a live set up instead of completely relying on photos.

There is a lot of brown/tan/orange color in this set up so I started by painting my canvas with a thin layer of bright, blue acrylic paint since blue is the complementary color of orange.  I allowed little bits of the blue to show through, primarily in the silver tray, to add a nice pop of color. 

This commission was a really nice exercise in color mixing.  You may notice the color of paper that lines the tray is more subdued, i.e. more gray, than the coffee or muffin color.  To get this effect, I added more blue to my mixture (of red and yellow).

Overall, I was really happy with how it all came together.  More importantly, the Muffin on Main folks were very happy too!  I don't have a photo yet but am told it is proudly displayed on their wall.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Jelly Jar" and other news....

"Jelly Jar' - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

My son is home from college and he finished the last of the strawberry jam.  The jar was sitting on the table and I just loved how the light illuminated the little bits of jam that were still stuck to the inside of the jar.  This was tricky to paint but I worked slowly and deliberately and just tried to make sure my values were correct.   Purchase info is below.

In other news…

I have a handful of 2017 Desk Calendars still available.  They’re on sale for $10 at either Muffins on Main, or, via  Get 'em while you can!

I’m really honored and thrilled to report that “Button Down” was accepted into the Concord Art Member’s Juried Show.   The opening reception is Thursday, Jan 12 from 6 – 8 p.m. and the show runs through February 12.  It is always a really nice show at a beautiful venue in a quaint town so for those who live locally, I highly recommend stopping by.

“Jelly Jar” is an 8 inch square painting presented in a wood floater frame.  It is available at Muffins on Main, or, via

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pottery Bowl with Lemons - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas

Pottery Bowl with Lemons - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - framed
Happy  New Year everyone!  I spent most of last week in bed with a nasty bug so the holidays were a bit of a blur.   I’m happy to start off 2017 feeling much better!

I have been invited to do a painting demonstration at the Leominster Art Association later this month.  They requested a still life so I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to paint.  I recently had a hankering to paint lemons (why?  not sure!)  so I paired them with this dark pottery bowl (made by my sister, Julie).

I chose a purple cloth because purple is the complementary color of yellow.  Also, the bowl is almost black but I see a lot of deep purple in the glaze.

As always, I started by photographing this set up from multiple angles and multiple arrangements.  At one point, I had lemons stacked inside the bowl.  In the end, I liked this composition the best.  It was very important to paint this from life as the reflections on the bowl are lost in the photograph as the color is too dark.

I started the painting by tackling the pottery bowl.  The base of the bowl reflects the purple cloth so I started with a dusty purple color.  I then added the lemon reflections and finally worked my way up to the rim.  Bowls, cups, plates, etc. can be tricky as it can be difficult to get them perfectly symmetrical.  I think I did a decent job on this one!  I finished with some bright highlights near the top of the bowl as it is quite shiny.

I painted the cloth next.  I first added the shadows to define the form and then the highlights opposite the shadows.  I painted the lemons once the cloth was in place and focused on the shadows first and finally the light side and the highlights.  

Considering I hadn’t painted for a while (between the holidays and then being sick), the whole painting came together pretty quickly so I was really pleased.  I’ll probably paint it once again shortly before my demo which is scheduled for Jan 17.

“Pottery Bowl with Lemons” is a 6 inch square painting framed in a wood floater frame (see additional photos below) and is available at Muffins on Main or directly from me at