Welcome to my 30 year painting retrospective. Whether you simply take a brief look at the paintings or you go a bit deeper and discover the deeper meaning some of them have for me by reading the descriptions I hope you'll enjoy your visit. (To enlarge paintings click on them.)

January 24, 2011

Today I thought I'd simply show you a few of my personal favorites...



"Crabapple Blossoms"   13" X 14"   Watercolor

I was standing under a canopy of the crabapple blossoms above on a bright, sunny day in my favorite local park.  And yes, believe it or not the sky really was that blue.  The fragrance from the blossoms was Heavenly under the tree and the sunlight filtering through the multitude of white blossoms engulfed me in a very special glowing light.  It was magical under there.  As anyone who has lived in the North knows, after a long winter springtime is a joyous event.  Being under this blossoming fruit tree was a very special way to celebrate it.   So, I decided to try to capture at least the blossom's beauty.  Luckily, I had my camera with me that day.  I know I wasn't able to capture everything I was feeling under there that day for the viewer, but selfishly, I must say that seeing it always brings it all back for me.  That's probably why I have this painting hanging where I can see it everyday first thing in the morning!








"Begonia Branches"   20" X 12"   Watercolor

I'll just bet anyone who is looking at the painting above is wondering why it would be one of my favorite paintings, and I wouldn't blame you in the least.  But, like many paintings it has a story.  Back in the late '80s I saw these sad begonia stems sitting in this dirty old vase every week, class after class in an art league I took workshops at.  This crazy thing would travel from room to room virtually going unnoticed by anyone.  There often wasn't even water in the vase from what I could see.  I guess some of the teachers used it in still life classes, although none of mine ever did.  After well over a year of seeing the way it survived against all odds and just wouldn't give up these begonia branches really began to intrigue me.  I'd have to laugh when I'd see this sad, sorry thing pop up yet again.  Sometimes it had more leaves, sometimes barely any, but it always kept living somehow. 

As time went on I, too, was trying to survive.  I'd lost my kidney function and was going through the fight of my life.  One of the medications I was taking made my hands shake, very much a handicap for an artist.  One day I was sitting in an art class and was having a difficult time keeping up with the others because of the problem.  Then I noticed the stoic begonia sitting on the window sill staring down at me.  I decided if there was anything I could sketch it would be those wiggly leaves!  So, rather than try to control my hand I put my pencil in it, let it shake all it wanted, and sketched away.  It actually was kind of fun to do and I thought I wound up really capturing the essence of those leaves.  The tricky part was trying to make a painting from my sketch with my shaking hands, but I did manage to accomplish it somehow.  It was the beginning of my learning to compensate for the problem with my hands that the medicine causes me to this day.  

It is another painting that hangs in my bedroom to this day, well over 20 years later, to remind me both of the tenacity it takes to survive under difficult circumstances and my experience that day in class, one that I would often repeat during my life, of making lemonade out of lemons.







"Heron At Dawn"   15" X 18"   Watercolor

The above painting was a painting I did when I first began painting seriously.  Both my mother-in-law and daughter liked it, so I wound up painting it twice.  






   
"New England Lighthouse"   19" X 22"   Watercolor

When I first began to paint I wanted to try to do all kinds of subjects and was always on the lookout for a picture to work from.  It hadn't yet occurred to me to take my own photographs and I was much too timid to paint from my own sketches!  My daughter and I were having lunch in a diner one day when I spotted this picture on our paper placemats.  She was a teenager at the time and just about wanted to disappear when I quickly grabbed mine, folded it up and stuck it in my pocketbook.  When I got home I began this fairly poor painting from the placemat.  As time went on I kept seeing this same lighthouse portrayed in paintings and photos everywhere.  It turns out it is a very famous one in Maine, I believe.  








"Lighthouse Collage"   22" X 15"

This is the same lighthouse revisited many years later in a class on rice paper collage that I took.  This place has me curious and I would like to see it in person.  Maybe I'll paint it one more time and get it right!








"Yellow Tulips"   24" X 9.5"   Watercolor

Again, the painting above was done many years ago.  My father loved flowers and he always gave me a few plants every Easter.  I looked forward to them, because he was not a particularly demonstrative man and it meant a lot to me that he did that.  I was a busy mother of three children the year I received these from him, but I managed to steal about half an hour one afternoon when they were at school to paint them.  I was painting them from life and only had time to quickly capture their essence.  I was surprisingly pleased with the painting when I was done.   My father is long gone now and I sold the painting, something I very much regret having done, because it reminds me so much of him.







"Space Shuttle for Aeronut"   14.5 X 21"  Watercolor

My husband loves everything to do with flight whether it's airplanes or space flight.  I did this many years ago especially for him as a Christmas gift so it was a lot of fun to paint.  I'm itching to take it out of it's frame now and do a lot more detail in the smoke.  







"Three Pears"   30" X 22"   Watercolor

I put together a few things from my kitchen one day and came up with the still life above.  The graphic style is a departure for me and I really enjoyed painting this way.




It can be difficult to do darks when using watercolor paint.  It requires many glazes (layers) of paint on top of each other which can be very tricky to accomplish without streaking.  I don't attempt it very often, but early on I did give it a try in the two paintings below:







"Still Life With Pears"   24 X 18"   Watercolor








"The Kitchen Table"   15" X 20"   Watercolor





TO VIEW A FEW MORE PAINTINGS PLEASE CLICK ON "OLDER POSTS" ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT OF THIS COLUMN.....





9 comments:

  1. I really like "Space Shuttle for Aeronut". It reminds me of my current illustration project for Bradbury's Martian Chronicles which involves a lot of space travel :) Would love to see a tutorial for something like this!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment!! I do have a couple of watercolor demos here on my blog (click under "demos" along the top bar to reach them), but they are flowers. Same principals apply, though.

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  2. Judi
    Some wonderful art here.

    Wonderful ATC's/ACEO's. Stunning. I know how hard it is to get that detail on the small pieces.

    Elaine

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  3. I found your blog while googling space shuttle art. :) I'm glad I'm here, I love your paintings. All the best, Gabi

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    1. Thanks, Gabi!! It was so kind of you to comment.

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  4. Beautiful, lovely work! I especially am drawn to "The Kitchen Table" - the heart and hub of my home. Thank you.

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  5. very enjoyable and varied paintings - I particularly liked the interlaced palm leaflets, but all are beautiful and your commentary adds the background that you sometimes leave out!

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    1. Thank you, Paul....if anyone knows about beauty it's YOU! I hope you're enjoying your little cabin on the cliff.

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Comments are always appreciated...