Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Union Square, NYC Sketch

"Union Square"  Mixed Media  16x20"  $350  Click to Buy

I have so many sketches - mostly figures, lots of cityscapes, layover at the airport sketches, etc.  It can be interesting use them as starting point for a painting.
This sketch/painting was from Union Square, NYC, just across from the subway station on Broadway, looking West. I sat on the sidewalk curb and sketched using vine charcoal on an 18x24 pad. The buildings are mostly red brick but the atmosphere was much more colorful, louder, and everything was so in my face -- busses, people, signage etc. I didn't want to work from a photo - that wouldn't have captured the excitement. The zany energy was the real subject here!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Playing with Color Notes

"Jazzy Nude" Acrylic on paper
In early December I went to Florida to attend a 5 day conference sponsored by Golden Paints. The event included presentations by my colleagues on topics such as internet marketing, how to plan travel workshops, intuitive painting techniques, mixed media and collage, and much more. I learned so much my head is exploding.

One of my favorite workshops had us start out in an abstract, spontaneous manner, using a variety of mark making dry and wet materials, and gradually rein in the painting. Here is one of my paintings using that technique. The reference I used was a traditional figure painting I did back in the '90s, painted very realistically. I started out with a quick sketch and explored from there. It's an interesting approach that lends itself to abstraction, intuition and imagination ... a very enjoyable process!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Pepper Fiesta

"Pepper Fiesta" Acrylic, 10x10"
I found the feather duster and have officially dusted off my poor, neglected blog in the hopes that I can start posting again. Life has been busy with traveling workshops, tradeshows and more. My latest adventure was Art Basel, where I showed at the Projects Gallery in Miami, while also attending a 5 day Golden Paints Conference where I learned exciting new painting processes and techniques. Upon return, I had several "past due" deadlines waiting for me, including an illustration for the front cover of a new art product that will be sold in stores soon. My client requested that this new product info stay confidential until it is formally announced. Till then, keep an eye out for this painting, in an art store near you!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Apples and Cherries

"Opposites Attract"  8x8"  Acrylic  SOLD
I finally got my still life stand and lights functioning in the new studio. It felt great to be back at the easel, working from life, with all my creature comforts nearby. The picture below shows my acrylic corner - and on the other side of the room are my oils and mixed-media work areas. If I get stuck on one project i just move a few feet to the next. Love it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nyack Stroll

Nyack Stroll  12x12"  Acrylic on Canvas SOLD

Greece was great! Now I'm back, home sweet home - but not for long. Heading to Carmel, CA to teach a 5 day workshop Oct. 19 - 23. Here's the info - come join us. Learn to  "Loosen Up and Get Painterly!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cheers to Dionysus

"Merlot"  8x10" acrylic  Buy Info
As of now, I'm Greek-Isle bound. (Well not exactly, I'm still at JFK). I read an interesting fact today: mythically speaking the island of Skopelos, where I'll be teaching,  is strongly linked to Dionysus, the Greek god of Wine. I consider this a very good omen.  I don't care if the wine is good or bad I'm just glad to be going!

YAH-sas  (Hello/goodbye in Greek)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Amy's Barn

"Amy's Barn"  10x10"  Acrylic  Buy Info
I'm having some fun playing with abstracting my subject and taking a lot of liberty with color. It's a very freeing experience!  (Original Photo by Amy Shawley)

Friday, August 28, 2015

"On the cover of the..."

"Zig Zag Thru Midtown 2"  14x14"   Buy Info

Well its not the cover of the Rolling Stone, but it's a cover! One of my paintings is featured on the front of City Magazine this season. I like the way the art director coordinated the masthead and text with the colors in the painting.
A nice result of this art usage is that the day after it hit newsstands I was commissioned to do a 60"x60" painting of a panoramic view from a high-rise NYC apartment. This view encompasses all of Long Island City to the east, the UN building in front, Lower east side/FDR, Williamsburg Bridge in the far background all the way to the Empire State building on the West.  Its a total horozontal format that I will be turning into a perfect square. Unfortunately there is an obnoxious Trump building on the far right (naturally). But I'm not concerned, it will be edited out of existence. Artistic license... or maybe artistic revenge...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Girls

Phyllis and Esther  Acrylic 10x10"
Meet my girls - Polish Chickens. They are amazingly personable and quite funny. I was watching them outside my window the other day and decided to grab my paints and paint them - finally! There is a squash plant that is overtaking their coop.  See the series of pictures I took in sequence - they seem to be reacting to my husband AND to each other.  Is that cute or what?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Greek Courtyard 2

"Greek Courtyard II"  Acrylic 8x10"  $295 Buy Now
Same reference (below), another day, another interpretation. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Greek Courtyard

"Greek Courtyard"  8x10" Acrylic $295 Buy Now
One of the things I like to do is take a scene and 'make it my own' - by simplifying the detail, playing with with warm and cool colors, simplifying values, even abstracting it a bit. It's a fun exercise which I will be giving in my upcoming workshop - not that I am expecting the scenes to need any help! Below is the actual reference.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Great Views

"Last Room"  8x10" Acrylic
If your passport is current and you have a sudden urge to travel to the Greek Isles for a painting workshop there's still time - and one room left. Click here for the scoop. The views are stunning. Speaking of nice views, here is another, taken from my studio window today. The owners of the barn next door bought a little pony, cute or what?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Green Lakes State Park

"Green Lakes Park"  9x12  Acrylic  More Info
Green Lakes Park, just outside of Syracuse, NY is perhaps my favorite place in the world. It is a magical place to take long walk, along beautiful trails that seem to go on forever. There are two lakes there, that are the crowing jewel of the park. These lakes are a stunning turquoise caribbean blue-green. I have never attempted to paint them because I feel I could never capture the beauty in paint. Here is a scene from one of the winding roads.

I'm leaving tomorrow for New Hampshire, to teach a 4 day plein air workshop. We will paint the lush scenery and grounds surrounding the Gibson House B&B, I'm looking forward to it. Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ray and Margaret's Backyard

"Ray's and Margaret's Backyard"  Acrylic 10x10"  SOLD

I'm gearing up for my plein air workshop in New Hampshire, and decided to paint one of the views from my studio window. I didn't pick it because it inspired me, I actually picked it because it didn't inspire me, so that made it more challenging. (photo below) I wasn't sure beforehand what the focal point was going to be or what I was going to play up. But I eventually figured out a direction to go in and like the way it turned out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Memorial Day on the Jersey Shore

"Jersey Shore"  Acrylic  (SOLD)
 Finally summer is here! Don't you feel like packing your (beach) bag and heading for the shore?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Painting Demo and Student Work

"Yellow Tulips"  Demo  8x8"  Acrylic  (SOLD)
Here is my painting demo from Day 2 of the workshop. I always time the demos, because the name of the workshop is "how to paint fast, loose and bold", so I have to be aware of living up to the title. It took 23 minutes from start to finish.
Below is a painting from one the so-called "beginner" students. I have included the still life reference so you can see how she interpreted it. Is this painting cool or what? Love the stylization and color translation.

Monday, May 25, 2015


"Blue Cup" Demo  8x10" Acrylic (SOLD)

"Orange Slices" Demo  8x8"  Acrylic (SOLD)

One of the best things about teaching workshops is the mutual sharing. I share what I know and in return my students share their interpretations of what I am teaching.  I am often most inspired by the so-called "beginners" who interpret the assignments and exercises in such fresh and unexpected ways.

I just returned from teaching a 5 day workshop at Greenville Arms, where I had the pleasure of working with a fabulous group of talented, inspiring, inspired artists. I learned at least as much from them as they (hopefully) learned from me.  We had a great time. They teased me about how I don't blog anymore, so I will try to remedy that.

Above are photos of Day 1's Demos:  The goal was to show how to paint quickly using big brushes (2"), demonstrating my process. Each was completed in less than 25 minutes.

On Day 5, we started out the day doing an exercise where we all worked from the same still life.  The intention was to incorporate the fundamentals that we worked on the previous 4 days: simplified values, value to color translations, brushwork, speed. I gave them verbal instructions, step by step, mostly what value to use, not so much what color to use.   I couldn't see what they were painting and many of them couldn't see what I was painting. What a surprise when I turned around and saw their paintings... WOW!! I wanted a group photo with all these amazing paintings in one shot, here it is, below.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Day at the Beach

"Beach Scene"  Acrylic  11x14
I've been painting beach scenes lately... that must mean I'm getting ready for winter to be over. I'm also getting ready to teach my "Bending Reality" color schemes workshop in North Carolina. You can see from the photo below, I bent the colors and composition quite a bit.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

New York City Watertowers

Harlem Watertowers  Acrylic, 14x18"   SOLD
The water towers of New York are such a city icon, I find them an irresistible subject to play with. Lately I've been teaching and learning some cool new techniques for abstraction, and really enjoying it.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rooster Painting Demonstrations

"Rooster 1"  Acrylic, 12x12"  $250  Click to Buy
"Rooster 2"  Acrylic, 12x12"  $250  Click to Buy

I was invited to do a painting demonstration on Friday night at the National Arts League in New York. The demo was to be from 8-10 pm.  I knew in advance this may be a problem, so I came prepared.  The first demo was finished in about 20 minutes.  I brought out my second canvas and jumped into the next painting, done in about 1/2 hour. Since I teach "how to paint fast, loose and bold" I figured it's a good idea to practice what I preach. There was plenty of time left over for coffee and cookies, Q and A, general chit chat about current museum shows, etc.
The demo was started with a 2 " flat brush and ended with a liner, to put the small highlights on the rooster's red "crown".  Below are some photos taken by Suzie Alvey, which made me realize I have a habit of sticking out my tongue while I paint. I guess there are worse habits, right?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crossing First Ave.

"Crossing First Ave." NYC  Acrylic 16x22"  $350  Click to Buy

Here is another Tetrad color scheme (four colors), Purple, Red, Blue and Yellow. It started out as a complimentary color scheme but then I decided it needed more color pizazz! Love this guy crossing the street - I actually saw him walking in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and decided that one day I would stick him in a painting. Well here he is, crossing First ave. (even tho he was really walking down 5th ave.) Artistic license, love that too.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Upper West Side Corner  15x15",  Acrylic  $300  Click To Buy
I painted this today as practice for an upcoming workshop I'll be teaching late April, called "Bending Reality" about working with color schemes and color strategies. (I haven't posted the workshop yet, but will do so soon.) For some reason, I've always been intrigued with using chosen colors, when I'm not working with hues I actually see.
This is a "Tetrad" color scheme (4 colors) - purple, blue, yellow and red. I worked from a teeny tiny b/w photo taken years ago. I think the painting has the feeling of the scene - and thats what I was after.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Jazz Musicians

JazzJam  12x16" Acrylic  $300  Click to Buy
I've been painting a lot, but posting not. Sometimes I like to paint the same subject more than once, and try something different each time. I have already painted each of these guys separately, (see my last two posts) but now they are jamming together. I think they make a nice duo!

I will be teaching "Fast, Loose and Bold Painting" on the stunning island of Skopelos in Greece, from September 2 - 13.  If you want to join me, enroll by January 30 and and you'll save $150! Click here for more information.