Monday, December 29, 2008

Late Night Movie

"Late Night Movie", 16x16"

I finally finished it! The last thing I did was add the figure and the image on the movie screen. This painting is sort of a self-portrait, as that's me in the chair.

I'd planned to put a figure in the painting from the start, and I realized it would be easier to use myself as a model. That meant going back to the same movie theatre where I'd taken the original photo, which was at the Warwick Showcase cinemas, and getting my husband to take the photo. Unfortunately there are many different theatres there so even after seeing several movies I was unable to find the right seating arrangement.

In the end I waited for the next big release, which turned out to be "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Keanu Reeves. I suffered for my art, literally, as it was a terrible movie, but I got my shot and, hey presto!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Before the Rush

"Before the Rush", 6x12"

I finished my latest creation "Before the Rush" on Friday. It's an inside view of one of my favorite restaurant's, Leo's, a little Italian place on Hope St in Bristol, RI. They do the best New England clam chowder. I wondered if it were wise to do a painting of an empty restaurant, but I couldn't resist the complimentary color palette. Besides, I thought the title hinted at the people to come.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I've been steadily working on my "Late Night Movie" in preparation for Ticket Please, which begins in January. It's been slow going with such short days. Artificial light can really exaggerate colors so I'm constantly having to check my painting in the morning to make sure it's not too dark.

As for current shows that I'm taking part in, there's the Under $200 Holiday Show at the Portsmouth Arts Guild which runs until Dec 23rd, and 18th Annual Les Petites Oeuvres (The Little Picture Show) at Spring Bull in Newport which opens Saturday Dec 6th from 5-7pm. I'll be dropping by the gallery to check out the competition.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Late Night Movie

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Yesterday it came from glancing at a postcard from Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, RI. They sent me a Call for Entries, listing the shows they're holding over the next few months, and one in particular called Ticket Please caught my eye.

Sometimes I'll create a painting specifically for a show, which is a fun way of getting the creative juices flowing and perhaps painting something you wouldn't normally paint. The theme for Ticket Please is the "creative expression of an event in which you purchase a ticket" so I decided on "going to the movies" as my subject matter. As it happens I'd actually taken photos of the inside of a cinema a few months ago, as strange as that may seem, so I had reference photos on hand. I'm a big fan of Edward Hopper and his painting "New York Movie", which inspired me to take the photos in the first place.

I did a sketch yesterday, and began painting today. Hopefully in the next week or two I'll have the finished result.

"New York Movie" 1939 - Edward Hopper

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We are just the monkeys...

"Golden Sunlight", 5x7"

I bought the new Keane album this week "Perfect Symmetry", which I think is fantastic. I loved their first two albums so it wasn't surprising that I'd take to this one too, but it's proving to be my favorite. While it still has some of the bittersweetness of "Under the Iron Sea", the tunes are more upbeat and toe-tapping.

I love buying new music and listening to it for the first time, then again, and again. I listened to the whole album while I painted my first picture of the week "Golden Sunlight". I always have music on when I paint but today put me in such a good mood that I produced it in record time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Miniature Portraits

I finally got back to painting yesterday. I was inspired by our new kitty Aggie, and decided to do portraits of our three cats based upon 18th and 19th century miniature portraits. At 2.4x2.8" inches it was a challenge but surprisingly the small scale enabled me to loosen my painting style. I really enjoyed myself.

"Agatha" - "George" - "Frankie", 2.4x2.8"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Recent Painting

"Under the Summer Sun," 10x10"

My last painting before adopting Aggie was "Under the Summer Sun", a beach scene from Pt Judith, RI in front of the restaurant George's of Galilee. In July I'd lunched with a friend and snapped a few pictures of beach-goers, hoping for an interesting shot. Beach umbrellas have become a favorite of mine so I was happy to find them lining the shore, adding color and pattern.

Back to Work!

I've had a hiatus from painting recently. My husband and I added a new member to the family, a 2 1/2 year old black and white kitty we've called Aggie (short for Agatha, after one of my favorite authors Agatha Christie). She's settling in now, but it took all my time and energy to see that she was comfortable and getting along with our other two kitties Frankie and George. She's such a joy though. At the Potter League, where we found her, she was a very quiet kitty, but at home she's playful and loving. She has the unusual habit of lying behind me on the pillow, wrapping her paws around my neck, and resting her head against mine, all the while purring loudly. It's adorable!

I'm keen as mustard to paint again, though. It's like riding a bicycle, but at the same time it can be hard to get back into the saddle, even after only a couple of weeks of painting abstinence. I haven't been totally inactive in the painting arena, however. This week I entered into the Juried Members' show at the Portsmouth Arts Guild and got in! Yay! Two pieces "Through the Fields" and "Around the Bend" were both accepted. The show opens this Friday, with a reception from 6-8pm, and runs until November 16th.

"Around the Bend" and "Through the Fields", both 8x8"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stormy weather

"Beach Gossip", 8x16"
It poured down today. Luckily the darkness lifted so I was able to paint with natural light and finish "Beach Gossip", the painting I started on Friday. It took only two days to complete this piece, which is typical for a painting this size. I like to work quickly, blocking in color and making any adjustments to the composition first, then finally adding detail and any finishing touches. With the days getting shorter I had to work the last few hours with the aid of my artist lamps, so I'll need to review the painting tomorrow when the light has improved.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another day, another painting...

I wasted no time today and started my next painting. It's still in its initial stages, which is the say it's looking a little rough, but it's a slow process.

I was at a beach in Barrington, RI when I saw these women sitting on the sand talking. Sometimes I'll come across a scene like this one and be lucky enough to capture it on film. It's not about copying the photo, but enhancing it and adding something of my own, so in the end it's quite different.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A painting day

I was finally able to do some painting this week. My new piece "Reflecting" has been sitting on the easel in my studio waiting to be worked on. It's frustrating when I want to paint but don't have the time.

It's only a small painting at 6x8". The scene is of the dining room at the Bed & Breakfast my friend used to own. It was a beautiful, stately place with a wonderful atmosphere, and on looking back at photographs my husband took I thought I'd try capture some of that ambiance.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Well, the long weekend is over, but my work has only just begun. I took photos most days looking for painting ideas that I hope to work on over the next few weeks. Yesterday I went to a free outdoor concert in Newport - Beatles cover band Abbey Rhode. A great place to people watch and look for material for people-scapes.

I went to Tiverton today, a favorite place of mine to photograph landscapes - "Through the Fields" and "Around the Bend" were painted from photos I took on Seapowet Ave. No matter how many times I visit the area I always discover something new. I find the best time of day is in the afternoon when the light is golden and the shadows are deep.

"Through the Fields", 8x8"

Friday, August 29, 2008


I was finally able to do some painting yesterday, which was my first and last painting session for the week. I've had such a busy time of it lately. I began a small painting I think I'm going to call "Reflecting", based on a photograph my husband took several years ago of a friend's Bed & Breakfast in New Zealand. It's an atmospheric interior that I may develop into a series of interior paintings, something I've wanted to do since painting "Bishop's 4th Street Diner", pictured below, in 2004.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting Organized

Beautiful weather today. It's starting to feel like Fall, which isn't all that bad. At least it's still pretty warm during the day.

Decided to reorganize my studio. I hung all my new paintings gallery style. I'd like the space to be more welcoming for potential customers, and I'm hoping the new arrangement will inspire me, which it has done. Unfortunately I was too tired to paint once I'd finished, but I'll be rearing to go tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Art Affair on the Fence

I had a great day on Saturday. The first ever Art Affair on the Fence at the First Congregational Church in Bristol, RI went rather well. The weather was fantastic, and we had a good crowd. I sold a few pieces and met some very nice people, including other artists at the show. It's always good to network.

I have a quiet spell to concentrate on other projects now. I'm hoping to work on a new series over the next couple of months, something I haven't had time for in the past. I'm looking forward to this new creative period.