Friday, December 9, 2011

Workshop Offerings in 2012

So far, here's the workshops I am teaching in 2012, these are at the East End Arts School in Riverhead NY.

February 11, 2012  Pastels - "Painting Skies with Pastel" 
May 12, 2012  Pastels - "Painting Spring Foliage with Pastels"

Also being offered at East End:

Sketch Club, Thursday Evenings from 7-8 March thru May. Specific dates will be posted on their website.

As I organize more, I will be posting them as well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AEDM - Day 30 Sketch Night

Here in the town of Patchogue, I organize sketch outings on Wednesday evenings.  We sketch locally between Sayville and Bellport, with Patchogue in the middle of the two.  The club has been sketching on Wednesdays for about two years now.  Tonight, we hung out at the local coffee shop, Roast Coffee and Tea Company.  I sketched some merchandise that was for sale....the soda bottles caught my eye, so I went from there.  I didn't "color" this sketch in, I left it as ink.  I thought about it, but this sketch already took some time and I was ready to call it a night.

This is the last post for Art Every Day Month, 2011.  Hope you enjoyed the posts.

Monday, November 28, 2011

AEDM - Day 28 - Cover

I finally decided what I was going to put on my cover of The Sketchbook Project 2012 of the places we traveled to this year was Pike's Peak, so here it is on the cover of my 2012 sketchbook (I know it's 2011 but it goes on tour next year).  I used this same reference photo earlier this month to do a night time painting and watercolor sketch of Pike's Peak.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AEDM - Day 22 - Another Ink Blot Creation

Last week I did a scene that started with a bunch of ink blots that I dropped on a page with a quill pen.

Today, I got the "bright" idea to use a medicine dropper.  However, learning from the errors of many previous issues with leaky pages and ink blots running amuck to other sketches...I battened down the hatches and made sure there was no destruction to completed pages this time.  I used masking tape and newsprint to secure the pages and prevent leaks.

When the pages were secure, I dropped the ink on the page (I forgot to photograph the drops) and then closed the book, when I opened it, this is the image the was created.  Now there is a big difference here from using the droplets from the quill pen, those drops were smaller and finer...these were thick, almost like lacquer.  I had to use a hair dryer to dry them.

OK, my first thought looking at this was the Disney Character, Pluto.   I didn't want to be that obvious so I looked at it some more and HARLEY popped into my head.  Harley is my Brother-in-law's dog.  I have a photo of Harley with Mack, but since this is a G rated site, I won't be showing that photo and what Mack was trying to do to Harley, who is twice the size the Mack.

The blots looked like a dog wearing a hat, so I used ink, gouache, white gel pens and acrylic to work up the image.  Note that I tried to use all the blots and the one that didn't fit in, I left untouched.  (I could make a ball out of it.)

Here is the finished image with the tape removed.  I really like playing with the ink blots.

Monday, November 21, 2011

AEDM - Day 21 - Journal Pages

I started this last night and finished it tonight....working on an exercise from a book I am reading...I am juggling several books with several topics right now...I feel like I am taking multiple college courses.

I am not happy with this sketchbook at all, unfortunately.  I like the size, the paper is so-so with wet media, though tolerable, but when anything leaks into the center of the book, it ruins previously completed pages...I spend more time fixing stuff than I ever did.  That little Chloe sketch got damaged... I am going to have to limit what I am doing with mixed media work.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

AEDM - Day 20 Another one on the easel

Getting a little tough taking photos with the IPhone for some reason.  This photo came out a little blurry.  This is another one I did from a reference photo.   Sometimes I adjust the photo to something I like better, this was one of them.  Like the one from yesterday, I'll leave it up on the easel and see if it needs any touching up in the daylight hours.  I like this commitment to doing something creative every day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

AEDM - Day 19 On the Easel

I wanted to get out and paint today but the timing didn't work out...I did manage to make a homemade card to send out as a thank you note...I tidied up the studio and purchased an inexpensive desk at the local antique co-op shop to get the business paperwork out of the studio and into the office.   When I finally made it into the studio, I decided to pull out one of my reference photos....I am still tweaking and fussing with this one.....but here's my creative effort for the day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

AEDM - DAY 18 Chloe

I have a tiny Chihuahua, Chloe, who is my constant studio companion.  Her younger half brother, Mack, likes to hang out with his human "daddy," while Chloe comes into my studio in the evenings to curl up in one of the two doggie beds I have in here to accommodate the two little dog children.  Her quiet little snores are white noise along with the TV (I have "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" playing in the background tonight).  This tiny little spunky little girl occasionally has some sinus issues, poor little thing.  She's not athletic at all, she's a dainty little creature with tiny little feet and a curly tail, who thinks that chasing squirrels in the backyard are beneath her.   Meanwhile, her robust truck of a brother races around the yard, waiting for the opportune time to send his sister flying across the backyard with a tackle that would put the Defense of the Eagles to shame.

AEDM - Day 17 - Ink Blots

I wanted to try something different tonight, I saw some folks trying ink blots and wanted to give it a try...this started as ink blots, believe it or not.  I threw india ink on the page and closed the book.  When I opened it, I saw some Renoir figures so I decided to go with's only two pages in my sketchbook, but it was a great creative exercise.  I covered some of the blots to make the image work better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AEDM - Day 16 Cupcake (with cranberries)

Yesterday it was cranberries in a colander, today it's a Pecan Pie Cupcake sketch at Queen City Cupcakes during our sketch outing.  Usually I don't do a pencil sketch first, but this time I did to make sure I got the roundness right.  I did the paper plate, but I hated it, so I used several washes of Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Gold Deep for the background...LOVE that color.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AEDM - Day 15 - Cranberries, before they became cranberry sauce

This evening, I wanted to cook my cranberry sauce for dinner tomorrow to save myself some time since tomorrow evening is Sketch Night.  This is my favorite time of year when all the good stuff like cranberries gets harvested....I love cranberries!   There's a recipe for cranberry sauce on the back of the bag of cranberries.  It's a very simple sauce to make.  I rinsed the cranberries out and put them in my tiny colander, so I could use the pot I put them in for the water and sugar.  They looked so pretty in the colander, that I had to sketch them.  But alas, my subject was short lived as I had to dump them in the boiling water and sugar.  They will go nicely with the chicken I'll be roasting tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

AEDM - DAY 14 - Boat

Ran out of time to do a pastel so I did a quick sketch in my sketchbook...and I am killing the spine on this sketchbook already.....a couple of the signatures look like they want to pop out of the binding.....I wonder if I can sneak some glue down to reinforce the binding on the back of the signatures?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

AEDM - Day 12 - Pastel experiment

This is the 2nd piece I worked on this evening, same concept with the same reference photo I took in Colorado, not looking to accurately portray the Northern Lights, just experimenting to see what I can do with the idea...tried a few things differently here.  First, I used a self prepped MultiMedia Artboard.  I prepped this 8x10 board with Golden's Pastel Ground.  I tried the same thing here as I did on the little watercolor.....I didn't use fancy tricks, just pastel straight up on the grounded board, blended with my fingers, brush and pipe insulation.

I like it but I see in this image a few things that I want to tweak, the foreground isn't exactly what I was trying to do.....and some other things need tweaking.  Even though it's an experiment, I want a quality result.  This one is still up on the board for more work.

Oh, and day 12 and 13 are out of order because I was under the weather yesterday so I took a break.

AEDM - Day 13 - Experimentation

I heard on the TV last week that the Northern Lights were seen farther South than is usual.  I took some photos back in May of Pike's Peak and I got to pondering how would one depict the Northern Lights in different mediums and I pondered different ways to handle the medium to portray this interesting effect in the Northern Sky.

I pulled up my Pike's Peak photos (OK, I was not trying to make sure I am doing this looking due North because I have no idea what direction I was facing when I took my photos), I just want to see if I can get the effect using my own reference photos....Here's one I did in my sketchbook with watercolor, gouache and white gel pen....The scanned image doesn't do this sketch justice, the Phthalo Blue for the night sky with Indigo painted wet into wet is stunning, if I do say so myself....It's very night time blue...I am having fun doing these.

Friday, November 11, 2011

AEDM - Day 11 Boats at Sunset

I never put anything on the first page of my Sketchbook Project book...I was going to write something in there, but I wanted to post something for Art Every Day Month, so I found a reference photo I took in the Spring around the time I received the book in the mail, so I did this quick sketch to open the book up with...I am not sure if I want to do anything on the cardboard ends yet.  I also have to think about whether to cover or not, I have an idea, but I am out of ink in the printer right now.  Stayed tuned...I want to mail this out before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

AEDM Day 10 - Last Rose of 2011

My husband rescued this rose from the garden before the frost seems it was the last one of 2011 for  our garden.  I was charmed by the fact that my hubby brought it in for me and set it in a vase.  It's a small fragile rose, tough in a way that it hung there and bloomed, even after we had a little snow.  I kept walking by it in my studio and tonight I decided the plucky little thing needed to be sketched....

This is also the last page for this year's Sketchbook Project for me!!  Yay!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AEDM- Day 9

Went out sketching with my sketch group and the sketch that I did looked ok....until I added color.  Oh well, this is why most folks don't see the inside of an artist's sketchbook....LOL.  These two pages may get a date with a bottle of gesso.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

AEDM - Day 8 - Nessie does NY

I did a painting this past Spring on a misty afternoon....the day started out with sparks of sun, but the closer you got to the water, the foggier it got.....I figure I would sketch that day by the water and add a tidbit of humor....what would happen if Nessie paid a visit to some of the U.S. waterways....heeheee....this had to be a quick one because Covert Affairs is on....

Monday, November 7, 2011

AEDM - DAY 7 - Dragons in the Morning Sun

I got this idea from a photo I took...... I haven't visited Pern in a while, so I took a trip back to my imagination and my memories from reading about Pern, using my reference photo with the sun coming up over the water, added some of my Pern friends....Notice the Red Star in the background....I used watercolors, gouache, hard pastels and even gel pens...the scanner definitely didn't do this one justice....I may have to do a full scale painting of this one.  What's nice about doing an imaginary place, no rules to follow except what you see in your head.

One thing is for sure, this is going to be one heck of a sketch book.....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 6 The More You FEAR the more Power it has over you

I am working on some exercises in the book "The Art Journal Workshop," by Traci Bunkers.     I have several books/magazines I am reading right now, trying to juggle several things at once.  I am giving pastels in the studio a break right now since my asthma appears to be flaring up, so I am working with less dustier media indoors right now (I do have a mask but it best not to aggravate my lungs any more than I have to...).  This was a good exercise because you had to write about what is holding you back in whatever goals you are trying to achieve, then you build the page over top....You'd have to look real close to see the writing underneath that essentially is the underpainting of this two page spread.

Oh, the spiders are on there because I am NOT a big fan of spiders....LOL.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 5

Here's the other side of the two page spread....I was thinking autumn and harvest time and I thought grapes and wine....and other things about the fall.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 4 Sinners and Saints

Many of my journal spreads are pre-prepped like the page on the right.  I did these two pages with three colors and scraped the color on with a used gift card.

This evening did not start out with thoughts of horses on the page, it just sort of happened....when I pulled out one of my old Philly Art Museum monthly brochures, I found the bronze sculpture with a blurb about saints and sinners....I cut it out and scrounged around for more items that fit with the base colors....I love the watercolor in the middle with the Native Americans, the close up has amazing brush strokes...

I added the two horses at the top to balance out the spread.....then I added my thoughts and notes....and little embellishments...this sketchbook is turning out to be quite the little coffee table book....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day3

Yay!  I took a plein air painting that I liked but needed lots of work, popped it up on the easel and tweaked it alot.  I am happy to say that this version is much better than what I started with....

Now, do I have time before the Season Premier of Burn Notice to do a sketchbook page before the show comes on at 10?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Art Every Day Month - Day 2 Reign of Fire

Well, some quick thinking and I popped together another sketchbook page for today's Creative Every Day Month.

The page was already prepped, all I had to do was embellish it.  I picked up a dried leaf I had and glued it on.  It had to dry a bit so I had time to scrounge around in my scrap box and found this dragon.  I love dragons so I glued him balance out the mythical dragon, I picked out the modern day "dragon," a bird.   I added some text and some other embellishments to finish out this page.

Art Every Day Project - Day 1

Omigosh!  I almost forgot to join this year....good thing I did a creative page yesterday in my sketchbook for the first day of Creative Every Day Month!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Dia de Muertos

On Sunday, I was working in my sketchbook on my Hallow's Eve page....I had a painting of a pumpkin patch up on my easel in it's beginning stages that I was going to finish for Halloween....

As I was fussing in my sketchbook....I got inspired by the photo I used as part of my used greens, siennas and golds to tint the spread....the dark greens made an eerie menacing sky...As I sketched and thought out the process, and idea popped into my head to use this color scheme to do a Halloween painting...and I even had the perfect photo of an abandoned farm house to use that I took while I was in Snow Hill.....

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I never got a chance to post this week's sketch from my Wednesday sketch outing....we went to the new Queen City Cupcake Shop.  This little shop has a lot going on including some interesting items to purchase that make this shop an interesting place to hang out and sketch.  I liked the sentiment of this sign so it was an easy choice for sketching.  We only had an hour, so in between chatting with the folks of Queen City Cupcakes, I managed to pop this one out.

Head on over, the place has a great atmosphere and some seriously amazing 16 year old daughter loves the whoopie pies.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My final part of my Paint Annapolis Report

The bottom painting is from day 3 which was Saturday, Dueling Brushes Day.  I woke up feeling under the weather and to make matters worse, it was cold and damp.  There is an Italian restaurant down by the dock that has this awesome balcony that I want to paint every time I am down there.  I started to sketch out the entire building, then scrapped it because what I liked was the balcony so I should paint what I like, right?

I enjoyed doing that painting so much I "forgot" about not feeling well.    But I was sooo cold.  I couldn't warm up after that.

Saturday night, John and I popped the paintings into frames, then we lined them up and with Steve Rum's assistance, we picked the two for the main gallery and the four extra paintings to sell.  It was tough, we kept going back and forth and I almost changed my mind at the last minute when we got there on Sunday.

The Exhibition was fun.  Lots of great paintings and great prize winners.  Overall, it was a totally amazing experience and I felt honored to be a part of it all, and best of all, I made a lot more friends.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Paint Annapolis Report Part 2

Friday morning had a little bit of sunrise to it so I went out by the water and painted the time I got there the sun was a little higher in the sky and the rays of the sun were coming down, almost like something out of the movie "The Ten Commandments.  When I finished, I was going to move to another location, when I looked to the right I saw this scene below

With all these little sailboats.  As I started the painting and getting my sky going, there were people coming out to get the what started to be a painting of a lot of little sailboats, turned out to be three by the time I got to them.  They were all that was left...I could have painted more in, but I thought the story would be more fun told in the way I painted it.

After these two paintings, I took a break and in the afternoon.  While my husband away golfing, I painted this sailboat.  I am not a boat painter, but I enjoyed the different challenges and had fun painting them.  That evening, when we got back to the Rums house, I also did a little night time study with sailboats on the water.  I'll leave that one to my private collection, LOL.  More on Annapolis to come...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Paint Annapolis Report

John and I arrived in Annapolis late Wednesday afternoon.   We had to stop at the Maryland Hall for the Arts to check in.  One of the first people we ran into was David Diaz, it's always good to see David and the banter that goes back and forth between my husband and I, and David. We always have some good laughs.  I've known David for a long time and he's always cheerful and funny.  David stamped my boards so they had the official mark of Paint Annapolis 2011.

They were serving wine and tidbits for us, the memorable wine of that afternoon is a wonderful red called The Culprit.  We tried to find that wine in between painting that weekend and had no luck but it's on our "grail" list of wines.

We scouted locations and met with our host family, Carol and Steve Rum, who my husband, for some reason, kept calling Steve "Jim."  (John has Star Trek on the brain.)  We had dinner with the Rums that evening and packed it in for the night.

Thursday, we ventured out and I was looking for a nice landscape to warm up the weekend with.  It's nice to use something that you know well and puts you on auto pilot for painting.    The painting above is that painting and is the one I eventually gave the Rums, thanking them for opening up their home to us.

After that nice warm up, I moved on to a little Flower Shop.  This one took a lot of time and I was exhausted and hungry by the time I was done.

After lunch and taking a break we moved on another landscape.  I was trying out this new pastel board and I used it to paint masts.   I am fascinated by the Annapolis skyline and all the sailboats.  So I felt a painting of mast were in order.  This painting is hard to see, I didn't get a chance to take a photo of it out of the frame.  (Top one below.)

The last painting of the day, my husband and I sat by the water to relax.  It was getting breezy and chilly but the sky and clouds looked awesome, I had to paint them.  This is my personal favorite of the day and it has a little story behind it...when I painted this one, it was near waterfront condos in Eastport and a woman was walking a Chihuahua.  Of course we fawned over it because we have two of our own.  A little while later, as I was painting, I heard the girl shout as the Chihuahua took off like a shot.  My husband went to help while I finished the painting.  They didn't find her so I packed up and went off to help.    It turns out that little Chihuahua bolted blocks away.  Someone found her, she almost got hit by a car.  We were looking around her neighborhood when someone told us where she was...the night ended with a happy ending, anyway, and here is that little painting....

More to come about my weekend in Annapolis.....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Sketchbook

Yesterday I posted that I completed another sketchbook.  This evening I started another one in a totally different format than before.  It's a small square book.  This photo isn't clear but this is the first page...

In the next day or so I will be uploading my Paint Annapolis paintings...

'Til then....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Today is a sad for those of us that love Apple.  Steve Jobs has passed on.  Tonight, I was out sketching in, of all places, the local cemetery.  This sketch isn't finished.  I still had more work to do but I lost the light and decided to call it a night.  It's a quirky sketch, the tree was very fascinating and was very appropriate for a cemetery... My husband was home for only a few minutes before he had to go out and I wanted to spend those last few minutes with him. I figured I'd finish it when I got home... At this point, it's more symbolic to leave this one unfinished.....

Today, I had read a passage in a book I was reading about a woman who wrote a few pages in her sketchbook after her husband passed away.  I sketched in a cemetery...and an or so later, the news of Steve Jobs became public.

Facebook is flooded with folks and their musings about this genius of a man.  He never let anything deter him from his dreams, he just picked up his boot straps and got moving, even when the chips seemed down.  I always admired him.

I listened to his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech.   He talks about our journey toward death.  Upon getting up in the morning, if you ask yourself if this was the last day of your life, is this how you would want to live it and you if say "No," it's time to change that.

 It's never too late to live your dream.   Stay hungry, stay foolish, my friends.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Summer's over and some sketchbook pages

Sorry folks for the dry spell.  Family events, the day job, painting, sketching...I have been trying to cram a lot in before the days got a lot shorter.  I finally finished a painting that I have been working on since June. As soon as I get some good photos, I will be posting those.  I've been trying to beef up my studio supplies to be ready for events such as Paint Annapolis, that I will be attending the end of this month as one of the juried artists.  Finally catching up on my reading, finished two great art books, Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima" and Bill Creevy's pastel book.

Since I've last posted....we've had an earthquake and a hurricane; the earthquake was just a shake, rattle and roll...minor in comparison to the two days of rain and high winds that we had to endure until Irene moved on, but we survived that with surprisingly minor damage.  Some folks around us weren't so lucky.

My Sketchbook Project sketchbook is almost full.....I posted some of those above.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

This weekend's paintings....

Sunset on the Patchogue Bay
Southampton Boat house 

 These are the paintings I worked on this was a nice cool morning when I did the boat house and the sunrise....In order to do the little island in the bay, we had to purchase a permit to be able to park to paint!!!
A little island, Shinnecock Bay

Sunrise on Shinnecock Inlet

Monday, July 25, 2011

How sad things are today

Today I found out that the platform where I painted this little study is being dismantled because someone complained about it's existence without first getting all the facts.  This platform was a place of art, meditation and sharing the company of others, all the while enjoying nature.   It was a happy place, a place to enjoy the salt marsh and it's inhabitants.

I remember this day that I painted this very well.   This was a time when I was regaining my freedom and sense of self back from years of a bad and unhappy marriage.  I dedicate this painting to the memory of that platform, the joy, peace and contentment it gave it's builder, and all the friends and family that he shared it with.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Recent Paintings

During my stay in Cape May, I completed quite a few paintings and I have just one sitting on the easel in my studio that needs some extra tweaking.

Here are two photos that were taken with my IPhone with the paintings on the easel as I was painting on location.  The studio photos are on my website along with the other paintings at

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