Monday, December 30, 2013

presents, presence and a give-away

Christmas was a flurry of shopping, end of year events, stocking the kitchen, visiting, organizing, scheduling, meal planning, trips to the post office and running out of time.  In an effort to do everything I so often feel like I get to enjoy less.  So this year, I baked a few less cookies, we ate a few more leftovers instead of preparing elaborate meals ( I still overindulged), I wrapped a few less presents and tried to go on a few more walks.  I thought about being present with the days and tried to enjoy the quiet moments in between the hustle of the season.  

Today the sun is shining on fresh snow, the wind is kicking up and the temperature is rapidly dropping.  As I reflect on the passing of another year, I am trying to gain footing in the studio again, trying to get enough fresh air and exercise despite the arctic front, and trying to eat a little cleaner (at least for a week or two).  It is time to push the reset button on life for the New Year.

I put together a 2014 calendar as my gift to family members this year and I am giving one away in the next few days.  If you'd like a chance to  win one, please leave a comment on this blogpost and I will randomly draw a name on January 1st!  These are on satin finish paper, 5x7" with a clip for hanging.

Happiest of New Year to All!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

in the mix

faded colors of fall for the trio I am working on

The studio has been a quiet place for the past few days… but life has been busy, as it often is with a change of season.  I have at last been taking care of fall clean up in the yard, dug up the dahlias, moved soil into new beds for the spring, made my last pile of leaves and shored up the chicken run for winter.  I started knitting a sweater and even painted the bathroom. This weekend we did lots of driving to see some relatives and now we can get ready for the first of the winter holidays- the eating one.  Best of all I am so excited to have #1 home from college for a few days!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


 a new series underway and some pages from today

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

long weekend

holy trinity

dynamic duo

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

big and small

I think I'm done with this.  Its been a little bit like running around on a playground- having so much space to paint in and on.  I don't know if I will continue painting on this scale, but it was good to get more physical with my work.  Its been a while.

 Meanwhile, I am thinking about my next move, prepping new surfaces and filling pages in my journal.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

october: the end

I finally woke up to a frost on the ground this morning. It has been such an impossibly temperate fall I was actually a bit surprised how chilly I was walking the dogs.  But it is time.  The garden beds are just about laid to rest.  We are diligently managing our leaves-not. Our chickens are molting as fast as the trees.  The sun is noticeably lower in the sky and spends less time shining.  The late afternoon is when I catch it streaming into my studio now. 

I spent this week getting a little crafty (thank you mod-podge) for the hundreds and hundreds (we once counted over a thousand) of children who descend upon our street for trick or treating each year.  It is a safe few blocks of houses where the police barricade the traffic so folks can enjoy a sort of sugar fueled mardi-gras in October.  I never really liked Halloween, but this day becomes something of a community event which I feel lucky to be able to take part in.  Its why we live in a small town, know our neighbors and spread good cheer (and candy) throughout the land!


Monday, October 28, 2013

making art is not limited to paint and canvas

A lovely glimpse into a curated life via Lari Washburn.  
Visit The Sullivans here.

Happy Monday to All!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

bigger is bigger

Today I am listening to BIG ideas streaming here

 and still working on this big, 50x60, painting...
and its still a little hard to be indoors because every day here is just perfect fall Maine weather.

Friday, October 18, 2013

la vie en bleu

Today I listened to French music all afternoon in the studio and worked on this.

enjoy your weekend!

fabulous women

On this rainy Friday morning, I made an extra cup of coffee and watched this.  As I near 50 (gasp) this year, the video did nothing but make me smile and happily look toward my next half century.  I hope you can set aside some time this weekend and be inspired!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

field trip: CMCA/artist crush

Its been a while since I've been a tourist in my own town, but there is no shortage of beautiful art to see right in my own neighborhood.  Yesterday I made it over to the CMCA in Rockport to see the Hawk and Handsaw exhibit.  My favorite by far were the three oil paintings by Meg Chase, my latest artist crush.

I just can't stop looking at them, they are both landscape and completely abstract.  Often imagery from her family's farm fill the canvas- rows of diagonally planted fields tumble back through space.  While other images of riotous flower arrangements press up close to the viewer. The spare paint application does nothing but illuminate the intriguing color combinations and shifts on the picture plane.  See more of her work here, my snapshots do not do her work justice.

ps. Hawk and Handsaw is a journal of creative sustainability published out of Unity College, and the exhibit is co-curated by Ben Potter, professor of Art, and CMCA director Suzette McAvoy.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm falling for a landscape

As the leaves begin to fall and the branches of the trees are revealed to me, I'm feeling a little smitten this morning with Allison Gildersleeve's large scale paintings.  I love seeing the underlying structure of the painting peek through lush passages of foliage, much like I observe the skeletons of bark while out walking in the woods.  Coupled with a heady palette of riotous color, these intoxicating paintings absolutely sing out loud.

Allison Gildersleeve, The Day Needs Fixing, 2012, Oil and alkyd on canvas, 54″ × 60″.

I couldn't find many available images to share with you here, but please visit her web site to see more of her beautiful work!  And check out a studio visit video with her here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

fall beauty

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

together or apart?

Sometimes when I've been working for a while on a piece or pieces I like to take a photo of my progress to check in.  Am I done?  Is this any good?  Should I keep going?  More blue? green? violet? Its hard to say until I've looked for a while, and sometimes the distance of looking at the piece through the lens of a camera helps to answer those questions.  But for now...

each canvas 30x30" oil

Friday, September 13, 2013

"a wild incredible paradise"

 something for a rainy day:  a mysterious glimpse of an exquisite life

Thursday, August 29, 2013

back to school

these are the best the garden has to offer this time of year

I had a walk this morning in the brisk autumn air with my dear Ashley who is in town (!) A 'feels like fall' day, it is the first day back at the high school for the littler one, and the bigger one heads off to college on Sunday.  While I am incredibly proud of and excited for him, I am scrambling to think of ways to fill the void he will leave behind in our lives....and I've already been informed that I can't get more dogs.

So I have put together a few short studio workshops that I will hold in my own studio.  It is still quite tidy from my open studio held earlier this month, so I thought now would be a good time to try something new in my space!  

journal page

Painting in the Barn : Fall Studio Days

It’s back to school time and I am pleased to be offering a few studio workshop days in my own studio this fall. Join me in a small setting receive personal attention and lots of materials to experiment with. Group size is limited to four. Classes will be held either Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings. Sign up for one or sign up for all! As always, there is no experience necessary!

What you’ll get:
All materials needed for the day’s workshop
Ideas, inspiration, source materials, encouragement A home-made snack and tea

What you could bring if you want, but it’s not necessary:
A journal or notebook that you are working in, extra paper, questions

Gelatin printing: September 11th 7-9 or September 12th 10-noon 
Block Printing: September 18th 7-9 or September 19th 10-noon 
Tapes and Stencils: September 25th 7-9 or September 26th 10-noon 
Open Studio: October 2nd, 7-9 or October 3rd 10-noon

Call or email to reserve your space today! Bring a friend!, or 207-701-1245

Monday, August 26, 2013

the moon and a loon

early morning
quietly paddling up the lake
slipping through calm waters
the moon still hangs low in the sky
a loon calls from a cove
sounding beautiful and lonely

spotting a pair of large black wings 
flying against the tree line
we change our course 
and are gifted by a bald eagle on its perch
looking for breakfast
it is time for ours

we head back home
pam's pearl street peaches and yogurt wrapped in crepes
smith smokehouse bacon
coffee and the ny times
a perfect Sunday morning
in Maine

I hope you had a good weekend too

Thursday, August 22, 2013

a couple of things I have been reading

A few weeks ago at my open studio, a friend came by and gave me a book to read,  Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter, A life, by Patricia Albers.  It is a fat hardcover tome of a book and yesterday I set aside a few moments to sit down and begin.  I was so taken aback by the first paragraph of the introduction, I wanted share.  I don't think I have ever read such a beautiful and stirring account of paint on canvas.  Here it is from page 3:

"One rain-spitting February morning several years ago, I stood in a hallway at the Bibiotheque National Francois Mitterrand in Paris, frustrated by my efforts to locate a certain document.  The hallway had marble-smooth concrete walls, dim natural light, and a high ceiling.  For some reason I glanced up: above me hung a large, squarish oil painting tingling with a marvelous blue lavender, a blue lavender that washed over me as if, having never before seen-no, felt-blue lavender, I'd plunged into a bracing pool of it.  I sensed in the painting mingled sun and shade, meadow tangle, lurking dusk, yearning, and the touch of a human hand.  But most of all I was caught up in that tonic hydrangea color.  Breached by a loamy green black, it drifted upward, urged along by a burst of vivid yellow.  No color was block-solid:each felt airy, each sputtered with others.  And, like a river viewed through binoculars, the image was both tangible and otherworldly, stirring and still.  I felt as if I'd been whisked away from the Bibliotheque Nationale to a secular Sainte-Chappelle.  The radiant flicker of ecstasy hanging above me was Joan Mitchell's La Grande VallĂ©e V, and its ambush that day sealed my decision to write this book."

I take it as a good sign when the first few sentences of a book take hold.  I am so looking forward to reading during my last few days of this busy summer!

Secondly I came across this article yesterday from the Guardian.  Sort of a timely read given that Ms Mitchell's presence in the painting scene of the 50's, 60's and 70's was clearly eclipsed by her male counterparts.  I have to say I am not exactly certain that Bridget Riley is in fact Britain's greatest painter, but the fact that an accomplished female painter has entered the dialogue of the critics is a step in the right direction.


Monday, August 19, 2013

big skies

The vastness of the western sky is something we just don't encounter in New England.  I was a bit awestruck, and can't possibly do them justice, but I jotted down a few lines and brushstrokes while spending last week in Colorado.

Sunday, July 28, 2013



used to be this:

I like it so much better now, I can sleep at night ;)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

coming up

My neighbor Mike and I are holding open studios next month.  We are both lucky enough to have great workspaces on our properties. My sister in law, Andrea will be visiting from Rhode Island to sell her handmade belt buckles and accessories as well!  I am looking forward to opening my doors to folks and sharing my work on the first weekend in August!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I don't always feel this way...

...but today I really felt like I could make a painting.

oil + other on panel

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

on a roll

When my house is in complete disarray and the weeds have set up permanent residence in the garden, I know things are going well in the studio!  It also helps that school is out, the big kid is at work or play and can DRIVE himself places, and the little kid is happily tucked away at summer camp.  The dogs and I have settled into a routine of waking up way too early with the birds, having a quiet cup of coffee, going for our walk, having breakfast and then settling in to do a good days work.

details of a few square panels in progress

and trying out a new shape- in threes

Always there is the journal work.  My spring class was a lovely addition to my Friday mornings and I was sad to see it end.  Here are a few of my own recent pages, always in my favorite hand book.

I hope you are leaving your mark on something today!