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Why do I Paint 15 min Paintings?

img_3401Here I am standing next to the display of my portrait and paintings at the opening of the This is What Artists Look Like” Exhibit in Portsmouth ,New Hampshire .  It was a great big impressive party !  I tried to meet all the other artists but locating them in the crowd was daunting. Photo : Marcus Gale


I finished and showed the big wave painting, painted in the marshes and villages of Cape Ann Massachusetts, won an award for a 15 minute painting and shifted gears into painting the scenery of the autumn plein air season! I don’t know if you noticed but I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog. I haven’t had a speck of time to sit down and collect my thoughts till this week. I feel the crush of summer activity beginning to subside. Its not quiet and tranquil yet, but it is moving in that direction.

It was a gorgeous day painting in Cape Ann Plein Air 2016. Here I am set up painting in the 2 hour Quick Draw competition. I saw a spot on the harbor that was perfect for me. I set up and focused on painting a scene of light and dark patterns across the water from me.  It was a perfect morning. I am a fast painter so I finished my 8×16″ painting before the deadline. I looked at my watch and saw that I had a whole half hour of time left. It was then that I thought well why don’t I just paint another one – just for fun?  That’s exactly what i did. It was so much fun! I painted it in 15 min then headed over to my car and framed my 2 paintings on the hood of my car and delivered them to the museum. Photo: Marcus Gale

I’m transitioning into the palette and mood of the season. Its been a warm October and November (I’m not complaining!) so I haven’t even cleaned up all the gardens yet.  The leaves are almost off all the trees except for the oak trees which are a beautiful russet color right now. I’m really happy with the early sunsets as I can start painting nocturnes at 4:00 pm, as its dark by 5:00 pm and be heading home for dinner by 6pm. So much nicer to be packing up at 6pm rather than 10 pm.

This is the 15 min painting that I had so much fun painting! I really didn’t think too much while I was painting this. I grabbed a 6×8″ panel figuring I could cover that pretty easily in a short amount of time.  I set my timer for 15 min and the paint flew off my brushes.  (I didn’t clean any brushes while painting this I just used designated brushes and cleaned everything up afterwards.)  I didn’t know this painting had received any award till a day or two later when I saw a picture of the other winners on facebook with mention of someone with a name sort of close to mine who was missing from the awards ceremony.  (Ha very funny.) No I wasn’t there. I headed off to the next thing on my “to do” list after the morning paint out.  Photo: Marcus Gale


If you are interested in joining the class at the beginning of the next new session in January 2017 please contact me here. 

Class meets on Tuesdays 10am  – 1pm.
The 2017 session will be focused on drawing perspectives, developing design, finding your color “voice” and painting large landscapes from plein air studies.
Register for 6 week STUDIO CLASS here.



I will have small paintings from my haiku series and selected plein air landscapes available for purchase at unbelievable price points! If you are looking for paintings of the seacoast region for  that special someone you will find them here.
This will be a fun & wild pop up studio happening!
If you love tiny paintings, adventure, unusual locations and hot chocolate this event is for you.
If you would like to receive the date, location and time of this festive event please click here!
This event is by invitation only. Get your invite here ! 



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Tonight Just after Sunset

Evening Sky Study 1, 6x12 oil
Evening Sky Study, 6×12 oil

I went out back tonight just after sunset. The sky was covered with a thin veil of clouds after a pale blue violet pinkish sunset. The first stars were showing through. It’s early spring.  So early that when I was raking the leaves off the flower bed this afternoon I hit patches of ice next to the clusters of daffodils.

I went outdoors in the early gathering darkness to try to establish some normalcy in my life. My husband had a very close brush with death 20 days ago and we haven’t yet emerged from the vortex that event created. We are still in the aftermath of surviving a heavy blow. He is finding his way back to having his body function normally and healing the trauma of the surgery.  We are immersed in all the care giving, cooking, housekeeping, physical therapy, doctors visits, nurses visits, health monitoring and everything else that goes with the territory of surviving a close hit and finding oneself still alive to talk about it.

Sunset Study, 6x8 oil
Sunset Study, 6×8 oil

I went out to sit on the back steps to watch darkness fall on a spring evening. I wanted to feel a connection to the rhythm of the seasons, the time of the earth, the sounds of nature one hears as darkness falls, something bigger than my life. This is something that I used to do every evening when the weather was nice. I’ve been away and missed it for many days . I invited my husband to come out with me tonight to listen to the sounds of spring. We sat on the stairs in the dim light, the first stars glittering above our heads. A lone Canadian goose flew over the back field heading east, honking and honking.  A few minutes later a V of geese flew over honking and heading in the same direction. Then we heard a high clear call of a woodcock circling up in the air.  I can never see or find them. Its too dark.  But we can hear it. Over and over it repeats its song.

Sunset Clouds study, 6x8 oil
Sunset Clouds study, 6×8 oil

Its getting dark. The temperature is falling. There is no wind. The woodcock has moved farther away. I say “Its, too cold, there are no peepers yet”. Then right after I say the words we hear a murmur, then a distant song. We stop and listen closely. They are far away in the marsh down by Ogunquit Road. The song of those little, tiny harbingers of spring starts up, keeps building and is a steady hum filling in the distant silence of the evening.  I remember a past life that seems so long ago when I used to sit out here in the dark on chilly evenings with a hot cup of tea listening to this joyful sound of spring. And here it is once again.

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Just Us Chickens

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These chickens were having a good time running around in the warm sunshine finding bugs in the grass. Ah, there is nothing like the good life on a farm in Vermont. 
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Evening at Friendship Harbor

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By sunset many of the lobstermen were back home after a long day of hauling traps. This one skiff waited for it owner as the last bit of daylight lingered.

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Sky Water Dance

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Rolling green meadows rise up to meet thick stands of dark pine trees at Parsons Beach. At high tide the sunlit western sky is reflected in the water.
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Marsh Gold

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After the sun sets the marsh glows in a golden light. At Parsons Beach the tide was high and the pines were reflected in the golden water. 

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Marsh Reflections

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Miles of marshes stretch up the southern coast of Maine. All types of animals live here and thousands of birds use this region as a rest stop on their annual north and south migrations. 

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Beach Roses and Salt Hay

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The west side of Drakes Island is edged with acres of marshes. Here the land is protected from the wind off the Atlantic. Its quiet here and the sound of the surf is distant. Here beach roses, meadows and small pines flourish.

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Free Happy Chickens

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These chickens were very happy birds.  They ran up to their owner when she brought us out to see them like little puppy dogs, not chickens !  They then proceeded to run all over the lawn searching out bugs and other little things to eat.  They never stopped moving. It was a challenge to paint them as they ran around! 

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Summer Meadow

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Laudholm Farm is a lovely old home on acres of meadows and forest on the southern coast of Maine.  The house and barns sit high on a hill overlooking the marshes and the sea. I paint here in every season of the year.