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New Painting Class Starting January 19th.

26L WALK IN THE WOODSI’m offering a new painting class beginning on January 19th. This is a return to my roots after a few years of focusing solely on painting. The new year feels like a good time to start teaching again and sharing what I’ve learned and discovered.

I love both teaching and taking classes and workshops. I gain so much from exposure to another artist’s thoughts and from observing their painting process. It helps me gain a new perspective on my work and on my approach to painting. These experiences enable me to see my work with “fresh eyes” and to understand what I can do to improve my paintings.  I’m offering classes so others can benefit from my experience in the same way I have from my instructors.

The first 6 week session of the January class focuses on building your confidence with techniques and painting skills. Each participant will receive personal guidance in their development.  For a detailed description of the class go here.  If you have any questions please email me.



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Warm Lights on a Cool Night

11 NOCTURNE 6As night moved in the warm lights in the lakeside cottage windows glowed in the growing darkness. The moon grew brighter and brighter as the sky turned a deep blue.  It was quiet. The temperature started to drop and the cool night air made me reach for a sweater while a slight breeze moved the surface of the water in the cove.

Quiet Night, 6×12, oil. Available @ “A Pictures Worth” Gallery, Exeter, NH.

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Vermont Farms, Snow and Mountains

 It was a fine December day when we drove from the seacoast up into the hills of Vermont to deliver paintings to Galleria Fine Arte in Stowe.
An early morning storm was clearing out. 

Fresh snow covered the landscape…

…the higher the altitude, the deeper the snow.

We arrived at the gallery shortly before sunset.

Giancarlo and Maria helped Marcus and I bring the paintings into the gallery. They hung the paintings so fast that by the time I came in from sorting out my car they were already on the walls! 

We reviewed my videos and set up the laptop for easy viewing by the collectors.

The gallery is a cluster of intimate rooms. It has a wonderful feeling to it. 

Giancarlo and Maria are gracious, warm and friendly.  Did I mention they are Italian?  

You might enjoy espresso and biscotti as part of the viewing experience…

…from cozy chairs with great art all around you. 

The a gallery is on one of the most scenic thoroughfares in Vermont.

Stowe is in a picturesque valley in between the Green Mountains and the Worcester Range.  It is close to Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont.

All across the valley you can find many old farms with great barns.

This area is in the snow belt.  It snows here even when the sun is out 30 miles away.

The mountain ranges hold the clouds on their peaks. When a snow squall moves in you can no longer see the peaks beyond the nearby trees.

The light and color on the fields reminds me of paintings by Russian painters. They would be quite at home in northern Vermont!

Johnson is a neighboring town to the north of Stowe in the Lamoille River Valley.

I love this place !  The old farms are my favorite.  I used to live nearby in Burlington and visited often. 

The Bryan Memorial Gallery in the town of Jeffersonville is a special place. On exhibit were a great collection of Vermont paintings.

Jeffersonville is on the west side of Mount Mansfield.  Smugglers Notch is a gap on route 108 through the Green Mountain range. 

The road is closed from November to May because snow and ice make it too dangerous to drive across.

There are a thousand paintings waiting to be painted near Jeffersonville.  The landscape is dramatic and it has a distinctive character.

It is crisscrossed with narrow dirt roads.  It was on these roads that I got my expert driving experience to navigate single lanes in rural Scotland when I visited there. 

It was almost time for the opening !

Lights twinkled at the gallery. 

The Stowe Community Church tower was lit up as well. 

Giancarlo arrived to light tall candles in glass boxes along the walk way.

The guests started arriving and the party began !

We were a happy trio after long weeks of preparation.
The show stays up until January 22nd. Please stop by  Galleria Fine Arte if you are in Stowe, Vermont.
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From the shores of Ossipee Lake in southern New Hampshire you can hear the loons calling from across the water.
It is a beautiful haunting sound, one I don’t often hear living here on the seacoast. 
5:45 PM…. Ossipee Lake, Study, 8×10 oil

I hitched a ride up to Ossipee Lake with my husband who was performing a music concert at a private beach on the lake. Last year I went with him to this same location to paint. 
6:45 PM…Storm Clearing Ossipee, Study, 8×10 oil
It was one of those perfect late summer days. Warm and sunny with a slight breeze on the water.  
Scattered thunderstorms were predicted for the White Mountains of New Hampshire and along the seacoast of Maine. 

As soon as we arrived I unloaded my painting gear and set it on a picnic table in a stand of pines near the water’s edge while I walked around looking for a place to set up . 
Suddenly a gray mass of low clouds moved rapidly across the lake from the west.  It was a column of pouring rain.  
The sun was shinning where I was standing.  Several large rain drops fell for a few seconds.   Everyone on the beach stopped and stared as this bright double rainbow formed a short distance away.
The storm cleared out in a few minutes.  The sun lit up the departing clouds. 

I set up my easel and sketched in my first design.  This evening I had a plan to paint a series of paintings as the sun set and darkness descended on the lake. 
Planning was required for this. I set up in a location where I had a variety of scenes to paint. 

I premixed some of my colors so I could paint really fast, changing colors slightly as I went. I knew I would have enough daylight to finish two studies easily.

The sun began to drop as I was working on my second study. 

The light and colors were beautiful! 

As the sun set behind the White Mountains I made sure I had all my color groups in certain spots on my palette.  
As dusk arrived the lake became very quiet. The wind stopped and the mosquitoes attacked. I painted faster. 

A big camp fire was lighting up the beach. People gathered around and began to sing songs. The music drifted across the water. I could still see the difference between the colors on my palette…but they were beginning to look muted.  
7:45 PM….Camp Songs Study, 6×8 oil
The lavender sky reflected in the water. Lights came on in cottages across the lake. I took out my flash light and put it in my apron pocket. It would be needed soon. Now it was so dark I was almost painting by intuition. I knew where the colors were on my palette.  I could see the values of the paints and by shinning a flash light on my palette every few minutes I could make sure the colors I choose were correct.
8:15 PM… Lavender Evening Study, 6×8 oil
At 8:45 PM it was dark. All the colors I was using looked like gray values. I painted as if I was making a value painting of many grays. I checked my batch of mixed colors with my flash light every few minutes to make sure I was picking up the right color. A voice behind me in the dark asked “What are you doing? Painting?”  It was so dark he couldn’t see the painting till I turned on the flash light.  I put in my finishing strokes and called it a night. By then the stars were twinkling in the sky.
Summer Lake Night Study, 6×8  oil

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Ocean Breezes at Wolfe’s Neck Farm

The morning air was fresh and cool as we headed up the coast to Wolfe’s Neck Farm. This place is gorgeous.It is on a penninsula east of Freeport, Me.
I’m one of eight painters participating in a plein air event at the farm for ten days in June. There is a multitude of subject matter to choose from. I could paint here for a week and not run out of great views .
This is an old working farm. A little blue tractor was parked in the driveway when we arrived.

Across the road a pasture full of buttercups was the home of a small herd of Belted Galloways.

Down the road a bit the open view of the bay with islands sprinkled across it was spectacular !

On the opposite side of the road was a view of a small tidal river,open meadows, woods and farm houses on the hills in the distance.

There was so much to choose from and so little time. I set up and started painting a view of the bay.  I liked the feeling of the huge expanse of water and sky.

The tide was coming in fast. Marcus set out to explore the edge of a cove.
It was so quiet. No one was around. We were surrounded by fields, woods and water. It was  hard to believe how close we were to Freeport the shopping mecca and the headquarters of L.L. Bean. 

I blocked in my design choosing to paint the tide half way in.

The air was filled with the songs of birds that filled the meadows and trees. 

The sun was moving high overhead in the sky toward noon. I had to keep moving my easel so the panel and my palette were in the shade. The light was really bright.  
Marcus returned from his hike and settled into a comfortable chair to do a drawing of the dirt road and high, hilly meadows on either side. 
I kept developing the painting, adding more color notes.

The light and shadows on the trees and rocks along the edge of the cove was really nice before noon.

Shortly after noon we were suddenly surrounded by visitors. My quiet spot was a hub of bustling activity.  A small group drove by quietly and slowly to view my painting…

 A grandfather out for a walk on the beach with his little grandson stopped to chat and look at my work. 
The next door neighbor of the farm brought her dog for his daily swim.  She came by to see what I was doing.  
I kept painting, getting all the information I needed. I was no longer in a secluded, quiet place. It was the rush hour for recreation!

A man arrived with a folding boat on his car. He set it up, loaded his lobster traps in it and set off down the creek out into the bay.

As the tide came in a large group of horse shoe crabs swam in on it and gathered along the edge of the creek. It was a spot they really liked.

I stepped back to get a good view of my painting. When I’m painting I always step away from the painting to give me a better perspective on what I’ve done. I saw I had enough information on my panel to stop. Now I could bring it home and put the finishing touches on it in the studio.  

I thought it would be a good time to drive around other areas of the farm to scout out painting locations for the rest of the week. As I looked up the river the tide was almost all the way in.
The buttercups in a meadow across from the barn were amazing.  This meadow has millions of them this year. Usually there aren’t any at all here. 
A farmer brought in a new group of Belted Galloways in a big truck.  After they were unloaded he walked around the meadow with them talking to them. He was  helping them get comfortable in their new location. 
I sketched at different locations all over the farm until the sun started to drop in the western sky. 

The tide was going back out…it was so nice to see the patterns in the acres of sand.

The islands formed moody clusters in beautiful muted colors. Everything was in shades of gray blue, violet and rose.
As the sun sunk below the distant trees we called it a day and headed down the dirt road toward home.

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Painting the Perfect Maine Island

The ferry ride from Rockland, Maine to the island of Vinalhaven is about an hour and 15 minutes long. When you get there you feel like you’ve traveled back in time about 30 years.
You can’t figure out why. Its a funny feeling you can’t quite put your finger on.  First of all there are only about 1300 people on the whole island…. the town is full of old New England houses and the views are quintessential coast of Maine. 
I went here to paint as a friend recommended it as “untouched”, “the real Maine”.  I’ve been to Monhegan painting … this is the real deal…a Maine plein air  paradise!
  There was so much to paint.  It was a visual overload.  Every view had that wonderful Maine flavor.  Old granite docks, fish shacks, houses clustered against the rocky hillside, a multitude of  tiny islands strewn across the bay and those spiky pine trees everywhere.  
When we arrived on a Monday afternoon- the Main Street was quiet & empty…  No people, no cars.   The ferry terminal gave us a map so we could find our way around.  Good thing as there was no one to ask if we were lost…
The town dock and the harbor were the only places that showed signs of life.  Boats were coming in with the day’s catch and  pickup trucks were all lined up at the dock waiting for their owners.  

I headed off immediately to scout out painting locations.  The island is sprinkled with old granite quarries. It’s famous for its granite. The Washington Monument, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine are built of Vinalhaven granite.
It has this wonderful variety of islands of all shapes and sizes. 
Pointy dark green pines grow on any bit of earth on top of all this rock. 
Docks and wharves are built of solid granite making you think you are walking on land then you realize its a man made peninsula…
Every jagged edge of coast line around the southern protected harbor is full of fish shacks and busy docks. 
Big round boulders of granite sit on ledges and are scattered across islands.
Every paved road turns into a dirt road that becomes a dead end with a gorgeous view of a harbor, another island or the mainland.  
At low tide Carvers Pond empties into Carvers Harbor and makes a sound like the rapids of a big river. 
When evening comes the town is dark and quiet, only one third of the houses light up.  That’s when you see how few people there really are here…  
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ACADIA ~ Mountains, Islands & Sea

After a full tilt spring & summer painting and teaching I am reviewing field sketches and segueing into my fall painting mode. I’ll be painting some larger paintings this winter from these sketches. Here are a few tidbits from my Acadia National Park trips.

We drove up from southern Maine and when we arrived at Mt Desert Is. it was early evening – just in time to get up to the Blue Hill overlook to catch the sun before it set. We were hoping this sunset promised good weather !

Here I am the next day just beyond Sand Beach. It’s awesome painting on the park loop road in Acadia National Park- you can pull your car over in the right lane and park. I set up like this to save time and go to many locations in one day.

This was a view of Otter Cliffs that I could see from the road. Here’s the 8-10 min sketch I did in markers & watercolor. This summer is the first time I painted outdoors in water color. It is so fast its mind boggling.

After I finished the watercolor I did a 20 min field sketch in oils. Then I packed up and drove to the next location.

The weather was changing the whole time. Hey, its part of the territory ! I set up on the road again at Otter Cove. Here is the 10 min watercolor sketch.

My wonderful husband Marcus came on this trip and he took the pictures of me painting. Here I am in the thick of painting my 20 min field sketch. I love doing these as I learn so much and can go to many different locations in a day. You can tell by my gloves it was windy & cold on the water… I stayed warm by painting !