Monday, September 21, 2009

Jurista Road

"Jurista Road"
12" x 9"
While visiting their grandmother, we took the boys up to a neighboring farm to pick sweet corn. It was a sunny, clear, beautiful day. When we turned around to leave, this is the scene that greeted me...I have not been able to get that beautiful view out of my head since.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

At Summer's End

Can it be that summer is nearly over? I apologize for neglecting this blog over the summer months. It seems that when you are busiest and have the most to say, you have the least amount of time to write.

Between visits from relatives, a long roadtrip with my boys, home renovations and soccer season starting, I have been consumed by an abundance of activity...unfortunately, most of it has NOT involved painting.

I have, however, taken many, many photographs over this busy, busy summer, and things should begin settling down enough for me to pick up my pastels and watercolors once again.

So, I'm back! Here are some of my favorite photographs from the summer...I hope you will enjoy them!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Work In Progress: Newton

This painting is still in progress, but it's getting close to finished. I think I need to add some more darks in a few places so it doesn't look quite so much like he's "floating" above the moss. This will be a birthday present for my son's 6th birthday. He has asked for more "real" paintings to hang in his room.

This is a salamander (actually a red-spotted newt) which we found in our yard last summer. We kept him for about 2 weeks, and then let him go where we found him. I don't know if it was his vibrant color, or the surprise at how rough his skin felt (he didn't LOOK rough!), but he really captured the imaginations of my boys. They still talk about him!

I haven't done much in the way of painting animals, but I am having SO much fun with this one, I may have to do more!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fiery Reds

12" x 18"
These brilliant red tulips were crying out to be captured forever! I preserved them in a photograph, but they really wanted to be painted, as well. I hope I've done them justice!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vacations and Kitchen Renovations, Oh My!

We just recently got back from a fun family trip to Chicago. There is so much cool stuff to see there! Here are a couple of my favorite "public art" works there, both from Millenium Park along the lake.

This fountain is sometimes a face just looking serious and it looks simply like an electronic "sculpture" of sorts. Then, the eyes close, the lips pucker up, and suddenly, it's spitting a large stream of water out onto the walkway, much to the delight of any children (including grown-up children!) who run and splash barefoot in the water.

Another really cool public sculpture is also found in Millenium Park...its official name is "Cloud Gate," but many Chicagoans simply call it "The Bean."

Here's a fun photo I took standing underneath "Cloud Gate."

I know I do lots of floral paintings and photography, so for those of you who enjoy that, here's a Chicago flower for you!

Anyway, we loved visiting Chicago, my home for 14 years (and my husband's for most of his life), and sharing it with our kids. It was great fun!

Now that we are back, we are in the midst of a kitchen renovation. I've had very little time to post to my blog, or get much painting done, for that matter! Things should start to settle back into some kind of routine after this next least I HOPE so!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How We Celebrated Earth Day

Photographing the beauty Earth is offering at the moment, of course! The world is coming alive with color once again, and I felt compelled to get out my camera and capture as much of it as I could! I collected a lot of painting inspiration...but I think some of the photos really stood on their own merits, too. Here are a few of my favorites:

My sons wanted to get in on the action, too. Here is one of my junior photographers at work:

And, I can't leave the other one out, can I?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Exhibition Entries

What a busy month this has been! I have been framing and
framing some more, and not painting nearly enough.

All with good reason, of course. I've been delighted that
my paintings, "Color Therapy" and "Avery" have been on display for the past month at the Dietrich Theater / Wyoming County Cultural Center in Tunkhannock, PA.

In addition, I just this past weekend got my entries completed and submitted for the annual Wilkes Barre Fine Arts Fiesta Adult Juried Exhibition.

Here are the five paintings I decided to submit...I'll find out in about a week whether or not any of them were accepted into the show.

I had a hard time deciding which five to submit. The final two came down to the "Quince" (below) and my "Gold Leaf" painting. I thought about posting a poll here on my blog to help me decide, but in the end, I simply e-mailed a few of my very good friends and supportive family members. The leaf and the quince were about tied, so I framed them both. Suddenly, the decision was really easy! The quince actually seemed to move once it was framed. It was quite dramatic!

The leaf looks really cool in its frame, too. My husband, who is a pretty good woodworker, made a custom frame for it out of some beautiful figured ash, which swirls around the outside of the mat like an extension of the water the leaf is floating in. It adds to the tranquil, watery feeling of that particular painting. I'll post a photo of the framed painting soon.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the results of my entries. Please keep your fingers crossed for me! Thanks!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Faded, But Still Beautiful

"Faded, But Still Beautiful"
15" x 11"

I used to paint exclusively in watercolor, but it got to be more difficult to manage once I had kids. Waiting for layers to dry, taking care not to muddy the colors, making sure the paper was wet enough, but not TOO became nearly impossible when my kids were little.

Well, they're growing now, and even though I'm totally hooked on my pastels, I still like to play with my watercolors once in a while. Well, I got a terrible craving to do something loose and free with my watercolors, and this was the result. It was fast, loose, and lots of fun to paint!


12" x 18"

This is a moody view of Avery Mountain from my husband's aunt Calista's house in Tunkhannock, PA. I have always loved the view of that mountain, and her lovely garden helped frame it perfectly. I finished it a couple weeks ago, but just got around to photographing, matting and framing it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Color Therapy

Untitled (any suggestions?)
9" x 12"

I started this painting a couple weeks ago, on a day when my 5-year-old son woke up for the day at 5:00 in the morning. It was still cold and cloudy outside. I was bleary-eyed and couldn't shake it. All I was desperately craving (besides a lovely cup of coffee) was some COLOR THERAPY!! Well, this is the ultimate result of that dreary Monday morning. I hope it brings you some of the energy that painting it brought to me...enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Personal Side of My Art

Warning: Long, rambling, reflective post ahead. Read at your own risk!

In conversations I’ve had about my artwork, both in person and online, the question of the purpose/intent of my artwork has come up. One of the conversations included a lengthy analysis of one of my flowers by a dear old friend. My (very inelegant) response was, “Wow, you got all that from my painting? I thought I was just painting a flower!”

And that’s really all I thought my painting was. I’ve said before that I “follow my muse” and create based on whatever inspires me. It sounds selfish, but…I create because it makes me happy. I paint a lot of colorful stuff (LOTS of flowers), and I’ve never thought more about it than it staves off the winter blues. Don’t get me wrong, I am literally THRILLED when someone else likes what I paint or a photograph I’ve taken; it’s a wonderful compliment and it makes me feel like I’ve connected with that person somehow. It’s TRULY a warm fuzzy feeling...I actually get butterflies in my stomach from it! But I’m pretty sure I would still create even if nobody else liked my work.

More recently, I had a conversation about art with someone much more schooled in art than I am. I mused that my paintings aren’t complicated and they don’t make any huge statement; there is no great political message or activism that goes into my art. I think most of my art and photography is consistently lighthearted in feeling. He replied that there is a reason that I choose to paint the things I do. There is something I see in my subject matter, a personal vision.

Well, I’ve been pondering all of this for a few weeks, reflecting on my artwork, my process of creation, and trying to uncover exactly what my subconscious vision is. Why do I paint the things I paint? Why do I choose MY specific subjects for my photographs?

My subject matter is usually quite simple: A flower, a leaf, my son, a reflection in the water. The subject, however, is not my only inspiration. I may be inspired by the color, the play of light, or a dewdrop. Also simple. But, in my mind, in my “vision,” there is incredible BEAUTY in that kind of simplicity.

You see, life is often chaotic, cluttered and messy. Specifically, MY life is chaotic, cluttered and messy! It would be all too easy to get buried under that chaos. And in that situation, it’s easy to miss the beauty in life.

I try to look for the good in most situations and in most people. Even on a gloomy day, there is beauty to be found if you take the time to look. And it’s often found in the little things. The essential beauty of a maple tree in the autumn, for example, may simply be the glow of the sunlight filtering through its brilliantly colored leaves. The beauty of a garden can often be narrowed down to a single flower.

The act of painting, for me, is an act of meditation. As I mediate on the simple beauty of a single flower, I am reminded that little things like that flower are all over the place, if I only stop to look. If I look and there isn’t a flower, there is sure to be a beautiful play of light on some object, somewhere. And, if neither of these are to be seen, there is probably a coating of ice on least where I live!

So, the reason I “put my work out there,” I suppose, is so that I can share that vision with others, help them see the simple beauty of everyday things, and connect with them in that sharing. I guess if there is a message to my creative work that is it: There is always something good, there is always something beautiful, if you only take the time to seek it out.

Or, maybe it's just a flower! (Grin!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spring Blossoms

"Spring Blossoms"
18" x 11"

Yes, I am CRAVING the warmth and sunshine of spring! I normally like winter, but we've had so much ICE this year, that it's difficult to even get outside for a walk. I'm ready for the fresh spring air...I LOVE that smell! I'd pass on the allergy part of it, but I'll take the allergies just to be able to get outside! For now, this is how I satisfy my craving...if I can't actually HAVE spring right now, I'll PAINT it instead!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gold Leaf

"Gold Leaf"
9" x 12"

This is a leaf which I spotted floating peacefully in a puddle this fall. I loved how the sky and the clouds were reflected in what would otherwise have been a very ugly mud puddle! Maybe I should call it "Serenity" instead. What do you think?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Flowering Quince

Flowering Quince
9" x 12"

My mother-in-law has a beautiful flowering quince bush in her yard. Even though it blooms every year, I always surprised by its vibrant beauty when it does. Completing this painting restored my sanity on a cloudy, overcast day when the temperature was -4 degrees farenheit!

Friday, January 16, 2009


17" x 11"
A bit of a departure for me...this is a bit looser than I normally get with my pastels, but I think I'm liking it! I worked, very loosely, from a photograph I took in Monet's garden in Giverny, France.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

DRIP! - Part 2

9" x 12"

I've been wanting to paint this Mexican Sunflower for quite some time. I think it may be done, but I'll turn it to the wall for a week or so and look at it again before I decide for sure. I never know what I'll see when I look at a painting with a "fresh" set of eyes.