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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Barnyard Bowls

Max found these wooden bowls in the dumpster across the street. I have been playing with them, (when I should be doing other things). Having a new material to work with has lifted me from dark mood to a more playful inquiring mind. Not sure how to display these little things, there are four in all.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


acrylic on wood
about 5.5 x 5.5 x 2inches each
One of the delights of winter afternoons is sitting and sharing a pomegranate with my son Max. He loves musing over the patterns, the tactics of peeling, and the rolling of the savory bits of seeds across his tongue. It ties in with memories I have of sharing afternoon, after school, pomegranates with a woman who helped rear me and is no longer alive. Her name was Mary and she died before my babies were born, but I feel her presence when I share a pomegranate and a few minutes peace with Max.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

ABSTRACT on panel and on wall

drawing for inside the wall
sketched during construction lull
over fireplace mantle
This day started out well enough- I was so excited about almost having made 100 paintings in a row. But I also thought that there would be an IDEAL time to start this very last work-no idea what it was to be. Then the chaos of loving and living ensued, and I found no time at all- and no energy or will to try. Thoughts of bailing at this crucial end seemed to haunt me. I went twice to my studio and returned feeling miserable and blank. Then my sons, my wonderful sons, came to my assistance. Max cooked a fine original dinner meal and Kent and Ben took markers and started drawing on the wall of our under construction living room. They used a little paint. We painted a giant heart over the mantle to heal our family, and a pot with an earth flower to remind us to be stewards of the land, and a paint brush, and while we were at it we thought we ought to paint a little money jar as well. The paintbrush flows out of the jar...Then finally the ending. My 100th painting.

acrylic on wood
6 x 13 x 2 inches
The Ending. A sight for sore eyes...

Friday, December 8, 2006

Chair, map and flowers #99

So now I am daydreaming. I have wanted to paint this chair for awhile. The pillows are maps of South Africa, and the flowers were from a postcard. This is most likely about luxuriating in the planning of a holiday. I am ready to take a short break from daily painting and start packing for our family safari. I can only afford to place one more picture on EBay this month. If you have any suggestions which one it should be, write me a note. Thanks for all the support!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Beer and Apples, December 7

Still Life with Beer and Apples
acrylic on wood
5.5 x 12 x 2 inches
This is painting number 98. I felt as though I could play around for a much longer time-placed layers of colors, scratched into the surface, ran it under water, repainted edges, repeated the process- the photo is a little glossy (wet paint) so you cannot see that the background has greens, yellows, blues and a final layer of reds. Through it all I was able to rub successive layers down to the wood grain and use the texture of the support. Not a life changing picture, but one that hints at all the fun I could have if I wasn't in such a hurry to get it done, to upload onto the blog, to get to the Xmas lists, to make dinner, etc...Also I had about, one, two, three studio visitors today. It was nice to see people and really nice they thought of shopping in my studio! Life is good.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

What I've learned from painting a day

or...what I've learned about my Brush...
5.5 x 12 x 1 inches
painted on reverse side as well
acrylic on wood
This is my 97th painting and one of the things that has happed over the previous months is that I have fallen in love with my paintbrush- with THIS paintbrush.(Don't ask me to choose between my paintbrush and my husband). I look for the brush at the begining of each day. I love the feel of it in my hand and the way the bristles hold and let go of the paint. One day it slipped and fell into the emergency brake lever fringed opening. It was only through breathless skill I was able to extract it. I have come to believe that this brush determines the success or failure of a picture! From it's tip I have challenged myself to try new things and yet I have seen how chickens fall out of it...and, to a lesser extent, so do the swooping backbones of cows, the rounded jaws of cats, the handles and clasps of suitcases. This is a tribute to the brush that got me on my way to 100 daily paintings in a row!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

family portrait

acrylic on wood panel
12 x 12 inches
December 5th
I am thinking of making a Christmas card- always the last minute! So this is a painting- I would say my 96th!-done in an hour using several different photographs. My father-in-law also lives with us and I am torn as to where to place him in the picture. So this ends up a picture of me and my boys, except one.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Painting number 95

The Chicken Shed with Reo
acrylic on wood
5.5 x 12 x 1 inches
A friend asked me to try to paint the chicken shed down the road from our house. It sits across the street from my Dad's house. Eleven years ago, while instructed to stain the shed green, and while my dad and stepmom were away for the weekend, I painted a mural. It just flew out of my brush. I was pregnant (with Max) and my husband knew better than to try and sway me. Luckily my Dad and Betsy don't seem to mind. And now lots of people stop to photograph it. It is a warm and colorful surprise in the landscape. Today was no warmer than 32 degrees, but the sun was out and I sat in my car listening to Ladysmith Black Mambo. It was much easier to paint this scene than I thought. Sometimes-like cooking dinner- I am relieved to just have the suggestion of what to paint! This is my 95th daily painting in a row.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

December 3rd

A Small Miracle in the Barnyard
6 x 12 inches acrylic on wood
You can read anything you want into this. The holiday season? The next generation? The inspiration was the call for art about the egg. I like the grain of the wood panel and the way it effects the layering of colors. The photo barely shows all the colors that are built up to create the dark areas. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

December 2nd

Chicken and Cat in a Perfect World
acrylic on wood
6 x 12 inches
Playing with paint and my usual suspects. I think I am starting to feel better. The antibiotics are kicking in! Tonight I'll visit some local gallery's and see what holiday work they have to show. The Muddy Cup opening in Poughkeepsie has been cancelled due to not getting a C.O. (still under construction)! They promise to open in March. Something to look forward to.

Friday, December 1, 2006

December 1st

Cat and Leaves
Acrylic on wood panel
6 x 11 inches
My 92nd daily painting in a row! I was searching around my studio for a subject since it was raining outside, and fiddling with my collection of leaves, nests, and moss balls, when I noticed my cat, Mr. Bojangles, staring at me. I had to work fast- but I must say he was a good model. I hope to try it again. I have been busy outside the studio- helping afterschool 5th, 6th and 7th graders finish a classroom mural, decorating a window on Main Street for the Indian Rock School Museum, and finishing details for my proposed mural for the Poughkeepsie train station.
Now isn't there a holiday approaching with a million details to attend to? How to do it all? My father-in-law wants to put up the lights today, my son wants to swap his old skates at the ski swap today, and my husband needs me to get his jeep to the dealer today...
It is no wonder that so much of my art is painted on my "to do lists".

november 30

Outside Looking In
acrylic on wood
5.5 x 12 x 1 inch

The title says it all. Still wet (was raining) when I photographed this.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

november 29th

Cold Noodle Plate
acrylic on wood
5.5x 12 inches
I am continuing the pasta theme...from yesterday.
Sometimes you just have to deal with what is on the plate.
Anyone know who said that? (Was it a baseball term?)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

november 28

in Thorns
5.5 x 12 x 1 inch
acrylic on wood
in the legs standing on fettucini vein vomit
12 x 12 acrylic on wood
Studio view
Basement in the country....
The kids are back in school and my husband has gone to his job and now I wonder if I am just being overly sensitive or too emotional, but my leg really hurts. I have spent the last few days with a hot pack on it. I have tried stretches and arnica. Now, without further ado, I have to paint the pain. I am grateful for my studio. It is a haven of healing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

November 27

Backyard Chair and Leaf
5.5 x 12 inches acrylic on wood
Looking back over the last 88 days since I started this daily painting regime, I can see a visual dictionary of personally inspiring themes. "The Muse" is generally the term used for what inspires an artist. It is one thing to wait for inspiration and quite another to search for it. My sister is a writer who also holds a full time job. She wakes every day a few hours before sunset to write before her family wakens and before she has to go to her job. She admits there are days when only a word or two comes out and she weeps, days she has to delete everything from the previous days efforts, and days when the words just flow, time flies and she dreams about quiting her day job. Nothing irritates her more than people who approach her and, when they find out she is a writer, they tell her that they plan to write a book too, and hope someday to have a chance to start. You can't WAIT for optimum moments to get you inspired. You have to log in- show up, search, empty yourself of all the stale ideas you have- before the Muse will truly arrive. Painting everyday has not been an easy undertaking. But I have learned so much. I have learned about my brushes, about my source of inspiration, about my ability to commit. You should hear me set up the wail: " I haven't done my painting yet". It is like a mantra. My family has learned to move out of the way. I have woken especially early to paint before a busy schedule commenced, or painted late at night moaning with exhaustion after other responsibilities were taken care of, and I have also had days where I started to paint and kept right on painting and worked on several paintings at once and forgot all about the chores. Those are the days! Those are the days I live for!!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

NOVember 26

acrylic on wood
5.5 x 12 x 2 inches

Saturday, November 25, 2006


November 25th, 2006
acrylic on wood, 5 x 12 x 2 inches.
Still inthe kitchen...

Friday, November 24, 2006

MELETE, the muse of practice

Thanksgiving Bovine Family, acrylic on wood, 5 x 12 x 2 inches. If you look up the three muses- One of them is named Melete, the goddess of practice and discipline. She is particularly important in times of distraction. After a lovely family holiday- hours on the road, lists in my head, and some exhaustion, I just wasn't sure I could paint anything at all today. My husband has gone to the kennel to pick up the dog, and to the pizza restaurant for dinner and I am left mulling for Melete in my studio. This small painting has the mood of my home this holiday: a proud (football enjoying) father, the wary (mental list making) mother and the playful (hidden) child. Thank you for checking this out! Have a nice holiday yourself!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

November 23

The relic: Iron Still Life
5.5 X 12 x 2 inches
acrylic on wood
This holiday, while on the road with family going to family, I practice in my own head: "being the iron". I smooth over all wrinkles and have a steel skin. Nothing bothers me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I think this is it

5.5 x 12 x 2 inches
acrylic on wood
Should I really iron? Don't be ridiculous!
I just want to paint. Tomorrow we head to Long Island and my husband's sister's house. I don't have to cook. Everyone knows better. I am in charge of the drinks... Years ago we had turkeys- hundreds of turkeys, and we spent this week slaughtering and plucking and packaging and folding up the fences and coops and sighing in exhaustion from the year's investment of stress. I think I was in charge of the drinks back then too.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Never ending story

acrylic on wood
5.5 x 12 x 1 inch

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Little dirty laundry

Thank you for the nice comments. I have been struggling to keep up the daily painting. This is painting #80 and I haven't yet missed a day! It is a special challenge to keep up the painting while traveling and not feeling well and...nothing, NOTHING, has been harder than coming home! Wow! (Where's mom?) Nine pm and, full of roast beef and butternut squash, I painted this as a portrait of the last load. Four Italian males, aged 11 to 80, and an overly enthusiastic pug are looking tidy and content. There were loads (all my sons clothes from school) of damp, mixed origin laundry, no food at all except what was open on the counters, not a clean dish or fork, blinking phone messages and piles of unopened mail. I am exhausted.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


presumes effort and risk.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

what are the odds?

What are the odds that as soon as I hook up to post each exercise in "paintings a day", they would get horribly out of control???!!! Well- this should be titled "Moss Mess". I have a couple hundred excuses. But I won't. You can critique the work all you like- but remember that I did show up. Someone once said that "showing up" was 90% of success.

Friday, November 17, 2006

When the going gets tough, Nov. 17th, 2006

....I was afraid to try. Afraid to paint again and especially, unexcited about posting it for total strangers to see on the internet. At 8 am I went into surgery and I wasn't sure how the rest of the day would unfold. By 4pm I felt ready to try but I had to concentrate on basic shapes. I limited my pallete to just the primary colors and white. My mother left beside me an upturned expresso cup and a few glass cherries. I am so proud that I finished this painting. I really am doing it. You are looking at #78.
You can buy it now for $100 or checkout my daily paintings on eBay.
This work is currently at the Katherine Butler Gallery in Sarasota, FL- for sale at $120.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I spent the day trying to rise above a fog of medically prescribed Xanax. First thing was hopeful- a vision of vultures flying over the neighbors roof. Actually very surreal and beautiful. And I collected swirls of moss on a walk. Until my arms started itching. But by the time I found time to paint I was either just going on or coming off of the meds. It didn't help. Everything was a clumpy mess. I had to go for drastic the painting under the sink, scrape off whole sections, and then...admit I can't do it. I have to go to bed. My 77th painting is a dud. Truly, I say to you- never mind the Muse, for today I barely showed up.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15th, 2006

I woke with a headache, and my eyes swimming in the Florida sunshine. The trees outside the bedroom are loaded with soft moving grey blue clumps of moss. On further inspection I saw, in addition to the waving cloaks, small nests swirling in the junctures of the limbs. Reminded me of home. I like the fact that this is a living nest...still growing. Isn't that what a home should be? These last few paintings have been more experimental than my farm animals. The nature of the subject allows me to play with washes, scumbles, scratches, and splatters. This is painting number 76! I haven't missed a day since Labor Day. To see all the previous works go to my website I am offering opportunities to buy my work off of eBay. There is a link on my website. My cows are still at auction. The nests will be placed there shortly. thanks you for looking!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NOvember 14th, 2006

CAUGHT in a rush- have to fly out...wonder if they allow paint tubes on the plane? I can't find my craypas. So I whipped this up ...put the feather in to remind me of both the flight and the home base...I am somewhere in between. Also reading Ashraf Jamal's Predicaments of Culture in South Africa. He writes a critique (of resistance culture): ..."a failure to know that creativity knows no consensus; that for culture in it's varied forms to make an impact, it needed artists who understood the immanence and wakefulness of being."(p.2) I think that is a beautiful line..."wakefulness of being".

Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13th, 2006

Sometimes the Muse doesn't want you to use small teeny brushes and tweezers. This piece was dead dull until I let go of the idea of creating a perfect work and instead attacked it with a medium size brush loaded with blue. Then with lots of back and forth and squinting and scratching I arrived at a soft spot. I think I'll do another one. I wonder what little bird used this nest?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12th, 2006

The snow is about to fly, and yet this cow has found a late blooming Aster. Could be titled: A SIMPLE GIFT. The space in the painting opened up and then closed down around the cow. I was playing with the high horizon line, the leap from naturalistic observation to pictorial exaggeration.

why paint?

Why Paint? It is the same question as why read? Or why listen to music? Artists are hoping to be transported. I don't paint to record my surroundings (though I have said so in my "artists statements" before). And artists are not solely reflecting the society they live in, (though that is what we inevitably do). I show up each day in my studio hoping for a moment of transcendence, hoping for a visit from the Art Muse....where paint suddenly flows perfectly, laughter fills my throat, and the image I'm painting becomes a door to deeper understanding. Here are a couple examples when the Muse showed up. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER was a make or break piece for me. It is both a portrait of my rooster and hen and my husband and I. I don't want to get too mushy- but I've been married 19 hilly years and with this painting I accept whatever destiny has in store for us. LOOKING BACK LOOKING FORWARD is a painting that turned into a record of my delivering my eldest son to boarding school. I painted the roadway and sky from memory. My son Kent is both the chick and the old rooster. Who is looking back? Who is looking forward? This painting marks a big change in my home world. PIG KISSES is a small painting made just before my son, Max's pig had to leave the farm. This is the third and last year Max is raising a pig, and he always gets a bit sad. He is also sometimes too awkward about kisses. PIG KISSES is a portrait of me and Max. So these pieces gave comfort to me beyond the act of painting them.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11th, 2006

Trying this new thing...a blog! My teenagers will really get a kick out of this!
Basically I need a place to show my paintings- I live in the country- which is nice but a bit out of the way...I mean nobody comes by in search of art. They come to look at the scenery- which is inspiring- believe me- it is what I paint! I am trying to make a painting a day and have not missed a day since I started. Today was number 72, (I started last Labor Day).