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Monday, February 28, 2011

Show with artist talk next Saturday at Howland

Just delivered nine colorful chicken paintings to the Howland for the group show of Art Women @ Work. We exhibited together a couple years ago and it was a blast. Will talk about 3pm... there is always music (piano) and good nibbles.
See you there!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Now what?

Stripped to the bones

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


A tumble of questions abound. Is the bathtub just another bed? What does water symbolize? Do the ribs read as ribs? How about the trees in the forest? Where is my head? What's the button glued to the surface there for? Can the whole thing be an abstraction? Does it need to mean anything? Why did I paint it?

Since the work started on a black primed surface, I liked the brightness of the yellows and white's that came through the strokes of my brush. The woods outside my studio window fell reflected on the surface of a jar of water. Those two things were the joy and motivation for the painting.

Though I love people and strive to be a communitarian, I also thrive in isolation. Sometimes the artist in me becomes my own best company, I guess!

Mixed media on paper board.
8.5 x 11 inches

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Developing an Absurdist World

If I paint this out, I know I will be alright. I am alright! It's just some timely images that appear like a dream falling out of my brush. Like poetry acknowledges the pain behind metered words, this grouping plays humorously with a soul's (mine? yours? his?) longing.

I found the headline used in the Los Angeles Times...didn't make it up.

Feel as though I have slipped, in my mental and emotional psyche, down to the bare bones. With nothing left to think of or do, (no head, arms, or legs), I might as well just soak in the tub.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What are we

but vessels for a range of emotions?

The divorce is final. My heart is feeling fertile. Set in a winter wasteland, the painting contains a range of possible messages. I found the random headline to be more than poignant. It's perfect. It's just paint, too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Garden of Proserpina

Acrylic on panel
12 x 10.25 inches

Humming in front of Lucas

I waited until the room was cleared of school groups to step close and study the young maiden.

Proximity to a rarely, if ever, seen private collector's jewel-like painting by Cranach, another of my family's artists, inspired my father, step-mother and I to make a pilgrimage to the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachussetts, yesterday. We had glorious weather, enjoyed talkative docents and guards, and read every label we could find, including a special exhibition tour of Durer apocolyptic woodcuts and the room of my favorite Winslow Homer's paintings.

Standing in front of the Lucas Cranach painting, I startled myself with the realization that my visual experience had moved me to emit soft humming exhalations. Looking at her lines, I smiled over the exxageration and the seriousness of the marks. The necklace looks like the pasta links my boys graced my early madonnas in, and the sleeve has Dr. Suess-ical fabric splits, featuring highlights that speak to the joy I too find in looking and painting. But what really got to me was the similarity in the focus of specific details that makes both me and Lucas loose the overall continuity of an area- like the fabric folds... there at the bottom was a detail that must have been fun to paint, must have existed, but somehow lays disconnected to the remaining folds. I don't want to come out and say that I paint like Lucas- but he sure paints like me!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Persephone's bath

Torn between a man and her mother, Persephone and her mythological role in the seasons has been a fascinating study for me. Since we have had our first week without fresh snowfall I am beginning to wonder if she isn't getting ready to emerge from her winter marriage chamber. Half the year she rules side by side her God husband in the underworld. The other half she toils with her mother above ground, gracefully manifesting the spring-summer-and-fall cycle of nature.
There are many variations to the story and the actions of Persephone aren't cut and dried. The fateful taste of the pomegranate, or "love apple", that condemns Persephone, (and our climate), to spend half a year in the realm of death, mirrors the bite Eve craved of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge that condemned her and Adam to painful separation from God and the garden. I believe these stories exist to teach us some truths about cycles and our physical and existential hungers.
Through more reading and painting, I learn that the only route to peace comes through patience, acceptance, and faith. But I don't mean to preach. I just want to paint the hope that soon spring will arrive here.
Mixed media- charcoal and acrylic paint on paper, 16 x 6 inches.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Here we are just having a grand time exploring different media... There's a lot of material and plenty of ideas flowing.
So we have scheduled another studio to stove seasonal workshop
March 20, 1-4pm

Explore the stirrings of memories while creating step-by-step trompe-l'oeil painted memory boxes and baking your own loaf of Irish Soda bread. You will be provided guidance in marbling and fool the eye painting techniques. Irish soda bread is about rising up with very little, which should generate some interesting discussions of what we have and hold dear.
50$ per person and please bring your own 8 inch round cake pan.
limited to 8 people. Lakeville CT location

save the date for April 17th's canvas and challah event.
email to reserve your spot.

Mardi Gras decor

Watch your step in the city of saints. Sidewalks can rear up and break open for tree roots to settle. My mother broke her arm window shopping here. If you can stop for a minute and look up, you will see special trees that wink and wear jewels all year long. My son lives in New Orleans and, when I visit him before or after Mardi Gras, I am amazed by the numerous beads hanging from the trees. I don't know why I don't see more art about it. It brings a smile to my soul... quiet trees draped with jewels along the busy boulevards.
This is the first Tuesday /Wednesday cycle of the new year that we have not had a snow storm. Does this mean spring is on it's way? It's certainly time for Mardi Gras!
The detail shows a bit of the sparkly paint I added for a glitter highlight.
9.25 x 10 inches paint on wood

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Phoenix rising

Yesterday I held my first mixed media class of this season @ Mill Street Loft. The kids were very hard working as we transitioned from pulling on our imaginations to copying reference materials to drawing from life. We worked in pen and watercolors to warm up. Then, acknowledging the oldest media known to man, we used ash from the fireplace, charcoal and beeswax. The subject matter was the mythological, fabulous, phoenix. Each child had a different perspective on the gifts of the bird and the significance of the fable.
My little 14 x 5 inch example piece has tissue flames and oil pastel added to the surface collage in wax. The phoenix rises from my head as well as from the's like a dream.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In winter's element

this little bird was sitting outside my studio window... for the WHOLE time I painted this. He must have been frozen. Though eventually he flew away.
8 x 10 inches. Acrylic on panel

HEART Chambers

some sample shrines

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thinking of Alaska

I remember lugging suitcases after suitcases from pit stop to pit stop and noticing that my sons never once changed their clothes! When I threatened to burn their khaki pants, they responded in horror and protest. When I suggested I cut them up and make paper out of the pants, my sons readily agreed. So that was the brilliance behind a brief thought to do a series of paintings of Alaska on the seat of my son's pants. If you look closely you can see larger chunks of hem and even a zipper fragment in the paper. The baby eaglet in nest, the mother & son bears at water's edge, the avian rookery, and the bald eagle totem were all subjects for paintings I did when returning from a summer trip to Alaska. Then they went in a drawer... 9 years ago. Not sure what to do with them now- maybe apply for a residency up there and try it again? That's if I don't get a job, like I am supposed to!
The paintings range in size from 8.5 x 6.5 inches to 11 x 7 inches.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tea and a stack of books in bed

A snowy morning calls for another delay. I have a stack of books I want to read before spring comes. Over the weekend I finished Patty Smith's Just Kids and am starting Rebecca Solnit's Field Guide to Getting Lost.
The purple polka dots were the most challenging part of this painting and I am so glad I tried them.
8 x 10 inches acrylic on wood panel $200
Visit my website for special deals... four pages with 10% off on the already low prices. 20% off if you are a collector of mine, as well as a collector discount of 10% off any other work on the site.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I land in an island bed

The feeling is hard to explain and so I am sort of ATTEMPTING to get there with this picture. I used ink and watercolor, collaged maps, and then wax, and then tissue and oil pastel and more tissue and pencil and then ripped off tissue and added more pastel and somehow i lost the whole feeling. Perhaps I should have used clay?
Sometimes in my most hedonistic lazy glorious awareness I feel as though I am an island with nothing around but a shore line dissolving under waves.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


SO... the other day, when I finally could get out of the house, (you know- in that brief dry interlude between storms?), I went to visit my dad. He was in his clinic just finishing surgery on a cat. I yelled out, "Hey Pa!" as I stepped in the door so as not to add the stress of the thought of an unexpected client to his concentration. He grumbled. As I approached the operating room his back turned to me. He was cleaning up at the sink. "I see from your blog you've been in bed all week", he said. I took in his snow pants, recalled the clean paths carved up the hill that I just wandered...and the puritan productive German ancestry in me rose up. "Oh no!", I wanted to protest. But the visual evidence was already posted.
So this painting is for my dad. He is going to turn 75 in a few weeks. He shovels and plows his place, my sister's place and the barn yard... just have access to hay, to feed her cats, keep us safe off the road, and keep his pet owner's safely on their feet. He does enough shoveling for all of us. Literally!
Dad- I painted this at about 6am... exhausting day! I love you.
5 x 4 x 2 inches stretched canvas with acrylic paint.


Look deep inside your heart, explore your passionate roots, and emotional baggage while you create your own red cigar-box alter and bake, fill, and decorate valentine cookies… some believe them to be aphrodisiacs! We will explore the spicy, the sweet, and the possibly sinister aspects of the season. Red is a vivid reminder that love is from the heart, even though the heart is easily broken.

Workshop will be held at Barrett Studio in Lakevile, Ct

For more Info and to pre-register: or 860-435-9895

February 13th, Sunday, 1-4pm, $50

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birdfeeder suspends over some sheets of ice

Gosh, It's freezing!
I MIGHT as well move out of my bedroom and into the woods. (The house feels cold enough!)
No, really I know I am lucky to have a roof overhead. It's just a fascinating winter land all around me. Rumor has it we have had over 53 inches of snow so far! There seems to be a ton of it. And another storm is coming day after tomorrow! Now we enter the mathmatics of where do we actually shovel the stuff? The roads are like bobsled luge runs with high walls and no visibility of intersecting traffic. The snow from the roof, when shoveled off, makes white mountains to the window heights. They press into the siding, the screens take a beating and ice leaks in through the woodwork. I already have bins catching water drips in the attic... it has slowed down today, but I'm not sure if its because we caught and plugged it- or because everything is frozen. (It is going to -1 degree tonight) Will there be a giant blue green glacier bursting through the roof and in the attic next time I go look?
Oh! I might as well just move into the woods!

Don't live without love. Check out the chance to make a special valentine the day before Vday at our Lakeville Studio-to-Stove workshop- details in sidebar.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blanket of snow on queen bed

I'm rich! What a life? Another snow/ice day where the roads are hazardous, planning is risky and I am forced to do less... go slow, watch more, rest. "Looking for a job" converts to "doing my job- painting"! I love pushing the paint around... converting the forest into a cathedral, dissolving the walls that separate me from nature. Aren't my woods beautiful? Aren't the pillows inviting? See the diamonds in the rough?
small acrylic on panel, 8 x 10 inches $200

More valentine ideas shared on my other blog:
Tilly's birthday wish
Don't forget to sign up for a Heart Workshop- see sidebar.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow day in bed

I decided to stay in bed most of the morning enjoying my warm and friendly cat. Together we watched the howling blizzard outside the window and the brave little birds trying to eat at the feeders.

This is 8 x 10 inches, acrylic on wood panel.
You can almost be here!

Rooster valentine

Last time I worked on this was 2005, the year of the rooster. Right now we are having another weekly blizzard making me remember 1993, another year of the rooster, where it snowed every Friday like clockwork. This time it's every Tuesday or Wednesday.
But I digress.
These two chickens need someone to attract their attention. I just changed their coloring this morning, but they look as though they are waiting for something else to happen. Don't they?
$200 (shipping included)