Wednesday, February 27

flowers, fruit on the table-
thoughts turned towards Spring


Yes, I know I should not be buying fruit so far out of season that it must be transported thousands of miles to get here. And normally we make a real effort to eat locally grown food, in season. But of course, there's not much in season around here in February! And so today in the grocery store, these gorgeous berries were too much of a temptation for me. A huge sale: probably because they are perfectly ripe and tomorrow they will be overripe and unsaleable. Their heavy sweet perfume (on deep discount!) wafted out over the entire produce section, a siren song I just could not resist.

Tuesday, February 26

are you? the little sheep seemed to ask with her inquisitive eyes. Big sheep glanced up and bleated, but with little real interest. She knew I wasn't bringing her dinner.

Monday, February 25


One for sorrow,
two for joy,
three for a girl,
four for a boy,
five for silver,
six for gold,
seven for a secret never to be told...

-old nursery rhyme

Friday, February 22

is the theme this week at Photo Friday. No problem doing this one! I'm getting ready for a show in May at a NYC gallery, and so am painting my head off. My studio is very cold in the winter, which keeps the paint from drying as fast as I would like. So when Henry is at school during the week I set up a drying studio in his room, which is very sunny and warm. On overcast days and in the evening I also have lamps set up, to help the paint set up a little faster.

Many oil painters will find this incredibly odd. It's an unfashionable technique, the building up of slow layers. Nowadays it's mostly about "from the hip" painting, or alla prima, done all at once. I absolutely can work in that style too, and do when I am painting out of doors, or from a one-time model. But for my studio work, I like to build a painting up slowly in layers, and so the paint must dry to the touch in between sessions. I currently have fourteen paintings in various stages of completion.

My method seems to flummox a lot of other artists. But I am the kind of person who can be reading several different books at once, too. I never get them mixed up, and always remember where I left off with each one, and its very much the same with the paintings. So maybe its more of a how one's brain works thing, rather than a purely aesthetic thing?

Thursday, February 21

hanging from the eves, dripping-
beautiful danger

Tuesday, February 19


sun-painted clouds drift
over the hill, into night-
I pause on my way


I always wonder about this farm, which is right near Henry's school. I've never seen anyone about except an elder lady at the mailbox occasionally. When I stopped to take this photo last week, she was driving by and paused, motioning at me to see if I was alright. When I pointed to my camera, smiling, she seemed to get the idea and went away with a wave. I could have kicked myself as her tail lights disappeared down the road, wishing I'd thought to ask her a little about this place. But, really, what was I going to ask? "Hi, just wondering how long do you think you'll be able to hold out against the encroaching suburban sprawl?"

Monday, February 18

Chicken Feed
We are chicken-sitting for my next-door neighbor! I always enjoy it, and so does young H who has been my right hand man. It's such a clearly illustrated equation: give chickens food, collect food (eggs) from chickens. I remember my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Iassagna, trying to hammer this life lesson into us: "Life is a two way street, people!" he'd boom from time to time. Of course, he was right, but it's an easier lesson to grasp in a hands-on way. Bring on the chickens!

Sunday, February 17

Yes, sorry, how unexciting: my chair! When Studio Friday proposed this theme I tried hard to come up with some other, more interesting, answer. But, honestly, this is it. The heart of the studio is where I plonk my behind down and paint. Sometimes, I stand to paint, but I thought a shot of only a few floorboards would be even less inspiring than my ratty old chair. ;-)

Friday, February 15


The World

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years
Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurl'd...

-Henry Vaughan (April 17, 1622 − April 28, 1695)

Thursday, February 14


Now, the pink roses.
Youth's passionate red blossoms
following Child's white.
And now comes the lovely pink,
glowing deeply in the heart.


This is a tanka (5, 7, 5, 7, 7) written in response to the prompt at One Deep Breath: "This week I invite you to break the "rules" and write a haiku on the subject of love. If you are a traditionalist, you might choose to write a tanka instead... which, more often, include an emotional element." I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12

Under her hard shell
nothing seems so naked
as the turtle's neck

Sunday, February 10


sweet, complex flavors
wrapped in fantastical skins -
crazy confections

Friday, February 8

to have one of my paintings reproduced in the new quarterly magazine, Artful Blogging. It's in an article (page 11) about a meme I sometimes enter called Illustration Friday. I'm only a sporadic participant so I was truly surprised and delighted that that particular image caught the writer's eye and was included with a dozen other artist's pieces in the article. It's a painting of my friend Katie and her daughter Hazel in a grove of trees, done a few years ago when I was on an idyllic artist's residency....

In the Chestnut Grove, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches

Thursday, February 7


His shy smile, one part
confused, one part pleased, asking
is this what fun is?

Wednesday, February 6

Is it really that easy in life? Sometimes I think Yes, strangely enough, it is that easy! Sometimes, No way. Oh well, can't hurt to keep on pushing.

Monday, February 4


Like an egg held tight,
pressure applied correctly
does no harm at all

Sunday, February 3

The Studio Friday meme posed the question "What is your pet peeve in the studio?" Like many other people's, mine is lack of space. This my third studio out of school, and for various reasons, each has been smaller than the last. And my work has gotten successively smaller and smaller too, probably in direct response. The last time I painted a six foot tall canvas was when I was an art student and had a school studio with a fourteen foot ceiling!

I hate to complain, because taking a global perspective, or a historical one, I appreciate how privileged I am simply to have a room of my own at all, however small. Nonetheless, I do kind of miss that thing called elbow room!

Friday, February 1

You'd never know, but this is The Beehive, at Acadia State Park in Maine. For Photo Friday's challenge: mist. I used the Accented Edges filter in PhotoShop to add a little drama.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

-Carl Sandburg