Monday, September 25, 2017

Hold On Tight! 12" x 12"

It was fun to watch my friend Jill and grandson Max playing at the water's edge, in the aftermath of some recent storms. The waves were a little rough that day -- hold on tight!

After I finished this little painting, I started to think about how photo references can be misleading. For instance, usually there's an atmospheric effect, and things appear paler in the distance.  In my photo reference, not so much ...

I guess that's why some artists paint en plein air, do thumbnails and make notes:) In real life, there's much more nuance!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Drawing from Live Models

An unexpected opportunity to draw from life came my way recently.  

A wonderful artist -- Melanie Reim -- invited a group to draw from live models in her studio. Check out Melanie's work at  He work is beautiful ... so full of life and energy. 

Time flew as we worked to capture the fleeting poses and record the most important visual information. Some drawings were more successful than others. Hope to try this again!  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Walking the Dogs" - Brooklyn, NY (9" x 12")

A quick sketch of a Brooklyn street. If you know the area, Williamsburg has certainly changed:)   

Today, I worked quickly, got the mood down, and Rae stopped me from overworking things. That's the value of a great teacher. My instructor (and master pastelist) Rae Smith makes a few precise suggestions, and keeps me from overworking things.  I'm so lucky to be in her class.

Happy with the looseness of it! Done:)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The "L Train" (15" x 18")

I've been traveling by subway to BOND Studios in Brooklyn every week -- you can't beat the people-watching! Some days it's hot, but no matter what the weather, you always see someone interesting.

Today we talked about whether it's kosher to take pictures of people without their permission, to use as a subject.  I do that all the time ... thoughts?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Sam", the Rescue Dog (Cocker Spaniel x Golden Retriever Mix)

Samantha is a 6 year old cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix. We have no idea what she was doing in a South Carolina shelter, but she became a part of our family a year ago this month, and we got very lucky. She's incredibly sweet.

Anyway, Sam's portrait was today's project -- and since I go to Rae's class each week with a very limited set, it results in some odd color choices. Of necessity, I shoot for value over color.  And while she isn't this purple(!), I captured her essence and I'm happy with the result.

PS - If you know someone who'd love a pet portrait, I love doing them. Feel free to get in touch!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Tempus Fugit. (Scott) - 18" x 24"

The last time I painted Scott, he was a lot younger. No mustache, with a dimpled smile that lit up a room.  Happily, he let me take his picture yesterday, and it became today's painting in Rae's class.

She's back.

After 8 years, 1 month and 5 days (and over 200 B2B blog posts, but that's another story), I returned to the easel.  

Rusty, yes. 

But to my great good fortune, Rae Smith is still teaching painting at the Katonah Art Center.

And to my surprise, it's a bit like riding a bike.  You feel a bit wobbly, but the pleasure is just the same.