Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring cleaning

Next month my workshop group is coming here for a week. So, it's time to start thinking about cleaning and organizing the studio. We started a few weeks ago by putting in a new laminate floor. There are several other projects I am hoping to get done before the workshop starts, but the floor was the big project.

Here a shot from the entrance to the studio. The two tables on the left are 48 x 48 each and I couldn't live without them. Right now they are covered with printmaking stuff.

Here's a closer look at the library area. Steve calls it the "employee lounge"-that's his coffee pot on the table.

This is the the main painting area. My Hughes easels, the taboret, and the work tables are all on wheels so things can be moved around pretty easily when the students get here.

Here's some storage and additional bookshelves, and you can see the Constable Closet (for large canvases) on the left.

Looking back toward the north side of the studio, I have counter space and storage under the north facing windows.

Here's another shot of that. One of the projects on tap is a flat file which will go to the right of the cabinets.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Trees

Spring Trees
10 x 12

This past Sunday I should have been in my studio-I really should. But, it was such a gorgeous spring day and friends offered to take us over to a nearby ranch. It's a property of about 1100 acres that I would never had access to without their generous offer. So, off we went in pick up trucks and 4 wheelers. There were creeks and pools (ponds) and big hills! Trees were leafing out and red buds lit up the mauve and green haze. It was heavenly.

I painted this little study from memory today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

September in Taos

Sunset Pines
24 x 18
Available at Isherwood Gallery, Newport, RI

The first time Steve and I visited New Mexico was in the fall of 1998. I had wanted to go for a long time. My first teacher and mentor, Ned Jacob, had lived in New Mexico in his early years as an artist and his stories loomed large in my imagination about how it might be to live a life as a full time artist. We decided to visit Taos, where so many writers and artists in the early 20th century had been lured by the quality of the light, a magnificent landscape and an exotic mix of cultures. The rest is history- we spent a number of years in New Mexico part time and over five years there full time.

This September we will be back in Taos for my workshop. As luck would have it, the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico (PAPNM) are having their Juried Exhibition at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos at the same time - opening on September 17th. In 2004 I founded Plein Air New Mexico- now PAPNM- which grew to over two hundred members over the next few years. One of the goals I set for the group when I started it was to have an exhibition at a museum. Since my departure in 2007, the group has continued to grow and last year held its first show with a museum venue. So, it is a great pleasure to see this come to fruition, and an honor to be asked to be the Judge of Awards for the show.

September in Taos is spectacular. Changing aspens and cottonwoods, blooming chamisa and wonderful weather make it a perfect time of year to visit. There are still a few spots left in the workshop- details are at the link at the top of the sidebar.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Twilight on the Campagna
George Inness

This month the Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts an exhibit of works by George Inness from his early works painted in or of Italy. The star of this show is Twilight on the Campagna which was found in the Museum's basement in 2005, cleaned, reframed, and found to be an astonishing early example of what would become Inness' signature Tonalist style. The story of how this master work was rescued from oblivion is fascinating. You can read about it here.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Spring Evening (2009)
10 x 10
Private Collection

Just the last day or so, signs of spring are everywhere. The daffodils have come up and there are buds on some of the trees. Tufts of green are springing up here and there in the woods. The dogs beg to go out and bask in warm sun. Steve has planted lettuce and onions and I had the studio door open today as I worked. Best of all, the wild plum tree is beginning to show signs of life!