Blog 2012

"Edge of the Woods"

This is a small plein air painting, done in Acadia National Park near Sieur de Monts Spring and the meadow, looking through the woods to a clearing. 


"The Shatter Zone"

Acadia National Park near Blackwoods Campground. This is the last pull off from Ocean Drive, before you head into the woods. It is a great place to feed seagulls, but for the amateur geologist, also a place to observe the shatter zone, where intrusions of pink granite abut and intrude into the older grayish sedimentary rocks of the Bar Harbor Series.

I quickly painted here as a cold front approached, promising rain. The bottom photo shows my plein air set-up in it's most rudimentary form. Note the size of the palette versus the paper, and the nice brush holder that my niece made for me !



"Emery's Cabin"

On Sand Point, before you reach Bar Harbor, is a great place to stay: Emery's. This is an old cabin that abuts the property, which overlooks Frenchman's Bay and the Narrows. At high tide you can dangle your feet in the water, right from the porch, as you can see from the second photo !  

Conveniently enough, a picnic table made
a nice easel for me here !


"Grey and Pink Granite"

In Mount Desert Island, near Seal Harbor, this little bay is a scene stealer, and easily missed. The granite here looks like it is cutting itself for the quarry, into neat blocks which make great spots for a picnic or a paint !

"The Path Diverges"

This is a small plein air painting, done on the Spring Path at Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paltz, New York. I used some outlining to help define and abstract the forms of the rocks and trees.

"Mohonk Lake"

A quick study of the lake, inspired by the luscious cumulus clouds blowing up and over the mountain. I was comfortably ensconced in a "summer house" right on the lake level whilst I painted this watercolor.   


I actually painted this on my back porch in June, and just added a couple of dabs here and there. I was working directly from the plant, enjoying all of the complexities of the layers of blossom and leaf.

"Folding Ferns"

Also a painting that I started in June. I love the forms in this painting, but am not happy with the outcome of the color.
So sorry about my absence !

"Breezing Up-Riverton Yacht Club"

Keeping the family tradition going...

Painted from reference to a few different photos, this is a small painting, an exercise for a larger version, and a mix of watercolor and gouache. I'll admit it...the first sky I painted was entirely wrong, and rather than start from scratch, I painted over it with some opaques.

Aficionados of the RYC will note that this is the white version, prior to restoration to the historical green paint scheme.
For more info on the Riverton Yacht Club please visit:

"Dogwood Detour"

Inspired by the American dogwood trees in my neighborhood, (I'm hoping to get to see them in the moonlight !) I picked a bunch and arranged them in a flat vase, and painted a watercolor.
This one is all about negative space, and most of the dogwood blooms are unpainted: the white of the paper. 

"Blue Boats"

From a photograph, I tried to simplify the shapes and colors to create a more abstract painting.



Kind of like I've been the past month. Maybe "Discombobulated" would also be appropriate.

Hope you like the new trend. Circles and ellipses, to complement all of the angles in the last couple of architectural paintings.

"Lifeguards Off Duty"

From a photo, of course ! I took a number of pictures of these tumbled lifeguard stands one winter, in Ocean Grove, NJ, on one of those 60 degree days when you just have to hit the Garden State Parkway, and head to the shore for a tentative glimpse of summer; a walk on the beach, a fried fish sandwich, a box of salt water taffy.

Not only is the composition interesting, but is looks like the chairs are lying on their backs, as if taking a rest.
As you can see I'm trying to get into some of these construction/geometrical compositions. Kind of like those stacks of chairs I had to paint in college ! This one is about 13 x 19, and took a few days to finalize.

"Tiny Orchids"

Let me know if you know the species. From a photo taken at the National Conservatory in DC. I needed to hit the other side of the palette for this small painting, and to loosen up after just finishing "Lifeguards".


"Not So Solid Geometry"

From an ancient slide that I took in an unknown place. This is why you should never throw anything away, and it looks like whoever owned this conglomeration would agree.

I enjoyed painting the light and shadow in these basic forms, made complicated by a strong shadow. I seem to be going back and forth in the type of subject matter that I choose, which is probably a good thing. However, I may need to go back and fix the drum in the foreground...looks like it is floating.

You can see how much I enjoy the details, especially of windowpanes, and what is behind them, which is always my favorite part of painting a house portrait, too. Here, you can see that there is as much stuff piled inside as on the outside. Is this trash or treasure?


"Boulder Creek"

From a photo that I took last fall along the banks of Boulder Creek. I was drawn to this specific view because it reminded me, both in composition and lighting, of a scene that both my parents painted along the Loyalsock Creek in Pennsylvania. I like the calm, lightness in the background here, contrasting with the energetic feeling of the waterfall in the foreground, but I may have to add a few more touches of paint, darkening the rocks, perhaps ?



After five or so inches of snow, all I can think of is springtime !



Happy 2012 to all ! A photo to share...

I've had this gingerbread house since the holidays, waiting for a snowstorm. I surrounded it with peanuts and waited to see which of the denizens of my yard would find it first. Not surprisingly, this squirrel found it within about twenty minutes.