29
Jul

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Nocturnal Watercolor: Waiting for the Moon

I just finished this study for a nocturnal watercolor inspired by a solstice moonrise I watched from the chateau in France last month. A broad horizon, unencumbered by tall buildings was a perfect vantage point to watch the moon rise from the distant hills in Provence. The chateau sits on a hilltop, overlooking the valley, and it whispers details of history to you from fire scars on her 14th century stonework, and windows shaped perfectly by stonemasons to accommodate a bow and arrow taking aim at approaching intruders. Painting nocturnes is challenging, and I think painting them in watercolor is particularly tricky. Taking the pigments dark enough …[Continue reading]

26
Jul

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Watercolors: Cafe & Lavender Field Sketching

I keep a notebook to scribble To-Do’s, painting ideas, and tidbits gleaned from books and the web. It’s old fashioned to keep a paper To-Do list, I know, but I love the feel of paper, and I enjoy writing lists. It’s as important as keeping a moleskine for field sketching in my car, and in my bag. Sketching while you wait for kids, or a lovely piece on NPR to conclude, or a chapter in an audio book to close, etc… that’s a great use of double-pleasure time. Checking things off a To-Do list is pretty snazzy too. A notebook in my hands feels solid and reminiscent of …[Continue reading]

23
Jul

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Watercolor: Palatine Hill, Rome (& Painting Plein Air in Watercolor)

When you return from an excursion to a new place – like for instance, France – you get to pour over your photos and re-live the experience, or even better, make art from your photos and completely submerge in that recall. Painting, sketching and carving imagery from the photos I took in France last month lets me extend the relish of that beautiful country for longer than the time I actually spent there, and that’s just one more reason to love the gift of painting. If you’re contemplating a painting trip that includes some plein air – and you’re not sure what to expect, you might experiment at home, …[Continue reading]

20
Jul

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Watercolor sketch: Boulangerie (& praise for art workshops)

I’ve been home from France for a couple of weeks, but I’m still feeding my family baguettes, with cheeses, fruits, salami, pancetta, and prosciutto regularly. I’m listening to French music, drinking rosé, and selecting outfits inspired by the panache & style I saw on the streets of Provence. It was an incredible travel experience, even though I’ve been there before; this was the first time I visited France as an artist. The swoon-worthy impact of France started on my first trip, when I was eleven. There is so much beauty to absorb; imaginative craftsmanship in architecture, narrative sculptures in village squares, and a layered evidence of centuries-worth of art everywhere you rest your eyes.  It’s …[Continue reading]

12
Jul

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Watercolor: Jean Althen Statue, Papal Palace Gardens, Avignon

The first time I read this quote (below) by the painter John E. Carlson, it rang true to me; you don’t have to travel far and wide to be a good painter. Do not be a tourist painter. The casual tourist landscape painter will paint in Italy or Holland. If he is a Long Islander, his things will look like good old Long Island no matter where he goes! If you stay at home & say something about your own period, life & environs, your art will be a sincere effort. Paint Long Island & say more about it than any other man, and …[Continue reading]

2
Jul

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Watercolor: Vicolo Della Palle (& a painting trip to France)

The painting above was done after a trip to Rome a few years ago, so it seemed appropo for this post. I just returned from two weeks in France. #pinchme  I’ve been in Provence, sketching quaint villages and lavender fields while working as crew for Scottish painter Julie Snyder’s company, Workshops in France.   This was a last-minute opportunity to travel to Avignon, via Paris & Marseille, and assist Julie in one of her twice-yearly uninstructed artist retreats in Provence. I have many photos and sketches to share with you after this wonderful trip. My crew-member extraordinaire & roomie Linda stayed up till all hours of the night for the duration of …[Continue reading]

22
Jun

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Watercolor: Aperture (& the San Diego Festival of the Arts)

The San Diego Festival of the Arts on Waterfront park was lovely last week. We had a gray day to start on Saturday, but eventually, the sun came out along with the crowds, and I saw plenty of people strolling the lawn with paintings & sculpture under their arms.  I sold both watercolors and printmaking, so collectors were collecting, and many of the artists I spoke to were having a very good show. That’s always a hopeful sign to all artists who sell their work. This is brief because the day after the art fair, I left for France, and I want to share …[Continue reading]

3
Jun

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Watercolor: Hope’s Freesia (& art festivals this & next weekend)

This watercolor is fresh off the art-table and I’m in the process of framing it now. It was my demo painting at the San Diego Artwalk a few weeks ago, and I finished it here in the studio this week, just in time for the next two festivals. The reference photo was snapped with a cell phone in my kitchen, after a lovely friend gave me a handful of fragrant freesia from her garden (thank you, Hope!) The sunlight here by the sea looks so different draped over the same objects I had at my previous home in the desert. The light is shining from the same big yellow ball in …[Continue reading]

19
May

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Monotype: Window Seat (& praise for Video Art Tutorials)

This art blog began as an exercise in accountability in 2005. I planned to document my renewed commitment to get back into art-making after a decade-long hiatus. Almost immediately, it morphed into a platform to share process, and hopefully, encourage other out-of-business artists to get back to work. More recently, when I tip-toed into creating a youtube channel, I goaded myself forward with the warble that it was a “graduation” – finally advancing a decade of process stills up to the next level, to video tutorials. Here’s how un-brave I was/am; after creating the channel, it took me seven years to post the first video.  #riskaverse With video-function on cell phones & free editing software (Mac computers …[Continue reading]

16
May

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Linocut: Winged (& when artists steal from each other)

An artist I admire has recently been copied by another artist, with no attribution, and the copied work is for sale, presented as original to the artist listing it. It’s a direct copy – as in brush stroke-for-brush stroke, but with the tell-tale mark-making of a novice painter.  Another artist friend had her work offered as custom-order paintings in an online store, but the copier didn’t bother to take my friend’s signatures off the jpegs when he pulled them from her web site and listed them in his shop. My linocut above, Winged, has been copied by two separate artists, and sold in each of their online shops. I …[Continue reading]

10
May

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Collagraph: Harmony House (& a rainy art festival)

(The instructions for making the collagraph above are on my youtube channel here.) I’m unloading art festival gear at my studio after the Sierra Madre Art Fair, which started with a few hours of heavy rain during booth set up on Friday, and ended with two days of cloudy skies and chilly temperatures, and a steadfast-but-light crowd of art-lovers in attendance. To be fair, there have been plenty of weekends in years past where the temperatures at this art festival simmered at 100 degrees fahrenheit, which did a superb job of wilting everyone (adults, children and dogs) into damp & dazed zombies. But, so it goes in art festivals, …[Continue reading]

5
May

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Watercolor: Ranunculus (& talking to the public about your art at an exhibit)

This weekend, May 7&8 I’ll be at the Sierra Madre Art Fair from 9:30-6:00 on Saturday and 9:30-5:00 on Sunday. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello. 🙂 How often do you show your work where you’re present at the exhibit? How comfortable are you when patrons ask you about your work? How do you discuss your art with non-artist attendees at an exhibit? When someone says “I love your paintings. They’re just beautiful!” or “What made you paint this subject?”,  how do you respond in a way that generates two-way conversation? I was thinking about artist-to-patron communication over the weekend at …[Continue reading]

3
May

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Watercolor: Unwind (& Art Festival photos from San Diego Artwalk)

I’m back from a weekend of selling watercolors and printmaking at the Artwalk in San Diego’s Little Italy. I’ve posted photos below from Beech & India Streets; 350 artists line up on 15 blocks, alongside turn of the century Italianate houses, and spiffy new mirror-glass office buildings and high-rise condos, just a few blocks from the ocean. By the end of the weekend, 100,000 people walked through the show, and in addition to the art, attendees enjoyed live music, food (the Italian sausage booth is always very popular, as is the funnel cake served with powdered sugar, fresh berries and whipped cream) and photo ops with San Diego Police SWAT …[Continue reading]

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