Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Beach House
oil with cold wax

Sometimes, many times, my painting process feels random, but truth is life and current events seep in and guide my blind hand.
Without knowing it, this painting turned out to be about the many homes lost along the East coast during hurricane Sandy and the countless storms that have swept away homes and lives along the fluid margins of our island home.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Yep.  Another wee one made from left over paint.
I like this so much I have started a larger piece roughly based on it.

I am partial to the month of December.  It contains the dichotomy of introverted reflection/darkness/dormancy and extroverted exuberance/lights/celebration.

Wishing everyone the peace and happiness both elements bring.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Just another little quickie with left over paint.
Sometimes I like these the best.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

oil on canvas

One of the things I love about the painting process, is how paintings reinvent themselves.
Just when I think I have a clue who they are and where they are going, they totally transform.
Often when I think a piece is done it turns out it was just resting.

As for this one, specifically, it came out of the painting posted on August 13, 2012.

It has surface details that show better when you click on the image.

Monday, December 10, 2012

mixed media on paper

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Are We There Yet?

oil with cold wax

I could be wrong... I've been wrong before, but I think I'm done.
The biggest issue I have with this is scale.  I think if it were 60x48 rather than 14x11 it would be pretty exciting.

I know that not every painting is going to be top notch, but I always feel determined to move it to the best place I possibly can, and that is what this piece is about.

Last time you saw this was November 23rd , in case you want to compare.

Friday, December 7, 2012

acrylic on paper with slag

Trying to make art that is personal, honest, yet able to reach others and communicate, on a nonverbal level, something about our existence is my own odyssey, so maybe this is a self portrait.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Freedom Trails Gallery

Opening this Thursday
in Amherst, MA
5-8 p.m.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Can you hear me, now?

diptych 22x30
acrylic, graphite, and slag on paper

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reception this Sunday

37 Lexington Rd.
Concord, MA USA



Tuesday-Saturday 10a.m.- 4p.m.
Sunday noon- 4p.m.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday. Seeing Red?

Night Pool
encaustic monotype

Hopefully you did not blow your entire gift budget at the malls, superstores, and soulless chains yesterday!
That sort of shopping can leave you feeling empty and confused, like eating cotton candy and calling it dinner.

Wherever you are, if you need a special gift this season, go to your local gallery or arts cooperative and buy an original piece of art.  It is a great feeling!

This year I will have "small works" for sale in Concord, Massachusetts at the Concord Art Association as well as the Freedom Trails Gallery in Amherst, Massachusetts.
I also have a selection of paintings available at Surroundings Gallery in Gardner, Massachusetts.

Information on openings to follow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

work in progress

oil with cold wax medium on panel

This is still evolving.
I was just anxious to get a new image up.

I guess that means I had better get busy painting!

This time of year, everything else seems to take precedence..... sigh.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This Weekend, GALA Event

Gardner Area League of Artists GALA
Fall Art Show
November 16-18, 2012

Gardner Senior Center
294 Pleasant St., Gardner, MA

Friday 6-9:30 p.m.
Opening Reception
Live Music & Refreshments
Awards, 7 p.m.

Saturday 11a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday Noon-4 p.m.

This is an open, community art show that celebrates the wide range of work being done in Gardner and the many small, surrounding towns of Central Massachusetts.  This is the most unassuming, warm and welcoming groups of artists and art appreciators you will ever find.  Admission is free.

more information at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Impermanence of Objects (Chair/Chalice)

Artists,  physicists, mystics, and crazies are all suspicious of the boundaries that appear to divide this from that.
Chair? Chalice? No matter, matter.  Energy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Long-term Relationship


I have been working on this painting, on and off, for two years.
On at least one other occasion, I thought it was completed.
I even framed it and submitted it to a show (rejected).
This time, I was too lazy to take it out of the frame, a black float frame, and just worked on it in that state.
So, with that history, I am reluctant to say it is finished.
Some time this week I will try to get a better photo, I was just chomping at the bit to get something new up on the blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A New Landscape

Landscape with Marsh

Earlier this fall I went out painting in Uxbridge, MA with a group of friends.
This was the first of two paintings I did.  At first it was quite tight, so back at the studio I reworked it.
I liked it better, but it still didn't sit right with me.
The other day I realized what it needed was cropping, and had it been a work on paper, that is exactly what I would have done.
Chop, chop!
Instead, I painted out sections with a deep brown.  For the folks who like to see things literally, it might look like I am looking through a porch, but it is really, it is just my way of organizing space.
That is part of the really gratifying thing about painting to me; I get to say, "This is how I choose to present things" and I don't feel I need any further rationalization.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Go Vote


I'm an artist, not an activist (though I know talented, smart people who are both), so it is with trepidation that I wade into this realm.

I know it is easy to be cynical.  Still, go vote.
I know it can feel like you are not being heard, not being represented.  Still, go vote.
Don't be silenced.  Go vote.

As for the painting, it is not finished yet, but it is moving in the direction I want.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

acrylic with slag on paper

Seemed like an appropriate image given all the blackouts and destruction much of the country is experiencing right now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


oil with cold wax medium

Weather forecasters are whipping themselves into a funnel cloud of excitement over the "cone of probability" of the so called Frankenstorm.
Meanwhile I have been working on this painting that I had been thinking was a Nor'easter.
Who knows, maybe art is a vehicle for prescience!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Finding My Way
oil with coldwax

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

encaustic monotype

Sunday, October 14, 2012


encaustic monotype

Monday, October 8, 2012

oil with cold wax

So here's my contradiction:  I always grab crazy intense color to work with, but when I look at art, the pieces I am really drawn to have a lot of whites and neutrals.
Here is an attempt to incorporate some of those tints.
This piece appeared earlier on this blog (September 18, 2012) as a riotous red thing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Abstraction and Reactions

Bubble Proliferation
encaustic on panel

Tales from a Test Tube:  Abstractions and Reactions
the works of
Andrew Duncan, Joanne Holtje, Lionel Reinford, and Emily Sandagata
Curated by Jerry Beck
Opening Reception:  Saturday, October 13, 2012 1-3 p.m.
100 Research Drive, Wilmington, MA
for more information please visit beyondbenign

This will be a really exciting show in an interesting, totally unorthodox venue.
The exhibit will be up until January 11, 2013, but after the opening, it will be shown only by appointment.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Another little "palette scraper"
Moody, huh?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Something New (to me)

encaustic monotype

I probably should have waited until I got a better photo as the color is a little off, but I am just so excited by this medium & process!
I have only just begun to experiment with making monotypes with encaustic, and I am loving it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Palette Scrapers


When I have paint left over on my palette I just can't throw it out.
 I would rather waste a small canvas than the paint.

After these "palette scrapers" dry, I go back into them and try to turn them into something.

This one reminds me of a small landscape my mother had of a man hoeing a field under a moody sky.  It was painted by her step-mother's uncle,  F.W. Jackson, a minor British painter active during the late 1880's and into the early 1900's.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Figure Abstraction

Yellow Beret

Okay, I know this painting is a little strange.  But I am posting it because it feels like a leap in progress towards my goal to work with the figure in a very abstract manner.

I am trying to hybridize my figurative work with my non-objective, abstract work.  It would seem simple enough, but it has proven to be challenging.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cold Wax

oil with cold wax

Here's my first experiment with cold wax medium with oil paint.

I am finding it interesting to work with.

It is a natural for me in that I tend to use knives and spatulas more than brushes and because I have a process that works both additively and subtractively.

I also like that the layers dry faster with the wax medium.

Nevertheless, I still have much to learn before I feel really comfortable with this medium.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another try at Still Life

Three Glass Bottles

Here is another still life I did last month.

Perhaps it seems strange for me to make such a restrained painting, but it was a great experience for me to go about this is a very methodical fashion.

I feel like I learned a lot making it, and I do like the resulting image.

There are just enough quirky spots in it to keep it lively for me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Portrait of a Woman in Red

This painting went through some pretty radical changes before I settled
on this rendition.

At one point, I used a piece of paper to lift off excess paint, and got an interesting monoprint. It won't last, though as it in oil on untreated paper.

Friday, September 7, 2012

13th Annual Roddy Competition


I am really pleased that this recent painting of mine has been selected by juror, Jen Mergel, Senior Curator of the Contemporary Collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to be included in the 13th Annual Frances N. Roddy Competition at the Concord Art Association.

Frankly. I was a little uneasy about this painting, as religious imagery is not my "thing", but this was one of those paintings that just sort of emerged, and I felt confident in its strength.

What I was thinking about as I painted it was the persistence of brutality that humans inflict on one another.
Specifically, I was thinking about the current bloodshed in Syria.
Perhaps the image of the crucifixion is my way of hoping that something good can rise for the ashes of violence.

Show runs from September 13 through October 14th, 2012
opening reception Thursday, September 13th 6-8 p.m.

Concord Art Association
37 Lexington Rd., Concord, MA
978-369-2578 or http://concordart.org/ for hours and information

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Painting out at West Hill Park

Late Summer

A group of us sporadically get together and attempt some plein air landscape painting.

On Labor Day, we met in Uxbridge, MA at West Hill Park & Dam .

It was a gorgeous summer day.

This was the result of my second painting. The first was too tight, as usual. I have since reworked it, and I think it might turn into something nice.

This one feels done. I'm not going to touch it!

A special thanks to George Hancin for organizing and hosting this time around.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Floating at Post Road Art Center

The Dream
mixed media sculpture

Post Road Art Center
has a juried show with the theme "Floating"

I have done many pieces recently that would be suitable, but they are all too large. I ended up submitting The Sound of the Ocean (see July 28, 2012) and reworking this small sculpture.

It was so last minute that I didn't get the chance to photograph it. I grabbed this image off the Post Road website.

Both pieces have been accepted by the juror, Elizabeth Geller from DeCordova Museum.

Show runs until September 27, 2012 with a wine and cheese reception on September 6th, 2012 from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Visit their website for more information.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recent Plein Air Painting

Dunn State Park

Two weeks ago I went to Dunn State Park in Gardner to do some painting.

Honestly, I am much more comfortable painting in my studio, but somehow, on a lovely summer day, it just seems criminal not to head out with the paints.

My first attempt (not shown) was really tight and miserable.

I am more happy with this one.

As with nearly all my oil paintings, I used a combination of water mixable oils and R&F Pigment Sticks. Using the sticks helps me keep things loose and bold.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Recent Abstract

Suddenly in Flight

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Figure Painting

Standing Woman with Shadow

The challenge here for me was to keep the fresh, loose feel on a larger scale.
Part of the issue is getting tools large enough (I use a lot of kitchen tools for this) and getting used to mixing large quantities of paint (and trying not to think about the expense).
A special thanks to Dominique, who did such a wonderful job modeling for me!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Still Life


I don't frequently make paintings of objects, but it can be a rewarding challenge to try to get mood and meaning across with such banal subject matter.

I had been remembering the quiet, contemplative works of Morandi, and feeling my own deep sense of security I have from being part of a well-matched couple.

Here is a good article about Morandi if you are unfamiliar or want a refresher.

So here's a question for you: Okay, this is a still life, because of the subject matter, but unlike most still life paintings, it was not painted from observation.
Does that change it somehow?
Is it now more of an abstract? a fantasy? a doodle?
Does it make it seem better or worse knowing that it came out of my head?
How many questions can I pepper you with before you scream?

Monday, August 13, 2012

as of yet, untitled

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mixed Media

Navy Man
mixed media

Monday, August 6, 2012

Redhead with Sunflowers, no. 3

Here is the last of this series.
This one is my favorite of the bunch.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Landscape show


This was selected to be included in the
Landscape show at Post Road Art Center,
juried by Bob Collins of the Danforth.

Bob is an accomplished, prolific painter, and a generous teacher.
You can see his work at his site.

Wine and Cheese reception will be on
Thursday, August 9th, 2012 from 5:30-8 p.m.
Show will be up until August 29th.
1 Boston Post Road, East in Marlborough, MA

Visit their website for more details

Friday, August 3, 2012

Redhead with Sunflowers, no.2

Here is another one.
This was Bob Collin's favorite from the series.

Well, it was.

It had a little accident in transport.

While still totally wet, it slipped from my hand.
I caught it, but smeared the sunflower.
It was better before.

I might fool with it now that the surface is dry.

The thing about painting, oils in particular, there is no "going back" to fix things, you can only move forward, and hope the changes you make are for the better.
Just like life.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Redhead with Sunflowers, no.4

Here's one of the quick, little oils I did a couple weeks ago.
I have two more to show you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sound of the Ocean

Sound of the Ocean

I know, I thought I was done, too.
I promise, I'll stop.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Story of my life...

Square Peg, Round Hole


I got tired of looking at those figure paintings.

This is more like me!
If you click on the picture, I think you will be able to see that there is quite a bit of texture to this.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

More Figure Painting

with Sunflowers, no.1

Another fine Monday night painting class with Bob Collins at Post Road Art Center.

In a three hour session I whipped through four paintings (thanks for the extra canvas, Bob!).

This was the first and most belabored. I made some changes back at my studio when the paint had dried enough to get back into it. It looks a bit stiff to me, but I feel like I am starting to wrap my head around figure painting.

Soon I will post the others, which are smaller, more abstract, and really fun.

Thanks to Thea our fantastic model!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finished piece

Man in the Yellow Chair

So, here this one is. Still representational, but with an expressionistic leaning.
I learned so much on this painting.
I am pleased with the end result.