Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Winter Solstice!

December Sun
oil on canvas

Here in New England, and probably much of the US, it has been feeling like winter for a while, but today it the astronomical start to the winter.

So cheers to all!  May you find a gift in long nights and fleeting hours of daylight.

Perhaps it means extra snuggling or snoozing, or some time for quite and introspection.

Thanks to those who posted or wrote me about this blog.
The conclusion I have reached is that it is okay for me to post on an "as needed" basis, I don't need to keep to a schedule with my posts.

I may have some shows in the New Year, so check back for details.

Peace to All.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Something About the Sea
oil on canvas

I have been getting some (not enough) painting done in my new digs, but I really have not yet found the right spot to photograph work.

It is a struggle to get the colors to read right.

I am also questioning if it is time for me to consciously lay this blog to rest.

I've been ignoring it like a houseplant that you secretly wish would die.   Tell me I'm not the only person who has ever done that!  Anyway, to do a blog well does take a fair amount of time, and I'm not sure if the rewards are still there for me.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vermont HIllside

Shamefully, the only painting I got done this summer was during a course I took in Vermont in July.

This is one I did on the first day.

I have received some criticism on it, which is fine, but I still like it.

The class I took was called Space, Light, and Visual Order, and I think this little painting has those elements.

I got a lot out of this intensive week with Yuan Zuo, but I can tell you this:  he does not like the palette knife and I do!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Take the Path By the Big Tree
oil on canvas

Well.  That was a long five weeks!

This is one of the few paintings I made in this otherwise busy summer.

Frankly, it is a tad garish and I don't think too many people like it, but I do and apparently Elizabeth Geller from the deCordova Museum liked it enough to include it in the Post Road Landscape Show.

In the same show is an innovative and mesmerizingly beautiful piece by my friend, Mark Spencer.
He has created a digitally generated video that evokes a sense of landscape without being explicit about location.  It is magic.

Show opens Saturday, Sept. 7th, 2013 3:00-5:30 p.m.
1 Boston Post Road East, Marlborough, MA
show closes Sept. 25th

P.s.:  You've gotta click on the image to the feel of it.... it has gobs of yummy paint!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

See You

oil on canvas

See you back here in a little while; probably something like 5 weeks.
There are a lot of changes, good and happy changes, swirling around for me right now, so I need to direct my energies towards that.

Please do check back with Room E Studio later this summer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

oil on canvas

I wish I could say this was a big piece, you know 72x57 or something, but I can't, at least not truthfully.

This came out of my "paint over"pile of canvases.
It was from a life drawing group years ago.

As if life drawing and painting isn't contrived enough, they had a belly dancer come in and sit (there is irony here) in full costume.
As  recall, she had a blue outfit on.

Rather than try to paint out the original bit, I prefer to riff off of what is there.

There are some more subtle colorations than this photo shows.  I may try to shoot it again

Friday, May 31, 2013


The Afterlife of Clouds
acrylic on canvas

Historically, diptychs were two equal, hinged panels most frequently for Christian imagery.

Royalty  sometimes had portraits of husband and wife painted in this manner.

In contemporary art, the hinge has become optional, and the panels are not always the same size.
What they share with their predecessors is that while there is a thematic and visual relationship, each panel can stand on its own as a painting.

In other words, putting two canvases next to each other and painting one big painting on them does not automatically make a diptych.

This was my first try at this format.  It was a good challenge!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Forces at Play
oil on panel

Everytime I work on a panel I realize how much I prefer them to canvas,

 but to paint panels the size I prefer (larger than this) they are going to get both expensive and heavy!

The solid support does work better from me, though, given how I like to work the surface.

I used a new (to me) medium with this piece:
a gel medium which keeps the body of the oils nice and thick, but has great translucency and is glossier than the cold wax.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Bather: a skinny-dipper by another name

Skinny-dipper (The Bather)
oil on canvas

My take on "The Bather".
Here, the figure, the environment and the activity all merge into one visual expression.

As is fairly typical for me, I am more interested in conveying the full sensory experience from my  memory (or imagination) than from observation at the time of painting.

This allows me to be more fully present in the landscape, and therefore keenly aware of it, and equally aware and present as I paint.  This kind of focus works well for me.

Cezanne's masterpiece, The Bather 1885

Interesting note:
Cezanne painted this from a photograph of a model in a studio.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Found Journal Series Continues

Controlled, Retrolled,
Overtolled, and Patrolled
Acrylic on canvas

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Should Be Excited....

For Joan
mixed media on paper

I should be excited, but I am not.

My painting, Sutured, was accepted by Katherine French into the "Community of Artists" show at the Danforth Museum, but something about the whole experience has left me feeling a little empty.

Maybe I need a break from all these juried shows.

this piece here I did after a wonderful workshop taught by Randy LeSage at the Worcester Art Museum.  We spent a day looking into the life (whooo-ee) and work of Joan Mitchell.

I was previously unaware of her as a printmaker, so that was interesting.

This work is a monotype that I worked into with pastels.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Getting the Life in Still life

Things on a Shelf
oil on canvas

Right out of the gate, I will tell you that I don't get too turned on over still life painting.

Even if I think I am going to approach one from an abstract sensibility, I find I quickly succumb to what I call the tyranny of things.

The vase, the lamp or whatever looms large in my mind and bullies me into trying to illustrate it.

I started this at my friend, Ann Hick's home, when I few of us had gotten together to paint.  The day was fun, but my results were quite tight and uninteresting to me.

Weeks later, back at my studio, with the specifics of the objects blurry in my memory, I finally pushed it to a point that is satisfying.

The tyrant ultimately loosened his grip, and I was able to get to the life in this still life.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

monotype on rice paper

Torii are those iconic Japanese gates that were originally put at Shinto shrines to demarcate the boundary between the sacred and profane worlds.

Right now I seem to be turning over in my mind the concept of change, transition.

Whether it be in space or time, there is something magic about the moment the shift occurs when one moment you're in one season or world or state of mind, and the next, you are completely in another.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

oil on canvas

Don't misunderstand, I don't think Forsythia are particularly gorgeous shrubs, but they are so very emblematic of Spring, at least here in New England.

One minute the world is very grey, roadsides are downing in road sand and freshly revealed trash, and the next, the Forsythia burst on the scene with their brash, assertive yellow sprays of blossoms.

By the time their flowers have faded, the landscape is fully roused from its winter slumber, and everything is growing, greening, blooming at a manic pace.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Landscape

March Wind Across the Hills
oil on canvas

This piece is about transition and movement.

The hills of Central Massachusetts in March are lit by the much stronger spring sunlight, animated by the still chilly and wild North wind, and colored by dry grasses, patches of lingering snow, and low areas of rich mud.
Green growth has not yet begun to push, but you know it is there, just below the surface.
In a few warm days the whole scene changes, like when The Wizard of Oz goes to color.

So, yes, it is a landscape, but really, it is a lifescape:  transition and movement.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Journal Series Continues

You Gonna Tell Me
What Control Device I Must Develop To Be A Human?

I am still working away at this found journal series.

See the explanation back on Jan 17, 2013 if you don't know what I am referring to.

 I intersperse this work with oil painting and printmaking because it is so intense and emotionally draining.  Very rewarding, though.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

monotype with oil pastel

I really enjoy this process of press-free printmaking.
As a matter of fact, I went out and picked up a jar of the oil-based ink in sepia, just like we used in class so I could do more on my own.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mmm.... More Mixed Media

Sleep Cycle
monotype with mixed media

This is a monotype print on paper that I later drew and painted into using acrylics, charcoal, pastel and conte crayon.
I love the layering of processes.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

GALA Spring Show, 2013


The GALA (Gardner Area League of Artists) show in Gardner is coming to a close in a couple hours.
There was a lot of great work this time around, and no blackout!

The judges were Karen Hass, curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Greg Heins, fine art photographer, and head of the photography studios at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and C.M. Judge,
intermedia artist based in Fitchburg, MA.

I walked away with an embarrassment of ribbons, including best in show for this painting.

Invariably, people ask me why it is "up side down".  I always stumble with the answer.
It is just how the painting asked to be painted, which while true, sounds like mystical mumbo-jumbo.

Last night it came to me:  countless people have been crucified or otherwise tortured and put to  death over time, but regardless of our beliefs,  we have to admit that the crucifixion of Jesus turned the world up side down; changing forever the course of human history.

Pictures from the show will be forthcoming on the GALA website. and Facebook page.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Go See Art, Now!

Measurement of the Necessary

I have been continuing my work with the discarded journal I found many years ago.
This page also contained a list that I loved:
To date I have completed eight paintings in this series.
My plan is to just keep going with it until I can't.
Could be a long trip!

Lots of art to see this weekend.  Central Massachusetts is hopping with Spring shows, despite the prediction of more snow tonight.

I have a figure drawing in Vision as Voice at the House of Art in Monson, MA.

And, for one weekend only, the Gardner Area League of Artists will have their spring show at the PACC in Gardner, MA.

Follow the links for all the details!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brush Gallery Massachusetts Artists Biennial

mixed media on paper

This Saturday, March 16th, is the opening for Massachusetts Artists 2013 Biennial at the Brush Gallery in Lowell, MA.

All three of my submissions were accepted by juror Dina Deitsch, curator of contemporary art at DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.  She chose only 34 pieces from the nearly 200 submitted.

I am honored and excited!

As for the piece above:  hot off the presses!  Well, actually no presses involved, although there were some printmaking techniques used.

This came out of a terrific workshop I attended last weekend in Holyoke.  Taught by Dean Nimmer (of Art from Intuition fame), we explored monotype printmaking, printing over painted surfaces and drawing into prints.

I came away energized and with a mess of prints that I am looking forward to working with.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Beast of Burden


A few weeks ago I added a few new figure sketches to the slideshow that runs at the top right of this blog.

This is one I particularly like.
You can take it (or leave it) on a literal or symbolic level, as you wish.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Figure study: Montage

The figure group I have been going to warms up with five minutes poses, which is kind of long for me, so I usually draw, wipe the page and draw as many times as I like until the time is up.

On this occasion, I left remnants of all of the quick sketches to make a layered drawing.

I suspect tomorrow will be a snowy day, so I don't think I will go.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Classics

Penelope's Work
mixed media on paper

I can honestly say that Homer's Odyssey remains one of my favorite sagas.

Penelope is generally interpreted as a paragon of fidelity and domesticity, but I love her for her cunning  ability to protect herself, even as a person with few rights and little power.

As you may recall, she  buys some time by promising to choose one of the many unwelcome suitors who have descended upon her home to be her new husband as soon as she finishes weaving a shroud for her father-in -law.
Every day she works at her loom, and every night she secretly slips back and undoes her day's progress.

She does this for three years before they figure out what she has ben up to.

I find something powerful and poetic about that concept of weaving and unweaving the same thing for day after day to preserve yourself.

Friday, March 1, 2013

oil on board

Monday, February 25, 2013

charcoal and graphite
on rag paper

Sometimes I just need to step away from the paint.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sans Figure

In Your Absence
oil with cold wax

There was a model seated here at one point.....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Paint Sketch

Semi-reclining Figure

This small sketch I did a couple weeks back using RF pigment sticks.
These are luscious pigments an a buttery oil stick form.
They can be tricky to work with, but are very exciting, just the same.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Navy Man
mixed media

Members Juried II  at Concord Art Association 

opens this Sunday, February 17th 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and runs through March 17, 2013.

Juried by Kathy Halamka and Natacha Sochat, formerly of NKG Gallery, this exhibit showcases works of photography, drawing, mixed media, crafts and graphics.

I have two mixed media pieces in this time around!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Figure Study in Oil

Seated Figure

Here's a quick little study from the figure group I have been going to.  I used R&F oil sticks which, particularly on such a small canvas forces you to generalize and work loosely.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You Have Nerves

You Have Nerves That End in Ideas

This is the latest in the Found Journal Series.  This has been a complex and totally gratifying project.

I am enjoying the acrylics more than I ever thought I would,

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Farmland Vignettes
oil on panel

This landscape was originally painted last spring on a trip to Maine.

This winter, I became disenchanted with it, and was going to sand it and paint over the whole thing, but then I hesitated.

There are a few passages I do enjoy, so I just painted out what didn't thrill me.

Not sure about the values, though.  I think maybe the "redacted" areas should be darker.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This small painting is on a canvas panel that I coated with Golden Absorbent Ground which makes the paint respond a little more like paper.

Originally it was a figure study that I was not pleased with, but I was really enjoying the colors and their quiet, muted quality.

I built on the already abstract motif and blocked out the figure.

The resulting image suggests chairs, maybe tables.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sometimes My Frame of Mind Isn't Framed

This is also from the "Found Journal Series"

This one has some subtle colors that don't come through so well in this picture.  I might try to photograph it again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From the Found Journal

I Really Would Eat Poison with a Smile


This is another from the Found Journal Series, so please don't get worried about my emotional state!
You can read about it in the previous entry, if you missed it last week.

I am choosing the titles directly from the text.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Today I Am Almost Scared How Fine I Almost Feel

It is a spring evening in 1989 and I am walking down a street in Santa Monica, California.
Blowing down the same street are gobs of papers, partial notebooks, blue exam books, like the contents of a school knapsack emptied at the bus stop by the bully.

I start scooping them up.  I don't know, maybe I thought I was retrieving them for their owner, but there was no one, distraught, running after them.

As it turned out, they were fragments of someone's journal, bits and pieces of anguish spanning a decade.
I do not use the word anguish here lightly.
Contained, barely contained in the scrawl and rambles was a story of such darkness and repeated efforts to crawl out from under unbearable despair.

I do not know who the author is, but she seemed as thrown away and blown away as her papers, and so, I saved them.

Every so often I would pull them out, read some of them over, and then put them away again.  They were just so dark.

But I have kept them, nearly 25 years now, because I felt there had to be something I could do with them.
And I didn't want to give up on her.

I think I am now ready to give them new life.

This painting came out from a page she wrote in 1978.  An up day.

That is where the title comes from.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seated Model
acrylic on paper

Finally!  I am back to a regular figure practice.
I am in a 10-week uninstructed group at Emerson Umbrella in Concord, MA.
It feels really good to get back to this sort of thing.

This is from the first meeting, last week.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Winter Afternoon

Late in December a few of us got together and painted this homey scene of a young man reading.
I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this sort of domestic scene, but I found that if you love the material of paint enough, the subject matter doesn't matter so much.
The result was more successful than I imagined it would be.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First Shows of 2013

Ann's Piano

Unrelated to this little painting, I have a few paintings in shows opening this week.

 Post Road Art Center in Marlborough this
Thursday, January 10, 2013 from 5:30-8 p.m.
2013 Figure and Portrait Show,  juried by Bob Collins
 I have two figure paintings there.

and on Sunday, January 13, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. at
Concord Art Association is
Members Juried I, Painting & Sculpture, juried by George Nick
I have a figure painting here, too.

 Click on the links for details or to see the shows on line (CAA posts images after the opening)

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I feel this one is complete, now.