Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Small Lighthouse Painting

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Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
Framed 10x8 Oil on Panel
The only lighthouse I had the opportunity to visit in Acadia was the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. It is located approximately 30 minutes from Bar Harbor. Not to detour your visit, but the best way I can describe the size and scope of the lighthouse is ... “petite”.  I was surprised, because many photographs gave it a grander illusion. On the other hand, I thought about the significance of this small structure being a guide for even the largest of ships.
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”…
One of the first original paintings my parents ever purchased was by M.H. Jacobs – as he signed his work ( Marvin Jacobs). I was a teenager at the time and we lived in Maine.
They met Mr. Jacobs at an art festival and said he graciously took the time to discuss his collection of coastal paintings with them. The composition of their selection was horizontal, with a lighthouse positioned near the top right side. Below it were cliff rocks and ocean extending to the left side of the canvas. The art was nicely framed with a dark wood trim.
Wherever we lived, the painting was displayed in prominent place in our home. I admired it for the details and soothing colors, hoping someday that I could learn to paint in such a way.
During our trip to Acadia this summer, I noticed souvenirs in Bar Harbor shops that carried prints, greeting cards, and other items with M.H. Jacob’s artwork on them. I had flashbacks. Here it is, over thirty years later, and his artwork still plays an important role in sharing the beauty of coastal Maine. Wow!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hiking Acadia continued

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Cadillac Sky Study
7"x5" Oil on Panel
Offered framed at Etsy

Hike continued...

We descended from Sargent Mountain by backtracking on the same trail. This led us to the Penobscot Mountain Trail, a path that paralleled Jordan Lake Pond. 

A mile into the hike, we were viewing the ocean from the summit of Penobscot Mountain.  While there, we took a break and spoke with a couple and their son about exploring Acadia and discussed other magnificent American national parks to visit.

When we asked the best location to watch the sunset, they suggested a parking lot near the top of Cadillac Mountain. They advised arriving an hour early, because it fills up quickly.

Needless to say, I could hardly wait until sunset… It was the next box to check!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Florida Parrotpalooza Auction

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Perched Parrot
12x6 Oil on Canvas
Donation to Florida Parrot Rescue

We’ll get back to the mountaintop soon, but I wanted to inform you of the ParrotPalooza Rescue Auction that is being held online from Sept 1 -30, 2015.

The Florida Parrot Rescue contacted me and requested a donation of artwork to help raise funds for their volunteer organization and I was delighted to do so!
From the auction site: > / Parrotpalooza

All of the proceeds of the auction will be used by Florida Parrot Rescue in its never ending goal of providing education, community outreach and making sure that the birds coming into rescue, receive the care and rehabilitation they need until they can be placed into their forever home.”
You can bid on this oil painting and many other fantastic items (including Disney World Park Passes :)). It’s a double doozie : Become a winner and contribute to a good cause!
Animals, small or large, provide comfort and joy throughout our daily lives. They connect in ways that seem to bring out the best in us.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hiking Acadia

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Gorham Mountain View
14x11 Oil on Panel
Available at Etsy soon

This larger version is very similar to the 5x7 painting below. The brushstrokes in the clouds are a little more prominent and the ocean/sky transition is soft. My goal with both paintings was to create a feeling of perspective and atmosphere.


The second Acadia hike was to the summit of Sargent Mountain. It began at the Jordan Pond parking lot. Heading northeast on the Jordan Pond Path, it was a longer stretch than to Gorham Mountain, with a steeper elevation and more variety in scenery. Sections of the trail were damp from the previous day of rain.

Our next connection point was at the Deer Brook Trail. Part of it was covered with exposed roots. There were streams and waterfalls among the rocks, making it slippery at times. We remained on this path and heeded the warnings of the East Cliff Trail, which reportedly had a steep drop-off.

The Deer Brook Trail led us to the Sargent South Ridge trail. It was easier to maneuver because of the dryer and flatter surface.
Reaching the Sargent Mountain elevation of 1373 ft is a cakewalk for most avid hikers, but for this forty-something, flat sidewalk stroller, it was quite enough of a challenge. The view at the top was amazing and well worth the effort! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Acadia National Park Painting

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Acadia Sky
Oil on Panel
Offered framed at Etsy - Click Here
Whenever time permits, we try to visit a national park during the summer months. This year, I felt fortunate to explore Acadia National Park and tour a small portion of the northeastern coast of Maine.

We stayed at the Moseley Cottage Inn, an historic home site in Bar Harbor, built in 1884. This beautiful Victorian Inn has two rooming options. You can either reserve a luxury suite in the B&B portion of the main house, or stay at the separate motel which has lower rates and smaller rooms (and still very nice). It is right off the main street, so you are close to restaurants, shops, and art galleries, just in case of rain ;) 
The land of Acadia NP borders Bar Harbor and spans over 47,000 acres of Mount Desert Island. (source: Stop by the visitor’s center to obtain maps and information from the knowledgeable volunteers, who will describe the marked hikes and other available activities in detail.
The painting above is the result of our first day’s hike to the summit of Gorham Mountain, elevation 525’. The park map tagged the trail as an easier climbing level and I definitely agree.  The half-mile slope to the summit was gradual, with a mostly flat surface of rocks. A pair of hiking shoes with thick tread is ideal. This is a great starting point from which you can absorb the fantastic views of the sky, land, and ocean, all at the same time. I am now working on a larger version of this piece...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Everglades Painting

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Everglades Blades
14x11 Oil on Panel

This summer has been a busy one, even though I am not preparing for any shows. I have traveled as far north as Maine and down to south Florida. Soon I will be in Upstate NY for a few days. Whew! It's been a lot of fun seeing some new sites, which will eventually turn into paintings.

This painting of the Florida Everglades is a colorful piece that I completed several months ago. It will be placed on my website with a dark brown frame within 2 weeks. Please sign up for email notifications at, so you can receive an update as soon as it becomes available.

Thanks for your interest in my artwork.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Moving On

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Far From Home
10x8 Oil on linen panel
Portrait Study from life
Available Soon

This is what I am going to call the final version. There are still many things to change with the eyes and cheeks, but given the amount of hours already spent on the painting, continuing the process would only stall the other artwork in line. Additionally, there is no reference image to follow. The recollection of transitional shadows, shapes, and highlights has almost faded. Oddly enough, there is little difference between them.

“Art is never finished, only abandoned”  -  Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Back to Portraits?

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Far From Home
10x8 Oil on Linen Panel

I finally had the opportunity to attend another figure painting session this week. My, how time flies ... it has been nearly nine months. I felt a little rusty, but also revived. When working from life, the colors are far more vibrant than in photographs, which is always exciting.

I used a limited palette at the studio. It’s easier to bring a smaller selection of tubes when traveling.  They included: burnt sienna, white, black, cadmium yellow, and ultramarine blue. Halfway into painting, I borrowed a pinkish-red tone from Nika’s stash. It proved to be another great color that I had never tried, called Geranium Lake by Holbein. After returning home, I added lighter tones with some different colors.

The other new thing I sampled was a linen panel by Blick Art Supplies. This panel has a nice smooth surface and absorbs paint exceptionally well. I would recommend it for any fine detail work and the canvas was not even toned prior to painting. Check it out > click here

When forming the facial features, I had a few other discoveries. The first was in the nose and the second was in the orbit of the eyes. With the nose, I had been carrying the lighter tones down to the nostrils, which was inaccurate. Now I can see the box shape formed in the highlights. The orbit of the eyes just needed to be larger and darker.

I consider this work a portrait study. Taking an experimental approach, you can easily move forward gathering pertinent information and skill sets, without setting out for an optimal painting. But separating the two objectives can be very tricky. Why leave artwork incomplete, given the number of hours you already have invested? Needless to say, this is still a work-in-progress ;)) 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Picture Frames

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One of the things I hope to do this summer is to organize my artwork into collections and frame most of the small and medium pieces. It is interesting to view the impact that a picture frame can have on a work of art.
Although I am mostly drawn to simple black frames, I try to separate my personal taste from what I think best suits the painting. While some images call for ornate gold, others may display well with a contemporary silver border. If your work is similar in style and colors, it is much easier to create a cohesive collection for a single wall.

Picture frames can also help define the environment. For example, when I use white frames, I tend to think of coastal or tropical d├ęcor. Brown and black can be perceived as contemporary, modern, or traditional. Bright gold and plein air styles show well in traditional or Victorian settings. On the opposite end, wide and colorful frames may be best suited for a child’s room or patio, etc. (Just my opinion, of course!)
To save on product costs, and still have a finished appearance, many artists are opting for canvases or panels with gallery-wrapped, staple free edges. With wider widths, the artist determines whether to continue the painting around the edges or use a solid color. These paintings can be displayed unframed; however, I think they look best when placed in shadow-boxes, called “floater frames”. 
There are many choices when it comes to finishing artwork and essentially, the proper frame can make all of the difference.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Painting Flowers

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Summertime Zinnia
14x11 Oil on canvas
Original Available Soon
Painting this Zinnia was one of those care free moments, where the placement of colors flowed.  It began differently from my normal routine. Instead of using a toned canvas, I started with a plain white surface and drew a loose outline... (admittedly, I couldn't wait to paint). It was completed in two sessions, with one overnight stay.
Flowers are definitely the way to go, on those days when you just need something fun and simple to create.

Impasto Zinnia
8x8 Oil on Panel
Original Available Soon!
Here’s another version done by applying thick layers with a palette knife.
**Never stop experimenting with techniques**
This is a great time to photograph the flowers in your area for future references. And if you prefer painting indoors from life, consider setting up a fresh bouquet under a studio light, for hours of enjoyment!