Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Three peaches on a white tablecloth - the challenge was to try to keep the tone low key.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

path in the woods

A painting of where I run, on the road outside our farm. I started out "tight" but wanted to make the strokes bigger and looser. I hope I captured the light shining beyond the curve in the road.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I was visiting an artist's studio on a tour last fall and photographed these hay bales while in her yard. Later I took some classes with her at this studio and ended up painting them "en plein aire". This was challenging as the clouds were thick and fast-moving and cast different shadows constantly on the mountains and field, changing the color of the mountains from light cadmium orange to deep blue purple, and other colors in between. But I think I captured the place and time!

flakes of snow

Snowflake project for kids - no cutting! First, show students examples of snowflakes, highlighting the six sides or spokes with crystalline shapes. On colored paper, have students draw diagonal lines from corner to corner. Then draw a line midway through the intersection point -- this forms 3 lines total, or 6 short lines radiating from center. Next, have students embellish the lines with curvy lines, straight lines, or simple geometric shapes, to convey the idea of a snowflake crystal. The line drawings should resemble snowflakes that have been cut from folded paper (another project, or you can bring in samples).

Next, provide students with thick white tempera paint or acrylic paint and a brush. I like to start them with a medium size flat brush so that they can cover most of the space (negative) with paint quickly, and learn to use the side of the flat brush to get into crevices around the drawn lines/shapes. They should try not to cover any pencil lines. I then give them small brushes to add paint to inner spaces of their designs. This makes a white "negative" of a snowflake design - the colored paper that peeks through forms the snowflake.

This week, I will have students paint several and we will use the texture of the paint that builds up as a "block" for printing on other paper. I hope to post students' work tomorrow!

apple orchard

Not my first plein air painting, but the first one I've framed! This was painted near Little Washington, Virginia - the trees are old, dead apple trees. I love their shapes.

blue crab

This was painted on a linen/board, 8 x 10, with a palette knife. Most of the applied paint was scraped off; the linen board kept the color as a "stain" that was still intense and rich. I decided to not paint into it again as I liked the effect and felt I should stop.