Thursday, October 7, 2010

October Sky for Sheila

acrylic on paper

For Sheila Tajima's journal in the Flying Moleskin's journal swap.

Fall is my favorite season. I love the deepening, more intense colors, the cool snap to the air,  the quickened pace.  Free from summer's humid weight, life feels sharper, clearer, more textured.  Light is lower, shadows longer, richer, and more mysterious. I imagine the trees are relieved to drop the burden of holding up all of those leaves, and sing when they decorate the landscape.

wishing you a bountiful new season...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Front Porch

mixed media sketch
in moleskine journal

This is my sketch in Irit Bourla's journal for the Flying Moleskins journal swap. Irit's theme is local places, and since I don't go too far afield these days, out the front door seemed handy.  Our home was built in 1920, and has a long covered porch with a swing at one end. When the weather's decent, it's a relatively quiet spot to relax. So relaxing, in fact, that it wasn't until after I'd finished the sketch that I realized I'd done it upside down in the book! Apologies, Irit, but I've cut it out, and glued it in right side up.  Your book's flying to Adebanji tomorrow.

Happy Summer everyone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Flying Moleskins: Abstract Dreams

May You Soar
acrylic on paper

These are two pages for Dana Cooper, whose journal theme is dreams.  My dreams have been elusive lately, like shifting sand. A promise glimpsed of some distant, better future that dissolves when I try to understand its shape and content.  Fragments float, illuminated, forming landscapes both strange and somehow familiar. Echoes of joys remembered and not yet known.

Huge thanks to everyone who left such supportive comments on the show last month. We had a great turn-out despite the heat, and it was a success.   

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Group Show This Weekend

I'm excited to be part of a 5-person show this weekend at a friend's historic farm in the Maryland countryside.  The stone walls and barnwood have turned out to be a great setting for the contemporary and abstract work.  I don't have photos of the work in place yet, but took some of the farm earlier this week.  I'm wondering if Jane and her family would notice if I move into the garden house....

 coming down the lane 

view from the garden house

main house and spring house

looking out from the large stone barn

garden house

a few of the local girls

Jane gives instructions to the welcoming committee


Please come if you're in the area.
Would love to see you! 

Participating artists: Jane Byron, Colleen Clapp, Liz Holm, C. Edward Ramsburg, Cristy Stup

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flying Moleskin Journal Swap

Megan, Ryan
watercolor in Moleskine journal

This is for Michelle Burnett.  I was wracking my brain for snapshot or postcard ideas from my past, and became so melancholy looking through old photos, I had to stop. Then I noticed some of the cutest kids I'd ever seen on Michelle's FB page. The apple really doesn't fall far.  

Thanks to Chris Beck for suggesting I break out the watercolors again. I'd forgotten how fun watery washes can be. After the Claybord issues from the last post, it was doubly fun.  Thanks for everyone's comments, advice and commiseration.  (And thanks, Michelle, for having such cute kids!) 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

White Rose

24"x 24"
acrylic on Claybord

This is one of 6 florals that I have hanging in a group show at the Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center through the end of June.  I'd never worked on Ampersand's Claybord before. Boy, does is soak up some paint.  The brush would be dry before I'd completed a stroke.  I put out a FB plea, and Manon told me she usually seals it first.  Ah ha.  Good to know for future pieces.   

Many thanks to Don Dunsmore for a lovely reference photo.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Flying Moleskins - Camille, Richard and Matisse's Open Window

acrylic on paper
7"x 10 (2-pages)

For Camille Olsen, who's journal theme is peace.  Must be the tropical heat here in Maryland, because my colors got away from me and turned all lime and melon and banana, and I swear I'm hearing Calypso music. Camille and her husband are standing near a very rough rendition of my favorite Matisse painting. (Yep, more sailboats).  My apologies to the Olsens if I'm not close to a likeness. We haven't met, but rumor has it, both have wicked senses of humor and that they are a colorful and fun-loving pair.

Thanks for all of your comments on the last post.  I appreciate it!

Peace out ;-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Flying Moleskins - Cat Nap for Angela's journal

Mabel on Deck
S.V. Tamara
Grenada to Norfolk Voyage
acrylic in Moleskine journal

My entry for Angela Elledge's journal for the Flying Moleskin's journal swapAngela's theme is places. I don't know if it's spring fever or feeling a bit stuck in place or both, but I've had a bad case of wanderlust lately. I started thinking about the places I've felt most content, and realize most of those places involve the sea or companion animals or both.

In the late 90s, lifetimes ago it seems, I helped a friend's mother bring her Alberg 37 from Grenada to Norfolk. We made the trip in one shot, no stops, across the Caribbean and then up the Atlantic. 20 days at sea. It was just the two of us, and sweet Mabel the cat.  During calmer weather Mabel would wedge herself between the air vent and companionway hatch, and doze in the shade. During bad weather, she'd snug in the cabin, and during my 3 hour sleep shifts, she'd bunk with me for company.  Tropical Depression Danny hit us just before it was upgraded to hurricane status.  Gusts to 60 and sustained winds of 45 were a challenge at the helm. The week before we landed the forestay snapped (which holds the mast upright), and we had a thrilling rollercoaster ride down some huge seas while we wrestled the head sail out of the surf and hooked up an emergency forestay.  We also hit the doldrums-- endless days on glassy seas.  The water tanks fouled, we ran out of propane, and blew an oil gasket that needed repairing.  It was one of the best times of my life. Every day was new, and the colors of the sea and sky changed hourly. On calm nights, I'd lie on deck.  Millions of stars above reflected in the water, and it felt like floating through the universe.  When the wind was fair, and we'd make good headway, dolphins would show up and play around the bow wake. Bliss.

I don't know what happened to Mabel after the return trip, but I like to imagine she's living out another of her 9 lives, belly full of fish, dreaming of far-away lands.

a few snaps....

moi.. exhausted and thinner as we 
near Norfolk.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunshine and Honest Scrap Awards

Thank you to the following lovely ladies for sending some awards my way. I appreciate it. 

The Sunshine Award:
     Karen Bruson
     Trish Siegel
     Mitzi Easly
     Faith Te

The Honest Scrap Award:

Please visit their sites to see some great paintings.  

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wildlife- The Flying Moleskins

acrylic on gessoed paper
ea. panel 5 x 8"

These are my pages in James Parker's journal for the Flying Moleskins project. James' theme is wildlife. We have lots of deer and bunnies in Maryland, and LOTS of snow right now. I found a reference photo from Danish photographer Tanja Askani, who has heart-warming shots of this orphaned deer who befriended a wild rabbit at a refuge center. I love it when nature shows us how to get along.

The colt is one of the wild horses who are sheltered on Assateague Island off the Atlantic coast of Maryland and Virginia. In the summer, some of the horses are herded, and swim to Chincoteague, Virginia for auction. More of the story is on the National Park Service's site. One of my favorite books from childhood is Margeurite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone...snuggle up to someone you love --human or otherwise! ;-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Seeing Red (redux)

oil on gessoed paper
11" x 15"

Some of you may recognize this young woman from an earlier post from April. I resurrected her this past weekend to get my painting muscles going again. My friend Barbara graciously traded homes with me for a few days...a gift beyond measure as her beautiful home came equipped with a working studio and a gorgeous view of fields and mountains. My home came with Mom, a cat and two active dogs to care for. I spent a weekend painting hats of various shapes and color--black porkpie, blue knit, bright green with orange flower (I'm not kidding). Then I'd wipe it all out. I finally changed the background and her clothing, and returned to this odd headgear that's not too far from April's version. She's almost done. Thanks to Barbara for the much-needed respite, and to friends Pam and Mark for their hospitality on Sunday. Much appreciated!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Flying Moleskins!

detail, journal cover, acrylic on Rives BFK

A new year, and a new project takes flight. Friend and fellow blogger Dominique Eichi has launched an invitational art journal swap. We're a baker's dozen from the U.S., U.K. and Canada who will be passing our Moleskine (or other) art journals of varying themes to one another each month until everyone has a painting or sketch from everyone else. Please visit the new Flying Moleskins* blog that Dominique has started to track our progress.

Here is my home-made journal pack containing loose sheets (as yet unbound) that is currently in flight to Adebanji Alade in England. My theme is portraits of any sort- people, animals, trees, flowers, houses...well, you get the picture!

* I've learned that the originals were actually mole skins (oh dear) and were spelled without the final 'e' that today's trademarked journals contain.

journal pack front

journal pack, back

Bon Voyage!