Saturday, August 29, 2009

Frye Art Museum

I was excited to finally go to the Frye Art Museum. I knew of the great paintings in their huge collection and at long last I would see them.

I was disappointed to see so few of their good paintings. Why? They had a large puppet exhibit (which did not interest me at all) and took out many of their regular things to show it.

But, next month, I think I just might have to go again. A new exhibit of American modern works will hang. I want to see that! Would you like to join me?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saddlebag Island

18 x 24

As I watched the sun set, it amazed me to note how the bright light carved a "U" shape in the land surfaces. I don't recommend staring at the sun, but this phenomenon fascinated me and I couldn't help but look at it!

I feel like I've spent enough time thinking about and painting the water to process most of my feelings about falling in last month. Life events take us to unexpected places. Don't you agree?



1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Technically, Take Two, but "Take Five" anyway

"Take Two"

"Stuart Island" take one

I was looking at the "Stuart Island" painting the other day. Propped up on my studio ledge, it looked pretty sad. And pretty far away from my original idea about the painting. That seems to happen to me from time to time. I have a clear idea about what I want to paint before I begin. As I paint I lose my original idea. I'm not sure how that happens exactly, but I get away from the idea and muddle around. Finally, I say I'm finished when I can't possibly muddle any more without drawing blood. Or something.

What inspired me with this painting was the feeling I had of BIG SHAPES. The big shape of the land that I was gratefully standing on (it had been a while since I had stepped on land). Next, the big shape of the water. All of that water out there, pulling and pushing, surging, changing direction with the pull of the tides. The narrow bits of land were like flat fingers, laying across the heavy flat horizontal of the water.

When I painted it the first time, I got lost in the grasses and dirt and the changes of texture of the land. That broke up the shape more than I liked. The same thing happened with the water. The wind and currents pulled on the water and shifted the colors into cells of blue and I lost the big shape of the water.

And, once I put it up to view it on the ledge, it was obvious that my horizon line dropped off the page. T-square. I should remember my T-square for watery horizons.

With a 4" nylon brush, I erased my first attempt at "Stuart Island" outside in the bark dust.

I wrote "BIG SHAPES" on a sticky note and put it on my easel and tried again. Now you can see why it's "Take Two." Brubeck's "Take Five" reminds me that if I don't first succeed, it's okay to try again and again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Echo Bay

"Echo Bay"
18 x 24


I missed Woodstock. It was the stuff of excited conversations among my older cousins and babysitters. But, as I became a teen, I listened to the music and as I listen to the tributes and anniversary salutes, the music stands.

Do you still listen to Jimi Hendrix? Crosby, Stills and Nash? Joni Mitchell? Joe Cocker?

I may not say, "Peace, man." But I think it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stuart Island again

Sunrise Thoughts
18 x 24

I awaken early to see the still water of Reid Harbor. Barely a ripple disturbs its cool surface. The sun is peering over the horizon and marking the sky with pink and peachy toned hues. Not a cloud, but the moisture in the air seems to be colored by this morning light.

The water, so bright in the distance, so deep and dark straight below me. I carry my first cup of coffee onto the bow and sit down. A folded towel keeps me dry from the dewy wet deck. And think my sunrise thoughts.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Stuart Island

Stuart Island
18 x 24

A long hike in the warm sun. Always uphill from the dinghy dock. Across the island from Reid Harbor to the Turn Point Light Station. And a stop along the way, to look over Suicide Bluff at Canada.

If you enjoy music with your art, as I do, listen in here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dock Talk

18 x 24

"Considering Kelp"
18 x 30

Low Tide at O'Connor's

"Low Tide"
pastel, 18 x 24

pastel, 20 x 10

It was a lively morning today at O'Connor's Restaurant on Capitol Highway. My art group, Eight+, hung a new show. There's a happy energy when we hang new paintings. Customers are already talking about some of the pieces!

I rushed to the framer yesterday to have "Low Tide" framed for this show. Framing really makes a painting take on significance! "Summertime" hangs in the hallway, and the light from the window is just perfect on it.

All of the new work looks great! You can see Celeste Bergin's new piece on her blog, but I hope that you will stop in at O'Connor's and see all of the work for yourself, in person.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Imagine, hanging on the anchor at Echo Bay near Sucia Island ... it's almost sunset and the sky is turning shades of pink and orange. From a sailboat somewhere nearby you hear the sound of a trumpet playing "Summertime" from Gerschwin's "Porgy and Bess." Jazz styling. And the sound fills the air and slides across the water until it bounces off the land in a sweet echo.

It doesn't get better than that!