Friday, February 29, 2008

The Chama River

Chama River in the Fall, watercolor, 10" x 14"

February 29

On this odd day that comes only once every four years, I was remembering last September's painting trip to New Mexico, and dug up this watercolor done in one of my favorite places there. This stretch of the Chama River on the way to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert has some of the most amazing rock formations in fabulous colors. It's a rugged dirt road to get there, but by this time of the year, it has been re-graded to make it drivable after the summer rains. Two dear friends painted with me here; the day was perfect, neither hot nor cold, a gentle breeze stirring the cottonwood trees above as we ate our sandwiches and painted. What a wonderful way to spend one's time!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Cactus Flower

Opuntia, watercolor, 5" x 9".

This is a sketch done on location a few years ago, on the grounds of the Randall Davey house in Santa Fe. I love the delicacy of watercolors for rendering the creamy petals against the blue shadows, the way the shape of the flower is suggested.

Monday, February 25, 2008

More Spring Dreams

Raquel's Garden

Today's painting is a view of my friend Raquel's garden in the spring. I was staying overnight, and when I woke up early the next morning, I looked out the window of my bedroom as the mist was lifting from the hillside with the first rays of the sun. The cool shades of bugle and other wild ground covers made a vibrant carpet for the pinks of the bleeding hearts and a lilac.

This pastel painting on Wallis paper is approximately 9" by 11," matted and framed in an antique-look gold frame (finished size is 14" x 18") and sells for $300. Drop me an E-mail if you are interested. If you can't afford the original but like the image, you can order a giclee (digital print) by clicking on Imagekind.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Snowy Lunar Eclipse


Last Wednesday we had a light dusting of snow here in Maryland. Later that night the sky began to clear... my husband came in after taking the recyclables out and said, "You should take a look at the moon, it looks very unusual." Neither of us had any idea that there was a lunar eclipse taking place (we rarely listen to the weather channel), but when I went out on our frozen deck to take a peek, I knew it had to be an eclipse. The full moon was quite dark, with a deep rosy glow and stars winking around it. With the ice glinting on the trees behind our house, it was magical.

In my painting I put in a little bit more snow for a deep winter effect.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Golden Hour

Here's another little painting from last year. It depicts what many of us painters like to call "the golden hour"--that first or last hour of the day when the sun is low on the horizon and its color tilts toward the red spectrum. This is my favorite time of the day to go outside to paint or take photos. The wondrous light brings out a quality of fullness and profound mystery to everything it touches.

The Golden Hour
is an oil on Gessobord, 9" x 12," going for $100. Contact me by E-mail if you are interested in buying.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Blue Gate

Today's painting is also last year's from the Santa Fe show, a 12" x 9" original oil on Gessobord. I loved the red geraniums on the window box against the blues of the woodwork of this old adobe house on Canyon Road. It's going for $125 and that includes shipping anywhere in the continental USA, more if outside. Drop me an E-mail if you are interested in buying.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A delightful suprise

This morning when I went down to water my tropical houseplants in the basement, lo and behold, a delightful surprise awaited me: my Brugmansia had two lovely angel trumpets! Considering how big they are, how could I have missed the emerging buds? I'd just been down there the day before and yet I hadn't noticed. By the looks of the buds, there will be at least a few more blooms. I couldn't resist sharing this photo.

I've had this plant for four years and it has only flowered once before, while it was outdoors. I had thought it would only bloom in the late summer/early fall because it needed a lot more light to set buds. I love it when nature has a nice's like a present when you least expect it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Mother's Garden


My Mother's Garden

I was looking over my old photos and found one of my mother's garden in Falls Church. My mother lived in this little house long enough to pay off the mortgage, the last twenty-two years alone after my father passed away. A published poet and artist, to me her garden was her greatest masterpiece (after us children) among many outstanding accomplishments.

I painted her as I like to remember her: puttering in her garden at its most glorious. In May, when dozens of azaleas burst into a riot of bloom, the modest brick house became the showpiece of the neighborhood, and strangers driving by would stop to admire her handiwork. At the back, under her bedroom window were the orange-red bunches of "Gibraltar," by the entry steps the apricot-colored Exbury I had given her as a present. The reds, pinks and whites blended seamlessly with other flowers in bold combinations: orange-red poppies with purple iris along the front walk. Hers was a garden for all seasons, with bloom from early March through, at times, late roses in December.

Alas, she is gone to a better place now, and so is her garden. But it will always live on in my memory, as does our home and garden in Cuba. Today's painting is for all of us whose mothers loved gardens, and were much loved. It's a pastel on Wallis paper (see Feb 14 entry), approximately 9-1/2" x 11".

Friday, February 15, 2008

Santa Fe's Famous Pink Flamingos


Santa Fe's Famous Pink Flamingos

Today's painting is actually last year's, an 8" x 10" oil on gessobord painted for a group show in Santa Fe. It was painted from a photo taken during a stay as Artist in Residence at the Mill Atelier Gallery a few years back. Walking around Santa Fe is always a pleasure because of the way the residents decorate their places; this facade was so amusing I just had to paint it.

I'm old enough to remember a time in the 1980's when those tacky plastic flamingos so ubiquitous in Florida became the height of fashion in D.C. Some congressman woke up one morning to find a bunch of them in the front yard of his home in Capitol Hill--a humorous prank by a rival or critic, everyone culprit ever found...anyway, the flamingos became the height of tacky chic overnight. Imagine my surprise to see the phenomenom transposed decades later so far away!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dreaming of Spring

Feb. 14, 2008

Valentine's Day seems like a propitious day to start a new painting blog. This will be a place to post my paintings and random ravings. Of course, my "daily paintings" are actually weekenders. It's hard to do one painting a day when you have to work ten hours a day (sometimes more) four days a week. That still leaves me with a three-day weekend to work on art.

This is a small pastel I did this past weekend, dreaming about spring...last year my friend Linda and I went for a hike along the Potomac River in early spring, and found masses of wild blue phlox and Virginia bluebells growing along the path by the river at Carderock. It was such a lovely scene, it instantly cheered me to revisit my photos and create this painting. Anything to get over the winter blahs!

Dreaming of Spring is about 9" high by 11-1/2" wide, on Wallis paper (a sanded paper made specially for pastels), and it's at Gallery 1683 in Annapolis at the moment. Please stop by if you are interested, for more information visit the gallery's website by clicking on the link in the Links column.