Monday, December 15, 2014

“Unfinished Sketchbook Syndrome”

I suffer from “Unfinished Sketchbook Syndrome” and I have a lot of them…
They are in a box in the attic, also strategically placed around the house so I will maybe finish them and they are on shelves next to the “Haven’t Been Started Sketchbooks”. 
I am determined to finish at least one so I chip away at a small oddly shaped horizontal sketchbook drawing horizontal things around the house.

Monday, November 10, 2014

For the love of Henri Matisse

Somewhere in our teens my friend Judi and I took art classes outside of school. Our eccentric and creative teacher encouraged us to be free, creative and brave with our art. She also had us choose an artist, study their work and learn. There was no internet then, so I wonder at that very young age how I discovered and chose Henri Matisse—curious. So began my love of Henri Matisse and of course, The Beatles.
As I found myself once again drawing and painting with paper cutouts I thought of my lifelong favorite artist, hauled out all my Matisse books and sketched him. 
Thank you Henri Matisse for being a part of my creative life...and you also Jude.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hmmmmmmmm—should I cross the road?

Chickens are the closest known descendants to the Tyrannosaurus Rex so keeping them is very much like having a bunch of tiny “dinos" running around your backyard. They have a hierarchy of bossiness and take dirt baths. Makes me wonder why I am fascinated with them and continue to draw, sketch and paint them...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Knit one, purl two, breathe...

Sometimes life can become a little overwhelming and often during these times my sketchbook remains unopened. 

The other day, I ran down to the beach for the sunrise, started a painting collage of Butterbean one of the Hard-boiled Hens down the street and then there is my 89 year old mom…here for one more week. 

I usually get in a 4 mile run and often yoga and then at the end of the day, I knit. I believe that the act of knitting is downright meditative. It is a way to knit myself back together and then I will sketch.

Knit one, purl two, breathe... 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


The other day my 89 year old mom wanted soup....SOUP? So I made up this soup with tomatoes and basil from my garden, croutons from day old "the best bagels on the planet" from Scratch Bakery up the street and left over chicken. The other day I used sprouted tofu. I don't eat much soup, but this is pretty good.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My mom

Jacqueline 10" x 10"
Acrylic, ink and pencil on wooden panel

My mother, Jackie, is spending time with me in Maine. She is 89 and staying in the downstairs condo through October when the cold will chase back out west. She has slowed down a bit, but still very sharp.
Every morning after my run, we go for a walk to the beach, around the block and back to get a latte and a bagel at Scratch bakery. I am usually 10 feet in front of her calling over my shoulder “I can hear you”, “pick up your feet” or heel/toe, mom”. I am a real nag!!!
A voracious reader she spends the day on the front porch reading one of her two her Kindles, chatting with all the people walking their dogs and catching up on the world news.
She’s my mother so she makes me a little crazy, but this time together is a gift.

This is the first time I have really ever used acrylic for a painting. I liked how easy it was as opposed to oils with solvent and mediums which are starting to feel more and more toxic to me. I will definitely use again, but will need to get used to its quick drying quality.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rest in peace my friend

I lost my wonderful friend, Michael Maynard, early this morning to Pancreatic Cancer. He was Boston/Irish through and through and very mighty. He could be opinionated and mildly cantankerous, but funny, kind and gentile. He loved cars, family and friends and his lovely wife Alexandra and like me, he loved Jack Reacher novels. After a holiday chardonnay or two, I did this portrait of him on my favorite 4th of July spent at their beach house in 2012. He had it framed, hung it proudly on a wall in their house and showed it to everyone. So sweet!

Rest in peace Michael—you will always be my Jack Reacher.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fish Tales

After agonizing (I can't help it) through an oil painting commission, it feels good to draw with a twig and ink and splash watercolor on that drawing.

Commission—Cumberland Foreside

View from Cumberland Foreside property commission—DONE!

16 x 16 Oil on Canvas

Monday, September 8, 2014

Art Abandoned in Portland Maine—September 2014

"Art abandoned in Portland Maine'
Most afternoons I close the gallery for a much needed short break and a little exercise. With art in my bag I casually wander into a store and with nervous stealth-like precision I find an opportunity to place the art, snap a photo and nonchalantly scurry out.

Abandoned at "Art Mart" art store

Abandoned at Longfellow Books

Abandoned at new designer beer store in the Old Port

Thursday, August 28, 2014

End of Summer Blues

End of Summer Blues

22 x 30 watercolor

There is no place on the planet I would rather be in the summer than the coast of Maine. I can't say that for winter so as the days grow shorter and the nights are cooler we are all reminded that the loveliest time of year will come to an end soon...
I was challenged to do a larger watercolor so with a giant pen and brush and a tiny travel watercolor palette my farewell to summer.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Art Abandonment—Sunday August 24

Sunday afternoon, on my break from the gallery, I abandoned some art around Portland Maine. 
Trader Joe's, LeRoux Kitchen and the Maine Surfers Union.

Plein Air painting—Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth Maine

Another beautiful day here in Maine so we spent the morning painting at Two Lights. Sporting my latest handmade Scrunchie, I did a quick 8 x10 oil study of the view across to Richmond Island.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

RIP Jorge Royan artist

I met Jorge at the Usk Symposium in 2012. We took a class from Nina Johansson who had us take painted impressions from the streets and manhole covers and then swap with someone to then use as a background to sketch on. I ended up swapping with Jorge and while we sketched together on the hot July morning in Santo Domingo DR he kept reminding me that he gave me really great backgrounds to work with. Laughing, we fell into the rhythm of the pure joy of sketching.
He invited me early on to join the Sketching Workshop group on FaceBook and I immediately accepted. He created a diverse and dynamic group that thrived on the love of sketching, along with sharing ideas and giving feedback. Jorge continued to always challenge himself and in return would challenge us. His absence is deeply felt among us.
My deepest sympathy to Jorge's family for their loss.
Rest in peace Jorge Royan

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A lovely summer day in Maine

Richmand Island from Kettle Cove, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
8"x 8" quick 60 minute oil study

Yesterday started out with Plein Air painting at Kettle Cove, then a bit of that daily to-do stuff, but finally ended with Sophie and I and all the other people and dogs of Willard Beach watching the amazing cloud show and then the full moon rise—WOW.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Portrait practice

Sketched a few portraits on my day away from the gallery and those intimidating canvases. 
Artist/Television news photographer Bill Barton and reporter Jana Barnello of Channel 13 in Portland Maine.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Still walking, still drawing horizontal things around my house and though I am still avoiding, one out of the three commissions is done…and they love it! Now, I think I will go take a long walk…

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Plein Air painting—Kettle Cove, Maine

Nothing beats summer in Maine, so yesterday when a friend suggested we do some Plein Air oil studies at Kettle Cove, I jumped at the opportunity. The last time I painted outside with oils was 2007, so first I had to find all the stuff. Basically my oil paints have not been touched since long before my Camino walk, so it took some pliers to get some of the tubes open and of course, I forgot a few things and had to improvise...
The fog drifted in and out, but I managed to quickly get paint on my canvas and caught up in the pure joy of it—after all it is summer and just a small study. 
It was a lovely couple of hours painting outside.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Still avoiding...

...still taking long walks, still drawing horizontal things around my house


Saturday, July 26, 2014


I am so avoiding working on the three commissions I have lined up. Drawing all things horizontal in this silly 3"x 8" sketchbook that I have no idea why I bought years ago.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July Sunday in Maine

An early morning 8 mile walk with Patti, a latte, a green smoothie, 5 hours at the gallery staring at a canvas, and take out sushi. Much like the Camino, but no 20 lb pack, a green smoothie and take out sushi. I'm ignoring the canvas...
Pecha Kucha presentation on July 24 at Asylum in Portland Maine. I am presenting with 10 other people who have amazing stories to tell. I am presenting my Camino journey through my sketches.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Santiago de Compostela

I returned home from Spain two weeks ago. It has not been easy to assimilate back into life here after my amazing journey. The Camino occupies a great deal of my thoughts and I find I terribly miss being a walker/sketcher/pilgrim...
My accordion sketch book of the plaza in Santiago finally got colored in after sadly sitting unopened until today. What great memory of going from window to window of the Parador Hotel sketching this beautiful scene.
Gracias nuevo España. Realmente fue un buen Camino.

Close-ups of accordion sketchbook.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Muchas gracias Spain

The sun was out with bright blue skies for our last morning in Santiago. We had a couple of hours to kill before our long trip home so I went in search of my last café con leche. Almost as much as the café con leche, I love the cup and saucer and the little spoon. Sadly, I left my last red lipstick mark on my last cup in Spain.
Muchas gracias Spain. It truly was a “Buen Camino”
(In case you are thinking “that is just so tacky”…I always wipe it off before I leave)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Santiago, Spain-one last hug for St James

One last visit to the cathedral where I hugged St James...for the second time.
We leave tomorrow after 40 days, 32 of which were on the Camino, it is time to go home. I am tired, ready for my home and my own bed, being back with my sweet little dog Sophie, walking the beach and getting back to the gallery and painting. However, I am already thinking about my next walk/sketch...

Santiago-panorama of cathedral and plaza

Still drizzling I managed to find a place to sketch the cathedral and plaza from the tall window in an old unused restaurant in the Parador hotel off the plaza. I used a USK accordion sketchbook. I can't believe I took this on as my attention to detail can wane as you can see if you look close : ) I kept saying to myself "they actually built it thousands of years ago, so at least I could finish my sketch in a few hours" so I carried on through the afternoon.
Patti took a photo of me with my sketch (in the drizzle) before I attack it with watercolor. Then off we went to shop and check out the local market where this "non-meat-eater" scored her last local jamon before we head back home tomorrow.