Friday, June 29, 2007

Montecatini Alto Welcome

This little colored pencil piece is a birthday gift for my mother. I had the pleasure of traveling with her to Italy a couple of years ago, and we stayed in the little town of Montecatini. Our hotel was in Montecatini Terme, which is the "new" town, built around its thermal spas. Montecatini Alto is the "old" town, situated at the top of a hill, and we rode up there in the "funiculare" to explore one day. It was a magical day, all around... gorgeous weather, beautiful sights, lots of little surprises as we rounded corner after corner. We both really enjoy the distinctive doors and entryways that are so typically Italian, and I took quite a few photos of them that day. I hope looking at this brings her back to that lovely day!

This being an art journal, I should add that on that same day, we literally stumbled upon an other wonderful experience. We walked back from the funiculare station a different way, and saw a sign for an art academy. It appeared they were having some sort of exhibit having to do with Leonardo DaVinci, and we were trying to figure out, with our limited understanding of Italian, what exactly it was all about. The gate was closed and locked, and we were about to leave when a man came out and spoke to us. To make a long story short, we were able to come back a few hours later, to a side door where he let us in, even though the place was closed. We had this whole exhibit to ourselves, and it was like a dream! They had a large collection of Leonardo DaVinci's tiny little sketchbooks and journals! Fantastic!

(5"x7", colored pencil on Ampersand pastel board)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Another recent pencil portrait... another pretty niece. I really loved how her beautiful curls fell like a curtain, allowing only a limited view of her face... but enough to know it is Eleanor.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Forever and Humbly Unfinished

I don't know what possesses me sometimes. To set up a still life, with perishable fruit and delicate plant material, when I know I will not have enough uninterrupted time to finish, and I'm out of practice with acrylics... well, it's crazy, isn't it? Not to mention my failure to acknowledge the importance of preparation... of work space, materials (do I even OWN a decent brush right now?), or location of the set-up (within inches of an often-used door! Brilliant!).

So, the nectarines are brown and mushy, the leaves of the sweet woodruff are pointing DOWN, three brushes are on their way to the trash, and this little painting is not finished. But, here it is anyway! (6"x6", acrylic on masonite) The tiny yellow pitcher is a favorite object of mine. I'm thinking that my collection of pitchers would be a good theme for this summer's artwork, so expect to see them, in all their diversity!

Having had a little preview this past week of living and working with extra people in the house, I think it might be wise for me to stick with my colored pencils while we have a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons (ages one and a half and three) staying with us for the month of July. Yes, definitely.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Here is one of my commissioned portraits, done not too long ago. I always thought she was particularly sweet!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Topiary Garden Sun

I'm still having fun with the prismacolor ACEOs. The ideas for these just keep streaming from my brain... or are they streaming TO my brain? I've received some very interesting messages from buyers about how they searched for a particular subject at a specific time, because of something that had happened to them personally, and one of my newly listed cards popped up. Some of the messages are cute or funny, and there are a couple that are downright mystifying!

Anyway, maybe this one will wind up with an interesting story. I worked the shapes of the topiaries and the face of the sun before really deciding on what route I would take with the rays. In the back of my mind, I was thinking simple geometric, and this grosgrain ribbon-like design is what happened. It wasn't until it was finished that I noticed the overall Engish feel... those rays suddenly reminding me of the Union Jack.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Spanish Bowl

My intent here, with this journal, is to post new work on a regular basis. However, until I have something brand-spanking-new (other than the aforementioned ACEOs) I will share some older pieces. Perhaps looking at them myself, and realizing just how old some of them are, will embarrass me into action! I have cut, sanded, and gessoed some 6"x6" pieces of masonite. I'm sure it won't be long before I make a new start. (Just having those white squares looking at me expectantly each time I enter my studio will go a long way in the nudging department! I know, I'm pitiful!)

So, this still life painting, in acrylic on stretched canvas, was done... let's just say... quite some time ago! It holds a special place in my heart because whenever I look at it, I remember buying that bowl at a street market in Spain. It was meant to be a gift for someone, but it broke inside my suitcase, maybe somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. I glued it, kept it, and it's really the only memento I have now of that trip.