Salty Air and Sea Grass,Hammonassett Beach, Madison, CT
oil on canvas, 11 x 14" , available
Out with the Madison Art Society Plein Air Painters today was our second paint out of the season.
Since I volunteered to coordinate the paint outs each week I selected Hammonassett because I knew it would be a great place to get back into painting again from a long winter break. Just standing on the beach, filling my lungs with the salty air, the breeze constantly blowing and the sunshine on my face felt comforting and familiar.
With everything going on in the world. This upside down time of Covid-19 I was hungry for a familiar feeling. I struggle at times going to store and seeing everyone in masks. Unable to see their face, their smile when making eye contact. I think folks are even afraid of making eye contact. They look away or down at the ground. I really hope this all changes. We as humans, need contact with others even if it's just a simple smile or hello. Let's go back to what we know and are familiar with.
Casting Among the Colorful Rocks, Meig's Point, Hammonasset, Madison, Ct
11 x 14" on canvas panel, framed, available
Casting Among the Colorful Rocks at Meigs Point, Hammonasset Beach was inspired by our last day trip. Saturday morning we headed out early, Dean packed his fishing gear and I had my plein air bag ready to go by 6:45am. We stopped at Clinton Beach first but made our way to Hammonasset Beach in Madison. It was crowded already so early in the morning. I think everyone was so happy to just be outside, enjoying the warmer weather and breathing in the fresh salt air.
Beach Therapy, acrylic painting, on gallery-wrapped canvas, 30 x 30, available
Beach Therapy was inspired by two smaller versions of this painting I created in 2013. One version was 6 x 6 in. and the second version 12 x 12 in. . The candid shot of these two ladies was taken when my kids and I spent the day at Rocky Neck Beach, State Park in 2008.
I was fascinated by the gestural moves of the woman on right with one hand holding the suntan lotion and the other hand aiding in the story she was sharing with her friend. I also loved the way the shadow of her body created such a dynamic shape and pattern on the back of her beach chair.
I've had students ask me in the past, "do you ever get bored painting the same scene twice?"
My answer is no... well, not yet I should say. I always find something new to explore or dig deeper into the piece to find something unique and different. Sometimes it's the color or the brushwork, other times it's an adjustment to the composition. Always learning, always growing is my motto.
oil pastel sketch of a day at the Beach with the kids
One of our favorite beaches in Connecticut, Rocky Neck State Park, in Lyme, CT -
Swept Away, oil painting, 9x 12", framed, available
Inspiration Painting Notes:
This painting is based off of a reference photo I took in August 2008 while my kids and I were at Rocky Neck State Park/Beach in East Lyme, CT. Although there are many beautiful beaches here in Connecticut, Rocky Neck is one of my favorites. I can remember the first time I took my kids there, they were young, probably 3, 5 and 7. Living in Glastonbury at the time, it was about an hour drive to the beach. We parked the car in the lot closest to the bath houses and followed the signs pointing to the beach.
Underneath the railroad tracks we went. I can remember exactly how I felt. Skeptical is the first word that pops into my head right now. What in the world did I get us into? This feels so strange approaching a beach through a tunnel. And does a train really go by here? I was pushing the stroller with the youngest lathered up with sunscreen while the older two carrying a blanket and small travel cooler.
The tunnel wasn't very long and you could clearly see through to the other side but the cool dark shade was just enough to give a dramatic entrance to beach scene. Once our eyes were adjusted to the intense brightness of the sand and shimmering water, all we could see was bounty of vivid colors! Umbrellas, towels, chairs, tents and yes lots of people!
The kids were so excited, they ran ahead picked out a spot for us to park our gear, kicked off their shoes and leaped to the water!
Such wonderful memories!
Day 3 of the 30 day Painting Challenge - to view more work by the 600+ artists participating in the challenge to instagram and use the #create30challenge
Shake it Off, oil on canvas, 8 x 10, framing included, available
Painting Notes: This painting is from a photo reference that I took while my kids and I were at the beach in August 2008 - 12 years ago! I did add quite a bit of color to her skin but I think its the contracts of the cool blues that make her skin look even more warm and glowing.
It's a strange season we are in right now, and some day we will look back and realize the impact of the Covid -19 had on everyone's life. We will continue to pray for those who have tested positive and are healing as well as families who have lost loved ones.
But during this season of "shut in" I think more will realize that being at home isn't so bad after all. That this time is a needed break to slow down and re-group.
Things will obvious look quit different when we're finally given the ok, it's safe to socialize again.
I think we'll celebrate but we'll also move cautiously. As each foot steps in front of the other and we feel we're on steady ground we will re-build but in a new way.
So one of the ways to combat this time of high anxiety and fear is to create - and create daily!
I'm so thankful that Alain Picard created a challenge for other artist to join him. The hashtag is #create30challenge - where over 600+ artists have joined in - so far!. It's great to scroll through the feed to see all the beautiful work and find new artists to follow.
I'm looking forward to the next 28 days of creating small works and maybe a few big pieces too.
It's not too late to join - why not give it a try? - head over to Picard Studio. com - to watch an inspiring video and to sign up.
Stay safe, keep creating -
with much love,
New Painting Series - Finding Beauty in the Ordinary - Still Life
Lemon Tree and Tea is playful piece with a variety of shapes, textures and colors to keep the eyes moving around the canvas and enjoying small vignettes within. I'm not afraid to challenge myself with an array of objects the could appear random at first but somehow weave together through placement, shapes, color and shadows to create an overall harmonious balance.
Allowing everyday kitchenware to transform from function to beauty is the job of an artist. To take the time to observe and look at each piece as character on stage. The catalyst for this painting was the colorful ceramic pot I found at consignment shop in town. Functionally, It was perfect for the lemon tree plant I purchased for my son but the blues, yellows, greens an burnt orange colors were the spark that ignited this piece.
This painting is available through the online shop. Packaging and Shipping included.
Check out additional available paintings that work well together.
Super Excited to Share our New Venture - Full Plate Colorful Palette Blog - A mix of Culinary and Visual Arts -with my Husband Chef Dean
Whooha! What a day! A week! A month! Dean and I have been working so very hard putting together all the pieces for our brand new blog! It's called Full Plate Colorful Palette!
I've learned so much over the past two months - watching youtube videos and skillshare videos, about blogging, wordpress, seo, video production, food photography, social media management... the list goes on. and there's still so much to learn. ..
The idea of a cooking and art blog started a few years back - seven to be exact when Dean was taking a food writing course at Gateway Community College with the famous food writer Jane Stern. She was such an inspiration! Her and her husband Michael have travel and written about food before it was even popular. True trend setter, together they have written over 30 books. She had a "can-do" personality and a passion for teaching. As a final project, Dean had to set up a blog and post several stories. We had a blast creating this very basic blog with images of my food paintings and stories of restaurant reviews and recipes.
We really didn't do much with the blog after the class was over so this year we decided New Year, New Decade, New Blog ! It was like assembling a huge puzzle - we had a few old blog posts we could include , Dean's cooking videos from his cooking classes, painting videos, food illustrations, and blog posts from my website. Kind of like a Smorgasbord Blog!
The plan grew, the ideas blossomed and now we've got well over 2+ months of ideas for educational and entertaining posts on food, art, cooking and just our life together! Hope you get a chance to check out this blog - we'll be adding to it weekly - we would love for you to join us at our "Virtual Table" and leave a comment or as a questions - we want to welcome you to our table!
Oh yes.... here's the link to the blog -
Whether your painting indoors or out. here's three simple tips that can help improve your painting session. Each one requires the painter to take a few extra minutes to implement but they will definitely be worth the effort and will enhance the painting process.
1. Create thumbnail sketches- I like to tell my students these are like road maps. And it’s always good to know where you're going before you start .It's the best way to get familiar with your subject and visualize where you're headed. By creating a couple of small little sketches, no more than a few inches 2" x 3" for example. And, spend anywhere between 15-30 minutes at the most. you'll end up with one idea that you are drawn too or perhaps ideas for different paintings. These are not detailed drawings. These sketches are just to help you place your subject in the composition figure out the boundaries, finding the light and dark areas. Thumbnail sketches can also help with determining your focal point or start to develop a narrative within the painting.
2. Soften your focus. Some art instructors say “squint” but for me, when I hear “squint” I immediately tighten the muscles around my eyes and that’s what I focus on... the wrinkles I’m creating. Instead I think “ soften focus”. this is when I don’t try to look at anything in particular, I do close my eyes slightly and peer through my eyelashes. My goal is to just see the overall shapes and find what is light and what is dark. This helps for the overall composition and design. This takes practice and a conscience awareness of "making things look fuzzy" intentionally. But once you grasp this technique you'll soon see the value in practicing a softer focus to help see the overall picture better especially in the beginning stages. Save the sharper focus for the end near the final stage of adding in the details.
3. Stand back. walk away for a minute and refresh your vision. Often times my students, me included, will be too close to our painting and things won’t look right or perhaps we are so laser focused on painting an exact detail we are missing the whole picture. Maybe that detail doesn’t really matter? Maybe you captured the essence of the detail already and you don’t even realize it. Or what if you have the perfect oval shape for the rim of the cup but when you step back you can see that the whole thing is leaning over like the Tower of Pisa. That’s why it’s good to look away, refresh your view and step back. Take in the whole painting. For some reason or another I've had students who seem to dismiss this practice of stepping back and looking at their painting from a distance. So instead I'll pick up their painting off the easel and move about 10 feet away from them. And without fail, they look, they study it and then... a big smile appears and a nod of approval... and they say " Wow! I like it so much better when I see my painting from a distance!" ... and I just smile too.
Hope these three tips are helpful the next time you start a new painting. As simple as they are, these are very useful tools that every painter can use, and the more you practice and use these methods you'll instinctively incorporate them into your painting workflow. Remember, don’t stop creating. Keep going. This is important for your wellbeing ....you were created to create!
Upcoming Shoreline Arts Trail 2019- Open Studio -
Saturday and Sunday November 16 -17, 2019
10am- 4pm -
I will be at : 200 Montowese Street, Branford, CT
The Academy School house on the Green,
for more information go to: www.shorelineartstrail.com
Painting tips, growing art skill, painting is a teachable skill, improve painting habit, keep creating, creating art brings joy
Carving out Creative Time
I get it. everyone’s schedule is packed. Mine too. We all wish for a few more hours in a day or another day in the week. So instead of adding something else how about reordering or better yet, carving in. What if we started our day thinking how can I be creative today? Oh Linda that’s easy for you to say, your an artist, your job is to be creative. Honestly, I think everyone is creative. We were born that way. But some how, some where along the way the belief that the “gift of creativity” is only for artists: painters, musicians, actresses, etc .
That thinking is really narrow minded. Aren’t we creative when we pick out an outfit to wear in the morning? Aren’t we creative when we look in the refrigerator and select a few items to combine together to make a meal. The definition of creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. It didn’t say something perfect. Just something. It’s more about the act of creating that brings great joy.
Here’s two examples: My mom who is in her seventies just started to play the ukulele two years ago. As far as I know she never played a musical instrument, maybe the piano when she was young but not while I was growing up. I can’t tell you how happy she is when she plays with her group of friends. Is she planning to go on America’s Got Talent? I don’t think so but that’s not her goal. It’s just for the pure enjoyment and it’s something new she never thought she could do. I’m so proud of her!
My daughter sent a text message last night “I need help”. She just moved into her first place and she doesn’t have much cooking experience. so Sunday afternoon we spent a few hours together side by side chopping and stirring to make her favorite homemade chicken soup. By Wednesday all the leftovers were eaten and now she’s ready to make it on her own. I talked her through the recipe, step by step and when we reached the last step she said “wow! I can’t believe I just did this! I made my first batch of chicken soup by myself !” Enjoying the creative process at your finest!
Big or small, it doesn’t matter but seeking to be creative even in the ordinary daily routines can bring great joy into one’s life.
It starts with a mustard seed thought “I am creative. Being creative brings me great joy.”
Ok so those of you naysayers who still say “ I’m just not creative” ... ugh... how about carving out time on your calendar and labeling it “pretend to be creative” (wink, wink)
Now go out and create it’s your job too!
It was a little before 5am this morning when I woke up and poured a cup of coffee. Sat in my favorite spot on the couch, curled up under a blanket with my notebook and pen in hand. This is how I start my day, every day, for the past....20 + years. I can't even remember when I started this routine but its become so engrained in me. I write sometime for 10 minutes other times for an hour. I just write not needing to read it, more like scribbles but its just a way to empty all the ideas, thoughts, concerns, worries, praises, gratitudes,... you name it, I write it..... I can remember years ago reading Julia Cameron's book called "the Artist Way" and she calls this "Morning Pages". I see this as a way to connect with my Creator, with my father. I ask questions, I write down ideas. listen and then write what I hear in my thoughts, So here I am writing away when Dean wakes up, pours himself a cup of coffee and announces, "I'm leaving to go fishing in 20 minutes"...
What?" Fishing? I lifted my head, refocused and could see the dawn's early light peaking through the blinds as the sunshine streamed in the window.
Wait! Don't leave without me! I just couldn't pass up this beautiful September morning to spend two hours by the sea painting.
This is what fills me back up again. After a week of working on commissions, running around to meetings, framing artwork, connecting with clients... and just to add to the craziness.... a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Art Studio and Gallery! I'll share more about that in a later post.
A breath of fresh air, a brush in hand, and an incredibly beautiful scene brings life back to a weary soul.
Branford, CT 06405
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