Thursday, December 20, 2012

Times Gone By


Times Gone By
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
Dark and mysterious. Inviting even. A chair waits to be occupied while big fir trees reflect their age and majesty from across the road.  And the old house keeps its history hidden deep within.
The tranquility of this memory does wonders for my mood which is jangled by the jingling of bells and rushing crowds. I am feeling the silence of Christmas down deep, where friends and family are held tight in grateful embrace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Summertime at the Sullivan's

Summertime at the Sullivan's
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
The deep yellow of their house, painstakingly preserved by generations of paint. Long summer evenings. Friends gathered. Laughter, conviviality, good food and wine. Mint and radishes picked from the garden. Nasturtium flowers dotting the salad.  Creme fraiche clouds on fresh blueberry pie. It all happens there in the warmth of summer. And feeds our souls through the chill of Winter. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lamp In The Window

Lamp In The Window
Oil On Wood
12"X12"
SOLD

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Island Window in the Afternoon

Island Window in the Afternoon
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
SOLD
I am working my way back to windows. Looking in. Looking out. A stolen glimpse, passing by. Inside.  
Out. Exploring the mystery of it all.
I have been a little distracted lately. The wonderful wedding. And then my old computer gave out so I am learning a new one trying to keep calm and carry on.
These days have also been filled with friends because it is that time of year when I yearn to see them all, one at a time. To reconnect and store up a little conversation and laughter to carry into the New Year. Time well spent.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Oil on Masonite
7"X5"
He married her. She married him. Then they were wed. To love and be loved. How sweet it is.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Things We Save - The Things She Carried - House Keys


The Things She Carried - House Keys
Oil on Masonite
7"X5"
This concludes the contents of My Mother's Last Purse. Where do we go from here? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Things We Save - The Things She Carried - Comb

The Things She Carried - Comb
Oil on Masonite
5"X7"
On the eve of Thanksgiving I am grateful. First for family and friends who love and are loved by me. They are my foundation and at the heart of all that I am. 
And health. Thanks to Dr Jessica Keane and Dr. Michael Parnes for restoring mine. 
And beauty that is everywhere, in the most mundane of objects we carry. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Contents of My Mother's Last Purse - Coin Purse

Contents of My Mother's Last Purse - Coin Purse
Oil on Masonite
5"X7"
It took most of the day to wade through my list of errands. Trying to amass the right clothes and shoes that are both comfortable and appropriate is a never ending exercise in futility for one who never learned to like shopping.
I came home and got back to My Mother's Last Purse, where the memory of her daily handling of this lowly little object seemed almost monumental in its significance.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Island Window

Island Window
Oil on Wood
8"X8"
SOLD

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Things We Save - The Things She Carried - Wallet

The Things She Carried - Wallet
Oil on Masonite
7"X5"
It is green fabric, well worn, with velcro closures. Rustic. The kind an outdoorsman might stuff in his backpack. This is the wallet my mother carried.  $22 in one dollar bills, 17 fives, a ten and 2 twenties,  $100 traveler's check that will never be cashed.
Various i.d. with her photo and signature proving who she was, a poignant proof that she was here.  In amongst some business cards for massage and acupuncture is a receipt from a favorite dim sum restaurant where she dined with one of us, in the midst of Life, celebrating nothing in particular,  just weeks before hers ended.  Of all the things, that is the one that moves me most. A reminder to do and be and tell and celebrate each and every day.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Things We Save - The Things She Carried - Chapstick

Contents of My Mother's Last Purse - Chapstick
Oil on Masonite
7"X5"
Back to business. Celebrating the simple things that are our life. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Things We Save - The Things She Carried - Billfold

The Things She Carried - Billfold
Oil on Masonite
5"X7"
Billfold. Containing pesos. Leftover from a recent trip. Saved for a future trip. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Things She Carried - Datebook

The Things She Carried - Datebook
Oil on Masonite
7"X5"
A light rain is falling. Feels like Winter has arrived. Friends are coming over to share the salmon that my stock broker neighbor caught yesterday when hurricane Sandy caused the markets to close. People perished and property was washed away. Life goes on. Every day a little celebration of Life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Things We Save - My Mother's Last Purse - The Things She Carried

The Things She Carried
Oil on Wood
10"X10"
This was my mother's last traveling purse. And since she died away from home, this is the one that contains all the things she carried that day. Still there. Tucked away. After over 10 years. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Things We Save - My Mother's Last Purse

My Mother's Last Purse
Oil on Wood
10"X10"
Yesterday afternoon, I came upon my mother's last purse stashed away in a closet. I wept. Again. Encountering this relic of her life, I felt her presence and her absence as deeply as the day she died, over 10 years ago.  She was always looking for the perfect purse to carry life's necessities. It still contains her comb, a little kleenex, her wallet, id card, coin purse, and keys. I can't part with it. This morning, my friend, Pam, suggested it be the start of a new series, "My Mother's Last Purse." Good idea.  Maybe I'll line the walls with daily paintings of my mother's purse. Or maybe I'll paint its contents. We'll see where this goes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here and There

Here and There
Oil on Wood
10"X8"
Rosie and I had just walked the road on Friday. It was still summer in Sonoma then. Birds, rabbits, and deer amongst the trees. Since then buckets of rain have fallen and the sky has been a continual cloud show. I am here. But also still there. In the cove. On the island. Surrounded by water. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Island Time

Island Time
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
My biggest fan insisted I post paintings again, so here goes. I am still reliving my time in the Cove. Calm and cool, a step away from the rest of the World.
Someone posed the question, "How do you know when a painting is finished?" My answer is, "I try to stop before I over-think it." Which is why I like to work small and fast. But the real answer is that nothing is ever finished. I've been painting over old paintings all month. This quote hangs on my wall, "Don't ever assume you've finished anything." Painting, like all art, and Life, for that matter, is a process. Non-linear. Messy. Mysterious. And never-ending.

Friday, October 5, 2012

In a New Light

In a New Light
Oil on Wood
10"X8"
Wishful thinking. To be able see the light. In a new way. Everywhere. Every day. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Passing Storm

Passing Storm
Oil on Wood
6"X8"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sea of Calm

"Sea of Calm"
Oil on Wood
6"X8"
For Jessica Keane, my amazing and dedicated doctor, the voice of reason and calm. She managed my medical care from 3,000 miles away and talked me
down more than once. Doctors do what they do so we can survive another day to do what we do. I am grateful beyond measure.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Morning in the Cove 4

Morning in the Cove 4
Oil on Wood
12"X12"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Morning in the Cove 2

Morning in the Cove 2
Oil on Wood
10"X10"
SOLD
I am no longer there in the Cove. But it is still with me.
And I just might go on recreating it for some time to come. With great music filling the studio, Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, Dvorak's Quintet No. 81, and the memory of Maine in my mind's eye, beauty abounds. And the ills of the world are kept at bay.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Morning in the Cove 3

"Morning in the Cove 3"
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
SOLD
After two months of medical mayhem I am back. To painting, and loving and laughing and everything else that matters most.
Health is everything. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gina's Cove 3

Gina's Cove 3
Oil on Wood
12"X12"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gina's Cove 2

Gina's Cove 2
Oil on Wood
10"X10"
I think I could paint Gina's Cove every day forever and never run out of inspiration. High tide, low tide, morning, evening, summer, fall. On the water. On the beach. So much to see. So little time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gina's Cove

Gina's Cove
Oil on Wood
10"X10"
To be in my rowboat. First thing in the morning. High high tide. Over the ledge and into arms of Gina's cove. Calm. Deep down calm. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Slow Motion

Slow Motion
Oil on Wood
10"X22"
There was almost no wind yesterday when the ICs raced around in the Western Way. The air was soft,  the sea glassy, and everything moved in slow motion.  A few ripples ruffed up the water where the spectator fleet was milling around. It felt like a dream. The good kind from which one wakes feeling calm, content, and quietly hopeful.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Breeze

Summer Breeze
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
As I was heading for a ferry Wednesday afternoon, a stiff breeze was blowing through the Weibel's house signaling their imminent arrival. The simple beauty stopped me in my tracks, taking me right out of my self and back to the island and its healing powers. 
Since then the weather has turned wet and gray. I was reluctant to leave the warmth of the fire last night to go hear poetry and music at the church, where neighbors of all ages  read and sang and spoke from their heart.  It too healed the body and soul, as did the friends and neighbors who cooked and called while I was down for the count over the weekend. 
We come here thinking we are alone. Turns out, you know that thing about "No man is an Island?" It's true. Island is about community. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grey Day

Gray Day
Oil on Wood
6"X8"
After all the sunshine, it was a relief when the fog rolled in and everything turned gray. A day later, spirits became soggy and we were wondering if summer was gone for good. Today, things are looking up. High Tea was served at the Community Center this afternoon, benefitting the island library. Hats and food and tea and conversation accompanied by live music will brighten even the darkest mood. And the sun is out again. Icing on the cake.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lavender Laundry

Lavender Laundry
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
It was so hot this morning I didn't feel like moving. But after a lazy morning at home, Rosie and I did manage a long walk to the post office followed by a new short cut through a neighbor's woods where I came upon a few ripe blueberries to keep me going. The first I've seen. 
Lavender laundry was blowing in an ever so slight breeze. Laundry is a personal matter until it becomes an object of art, at which time it becomes an island treasure. 
Dinner with friends followed by a bike ride on a moonless night, fireflies in all the meadows.  Summer on an island. There's nothing like it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Roque Island

Roque Island
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
SOLD
This morning was a little too windy for rowing so I picked up "Writing on Stone, Scenes from a Maine Island Life" and read on the deck awhile instead. I met the author, Christina Marsden Gillis on the airplane this June. She was reading my all time favorite book, Nicole Krauss,' "The History of Love,"so I chatted her up and discovered she and her family spend summers on Gotts Island and had written a book about it. Alone with her words, thoughtfully chosen describing the island, its history, life, death, family. All that matters is there. It felt like a gift to have connected with her and this book.
The rest of the day unfolded as in a dream. Rosie and I sat on the beach watching the seagulls devour last week's leftovers. Then we walked to the post office. The postmistress and I commiserated about our phones being out of order and I got so riled up I forgot to mail my letters. Then someone fell overboard while docking a boat. Saved by the boatyard boys, I was reminded how quickly everything can fall apart.
A long afternoon in the studio was the most productive yet. Now for some more reading and a good movie or two. (In honor of Nora Ephron, I watched "Heartburn" last night. And then, Bill Nighy in "Page Eight," a BBC thriller that I highly recommend.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Looking Across the Pool

Looking Across the Pool
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
Soaking in summer. Warm. And everything has a yellow glow. It won't last. Which is part of the enjoyment. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Looking Back 2

Looking Back 2
Oil on Wood
10"X10"
Another in the end of the island series. Actually there are 4 or 5 of them now. I just haven't gotten around to posting them. 
As for me, I am not looking back. Nor forward. Just being right here where I am which is a pretty good place to be.
Last night I stumbled upon the you tube video of David Hockney- Painting the Tunnel. Best lesson I've ever had. Just watching him paint. and the great sound effects of his Wellies in the muddy water underfoot. I went to sleep dreaming of what today would bring.
And then it began, early this morning, in the middle of the path on the way to the beach, a beautiful turtle sunning itself. Felt like a good omen for sure.
Rosie and I went for a row. Soft, silky water reflecting a cloudless sky. Ever so slight breeze. Death and dying were on my mind, having read Rebecca Dana's touching account of Nora Ephron's memorial. I share Martin Short's belief that when people die, "... they zoom into the souls of the people who love them most.” I thought of all the loved ones I carry with me. My parents and grandparents and friends who have gone. And those who are ailing that I hold in my heart. More. Always more. The sadness that settles deep down, but also the sheer joy of having shared their lives. 
I wondered if one could explode from the fullness of it all. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Sailors Head East

The Sailors Head East
Oil on Wood
8"X6"
The sailors headed down east this morning, setting the spinnaker, looking magnificent as they left our harbor. It was a day made for sailing. Wind and sun and sea a deep deep blue. Rosie and I sat on the beach watching them go. I did some errands, visited a few people, and as usual when everything is suddenly quiet, took awhile to settle into my coveted time alone routine. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Evening at the Sullivan's

Evening at the Sullivan's
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
SOLD
Today I finished reading Stephen King's,"Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." Such a great story and deep down touching at the end. "Remember that hope is a good thing... maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." And this: "It always comes down to two choices. Get busy living or get busy dying." Oh boy did I ever need a dose of that right about now. Not unlike an evening at the Sullivan's, always a reminder that life is for living and friendship is at the heart of the matter.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July

View From Gail Perry's
Oil on Wood
6"X8"
An impromptu pot luck midday included a reading of the The Declaration of Independence among other things. The sun came out and then it rained and sometime later the fog came in thick. We managed a dinner invitation that included children, an unexpected arrival, a dog that performed tricks, fresh picked clams, lobster, and a blueberry pie I can still taste. Island living at its best.

Monday, July 2, 2012

End of the Beginning

Looking Back
10"X10"
Oil on Wood
Finally. We are here. The getting settled and sorted takes longer than anyone ever remembers. Nothing works and then it does miraculously. Either that or the sun comes out and it matters less. This view belongs to neighbors who will be moving to the other side of the island. So this is the beginning of an end for them.  Tomorrow I will paint their view again. New light. New tide. And me? Always a beginner. 
Really, isn't that true for all of us?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Setting Sail

Setting Sail
Oil on Board
20"X8"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking Up

Looking Up
Oil on Old Canvas
8"X6"
On the spur of the moment this morning, instead of packing, I rounded up my friend and painter, Kristen Garneau, and darted into San Francisco to Paul Thiebaud Gallery to see Pam Sheehan's exquisite little paintings. Landscape, cat, dog, beach. Soft, dark, deep, personal. Everything I strive to be doing.
 Oh what a good idea that turned out to be. Kristen schooled me in color mixing, and how to make a good gray.  We both were so inspired we stopped at Blick Art to stock up on supplies. I came right home, mixed up grays and worked on this little painting which had been headed for the garbage. Discarded canvas, my favorite material. 
Things are looking up.

Down East

Down East
Oil on Canvas Mounted on Wood
6"X8"
Heading out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Late in the Day

Late in the Day
Oil on Wood
6"X8"
Another rally late in the day. 
It helps to walk with a good friend. Mutual admiration mixed with exercise and sunshine was a good start to the day.
As was happening upon Holland Cotter's inspired review of John Heliker, 'A Tribute" in today's New York Times. Especially his final line:
"Heliker’s late paintings have a conversational quality too, not relaxed but poised, the way art can be after years of practice, when habit hides effort."
"...when habit hides effort." I love that.
And "...conversational quality..." That strikes a chord. Art is a conversation. Speak up.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On the Couch at Kenwood

On the Couch at Kenwood
Oil on Wood
10"X8"
It took all day to come to this. Was it the getting rid of even more clutter? Or the doing of difficult tasks. Or maybe this morning's walk with a  friend. And then the reworking of a troublesome painting. This was my prize. At the end of the day. Fast. And fun. And full of life. Tomorrow is another day. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dog is a Dog

Dog is a Dog
Oil on Wood
8"X8"
Dog is a Dog is a Dog. And really. What more could you want?
Note to self. Be more like her.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time Out

Time Out
Oil on Wood
12"X12"
This little painting was something else before. And something else entirely before that. Weren't we all. Now it is this and I think that is that. But one never knows what the future holds.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Long Lines

Long Lines
Oil on Wood
8"X6"
At the National Gallery of Art,  East Wing again this weekend. A favorite confluence of art and architecture and figures in motion. This is what art is for me. Like dance. A series of experiences, visual and visceral. One builds on another creating meaning over time. Art is a continuum.  Nothing static about it. What went before, unseen, and what comes after is all a part of the picture. No standing still. Life goes on. And On. And all that was still is and will be still.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The White House in May

The White House in May
Oil on Wood
6"X8"
To be in Washington in May. The White House. With family. Laughter, love, and awe.  Awash with the wonder of it all.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summertime

Summertime
Oil on Wood
8"X8"
...and the livin is easy. A little breakthrough for me and none too soon. Friday I went to artMRKT San Francisco and found a whole bunch of inspiration. Especially Rebecca Farr's Edge paintings. And two from Marion Tivital.  I could go on about the grayed color and close values and simple composition and contemplative feel of these works. But in the end, it all boils down to the same old thing. Do your own damn thing however you need to do it and drop the fear. Don't mind if I do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012