Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Collage Number 8

Number 8, 4 x 6" framed

Collage Number 8 is another created for Neil DiSabato's color class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.  At my daughters' request I've  framed up a batch of favorites.  Stocking stuffers?  I think so!

The red in this piece is a true red, not the red orange my camera and computer insist upon.


Monday, November 16, 2015

November Trio

"November Trio", 5 x 7, oil

Cranberries make the season, wouldn't you say?  This is a small study I did for Neil DiSabato's color class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bricolage 31

"Bricolage 31", 5 x 7"

"Bricolage 31" calls to mind my favorite childhood game, Mousetrap, or a Rube Goldberg sequence.  I snipped a piece of  Philadelphia Department of Streets orange fencing from construction on our street.  Tela's Market across the avenue provided the elegant twisted paper bag handle. A memento of drywall mesh from our old house turns the collage into a personal story of the orderly chaos that was our move to the city. 

Color story, bricolage, mousetrap.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bricolage 34

"Bricolage 34", Mixed Media  
4.5 x 6.5", framed

This assemblage is a Color Story created for Neil di Sabato’s color theory class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.   Color Stories are small collages made of any media or flat surface. No boundaries on what those can be.  I’ve heard some undergrads have used their underwear.  Oh, artists! The unifier is color and compositional harmony.

As with two paintings I created some years back, “Fernando” and “Maria”, I think of my Color Stories as bricolage.  Bricolage is a French term for something created from objects at hand. I came upon the term one winter when I no longer felt inspired to paint the season.  I invented compositions with tropical landscapes, birds at my feeder and objects in my studio.  I called these paintings bricolage instead of surrealism because the term seemed to better describe my method.  

During the last few years I’ve studied with several fine teachers.  With Pat Martin I poured, splattered, rolled, dissolved, collaged, sewed, stamped, glued, sanded and resisted paint, asphaltum, plaster, turpentine, ink and water.  With Kass Freeman, Trisha Vergis and Christina LaFuente, I’ve drawn, composed, toned and textured.  With all of them, I’ve turned paintings upside down and sideways, looked at the backs of them to see if they are better than the front.  Sometimes they are.

Now my studio contains an extensive array of materials, particularly generated while working with Pat.  During her classes I took up scouring the ground, streets and hardware store aisles to find textures and surfaces.  

Enter Neil’s Color Stories.  Compose flat surfaces into smaller than 6 x 8” objets d’art? 

It just so happens I have mountains of interesting surfaces, painted, clipped and foraged, in need of loving arrangement.  


Hope you enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On The Bay

"On The Bay", 8" x 10", oil on linen covered panel

I captured this scene aboard Cape May’s bird watching boat, the Osprey.   The Captain and his mate, a local naturalist, treated us and our fellow passengers to a happy morning of bird watching amidst the bay grasses.  Husband was in his glory!

Towering columns of cumulonimbus clouds over land accurately predict the hot, humid September afternoon to come.   Winds off the ocean feather the tops, competing to take charge of the weather.

 I used three blues in this painting:  thalo, cobalt and Kings.  The Kings blue is near the horizon line.  Those of you familiar with Kings blue can appreciate how the camera and computer have a hard time communicating  this color!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pink Sunglasses

"Pink Sunglasses", oil, 5 x 7"

Children love Sister Cities Park in Center City, Philadelphia. Families gather to enjoy water jets on the plaza and nearby, tucked into a shady garden, a trickling stream runs into a shallow pond for sailing toy boats.   Near the pond is a cart fully stocked with children's books for borrowing.  What more can you ask for?

I began this painting with an imprimatura of terra cotta red to give a sense of the summer heat.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tiger Figs

"Tiger Figs", oil, 5 x 7"

These lovely Tiger figs are placed atop a weathered wood box I found at a flea market many years ago.  I particularly love this section of the top, the odd pieces, random marks and nail holes, the faded paint drips.  The color of the paint is an old-fashioned, chalky aqua green.  I mix it by graying a bit of permanent green light.

I create the wood grain texture by scratching into the paint, wet or dry, with a palette knife.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Heirloom Tomato with Tiger Figs

"Heirloom Tomato with Tiger Figs"

5 x 7", oil on Ampersand Gessobord

Bid Here on Ebay!

I'm sooo lucky to have many farmers markets brimming with fresh produce here in the city. From the Thursday Fairmount Market to Rittenhouse to Head House, there is no shortage of fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers.  Here are three beauties atop an old box gleaned from the Golden Nugget flea market on Rt. 29 in New Jersey.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two Apples and A Fig

Two Apples and A Fig
5 x 7", oil

Here is how the painting looks in lovely frame from The Frame Shop in Lambertville, NJ. 

This summer at the Philadelphia Free Library, I listened to physicist  Frank Wilczek speak about his new book, A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design.  

His talk inspired me to bookend this fig between two apples and paint them head on. The result is a very suggestive little painting, as you can see.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Market Bouquet

Market Bouquet, 6" x 8"

After living in Bucks County, PA, for nearly thirty years, this summer husband and I took the plunge, downsized and moved back to center city Philadelphia.  We're a short walk from the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Barnes Foundation.  No excuses for lack of inspiration now!

I bought this little market bouquet in a shop called Plants, Etc.  The mother-daughter proprietors have filled the place to the brim with all sorts of lovely greenery, especially succulents and miniatures.  Lucky for me, the shop received a fresh delivery of flowers just before I arrived.  I chose this bunch of purple coneflowers, red and white alstroemeria and carnations from the refreshing coolness of their overflowing flower fridge.  

The bouquet is the first subject I've painted in my new city studio space.  Just the same as when I was back in Bucks County, I had to shoo the cat from my still life table to get started.  Upon completion the cat resumed residence, covering my lovely red cloth with a weave of cat hair.  The more things change, the more they stay the same!