Tuesday, December 20, 2016


"Savannah", oil on canvas, 6 x 6"

Savannah loves, and is very much loved by, Cynthia Roberts.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bosc Pear on Phoenix Bird Cup

Bosc Pear on Phoenix Bird Cup, 5 x 7", oil

Accepted, Philadelphia Sketch Club 154th  Annual Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings.

“After we have finished here
The world will continue its quiet turning.” 

-          Billy Collins, from the poem “While Eating A Pear”

Tree at Lemon Hill

"Tree at Lemon Hill", 5 x 7', oil

"Buoyant, bizarrely benign. Relics
Of an outmoded design. Some like to imagine
A cosmic mother watching through a spray of stars,”

- Tracy Smith, from “My God, It’s Full of Stars”

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lemon Hill Mansion at Christmas

"Lemon Hill Mansion at Christmas", 5 x 7", oil


A Very Philly Christmas! This lovely little painting found a new home while on display at Lemon Hill Mansion for Neighbors Day.  The mansion is beautifully decorated in a Mummers theme. The Holiday House Tours are a beautiful Philly tradition.  

Click the link for tour info: A Very Philly Christmas

Monday, November 28, 2016

Forelle Pears

"Forelle Pears", 5 x 7", oil 

Buy Now

“Why, sometimes I eat six impossible things before breakfast.”
-Pat Coakley, Podsnacks Art of the Diet podcast.

A trip to the market netted these lovely Forelle pears.  Crisp and sweet, these beauties are a perfectly healthy dessert as is or baked with a teaspoon of butter, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and raspberries. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


"Mini Pumpkin on Phoenix Bird Cup", oil, 7 x 5"


"Mini Pumpkin on Ball Jar", oil, 7 x 5"


Pumpkin gittin' good an' yallah 
   Mek me open up my eyes; 
Seems lak it's a-lookin' at me 
   Jes' a-la'in' dah sayin' "Pies." 
Tu'key gobbler gwine 'roun' blowin', 
   Gwine 'roun' gibbin' sass an' slack; 
Keep on talkin', Mistah Tu'key, 
   You ain't seed no almanac. 

Paul Laurence Dunbar, from "Sign of the Times" 

Royal Gala

"Royal Gala", oil, 5 x 7"


From the poem After Apple Picking, by Robert Frost:

Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night… 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mini Pepper on Ball Jar

"Mini Pepper on Ball Jar", oil on Ampersand gessobord, 5 x 7"


“Sit down and be still for a moment and see.”  -Agnes Martin


"Turnip" 6 x 8", oil

“What means the most to me is that for some unknown reason I have been blessed (and I know how rare that is, and how Quixotic) to be able to make things that sometimes have meaning to somebody else.” – Anne Truitt, Daybook

Monday, October 10, 2016


Oil on Ampersand gessobord, 5 x 7"


 The hypnotic power of repetition is reliable, grounding, mesmerizing.  

Silver Creamer with Concord Grapes

Oil on Ampersand gessobord, 5 x 7"


For Arielle and Maura

My daughters’ small 
determined hands 
reach through bramble and 
twisted vine 
to pull whole bunches 
of dusty purple
Concord grapes free 
from the wildness of it.
Itchy arms speckled with tiny cuts, 
in chickweed and dandelion with 
dirty faces and shining hair 
to eat wild foraged fruit 
in the summer sun.  

Silver reflects and contains, 
holds and pours, 

-Sharon Egan

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


"Hurricane Hermine", oil. 

“Stroking it’s blue shore/throughout the night, patient, patient,” 
– Denise Levertov, from ‘The sea’s repeated gesture.’

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Eat A Peach

"Eat A Peach", oil, 5 x 7"


“I make a home for myself in my work, yet when I enter that home I know how flimsy a shelter I have wrought for my spirit.”– Anne Truitt

Listening to Antrese Wood interview Kathleen Speranza on her fantastic podcast The Savvy Painter, I’m struck by Kathleen’s inspiring honesty about her approach to painting, her love of the qualities, forms and ephemeral beauty of her subjects, her love of the language of painting, the discerning advantages of aging.  As I listen, this peach challenges me to capture the way light melts into its fuzzy surface, its leaves turn and taunt, the old, chalky green milk paint on the wooden crate opposes the living green of the peach leaves.  As I struggle to communicate these textures, Antrese and Kathleen talk about being allowed to paint whatever subject you want and really, most especially, the satisfaction of being able to do so. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monday in August

Monday in August, oil, 5 x 7"


Naomi Shihab Nye defines the word “contemplation” as a long, loving look.  Lately I have been hearing a lot about ideas calling upon creatives to bring them into being.   An idea might arrive all of a piece, as Naomi’s poem “Kindness” did for her, but most require contemplation.  Meditation. Seeing.  A long, loving look. 

Kelly Drive at Dusk

Kelly Drive at Dusk, oil, 5 x 7"


“We are magic talking to itself, noisy and alone.”  –Ann Sexton, For You, Doctor Martin

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Grocery Store Flowers

"Grocery Store Flowers", 6 x 8, oil 


“The conscious necessarily rejects the unconscious.” – Carl Jung

On this steamy summer afternoon I’m listening to Stewart Cubley talk about process painting on his podcast The Painting Experience.  He talks about the act of putting paint on the brush, touching it to the canvas, what that feels like, the zen of that.  The inner critic.  Focusing on the experience of creating the painting vs the outcome.  “Let things exist in their own way, without coming or going”.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Oyster Creek

"Oyster Creek", oil on board, 8 x 10"


“Painting is but another word for feeling” – John Constable. 

Winds rose over Great Bay, sailors warning, to form ominous clouds advancing a change in the weather.  While tucking into heaps of crabs, clams and oysters, diners watched the dramatic sky from the screened porch of the Oyster Creek Inn.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Audrey Claire

Audrey Claire, 5 x 7, oil on Ampersand Gessobord

  "When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it." - Sigmund Freud. 

 I’m pretty sure Freud means I should go out to dinner more often.  As if the great food in this little Rittenhouse Square restaurant isn’t enough of a lure, and it IS, I love the deep window sills adorned with huge bouquets of flowers.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


My best model is always willing to sit in the surf for me as long as his cell phone is handy.  I think that seagull wants to make a call.  

Framed against towering cumulonimbus clouds over the ocean, an Ocean City Parasail floats high above the wake of its speed boat. It's been a long time since I've gone up but I will never forget the joy of peering down upon a large school of skates gliding gracefully through ocean waters far below.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Suzanne, 5 x 7, oil on Ampersand Gessobord

My daughter noticed her first.  Suzanne wearing a bright green sundress, holding tight to her shopping cart, standing alone on the Snyder Avenue median.  I introduced myself and asked if I could photograph her.  Suzanne told me her favorite color is green.  She loves the summer green of the trees along the avenue.  She was waiting on the northbound bus, which was running late, her ride to a Sunday visit with her son.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sketch Book

I’ve been very much enjoying traveling light to my Tuesday plein air group, tucking only a small sketch book, a few pencils and cell phone for reference photos into my bag.   

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fairmount Afternoon

"Fairmount Afternoon" 5 x 7", oil


Helicopters whirred high above my house, circling over good people marching for Black Lives Matter because two more black men were killed by police.   Far below the copters, in my studio I delighted in painting two folks walking in front of the restaurant Fare, with its red umbrellas and endless display of beautiful plants, on Fairmount Ave on a summer’s afternoon. But my heart was with the marchers, grieving for black families who are not safe in this world.  That every soul should be free to enjoy the simple pleasure of a sunny afternoon without falling victim to bigotry or hatred seems obvious.

Last night, after participating in a loving, positive and hopeful Black Lives Matter vigil at my church it was pretty depressing to hear about the Dallas tragedy. 

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sketch Book

The guy with his hat on backwards sat his Jersey Shore beach body right in front of me. If you do that I'm gonna getcha. 

It takes zero effort to coax my husband to pose in his surf chair. 

 I was  able to capture a small boy with a Dennis the Menace haircut happily absorbed in building a sand castle, complete with moat and turrets, big enough for a family of four.

Now where the heck is that ice cream man? It's hot out here!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Karen Smith

Karen Smith, Oil on Ampersand gessobord, 5 x 7"

Windows rattled in frames. Crumbs danced on the floor.  The cat hid.   

Out on the avenue the Fairmount Art Fest was happening.  Across the street a makeshift tent threw thin shade on a gathering of hot musicians.  I caught a front row seat for drummer Karen Smith.  On a single djembe drum, Karen beat the whole steaming avenue into a dance party.

Karen Smith leads two musical groups: Weez The Peeple and Sistahs Laying Down Hands With Love.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Artist at Work

Artist at Work, Oil on Ampersand gessobord, 5 x 7"

Art lovers from The First Wednesday Group, a social group created by mover and shaker Carole Sheridan, are meeting along Kelly Drive to sketch and paint.  I’ve volunteered to be the “glue” for the group.   

Two very kind ladies, Barbara and Sally, have been getting together for quite some time to sketch the wonderful statuary and scenery along the drive. 

Carole discovered more folks who share their love of art, waved her organizational magic wand, created a plein air group and viola!  Barbara and Sally suddenly have a lot of company.

This is the study I painted of Barbara working on a sketch of the cougar statue in the azalea garden during our first outing.  She wore the most wonderful shirt!

Check out this article on Carole’s First Wednesday Group on page 7 in the May 2016  issue of the newspaper Milestones:

Jack's Firehouse

Jack's Firehouse, oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 5 x 7"


A Fairmount landmark, Jack’s Firehouse is a prime neighborhood meeting place. One of the best times Pat and I have had at Jack’s was the birthday of Lori “do one thing that scares you each day” Koch.  After deliciousness and revelry in the restaurant we set off for Jack’s VIP Halloween tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary.  Lori marched us straight to the front of the line.  Gulp!  She alone donned the glow-in-the-dark necklace giving the haunted house ghouls permission to invade her personal space.  At some point during the tour she went missing.  There are tales only she can tell.

But hooray! It’s summertime! This painting of Jack’s sidewalk is one of sunshine, heaping towers of cumulus clouds and a lovely excuse to break open my brand new tube of Gamblin King’s Blue.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pink Tiger

Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 5 x 7"


In my former suburban neighborhood observations made during a morning walk were subtle, mostly changing leaves and blooming flowers, hardly ever a person in sight.   Here in the city, my street throbs with life, cars bump with rhythm, all manner of folk bob and weave up and down the avenue. Fade boring ‘burb wear, say yes to pink hair and tiger stripes. This young lady’s bicycle sports a cheery yellow bouquet of flowers on the handlebar.  

The Mighty 33

Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 5 x 7"

Is there anything as comforting as a reliable ride home?  When in center city, either cold and wet or hot and cranky, weighted with shopping bags, I feel safe when the mighty 33 bus pulls up to my stop.  My ride.  The 33 is a double bus with an accordion middle. I love when I get the driver who asks, “Did you buy something for me?” I never tire of her same old kind and wonderful jokes.  

Perfect Together

Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 5 x 7"

Perhaps it’s because I myself cannot properly rock a hat that I love them on others.  The young lady in the extremely cool blue hat is treating the gent in the birthday crown to a night out at a Japanese BBQ.  It’s such lovely good humor to don a bright orange birthday crown and own it.   Perhaps he knows that orange is the perfect complement to blue.

May Day

Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 5 x 7"

In a jam jar, even dyed purple carnations look as whimsical as wildflowers, carefree as posies plucked from a field.   Grocery store bargains, they are all the better scattered into tiny sparkling jars for liberal household distribution.  Flower delivery!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Must Have

"Must Have", oil, 5 x 7"

This heirloom tomato kept staring at me from a basket beside the cash register at my local market . As the cashier handed me my receipt I blurted out, " And I must have this tomato!"  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"South" accepted Philadelphia Sketch Club Small Oil Show!

"South" has just been accepted into the Philadelphia Sketch Club Small Oil Painting Show!  Of course I'm thrilled, especially because this is my first entry into a show in the city.  So many good thoughts are running 'round my head: hmmm, can I list them all? First this painting captures an unexpected lovely night out on the town with Husband and Daughter.  We were overjoyed with our good fortune at being seated in the jazz section, which normally requires a ticket, because the restaurant was overbooked.   But more than that, this painting captures what we love about being in the city - just being able to pop in and find excellent quality fun after 9PM on a Thursday night.  And we have another such night in our future, to be sure, when Spring Term is over, Husband will be finished teaching and daughter will have completed her term. When I fetch them for a ride home on that night, where will we head?  South, of course! 

I posted this painting a while back and made a few changes.  I darkened and warmed up the beams surrounding the stage and removed the onstage microphone.  I posted this one on that page for a Before and After view. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cassie Egan

Cassie Egan, 2002-2016

Our beloved Shetland Sheepdog has become an angel.
We will always love her.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Pear in Phoenix Bird Cup

"Pear in Phoenix Bird Cup"
5 x 7" , oil

My daughter Maura is preparing for her senior thesis show at Pratt.  Her show will celebrate women artists as each in turn is asked what feminine identity means to her.  As I struggle to answer her query, I find myself looking around my studio at my own work.  How do the images I paint reveal my own feminine nature?  My studio walls are hung with watercolors of the Delaware River, rendered in fluid, poured color. The very act of pouring paint feels feminine to me.  A release of life blood.  Small paintings of apples and figs reveal ripeness and promise: to bear fruit is to give life, to be fertile, to eat fruit is to be nourished.  A painting of an ample pear placed inside a delicate antique china cup feels strong and curvy, yet fragile, like me.  Paintings of my family abound.  My recent cityscapes feel the least feminine, still, through my womanly eye, they reflect moments of quiet beauty or happy circumstances, scenes of everyday harmony, that which we wish for. 

I am not a painter of disquiet.  In scenes of chaos and fear we must look for the helpers.  Bad things will always happen, yes, but there will also always be the helpers.  In crisis, to the helpers we turn.  But for the soul we turn to family. To friends. Food. Music. Art. To the idealized, wise grandmother to be soothed and tucked in.  It is she, and the crone archetype with which I most identify, who will make chicken soup and tell you each day is a new day, full of possibility.   

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Brooklyn Snow

"Brooklyn Snow"
5 x 7" oil, on Ampersand Gessobord

Struggling with
granola & soy milk,
dental bills accumulate
like snow & the potatoes
I forgot have rotted.
I’m broke & broke
& broke & broke
& broke, a bowling
ball spiraling down
a middle-aged
staircase of doubt.

The night I crazily
fled for the gentrified
grids of  14th Street.
A pinball, I landed
in Playbill. I left
Brooklyn tossing
televisions & futons
like bombs
in the bowels
of  hipster bohemia.

-from "Daylight Saving Time Flies Like an Instagram of a Weasel Riding a Woodpecker & You Feel Everything Will Be Alright" by Regie Cabico

Friday, February 26, 2016

Italian Market in Winter (Two Paintings)

"Fire and Ice", 5 x 7, oil

"Under the Awnings", 5 x 7", oil 

I love to buy produce at the Italian Market in South Philly for winter vegetable soup.  In between inspecting long tables of cold cabbages, zucchinis and herbs, a fortifying stop at Anthony’s Coffee and Chocolate House is always in order. (Yes, I know, I have to paint it!) Then it’s back out to the cold of 9th Street, as snow begins to fall and vendors feed ever more wood into the shooting flames of their fire cans to keep warm.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Clinton Street, Brooklyn

Clinton Street, Brooklyn
oil, 5 x 7"

The afternoon sun casts long shadows on mountains of snow the day after a January blizzard dropped 30” of snow on Clinton Street in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.  My daughter lives on this street and snapped this photo for me.  The blizzard was on a Saturday.  Happily, by Monday she was able to trek to her classes at nearby Pratt Institute and to her job at the Trilok School!  

Marrero's Hot Dog Cart

Marrero's Hot Dog Cart
5 x 7", oil

Marrero's always smells sooo good!

This painting began with two of my favorite underpainting colors: iron oxide red under the greens and raw sienna under everything else.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


"South", oil, 5x 7"

Before revisions

One night per week I pick up Husband after he teaches his trial advocacy class at Temple or Penn.  He says me picking him up is lot more fun than his former hour long commute on I-95 back to Bucks County.  Ya think?  After his first Spring Term class I fetched both him and Daughter (she’s a 2L at Temple Law, shameless mama brag) and we headed to South, a restaurant and jazz bar on Broad Street.  Lucky for us the restaurant section was packed, even on a Thursday night after 9 PM, so we were offered free seats in the ticketed jazz area just as the second set was beginning.   What a fabulous night we had!  Cool Saxophone, melt in your mouth Southern cooking and a glass of wine – can you think of a finer combination?  We can't! 

I use PhotoShop to proportion my photos.  For this painting I used a few reference photos. I made sure to place the sax player in just the right spot.In order to capture the soft interior lighting, I used opposite hues to gray the local colors. I also wanted to capture the soft glow of the candle on the table but not have it compete with the stage, which I hope I did. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

River Rink (Maura and Pat)

River Rink (Maura and Pat)
oil, 5 x 7"

This painting began as an iPhone snapshot of Husband and Daughter enjoying a happy night of ice skating under the lights of the Ben Franklin Bridge. 

To begin this painting I cropped my the photo to the same proportion as my canvas, in this case 5 x 7”.   I use a grid feature to make sure my composition more or less comports with the Rule of Thirds.

I began with an under painting of raw sienna to give a nice glow to the ice.  I filled in some of the background figures with a darker value of raw sienna and wiped out along the ice.  I added the darks, burnt umber, French ultramarine and black, to the night sky and the foreground figures.  As I stood back, I noticed the pretty glow the under painting of raw sienna gives the skater figures on the right.  They almost have the feel of a watercolor.  Should I worry them with detail? No!  Do they convey all of the information the viewer needs as they are?  Yes!  

It sometimes takes a heck of a lot of self-restraint not to go in for the kill and worry every last element with detail.  

Thanks for looking!