Monday, September 30, 2013

Dogs with Wheels

I have always loved seeing a dog in a car, hanging out, acting like he owns the vehicle- proud of his wheels and being a little bit off the ground, for a change. I especially like watching  dogs on vacation, riding in their jeeps, trucks and other recreational vehicles. This selection of "Dogs with Wheels" is inspired by the dogs of Block Island. Each painting is oil on panel, 12" x 16".

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Evening Entertainment

This is a painting I finished recently for a show at Dog & Horse Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina. It is called The Evening Entertainment. The narrative is open to interpretation, but I think any one who comes home from a long day at work to be greeted by their dogs, will be able to relate.  The painting is oil on linen 36" x 48".  Check out the Dog & Horse gallery website when you have time!

Monday, August 5, 2013


I finished this painting earlier this summer. It is inspired by a book by the same name, "Bugfire" written by the author Jean Heilprin Diehl. The setting for the painting is the Amazon Littlebee House on Block Island, RI. Last summer I was walking by the house and someone was trimming the magnificent hedge that surrounds the property. When I passed by again, I saw that they had made the opening in the hedge into a heart. Jean's novel is about an adolescent girl who is facing some challenges in her family life and finds enlightenment by helping a younger child whose personal challenges are greater than her own. I see the opening in the hedge as sort of a window to the luminosity of the spirit and the fireflies as real and allegorical flickers of light against the impending gloom of dusk on a heavy summer evening. One of my art students, beautiful Caroline, was kind enough to model for the figure. To know why the title of the book, and the painting is "Bugfire" you will have to read the novel when it is published. It is wonderful.
The painting is oil on canvas, 36" x 36"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Room with a View, and a Family

I recently finished this portrait for a family. It is 44" x 64" oil on linen. The family lives on a lake and they asked that the landscape out the window  be painted in winter so that the lake would be visible through the trees. The room was yellow, so a relationship between the warm interior tones and the violet and blues in the winter landscape happened naturally. Various other elements note things from their personal and professional lives. The boy is an accomplished musician so I gave special attention to his beautiful hands and long fingers- in the painting he is playing Chinese Checkers, but in the painting within the painting, on the right- he is playing the piano. The painting now hangs in the same room that it depicts, so even at night when the sky is dark, they can still enjoy the view.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Dog's Life and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

This is a tiny painting I did of my dog Rembrandt who is actually rather large.  It is one of my "A Dog's Life" paintings in which I am trying to express how a dog enjoys a particular place or environment just as we do. In this painting Remy is lying in the field below the Spring House Hotel on Block Island. He has his head lifted slightly to catch the sea breeze. If you could get close enough you would see that his nose is twitching, taking in all the interesting smells that the breeze carries with it- at least for a dog.  Because I love dogs, and love looking at dogs, I have started fostering rescue dogs, until they get adopted. I am fostering for an amazing organization in DC called Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. They rescue dogs from high kill shelters in the south and bring them to the Washington area to find homes for them. Last week they found homes for fifty-four dogs. Seeing the dogs get lifted off the trucks into the arms of people waiting for them, is one of the most moving things I have ever witnessed. The dogs enter their new life looking a little timid. Some of them cower and crouch when their feet touch the ground. Then they look into the eyes of the human who is reaching for them and you can almost hear them sigh.  They know they have been saved and given a second chance at life. I am so moved by this endeavor that I have decided that part of the proceeds from all my A Dog's Life paintings will go to Lucky Dog Rescue so that more dogs can get lucky.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mrs. Paisley's Night Up

I love this poem by India DeCarmine and it inspired me to do this painting.  In the painting Mrs. Paisley takes a break about half way up, to catch her breath and gaze at the moon. The painting is oil on canvas 36" x 36".

The Gift: Wherein Mrs. Paisley
Rights One Wrong of Her Misspent Youth

When Mrs. Paisley was a child
She wasn’t what you would call wild.
She never deigned to skin her knee,
Bake with mud or climb a tree.
In short, for all of her young age
(when beastly girls were all the rage),
her main aim was taking care
not to disarrange her hair.

Mrs. Paisley eyes an elm,
hitherto within the realm
of things she’d not meant to ascend.
Yet lately she’s discerned a trend
whereby categories shift.
With fine, long limbs, this tree’s a gift.

Mrs. Paisley’s not elastic,
and the angle is quite drastic
of that first limb. While she heaves
her butt up towards  the new spring leaves,
she thinks of neighbors with a view
and hopes they’ve better things to do.

She strains, she gains the branch, how sweet
to feel its curve beneath her feet.
Yet soon she knows that sweeter still
is the second branch; a thrill
attends each branch in turn. Her knee
is skinned as she goes up the tree,
but Mrs. Paisley doesn’t stop
until she’s reached the tippy top.

Here she grins and looks around.
How pleasant to have left the ground. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Calm before the Storm

oil on linen 36"x48"

 In this painting a cellist plays alone in a quiet room. As she plays, the room metamorphosizes into an enchanted forest and birds begin to fly in and congregate on the tables and chairs. The cellist’s dogs listen  and are seemingly undisturbed by the visiting birds. Outside the window the sky is getting dark, and storm clouds move in over the city, in contrast to the calm silvery interior. I was inspired to do this painting after reading about birds displaced by the high winds during Hurricane Sandy. Gannets were spotted in New York Harbor, Jaegers at Cape May, NJ, and Petrels on the Hudson River.  I started thinking about the room as a sanctuary, like the calm before the storm, in the face of impending chaos.