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Posts from the ‘Gallery’ Category

Some paintings are torture

Some paintings are torture to produce, others just seem to create themselves in record time. This is one of the latter.


Pandora      11×14        Acrylic on Yupo        $725

I had just finished a series of paintings based on my memories of New Zealand, each of which took a lot of time and effort. Looking back on them, I wasn’t happy.

Scheduled to meet with an artist friend of mine for our weekly critique session, I was concerned that I didn’t have anything to show her. With less than an hour to spare, I put out a piece of Yupo (plastic) paper, dug out my rubber wedge and a tube of Cad Red Medium and put the first strokes down. Tired of pretty pastel colors, I looked for something I thought wouldn’t go with the red … and pulled out a really old tube of Deep Magenta. With that down, I again looked for an unattractive color and picked Yellow Ochre. The only thing left was to add black and repeat some of the other colors to pull it all together.

Start to finish it took half an hour … and my friend loved it.

Of course, I then went to the League for my afternoon class and tried to do the magic again.  The result was awful.

New Zealand forest reflected

As we drove around New Zealand, one of the things that amazed me was how much forest land there was, and how varied.  I saw it whiz by as I rode the bus, I saw it up close and personal as I walked through, and I saw the New Zealand forest reflected in the sometimes crystal clear lakes. Some were dense rainforests; others were “prehistoric” with huge ferns everywhere. There was one tree I’ve never seen anywhere else, but every time I asked what it was, I got a different answer.  There was a big bushy tree that bloomed big red flowers in the summer (December/January) that the locals called the Christmas tree.

Here’s another painting of the forest in motion, sunlight seen through the trees, reflected in my memory.

Reflections of NZ

          Reflections of NZ        12×9        Acrylic        $600

O’Cain Class Show has wonderful, varied work.

We just finished hanging it in the Gallery at the Art Students League, and the O’Cain Class Show has wonderful, varied work, if I do say so myself.

Some examples:

My paintings on Yupo

Three of my acrylic paintings on Yupo.


O'Cain Class Project

The O’Cain Class Project

The O’Cain Class Project was painted horizontally but hung vertically.  Of the paintings on the left, the bottom one is mine.

And a further example of the varied work in this show:

Varied work in O'Cain Class Show

Varied work in O’Cain Class Show

The show is pretty impressive.  It will only be up for a week (Jan. 11-18), so don’t miss it. The Gallery is open generally from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

Skógafoss, final version, really

And here I thought I was done painting that impossibly high Icelandic waterfall, Skógafoss.  After all, I had done about 7 versions, and even posted about them in my previous blog, almost bragging about how much I liked the final (yes, final) version, Skógafoss V (hereinafter known as Skógafoss V v2).

Skógafoss V v2

Skógafoss V v2

Well, I was showing the actual painting to an artist friend when it suddenly hit both of us: our eye kept being drawn to the bottom center of the waterfall.  It wasn’t supercritical, but once I’d noticed it, I couldn’t un-notice it.

So I softened the two vertical strips of blue and added a little more white, and voilà, Skógafoss V (the really final version).

Skógafoss V

Skógafoss V

Hopefully, I can leave it alone now.

Evolution of a Painting

Back to the rock wall I see every weekend on my way to grocery shopping at Fairway.  In fact, there are several rock walls I like:  one on route 87 just north of Riverdale, and two near Costco.   Getting my husband to slow down long enough for me to get a good look at them and then actually take a picture has been a lot of fun. But I digress.

Here again is my quick watercolor sketch of the one on the way to Fairway.

Rock Wall Study

Rock Wall Study

It’s not bad for a start, but it lacks a strong center.  None of the shapes dominate.  I probably need to move the diagonals on the left further to the left to expand the center.

So I did three smaller sketches, one of which I like.

RockWall Study 4

RockWall Study 4

I moved the diagonals over to the right side and enlarged the center.  Not bad, but I wanted to do it larger and go back to the original composition.

This is much better.  It has a strong center, the brush strokes are more varied and there is more of a feeling of depth.

Rock Wall

Rock Wall

If at first you don’t succeed … actually you often don’t succeed the first time around.  Each sketch teaches you something and eventually you get it right.

Four “Iceland” paintings in National Arts Club show; Reception 3/11, 6-8

I just finished hanging the 1100 Watercolor Society’s group show at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South (20th St betw. Park & Third) with my good friend and fellow artist, Tony.  And it’s a very good show, if we do say so ourselves.  14 accomplished artists and almost 50 really good paintings … I’m proud to be part of the exhibit.

I have 4 paintings based on my trip last year to Iceland in this show and it’s amazing how inspirational that two week trip has been: over 30 paintings so far (but who’s counting?). Iceland Blue, which won First Prize recently, is in the show along with two new (2013) paintings I’ve never shown before:  Breiðafjörður  (Icelandic for “broad fjord”) and Sun Kissed.



Icelandic scenery  is spectacular:  vast open areas with almost no sign of human habitation surrounded by volcanic mountains and weird lava formations. The glaciers are dramatic and huge and numerous. The highlands countryside has more colors of green than I know how to paint.  Waterfalls everywhere complete with rainbows. Hot springs and the original “geysir” which gave all other geysers their name.  Absolutely magnificently beautiful.

My Icelandic trip started me on a new kind of abstract painting.  An attempt to capture the light reflecting off the fast moving water above Goðafoss (Waterfall of the Gods) evolved into a looser, more intuitive style.  It’s amazing how realistic some of these new abstracts are … a reflection of how strange and alien looking parts of Iceland are (courtesy of its violent geology).

I hope you will be able to join me at the reception on Monday, March 11 from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  If you can’t make the reception but would still like to see the show, the gallery will be open daily from 10-6.

Iceland Blue won First Prize

My painting, Iceland Blue, won First Prize at the RAA juried show at the Will Library in Yonkers, NY in January 2013.  The judge called it an “exquisite, delicate painting … luminous and evocative.”

Iceland Blue

Iceland Blue

I visited Iceland last summer.  It’s an unexpectedly beautiful country. No pollution.  Everything is clean.  On a clear sunny day the sky is impossibly blue.  Even the reflection of the sky in the river water is intensely blue.

The exhibit will be at the Will Library through the end of January.