Sunday, July 5, 2015


Full of Wonder  2006

For the last 18 years I've been exploring various themes in my paintings.  Early on I relied on photographs from my trips to Italy but eventually I became drawn to more abstract forms that hold metaphorical curiosity for me.  As my work shifted from actual landscapes to theoretical ones, the shapes of trees, houses and doorways evolved into ambiguous shapes.  I enjoyed the mystery imparted by my conceptual forms.

Gleaning  2009

Recently, I have returned to a shape that has shown up in my work over the last 9 years... the bowl, or vessel.  The shape itself harks back to my early love of being in Gram's kitchen, her yellow ware bowl in front of me as she taught me how to make a cake batter using only a cracked tea cup for a measure.  Her influence extended to other vessels as well.  She collected baskets, and that seed planted itself firmly in my creative development, because in the 80's I made hundreds of my own dyed reed designs.

Recently, I've decided to look more deeply at the bowls in my past work.  Initial pieces investigated the open quality of a mixing bowl, a bowl that one could imagine holding gathered goodness.

More or Less  2007

The following few years my vessels became enclosed, mysterious holders of magic elixirs.

Elixir  2010

Alchemy  2012

In 2014 I returned to cup like forms, invitations to sit down and receive tea and conversation.

Ceremony  2014

Comfort  2014

This year my bowls are back as free and spirited vessels.  Sometimes, the volume of the bowl, comingling energy with the ground of the painting.

Buoyant  2015

Acceptance  2015

I am excited to reinvestigate this metaphorical container, examining what attracts me and playing with it on many colorful adventures. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


some of my heart rocks

I can't really say when I first started seeing hearts.  Maybe it began years ago when I found my first heart shaped stone on a beach in Massachusetts.  I pocketed it with great pleasure, never expecting that decades later my heart rock collection would stud many surfaces in my home.

street heart

moth heart

cutting board heart

heart leaf

In recent years I began seeing hearts "in the wild." These ephemeral sightings are not something to be picked up and collected, but captured with my camera.  Apparently it is now part of my nature to see heart shapes nearly everywhere.

tempera on paper 50 x 42" 1989

What you think about expands...hearts have nearly always had a place in my art work.  In the 1970's I designed a soft doll, silkscreening the face and a heart on the front.  In the 1980's I designed and crafted baskets, calling my business "Heartvine."  Moving on to painting classes (pre-return to college) I made very large tempera paintings of hearts.

heart clouds

heart vine in the forest

Beyond graduation in 1996, eyes opened wide by my art education, I looked back on my heart creations as being simplistic and childish.  Yet well into the second decade after the millennium, hearts are very much a part of my life.  I still photograph extemporaneous hearts I find wherever I go, from trips to Italy to hikes in these mountains of the Carolinas.  

I heart you 24/7, oil, mixed media on board 2014

Look Inside, oil, mixed media on board, 2010

And I've returned to painting hearts, sometimes deliberately, yet often unexpectedly.  They show up, causing surprise and delight, a part of my existence.  I am grateful.
Spring Moon Rising oil, mixed media on board 2013

Unexpected Angel, oil on board 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Seed

dyed reed baskets - 1980's
Friends who have known me for years sometimes comment on how much my art has evolved over the last few decades.  They recall my early excursions into everything from handpainted dolls to baskets and painted gourd vessels.  

After Klee - painted gourd vessel

These efforts were a bridge to the realization that I wanted to be a "real painter."  I returned to college in the early 90's and after more than 4 years attending part time I achieved my Associate Degree in Visual Art.  This grand education (seriously wonderful professors at Berkshire Community College!) coupled with my first ever trip to Italy, awakened and exposed my hidden self, sending me on a whole new adventure.

Returning Home - oil on canvas

Window - oil on canvas

My love affair with Italy has never ended.  My travels inspire me to dig deep within as I soak my spirit in the magnificent art and architecture, the forms of trees and hills, the light-filled colors, and layer upon layer, the skies and earth.

I've learned to experiment continually, trusting my instincts and emotion.  Forms are intuitively abstracted, colors heightened and lines have become important to me.  

Sacred - oil on canvas

Full of Wonder - oil on canvas

My art has evolved a great distance from my first creative efforts.  Recently I had the great pleasure of being contacted through my web site by an artist in Milan.  We began an email conversation that has been rewarding for me.  In recent email with Franco we've discussed finding our true voices in paint.  

True Blue - oil on canvas

Excavation - oil and mixed media on board

I wrote that I strongly believe inside every artist who is serious about being true to themselves, is a seed that is solely theirs.  To improve and evolve, this seed needs our nurture and respect.  

In my studio I have many reminders of my twelve (so far) trips to Italy.  Can you spell a.d.d.i.c.t.i.o.n?  I have learned, through these visits, how to see with new eyes, whether I am in a museum in Venice, hiking in the woods here in the Carolinas or even noticing the way that sidewalk cracks form patterns that attract me.  

Mooncatcher - oil and mixed media on board

One Enormous Sky - oil and mixed media on board

Today's work doesn't resemble the work I did in the early years, but I have discovered my SELF, endlessly growing.  I am compelled to keep tending "my seed."