Monday, July 31, 2017


Paddleboarding is quickly becoming one of the most popular water sports.   I'm told that paddleboarding is a great workout because it exercises the core, and anything these days that works the core, is good!   (Don't forget the other trendy health nugget, get your protein!)  Well several neighbors have paddleboards and I've received multiple offers to borrow one and try it anytime, and I think I will.   That is sure to be entertaining for the summer beach crowd!

This painting depicts my neighbors, a little girl and her aunt, who as you can tell, are very active and fit. For this family, the definition of going to the beach does not just involve plunking down and tanning from a beachchair, but rather it invariably includes some form of fun, physical activity -sailing, kayaking, paddle games etc..  Like most people who choose to live here, they love the ocean!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Cliff Walk Newport - Gazebo Framed by Foreground Rocks

Maureen Painting at Cliff Walk

Cliff Walk View - In Progress
This year we drove to Newport, RI in late June for a weekend getaway and painting trip.  There are hundreds of scenes worth painting and settling on a location is tough.   Our love of walking invariably pays off in that we often spot on foot places to park and set up that would be easily missed while driving.    This spot was at the halfway point of Cliff Walk at a dead end street.

Cliff Walk Newport - Final
The day was glorious - bright and sunny and just warm enough.  This scene faces northeast, so the sun and water glare was to my right.   It did get easier to see as the sun moved, but my eyes did take a beating.   I remember stopping to look around and thinking, what an amazing world, and how lucky are we to be surrounded by all the elements of nature we revere - sun, ocean, breezes, roses.   After painting, we followed the trail to the southern terminus before looping back to take a more unbiased look at our freshly painted works.

Newport Lobster Shack

Newport Lobster Shack in Progress
I am now thoroughly familiar with the shape of those fryolater vents used by restaurants as this is the third one that I've painted in three weeks.   The setting for this painting is along Long Wharf in Newport, RI.    I posted Six Boats and a House that Floats a couple of weeks ago.   That painting was executed from the rooftop seven floors up. This painting was done closer to sea level, and actually from the same building.   Not only was it fun to watch the sailboats, charter fishing trips and lobster boats coming and going, but it was amazing to see the Lobster Shack crew processing hundreds of the bright steamed crustaceans for their open air restaurant.   I can attest that these people work hard!   Just a few yards away, folks lounged around the decks of their massive yachts, hardly working.  On vacation, I'm sure. :)

Newport Lobster Shack

As for the painting, the dark, moist pilings formed a solid base for both the pier and the painting composition.   It may be why the tangle of objects on the dock looks especially colorful.  I buttered on a thick hazy sky with the palette knife, and I carved out the dozens of boat masts, with my rubber tip tool. There were literally hundreds of masts, but I think if I had painted too many, oil paint chaos may have been the result.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Garden Center

Garden Center - Stage One
Garden Center - Stage Two

Garden Center - Stage Three
There were very few shoppers at the local garden center on this morning.  I was thinking that most people probably had their annual planting completed by this point in the season.   The plant inventory was in full bloom - probably overgrown - but truly eye candy for a painter who likes color.    From the vantage I decided upon, the large canopy with shade-loving varieties were on my right.   All around the fringe, the sunlight illuminated the dazzling blossoms.       The hydrangeas in the foreground were loaded with blooms, pink, lavender, blue, turquoise - and all on the same shrub.    


Garden Center - Stage Four
Garden Center - Final

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Neon Water Lilies

Neon Water Lilies
The Heritage Museum and Gardens on Cape Cod was the inspiration for this water lily painting.   Our day trip was planned after seeing hearing about an ongoing scientific study of 200 varieties of hydrangeas.   The hydrandeas were very nice but it was the lily pond that grabbed my attention.  When I saw the watery blossoms and reflections, I thought it is no wonder that Monet was so fascinated with pond lilies that he painted dozens of versions of them over his lifetime.  The neon colors reflected by water ripples were simply mesmerizing!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Coffee on the Front Porch

Coffee on the Front Porch - Stage One
Sitting on a warm front porch with a strong cup of coffee in the middle of summer vacation, for me, works more like a sedative than a pick-me-up.  I was sitting there staring at the flower pots and pink roses, my eyes practically glazing over.   Should I paint these translucent petals?   What else would I include?  Everyday scenes are so obvious that they are often overlooked and/or deemed unworthy as the subject of a painting, but I was surprisingly happy with the result.

Coffee on the Front Porch - Stage Two
Our east facing front porch transitions from full sun to shade at midday and by afternoon only the far end railings and flowers catch the sunlight.   The bright, warm annuals stood out in vivid contrast to the dark shadowy green.    My favorite coffee cup and pink plastic spoon scored a place in the painting as well.

Coffee on the Front Porch - Final

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wild Winter Waves at the Jetty

Most of the time, living at the shore is pure delight.   A person becomes atuned to the rising and lowering of sun, moon and tides in a rhythmic way that becomes somewhat automatic.   This keen awareness can, and does become acute anxiety when harsh storms hit.
Wild Winter Waves at the Jetty

Why the house has been here for over one hundred years through dozens of historic blizzards, so what are the odds that we will get washed away?   Are the odds with us or against us!?!   The one certainty is that all are glad its over, and once a storm is over, it takes a tide cycle or two for the surf to settle down.  When the sun finally emerges, the surf is typically spectacular.   This painting depicts a wild and windy scene the day after a blizzard.   Waves crash into and over the jetties propelling white foam and spray many feet into the air.  Pheww!  Glad it's over!



Friday, July 7, 2017

Overcast Brant Rock

Overcast Brant Rock - Stage Two

My gear was packed and ready.   I took a spin around town, looking for inspiration, almost stopping along the river.  The beautiful "Spring greens" view of the South River from the rear of a local restaurant caught my attention, but the large dumpster turned me off.    Wouldn't a misty sea breeze be better?  Of course it would.

Overcast Brant Rock - Stage One
The painting location I settled on is a personal favorite, and one that I have painted in the past. The super low tide exposed the rocky shoreline and created many tidal pools.   Comerants crowded together on the actual "Brant Rock"as I painted and the rain held off until the very minute - literally - that I started back to the studio.

Overcast Brant Rock

Monday, July 3, 2017

Green Harbor Lobster Pound

Lobster Pound
I recently inventoried my array of Green Harbor paintings in preparation for a special project, and I realized that it was incomplete.  I had not yet immortalizing the Green Harbor Lobster Pound.   This seasonal establishment is known for its gigantic and delicious lobster rolls.   The lobster rolls are so popular in fact that there are days that they honor only advance orders. After a certain point on those days, they decline lobster roll orders.    I once witnessed a man state that his wife was going to kill him if he didn't come home with her lobster roll.    I don't know if his plea produced results, and maybe he had to settle for a fried clam plate!   Also delicious!  :)

People Close Up
The Lobster Pound's spring opening starts with the weekends in May and when their little bifold sign announces Mothers' Day lobsters, it always sets the summer lovers' hearts aflutter.   This scene captures a warm Sunday in May as patrons steadily wandered in and out.