Friday, August 30, 2013


Friday evening, sitting at home alone. Well almost alone. I've got a family of hummingbirds who dart in and out of my front porch all day long, feeding on my feeder. And I've got Wolf Blitzer, Facebook and a good book.

This landscape is a 5x7 pastel of Screen, Ireland, painted during my recent trip to Ireland. It's up for auction. Click on the title above to go to ebay if you're interested.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Too hot to work out there this afternoon. Can't even think of anything to write about. But here's a new piece...

"Boats at dock in Ballyhack" is a 10"x10" pastel on board, up for auction. Bidding begins at $100.

Monday, August 26, 2013

TEA TIME 3 AND TRUE LOVE. click to bid

Saturday night my daughter Meg came by. I was to photograph her for a passport and she hung around for the evening--a rarity. She told us (my friend Daniel was there) that she pulled into her garage the other night and saw by the headlights, scattered on the walls were palmetto bugs. Water bugs some call them. Roaches--huge black ones, 2-3 inches in size usually. And they fly. Right at you. If you haven't spent time in the south, you may not be familiar with these demons from hell, I call them. My daughters have inherited my horror of them. She counted 11 of them (I am shuddering in disgust as I imagine it).

Her boyfriend was at the kitchen door, welcoming her home. But she refused, almost in tears, to get out of the car, knowing they would fly at her. They always do, she says. Despite his reassurances, she would not budge. He gesticulated--hold on, I'll be right back. He reappeared momentarily with a rifle. What? she thought, he's going to shoot them? It was an air rifle. He pumped the thing and proceeded to blast every *&*^%$&%$#^@#^^ demon to pieces, and Meg was able to leave the car. 

"Marry that man, Meg," I commanded her.

"Tea Time 3" is my last in the Tea Time series.  It's a 10x12 pastel, available for auction. Just click on the title of this blog and it'll take you to ebay.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

TEA TIME AGAIN, click to bid.

All the while I was in France this past June I kept wondering why I was getting no comments to my blog. The year before there was wonderful interaction between you readers and me, but this summer... absolute silence. I kept asking people if they were actually receiving my blog. That had to be the reason nobody was responding. Did I say something to alienate everyone (my first assumption always)?

Well, today as I was trying to edit my latest post, I clicked on 'messages' and found 44 waiting for me to  publish to the post. So sorry everyone, I would have loved seeing your messages sooner. I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, that's for sure. But I found them. Thank you for writing. I love it.

"Tea Time Again" is a 10x12.5 pastel on LaCarte paper. It's up on ebay, bidding begins at $100. Click on title above to be taken to ebay.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to the easel

I'm back in the studio, where I belong. Working on slightly larger pieces for the galleries. I'l be posting some smaller ones here too, for auction. Feels good to be productive again.

I'm calling this one Bathsheba.  I don't remember her real name, but she posed for me in Littleton, Colorado, a while back, and had a dark Mediterranean look, graceful and comfortable with herself. All I could think of was King David watching her from afar.

Bathsheba is a 16x20 pastel. Framed gallery price would be $2600.00. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I hit the ground running when I return home--there's so much to catch up on. All the while I'm meaning to close my trip on my blog, hating to leave anybody hanging. So I'm finally getting to it.

I returned home from Ireland with a broken carry-on, new clothes to replace my items from my delayed bag, a large balance on my credit card, about 100 Euros to put aside for my next trip, a mental image of the complaint I would write USAirways, and a sense of renewed commitment to art. Despite all my little annoyances, I returned home with a new respect for plein air work and the dedicated artists who paint that way. I have a lot to learn. And I intend to spend the next year working at it. Ireland--I love. The Irish people are my people, whether they know it or not. They were gracious and gentle and funny and down-to-earth. If you pass them on the street they say melodically, "Hello, luvley day." I look forward to seeing Ireland again, only next time I'll take more time and travel west, maybe try to look up my distant relatives.

I met artists from Ireland, England, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, USA and more. I can still see their faces and hear their voices. One thing quite a few of them do is travel. A lot. Some were off to Italy and France after Ireland. I may work on that too.

Some of the artists I had the honor to get to know in Ireland:
From the USA
Lori Putnam
Valerie Craig (Valerie won the best in show award)
Rhonda McCay
Andy Dearwater

From Ireland, England, Germany
Jane Meyler
Judy and Peter Tate
Tony Robinson
Reiner Simon

Another blip on my air travel...I was bumped from my return flight in Dublin (they lost my bag again too). I was too overwhelmed to be furious. They rerouted me through Philadelphia instead of Charlotte and put me in first class, which I wasn't going to complain about. I plopped my 40 lb. broken roll-on and my tired body in the front row, accepted an immediate offer of champagne from the flight attendant, and struck up conversation with the man sitting next to me, oblivious of all the dirty masses making their way past us to the back of the cabin. "What were you doing in Ireland?" Wayne asked. Assuming he was like most non-artists, I went into a lengthy definition of what plain air painting is and what paint-outs are and what I was doing in Wexford. "My girlfriend is a plein air pastel artist," he replied when I was finished. I was astonishment and speechless. I learned later, when I had a chance to get online, that she's an award winning pastelist ( Puts me to shame. And she has been following my blog for a few years (Hi Judy and Wayne). Four champagnes and a glass of wine later, dinner, an ice cream sundae, and non-stop conversation for hours, we stretched out and slept until we approached Philly. That was my first experience in first class. All the while, well maybe not all the while, I was thinking of all the people back there in economy scrunched up for 7 hours in 18 inch spaces, while I had endless champagne and munchies, a linen tablecloth, stainless steel (rather than plastic) flatware, several courses for dinner and good company. First class was definitely nice. But it might have been better if I had never known what I've been missing, or will be missing.

Anyway, I'm home. Catching up on paying bills, pulling weeds, staying in touch with loved ones, hanging curtains, installing shelves with my new drill, painting, trying to get back into the studio (here's something I've done since I've been home) and enjoying my little house.

I'm so glad to be home.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My last day in Ireland

Oh dear, I had forgotten about the Irish breakfasts at the B&B's, with fresh fruit and yogurt and several choices of granolas and eggs and bacon and sausage and black and white pudding and soda bread and Irish butter and preserves...
I had been staying at Whites Hotel the past week during Art in the Open. The original plan was for me to teach a 3 day figurative workshop immediately after the close of the festival but my class didn't fill. So I have several days to kill. I had considered returning home early but changing my return flight would have cost more than staying here in a B&B the 4 extra days, which, obviously, I opted to do.
But I had forgotten about the Irish breakfasts at the B&B's. Oy. The soda bread and butter. I came to southeast Ireland about 12 years ago with my husband. Ex-husband now (and could I write about that...). One of the most vivid memories from that wonderful trip was the breakfasts at every B&B. Especially the soda bread and Irish butter, and I'm not a bread and butter kind of person. I remember waking up every morning eager to get down to breakfast just to have the bread and butter. Today that has been reawakened.
I'm staying at The Blue Door B&B in Wexford, where the owner, Derek, is a chef. I have spent the past two days painting with Judy and Peter, a married couple from England. They pick me up at 9:00 a.m., and we paint until 5ish, breaking for fish (fresh from the sea) and chips. I'll be seeing them again this morning for our final painting excursion. We all depart for our homes in the morning. Gotta' run downstairs for breakfast now...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Final day of Art in the Open, Wexford, Ireland, 2013

Many artists are gone now, some to western parts of Ireland to paint and visit family or friends. One leaves for Italy, where she'll meet with another group of artist friends to paint in Italy for several weeks. But some like me are painting one more day in Screen. I'm sitting at the top of a hill overlooking a church, its cemetary and the hills of Ireland, hearing the bleating of sheep in the distance. We broke for a picnic lunch down the hill on picnic tables scattered in front of the town's pub, and had a glass or two. Here's a local toasting you!

The event is officially over. It has been exhausting but exhilarating ànd productive. I've learned a few things: I want to do more plein air painting. I'll need the right equipment to do it comfortably. I want to come back to Ireland. I want to travel to more places and painting can get me there.
Many of these artists travel the world and sell their paintings to do it. I'm going to try it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Art in the Open, Ireland, Exhibition Opening and Awards Presentation, Greenacres Gallery

Monday afternoon was our exhibition at Greenacres Gallery. One hundred eighty artists exhibited up to 3 pieces each. And every piece was lovely. It was really an emotional experience to see the quantity and quality of the work created the past week. Also to see the work done by the people you had shared meals and drinks with during these days. As they say here, it was grand.

The Mayor of Wexford welcomed everyone, all the hard working volunteers were credited, and award winners were announced (you'd know if I won anything). It was an excellent show; all the artists were thrilled to be a part of it.

Here were my 3 ...

Tomorrow, for those of us who did not depart after the exhibition, there will be one final paint-out and a picnic. Tomorrow also I check out of my hotel and into a more reasonable B&B around the corner.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Friday, Saturday, Sunday...


I was ready to catch the bus at 8:45 Friday morning, but I needed a break and the tree pints the night before didn't help. So I let the bus leave without me and I had a late leisurely Irish breakfast. Then went shopping for a sweater and another pair of jeans, thank you USAirways. You'll be getting an invoice.

I spent the rest of the day trying to nap, watching a movie, and fretting about the upcoming evening's function: a critique. I was asked to be one of three artists to critique participants' work. I HATE CRITIQUES. I HATE HAVING TO CRITIQUE ANOTHER ARTIST'S WORK. I HATE HAVING ANYBODY CRITIQUE MY WORK. But I'm in don't-turn-anything-down-mode, and I agreed to it. I had a couple of glasses of wine to fortify myself, then shot off my mouth a while in front of the artists. Couldn't wait to crawl back to my hotel room, which is where I am now, hearing live music from the pub 2 floors below.

My suitcase arrived Friday night around 7:30, just as I was leaving the hotel for the critique.

Saturday: Enniscorthy

Early Saturday morning we were bussed to Enniscorthy or 'Scorthy (Irish: Inis Córthaidh), the second-largest town in County Wexford. With a history going back to 465 it is said to be one of the longest continuously-occupied sites in Ireland.

Enniscorthy Castle, which dominates the skyline, was built in 1205 and was a private dwelling until 1951. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I gave the castle to the poet Edmund Spenser because of the good things he said about her in his poem "The Faerie Queen."

We poured out of the bus and spread out over the town in search of places to paint. At 2:00 we gathered at the town square for a Quick Paint. At the blast of a horn we were to begin painting and quit 2 hours later at the second blast. All easels with their wet canvasses were formed into a circle around the square and judged. First, Second and Third winners were announced (none of which were me), and the entire exhibit was available for sale to the public. Ten percent of sales went to a suicide prevention charity. I sold mine to a fellow artist.

SUNDAY: Framed paintings to Greenacres Gallery.

The culmination of the week's labors is to be an exhibition at Greenacres Gallery, around the corner from my hotel. I saw a lot of Do Not Disturb signs on the doors in the hotel hallway; artists busy framing, I suspected, because I turned housekeeping away too. Each artist is allowed to submit 3 pieces. The exhibition will be Monday afternoon. I can't wait to see what everybody has done. There are some impressive artists here.

By the way, it is my oldest daughter's birthday today. Happy Birthday, my beautiful AnnaBo.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Getting to know Ireland


When meeting another new artist, chatting with a stranger or just observing passers-by, I recognize faces... My mother, gone 31 years now. My Aunt Pat, gone many years, my Uncle Art, gone several years, my nephew Kevin, my early childhood friend Maureen. There's a familiarity to almost every face I encounter. I feel a vague sense of belonging here.

A few things I forgot or did not realize about Ireland:

They do not pronounce the th sound. It's tree tirty here. Arthursville is Artursville.

They are very soft-spoken. I have to lean in close to hear what they're saying. Often, even if I do hear, I don't understand a word they're saying.

Irish men are very nice. Twice men have taken my heavy carry-on bag from me and walked me several blocks to my hotel. They weren't coming on to me, they were just being nice.

The cream here is so thick it oozes slowly into my coffee.

Here's a view of my walk home from the pub last night, where I had tree pints.

Did I say home? I meant to my hotel.