Thursday, August 27, 2009

Flying Away With Strings Attached

Acrylic diptych on two 16" x 20" canvases, 2009

As you can see with these latest paintings, I'm coming out of my mellow summer mood into an intensified period. It's in great part due to a natural cycle - spring and fall are animated and energized times, summer and winter are quieter, calmer. My mood dictates where the paint with fly or gently land on any given day and this week I've had a lot of powerful internal "stuff" to process and release. I've been reflecting on how when I work like this, it's still a meditation, just more physically engaging and activated than you typically imagine. When I'm already in a calm state, painting that mood just takes me further into the zone. When I'm more agitated like I have been, working it out through paint eventually leads to a peaceful state of mind - the calm after the storm. So really, no matter what my mood is, painting takes me to the same place. As for what is created, the art is a document of the journey.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Secret's Out

Acrylic on 30" x 40" canvas, 2009

Raw, expressive, get it all out....



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Announcing - The Rift by Robert Duperre

Yesterday was the big launch day of my husband's new website! If you didn't already know, my husband Rob is a writer and he's been working for years on his first novel called The Rift - which is a mammoth multi book work of fiction. After he finished this piece, he set it aside and considered it a learning experience, moving on to new short stories and a new book he's currently working on. He's been taking a traditional route seeking out avenues to publish his work and build his resume and continues to do so with his other works. But for The Rift, he knew that no publishing company would want to take on such a massive work from an "unknown" artist. In all of our conversations about The Rift, it was assumed that maybe someday he would resurrect it after he's been published and established. Meanwhile, I've been pushing for him to utilize the internet, obviously it has become my preferred source to "get my work out there" and I'd suggest various ideas to him through the years but writing is different than visual art. I understood his hesitation wanting to preserve the integrity of his reputation. Still, the internet affords creative people the ability to express themselves in new ways, to think outside the box...

So that's just what he did and he decided to bring The Rift to the web, available as serial downloadable chapters. When he publishes the final chapter of the book (which will take a while, new chapters will be coming out weekly and he has well over 100 chapters) we'll create a hardcover book of the complete work, hopefully with all of the artwork that Rob had originally envisioned, including and possibly entirely created by our friend Jesse Young

Lots to look forward to as we develop his web presence. I love working on this with him because I feel like I have a lot to offer, and it's good to feel useful, isn't it? :)

He has a free read on his website to get a sense of his writing style and a taste of The Rift. Hopefully you'll get hooked and come along this journey with him!

New Hampshire vacation

We spent the last week vacationing with family in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on the banks of the Pemigewasset River. It was a stroke of luck in a summer full of rain in New England that we had days and days of hot sunshine and blue skies - perfect conditions to meander down the river in a tube, swim and play in Newfound Lake and explore the various exotic swimming holes in the area. I have to say, one of the greatest aspects of our vacation for me was being away from technology and media. No tv, no computer, just the people you love, gorgeous natural surroundings and stories to share. Having gone to UNH ten years ago, I absolutely love this state and someday maybe we'll end up living there. Live free or die baby!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Puzzle Painting 1

Puzzle Painting 1 - Acrylic on four 5" x 5" x 1.5" gallery wrapped canvases, 2009
Available for purchase at

It was so much fun composing this painting to work as a square or in a row going in any direction. I'd like to make more of these in different color palettes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beautiful Dream

Textured acrylic/mixed media painting on 16" x 20" canvas, 2009
Available at

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Clean Studio - Outside

Yesterday I cleaned out the outside portion of the studio and created two separate work areas. The picture above shows my new framing area. It's a blank slate at this point, but I've got my hardware and tools in the drawers below my work table. I'm thinking I either need to put it up on blocks or add some height on top because it's too low to stand and work comfortably. But it's a start! As well as being my framing area, it will be a generally clean dry space to work on things that need such a work space.

Across from the framing table is this table which will be a wet work area. Here is where I can work on several canvases at once, priming, painting and other messy jobs. This table is a hand me down from my best friend (thanks Em!). The slatted shelving makes for good drying racks.

Canvas Picture Framing Tutorial

This is just a basic run through of fitting/framing a stretched canvas in a ready made frame.

My canvas is an 8 inch by 10 inch stretched canvas and the frame is a ready made, deep set frame with glass and a mat. I start by taking out the frame points with some pliers and taking out the glass and mat, which I'll use in another project.

The canvas sits into the frame then I drive framing points in with this tool that has an official name but I call it a point shooter. I put in two points per side.

Then I apply strips of acid free framing double sided tape to all four sides of the frame, otherwise known as ATG. Don't worry about going over the edges because it rubs off easily.

For the backing, I cut out a piece of brown packing paper a bit larger than I'll need. I begin by pressing down on the paper at the top edge of the back of the frame - I like using the longer side first. Then I pull the paper taught down to the bottom edge in the center first, then working out towards the left and the right. I do the same on the sides, starting in the center, working your way out (much like stapling a canvas onto a frame when stretching a canvas). I use my thumb and index finger to burnish the paper over the edge.

For the next stage, there is a cutting tool for this job available so you don't need to handle a blade directly but since I was trained this way when I was 16, this is the way I still like to do it today. I hold the blade between the meat of my thumb and the tip of my index finger, so the bottom of my thumb can be a constant gauge along the side of the frame creating a straight line all the way down. Again, I wouldn't recommend this technique, it's just how I do it. You can use a straight edge/ruler and a box cutter knife for similar results. In the last picture I show how you often get residue of the ATG once you've peeled away the paper. This rubs off easily and balls together like rubber cement when you rub the edge with your thumb.

Next up, I measure about a third of the way down the frame and make a small hole with an awl on either side. I get the screw eye started by hand then turn it the rest of the way into place using the awl.

Picture framing wire goes through the screw eye, pulled back, looped under and over the wire, then woven through the eye again. The wire then gets twisted around several times to really lock it into place (that wire isn't going anywhere now), cut and finished with a bit of tape just so you don't leave any raw pieces of wire that can poke and cut you or the handler of the piece. Pull taught but not TIGHT and do the same on the other side.

Add some bumpons to the bottom so it won't scuff up the wall and voila - you've got a framed canvas!

(If you're framing an oil painting, cut a hole in the backing paper so the canvas can breathe - this piece it is fine as it is).

I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial of sorts. I'm looking forward to working on more framing projects now that I have the space. If anyone has any picture framing questions, let me know and I'll try my best to answer them. 10+ years in the business and most of the tricks of the trade are still fresh in my mind.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New camera!

We got our new Nikon camera today - thanks FedEx man! Actually, all the thanks go to my husband for being safe at his job! They get safety points and with these accumulated points they can buy products like tvs, plane tickets, etc. He saved up his and though there were some fancier cameras that required more points, this camera has everything I need so I am very happy. I just took a few test pictures and this is cropped from the original and otherwise unedited - I'd say that's a pretty crisp image especially since it's an overcast day. YES! Finally no more blurry images of my artwork! I've got some vacations coming up too so this came at the perfect time.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More Mazes...

Maze 6 - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009

Maze 5 - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009

Maze 4 - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009

Maze 3 - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009

Available for purchase at

Summer Harvest

I love our local farmstand! Today I picked up some corn, tomatoes, a huge cucumber and three types of eggplant - purple, white and a more rounded green variety.

With these yummy veggies, I made steamed corn on the cobb and a funky salad that I'll describe. First, I marinated eggplant slices in balsamic vinegar and salt. After they soaked for a bit, I took them out and squeezed out the liquids then coated them with bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese. Then they went into some hot olive oil for a deep fry. The frying pan got a quick rinse then I cooked up some sliced tomatoes with freshly minced garlic. I served the eggplant slices on top of lettuce and cucumber, with the tomato garlic mixture on top and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette and parm. It made for a nice cool/warm combo and complimented the super sweet corn very well. I looooove this time of year when the veggies are plentiful and fresh. The farm stand had a few squash varieties I've never seen before and I'm looking forward to buying some and trying out new recipes.

Maze paintings

Maze 1 - acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009

Maze 2 - acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2009
Available for purchase at

This Sunday was yet another rainy day in Connecticut and I made the most of it hanging out in my studio watching some of my favorite movies and painting on the floor. I've always loved sitting on the floor, cross legged, zoning out/into a painting or drawing. It brings me back to my childhood and the kid in me felt giddy with my grown up circumstances (I'm still shocked that we actually got the studio). You can kind of see Will Ferrel brushing his teeth on the tv screen in Stranger Than Fiction - uh, I LOVE that movie. I can't get enough of it. You can see two of the new Maze paintings on the floor. I've got several more I have to add the finishing touches to. Rainy days aren't so bad when you make the most of them.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Collective Support

Acrylic on 18" x 24" gallery wrapped canvas, 2009
Available at
I actually painted this a few months ago but it took me this long to sit with it and feel right about calling it done. Sometimes when a painting comes about rather quickly I can doubt myself and the piece . "That's it? Really?".

But I like it as it is, so "as it is" is how it shall remain.