Thursday, December 20, 2012

Statue Restoration

This life size corpus statue was delivered to my studio in need of some restoration work.  The entire surface was chipped and flaking so it  had to be scraped and sanded, some minor plaster repairs had to be addressed, and the statue needed a more natural paint job.

Oh, and it had to be completed and installed in the church in time for Christmas Eve service.

I have worked on a few of these statues before and have learned that it is not easy to hand paint convincing blood drips.  So I have rigged up a way to attach the statue to my easel.  I just mix up a runny red paint and let gravity do the work.  It looks very realistic.

Here is the completed restoration.  I met the deadline!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Give the gift of art lessons!

 I will be teaching 2 classes at the Mechanicsburg Art Center this winter...

#1 Saturday morning will be Drawing 101. Designed to help you to draw an accurate representation of what you see, we will learn the basic fundamentals of measuring,

line, shading, and perspective. This class is for the beginner as well as the intermediate painter who would like to improve their drawing skills.

#2 Thursday evenings will be Oil Painting Challenge, a fun structured class for intermediate oil painters (beginners are also welcome). In each class we will explore a different "challenge" such as working with a limited palette or exploring a new technique. Each challenge will be designed to push you out of your comfort zone while learning in the process.

More information on both classes, as well as other classes offered by the Art Center, is at

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fireplace Fix

This week's project was to add some character to this plain outdated fireplace.



 Painting the mantle black gave it more of a Victorian feel instead of the staunch Regency look.
It also creates a wonderful contrast for the TILES...

 ...which are not really tiles at all, but are hand painted on the concrete surround.  I tried to mimick the designs of old Victorian tiles, even adding a subtle crackle finish which does not really show up in the photos.  The client requested monkeys, and each one if different.

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Friday, December 7, 2012

Faux burl fireplace unit

This week I painted this fireplace unit in a faux burl finish.


When I do a woodgrain finish I always start with an orange base color - trying to match the vibrant undercolor of the wood.  I am always happy when my clients trust me at this stage. 

 I apologize for the glare in this photo.  Unfortunately there were no working lights in the house when I completed this work and I had to shine my harsh halogen work light on the piece.

Below is a detail of the burl grain...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Copper Leaf Table Top

I just finished creating this hammered copper finish on a table top for an interior designer. 
I used individual sheets of real copper leaf and then manipulated glazes on top to create a "hammered" effect.

The designer suggested I add pewter tacks around the rim.  It was not my first choice of color to go with the copper, but it came out really cool.   That is why I like working with a designer ...  they often think of things I would not.

The tacks also serve a purpose in protecting the edges of the copper table.

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Paint Out

9x12 oil

I avoided the mall on this Black Friday and painted with some friends along the creek instead. I did this study in 2 hours...not sure if I will do anything more to it or just leave it as it is.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Maine Marsh


This painting is one of 3 that I just delivered to Art & Soul Gallery in Lemoyne.
The gallery carries a great assortment of art, mostly from local Central PA artists.
They are opened Friday and Saturday in the shops above the West Shore Farmer's Market.
You may want to check it out when selecting your holiday gifts.  Purchasing items from area artisans helps your local economy.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Salon makover...

Here I am on a project at Kenneth & Co Salon in Camp Hill.  

For these walls I created a textured background using a crinkled tissue paper finish. Then I handpainted the company's new logo on the wall, highlighting with silver and pearl metallic.  Lastly everything was toned down with a glaze which collected in the crevices of the crinkled paper and accentuated the texture.  It's a really nice look.

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I dug this one out of the archives.  This was painted many years ago in a class with Earl Blust.  I believe it was a dreary day similar to this Halloween and the plein air class was confined to the Art Barn.  Earl set up this still life of seasonal objects.  That was a real human skull in the arrangement and told us the story of how he acquired it.   I can't remember the exact details, but it was spooky!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tie Dye wall

This was a fun project that I did today.
What 10 year old girl wouldn't love to have a tie dye wall in her room - created with neon paints for the full black light effect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Installation day

Today I installed the mural.
This beautifully carved oak paneling is original to the 1908 home and is the perfect frame for this painting.
The client was thrilled.
If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Monday, October 15, 2012

almost finished

I think I am just about finished with this commission.
  I will be installing it in the client's home later this week.
I'll try to post a photo of it installed in it's new home.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vivi's Wheels

I took a break from the commission today.  My friend Vivian was so nice to invite me to paint around her lovely farm.  There were many beautiful subjects around the nursery and pond, but I've lately been looking for different things to paint that will challenge me....not necessarily to make a sellable painting, but to hone my skills.

I decided to paint her car.  It's so classic, so cute, so very Vivi!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

making some progress...

...So as you can see it is a sunset scene.  I am really trying hard to keep the warm glow on everything and to keep the values toned down so that the sun will appear luminous.  At the same time I don't want the painting to get too dark, so I am playing around with finding the right amount of contrast.

A friend let me borrow some books on the Hudson River Valley School of painters which I am finding helpful.  This landscape I am painting is completely imagined.  I am just using paintings of other artists as reference, but not really copying anything from them.

Monday, October 8, 2012

40" x 80" commission

I have started working on a new commission.  Here I am just blocking in some basic values.
I am not sure if this will be considered a large painting or a small mural (so much of my work lately has been straddling that line). The cat is posing to give you an idea of the size. 

 This commission is for a wood paneled room that has one large panel of empty wall space. It is being painted in the studio and will be installed in the client's home using a maroflauge process...basically pasting the canvas to the wall, like wallpaper.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harvest of the Arts

Saturday was spent painting at the Harvest of the Arts Festival in Carlisle, PA along with some fellow painters from my plein air group Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters
 Larry Lerew, Vivian Brandler, and I set up at the intersection of High Street and Hanover Street, the beginning of the event where they closed off 4 blocks to traffic.  How often can you set up right in the middle of the street to paint?  We had a great time painting along to the music!

Below is the painting I did.  I wasn't 100% focused on this one...never can be at these events with people stopping to talk and watching over your shoulder...but it's fun.  I especially love the children with their painted faces who are so interested in watching me paint.
Thanks to Vivi's friend Jeb for modelling!
"Waiting on the Square"

Friday, September 28, 2012

Beach Life

6x12 oil

There are few things I like better than a day at the beach...painting is one of them. So set me up with my paint supplies under a beach umbrella and I am as happy as a clam. 

This is one of the paintings I did while I was in Chincoteague a few weeks ago for their plein air festival.  I was noticing all the colorful beach umbrellas and how quickly the color faded out of them as they receded into the hazy distance where sky, sand, and sea almost became white.

This piece did not sell at the sale on Chincoteague, so I brought it home with me where I was pleased when it sold very quickly to a local buyer.

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Creating an antique brick effect on a ceiling

Every once in awhile I start a job that makes me question my in "why did I ever agree to do this?"  This week I am tediously creating an antique brick effect on this VERY large ceiling.  I know it will be great once it is finally finished.

In the photo above, the green lines are pieces of tape which I carefully laid out to create the brick pattern.  Below I have toned the basic color of the bricks and am beginning to remove the tape.

Nest steps are to add color variation and antiquing to the bricks.

I was left with these 3 nice balls of tape that I removed from the ceiling, all caked with the top paint and texture coats.  Just being silly, but I am thinking of a few galleries that might exhibit this as "art".

Sunday, September 9, 2012

East Side House

8x10 oil
I just spent a week on Chincoteague Island, VA where I painted for their annual plein air event.  This was my second year participating as an artist in this event and it was nice to see familiar faces.  The mosquitoes were miserable, much worse than they have ever been, but the weather was surprisingly nice with the exception of one solid day of rain and wind which forced me to paint from the front seat of my car (which was actually not all that bad).  I managed to do 6 paintings and two of them sold at the Saturday evening show.  This one sold within the first half hour so I am happy I took a quick picture of it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A friend asked me to "do something" to her attic stairs...

...specifically the risers.  I wasn't really sure how this would turn out, but I think I like it.
Here is a before shot to show you how "boring" (her word) the stairs were.

Monday, August 27, 2012

3 Part Commission


 Just finishing these 3 paintings which were all part of one commission project.
These are very site specific - for a hallway alongside the client's kitchen.  The two smaller still lifes will hang on one side of the wall in between doorways, and the larger, Sunflower painting will hang on the opposite wall.  The walls are a beautiful faux finish in rich salmon to raspberry shades, so I tried to incorporate strong visual pops of that color as well as mixing a bit of it into all my other color mixtures.
Today we go to the framer's and by the end of the week I will be hanging these on the client's wall - can't wait!
If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Glorious Sunshine

What could be more heavenly?  
I did these 2 paintings today at the Olson Farm in Port Royal.  It was quite a drive to get there with fog most of the AM, but then the sun came out and the bees woke  up.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ron Donahue workshop

I took a painting workshop this past weekend in Wellsboro, PA with Pittsburgh artist Ron Donahue.  Ron is a friend from the Daily Painters of Pennsylvania and he paints amazing plein air works from  the Pittsburgh area.  I have always loved his strong compositions and use of light as well as his ability to make a successful painting out of simple and often overlooked subjects.  Check out his website

I did 5 paintings during the workshop.  I don't feel any of them are necessarily finished pieces, but rather learning exercises.  I was trying some new things and just taking in the knowledge which  Ron so generously shared. We only had about 90 minutes to work on each exercise.   So the 2 pieces below are just studies and will remain just that - hanging in my studio to remind me of the lessons learned.

 This study of the tractor was done on the first day when it was raining and the class was pretty much confined to the Art Barn.  I chose this spot because I felt the strong values applied to the lesson Ron had just given and would be a good challenge, plus I could stay nice and dry inside the tool area of the barn. Ron helped me to keep the oranges of the tractor in shadow and to contrast the warm light inside the barn with the cool outside light.


This second study was painted in the town of Wellsboro.  The lesson that morning was on separating light and dark values, warm and cool colors, and simplifying shapes.  There was good strong sunlight that day which define the light and shadow families.  With a limited amount of time to work on this, I edited out a tree and several windows.  Ron also helped me to see and paint shapes rather than drawing details.

Overall it was a fantastic workshop.  We had great fun, explored a beautiful area of PA, and learned so so much.  It has inspired me even more to paint and to keep learning.  Thank you Ron !

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On my easel...

This work in progress is one part of a 3 painting commission for a client's kitchen....still needs some work.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Field of Lace

5x7 oil

My friend Larry invited some painting friends out to his place last evening to paint his field of Queen Ann's Lace.   I like the idea of an evening paint out - cooler temperatures and warmer sunlight.  I knew the light at 6 PM would change quickly, so I just worked on this very small panel and tried to not get too detailed.  I was hoping for some orange tones in the sky as the sun started to set, but instead the sky turned almost black with a threatening storm.  Fortunately I was able to finish my painting, pack up, and start home before the rain hit and I saw the dark cloud  following me home in my rear view mirror.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Silver Morning

painted along the river in Marysville this morning. I love the foggy atmosphere and muted colors.

36 W. Main Street

8x10 oil

I just delivered this little painting to Brath & Hughes Gallery in Mechanicsburg.  It is a painting of the building across the street and was started in May during the town's Wine Walk.