Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This is Ellery, she is a Lakeland Terrier. I was asked to do a portrait of her as a gift for her owner. I certainly hope her owner likes the picture. I worked from several photos and it is always a challenge if I haven't met the dog in person to see her personality and to see if I've captured her expressions. I used Canson Mi Tientes paper, I think the orangy/brown color was Buff. I needed to use a lot of light colored pencils to cover the lighter shades in the fur.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Gallery

I've been invited to be an exhibiting artist at:

Royal Gallery
298 Atwells Avenue
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 831-8831

I currently have 3 pieces on display

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This is just a little drawing that I had fun with. The candies were subject matter for two of my colored pencil classes. The paper is Fabriano Tiziano, the color is felt gray. The paper has a bit of a lined texture and is a nice surface to work on. My scanner added some red/purple to the gray of the paper so its not exactly correct. I started this drawing by laying in all the white highlights of the cellophane wrappers. Next I worked on the darkest areas of the cellophane in Periwinkle. The candies came next. The whites of the candies couldn't be white because then the highlights on the cellophane wouldn't show so I used Cream and Cloud Blue. The colored swirls are different shades of the local colors. This was fun, this could be a series.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Providence Art Club Little Picture Show

Providence Art Club's holiday Little Picture Show opens tomorrow, Sunday, December 22 with opening reception 12-4 p.m. The gallery will be open Mondays-Wednesday & Fridays 12-5 p.m.; Thursdays 12-6 p.m. and weekends 12-4 p.m. View hundreds of small pieces of artwork by members all priced at $250 or less. This is a nice opportunity to buy some great art. I am showing my orchid colored pencil pieces.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Shells are Finished

I had fun with this piece but the sanded surface made the whole piece come out a little more textured than I anticipated so I am trying another similar piece, this time on RTistx board. This one will kind of be my study for the next drawing which is larger. This one is hanging in a gallery and I always like hearing the comments from people. So far so good!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuscany Farmhouse

I've completed one of the pastels I started in Tuscany. The bottom photo shows my view and my watercolor underpainting. I use Wallis paper mounted on museum board so it doesn't warp when I apply the washes. When that dries, I apply the pastel. This is a simple farmhouse in the country, the field in front is growing grapes for a local winery. I was enticed by the rows leading up and down the hill as well as the tall cypress trees. I also love the warm stone colors of the buildings and tile roofs. They lend themselves to such bright color. One finished .... four more to go!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

American Artists Professional League Exhibit

"Judy's Glass #2" will be shown at
American Artists Professional League
81st Grand National Exhibition
November 3rd - 13th
Salmagundi Club

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Last week I picked up some really beautifully colored fall leaves and they became the subject matter for my classes. This illustration is done in watercolor pencil with some colored pencil on top. The yellow spots are where the watercolor ran when I wet it with a spray bottle (I was experimenting). They are not that noticeable on the original, for some reason my scanner really accentuates yellow. Surface we used was Crescent illustration board which I would not recommend when using a lot of water and many layers on pencil on the wet, the top layer starts to peel off.

Happy Halloween! Happy Fall!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pink Shells Progressing

Putting the pastels aside this week in order to finish this piece and hang it at Spring Bull Gallery. I'm working the colored pencil with solvent and applying it almost like paint. I put down an initial layer of colored pencil, then brush solvent onto the area. I work small areas at a time because the solvent dries quickly. While it is still wet, I work more pencil into the area, sometimes using 2 or 3 colors simultaneously. The solvent strengthens the intensity of the pigment. My next step will be to knock down the intensity of the indigo blue shadows and also the dark red leaf in the bottom third of picture.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I ran off to Italy

I just returned from spending 10 days in Italy; 3 days in Florence and a week at a villa just outside of Siena. The Florence art and architecture is amazing. Michelangelo will never cease to amaze me with his painting and sculpture. "David" is incredible, the sculpture takes your breath away, every muscle, every angle is perfect.

While in the country, I did 5 plein aire pastel pieces which I am trying to finish up in my studio. I have discovered that trying to work from the photos I took is really difficult. Not only are the values flattened, but the photos seem to be condensed vertically. Its going to take some creativity on my part to keep my pastel work lifelike. Here is one small drawing I worked on while visiting a small town called Bagno Vignoni. Its on terra cotta colored Sennelier LaCarte paper.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shells on Pink in Progress

I'm working all around the piece, I've decided to put the colored shells in first and then add the background pieces that are in shadow or in shades of grays. The color is more fun to work with. I like the subtle softness of the shells in the first layer of pencil before I add the solvent and deepen the color. I plan to try a similar drawing of shells on another surface in which I won't use solvent, just pencil and let it be very subtle. I've started working with the solvent and colored pencil in the upper right and you can see how bold the colors become.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drawing shoes

Last week for my morning class, I had them draw shoes for their assignment. I brought in all my shoes and let them pick one or more to draw. The surface we worked on is mylar. It doesn't take a lot of layers but can be worked on back and front. It was a great drawing exercise as well as for applying color. They all did a wonderful job, here are samples of a few that were finished and brought back today. In the top picture, the blue satin slip-on shoe was drawn by Cheryl who portrayed the sparkly beading very realistically. Rayne drew the brown lace-up shoe and gave it a beautiful design. Mary Lou worked with black and dark shades of other color to render the black patent leather and used Gold Prismacolor for the inside. The gold worked really well on the mylar. The bottom picture is of Cherry holding her lovely composition and drawing of three shoes. Didn't they do an unbelievable job?!

Monday, September 28, 2009

SO Rhode Island Magazine

I have been very fortunate because a writer from SO RI magazine, Marylou Butler, came into Spring Bull Gallery in Newport with a friend and saw my work. Marylou contacted me and asked if she could feature me as the artist of the month in the October issue. I was delighted to oblige! The magazine is about people and places in southern RI, or South County and has lots of good info from cover to cover.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pinks Pinks and More Pinks

Summer, walking on the beach and going boating has gotten me in the spirit to keep working on shells, especially since I have been observing the subject matter so closely. Its on my mind and it makes me happy! I'm using the Ampersand cradled gessoboard and to get the surface color, I have white Colourfix primer tinted with Art Spectrum Liquid Spectrum inks, a few drops of red and a few drops of blue make this bluish-pink colored surface. I chose the Liquid Spectrum because the colors are concentrated and can be added to the Colourfix without watering it down or changing the consistency.

After laying down my drawing, I started by blocking in the darkest areas and the white areas. You can see my reference photos too. In the bottom photo (which is just part of the drawing) I'm working on just the colorful shells by adding a light layer of colored pencils. When I have the whole surface covered with pencil, then I will go back and add more along with solvent to fill in more of the surface. I love color, can you tell?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summer's over, time to get back to work

I've been on hiatus from colored pencil since I finished the shell piece. I'm kind of just regrouping and was enjoying the summer, spending time on the beach and boating. I'm working on a watercolor piece that I will put in a future blog entry. I haven't done watercolor in so many years but I have to say that I'm enjoying it.

On Tuesday I began teaching colored pencil classes again. We worked on a small still life of grapes and slice of watermelon. Here is my little drawing on done white Stonehenge paper. Wednesday and Thursday I spent puttering around my studio cleaning up and moving things around, I feel the need to regroup, plan and organize right now before I can focus enough to get started on another piece of artwork. I haven't even decided what I want to work on next which is unusual for me, I always have the next piece in mind before I finish my current piece.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Finally Finished!

Here it is .... my completed piece of the shells. Of all my work, I would say this one was the most challenging. I began it sometime around the beginning of July so its taken me, roughly, 6 weeks to complete ... although it is summer and I had many interruptions and a few boating trips in between. The drawing was so complex, I kept losing my place and found I could only work about 2 hours per day before my eyes started crossing and I gave up frustrated. So it was finished sometime last week and sitting in my studio where I could look at it and let my studio mates comment on it. I scraped off pencil and added more. I splashed on solvent and blended certain areas. In the end, I am very happy with this piece. I like the composition and have decided it looks more dramatic hanging vertical as opposed to the horizontal format. Now onto something less complicated for a while!

Friday, August 14, 2009

6x24" Shells ... Coming along slowly!

I finished laying down all the color on the surface. The Colourfix primer is fairly grainy and not taking the pencil as smoothly as I had hoped. My next step is brushing solvent over the areas, one color at a time so they don't run into each other. Then I go over them with pencil(s) to add more color and fill in the textured surface showing through. I'm working right to left, I'm not sure you can see my progress in this image. My final step will be to pull out a few shells for my focal point and let the rest of the hodge podge sink into the background!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mystic Arts Center 53rd Annual Regional Exhibit

My piece titled "The Wave" has been accepted into the Mystic Arts Center 53rd Annual Regional Exhibit; an all media juried show, now through September 26.

Stonington Vineyards, CT Exhibit

I've been invited to exhibit some of my work, with 5 of my artist friends, at the Stonington Vineyards in North Stonington, CT. I have 7 of my colored pencil pieces on display in the wine tasting room. The exhibit runs through September 30 and we will be having a Meet the Artists reception and wine tasting on Saturday, September 12 from 5-7 p.m. Everyone is invited so please join us! Or just come view the artwork of all 6 of us. It looks beautiful!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

6x24" Shells

Continuing on with my shell piece has been slow. Summer is always filled with other things to do and I've been away from my colored pencils for too long. This afternoon I was able to sit down for a few hours and work more on this piece. I feel that it is more like a puzzle than art. I keep moving around and changing colors as I go. I'm working more on the brown colors in the shells and seaweed now. There is so much color when I look at what is just ordinary debris on the beach. Its fun picking out the purples, blues, greens, browns and even some pinks.

Friday, July 24, 2009


This week, the assignment I gave my evening class was to pick a few marbles and draw them on Parma (colored) Canson Mi Tientes paper. We also set the marbles on a square of the same colored fabric so they were able to draw exactly what they saw. At first glance, they all thought it would be a difficult assignment. However, as they got working, they began to enjoy laying on the colors and reflections just as they appeared on the glass without worrying too much about values and creating a rounded form with value. I drew along with the class so here is my drawing so far.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shells and more shells

I've started a new piece (which is a little distorted in this photo!). I'm working on 6x24" cradled gessoboard to which I've applied a layer of Raw Sienna colored Colourfix Primer. On the top is the reference photo that I am working from. I started by laying in my whites and lightest blues on the shells, you can't really see my line drawing in white. I've also placed my darkest darks as a reference point to work from. There are so many elements in this piece that easily gets confusing. I like the composition and the long rectangular format. Today I was working outside on my deck in 85ยบ weather because the sun felt so good. While working in the sun, I learned something interesting, the colored pencil starts to melt and adheres to the surface really smoothly. Its almost like working with the solvent but the pencil doesn't mush as much as when using solvent. I'm going to experiment more with this, as long as I can stand the heat!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Little Compton Summer Art Exhibit

Summer art exhibit at the Little Compton, RI Community Center. Opening reception is tonight 6-8 p.m. and the exhibit continues Saturday and Sunday from 10-4. Proceeds benefit the community center and its projects. This is always a nice exhibit to view and a nice ride through scenic Little Compton.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Espresso & Pastry

After a week of house guests and July 4th festivities, I really needed to get back to drawing. I was craving my colored pencils and some quiet time in my studio! The lesson for my Tuesday morning class was to work on a small still life set up of a coffee cup, a spoon and a cookie. While they worked, I worked. I finished this small drawing in a few hours and it felt like therapy to pick up those pencils again. One of my students asked how was I going to render a black cup while I prefer not to use a black colored pencil? Good question. I prefer to mix darks instead of using a black pencil because black by itself seems to look flat. So I decided to challenge myself and use the black pencil, in which I laid down first for my darkest areas on the cup. To the black, I then added indigo blue, true blue, black grape, terra cotta and cool gray 90%, 70% & 50% to give the cup depth and reflections. Looking at the drawing now that it is scanned into the computer, I see that I need to pick up the pencils again and fix the hard line under the saucer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Providence Art Club opening

Here are photos of my art exhibit opening at Providence Art Club in the Maxwell Mays Gallery. My work is being shown with oil painter Jim Kubiatowicz so we titled our exhibit "Paint and Pencil". We had a successful opening and both had sales of artwork! Come see the exhibit if you get to Providence, it is showing until Friday, July 10.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yellow Lily - Class Lesson

For my Tuesday colored pencil classes, I had everyone work on a small still life of a yellow lily from my garden in a small glass jar. I had them draw this on Terra Cotta Canford paper to experience drawing on a colored paper. The Canford paper is relatively smooth so it doesn't take a lot of pencil layers. We found the best way to apply color was to juxtapose, lay colors side by side. Rendering the soft yellows was also a challenge on the red paper, but at the end everyone had a nice drawing. I worked along with the class and here is my drawing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fun with Childrens' Art Classes

My studio partner, Judy, and I have been holding children's art classes since May and having such fun. We've been working on art projects with 7 girls who love art. Judy gives the students painting lessons and I work with them on drawing. Here are a few photos. Notice the colored pencils ...... Today we gave them each a square on our floor and had them paint a picture to decorate our floor. Here are some of the works of art they created. All are doing an incredible job of mixing paint and learning how to draw.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Providence Art Club art exhibit

I've been working so hard finishing up my work and switching work out of galleries in order to have everything ready for my Providence Art Club exhibit which is now on display. Phew! I brought 25 pieces to be hung in the show and I haven't seen it yet. My work is in the Maxwell Mays Gallery with Jim Kubiatowicz' oil paintings. In the adjacent Moite Gallery hangs watercolors by Brian Larkin. Our opening reception is on Sunday, June 28 from 2-4 p.m. Everyone is invited! The exhibit runs until July 10 and the Art Club is open Mon-Fri, noon to 4 and Sat-Sun, 2-4 pm. Closed on July 4th.

I am looking forward to getting back to work and starting some new pieces!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drawing Colorful Leaves

Yesterday my colored pencil class drew colorful Coleus plants on dark burgundy Canson Mi Teintes paper. The class really did beautifully and I should have taken a picture of all the pieces. The dark background really lent itself to the greens and pinks in the leaves. At first the drawing exercise seemed a little difficult for them but we took it "leaf by leaf" and color by color and they all worked a fantastic drawing!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boats at dock - its finished!

I put this piece on an easel in my studio and looked at it for a while. I needed to darken and work the water around the boats, it was too light. Its finally finished and going to be framed tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunday's garden tour

It was an absolutely beautiful day for the garden tour and artists in the gardens. I think the top picture is the pool and sculpture garden at the late Anthony Quinn's house. My friend took this picture. The second picture is of the two toned pink peonies growing in the garden of the house I was working at and the third picture is my friend, Sheila, and I posing in front of the peonies. The last picture is of my iris drawing in pastels ... not finished of course.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ann Kullberg's new book

Today I received my copy of Ann Kullberg's newest book titled "Colored Pencil Secrets for Success". Ann had asked me to send her an image of my piece "Patti's New Bowl" for her book and I was delighted that she chose to include me in this project. Little did I know that Ann was also wrote about my colored pencil skills and about this piece on the facing page! This absolutely made my day today ... was not having the best day ... attended a party last night that ended very late and then had to work at the gallery today. I was a little grumpy! Thank you Ann for making me smile!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bristol Garden Tour

On Sunday, June 7, I will be an artist in the garden as part of the Bristol, RI garden tour sponsored by the Bristol Art Museum. I will be working in pastel and colored pencil at 22 Courageous Circle on Poppasquash Point from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Several Bristol homes have opened their gardens and each will have one or two plein air artists working in the gardens on both Saturday and Sunday. We will also have artwork with us that is for sale. Come visit if you are in the area!