Saturday, December 26, 2009

People at the Museum

This is my submission to the A Painting A Month Club blog.  There are two paintings 6x9" oil.  I thought that having a companion piece to the original one (Two Guys) would be a good idea, but I'm not so sure now as the second one is perhaps a little too different.  What do you think?
Go to to view various artists' takes on this photo for December's challenge.  Thanks for looking. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Collection - Lois Griffel

New to my collection of art is this lovely impressionist garden painting by Lois Griffel.  I was able to watch her paint part of this work during a break in the Manchester-by-the-Sea workshop a few months ago.  It is a 9x12" oil on board.  I particularly like the design and the ala prima freshness.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Today, here in New England, it's even hard to think about these beachwalkers since it's supposed to be the first snow of the season this afternoon.  I completed this painting about a week ago and I especially like the contemporary look of these two young adults doing what people do on their winter vacation.  This oil painting is 11x14" on board.  The three people walking on the wharf between the heads of the couple are my friends Harold and Evelyn Harriman and Judy Rehill.  The composition is a compilation of various photos I took that day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oliver Balf
I have finally started to collect art and had an excellent opportunity at the current Rockport Art Association's small works show to purchase two watercolor paintings by Oliver Balf.  I am very excited and happy as I have been following his work for some time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Airport Travelers - Different Strokes

This is my first foray into Karen Jurick's famous blog which has many versions of the same photo.  Check it out!  Lots of fun to do and lots of fun to see the results. 

Monday, November 16, 2009


Our 7 Sins Dinner was last night and the only thing that comes to mind is GLUTTONY.  What a feast!  Attendees were: Cindy Stern, Grace Daly, Betsy Lewis, Lynn Murray, Pam Perras, Carol Potvin, and myself, Mary Pyche.  I didn't take my camera, unfortunately, to show you all the wonderful takes on "The 7 Deadly Sins".  I loved them all, of course, and probably won't see them all together again in one place.  All of these artists are also fantastic cooks (except me) and it was truly sinful--eating too much of all that gourmet food from the three terriffic salads to the two supurb desserts!  Maybe the 7 sins cookbook will be available at the next show.  Actually I should have taken pictures of the food as well.

The guidelines of the artwork were to paint your "sin", 11x14", depict the sin with a reference to Maine (as this is where the idea was conceived during our outing to Port Clyde in August).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I sold my Gem!

Newburyport just called to tell me that my "A Gem of a Town" painting SOLD!  I can bring down another one to fill the space, so I'll have to take a look at my inventory and pick one out. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holiday Show at Newburyport

I have entered these two paintings into the Holiday Show at Newburyport Art Association which will run from November 13 to December 23 with a wine reception on Friday, December 4th from 7-9 p.m.  This show presents an excellent opportunity to find those wonderful original pieces/gifts for those special people in your life during this holiday season.

The woodland scene is summer at the Cox Reservation, Essex, MA, canvas measures 11x14", is framed with a gold plein air frame, and is titled "Where the Woodbine Twineth".

The tiny downtown scene is fall at Market Square in Newburyport, MA, canvas measures 4x4", is framed with a handmade floating frame made of rock maple, with gold inside edge and gray margin, and is titled "A Gem of a Town".

David Curtis, end of season party '09

Hostess Joan Lockhart and her friend, Barbara Jones, held a fabulous dinner party last Saturday evening at her weekend home in Gloucester as an end of season celebration for famed artist, David Curtis.  Every detail was exceptional and every room in the house was filled with grateful students of the master painter.  Joan is a very talented person in every way including that she is a great artist and has many of her favorite paintings on display alongside her collection of many famous area artists.  Here Joan presented David with a gift from the group.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Newest Blog Adventure

I've just launched a new blog for artists in the area of Boston and north of Boston primarily.  Many artists paint from the same photograph and it's so much fun to see how various artists interpret the same subject.  I know you will enjoy taking a look.....  This painting above was my submission to the October challenge.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween

New oil painting of The Barn at Cox Reservation in Ipswich with Halloween on my mind!  I actually started this one early on a stormy day but I pushed it to celebrate the season. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sold another one!

The auction last night was very nice, lots of wonderful art, all but about five sold. I met some new people and saw some friends I hadn't seen in a while. I got some very nice compliments from fellow artists about my entry. The organizers of this event did a remarkable job of advertising and running it, but they probably won't do it again next year and they are looking for someone to take it over. The sponsor is the Nbpt 5 Cents Savings Bank.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Paint the Town - Newburyport

Oh no! The sun came out! Sounds strange? Well, rain and heavy winds were expected so I got all prepared to work in my studio instead of at the site. I got started last night with the underpainting and design, then, much to my surprise, when I opened my eyes this morning, the sun was out! Darn, I was all set to work at home, so I went to the studio thinking that I would just get a little start on it (since the thermometer said about 30 degrees and I could see by breath) then go downtown and finish it. So, it was going well, and I got so absorbed, that before I knew it, I was finished. I'm really feeling bad that I missed this opportunity to do the paint out, but on the other hand, at some point, I made the decision to keep going at home. I hope the event people aren't going to be disappointed with me, but with the nice day that it turned out to be, everyone else probably painted on location.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cloud Painting at Cox

The first picture is a photo of my subject. The suggestion for the day was to paint clouds as there were lots of different types of clouds floating by every minute or so.
The second picture is a photo of my painting, 14x18", I may work on the clouds some more, what do you think?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Griffel Classmates

Dwelling on how nice everyone was, I want to post some photos I took of my fellow students. When Lois sends the class list, I'll list them here and hope that some of them will join my Facebook Landscape group page: Landscape Painters on Boston's North Shore. (anyone can join)

Griffel - day 5

I forgot my camera so no location pics today. We painted at a private property built by a sculptor on a quarry in Gloucester--a dream location for sure. Lois discussed and demo'd the beginning process of the early Gloucester painters: using rose madder to do the underpainting, still stressing masses, and keeping the values in those masses. It was a little sad as we had such a nice group of people and had to say "goodbye". I'm glad it's raining on Saturday as I just can't paint another day in a row--so much for the painting-a-day ethic.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Griffel - Days 3 and 4

I had to miss day 3 of the Griffel workshop but was able to attend the group dinner at the Inn of Magnolia. The Italian catered dinner was a big hit and everyone enjoyed this social aspect of the workshop.
Thursday started with a demo designed to help us with the finishing aspect of our paintings. It was helpful to me to see the complete work being done from start to finish. After lunch we convened at Stage Fort Park to apply the lesson. Lois reinforced the lesson and it was really surprising how well everyone is understanding the process. One more day. Less hours though--we are all tired to the bone. I hope the weatherman is wrong, it's supposed to be in the 30's in the morning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Griffel Workshop - Day 2

We painted at a oceanfront cove in East Gloucester in high wind. This morning's lesson is about second notes and reinforcing the lesson of yesterday concerning beginning blocks of pure color and correct values. After lunch we went to Folly Cove in Annisquam, and the subject was further defined by working on a close-up of folliage and rocks to get the half notes and third notes. A dinner is planned for Wednesday evening at The White House, now known as Inn of Magnolia. I'll be absent on Wednesday because of prior commitments but will try to make the dinner.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let There Be Light

She said, "Go forth and vibrate", I'm only kidding. We had a wonderful long day that went by very fast. We learned about a week's worth of stuff about impressionist painting in one day, and we actually did some painting. As you can see in the photo, we were at a lovely place in Magnolia (for a quiet place, once the word got out, there was practically a traffic jam). Most students got past the initial block in and were applying another layer of paint. It was windy but warm, a great day! Tomorrow we'll be at Rocky Neck in East Gloucester.

Lois Griffel Workshop

I'm starting another workshop today. In the tradition of Hawthorne and Hensche, Griffel teaches impressionism. In my continuing quest for better color, she may shed some light (pun intended) on my color delimma. I'm up very early and ready to pack the car and head off to Magnolia, MA.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sold another one!

Yesterday at the Annisquam Paint Out I was fortunate enough to sell this 5x7" of the Annisquam Yacht Club. It was a balmy day, cloudy, warm but windy. I was holding the umbrella all the time. I had a hard time choosing a site to paint, and because I took so much time finding my site, I didn't have much time left and had to paint a small one to finish in time. What a wonderful bunch of painters and all headed up by Betty Lou Schlemm and Tom who are trying very hard to get things rolling for their art center at the Old School House, The Exchange Building.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wakefield Paint Out

I painted today at the first Wakefield Paint Out at the farmers' market, Wakefield, MA, which has come about through the efforts of Pam Parras who is organizing the Wakefield Cultural Counsel. She did a fantastic job, lots of artists painted and sold their work. It was very windy but the sun was out. We had about 3 hours to paint and for some reason, I didn't get as much paint on it as I wanted. My painting was purchased by the organizers of the paint out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Betty Lou Schlemm

Tuesday was a total delight. I attended two demos by Betty Lou Schlemm. She had the amazing fortitude to do a water color demo and class in the morning and an oil painting demo and a class in the afternoon--6 1/2 hours of work in one sunny, hot day, standing the whole time. She says it's her last, but everyone said that she has said this before. I loved it--I've been waiting for someone who would think outloud while they were painting, and she did that! I learned a lot. Next Tuesday is a paint out and wet paint auction at Annisquam, a beautiful place to paint with great scenes everywhere you look. I hope I can paint something worth submitting.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Motif #2

This is my most recently completed work, the front doorway and apple tree at the beautiful white house on the Greenbelt property called Cox Reservation in Essex, MA. I was struck by the pattern of the shadows on the house and I love tree shapes. I'll be putting this painting into the upcoming Newburyport show the end of this month. If you have comments about this painting, I'd love to hear what you think.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Port Clyde Weekend

from left to right:

Grace Daly, Betsy Lewis, Cindy Stern, Pam Perras, Mary Pyche, Bob, Carol Potvin, Lynn Murray.

Don't you wonder who got which of the "7 Deadly Sins"? (a painting project after the show at the Farnsworth)

Anyone up for another one, like instead of "Borrowed Views" we could do "No Place Like Home"?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 2 - Monhegan Island

Last day of the painting weekend. Up early, breakfast, and off to paint for the day until boat leaves at 4:30. Betsy had a house in mind to paint and I headed to Fish Beach. Betsy's came out really nice. I did two quick ones before lunch, then took the afternoon off to explore and visit the shops. We had unbelieveably good weather including a beautiful sunset. We were both exhausted and got back home around 10:30 p.m.

Day 1 - Monhegan Island Maine

What a day! Rose about 6, breakfast at 7:30, hiked to lighthouse and saw exhibits of maine painters and history of the island, painted up there until noon. Then I went out to the "wreck" and painted until supper time. Betsy finished a nice painting up at the lighthouse. Wreck painting was fun to do and I have more to do on it. No phone service for days now. Camera is dead too, left charger in car. Went for walk after eating a crab burger at Fish House, then early to bed at 8.

Day 2 - Port Clyde

We'll meet at Betsy's house for the deadly sins dinner and bring our "sin" paintings on Oct. 18. We got up early, skies were clearing, ate a chef prepared breakfast, painted until early afternoon. Betsy and I were taking the boat to Mongehan Island at 3 and everyone else headed for home. At Monhegan we watched big waves crash on the rocks until dinner at Monhegan House. Great accommodations, dinner good BYOB, beds good.

Port Clyde, Band of Brushes Group

I'm writing this the day after the 5-day atelier with David Curtis. I'm going for painting 9 days in a row. It's a cool, windy, very rainy day and I'm here with 6 friends. We went to Rockland to the Farnsworth and saw the "7 Deadly Sins" by Wyeth and the fabulous Dowling Walsh Gallery and saw "A Decade of Views" by Connie Hayes. We had a great meal at the Dip Net. We've decided to portray our versions of the 7 deadly sins and drew out of a hat, each of us receiving our "sin" to portray.

Day 5 - Curtis Atelier - The Finale

We headed back to the Quarry to complete our large 3-day painting. It was a nice sunny day until the clouds moved in in late afternoon. The weather for this week was very nice and we were very lucky, we even thought that David could control the weather. He was very busy with everyone giving our efforts a final big push. It was truly amazing how well everyone did–he was even excited for us. (Should I mention that after Tuesday, we was worried.) He kept cracking the whip. The energy and enthusiasm of the group never let up and I for one wished there was going to be more (time). I thought 3 days on a painting would last forever but, guess what, I didn’t even finish! We presented David with a card and everyone wrote a little something.
Now for those jokes: What do you get when a piano falls on a coal miner? A flat minor. What happened when a helicopter pilot landed on an army major. A flat major. A man looses a loved one, he was all alone, the thought he might get a pet, he never had a pet, and met the owner of a pet shop who showed him several dogs and cats. The man wasn’t sure which to get. The owner says, I have a very unusual dog, but I warn you, he isn’t for everyone. He introduced the man to the dog who says hello. The man was amazed, did he talk? Yes, said the man, and they talked with the dog for some time and hears some outrageous stories. The man says, I have to have that dog. I’ll pay you $1000. No, says the man, I couldn’t. He says $2000. Oh, no, says the man, only $50. The man pays for the dog and on the way out he says, I don’t understand, why would you sell him for so little? Everything the dog says is a lie. (David, I’m sorry that I’m so bad at telling jokes.)