Painting the Night

Painting low light scenes requires a very different palette of colors.  I find I’m using a wide variety of yellows with some red and orange and burnt sienna mixed in – also a lot of mixed blacks.  I’m having fun focusing on the way light really stands out in these paintings.  I’ve also been trying some low light and night photography and finding that it’s a challenge to depict night scenes with good information in the shadows.  A great learning experience!


Glow in the Snow ~ Oil on Canvas 16×20


Main Street New Years Eve ~ Oil on canvas 12×16


Main Street New Years Eve II Oil on Board 12×16


Main Street New Years Eve III ~ Oil on Board 12×16



Red Sky at Night ~ photograph


Sunset on the Bay ~ Photograph


Watching the Waves Roll In ~ Photograph



Aran Sweater progress + some painting

Aran Sweater progress + some painting

My progress on the Aran lace sweater is creeping along.  I have found that the non repeating lace pattern in the front panel is hard to keep track of.  The back panel is a much easier repeat and I soon found that I didn’t need to use the chart.  But the front panel required the chart the whole way up the front, although I did begin to have a sense of what was going to happen in the alternate rows.  I’ve finished the front including the shaping for the neck and shoulders, and now am working on the back. The pattern calls for identical shaping for the neck and shoulder on the back, something I’m not sure I want to do (I usually have a higher neck at the back of the sweater).  Right now I’m thinking of ways I can alter the pattern to avoid that dip in the back.

After I knit the shoulders together (three needle bindoff), I will pick up stitches around the arm edges for the arms.  There’s some complicated short row shaping for the arm at that point (which I feel confident that I can do), but I may eliminate some of the decreases down the arm, as I want a little more ease in the arm.  It’s interesting that the pattern designer elected to use plain stockinette stitch in the arms, rather than the moss stitch of the body.  Fine with me, as the moss stitch is more complicated knitting; there is a band of aran lace that travels down the top of the arm.

Aran Sweater front

Sweater Front

Aran Sweater back

Sweater back, working on shoulder decreases

Monday Studio Painters group has more people coming each week.  Lots of the group are from the Monday Plein Air group that paints in the summer.  We were talking yesterday about the value of continuing to paint, even though it’s still too cold for plein air. I’ve also joined the Palette Knife group at the Art Center, so I have two paintings to share from the past week:

Tower Hill Pond

Sweater Front

Winter on the Marsh Racing Beach

“Winter on the Marsh” Oil on Board 16×20

Monday Studio Painters

The Monday members painting group is still getting together to paint indoors in the new studio (“Sally’s Studio”) at the Art Center.  I really enjoy the company and the feedback when painting with this friendly group of artists.  Here are my most recent paintings (We missed one week due to a big snowstorm.):

Shivericks Pond 12:16 oil on board

Shivericks Pond 12×16 oil on board

Ice House Pond 12x16 oil on board

Ice House Pond, 12c16 oil on board

End of the Plein Air Season

Its getting colder, so it was particularly nice to have a warm fall Monday for one of the last “Monday Painters” sessions at Spohr Gardens in Falmouth.  The fall colors across Oyster Pond added interest to a painting looking across the pond from the gardens.  With a turn to chilly weather this week, this may have been my last outing with the group for this season.  Other fall outings to Surf Drive and Chappaquoit Beach were also sites for other recent fall Monday trips.  It’s been a good painting year.

Surf Drive 1

Along Surf Drive – oil on board 11×14

Chappy Marsh View

Marsh at Chappy Beach – oil on board 12×16

Spohr Garden20141027-IMG_5028

Oyster Pond – View from Spohr Garden – oil on board 12×16

I can tell it’s fall, since I’ve picked up some of my crafts projects again.  I had a big stash of nylon netting waiting to be turned into “Scrubbies”.  Football games and World Series games are perfect opportunities to return to needlework!  We had run out of Scrubbies from my last big batch, so it was good to replenish my supply.  Nothing I buy works as well on cleaning pots, and they are gentle on no stick surfaces.  Also great for car windshields and other surfaces.


Wild Painting Weather

Several friends and I planned a plein air painting trip today to the shore houses along Surf Drive (on Cape Cod Bay).  This is a very scenic spot to paint and we chose to visit an area with both shore houses and marsh views.  What we didn’t count on were the huge remnants of the coastal storm that just passed us by.  The wrap around winds from the south and the high tides due to the full moon made for a bit of a wild painting session.  The breeze from the south was so stiff that we parked our cars on the south side of the parking area and set up the easels in the lea of the cars.  That helped a bit, but the wind intensity kept picking up as the afternoon progressed.

It was really funny to have the brushes and palette knifes almost torn out of our hands as we tried to paint.  I have a french easel that holds on to the painting board pretty securely, but we painters were really getting blown around!  We had blue sky, nice clouds, and the bright sun shining on the west side of the shoreside cabins, creating nice warm light and rich shadows.  I ended up with a painting that I’m pretty happy with, in spite of the crazy weather.  I’m glad I decided to go.

I’m hoping for quieter weather when we visit Monk’s Cove on Buzzards Bay next week.

Surf Drive Stilt Houses

Surf Drive Stilt Houses

Loving the spring “palette knife +” painting group

It’s amazing what a wonderful stimulus group painting is to one’s artwork.  The “+” in our group’s title is an indication that we work in various media, not just palette knife.  Several artists work in pastel, several with brushes, and some of us use the palette knife, but often in acrylic as well as oil.  I stick to my favorite medium, oil, because I love the colors and the ability to work into a painting for several days, but I get many, many ideas from the work of my compatriots.  What I like best about palette knife is that it forces me to work in light and shadow and blocks of color.  With palette knife one cannot get bogged down in trying to render things in photographic detail; if one wants photographic detail that’s easy to achieve with a photograph.  But a painting, I think, should be so much more than a photograph, an enhanced impression of that place or scene that provides an even better understanding of it. That’s my goal, anyway!!

My goal this spring has been a painting a week and here are my paintings from the first three weeks:

Sunset at South Cape Beach

“Sunset at South Cape Beach” 12×16 oil on board

West Falmouth Boathouse palette knife

“Boathouse in Winter” 16×20 oil on board

House in the Dunes

“House in the Dunes” 12×16 oil on board


Speaking of photography, it is very possible to be creative with photography, too; the ability to vary light and color, focus and other parameters make it possible to enhance the image so that it, like a painting, brings much greater understanding to a place or person.  It’s different from painting, but very much an artistic endeavor.  I explored this when I created an image for the spring juried abstract show.  Below is an altered image created from a photograph of a much loved spot here on Cape Cod.