Wednesday, October 27, 2010


In April of this year, I learned from a newspaper article (Old Saybrook artist is "Portrait of a Survivor"), that a friend and award-winning portrait artist with whom I had lost touch had had a nearly fatal collision with a drunk driver in January of last year. After multiple surgeries, months in hospital, and numerous ancillary disasters, she has regained substantial physical function. She is not able to drive or return to work in the corporate arena, but she is able to paint again.

With her limited mobility and physical stamina, she has started creating small moderately priced works -- "Healing Waters" -- a series of oil wash and pastel seascapes, which she is selling through local galleries and her website. She also has developed a line of simple but elegant watercolor greeting cards, each an original painting, not a copy. To see her work, please follow the link to her new website: These pieces make wonderful gifts.

Aside from the ongoing physical pain and emotional stress associated with this event, the transition from a good job to disability insurance makes maintaining a home and starting a new business particularly daunting. If you like her work, please consider making a purchase now, and pass on the website link to your friends. Even small sales help to cover the costs of living, and one added to another can make a big difference.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


When I was in our loft today, looking for something, I sat for a moment, looking at an old oil painting that I started some time back in the early 1970's. It was meant to cover up another failed painting and recycle that canvas. At the time, I threw down a wash of bright yellow and worked a meandering pattern of organic shapes in primary red and blue. I'm not sure why I stopped, as I can remember feeling very "in the moment" and focused while I worked. But with about 2/3 of the canvas covered, I set it aside and never touched it again. It lived in the attic, in boxes, in closets, and then, more recently, in our loft. I stood it up where I could see it now and then, as I still like it, insofar as it goes. I have toyed with finishing it.

This year I have made many similar starts in watercolor. Some are worth working on some more to bring them to completion. Now and then I haul out a small pile of paintings and focus on finishing them. But finishing is when you discover whether you are skilled or lucky. That is when you discover whether a painting will be art or a learning experience. Either result should be worth the effort. But I always have to ratchet up my courage and draw deep. I almost never finish a painting in one sitting. I need to live with it for a while to imagine what finishing touches will turn it into art.