Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Angel Foods

"Angel Foods"
12x12 oil on birch panel

Provincetown has always been a special place to me. Located at the very tip of Cape Cod and surrounded by dunes and water, its natural beauty and shimmering light have long attracted artists and seekers of nature.
My sister and her family lived there during the late 70's and early 80's and I have always found everything about this town, enchanting. 
visit regularly to paint and enjoy and to participate, in PAAM's member's shows and events. This is my submission to their annual 12x12 silent auction which runs from April 25th to June 26. 
"Angel Foods" is a funky market which is actually across the street from the Art Association. I always admire their front window and it seemed just the right format for my painting. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bay of Fundy Monolith

Bay of Fundy Monolith
4x10 Watercolor

I've been working on hot pressed paper which I love for its smoothness but I bought a little 4x10 block of Arches 140 Cold Pressed paper and I found that I liked the way 
the paint takes to the surface. 
It may even be better.
Don and I are heading home to New England tomorrow. It's been a great and much needed get away.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Wheeling Gulls

Wheeling gulls
 6x6 oil on panel

I've been paintings birds and working in a 
 sketchbook/watercolor journal of sorts which 
is a new thing for me. 
More of those paintings to come.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Everglades Palms
6x6 oil on panel
Had a sweet day painting by the Marco Island bridge yesterday. This is just a sketch of the shoreline at the edge of the Everglades.
It was a bit overcast and windy which is my favorite kind of Florida weather! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Peaches and Peonies

Peonies and Peaches 
9x12 watercolor
Well maybe they aren't peonies, but the point 
was to have a good time with my watercolors and ink pens. 
I did the drawing without a reference 
and the fun part was the paint.
I'm here in Naples, Florida with family and friends 
and it's been a wonderful change of pace. 
Sun and fun :)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Cold Storage Beach

"Cold Storage Beach"
5x4 sketchbook watercolor
Sketchbook watercolor of a lovely meadow at Cold Storage Beach in Truro.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Perfect Pair

"Perfect Pair"
3x5 watercolor on arches 140
More watercolor sketches of my back yard birds. I am really enjoying the winter here at home. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Gulls in Flight

Gulls in Flight
10x14 watercolor on Arches 140 hot press

Experimenting with watercolor here in between filling the bird feeders 
and shoveling a little snow ;)

Saturday, February 01, 2014


5x5 watercolor & ink sketchbook painting

The painting in yesterday's post was referred to as "magical" 
in some of the comments. I don't think the "Girls" meant to spill the beans but "Magic" is this months GJWP theme. 
I'm captivated, this winter, watching the array of birds 
coming to my well stocked feeders and the pair of Cardinals
 is most magical to me. I think of them as my Mama 
visiting me every morning in the guise of her favorite birds ;)
Makes me happy.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cardinals in the Snow

"The Missus"
watercolor on arches hot press
It's my thing to see more color than may actually be there, when I paint and although this female Cardinal is looking a bit tropical, I really see these colors in her.  The male's incredible scarlet color is arresting but the beautiful golden feathers of the female are complimented by dusky purple grays and rusty maroon tail feathers. She really sparkles. 
I'm loving watching all these birds in the snow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shark Tank

"Shark Tank"
6"x12" oil on panel

I'm really happy with this one :) I love the colors and the movement. Yup, I do.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Watercolor 10"x5"

The scent of the Narcissus bulb, their tall foliage and white flowers add a warm touch to winter.
I'm going to order some more to grace our "bird" window. 

the "bird" window

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Winter Cocoon

find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest   
Dalai Lama

8x10 watercolor

The glorious Cardinal swoops to my feeder, the bright red of his feathers flashing, against the brilliant snow. She's beautiful as well, with her golden body and magenta markings and I notice that they are always in close proximity to one another. When I see one I look for the other.
But he is arresting, no matter how often or in which season I see him and I am thrilled each time.
My mumma loved Cardinals and her sweaters and sweatshirts were adorned with them, particularly her Christmas attire, so of course, when I see them I think of her.
She is still so present for me as I ponder her loss.
I looked online for symbolic meanings attributed to these beautiful birds and found this.

The Cardinal Cycle of Twelve is symbolic of: Cycles, life, death & renewal
  • Twelve hours make a day and twelve months make a year. Twelve is a vital life cycle and regardless of the time of year, the time of day or the time of life you are presently confronting, you are a part of the cycle. You are a vital element in the circle of life and regardless of where you are in that cycle you always have the opportunity for restoration, revitalization and renewal.
*Another notable quality is that cardinals are year round residents. As they do not migrate like most other birds, cardinals represent a twelve-month cycle. Twelve is considered a powerful cycle in nature as it represents the spectrum of the seasons and the full circle of life. Cardinals also lay eggs that hatch within twelve days. Due to their twelve-month residency and their twelve-day incubation, the number twelve is strongly associated with the cardinal. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


"the promise" 
8x10 sketchbook pen and ink

my intention is to stay in the moment

to live mindfully

to continue my yoga practice and eventually, be flexible enough to put my nose to my knee (used to be able to do that)

to stop critiquing the driver ahead of me, maybe he's obeying the speed limit and not on the phone ;)

to stop critiquing the the tailgater behind me, maybe he's not on the phone but, his wife is giving birth in the car ;)

to see the good intentions of others instead of what I think I see…

to reach my potential

to be my best self…..

I stopped making New Year's resolutions ages ago but, today, New Year's Day, I'm posting this intention which also happens to be our Girls Just Wanna Paint monthly challenge. 
I had to go far from my usual approach with this but that's what it's all about and I'd like to step out of the box …..

*credit to google images for these words which I modified 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Marsh

"Winter Glow" 
6x6 oil on board

I've been a bit reluctant to write about this but, this blog is about my real life, so I'll share. Little by little, I'm finding my painting mojo again. It's been a hard time and I am consumed with the chore of sorting and tossing and resolving the 'beloved flotsam and jetsam' of my dear Mama's and our family's life.
Report cards from grade school, every card/invite she ever received, newspapers containing momentous news events (Oy), bookshelves full of books and souvenirs. Precious family 'stuff' in the china cabinets. And photos, photos and more photos. 
I picked up some boxes and marked them with the names of my siblings and as I sort, I drop things into each box for them to enjoy along with things I think should be theirs. Because I insisted upon looking at every single piece of paper, they have left me to that and I don't mind except that the volume after 43 years in the same house is, um, voluminous. My dear husband is the God send to this whole task and is also on the receiving end of my prickly emotions :( Without his guidance (lists, lists, lists and advice and more advice)  I'd be lost. He is the left brain balance in my right brain world. 
So, I'm sad but, I'm grateful for my family and my dear friends near and far who continue to lift me up. Thank you all for your continued support.
About the painting. One thing I love about the winter is how the setting sun lights up the tops of the trees creating a beautiful complimentary color scheme. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


"No love like dog love"
One 'ritual' when you share your life with a dog is the walk. This is Morey who was a wonderful yellow lab who lived just across our narrow beachside road. We called him our "it takes a village" dog because his person worked days and I would bring him outside for some yard lounging in the sun, or walk him to the beach. 
It takes so little to please a dog and I can see his jaunty step, nose to the wind as we make our way. 
This was my interpretation for the "Ritual" challenge and it will be hanging in our Girls Just Wanna Paint show at Thayer Academy which opens on Thursday November 21st. 
Check out our site for details.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maine Fish House

Stonington Maine Fish House
4x4 oil on panel
Click to Buy
I began this painting in Maine a month ago and attempted to finished it yesterday. I wanted to call it " The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", because it contains a bit of each but the good news is that tomorrow is another day. For which I am thankful ;)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parrsboro Geese

5x7 oil on canvas panel
It's been cloudy and cold here in Maine but the sun is expected to shine brightly tomorrow. I do hope so because a little bit of gloom under the circumstances is fitting, but I'm looking forward to feeling the sun. 
Oddly, but maybe not so much, I'm basking in the glow of the beautiful party we had with friends and family to honor and celebrate my sweet, rockin' Mama. 
At the cemetery a dragonfly landed atop the flowers and stayed throughout the service, bringing smiles to us all. Afterward, at the party, a friend read aloud a poem about the dragonfly and the entire crowd (and it was a crowd) held a toast to "Anna". That's how I will think of her now, as a beautiful blue-green dragonfly, soaring over the flowers in the September sun.  I'm sure that from somewhere, she looked upon it and was pleased.
This is the first painting I've done since mid August and it's one that I've been hoping that I could lend some credibility to since it's a tough subject. These geese are flying against the backdrop of Cape Blomidon, Nova Scotia in a photo I took last September in Parrsboro.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Mama

Anna Marie Sheehan 6/11/27-9/15/13

Dear Friends,

There's no easy way to deliver this news but I lost my Mama on Sunday morning after a mid August surgery which although successful, was followed by one complication after another.

She was 86 years young and still living alone, driving, visiting with her friends on most days at her favorite haunt. Up until three years ago she was still driving to Naples, Florida by herself
I'm so grateful that she was herself until the end and did not have to face life dependent on others. I have been able to devote myself to her needs during this past month of her hospitalization and bring comfort to her and to myself.  

Two days ago I discovered a fabulous (months old) voice mail message from her and it made my heart sing. So glad I'm negligent in deleting those things. 

The services are today and tomorrow at Russell-Pica funeral home in Brockton, after which Don and I are taking a previously planned trip up to Bar Harbor, Maine.
The blogging community is a big part of my life and I needed to let you all know what has happened to cause my prolonged absence. 
Thank you for your support through the years. It means so much.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Perfect Summer!

6x6 oil on panel
Click to Buy
Wednesday my sister and I went on an adventure to the New England Aquarium in Boston where we saw a fascinating IMAX movie about great white sharks and then toured the newly rebuilt Giant Ocean Tank which holds 2000 species of fish including sharks, eels, rays (my favorites) sea turtles and fishes. It is a work of art and an amazing glimpse into the undersea world! 
We started at the top of the tank and then walked down a descending spiral walkway all the way to the bottom seeing the creatures from different vantage points as we did. 
This magnificent Sea Turtle is about 80 years old! It was difficult but I managed to snap a decent photo of 'Myrtle', (all turtles seem to be named Myrtle) as she swam by. There are two giant turtles in the tank so I can't be sure that it was Myrtle, but let's pretend it was ;) 
We then had a fabulous lunch at The Reef, the aquarium's informal outdoor tent restaurant on what can only be described as a glorious summer day here in New England. 76 degrees, bright, warm sun and cool breezes, awesome lobster salad sliders and great company. My sis and I are soul mates ;) 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Red Roses

"Studio View"
6x6 oil on canvas panel
Click to Buy
I don't think I realized how much I love the color red in all of its variations until I began to use so many different reds in my painting. Since it's a primary, red cannot be mixed and so I have a grab bag of reds which are a must have, particularly for flowers.
Today in the studio I set this little vase of wild roses (clipped from an abandoned building near my studio) on the window sill, backlit against the treescape outside the. The yellow flowers look to be some form of dandelion. 
My friend and fellow GJWP artist, Lisa Daria Kennedy was the inspiration for this very loosely painted bouquet of reds. This is a subject she favors and she has plenty of experience considering she's painted over a thousand daily paintings!

Thursday, August 01, 2013


"Italian Ice Vendor"
6x6 oil on panel
This month's Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge is "travel", which can be pretty broadly interpreted as you can see by my painting of an Italian Ice vendor at Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. I went over to the beach one night after class while I was at the PKR workshop because many famous Cape Ann painters painted there and I wanted to see it.  That is the travel part ;)
There are huge rocks in the water and there were several of these little carts sprinkled around the beach so I walked on the rocks, waded in the water and took many photos for future reference. There was a storm brewing and I loved the combination of the strong sunlit grass and cart against the dark sky.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lazy Hazy Summer Days

"Green Harbor"
6x12 watercolor and ink
Honestly, that's all I can say about this summer. The heat has been unbearable and even though it's calmed down some, we are still in AC mode most of the time.  Saturday evening was beautiful though, and I took myself down to the harbor with a chair and a sketchbook and had a lovely interlude watching the birds and the boats and the shimmer of the late sun on the iridescent marsh grass. Yes, in a very short time the cold will be returning and we'll all be complaining. Well...maybe not all.... :D
I love summer but does it have to be so uncomfortably hot?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hot Time in Gloucester

PKR (center) with workshop gang

Last week I joined a great group of artists on site at the Castle Manor Inn, in Gloucester for a week long workshop with Peggi Kroll Roberts who never faltered during five days of 90 plus degree heat, topping out at around 98* on Friday! 
These are a couple of exercises I did in class and of course a group shot. (missing Susan Dragoo Lembo).

Model in sunlight
value exercise in grayscale and in color