Enjoying the View

Hill With A View

This is the view from
a hill at Hilltop Farm
in Suffield, Connecticut.

Using warm colors and
a wide horizontal format,
I tried to create a tranquil feeling.
The large tree on the left
and the grass in the foreground 
were painted dark, while the
center part of the artwork
was kept light and airy.
This was my attempt to create
a feeling of depth.

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Goats At Play

These mischievous goats
live on the Griffin Farmstead
in East Granby, Connecticut.

They are dairy goats
and their milk makes
very tasty chèvre cheese.
Chèvre is a French word for 
cheese made with the milk of goats.

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Dairy Cow With Attitude

This is number 902, and 
she lives on the
Hastings Farm in Suffield, Connecticut.
She definitely has attitude!
I think she's saying,
"Of course I've got milk.
I'm a dairy cow!"

My son and I took a tour
of this farm some time ago.
There is a barn dedicated to
newborns and I must say,
they are adorable.

In this artwork 
I felt it necessary to exaggerate
the complementary colors,
as the structure behind the cow
is actually weathered wood.
In order to emphasize the cow,
and moove her forward, (Sorry. Had to do that.)
I used artistic license to "purplize" the wood.
Purple and blue are cool colors.
Cool colors recede as warm colors come forward.
She did happen to mention
purple was her favorite color.

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Gerbera Daisy

One of my art instructors
at Paier School of Art
told us he could not paint a portrait
of his wife because he loved her too much.
Being quite young 150 years ago,
I really could not comprehend that statement.

It wasn't until my numerous attempts
at painting flowers
did I really understand what he meant.
I am an avid gardener,
with a great appreciation to God
for creating these magnificent plants.
It is so difficult for me to capture the 
delicate, graceful petals in paint.
However, I must keep plucking away.

Gerbera is a genus of ornamental plants from
the sunflower family, and is native to South America.
Gerbera is also commonly known as the African Daisy.
Species bear a large capitulum (knoblike part of the flower head)
with striking, two-lipped ray florets in
yellow, orange, white, pink or red colors.
The capitulum, which has the appearance of a single flower,
is actually composed of hundreds of individual flowers.
Gerbera daisy colors include white, yellow, orange, red, and pink.
The centre of the flower is sometimes black.
Often the same flower can have petals of several different colors.

Gerbera is the fifth most used cut flower in the world
(after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip).
It is a tender perennial plant and attracts bees, butterflies
and/or birds, but is resistant to deer.

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Autumn's Gold

This beautiful, old barn is located
on a curvy back road in
Bloomfield, Connecticut.

The field in the background
is actually a small park
behind the barn.
Every year the grass turns
this warm, golden-yellow color.

This painting was a lesson in
guiding my vision (with color and shape)
towards the main subject, as opposed to
my eyes following a line of color
right out of the painting!
In the foreground there is a triangular patch of
lighter golden grass on the right.
Originally, that patch was on the left side.
My eyes were drawn to that area,
as there is contrast between this area
and the darker area surrounding it.
Following the triangular pattern,
it led me right out of the painting
on the right side.
No matter how hard I tried 
to focus on the barn,
it just wasn't happening!
I had to reverse that triangular pattern,
placing it on the right hand side
of the painting so the lighter area
would take me to the barn.

What an amazing revelation!

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The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
is an annual, native from
Minnesota to Texas and California
and perhaps also in Central and South America.

Today the common sunflower is widely cultivated.
The seeds are almost universally used as a
poultry food and principally as the source of an oil
used for cooking and soapmaking.
Sunflowers turn to face the Sun - a
behavior known as heliotropism.
Heads of the sunflower consist of
1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers
joined together by a receptacle base.
The large petals (generally yellow)
around the edge of a sunflower head
are individual ray flowers.
These ray flowers do not turn to seed.
Sunflower seeds contain lots of calcium and
11 other important minerals.

So many artists have a sunflower,
or sunflowers somewhere in their portfolios.

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Double Yellow Hollyhocks (Alcea Rosea)

Alcea rosea,
commonly known as hollyhocks,
are biennials.
This means they have a short,
two-year life cycle.
Often hollyhocks drop their seeds
on the ground producing new plants
where the seeds fall. (self-sow)
Hollyhocks can easily reach 8 feet tall.
Flower colors range from white to dark red,
including pink, yellow and orange. 
This artwork portrays the
Chaters Double Yellow Hollyhock.

"Double Yellow Hollyhock"
was constructed using
stained glass, recycled glass mini tiles
and mosaic smalti.
I wanted to experiment with
different textures in my mosaic piece.
I think the flatness of the stained glass
compliments the texture of
the mosaic smalti.
The smalti gives the illusion of
small hollyhock petals.

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Wildflowers Along The Way

This beautiful red barn
is visible from the grounds of
The Hilltop Farm
in Suffield, Connecticut. 
Wildflowers cover the side of the road
on the walk to the farm.

I've experimented with several
color palettes
artists have suggested in their blogs,
and I can honestly say,
none of them have worked for me.
I do work with limited colors as
many successful artists suggest,
and find a limited palette 
beneficial in preventing "muddy" colors.

Colors I continuously use . . .

Titanium White
Hansa Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Light
Naples Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Red Light
Red Rose Deep
Cerulean Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue

Four yellows and three blues
add up to mixing my own greens.
There are many greens
in this painting, and
they are all mixed using the
listed colors.
Purple hues are created using
Red Rose Deep and Ultramarine Blue.
Orange is a combination of
Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow,
I keep in my stash . . .
a beautiful tube of Cadmium Orange
if I need it.
There's nothing like the pure color
straight from the tube!

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Crabapple Blossoms

Approximately 3,800 mosaic smalti
pieces of glass have been
clipped and nipped
to create this springtime scene
in New England.
This piece is a bit more colorful
than previous smalti creations.
I purposefully placed
greens against the reds and pinks
to increase a complementary color pop.
Emphasis is on the
large crabapple tree
on the left.
Lighter colors behind
the darker tree on the left
provide a bit of depth.

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Saanen Kid

The white Saanen goats are
the largest of the goat dairy breeds,
and produce the most milk on average;
about a gallon a day.

Females weighing in at about 150 pounds,
and the males up to 200 pounds.

The Saanen's produce more milk,
however, Alpine goat's milk
has a heavier fat content.

Saanen's have a calm and mild-mannered temperament.
They typically produce two kids a year.
This is an adorable kid.

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