Enjoying the View

Queen Anne Victorian

I did not make up these colors.
These are the actual colors of this house.
Can you imagine cleaning all of those windows?
She's a beauty despite all the windows.

This Queen Anne Victorian
comes with a turret.
That's the rounded piece
of the building that protrudes out.
At first I thought it was a tower,
but researching further,
I discovered a tower continues to the ground,
where s a turret does not.
This does not continue to the ground;
it stops at the first floor.

This house, in the historical district
of Windsor, Connecticut,
was recently purchased and
the outside wood has been repaired and painted.

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A Cozy Farm

This "Cozy Farm" scene was painted in gouache.
Gouache or acrylic?
This is usually the question I ask myself
before painting one of these farm scenes.
Both paints dry quickly, which I happen to like.
Gouache is opaque, while acrylic is, 
depending on the color, both opaque
and transparent.
I really, really like gouache.
The one drawback for me is that it
doesn't become waterproof as acrylic does.
After all acrylic is plastic -
water will bead on it.
I have experimented with 
Lascaux gouache, which has a unique
acrylic binder that dries like acrylic paint,
however, it's opaque just like gouache.
As with most amazing paints - it's not cheap.
I've discovered with artist's materials -
you get what you pay for.

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Cleared For Takeoff

Original gouache painting.


Nitpick - to be excessively concerned
with or critical of inconsequential details.

Yes! Yes!
That's me working on this painting!
When the finishing touches were
placed on this painting . . .
More finishing touches were
added to this painting.

Enough already!

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."
Leonardo da Vinci

I reached a point where there were
no more folds or wrinkles in the paper to paint.
The pink was as pink as it was going to get.
After purchasing three different tubes
of pink, (Winsor and Newton and DaVinci)
I remembered an art teacher
who said pink and purple were very difficult to match.
They are certainly difficult to match,
however, that should not stop us from attempting 
to paint these beautiful colors.

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Gold Fish

A gold-fish that really is gold.

The artwork is in gouache.
The model is folded with gold origami paper.

Gold is a lot trickier to paint
than it might look.
It's dark with very contrasting
light, bright highlights.
Without that contrast in value,
the gold looses its luster.
There is a shine to the gold paper.
Whenever I would move slightly,
the highlights and shadows would move.
I could have taken a photo of it,
however I want to train my brain
to see what's in front of me.
Perhaps that way, in the future,
each drawing and painting will become
easier to process and progress.

I believe painting this shiny surface
was great value recognition practice. 

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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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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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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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The Awakening

Mosaic smalti creates the setting
for a landscape consisting of a grand old tree
in the mist of a gloomy morning.

It is very difficult to create a mist effect
using mosaic smalti, as you can not blend colors
to create the softness of mist.
Colors are chosen that are close in value
and then set next to each other.
This produces a gradual effect.

Also mosaic tiles are solid color,
and one can only chose from
the available palette.
By using darker colors, which come forward,
it is possible to create depth.

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Corn Crib

A corn crib is a ventilated granary (storehouse)

used for storing and drying unhusked corn.

Corn cribs are raised off the ground

so rodents can't reach the corn.

This distinctively shaped corn crib,

with slanted side walls

became common by the 1860s.

The overhanging eaves and slanted walls

helped prevent rain from splashing inside.

Metal pans or pie plates

were sometimes laid on top of the posts

to deter rats, mice, and other small animals.


Painting number three of my "Hilltop Farm" series.

This is the very first time I've painted on linen.

It's a beautiful surface to paint on;

very smooth and this particular linen canvas

has an oil primer on the linen surface.

The finish is non-absorbant and the oil paint

seems to glide on the canvas.

Also a stretched canvas.

Even though the surface is quite taut,

there is still a little give when the brush hits the canvas.


I can understand why artists pay a lot of money for

this beautiful painting surface.

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