Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I encountered Atka, ambassador wolf and his team from The Wolf Conservation Center in New York, on a visit to the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, CT. This captive-born Arctic Gray Wolf travels around our region to educate people about wolves, and dispel misinformation.

"Atka" 11 x 14, Oil
Even though he has spent his life "interpreting" at nature centers, schools and TV stations, celebrity Atka retains the dignity and alertness of his wild counterparts. His long, fluffy hair invites patting, while his lithe frame and calculated gaze invite respect, restraint, and awe. This dichotomy of aspect compelled me to paint his portrait.

The painting is available in the Steep Rock benefit at Marty's cafe in Washington Depot through December.
Marty's accepts credit card, check or cash for painting purchase. A portion of the proceeds goes to Steep Rock for trail maintenance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Autumn into Winter

Today's snow is a reminder--as if I needed one--that the first day of winter is approaching. Since I crave light, short days are not my favorite thing, but the QUALITY of light is beautiful, and I rejoice in that.

I'm glad that the rest of humankind feels the need to celebrate light, birth, and symbols of lasting life at this time of year. At least I have plenty of company! Besides, after December 21, the days will be getting longer again.

One Evening in Autumn, 11 x 14, Oil on linen

In the first image, I tried to capture the stillness and ruddy smudges of last light in autumn. There happened to be evergreen trees, partially defoliated oak saplings, and totally bare trees, which suggest an underlying message. The bright  moon and star on that colored sky literally made me paint the picture.

Silos and Willows, 20 x 16, Oil on linen
Previously shown in the Roxbury Barn Stories show

The second painting is a longtime favorite subject: Toplands Farm in Roxbury, CT. I've painted en "plein air" at the farm countless times, although on this cold day, I took a lot of mental notes while walking around, snapped a bunch of photos and retreated to the warm studio to do a block in while the information was fresh.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Equine Paintings in "My Favorite Things" Steep Rock Benefit

The Parade Team at Pasture
Previously shown at The Old West Museum, Cheyenne, WY
18 x 24, Oil
In case wishes are horses, I'm including these two equine paintings in "My Favorite Things" Steep Rock benefit show.

The big Percherons ("The Parade Team at Rest") motivated me to paint them because they represent comfortable relationships of all kinds. They've been a team at work and leisure, and obviously enjoy each other's company.

"Riders on a Hilltop" sprang from my love of being outdoors in a beautiful countryside.
I liked this particular autumn day for the atmosphere in the receding hills, and the juxtaposition of big gray horse with the lighter boned paint.

The Percheron painting has been my personal Facebook profile picture for a long time, and I have used "Riders on a Hilltop" as my profile pic onTwitter and Linkedin.

Riders on a Hilltop
8 x 10, Oil

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Favorite Things

Shepaug with Frosting
16 x 12, Oil
Yes, there was another break in the blog. I went to California twice and did assorted other things during the year, which led to assorted paintings. The result is a new title for the Steep Rock fund raiser.

"My Favorite Things" will hang on the walls of Marty's cafe in Washington Depot, CT from December 1 through 31. Marty's is open every day.
A portion of the proceeds, regardless of subject matter, will go to the Steep Rock Association in Washington, CT, so you can support the land trust and indulge your own preferences.

Instead of one reception, there will be three separate
"Meet the Artist" times.
You can join me for lunch or coffee on the following dates:

Path by the River
9 x 12, Oil
December 1, (Saturday) 12:30 to 1:30
December 7, 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. (Friday)
December 8, 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. (Saturday)
Separate appointment or chance.
Contact me through my (outdated) web site,

Future posts will feature images of more paintings included in the show.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Nice Surprise

Lil and I went to Steep Rock last Saturday, expecting to pick our way through the remains of the road again. It has been in rough shape since the October flood. But, lo! The Road Fairy had been there and restored the tortured lane to stunning splendor. The surface is so solid and smooth that equestrians, runners and cyclists could overshoot the 10 mph speed limit without noticing. They could even hit 30....well, maybe not the runners. Still, ok for a dirt road.

The main road washed away during the 2011 spring thaw, when the Shepaug river flooded, to everyone's great dismay. The road got fixed and the gate opened for cars just in time for the Fourth of July, and the rest of the trails were fine. Cars could pass in the summer and early fall, but "Snoctober" brought crashing trees and more flooding.

The uprooted trees and broken branches made a gargantuan mess, which got cleaned up surprisingly fast, but the road had remained in a skeletal state all winter. Two major engineering projects in one year may have been a bit much.

Anyway, kudos to the land trust for its usual high standards of maintenance. They do a great job of keeping the preserve clean and safe, and the runners and riders who condition there really count on it.
And thanks to the Road Fairy! We'll spread the joy.

Lil and I will check out other trails and report back.

The River in Springtime, 14 x 18, Oil

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Steep Rock Encounter with Ann and Mark

Marty's Cafe in Washington, CT will host the newly named "Steep Rock, Etc." show from December 1 through 31, 2012. It's a great venue, convenient to all Steep Rock's holdings. The cafe is a cozy place to relax, with delicious food and coffee.
A portion of the show's proceeds will go to the land trust, specifically for trail maintenance.

A chance Steep Rock encounter with Ann Leary and her horse "Mark" re-kindled my interest in painting animals and figures, so there will be assorted subjects in my benefit show.

How did I meet Ann? Lil and I were walking near the river one bleak October day, when a jaunty gray horse came striding through the shadows, his head and mane periodically catching light. I made a mental note and mashed my camera's shutter button, to save the impression.

I like to have permission to use someone's image for a painting, and introduced myself to the rider--Ann-- for that purpose. We had a brief chat, and discovered a number of common interests. The painting says more about Mark than his owner, since the light was ghastly and I had to invent almost everything, but it was his expression that drew me in. A posed situation wouldn't have been the same.

A side benefit of this meeting was discovering "Hash Hags," the NPR show Ann co-hosts with Julie Klam and Laura Zigman. It goes great with my painting sessions.

Of course, the horse is now out of the barn, resulting in an equine series. Steep Rock lanscapes may hang with dogs and ponies in this show.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

And Again

Life does happen, but my blog is back. Steep Rock needs funds more than ever as a result of the 2011 spring floods and "Snoctober."
I'm still painting images of that wonderful place, and other subjects to in an effort to help.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Alive!

After a long silence I'm fired up to blog about my new painting series, "Images of Steep Rock."
Technical aspects of painting have consumed my life for too long, throwing everything out of balance.
I am out of shape and our "new" dog needs more socialization so the best remedy is to take Lil (the dog) and a sketch pad, or Lil and a camera, or a backpack and paints to the Land Trust and walk.
Steep Rock is a part of the local consciousness here whether people are aware of it or not. The vision and generosity of its founder shape the character of a whole town...actually a region.

I will post photos of cool stuff at Steep Rock, oil color sketches and paintings in progress through the seasons. Feel free to offer opinions about which paintings to do in larger format. I plan to exhibit "Images of Steep Rock" in Washington, CT during late September and early October 2011 with a portion of sales proceeds to benefit the Steep Rock Assn.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Stairwell Gallery Show

There was a great turnout for the reception at The Stairwell Gallery despite cold weather, and I enjoyed it even more since both of our daughters were there.

The town of Roxbury, CT bought May Morning, which will move to its new home in the Town Hall when the Stairwell show closes. Thank you Roxbury. I'm glad other people like that view of Toplands Farm as much as I do.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stairwell Gallery Show

Happy Holidays to all. I got a bit busy for a while and didn't post photos, but finally have a few images from the upcoming Stairwell Gallery Show. I'll add more photos this week.

The opening reception will be at the Gunn Library in Washington, CT this Saturday. That's January 3, from 11:00 am. to 1:00 pm.