Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Plein Air Basics Workshop


Date: 4/29–4/30/2017
Day: Saturday and Sunday
Time: 8am–4pm
Medium: Oil or Acrylic
Price: $275 per student
Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine

In the "Plein Air Basics" Workshop we address how to overcome the fear of picking up a paintbrush and painting en plein air. An openness and willingness to explore will be supported through non-competitive group and individual exercises. Most of our time will be spent outdoors (weather permitting). 

There will be discussions on materials, scene selection and brushwork. During the workshop, there will be a demonstration painting each day. One-on-one work with students is ongoing.

No previous painting experience is required, but some experience with basic drawing is recommended. Oil and Acrylic paints welcome.

A supply list will be provided at sign-up.

Class size: 4 students minimum/8 students maximum

To sign up or for more information, please contact me at:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Favorite Painting Tools

My Favorite Tools for Making Painting Easier

Glass Palette
I have a great resource at the town dump--The Swap Shop. I've found many treasures over the years there, and a piece of good glass is no exception. By far, I find glass to be the best surface to mix my paints on.  I use it in my studio and in my plein air palette.  It cleans up so easily. I often neglect cleaning it off at the end of a painting session, but a razor blade will scrape it clean.  If I have to, I'll use a non-toxic furniture stripper on it to get it back to clean.  I also spraypaint the backside of the glass with white or gray paint to have a neutral base to lay my paints on to as well.

Chip Brushes
Chip brushes can be picked up at your local hardware or craft store. Usually I spent less than a dollar on them and they come in a variety of sizes. I love these brushes! They're great for blocking in a large or small painting, keeping you loose, and for interesting textures and edges.

Murphy Oil Soap
Stapleton Kearns turned me on to Murphy's Soap as a brush cleaner years ago and I haven't used anything else since. Soak your brushes overnight to get them back to soft and supple. In the field, I often bring a small amount of waterless hand cleaner, such as GO-JO to clean my brushes with. It doubles as a hand cleaner too! In the studio,  I will often leave my brushes in a jar of Felippo Bario Pure Virgin Olive Oil overnight (because I'm Italian), but to get them as good as new--Murphy's Soap is the best. 

Viva Paper Towels
If you're going to use paper towels, then these are it. But I don't anymore. I just use rags for the pure environmental consideration. Again, the town Swap Shop provides an endless source of rags such as napkins and dishtowels. They last many, many painting sessions.

Hand Mirror
It never ceases to amaze me how different my work looks in the mirror. I don't always see the mistakes or weak areas until I see it in reverse. In the studio, I keep the mirror literally on the opposite side of the room from the easel. In the field I keep it next to my palette so I remember to use it. (I found both of my mirrors at the Swap Shop) Try it!

Brush Washer Pot
I bring this pot into the field in my backpack and then when I'm in the studio, it lives next to the easel. It's a small amount of Turpentine that does a great job of keeping my brushes--and therefore my colors--clean. The lid snaps on tight so when not in use, it's odor and leak free. (Yep, I found mine at the Swap Shop)

How about Yours?
Got a favorite studio tool or plein air tool? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Acadia Workshop July 26-29

I'm very excited to announce that this year, I'll be teaching a 4 day workshop at the Acadia Workshop Center right here in Maine!

The workshop takes place July 26-29 on the beautiful shores of Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine. 

We'll take advantage of spectacular views and quiet coves. Over the course of the 3 days we'll create a number of paintings, from simple studies done in the field to more finished pieces completed at the Acadia Workshop Center's fantastic studio space. 

For more information and to sign up, please click on the link below:

Friday, June 05, 2015

John Calvin Stevens Plein Air Workshop with Cooper Dragonette

I'm excited to be a part of the Greater Portland Landmarks' celebration of John Calvin Stevens' work in art and architecture. Stevens was a long-time member of the landscape painting group known as the Brush'uns, who counted Winslow Homer as both their friend and mentor.
In conjunction with the Maine College of Art and GPL, I will be teaching a 2-day plein air workshop on July 11 & 12 focusing on the architecture and landscape that Stevens designed and was inspired by.
For more information and to register:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Karin Jurick

Karin Jurick, "O'Keeffers", 9" x 12", Oil on Panel, 2015
I began painting when I was an undergraduate, but I didn't truly commit myself to being a painter until shortly after my father passed away. He inspired me to follow my heart and my passion.
When I started painting full-time, I was vaguely aware of artists who were making (and selling) a painting a day. I have to believe that the father of this idea was Duane Keiser Studio and hot on his heels was my friend, Karin Jurick.
But Karin and I have never met. In fact, I have a number of artist friends who have been an immeasurable help to me as a painter whom I've never met face-to-face. The reason that painters are able to create paintings every day and sell them, or make dozens of acquaintances with like-minded artists all over the world is all thanks to the magic of the internet.
But back to Karin...because she's the real reason I'm sitting here writing this to begin with. Aside from being a talented figurative, portrait, landscape, and still-life artist, Karin has also been my inspiration, my teacher, and friend. I am so thankful sometimes to have come into painting when I did--about the same time when painting met the internet. I quickly that was like we all worked in a giant studio building and at nearly any given hour, one could knock on the fiber-optic door of another artist and ask to come in for chat or to see what they've been up to. If I've ever had a question, needed help or inspiration, the ability to connect with other painters here on the internet has been remarkable. But for me, Karin was always my go-to artist. And often, all I had to was read her blog.
I don't know if I'm giving away my age (or yours dear reader) by saying that I was posting online before there was a facebook, but before there was a facebook I kept up a blog. Some of you probably had one too. And so did Karin. And she still does. Her artwork is in fact on several blogs (one blog is devoted solely to her practice of painting) and I know I'm not the only one who has benefited from this powerhouse of artist. Surprisingly, Karin has not found it necessary to join facebook and I need to look into that.
Anyway, I know I'm rambling--but back when I was on my blog more often, that's what you did. So...back to the point: I received an email yesterday from Karin Jurick. Truth be told, we've really lost touch. I don't update my blog as often as I once did ( Roos Schuring would not approve), and Karin isn't here on FB. We just don't see each other as often as we once did, in the digital sense of the word. So I was so pleasantly surprised to see this note from her in my inbox. No, it was more than that--I was flattered. Here was a note from someone who I think so highly of, and whose work I've always held as a benchmark against my own--a higher bar to achieve for. And really she was just writing to say hello and to say she missed seeing my paintings.
It's a wonderful world this internet. And Karin Jurick's hand in it makes it just so much better.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

New Painting and Painting Competition

Pilot Ship "New York", 18" x 18", Oil on Panel, 2015
I have been waiting and waiting to post this painting of the Pilot Ship "New York" until I thought it was truly done, and now I think it is. That's one of the great things about the internet for us artists--it's a bit like having a mini-show every time you get to post a painting. And it's hard to go back and work on something (for me anyhow) once I've shown it to the world. Posting online allows me to say, "it's done."
I was sincerely happy with the way this painting turned out and I posted it to the online BoldBrush Painting Competition as well. I'd love it if you followed this link and clicked on the "Like" button. The more likes the better!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Surrounded, 18" x 18", Oil on Panel, 2014

I often see this view when working along the shore here in Maine--but the boats don't stay long enough in one place to paint them. So this piece is a combination of a study and imagination (which is always a good mix.) 
Despite looking like a million dots of color, I really enjoyed making this piece and am very happy with the end result.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Sun and Fog

Sun and Fog, 8" x 10", Oil on Panel, 2014.
I used to see moments like this all the time when I worked on the water. It was nice to have it happen again, working from shore.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Slab, 11" x 14", Oil on Panel, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Plein Air Pack

I love being able to take everything I need for a day of painting in the field with me in just one, small backpack. (Although today I should have packed the sunblock as well.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hurricane Island Outward Bound School Art & Auction Invitational

Joel Babb
Kevin Beers
Andre Benoit
Mary Bourke
Sam Cady
Dan Corey
Lois Dodd
Cooper Dragonette
Philip Frey
Barbara Goodbody
Susan Headley Van Campen
Alison Hill
Eric Hopkins

Jill Hoy
Jessica Lee Ives
Janice Kasper
Monica Kelly
T. Allen Lawson
Jeff Lewis
David Little
Ed Nadeau
Tessa O’Brien
David Paffhausen
Colin Page
Mike Parenteau
Rick Perry

Chris Pinchbeck
Peter Ralston
Glenn Renell
John Santoro
Marianne Smith
Susan St. John
Caleb Stone
Joyce Tenneson
Emily Trenholm
Greta Van Campen
Victoria K. Woodhull

As part of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School's 50th Anniversary celebration, I am very excited to be a part of the Art & Auction Invitational. Nearly 30 artists with ties to Maine and Outward Bound, will be contributing their works of art to support the work of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and the Hurricane Island Foundation. The artwork will be sold at auction on Friday, August 22nd at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School Benefit Dinner and Bash at Point Lookout in Lincolnville, Maine. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit
Selfishly, I may be even more excited to be heading out to Hurricane Island a.) Because it's Hurricane. And b.) It will be in the company of 20 incredible (and generous) artists on Saturday, August 9th to create original artwork en plein air for auction at the Bash.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wet Paint Auction

I had a great time at the Cape Elizabeth Paint for Preservation and Wet Paint Auction yesterday.  I started the day at 4:30am hoping to catch the moon over Richmond Island, but it was not to be. So then I had to wait a while for sun up and found this composition in the corner of Kettle Cove.

Jill and I had a great time at the auction, spending some time catching up with good friends and making some new ones. I selfishly love having the time to chat with the other artists and am always flattered that I get to work with this talented, gifted group of people.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Painting and Ritual

I have been trying to be more "ritualized" when I start a painting. I don't point my brushes in the direction of Mecca or sprinkle the canvas with holy turpentine, but I do try to start with a familiar ritual.  By "ritualized" I mean I try to repeat the same routine every time in the hopes that I will feel more sure-footed before I even get paint on the brush.

Painting in and of itself is challenging enough and I like to start with a clean slate (and remain clean) each time. In this post, I want to share with you some of what I do when I make a painting. 

1. Pack the night before. If I know I'm going to be painting in the field,  I love being over-prepared. There is nothing worse than getting to where you want to work and realizing you've forgotten something essential--like paint (Don't ask me how I know this).
2. Palette Prep. Before leaving the house, I like to get some of the prep work out of the way. Specifically, I like to lay down all the colors in my palette and top up my medium and cleaner so that when I arrive, I'm ready to go! 
3. The 6 P's. In an effort to remember what to bring on a plein air outing, I have tried to boil it down to 6 key items:    

  • Paints
  • Paint Brushes
  • Panels
  • Palette
  • Pod (short for tri-pod)
  • Paper Towels
4. Sketch. Drawing the scene, even in a quick sketch is hugely helpful to the success of a painting for me. It gives me a moment to get to know the subject in very simple terms. It's also a great way to design the composition before I lay it down in paint. I don't always do this, but generally it's better when I do.  
5. Snapping a photo. I like to get a photo of the scene as soon as I get settled. I'm typically drawn to something specific that will most likely change with the tide or the light as I work, and I like to have the reference to work from back in the studio.
6. Visualize the finished painting. I use a variety of methods to do this from using a view-finder or a value-finder, to sketches, and even cropping photos on my iPhone.

Question: I'd love to hear what do you do before you get started on a painting? You can leave a comment in the box below.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Rain Pools

Rain Pools, 8" x 10", Oil on Panel, 2014
I've been working with the Zorn Palette as of late and it has really helped in simplifying color choices, especially in a little view as complex as this one. I am amazed how much I can get from 3 colors plus white. And then when I do want to add from the other 7 colors on my palette--voila! A great shot of vibrancy!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Fog Inside & Out

A foggy AND rainy day outside today, so I worked in the studio on a foggy painting without the rain.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maine College of Art Workshop

Maine College of Art Workshop
Plein Air Painting with Cooper Dragonette
August 8th and 9th


If you'd like more information about my upcoming workshop this summer, please click on the link below or email me for more details.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Painting Plein Air at Two Lights

Two Lights State Park is one of my favorite places to go here in Maine. It's a stone's throw from our house and is often quiet and lots of space to spread out. Today I was a bit nervous about being swept from the rocks by a rogue wave, and sort of wishing there were a few more people around to keep an eye on me.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

7th Annual Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Paint for Preservation Auction

I am really flattered to be included into this year's 
It is an honor to be working with such a ridiculously talented group of artists participating on Sunday, July 13th to help raise funds in an effort to permanently preserve conservation land. 
Here is a link for more information about the artists and the event:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


We had what-I-hope-to-be the last snow storm last week, just before we left for Easter. It was shocking to wake up to see everything covered in snow, but by mid-morning the sun was out and the snow was on the run. I had been looking at this small group of birch trees all winter long. I especially like the shadows as they fell across the snow. They were even more interesting now that the snow was melting. I got set up as fast as I could and by the time I was ready to call it a day, the remaining snow only hugged the very base of the trees. 
I still have a bit more work to do on both, but I like where they're heading.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Maine College of Art Continuing Studies Plein Air Workshop

If you're in Maine this August, this may be of interest to you. I'll be teaching a 2-day Plein Air Painting Workshop with Maine College of Art. The workshop is scheduled for August 2nd and 3rd, 2014. 
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Registration and details are below.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maine College of Art Continuing Studies

The Maine College of Art Continuing Studies Spring catalog comes out tomorrow. I am thrilled and honored not only to be teaching workshops with them, but to have my painting, "Titan" on the catalog cover.
Stay tuned for workshop dates!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Spurwink River painting

I have been working on a series of large paintings for most of the winter--indoors. Today was too nice to pass up being outside and working. I have been looking at a few river and marsh spots around town for a while and chose this one this morning, largely because it was in the sun and out of the wind. What you can't see in the photo is the guard rail right behind my knees separating me from cars doing 60mph. I put my headphones on to block out the noise. Thankfully traffic was very light and the setting nearly perfect. Not long after I got started, a photographer from the Portland Press Herald appeared seemingly out of nowhere and voila! I'm in the newspaper. Which only goes to prove that if you stand in the same spot for long enough, eventually someone will notice you. 

I finally packed it up near lunch time when 3 huge flocks of Canada Geese gracefully flew overhead, on their way up river.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

In The Whites

In The Whites, 22" x 22", Oil on Panel, 2014
This series of large pieces from Penobscot Bay (this is from the White Islands) is nearly complete, but if I don't hurry up I'll have to start all over again when I'm back there in July.

Friday, February 14, 2014

August Storm

August Storm, 24" x 24", Oil on Panel, 2014
There is a snowstorm at full-tilt outside my window today, yet somehow this image from August did nothing to keep me warm. A couple more images from my series of island views to work on in the studio and then it's back outside to paint (after the snowstorm, of course)!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spruce and Sky

Spruce and Sky, 22" x 22", Oil on Panel, 2014
 The snowstorm is just beginning to cast its first few flakes here in Maine. It won't be long now until we're hunkered down for the rest of the day and the night and tomorrow and whoknowsforhowlong...
In the meantime though, a few more images of summer to work on and complete my series. Then it will be time to get back outdoors and paint! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Island Moonrise

Island Moonrise, 20" x 24", Oil on Panel, 2014
I'm still working on my series of island images from our August trip in Penobscot Bay. I've been loving working in the studio, but am excited to get out soon and do some painting in the snow and the sun. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Towards the Gate

Towards the Gate, 24" x 24", Oil on Panel, 2014
Another in a series from a mystery island in Penobscot Bay.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Island Spruce

Island Spruce, 24" x 24", Oil on Panel, 2014

For a variety of reasons (namely all of them "the cold") I have been working in the studio on a series of images from this past summer. I'm hoping I have captured a little of the magic of Penobscot Bay, despite being so far from it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In Progress

Back at the easel...finally. 2014 is off to a BIG start with about 10 large pieces in the works. Here's one I started this week.