Monday, December 31, 2012

Three Roses

I am grateful to a friend for inspiring three paintings of roses that wouldn't have otherwise been created this year. "J"asked for an 8 x 10 "mostly rose" painting to go in an antique frame. For a Sunday painter, the set ups had to be either painted quickly or last for a few weeks. I began the project in winter when only greenhouse grown flowers were available. Hothouse roses look artificial to me unless you are lucky to get blooms that are fresh enough to actually open before they die. With no time for finding out, I decided to use faux flowers that I picked up at Marders for the first two paintings. By the time I got to the third painting I was able to use roses from my garden. 
Rose 1
Rose 2
Rose 3
You may be wondering which painting got chosen.
This one!
Lucky me, three new paintings and a fourth to a new home.
Thank you "J" 

A New Year, a toddler and a tuba

Thinking about making a resolution for the New Year? Those thoughts had crossed my mind until I saw a photo that my cousin Barb had mailed to Mom. A never before seen (by me) photo that showed my toddler self grappling with a tuba. Who was that bold little girl? Why make a resolution to be a new me when I really just need to be the old me. The original me. The adventurous, ready to try new things, "YES" instead of "NO" me. The one that grabbed that tuba to give it a try. Here's to 2013 and seeing the world afresh through a child's eyes.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dinner with Cikovsky

When dining at Le Chef Bistro in Southampton guests will not only be delighted by a delicious meal, but will also be surrounded by a dozen original oil paintings by Nicolai Cikovsky.  Gary Madison, the General Manager at Le Chef, is an avid collector of Cikovsky. It is Gary's collection that graces the walls of the restaurant. Cikovsky was a member of the Hampton Bays Art Group and was a summer resident in North Sea in the 1940s.  Local residents will recognize the landmarks of the area that Cikovsky has captured in oil. Gary alternates paintings from his collection through out the year. The art is a wonderful complement to Chef Frank Lenihan's creative and delicious menu that is available year round.

There is a great article about their Le Chef partnership online at 27East here
Frank Lenihan and Gary Madison

Beautiful Bay Street

 The walk along Bay Street in Sag Harbor offers both views of the beautiful marina as well as lovely shops and restaurants. The Sag Harbor Florist is currently decked out in seasonal finery.
In the shop there are gifts and painting inspirations.

The Sag Harbor Florist is most well known for their beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers for all occasions. Weddings, parties, you name it. A beautiful bouquet of peonies was being tied together when I peeked in back to take this photograph of their non refrigerated stock.
Sag Harbor Florist 631-725-1400
Walking down Bay Street, you will also pass Urban Zen and Tutto Il Giorno. In simplest terms, each are creations of Donna Karan and her daughter Gabby Karan De Felice. Click the links for more detailed information on these stalwart members of the Sag Harbor community.

Urban Zen

Back across the street at the marina, the mallards are settling in.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Correspondence

Receiving holiday cards is another tradition that makes this time of year special for me. Texts and emails are forgotten and we return to old fashioned snail mail. I love reading the much maligned "family update letter" as well as receiving unique cards from friends all over the world. One year we painted Christmas themed paintings to use as our cards.
Nutcracker by Hugh Gallagher 11" x 14" oil
There are lovely cards by the  artist Claus Hoie of local Hampton's scenes that are available from the East Hampton Historical Society. Dan's Papers featured his painting "Skating on Town Pond" on the cover of it's December 7, 2012 issue. Read more about Claus Hoie here.
Skating on Town Pond by Claus Hoie 2003

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A quiet afternoon

 A walk along Bay Street was just what the doctor ordered. 
It was such a pretty day. 
The swans seemed to follow me as I walked along.
(that's Billy Joel's house - below, upper right corner)
The swans paddled to the shore by the street and walked up the bank. They waddled in single file to where I was sitting.
They came uncomfortably close.
When no food emerged
 they got bored with me and went on their way.

Winter quiet at the marina.

Sag Harbor Sailboats by Joe Altwer
12 x 8 oil
Joe Altwer's work is available at Grenning Gallery

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Angels Wept

"We cannot let tragedies define us. Let it be something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and humble people. Let us please keep the sentiments of love that we feel for our families, and the compassion that we feel for others - even complete strangers - and keep them with us at all times, not just in times of sorrow and tragedy. And may we do this so that we can better all of our communities, and all of our cities and all of our states, so we can make everyone, everywhere in this country feel safe." - Robert Parker, father of Emilie Parker, 6 killed at school in Newtown, CT.
We were blessed to have you among us for too short a time.
We will never forget you. 
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline Hsu, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
James Mattioli, 6
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Jack Pinto, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

(Angel Painting by Roxann Sorenson)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sag Harbor Swan

The swan was hanging out in Marine Park off Bay Street in Sag Harbor. It was casually having a drink from a puddle in the drive way. I crept forward slowly, trying to catch a photo. Suddenly a car cruised within inches. The swan casually ignored it. It was nearly tame! There were a couple more swans taking naps in the grass. I watched them for awhile. So beautiful. A few paintings of note:
A Long Island Lake by William Merritt Chase from here
William Merritt Chase was inspired by them.
Some artists are famous for the skill in capturing them.
I love Poppy Melia's paintings.
She captures a swan's many poses.
Poppy Melia
Check out these beauties. 
Marsh Cinque Foil and Swan, 2000
Poppy Melia lives in Kerry, Ireland and is known worldwide for her beautiful pieces.
More about Poppy here.
Swan Cygnets and Bogbean, 1996
I took my first adult drawing class in the studio of John Pitcher and Sue Westin in Dorset, Vermont. I was inspired by my Dad who drew the family Christmas card. Each year Dad drew a different bird. My Dad had passed away that year and I was hoping to keep up the family tradition. The workshop in John and Sue's studio that Saturday was the beginning of my adult art journey.
Ibis at Tarpon Bay, Sue Westin
I can hear John's voice now saying, "you can't just look at an evergreen tree and draw a triangle" you have to observe the dark and light, the shapes and shadows. The beginnings of learning to see. 
More about John and Sue and Gold Leaf Studios here.
Field Sketch, White-Crowned Sparrow by John Pitcher
my Christmas card, 2000
I drew a cardinal in a pine bough the Christmas after my workshop with John Pitcher and it graced the front of the Christmas card that year. My Mom saved many of my Dad's cards. His version of the cardinal was a favorite. Dad always added the Star of Bethlehem and a Christmas verse on the front of the card to celebrate the season.  What are your Holiday traditions?
Dad's bird

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The days are coming

I am still savoring the gratefulness (and great fullness) of Thanksgiving. "The days are coming.."  to prepare for Christmas.
Walking around Southampton
Stopping into Marders to gape at the over the top displays, again.
Arrangement by Denise Kelly
The first Sunday of Advent is usually when the Giving Tree at church is filled with gift requests. This year it was bare. The need, post Hurricane Sandy, is so great that it is requested that we be as generous as possible to Island Harvest. The naked branches of the tree an eloquent reminder.