Monday, December 15, 2014

Buttermilk Falls, The Peekamoose

I'm happy to report that this painting of the Buttermilk Falls has sold.  
I have always loved this waterfall.  In the summer the water roars over the cliff, but this time of year it is little more than a trickle. I chose to paint it at low water, putting more importance to the rock formations than the water.  
It's located on what they used to call "The Gulf Road".  Unpaved and scary until not so many years ago. Now so many people pass through that it's like a super highway! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


The Catskill Center is having an art exhibit at their location in Arkville. Called "Hemlocks: The backbone of the Catskills". It's an attempt to help bring awareness to a serious problem facing the Catskills, invasive species. To learn more about this problem, click CRISP.

I already blogged that they accepted my painting for the exhibit. Here's a photo on their website showing my painting hanging next to a description. I'm confused about the opening reception. It said it was Thursday November 11. Well, November 11 was a Tuesday! And I didn't know about it so I didn't attend either Tuesday or Thursday!

The show will hang until April 24, 2015.

Another current exhibit is the annual students' exhibit at the Woodstock School of Art.  I was in this last year.  This time I was able to submit two paintings, because I took two different plein air classes.
Here's a photo of me with mine and Carol LaMonda with hers.  She wound up selling hers shortly afterwards!  My friend, Lois Osptapczuk, also has a painting in the show, but was unable to attend the opening. It runs until Dec. 20.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cheryl and Sandra, this one's for you!

I switched my tools from brushes to needles recently, because I wanted to make a baby quilt.
The deadline was my daughter-in-law's baby shower. Her due date was Oct. 24th, but the shower was the end of Sept. Unknown gender!

I am NOT an expert quilter by any means so I needed to make something that wouldn't bog me down.
I purchased a couple of charm packs without a plan in mind from one of my favorite quilt shops, The Patchwork Co in Windham, NY.

Then I found an easy peasy pattern on this blog: with thread in hand.  Like I said, I had no plan which is typical of me.  Got the top done, but had no backing or binding. Took another trip to Windham (which is a beautiful mountain town in the Catskills) this time with my DH in his "little red car". That's what my 4 yr old grandson, Joe, calls it.

I bought the cutest backing fabric! But of course you don't know that because my photo is blurry!
 It has the tiniest diaper pins on a green background! Ok, get home add the back and plan on binding it with the same fabric only to realize I didn't buy enough. GRrrrrr.  Ed's fault, he was waiting on the front porch of the shop tapping his foot while I shopped and that always flusters me!

Not wanting to make yet another trip to Windham or Kingston,  I dug in my stash and found a darker shade of green for the binding. It's ok. Not great, but ok. I used Kona snow for the white strips.

The quilting is simply row after row in a "rustic" channel style, no measuring. You see, ahem, artists like myself do not strive for perfection, we like random! LOL!
 After washing, it developed all those crinkles we all seem to like now. My grandmother would have said it looks used!

I really wanted to attach the binding using the method my friend Cheryl uses on Project Linus quilts.  She attaches it to the back of the quilt, folds it to the front and then uses a zig zag on the front side. I was nervous about doing it that way, so I did the usual. Sew on the front, turn to the back and hand stitch it. I know the zig zag would hold up better during multiple washings, so the next one I will try Cheryl's method.  After a consult with her, I now understand how she gets a neat stitch down.

I wish I'd used my camera instead of phone to take the photos, but you get the idea. I can't, for the life of me, remember the name or designer of the charm pack! Many of the prints were not baby fabrics. I knew my D.I.L. would like that. After all, she has a Jerry Garcia doll hanging from the ceiling in the baby's room.  
The quilt has a fair amount of pink in it, which turns out to be a good thing, because my darling baby turned out to be a girl!  Lillian Florence Kahil! 

She was just a couple hrs or so old in these photos! Born on her due date at home.  A whopping 8lb 6 oz.

I need to explain the shout out to Cheryl and Sandra.  As far as I know, you two are the only ones who read my blog! Just kidding, I know lurkers abound and since I sell paintings from the blog,  I know they are out there.
Cheryl and Sandra are my ex-friends.   They both are EX- school teachers. (Yikes, I hope I've used good grammar in this post).  They both are EXpert quilters and so full of knowledge which they are happy to share.

The other things they have in common are:
they both make me laugh and are fun to be with!
And they both are beautiful!
And they both have husbands named Joe.
And those husbands both love cars!

I hope you both are feelin' the love, that's it, back to painting :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This barn and fields have proven to be  popular subjects!  Someone purchased this today. That's both paintings sold of this farm called Chapel Farm.  I only learned the name of it today from a woman who grew up on this farm. I believe it belonged or still belongs to Mohonk Mt. House.

I had just taken it to be hung in an exhibit in my town and wasn't even labeled yet! So, tomorrow I'll take it down and ship it out.  I've got a different one in mind for replacement.  The exhibit we have is at the American Legion Hall in Shokan on Mountain Rd. We hope it will be a permanent display. I think we have somewhere around 25 paintings up and they enhance the interior of the building. Or at least WE think the exhibit does. We'll find out from the boy scouts, senior citizens and legionnaires if they share our enthusiasm.

I love this farm. I am making a note to self that I MUST get out there next spring or summer and paint it again. I like the view from up and around the bend.  It shows our most beloved Catskills in the distance.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A new show!

I just got notified today that my painting "Palen Tannery, Kaaterskill Creek" has been accepted in a show at the Erpf Center in Arkville.

"The Catskill Center and the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership are creating an exhibit about a very important Catskill Region tree, the Eastern Hemlock. The exhibit will include information about the history of the tree in the Catskills, its affects on the local culture, threats to the survival of the Hemlock, and current activities to help the hemlock thrive once again in the region."

I am very pleased to be included! Now I have to frame it.....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Palen Tannery, Kaaterskill Creek

Palen Tannery, Kaaterskill Creek
8 x 10
Oil on board

As I've mentioned before, I love local history.  I've been spending a lot of time painting from old photos to try and recapture locations that no longer exist. Living near the Ashokan Reservoir and collecting lots of old photos of the towns destroyed has given me lots of material to work with. 

I also love the Palenville area and the places where the Hudson River School artists painted.  I came across an old sketch of a tannery that once stood on the Kaaterskill Creek.  Much research revealed that it was built and operated by Gilbert Palen. Now it makes sense where the town name came from!  
Whether the old tannery really looked like it does in my painting doesn't matter to me.  I wanted to capture what I thought the light would look like streaming into the narrow valley. The once plentiful hemlock trees had all been cut at one time.  The bark was chewed up and steamed or boiled.  The liquid was used to tan leather. Much of it was shoe leather!

Friday, October 10, 2014

She's Gone

Mountain Rest
11 x 14

 I woke up this morning to find that someone had purchased the painting I called Mountain Rest.
It's a landscape with a barn in it. More than that, it's the beautiful site you see when driving up to Mohonk Mt. House.  My friends lived there about 50 yrs ago when they were expecting their first child. Spring Farm. 

There are a few mixed feelings!  I don't usually get too attached to my paintings, but this one was special.  
It was the first one to get accepted into a major juried show.  It has been in a bunch of group shows.
I've had a friend and a friend of a friend want to purchase it, but didn't. I held firm on the price. 

I had it priced so it wouldn't sell quickly. It's hung in my living room since I painted it and of the 100s of paintings I've done, this was my favorite. It was made into greeting cards. I'll have to dig out another painting for the blank spot on my wall. 

So, now it will relocate to California! Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled when I sell a painting, especially to someone I don't know.  Friends and relatives are always gracious and kind and liberal with praise, but a sale to a stranger is an unbiased pat on the back. Thank you, thank you! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Wedding Barn

The Wedding Barn
5 x 7
oil on board

I'm off to an art show at the Woodstock Farmers' Market this afternoon and I'm taking this little painting.  It was one of three paintings I did the weekend of my painting workshop at the WSA.

It shows an old, long barn on a hill at the David and Claudia Waruch farm in Kerhonkson.  We've painted there several times before and it's always a favorite.  In September, the fields were already changing colors and I did this one in shades of yellow. Yellow ochre, naples yellow deep and burnt sienna.  

It's called the Wedding Barn, because the Waruchs' daughter had her reception there!  I would love to see those photos.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thorn Preserve, Woodstock NY

"Thorn Preserve"
8 x 10

Another great workshop with Kate from the Woodstock School of Art.  Today was day one. I managed to complete this landscape enduring high humidity and a lot of sunshine.  I think it was 86 degrees out!
We went on location to the Thorn Preserve in Woodstock. 
 The Thorn Preserve is a recent addition to the protected lands managed by the Catskill Center.  Will never be developed.  Beautiful views of Overlook Mt. 

We thought it would rain and came prepared to move into the studio at the school, but we didn't get a drop. Truth is, we could use a good rain.
But not tomorrow!  Day two will be at the Waruch farm where I painting last summer and this past July.  A favorite location of mine, it includes acres of fields and old barns and outbuildings.  
The best part of all is the host, Claudia.  She is the most gracious woman I've ever met.  She puts out a spread for us in the morning, including a fire in the big stone outdoor fireplace.  
I'll post what I paint there if I like it! 

At this workshop, two of my friends are joining me. Carol and Lois. Maybe I can get a photo of their paintings to share with you. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tonalist painting meadow

Oil on panel

So, this is a little different for me.  I admire the tonalists, particularly George Inness, who painted in the Hudson Valley and Birge Harrison who painted in Woodstock at the turn of the last century. He taught at the Art Students' League of NY at the summer school here. 
Please don't think I am comparing what I do with what they did! They mastered painting and I will always be a student.
Speaking of students, this is my month of classes.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays with Loman Eng and Thursdays at the Woodstock School of art with one of my fav people in the whole world, Kate McGloughlin. I took her plein air class last year and loved it so much that I looked forward to this year's class like a kid waiting for Christmas.  
Last week's first session was located at Val-kill, Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage in Hyde Park, NY. 

I will post the painting I did that day as soon as it dries.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Blue Hole Swimming in Rondout Creek Peekamoose Catskill Mts.

The Blue Hole
at Peekamoose
8 x 10

Haven't posted recently and this painting has been finished for a very long time!  My friend, Linda, and I took a seven mile ride up my road and over the mountain to this swimming hole.  We set up our easels and it was a little hard to concentrate with so many people around!  A nice guy and his dad stopped to talk to me.  I noticed the Australian accent right away.  I asked them how on earth they ever found the Blue Hole.  "Swimming holes dot org" the guy said.  Well, no wonder our secret is out.  
This favorite swimming hole was featured in Travel and Leisure a couple years ago as part of an article about the best swimming holes in the US.  When I was a kid, this place was only known by the locals.  
The water is icy cold all year long.  It's very deep, like 11' in one spot.  From the road, far above, the water is a blue green color, and I tried to match that in my painting.  What I didn't show are the people that were draped all over the rocks and the big black lab swimming! 
I've never been able to jump in.  I'm afraid my heart would stop.  My kids have and my husband has, though. They bobbed up and screamed!  It sure cools your core down quickly!

Most of my paintings are for sale and you can see them if you click one of the pages at the top. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Little Joseph

Little Joseph
8" x 10"
oil on linen

I've been remiss at posting this little portrait I did of our most precious little Joe!  I finished it two years ago when he was two.  He'd been eating spaghetti and had sauce on his face.  He gave his mom this devilish grin because he was so proud of himself, eating a huge plate of pasta!
He's very blond and it was a challenge for me to get just the right color for his hair.  I'm still baffled by it and I don't particularly think I got it right.  
I was also reminded by a favorite portrait painter friend of mine, that babies are the most difficult subject to paint.  Old men and old women are the easiest. Babies have no wrinkles and character lines.  They just have plain, pure goodness and deliciousness all round them!  
He also reminded me not to paint portraits with big toothy grins!  Classic portraits are closed mouthed. You know, take a look at Mona Lisa!  
So, I'm sure I'll have many more paintings of Joe to show you.  He and his big sister are my most favorite subjects of all time, beating out poodles, and red barns and luminous landscapes!  And he's not for sale :). 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yellow Kayak in Bradenton FL

The Kayaker
8" x 10"
oil on board
Our friend, John, spent the winter in Bradenton, Florida.  He went kayaking with friends, Sandra and Joe (from Windsor, Ontario) and they snapped a photo of him.  You could tell that he was really enjoying the day and the new sport!  I thought the bright yellow kayak was striking against the dark water.  The Florida sun can blind you from the glare!  Maybe not an exact likeness of John, but enough to show the serenity he found. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

High Point Mt Sunset on Ashokan Reservoir Catskill Mts NY

Ashokan Moon Rising
8" x 10"
oil on canvas

Paint is still wet on this one.  I was inspired to paint this from a photo I've had for some time.  I am not comfortable with night paintings, so I decided to stretch myself and do a couple.  I also finished one of the Bushkill Creek with the moon rising.  I'll post that later.
This was fun to paint, in fact I felt it painted itself!  For those who aren't familiar with High Point Mountain, it is the iconic mountain that rises up over the Ashokan Reservoir.  When driving over the Hudson River, you can see it off in the distance.  It's like a guardian.  There used to be a fabulous view from the summit, but the trees are growing so quickly that you can't see much now.  I've climbed it twice.  I've also climbed it from my side and instead of going to the top, we dropped down into Samsonville and walked to my parents home.  You have to go over private property to do that, but the owners are friends and gave us permission.  
There are lots of stories about High Point.  Over 100 yrs ago people would come up here just to climb it for a picnic. I once found an old soda bottle as evidence!  Geo. Hauck & Sons, Brew'g Co., Rondout NY. On the bottom it says "this bottle not to be sold".  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Along the Dugway

Before NYC built the reservoir in our town, there was an old road that followed the Esopus Creek. 
It was called The Dugway.  I can remember my grandfather saying that the banks along the creek would wash out at times and dirt and rocks would cover the road.  Can't imagine riding over this with a horse and buggy and all that mud. 
There was another road called the Upper Road, which today is pretty much Rt. 28.  It was a plank road at one time, paved with hemlock boards sawn from the many hemlock trees that were cut for their bark.
I have some old postcards of these roads and was inspired to paint the Dugway from Shokan looking out at the mountains near Boiceville.  If you were to stand somewhere near Steve Heller's Fabulous Furniture, you would see this view.  Today the property is partly under water and partly covered in trees. One can hardly see the mountains! 
This little painting measures  6"x 8"  and is on a stretched canvas. It has a saw tooth hanger attached and could be displayed without a frame.

The Dugway
oil on canvas
6" x 8"


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brodhead Morning West Shokan in Catskill Mts NY plein air

I had this little painting in my studio for a couple summers. I recently relocated the studio from upstairs to downstairs!
So much better.

I painted this with my painter friend, Linda. We each set up along Brodhead Road in West Shokan. Yes, I used my artistic license to alter the size of the road. At one time, this road probably was this narrow. It led to the villages under the Ashokan Rservoir. Now it starts at High Point Mt. Road and ends at Rt. 28A.

It's still a quiet road and a location we both love to paint!. Great view of the Wagon Wheel Notch, not shown in this painting.
Maybe another?
 5" x 7" 
oil on panel


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Travel art case

Today I went to Michael's craft store because I had a coupon to use up! I know that's a stupid reason, but I hate to throw them away. I guess that little marketing trick works.
I actually didn't see anything I had to have. They are carrying their own brand of paints and canvases and to be honest, I don't think much of them. I would rather patronize our local art store, Catskill Art Supply, but uptown shopping isn't as convenient as those repulsive malls.
I did score a great deal, however! They had marked down these black art cases that caught my eye. There were three kinds. One for oils, one for acrylics and a watercolor version. I opened the Velcro tab and checked them out. A couple pencils, eraser, paints, palette, brushes and even the small canvases as well as watercolor paper was included. Now, the quality of the paint and brushes is quite low, but the case is great and I think they'll be handy to take in the car. If I get stuck somewhere with my husband and he gets long winded with some long lost friend he runs into, I can get one of these out and do some small studies.

I didn't bother with the oil case because the supplies were not impressive at all. I did get two of the acrylic ones and will give my soon to be 8 yr old granddaughter one of them.
Did I mention that they $2.99 each??

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gearing up

I've been away for a few weeks and thought I'd have plenty of time to paint. Never got the pochade out once!  I could kick myself.  I sometimes have a hard time focusing on it when I have so much going on around me.  Today, I bought a new brush specifically for signing my name!  I like my signature to be unobtrusive and you need a fine brush for that.  I also picked up a pack of 8 x 10 canvas boards.  That's a good size for painting en plein aire.  So, now that our weather is beginning to turn the corner, maybe I can get inspired and create some spring time paintings!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Grace painted this painting of my doggie, Ginger.  It was my Christmas gift!  She hadn't finished the facial features until today.  I love the purple background. I also love that tiny front foot with the fluffy hair in the leg. For those of you that don't know Ginger, she's an apricot toy poodle. The meanest dog I have ever known. I love her dearly! I think it turned out great! 
14 x 11
Acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Before the dam

Partly from my imagination, but mostly painted from the postcards I have of the old gristmill.
11" x 14"
Oil on panel


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bishop Falls

I've been spending a lot of time on these frigid days looking through my collection of vintage Olive postcards.  I get lost in time with a magnifying glass trying to identify things I see and try to picture what it was like living in West Shokan over 100 years ago.  The only evidence we have are these old postcards.  Thinking about what Elwyn Davis wrote in his diaries and the stories my grandfather told my uncle Bud is like being a detective.  I want to know where the various roads were located, where the bridges crossed the Esopus, where did the buildings sit. 
I read from my local history books looking for more clues.  I find it fascinating!  This is not new stuff to me.  I've heard about and seen with my own eyes the remnants of those lost hamlets under the Ashokan Reservoir. Yet, I become more and more obsessed with it and I don't know why! 
Here's a set of four "postals" as they called them showing the famous Bishop Falls.  Most of us know that it sat exactly where the main dam is today. 

I am currently trying to paint this scene.  I also have another in the works showing the old Dugway road. I have no idea if my paintings will bring these places back to life, but that's what I'm attempting to do!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I love e-readers!  I've had a Kindle for a  couple of years and the adjustment period took me all of 10 minutes. In no time I forgot that I wasn't holding a paperback.   I love that I can use either my ipad or Kindle and they sync because of the Kindle app I have on the ipad! 

Last week I renewed one of my favorite magazines and they offered an e-version.  I'm always looking to reduce the amount of paper we use, so I subscribed to the paperless version of The Artist's Magazine.
I have a regular Kindle, not the Kindle Fire, so the magazine had to be delivered to my ipad. I can't get over how it's just like having the paper magazine in my hands.  It includes all the ads and everything. For me, this is the perfect marriage of my two loves:  art and technology!

My sister has recently sent me mobi files of the diaries of Elwyn Davis, West Shokan.   I'm able to open them on my Kindle.  Imagine that, a diary written in 1906 by a young man born in 1890 and I'm reading it on my Kindle.  There's something mystical about it. He writes about his daily chores and the weather.  He talks of visiting Shokan in the evening when all it involved was walking across a bridge and not the reservoir which didn't yet exist.  There were no cars or town highway dept., so he would help plow the road in front of his parents' farm with horses or by shoveling. He cut ice in the winter and made syrup in the spring. He plowed fields with the horses in the summer and made cider in the fall. He had no idea then that we would be reading, on an electronic gizmo, his entries so carefully written with pen and ink in his well practiced script.
 He kept a diary from 1906 when he was 16 until he died in 1976. My mom has taken years to transcribe them on her computer and donate the typed diaries back to the Olive Library so anyone interested in our local history can read them. Elwyn's cousin was Don Bishop who helped make the library what it is today.

 Now those typed versions have been turned into files to be downloaded onto e-readers by my sister.
 She was going to offer them on Amazon for a buck a piece, but she found out they are not yet in the public domain and can't be distributed that way.
It sure makes me wonder if anyone out there will ever read my blog 100 years from now.  How much farther will technology progress in that time? I've read that the internet is in it's infancy right now. I've been on it for 20 years. Back then we called it the world wide web and I used Prodigy!