"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux

After a year of intermittant "painter's block"  I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog. 

As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or  studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.

You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.

Apr 8, 2011


I wish winter and snow would just take a final bow and get off the stage. After the April Fool snowstorm, we had yet another day of the white wet stuff on April 5th. Fortunately, it was mixed off and on with rain, so the end result was probably less snow on the ground than when it started. This will make Amy Huyffer happy, who with her husband runs the organic creamery up here in Strafford. She says her cows (with the new calves coming in one by one) are longing to get out and eat some grass. I think there is more snow in our little village than anywhere else in the Upper Valley.

Across the street, which is south facing, I begin to see patches of bare ground dotting the hills, bigger every day. Not so for us, but the snow is starting to shrink away from the tree trunks and the pond egress, and the driveway is bare for the first time since before Christmas. The pile by the front door is down to about 6 feet high. Soon I will hear the waterfall which runs with runoff until mid summer. Being born and bred in New Jersey, traditionally April is when I expect to see crocus and daffodils, when lawns and gardens get raked out and fertilized, and color graces the yards with forsythia and other early blooming shrubs. Not so here. I wrote a poem for this time of year back in 2003 when we invaded Iraq, which is appropriate for this spring as well.

  March 20, 2003

The earth turns under winter-weary snow,
thrusts off its white, wind-carved quilts
and stretches
to the warmth of lengthened days.

Welcomed home
by still sleepy voices of brooks and ponds,
winter’s watery leftovers serpentine down
through snow on softened hills.

The season shifts,
as the world trembles,
and I stand in wonder
that at such a time
Spring can come again.

At least the discouraging weather (and my delightful lack of commitments this week) gives me lots of time to paint. I have three pieces going -- one is probably the last winter piece I will do this year, a  winter farm scene of hay bales in a barn, which I think is working out well. I am laying on layer after layer of color, and concentrating on composition and lights and darks. I wish it would dry faster--- if it did this is one I think I could have done alla prima, because I painted over an old painting, so there was a good base already there. This is an argument for switching to water-based oils, but the financial outlay in paints would be enormous. I cannot seem to get good photos of the work I am doing (for instance the snow is not flat white, but variated), but here it is, best as I can do.

Still Smelling of Dusty Summer   30 x 24  oil on canvas with tissue underlay 
I was also reworking a seascape, but it is still not working and may go to the paint over pile. And I started my first spring piece of the year-- forsythias!  If I can't see them here in April, I can at least paint them. I did a whole series of forsythia paintings some years back, such as this one which was framed later as a triptych. They have all sold except for one tiny one of which I have no photo.

"Forsythia x Three"  18 1/2 x 6  framed, oil on canvas with tissue underlay 

Now that I am painting regularly again, I decided I better get working on having a show or two. I just contracted to have another show at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Rubin Glass Hallway, my most favorite alternative place to show up here. The woman in charge dispensed with the application since I was already vetted when I had a show there back in 2006, right after my mother died. I do not know when it will be, probably not until 2013. I would like to get something else lined up for early next year if possible, but not sure where yet.  


  1. I love these snowy hay bales. It has great color and textures about them. Thank you for your comments, I look forward to following your work, I hope you will consider the same**

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog. Your work is wonderful, look forward to following it.

  3. I came upon your blog and was enticed in because of the LBI connection. I spent part of every summer there from 1951 to 1997. Even though we no longer have a family home there, my husband I go back for a week every September.