Woman on the Verge


When I see a photograph I want to paint, there are many decisions to be made before my brush ever touches the canvas. Just as a plein air painter might use a view finder to frame the scene he chooses to paint, I need to decide where my edges will go…how much do I crop and where…will the image fill the frame or have background…and, in the case of Rising, is it a figure or a portrait? When I first saw the photo of this powerful dancer in Whitney Browne’s collection of Dance for the Photographic Eye, I knew I wanted to paint her as a portrait. I moved her to the left, cropped off all but the upper portion of her body and counted on the negative space on the canvas to provide the feeling that she is a woman about to take flight. This version of Rising is the grisaille; the full painting is yet to come…

From Drawing to Painting

Looking for Love


My dear friend, Carole Goldberger, is a big fan of my work (she has several paintings of mine in her home), but especially likes the grisailles (monochromatic drawings in paint) that I draw on my canvases before I begin my paintings. In Florida for the holidays, I had a small, blank canvas in my studio, chose an image of a couple about to kiss, cropped it and painted a grisaille. I posted it on Instragram that day, with the caption, “A good start.” Carole commented, “Start? Finished I’d say.” Which got me thinking…so I got another small canvas and drew the same grisaille again. This one, of course, I actually painted. Now I can offer the grisaille or the painting, Looking for Love, separately or together. Interesting, I think…maybe even inspired! 

Looking for Love | Grisaille

Me & MGee | Part I

I’m about to take a page from my mentor’s playbook and publish my progress on a small portrait of my littlest granddaughter, Mila Grey Satin, sometimes referred to as MGee. Though I’ve painted her for her parents, it’s my turn to have an image of her for our condo in Florida, where her sister and cousins are already well represented. This is the grisaille, a drawing in paint of this precious child, that I always do monochromatically, hoping to catch the essence of my subject before my brain starts to name the parts of her face and I wind up with a generic baby, instead of her. This is Mila.

Performance Art



I’ve been painting Polarized since February, taking a long time on a large canvas that I could only work on when I wasn’t in Florida…in the winter. When my fourteen year old granddaughter Maddie saw the grisaille FullSizeRender (69)with just the background painted in, she admired the yoga pose…until I pointed to the pole. I’m not sure she approved. Every time I worked on it in Marblehead, at the Acorn Gallery & School of Art, it attracted attention and comments from people passing by—more than any other of the paintings I’ve done there—often by men who signaled thumbs up or wanted to know, “How much?” As it turns out, pole dancing is quite a legitimate form of exercise, practiced by professionals and amateurs alike. There are even pole athletes, both men and women—think Cirque Du Soleil. You can find pole fitness classes all over the country and even attend the annual Pole Expo, in Las Vegas of course.

This beautiful blonde may not be a professional, but she’s got game! And I must admit that I like the suggestive nature of the subject. Just as my whispering paintings are meant to hint at secrets and lies, I would hope that with Polarized the viewer becomes a voyeur, imagining the interaction between her and that pole.

More to come…


And Then Along Came Jones

IMG_1308I was sitting on my patio in Florida at the beginning of the month on the kind of afternoon that makes you glad to be alive, having a great time painting a grisaille from a terrific photo my son had posted on Facebook of my granddog Jones, his beautiful bull mastiff. A grisaille is a monochromatic sketch in paint–an underpainting–and it gave me a lovely start for the small painting I wanted to give him and his wife as a gift. I packed it in my carry-on, brought it back to Boston to finish here and thoroughly enjoyed spending a few hours some days later painting the darks and lights that make up a face.

When Jones came to our house for Passover a couple of weeks later, I realized that my son had fooled around with that photo and “enhanced” the color. As I gave Jones a thorough scratch behind both his ears at once, I could see that he’s not quite as red as his photo—he’s a handsome black and tan!  Good thing oil paints are so forgiving…