In my last post, I shared my list of viable tools for videoconferencing. Several clients then requested that we use my preferred tool, Google Hangouts, for our next meeting. The only glitch was that they were unsure about how it worked. Perfect subject for a new blog post! If you don't already have a Google account, I highly recommend that you set one up. Google provides an entire suite of applications, which includes Hangouts, Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and Docs. As a designer/developer, I also … [Read more...] about Let’s Use Google Hangouts for Our Meeting!
I love geckos. I first set eyes on them in the 1980s, while visiting my mother and father in their Florida home. We were sitting at the pool, and a gecko started to climb up the leg of my chair. He quickly realized that a human was in the chair (me), and froze. He turned his head from one side to the other, tilted his head upward, and then made a quick getaway to a “safe” location. I was enamored. In describing the initial gecko greeting to family and friends, I imitated his head movements and … [Read more...] about Accepting What Is: Lessons from a Gecko
Snippets of life since moving to Florida... June 29 - Hello Florida! We arrived safe and sound in Naples late this afternoon! As I write this, I am feeling exhausted but happy. It was a long journey (4 days), taking us through areas of the eastern seaboard neither of us had ever seen. Much of the landscape was quite beautiful. The Shenandoah Valley was really lovely. Food (made by many of you), good music, and good conversation was the standard for each day. The clouds … [Read more...] about Welcome to Florida: Acclimating
My partner and I are moving to Florida in 2 weeks. I've lived in the Boston area my entire life, so this is a huge change for me. It's the longest distance I've ever covered in a move. The company we hired to transport our furniture and goods to our new home bases their fee on weight. The general rule of thumb is if it costs you more to move something than to buy it new, don't take it with you. Plus, we don't have as much storage in Florida. There is no basement, although we do have several … [Read more...] about Shedding
People ask me all the time, "How long does it take you to do a painting?" It depends. I rarely finish a painting the same day I start it. Usually, it takes 2-3 sittings before I experience that definitive moment of "it's done." Each sitting is approximately 3 hours. If the painting is small, I may be able to finish within 2 hours. Larger paintings take me longer. But, size isn't the only factor. I'm thinking about all of this right now, because I finished a painting this summer that I started … [Read more...] about Why Does It Take So Long to Finish a Painting?
A couple of years ago, I assisted Linda Novick when she taught a program at Kripalu called Unmasking Your Soul. The mixed media piece I created in memory of my mother, shown on the left, was done at the end of that program. I had brought xeroxes of several family pictures with me in hopes that I would use them in some artwork. This particular photograph of my mother is one of my favorites. She's a young woman, recently graduated from high school, and probably working at her first job. That … [Read more...] about Louise: Boston 1944 (In Memory of My Mother)
Last week, I sat down in my backyard to begin my first painting of the season. While I experience some level of anxiety when starting a painting, it's mild compared to what I feel when starting a design project. With art, I'm not trying to solve any communication problem; I'm simply expressing a sentiment or emotion or vision. Excitement tempers most of the unease. I think this year's harsh winter enhanced my joy about finally getting outside to paint again. I usually have more than enough ideas … [Read more...] about Filling the Blank Canvas
The blank page stares at me when I begin a new design project. I always experience some level of anxiety with this challenge of transforming emptiness into an attractive piece that communicates a clear message. You can't just put ANYTHING into the empty space. The design has to have a concept, an idea, a plan. When I was first in school learning graphic design, I wanted to hurry through the planning stage and get to the implementation phase as soon as I could. Why? Because I was comfortable … [Read more...] about The Blank Page
This past year, my partner, Peggy, wrote her second book, Lose Your Mind, Open Your Heart. She's a terrific writer, and it was inspiring to see her so focused and determined. She wanted my artwork in the book, and I was thrilled about that. What a great opportunity to get my art out to the world! She also asked me to design the book and I was excited about the idea. I came to love book design when I worked as an art director at Houghton Mifflin Company. With Peggy's clear vision of the book's … [Read more...] about Self-Publishing Adventures
I wrapped up my painting season just after the Red Sox wrapped up their third World Series win in the past decade. (Go Sox!) As a pastelist, I must paint outdoors en plein air. Otherwise, the pastel dust would make a mess of my home studio. My painting time is thus limited to warmer weather: I begin as early as April and usually stop in October. When the temperature dips below 50, it's simply too cold for me to stand at my easel. I now enter my "postseason". One of the first things I do is … [Read more...] about Artist Postseason
A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the inaugural Belmont Artwalk, an outdoor exhibit in our neighborhood. Over 30 artists took part, which was a good number for this first-ever event. The street was closed to traffic in Cushing Square for the day, and people could walk around leisurely to view the art. It was a great community event with festive energy. I used metal gridwall panels to display my art. I bought them at Joslin Displays in Wilmington, MA, where they are available in various … [Read more...] about Outdoor Art Show: Challenges and Rewards
I paint landscapes that speak to me because of their beauty and tranquility. There are certain scenes that repeatedly pull me in and capture my imagination. Each time I return to paint the scene again, I try something different: vantage point, composition/cropping, palette, time of day, and/or technique. Series painting is a wonderful way to become familiar with a place, to explore and discover new aspects of it. Above all, series painting has to do with finding the essence of a place or an … [Read more...] about Painting Long Pond Lake
A few days ago, while I was browsing through Communication Arts at our local library, I had this moment of gratitude. It suddenly occurred to me how lucky I was to be able to hold this fantastic publication in my hands and enjoy its contents. Furthermore, I could take it home for FREE and continue to enjoy reading it, simply because I had a library card. Libraries have a long and rich history, and I often give thanks to all of those people who have played a part in creating, maintaining, and … [Read more...] about Libraries: Think Globally, Read Locally
Painting outdoors is often called "painting plein air." I didn't realize until recently that there are strong disagreements about what exactly constitutes "plein air" painting. One art group insists that "true plein air painting is always completed from beginning to end on site with the subject matter before the artist." Other groups allow some flexibility, with standards ranging anywhere from 90% to 45% of the painting being completed on site in one sitting. There's a great article about this … [Read more...] about Painting Kripalu’s Labyrinth