Friday, September 11, 2009

a fine day

"a fine day"
oil on canvas ~ 24 x 30 inches

We've been on the move a lot since arriving in New Hampshire...we do love to explore a new place.

So, lots of canoe trips, country drives, hikes and checking out all the local ice cream joints has been on the agenda. A month or so ago, we happened upon this place, Pitcher Mountain...and what a find it was.

A short hike up to a treeless summit with 360 degree views, fire tower, granite outcroppings and blueberries galore. I was in heaven... berry pickin' being one of my most favorite activities (which has thankfully been passed down to my two little charges). We even found the, let's just say "evidence" of quite a few bears up there who were obviously enjoying the berries as much as we. It felt like we were living right out of Blueberries for Sal... except, thankfully all human and bear little ones stayed with their proper parents.

plink. plank. plunk.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Last of the Contoocook paintings...this was the first one I did and I was a bit rusty with my plein air skills. The darn boat kept drifting in the water and changing positions on me.

Thanks to all who came out to see me at Art in the Park in my hometown. It was a great weekend!

oil on canvas ~ 9 x 12 inches

Friday, September 4, 2009

lazy day

Art in the Park is this weekend....come visit me!

"lazy day"
oil on canvas ~ 12 x 12 inches

Thursday, September 3, 2009

evening at the lake

This is one of the plein air pieces I did a couple weeks back at Contoocook Lake. Cindy and I had painted for a few hours just around the bend from this scene...on the way home the sun was setting and I just had to stop and capture this view.

"evening at the lake"
oil on canvas ~ 12 x 16 inches

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

how I sold my first painting

I was standing behind the counter, bored--fresh out of art school and working at my parent’s shop for the summer, I stood there making motions of dusting, not paying attention to the few customers who were browsing in the back of the store.

the west branch of the Dead River

The shop was called Old Port Artisans and was in the vibrant Old Port of Portland, Maine.  We carried the work of over 70 regional fine craftsmen and fine artists. A lovely selection of pottery, woodworking, jewelry, prints, fiber arts, a bit of everything.

The couple from the back came to the counter carrying something to purchase and asked me “can you tell us anything about this artist”?

As they set the piece on the counter, I realized with a shock it was my painting--a little gouache landscape of birch trees and a river scene (a favorite spot where my grandfather
took me fiddleheading
as a girl). 

I had a placed a few of my paintings in the shop earlier in the summer but hadn’t thought much more about it.

The couple looked at me expectantly. I stammered something about the artist being me, my face turning red.  Miraculously, they didn’t change their mind or point at me shrieking “YOU’RE the artist!?”  They paid for the painting and left the store, happily chatting about where they were going to hang it.

Well, that certainly changed the flavor of my day.  I stood up straighter, finished my shift, and ran home to get back at my easel.

The Dead River and a good fiddleheading spot

Sadly, the painting in the story is lost to me…this happened before I learned the valuable lesson to photograph every painting before it leaves my studio.  Hey, maybe it’ll resurface…if you purchased a lovely, little gouache in 1991 in Portland—get in touch!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Art in the Park

Come see me this weekend! The setting is in lovely Ashuelot River Park, right next to my new home. Gotta love that. Hope to see you...

Art in the Park
September 5th & 6th
10am - 4pm
Ashuelot River Park
Keene NH

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

mountain meadow

"mountain meadow"
watercolor ~ 5 x 7 inches

Monday, August 24, 2009

swimming spot

"swimming spot"
watercolor ~ 5 x 7 inches

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

back from the lake (and a couple of announcements)

Well, I dusted off my plein air supplies and finally got out there to paint! With the recent big move, two busy kiddos & summer vacations, it had been a long time. It was super hot but great to get out there again. You can see my work at several upcoming shows, details below.

I am participating in a "en plein air" art show to benefit the Contoocook Lake Area Preservation Association (CLAPA). The reception is Saturday, August 22nd, 4pm - 7pm at the Jaffrey Beach. This week, local landowners on Contoocook Lake are opening up their properties for artists to come and paint the local beauty on location. We will be showcasing our work at this reception and a percentage of the sale price will benefit CLAPA.

Next up, Art in the Park at Ashuelot River Park in Keene, NH. September 5th & 6th, 10am to 4pm.

Contoocook Lake

Contoocook Lake

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


"cruisin' "
watercolor ~ 5 x 7 inches

I had a bit of time to paint while on vacation in Maine and did a few local scenes in watercolor. I seem to keep going back to this scene at the height of land. The classic car was an imagined touch...I'd love to have one some day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

through the woods

"through the woods" oil on canvas ~ 6 x 6 inches

Friday, August 14, 2009

on a clear day

"on a clear day"
oil on canvas ~ 6 x 6 inches

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

it all started with a giant steam roller

Or how I picked which art school to attend

By the time I was in high school, I was serious about art. 

I took every class offered at school, after school classes with private instructors, and in my last year the senior studies class at Massachusetts College of Art. 
me, circa 1985

Boston was about an hour from my home in southern New Hampshire and I managed to convince my parents that it would be a good idea for them to spend 6 Saturdays in a row trekking me and a girlfriend down there.

I don’t remember much about the classes. Other than that I really liked them, and that we tried a bit of everything—painting, drawing, printmaking; using lots of different materials from paints, chalk, inks, charcoal and even sculpture out of found objects.

What I do remember is the steam roller.

We were coming out of class on one Saturday and walked out onto a small side street adjacent to the school.  There was a bit of commotion so we stopped to check it out.

A bunch of art students were working on a giant printmaking project.  Some were laying out huge sheets of paper on the street, others were busy applying some kind of paint to large, textured surfaces.  After a bit, the two were layed on top of one another and the steam roller was fired up and driven over the whole concoction--the coolest printing process I'd ever witnessed.

Now, I’d taken advanced print making in high school, and even fancied myself as a bit cutting edge making fish prints from whole, dead fish I’d procured from the fish market. 

But this…THIS WAS SO COOL…this was so PUNK ROCK!  I was entranced.  The girls in their funky, black, art student clothes were actually driving a steam roller. They were allowed to do this! 

If this is how you got to spend a Saturday here at MassArt then this was the school for me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

country road

"country road"
oil on canvas ~ 6 x 6 inches

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Friday, August 7, 2009

field of green

"field of green"
oil on canvas ~ 6 x 6 inches

Art Under the Birches show tomorrow!!

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

the view from my place

"the view from my place"
oil on canvas ~ 6 x 6 inches

I've been spending some time in Maine with my hubby and 2 little charges...canoeing, mountain climbing and just soaking in the beauty of the western mountains. This scene is one of my favorite places, height of the land on route 17 between Rumford and Oquossoc. We've been busy getting ready for the art show on Saturday...the gardens look wonderful, the weather is great, hope to see you!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

next show

I will be participating once again in my family artshow "Art Under the Birches" in Rangeley, Maine on August 8th. The group will include myself, my mother, Terri Wentzell and my brother and his wife, Paul & Cindy Wentzell.

Please stop by and say hello if you are in the area. We will be featuring paintings in oil, pastel, watercolor of local New England landscapes and florals, hand-carved fish reproductions and a lot more. Refreshments will be served and new this year we are offering door prizes of original artwork! Hope to see you.

Art Under the Birches
3rd annual art show

August 8th, 2009
10 am - 4 pm
39 Stratton Road
Rangeley, Maine

for more info call 207-864-3519

Friday, July 3, 2009

welcome to the Monadnock region

"monadnock autumn"
oil on canvas ~ 8 x 10 inches

Well, we've made it to Keene. And this is our mountain, standing watch over this beautiful little city. I was commissioned to paint Mt Monadnock last December before we knew we were moving here. (my husband's career brought us to Keene) I enjoyed the subject so much that I painted two and now I expect, many more!

I've always loved this mountain and climbed it as a child growing up in Milford, NH. I'm looking forward to taking my own 2 little charges for many hikes in this beautiful region.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

fellow artists ~ Terri Wentzell

As I mentioned before, I am going to post about a few artists that inspire me during my move to NH. And did I mention I come from a talented family? Well, I do. It probably goes back to my grandmother who while not an artist, was a very creative person. I was blessed to have her live in our home my entire childhood. She was always making and doing, cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, nature watching, crafting, you name was going on at our house.

But I I am featuring my mum, Terri Wentzell. An accomplished watercolorist, she is inspired by the lovely landscapes and seascapes of her native state of Maine. Our family hosts an annual art show in August, set in her beautiful gardens at her home in Rangeley, Maine. Check out Terri's website to see more of her work.

Terri Wentzell
"birches at sunset"
watercolor on paper
limited edition giclee prints available

Thursday, June 25, 2009

fellow artists ~ Cindy Wentzell

I will be away from my easel for a couple weeks while the family makes the big move east to NH. In the meantime, I thought I would feature a few other artists whose work I admire. And where else to start other than my talented family?

Cindy Wentzell is my dear friend and sister-in-law. We met as fellow students at Mass Art many moons ago. Over the years, we've shared many laughs, bottles of wine, and creative ventures. We still get together for our "artist weekends" with a few other Mass Art girls, our husbands take the kiddos and we have a grand time painting together.

Cindy is a talented artist with a keen eye for capturing lovely little glimpses of nature. Her pastel paintings are just gorgeous, with vivid colors and texture. Check out more of Cindy's work at her website.

Cindy Wentzell
"Emerald Shade"

Monday, June 22, 2009

home stretch

I can't put it off any longer...time to pack up the studio! I am sad to leave East Aurora. This is a great town and my little family has been really happy here. At left is a painting I did at Knox Farm State Park, one of our favorite places in town and is just down the road from our house. A magical place where we've spent many hours walking through field and wood, bluebird spotting, kite-flying and just soaking up the beauty.

That said, I am looking forward to returning to New Hampshire. I am a New England girl at heart so it feels like going home. I will be much closer to family which my 2 little charges are especially excited about. It's all good...if only I could twitch my nose and get all these boxes packed. More soon and an update about an upcoming show.

Friday, June 19, 2009

sunflowers take 2

I decided to have another go at some sunflowers. I'm pleased with how this one turned out, I like how the purple tones in the pitcher complement the brilliant yellows of the flowers.

"sunflowers II"
oil on canvas ~ 12 x 12 inches

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

peonies on the porch

It's that fleeting time of year again...peony season. I set this still life up on my porch, it will probably be one of my last days to paint before I leave. Packing can wait, peony season is short.

"peonies on the porch"
oil on canvas ~ 12 x 12 inches

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Vidlers is a fantastic, genuine old fashioned five and dime store. Complete with creaky wooden floors, a 10 cent popcorn machine, toys, candy, crafts, housewares, you name it, they've got it. If you're ever out in western NY, don't miss a trip to Vidlers in East Aurora. Shopping there is one of the things I will miss most about NY.

oil on canvas ~ 12 x 12 inches

Sunday, June 14, 2009

poppy field III

"poppy field III"
oil on canvas ~ 9 x 12 inches


Friday, June 12, 2009

poppy field II

"poppy field II"
oil on canvas ~ 9 x 12 inches

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

au revoir

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my Art show in the Garden this past weekend. It was a wonderful show and a great send-off. I will miss western New York!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Art in the Garden show

I'm back!

This has been a crazy, busy year so far (hence my temporary disappearance from bloggerdom). My apologies.

We are in the process of moving to New Hampshire this summer. It is my home state and I am very much looking forward to capturing some New England loveliness on canvas very soon. Before we leave, I am having one last show at my home in East Aurora. If you are in the area, please stop by! I'm having an Art in the Garden show, there will be refreshments, door prizes and the gardens will be in full bloom. Hope to see you there.

"Au Revoir" a send off Art in the Garden show
paintings in oil, gouache & watercolor

June 6th & 7th, 2009
Saturday: 10am -3pm
Sunday: Noon - 3pm

163 Hamlin Avenue
East Aurora, NY

for more info, please email