Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Christmas Mix

As a slightly belated gift, I have made you a little mix of some of the songs I have really enjoyed this year. Happy listening!

1. Beirut, "A Call to Arms"
2. Stars, "Take Me to the Riot"
3. The 1900s, "No Delay"
4. New Pornographers, "Challengers"
5. Feist, "the Park"
6. Handsome Furs, "Sing Captain"
7. Wintersleep, "Weighty Ghost"
8. Bishop Allen, "Like Castanets"
9. Cloud Cult, "Take your Medicine"
10. The National, "Geese of Beverley Road"
Hidden track: Joanna Newsom, "Sawdust and Diamonds"

More paintings soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Six Shells

And here's a detail:

Monday, December 10, 2007


Thanks to everyone who stopped by on Friday night! Much fun was had by all.
If you didn't make it, there will be another open house on Friday, January 4.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Turnips, show reminder

Reminder: You're invited to Art for Giving, an invitational exhibition featuring artwork by me, Christopher Carroll, Liz Kellinger, Aaron Pavelis and Kathleen Westkaemper. The opening will be held on Friday, Dec.7 from 7-10 p.m. at Cornerstone Gallery, 23 W. Broad Street, Richmond,
VA. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 26, 2007


I'm back!

...And here's a detail.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


And here's a little bonus detail image.

I will be on holiday for about a week starting at noon tomorrow, so you won't hear from me until after we return. In the meantime... Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cut Zinnia

Okay, so about that other painting I was going to post... I decided that it's not quite done yet. However, I did finish another one this week. (Click for a larger image.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Upcoming show

Details about the December show are posted here.
If you plan to attend, you'll want to show up early. For this show, I think any buyers will be able to carry their art home with them for the holidays, so the later you arrive, the less you'll see on the walls.
I've been enjoying working on a couple of larger pieces lately. We are going to Richmond for a short visit this weekend, but I hope to post one of the images after we return. See you then!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Neighbor's Tomato

I also finished another larger piece recently, which I will post soon.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lemon in a Painted Bowl

Here is a slightly larger piece (8" x 10") for your enjoyment.
News: I'll be in a group show in Richmond this December. More details later.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wild Persimmons (sold)

...At least, that's what I think they are. They are smaller and have a thinner skin than the ones you buy at the grocery store. I had to do this in a hurry because I was chasing a sunbeam.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

Lemon and Knife

We are slowly settling in to our new environment. I am looking forward to working on some larger pieces, but I think I have to crawl before I can walk, so to speak.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Leaving the Nest

The time has come for us to leave Richmond, this fair city. We are preparing to move to Maryland next month. There are a million things to do between now and then. We will miss all of our dear friends here, who have been so supportive and who are just such great company. I’m sure we will be visiting frequently (take note, friends with guest rooms).

Fortunately, I think our new surroundings will really encourage our creative pursuits and will supply some much-needed positive vibes. We are looking forward to new career opportunities and a change in scenery. I am also looking forward to posting more paintings for your consumption, once we get settled. There might be a bit of a lag, however, while we are moving. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Slump, Pt. 2

Evidently the muse is on summer holiday. My latest painting of a perfectly charming lemon wound up looking as three-dimensional, and about as interesting, as a mailing label. I'm not even going to post it. Maybe it can still be salvaged later on. I guess everyone goes through this from time to time... but it's exasperating nonetheless.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Fun Times

Well, I have spent the past four hours painstakingly choosing a subject, setting up a composition, and slinging paint around. I was elbow-deep in viridian and ochre, killing numerous brain cells with solvent. And what have I got to show for my efforts?

Egads. I think I have got to take a little walk so I don't accidentally strangle anyone.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Neighbor's Peony

Many thanks to my neighbor, whose garden provided this, my favorite of all spring flowers.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I'm sorry for my extended absence... sometimes the other parts of my life conspire against the painting part!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Thanks to all the kind people at Grace, and everyone who showed up to see the opening tonight. It really is a lovely space to hang some paintings, and I appreciate the opportunity. It has been a refreshing week in Asheville and I look forward to returning before too long.
Also, any locals should take the chance to visit the Student/Faculty show at the Fine Arts League of Asheville in downtown. Link is here:
This is a really inspiring little show.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I found several recently deceased but mostly intact butterflies this past year. The new Arcade Fire album provided a good soundtrack for painting this one.
This week I'll be heading down to Asheville to hang the show at Grace and enjoy some vacation time.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


I had a couple of very productive sessions this past week, and think I'm done with this piece.
Good learning experience.

And here's a little detail.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Sound of One Hand Slapping my Forehead

I've been busy working on my white still-life. Sunday's breakthrough involved the realization that I had to put some honest-to-goodness color in the highlights. It's tempting to just use pure white and nothing else for those really bright points of light, but sometimes you need an appreciable dose of alizarin or cobalt blue or cadmium orange in there, too. (Any veteran painters reading this are probably thinking, "Duh, Sharon.") Anyway, I hope to finish up within a week, and should be posting an image before too long.

In the meantime, here is a little inspirational reading material, courtesy of NPR and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Edward Gordon / Show News

I just love today's post, "Second Backyard," by Edward Gordon. I spent some time in Berlin, especially the eastern part of the city, during the late 90s. I saw several examples of what he describes in his post. These little places had a sort of "Secret Garden" effect whenever I stumbled on them... some of them are still very clear in my memory. The painting itself is very appealing to me because of the substance or weight of the image despite its small size and relative simplicity. I could learn a few things from this the next time I attempt an interior.

Also, good news, I will be doing a show in Asheville, NC at New Grace Centre Gallery. The show will hang for six weeks or so, starting around March 14. I'll update the "News" page on my website soon with all the details. You heard it here first.
For all of you neighbors, I still hope to do a show in Richmond later this year, if I can produce enough work, and find a place that will have me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Back to work

Last night I was busy discovering some more challenges associated with using brightly colored backgrounds. I actually resorted to troweling on the paint with a palette knife... and normally, I'm not that kind of girl. But hey, if we're going to experiment, let's experiment. Anyway, despite my frustration, this technique might produce some interesting results.

I did this shallot with two halves a while back and intended to post it last week, before our little electricity incident. Sorry about the glare.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Long, Dark Night of the Apartment

Well, thank goodness, we got our heat and light back after a very chilly week. Alas, I must get on the road tomorrow, so maybe back at the easel on Sunday night...
In the meantime, here is something to look at. This is a good example of what happens when I don't concentrate enough on my subject. Things turn out looking like a cartoon. The pear was tasty, though.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In the dark

I have discovered that one of the drawbacks associated with doing an underpainting is the drying time required between layers. It's been so cold lately that my crazy little experiment has just barely dried enough to start working on again.

I was all excited to get back to work last night, and then we lost power in the apartment. We have known for a while that the wiring in our old building needed an update. Guess it can't be put off any longer. We only have two functional outlets and only two rooms are lit... and they do not include my studio or the hall where this still-life is set up. We don't have access to our computer (or the TV or the stereo), so I might not be posting an image this week. Hope this situation gets resolved soon. In the meantime, I guess we'll be spending some time warming the local barstools.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I can't believe it... My office closed for the afternoon due to problems with the water.
Here is a little something I did last week.

On Friday, I was reading my Vermeer book and found some interesting information about his use of layering paint and glazes to achieve different color effects. For example, by putting a transparent ultramarine layer on top of a raw umber layer, he created a nice warm blue for a subject's dress. This got me thinking about how little I have experimented with this technique. Always a glutton for punishment, I decided that I wanted to have a little fun with my imprimatura for a new still-life I started over the weekend. Although the subject matter is mostly shades of white, the underpainting might lead one to believe that I have started hanging around with a bunch of colorblind Fauvists. It looks so strange that I feel compelled to share.

Can't wait to see where this goes.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


I found Jonathan Lethem's article, a different take on the idea of plagarism, very enjoyable. You can find it here:
I especially enjoyed the section called "Surrounded by Signs," in which this sentence appears: "We're surrounded by signs; our imperative is to ignore none of them." (An idea borrowed from from Steve Erickson's novel Our Ecstatic Days.)

This brings to mind Italo Calvino's story "A Sign in Space," in which our narrator describes how he made the first sign ever to exist in space:
"...It's easy for you young ones to talk, but in that period I didn't have any examples to follow, I couldn't say I'll make it the same or I'll make it different, there were no things to copy, nobody knew what a line was, straight or curved, or even a dot, or a protuberance or a cavity. I conceived the idea of making a sign, that's true enough, or rather, I conceived the idea of considering a sign a something that I felt like making, so when, at that point in space and not in another, I made something, meaning to make it a sign, it turned out that I really had made a sign, after all." It soon comes to pass that another space traveller starts following behind, and confounding things by making his own space graffiti, and erasing the inspired handiwork of the narrator.

I think Lethem is correct in observing that many artists - any discipline - fail to acknowledge the degree to which they are influenced by other artists and the culture as a whole, instead attributing their work to some private, inner spring of inspiration. As he points out, many artists are drawn to their pursuits first by falling in love with the art... someone else's creation. I find that comforting. It makes the whole thing seem a little less solitary.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Flora / Floea

I was out walking in late November and came across some blooming azalea bushes. Now, I never did get that graduate degree in horticulture, but I'm pretty sure azaleas normally bloom in the spring. Anyway, the bushes were a little worse for wear, but I was still impressed at their tenacity. Evidence is here. I did another little piece last week but no photo yet. I'm also working on a portrait I started in the fall. The limitations of my abilities have become more obvious to me as I've been experimenting over the past year or so, and as I've been following the work of many fabulous painters who post work online. Sigh. Practice, practice.

We spent the weekend at the Chesapeake Bay with family & friends... entertainment that is pretty hard to beat, in my book. It had been cold enough to produce some big, chunky ice floes that we had fun pushing around and breaking apart with sticks. And no, it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I had a little fun with some garlic earlier this week.
It's been a nice Saturday... I got some cleaning done, stumbled on a nice gallery exhibit, and fit in some exercise. I don't know about you, but I think the best part about going to the gym is having a good excuse to reward yourself with sushi. Off I go!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Painting Goodness

I know, it's been a while. You can find the new piece here.
My camera setup ain't the greatest, so it loses something in translation... but you get the general idea.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Cautiously optimistic

I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think the latest piece is going to turn out nicely. I had another good session at the easel the other night and got the piece to what I can safely call "substantially complete." I'm going to let it dry in a corner for a couple of days and make sure everything stays the way I want it, and no mistakes pop out at me. Recently, another little piece I "finished" wound up all lifeless and contrasty after drying for a couple of days. I think some more experimentation with mediums is in order... I might try out the Neo Megilp medium from Gamblin.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Back in the Saddle

So I was working on painting an onion this evening, and had an interesting experience amidst the vapors and the mess. I was working on a small, sparkly highlight on a part of the onion's translucent skin. At that moment, while admiring the onion and making a little mark on the panel, I felt this kinship with all the Dutch still life painters who did that work so long ago. Not to say that this little piece looks like anything like a Pieter Claesz... just that some things don't change much from era to era, such as how lovely onions are, and how much fun it is to paint them. Which reminds me of this Robert Henri passage that I like a lot:

"The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture - however unreasonable this may sound. The picture, if a picture results, is a by-product and may be useful, valuable, interesting as a sign of what has past. The object, which is back of every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a state of high functioning, a more than ordinary moment of existence... These results, however crude, become dear to the artist who made them because they are records of states of being which he has enjoyed and which he would regain. They are likewise interesting to others because they are to some extent readable and reveal the possibilities of greater existence."