Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sunny Breaks

Sunny Breaks 9 x 12 oil on canvas board  NFS
A very Merry Christmas from Muskoka, Canada to all the wonderful artists on Daily Paintworks! Here's to a New Year filled with the joy of making art together. Thanks for the inspiration, the motivation, and the mutual support.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Blue Mood

Blue Mood 16 x 12 soft pastel on Canson paper  NFS
For short time I worked in soft pastel, but rarely do so now. This is one of several small classic nudes done as studies. As you see, I was enjoying playing with complementary colors.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Hello There

Hello There 12 x 12 acrylic on gessoboard  SOLD
How can you go wrong painting a face like this? Deer are plentiful where we live, and occasionally venture through our backyard. They aren't timid, at least at a distance. They just raise their lovely heads, as if to say hello, then carry on munching. I understand they can decimate a garden -- it's a salad bar to them. Fortunately for me and my flowers, the ones that visit us seem to prefer the wilder parts of our backyard.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Curled Up

Curled Up 8 x 10 acrylic on gessoboard  SOLD
This sweet little fawn is all curled up and tucked in for a nap. When they gather up those long legs, they're just so very small. See below for photos of the painting in progress.

"Curled Up" 8x10 acrylic in progress ...

the initial sketch in acrylic on black-toned gessoboard
beginning to define the face and some tonal masses
further refining the features and form - including the distinctive "spots"
playing with background to determine how much dark I wanted
added background color and texture as well as final touches to face and fur

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Black Lace

Black Lace 24 x 18 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD
This oil painting will always be special to me. It was part of my first solo gallery show in 2009. It was also the image used on all the promotional materials, and the first piece to sell at the show. Today I'd likely paint it differently -- perhaps better, I'd hope -- but I'll always look back at it with much affection.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Abundance 10 x 8 acrylic on gessoboard  SOLD
I know what you're thinking... another brass bowl with grapes, Helene, really?!  Can't help it; I so enjoy painting the varied tones as light passes through grapes, and a brass bowl just adds more sparkle. Gotta lo-o-ve those textures!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winter Snack

Winter Snack  10 x 8 oil on canvas board  SOLD
One of my favorite backyard visitors -- winter or summer -- is the Blue Jay.  Big, bold, and devastatingly handsome, they're a visual delight.  This little oil sketch was fun from start to finish. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Braid

The Braid 8 x 8 oil on gessoboard

This is a quick portrait sketch in oil done in a two-hour session -- good exercise! 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Brass Bowl and Onions

Brass Bowl and Onions 11 x 14 acrylic on stretch canvas  NFS
Two of my favorite still life subjects -- onions and this little brass bowl. They offer such wonderful color harmony and a range of textures that are just plain enjoyable to paint. This is an 11" x 14" acrylic painting on 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Whitetail Fawn

Whitetail Fawn 6 x6 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD

This sweet little fawn is my contribution to a December charity art sale. "Small Art, Big Cause" is a Christmas fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Children's Foundation of Muskoka. For several years local Muskoka artists have donated 6 x 6 canvases to this enormously popular event. Sales are so brisk that the paintings are gone in less than two hours.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Humidor

The Humidor 16 x 12 acrylic on gallery wrap canvas NFS
This is one of several paintings I'll be exhibiting in an upcoming Muskoka Arts and Crafts Members' show. I'm happy to say that a smaller, similar version sold earlier from DPW, so hopefully this one will fare well in the show.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Golden Girl

Golden Girl 20 x 16 oil on stretched canvas NFS
Not done in a day, this painting was part of a gallery show. It's all about the sunlight, the golden glow of this golden girl. She was a delight to paint, but the glint of light on the cup and the highlights on the hands were special treats.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Don't Jump!

Don't Jump! 12 x 12 acrylic on gallery wrap canvas  SOLD
There's always one in a group.  His pals have gathered below to try to talk sense into this dare-devil, but who knows what will happen. As to my part in all this...dark blue mugs, bright orange fruit, a complimentary color match that was irresistible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Arabella 12 x 9 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
This painting is a commissioned piece. Arabella is a sweet little Italian Greyhound who belongs to a very good friend. She was a rescue dog, as are many greyhounds that later become beloved pets. I find her grey and white face simply captivating -- a mixture of vulnerability and imperious elegance. What a little "lady" she is!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Snack In Progress

Snack In Progress 10 x 10 acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
Crisp, juicy apples being enjoyed as a snack. What could be better?
This acrylic painting is on 2.5 inch deep gallery-wrapped canvas.  It's already framed in a contemporary pale wood float frame as shown here --

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Onions and Shallots

Onions and Shallots 8 x 10 acrylic on stretched canvas
Onions and shallots are two flavor basics every cook relies upon. In this instance, their complimentary gold and purple hues add equal zest to a canvas.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Apples and Bowls

Apples and Bowls 8 x 10 oil on stretched canvas  ON HOLD
I know. Apples, apples, apples, but what still life painter can resist them? These bowls and apples shared such a wonderful color harmony that I felt they belonged together. I find the image very serene.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Quarterly Report

Quarterly Report 6 x 6 acrylic on stretched canvas

Autumn is apple season and these crispy quarters are reporting for duty. M-mm, love that juicy crunch!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Soup Starters

Soup Starters 8 x 8 oil on gessoboard
Leeks and tomatoes are a grand start for a tasty autumn soup. I think they make a great pairing for a painting, too. Even those juicy colors makes my mouth water.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Self Portrait 18 x 14 oil on stretched canvas  NFS

This is a self-portrait I painted a few years back. I’m posting it today to commemorate that 20 years ago this month an organ donor saved my life. 

I had been diagnosed with terminal liver disease of unknown origin, and given only a year to live. My only hope of survival was to receive a transplant. Getting that transplant, however, was far from a sure thing. Then, just as today, patients frequently died waiting for transplants.

I was one of the lucky ones. Thanks to an anonymous donor family I received a gift beyond measure. I remember that family's selfless courage each and every day. Even as they suffered the devastating loss of someone they loved, they thought of others. I try to savor every day. Painting is one way I do that. Working to promote organ donation is another.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Plums and Jug

Plums and Jug 9 x 12 acrylic on gessoboard
Plums are just the most fun to paint, and still life paintings are all about enjoying the textures.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Sentinel

The Sentinel 8 x 8 oil on gessoboard
Crows often drop by for a drink in our backyard and I love to see them. They're such stunning-looking creatures. Even if they kind of dwarf the birdbath, they still manage to look so majestic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer Solitude

Summer Solitude 8 x 10 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
Sun, sand, and and a bit of quiet solitude. A moment when all the sensual delights of summer are yours alone.This is another in my series of paintings that celebrate the joys of summertime at the cottage.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Autumn 8 x 8 acrylic on gessoboard  SOLD
She looks as if Autumn could be her name, at least that's what the colors suggested to me. A few days to go until it's officially fall, but a few leaves here are already changing.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mary McBride

Mary McBride 10 x 16 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD
It's a great source of pride to me that I have eight historical portraits permanently installed in the town hall of Gravenhurst, the small Muskoka town where I now live.  Among them is this painting of Mary McBride (1880-1965). She looks a bit stern here, but was apparently much-beloved by her students. Born in Muskoka, Mary taught for 50 years, beginning in 1899 and continuing until her retirement in 1948.

Gravenhurst's first schoolhouse was built in 1864. It was a one-room log building and its seventeen students sat on rough wooden planks.  The young women who taught in such schools were pioneers indeed.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How D'Ya Like Them Apples?

How D'Ya Like Them Apples? 8 x 10 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
Thanks to a miserable summer cold, I've been away from my easel for what seems like ages. Just so I'm not totally forgotten, I'm posting a little still life that sold from a gallery. Hope to be back in 'real time' soon!

Friday, August 21, 2015

One For All

One For All 5 x 7 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
This little painting of three cherries is a companion to yesterday's 'En Garde.'  Their stems really do seem to be indicating the musketeer's refrain of "all-for-one-and-one-for-all."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

En Garde

En Garde 5 x 7 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
These two cherries really appeared to be 'crossing swords' and ready for a duel. I just love painting the luscious deep tones of cherries.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Dessert  8 x 10 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD
The past few days have been a little zany, so today I'm posting a piece from my archive. It does remind me, however, how much fun pears are to paint. I'm working on some new paintings and  promise some fresh postings soon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Seated Nude

Seated Nude 24 x 14 soft pastel on Canson paper  NFS
For a period of time I worked a great deal in pastel. This rather large classic nude was one of the pieces I've kept and it hangs in my studio.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Thomas Greavette

Thomas Greavette 16 x 20 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD
Before joining DPW I had spent a good deal of time on portrait work. This is one such example. Thomas Greavette was an internationally-renowned builder of classic boats. His portrait is one of a group of eight that I painted from small, grainy, black and white archival photos. The paintings depict individuals who shaped the early history of Gravenhurst, which is the Muskoka town my husband and I moved to several years ago. I'm very proud to have these portraits permanently installed in the town hall.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Vino Classico

Vino Classico 18 x 14 acrylic on canvas  SOLD
This is one of my larger gallery pieces. I really enjoyed painting the reflections in and on the wine bottles, as well as the varying light that danced through the rich dark grapes.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Green Trio

Green Trio 8 x 10 acrylic on canvas  SOLD
This is a small demo painting. One of many of my still life pieces that features a favorite brass bowl.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Summer 12 x 9 acrylic on stretched canvas
It's summer at the lake and nothing beats the wild abandon of leaping off a dock. Life at the cottage is all about joys such as this.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

James McCabe

James McCabe 20 x 16 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD

This is a historical portrait now residing in the Town Hall of of Gravenhurst, where I now live. It is one of eight portraits that I painted using only small old black and white photos as my reference. James McCabe is believed to be the very first settler in what is now the Town of Gravenhurst,Muskoka, Ontario. For a time, in fact, the town was named McCabe's Landing.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bala Summer: Last One In

Bala Summer: Last One In  16 x 10 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
After a DPW customer in the U.K. purchased my painting "Last One In!" a new client contacted me to ask if I'd could create a similar painting for him. Apparently, it reminded him of summer days with his nieces and nephew at his cottage in the nearby town of Bala. After some discussion I agreed to paint a revised version that would retain the vibrant colors and energetic poses, yet be distinct from the original. This new painting also features two girls and a boy, as opposed to the two boys and one girl who appear in the original.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ragtime Man

Ragtime Man 30 x 24 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD
This wonderfully-accomplished man lives in nearby Bala, Ontario, but he's internationally renowned as a Ragtime piano player. He was a delight to paint in his signature striped shirt and bow tie. Oh, and yes, his eyebrows really are that extroverted!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Easy Being Green

Easy Being Green  8 x 10 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD

A trio of green apples just takin' it easy next to a small brass bowl.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Leaping Into July

Leaping Into July  12 x 9 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
This is a revised version of an earlier piece. It had been on hold for a prospective buyer, but is now available. To me it conjures up summer, cottage life, and youthful exuberance in a single joyous moment..

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Brass Tones

Brass Tones 12 x 12 acrylic on gallery wrap canvas  SOLD
I always enjoy painting onions with this little brass bowl. The varied textures and warm color harmony never seem to lose their appeal for me. This particular piece sold immediately on the opening night of a group show. Guess I'm not the only one who loves onions!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Vern 16 x 12 soft pastel on Canson paper  SOLD
This is a pastel piece done at a session of our local portrait group. We meet weekly for a couple of hours and work from a live model. I don't attend as often as I should, but it's wonderful exercise whenever I do.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Amber Eyes

Amber Eyes  10 x 8 soft pastel on Canson paper  SOLD
We are finally having some summer-like weather, and it's playing havoc with my daily painting resolution. To disguise my procrastinator's embarassment I'm posting this vibrant little pastel. It sold in one of my gallery shows.

Monday, July 06, 2015

The Ears Have It

The Ears Have It 6 x 6 acrylic on stretched canvas  SOLD
As you can see from my blog, deer are a favorite of mine. This time, since the painting was quite small, I thought I'd try an almost monochromatic approach. It was an appealing subject, and a complete pleasure to paint.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Odissi Dancer

Odissi Dancer 8 x 10 oil on stretched canvas  SOLD
Done for a fund-raiser, this little dancer was great fun and so very colorful to paint. Fulfilling our purpose, she promptly found a buyer and danced off to her new home.