Friday, November 9, 2018

Wayland Depot 9x12 oil on linen:
As mentioned previously, Wayland Depot was built in 1881, to service the Central Massachusetts Railroad. Its wooden braces and roof beams showing under the extended eaves, are both decorative and structural.
Architectural notes:
It appears that this structure includes some Queen Anne and Stick features; including flared eaves, exposed rafters, patterned wood  (“board and batten") walls, diagonal porch support braces and a raised foundation (see _Field Guide to American Houses_ by Virginia Savage McAlester, 213 ed., pages xvii-xviii, 317, and 334-335). .  According to a neighbor, the Wayland Depot is in the Stick architectural style. 
 I returned over several sessions to work on the below 9x12 sized painting.

Update January 31, 2018
The painting is now finished and dried. 


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Wayland Depot, 5x7 oil on linen:
The Wayland Depot building, built in 1881 for trains on the Central Massachusetts Railroad, is a gem of architectural detail located at One Cochituate Road.  The depot is now a gift shop run by volunteers (source:

On a rainy day in gathering darkness, I nearly completed the below 5x7oil.

This barn on Whitman Road in Stow, formerly belonged to Fruit Farm, one of the larger agricultural endeavors in Stow in the 1940s, on land and in a family dating back to the early 1800s (source: 

Currently the barn is part of the Mistletoe Christmas Tree Farm property.
After sketching its beautiful architecture a few times, I set up an easel one summer day in the early morning sun.  Over eight or nine days in two hour shifts, I completed the oil painting.  Here are are some stages in reverse chronological order:

Final, September 1
Intermediate Stage, August 24

 Early stage July 20:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

There is a farmhouse with a magnificent tree in front of it near Wattaquadock Hill Road in Bolton. It seems to be Prospect Farm (see Bolton Reconnaissance Report quoted below).
Driving by, I parked and drew the house (below) in charcoal on tan paper, 9x12 inches.

I scaled up the drawing with the help of a photo, to a large size canvas:

 and spent several sessions at the site:

According to page 26 the Bolton Reconnaissance Report ( this farm is a historic property:
"Prospect Farm, 22-58 W. Berlin Road.  Also known as Taylor Farm and Philbin Farm East slope of Wattaquadock Hill. Includes the ca. 1800 Pollard House, the S.C. Pollard House of ca. 1805/1847, and Capt. Curtis Pollard barns and outbuildings. Pollard was farmer and wheelwright. Congressman Philip Philbin, who had dairy farm here, owned property from 1942-1971."

Now that the weather has turned cold I am not sure if I will get out there again.  The painting is unfinished. 
Note January 12, 2019  I'm still working on the painting indoors; now it is at the stage below:

Monday, October 8, 2018

Maple Leaf Watercolor Cards

The autumn maples have started dropping leaves that are very beautiful so I picked a few up to attempt to copy the color patterns.  On the leaves,  some colors blend but others have sharp edges.  Light value veins stand out. 

Here is my first attempt:

The first attempt has leaf edges off the page - a good thing, according to the compositional rule; and the finished card has interesting negative shapes.  Later cards used smaller leaves, so the leaf was surrounded by the paper background:

My method for preserving the leaf veins as white paper using a burnishing tool was not as effective as I wanted:  the ball point of the tool imprinted lines on the paper which then absorbed more watercolor not less: the opposite of what I wanted.

So I tried using white wax candle to outline the veins instead of waxed paper and burnishing tool:

Which do you prefer?

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Hudson Public Library stands right next to a wide bend in the Assabet River.  This bend looks like a lake when viewed from shore.  The water's edge has beautiful plants such as cattails and  grasses.  One foggy July morning, clouds were approaching from the west, and reflections in the water were clear.  I set up my easel and made a "premier coup" (one-strike) oil painting at the site.  I used a limited palette: cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, burnt umber and titanium white,  with a linen-covered 12x18 panel.  
Foggy Day on the Assabet River in Hudson, MA

Friday, August 31, 2018

Stow, Massachusetts includes a neighborhood named Gleasondale (formerly called Rockbottom) which has been an industrial area for over two hundred years.  The Assabet River flows there. The river formerly powered a mill, manufacturing cloth, which was built around 1854.  This mill with various additions and alterations, still houses a number of businesses, including woodworkers and cabinet makers.   A newer mill was also finished in 1919 which houses local businesses.
Here is a painting done on site:
It's 9x12 inches, oil on a panel.

A detailed article about Gleasondale may be found at:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Next to the road in spring are fringe-petalled, small bluish daisies.  This year I learned these are asters, and painted them in a Mason jar:

This is an 8x10 size, painted on a panel.

Monday, August 13, 2018

ArtWalk Concord

On August 11, 2018 Concord had its ArtWalk, in which artists displayed their work in retail locations around the town, which then became "pop up galleries."  Here is the flyer:

I was lucky enough to show my paintings in Albright Art Supplies and Gift Shop

Store manager Betsy Yamron helped me set up my paintings.  She moved much colorful  merchandise to make space:

 Betsy also had brought in some still life objects to set up an arrangement:

Which I tried to paint:

A 2 minute video was made, viewable here.
It was a really fun day. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

In Hudson, Massachusetts is a family owned farm named Ferjulian's (  They've been open since 1942.  They sell their own produce such as corn, peaches, and kale, as well as flowering plants for gardens.  The farm house and buildings sit up on a hill (Gospel Hill).   I finally found the perfect angle for including the fields in the foreground and tried a small painting over a couple of days as trucks rumbled by (see below).
Ferjulian's Farm from Chestnut Street, 8x10 inches:

Monday, June 18, 2018

Next to a laundromat  in Maynard is a charming abandoned house which has one "white x in a red square" symbol on its side to indicate it is not safe to enter.  An unknown local artist has added more squares with these symbols in the lawn in front of the house as "flowers" in an incredibly thoughtful gesture. 

I had wanted to paint this house and finally tried it from my car over the winter.  The result is 11 by 14 inches, oil paint on panel, finished n February 2018:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The "small farm"was run from the late 1980s through 2016 or 2017 by Barbara and Dwight Sipler (see  Recently the farm was undertaken by Elena and Karl ( who considerately left the original website in place.

I was walking in the area when I noticed the old barn and thought it would make an interesting composition.  I was unable to contact Karl or Elena directly, so I showed up hopefully with my canvas, 24 by 30 inches long.

They were very nice, and said I could paint on the property.  At Karl's suggestion I chose a spot on the lower road, facing the barn from the east and slightly below.

I painted the barn first, with large sized brushes.  The ell on the side of the barn does not recede into space, despite its sloped roof - an optical effect I wanted to avoid by increasing shadows under the eaves.  Colors were burnt umber, cobalt blue, cadmium lemon yellow,  titanium white, and viridian green.  By five o'clock the sky had clouded over and it was cool ;  Karl was driving a tractor with cement blocks weighing down the tool in back so that it dug into the earth.  I left quietly.

Here is the result.

After filling in the greenery, and adjusting, the  finished painting is below.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Paintings of Stow, Massachusetts

On display at Emma's Cafe at the Stow Shopping Plaza (117 Great Road, Stow, Massachusetts) from mid-January through late March, 2018.

1. Alpenglow on Rockbottom Farm; oil on canvas, 18x24
2.  Stow’s Motif Number One; oil on canvas, 18x24
3. Assabet Bridge from Magazu Landing, Stow; oil on canvas, 18x24

4. Two Adirondacks on Assabet, oil on canvas, 18x24

5. West School, Harvard Road, Stow; oil on linen, 16x20

6. Grist Mill, Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury; 16x20, giclee print

7. Stow Acres Country Club, Randall Road; oil on canvas, 16x20

8. Rockbottom Farm Drumlin &  Buildings, Stow; oil on canvas, 24x18

9. Daises and Cottages, Stow; oil on canvas, 18x24

10. Stow Unitarian Universalist Church; pen on paper, 7x10

11. Rockbottom Farm over Assabet; watercolor on paper, 9x12

12. Female Merganser in Ramshorn Swamp; watercolor on paper,  9x12

13. Elizabeth Brook Dam, Carver Hill in spring; watercolor on paper; 9x12

14. Red Barn on Sudbury Road, Stow; oil on panel,  11x14

16. Cabin on Lake Boon, Barton Road, Stow; 5x7

15. Red barn with fence, Sudbury Road, Stow; oil on canvas, 9x15

18. Yellow House porch; oil on canvas, 11x14

19. Yellow House, Gleasondale; oil on linen, 14x17

20. Gardener’s House, Berlin; oil on linen, 9x12

21. Randall Library, Stow, pen and watercolor on paper; 9x12

22. Stow Town Hall, 375 Great Road; oil on canvas, 11x14

Other paintings, not on display at Emma's:

Potash Brook in Fall; oil on canvas, 18x24

Potash Brook in Summer; oil on canvas, 18x24

Assabet from Chapin Street Bridge, Hudson, oil on panel, 12x16
South Acton Station Overpass, oil on panel, 12x16

Birch Hill Road, Stow; watercolor on paper, 5.5x8.5

Elizabeth Brook Dam, Carver Hill, watercolor on paper, 5x7

 Pair of Red Delicious, watercolor on paper, 5x7

 Take A Seat 2, watercolor on paper, 5x7, 2017