The Making of a Seascape


I spent the summer of 2017 at the beach~ walking, talking to the birds, and gathering any beautiful thing that I could carry home. The gorgeous orange quartz below looks like a dazzling jewel, and has resisted being moved by heavy surf because it’s so big and heavy. I check all the time and it’s still there!

The first seascapes I made involved paper backgrounds put in place before adding the sand and shells, etc. The idea of working with and around a mat came with the first deep shadow box. This is how it looked as it began preparing the background.


The piece seemed to create itself. The larger stones in the foreground placed outside the confines of the mat, and sand scattered as it fell as if blown by the wind. My daughter liked it, and it’s framed and hanging at the top of the stairs in her house now.


                                                                               Wind on the Sound, 2017 

Another project at the beginning stage. The First step, laying down the paper


The finished project:


                                                                                   Sea Wall, 2017

The Next Project

The next piece was inspired by a point on the seawall at Seaside Park where I often go. I took a picture (see below) to help me get started.


The twig was the first thing I collected for this piece. When I saw it on the ground, I saw the whole piece in my mind.

The project below is about the beach at low tide.


In conclusion

There’s something wonderful about living near open water. I’ve never done so before. The Long Island Sound and Seaside Park stole my heart at first sight, and I knew this was where I wanted to stay. I can walk there in minutes, and as soon as I see the sunlight sparkling out on the water, or the clouds resting on the horizon, my mind relaxes and I feel the simple joy of being alive. Any time of year.

Seascapes help capture the feeling!

This is truly one of my favorites. It was on a cold windy day in November or December. Most of the birds had already headed south. Surf was pounding rocky shore. My heart pounds now just to look at it. The glass on this lovely frame broke when I was taking it apart to start the project. So it became perfect for a 3-dimensional seascape. It’s hanging in the office of our building because I had no extra space on my walls. Sometimes I peek in there just to get a look, and to make sure it’s still there. I’d like to find a home for it that it can be appreciated more. Any takers?

Light Over the Sound


This part of the bike path along the Sound at Seaside Park always gives me a rush. It feels like I’m riding out into the sea until I make the sharp right and follow the sidewalk all the way to the point. This spot was my inspiration for the latest piece below.


Light Over the Sound



Afternoon crossing


Night Moon

First Showing

I joined the Milford Arts Council this year, and submitted two pieces to the Firehouse Gallery Exhibit  this month. The theme: Visual Music. As I had made nothing with that theme in mind, I decided to take another look and found two projects that could fit, especially if I named them something musical. The name adds a new dimension to the way I look at them.


Midsummer Medley

I was under the influence of Matisse when I started out on this one. It didn’t come out as easily as some of the previous pieces. I had to leave it out on my living room floor for days as I kept working on it, wondering where it was going. Of all my work, I think it most fits the theme of the show. After giving it a name, I started liking it more.


Seaside Rhapsody

This is my favorite piece, so it’s not for sale. I need to get a better photo of it to post. It came together in just a few hours. I had the idea from a wall of photos I had seen at a friend’s house (below). I liked the overall shape and wanted to use it for my colored paper squares.  Suddenly it became floating houses in the clouds. It reminds me of apartments by the sea in Portugal, or somewhere on the Mediterranean, or my own tiny apartment next to Seaside Park on the Sound.


My starting inspiration

As I’m getting back into making art, I’m learning many new things. I’ve always been a creator, not much concerned with the details of framing, printing, promoting, etc. Naming and framing the piece, dragging it to a show, figuring out what it’s about so I can answer the inevitable questions, and putting a price tag on it – there’s a lot of new stuff to think about. But the first step is to ditch all those reflections!

Learning from the Masters



Georgia O’Keefe Original, Santa Fe


My copy/version


When I look again at the original I can see the depth of color that I wasn’t able to catch. But I learned a lot making this image. I’m not afraid of drawing clouds anymore, for one. And I notice them in the sky a lot more now.

Below is another O’Keefe that Emilie and I saw  when we visited her museum in Santa Fe. We loved it and I wanted to try copying it.


The Original


My version


Preparing the paper…


My Wonder Woman is an embellished copy of one of Matisse’s cut-outs:


Below is a copy of a Pucci scarf design. Crazy about his designs!

Pucci Copy 1

My Pucci-esque painting.


Mountain Fade

I got the idea for Mountain Fade from a DIY video online. My daughter wanted something on her wall, and found a model she liked online. Doing this project got me started and gave me confidence to approach a big blank wall with a lot less fear.


On my niece’s wall in Liege.


Guest room in Emilie’s house

My bedroom clouds!


Beach-combing Artist


Behind the Wall

Everything you see in this ‘painting’ comes from the beach here at Seaside Park. It’s September, and the leaves are starting to fall. This picture captures the changing season. The blue and green of summer is turning to gold and silver. Falling leaves are beautiful to look at, even as they herald the coming dark. The beach in the fall is different. I suddenly realize how beautiful seaweed is.


The Path

This picture I made on the day my daughter’s divorce became official. I was at the beach when she called to tell me. I thought of the path of self-discovery she’s on. I had wanted to make a ‘path picture’ ever since our trip out to Santa Fe, where she and I had walked on a little stone path in a park downtown. I took a picture then, and it was in the back of my mind when I started collecting some of the amazing stones at Walnut Beach in Milford.


Santa Fe rock path

Ideas come from many places. There are patterns and textures everywhere, and I like to have my camera to capture them. With some luck, they’ll find their way into a painting down the road.


At the Beach’s End

I spend a lot of time at Seaside Park combing the beach. It’s relaxing, calming to my spirit, and a way to get out of the house and replenish my body’s store of vitamin D.

I’ve been combing the Seaside Park beach for the past year, but really got into it on an almost daily basis this summer. I’ve been collecting all kinds of rocks and shells, and now each visit something new catches my eye: a new kind of shell I hadn’t noticed before, another variation of seaweed, a rock of a certain shape or color, crab shells, driftwood, feathers, leaves. The repertoire is constantly expanding. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a new thing on the beach, or if I’m just becoming more observant.


This one was inspired by my new favorite local beach in Milford (see photo below). This beach is very different from the one in Bridgeport, with less shells and more stones, and the remnants of an old boardwalk that must have been wiped out in one of the big storms that hit here some years ago.



October beach

My second experiment with showcasing Walnut Beach rocks. This one started out as a matted frame which I decided to keep and use as part of the picture. Below is the background which is made of paper and has to be done before any of the stones are added.


The Beach Time clock below is one of the very few piece I’ve actually sold. It was set up as part of a show at an art fair in Litchfield, CT. I had dragged a LOT of my stuff there, and decided NEVER AGAIN because it was too much work. I made one sale in 7 or 8 hours, not to mention the packing, setting up, taking down, and driving over an hour to get there. So glad I got a picture. This was a favorite, and I would love to still have it on my wall.


Paper is another important medium I use.


For Eileen, Werking Woman

Check out some of my projects at  Making art with paper

Birthing another kind of Baby – Making Paper Art


I’m crouching down on my knees, looking back and forth from the ‘canvas’ on the floor in front of me to a scattered pile of colored paper clippings and magazine cut-outs off to the side. Each of these little shreds of paper seem precious. In fact, I carried an envelope filled with them back with me from my recent trip to Belgium. If I find one left behind on the carpet after cleaning up, I pick it up gently and put it back in the pile. Who knows where it’s intended to go in the future?

Today, I’ve just finished ‘mid-wifing’ a birth. This thing has a life of it’s own. I’m just assisting, putting puzzle pieces together, like it’s already been prepared and my job is to figure out where they all go. It’s FUN.





Lately I’ve been copying things I like from the masters. Each time I learn something. Isn’t that how artists start? We certainly don’t create in a vacuum. I take something I like and add something new. Steal like an artist! My new baby (on the right) is inspired by one of my favorite artists, Henri Matisse. His later work was done from bed, where his primary tools were scissors and brilliant colored paper. This one (above, left) was done in 1951, the year I was born. I copied some of his cutouts almost exactly. Can you see which ones?  Do you think Matisse would like the way I used his shapes? I’m sorry I can’t ask him, but I think he would.





This is my very first paper project from 2013. The one on the left was tacked to the wall in our bathroom in Belgium, where it looked really nice. However, when I saw it again on my recent visit, I couldn’t bear to leave it behind, so I rolled it up and brought it back (no small task cuz it’s pretty big.) I added a border to fit the frame. Better?  Worse? I’m not sure. They’re different!

Paper Art project 4

Paper Art- Project 2, Belgium 2013

This one (above) is still hanging in the living room in Liege. It was too fragile to move. My second paper cut-out project, it came at a period when I was immersed in all things Pucci.

Paper Art 2 - Rice Bowl

Rice Bowl – Project 3, 2013

The idea for Rice Bowl must have originated somewhere in Korea while I was there. The wallpaper sample had an oriental look, and the rest just happened. Looking at it I can recall sitting in a cozy Korean ‘Chuk’ restaurant, playing with my chopsticks, listening to Asian music and savoring the taste of red pepper paste.


WONDER WOMAN: a piece of black construction paper and a pair of scissors in my hand, I was wondering what to do for a design project that week. I had no conscious ideas until I saw her. She seemed to create herself.

Design 1

She didn’t hesitate to jump up and ask for a photo shoot. I had to scramble around to satisfy her.  She was all energy and dragged me around the house in a flurry of excitement.

I like the creative process best when I don’t get into second-guessing. When I’m in the flow, I don’t even have to ask myself,  ‘What am I creating?’ I just get down close and watch.  The focus is deep, relaxing, and energized, and like wonder woman, I’m all over the place and so is the stuff on the floor. It’s a visual, organic experience. That part is what I really like~ there’s very little rational or mental work going on. From the GUT is where the baby comes. I’m discovering her as she develops. I have no idea what she’s going to look like, or when she’s going to say, “I’m done!” I often feel like an innocent bystander clapping my hands when it’s all over shouting, “Wow! Oh, wow!”

These are my babies, and I love them, but it’s not like I can say I created them. Yes, I put in some raw ingredients. In the case of my daughter, I put in my egg, my husband put in his sperm, and then we sat back and watched as a baby took shape. When she finally appeared, we said, ‘Wow! Incredible! Who are YOU? Where did YOU come from? You’re not like anything we’ve ever seen. You’re one of a kind, that’s for sure, and you’re absolutely beautiful! We love you!’


“My Mission Statement!” – 2013

It was great to make a wall hanging that reminds me what’s important, what makes me happy. I took a picture of this one before leaving Belgium, so I can make another one now that I’m in back in the States.

I’m going to run out today and look for another frame. With a frame in front of me, at least I know what size the next baby’s going to be. Everything else will be a surprise.


Self-portrait, 2013