John Lennon Painting in my Studio

It seems that there is some interest regarding the large painting in my studio - the John Lennon portrait.  This acrylic portrait was done by the (deceased) artist,  Denny Dent.  He was a motivational speaker, as well as, an artist.  He came to speak at the high school where I taught and painted four portraits on stage during the assembly.  I was so impressed and ended up purchasing this one from the artist.  He also left his art supplies for the Art Department.  The paint cans that he used are displayed on my wall next to the painting.  To really get the feel of how he worked watch the You Tube video below.  You will not be disappointed!

Basically,  I used the colors in this portrait to dictate the color scheme for my studio.  I painted the chairs and recovered them in some of the colors in the painting.  

The Finale - Ready to paint!

I wanted to show you the finished art studio.  I added this chandelier to make the space feel more modern and "artsy" and less like a dining room.  I'm ready to create some art in an inspirational space!

What Did I Do With The Furniture?

Most of the furnishings from the dining room were "re purposed", as you can see.  A leaf was taken out of the table, the top doors were taken off the hutch to give it a more bookcase feel (less dining room-y), and the server will be used for storage of art supplies.  I will change out the hardware on the server to update the piece.  An easel was added in the corner for "effect".  LOL.  More art work will be hung on the walls.  


Update On Reno

Well, this post is turning into a design update, but that is included in "All things art",  isn't it?  Lol.   Well, a lot of the furnishings have been cleared out.  Many decisions were made as to the functions we want the space to hold.  We still want to be able to entertain (have dinners) in the space now and then.  Instead of using the dining room once in a while to paint in, I will use the art room once in a while to dine in!  Pop in the table leaf and add some chairs and it will be like dining in an art gallery.  The music room can still be a sitting room, but now have a more designated and useful function.  Here is the art room so far.  The bench will be relocated and storage shelves will take it's place.  I would like to find a more "artsy" chandelier.  The windows will stay bare to give a more "loft" vibe to the space.  Comments are welcomed.  

Art Studio

I don't know why it has taken us this long (24 years) to finally realize that our house is not meeting our needs.  One entire side of our house (front to back) consists of a hardly used living room/ dining room.  I have longed for an art space and my husband wanted a place to display his guitars, play and listen to music.  It took an unbiased critic to declare my living room decor as very "dated" and added, " Why do you want to put money into a space you never use?"  Voila!  An idea was born.  We are now in the process of a reno to change the function of the living/dining rooms to a music room and an art studio.  Here is a picture of the before dining room.  I will keep you posted as we go along.  So exciting!  

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Anywhere!  My ideas come from my surroundings.  OK, not every pretty picture translates into great art.  What is the basis for my subject matter?  First, I suppose, I notice color.  Color has always been a very important aspect of my life.  I love color!  I also look for subject matter that has some dimension to it.  I like contrast, as well - lights next to darks,  large next to small,  order with chaos,  etc.  And good composition.  I look for scenes where the area is full, where there is little "empty space".  I guess that's why a lot of my paintings are up front "in your face" types.  

This painting developed after my friend and I were shopping in a local market.  I noticed the colorful display of heirloom tomatoes.  I marveled at how this would make a good painting.  My friend took several photos of the display with her phone and sent them to me.  After looking over the photos I chose one and began my painting.  Notice your surroundings.  

Take A Drawing Class

I have just started to teach a drawing class at Lyn-Art Studio in Greenville, RI.  Before you say, " I can't draw a straight line...", I have news for you.  Drawing straight lines is not necessary, nor is it desirable in free hand drawing.  Also, if you cannot draw, this is why you take a class anyway - to learn how.  I have been teaching drawing and painting for many years.  I can tell you that I can teach you how to draw.  The only requirement (besides pencil and paper) is an interest.  You will work, sometimes harder than other times, so, therefore,  you have to have the desire to learn and the interest to keep you motivated and engaged.  That's it!  If drawing is something you have always wanted to do, my class will open up a whole new, exciting world for you.  Once you learn the basics of drawing, painting comes easily and naturally.  Try it!

Museum of Fine Arts

The museum of Fine Arts, Boston is the fourth largest museum in the United States, containing over 450,00 works of art.  Some of the highlights of the collection include:  Egyptian artifacts, French impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings,  18th and 19th American art, and Japanese art.  It's location on the Fenway is within walking distance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  

Musee d'Orsay

Located in Paris,  this museum contains mostly French art dated 1848 - 1914.  It holds the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world.  Represented are works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin, and Van Gogh.  It is one of the largest museums in Europe.  

Isabella Stewart Garner Museum

Located on the Fenway, Boston, and opened in 1903, this museum contains the art collection of Isabella Stewart Gardner and her husband collected during many trips throughout the world and also purchased for her by various astute art collectors.  It is a very charming museum containing a central courtyard modeled after a Venetian Garden.  Mrs. Gardner wanted to keep the museum accessible to art lovers, and anyone named Isabella is admitted free. 

I'm back!!

Hi All,  I haven't posted since the end of March.  My classes,  painting, and exhibitions kept me very busy.  That, with a son who is a singer with a very, very intense summer schedule also kept me busy.  Then in late June I contracted Lyme Disease.  It has been a slow road back to health.  

I feel much better and able to take on more blogging.  I won't be posting daily, but I hope to post several times per week.  So check back for "All Things Art".  


Of course, I love ALL art museums, but I have my favorites.  Here is a list of my top 5.  In future posts I will say a little about each one.  In alphabetical order:

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Musee d'Orsay, Paris.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.


I will explain a little bit about the concept discussed in my last blog.  Our brain is composed of two hemispheres, each having unique functions.  The left side of the brain deals with language, logic, math, analysis; and the right side of the brain deals with visual, spacial, perceptual.  If we can shift into the right mode of the brain, our drawing experience will be easier and more enjoyable.  The book mentioned in my last blog has many exercises to help in that transition.  The left brain wants to "identify" things sometimes making it hard to draw what we see (a right brain activity) instead of what we know (a left brain activity).   


Believe it or not your brain has a whole lot to do with the success of your drawings; specifically, the right side of your brain.  I always incorporate a lesson on the brain in my drawing classes. After this lesson I notice that many of my students realize that "ah, ha!" moment.  There is a wonderful book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,  by Betty Edwards that explains and demonstrates this theory.  In the book there are amazing before and after examples, and many exercises for you to try.  

LESSON PLAN - Portraits

Many beginning drawing students ask,  "When are we going to learn how to draw portraits?"  My main philosophy in teaching drawing and painting is to encourage success and avoid frustration, especially early on.  Portraits are the most difficult subjects to draw.  First, the drawing must be completely accurate, and that takes a lot of concentration and practice. Also, it is one of the few subject matters where there is always a comparison with the original image.  Think about it, when you see paintings hung in a gallery you rarely ever see what the painting was based on.  A painted tree will look like a tree even if it is not exactly the tree from which it was painted.  And, a portrait can look like a person, but if it is not THE person it is supposed to represent it is doomed a failure.  Portrait drawing in the classroom is  difficult.  I always encourage my students to draw from life if they possibly can instead of from photos (reasons being will be shared in  another blog, Lol).  It is very difficult to find a live model who will sit still for the time it takes to draw a portrait.  I wanted to give my Advanced Drawing students the opportunity to explore the beginnings of portraiture, getting the likeness and expression from life.  As I was pondering how to do this in the least uncomfortable way for everyone I wondered if drawing teddy bears would be a solution. I had a collection of teddy bears that each had a unique expression and character.  But I wondered if my students would find this too juvenile and uninspiring.  Well, I went ahead with this lesson plan and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable lessons of the program.  The students had so much fun with this and the results were amazing for many who had been drawing for such a short time.  Most of them captured the likeness, expression, and character of the teddy bears.  They worked with Prismacolor (colored pencil).  



Because of my ongoing blog of the PROGRESSION OF A PAINTING, I didn't get a chance to report on my Art Exhibit Opening Reception held on March 6.  Well, it was a huge success.  There was a constant flow of visitors the entire time.  I didn't have any sales during the reception but the show is up until the end of March.   After that most of the pieces will be exhibited in another show for the entire summer!  Many of my students, relatives and friends, including a few who are present owners of my art work came to the reception.  I hope to post some pictures soon.

One interesting note:  My son Jake bought a small painting ( He already has several of my paintings.  LOL ) from a group of gallery paintings that were donated to the RIWS.  It turns out that the artist is my all time favorite artist at the RIWS.  Mother and son have similar interests. 

FYI - I have posted images of all the paintings that are in this current exhibit under the menu heading:  RIWS 2016 ART EXHIBIT.



Finished and matted!  Well, almost.  Once the painting was matted I repainted the blades of the skates to be more of a bluish color.  I didn't, however, get a photo of it completely done before it went into the frame.  Thanks for following this progression.