Monday, December 19, 2022

Connecticut River Snow Scenw

 I did a watercolor of this scene on the Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway in Springfield, MA back in November with some fall color. Here it is after the first snow, using gray and white ink on gray toned paper.

Gray and white ink sketch on toned paper of snowy scene with large concrete structure with railings and vent pipe on top. In foreground is an asphalt path; in background, trees, river, distant shore under gray sky.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Connecticut River Stumps

 A watercolor sketch from today at the Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway in Springfield, MA. There was beautiful light on the white stumps against the dark river. The clouds alternately illuminated and shaded the trees on the opposite bank.

Watercolor sketch of river with white stumps on near bank and trees in sunlight and shadow on far bank.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Ancient Oak

 This ancient oak lives at the abandoned golf course. It's battered and broken but still able to kindle an incandescent fire. Like American democracy?

Oil painting of oak tree, partially destroyed, with brilliant orange leaves on its remaining branches.

oil on panel 10" x 12"

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Connecticut River Walk Structure

 I'm always fascinated by those cryptic obelisks that stand guard over the urban landscape, ostensibly contributing to legitimate civil engineering functions but suggesting a portal to the realm of the Morlocks.

This is from a rainy walk this morning on the Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway in Springfield, MA.

watercolor sketch of large concrete structure with railings and vent pipe on top, next to a smaller box behind a wooden fence, next to an asphalt path. Yellow fall foliage in the background, all suffused with a grey, rainy day light.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Myself in hat, mask and black attire, standing by painting at art show. Painting depicts three women of different  generations on porch of old house overlooking a valley and distant city with thundercloud in background.

Very happy and somewhat shocked to report that Three Women won First Place at the Thinning of the Veil show at Arts Center East in Vernon, CT. This is a very interesting show with an intriguing theme, up through October 30. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Arts Center East
709 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, CT 06066

Oct 8 - Oct 30
Thurs - Sat 1PM - 5PM

Thanks to Steve Wilda, who juried the show and creates profound and evocative artwork:

Sunday, September 25, 2022

 I'm thrilled to learn that these two will be included the upcoming exhibition "Thinning of the Veil," at Art Center East in Vernon, CT. This show intrigued me from the moment I saw the announcement, which invoked the words of Federico GarcĂ­a-Lorca, of arsenic lobster fame, to describe its theme of death, love, art, and the idea that the separation between the worlds of the living and the dead becomes more permeable at this time of year.

A middle-aged man looks back over his shoulder at a discarded tractor lurking in a patch of trees by a plowed field of stubble in late afternoon light.


scratchboard and pen on claybord

9" x 14"

Three women of different generations share a porch. The youngest swings from a pillar and looks into the picture at a river and city in the distance. Her mother, dressed in work clothes, is absorbed in hanging the laundry, while the grandmother, seated on the steps, looks out of the picture with a skeptical expression. A thundercloud looms in the background.

Three Women

oil on linen

40" x 46"

Arts Center East

709 Hartford Turnpike

Vernon, CT 06066

Oct 8 - Oct 30

Thurs - Sat 1PM - 5PM

Friday, September 2, 2022

4th Annual Northeast Fine Arts Exhibition

 These three pieces have been accepted for the 4th Annual Northeast Fine Arts Exhibition in Ware, MA.

Shed Roof won Second Place for Oils!

Oil painting of overgrown field with red barn and silo among trees in middle distance.

Hickory Ridge Barn

Oil 6" x 8"

Oil painting of Provincetown MA with iconic Pilgrim Monument and water tank across choppy bay under cloudy sky.

Provincetown from Truro

Oil 6" x 8"

Oil painting of back of house in snow storm with snow blowing off roofs and forming intricate whirls and eddies.

Shed Roof

Oil 10" x 12"

4th Annual Northeast Fine Arts Exhibition


13 Church St.

Ware, MA 01082

Reception: Saturday, September 24th 1 to 4 pm.

Show Dates and Times:

September 24th to October 9th

Fridays,  4 to 7 pm

Saturday & Sundays, 1 to 4 pm.

29th Annual Piedmont Art Show

 These four pieces have been accepted for the 29th Annual Piedmont Art Show in Somers, CT. Rebecca Profile received a Merit Award.

Oil painting of small hill under gray sky with bright sunlight illuminating orange and green foliage. Trees and farm houses in foreground.

Little Tinker Hill, Autumn

Oil 14.5" X 21.5"

Oil painting of bare apple trees on hillside with misty woods and silhouetted mountain in background.

Apple Trees on Mount Pollux

Oil 10" x 12"

Oil painting of small rock breakwater extending from beach into calm water.

Truro Breakwater

Oil 6" x 8"

Pencil and gouache drawing of woman in profile wearing knit cap.

Rebecca Profile

Ink and white gouache on toned paper

9" x 9"

29th Annual Piedmont Art Show

600 Main St Somers, CT

Reception: Sept 18 1-3


Sept 22-23 12-4

Sept 24-25 10 -2

Sept 29-30 12-4

Oct 1-2 10-2

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A little foliage study from today's Van Horn Park walk. I'm working on a picture idea that includes foliage along a path, so I was doing field research.

Pen and ink 4" X 6"

Pen and ink sketch of foliage next to path. Light falls on the tangled leaves and branches in front of shadowy woods and tree trunk.


Friday, August 5, 2022

New Sketchbook

 Made a new Montanapolitan Croptic sketchbook. 

New homemade sketchbook with pages fanned out, next to old sketchbook open to watercolor of trees and icy pond.

Here are some of my faves from the old one, done January - July 2022.

Ink sketch of bulldozer in snow with dark trees in backgound.

Ink and white gouache sketch on toned paper of athletic backstop in snow against dark trees.

Ink on toned paper sketch of railroad crossing with signals, looking downhill at at church steeple, trees, and utility poles.

watercolor sketch of peninsula with yellowish grasses and cattails reflected in gray, semi-frozen pond.

Watercolor sketch of an orange metal wagon in warm sunlight. The wagon consists of a chassis with four rubber-tired wheels, a frame, and a wedge-shaped hopper. Green fields and trees in background.

watercolor sketch of waves and ripples lapping the sand, with intricate patterns of reflections and foam on the surface.

Ink sketch of breaking waves with choppy waves in background

Watercolor sketch of sunlit foliage overhanging still water. On the left is a dark recessed area contrasting with sharply defined green leaves and branches. In the foreground, orange deposits on the water's surface form intricate shapes.

Watercolor sketch of back porch with dark red trim, white and yellow furniture, and green foliage with raindrops outside.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

 Back Porch in the Rain

A little sketch in my Montanapolitancroptic sketchook, painted across the gutter, taking advantage of its hidden stitching.

Watercolor, ink

4" x 9"

Watercolor sketch of back porch with dark red trim, white and yellow furniture, and green foliage with raindrops outside.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Black and White show

These three drawings have been accepted to Black & White, a juried exhibition hosted by Workshop 13 in Ware, MA.

ArtWorks Gallery
69 Main Street
Ware, MA.

In Person Exhibition from August 6th to 28th
Saturdays/Sundays 1 to 5 pm

Opening Reception Saturday August 3 3:00-5:00

Online Exhibition available Starting August 9th. Visit

Where Ignorant Armies Clash by Night
This is a larger version of a sketch I did shortly after January 6, 2021. This image, from the last line of "Dover Beach", a poem by Matthew Arnold, has stuck with me ever since I was a child and my father quoted it as we drove by the oil refineries on the New Jersey Turnpike.

River Valley 
An imaginary person in an imaginary scene; make of it what you will. Perhaps she represents remembered love and peace, far from the battle.

Pencil drawing of young woman with short dark hair looking back over her shoulder. Behind and below is a river valley with a small city, bridge over river, and distant hills.

Heath Street Stop 
I used to live on the same MBTA line as the Boston VA Hospital, where veterans would travel by streetcar to get health care. Long after the battles are over and forgotten, the people that fought them still need help and support. A sacred obligation being flouted today by the politics of spite.

Pencil drawing of elderly bearded man with white cane being helped off of an old fashioned Boston trolley car.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Hat wave

 Disability Pride Month and the anniversary of the ADA reminded me of a project I did way back in the late Eighties for the Haymarket People's Fund in Boston. The assignment was a poster for a hat-themed event, and although the design document didn't say anything about including people with disabilities, I put in a guy in a wheelchair smiling and waving his hat in the air. This in turn sparked the idea of a variation on the familiar International Access Symbol with an exuberant hat waving figure, which I added at the bottom. At that time, the association of disability with positivity, joy, or fun was not a big part of the mainstream discourse, but it must have been bubbling up in the activist community in the runup to the passing of the ADA in 1990. After the poster came out, other advocacy groups latched onto my symbol design and used it for their communications.

Pen and ink, typography

Poster invitation to hat party, showing people dancing and waving hats in the air.

(Drawing of people dancing and waving hats in the air.)
Hats Off!
to Haymarket People's Fund
A hat please wear - or make one there!
Come Party -
and bring friends
May 14
Villa Victoria
85 West Newton
Boston's South End
8:00 - 1:00 am
8:00-9:00 snacks, hat making, photos with you and your hat
9:00 A TRIBUTE TO RENAE and her eight years at Haymarket
Sliding scale $5-$25
For more info: (617) 426-1909

Van Horn Park Backstop

I never seem to tire of sketching this backstop. The geometry and perspective are challenging and the play of light on the chain link is intriguing.

This is also a first time trying a new pigment, nickel azo yellow, py150. I've been searching for the ideal yellow for my tiny watercolor box, and am trying this one because it is truly transparent, unlike most of the others. I was always a bit freaked out by this pigment because out of the tube it looks like a particularly unappetizing dull greenish brown. But when you add water and mix it with other colors, it becomes a strong vibrant yellow, good for making natural greens.

Watercolor 4" x 6"

Watercolor sketch of athletic backstop, with dark trees in background.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Apple trees on Mt Pollux

I started this one back in April 2019 and wasn't too thrilled with it at the time. I put it up on the studio wall along with its large family of unfinished siblings and just recently returned to it. I'm much happier with it now - I think I needed to acquire the vocabulary to express the way the scene felt to me.

Oil on linen panel 10" x 12" 

Oil painting of bare apple trees  against a background of woods and hazily visible mountain. Branches in foreground are lighter colored, presumably dead and covered with lichen or fungus.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Schreber's Watershield

 Schreber's Watershield is what my PictureThis app tells me these waterlily-like but smaller and more ovoid plants are called. They make nice patterns on the water.

Watercolor 4" x 6"

Watercolor sketch of green plants floating on water with dark foliage reflections in background.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Hickory Ridge Barn

I started this back in May and returned to it recently. It is now at the stage I am calling "asympotschke" - when continued daubing produces ever smaller returns while never quite reaching completion. 

Oil on linen panel 6" x 8" 

Oil painting of red barn among trees, viewed across rough grassy field with small hillock in foreground

I used my small cigar box pochade mounted on my bike to paint the view from a local abandoned golf course.

Bicycle with paintbox and partially completed painting mounted on seat post

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Sketch from this morning's walk at Van Horn Park, visiting my old friend the softball backstop. I was interested in the weeds growing around the base, but no sooner had I started sketching than a guy showed up with a weedwacker and started mowing them down. So I included him and quickly indicated the as yet un-wacked weeds. Also made a mess of the superstructure but that's another story.

Ink, white gouache on toned paper

ink on toned paper sketch of athletic backstop with man wielding a weedwacker on weeds at its base.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Provincetown from Truro

Last of the Cape batch. It was mostly cloudy, with rays of sun breaking through occasionally.

Oil on linen panel 6" x 8"

Oil painting of Provincetown, MA, with iconic Pilgrim Monument tower, along with water tank, picked out by sunshine against  a cloudy gray sky. Cape Cod bay in foreground.

Thursday, June 16, 2022


I posted the initial block-in of this earlier; I'm calling this the finished version. It's really an amalgam of many views, sketches and photos of this subject during a short stay on Cape Cod. The rocks are covered in seaweed, and change color and catch the light in constantly changing combinations depending on time of day and tides. This view is contre jour with the morning sun approaching the zenith (check out the light on the buoy), so there are dark shadows and a bit of glare on the wet rocks.

Oil on linen panel 6" x 8"

Oil painting of breakwater extending from beach into water. Rocks are brown with green seaweed against a background of calm bay with white buoy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


I was struck by the contrast of the sunlit foliage and the dark shadows, especially that stygian grotto on the left. The water was specked with some orangey brown stuff (pollen?) that was set off by the dark reflections.

Watercolor 4” x 6” 

Watercolor sketch of sunlit foliage overhanging still water. On the left is a dark recessed area contrasting with sharply defined green leaves and branches. In the foreground, orange deposits on the water's surface form intricate shapes.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

 Pallets behind Atlantic Spice Co in Truro, MA.

I only had time to get a very rough outline drawn, and didn't take a photo, so most of this is from memory. I had done this same subject last year, so I had some previous knowledge to fall back on.

I liked the way the wall was stalwartly stemming the tide of foliage bursting over the top.


Ink sketch on toned paper of wooden pallets stacked on the ground in bright sunlight. Behind them is a wall supported by massive posts, holding back a mass of foliage. A ladder casts a shadow on the wall.


Pen and ink drawing in black, white, and gray, of wooden pallets lying and stacked next to a retaining wall and overhanging foliage in bright sunshine.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Three studies of waves

First is from yesterday morning; the water was relatively calm and the sun was out. By yesterday evening, it had clouded over, the wind was up, and the water was choppier. This morning it was full on rain and fog, and the waves were much bigger and more organized into long breakers.

Ink wash and white ink on toned paper in sketchbook 4" x 6"

Ink sketch of breaking waves with white buoy in background

Ink sketch of breaking waves with choppy waves in background

Ink sketch of breaking waves with large waves fading into fog in background

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Oil sketch of breakwater

 I did this in two short sessions after researching the local tides charts so as to maximize time painting at low tide. At this point I have the main shapes blocked in and some indication of the lights and darks. We go home tomorrow, so any further progress will have to be from memory or photo ref.

Oil sketch of breakwater made of large rocks, seen against the light

Painting setup with homemade pochade box on tripod with umbrella attached. Breakwater and ocean in background..

Surf and spume

Watercolor study of surf and spume. The main factors here are the waves and ripples reflecting the sky from different angles, the sandy bottom refracted up through the water, and the foamy spume on the surface. It's easy to trance out gazing at the ever-changing patterns.

watercolor sketch of waves and ripples lapping the sand, with intricate patterns of reflections and foam on the surface.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

The other side of the breakwater

 A pen and ink sketch of the other side of the breakwater. Definitely some proportion errors going on. The tide was going out, IIRC, - either way, it has bedeviling effect on my judgment of shapes and relative sizes as the baseline keeps changing.

pen sketch of breakwater made of rocks extending from beach into water.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Breakwater in pen and ink

 Fragmentary pen and ink study of breakwater. I want to do more straight up pen and ink on white paper - a spartan discipline with no color or even gray scale, but very versatile as evidenced by the great 19th C illustrators. Not sure if I want to finish this, either from life or photo ref, or leave it.

Pen and ink sketch of breakwater made of piled up rocks.

I went back the next day and continued work on the pen and ink drawing of the breakwater. I don't know if it improved the image but it was good exercise in rendering shapes, values, and textures.

pen drawing of breakwater made of large rocks, jutting from beach into water.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Breakwater in black and white on toned paper

Another version of the breakwater, this time in overcast morning light. This is a tricky subject, because the tide is alway either coming in or going out, at a rate right on the edge of perceptibility, like the minute hand of a clock. Not only do parts of the structure disappear as the tide comes in, but the water's edge, which ordinarily would be a useful reference point, is always changing as well. The only constant is the horizon.

Ink on toned paper sketch of breakwater made of rocks extending from beach into water. Diffuse light from overcast sky.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

View of Provincetown, MA from Truro

There was a many-layered cloudy sky behind the iconic Pilgrim Monument tower. Don't know if I'll work on this more - it might be better to leave it as is and possibly use it as the basis for a larger, more planned out painting.

Oil sketch of Provincetown skyline under cloudy sky with gray-green Bay water in foreground.


This breakwater of dark, seaweed encrusted boulders reaching into the sea from the beach was catching the late rays of the setting sun. The rocks were the most brilliant thing in the scene despite being also the darkest.

4" x 6" ink on bristol in sketchbook.

Sketch in black, gray and white ink of stone breakwater with bright sunlight on dark rocks. Sea with distant sailboat on horizon in background.horizon

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Backstop at Van Horn Park, Spring 2022

Revisited that backstop at Van Horn Park, now with green grass and clover replacing the snow of my last sketch.
Ink sketch of athletic backstop in bright sunlight with dark foliage in background

Thursday, May 12, 2022

 My town recently acquired a disused golf course and has been letting it return to a quasi-natural state for recreational uses by the public. It's very beautiful and bucolic, but has an undertone of eldritch, a hint of JG Ballard, especially the overgrown sand traps.

Sketch in black, white and gray ink on toned paper of sand trap, partially overgrown with weeds and generally unkept looking.

Ink and white gouache on toned paper.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Wet panel carrier

 I made a serviceable little wet panel carrier for the 6" x 8"s that I use with the small cigar box pochade out of scraps of birch plywood. It holds up to 8 panels back to back in four slots, which I hogged out with the table saw and cleaned up with the Dremel tool. The top is held on with Velcro.

Homemade wet panel carrier with cigar box pochade box

Closeup of wet panel carrier showing slots to hold panels

Closeup of wet panel carrier with top on