Hello Again!

Remember me?  I know that some of you do because, as neglected as it is, my blog still gets a fair number of visits each day. I haven’t been posting because I’ve been so busy.  Yes, that busy for a whole year!  I opened a custom framing shop last summer.  (If you’re in the area, it’s Affordable Framing LLC in the Center Shops on Route 20 in East Granby, CT.) Being a small business owner is not just a job, it’s an adventure.  It’s all-consuming.  It’s exhausting.  It’s exciting.  It’s worth every single minute and every single penny I’ve put into it.  I love what I’m doing!

The only complaint that I have is that I haven’t felt like I have time for art anymore.  In fact, since it was apparently so easy to walk away from my art for almost an entire year, I was starting to question whether I really am an artist at all.  The reality, however, is that I need to manage my time a little better. I’ve been reading Carol Marine’s “Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist.”  Her book is full of sound advice, most of which I’ve heard before, but her candor is refreshing and is just exactly what I need right now.  I feel re-energized.  I’m busy, yes, but I should be able to sneak in an hour or so in the morning before I have to head over to my shop.  So that’s the plan.

I had some free time yesterday, so here’s my first new artwork of the year.  It’s a doodle I started months ago and finished up yesterday.  Humble to be sure, but it’s artwork, it’s my artwork, and that makes me happy.  Life it good.

Floral Doodle ATC, colored pencil and ink on matboard
Floral Doodle ATC, colored pencil and ink on matboard

Monday Update – March 31, 2014

We had snow again today, and I’m hoping beyond hope that this was winter’s last gasp.  Since spring hasn’t made a convincing appearance outside yet, I spent this week painting spring flowers.

140327_PansiesThis painting is week 4 from the Dan Edmondson course I’ve been working my way through.  It’s 8″ x 10″ on canvas, and it’s about 99.5% done.  I just got my critique back and there are a couple of simple changes that I think are well worth doing so I’ll tinker with this one a tiny bit more.

140328_MiniPansiesSince I had quite a bit of paint on my palette after I finished painting the pansies, I also painted this mini 3″ x 3″ version.

I’m not sure what I’m going to work on this week.  I want to continue with the course, but I also have a couple of my own painting that I need to get done.  I could always finish one of the projects I have started, too!


Monday Update – March 24, 2014

"Coneflower", 5" x 7", scratch board
“Coneflower”, 5″ x 7″, scratch board

On Friday evening Agawam Community Artists and Artisans (ACAA) sponsored a scratch board workshop with local artist, Cathy Guidetti.  I’ve belonged to ACAA for a couple of years, but this was my first workshop.  It was such an enjoyable evening.  Why I waited so long to attend one of these  is a mystery.

As for the coming week, the weather is still very much winter-like so I won’t have any outside chores to interfere with my painting time.  My plan is to keep working on my Daniel Edmondson course.

Thanks for stopping by!

Watermelon and Plums

My Monday update never happened this week because I really didn’t have anything to update.  I did quite a bit of painting, but I painted the same thing over and over again, and in the case of the grapes on this one–over and over again on top of that!  This painting got away from me big time but I feel like I learned a lot and would do a better job of it next time.  The journey was great.  The final destination, not so much.

Watermelon and Pears from the Daniel Edmondson Still Life Course, 9" x 12", oil on canvas board
Watermelon and Pears from the Daniel Edmondson Still Life Course, 9″ x 12″, oil on canvas board

This Week in My Studio – March 10, 2014

This week was all about oil painting.  I watched a Daniel Edmondson video called “Learn Daily Painting” and now I’m all kinds of inspired.  While I’m not yet at a skill level that will allow me to complete a (decent) painting in a couple of hours, I think it’s a beneficial goal for me for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I have to believe that painting every day will improve my painting, and do it relatively quickly.  Another benefit is that painting daily would encourage me to loosen up and stop  over-thinking every little detail.  I’ve noticed a difference in just the last week, so I know I’m on to something here.

The still life I was working on last week is now finished, and I’ve given it the extremely creative title of “Still Life with Three Pears.”  Hey–it’s a small painting; I felt like naming it shouldn’t take longer than painting it did.  I’m pleased with the way it came out and encouraged by where my painting is headed.


I also have a painting in progress, the third week in the Daniel Edmondson course I’ve been working through.  Of all the paintings in the course, this was my least favorite.  It’s a beautiful composition, but I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy painting all that red.  Funny that I would even think that because I love red.  Anyway, having worked on it, I find that I do like it and I’m anxious to finish–hopefully tomorrow.


Thanks for stopping by.  I need to go now and get some painting done!

What’s Happening at Salmon Brook Studio – March 3, 2014

It’s Monday again already.  This was a fast week and since it’s still looking and feeling like winter around here, that’s a good thing!

Blue Floral ATC by Donna Duquette

The ATC’s I was working on last week went into the trash shortly after I posted them.  Acrylic paint and I just don’t get along most of the time.  I only use them successfully when I’ve taken the time to fully plan my artwork, and I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl.  So instead of acrylic painted ATC’s, I switched gears and drew some doodle designs with white ink on black mat board, then added color with colored pencils.  Much more to my liking!

Chrysanthemums ATC by Donna Duquette
Chrysanthemums ATC by Donna Duquette

I also started a new oil painting. This one is from my own reference photo…still a lot of work to do, but I’m pretty happy with where it’s headed so far.

Pears, WIP by Donna Duquette
Pears, WIP by Donna Duquette

Until next time…

What I’m up to this week – February 24, 2014

140224_MiniPearWeek 3!  I don’t have too much in progress right now, but that’s not to say I haven’t had a pretty productive week.   I finished my Fall Pear painting and since I still had some paint left on my canvas, I painted this pear on a mini 3″ x 3″ canvas.  My canvas is prepped for the next lesson, and I also did some much needed organizing in my little studio, some varnishing, and a little framing.  I even put some finishing touches on a couple of paintings that were 99.9% finished–you know, signatures, smudges–that sort of thing.

NausettThe colored pencil drawing I showed you back on the 10th is still sitting on my drawing table, untouched.  Winter weather has settled back in here so I may pick that up again this week if for no other reason than to remind myself that winter has to end someday.  The reference I’m using is a photo I shot at Nausett Salt Pond on Cape Cod a couple of summers ago.

140224_ATCsI also have a few ATC’s started for a swap–I think I like what’s going on with my paper towel better than the actual artwork.  Maybe I’ll some sort of mixed media piece with the towel.

Well, that’s all I have to report for now.

Fall Pears

I finished the fall pears painting lesson yesterday and submitted it to Daniel Edmundson for critique.  I’m pleased with the painting and thrilled with a few things in particular.  I resisted the temptation to do lots of blending.  There are brushstrokes showing on my pear, and I like the way they look–a first for me.   I put more detail and color into the focal area and left other areas less developed–also a first.   My grapes don’t look so much like olives like they did on the painting from the first lesson.  I’m really amazed at how much I’ve learned already, and I still have 8 lessons to go!


What I’m up to this week – February 17, 2014

Last week I said I was going to be making these posts every Monday, and here I am again on Monday, one week later.  So far so good! The projects I posted last week were pretty  much in a state of completion and/or abandonment so I haven’t revisited any of them.  The Sunset Over Provincetown painting may see some tweaking at some point, but it’s also just as likely that I’ll leave it and move on.

140213_CapeCodLightI worked on a couple of projects last week–one new, and one resurrection.  The new project was a Valentine’s Day card for my husband, which he liked to much that he framed it and hung it in our family room.  The lighthouse is Cape Cod Light, and I took the reference photo in July while all of the wildflowers were in bloom.  I inked the drawing on watercolor paper thinking that I might want to use watercolor then changed my mind and used colored pencil instead.  I’m wishing I’d used different paper, but then again, I sort of like the texture.

140217_FallPearThe other project is an oil painting from the Daniel Edmundson still life painting course, which I picked up again the other day.  I bought the course last summer, did the first painting, LOVED doing it, and then promptly stopped painting.  I can’t remember exactly what happened, but probably I got distracted by other things.  Anyway, I’m back at it, and this is the beginnings of the second painting.  I’m pretty excited about the way the pear came out, so I have all intentions of finishing this lesson during the week and starting on the next one.

So that’s what I’ve got going on this week–thanks for stopping by!

What I’m up to this week – February 10, 2014

I’m going to try to post each Monday with a snapshot of the projects I have in progress, partly because I think some of you will be interested, but also to keep myself engaged with and working on said projects.  I have a bad habit of starting something, getting distracted by something else and another thing, then never finding my way back to the original something. So these posts should be a reminder to myself that I already have six million projects started and maybe I should finish one now and then.

chairThe first project I started this year was to reupholster the chair in my family room.  The chair is done, and so are the throw pillows on the sofas, but the grander plan is to sew a slipcover for my sofa, find another chair to replace the love seat, and repair and make new cushions for a small chair I already have.  Oh, and I’d love to make new curtains for the room, too.

As always, I’ve got multiple projects going in my studio–some dead, some hibernating, and some active.  It would take much too long to catalog all of the dead and hibernating projects so I’ll only show them on my blog if they wake up or get resurrected.  Here are the most active ones right now…

140206_PtownStudyThis is an oil painting I’ve been working on.  I never intended this to be more than a learning exercise in using transparent glazes to create the orange glow in the sky and water, but my husband likes it so I think I’ll finish it and stick it in a frame.

NausettHere’s a small colored pencil drawing I’m working on. I like to have at least one drawing going for when I don’t feel like dragging out my paints.  And besides, I really like to draw.  There’s just something about having a pencil or a pen in my hand that makes me happy.


And let’s not forget the Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s) I’m always making. I’m trying to establish a perpetual ATC swap with my art group so I’ve been making ATC’s to stock our swap box.  The group I belong to is Agawam Community Artists and Artisans, and if you live in the Agawam, MA area we’d love for you to stop by.  You don’t need to live in Agawam or even Massachusetts to join the group–I live in Connecticut as a matter of fact. Leave a comment if you’re interested, and I’ll get you the details.

So that’s what I’m (supposed to be) up to this week.  I’d love to hear what you’re up to–comments of the non-spammy variety are always welcome here.


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