Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Northern Lights Exhibition at Northland College

These recently completed canvases finally left the studio to hang out in public!
This exhibit, is the 1st of a series of rotating exhibitions being held in the newly remodeled Dexter Library of Northland College. But more importantly, it was mounted to celebrate the Inauguration of Northland College's 13th President Michael Miller.
The reception was celebratory and well attended!
David Saetre (left) President Michael Miller (center) and his wife Mary Trettin
(seated center) my hubby, retired 10th president of Northland College.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Superior Stones"

In keeping with my current interest in shorewashed stones from the inland sea of Lake Superior, I start on two smaller canvases. 
Below are two WIPs (works in progress) ganged up into one snapshot
Both shown here in the early tone washed stage. 
"Superior Stones I"  oil  (30"x30")
"Superior Stones II"  oil (30"x30")

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Fantasy Monument"

I'm a beachcomber and currently interested in shorewashed Lake Superior stones...but this time I decided to try a "no reference fantasy version". 
Here is the pencil sketch for 36"x22" for a canvas I just started.

Finishing up the small fantasy painting in my small studio area off the living room.
Fantasy Monument (oil 36x22)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Studio "House Work"

I opened this blog account many months ago and then failed to follow through!  So many exhibits I've viewed and so much nature I've enjoyed and I never caught up with archiving it with photos.
Time to catch up...  I'm a whole season behind!
Here a bit of the works in progress and happenings in my own studio.

I had some perfect days this summer for taking the studio OUTSIDE! Bob helped by cutting these circles from 3/4in plywood so I can make stretchers for tondos.
I soaked the lath strips overnight in the lake (tied to dock) to make them piable. Then clamped them around the 3/4 in. plywood forms while still wet.

Lotsa drilling and scewing here! ;)

Stretching and sizing with gesso. I hate painting on white canvas...so I color my gesso grey.

Stretching a round canvas requires a lot of "easing in"

Aaarrgh...wrinkles! I did not ease the canvas in, evenly. I will have to go back and restaple to tighten it all around!
Finally ... below, an actual "WIP" or work in progress
Left: stage one.  Drawing it in a composition in keeping with the tondo shape. 
Right: stage two. I began to give some shape to the stones ..

Sadly it is here that I stopped as I'm a bit unsatified with this start. 
I am going to work on some other small painting and return to finish it ...or maybe paint over it!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


On my last trip east, I had decided it was time to revisit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts which I had not been to in years.  I went to check out the newly expanded Americas wing but while there I chanced upon the special exhibition of the world reknown artist of blown glass, Dale Chihuly.   The title of the installation is

Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass

 It was extended by popular demand until August 8th.  It's almost a shame to tempt you with these snapshots I took from this dazzling installation since it only has a week left to run! 
Some rooms featured the familiar Chihuly hanging works consisting of thousands of blown glass pieces massing to produce a single hued chandalier hanging from above.
Other rooms featured works on the floor such as this one below, titled "The Ikebana Boat"
Each ambitious installation consisted of many elements of blown glass creating an environment that was almost magical.  Each theme had its own room and each room was filled with families and children viewing and exclaiming excitedly over the fantasy. 
My personal favorite was the room below titled "Persian Ceiling"...a sort of horror vacuii of riotous color created by light filtered through a g;lass ceiling.  Above the ceiling were piles of blown glass shapes, vessels and vases and the light cast its glow of color from those elements onto the walls.
Since many of the colorful glass elements suggested marine creatures, I almost felt like I was inside a fantasy aquarium.  

It only has a week to go...But if you live in the Boston area, this exhibit is well worth bringing the family! 
If you want to know more about this world reknown glass artist, the website is:

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Maxfield Parrish (Premier painter of the Golden Age of Illustration) was a friend of my grandfather Col. Thomas Lull.  They lived on opposite sides of the covered bridge that connected Windsor, Vermont with the area of New Hampshire where Parrish lived and worked.  Parrish often came into Windsor for coffee and to gather material for his landscapes of Vermont countryside for the annual calendars printed from his paintings. 
 Lull Brook Winter
"Lull Brook Winter" takes its inspiration from the brook named after the Lull Family who settled that area.  The brook still traverses the bucolic Vermont countryside and I often revisit Lull Brook when I'm back east and It is my hope to do my own (updated) verion of Lull Brook sometime in the near future.  Meanwhile I have a lot of other painting to do in anticipation for my next exhibit. 


Friday, July 1, 2011


A number of years back, while I was in New York to arrange for my solo show, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view the closing days of an exhibition titled "Barcelona and Modernity".
The exhibition was of interest to me because (despite my 'waspy' name), I am 50% Hispanic. 
My Grandfather was from Puerto Rico but my grandmother was born in Barcelona and it is through her that I have familial connections to the artist named Alejandro de Riquer who worked in the Art Nouveau circle of Antonio Gaudi.
Alejandro de Riquer
What a thrill it was to encounter 4 of his works as I walked through the galleries.

The show traced his and other late 19th century Barcelona artist's Art Nouveau roots on up through the 20th century modernist work of Picasso, Miro, & Dali whose intellectual center was the Cafe Quatre Gats.

(left) Riquer: Cover illustration for the Quatre Gats Art Journal 1899
(right) Picasso: Drawing to publize the 4 Gats Cafe  1900

I'm so glad I hung on to my little collection of his prints and drawings that have been passed down to me and I cherish them all the more having seen his work in the context of his generation of artists.  Most of the print engravings are "exlibris" commissioned by wealthy families to personalize their books. 
This one below however is so large I framed it up to be admired on a wall.

Engraving: exlibris "Casa Davalos"

detail below

As I am able to remove the glass to photograph them, I hope to continue posting some more images of his work in this blog at a future time.
With Art Nouveau interests on both sides of my family, I guess it is not surprising that my vision remains steadfastly planted in "organic" imagery.