Monday, October 28, 2019

Room interiors— #4

Being a sucker for all things orange, I instantly fell in love with the beautiful orange chinoiserie fabric (by Quadrille) on this chair. So pretty! The ballroom in this Manchester-by-the-Sea home was decorated by honeycollinsinteriors.

Friday, October 25, 2019


Chase 30 x 30”

Here’s a fun new painting, showing ‘Dynamic motion,’ the theme of this year’s Crane Estate/Castle Hill art show and sale, coming up soon.  This is a painting that I sketched out several years ago, but for some reason I just never finished it, it was probably a time constraint thing, as I work a full-time job. But when I heard the theme of this year’s Crane Estate show, I knew I had to resurrect this painting and finish it.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The field

The Field 4 x 6”

I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to a two-hour quick draw. This is a very tiny equestrian painting, although the check not frame makes it look larger than it is, and one of the small pieces that I will put into the upcoming Crane Estate art show. Oil on canvas.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Fresh paint— and a very small piece at only 5 x 7.“ This will be one of four paintings that I will be exhibiting at the annual Crane Estate art show (Castle Hill, Ipswich), coming up in a few weeks. The theme of this year’s show is “Dynamic Motion.”

Monday, September 9, 2019

Tomato + goat cheese tart

It's tomato season and the days are finally cooler, so it's a fine time to fire up the oven to make this colorful beauty! Here's how to make this cheesy tomato tart. I used Martha Stewart's Pâte brisée recipe for the crust, which makes enough for two, so why not make a second one to bring to work or give to a neighbor? You could also freeze one half of your dough for a later time. The recipe below is for one tart.

Once you've got the dough made and placed into your pan of choice (round, square or rectangular shape) you must let it rest in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes first, or else when you blind bake it the dough will pull away from the top of your pan edges and shrink.

To blind bake your tart shell:
Once your tart dough has rested, remove the shell from the fridge or freezer, prick bottom with a fork, and line with parchment paper cut to fit. Fill with dried beans or metal pie weights. Bake in preheated a 375° oven until the crust is just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and remove beans or weights. Return the crust to the oven, and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven, and set aside on a wire rack to cool before filling with our cheese mixture and tomatoes. Keep the oven on. 

To make the cheese filling:
While your tart is baking, make or the cheese filling. I like to use a mix of Boursin herbed cheese, goat cheese, and cream cheese. The cheese is rich, so I also add in some lemon zest or a tsp. of dijon mustard to brighten up the flavors. 
1 package Boursin cheese
1/3 cup goat cheese
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all these ingredients into a bowl, then spread on the bottom of your tart. 

Top with the tomatoes:
Now comes the creative part... adding the sliced tomatoes! You may use any color or size of tomatoes  and make any pattern you wish. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4" slices, and the smaller grape tomatoes can be cut in half. For this tart I used a random pattern using several colors and sizes of tomatoes, but you could also use just one color tomato and layer them neatly, or alternate two colored tomatoes. 

To bake:
Once the tomatoes are on the tart spray with an olive oil spray (or brush with olive oil) to help the tomatoes brown. Place the tart on a sheet pan, and bake it in  a 375° for 15-20 minutes oven until the tomatoes and cheese just start to bubble. Remove tart from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

August Marsh

August Marsh 12 x 12"

My love affair with our North Shore marshes continues. I mean... isn’t this view sublime?! So after snapping such a pretty photo of my fave salt marsh last night (see below) I had to paint it this afternoon, while it was still fresh in my mind. This is Fox Creek Marsh in Ipswich, MA.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Madame butterfly

NEW WORK: Madame butterfly 8 x 10

I painted this to pay homage to our 11-year old yellow magnolia tree that died over this winter. We had a lot of rain last fall followed by intense cold temps. Lots of perennial plants in my garden died, also. The saddest part was that it was planted in remembrance of a fine young woman who died of her own hand, far too young. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Room Interiors— #3

I was in a turquoise sort of mood earlier, having a scrumptiously lazy morning in le boudoir, watching (or listening to) a French film while making this little watercolor sketch. Inspired by the pages of Veranda magazine.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Painting donation to MGH

My Ipswich salt marsh painting was unveiled today at a reception at Massachusetts General Hospital  in Boston, where it will hang on the Blake 6 transplant floor. This painting is my humble way of thanking the lovely and amazing doctors, nurses, etc. — particularly on the Blake 6 transplant floor — who cared for me before, during and after my kidney transplant surgery and subsequent infections. I had a nice, cozy bed there for a total of 22 days over three stays. The staff at MGH are all titans in their medical profession. When it’s eventually hung on the walls of the transplant floor, I hope that this painting, which I have named ‘Radiance’, will bring joy to other transplant patients as they recover from their surgeries. This was such a nice way for them to acknowledge my little gift.. #forevergrateful #MGH

Below is the note I put on the back of my Radiance postcard, which I will keep a supply of in the Family Room on the transplant floor at MGH. I hope it supports and inspires future transplant patients!

Warm greetings, transplant friend—
Transplantation is an extraordinary journey that tests the limits of one’s strength and courage. In addition to commitment and faith, it requires strong mental and physical preparation as well as endurance. But you already know that. If you can endure transplantation, you can conquer anything that you set your mind to. The tough part is over. Now it’s time to let your body heal so your inner radiance and spirit shines through again. Wishing you well as you continue on your own transplant journey.

—Diane Carnevale
Kidney transplant recipient
October, 2018

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Ranunculous blossoms

Happy and cheery spring ranunculous flowers will always remind me of my mom, who adored them... exclusively the yellow and orange blossoms. The ombré cooors of the golden blossom above reminds of the ruffles of a party dress.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Radiance II

Radiance II    36 x 48"

Remember that Ipswich salt marsh painting that I made last October? This larger version of it, my thank-you gift to some very special people, is all dry and about to be wrapped up and delivered to its new home tomorrow! Stay tuned...

 to donate to the lovely Transplant staff at MGH, Boston to thank them for the fantastic care I received from them after my kidney transplant surgery in late October. More to come.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Provençal fish

How lucky am I to get my fish delivered to my door each week? I prepped the sole that was left on my doorstep yesterday in a Provençal manner, with roasted garlic, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, a dash of red pepper flakes and all anointed with lemon olive oil. Just bake for ten minutes and dinner is done. If you live on Boston’s North Shore you need this delivery service, too!

Monday, October 15, 2018


Radiance   18 x 24"  

The marshes win my heart with every season. Here, autumn is just beginning and the marsh grass has gone to seed, showing an intense blushing red. This gorgeous wind swept day, along with the colors, was an exhilarating inspiration for me.

This painting is one of three that I will be exhibiting at the annual Crane Estate art show & sale in Ipswich, Massachusetts, being held November 2-4.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Roasted tomatoes

What to do with that avalanche of ripe backyard tomatoes?... Roast 'em! I slice mine in half and place them cut side up, on an oiled sheet of tin foil for was cleanup. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crank that oven up to 400º and let your tomatoes get good and charred. I sometimes even broil them for the last 5 minutes to get the them charred the way I like it. 

Now what you do with your tomatoes is entirely up to you. They are delicious just like this, as a side dish with eggs in the morning, or for lunch or dinner. I like to mix the roasted tomatoes with white cannelloni beans and basil to make a nice warm Italian salad. Freezing to make a marinara sauce is a good option, as is this wonderful smokey tomato soup. Lately I've been adding in some crumbled chicken sausages, also. Get roasting!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Song of the Sea

Song of the sea  18 x 24" 

Here is the progression this seascape, from the initial color block wash, to the final thick, impasto paint. I enjoying seeing and revisiting my process. I visualize and 'paint' a painting in my head well before I ever get out my paints, but the final painting itself surprises me every time.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Cobbster salad

Special friends and family call for a special dinner. For this night I decided to make a lobster salad, but I call this my Cobbster salad because it combines elements from a classic Cobb salad, including avocado, blue cheese, corn, and tomatoes. There are great textures in this salad, with the velvety avocado and blue cheese, and crunchy corn. I garnished my layered salad, formed into pyramids using triangular molds with flowers and baby veg from my garden—baby French breakfast radishes, baby purple pea pods, navy yellow beans, nasturtium blossoms and leaves, and borage blossoms.

I made six of these plates, so it was 
imperative that I had an organized 'mise en place' 
station all set up for speedy assembly. 

I made 7 of these plates, so it was imperative 
that I had an organized 'mise en place' station all set up.

My sister-in-law, Sheri, helped with this task, my twin 
brother supplied the lobsters, and they both 
supplied the beautiful seaside setting. 

Dinner by the sea is served!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Color inspiration—plums

A basket of earth colored Reine Claude plums is a wistful reminder that summer is waning and autumn is waiting in the wings. Photo by David Lebovitz

To see more colors, click on the red "color inspirationlabel below.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Greek tomato + feta salad

Lunch at the office does not have to be boring. For me, lunch always has to include loads of colors. Here is a simple salad of peppery arugula leaves and slices of various sizes and colors of tomatoes, which have been topped with chopped fresh herbs—including oregano— and a briny crumble of feta cheese. I dress this Greek inspired salad with a light Greek or Italian dressing, and finally, a toss a few a few nasturtiums and pansies blossoms to make lunch at the office extra special.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Color inspiration—dahlias

How lovely are these dahlias in shade of demure pinks and apricots? No bold fuchsias here—grabbing attention and stealing the show—just dainty ladies in their frilly dresses, all getting along at the ball. The colors remind me of frosty sweet sherbet.

To see more colors, click on the red "color inspirationlabel below.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bean + barley salad

So often it's the simple foods that are comforting, like this bean and barley salad. It's only got a handful of ingredients; cooked barley, 3 kinds of beans (here I've used dark red kidney, chickpea, and small white beans), tomatoes, diced red onion and dressed with your favorite Italian dressing. I mix all the ingredients and place over a bed of baby kale, spinach or arugula. Fast and filling.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Rhubarb, alliums, and irises

Beautiful alliums and irises in one of my gardens. The rhubarb leaves look great this time of year... it’s leaves are enormous—the about 3 feet in diameter. For reference the white rhubarb plume shown here is about 7 feet tall.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Flaming Ipswich Marsh

Flaming Ipswich Marsh 20 x 16

This oil painting will be available for sale at the upcoming Art in the Barn Show in Essex.

Two Egrets

Two Egrets 5 x 7" 

Here is another small watercolor that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale. I painted this scene in oils as two large diptych paintings, called Egrets at Dawn. Click here link for more information on that painting, winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2018 Crane Estate art show and sale.

Essex marsh

Essex marsh 5 x 7" 

Another sneak peek for some of my work that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale. 

Happy marsh

Happy marsh  5 x 7" 

Here is another small watercolor that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale.