Monthly Archives: March 2015

My book of pithy aphorisms

The Mamaroneck River, oil on canvas, by Carol L. Douglas My teaching year ends at the beginning of June, when I start my summer wanderings. So I was conflicted when V— contacted me about lessons. She is a well-known lithographer and designer. Normally I’d jump at the chance to have her join us, but there’s […]

Making it look easy

Renocation of the Kirkland Hotel, acrylic on canvas, by Bruce Bundock. Remember my pal Bruce Bundock from Kingston? He’s on a roll this year. The catalog for his Faces of Vassar is out. And he is featured in this month’s Acrylic Artist Magazine as one of five winners in the 60th anniversary show of the […]


Running feet, oil on canvas, 24X36, Carol L. Douglas If you think painters have a hard time, you should consider the unpublished novelist. He struggles for months or years on a single work, getting very little feedback. When it’s finished, he peddles it to publishers through a faceless formality called the query letter. He has […]

It’s tax season

Plein air painters drive around until they find what they want to paint, and then they stop and paint it. That makes absolutely no sense to auditors. This is my dearly-missed painting pal, Marilyn Feinberg, in Naples, New York. I get a “how to succeed in art” newsletter. A few weeks ago, they sent a […]

Performance anxiety

Tinfoil Hat, 6X8, oil on canvasboard, Carol L. Douglas In three months, God willing, I will finish a career of 21 years as the parent of a schoolchild. Hearing a child wail, “I’m going to fail my test” is a sadly regular occurrence. Mercifully, hearing him or her wail, “I failed my test” is usually […]

Let’s talk about summer, part 2

Start with your pigments.  Yesterday, it was so warm that I went outdoors in my loafers without socks. There’s still two feet of snowpack out there, but winter’s back is broken. Yes, it will snow again between now and Easter, but it can’t last. That means that it’s time to get your plein air pack […]

Let’s talk about summer

Sunset off Schoodic Point. Just another day in Paradise. I’m going to be speakingabout New York painters and their relationship with the Maine Coast at the Moore Auditorium in Acadia’s Schoodic Institute on August 12. This is scheduled concurrently with my workshop at Schoodic from August 9 to 14. The talk is free, and if you’re […]

Objects of Grace

The Heavens Declare, 48X36, oil on linen, 2014 This month I have three pieces in Objects of Grace at Roberts Wesleyan’s Davison Gallery. This show was designed to accompany the school’s Schoenhals Symposium, which this year features art historian and writer Dr. James Romaine. Dr. Romaine is a New York-based art historian. He is the […]

Debunkery #2: Yes, there was blue in the ancient world.

Lapis lazuli eyes in the 25th century BCE Statue of Ebih-II (eastern Syria). Today’s misinformationcomes from the same fount that gave us yesterday’s‘four-coned woman.” It’s the idea that the ancients were somehow ignorant of the color blue, as evidenced by the fact that Homer called the ocean the “wine-dark sea.” Fragment of a fresco from the […]

Debunkery #1: No, you’re probably not a tetrachromat

The distribution of cone cells in the fovea of an individual with normal color vision (left), and a color blind (protanopic) retina, by Mark Fairchild. Tetrachromacy means that you have four types of cone cells in the retina. Tetrachromats exist among birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects, but in most mammals there are two kinds […]