Thermostat Wars…


Winter Sun, 8×10 oil pastel

Yes, I know it is June, and I am not sure what is going on in your home, but this time of year typically starts the thermostat wars in my house. I am always way too hot, and my husband is always cold. The thermostat is constantly in flux, with each of us pretending to get up to do something and quickly bumping up or down the dial as nonchalantly as possible. I have a feeling this happens in more homes than I can imagine. In any case, although it is June, and my mind should be on the beautiful summer season, when I sat down to paint the other day, this is where my palette took me.  And if you lived in my house, it would be no surprise why.  ~Rita



I am pleased to announce that my pastel painting “Times Square Glow” was selected for the International Association of Pastel Society’s annual show.  The prestigious IAPS exhibit is currently on view at The Salmagundi Club in New York City and is open to the public until Sunday, June 18th.  The Salmagundi Club is located at 47 Fifth Avenue which is 12th street and 5th.  Stop by if you are in the NYC area!  -Eden

The Artist as Native


Peters Kill Falls, 8×10 oil pastel

A few years ago my son bought me a book for Christmas called “The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism”. The book is a collection of thoughts by various artists who celebrate the places they live and work.  I guess it is  universal that  there are places that get into your soul, and become a part of you. My latest painting is of one of those places here in upstate New York. The terrain is filled with  steep ledges  that jut out over forests, and waterfalls that drop very dramatically.  I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at this particular spot, but this view has been hijacking my thoughts since I got back. And when that happens, there is only one thing to do: Paint it.   ~Rita,

Lavender Fields

Lavender Fields….. I don’t think there are any  in this part of New York, but I wish there were, as I find that they are truly breathtaking. The inspiration for this painting  came from a photograph by photographer/ blogger Kim  at Thanks Kim, for letting me use your beautiful photo! ~Rita


Lavender Fields, 8×10 oil pastel

Water in Two Forms

I have always been attracted to water. All forms of water: from nature’s ponds, oceans rivers and streams to rain on the sidewalk, and ice cubes in a glass. My latest two paintings are both of water in two very different forms. The first is of  the ocean’s  powerful  waves. And the second is rainwater, shortly after a downpour on  town roads, reflecting the colors of the city . Whether it is water in its most natural form, or the interplay of water  manmade color and light, I believe water is  truly one of those gifts that is a feast for the eyes and nourishes the soul.  ~Rita



Crashing Waves, 11×14 oil pastel

Evening Rain Final

Early Evening Rain, 8×10 oil pastel

Those Quiet Reprieves…

It was one of those days today. I ran through my day doing a little of this and a little of that. All those things you really don’t want to do but has to be done…. worked on my taxes, stayed on hold with my insurance company forever, stayed in a line too long at the post office, went to the bank, got soaked in an unexpected downpour, etc., Now at midnight  I am very tired, and thinking that I wanted to post the painting I finished yesterday. I find myself wondering about what I want to say about this particular painting. And as I was wondering, I passed by my studio, the painting still on the easel, and  immediately knew what I wanted to say. Whether it is a landscape, a still life, or a dancer, these images I see and try to create in art bring me to a quiet reprieve from life. Watching these dancers, in their world of color and movement, concentrating on their practice quiets me. A quiet reprieve from the frenetic life we all experience at times. For tonight, it was just what I needed.  ~Rita


Ballet Practice, 8×10 oil pastel

Graceful Repose

I have always been in intrigued by people who dedicate their life to one true passion. Those who for are willing to give up all else in their lives to do that one true thing. I am fortunate to live in an area that hosts the New York City Ballet for several weeks in the summer each year, and these young women who dance for us season after season are some of my favorite examples of this. I often think about their dedication… hours and hours of work day after day, week after week,….  being so singularly focused to perform these amazing productions. I often wonder about their lives…. who these ballerinas are behind the scenes, apart from what we see, and for these reasons, they are one of my favorite subjects to paint.  ~Rita


Graceful Repose, oil pastel, 11x14

Graceful Repose, oil pastel, 11×14


One Thing Led To Another . . .

It started with renewed interest in my Caribbean Market Women paintings and then progressed to figurative work in general and then specifically into portraits.  This is actually where I started many years ago as the artist in residence at a resort in the Florida Keys.  I specialized in children’s portraits back then and gradually became more interested in landscapes first in pastel and then in oil.  Art, like life, is a cycle, isn’t it?  Below is a little study of Zoe.  Oil on linen, 8 x 8.  Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of Spring (unless you are in that Nor’Easter of course)!    – Eden

Zoe Old


Tidal Song

It seems as though everyone I talk to lately says that January seems to have flown by, and that they can’t believe it is February. It certainly seems that way for me. January was of those months where life just kind of got  in the way, and  I found I was frustrated that  there was little time to paint. No  real complaints here though, all I have to do is look around and see that these are small things in life. I am grateful for the time that I do have, and grateful that even when I am not painting, I can paint in my mind’s eye and compose works that will eventually get on canvas. This was one of those paintings…. one that I carried with me in my mind for the month of January, and finally had some time today to let it flow from my mind to my pastels to be painted.  I guess there is some value in the wait, because when I finally got to paint it, there was much more of a clarity of direction, and appreciation in the process. Maybe that’s true of many things we have to wait for in life, part of the gift of the natural ebb and flow.    ~Rita



Tidal Song, 8×10 oil pastel