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Archive for the ‘Sixty by 60’ Category

Special Offer through Jan. 1!!

Special Offer through Jan. 1!!




Islesford Kitchen, oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″, © Sukie Curtis 2013 (SALE PRICE: $350)

In the spirit of the holidays, I am excited to offer some of my paintings at special discounted prices, now through January 1, 2016!

All of these paintings are currently in my home studio or on our walls. Perhaps one of them would be just the right gift for someone you know and love this holiday season. (Perhaps even you!)

Follow this link to the paintings page on my website! You will see that the first dozen paintings have a sale price noted beneath the image, along with other information. Be sure to click on the “thumbnail” images to see the full paintings, as the thumbnails show only a sliver!
If you live near enough and would like to stop in to see paintings face to face, send me an email, and I’d be happy to set up a time for you to visit.
 If you’re interested in a painting and don’t live near by, drop me an email (or a message on Facebook), and we can take care of the details from there! (Email:

In the Garden, oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″ ©Sukie Curtis 2012 (SALE $1050)

Meanwhile, my paintings can also be seen at Yarmouth Frame and Gallery in Yarmouth, Maine; and at Ocean House Gallery and Frame in Cape Elizabeth, Maine! Both galleries currently feature a holiday show with a wide selection of work.

Here’s wishing you a joyful, peaceful, and colorful holiday season!

Sukie Curtis Fine Art Maine

Fruit on Striped Table, oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″ ©Sukie Curtis 2013 (SALE $1050)


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Paint Flowers; Marinate Three Years


“Flower Piece (after Matisse),” oil on canvas, 14″ x 11″, ©Sukie Curtis 2015

In my life with paint, some paintings happen fast (perhaps in under an hour), but most do not. I often paint until I get stuck and don’t know what to do next.

That’s why my painting studio has all sorts and sizes of paintings leaning against each other and some hanging by push pins on the wall–just waiting until I decide to fiddle with them again, or perhaps to paint over one with a whole new painting.

Some paintings “marinate” that way for a long time. How long? Like, several months, or sometimes two or three or even four years!

The painting above started out as an “exercise” inspired by a Matisse painting on a calendar I had lying around. As I remember, I had set out to focus more on the values of the composition–the balance and rhythm of lights and darks in it–but very quickly, I was wrapped up in the colors without concern for values! (About the only way I know to get around that is to paint in shades of grey or of just blue, for instance, such is the power of color to seduce and derail my best intentions.)

In any case, back in 2011 or 2012 I abandoned this painting and let it occupy a very back burner for a very long time. Until something about it called to me earlier this summer.

Enough marinating! It’s time had come.

(This painting is currently at Yarmouth Frame and Gallery in Yarmouth, Maine, and it will be included in the Yarmouth Art Festival, October 21 – 24, at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Yarmouth, Maine. A catalog of the show is available on line.)

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Making Pancakes with my Dad


“Making Pancakes with my Dad,” oil on canvas, ©Sukie Curtis 2014

“It says here, ‘Beat two eggs,'” my dad would say, reading the box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix.

And then he would take the two eggs, place them still in their shells into the mixing bowl, and raise the wooden spoon (or was it an old-fashioned hand-cranked egg beater?) as if he planned to beat the eggs, shell and all.

“No, no!” my sister and I would cry in horror, or mock horror, depending on whether this was the first time or the fifteenth time he had tried this game. “You have to crack the eggs first before you beat them!”

I suppose there came a time when I was too old and too smart and too sophisticated to play along, when this game was met with rolled eyes or disdainful silence. But I don’t remember that part of the story.

Only the pleasures of being a little kid in the kitchen on a Saturday morning making pancakes with my Dad.

I didn’t set out to paint this scene or story. The title of the painting came to me after the painting was under way. It may have arisen from that pink spatula-like shape (a repeat visitor from the painting, “Islesford Kitchen”–see below). Or perhaps it was the three irregular circles, the two on the right running together like uncooperative pancake batter.

It doesn’t really matter. What matters most to me is that the painting carries some of the pleasure of remembering–morning sunlight, a playful mood, and soon warm pancakes ready to be eaten.


“Islesford Kitchen,” oil on canvas, ©Sukie Curtis 2013

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Inching My Way Back




“Summer Clouds Over Hills,” oil on canvas, ©Sukie Curtis 2015

I have a confession to make: sometimes I get stuck, really stuck.

A lot of time can go by when I don’t paint. My paint-avoidance might begin in the somewhat natural let-down just after a particular “push” to finish pieces for a show or some other external deadline. Sometimes other things–like family events, travel, a change in schedule or in who happens to be home when–come into play.

Soon a week become two weeks, and two weeks become a month, a month becomes two months. And the longer it goes, the harder it is to begin again; and the harder it is to have much confidence in myself as a painter. It’s a bad deal all around!

I know I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before (and probably will again)! I am remembering a thought expressed in the book, Art and Fear–to the effect that art-making is about not giving up, about finding ways to start over, again and again.

As you may have guessed, I’ve recently been in one of those stuck places, built of circumstances and stuff like fear (fear of failure? of course! fear of success? probably that, too!) and all sorts of tiresome arguments within myself.

And the process of inching my way back has been built much more deliberately and intentionally than the process of getting stuck. Some of my tricks and tactics include drawing for fun, low-key sketching and playing with watercolor pencils–just to keep my hand in the game and to remember the pleasures of lines and color.

Then came giving my paint brushes a long overdue, thorough cleaning. (Another confession: I am NOT a diligent washer of my brushes. I cheat and skimp in that department.) And then I scraped old blobs of paint off the glass surface I use as a palette. So everything was ready!

Last Sunday when the house was empty of other people, I too was ready to paint. And painting over some older paintings that I wasn’t happy with seemed just the place to start.

The painting pictured above, “Summer Clouds over Hills,” is one of the results. The skies lately have been beautiful and full of fascinating, ever-changing clouds. I have a feeling this is not the only cloud-scape I will be painting!


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Blue Laundry/Laundry Blues?


My daughters tell me

I wear too much blue clothing.

Hmm–what do you think?

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Poppy Blossoms “Going”


Old Poppy Blooms, sketch, pen and watercolor pencils

The old poppy bloom–

now a whirling dancer’s skirt

twirled up in mid-spin.

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Richard Pelham Curtis–100 Years


Richard Pelham Curtis, on a boat, c. 1940?


Today, June 1, 2015 would be my father’s one hundredth birthday, if he were still alive.

And it would have been my parents’ seventy-fifth wedding anniversary! My father sometimes said he got married on his twenty-fifth birthday so that he’d be less likely to forget his anniversary.

In honor of my dad, I am resurrecting and reworking a post from my former blog (which can still be found at Trusting Delight). That post was titled “Ten Random Things about My Dad,” though it covered a lot more than ten things.

Perhaps if my memories really started to flow, I could get close to one hundred random things about my dad–at least if I were to count every little individual fact.

1. My father, whose name was Richard Pelham Curtis, was born on June 1, 1915 in Marblehead, Massachusetts. (For example, that’s three facts right there: name, birthdate, birthplace!)

2. He was the youngest child of Greely Stevenson Curtis and Fanny Hooper Curtis. His older siblings were Greely, my Uncle Greely, and Fanny, my Auntie Fin; his sister “Maisie,” Marian Adams Curtis, died quite young.

3. Dad, who was called “Dick” by most of his friends, was born at his parents’ home overlooking Marblehead Harbor on “Gilbert Heights,” perhaps a half a mile from the house in which my siblings and I grew up and in which Dad died.

Other than years spent at boarding school and college, I don’t think Dad ever lived anywhere but in Marblehead. Marblehead was unquestionably his home.

4. My father whistled and hummed. A lot. His whistling was quite pleasant to listen to. He often “whistled while he worked,” perhaps even unconscious of doing so, and sometimes whistled while he walked, did errands, and such.

His humming was another thing entirely! I think of Dad’s humming rather fondly, but I know it could be rather annoying to live with. It was a “hum with an edge,” a sort of sharp droning tone not unlike a bagpipe’s drone, created as he simultaneously hummed and chewed his tongue. Our neighbors on the small dead-end street where we lived knew my father’s hum quite well. I’m sure they could hear him humming around the yard doing chores.

5. Dad loved to sail, even lived to sail! Sailing was for him about relaxing, being on the water, maybe getting some place, but usually going where the wind and tide would allow (and hopefully also allow getting home before the wind would drop, or fog or bad weather set in).

Sometimes in summer when the days were long, he’d go sailing after dinner after a day at work on the far side of Boston. He tolerated a long commute to and from work, in order to live by the water. An after-dinner evening sail might become a moonlight sail, and then a moonlit drift, as the wind often dies in the evening.

6. Photos of my dad as a young boy often feature sail boats. In one he is holding a model sailboat in his hands. (He is also wearing a sailor suit, as is his older sister–clearly a fashionable item around 1920!) In another photo he crouches by the edge of Red’s Pond in Marblehead, his father behind him, as he launches a model boat (the same one?) into the pond.

In yet another photo, my dad, my aunt, and my grandfather (whom I never knew–he died in 1947) stand in a boat beside the stone pier of a local boatyard. They are either just launching or about to haul it out.

7. Like me, my father was the youngest child in his family. I don’t remember we ever talked about both being “youngests,” but I think it about it now. I also shared his blue eye color (along with my brother David).

Although most people have always told me I look a lot like my mother, and I too see that resemblance, as I get older I see more of my father in my face. This photo of me, taken in 2011, startled me with its likeness to my father’s face. (My sister said she thought the likeness was the baggy sweater, but I think it’s in my face. What do you think?)



Yours truly, Sukie Curtis, Maine, 2011

8. Dad played games with us when we were small children–I remember bouncing on my dad’s knees as he sang, “Trot, trot to Boston” and “This is the way the ladies ride.” Later, card games (“Oh Hell” and Hearts) and board games, like Clue.

9. At bedtime, my mother would sing a song, “Teera, leera, leera in the spring” it begins, and my dad would sing “Day is done.” And he would say the Lord’s Prayer and close with a list of blessings.

10. The blessings were always the same, and in the same order: “God bless Mummy and Daddy and Dickie (my parents’ first child, who died before I was born) and David and Jonny and Peggy and Sukie and everybody.”


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Two Paintings, Two Haiku


Surprised to Come Upon Roses, oil on canvas

Mornings come and go–

the cardinal’s liquid song

announces this one.


Above and Beneath, oil on canvas

Above and Beneath, oil on canvas

Salt tang in the fog–

the grey-green dampness dripping–

the red bird redder.



These two paintings were painted long ago (the first, late last year? the second, almost two years ago). I wrote the two haiku this morning.

And then it occurred to me that they make an interesting pairing of words and images.

The two paintings are currently part of the show, “Abstract,” hanging at River Arts in Damariscotta, Maine through June 25. If you’re heading through mid-coast Maine, stop in to see a large and interesting mix of pieces spread through several rooms.

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Selfie with Haiku

SBC in GSC door

That shape reflected

in my great-grandfather’s door–

an unplanned selfie.


Photo taken April 30, 2015, 28 Mt. Vernon St., Boston, MA

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A Tale of Two Art Shows

A Tale of Two Art Shows


Kitchen Mosaic, oil on canvas, ©Sukie Curtis 2015

May has arrived and with it, rather suddenly, some very balmy weather, bulbs in bloom, and the delightful frothy greens of new leaves! There’s nothing quite like this time of year, especially after such a long winter.

Rather than a tale to tell, I have two invitations to extend! I currently have several paintings in two different art shows, both with opening receptions this weekend. And I’d love to see you at one (or both!) if you are able to attend! Feel free to bring a friend along, too.
On Friday, May 8 from 5 to 8 pm I will be celebrating at Ocean House Gallery and Frame, 299 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, Maine for the opening of “Interior Life,” featuring paintings by Brita Holmquist, Louise Bourne, and me. The show is already up and looks great! 
If you aren’t able to attend or simply want to enjoy a preview of works in the show, this link will take you to an online catalog of the show, under the title “Interior Life.”
And on Saturday, May 9 from 4 to 7 pm I can be found at Yarmouth Frame and Gallery, 720 US Route One in Yarmouth, Maine for the opening reception of “Winter Cowers as Spring Empowers.” This show includes works by more than two dozen artists, all “regulars” at Yarmouth Frame. It’s sure to be a fun reception making connections old and new!
Both shows will be up through the month of May (the Yarmouth show through June), so even if you miss the opening events, I hope you’ll be able to drop in another time to see them. Let me know if you’re heading in that direction, and perhaps I’d be able to join you.
In the meantime, enjoy the rich gifts of springtime!


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