Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Looking Back, Wakefield Paint Out 2012

On this very rainy Tuesday, I decided to post my 2012 painting of another overcast day, Overcast Paint Out. (Still catching up!) I began my painting with a Transparent Oxide Red ground, which you can see peeking through the painting here. People who came by were intrigued by that. It adds some warmth to a rather chilly day.

Last year's Paint Out at Wakefield Farmers Market was a bit less wet than today, but threatening enough that our artist turnout was rather small. Rick Mercer, a member of the organizing group, invited Stapelton Kearns to paint with us and give a painting demonstration, too. (Artists DID turn out for that indoor activity!) You can see Stape here on the path, using his Gloucester easel. Stape's indoor demo was amazing. He conjured a seascape from memory.

I'm excited that painter Mary Taggart has offered to run this year's Paint Out, which will be held on Saturday, September 14; rain date Saturday, September 21, 2013. As always, artists paint from 9-noon and the Wet Paint Exhibit and Sale is from noon to 1 at the Farmers Market. I'll post an update as we near the date. It's always a nice time for painters or viewers, whether it's overcast or not! If you're interested to join in, please email Mary at mctpaint@yahoo.com

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Melrose Arts Festival

Stop by the Melrose Arts Festival April 26-28!

Next weekend I'll be exhibiting paintings in the 8th annual Melrose Arts Festival.

I  hope you'll stop by and say hello if you're there Friday or Saturday. (Unfortunately, I won't be there on Sunday.) It's always a fun and comfortable event, (never affected by weather!), held indoors in Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street. Need Friday night plans? The Preview Party, from 7-10 pm, is a great time with wonderful food and music.

Below is a sneak preview of paintings that will be on display. Looking forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Stefan & Marc, brothers

Marc, our older son, ran in his first Marathon on Monday with other runners from his University. We first watched the race from mile 9. It was inspiring and joyous. After all of the runners from his school passed mile 9, we were bused into Boston to see them cross the finish line.

We had been trying to get close enough to see Marc and were a block down a side street when we heard and felt the explosions and saw the smoke. Frantic people were running away as we tried desperately to get to the finish line to learn if he was okay. Our awful "eternity" ended 15 or more minutes later when he was able to call us. Marc crossed the finish line 5-10 minutes before the first explosion. It took us a long time to finally meet and hours to get out of Boston. But we were safe and together.

We did not witness the most horrific part of this tragedy and realize how incredibly lucky we are that our family is intact.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families who have suffered loss and injury.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spencer Pierce Little Farm, plein air

Why does the blog heading become gibberish when I post it? 

This has mystified me for awhile. I'll see if I can fix it. If you know the answer, I'd love to hear it!

I promised I'd catch you up with paintings I completed while absent from my blog:

Here's a plein air painting of Spencer Pierce Little Farm, a beautiful place in Newbury, MA. Built in 1690, more than one hundred years before Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published, I couldn't help imagining a family life that was just as lively and engaging in this place. I plan to paint there again. You just need to turn your head and easel and there's another picture!

Meanwhile, I've tweaked some code and feel like I've just tinkered with the engine of a car. I also tried something a friend recommended. Let's see what happens. I'm going to post this now... Here's hoping the gibberish is gone!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Moving right along...

Here are two more plaster cast paintings, (around 16 x 20"), from Kelly Carmody's class. Raw Umber + Ivory Black were mixed together to create a relatively neutral dark and then Titanium White was added to create discreet piles of light to dark values. Once the paintings were blocked in using the 5 values, strings of light to dark paint were created and used to model form.

Learning to paint well involves learning to see and it really takes time and practice! These types of studies require constant comparisons of lights and darks. It's critical to keep the "lights with the lights" and the "darks with the darks" in order to achieve the effect of light falling across the form. It was challenging to judge the values. The darkest dark was not "black" and the lightest light was not white.

At many painting ateliers, students work on just one of these studies for months. Although I certainly understand how that approach can lead to great understanding and control, as an older, eager painter, I'm moving along very quickly, learning as much as I can from my imperfect studies.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20, 2013

Well, it's been a wee bit over a year since my last post. Imagine that!

Imagine also, all the the good, challenging and sad things that can happen to any family. Many have happened to mine over the past two years. We all experience ups and downs, so it's not unusual, but sometimes you have to shrink your world a bit and focus on family. So, I did.

BUT, I have kept painting and will catch you up. A few months ago I started taking a class with the very talented artist, Kelly Carmody and have been working on some exercises to fill the holes in my art education and improve my work. Here's the first plaster cast painting I completed in Kelly's class. The value of this exercise, (artists, please excuse the pun), is to understand the planes of the face and how light travels across the forms.

Good news! My small portrait painting (in my previous post), Pensive, Portrait of Jenny won second place in oils at the fall Reading Art Association exhibit and was later juried into and then sold at Concord Art Association. I heard she's found a good home, so I'm very happy about that.

See you all soon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Portrait of Jenny, 6" x 8"

I'm back!
Here's a recent portrait sketch I did of a delightful young girl, in a pensive pose. The lighting was natural, which means what we happened to have that day—overhead daylight flourescent and sunlight through windows. Despite the challenge, it was a pleasure to paint Jenny and I hope to paint her again in the near future.