Saturday, May 16, 2015

Serenity, 6x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I haven't painted in about a week.  Life keeps getting in the way.  And it's not going to ease up for a couple of weeks, so when I GOT a small, teeny tiny block of time, I grabbed my paints and the reference photo that I loved and went to town.

It's a place I want to be.  It's a sight I love to see.  Massachusetts, in particular, has a lot of gorgeous marshes.  But I don't really remember where this one is from.  I love the clouds, the sky, the reflection.  

Wishing you all peace, and a bit of serenity. :)
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

"The Spiritual America" Cocktail, 6x6 inch Acrylic by Kelley MacDonald

At a place called Pearl & Ash in Manhattan they are dreaming up Spring cocktails.  Now... how fun does this look? Tastes like Blood Orange with Rhubarb accents.  Sounds like a winner, even though I can't figure out how they came up with a name like that!

Come on Spring... I know you can do it!  I think here in Rhode Island we're going to pretty much skip Spring, and leap from the mid 50's to the 70's.  I'm enjoying saying goodbye to frigid weather and snow injuries.  Looking for some tulips to brighten the days, too.  Enjoy, friends!
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Serene Bride, 7x5 Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Here it is, the 1st of the month!  And you know what that means!  Girls Just Wanna Paint produces our response to this month's topic:  Bride.  Check them out HERE.
I'm going to a wedding next week for a very lovely couple and my very own daughter is recently engaged and we are looking forward to THAT!  Every bride is beautiful.  City Hall brides (my mom and my friend Susan), Beachfront brides, Cathedral Brides, Flower Power brides and every type of bride in between.  Something about celebrating finding the love of your life, I think, makes you shine from within.  
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Party Jellies, 6x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I posted this painting on Facebook as a WIP (Work In Progress) and someone said it looked like a 'selfie' taken at a party.  OK, it's a donut party and the jellies are really having a wild time!  :D

I saw on the Dunkin Donuts Facebook page that some shops still carry the 'strawberry filled' jelly donuts of old.  So I wrote to the company to find out which stores, since those donuts really give off a jewel-like drip of jelly (yes, I know how crazy that sounds but here I am, saying it!).  My answer was that they DO NOT KNOW which stores carry it.  (simple enough - which ones do you SHIP the donuts to - they used to be made in the shops, but that was years ago.  Now they are all centrally baked and shipped).  I do, I know, know WAY too much about these donuts!

Point being, if any of you stumble across a Dunkin Donuts in NEW ENGLAND that has Strawberry Filled Jelly Donuts - PLEASE let me know.  I will be forever in your debt - and you get a donut painting half off!  :D

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Lush And Sweet, 7x5 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I knew you needed some sweetness in your life right now.  Here you go.  ZERO calories!  Tender plump donuts filled with real whipped cream and a splot of jelly injected in the middle just for a touch of perfection.  Dusted with powdered sugar.  In a brown box, with waxed paper wrap to keep it safe.
Yeah.  I'm even making MYSELF hungry!
Now... wipe that drool off your lips...... 
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Boats To Come

This past week I've not had a lot of time to paint, but I wanted to explore a subject.  I have a nice image from the Maine painting trip last year and, as you can see below, I did 3 versions.  The large image, above, was the last.  I started with an extreme light/dark study, below on the right.  Then I did a tonal version, in the middle.  Then I allowed myself to dig into the color a bit.  These are all 6x6's and if you are interested in any of them, just shoot me an email at

More to come on this one.... bigger, different substrates.... just going to delve.
OK?  How are you guys?  Let me know!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Memories, 6x6 Inch Acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

This month the Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge was to paint a treasured object.  I've kind of trying to adopt a Buddhist attitude, of detachment, and not letting material things mean too much to me, but this little pitcher was my mom's and I think was actually a creamer.  My son, knowing how I love pussy willows, actually GREW some this year, and put them in a floral arrangement he gave me on my recent birthday.  Well the flowers are gone, but the pussy willows remain.

SO.  On to the fun part here.  Today, being behind the 8 Ball with my painting schedule, I packed up my paints and drove to Sally Dean's studio where we decided we would simply get in her studio and CRANK out this month's Challenge. We did it, then went looking at some awesome pottery and glasswork in nearby Norwell (behind Trattoria San Pietro). So... here is mine.  Please check out the rest of the GJWP Challenge paintings HERE, and Sally's blog HERE.

"Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends... " yes I do, and I want to say THANKS to Sally for a great art date day!

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lifting Spirits, 6x6 in Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

It has been a loooong Winter!  Even now, officially Spring, we are sloshing and scraping and salting...  these tulips have such fresh color and really pierce the Winter Blues!  

They tell me warm weather is just around the corner.  I will believe.... 
Reconnecting with a lot of my artist friends this week - I think we've all been hibernating - it is just wonderful stuff.  Sharing meals, celebrating occasions, talking about upcoming workshops and painting trips - is it just us or is everyone beginning to emerge into a more joyful place?

Be well, friends, and be thankful for every day.  I'm thankful that you are sharing my art journey.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Filled With Hope, 7x5 Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

It's been a tough winter.  In so many ways.  And I am so blessed to have a plethora (I always love to use that word!) of bouquets to surround myself with around my birthday.  This one, has daffodils, tulips and pussy willows... bursts of color and gentle shapes and contrasting textures.

I have hope.  I always need to feel it - and this year maybe more than others.  And love.  

"Faith, Hope and Love... and the Greatest of these is Love".  Be bolstered by it.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Has Sprung (almost)

By the calendar... Spring arrived this evening at 6:45.  In reality, however, it was snowing (again).  I'm feeling lucky because I have really beautiful flowers INSIDE right now.  Honestly, I have tulips (4 kinds), daffodils, roses, hyacinths, orchids and lilies.  Yeah.  Unbelievable, right?  I'm grateful for a birthday after a loooooong winter!
You can't blame me for letting loose a little with the paint.
Love them all.  Allowed myself to be very free with this Lily Portrait.
It's one of those paintings that look quite abstract close up, but if you back up it all comes together.
Feels like warm weather if I look at it!

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Big 6-0!

"Come On-A Cupcake"! 6x6 Inches, Oil on Archival Panel
$100 & $10 S&H
Click HERE To Purchase

Well, today's my 60th birthday, and I'm sharing some cake with you.  Home made buttercream frosting, yes it is!  I just love, love, love this painting - it really is cheerful and happy - just like you should always be on your birthday.

I'll tell you a little about my celebration.  My husband bundled me up at the crack of day and we headed to Cape Cod ("The Cape" as it is known here).  We were going iceberg hunting!  This winter huge chunks of ice - bigger than a person - washed ashore on the bay side of the arm of the Cape.  We visited as many beaches as we could.  Stopped for a fabulous cream donut in New Bedford on our way.  Of course we brought Paco.  Of course we hit a gallery or two.  Now... my favorite way to celebrate - in our cosy living room with a movie and some cheese & fruit - and a cocktail to toast the new decade - you can't keep a happy girl down, #60!

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mother's Comfort, 6x6 inch Acrylic by Kelley MacDonald

This month our Girls Just Wanna Paint Challenge was "Comfort".  So many themes would go with this, from Southern Comfort, to religious comfort, to cozy interiors and more.  But I saw this image and loved it.  King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, I believe.  Please check out the rest of the group's work HERE, and try to find some comfort of your own in this snowy, freezing Winter! 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Droolworthy, 6x6 inch oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald


Oh, I love these close up portraits of jelly donuts!  I particularly enjoy the jelly part (can you tell?).  Why?  Because it's the biggest challenge (hardest part, yeah..)!  How many layers of light and sweetness can you see?  I use about 7 or 8 colors here, the exact selection honed over about 7 years of painting donuts.  The jelly has layers, and so do the highlights.  In this way it's like painting colored glass.  

So... I just this morning begged my husband to stop at the donut shop after he picked up some dog food.  Nom nom!  But I'm getting in the mood to paint some pets, and I've exhausted my own.  If you would like to send me a head shot of YOUR fur baby or one you know, please do!  NO OBLIGATION, I'm looking for models!  Send them to!  THANKS... from me and.... Paco, who is having a very tough time between the 2+ feet of snow and the bitter cold! :D

This is Paco's "come hither" look...

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Big Time Olives, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

All I can think of is martinis to paint these days.  Actually I had one tonight.  
This painting started out blue and orange - how it came to this is bizarre - but actually the "black" is Indigo, straight from the tube.

Difficult couple of weeks.  My dear niece, that I'd asked you all for prayers for, lost her battle with cancer.  It was terrible to say goodbye.  26 years old. Much too young.  Thank you for your prayers, though, it mattered.
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Monday, February 9, 2015

"That Kind Of Day" 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Too long since I've posted a nice martini painting, and if your winter is ANYTHING like the Boston area's winter - you NEED a nice martini.  :D
Seriously, we'll get through it, but oooooh that first sip of a nice cold martini makes you warm all over.  I've intentionally let the 'ground' show through these expressive brushstrokes - hey, let me tell you everything about this painting was fun.
Now.  Who needs a sip?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It Was Either This Or A Snow Painting...

Oh, the joys of a snow day!  I visited chickens a couple of times last summer and was going through my photos and thought I needed to bring them into a painting!  Once again,, this acrylic pen is so much fun to use!  Not my usual style, but every once in a while you have to break free.  

What better time than during a historic snowstorm?  Thanks Juno!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tender Trail, 8x6 inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Oooooh, a little shadow, I now see, at this late hour on the lower left side!  Will re-shoot in the light of day!  This painting is one of those many, may layered pieces.  Abstracts, for me, take so long.  The planning.  The process, the layers, and seeing how they are working, and adjustments made (cooler white or warmer white... any color really gets tweaked).  Then, as I have learned, turn the pieces on their sides and upside down - it must 'work' on all sides.  This again, has so so many layers of paint and clear acrylic.  In person you can see the depth and it draws you in.  

All the reds and red browns and red oranges.  I was seeking warmth, I guess, in bleak January!  Gray sky, gray water, even the dead grass looks gray.  Gray tree trunks.  So... RED!
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Yearning For Spring, 7x5 Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Yearning For Spring 7x5 inch Acrylic Painting
$100 & $10 S&H

Well, I'm really getting into the abstract frame of mind.  This painting, little as it is, has taken me over a week of working every day.  Believe it!  There are probably over30 layers of paint and semi-gloss gel medium on this.  I am liking how each layer of paint was a neutral off white, and the blue/green center was a different color layer.  Some times it was deep turquoise, sometimes bluey green, sometimes a lime green.. and the layers of medium between gives it a depth (you can see it better in person, but here....)

And it looks like the colors float and merge.  So much harder to get it 'right' than a realistic painting.  But I love that, too, you know it.  And get your coffee ready, there are donut paintings coming tomorrow!

Come on, dip your toe in...

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Surge, 5x7 acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Been 'off' posting for a few days, but NEVER off painting.  I think I'll make a collage or something of the ones that didn't get into the post.  I have been loving the process and all the learning that's involved.  I have only been painting in acrylics for about 8 years, so I still have a lot to learn.  But I do love it.  This painting has at it's source, the feeling of WATER from above and below.  Many many layers of paint. 

I live on the water and deal with true wind (and I laugh when people say "Oh, I LOVE wind!" because I USED to say that, till I had to live in it.  So the sound of slamming wind against the house at 2 a.m., the howling, relentless, and the whole house shaking.  The having to basically kick your way out of the car and the fight to get inside a structure to be able to open your eyes.  Storms, on the water are thrilling and terrifying.  Here on the coast of Rhode Island, you can still see things which tell the story of a storm.  The Hurricane of '38 took out the stone bridge which connected my road to Portsmouth, right in front of my house.  1/2 mile of stone... gone.  And there's a clam shack across the river from my house where there's a 5 foot marker on the front, which says how high the surge was on that storm.

I just heard that the water level is rising even faster than we thought it was.  Watching out for a Surge.... for sure.

If you've been holding back about learning to paint... don't... come paint with us.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fish Town, 4x4 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I painted this little 'abstraction' of a small coastal town on a birch board that is cradled.  It can stand up on it's side all alone.  I used acrylic paint, and an acrylic pen - THIS is a new discovery for me and I LOVE it, it's really acrylic paint but comes out of a pen.  You have to pump it to get the paint to the nib.  Anyway, it's Day 11, and I missed posting my paintings yesterday, so here it is, on canvas board, 

"City Life", 7x5 inch acrylic painting

And also.... keep in mind...

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

True Neighborhood, 4x4 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 7 of the 30 in 30 challenge
While solitude is good, there is something to be said for connectivity.  I like a neighborhood where you can be yourself, hang out in a yard and just think, just be, paint, entertain or read without the 'eyes of the world' upon you.  ("I saw you painting in your yard this morning, how long were you out there?""Who were those women you were sitting on your porch with?""Hey!  Are you sleeping or just thinking?")  Yeah.  
But people can be wonderful, nuturing, joyful, too.  I'm playing with types of painting.  This is all flat shapes with an outline.  I'd LIKE to say this was easy, but it took much much longer to do than a realistic painting. The darn lines would disappear, the colors would fade out, or thin out, the color beneath would bleed through, and with a swipe of the brush, the outline could get covered.  But I liked being free of the colors of reality.  I just made colors I LIKED.  :) Fun.

Also... if you are in the area... we have a couple more spots in the class - I guarantee you you will enjoy this class.  The people are amazing, and we will do some really focused exercises, and subjects that are bound to break you out of your winter blues! Info HERE

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Swish, 7x5 acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 6
Here it is, the first week, and I'm a day behind already!  Well, not in the PAINTING, but the posting of the painting!  I am loving, but still exploring, this particular method.  I cover the board with one color.  When it is dry I apply a semi gloss medium and let that dry - that will protect the first layer.  Then I add the second color - in this case, the blue, and when IT is almost dry i add droplets of water, trying for a pattern, a direction.  When the blue is dry I absorb the water droplets, leaving a clear view through the medium, to the bottom color (green).  At this point I look for my 'direction' and use the whole tube of paint to paint the red droplets with.  FUN!

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Sparks, 5x7 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonld

Day 5 of the 30 in 30 Challenge.  I'm very intrigued with the different types of abstract painting you can have.  Eschewing form in favor of motion, of interplay between colors, I've got a few more coming. Today I am loving black and a creamy white.  Black, of course, is a mixture of a lot of colors, and the red was just the ticket. I've kind of taken over the dinning room, with drying paintings, pots of mediums, glazing mediums and paints.  What a ride this is!  

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Party In The Night Sky, 8x6 inch acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 4 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Tried to do another one of these - I find I need more control than I like - it's almost like creating a coloring book page and then painting it in, and adjusting...
But there are a thousand types of abstract painting, and this was just a day of fun.  Something different tomorrow.
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Universe Unfolding, 6x8 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 3 of the 30 paintings in 30 days.. this week I'm doing all abstracts... I feel somehow I can't ever get out of the story that a painting tells... You can take what you want from this... and I can't promise that I won't go back in on this one.. codes, rhythms, colors, velvety depths, patterns, light.... that's what I was feeling here. I limited myself to a small range of colors and a range of 'blacks'.  An astral party is what it ended up looking like!  I'm ok with that.  

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Glass Balls & Ribbon, 4x4 Inch Acrylic by Kelley MacDonald

Day 2 of the 30 paintings in 30 days!

Yes, I will be doing the 30 paintings in 30 days with my friend Leslie Saeta in California.  So every day I will be posting a small painting - and I can't decide... donuts?  cocktails?  abstracts?  pet paintings?  Let me know what you think... I need help here.  

In some ways I would love to explore abstracts, because I never really have given myself over to them - but they take a long time to make! (at least mine do!).  For me, it's more than splashing color around.  I need to have a focus, an idea, and references to something.  I like layering, and it takes time, even for acrylics to dry.

Anyway... got new stuff happening in the New Year!  First up is a very small class I'll be doing in Bristol.  Perfect for new-to-intermediate painters.  Get this year started right!  More info on the Page above, HERE.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Every One A Memory, 5x7 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Happy New Year Everyone!
Time to put the ornaments, candles and garlands away and get on with 2015.
Let's hope this year simply sparkles for each one of you!  I loved painting this because of the challenge each glass ornament provided.  And yes, the highlights on the gold one in the middle DID look like a smiley face!

Breathe in... breathe out...  face each day with an open mind, and know that the people who love you will continue to love you, no matter how close (or not) you come to the goals you set.  Me?  I'm just going to choose faith and hope, rather than goals this year.  Let's see where that takes me.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Yellow Fleurs, 5x7 inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

*Daily Paintworks Facebook Pick of the Day*
Well, this is the last day of 2014, and the last day for my Pop Up Holiday sale.  This painting is included, and you can see the rest HERE.   Just email me at, and let me know which one(s) you want.

I can't say that I'm sad to see 2014 go, but I know for sure that I learned a lot, stretched my heart and my soul, and saw the world through different eyes.  I hope each of you had a growth year, and will enjoy 2015, with health, bounty and joy.  

I'll be posting some new classes and workshops this first week, and I quite possibly will be participating in the now-famous January painting Challenge.
Until the new year, then.... be well!
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Enchantment, 10x8 inch painting by Kelley MacDonald

At a certain time of day when the sun is sliding down, the light catches on the water and sparkles in every color.  Just for a few moments, but there it is.  I think, for me, it's the reason to live near the water... a magic moment.  I like to walk along the sea wall and look past Gould Island and see Aquidneck Island at this very moment. 

This painting has been added, along with a few more, to my Pop Up Sale, which you can view HERE.  I'm scheduled to make a Delivery Run, for FREE delivery on December 24.  So... great deals on presents, and free delivery... not bad?  Just email me at and we'll put some enchantment into your week.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good Luck Black Cat, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Visit the Pop Up Holiday Sale Page to see more!  This painting is $75 & $10 S&H, or FREE shipping if you purchase more than one!  Email me at to reserve your painting(s).

After Thursday Dec 18, we can split overnight shipping till Monday, the 22nd.  

I wish you all little joys, love light and peace.
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tower Of Jellies, 12x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Part of my little "Holiday Pop Up Sale" Click here to see the rest.  New ones added daily.

Now... I know some of these paintings would be great gifts.  And gifts are so much a part of this time of year.  But still... the best gift you can give, really, is to really be there for someone.  A friend, a relative, a neighbor, a co-worker.  Think of the people who have made such a difference in your own life... right?  

I try just to enjoy the magic this time of year brings.  The lights.  The music.  The anticipation.  I try to concentrate on what I DO have, not what I don't have, what I want.  Right now I'm full of gratitude.  Even in surprising places.  Like where you would think there would be fear, or disappointment, there is still a light there shining on someone I love.  

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Duet - and a POP UP SALE

This painting is part of my Pop Up Holiday Sale!  You can view all on my tab above!  Here's the link: 
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The God Squad, 6x4 Inches, Oil by Kelley MacDonald

Times are trying now... for a lot of people.  Here's a conference of sweet angels ready to jump in to help.  Do you know someone who is in need of a fleet of angels?  This tiny painting will sit nicely on a nightstand and is only a whisper away.  I love layering the diaphinous robes and wings, the cute but powerful wings.  Angelic assistance is on the way....
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Monday, December 1, 2014

Magical Moonlight

The first of the month always brings my painting for my Challenge group, Girls Just Wanna Paint.

This month our theme was "Magical"... and to me, moonlight on snow is just about as magical as you can get.  It's a tiny, tuckable painting, and I also like that.  I have lots of these, done by myself, or my Daily Painting friends, tucked in corners all over the house.  I love coming upon them, they comfort or inspire me, remind me of places or fun times, or just beauty.  

I know a lot of us had to wrestle joy into the Thanksgiving feast this year, but I hope you all did.  Aside from personal challenges of our own or our loved ones, the media has been doing it's level best to divide us and make us angry.  Please lock the door of your heart on them.  Let in only the joy from the smiles of your favorite family and friends, and the let in only the love from their hearts to yours.  

And if we have to buy presents at the holidays, try to do so from small businesspeople.  We won't make a hill of beans of difference in buying something from China.  But our local shops, and craftspeople are our neighbors and need our support.  Of course shopping this way won't get you your Lexus in the driveway on Christmas morning... but trust me, it will be as nice a surprise a few days after Christmas when the dealers are trying to get their numbers in before the 1st!!! Ha! 

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We're All Connected, 6x6 inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Oh, I just love this little painting.  The thought was about 'negative space' which is the space that resides between things.  It defines the shape of things by relying on the outline of what IS and what is NEXT to it.  So this was a tough subject in class, but I loved the neutral colors of the whole painting except the berries.  And I got lost in the many colors and values in each little berry.  The highlight.  The stem end. (and you can see where my camera made a shadow on the lower right quadrant  - and it doesn't really matter.
All these berries are singular, unique, actually.  Like us.  But before I took the clippers to the bush, they were all on one big branch.  They had so much more in common than they had differences.  So do we.  And I'd like to wish you all a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.  Take a break from the craziness that we get hit with every day online, on TV and on the radio.  Look around the table and be thankful that THOSE are the crazy, lovely, wonderful people you have in your life.  
Blessings on you all.
(This painting is not 'officially' for sale, but if it speaks to you just email me at
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