Sunday, September 21, 2014

Toast... To You, 4x4 inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Sometimes you just don't need any reason to celebrate your friends.  You know... they are with you to share your happy times and there to hug you and support you through tough times.  I have to say I'm a pretty good Cosmo maker.  If you ever stop by ... ask for one.  I'm happy to share.
This little painting was doing while I was doing a 'Cosmo Commission' for 2 very good friends who have good stories to share.  Festive. Fun.  Like our very best friends.....
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weeeelcome Back!

A lovely little island just west of Martha's Vineyard, part of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts... Cuttyhunk is the place to go if you want quiet.  Off the grid, mostly (you can stand on some crests of hills and catch a signal for your phone).  I left with my friend Susan Medyn out of New Bedford Harbor into the spray of the water taxi... into the blue blue water & sky and finally saw little Cuttyhunk.  An Artist's Retreat.  Heaven.  And I did a fun little workshop on Plein Air for my group and the Islanders (it was open to all EIGHTEEN full time islanders).  

We were pampered with gentle, nourishing yoga on the front porch overlooking the ocean.  During the days we foraged for inspiration and the muse.... at night, under the gloaming sky, we toasted each day's fruit of our labor with wine & bites, then were presented with fabulous meals in the shingle style Inn, called the Avalon.  

This afternoon, I braved the whirling wind, and explored the Fisherman's Club, settling near the bluff that overlooked the old Coast Guard Station (red roof), and the spit of beach that pointed towards Nashawena (now... I may have spelled that wrong, but it's the next island).  I started out 'normally'... (you know, blue sky, greeny water), but then it was as if I heard my dearly departed teacher, Ros Farbush in my ear.  "ANYONE could paint that!  Put some color into it!"  So I let my brush dip into the purples and aqua... and ... here it is.  I do hate to part with it.  I'll share more paintings soon.

Where we had yoga every soft morning.
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Ripple Effect, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

It's that time again, Girls Just Wanna Paint Challenge!   This month our topic was rather loose, "Water", very open for interpretation.  Thoughts I had included a glass of water at a place setting on a table, a very realistic painting of a glass of ice water, a painting of someone watering their flowers or garden, a pot of water ready for pasta on the stove, a kitchen sink, aside from all the usual beach/boat/swim paintings I could do.  

I settled on this one, because it's from a photo session I did in Maine in June, early morning in the cove we stay at.  I have always been intrigued by the broken mirror image of the trees, the boat, the buoy, the sky in the water.  I thought to myself "I'll never get this, it's too complicated."  But I started early and s-l-o-w-l-y did one refection at a time.  It looks even better in person, and I'm quite happy with it. I can hear the lapping of the water at the dock I stood on to shoot the image.  Happy Labor Day weekend, and, unbelievably, it's SEPTEMBER!
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Peaceful Day, 4x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

4x6" Acrylic Painting

Today.... was blissful.  Perfect temperature, low wind, gorgeous sky with an army of cream puff clouds gliding along.  I HAD to have the 'studio' outside today!  

But I didn't feel like painting alone... so I called my friend Susan Medyn, a brave and sassy watercolorist, (see her work here), and took my Studio Assistant (Paco) outside.  

Inspiration floated back and forth between Susan and I, and we egged each other on to step outside of our comfort zones, while noshing on pb&j's (I'm a real hostess, I tell you).  We slapped that paint around, talked about our upcoming trip to the Cuttyhunk Island Artist's Retreat, shared career tips and  brainstormed.  I have been in a really fertile mode about my work, it's direction, ways to market it while maintaining the focus on development of my skill.  The stars must be aligning for me in this area!  I'm enjoying good connections to collectors, who give me valuable feedback, and enrich MY life with their friendships.  

Tonight.... a trip to Marshfield to North River Art Society's Outside The Box - a really fun event, where we paint and our pieces go on the wall unsigned for a silent auction.  Tonight the paintings went to their new homes.  I think the quality of the art this year was superior to every other year.  Actually, the actor Steve Carrell painted a piece titled "Buy This Painting For $50,000".  Pretty much he just painted that on a square.  I fear the bid went for slightly less than that... :)  still fun.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Intensity, 5x7 Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

5x7" Oil Painting "Intensity"

Did you know that Tuesday was National Dog Day?  Yeah, well, .... we celebrated it in our house!  No, not Harry, the orange cat or Isabelle the torti cat, but Paco and I... and my husband (who did not know exactly that he was celebrating).  I love this painting.  It was part of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta.   I really like that you have to delve... dig and be creative - because trust me, no matter how much you love your subject, at about day 10 you are smacking yourself in the forehead asking everyone you know why they let you commit to this!  And you get to know a subject INSIDER OUT! :D

So.  Here I am, considering it again for September.  I have a really, really, really busy month.  I'm doing a workshop on Cuttyhunk Island as part of the Cuttyhunk Island Artist Retreat.  I'm teaching at the Providence Art Club.  And I'm teaching 3 Fridays at the Portsmouth Arts Guild on Aquidneck Island. (Please ignore the typo's, I just copied and pasted from their website):
Honestly, I'm just glad there are 2 e's in my first name and an 'a' in my last name.  I don't ask for much! But there are still a few spots left if you're interested!

One more, kind of personal, thing.  I actually consider all you guys my friends.  You are, actually, more real than my Facebook friends, since you've shared my journey for many years, so... OK.  I haven't posted since Open Studios, which was fine, fun and fabulous.  Because as I was catching my breath over that, we learned that my godchild is very sick.  With God's grace she will not only survive but thrive, but it's been a rocky week, and honestly, I couldn't paint.  I couldn't even string a thought together.  All the crazy stuff going on in the world, and then to find out someone who is wonderful in a 'lit from within' way is literally holding on by a thread.  So.... if you can spare a prayer, we'll take it.  Thank you.  And now.... I promise surprises and fun scenes from Open Studios tomorrow.  Goodnight and thank you.
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Friday, August 15, 2014

What'cha Doin' This Weekend?

8x8 inch Acrylic - "Triple Threat"

This is a new one for my Open Studio this weekend.  8x8.  Aye-yi-yi!  I have it framed.  It walkways surprises me just how far people will drive for one of these paintings - so I made sure I have plenty available this year!  I opened the box of donuts tonight and there was only ONE there.  I have no idea what happened to them..... Paco?  Well, tomorrow I am giving away a donut painting :D  AND I will have tiny little jelly donuts available to nosh!  Don't come to me last - I can't run out and get more when they're gone!!! 

Good weather tomorrow - perfect.  Sprinkles on Sunday - also perfect.

To be eligible to win this 6x6 inch original painting, just print and cut out the invitation below, put your name and email address (clearly) on the back, and drop it in to my fishbowl at the studio!
Good luck!

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Donuts Here, Donuts There.....

"And In This Corner...." 12x12 Inch Acrylic painting

Getting ready for Open Studio here... so I know what you're thinking - "She's cleaning, polishing, putting up new curtains, painting the porch, etc. etc. "  Well, not exactly.  Not anything like that, actually.  I am painting bigger donut paintings!  These 4 donuts were painted right in the DD's box, which I held in my left hand while painting with my right... all the while listening to Colin Page's interview on Artists Helping Artists!

Who eats the donuts, you ask?  Good question.  Depends on the day.  Today Paco barked like a crazy dog at the BOX till I put it out of sight.  I may re-arrange and paint them again tomorrow, but, in this ONE thing I'm a perfectionist, and if the frosting has lost it's sheen or the jelly has become transLUCENT instead of trasPARENT.... out they go.

So, yes, I'm giving away "Luscious Lips", below:

To be eligible, just print out the invitation, below.  Put your name and email address (clearly, please!) on the back, and when you visit my Open Studio this weekend, drop it into the fish bowl (which is really a vase).  I'll pick the winner on Sunday at 5!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Closer! Open Studio This Weekend!

This weekend the South Coast Open Studio Tour is in full swing!  So many cool studios to visit.  Beautiful vistas of the Sakonnet River, and farmland falling away to the coast.  Delish food stops.  Gray's Ice Cream.  AND my studio!  (and that's just Tiverton - there is also Little Compton, Westport and Dartmouth!)

I'm giving away this little painting - for followers of my blog exclusively (yes, people can sign up for the blog there at my studio).  

Simply print out the little ad below, and put your contact info on the back and drop it into my fish bowl when you visit!  (Name, email, physical address, and phone - if you are comfortable with that - I'll only use it to notify you!).  
The walls are packed.  :)  I'd love to see you!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Frosted, 6x6 inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Oh, the chocolate does me in!  I will admit!  And SOMETIMES, like this time, I ask them to re-dip the donut in the chocolate.  Evil, I know, but they do it for me!

I promised I'd post the painting I'm giving away this weekend at my Open Studio, so here it is, below:

All you have to do is print and clip the invitation BELOW.  Write your contact information on it and when you stop by my Studio, on the South Coast Open Studio Tour, drop it in the fishbowl.  At the end of the day on Sunday, my assistant will reach in and choose an entry.  I will ship it for free.  Good luck!

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Extra Chocolate Frosting, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

LOTS of stuff going on.  Really.  Yesterday's painting was selected as a Daily Paintworks Pick of the Day!  This past weekend I had a couple of paintings in the Pembroke Arts Festival, and I did a donut demo there on Saturday.  Got interviewed on a local cable show there too.  I painted 4 donuts, below:

Today's donut is part of the plethora (now, haven't you always wanted to USE that word?) of donuts I'm painting for this upcoming weekend's Open Studio at my home/studio.  Ah-cha-cha!  The craziness here!  I tell you it's astounding!

If you cut this invitation out and bring it to my Open Studio, write your contact information on the back, because I'm GIVING AWAY a painting if you come because of my blog or my Facebook invitation!  Tomorrow I'll publish the painting I'm giving away.  Gonna be FUN!

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Way Maine Makes Me Feel, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Perfect blue sky, gentle breeze, deep blue ocean... lone island against a far shore.....  shell pink horizon... one tiny puffy cloud.

Slight wind... two, no three more puffy clouds, still small.... then more... then larger, heavier, plump and luscious clouds..... wind picks up... water unsettled...

Then GUSTs of wind.. a parade of chunky clouds, water flipped by the wind that picks up my palette and throws it facedown on the rock bound coast of Maine.....  the growth of a Maine morning....

Laughter of fellow painter....  another rushes with paper towels, scramble to save the tubes of paint skittering away into the crevices... a decision to save the rest of the painting for another day, when the scent of the ocean is a vague memory and the visual of the army of clouds bringing flinging breath disrupting my efforts..... *love* Maine.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day's Cottage... Revisited, 7x5 inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Love all things 'outer Cape'.  I am reading a book called "The Orphans of Race Point" by Patry Francis, and many of my good artist friends are spending time in Ptown, Wellfleet, Truro right now, posting their images on Facebook, and making me LONG to visit!  Also, out of the blue, this painting from 2011 sold from my blog.   Have I mentioned how much I love my blog AND my blog followers??  Well, of course I couldn't find it and did my research and turns out someone had purchased it... so I revisited the original photo and re-painted it.  Honestly I loved this image, and it calls to mind those wonderful little cottages you drive by on the way to Provincetown.  I know for a fact it's going to a good home - with a beautiful Springer Spaniel named Molly!  
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pink Beach Rose, 4x4 inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit a friend who has a camp in Maine on a beautiful lake.  After I painted the vista a couple of times, something was nudging me from the back of my mind.  I'd been to Sakonnet Point recently and the scent of the Rosa Rugosa (Beach Rose) garden swept me off my feet.  there were a few different varieties, and I snapped photos of them all.

So, what evolved, through the first day, when I was alone at the camp awaiting my friend (I mean alone with Paco - my glued-to-my-hip sidekick) was a small series of up-close-and-personal portraits of these heavenly scented flowers.  I was inspired, partly, by Connie Hayes' florals that were 12x12 inches, and glorious, that I had seen a couple of months ago at the Dowling Walsh Gallery.  I'm going to buy some 12x12 canvases after my next Open Studio and make a number of large paintings like this.  

I see them hung individually, or like this:
I think they would make a stunning arrangement at a beach house, a home near the ocean, or the wall of a rose-lover.  AND mine will NOT be $5,000 EACH, like Connie's, so that's good.... :D
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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Red Dory I, 24x48 Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This is a section of a painting that I donated to the Tiverton Land Trust at their event on Thursday evening.  I was a bit disappointed at the low winning big (roughly 1/3 of what it would be listed at in a gallery).  HOWEVER, it wasn't framed.... OK,  and I was happy that someone who also valued the Land Trust would have it in their home.

Then... as it would turn out... the Red Dory was going to the owner of the new restaurant near my home... and the name of his restaurant, The Red Dory, was the inspiration for a small series of paintings I did, including THIS one.  And I met him and he was so nice and he and my husband brainstormed about the way they should develop the empty gas station across the street from the new restaurant, at the beach.  And they came up with - a big gazebo... which would be really really nice - and would allow Tiverton residents to sit in the shade and enjoy the wonderful view. (We will not mention that I have been saying this all along, right?).

At any rate, it was a wonderful night, with a fabulous sunset, an amazing moonset closely following (a red crescent moon - so unusual!).  Great food, fun beverages, lively conversation and great auction items - I was proud to be among the donators!
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Friday, August 1, 2014

"Tree", 8x8 inch oil painting by Kelley MacDonald

This month, our challenge for Girls Just Wanna Paint is "Tree".  I've driven by these trees a thousand times.  They sit in a large hay field. They bring my blood pressure down just by looking at them.  I painted them over and over for this Challenge.  I hope you check it out and enjoy our work.  
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Beach Party, 6x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

A little something different for me!  The paint is layers and layers, inspired by a recent trip to the beach.  The figures are having a party and I painted them in a naive manner, without modeling of darks and lights.  Just simple, fun and THERE.  
I really enjoyed painting it - I hope it's fun to look at, too.....

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stand At Pardon Gray, 5x7 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I have loved this stand of trees a couple of miles from my home for the 10 years I've lived here.  It's at the Pardon Gray Preserve.  Beautiful and different in every light... and I want to paint them all.  I started out with the image on my iPhone, then sketched in ink, and colored in with markers... to see what I liked in terms of size of the trees, placement, and atmosphere.

First small sketches,

Then I did a 5x7 in acrylic - to see if I liked that... and I DID, 

But then I did the top one in oil... and it came closest to my vision in my head.  After painting this same scene all day, I was treated to this sunset view, below.... breathtaking....

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Coastal Drift, 5x7 inch oil painting by Kelley MacDonald

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Here's Looking At You! Open Studio This Weekend!

It's a beautiful weekend here in Little Rhody!  I'd love to see you if you're thinking of doing the South Coast Artists Tour!  11-5 Saturday and Sunday.  There are over 100 artists - too much to see all!
But I'll be at my studio, and you can come enjoy the breezes, sip a cold drink and soak up ART!
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yellow Bouquet, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

  Getting ready for Open Studios this year has been more of a push up than usual. In the past I tidied up, brought bins of paintings from my studio, hung the signage, and VOILA!  This year I still had boxes I had yet to unpack form moving my studio into my LIVING ROOM, plus I had 3 easels, 3 mediums, all my art supplies... all that needed moving.  Oh, and stacks of paintings against the walls, on the walls and on the shelving, which needed to be relocated, too.  WAH!  What was I thinking?  I should have been getting ready for this for MONTHS.

Well, what happens when you're under the gun and the clock is ticking, and you know you should have started waaaaaay earlier?  You become exhausted, you fall down the stairs, you miss deadlines because you were not looking at the clock, you accidentally let the cat out one day and he disappears (no worries, he did come back) and the dog out another day and he runs down the middle of Main Road leaving you NO choice but to chase him in your NIGHTGOWN and flip flops, you argue with people you love, UNTIL it's all done.

Happy to report it's all done :)  And we can be normal now - I mean, as normal as we ever were.  Some nice Facebook friends have suggested that if this art thing doesn't work out I could write sit-coms from my life.  We'll see how it goes.  Anyway, I'd SO love to see you, and have you see what I've been working on.  I love meeting people who follow the blog - so be SURE to introduce (or re-introduce - I have a brain like a sieve) yourself if you decide to take a ride to one of the most beautiful areas in New England!  

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Maine Thing, a collage of Maine Paintings by Kelley MacDonald

I threw together a little collage of my most recent Maine paintings.  Most of these are available at my Open Studio this weekend.  I know I'm supposed to be organizing, hanging, spit & polishing, etc. but here is what I have been doing: 

Yup, painting MASSIVE jelly donuts, then trying to get a selfie wearing a hat because - well, it was a Bad Hair Day, that's all I'm gonna say about that.  So on the front of my house is a strange assortment of large paintings:  A red dory on a calm pond.... A Sun & fields with fractured paint - in thick squares and dabs.... and two massive jellies in a stack.  Still painting like crazy - thank God when I missed a step on the stairs on Saturday last it was my LEFT shoulder I wrenched.  

If you're in driving distance, and want to take a nice drive - we have dozens of artists this weekend who have opened their studios.... so ice cream (Gray's), seafood and art - does it get any better than this?

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Those Luscious Lips, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

  Oh... those sweeties... and that top one was over-stuffed - don't DO that to me!!!  I have to fight my dog and my husband to get one of these! :)  I had these two picked out while I was in line at Dunkin's.  The lady in front of me acted like she was in STARBUCK's - she had questions about every beverage they carried, and she had a little boy that I was afraid was going to claim these excellent 'models'.  Turns out his 'event' was an in depth discussion about the merits of mixing flavors for a personalized 'Coolatta'  (at this point I have broken out in to a sweat, I felt like a junkie - wanted to place my hand over both their mouths and just beg "Please put the two middle jellies aside for me, OK?".  So, yeah.... I did a very small amount of foot tapping and eye rolling.. and then when it was my turn - don't you know I was 5 cents SHORT?  I had left my bag in the car and only brought in a little cash.  While I debated whether I should just get ONE of them, or neither, the lady who was in front of me reached over and tossed a dollar bill on the pile of money I had.  Yup.  Just like that.  I felt smaller and smaller (hadn't I just rolled my EYES at her?) and then, fortunately a dime fell out of my pocket, so I had it covered, but still.  Put me right back in my place, being patient.  Not judging.  Accepting what the Universe/God/Angles have lined up for me.
And I painted like the WIND when I got home!

Now - one of these days I'm going to do everyone a favor and start a Newsletter.  Yes, Leslie Saeta, I am!  But I want to tell you that NEXT weekend.........

You are all SO invited and would be extremely welcomed!  It's a wonderful Tour.  I can steer you to some of the most amazing artists!  Please introduce yourself (again?) to me, as I am swamped with faces those days... :D
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dreaming of Maine, 8x8 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

8x8 inches, $150 & $10 S&H

  Deceptively simple.  But like a dream, there are many layers of paint on this painting.  It has a solid 'structure' but then the paint just glided on...fluid and in ... well, 'dreamy' colors.  With a hint of what we call 'calligraphy' on the little islands, where I've carved through the paint.  I was going to save this for my Open Studio, but I though, ... no.. I had to share it.  Feel free to zoom in, you find all sorts of interesting things going on in this painting.  I don't say this about many of my paintings, but I love this piece.

Busy getting ready for my Open Studio next weekend!!!!!  I am inviting you all.  This year I'm leaving up a Work In Progress, and you can see my palette, my favorite brushes, and my colors.  I'd like to say I'm cleaning and organizing but I can't stop PAINTING.  You may show up to my usual disarray of stacks of paintings I'm working on, a table with acrylics set up, my oil paint set up, my colored markers - all in the midst of being used!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Old Barn, 8x8 Inch Oil Painting on Paper by Kelley MacDonald

8x8 Inch Oil on Arches Oil Paper

Another one from Hersey Farm in Hingham.  Loved painting the weathered wood!  Once again, keeping it loose.  It's funny, when I first started painting I wanted to be EXACT EXACT - totally realistic - photo realistic if I could.   I now think that it is actually harder to paint a good, solid, loose piece.  Carol Marine said once that you progress to a certain point, then you have to decide - extreme realism or expressionism.  The masses certainly admire extreme realism ("Ohhh, it looks just like a photo!" *cringe*).  But at this point I"m leaning towards a certain degree of expression.  Even though my darling husband will inevitably say "Couldn't you paint the shingles?

Well, here in our little corner of the world, we have had 2 beautiful days after the 4th of July.  So.... for all the kvetching and napping and reading that got done on the 4th - good!  Sometimes it takes an act of God to make me relax.  So... thank You!
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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hersey Farm View, 6x6 inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Last week I had the great pleasure of painting with some fabulous painters at Hersey Farm in Hingham MA.  We decided to paint in 'study' mode - not to get too wrapped up in detail, in a struggle for perfection, and rather to be more impressionistic, to be loose - but correct.  It was wonderful, and we all got a few nice pieces.  This on is a view up at meadow.. with a bit of standing water brightly reflecting the incredible blue sky that day.  The cows will be coming to this farm soon for summer grazing.  We've been invited back.  I cannot wait!

We saw at least 13 different sets of fireworks tonight.  You have to find things every day to be grateful for.  I am.  So grateful.  For my family, my friends, my work....
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Independence Day!

11x14, Acrylic
Long May It Wave

This painting was done on location in the Long Pond area of Bristol, ME.  A 2 room home, it was restored lovingly by a family over 42 years.  I love, love, loved painting it.

Happy 4th!  May we ever be grateful for our wonderful country, and though we may have our  differences, we are one nation.  Every state has it's beauty and personality, each as beautiful as the next.  I hope you get some good family time, festivities and maybe a parade.  Enjoy!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thoughtful Gull, 12x6 in Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

 $125 & $10 S&H
Email me at to purchase

Summer is here, and the gulls are back!  I'm always inspired to paint them, and I think I am getting better and better at capturing our local gulls' likenesses!   This one, above, is for sale (see the close up below the entire piece) but the one below I'm saving for my Open Studios, coming up on July 19th and 20th of this month.
It's taken from Jamie Wyeth's painting.  That's one way artists learn, to hone their skills.  I'm no Jamie Wyeth, but I did enjoy painting this gaggle of gulls!
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