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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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Long Time Gone... and Big Bite, 6x6" oil painting by Kelley MacDonald

Big Bite (You Know You Want It) 6x6 Inch Oil
$100 & $10 S&H
Click HERE To Purchase

Ohhhh, it's been a long time since I broke down and ate, I mean PAINTED, a jelly donut.  I have been busy as a bee, and struggling with a twisted up knee, and Dunkin Donuts called to see what I've been up to.  Kidding.
I liked doing the zoomed in piece here, and it's a struggle to get the right values (dark vs. light) of the shaded part of both the jelly and the 'belly' of the donut.  But I was really happy with how this came out.  The hubby says he likes donuts without the bite out of them better.  More for me, I say. :D
My Open House was a great success, and my friend Susan Medyn and I had LOTS of fun with our teeni tiny martini's!  White Cosmos, friends and finishing the day with piping hot chili - what a great day!
I have had to fill in some pieces at the Providence Art Club because some donuts found new homes from that show - but do not worry, because I keep them stocked with 6 paintings till the show closes just before Christmas!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

White Cosmo, 6x6 Inch Free Painting by Kelley MacDonald

A White Cosmo is a Cosmo with white cranberry juice instead of the usual red.  I will be serving them at my Open Studio with Susan Medyn on Saturday at my place. (see details in previous post).  This painting will be part of a free raffle for those who stop by, and Susan will be offering one as well.  Oh, that's crushed candy canes on the rim....  kind of festive, you know?

I just love painting the reflected light on the glass.  For this painting I put a pink cloth under the martini glass, and the light bounced up form it into the 'bowl' of the glass.  The cocktail itself is frosty white.  Let's get this party STARTED!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cocktail Time! 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

 Oh BOY what a busy time of year!!  This was a demo for my class at the Providence Art Club.  We were working on interesting compositions, and did 3 little studies, being as brave as we could, then chose the one that we felt worked best!  (Yes, we had a 'cocktail party')
This will be at my own Open House this Saturday, from 1-5 p.m.  We will be serving a signature cocktail, a White Cosmo, and giving a way a painting of it as well as a painting from my co-host Susan Medyn, in the form of one of her wonderful, whimsical watercolors! Gifts, cards, calendars will be available as well as new work, but mostly well wishes for a beautiful, healthy, happy Holiday Season.  You are invited, 1888 Main Road, Tiverton, RI:

Saturday and Sunday, in Marshfield, MA the North River Arts Society will have 21 of my paintings in their Holiday Art Sale!  It's free to get in unless you want to be an Early Bird!  On Saturday, you CAN get in, for $10, at 9 a.m. (regularly starts at 10) and get 'dibs' on everything, PLUS 10% off any of the amazing bigger paintings on the stage.  Sat. 1-4 - and Sun 10-2. (Oh, yeah, how cool is it that they used my mints on the poster and card!!!)

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Got Our PINK Going On, 6x6 Inch Oil painting by Kelley MacDonald

 The upcoming Little Picture Show at the Providence Art Club will feature 2 of my Peppermint Paintings, and 4 donut paintings.  This is one of them, but if you NEED it, just email me at asap, and I will paint them another one!  What IS it about painting candies that I love?
Part of it .... yes, the cellophane.  Then the is the endless compositions.  And the white with highlights.  And... candies are fun.  My Dad always had a couple of these in every pocket.  I've copied that from him.  So if we are ever together and you get a tickle in your throat, be glad we're together!
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Full Nest, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald


Sometimes in our lives things are very full... like with little ones, and business and dreams and hopes.  That's what a full nest feels like.  Everything changes, so we learn to hold on to this sweetness and the moments as they come.

Today in class we did the 'counted strokes'  lesson.  We painted our image, counting each stroke - no limit.  My first one was 230 strokes.  The next one we did we cut that number in half - I only could cut it, this time, to 120 strokes.  The third is the most difficult - cut the number in half again.  Doing this makes you think VERY carefully about the stroke you're putting down.  It makes you deliberate.  Keeps you from 'house painting' where you 'pet' the canvas or board, almost mindlessly, until you think of what color comes next.  Here, we are practicing 'thoughtful' strokes.

At the end we paint the image again, with no counting, just the lesson of thoughtful paint application in mind.  This, above, was my last effort.  Here is the set of 4 below, from my demo (the painting above is on a regular square of gessobord, and I just taped it to my big canvas in space #4.
The colors were a little yellow in this photo...
And the little dabs were my way of counting each stroke - no, they do not match up - the first one took more room for the dots than I needed, so I continued down on #4's space (which I didn't need because we didn't count on that one!).

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Cream ... Plus... oil by Kelley MacDonald

Getting ready for the Hingham Arts Walk THIS weekend.... come SEE the 'wall of donuts' - 35 North Street in Hingham.  Most of these have not been seen by the world yet!  I discovered a true gem of a donut shop in Fall River, this donut is slightly crunchy on the outside, and tender and moist on the inside, PLUS filled with cream AND frosted with chocolate... WOWZA.  Do stop by Page Railsback's studio on Sunday!

Also.... I am endlessly fascinated by other artists' process.  So when I see some (and you should check these guys out) like Karen Appleton and Amy Hillenbrand, I just am mesmerized.  They paint in one location and move on to another... This speaks largely to the whole "my school of painting is the only correct one..." crowd.  You see, in the world of art, there IS no 'correct' method of painting.  Some people start by blocking out masses of shapes, some draw with  pencil first and then work they way methodically across the canvas/board, some draw with paint and lay down the darks firs.....  it's ALL good.  And what happens when you tend to judge is that you miss out on being OPEN and learning new things.  I'm re-inspired.  May just try this type of method soon.  I'll show you.  Although, to be honest, when you try something new, it takes about 6 tries to get it right... Pin It
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