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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Change In Direction, 6x12 Inches, Oil Painting of Seagulls

Also, Not (Yet) For Sale

On Saturday I was frustrated painting.  At the end of the day this was what I came up with.  I was ultimately happy with it.  And thus began... as you will see... a little obsession with seagulls!  I liked the dark foliage on the dunes behind the gulls. 

And this painting, below, is a 30x30 Inch painting which was accepted into the Focus On Figures Show at North River Arts Society, I was thrilled to learn this!
"Three Little Graces"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rory, Get Your Dory, 8x10 Inches, Oil Painting of Rowboat

Not for Sale... Yet

Normally, I'm constantly flooded with inspiration and ideas, like all artists.  I have the 'seeds' of great paintings in a hundred sketchbooks, on the backs of envelopes, in my photo library, and usually I have to choose between them, to pick out one over the other... it's a great thing.  HowEVER. ... when a deadline looms... when I want/have to have a selection of work for a show, etc.  I can get frozen in front of the easel.  It happened last weekend.  I have a lot of pieces I want to bring somewhere.  New pieces.  I had SO many ideas ... but when it came time to prep the panels my ideas dried up.  I dried up!

So I took the pressure off by going through my 40,000 images on my computer.  (I know, I know... get them off the computer...)  Didn't help.  I tried just plowing through and starting a painting - even though I wasn't excited about it - *wipe*wipe*wipe*.  I tried music... looking at my favorite historical artists..  nuthin... my current living artist hero's... nope...  I 'dialed a friend'... uh uh.... I had some swedish fish.... then had to brush my teeth... all diversionary tactics.  What happened to my zillions of paintings in my head?  

Why do we freeze when the creative process gets 'direction' like this?  Eventually I just started a few pieces, with NO HOPE that they'd turn in to anything.. and I lost the self consciousness, and slowly got lost in the work, and things started to flow.

Regarding the name of this piece:  When I named my first son Rory, the old Irish ladies in the neighborhood would sing to me "Rory, get your Dory, there's a herring in the Bay..." - he'll want to kill me if he ever reads this, I'm sure.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cozy Cottage, 12x12 inches, Oil

Not For Sale At This Time

I had a good weekend painting away!   My guys were doing home repair stuff that makes me a nervous wreck (definitely not a micro-manager, definitely not...) so I settled in to the studio. With my music turned way up and no one to disturb by singing along at the top of my lungs, I was feeling 'beachy'...  And I found this photo I took last Summer on Cape Cod.  As I was painting, the scene just felt comfortable... familiar, and I couldn't figure out why.  As I was putting the last few brush strokes on, I realized, that my good friend Joan Brancale had painted this exact cottage from this exact angle (we both must have stood at the edge of their driveway), and her painting hangs in the dining room of her Summer home, where I have frequently visited.  Oh, well, great minds think alike, I suppose!

*I have had a last minute cancellation for my figure workshop this Friday, March 30 at my studio!*
Email me for info at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beach Boy, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting

 Here's a favorite subject - a child playing in the sand at the beach...  This photo was from the trip to Hilton Head, and the sand was covered with a thin layer of water, which, in the late afternoon was reflecting the sky... just beautiful with the reflections....  and with the 75+ degree weather this week, here in Rhode Island, I'm thinking ... BEACH! (And I love his little cowlick!)

So I did this painting in the method I learned at the Karin Jurick workshop.  This will be incorporated in the general painting workshop I'm giving in Hull on April 25, 26 and 27.  To register contact Oceanside Gallery, where it will be held....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moi, 4x4 Inches, Oil


Trying to catch up on my Hilton Head Gang Mugshots, and you don't think I filed them anywhere, do you?  So I'm back to Week 5, which just happened to be me.  And I'm going to forgive myself for the butcher jobs I did on my friends I've painted previously, as painting this face I know so well was SO hard!  I got the right side better than the left, who knows why?  Maybe it's because of that strange arched  eyebrow.  Or the ear.  

Another tip:  This was done in Karin Jurick's method - painted on gessobord, with black matte Rustoleum sprayed on it.  BE SURE you let the rustoleum dry completely.  I did not, and the paint wouldn't lay down on it, and kept getting gloppy.  3 hours on this one, and it was either say "I'm done!" or take a flying leap out the 2nd story window.  I chose to be finished....  Here's my 'blurb':

Kelley “MacGrins” MacDonald is the next notorious member to be sought.  You may think her smiling face is harmless...until you see your smiling mug on one of her blogs.  She waltzes in to a room, a beach or an event, smiling and acting all “I’m your friend” and then shoots at will.  She doesn’t leave until she has captured every available smile.  When ready leave the island...Suspiciously...her little red sports car was missing...she left Hilton Head in a newly acquired Jag shouting “Girls Just Wanna Paint!”  She drove up the coast stopping along the way to visit accomplices.  She has hideouts everywhere.  Beware the smile...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birthday Gull, 6x6 Inches, Oil Painting of Sea Gull

The title of this one is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as it was the FINAL birthday celebration today!   I came back to the studio and found a photo of this seagull grooming itself.  I'd love to paint a seagull from life, but they never stay still long enough!  It was impossible to photograph this painting without the bits of glare on the dark gray feathers, which appear like speckles in the photo.

*March 30 Workshop Full*
I still have openings in the 3-day Workshop, April 25, 26, 27 9-4
At Oceanside Gallery in Hull, MA

Thursday, March 15, 2012

After Lunch Wait, 8x8 Inch Painting of girl at the Beach, Acrylic

$150 & $10 S&H 

Yearning for the beach... yearning for warm (but not too) warm weather... In addition this month my Challenge Group's topic will be Beach Day, so there may be a few of these beachy paintings.  In this one... I'm remembering the time limit my Mom used to put on us before we could go swimming after lunch.  One hour.  45 minutes if we only went in up to our knees.  So unfair, but with the thought of drowning from a stomach cramp... we obeyed.  Well, I did.  I am sure my husband, as a child, did not.  We joke that we should have t-shirts:  mine would say "Plays Well With Others" and his would say "Runs With Scissors".  Fortunately we both survived childhood!

It was a wonderful birthday, Wednesday, thank you all for your notes on Facebook, emails etc. One funny thing....
This pocketbook (pug shaped) arrived, and when I opened it Paco jumped up and grabbed it by the ear - he thought it was a 'baby' for him!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#17 of the Hilton Head Mugshots, Judy

It is week 17 and we can really see the end of our quest...but there is still work to do so I shall present our next Hilton Head Gang member from the famous Karin Jurick workshop...
Judy “Fashionista” Elias is a petite blonde.  She looks harmless enough, but with camera in hand she can be as devious as any member of the Hilton Head Gang.  Her petite stature allows her to sneak into venues with seemingly childlike innocence...but don’t let that fool you.  She enters, shoots then escapes before she is discovered.  She is often enveloped in large decorative scarves that disguise her camera to make it easy for her to focus on unsuspecting victims...then she shoots and is out of sight before she is detected.   
For more about the The Hilton Head Gang check out their blog at

And I also have to apologize to Judy, so beautiful and elegant, for making her look, .... well.... evil!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Favorite Jelly Donuts, 6x6 Inches Oil Painting

$100 & $10 S&H 

This is "The Daily Paintworks Challenge" for this week!  Carol Marine asked me to come up with a 'challenge' and... OK, it's paint your favorite donut~ (*wink*wink*).  I must be really missing the Donut War with Susan Roden, no?
I invite all artists out there to do their darndest, and post their efforts on the Daily Paintworks Challenge Page!  The bottom donut in my painting, btw, was filled by a joker at Dunkin's - they put the jelly in on the flat part of the donut that sometimes happens when 2 donuts stick together - looks like a bulls eye!  Where was Quality Assurance?  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cupcake Tic Tac Toe, 12x12, Acrylic


This painting is a donation to the RI Food Bank Auction, which has a Cupcake theme.  I had a little inventory problem, in that my female cat, Isabelle, is driving insane by the smell of chocolate, in any form. And she will risk life and limb to get some.  So the first day when I turned my back she ate the other chocolate cupcake (I painted them from top row to bottom row).  So for the second row I had to buy more - and I put the pieces I wasn't painting in a zip lock bag.  Left it on the counter and overnight she ate the cupcakes, and the plastic bag as well.  The last day in desperation I was buying all the cupcakes on the shelf, just in case they didn't get stocked up and just in case Isabelle somehow could reach the NEW baggie, which I nailed to the top part of the cabinet.  
All of a sudden, as I'm holding 3 packages (because NOW they had the golden and chocolate, bottom row left) and contemplating whether I needed another Snowball... someone tapped me on the back and I turned and this little old lady said "Go ahead dear... take them all...."  and I was mortified!  I tried to explain about Isabelle, and she said "Of course, they're for the cat..."
Well, tonight I stuffed the leftovers in a bag and sent them home with my son!!!!

That being said I'm cooking a lot of shrimp tonight for Ros Farbush's Memorial Service tomorrow, and Harry (my orange cat whose weakness is shrimp) is hunting ME.... let's see if I survive the evening!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sign In The Clouds, 5x7 Acrylic Painting

Did you ever go through a really hard time in life, and you either needed to know if you were on the right path or you just needed to know if you were doing the right thing?  Well I have, and I bet you have, too.  One winter when we lived on the beach my Dad was living with us, and was declining,  and it was very hard - for all involved.  One day I didn't think I could do one more day - looking back I think "Of COURSE you could!" - but I asked for a sign that it would be all right.  That I would and could be up to the task.  And I walked on the beach in the very early morning, praying and thinking, and I looked up and saw this.  I took it as a sign of love.  My digital image is long gone (2 computers ago), but I made a print of it to paint from.
My alternate name for this was "Hope".  Think it is better?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Martini's Over, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting of Olives

This was a demo for my recent workshop.  I've been away for a few days, in NYC with my husband, taking in the sights and having a lovely dinner with fellow blogger and fabulous artist Nancy Hartley and her husband, who were in from CA.  We visited the Hispanic Society to see Sorolla's murals, and 4 other of his paintings.  And we walked, I swear, 500 miles.

We had dinner at the Salmagundi Club, which is affiliated with the Providence Art Club, and they were having an Art Auction with some beautiful work.  They have some beautiful pieces in their collection as well.
Everywhere we went in New York, we had good experiences.  People were so friendly, so kind.  Maybe I just expected it and it was so.  

One thing I really wanted was some exquisite perfume I used to get all the time and you can't get it in Boston or Providence.  Apparently they have discontinued it - although it has been around for a long, long time.  I was ... unhappy... and basically talked the ear off the salesman in one of the really big dept. stores on 5th Avenue.  You know, the kind you feel like one of the unwashed masses the moment you walk in.  Well, this salesman listened, then took my contact info and promised if they reissued it he'd contact me.  And still, I lamented.  Whined.... and suddenly he asked me to wait right there and he literally climbed in a little closet hidden behind the counter and was there a LONG time... and came out, put his finger to his lips (shhhhh) flashed a big flask at me with the name of my perfume taped across the front, and quickly wrapped it tissue and stuffed it in my bag.  I don't think I closed my mouth till I got back out on to the street.  He GAVE me one of the last bottles of the perfume!  
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