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Monday, January 28, 2013

Cosmopolitan, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 S&H

Well, this weekend I fell down on the job and missed 'our' cocktail.  So today I thought I'd sneak one to you.  I have a strong preference for Cosmo's.  they must be pale, pale, pale - it's NOT a Cape Codder, for Pete's sake!  It must have a nice piece of citrus - lemon or lime (I like them both), you must use a good quality vodka (at least Absolute quality) and Cointreau, not Triple Sec.  Shake, pour into chilled martini glasses - aaaahhhhhhhhh.  
I see that my cropping failed a bit here - on the left side there is that dark edge that I need to crop out, apologies.
I am busily painting as well as packing up my studio, and will catch up on my two still short in my 30 Paintings in 30 Days!!!  Going to do it!!!!~
Tomorrow... another pug!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Red Scarf Pug, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald


Oh.  Yes I've been very bad.  Between work, teaching and being sick last week, I ended up TWO short in my 30x30 paintings!  So I did the value study painting below, yesterday, and it's COUNTING, and today I did the pug above.  This is my pug, who will not wear clothing for dogs.  Apparently my husband's scarf is acceptable.  Don't tell my husband I wrap the dog in his scarf, OK?  

I'm exceptionally happy with this painting, because it's more than a pug, it's a painting.  Do  you know what I mean?  Even if you squint and sort of lose the whole dog-thing, I like the shapes, the color, the paint application. OK, done patting myself on the back.  Sometimes it seems like you just can't do anything, and sometimes it's just.... yeah.  

Hopefully I'll be able to post 2 tomorrow as well, but I'm moving my studio, so... who knows.  Wish me well! xoxo

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pug Time, 5x7 Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This is a very sweet little pug.  I can't remember who sent me this photo!  People have been so generous about sending images... well, she/he was a good 'model'.  I was aiming for looseness.  I can't tell, it being kind of late here, if the image is not the clearest.  If that is the case, I will swap it out for a sharper one tomorrow.  

This is the kind of day it was here:  street flooded with a broken water main, turning the driveway/yard and entire street into a frozen river; treated myself to a big cup of coffee, only to watch it slip out of my gloved hand on the way in to the studio as it bounced, intact, down 5 steps, rolled onto a carpet mat, and slowly (well, not really) the lid opened, dumping my entire coffee in a huge puddle on a clean carpet;  got my car swiped in the parking lot while I was teaching... and did I mention it was 16 degrees at it's warmest today, without factoring the wind chill?

But I had a great class (I love their energy, enthusiasm and seriousness~!).  Paco came to class today at the Art Club and was (mostly) quiet and well behaved, and the President of the club said he was always welcome, and when I got home my son and husband were wonderful, treating me to pizza that I did not have to make. :)  Life IS good.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PepperPepperPeppermints, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Another one for the James Library Valentine 'Sweets' show.  I seem to never get tired of painting candies.  Particularly with cellophane wrappers!  OK, I didn't paint this today.  Gave myself a day to recover, seeing as the two paintings I tried were severely lacking!

Take care in this cold!!

Down For The Count

No real painting from me today - I've got the stomach bug and it has completely sapped me.  So this was done on my iPad, as my little friend snuggled next to me and 'consoled' me.  Hopefully tomorrow will be an easel day....

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Brrrrrr...Pug! 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This is my Paco, last year on a walk in the snow.  Now... don't be all "Shouldn't he have a jacket?  Shouldn't he have little Pug boots?"  because I've spent a LOT of money, even having a custom made coat made for him, and he'll have none of it!  He does like a quick walk if the wind is damp and cold and howling, but as long as he gets a good snuggle when he comes in, (and he does) he's happier au natural!

I painted this, then had fun flinging the big 'flakes' of snow.  The texture was fun ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scotch, I Mean Butterscotch, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

These little sweeties are going to be in the Valentine show at the James Library in Norwell, MA.  I'll have 4 candy paintings and hopefully they'll make someone's sweet tooth smile!

I did this as a demo for my Saturday Class, which is fun in very many ways, and will be a mix of people who can commit to the 8 weeks, and those who can't and just drop in.  We're going over the basics, which everybody can benefit from, right, from time to time?

Today was "Composition Day" and we talked about things to avoid, and had, I thought, a simple subject - candies.  What I hadn't thought about was 1) my students are artists in other mediums and were thinking about values, edges, color, etc. etc.... ACK!  I thought candies were just shapes.. but they also had cellophane, and at least 2 levels of highlights...  Well, they did just great, even with all those other concerns!  Happy, happy day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Old Fashioned, 6c6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald


It may be a little early in the day for this, but bear with me!  As you know, on the weekends I am taking a break from painting Pugs, (to keep it interesting and fresh for me) and painting cocktails and candy.  Last week's cocktail painting sold quickly and I had a couple of requests for the same drink - a Whiskey Old Fashioned.  So here... cheers!  And save me the cherry and the orange!  

The photo came out a little darker than real life. The painting is a bit brighter IRL.
Today.. come on by my studio where we're painting from 10-1.  I'm going to offer it either way - as a one-time payment for 8 classes, or as a 'drop in.  Your choice.  I'll BE THERE!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sleeping In, 5x7 Inches Oil Painting by Kelley Macdonald

$100 & $10 S&H

The story:  One warm Summer morning I woke up to a pink and aqua world, and though it was just almost dawn, I got up, made some tea and headed to the front porch to watch the world light up.  Of course Paco could not let me be by myself, but MY GOODNESS it was early.  Way too early. So he begged for me to hold him in my lap, which I did. And Paco relaxed in my arm (you can see it here supporting him as he dozed in the crook of my arm).   

So he's not an early riser.  He has other qualities.  I could just kiss that little wrinkly chin!  I ought to tell everyone that this is just the 3rd time I've painted Paco this month.  I know everyone thinks a lot of these pugs are my own dog, but they are not!  I would never dress him up - he's not that kind of dog.  :D
We are past the halfway point in our 30 Paintings in 30 Days.

Also.... anyone who wants to come to the Saturday Painting Class (10 a.m. in Warren) - even as a drop-in... come on over.  32 Cole Street in Warren.  You can pay as you go.  No worries.  I'd rather you painted than not!  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cat'll Get Your Tongue! 6x6 Inch Oil Painting of a Pug by Kelley MacDonald


Well, Blogger is behaving badly tonight, and I am just hoping that this little guy gets posted!  Sweet little face.  Lots of pugs have that 'tongue sticking out' thing - but usually AKC breeders are careful not to get tongues that are too long.  

See, when we mess with the anatomy (breeding the snout shorter and shorter to be pretty much non-existent, don't get me started on  us modifying animals.... much as I love dog breeds) we take lots of chances.  To minimize the bad results that could occur (just think - the muzzle gets shorter, but loops, the tongue stays long, or the palette gets shoved back into the esophagus (sp), the eye sockets can be too shallow, etc. etc.) breeders go back a few generations on BOTH parent's sides and see if any of those dogs/bitches have had any problems.

When people do not do this and they just have 2 cute dogs they want to breed, they take big risks - and hey, the puppies are so CUTE, right?  But that's what you pay $1,000 or so per puppy for, to get the lineage clear.  Nothing's ever guaranteed in life, so things could still pop up, but things that can go wrong can go SO wrong, and break your heart, and cause such sickness and sorrow for all concerned - really, really think before you purchase a dog that is a purebred without papers.
End of lecture!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Love, 5x7 Inch Oil Painting of a Pug by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 S&H

Now I ask you... is this little face not ADORABLE?  There's a bit of glare but that's because the paint was so wet when I took the photo.  I have always loved Black Pugs.  (Yes, that was before Paco showed me how vastly superior Fawn Pugs are...) 

I'm enjoying the heat wave here in Rhode Island - the only like of heat wave I can bear - it's been 52 degrees!  I'll take it....  be well, friends...

Almost halfway through my 30 paintings in 30 days.. and I must say - once you get into it... it's not so bad!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pretty In Pink, 5x7 Inch Oil Painting Of A Pug, by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 S&H

Is she FUN or what?   
I must admit, as daunting as doing 30 paintings in 30 days, (as per Leslie Saeta's Challenge), I find that I am learning so much about my subject.  Now, I have, for most of every single day have, as a companion a gorgeous pug.  I look into those amber eyes, I ruffle that wrinkly forehead, I snuggle that plush, pudgy body.  But until I painted the group of pugs I've chosen, I was unaware of the exact anatomy that is a Pug.  The little gorilla nose, for example - stumped me at first.  The protruding eyes, and how to make them appear so.  That little chin...  I can tell you I am excited every day to paint a new and different composition.

Happy also for the break in topic for the weekends, too!  Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments on my Mojitos.  Be assured it is going to a wonderful home.  I couldn't be more pleased to reconnect with a great family, and know that my work will be in the new home of a young woman I met as a child!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mojitos For Two, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Well, turns out I missed the weekend cocktail.  I did another candy painting, but it will have to wait.  Do you like Mojitos?  Yum.  That mint...lime...  
I believe they are best when more than one of you has one.  This particular time a good friend and I were in a French Restaurant, no less, in Bristol, RI.  This was the drink special, and it was really, really a good choice.  I believe we had one each... but I could be wrong.
Today I had a blissful day hanging out at the studio with Paco.  My husband showed up later in the day, and then a friend and her husband stopped by - good company!  Sometimes.... I just love my life...:)

This is my Daily Painting for Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings In 30 Days Challenge!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sweet Trio, 6x6 Inch Candy Painting by Kelley MacDonald

MMMmmmMMm! Still doing the 30 Paintings in 30 Days, but on the weekend I have other things besides pugs to paint!  This is a little painting that will be in the James' Library in Norwell MA for their Valentine show.  

I have, all Winter, little hard candies in my pocket.  It seems that the dry air from the heat being on sometimes gives me a little cough.  I like this variety.  Cinnamon, peppermint or butterscotch..  pretty much covers my moods!  I adore the challenge of painting cellophane!.  It's never easy and it's never the same - the light, the background all influence how it looks.

Happy Saturday, all!  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pug In Snow, 6x6 Inches, Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 S&H
Click HERE to Purchase

When pugs are sad, they relax two things, their curly tail and their wrinkly forehead.  So when Paco is sad, we say he's a 'round headed pug'.  One thing that would make him sad is to be outside (in our fenced yard BY HIMSELF.  Doesn't matter the weather.  Doesn't matter how many toys.  The thing that makes Paco sad is being without his person.  

Now, this puggie isn't Paco, but I love the little round head, sitting on the steps in the snow... I know that look!  He's probably been there all of 5 minutes, so he can 'go' outside.  If he were Paco he'd 'hold it' for hours, rather than spend one minute by himself outside.  I so enjoyed painting this one.  I found the image on a Facebook page for pug owners.  They are a hoot!

This weekend... no cocktails... candy!  (OK, YOU go ahead and enjoy the cocktails...)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pug News, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting of a Pug by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & S&H
Click HERE to Purchase

One thing about pugs - they can never see a reason (or a good one, anyway) why they shouldn't be in your lap at any given moment.  Paco thinks he knows what I'm doing on the Internet and feel strongly that he should be able to join in.  This one morning he leapt into my lap while I was checking CNN.  He stared intently at the screen, and I snapped his picture.  He watches TV with us.  Goes on errands.  Sits in on my classes.  Today I got a tentative invitation to bring him to my class at the Providence Art Club.  There'll be no stopping him then.

My Painting A Day class at the Art Club started today - I have a student who has been painting for 70 years!  I'm not teaching them to paint per se, these are pretty experienced artists, but we're taking a journey and exploring what happens when you paint entire paintings (albeit small ones) for weeks on end.  They are so talented and I'm so juiced to see what they DO with this opportunity!  I'm loving my puggy paintings, and have about a year's worth of monthly series in my head now!  It's a great thing and I appreciate Leslie Saeta for getting me started this month!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nap Buddies, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting of Pugs by Kelley MacDonald


LOTS of people who get a pug end up getting a second one. Some say that pugs are like potato chips - you can't have just one!   I think more often, pugs prove to be more 'intense' (my husband says 'needy' but that's not right) than other dogs.  They do seem to accept another pug as a substitute human, thus allowing their human a bit of freedom to interact with OTHER humans, not just the pug.

But who can complain?  Endlessly accepting and supportive (my pug agrees that I work too hard, and people around me just don't realize how 'special' I am... :D).  And they are very accommodating, providing they are INCLUDED.  And crates???  Don't even GO there.  Would you put your child in a crate? (OK, some would, I know)  NO!  And pugs feel very much that they fit in that category.  

Most pugs' middle name is 'Snuggle'.  And they are squishy, I think, just for that purpose.
Another pug fact - I know you're dying for one:  There are two acceptable types of ear:  button and rose.  Darn if I can figure out what either of them look like.  I know you'll email me, so I'll wait. 
:D  Enjoy this Challenge with Leslie Saeta!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Blueberry, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting Of A Pug by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 S&H
Click HERE To Purchase

Isn't it sweet?  Tiny black pug!  AKC pugs come in 2 colors, black (all black, no white markings allowed) and fawn (like paco, with a black mask and ears, with more black fur mixed in with their tan fur on their foreheads so when they wrinkle them black lines seem to appear).  Black pugs are single-coated, and fawns have a double coat.  You may see other colors, but for show purposes, it's black or fawn.  They are all super sweet, though.
I had to laugh once - a man asked me if he would bite.  Just thinking of it make me chuckle - I ALMOST said "Only if you're a gingerbread man..." because all food is fair game for pugs...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Soulful, 6x6 Inch Painting Of A Pug by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 S&H 
Click HERE To Purchase

OK, after celebrating my 1,000th post with cocktails this weekend we're back with a month of pugs.   I'm a bit prejudiced, but I completely understand when people mistakenly think of them as 'little dogs'.  The motto for the breed is "Multum In Parvo", which translates as "much in a small space" because they are big dogs, trapped in a little dog's body.  
My little guy runs right up to the Rottweiler,  the Shepherd, the Great Dane, and feels a kindred spirit with them.  On the other hand, he'd like to have one as a pet.  Because, he truly doesn't accept his 'dog' status.  Whatever you can say about how they breed these dogs to extreme (literally no snout, blocky body, wrinkly face, etc) you can't deny the appeal of those eyes.  They seem to understand so much.

I am postponing the start of my Thursday Class and Saturday Class till NEXT week.  So - lucky you, there's still time to email me at to sign up :)  Can't wait!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cheers! iPad Martini painting by Kelley Macdonald

The Challenge.  You know, no one ever said it had to be a painted painting, right?  So today, after wiping off a perfectly awful and boring rendition of a martini, I came home and took my iPad and made this.  Actually, it's the martini I painted poorly at the studio, only from memory, and with a little verve.  I love that word, "verve"~
I was kind of still in recovery mode today after nursing my pup through the night on Friday, and thank you all who wrote - he's on the mend with a bland diet and rest.  I had fun today after my failed painting, with a friend who drove down from Boston.  We laughed, and she brought Paco two Christmas presents (which, BTW, he loves, loves, loves to unwrap presents - he really 'gets' the gift idea!) and had lunch, and then even dinner together.  And so I settled in on the couch, with the iPad on top of Paco, who is ever in my lap, and this came out of it.  So 'cheers' - to painting, to friendship and to puggie love!  Another pug tomorrow!
And yesterday I posted my 1,000th post!  YAY!  Quietly, and without fanfare... just plodding away.  It's been great, and there's no stopping me now! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

#4, Someone's Fine Evening, 8x8 Inch Oil Painting of Whiskey by Kelley MacDonald


Oh, the fun I'm having with Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!  But I decided that the weekends could be for cocktails, right?  (That's Rhode Island talk, BTW, making a statement, and then saying "Right?").  So, here's some whiskey, and inexplicably men seem to like a nice cigar with it.  I am letting go of a lot of my 'rules' of painting, or actually just letting them run in the background, so I am simply reacting to the subject and enjoying myself.

My little pug, Paco, is not feeling too well these days.  Spare him a thought, would you?  Thanks... and enjoy the day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chiquita, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting of a Pug by Kelley MacDonald

Click HERE to purchase Chiquita 
$100 & $10 S&H

Can you stand it?  Pugs (with the exception of mine) let you dress them up, and their constant baleful look is guaranteed!  I have loved this image of the knitted hat with fruit on top for a long time.  And he/she is so CONCERNED!
Well, I've decided that the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge by Leslie Saeta, is going to get COCKTAILS on the weekends.  After all, I don't want you to get sick of the puggies. And I have to say, a lot of people enjoy cocktails on the weekend.  What ones do you like?

So, truly, a LOT of my friends are doing this 30/30 Challenge.  Thankfully I'm the only one doing pugs.  Check them out HERE.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tenderness, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting of Pugs by Kelley Macdonald

"Tenderness", #2 in 30 Pugs in 30 Days

Here we are!  Day #2 of Leslie Saeta's Challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days! I don't know what 'gets' me more in this image - the mom nuzzling the baby, or that little round headed baby!  Here we are on Day #2, with high hopes and a lot of enthusiasm.

I like working in a series.  I go through a pretty predictable routine.  I'm thrilled, all excited about the new painting... I go go go along, and ... whoops... I notice something I don't like.  Maybe it's the drawing (I can always use drawing practice), or the values are off.. then I panic.  How can I finish?  Should I wipe it off?  Try to save it?  And then, whatever I do, wipe or save, it starts to feel good again, and I'm getting that Ah-Ha feeling.  

One thing:  if you've ever seen a pug puppy you know:  wear emotional armor.  They are pretty irresistible.  There's a lot of great things about pugs, but believe this:  THEY do not accept that they are dogs.  They LIKE dogs... but they are small, furry people.

If interested in this painting, email me at  First person to ask for a Paypal Invoice will get it.  :)  $100 & $10 S&H

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Look, 6x6 Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

"The Look" 6x6 Inches, Oil

Whew - the holidays are mostly behind us.  I have decided to participate in Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings In 30 Days Challenge.  It was so difficult to decide on the topic for the 30 days, that in order to de-stress, I decided to do one 30 day Challenge after another.  The first one, here, in January, is Pugs.  You'd think you'd run out of designs with one topic, but that's where the creative juices kick in.  All you have to do is to hint that I can't do something, and I'm off!  Kind of like that racehorse, Seabiscuit.  Anyway, they can't all be winners, but I'll post them all. 

If you have a pug, or any dog, and a cute photo of them (kind of close up) send it along to me - I'd love to give it a go!  No obligations or anything.  I just need the practice.

Anyone interested in purchasing these 6x6 inch painting, just email me at  They are $100, and to celebrate the New Year - I will offer free shipping!

Think, also, about joining us on Thursday a.m. or Saturday a.m. at my studio for classes - FUN!
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