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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Commission, 8x10 by Kelley MacDonald

This is a dog portrait of a sweetie pie named Daisy.  I've had the commission for way too long and needed to  finish her up!~  Yes, I accept commissions for pet portraits.  All sizes.  Just email me at and we'll talk.  Don't be intimidated, thinking it must be a horrific price - I do all sizes, to fit any budget.  They're fun, and they give me a break from the streams of ideas and plans I have in my own head.

SUPER productive day in the studio today.  Started a huge 30x40 Maine painting, edited in a big way one from last year, completed my Challenge painting, designed new marketing materials and finished this.  Wow.  Off to celebrate with some popcorn and a movie!  :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Oil House, 6x6 Inch Oil Plein Air Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Better than a scrapbook, better than a photo, having my plein air paintings from different trips bring me right back to that location.  I spent a blissful day painting at the Pemaquid Light House last week.  For $2, I got to park, wander, paint, check out the lighthouse  station, 2 outbuildings, see a an art show, use the restrooms, get food from the cafe next door and have a picnic.

I also met LOTS of nice people.  There was a watercolor workshop next door with Skip Lawrence - really!  And the participants wandered over and spoke to me - two gals from Montreal and I had a great long discussion of workshops in general, and abstraction, mediums, etc... I await their friend requests on Facebook ;)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blue Boat, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This was, I think, the first plein air painting done this trip in Maine.   The first morning there I decided to do the obligatory 'boat painting'.  I mean, we were in Maine, right?  But boats are notorious.  They spin with the wind, they drive away, they get filled up with lobster traps as you look... but right off the bat I felt I had nailed the boat and reflections.  I was packing up my brushes and I heard a motor start up and, you guessed it.... this blue boat drove off!  I think I might paint this in a much larger format - or do you think it would be too much 'boat'?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hanna's, 11x14 inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Been off 'the grid' for a week, as it was my yearly trip to Maine with the South Shore girls.  This year we had phenomenal weather, not that it really matters to us - in case of rain or fog we just set up our easels inside and do interiors, or still life!  

We stay in a big farmhouse at the edge of a cove.  Mornings we wake early (I think every one of us saw 4:58 at least once) because the light is so intense, and we grab our morning beverage of choice and either pad down to the dock and listen to the water lap and the fishermen get ready for their day or we park ourselves on the rockers on the large porch and read or sketch.  Then we start in earnest.... someone found a field of buttercups not to be missed, someone wants to paint the rocks at the point, or the lupines growing almost everywhere.  Everyone is considerate and kind, and we enjoy fabulous food (we each cook one night) and icy beverages (my specialty was Cosmos) and watch the rosy sky, talking about art, families, our struggles and joys.... and THIS week Sally Dean Mello and I cracked the code for using the DVD player, so we watched movies at night.

This painting was done with Sally and Peggy Farrell Bruno and it was my favorite from the week. Please check out their blogs, as well, I think you'll like what you see! After 4 days of plein air painting (boats, crashing waves, still life on the porch, landscapes, etc.) I FINALLY relaxed.  

I'm grateful for this annual trip.  It re-sets my clock.  Takes down my blood pressure.  Gets me to really reflect on a lot of things.  I am simply, now, a Maine-iac.  And I love it!

AAaaaand this year we went to Maine earlier, so I could be with my husband on our anniversary (#36), which is the 24th! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Update (Work In Progress)

Truly, I feel blessed these days.  I have an extremely supportive and loving family, pets I adore, many treasured friends who both guide me when I need it and encourage me when I need that.

A couple of years ago I tried for an artist membership at an art association, preparing 8 large (30x30 and 30x40) paintings of the sunsets I see from my porch.  The series was both personal and a reach for me, not being one who ever did much in the way of series.  To make a long story short, I was rejected for that membership, and the judges were pretty clear that they did not think much of my sunsets, both as subject matter or execution.  Later I talked to someone I thought was knowledgeable about selling art and she told me "Sunsets are a no-no.  Actual sunsets cannot be surpassed, although photography comes in a close second.  Painted sunsets are ... just 'too'...."

So I pretty much gave up painting them.  Although they still inspired feelings of peace and expansiveness and joy in my heart, I closed that door for my art.  Well, lately, and maybe it was seeing my work in Pam Copeman's wonderful home in the Boston Globe, and maybe it was just gaining a bit of confidence, warranted or not, but I decided to stick my fingers in my ears and hummm... and paint my sunsets that I love.  I had even AVOIDED looking at them, as if just seeing the rosy sky and golden tipped clouds would make my art 'smarmy'.  No more.  You can now find me on my front porch soaking in the glow.

So here's a 12x12 that I'm working on.  I'm about halfway through, but you can see where I'm going.  In this, the storm clouds are coming up from the South East, headed right for us.  When this is ready it will most likely show up at the Art Stable Gallery - look for it there!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Do Not Disturb, 8x10 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I'm celebrating!  Just had such a great, fun weekend, glamorous partying with friends under the stars (some of whom I have not seen in a LONG time!), hanging out in the garden and getting a few new plants to tuck here and there, running into a friend at the garden store, and going back to her summer place to see so many of my paintings hanging there, looking so happy... exciting news of new babies (no, not in MY family), engagements (again...not in MY family)... so enjoy, not only the 'insider's price', but free shipping!

So I also got in some much needed studio time yesterday, and this painting just flew off the brush.  It was like I wasn't even there.  I'm thinking this gal needs a day.  No work, no cooking, no shopping, no laundry, errands, kids, men, etc.  Just the sounds of the waves, a good book, the smell of the ocean.... HER time.  And... she's totally coordinated :)

Also... this afternoon I started getting texts and emails that alerted me .... to an article about aforementioned glamorous friend Pam Copeman being written about in the Boston Globe Magazine, with photos - that show my paintings in her sumptuous home!  Look HERE.  Pam is a friend, a fellow Girls Just Wanna Paint girl, a fabulous artist and a sublime decorator.  Her whole condo is done is sunset colors - brave and glorious.  I would trust her with any design project - seriously, she can do it all!  I'm so proud of her!  My sunset paintings are very happy in her house!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cluck, 8x8 Inch painting of a chicken by Kelley MacDonald


No need to 'adjust your set'.... The photo was one of 3 I took - all a little blurry.  I think the camera didn't know what to focus on with all that pattern!  I will try again with a different camera on Saturday, when I am in the studio again!

I love chickens - I guess you can tell.  I think they're pretty smart - though some people can't see it.  It's like people who don't 'get' cats, or dogs - you can't expect them to act in a 'people-ish' way - you have to take them on their terms.... and then I believe you will mostly find it very rewarding!  The feathers on this chicken are crazy!  Very flamboyant.  And we all know I like fun, so.... 

Oh, on Saturday night, Kathrine Lovell, a heavenly artist, (and I mean her work is divine, not religious) is having an Opening in her Studio at Tiverton 4 Corners.  I have double booked, and will miss the Opening (but my homemade hummus will make an appearance), but I will not miss this show. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunshine In A Vase, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald - Gerbera Flowers


Although in real life, the green is more aqua blue, these flowers, a gift from my friend Mary Sheehan Winn, are just exuberant!  At first they were all orange... then the very tiniest tips became yellow, now they're about 1/2 and 1/2 yellow/orange - delightful!

I have a friend who drove down from Boston Saturday afternoon so we could figure out how to make prints.. and this, though exhausting, was exciting.  I'm such a literalist.    I am working my way towards a little bit of abstraction, but I'm not there yet!  So here, below, is my first try that I'm happy with. 

 Dancing Pugs:

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