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Monday, September 30, 2013

"Me With My Dog" 6x6 Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This month the Girls Just Wanna Paint Challenge was the word: "With".  I've had this old photo for a long time.  It actually was in black & white.  It wasn't 'me' but it really could have been.  All my life I've loved animals.  No secret to anyone who knows me that sometimes I prefer their company.  They never let me down.  Their response to my care and love is astounding.  Dogs & cats - and I'd love to try horses - are incapable of duplicity.  Forgiving, honest and dependent on our generosity and thoughtfulness.  I worry about animals who don't get water in clean bowls, who get left outside, or pushed aside... animals who 'belong' (through no fault or choice of their own) to people who care more about the fabric on the couch than on their pets.  Anyway - how'd I do 'colorizing' this?  It was harder than you'd think!
Want to see what the rest of the Girls chose to paint?  Look HERE!
These paintings are all being reserved for our show at the Thayer Academy Gallery in November.  More to come on that.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cloud Study #1, 4x4 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This tiny painting is one of my favorite subjects:  skyscapes.  Clouds in particular, are difficult to paint but are so meaningful to me.  You remember "I've looked at clouds from both sides now.. from up and down, and still, somehow.. it's clouds' illusions I recall.  I really don't know clouds at all..." from Judy Collins.

Sometimes you see the clouds from above - fluffy, fun, playful.. like as seen from far away, or even from an airplane.  Other times they seem to cover the world with dark gray.  They can be so dense they confuse you as to what time of day it is.  They can be oppressive.  But, I try to keep in mind that whatever way they appear right now, things will change.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A New Path, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Sometimes in life we think we've chosen the right path, but it becomes all tangled and hard to see.  Then we see a New Path... and everything becomes clearer, and traveling it seems just so right.  Well, here's a New Path... and it can be yours.  Or a friend's.  I know sometimes the path we're on seems so hard.  This one, however, is easy peasy (Plus it leads to the BEACH!).

I am working on a crazy series of larger paintings like my last post.  I'll put them up on my Studio Blog when they are ready (they are incredibly time consuming but the excitement literally is consuming my every waking thought - and some thoughts in my dreams as well!).  Maybe this is a new path for me.  We'll have to be open and see, right?

Also... please pass on to interested parties - we are filling up, as we want to keep it small...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different.... by Kelley MacDonald

Today was a day to just push!  I took some older acrylic paintings that just weren't what I wanted, and I messed them up.  This one was a pinkish sunset with boats and purple skies... and I played 'peek-a-boo' with the original painting, putting a couple of layers of white over selected areas, leaving dark and light pink and purple areas peeking out.  Then I added some clear magenta to a whole scoopful of glossy gel medium and went over the white.  When that was done I popped in some colors.  I chose the colors by instinct, as I chose the exposed shapes.  I was thinking of a lot of things: bedtime stories, indian weavings, nautical flags, bubbles and sunsets.  Don't judge - I have a very active imagination!
Then I poured out some more gel medium, letting pink mix with some dull yellow... just in spots.
I had FUN.  By myself.  On the porch. Smelling the water. Making up stories in my head.
18x24 canvas, acrylic.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ready For A Close Up, 5x7 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

OK, so not health food.  But sometimes, just sometimes, comfort food is called for. IRL there is a bit more black on the top that accidentally got cropped off.  I'll run a true photo this weekend.  I'm staying out of the studio and painting at home all day Friday.  Double treat for me, after taking Thursday OFF, totally, and painting in my pj's on Friday.  
I have a painting in the NEST show in Dedham (their anniversary show) Friday (the 20th) night Party 5-8.  I'm hanging with some pretty heavy hitters!  Beth Dacey and Kim Morin Weineck are two that I know of and admire.  
Today I met up with fellow Blogger and Facebook friend Judy Joy Nocifora, while she and her husband were visiting Cape Cod.  SO great to finally meet someone I've admired and liked so much, through Social Media, and she's even sweeter in person!
Following our Donut-meetup, I swooped into Provincetown to see my friend Page Pearson Railsback, who is doing an art residency there.  Loved her little apartment and her studio, and well, you will love the work she's doing here - very courageous and beautiful!
And while I was visiting her, Lisa Daria Kennedy dropped by - on the day before she defends her Thesis for her Masters Degree (right downstairs from where Page is staying - yes, I snuck in to see her work - all in it's own room, huge, powerful, colorful and draftsmanship that blows me away....)... so I totally lucked out and had a blissfully happy day!  I spent the afternoon in the galleries of Ptown, and am all revved up and inspired!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Always, always a 'story' with me.  I knew there were cosmic reasons to paint something 'light' and frivolous on Sept. 11.  Although I know 2 wonderful people with birthdays today, I seem to be unable to stop bumping into remembrances that bring me down.  That being said - I go out of my way on this day to look for the bright side.  For example:  I pulled into Dunk's this a.m. for my coffee.  And what do I pull up next to?  THIS car, with THIS license plate (jellie)...
So, yes, it made me smile.   And I decided that it was a sign, and I should paint jelly donuts today.  So I went in, rather than driving up, because you can't trust anyone to pick out a nice, round, non-sweaty jelly, can you, but yourself?  And who do I stand next to - as I bought ALL THREE of the last of the jellies?  Yup, Mr. Jellie.  Who is dissolving over my purchase.  I was just about to cave and give up one ... just one, mind you... when the girl at the counter literally squealed, "LOOK!  We have 2 coconut/jelly sticks left!"  "THANK GOD!" He yelled, and happily trotted back to his car.  I was enthralled.

SO.  Here's a bit of the jelly process:

I have such a fun Thursday planned - meeting a Blogger/Facebook friend, and visiting Page Pearson at her Artist Residency in Provincetown.  I will tell you all about it in tomorrow's post AND give you a bit of a surprise twist on the jelly donut painting!!!!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Glow At Bristol Harbor, 12x12 Inch Acrylic Plein Air Painting

ONE more from the Paint Bristol weekend!  This was so fun to paint and I had a blast with the many layers of blues and greens in the very 'active' water!  The end of the day brings a pinkish glow over Popasquash....  how lucky am I to get to paint in beautiful locations, both near and far?  Again I will honor the $325 price from the weekend for a week.  Email me if interested at

I start my class next week at the Providence Art Club.  We're calling the class 'Small Format Painting' for 2 reasons... so many artists think they can't paint 'small'... and after we work together, they find that they can work as small as 4x4 inches - and STILL come out with a compelling paintings.  Painting small lets you finish - soup-to-nuts, solving all the problems a painting requires, and the more you do it the easier it gets.  Also we dropped the 'Daily Painting' from the title of the class because so many people had no idea that Daily means... well, daily, or even almost daily.  :)

I look forward to teaching again, and having my own class at my studio on Saturdays.  That will start in a couple of weeks, always a hoot.  Always great people.  ALWAYS a lesson learned.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Yellow Gingerbread, 8x10 inch Acrylic Painting done Plein Air

This weekend I participated in a first-time Plein Air event in Bristol, RI called Paint Bristol.  Bristol is a very picturesque town, which is very walkable, with lots of cafes and restaurants, galleries and very cool shops.  I painted this in the morning, a cute little gingerbread Victorian right on Hope Street, which is the main drag.  The owner stopped by and was telling me the story of the house, and the close-set house next door to it.  Apparently a single lady lived here, with a nice big lot.  She had a friend who fell upon hard times, and she offered the yard to her friend.  Seeing as her friend was totally without means, she bought a house and had it ROLLED through the streets of Bristol, where it was set up on her land. The two lived amicably side by side into their 90's.  I told the owner it seemed to me always that the spirit of this house was a happy one, and he confided that he actually thought there was a ghost, albeit a friendly one, in the house.  He said he often smelled cooking cinnamon and baked goods, when there is no good reason for it.
I offered this today for $325, framed in a gold plein air frame.  I will honor this price for this week, email me at if interested.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Morning Ritual, 8x8 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This painting was done for my Girls Just Wanna Paint Challenge this month. The topic? "Ritual".  There were so MANY I wanted to paint - girlfriends walking the beach, nail polish and cottonballs, a Rosary, a pug in the lap of someone (ahem) meditating....  But when I found these green cups and saucers at a friend's cottage.... I was hooked.  Then I had to go BUY a newspaper - first time in a long time - and I loved it.  Reading the newspaper was a habit for years and years.  The Boston Globe in the morning, the Patriot Ledger in the afternoon.  I read ENTIRE articles, not just headlines.  I read different points of view.  I read ads.  Classifieds.  OK, Obituaries.  Now... I never know who's alive or dead.  I guess that might sound wrong.... but I"m not going to get online and LOOK UP Obituaries just in case someone I know might have died.  But I digress.
No, in case you are wondering, and I think maybe you are, I never ever sat with a donut on a plate and a coffee cup and read the newspaper.  That would be 'wasting' a plate, don't you think?
Anyway, check out the other very cool responses to the "Ritual" Challenge HERE.  :)
And have a great Labor Day - and a rest from your labors...
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