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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just Like Mommy, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Well, it's the first of the month and let me be the first to say "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit" for good luck this month!
Also, as you probably know, it's the day the Girls Just Wanna Paint group posts their response to the monthly topic.  This month the topic was:  Makeup.  Boy, you could do so much with that!  I will let you go to our blog to see the various Makeup paintings, and I think you will be surprised!  Click HERE to see our paintings!  I chose little girls playing with makeup as a theme.  This little girl ALMOST got it right - and she must have seen her Mom purse her lips - she is just a BIT smeary!~  I thought I wouldn't enjoy this painting, but I did, I really really did!  I can't wait to see her framed up and hanging at the show at the Thayer Academy Gallery later this month.  
November 18th - December 18th
Opening Reception with all the artists: Thurs. Nov. 21st 5-8.
I believe we are having Prosecco -  you just come on and join us!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This One's For You, 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald


You know you want it.  I know you deserve it. Tender white cake with creamy home made frosting - and just a light sprinkle of colored dots.  A celebration, a treat, an indulgence.  Just this once….. I made it for you!

All that's missing is my little block signature.  Coming tomorrow. and almost dry!  Seriously, can you tell how much fun this was for me to paint?  Yesterday in my Small Painting class at the Providence Art Club we first made a number of little Value Studies, where you just use one sort of neutral color (I used Burnt Umber) and white, and establish the darks and shadows, and get yourself a good composition. Then paint it … and then eat it.  It was a gift to my students who had such a great attitude and aptitude this Fall.

What I liked about this cupcake was the view (well, ONE of the things I liked about it - it was dee-lish, I  tell you).  It was monumental looking for a small piece of cake topped with dreamy frosting.  Here are my value studies:

I'm like an athlete in training (stop laughing!). Painting every moment, getting ready for the Little Pictures Show at the Art Club, The change-up of paintings at the Art Stable next week, and the North River Arts Holiday Sale.  How could I forget… Girls Just Wanna Paint group is having a SHOW at Thayer Academy's Gallery!
Annnnnnnd… I'm moving out of my studio, stuffing the contents of a 1,100 sq. foot studio into my living room.  Never a dull moment in my life!  Wish me luck!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lobsta Commission 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I've painted a few of these bad boys in my time.  This one is my absolute favorite!  He's giving you that "Are you lookin' at ME?" look!  Well, he was, before he was edible, anyway.
I find that when I paint the same subject a few times, I get looser and more comfortable.  Hence… the donuts, the cocktails, the coffee!!!!
Anyway, I thought I'd show you before he gets shipped off.  I haven't had too much extra time to paint paintings that are available for the blog - I'm moving out of my studio *sniff*… but it's all good.  Now I get to paint in my pajamas!  And my cats will be very happy!
Off to rest, to paint some more!  Be well, friends….

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nom Nom Nom! 6x6 Inch Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Eeeeps!  WHO loves their work more than I do?  I will admit this time, that Boston Creme donut got gobbled up soon after the painting was done.  Not my fault.  I had to take not one, but TWO bites to get the creamy filling to show!  (normally I do not even LIKE this type of donut, but when you are very hungry, and have to taste it - twice……)  This is a commission for a Facebook friend who used to share the same building where I had my very first studio.  I hope she likes it.  I certainly had fun doing it!

It is amazing to me how fast time is flying and that the holidays are just around the corner.  
As we age, I guess, the pages of the calendar flip faster.  With that in mind…

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pour Vous, 8x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Today's lesson at the Art Club was "color matching".  That's when we take little squares of random colors from magazines and tape them to a piece of canvas, then 'match' the color - it always has to be mixed, and even the most veteran painter can have a bit of a struggle.  After everyone successfully matched their colors up we painted - from life, or a photograph, if they preferred ... but we made sure to 'match' the color correctly.  Our room was filled with silver pitchers of roses and hydrangeas from a recent wedding.  I grabbed this lovely bouquet - then instantly regretted it because I hardly ever paint flower bouquets.... but is really enjoyed it and just was fearless about all those petals and colors!

Sunday was the Hingham Arts Walk - it was a blast being with my art buddies from the South Shore, and seeing 'blast from the past' friends who stopped by!  One lovely woman insisted I looked ten years younger than the last time she saw me - and that alone was worth the whole day!  Thank you Page Railsback for hosting and doing all that work for the Arts Walk, you rock!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Let's Call It A Night, 6x8 inch Acrylic Painting by KelleyMacDonald

The background is a little darker, but at 6 p.m. it is tough to get the right light to photograph a paining!  

Well, the Cosmo's drained, and it looks like Mr. Wine has had his couple of glasses and the bottle is empty.  A lovely evening, I'm sure.  A delicious dinner.  Perhaps a sunset.  Reminiscing.  Inside jokes.  Good laughs.  The glow of feeling connected.  Love.

This year for the Providence Art Club's Little Picture Show in December I'm doing 3 "6 a.m." paintings (donuts & coffee) and 3 "6 p.m." (cocktails).  This is a p.m. for them.

SUNDAY!!! If you are around the South Shore or Boston, stop in at the Hingham Arts Walk!  I'll be at the North Street Studio!  

And if you are in RI, Westport, etc. Please stop in and see the AMAZING art show at Kitty Lovell's studio in Tiverton 4 Corners, "Birds Of A Feather"- Opening 3-5!.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

15 Minute Painting

Today's class at the Art Club was a lesson on getting it GOING~!  For a lot of artists, doing a small paining, soup-to-nuts, in an hours is UGH.... impossible.  Well, this painting was done in 15 minutes.  (I am getting a supreme kick out of the fact that I simply FORGOT to put the string on the tea tag!)  Every single person in the class did a great job on a 15 minute painting.  Below you'll see the first painting of the afternoon - done in just over an hour.  To the right, the same subject, done in 40 minutes.

Truly, when I was doing the first one, the hour-long study, I was silently thinking to myself "WHAT were you thinking with this drippy/lopsidedly glazed mug, a teabag package, and a tag????  But you know... when you are under the gun, so to speak.....  And here I want to say all the students were very accomplished! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Once Upon An Island, 5x7 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

This weekend, I was lucky enough to spend time on a little island called Cuttyhunk. I was with artist Susan Medyn, and we painted up a storm! This view was the first thing I painted. It is looking up a hill from the gloriously clean, fine-sandy beach. The wind made it a bit raw, but we tucked back into some boulders and were protected. I was immediately attracted to the lone house on the bluff, the wind-shaped trees and the bruise-color of the sky, as a storm passed by.

Everything about this painting made me happy.. I was just in a zone. The tiny town of Gosnold on the island is charming and completely walkable. With incredible vistas from every step.

This painting is $100 plus $10 for shipping, and if you'd like it as a place to 'get away' in your mind, just email me at


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Torture By Counted Strokes

Today's lesson was one I call "Counted Strokes" (Inspired by Peggi Kroll Roberts).  My wonderful class at the Providence Art Club is very game and will endure almost anything!  We divided our panels into 4 parts.  Starting at the top left, we painted a small still life of our choosing, trying to be economical about our brushstrokes, but simply counting as we went... seeing how few we could use.  I wrote the number I used on the top right of the painting - 65 for that bare-bones painting.  
Top right square - we attempted to limit our strokes - to 25 strokes!  (You'd think, knowing this, I would have chosen an apple, or pear or something, but noooooOOOoooo... I have to do a Dunkin Donuts coffee and a jelly donut.  Oh well).  
Then, taking the lesson of 'thoughtful' brushstrokes to heart, with absolutely no 'house painting', we painted the subject again in the lower left.  Using as many strokes as we needed, but just being sure, pausing between strokes.
I was pleasantly surprised at the intensity the artists in the class showed, and the capability to do a great job with minimal freedom.  Thinking between strokes, and getting a big brush all filled up with juicy paint, in a well planned stroke really makes for an interesting painting.  
As always, it was a fun day!
(the dots and strokes on the right lower section are the 'counted' strokes - every time I put down a stroke on the top 2 paintings I 'marked it')

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Which One Is Yours? 6x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

$100 & $10 P&S

Friday I had the good fortune to be the Artist In Residence at the Furnace Brook School and once again, really enjoyed sharing my painting process with the kids.  I set up two easels and I painted on one, and every middle schooler that WANTED to paint, could on the other one.  

Every year, every single boy asks if they can eat the props.  This year a huge black fly kept alighting on them, but even telling them that, most of them still said they'd eat them.  These days I'd probably go to jail for letting kids eat donuts at school, so I always say "I wish I could, but :D no...."

This day, with all those kids who maybe never put oil paint on a canvas before joining in... is a highlight of my year. Thanks to the Parent-Teacher organization for sponsoring it every single month!

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