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Monday, June 30, 2014

Farmhouse Bedroom, 6x8 Painting by Kelley MacDonald

In a little coastal town in Maine, a group of artists gather every June.  Photographers, pastellists, oil painters, acrylic and watercolor - all sorts of art gets made.  Wonderful food is prepared and devoured.  Wine selected by an artist's husband (who really knows his stuff) and beer and cocktails.... all enjoyed daily.  The breeze floats right up from the cove, flutters the old fashioned sheer panel curtains... the quiet is so profound it's hard to get to sleep the first night.  All the beds are old and comfy, and when sleep does come you are truly in dreamland... until.... the lobstermen launch their boats - then we are privy to some very colorful language!

This big farmhouse is a haven for us.  We talk late in to the night about our lives, our art, our struggles, our successes.  We follow the progress of each others' work, year to year, as well as how all our kids are doing, our spouses, our houses and gardens.

AND we paint!  Morning, noon and night!  

A couple of larger pieces did not make it in here, but this is the bulk of all of our paintings!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Little Red Dory, 8x10 Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Ever notice how first thing in the morning the water is like glass, only tiny ripples, and it reflects the sky so perfectly?  My favorite time of the day - oops, except sunset!  Anyway there are a few dories around here that sit so gloriously on the water at that time of day, it makes me almost compelled to get in, row off to my nice big sailboat (which, ahem, I do not actually have) and spend the day gliding through life.  This one is an 8x10, on a panel, and will pop into a ready-made frame.

So!  I couldn't resist taking another stab at the TURQUOISE Dory!  I basically punched up some colors, quieted down other colors, and added a small bit of detail to the lobster trap, and weeds. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Turquoise Boat (WIP) Acrylic by Kelley Carey MacDonald

Every year in Maine I see this boat near Long Cove.  It sits against some nice dark foliage.  This year I'm painting it.  We had a discussion this month, at our Girls Just Wanna Paint meeting, about when to stop.  Our fearless Page Pearson Railsback told her classes "Stop at 75% finished".  So I'm stopping, and if anyone wants this 10x8 painting as is, email me before Friday.  Then I'm attacking it again.  

Maine was lovely. Rejuvenating and restful.  Yes, I killed my cell phone (drowned it dead) but going there with these friends is like hitting the 'reset' button on my creative life.   I came home raring to go!  More on the experience and the paintings I did in the next post!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Romance, 8x6 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

There was a wedding at the Providence Art Club, and every table had a gorgeous silver vessel overflowing with old fashioned roses in whites and pinks.... perfection. ( The painting is so hard to photograph!)  But I love the little petals that fell around the base of the pitcher, and the reflections  too!

I'm about to delve into a week of painting in Maine with some buddies.  I look forward to this all year.  I may not be able to post, but I'll try.  A farmhouse on the water, filled with talented, generous, funny women - a whole week of just art, laughter and fabulous dinners - I'll think of you all!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happy, 6x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I labored on my paintings today.  I completely wiped down 2 canvases, and was feeling, well... discouraged.  I had the BEST subjects - roses, peonies, and ... more roses.  I had a perfect view of the morning on the river.   Yes, it was an early start to the day (waaaay before sunrise) because of an ongoing skirmish between my cats - enough said.  I think I may have been tired.  But then I took my acrylics out and plopped myself down in front of this vase of my favorite peonies and I felt.... just Happy.  Pharrell Williams Happy.  Foot tapping, humming, smiling and relaxed.  And then THIS happened.  Not my usual.  But very free... very...HAPPY! I hope it makes you happy too!

This just may become a REALLY big painting.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Red Sail, 6x6 inch acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald


Across 2 bridges there's a lovely Rhode Island town called Bristol.  I've been there a few times when I've spotted this little boat in the harbor.  Eye catching, right?  And I think - who would buy a red sail, when you know it would fade .... someone confident, someone in love with bold color, someone who doesn't mind being noticed.  Hey... it just makes me happy to watch him/her!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Come Sail Away, 20x10 Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I watch the boats drift up and down the Sakonnet River, and I have my very own (in my imagination).  Some days I just take that sailboat and gooooooooo......

The best part of the day IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) is when the sun has just slipped below the horizon, and the sky is creamy rose and gold, and the water is lavender and aqua.  It's sensory overload, but as much a meditation as an experience.  This one just slipped off the brush last week, and has been sold to a lovely Facebook friend.  I'm thrilled to know the people I do on Facebook.  Like you, they're kind, generous and so supportive.  Thanks, all!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Blue Grace, 10x10 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

This is 10x10 inches, and I was just so inspired by my Irises the other day that I dragged my easel into the garden and painted them as they were just unfolding.

My favorite time in the garden!  I ate my first strawberry from the strawberry plants today!  Like sugar on the tongue!  

I liked the unusual background, the blue just popped out against it.  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Honey Honey Honey Bear, 6x12 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

It's no secret that I love Maine, and it's not only for the ocean.  I've got ocean.  It's for the fresh, straightforward, simple, way it has about it.  On the way to Pemaquid Lighthouse there's a little house that stacks jars of honey (and a 'honey' bear) on their porch railing.  I look for it every year, and last year I bought some of their delicious honey.

I gave myself one hour to paint this.  One of my favorite memories of my friend/teacher Ros Farbush was her response to people asking "How long did it take you to paint this?"  She would say "65 years plus three hours."  (or whatever it took)  Because every painting is a building block - a learning session.  

I was waiting for dough to rise for pizza tonight and as soon as I popped the dough bowl in the warmed oven I ran for my paints.  My photo reference was perfect, although sometimes it's better if it's not.  I truly let myself go on autopilot and just remembered the sights, the smells, the feel of the air against my skin, the happy days and nights with fun and talented artist friends... and let it rip.
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