Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good News!

Daily News, Newburyport newspaper article

I was busy today with lots of phone calls and emails.  How sweet it is.  The game is afoot.

Since this is truly an adventure, I'll be posting the progress on my adventures blog: Go here for adventures blog.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

In the news!

Well, almost, the correspondent came to my house and studio/gallery and interviewed me.  She was here for an hour and hopefully the story will help promote my People Painting Prople project.  She had the idea, and I totally concur, that we should extend the deadline until the end of October, so that enough people can participate to make the project large enough and more people to participate.  The article can also help me to find more locations that will allow painters to come in and paint the model.  Now the next thing is that they will schedule a photographer to come in the take pictures, oh my.
On another front, I'm doing a complete redo of someone's house, and I've been happily shopping for all kinds of flooring, paint, and furniture.  The cleaning crew went in this week and got everything ready for the contractor to paint, etc.  I found a great nice wood bed with headboard and footboard at Salvation Army that I'm painting-- I've found chalk paint, and love the texture and finish of it, but the colors seem limited. While I was there, there was a wonderful table and chairs with gorgeous real leather seats in mint condition, and guess what, I hesitated and today it was gone. I also found at various stores on sale or clearance the linens to make up the bed like the luxury hotel's do.  I'm in my element, I love this stuff.
Here's a photo of my subject at the Paint Out Day at Gloucester last Saturday.
It was the day after the hurricanes around the east coast, so we were all hanging on to our easels.  One lady's blew over three times!  I got very flattering comments from Betty Lou Schlemm and Ken Knowles during the critique.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Another 8x8" for Nbpt and another "DPW PIC"!

I got a start yesterday on my second 8x8" for the Newburyport 8 Cubed show.  It will be geraniums with the American flag.  Here is the block-in.
Block-in for Geraniums with Flag, 8x8" 
I also painted in my garden and was struck by the gorgeous color of an orange lily I have there, but with the limited palette of RYB it just didn't do it.  I'll need to punch it up a bit with some more serious colors!  I like using the limited colors but for flowers it sometimes doesn't have enough intensity in the secondary colors.
I got picked again for the Daily Paintworks Pic.  I love these.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lori Putnum Workshop, June 2014, NY demo

This was the demo on the morning of the first day.
Notan block-in with wipe off
Middle values
Lori - I was fascinated by the little sunny shapes coming through her hat.
I'm finally getting the method of finding the middle value on my palette and on my painting.  I have had a glass palette for a long time and now I'm going to the wood palette for the middle value and no glare.  I got used to the glare and didn't realize the effect it was having on my eyes.  I did have a middle value on the glass palette and never took advantage of it.  I also have a plexiglass palette that has less glare but it's not easy to clean since its scratched up.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The lost month-June-Putnum

Mary Pyche with Lori Putnum in Canandaigua, NY
The reason June was 'lost' was not that I wasn't painting, it's because I wasn't posting.  The marketing aspect of art is a challenge for me.  I try to be disciplined, but sometimes I lapse.  In order to post regularly, I like to have something to show, like a finished painting.  I have a lot of unfinished paintings in the works right now.  The one I just posted, needs a tiny tweak, so I'll post that one again, maybe today--The Swan Family. 
I also have not been on my computer much lately and now I can't remember half my passwords.  I guess that can be a good thing, as we are supposed to change them periodically.
So related to this photo above, I was very fortunate to be able to attend a workshop with Lori Putnum.  My Italy trip friend, Sandi, and I signed on early (back in January I think) for Lori's Canandaigua NY workshop.  The town was very nice and quaint and there are many good places to paint.  It is the location of an annual Plein Air Paint Out event.  Sandi and I arrived the day before and were able to see the show attached to the Paint Out and enjoy the refreshments under the big tent at the Sonnenberg Gardens Mansion.  We also had fair weather.  The first day was perfect, the second and third day were overcast and a few sprinkles.  Luckily, the hostess' front porch was large enough to keep us covered during demos, critiques and talks.  Lori, featured in numerous issues of American Art Collector Magazine, and most recently, Plein Air Magazine, is recognized as one of the finest American Impressionists of our time. She has been chosen as an Artist Faculty member for the Annual Plein Air Convention, hosted by Plein Air Magazine, for the past two years. was an excellent teacher and did pay good attention to all attendees.  What were the take-aways?  For me, I enjoyed using a primary palette again and enjoyed her color selection of Napththol Red (M.Graham & Co.).  I used the new Gamblin solvent-free gel medium and LOVE IT.  Mostly it was her way of explaining using the medium value to guage all my color choices against.  I like it because it is logical and organized.
I will post some progression pictures of her first demo in tomorrow's blog.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rosemary Brushes and masking tape and Swans

Masked off

Opps, almost forgot the top part

All sprayed
My hat is off to John Salminen, the masking genius.  I used a whole role of masking tape and lots of newspaper to mask off this large painting, see yard stick on first picture.  Well, it is definitely a challenge to get the effect I'm looking for with this painting.  It's a garden at the Stevens Coolege Estate in No. Andover.
Next--I got my order of Rosemary Brushes today!  How sweet it is.
Next again--I started one of the 8x8's for the Newburyport 8x8 cubed show in August.  I have a wonderful photo of the new baby swans on my Back River and will do one painting of them.  I'm doing 2 in total, so I don't know what the second one will be yet.
I'm also making a paint carrier to bring with me when I leave Sunday for NY.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Getting ready for NY

I've been painting, just not posting.  Shame on me.
I painted a portrait last Saturday.
I'm working on the "Fran" portrait for the September show at Newburyport.
I volunteered at North Shore last week and really enjoyed it.
I've been working on a large acrylic 30x40" of Stevens Cooledge's garden area.
I've been working on a 10x20" oil of my view out back during the early winter.
I've been reading a lot of art stuff.
See, I've been busy.
Tomorrow I'll experiment with a very limited palette for Lori Putnum's workshop in NY.
Oh, and yes, I've spent a considerable amount of money on new supplies, panels, paint, and ROSEMARY BRUSHES!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Paint Inventory Day

How does anyone end up with 156 tubes of paint?
I guess the short answer is that they don't use it.  While looking for some particular colors I realized that my tubes were stored here, there, and everywhere.  There are probably a few more stashed somewhere I didn't come across yet.  That lead me to organize and inventory them.  I got these nice boxes for $.97 each.  I set up a laptop on that chair to the right and sat on a milk crate and did the inventory.  I have to say it feels good.  Now I know what I have and where it is.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Progression Pics of WeRun

Progression photos of We Run, 30x40 acrylic
Recently I worked on the Portrait "Fran" for the Newburyport Portrait Show in September, it has a ways to go yet.  Then I've started another 30x40" acrylic that I like because of the geometric patterning of the rows of plantings in a garden at Steven Coolidge Place in No. Andover.  Today I should be painting at Cox Reservation with David Curtis' group and I'll head over there about 1 p.m. and then attend a reception at The Nook in Rockport at 5.  Spring arrived very late here in New England and I still haven't done my yard work.  I know that if I don't get out there soon, the weeds will get out of control.  The People Painting People Project for Merrimac MA for the month of August is still gaining ground, and tomorrow morning I take down my solo show at the Rhythm Cafe.  I had a very good show there with lots of nice comments and many sales.  I'm going to buy Rosemary Brushes with the proceeds and supplies for the Lori Putnum workshop in June.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We Run

We Run, 30x40", acrylic on canvas
This painting that I finished yesterday is titled "We Run" (Together) which comes from the billboard sign on the right edge of the painting.  It is a view down Berkeley at the corner of Boylston.
I've been painting since I moved into this house in my studio upstairs (14 years ago) and while working on this painting (in acrylic) I made more mess in a few days than I did in oil in 14 years.  Boy, I have to get a little better organized to work with acrylics.
I'm planning to tone down the building on the left that is a little bit too yellow and fix a tire on a car.  A painter's work in never done.
I took this picture on the way home from an art show at Cyclorama in March in late afternoon on a rainy day while driving.
I did it for the DPW challenge to paint a busy city street scene which came up just recently and motivated me to do this painting, and the Merrimac Public Library offered me a show in August and for that I thought I'd do about 4 large acrylic paintings.

I did take photos while in process and will post them tomorrow.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sold two more at Rhythm Cafe!

What fun, I had to bring yet more paintings down to the Rhythm Cafe to fill in the blanks.  I'm running out of work that will make for a cohesive display.  I brought one down that I never had on display before.  It is mostly a knife painting, large (20x30) vertical, of trees with lots of color.  Also a little more abstracted than usual.  I don't know for sure that they will hang it since I also brought two smaller ones and gave them a choice.

Portrait this morning - Bradford Church

Today's model was Rachael
In 2 hours I got the best likeness yet with a good degree of finish (for me) and a better sense of color temperature/values.  The nose was better, Mark said so.  Another portrait on Thursday morning also went well, but it started out really funny.  My subject is smiling and I hadn't painted teeth before.  At first it looked like a clown.  We were discussing how much it cost for each tooth to be painted (joke).

Portrait Project is gaining momentum

I have 8 people who will sit, 23 to go!

Today at the portrait group in Bradford I mentioned it to several artists who paint portraits and they are interested.  One important comment, be sure to mention to the older sitters that it could be hard to stay awake.

There is now a Facebook page for the project:  People Painting People.  Please like it so that it will show up more easily in the listings.  People Painting People - The Merrimacians

Sunday, May 4, 2014

People Painting People, The Merrimacians

I've been working on an idea for the month of August to ask local people to sit for portraits and anyone who likes to paint portraits can come and paint them.  I'm not sure if I should expand the sitters to the general area residents or just my town.  Naturally, the artists can be from anywhere.  I'd like to somehow make this a fundraiser for our Senior Center, but can't figure out how to do that yet.  The Merrimac Library will host a show of these portraits later this year, should it become a reality.

Why do this?  
Well, I'd love to have the opportunity to paint more portraits.  Like anything, practice helps.  An artist that I admire greatly, Rose Frantzen, has done a similar thing in her community herself and you can see the portraits she painted and the presentation of them here:

I'm making up a few flyers to post at local places asking for volunteers/sitters during the month of August this year, and based on how many people reply and schedule a sitting, I can take it from there.

1. Get people to sit.
2. Find places to paint
3. Get artists to join in 
4. How to make it a fundraier
5. Make a facebook page to keep everyone up-to-date on the progress and schedule.
6.  Make the portable platform and get lighting, fan, clock, whatever is needed.

Your comments, suggestions are welcome!  I just made a facebook page for this community event, so check it out from time to time or leave your comments there. Facebook People Painting People page

I Love You Rose, sold

Perhaps this was a Mother's Day Gift, who knows?  
It would be a very good idea, however, to purchase a small painting for your mother this year!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring Fever

Thankfully, Spring has arrived, but now I feel like a lazy person and want to take a little time off to enjoy the weather without the pressure of painting (painting guilt).  I have tons of paintings to do and I really feel the pressure, so I need to relax.  I'll do a little yard work, and who knows, maybe I'll paint later.
I've been sketching this week, getting geared up to do a Boston City Scene for Carol's latest challenge to paint a busy city scene.  I took this photo a few weeks ago, and I like it, but the drawback for me is that it's not colorful.  I have to do something else with it to make it interesting or exciting.  It was taken on a rainy day.  I have some ideas about how to start it in a new way using acrylic underpainting in an abstract way.  I won't be able to spend a lot of time on it because I'm so excited about spring and pretty colors and getting ready for a workshop I'm taking in upper state NY next month with Lori Putnum.  I'm making a new glass palette just for plein air colors, and in particular, her suggested palette.
Yesterday I spent hours with Carol Pike going over our plans for our Italy painting trip in September and the itinerary for the last few days where we are leaving the group and going to Sorrento and Capri.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Country Tree, 2 for 1

This painting is on foamboard and starts at $20.  There is another
painting on the back, see it above, the tomatoes and beans
on a black and white dishcloth.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Maudsley and European Arches may be finished

I say maybe because I'm done for now but who knows how I'll feel later on.  I'd like to do something more with the Maudsley painting, but it was such a dreary day anyway, and I did capture that!  I just like more colorful paintings, probably because I've been in my flower painting mode for a while now.
The picture doesn't even do it justice, it's safe to say that I will probably do something more with it.
Maudsley Park, blue flowers and daffodils, new leaves starting on trees, forest beyond, 10x12"
Here are the progression pictures of the European Arches painting.  It was LOTS of perspective!
--and many shades of warm colors.
European Arches, 9x12' oil on board

I do love warm colors.  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I'm painting, just not finishing.  Saturday morning at the Cox Reservation, windy again so I took photos and listened to David.

Tuesday morning painted at Maudsley, here is my effort.  It needs some corrections, but so far all painted plein air.

What's the difference?  One photo was taken indoors and the other with natural light. 

Today I painted on the progression painting of European Arches.  Maybe one more day to finish it.
Here is it so far.
I sketched things in somewhat, then more or less started at the bottom right and worked my way around clockwise and have yet to work on the area at 3 o'clock.  Funny how one never attacks a painting the same way twice. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Still Life Today

Still life in the style of David Laffel
Today I wanted to get started on the portrait for the September show in Newburyport, but I couldn't find the photo.  I guess I'll have to make a trip to the library and hopefully there will be one there.  So I randomly chose this from my pile of things to paint and got a start on it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Picked AGAIN!

I'm so happy to be picked again!  This was for the Canadian Marsh painting.

European Painting

I haven't really painted anything that reflects the great european trips I have taken over the past five years.  While I was working with my art student today, I got started on a outdoor cafe scene with arches and umbrellas that has nice bright colors of yellows, oranges.  I hope I can remember to take photos as I paint it so that I can show the progression from beginning to end.
I bought some plastic containers to house my palettes.  I need to keep separate palettes for plain air, studio, landscape colors, still life, etc.  I'll be preparing soon for the Lori Putnum workshop in NY and getting the palette together and experimenting with it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Canadian Marsh and more

Canadian Marsh on a Rainy Day 8x10" oil on gessoed masonte
After a couple of years, I took this painting out to paint over it and brought it to a group painting event.  People liked it and said, "Work on it some more, don't paint over it."  So I did.  I added the tree and made the flood bigger.  It does capture the weather conditions and has a sense of solitude.  I was painting under an umbrella at first but then moved to one of those shelter buildings they have on park properties.
Pond Painting with ripples added.
You may remember this from about a week ago, I added the ripples I guess I'm in my lively attitude lately, brightening everything up, maybe because Spring has finally arrived.
John Greenlief Whittier Birthplace

I brought this painting to the Rhythm Cafe yesterday to replace a painting that was sold.

Monday, April 14, 2014

View for Two with Two Birds

View for Two with Two Birds (I like that the birds are there but not very prominent.)
I've been touching this painting up, or maybe I should say liven it up, and plan to put it in the upcoming Northshore Art Association of Gloucester, MA show along with this other one
famous McCurdy's Smokehouse in Lubec Me.

I think I sold another little gem today, The Swing, from the Bear Hill Road series I painted a year ago for my first Rhythm Cafe solo show in December of 2012.  Boy, how time flies.  I'm currently showing there again but we are now in 2014.  Doesn't seem like 16 months ago!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ripples on water

Today I put ripples on the water of a painting I have already put up on DPW's site, but guess what, I can go in and exchange the old one for the new one.  This is good to know because sometimes I'm almost finished and miss a day of posting because I don't put one up.  It's a good idea to only put one up per day, so this is a good solution.

Today I also worked on and almost finished a foggy marsh painting started on a rainy day in Canada.

I've been asked to be the Artist of the Month for August at the Merrimac Library, and I had an idea to do a project while I'm there, but it has to pass approval, and it may not, so I won't tell you what it is. :>)

Tonight I'm going to a friend's art reception and WINE TASTING.  That sounds like fun!

Saturday is portrait day and I want to work on a 12x12" format to see if I like it.