Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day 2014

On this peaceful Christmas day I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a New Year filled with peace and joy.

Although it was raining this morning and almost 50 degrees outside (very unusual weather for a Maine Christmas), I'm sure that Santa put on his raincoat and completed his job without a hitch. I know that he was very generous at our house.

Our family gathers here for Christmas Eve. It is always such a fun time, filled with laughter, love and great food. There were presents galore and Ginger had a wonderful time ripping up all the wrapping paper.

Today is a quiet day, just the three of us - Tony, Ginger and I. The classical radio station is playing beautiful Christmas music, Cornish hens are roasting in the oven and the house smells so fragrant. The wrapping paper and ribbons have been picked up, but there are still bits of paper all through the house, thanks to Ginger. Tomorrow will be soon enough to run the vacuum. As I see these bits and pieces scattered about, I smile with the remembrance of last night's festivities.

My refrigerator is stuffed with the leftovers from last night so I won't have to cook for a week. That is good as it's time to clean the studio and get ready for the January 30/30 Challenge. If all goes well, I hope to get a lot of painting done this winter, both for the Challenge and some larger gallery pieces. My internet marketing is doing well and I hope to expand that in the new year.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. After all the hustle and bustle of the season, we are left with the warm glow of family love and good friendships.

Wishing you all the very best in the New Year.

Celene

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

January 2015 30/30 Challenge - Sign up!

It's time to sign up for Leslie Saeta's " January 2015, Thirty Paintings in 30 Days Challenge." 

This is great fun and I really enjoyed last year's challenge. There are no limits, you can paint as many or as few as you want, any size, any medium. She says that her only rule is "to have fun." Here is the link to read more about her challenge and access the sign-up link.  Leslie Saeta's Blog link -lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.

Your name and location will be added to an interactive map showing the participating artists from all over the world.  More than 1050 artists joined the September 2014 Challenge.  And you will be able to see the work of these artists and add your painting to the daily listings.

I did join Leslie's September 2014 Challenge, but that was a busy month here and I didn't have much time to paint. January is a better month, the holidays are over and the cold winter days keep me in my studio.

I started a still life a few weeks ago that I planned to share on my blog, but haven't had much studio time to work on it. I have been very busy - doing what - who knows?  The older I get, the faster the time flies.

The busy Christmas season will be over before we know it.  I want to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene





Sunday, November 16, 2014

Using My Kindle in the Studio.

I have been sorting through my reference photos stored on my computer and transferring them to folders in my Kindle. I can then use the Kindle image in my studio. This eliminates printing the photo and the annoying problem of color shifting by my printer. 


Reference photos from our trip to Acadia National Park.


My Kindle is clamped to my easel and I have begun the block-in. I am working with a limited palette of the three primaries - yellow, red, blue - plus white and burnt sienna. I have experimented a lot this summer with different color palettes and gamut masking. I do enjoy the color harmony of limited palettes.

The basic block-in is complete. The rock structure is established, but needs simplification.  I want the energy of the water to be dominant. The painting is left to dry overnight.


Acadia Surf, 9x12, oil.

This painting has a new home in Pennsylvania.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Making a Mini Pochade Kit.

I have really enjoyed using my small plein air painting kit but sometimes wished that I had an even smaller kit to take with me.

My new mini pochade box.


So I bought a small plastic pencil box, measuring 5x8x2.5.

My dollar pencil box.

The box was just the right size for two 5x7 panels. I taped wax paper on the bottom for easy clean-up and adjusted the consistency of the paint with medium when I added it to the box. A small plastic sandwich bag for trash and a packet of handi-wipes goes in my pocket. No turps are needed as I clean my brush with the handi-wipes. I use one brush for darks and another brush for the light colors. You can also add a small palette knife. I shortened the handles of the brushes to fit the box. 


.

I brace the canvas with my thumb while painting, using the lid as my easel. 



The box is deep enough to securely hold two wet 5x7's placed back to back and on an angle. The paint brushes can either be placed at the bottom edge of the canvas or in the box, wrapped in a bit of the handi-wipes.


A perfect fit.


It closes up, nice and neat.


There is a good selection of inexpensive plastic boxes available to make up a kit to suit the size canvas you prefer. It's fun to just grab the box and go for that "spur of the moment" occasion without having to carry all our usual plein air gear.

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy.

Celene

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Playing Hooky Again.

After another busy week, we decided to run away for the day. Yesterday was a beautiful fall day and this time we headed north. The Maine coast is beautiful, but there is something very special about the north woods. The towns grow smaller until there is just a general store and maybe a post office. The people are hardy as the winters are long and the economy is rough. Houses are weather-beaten and stacks of firewood grow in anticipation of winter's cold. Hard working, no nonsense trucks are seen everywhere. The influence of the summer people and their shiny toys is missing here.

Heading north.

Quiet streets.

 End of the paved road.

We have a camp by a small lake just a few miles south of Moosehead Lake. We have owned the camp for over 30 years and the memories are very special. We didn't have electricity or running water until a few years ago when our son remodeled the camp. Our boys remember quiet evenings with just the sounds of the loons on the lake, the hissing of the gas lights and the crackling of the fire in the woodstove. I'm glad that the gas lights and woodstove are still there and when my husband and I go up, off go the electric lights.

Road into camp.

Our camp. 

View from our porch,


There is something about the solitude and vastness of this area that fills my soul with peace.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day #27 - September 30/30 Challenge, Wind Song



Wind Song, 5x7, oil SOLD
After another busy day, we were sitting outside enjoying the late afternoon sun.  I heard the gentle sound of my wind chime and it seemed to be saying, "paint me".  So I did.

This painting has a new home in Maine.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Playing Hooky

September has been a very busy month at our house. We had the sale of our gallery building on the 3rd and the last of the accounting and legal work. Tony is hurrying to finish the outside chores before the colder weather arrives and I am harvesting and canning the last of the garden vegetables.  My painting time is limited and I haven't completed as many paintings as I hoped for the 30/30 challenge. But I'm not giving in yet. Today is zucchini relish day, tomorrow is pickled beets - then I should be done with canning.

Yesterday was so beautiful we decided to skip work and run away for the day.  We drove up the coast to one of my favorite places - Stonington and Deer Isle.  I took lots of pictures - great inspiration for paintings.  I'll share a bit of our day with you.


Deer Isle - Stonington Bridge 


Tony & Ginger


A future painting.

Picked up sandwiches in Stonington.  Parked here for lunch.

Leaving Stonington.

Cape Rosier still has dirt roads.

A cobalt blue day.

Inspiration.





Thanks for visiting.  Time to start the zucchini relish.

Celene

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day #16 - September 30/30 Challenge, Harbor Moon



Harbor Moon, 5x7, oil


Day #16.  Still experimenting with color.

This painting is available on my Ebay page.


Thanks for visiting,
Celene

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day #12 - September 30/30 Challenge. Misty Morning

Misty Morning, 5x7, oil SOLD

Still experimenting with color and gamut masks.  This was painted using a very limited palette of white, raw umber as my neutral, yellow ochre pale, ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson as my modified primaries.


Thanks for visiting.
Celene

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day # 8 and #9 - September 30/30 Challenge, Snowbound

Snowbound Morning, 5x7, oil SOLD

I am still experimenting with color gamut masks. These different color harmonies are the result of shifting the position of the gamut mask on the color wheel. Working with a limited palette of modified primaries is interesting and sometimes complicated, but at the same time, it simplifies the painting process by limited the colors you can use. I will continue to work on this until I can simplify the concept in my mind.

As you can see, although it is the same reference photo there is a difference in the scene.  I don't like to paint the same scene twice.

Snowbound Evening, 5x7, oil SOLD



Thank you for visiting.

Celene

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day #5 - September 30/30 Challenge, Maine Wildflowers

Maine Wildflowers, 5x7, oil

Day #5, still experimenting with color gamut masks.  I do like the color harmonies that result.  Will explain more as I learn more.  These little studies are painted within a limited time frame.  It will be interesting to see how this all works with a more involved studio painting.

This painting is available on my Ebay page.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day # 4 - September 30/30 Challenge, Quiet Cove

Quiet Cove, 5x7, oil

Day #4.  Still working with gamut color masks.

This painting is available on my Ebay page.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day #3 - September 30/30 Challenge, Evening Star

Evening Star, 5x7, oil SOLD
Day three, still working with my gamut color masks.


Thanks for visiting.
Celene

www.CeleneFarris.com
www.TheWorkingArtGallery.com 

The Working Art Gallery, a day of mixed emotions.


Today we had the closing on the sale of our building.  I would like to share the history of the gallery that has been such an important part of my life. 

In January 1999, three Maine artists, Louis Masciovecchio, Celene Farris and Dianne Horton, established The Working Art Gallery on Front Street at the Belfast waterfront. The name was chosen because the three artists maintained their studios at the gallery. Visitors were encouraged to watch and ask questions. Celene also offered art classes at the gallery. The three artists helped to establish The Belfast Art Association, working closely with the other galleries to create a vibrant art community in Belfast.

Mid September of 2003, the gallery moved to its own building at 65 Main Street in historic downtown Belfast. (The William Crosby Building, 1857). The gallery expanded to two floors and added a visiting artist’s gallery giving new, up and coming artists the opportunity to display their work in a gallery setting. A classroom on the second floor was now used for Celene's expanded oil painting classes. The gallery continued to grow, representing over 30 local artists.

In November 2006, Maine artist, Sheryl Tripp, became the gallery’s new manager and added The Aina Moja Shop, a project of Expanding Opportunities, a non-profit organization supporting native African artists in Kenya and other Kenyan charities.

When the local newspaper began its “Best of the Best” People’s Choice Awards Competition in 2007, the gallery was voted the top art gallery in Waldo County.  The gallery continued to receive recognition each subsequent year.

At the close of 2011, after thirteen busy years, Celene and Louis decided it was time to downsize the gallery and give themselves more free time to paint. They moved their gallery to the second floor and exhibited the works of Louis Masciovecchio, Sheryl Tripp and Celene Farris. 

On the first floor, noted Maine artist and antique collector, Jude Nickerson, opened her new signature gallery, Raven’s Nest Gallery, featuring an exciting mix of Maine art and Maine antiques. She offered to oversee the upstairs gallery as well.

In March of 2014, Louis and his wife, Mary, returned to Maine. The second and third floors of the gallery building became their new temporary home. The physical gallery closed and a new virtual gallery was created. The first floor remained the home of Raven's Nest Gallery.

On September 3, 2014, Celene and Louis met to sign the sale papers on their building. The great old building was about to begin its new life and the artists are free to paint and travel. Celene will continue to maintain the gallery's website.

It has been a remarkable journey and I would like to sincerely thank our patrons and participating artists for making this a wonderful and exciting experience. The success of our gallery would not have been possible without your support. It has been a great pleasure to be part of Belfast's vibrant art community.

We are extremely pleased to be voted one of the top art galleries in Waldo County by The Republican Journal's "Best of the Best" People's Choice Awards. It is an honor we will always treasure and we sincerely thank all those who made this possible. 

I hope you will visit us at www.TheWorkingArtGallery.com 

"Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life."   Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Thank you for visiting on this day of mixed emotions.
Celene

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day #2 - September 30/30 Challenge, High Tide

High Tide, 5x7, oil SOLD
This is my second painting using a color gamut mask.  I am really enjoying this new (for me) concept.  I choose from a selection of triangular masks and apply the chosen mask to my color wheel.  The three points on the triangle indicate the chroma of each of my new, modified primary colors.  I mix all my colors from these modified primaries, eliminating all the other colors.  This is basically working with three primaries with a bit of a twist.  All the color mixtures within the margins of the triangle can be mixed with these three colors. All colors outside of the margins are eliminated.

I can alter the color scheme by shifting the triangular mask over the color wheel giving me many possibilities. I have stayed in the safer ranges, but will try to be a bit more daring as I continue.

If you want to read more about gamut masking, check James Gurney's Blog and his book, "Color and Light".  I find this to be very interesting.  More to come.....

This painting is sold.

Thanks for visiting.
Celene

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day # 1 - September 30/30 Challenge, New Moon Rising

New Moon Rising 5x7, oil SOLD
This is my first painting using color gamut masking.  I like the color harmony and will experiment with other combinations as this challenge continues.


Thanks for visiting.
Celene

www.CeleneFarris.com

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"September 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge" Reminder


Just a quick reminder if you haven't signed up yet - it's not too late. 


Do you recall last January's 30/30 Challenge from Leslie Saeta? Well, she's challenging us all again.

For the month of September the challenge is to paint 30 paintings in 30 days. Any size, any subject. The only rule is to have fun. You can paint as many as you want. Leslie has provided a link so you can post your work on her special website.

She has also provided an interactive map showing the location of the over 700 artists worldwide who are participating, with links to their websites or blogs. Your name and links will be added to the map.

It's great fun and a good way to challenge yourself to paint more. It's a good time to experiment with different techniques, maybe a different color palette or subject matter. You will be surprised by the energy this event will bring to your studio. Try it and see.

Here is the link to Leslie's website so you can sign up. It's fast, easy and free - and great fun.  http://30paintingsin30days.weebly.com/


Brushes ready - let's go!



Celene

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Mini Pochade Box

I have really enjoyed using my small plein air painting kit (shown below and described in a previous blog post) but sometimes wished that I had an even smaller kit to take with me.

My original small pochade box (Click here to read previous post.).


So I bought a small plastic pencil box, measuring 5x8x2.5.

My dollar pencil box.

My new mini pochade box.

The box was just the right size for two 5x7 panels. I taped wax paper on the bottom for easy clean-up and adjusted the consistency of the paint with medium when I added it to the box. A small packet of handi wipes goes in my pocket.  


.

I brace the canvas with my thumb while painting, using the lid as my easel.



The box is deep enough to securely hold two wet 5x7's placed back to back and on an angle. The paint brushes can either be placed at the bottom edge of the canvas or in the box, wrapped in a bit of the handi wipes.


A perfect fit.


It closes up, nice and neat.


Comparison.

I added a note to myself to check the paint before I go.


There is a good selection of inexpensive plastic boxes available to make up a kit to suit the size canvas you prefer. It's fun to just grab the box and go without having to carry all our usual plein air gear.

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy.

Celene