Sunday, October 8, 2017

School Days Remembered

Looking back over my art career, some of the best times were spent in the classroom. Over the years my students have ranged in age from 9 years old in my Junior Class to over 80 years old in my Adult Class. My young students came once a week throughout the school year and it was a joy to watch them grow from children to teenagers to young adults.

Originally my painting classes were held at my gallery in Belfast, Maine, but as the gallery grew and we needed more space, I gave up my classroom and moved classes to my home studio.

My Adult Class has seen many students come and go but I had my main students that were with me for many years. They were my dedicated “crew”. We met weekly and worked very hard to incorporate the principals and theories of oil painting into our work. They were a very special group and our sessions were filled with laughter, sighs and music.

One of our very special students was Genie Francis, from the TV Series, General Hospital. She has a summer home in Belfast and it was our good fortune to have her join our classes for a few summers.

 We also had many outdoor adventures, some quite memorable.

It was my greatest pleasure to see my students enter shows and win awards. To see the smiles on their faces when they brought their ribbons and awards to class was priceless. We all celebrated together because we understood the hard work and commitment that led to this proud achievement.
When I was teaching at the gallery, summer visitors would often stop in and ask for a few lessons. They had just bought their first paint set and wanted to learn to paint. They were the most difficult students, as they didn’t understand that it takes many years to grasp the principals of painting and more years of hard work to put these principals into play. I knew they would leave frustrated but hopefully these first few classes would peak their interest and they could go on from there. They also left with a greater appreciation of the art we displayed at the gallery.
I taught for over 15 years and have now retired. I sometimes think of teaching again, but life has a way of moving on. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my students. We were a family and together we shared joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures. We still keep in touch and paint together and their voices still echo in my studio.

Thanks for visiting,

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017 Newsletter

October Thoughts.

October in Maine is colorful leaves against bright blue skies. Crisp mornings with a touch of frost, warmed by the sun and cool, clear nights. It marks the end of another busy summer.

Time to get the gardens ready for winter and bring in the houseplants that have flourished so well outside. (But where to put them is another matter.) Time to check the wood stove and get out the heavy sweaters. Soon it will be winter again....

September was a very busy month with Leslie Saeta again offering her 30/30 painting challenge. Thirty paintings in thirty days is a challenge. Add to that the photographing and posting each day. I was pleased to complete 26 paintings. I posted them daily to my Blog and my Ebay Store. Happily some are now sold.

Our September Virtual Paint-Out Group traveled to Southern Florida but because the month was so busy I was only able to complete one small Florida painting. I have a larger one started that I am looking forward to working on. Our travel group is now on vacation until January. That will give me time to catch up and I may take a virtual trip on my own.

I was very pleased to paint with my friend and long time student, Rev, who spends her summers here. She is returning to Miami this week and I will miss her. Rev is a remarkable lady, as my students will remember, and she is taking a great painting back with her.

My newsletters maybe brief and infrequent but I make up for it with my Blog. I try to post a few times a month but I posted almost daily in September because of the 30/30 challenge. I enjoy receiving questions and comments about art and art theory. I'm an artist and a teacher and I enjoy sharing what I have learned over the years from books, from other artists and by trial and error. I thank all the artists who have shared their knowledge with me and I try to pass that knowledge along.

I invite you to subscribe to automatically receive my posts in your e-mail. You may unsubscribe at any time but I hope you will find my posts interesting and informative. And if you have any questions or topics you would like to discuss, please let me know.

Thanks for visiting with me. Wishing you all joy and peace.

Happy painting.

Some links you may enjoy.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Painting Challenge, Day 26 and 27

Getting behind in my posting.

Day 26
The Dinghy Landing, Belfast, Maine 5x7, oil SOLD

 Day 27
Mountain Stream, 5x7, oil SOLD

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Painting Challenge, Day 24

Wilson Stream, 5x7, oil

A portion of the rapids on Wilson Stream in Elliotsville, Plantation, Maine. My favorite spot!

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Thanks for visiting.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Painting Challenge, Day 22

After the Rain, 5x7, oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Thanks for visiting.


Here Comes Trouble

The most dangerous time in my painting process is the finishing stage. That last hour or so when I need to decide what to leave in and what to take out. The time of final corrections, the addition of highlights and accents that can only be added at this stage.

When I reach this point, strange as it sounds, I find I’m not seeing the painting as a whole presentation anymore. After working intensely for hours, my focus has slowly shifted to the individual elements and I could be heading for trouble. I have to force myself to stop, put the brush down and leave my studio for awhile. And often that isn’t easy. I’m tired and I want to finish. “Just one more stroke. Let me fix that spot, etc.” ….. Here comes trouble.

A successful painting is a sum of all it’s elements all working together, balancing and complementing each other. All working together to support the story line or focal point. When you begin to concentrate on each element separately you risk throwing the whole painting off balance. A few times I have gone beyond the point of no return and had no choice but to wipe the whole painting away. Frustrating! Especially when it had a good start and I just couldn’t stop fiddling.

Now I try to keep reminding myself of what my painting is about and ask if the element I am working on is important or a distraction. Discipline! The most important element in your studio.

Three quotes that I read a long time ago and need to bear in mind.

  • “A painting is finished when you have simplified or taken out all you can.”
  • “If it looks good, leave it alone. Trying to make it better never works.”
  • “Working in stages lets the paint dry and your brain rest.”

And yes, I have been painting today. Can you tell?

Happy painting, 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Painting Challenge, Day 17

Our Virtual Paint Out Group is visiting south Florida this month, the area below Interstate 75, otherwise known as Alligator Alley. I have started a larger painting of Biscayne Bay but haven't had time to work on it. So today I painted a small version of a scene on Naples Beach. I plan on doing a larger one of that area, too. I really enjoy painting palm trees, why, I don't know. Maybe because they are so graceful and carefree. And maybe because I recall watching them blow and sway outside our windows in Florida. Anyway - here is my quick study for today.

Naples, Florida, 5x7, oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.
Thanks for visiting.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Painting Challenge, Day 13

Storm Surge, 5x7, oil
This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Today's distraction was extra special -

Watching our friends launch their sailboat in Belfast Harbor. They will be heading south in a few weeks. Happy sailing!

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Painting Challenge, Day 12

Path to the Sea, 5x7, oil

So many distractions - 

Our peach tree is being very generous this year. This is the second basket I've picked and there are still more peaches on the tree. Thank you, peach tree, but you are seriously cutting into my painting time.


This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Challenge, Day 9

Recalling wonderful memories of all the winters we spent in sunny Florida.

Thoughts and prayers to the people of Florida as they await Hurricane Irma. 

Florida Sunrise, 5x7, oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Sept. 2017 30/30 Challenge, Day 4

The fog is slowly lifting in the early morning sunshine. Another beautiful day on the coast of Maine.

Lifting Fog 5x7, oil

Thanks for visiting.

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Working Art Gallery Remembered

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the closing of our gallery and the sale of our great old building. This is a repost from three years ago.

The Working Art Gallery, a day of mixed emotions. 9/3/2014.

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 

"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.

Sept. 2017 30/30 Challenge, Day 3

Day 3 of the 30/30 Painting Challenge.  My corner garden.

Birch Tree, 7x5, oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Small Paintings.

Thanks for visiting.