Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day #28 Old Friends

Old Friends, Vilnius, Lithuania 9x12, oil.

I cheated a bit today. This was a painting that I started a while ago and finished today. Our Virtual Paint Out Group has not resumed this year. I don't know if this is a permanent condition, but I decided to take a trip to Lithuania by myself. 

The idea for this virtual trip came because of a dear cousin who is working on our Lithuanian genealogy. We have been sharing information and this has stirred up old memories of my childhood. My grandparents on both sides came to this country through Ellis Island in the early 1900's and kept many of the old customs. One set of grandparents from Lithuania, one set from Poland. (There will be a virtual trip to Poland coming up sometime). They were thankful to be here and worked hard to raise their families. There was no welfare and no government help - and they didn't expect any. Families helped each other.

Yesterday's painting of The Blue Umbrella sold this morning. Thank you, Denise! Tomorrow I hope to start on another cityscape. Now it's back to the studio to wash my brushes and then have a glass of wine.

Thanks for visiting,

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Virtual Paint Out

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge for February 2018.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day #27 The Blue Umbrella

The Blue Umbrella, 5x7, oil SOLD

I finished this painting late this afternoon. It took longer than I planned as the painting seemed to have a mind of its own. After many changes, it is finally finished.

I work from photos that I have collected from the internet and stored in my Kindle. These photos are essential, but they are not mine. They were taken by many people and I am very grateful that they are willing to share them with us. I would never copy one of these photos completely as they are someone else’s vision and not mine. 

Since I need reference photos for the structure and composition, I choose elements from two or three photos to tell my story. The photo of the girl with the umbrella was in black and white. I looked through my other photos and chose two for the background. Once I have the initial block-in done, I don’t look at the photos very often. I just paint and let the painting tell me what it needs. I work until it looks right to me. I find that if I give it a title and keep that story in mind, I can stay on track. This can be a tricky way of painting and sometimes you just have to walk away and focus on something else for awhile. Then when I return to my easel the painting behaves itself and we continue until it's done.

But once in awhile the painting just won’t cooperate and there is no choice but to wipe it off and start again. Today was a good day.

Thanks for visiting,

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

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge for February 2018.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day #26 Winter Moon

Winter Moon, 6x8, oil

I'm falling behind in my painting. Life gets in the way sometimes. After completing this painting today (which I started two days ago) I began another cityscape that I hope to work on tomorrow. All my cityscapes are sold so I guess other people enjoy them as much as I do.

Thanks for visiting,

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

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge for February 2018.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Day #22 Bright City Lights

Bright City Lights, 5x7 oil SOLD

I've always had a fascination with cities. Not the new chrome and concrete cities, but the old brick and brownstones. 

I grew up in a small town near Hartford, CT. When I was young, my parents and I used to go to Hartford every Sunday afternoon. My father played the sax in a local dance club and my mother and I would walk down Main Street to the movies. We had looked in the Sunday papers to choose our movie from one of the five or six theaters on Main Street. After the movies we would walk to the club which closed at 9PM on Sunday nights. Back then a woman and a child could walk the streets in the evening without danger.

Beside theaters with brightly lit marques, Main Street had large department stores with beautiful windows, doormen and elevator operators in uniforms and red caps. All the buildings seemed huge and elegant. The alleyways between the buildings looked dark and mysterious. There were lights and people everywhere. I thought it was a wondrous adventure.

We always stopped for ice cream after the movies. Then we walked to my father's club and had about half an hour to wait until closing. We would sit at a table and listen to my father's band and watch the dancers. It was noisy and crowded, filled with music and laughter. 

As we left Hartford, the city was still busy and bright. Before we reached home I was asleep.

Nice memories.

Thanks for visiting,

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

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge for February 2018.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Day #17 Red Shoes

The 30/30 Challenge has passed the halfway point. It's always an interesting event and a fun time to experiment with different subjects and color palettes. 

It's impossible for me to paint all thirty paintings in the 30 day time period. My painting style requires a minimum of three sessions. The first session is laying in the composition and the base colors. The next day's session is to repaint everything. Oil paint is not as substantial as you might think. Some color pigments seem to sink in or fade. All colors benefit from a second application. This is also the time for refining and working on subtle value and color shifts. This session takes the longest.

The third day's session is tweaking the painting, enhancing the highlights and dark accents and adding the "pizzazz", those bits of color and excitement.

Now this is if all goes well. If it doesn't, the whole painting may have to be wiped off and then it's back to the beginning and maybe a new subject.

So that is my explanation. Add to that the activities of daily living and life in general.....  

But it's been a fun time and tomorrow I start another painting.

Red Shoes, 5x7, oil

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

Thanks for visiting,

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge for February 2018.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hospital Benefit Series

Golden Morning 8x10, oil

I have a few paintings for sale in the Radiology Department at our local hospital in Belfast, Maine. 50% of all sale proceeds will be donated to the Mammography Patient Assistance Fund to help low income women get the care they need.

When I graduated high school, over 50 years ago, I was accepted into the Radiology Course at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Manchester, Connecticut. Mammography was in its experimental phase and I remember the first time, and the first patient, to receive this new procedure at MMH. After the Radiologist examined the patient, he worked with the technician in the placement and exposure requirements. I was a student at the time and was in the room to observe and handle the film cassettes.

There was no compression used and the special soft tissue film cassettes required long exposure times. This special film was then hand-developed with the head technician and the Radiologist working together in the darkroom to assure that the exposure density was correct. Retaking the x-rays would subject the patient to extra radiation. I remember the patient, a middle aged woman, frightened and silently crying. I could tell by the look on the Radiologist's face that the news wasn't good.

What a difference today. The equipment is the best, the technique so improved, the exposure is minimal, very safe and accurate. No film, just high resolution digital. I marvel at all the new technology in our Radiology Department. My daughter-in-law is an X-Ray Technician at Waldo County General Hospital and her training was extensive, requiring a college degree and ongoing certifications.

My mother was a nurse and I remember the white shoes and stockings, the starched white uniforms and caps she wore with pride. So it was a natural thing for me to look toward health care as a profession. I worked in the health care field for over 35 years, first in X-Ray for about 10 years and then as an administrator in a long term care facility for disabled veterans that we owned in Warren, Maine. This donation is my way of continuing to support the medical community and to give thanks for the wonderful health care available to us all.

This painting can be seen and purchased directly from the Radiology Department at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, Maine, or you can contact me and I will arrange pick-up and shipping. Either way, 50% of all sale proceeds will go to the Mammography Patient Assistance Fund.

Click here see all my paintings available in the Radiology Department.

Thank you for visiting.


You may contact me at -
Or contact the hospital at 207 338-2500 and ask for Radiology.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Day #2 - Sailing the Maine Coast

Thinking of summer on this snowy day in February. The sun came out this afternoon and it was a beautiful winter's day, even though the temperature was only five above.

Sailing the Maine Coast, 5x7, oil

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

Thanks for visiting,

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge for February 2018.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Day #1 - Open For Business

Artist Leslie Saeta's new 30/30 Challenge has begun. She changed the start date from the usual January to February this year. So here we go...

This was an interesting painting session. I used to tell my students that it was a good idea to know what end result you were anticipating before you started. This painting began as a simple rainy day street scene and then my brush took over. 

I find this is happening a lot lately. It will be interesting to see where this trend takes me. I will use this challenge and these small paintings to find out.

Open for Business, 6x8, oil SOLD

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

Thanks for visiting,

Leslie Saeta's February 2018 30/30 Challenge.