Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Cityscape and a Focal Point

In my last post I shared the beginning stage of my latest nocturne cityscape. Above is my finished painting maintaining my established structure or framework but allowing my story to evolve as I paint.

Bright City Lights, 8x10 WIP

Throughout the painting process it's crucial to keep in mind that only the subject of the painting (or focal point) will be in sharp focus. The remainder of the objects in the scene will be seen in our peripheral vision. This is how our eye actually views a scene. Only the object we are looking at will be in focus. The remainder of the scene is slightly out of focus, becoming more blurred as objects move farther away from the focal area. (You can prove this to yourself by looking at one object and without moving your eye, using your peripheral vision, check out the areas around your chosen object).

Forgetting the importance of the focal point and not painting the scene as the eye would naturally see it is a problem very often seen in student paintings. Everything is in sharp focus. The eye doesn't know what to focus on and the whole painting looks unnatural - often uncomfortable to view. Remember - one focal point per painting! 

Foregrounds are very often misrepresented. They are the areas closest to you and if you are looking straight ahead to your focal point - the foreground is definitely not in focus! 

An interesting painting gives us a lot to see. The eye wanders around exploring the scene but is always drawn back to the focal point. And leave your painting a bit unfinished. Don't tell the whole story. This bit of mystery allows your viewer to become a partner in the painting's story. 

This painting is available in my Ebay Store or directly through me.

Thanks for visiting with me. Stay warm. Spring will be on the way soon, I hope.


And please remember to visit my two new Facebook pages - 

Celene Farris, A Maine Artist - & - Celene Farris, Night Painter

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Cityscape In Progress

Checking my blog this morning, I was amazed to see that my last blog post was over two months ago - in November.  Our Decembers are always a whirlwind of activity. Then comes January when our Maine winter begins in earnest. Cold, snow, ice. No wonder the animals go into hibernation. Now it is early February and another gloomy, gray, cold day. Snow everywhere and ice underfoot - but like the groundhog we are up and looking forward to spring.

I thought I would share the beginning of my newest cityscape nocturne. These are complicated paintings and require a strong under-structure of perspective lines and value patterns.

Reference photos are a must since there is no way I could be in all these places to take my own photos. I borrow bits and pieces from many photographs to tell my own story.  

For this under-structure I use acrylic paint (black and white with shades of gray) because it covers well and dries quickly. Corrections and adjustments are easily made. I found that trying to create this layer in oil paint is difficult as the oil stays wet and corrections are messy.  

In this example, I am working on a red, acrylic toned canvas. I have established my perspective lines and a strong value pattern. And, yes, I use a ruler! I found that horizontal lines can be fudged a bit, but unless you want a cartoonish look, your verticals must be correct.

When I am satisfied with my composition, shapes and values, I will complete the painting using a full colored oil palette.

Work in progress, 8x10

I hope you have a chance to visit my two new Facebook pages - 

Celene Farris, A Maine Artist

Celene Farris, Night Painter

I hope your holiday season was great and wishing you all a very happy New Year. 
Thanks for visiting. Stay safe, sane and warm.


Saturday, November 27, 2021

More Nocturnes

 Thought I would share a few of my favorite nocturnes with you.

Rainy Night, 5x7, oil. SOLD

Number Please, 5x7, oil. SOLD

I hope you will visit my two new Facebook pages - 

Celene Farris, A Maine Artist

Celene Farris, Night Painter

Thanks for visiting. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Love of Nocturnes

My paintings seem to jump from one subject to another. Lately I have been focusing on nocturnes with their dark, haunting images and the mysterious stories they suggest. 

I have always loved the old, black and white  movies - the dark, gritty detective stories and the haunting classics such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Nocturnes, or night paintings, are a challenge to paint - but great fun!

The Stranger, 7x5, oil, SOLD

This painting was available in my Ebay Store or directly through me. 

I hope you will visit my two new Facebook pages - 

Celene Farris, A Maine Artist

Celene Farris, Night Painter

Thanks for visiting. 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Learning Social Media

Last week I attended an on-line, intensive, "Social Media for Artists" workshop. 

Then I spent the rest of the week on the computer, bouncing back and forth from sheer amazement to utter confusion, while weaving my way through setting up "Social Media for Business" Facebook and Instagram accounts, and then separating each account into two different pages. A total of two accounts and four pages - and then linking them all together.

I split my Facebook/Instagram accounts into two different pages to separate my two vastly different painting subjects and styles.

My first Facebook/Instagram page is Celene Farris, A Maine Artist. This page features my traditional Maine landscapes and seascapes, traditional still life, florals and figurative oil paintings. Also some miniatures.

My second Facebook/Instagram page is Celene Farris, Night Painter. This page features my new subject of Night Landscapes and Cityscapes.  

Success! My two accounts are now active, my four pages are now complete and all has been launched! 

And two days ago I had my first "internet/social media sale". How great is that!

I now have both my original Ebay Store  and my new "Social Media Sites" as internet selling platforms.

Last week was a very busy but productive week. This week I hope to paint!

I hope you will visit my new Facebook and Instagram Pages and "Follow" me through this journey into the world of social media. I will be adding more of my paintings on a regular basis and showing some older works as well. Hope to see you there!

I would love to hear your comments.

Thanks so much for visiting with me.


My Ebay Store 

My Web Site

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Closing Time, 8x10, oil

It's an interesting challenge to paint interiors and figures with multiple light sources and still maintain a strong focal point. A continuation of my nocturne studies.

Closing Time, 8x10, oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store or directly through me. 

Thanks for visiting. 



My Ebay Store

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Northern Lights

Who knows where our painting inspiration comes from... 

Right now, in the middle of a summer (and a political) heat wave, I'm thinking of the peace and quiet of our Maine winters and the beautiful, mesmerizing and ghostly colors of the northern lights that often dance across our night skies.

Fire in the Sky, 5x7, oil


Winter Skies, 5x7, oil

The scientific explanation-

The Northern Lights (aurora borealis) are shafts or curtains of colored light visible on occasion in the northern night sky caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter into the earth's atmosphere. These particles are attracted to the poles by the magnetic fields found there and react with gases in the atmosphere, causing the gases to glow. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light, to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.

I think it's more than that.....

These paintings are available in my Ebay Store or directly through me. 

Thanks for visiting. I wish you peace.



My Ebay Store