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Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009


This is a new work fresh off the easel. It's a pastel of my cat. He doesn't have a name, we just call him Cat. He came with my mom from Michigan about a year ago, and stayed. I didn't want a cat, but once here, we became too attached to him. When my mom's plans changed and she left North Andover, the cat stayed. He used to live with my grandparents but they passed away several years ago. My grandparents actually had several cats. This black one was the hardest to catch out of the bunch. When he finally got tricked into a pet carrier, my mom took him home and kept him in her basement for a few years. Her two dogs chased him so he stayed out of the way most of the time. He was a bit of a wild cat when he first came to my house, and hid all the time. Eventually he got used to my house and now hangs out just about anywhere, except where my newfoundland is. Cat doesn't mind the basset hound. Cat is actually quite devoted to me, and always looks for me. His favorite sleeping place is on my pillow. It is kind of sweet, in an annoying kind of way. So here is Cat. He is for sale, the picture that is.

Pastel on Paper
9x12 inches.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fresh Paint

Sophie and Odie at Weir Hill, North Andover
Oil on Canvas
11X14 inches.
Last sunday was the first big snow fall of the year and I took the dogs to Weir Hill. They ran around off the leash. I had my camera with me and I now have a collection of some really good snowy day photos. I'm going to paint a series from this outing and this is the first of the bunch. This one is really thickly painted and I tried something different with the layout. I masked off a long and thin composition and only painted in the middle of the canvas. This beauty is for sale, after it dries of course.

Email me for more information.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Brian Dettmer: Book Dissections

There are some really creative, talented artists out there . Brian Dettmer is from one of my Artist A Day posts I get on facebook. All you librarian readers; proceed with caution, the following may cause some professional angst.

Brian Dettmer: Book Dissections

Here is a peek into Brian Dettmer's studio. I'm just ... flabbergasted. He also works with cassette tapes.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Be Efficient at Studying - wikiHow

Be Efficient at Studying - wikiHow

Be a wikiHow Hero! If you publish an article in wikiHow in the month of September, they will send a book to a child in Africa. I found this topic in a list of needed articles and made this simple little how to.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Robert Henri

Robert Henri, Portrait of Fay Bainter, 1918

I need to research the quotes I publish on facebook a little better. I liked a quote by Robert Henri, but did not know that much about him. My art teacher asked if I was reading his book, The Art Spirit, now I know I should. It's all about using color to create forms. But who would of thought his last name was pronounced in a way to rhyme with "buckeye" as in "hen rye" and not the french: "on-ree." Sigh ... so much to learn, still!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Herb & Dorothy

He was a postal clerk. She was a librarian. With modest means, this couple managed to build one of the most important modern art collections in history. Meet Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, whose shared passion and commitment defied stereotypes and redefined what it means to be an art collector.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

About Lucian Freud

The only thing that's interesting about art present or past is quality. The whole mystery of art is why good things are good. - Lucian Freud

I have a new favorite portrait artist, Lucian Freud. Why I didn't know about him until a few days ago is beyond me. Good thing I don't call myself an art historian anymore, not that I ever really did. This artist was mentioned to me at AVEO Pharmaceuticals' informal art show. I chatted with a few people there and mentioned how I wanted to start painting portraits. Freud was brought up. Of course the next day I had to look this artist up and now I am in awe of his work. I'm impressed by the fact that his models will sit for 5 hours, 7 days a week, for several months just for one portrait. This is an interesting article about one model's experience: "Captured by Lucian Freud" by Martin Gayford. Another good article is: "Seeing Through the Skin" from The Guardian.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yoga and Art - Together at Last

I really want to take this class at the Essex Art Center. But sadly not enough people have signed up for it. I'm number two. They are going to cancel it.

Yoga Mat to Art Palette
Mary Ann McArdle
11 Mondays, 6-8:30 pm, Sep 21-Dec 7,
no class Oct 12, $160
Our artistic journey begins through the many postures of
yoga, breathing and meditation, gently transitioning to
paint, pastel and other media. No yoga or art experience
necessary, just a willingness to stretch the body, mind and
spirit. Students will create art at their own level, whether
they are a beginner or experienced artist. Please bring yoga
mat. Limit 8.


Pull, originally uploaded by kmsmithabraham.

Crazy crazy crazy life today. Too much going on. My emotions are being pulled in too many directions.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Oil and Other Rather Boring Stuff

This little still life is my officially first oil painting. I'm happy with it, but it doesn't have much to say for itself. I picked the orange and green florals from a local craft shop because they looked good together and natural. The little orange pod like flowers have a nice fuzzy outer layer that I thought would be challenging to paint, but wasn't. The blue vase is from Sharon's studio. I wanted to balance the orange with a deep cobalt blue. The table is just one of those cheap folding wood tables you can find almost anywhere. I have yet to paint a still life with some fabric. It is not so much that I am shying away from the difficulty of painting fabric, rather I want to keep the setup uncluttered. Maybe I'm being too critical of this little piece. Boring is ok sometimes, boring can be good. Especially when my life tends to spin out of control. Art is where things can be perfectly still and calm.

The Once and Future Student

This is my first oil portrait. It's not finished but I loved painting it and I liked the outcome. It has a certain style at a time when I'm not sure what my style is. I'm searching. I am looking at old masters and new artists for inspiration. Willem de Kooning was perfectly funny when he said: "I want to paint like Ingres and Soutine at the same time." I have stop worrying about my style. It will come. Art is like love: the more you try to hold onto it, the more it slips away from you. I need to let go. Life is the journey. And right now, I like the particular path I'm on.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hello World

A little about me.....
For most of my adult life I have orbited around the art world with various artistic and creative endeavors. I only flirted with the idea of being an artist. I have studied art history, dabbled in photography, studied graphic design, even worked as a freelance web designer. But I always wanted to paint. It took me some 40 years to finally find the courage ...