Friday, December 30, 2011

Local Landmarks

I have always been intrigued by the historic 
architecture here in New England 
and this wonderful gem is right here 
in neighboring Marshfield. 

The Colonel Isaac Winslow House 1699
6 x 6 

It is described on the website as:
"a four square house, built around a gigantic chimney, 
with fine high pitched roof 
and an enclosed Portico in front, 
with wide windows and unusual depth, 
making an entrance hall. 
The house is framed with “gun stock” timbers
 conforming to the “first period Colonial” 
except that it has no overhang to the second story."

The Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge this month 
is "Local Landmarks"
Check out the new posts on our blog Jan.1st! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Best Gift

A few years ago, the art consultant 
for the new Dana Farber Cancer Center 
at the South Shore Hospital
purchased a dozen paintings of mine 
to hang in the "chemo bays."
This is one of them:
8 x 10 

A few days ago, I received this e-mail:

Dear Nancy,
 My name is Sandra, and I just had my first chemotherapy treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Center.  I enjoyed your painting entitled STAY,,,of that lovely little dog! :))) As I sat in my chair, I watched your painting as the sun moved across it changing the colors and enhancing the brush strokes...from a bright early morning sun late afternoon golden glow. I have been very sick 
and have not been able to paint in a long time... it gave me hope and inspiration as well... It truly made my day and I just wanted to say Thank you Nancy :)

Needless to say, I could sell a thousand paintings 
and it wouldn't mean as much as that. 
Artist and life coach, Liz Wiltzen, says it all in her latest post. 
Click here to read it. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Sense of Place

As a participating student in the Karin Jurick 
 field expedition to New York City last year, 
the Sedona Arts Center invited me to
 "choose a piece of work that exemplifies the "sense of place" 
related to the expedition I experienced."
This was a scene right across the street from our class! 

Outside the Guggenheim
8 x 10 

I started this on the last day and didn't get to finish it.
So today I got out my KJ brushes and colors 
and tweeked it.  

Outside the Guggenheim 
8 x 10 

This will be part of the
"A Sense of Place" 
exhibition at the Sedona Arts Center from Jan 25 - Feb 14 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice Gift

When I heard the forecast for today,
(52 degrees and sunny!)
 I decided to celebrate the Winter Solstice 
by painting outside! 

Winter Solstice 
10 x 10 

A friend of mine has a dock on the magnificent 
North River.
The walk to the end was breathtaking!

It was 3:00 and the sun was really low 
making the light very purply and soft.   
I had to work fast so I chose this simple view.  

I was drawn to that  dramatic light coming off
the wet mud at low tide. 

Being out there today was such an incredible gift 
and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  

Ironically, when I got home, a friend of mine 
 sent me this poem.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds,
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.   For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry

Monday, December 19, 2011

Miracle of Birth

The daughter of a very dear friend of mine had a baby boy
last Wednesday
and I got to hold him this weekend!

 There is nothing like a brand new baby.

Baby Archer 
6 x 6 

I guess I will never get over the miracle of birth! 
Hey! Isn't that what we are celebrating these days? 

This was my first "baby portrait".
Yikes. The features are so delicate and soft,
it's hard to simplify!   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Smart Solutions

Many of my painting pals use acrylics 
and they are always trying to find ways to keep the paint from drying out. 
Sally Dean uses these small containers from the Dollar Store
 in a tupperware tub. 
She just snaps the lid on and goes!

Then I met Susan Guest McPhail and she uses an
extra large "weekly" pill box from Walgreens! 
How prefect is that? 
(I love how the days of the week are marked on the lids!) 

Just thought I'd share these artists' smart solutions 
with you acrylic painters out there! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Working" Class

The thing I love about teaching this 
class is that it "works" for everyone.

The eight artists
who invited me to give a class today 
have been meeting every Monday for five years.
They are at all different levels and most of them use acrylics. 
They are a truly dynamic and talented group 
and I was thrilled to be with them today.  

I set up a very simple still life
and used a spot light 
(to exaggerate the lesson on VALUE!) 
I did this quick demo using a large brush 
and thick paint, 
to lay in the big dark and light value shapes. 

Then I set the timer and they were off!

The other four did this set up. 

 More wonderful results! 

For most, this approach is totally different 
from anything they have ever done before.
So during the critique at the end of the class
I like to ask if they will use what they have learned
next time they paint.
Most say yes without hesitation!

That is all I need to hear!
Many thanks to Susan Guest McPhail  and
Judith Schroeter
for making this happen!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Hour Warm Up

I am going up to Essex, MA tomorrow to teach a 
"Painting in an Hour" class.
Today I decided I'd better do a "warm up".
"T Travelers" 
8 x 10 

I chose a rather complicated subject because I 
really wanted to challenge myself to work fast and loose. 
These gals were amazingly relaxed while riding a very crowed train!
Clearly "regulars." 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Routine out of order

This time of the year is tough on artists.
Our routine is put out of order!  
I, for one, have been working on commissions. 
(which I enjoy but I get a bit stifled and cramped.) 
I took today off and went to the Museum of Fine Arts 
with some of my artist pals. 

Stephanie, Sally, Patty
This is "Night", part of the two Night and Day larger-than-life sculptures
 created by renowned Spanish artist Antonio Lopez Garcia. 
The sculptures are fondly known as Boston's "baby heads." 

We saw a lot of great art, had some laughs and got inspired.
I highly recommend viewing art 
as an anecdote to the stress of the holiday season! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

From Big to Small. And Back Again?

A few weeks ago, I bought eight of these 5 x 7 frames at IKEA 
with no idea what I was going to do with them.  

Red Cape 
5 x 7 

I guess I was thinking of a series of some kind? Or gifts. 
Today, I was curious to see what would happen if I took my 
favorite "architecture in the landscape" subject,
and painted it SMALL! 
(I have been doing them very large lately. See older posts)  
So, I did this 5 x 7 on my Karin Jurick easel, 
on black gesso board using synthetic brushes. 
It was an interesting exercise. 
I felt like a caged animal!
I wanted to "bust out!"
I think I need to do this as a 16 x 20 as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Paint Opening

We had an opening reception last night for the 
show at the James Library.
Over 80 paintings from 11 past "challenges" were grouped 
together around the gallery. 
We had quite a large crowd, sold 19 paintings 
and everyone seemed delighted to learn about blogging! 
Great job girls! 
I feel so blessed to be part of such a dynamic and talented group of woman! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting in the Spirit

It seems rather odd getting the holiday decorations out 
when it's 65 degrees outside! 
I was having a hard time "getting in the spirit" this week,
until I had my art class with the Alzheimer patients yesterday! 
"Christmas Collage"
by Millie
I invite you to visit my other blog
to see the amazing work they do! 

That will get you in the spirit, for sure!