Monday, September 28, 2015

First Day of Fall in Boston Public Garden

First Day of Fall in BPG
Students, tourists, lunch walkers, street people, retirees, young and old; it seemed like everyone was taking advantage of the picture perfect weather on this, the first day of fall.   As usual I parked at a meter on Charles Street and set up just inside the entrance to the Boston Public Garden.    Looking down the central path I could see the famous orb shaped lanterns and the sculpture of George Washington on horseback.  

First Day of Fall - Ending Stage
This iconic Public Garden view has probably been sketched, painted and photographed thousands of times.  Well add one more painting to that - however - never before was it painted today.  The composition has the viewer entering on the left along the dark diagonal edge of the path and travelling directly to the people and globe shaped lanterns.   Multiple orange canna lilies towered over bright gold green caladiums.   These colors were even brighter and more vivid against the huge dark purple beech tree.  The transparent darks of the beech are catching glare so in this photo the beech does not look as dark as it really is in the painting.  Before I post to the website, I'll need to get a better (non-glare) photo.

First Day of Fall - Boston Public Garden
What the painting does not show is that on either side of the easel were (six foot) tall rose bushes with six inch blossoms.   The scent of roses was a heavenly bonus for the duration of the paint-out.

Photo of Maureen Painting
(by Photographer Samson Chen)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Snowy House Across the Marsh

Snowy House Across the Marsh
(Black, White and Torrit Grey)
Each year the Gamblin Oil Colors Company runs a contest in which participants are challenged to create a work of art using only black, white and a custom color made by Gamblin called "Torrit Grey".     And each year, the entries that painters come up with (using just values without color) just amaze me.  Perhaps it is the very nature of being constrained that gets the creative juices flowing.  I'm not talking about me, but check out this link for last year's entries.

This will be my third time participating.  I've been busy preparing for a winter snow show, which got me thinking about the limited palette of winter - almost like a Torrit Grey.   Thus I used an old winter reference photo to paint the Snowy House Across the Marsh in Torrit Grey.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Haymarket - In Progress
In New England, late summer and early fall is especially wonderful for those who enjoy the farmers' market.      At this point, the limited growing season is winding down, and the local markets are bursting with their bounty.   Everyone becomes a "foodie" seeing the exotic (and ordinary) fruits and vegetables in tall glorious piles.

Not only are the prices unbelievably cheap, but the variety is amazing at the location of this painting, Boston's Haymarket - an institution in Boston since 1820.    It really is the ultimate Farmers' Market.   "Eye candy" was the term that jumped to mind as I walked through the market, trying to drink in all this the "out of the tube" color.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rocky Shores

Rocky Shores
A rocky shoreline on a perfect summer day - it is never the same and never boring.   When we set up (about 3 hours before low tide), the rocks were barely visible at.  Gradually, the water pulled away revealing the rocky shoreline.   Seagulls and cormorants selected their favorite rocks, and some foraged through the seaweed. 

I mostly used my palette knife to capture the full sun and full pink glare off the water.   The extra brights formed a stark contrast with the dark rocks. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jetty at Scituate Light

Backlit downpours
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday as we drove north on Route 3A to Scituate Harbor and historic Scituate Light.   There were no bad views, so given the heat, I set up on the highest point of the granite rip-rap looking toward the long "L" shaped jetty.    There were nice breezes and lots of tourists passing by.  The noon sun illuminated the horizontal surfaces and the glare off the water was exceptionally bright.   The warm gold and sienna boulders were fun to paint and I used my palette knife to butter on the streaks of colorful granite.  

Jetty at Scituate Light - In Progress
About an hour into the paint-out, the wind got stronger and a large, dark storm cell approached from the west.The thunderstorm was apparently one of the few showers that occurred on the South Shore of Massachusetts that day.  It was quite spectacular to see because from this vantage we could see it approach and move along the long expanse of shoreline.
Jetty at Scituate Light

I had just painted my first two distant figures when I realized that I had to break down my gear and dash to the vehicle.  With the painting about 80% complete, I had enough to finish up back in the studio.
It looks as though this young guy is trying to talk his friend into adventuring further out onto the jetty.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

August Mayflower II

August Mayflower II
Another painting of the Mayflower II you say?   Well yes, because I love painting at the Plymouth waterfront in summer.   It is not just a pleasant and comfortable location on a hot day, but it is truly and international cultural experience.  I talked with people from Canada, China, Great Britain, and Turkey.  Interest in the arts is truly universal and like music, it is a way to find common ground.

I did consider other scenes, but I liked the high tide reflections of the warm yellow Mayflower II and the trees.  
I credit the picture below to a fine emerging photographer who was kind enough to take pictures and allow me to use them.   His photography is beautiful and if you are interested in seeing more, visit his website:
Maureen Painting Mayflower II Scene