Friday, October 18, 2013

"Afternoon Marsh, Shem's Creek", plein air, 9x12, Mt. PLeasant, Charleston, boats, marshes, plein air, paint out, plein air, American Impressionist Society

"Afternoon Marsh, Shem's Creek", plein air, 9x12

This is a painting that I did in about one hour at Shem's Creek, in Mt. Pleasant, just a short drive from Charleston , South Carolina. It was the last day and afternoon of a three day American Impressionist Society workshop with Master Impressionist Kenn Erroll Backhaus. I can attest to the fact that Kenn is one of the best teachers that I have ever taken a workshop from. He was religious about making sure that he came around to every single person who was painting, offering pointers, gentle criticisms and asking questions that the painter may have inadvertently forgotten to ask himself!

In this painting, Kenn pointed out to me that the reverse "C" curve was too carefully crafted, making it look artificial. He asked me if I had intended it that way, and I was honest. I told him I was really tired and hadn't thought it through that all that much. So after studying it for a few moments, I realized that he was right and quickly made a few corrections, in order to make a stronger composition.

I liked the color harmony in this little study. It is a testament to the fact that it is always a good thing  to keep scraping your paint and use whatever you have left on your palette to help objects recede and form your "polluted" colors.

I loved Kenn's workshop and everything about the experience in Charleston. If you have not yet seen the gorgeous exhibit of the American Impressionist Society online, please go here to see all of the paintings, including the big winners in the show.

If you would like to purchase this little plein air study, just send me an email at

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Red Door, Legare Street", 12x16, oil on board, Charleston, South Carolina scenes, architecture, homes, beautiful homes in Charleston, red door, dappled light

"Red Door, Legare Street", 12x16, oil on board

While we were in Charleston for the AIS show, my hubby and I took a horse and buggy ride through the streets of Charleston. Charleston is a beautiful city ,and this was our second carriage ride through the historic  streets of Charleston. I remembered many of the same houses from a few years back, but one in particular caught my eye.

As a lover of color, I was smitten with this beautiful house at #10 Legare Street. Not only is the architecture gorgeous, but since it had a red door  I knew I would have to go back and take a photo of it, so I could paint it.

As luck would have it, there were beautiful dappled shadows across the building in the afternoon light and a little kitty was passing through as well!

We caught a quick photo, and that served as the reference for this painting. I decided to use Kenn Erroll Backhaus's palette for this painting, since I so loved his painting that was in the AIS show and the building was sort of reminiscent of that. Being a wishful thinker, I had hoped that somehow, if I used his palette, my painting would come out as lovely as his!

Okay, I have quite a way to go yet, but overall, I was not too displeased with the painting. One thing that stood in my mind as I painted the dappled shadows was something Kenn told us during the workshop. He said to be very careful that you show that you are depicting either a THING, or the EFFECT of light on the thing. Keeping this in mind, I tried to keep the shadows soft, to create an effect, rather than a thing.

Thanks Kenn!

Happily, I found out this week, that my painting, "Dancing Queens and a Pear" sold on the opening night of the show. What a wonderful event it was and I was so pleased to be part of it.

If you are interested in this painting, just send me an email at

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

"Reflections of a Rat Boat", 6x6, oil on board, paintings of rat boats, dory, old boats, wooden boats, rockport, Massachusetts, Bearskin Neck, colorist art, impressionism

"Reflections of a Rat Boat", 6x6, oil on board

The first time that I saw this little dory up in Bearskin Neck, Rockport, I took a dozen pictures of it. The old worn wood, the humble planks, even the name, "Rat" made me love this little boat as though it was an old friend or familiar piece of clothing.

So to paint it again today, for the second time, was a pleasure and not a chore. I looked at the photo that I had taken a few years back and asked myself why I wanted to paint this humble little boat again. What was the purpose or statement in my painting going to be? The answer came quickly. It was the reflections, of course, that grounded the boat to its home- the Atlantic Ocean in Rockport Harbor!

Without the water reflections, the boat would just kind of float in the air, without substance or a sense of grounding or place in space.

This is one of the things that I learned from Kenn Erroll Backhaus's workshop last week. Decide on a purpose , or statement, before you start a painting. I had never thought much about a statement before. Oftentimes I would just paint a subject, rather than a statement. This concept of "finding a statement before you begin"  made a world of difference in my approach to this little painting.

Why is it called a "rat" boat? I have no idea but maybe it's obvious. The boat is.... well.... a bit ratty!

Here is my first painting of the little Rat Boat.

THis painting was juried into Randy Higbee's annual 6x6 inch square show in Costa Mesa, California.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

"Morning View, looking west, Shem's Creek", 12x16, oil on board, Charleston, Shem's creek, shrimp boats, fish shacks, American Impressionist Society, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Morning View, looking west, Shem's Creek", 12x16, oil on board

I just returned from a week in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, where I attended a plein air workshop with Master Impressionist Kenn Erroll Backhaus, and attended the opening reception for the American Impressionist Society's 14th annual exhibit.

The workshop was filled with opportunities to paint many of Charleston's beautiful scenes, and Kenn was a thoughtful, helpful and considerate teacher. I'll be posting my plein air studies soon , along with more in depth info about the workshop.

The opening exhibit at the M Gallery was fabulous. I met many new friends and was awestruck by the beautiful art on the walls. Out of over 1300 entries, only 163 paintings were juried into the show, so I was honored to be included amongst the nation's top Impressionist painters for the second time in four years.

Here I am with my entry, "Dancing Queens and a Pear".

To see all of the paintings that were in the show, you can go here.

On Friday, many of the artists went to Shem's Creek to paint the scenic marshes and shrimp boats. I had already done two paintings there earlier in the week, so instead I elected to take photos at the docks in the early morning light. The painting above is of a fish shack that was bathed in that lovely warm buttery light that spills across the horizon about an hour after dawn. The blue "SeaHorse" shrimp boat was directly across the water and was also bathed in luscious light.

My painting of the Dancing Queens can be purchased through the M Gallery. You can follow the link above for more purchase info. If you would like to purchase "Early Morning Light, Shem's Creek", just send me an email at for purchase information.