Warning: work in progress.... please be patient
I've been promising my hubby for over a year, maybe two... yikes... maybe even THREE that I would start creating art instructional videos. He would so sweetly say things like "I think your students would love to see how you create _____ " or "people who buy and collect your work should see the process. I think they would appreciate it even more." but lately... that sweet whisper has turned into a loud voice inside me... one that's saying "Linda, it's time.... what are you really waiting for?"
Oh sure... I've created several videos for his cooking classes and my paint night events, but instructional videos... or behind the scenes... "a painting in the making". Well first of all that would require me talking. Don't get me wrong I love to talk... it's actually the listening of my voice that drives me crazy. Ok, excuses, excuses... away with excuses!
Well.... I did it!
And you are the first to see this video - I even set up a YouTube account. Don't go looking for me just yet on You Tube because I'm pretty confident the setting is still on unlisted. I'm hoping to get 7 or 8 videos uploaded before going "live" or open to the public. So I'm experimenting on you first, my blog readers. Leave a comment below or send me a message - for tips, advice or even a gentle rejection like ... "Linda, I think you should stick to painting, videos just might not be your thing." I can handle it... this in fact would be a welcome rejection. Then I can say to my hubby and myself " see, I tried it and it's not for me". Just kidding.
Like anything it takes time and practice. And more practice. Maybe at some point I'm sure I will even enjoy the whole process. You see, I do absolutely love teaching and I think art instructional videos will be tremendously helpful and beneficial for my students, I just have to take a deep breath in and say "I can do THIS" -
One of the absolute best learning tools for me to improve my artistic skills have been watching art instructional videos. Some I would find on You Tube and others I would pay for and download them. Whether I'm looking for a specific technique or if I admire an artist and I want to see their processes, Art Instructional Videos are invaluable.
A few years ago I so wanted to learn a specific technique - loose and confident brushwork. So I found a time-lapse video on You Tube and watched frame by frame how she created the painting. I even followed along, one brushstroke at a time. This fast paced video of a painting from start to finish was less than 5 minutes long but by the time I watched each frame and painted along it took me 3 hours to complete !
... but I have to say it was one of the best learning experiences for me.
I'm gathering a list of tips, techniques and instructions that I think would be informative and useful to turn into short video clips, Like:
Thanks for your patience - I appreciate your feedback -
Before we turn the page on the calendar from January to February 2018 I can't let another moment go by without reflecting on last year - and what a year 2017 was!
I'm first of all thankful for the wonderful opportunities to teach art in three locations - Artsplace in Cheshire, Arts Escape in Southbury and at Coachman Square a retirement community in Woodbridge. I have had the privilege of teaching students of all different ages with different backgrounds, some who have been creating art for years others who are just starting out on their journey. I'm grateful for each student in my classes.
As for unexpected surprises in 2017, it started with a phone call the first weekend in January when I received a message that my piece "Beachbound" won 2nd prize in the "Favorite Places/Favorite Things" show at the Firehouse Gallery in Milford.
Then in February my piece "Summer Day in the City" received honorable mention at the SOCCA Juried show in Southington.
In March, "Painters in Paradise" won "Best in Show" at the 25th Anniversary Cheshire Art League Visual Arts Exhibition.
And in October, at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts 2017 Biennial Fine Arts Juried Competition two awards. Pictured at the top of this post is "On the Corner of Colorful and Creative" a summer scene of downtown New Haven won "Best Landscape" and "Tomatoes on the Vine- Kitchen Prep" won honorable mention!! Wow- 5 awards in one year!
I participated in 18 different shows from Litchfield to Cheshire, Branford to Southbury and a few in-between. And sold 26 of my paintings this year - some really small, some very large pieces, a few pet portraits and a bridal bouquet commission shipped to Ontario Canada, at local shows, from my online gallery, in retail locations and at Branford Art Center. Yes - a busy and very productive year it was!
Sprinkled through out the year - Dean and I organized several "Cook and Paint Together" Events - and had a blast doing it.
I am immensely grateful for my husband, kids, family, friends, students, collectors, colleagues in my life -for their support and encouragement and most of all their friendship.
I am thankful for the gifts God had given me and I so enjoy sharing my passion for the arts, creating and teaching.
I'm not sure what 2018 holds but I'm looking forward to develop new lesson plans for my students, put in plenty of hours at my easel, travel around to local art fairs and out on location painting en plein air ... and quite possibly a trip overseas could be in the works!
Thank you again for being apart of my world
with much love and gratitude -
"Mercy by the Sea, The Mercy Center, Madison, CT - 11 x 14" oil,
One of my favorite magazines is Plein Air Magazine and the publisher states that plein air painting is one of the largest movements in Art History. A movement that has become a lifestyle ... "it's the new golf." .... "whether amateurs, hobbyists or professionals, thousands of artists are living the lifestyle of outdoor painting."
I have to agree... plein air or outdoor painting is truly a lifestyle for me. I enjoy meeting up with my fellow artists, looking for new places to paint and just spending a few hours in the fresh air.... and it truly lets you forget everything else for a while.
This painting " Mercy by the Sea" was painted in two sessions approximately 3 weeks apart from each other. The first session I walked around the beautiful grounds, drew a few sketches and settled in a spot under a big oak tree. I was able to draw in the basic shapes and block in with color during the first session. On return, I set up in the same spot, filled my palette with plenty of colors and enjoyed every moment of seeing this painting come to fruition through brushwork and color play.
Background info from Website: www.mercybythesea.org/campus/grounds-and-gardens/Mercy by the Sea is located on 33 acres on the shores of Long Island Sound in Madison CT. It has a small yet diverse ecology, ranging from wetlands and woodlands to landscaped grounds and gardens. Mercy by the Sea is a retreat and conference center. Daytime guests are welcome to visit as long as they check in at the front desk. There is a superb gallery space that showcase both local and long distance artists. They offer programs for spiritual and self-discovery along with overnight accommodations.
This is truly one of my favorite places to paint along the Connecticut Coast.
I will be entering this piece into the Madison Art Society's 43rd Annual Member Exhibition and Sale.
Date of Show: Feb 4 - March 2, 2018
Reception: Sunday February 11, 2018 1:30-3:30pm
Location: E. C. Scranton Memorial Library, 801 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT
Freezing New England Temps doesn't Stop this Painter from Creating Balmy Local Summer Scene for Upcoming Show
Golden Radiance over Stony Creek Harbor Branford, CT ,
36" x 48" acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas -
Ok, so it's January here in Connecticut, the temps are bouncing around the teens, the snow fall comes and goes... the trees are bare and if you take a quick scan of the surroundings, the color palette is veering toward the bland, the bleak and the muted. So I ask, what is this painter suppose to do when bright colors are truly her love language?
Well, I'll tell you.. first I close my eyes and begin scanning through the visual image bank in my mind. Recalling the warm weather scenes that stopped me in my tracks... you know the ones that make your heart glow from the inside out. Tell me I'm not along on this one.?. you must have experienced this before? Whether it's a tropical shore, a mountain vista, a European village... or where ever, you're walking along, doing your thing and all of a sudden you lift your head (probably from looking at your phone... I'm so guilty of that one) and wham - it hits you - your breath is taken away! Even an audible gasp.... or just a WOW!
I usually laugh at myself when this happens... because my knee-jerk reaction is ..... "I've GOT to PAINT THIS!" And here you have it... that's my introduction to "Golden Radiance over Stony Creek Harbor". My latest work.... that I'm so thrilled to share with you!
Golden Radiance over Stony Creek Harbor is truly how I see this quaint little seaside village along the Connecticut Shore. I have painted there many times for several years now. Especially during the summer months. I think the rose quartz stones that are found along the harbor wall radiates and reflects the pink and gold tones which bath everything in this very hard to describe glow. Somewhere between a peach orange to a warm magenta I mix a few piles of each. Then on the other side of my palette are the blues -ultramarine, phthalo blue and cerulean blue. Before I can even lift the brush I can sense the colors vibrating in front of me. Not in a frenzy or distressful way.... more like.. the ease of a rhythmic sway. You know like that soft rippling sound the water makes when lapping up against the side of a boat.
This painting was so exhilarating to paint, yet posed several challenges. First of all where do you start? Harbor scenes with numbers boats, reflections, water, and architecture can seem... well a bit overwhelming to say the least. But I was up for the quest.
First starting with a small color study in oils, I really just wanted to play with the paints that morning and experiment with the reflections in the water.
In my acrylics class this week I was teaching my students how to paint reflections in water so the lesson was fresh in my mind. Even though I enjoyed creating the color study, more pieces to this mystery needed to be discovered. This led me to printing out the image in black and white, checking my values and onto a watercolor sketch in my sketchbook.
Why so many steps? Well as I was telling one of my students Debbie in our Friday morning Acrylics class, each time I do these small studies I uncover a little bit more. I guess you could call it your practice swings before stepping up to the tee or dress rehearsal before the big day! There's so much to learn and discover each and every time you create... and that's why creating art is so exciting and rewarding.
This painting along with about 18 more of my pieces will be in an upcoming 2 person show in March. Last spring I entered 3 pieces for a "Call for Artists" for the 2017/2018 Exhibition Schedule at The Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library in Stony Creek, CT. The jury committee chose my work and a fellow artist, Maura Galante's work to show together.
Show Date: March 4-27, 2018
Location: Willoughby Wallace Library, 146 Thimble Island Road, Branford, (Stony Creek) CT
Reception Date: Sunday March 11, 4-6pm -
I'll fill you in on more details in upcoming posts. If you're in the area I hope you can stop in to see the show. It will definitely fill your heart and vision with lots of bright and bold color.
Like always, thank you for viewing my work -
"Into the Flow"- Stony Creek/Washburn Preserve, Branford Land Trust Property, Branford, CT acrylics, 16 x 36" on gallery wrapped canvas, available at Branford Art Center
"Cattails at the Creek" Stony Creek/Washburn Preserve, Branford Land Trust Property, Branford, CT acrylics 8 x 10" framed
"End of an Autumn Day" Stony Creek/Washburn Preserve, Branford Land Trust Property, Branford, CT , acrylics 12 x 24" framed in black frame with gold inset
All three of these paintings were based on a recent Sunday afternoon trip to the Stony Creek Partnership and Washburn Preserve, one of the Branford Land Trust Properties in Branford, CT.
A hidden gem of the Connecticut Coast, it's a bit challenging to find but definitely worth the search. Our GPS bought us close to the intersection of Thimble Island Road and Wallace Road. You'd never know there's a Land Trust Property there unless you read the map detail on their website. There are no signs. No clues. Just by faith walk about 100 yards up a private drive. There you'll find a single post with a Branford Land Trust sign nailed to it.
Upon entering the property climb up a narrow incline to a bed of rocks and then down a slope leads you to this vast open area of rocks, marshes and the rushing water of the river pouring into the Long Island Sound. It's really beautiful and peaceful there and some how we seem to just let the rumble of the rushing train not interfere with our afternoon hike. In fact the sight of the tracks in the distance and occasional clickety clack of the train over the trestle bridge reminded us of where we were..... so close to home.
All three of these paintings are available in my online store and or at Branford Art Center.
Be apart of the painted journey... comment below on your favorite Connecticut or New England scenes....and maybe that will be my next painting excursion.
Currently in my hands is a book titled “Called to Create” by Jordan Raynor. Raynor quotes painter/photographer Kristin Joy Taylor who said, “ Creativity is not a fringe thing but is central and of infinite worth, because we are made in the image of God.”
This. Deeply resonates with my soul.
When one feels called to create, called to use the gifts they have been given, you are definitely put in a vulnerable place. It’s so much easier to hide your gifts, not share them or make up excuses. But when you take that leap of faith and you put your work out there knowing that this is exactly what you are suppose to do… it still feels risky….. in fact, it is risky. Risk of rejection, risk of being misunderstood, risk of feeling foolish…. the “risk list”, even as I type them is stirring up tension in my finger tips.
But rewards happen.
Sometimes the reward is in the failure… as long as we can step back and see it as learning lesson.
Other times, Whala! A reward shows up seemingly out of nowhere. But wait a minute, let’s back track and connect the dots. Those seemingly little daily risks, ones that perhaps were recognized, many that were not, now have a spotlight on them.
It was 5 years ago I nervously signed up to share and sell my work on Daily Paint Works. Subscribed to their daily emails list a few months prior, each morning I eagerly awaited the email to arrive in my inbox. Scrolling through the line up of well over 100 pieces of original art was, and still is exhilarating to me. I would even draw small thumbnail sketches of pieces that caught my eye in my sketchbook and jot down notes about the piece. Clicking through the links I could find the artist’s bio, a link to their website or blog and get to know a little more about the artist and the work that I admired.
I wanted to be apart of this art community. I loved the idea of painting small pieces daily. This daily ritual was the catalyst to fuel the start up of a full time art career. Although this career has taken many detours over the past 5 years I can honestly look back and smile. A smile that shows many wrinkles from hours of “squinting” to see better. I can’t say that I’ve stayed faithful to the route of daily painting as I did in the beginning of my career but I would say that this is one of the foundations I have build my career on.
To my surprise a few weeks ago, I received an invitation from Sophie Marine from Daily Paintworks to be a Spotlight Artist.
Each week on the Daily Paint Works blog Sophie conducts an interview of their DPW artists. 4 pieces of work are showcased in the interview and I offer one of my small paintings for a Giveaway. The rules to the giveaway are described in the blog and below is a link to my interview. I hope you get a chance to read it. Feel free to make any comments and enter the drawing.
Looking back: risks that turned into rewards. Looking forward: Rewards are just seeds to an even greater Hope.
Daily Paint Works News Blog
Daily Paint works Website - At the very top of the site click on Artist Spotlight: Win a Painting by Linda Marino
From Bright Sunny Days to Rain Showers - Plein Air Painting holds Adventure and Exploration along the Connecticut Shore
It's always an adventure going outside to paint- from dodging rain drops to dealing with the bugs, sunburn on your ankles to easels blown over by the wind.... but with all that said.. I still .... truly love it! There really isn't anything that compares to being out in the landscape or by the ocean that you're painting. The sounds, smells and feel of an area are somehow absorbed into the artist and onto the canvas. Here are a few pieces and photos from some summertime excursions that I thought I would share with you. .I usually team up with a few other painters from a few different art groups. The Madison Art Society and CT Shoreline Artists - as well as other groups like the Branford Art Alliance and CT Plein Air Painters. So if you see someone along the side of the road ...standing there with easel.... painting... that could be me... so stop and say Hello!
Last Friday we started our first of 4 sessions on Acrylic Painting for Beginners. With 4 students. For 3 hours. We completed 3 color charts. Sounds like a lot of work? Well maybe so... but I have to say my eager students were up for the challenge. Happy to engage, ask questions, roll up their sleeves and jump right it.
First Exercise: Creating a Color Wheel - As simple as this sounds, and what may look like to some as "child's play" is key to building a strong foundation in the principles of art. I do believe painting is a learnable skill accessible to anyone - as long as they have the desire and willingness to "keep at it" and a teachable spirit.
I can already hear a student of my saying " But Linda, why do we have to paint a color wheel when we can just buy one at the store?"
Good question, right? So instead of trying to explain why... I just squeeze out a dab of the three primary colors, red, blue and yellow paint, hand over a palette knife and slip a canvas panel under their hands and... just say "start mixing red and yellow"....
And I've got them at "Hello Orange!" Yup - there's something so wonderful... truly magically when it comes to mixing colors. I could talk about it all day long but when you get to "play"-- to mix them yourself.... it just the beginning of an addiction! A good addiction. Addicted to color. Welcome to my world!
So along with this new discover we incorporated the use of a palette knife instead of a brush. It's takes a little practice to get the hang of it. For one, it's easier to hold like a soup spoon rather than a pencil. And the other trick is to keep the knife perpendicular to the surface like frosting a cake rather than trying to use the tip of the knife like the tip of brush.
That was challenges but I think they started to get the hang of it.
We have a great group and so looking forward to see how each one progress.
"Yellow on the Green" Guilford Green, Guilford, CT - Study
12 x 16" oil on stretched Canvas
This is a study that I started on Thursday morning with the Connecticut Shoreline Artists. We met up at the Guilford Green. I've had my eye on this yellow house for a while and Thursday seemed like the perfect day to paint it.
Although I was only able to get the beginning drawing and shadows blocked in. I took enough photo references to finish it up in my studio today.
The reason why I didn't have much time was I was so busy talking and chatting with my friends it got to be 11:30am and I didn't have anything started! Everyone wanted to break for lunch at noon so I decided to just do a rough sketch on the canvas just to get the angles and proportions right.
Well... no sooner did I set up my easel and put the first brushstroke down a gentleman peaked over my shoulder to see what I was doing. Now that lead into a conversation about growing up in Connecticut. I found out this gentleman grew up in Norwalk and went to Broad River School, which was later turned into senior housing where my grandmother lived! Small world, We chatted about our favorite things, like the Boston Creme Doughnuts from the Broad River Bakery, The Best Pizza in the area is from John's Best Pizza and Old McDonald's Farm!
I call it a study because I'm planning to paint this on a larger canvas so I didn't worry so much that the brushstrokes from a previous painting were coming through.
Since I've started to accumulate sample paintings from Paint Nights and classes that I teach, I sometimes will cover over the painting with a coat of gesso and start a new painting on top.... usually a study.
I though this study came out so nice... maybe someone would like to buy it :)... so if you don't mind the ripples and the bumps underneath and just love yellow houses too... this one's priced a little lower ... $150 plus tax.
September 16, 2017 - Fall Festival -
Sponsored by Cheshire Chamber of Commerce
Bantem Park across from the High School
I'll be under the Cheshire Art League Tent - time: 10 -6pm -
live music, car show, vendors, crafters, food trucks
September 23, 2017 - Shoreline Harvest Art Festival -
Sponsored by Branford Art Center and Branford Art Alliance
Branford Town Green - 10-6pm - live music, food, 45 local artist, pumpkin painting
Fall Classes Plus Cook and Paint Together Workshops are coming soon!
Thank you for viewing my artwork!
all the best,
For me... I'm sure you guessed it... I love heading out to the local art shows and festivals. This is where I find so much inspiration, ideas and just enjoy connecting with other creative people. Hearing about how they got started or what inspires them to create.The back stories about a particular painting or photograph seem to draw me in. I even enjoy seeing how creative some folks get when it comes to decorating their booth and displaying their work.
As the afternoon sun began to set just over the Guilford Green treetops, it created such a dramatic lighting effect.... stopping me in my tracks. Just enough darkness in the shadows to make the sunlit areas radiate with gorgeous color- rich jewel tones of golden yellows, turquoise, magenta and ultramarine blues. The dappled light dancing across the grassy Green and cascading over the already impressive handmade items. And let me not forget to mention the twinkling lights and shiny giftware just sparkled.... abundantly colorful, bubbling over with joy...inspiration by the truckload!
This year I'll be showing and selling my work at several Art Festivals, Markets, and Events around Connecticut. Starting this weekend- Sunday, July 16th at the Ball and Socket Arts -on Main Street in Cheshire. If you are in the area please stop in to say hi, learn more about the future plans for the Ball and Socket Art organization, enjoy a show and check out the art vendor tents. I'll be doing a painting demonstration around noon. - Hope to see you there!
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