As part of our mission to increase the awareness of local artists and artwork, we are honored to host an exhibit and sale of the works of John A. Neff (1926-2017) a Signature member of the American Watercolor Society, a member of the Allied Artists of America, the American Society of Marine Artists and the Whiskey Painters of America.
A Connecticut artist, John was educated at the Whitney School of Art as well as the Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, and spent over 20 years in the commercial field after his WWII service. Over the span of his career he became increasingly involved in watercolor exhibiting and has been the recipient of 150 awards including the Ogden & Mary Pleissner Award from the American Watercolor Society in New York City, the Strathmore Paper Award from the New England Watercolor Society in Boston, Massachusetts, and the E. Irving Bloomstrann Award from the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut. His works are currently in over a dozen private and corporate permanent collections in the United States, ranging from museums to universities to public libraries. He also has a collection at the American Consulate of Hong Kong.
Although I never had the chance to meet Mr. Neff in person, his nephew is a life-long friend of my husband Dean. When we were approached with the idea of showcasing Mr. Neff's beautiful, award winning work, it was an easy decision for us. Keen to embrace our Connecticut art culture, past and present we are honored to make available the works of a prestigious CT artist for those who are interested in adding to their art collection or treasure a piece of Connecticut history. Admired by his peers, Mr. Neff sold many works throughout the years to both CT artists and residents. In memory of his legacy and an offer of gratitude, several original works have been donated to local organizations that Mr. Neff was associated with.
Currently in the Gallery are 14 original works by John A. Neff. Ranging from the small 3" x 5" Whiskey Paintings to larger works on paper such as the well known Goodspeed Opera House of East Haddam, CT an iconic landmark along the CT River.
Mr. Neff's work has the accuracy of fine draftsmanship with the element of a narrative to be found in each scene. His depiction of an era past with horse and buggy, women in long petticoats or gentlemen with top hats offer the viewer a glimpse into our New England heritage. Neff's professional illustration background is clearly woven into the design and composition of each piece as they so easily capture the viewer's attention through dynamic play of light and shadows, fine details and soft gradations. A master with brush and the so unpredictable medium of watercolor, I find myself standing in front of each piece on the gallery wall studying, learning and absorbing the work of an accomplished artist. It's no wonder Mr. Neff merited over 150 awards for his stunning watercolor paintings.
The gallery is located at 183 Montowese Street Branford, CT, near the Branford Green. Gallery hours are Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm, and by appointment. For further information, please call Linda at 203-444-5705 email us at Linda@LindaSMarinoart.com and visit www.LindaSMarinoArt.com to see John A. Neff’s works on display and for sale.
What an honor and pleasure to be hired by the best man and his wife to paint the wedding ceremony of his brother Val and bride Emily. The outdoor ceremony held at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown CT set the background for a picturesque scene. The grounds offer soft rolling hills, a pond with a fountain, a white walking bridge but the most distinctive characteristics of the grounds are the graceful willow trees. When I was growing up we had a large willow tree in the front yard. I loved to watch the long droopy branches sway in the wind. It was as though they were invited to dance the moment the wind whispered a sweet hush.
There were approx 150 family, friends, and relatives seated in the white folding chairs with the afternoon sun on their backs. It was about 5pm when the ceremony began, the perfect time and perfect weather. Earlier in the week the forecast called for thunderstorms but you would have never guessed it. The bride and groom exchanged sweet and tender vows to each other and love was definitely in the air.
Capturing as many photos as possible of the ceremony while trying to stay out of the photographer's way as a challenge. Photo bombing their wedding photos what not on my list. I arrived an hour earlier than the guests to set up my easel and supplies inside the reception area. It was a perfect spot where there was plenty of light, easy for those who wanted to see the progress of the painting develop and close enough to the appetizers and bar.
The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, run by the CT Wedding Group is truly a wonderful place for weddings. The atmosphere both indoors and out felt casual yet well-maintained and careful detail of the aesthetics and decor was clearly visible. Cathy was the wedding coordinator who did an excellent job at keeping everything flowing so smoothly, the bride, groom and guests seemed to enjoy every moment of the celebration. I was able to sample the appetizers and offered a meal to enjoy with the rest of the staff in the balcony. The food was undeniably superb!
As a plein air painter who goes out on location, my painting gear is fairly compact. I use a french easel that folds up like a little wooden suitcase. my painting bag, portable palette and a 18 x 24"' gallery-wrapped canvas. I did try to rig my iPhone up to the top of the easel to view the ceremony photos but after a while I just held the phone in my hand.
In the first photo above you'll see the start of the painting. I first tone the canvas with a golden yellow color. This helps to harmonize all the colors and the white canvas isn't so bright and... intimating. Yes I said intimating, even after years of painting and hundreds of canvases I haven't gotten over the "blank canvas fear"... I know I"m not alone.. Vincent Van Gogh spoke about being afraid of a blank canvas too!
I arrived an hour before the guests, sat outside and sketched the grounds. This is a common practice for me especially when painting outdoors or in a new environment. I love to engage all my senses, I can hear the soft lapping sound of the water cascading into the pond from the fountain, and feel the warmth of the afternoon sun on my back. Just observing and slowing down to sketch helps me to see more details and to truly capture the essence of the scene.
After reviewing a few photos and sketches with Tara, I quickly went to work drawing a basic sketch on the canvas using a pastel stick. The pastel stick allows me to work quickly and direct onto the canvas. Next I blocked in the background scene, the sky, distance trees, pond, foreground trees and grassy area. Moving onto the bridal party I added each figure and then the guests. As the painting progressed more and more guests would stand by peaking over my shoulder or engaging in a conversation about art, painting, or just how beautiful the ceremony was. Perhaps we would chat about how beautiful Emily looked in her dress or the flowers. I was able to meet the parents of bride and groom and the bridal party.
Although at times I feel like an introvert, when I'm engaging with others in conversation about art or beauty or creating I love to share and learn about others and their experiences. I believe Art has a unique way of connecting people that may seem very different at first with little in common but Art can open the doors to a conversation... and that is incredible!
One of the sweetest moments of the evening was when Tara and Parva brought Emily and Val over to the easel to see what I doing. This was a total surprise for the both of them and when they saw the background and realized that its a painting of their ceremony the both became teary-eyed.
Although I was able to complete a good portion of the painting during the 5 hours of the reception. I've been working on the painting back in my studio for the past two weeks. Using my laptop and studio easel, I can take time to work on the figures to express a more accurate likeness.
To be apart of Emily and Val's special day was amazing in itself. Then to capture this moment in time for them, my hope is that they genuinely love the piece and if I did my job well, the joy and love and overwhelming happiness they had shared that day with radiate from the canvas and will bring them the sweetest memories for years to come.
Thank you Tara, Parva, Emily and Val!
Peace, blessings and a life-long marriage of joy!
#livepaintingevents #weddingpainting #weddingceremonypainting #TheBarnsatWesleyanHills #liveeventpainter
This year I'll be participating in the yearly celebration - Marina Day at the Branford Yacht Club. I be displaying a few of my new pieces and painting the event live. Stop in free to the public
Kid's Games,, touch the Branford Fire and Police boats, meet a real mermaid, face painting, salt water fly fishing demo, fly making demo, craft and art vendors, boating vendors, cooking demonstrations, Sound School touch tank, Take a Vet fishing,vintage wooden boats, food trucks and more -
Date: Saturday June 8, 2019
Location: Branford Yacht Club, 39 Goodsell Point Road Branford CT
Location: 183 Montowese St, Suite G, Branford, CT
Open Studio Days: Saturday June 1- Sunday June 2, 2019
Time: Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12pm -4pm
Open Studio this week: Sunday 12-4pm! Stop in to see the new work and studio-- sign up for a class in acrylics, drawing, or plein air.
Have You Ever Wanted to Learn How to Paint? Beginner Acrylic Painting Lessons Starting Soon in New Art Studio in Branford CT
Acrylic Painting for the Absolute Beginner - A Fresh Start in my NEW Art Studio
Here's a great class for absolute beginners or those who want to brush up on their skills. You'll learn the process of creating an acrylic painting from a blank canvas to ready to frame. We'll start with the basic building blocks of painting – design, value, and color and add on. With each lesson you'll build confidence quickly through practice and easy to follow instructions.
You'll learn how to mix colors and how to see and apply light and dark colors to create a more realistic painting. The class will focus on the fundamentals of color mixing, basic brush techniques, paint handling and application. We'll put it all together to complete a finished painting.
Acrylic paints are terrific for beginners because they dry quickly which makes it easy to make corrections or learn to build layers. I often tell my students "Acrylics are great because they're fixable".
In our first class I'll review materials: paints, and brushes and how to care for them, Best palettes and the variety of different surfaces to paint on.
Class sizes are small so each student will receive plenty of one-on-one assistance.. You'll love the friendly and warm environment of your peers while working on fun and easy to do exercises that you can practice at home.
Once all the basics lessons are complete, you'll have the opportunity to put your new skills and knowledge to work on your own piece. Whether you want to create a still life, landscape, seascape, or portrait, each lesson will help you gain an understanding of the painting process so that you can apply it to the subject matter of your choice.
Even if you have never painted before, in a short period of time you can learn the basic concepts of painting and techniques needed to create convincing paintings.
With plenty of guidance and individual attention, you'll be surprised at how much you'll learn to build your painting confidence.
What are you waiting for? Sign up today so that you can be creating beautiful paintings.
For more information on purchasing this painting go to Available Paintings Page
Back at it a second day in a row. I'm down at Wooster Square in New Haven CT. I find this place incredibly magically especially during the springtime. The cherry blossoms line the streets, kids are playing in the park. Lots of people walking their dogs. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is happening in a few days and you can just feel the excitement in the air. Pink Rain - full of joy and wonder!
It was a little cooler today than yesterday and the spot I selected was tucked away in the shade of a large tree. I love the colors of this beautifully crafted brownstone home. The teal color trim, red brick and burnt red-orange transom over the front door and first floor windows gave a nice backdrop to the pink blooms. There was so much architectural details that I had to leave out but what I hope I conveyed was the essence of this picturesque scene.
As you can see in the photo below, the petals would float right through the air and stick to my canvas or palette! At first I thought ... oh no... I've got to get this off... it's going to ruin the painting.. but second thought... let me leave it there, it's great for matching colors!
The last photo in the group below is from inside the Famous Pepe's Pizza! My friend Patty and I finished our painting session by splitting a small sausage pizza.... what a fantastic day!
Do you want to join me for Plein Air Painting lessons? I just finished posting the Summer Schedule of 4 week classes. We'll meet every Thursday in the Branford, Guilford and Madison area. Click here for more information... this class is great for beginners and those who want to brush up on their skills.
To purchase this painting go to Available Paintings Page
At the end of April I was with a small group of painters from the Madison Art Society, we met up in New Haven at Wooster Square.
There are dozens of Cherry Blossom trees that line the square.
It's so incredibly beautiful there.... almost magical! The finely crafted architecture of the old brownstone homes are along the parameter of the park where folks are walking their dogs, children are playing and everyone seems to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Every Saturday in the summertime there's a farmers market. It's just the friendliest neighborhood.
People come from all over the state to walk around, take photos, and enough a delicious authentic Italian meal in the heart of Little Italy of New Haven. I've been here numerous times to paint and I'm always so in awe over how beautiful and enchanting the Square looks with the unique architecture of each building and the soft pink cascade of the cherry blossoms.
I met so many interesting people, a photographer name Jason, who took the coolest photo of me while painting. I'll share it in an upcoming e-book titled 10 of my Best Tips for Painting Outside. I met two lovely ladies who were good friends, they even dressed alike!
I met an art student who took a photo of my easel and painting for her final project and a fellow artist (tattoo artist) who was working for the City of New Haven planting trees.
I hope I encourage a really nice gentleman to join our Madison Art Society Plein Air group ... he said he would love to get back into painting again....
This is exactly what I love about plein air painting... it's not just painting outside... it's meeting new people, sharing stories, learning about new places, making friends...
I just set up my Summer Plein Air Painting Class schedule, go here for more info. If you'd like to start painting outdoors but don't know where to begin... join me.!
A few photos while painting at Wooster Square - April 24, 2109
Harbor Street View, Branford, CT , acrylics, 24 x 36", gallery-wrapped, available
We finally made the move! We are now officially Branford residents! Just a few short weeks ago we were packing and toting boxes, wrapping and donating lots and lots of stuff. We made the leap over the Hwy 91 headed just a slight southeast on the CT map and landed in Branford, CT.
I really could have said "I told you so" back a few years ago because Branford has been one of my favorite places to paint and meet up with friends for hmmmmm.... 6 years! As the calendar year turned the corner from end of winter to early spring I could feel the itch to head down to Branford. Soon the town green will be cascading pink from the dozens of cherry blossom trees that run up and down Main Street. The boats will appear back in the harbor and their white plastic covers will cast aside.
This painting is of Harbor Street in Branford, CT. It went through a few stages and modifications but I have to say, I'm thrilled with the end results. The first time Dean drove down this road a few years ago, I knew someday I would paint this scene. It's been in my mind for a while. A few times Dean would park the car just off to the left side of the road and fish. I would stroll down Harbor Street snapping photos for reference. I loved the charming old New England homes with friendly porches or decorative architectural details from an era past.
I took a few artistic liberties in this piece, added the cars, changed the color of the houses and added a porch... that's the beauty of painting... as I continually remind my students... and myself.
My vision was to capture Branford's charm and coastal feel with vibrant colors and an all around feeling of a welcoming shoreline neighborhood. Although Harbor Street appears to be a direct and fairly straight route from Maple Street when you look at a map, the drive is quite different. It has just enough curve in the road to offer a welcoming surprise as you round the bend. You could even miss the water if you had your head down looking at your phone ( that was me). So I had to catch it on the way back.. and that's the view that one would see as they make their way back to town from Branford Point.
For us, it's only a mile away from our new place.. so excited to be such close proximity to so many beautiful places to paint!
So happy to share with you my vision of our new hometown - Branford!
Today I want to share with you a painting and an excerpt from a current project I'm working on. I'm gathering the paintings, sketches and notes from my trip to Italy this year. At the end of April, I flew over to see my son Ray and his girlfriend Ria while they were spending a semester in Rome on a study abroad program. If you want to see more artwork and sketches head on over to the Italy Paintings page here.
Italy Trip April 2018 - Excerpt:
Day 2 -4/25/2018
Today is Liberation Day in Italy. A national holiday celebrated annually on April 25. It marks the fall of Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945. The streets were filled with both tourists and natives soaking in the sunshine, enjoying the sights, shopping, listening to music - like one big street party. The temperature peaked around 65 to 70 degrees. The blue sky gave way to just a few white fluffy clouds.
First stop on the agenda, the Vatican. Ray and Ria have become so familiar with the streets in Rome. Since they arrived a few months ago for their study abroad program at JCU they have called Rome their home. As for me, I had to put a little pep in my step to keep up with them. I did the best I could to capture the scenes with my iPhone. A photo here, a short video clip there. I don’t think they realized I needed to do double time to keep up with their longer strides by their longer legs. But that’s ok, they would move ahead through the crowds and then instinctively know to turn around to see where I was at. Allowing me time to shot a few photos here and a few videos there and then scurry up to them. They patiently waited for me... what lovely tourguides they made. They also didn’t realize how in shape they were from their daily walking routines and how out of shape I was. (puff - puff)
Every street we turned down there was either a trattoria, ristorante or cafe or sometimes all three! Each one set and ready to serve. The vibrant overhead awnings stretched out just a little past the dining tables offering a comfortable shady spot from the bright sunlight. The tables set with rolled up white napkins and sparkling wine glasses, sometimes a tiny bouquet of flowers in a glass vase graced the table. The string of lights were definitely for ambiance and character, and I must say they played their part well. As we strolled past each establishment we could hear a friendly voice call out "Buongiorno" - "Good Day". From the savory aromas, to the abundant visual scenery and the romantic sounds of the Italian language - a stroll down the streets of Rome is sheer bliss.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog - I'll be sharing more of my Italy adventures in upcoming posts.
Ciao! From the streets of Rome
Side note: A funny little story to share. The stretched canvas that this painting was painted on I gave to my son for Christmas. I wrapped a blank canvas with a note attached "Future home of a Linda S. Marino Original Oil Painting" - and 5 months later I gave this painting to him for his birthday.
This original painting was created in 2012, it's been in and out of a few art shows and exhibits but has remained a loyal companion in my studio. Last week I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint, pop the colors and glaze the background color to lean more toward an orangey coral. Why you ask? and I'll answer.... why not? (I hope that didn't sound too snarky?)
I've learned over the years that as we grow in our art journey we see things differently, we're evolving and hopefully, learning, developing and building. With each painting we create we learn a little about ourselves, we develop our skills and build our confidence. And sometimes as we reflect on a piece created a few years ago we can see where some improvements could be made. There is a risk involved, especially if you've become attached to the piece and like I said earlier it's become a friendly companion. But never the less, when the desire for making a change outweighs the familiar, it's time to put the brush in motion.
I think a lot had to do with the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. In early December the international color company Pantone announces their pick for 2019. Living Coral.
As I was sitting in my studio, contemplating the Pantone press release article that read, "how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time" and "Living Coral, is an animated shade of orange with a golden undertone, which reflects the warmth, nourishment, and shelter of coral reefs to sea life." Pantone states that this year's selection symbolizes an "innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits".
ohhhh... I like that. Definitely worth repeating a few times... an innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits. Couldn't we all use a fresh coat of optimism and a pop of joyful pursuits as we look to open the book to a new chapter, new year. I know I could.
Thanks for reading my post. Let me know what you think about the Color of the Year - Living Coral. How does it make you feel? What images come to mind when you see this color. And believe me you're going to see it pop up everywhere. In graphic design, packaging, clothing, make-up, fashion design, interiors and decor and yes..... ART. If you continue to read this blog I'm sure you'll see a few more posts about this blushing, pinky-orange hue as we joyfully leap into 2019! I'm quit certain it will be a "regular" on my palette.
Cordially.... or should I say "Coral-dially" yours,
This painting was created during a three-day workshop on the Thimble Islands with Bob Noreika. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny with a slight breeze. On the third day, we were at the tail end of Governor's Island. I love to paint and sketch my fellow artists as they work. For the most part, they stay still and they're concentrating so much on their own work, they have no idea I'm painting them.
This piece has gone through the editing and refining process twice! And I'm happy to say it's finished... I think... :)
12 x 16" oil on canvas
framed in a silver/gold champagne finish frame
for purchasing information click here
183 Montowese St, Suite G,
Branford, CT 06405
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