Monday, January 9, 2017

"Jelly Jar" and other news....

"Jelly Jar' - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

My son is home from college and he finished the last of the strawberry jam.  The jar was sitting on the table and I just loved how the light illuminated the little bits of jam that were still stuck to the inside of the jar.  This was tricky to paint but I worked slowly and deliberately and just tried to make sure my values were correct.   Purchase info is below.

In other news…

I have a handful of 2017 Desk Calendars still available.  They’re on sale for $10 at either Muffins on Main, or, via www.LaurieGMiller.com.  Get 'em while you can!

I’m really honored and thrilled to report that “Button Down” was accepted into the Concord Art Member’s Juried Show.   The opening reception is Thursday, Jan 12 from 6 – 8 p.m. and the show runs through February 12.  It is always a really nice show at a beautiful venue in a quaint town so for those who live locally, I highly recommend stopping by.



“Jelly Jar” is an 8 inch square painting presented in a wood floater frame.  It is available at Muffins on Main, or, via www.LaurieGMiller.com





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pottery Bowl with Lemons - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas

Pottery Bowl with Lemons - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - framed
Happy  New Year everyone!  I spent most of last week in bed with a nasty bug so the holidays were a bit of a blur.   I’m happy to start off 2017 feeling much better!

I have been invited to do a painting demonstration at the Leominster Art Association later this month.  They requested a still life so I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to paint.  I recently had a hankering to paint lemons (why?  not sure!)  so I paired them with this dark pottery bowl (made by my sister, Julie).

I chose a purple cloth because purple is the complementary color of yellow.  Also, the bowl is almost black but I see a lot of deep purple in the glaze.

As always, I started by photographing this set up from multiple angles and multiple arrangements.  At one point, I had lemons stacked inside the bowl.  In the end, I liked this composition the best.  It was very important to paint this from life as the reflections on the bowl are lost in the photograph as the color is too dark.

I started the painting by tackling the pottery bowl.  The base of the bowl reflects the purple cloth so I started with a dusty purple color.  I then added the lemon reflections and finally worked my way up to the rim.  Bowls, cups, plates, etc. can be tricky as it can be difficult to get them perfectly symmetrical.  I think I did a decent job on this one!  I finished with some bright highlights near the top of the bowl as it is quite shiny.

I painted the cloth next.  I first added the shadows to define the form and then the highlights opposite the shadows.  I painted the lemons once the cloth was in place and focused on the shadows first and finally the light side and the highlights.  

Considering I hadn’t painted for a while (between the holidays and then being sick), the whole painting came together pretty quickly so I was really pleased.  I’ll probably paint it once again shortly before my demo which is scheduled for Jan 17.

“Pottery Bowl with Lemons” is a 6 inch square painting framed in a wood floater frame (see additional photos below) and is available at Muffins on Main or directly from me at www.LaurieGMiller.com.






Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hershey Kiss Series

First off, I hope you are enjoying the holiday season so far.  I'm hosting TWO parties this year which is a record smashing year for me!  Hosting is a good thing since I've now fixed a few things around my house that have been bugging me for quite some time.  I've also done a bit of extra cleaning, de-cluttering and my refrigerator is now filled with yummy stuff.  Let the parties begin!

I painted a new Hershey Kisses series which are currently hanging at Muffins on Main.  




I really enjoy painting these little gems.  They seem to magically pop right off the canvas as I add the bright highlights.  




Each one measures just over 3 inches square and they are already framed.  They are available as a set and are currently on sale for $125 for all 3.  You can either purchase them at Muffins on Main, or, at www.LaurieGMiller.com.



HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

With warm regards,

Laurie

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Muffins and New Beginnings!

I'm pleased to announce a small exhibit of my art the new "Muffins on Main" shop at 40 Main Street, Westford, MA.  This sweet little muffin shop officially opened yesterday and they offer assorted muffins, scones, coffee and tea.  It is a warm and lovely spot to meet a friend and enjoy a sweet nibble. 

Since this photo was taken, three of these pieces have sold so stop by to see the current paintings.  I also have my 2017 Desk Calendars available along with an assortment of greeting cards and copies of my "Paint the Town" book.  Just a reminder, I'm offering special holiday pricing on my paintings at www.LaurieGMiller.com as well as at Muffins on Main.




40 Main Street in Westford, MA has held great significance to me.  It is one of the most charming buildings in Westford center and has an interesting history.  Years ago, it was a general store, a post office, a real estate office and more recently has held several retail stores -- Sweet Peas, Le Gourmet Jardin and The Fashion Truck.  Below is a photo my daughter in front of Sweet Peas where she had her first real job as a sales clerk.


Back in 2009, I partnered with 7 other artists to open Art on Main which was located in the left side of the building.  Here are Frank Winters and Mary Jane Brunelle installing our sign.



I'm so pleased that 40 Main Street has started a new chapter and I look forward to enjoying this lovely spot in the center of Westford.

Friday, December 9, 2016

2017 Desk Calendars are here!


My 2017 Desk Calendars are here!  Each month features a different painting created in the past year (see all images below).  

Approx dimensions: 8 inches wide x 4 inches high x 2 inches wide at the base.
$15.  Price includes tax/shipping.  

Click here for more information or to buy.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Sale!

Pop!  -  SOLD
SOLD - I'm so happy to see"Pop!" go to a good home in Pennsylvania!

My paintings are on sale right now -- you can check them out at www.LaurieGMiller.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Posy" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

"Posy" - 6 x 6 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

I purchased a small bouquet of flowers at Whole Foods (which recently opened in my town).  I was very impressed with their selection and thought they were quite reasonable for $10. This will definitely be my go to place to buy bouquets if I need a small gift for someone!

Thanksgiving is only 2 days away.  I'm traveling to visit family (which is always stressful - the traveling AND the family part) but I am thankful for my family and for many other blessing in my life.  I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving celebration with lots of yummy food and minimal stress :)






Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Gratitude" - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

"Gratitude" - 12 x 12 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD
With Thanksgiving next week, I’ve spent some time reflecting on things in my life that I really appreciate.  Today’s painting is of the Parish Center for the Arts in Westford, MA.  I’ve painted this building many times, but, this time, as I was painting, I was thinking about how central this building has become in my life.  

I started volunteering here over 16 years ago and have met some incredible people – artists, musicians, dancers and many others who support and appreciate the arts.  Many have become close friends.  Thanksgiving is a time to stop and reflect so “Gratitude” seemed like a fitting name for this piece.

On the subject of Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks to all the people who take the time to read my words, reflect on my art, comment to let me know when something touches their heart, and, of course, those who purchase my art to hang in their home.  I am grateful to all of you.

"Gratitude" is a 12 inch square oil on canvas painting presented in a wood floater frame (see additional photos below).  




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"Froot Loops" - 20 x 20 inches - oil on canvas

"Froot Loops" - 20 x 20 inches - oil on canvas

“Froot Loops” was inspired by a sketch done by my friend Pat.  Pat had illustrated the quote: “Be a Froot Loop in a bowl of Cheerios” and it stuck in my mind (and I loved her sketch).





To start, I bought an individual serving size box of Froot Loops (I couldn’t bring myself to buy an entire box!) and borrowed a plastic blue bowl and spoon from a friend to create the image I was looking for. 

As I created this painting, I learned a lot about Froot Loops.  They come in 6 colors: the three primaries (red, yellow and blue) and three secondaries: (purple, green and orange).  Who knew?

With a bright pink acrylic base coating my entire canvas, I painted the cereal first – all the red pieces (sprinkling them throughout the bowl, all the blues, etc.  I then moved on to the bowl and noted the subtle reflections on the inside.  I painted the background next and added the spoon and finally the milk.  I allowed the cereal colors to mix into the off-white “milk” paint as the cereal will discolor the milk.

This painting was so fun to paint.  I love the bright colors and the cheerful funky feeling…enjoy!

"Froot Loops" is a 20 x 20 inch oil on canvas painting with the sides painted black so framing is optional.  It is available directly from me.  Click here for more information.  Additional photos are below.





Monday, October 31, 2016

"Beach Dunes" - 8 x 7 inches - oil on board, framed
When I'm on Plum Island, this is one of my favorite views to paint.  I just love looking at these dunes.  I'm pretty enamored with their soft shapes and the way that the sand peeks out between the grasses and all the shrubs.  I can't say for sure but I don't think I'll ever get tired of them. 

I started with a Masonite board that I had painted red.  Painting on Masonite has a very different feel than painting on canvas.  Masonite is very hard and so the surface feels slippery while a cotton canvas has some bounce and also some tooth to grab the paint.  A completely different painting experience.

Recently, I was thinking about how my life is filled with art.  I'm either painting, sketching, or puttering in my workshop.  My walls are covered with my own art and art that I've collected over the years from friends and artists that I admire.  On weekends I may attend an art opening or visit a gallery or museum.  I read "how to" art books as well as artist biographies.  I can't imagine my life without art!  

"Beach Dunes" is an 8 x 7 inch oil on board painting and is available directly from me.  Click here for more information.  Additional photos are below.




Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Perkins Cove Harbor" - 5 x 7 inches - oil on paper

"Perkins Cove Harbor" - 5 x 7 inches - oil on paper
This is another "plein auto" effort from last month.  I sat in my car and painted this vista of Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine.  It was a very breezy day so I was very glad to have shelter in my car and had a great parking spot with a perfect view.

The American flag, which I consider to be an important part of this painting, probably took 25-30 minutes to paint.  Some of the problems I encountered: I didn't like the shape of the flag itself, the  pole was too fat, the pole was too thin, the flag was too dark, the flag was too light, the flag pole was too tall, etc. etc. etc.  I made myself pretty nuts in the effort to "get it right."  If it wasn't for the flag, I would have finished pretty quickly.  It is funny how sometimes the tiniest detail can be the biggest sticking point!

"Perkins Cove Harbor" is 5 x 7 inches, oil on paper and comes in a standard 8 x 10 mat (see additional photo below).  You can buy it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now button below or purchase it at Periwinkle Glassworks in West Acton, MA.




Monday, October 17, 2016

Road to Plum Island II + oil painting demo update

"Road to Plum Island II" - 5 x 7 inches - oil on paper
This was another "plein auto" effort from September up in Newburyport, MA.  I love this vista as you approach the entrance to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

I dropped off this painting, along with several others, to Periwinkle Glassworks, in West Acton, MA.  Periwinkle offers classes on stained glass and they also have a nice selection of gifts including pottery, paintings, jewelry, knitted items and other handmade crafts.  

If you are interested in "Road to Plum Island II" but don't live locally, just let me know and I'll make arrangements to get it to you.  The painting is $50 and comes in a standard 8 x 10 mat.



Oil Painting Demo Update

Last Thursday, I gave an oil painting demo to a really nice crowd.  It was lovely to spend an evening with fellow art lovers.  I painted for about 90 minutes and the above photo shows the progress I made during the evening.  There were interesting questions and great discussion so I didn't quite finish.  Below is how the painting looked at the end of the evening.

"Flower for Judy" oil painting demo
The following day, I finished up the painting and below is a photo of the final result.  During the demo, I told the story behind the flowers.  I was supposed to get together with my college friend, Judy, to celebrate her birthday.  I purchased these flowers along with some chocolates to give to her.  Our plans got canceled so she got a painting of the flowers instead and I enjoyed the chocolates.
"Flowers for Judy" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Oil Painting Demo - Win this painting!

Painting Demo - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas
I painted this floral in preparation for my painting demonstration on Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m. at the PCA in Westford, MA.  I will be re-creating this painting as I share my tools, techniques and process.  I'm looking forward to a lively evening and hope you can join me!

At the end of my demo, I will raffle off the painting.  The winner can choose the painting above, or, the painting that I create during the demo on Thursday evening.  The painting is an 8 x 8 inch, oil on canvas painting.  The sides are painted black so that framing is optional.

If you can't attend the demo but want to participate in the raffle, click the Buy Now button below to buy a ticket for your chance to win.  Raffle tickets are $10 and the proceeds benefit the Parish Center for the Arts.  


UPDATE: Congratulations to Donna B. from Chelmsford who won the painting!

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Marsh Sunrise" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

"Marsh Sunrise" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas, framed
I got up very early to catch the sunrise in Newburyport, MA.  The light changes rapidly so I painted furiously as the sun rose above a thick bank of clouds.

I had prepped my canvas with a thin layer of pink, acrylic paint.  I allow the pink to show through at various points to give a uniform look but also add a pop of color here and there.

Since I knew time was of the essence, I started by painting the clouds near the horizon and then painted the mid-sky area.  Next I blocked in the distant shoreline and worked my way around to the foreground.  I then filled in the water and the top of the sky.  The last thing I added was the sun peeking through the clouds.

When the color yellow is placed next to purple, it tends to vibrate and appear brighter.  This is true for any colors placed next to their complement (the color that sits across from it on a standard color wheel: yellow & purple; red & green and blue & orange).  I didn't have to fabricate the purple next to the yellow as this is how the sky appeared at that time.

The sunrise was incredibly beautiful and I was so glad I got to experience it!

Just a reminder that I will be giving a painting demonstration at the PCA on October 13.  Click here for all the details.  Hope to see you there!


"Marsh Sunrise" is an 8 inch square, oil on canvas painting presented in a wood floater frame (more photos are below).  You can purchase it directly from me by clicking here.




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Marsh - 5 x 7 inches - oil on canvas - SOLD

"Marsh" - 5 x 7 inches - oil on paper - SOLD
I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time in Newburyport, MA this month.  Inspiration is all around between the sailboats on the Merrimack River to the dunes and marshes on Plum Island.  Plein air painting this time of year is delightful as the weather is cool and the colors are just starting to change to oranges and reds. 

I'm going to coin a new phrase, and yes, you heard it here first "Plein Auto painting."  Yes, most of the time, I sit inside my car when I paint.  I still have the immediacy of reacting to the scene in front of me and yet I'm sheltered from wind and sun.  I make full use of the cup holders, dashboard and center console to hold my supplies as I try to capture the scene in front of me.  So, instead of Plein Air painting, I'm Plein Auto painting.  It is a beautiful thing!

This particular scene was painted Plein Auto.  I've always thought marshes were incredibly beautiful with their soft grasses.  As with many landscapes, I started with the sky, then the distant background trees and worked my way forward. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

Joyful Noise - 8 x 8 inches - sea glass collage

Joyful Noise - 8 x 8 inches - sea glass collage
I created this collage a while back and never posted it so today is the day!  I’ve been an avid sea glass collector since taking a trip to France just over 10 years ago.  I wandered on a Mediterranean beach for several hours and kept finding beautiful tumbled pieces of glass.  When I returned home, I turned my handful of glass into a collage that has become one of my favorite mementos from that trip.

Since that time, I’ve managed to find more sea glass closer to home.  “Joyful Noise” was created using sea glass that I collected from beaches in New England.  I have not altered the glass in any way – the pieces are exactly as I found them - tumbled smooth by the ocean over many years. This collage is one of a kind and can never be duplicated.  Each piece of glass has a unique shape, size and color.  This collage contains 38 pieces of sea glass.

“Joyful Noise” is 8 x 8 inches framed and is available at Artists Corner & Gallery in West Acton, MA.  You can also purchase it directly from me by clicking here.  Additional photos are below.

In other news, I’m giving a painting demonstration on Thursday October 13 starting at 7 p.m. at the Parish Center for the Arts in Westford, MA.  I hope you’ll be able to join me for a fun evening!