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!  




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dunes I & II plus Naming Contest Winner!

I've selected the winner of my "name the painting" contest.  See the end of this post for all the details.

I've been spending a lot of time in Newburyport, MA this month and knew I wanted to do a lot of plein air painting.  I decided to buy a set of gouache paints and try my hand at them.  Gouache is very similar to watercolor but the paints are fairly opaque.  Unlike watercolors, there is no need to preserve the white of the paper.  One advantage is that they dry quickly.  One disadvantage is that they dry quickly!  Yes, the quick drying is a tremendous advantage for transporting the painting and making sure it doesn't smear.  However, the working time is extremely short so not much mixing can take place on the paper.  

In any case, I love painting sand dunes and these are my first few attempts in gouache.


Dunes I - 5 x 7 inches - gouache on watercolor paper

Dunes I - 5 x 7 inches - gouache on watercolor paper, matted
Dunes I is a 5x7 inch Gouache on Watercolor paper painting that is presented in an 8x10 mat.  Click the buy now button below to purchase. (please note this painting won't ship until October 1).



Dunes II - 5 x 7 inches - gouache on watercolor paper


Dunes II - 5 x 7 inches - gouache on watercolor paper, matted

Dunes II is a 5x7 inch Gouache on Watercolor paper painting that is presented in an 8x10 mat.  Click the buy now button to purchase. (please note, this painting won't ship until October 1)



NAME THE PAINTING CONTEST - WINNER!


Thank you to all those who submitted names for my "Name the Painting" contest.   Here are all the names that were submitted (in alphabetical order):

Afloat and Aloft
Anticipation
Away with Me
Beyond the Sea
Cam Jam
Capturing Camden
Classic Camden
Come Sail Away
Dancing at Anchor
Floating Jewel
Floating Still
Harbor Day
Harbor town
Harbor View
Harboring Sailboats in Camden
Harbour serenity
High Tide Peace
Jewel of the Coast
LOBSTAH Day Boat Tripping!
Mass of Masts
Moored
On the Water
Peaceful Journey
Peaceful Summer Day
Quiet Sails
Red as a Lobster
Red Baron
Red Devil
Red Rider
Serenity Now
Slipless in Seattle
Still Waters Run Deep
Sun salutation
Tides
Tomorrow
Tranquility
Waiting
Where the Winds Blow

(many apologies if I missed an entry!)

There were several submissions that I really liked: "Red as a Lobster" (quirky, made me smile although I would have changed it to "Red as a Lobstah"), "Serenity Now" (this made me laugh and Seinfeld fans will understand why), as well as "Classic Camden" (good solid name that describes the scene).

But, the winning entry that I liked the best was...drum roll please...."Cam Jam."   I liked the reference to Camden as well as the "jam" which reminded me of a traffic jam and the crowded harbor.  Congratulations to Marie D. of Lowell, MA!   I will be sending out your petite painting prize in the next few days.  Thanks to everyone who played along!





Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Knob plus some sketches

"The Knob" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas
I painted this at the beginning of the summer after a trip to Cape Cod with some friends.  We drove to "The Knob" which is small peninsula near Falmouth, MA.  We walked down a path through thick brush only to emerge in a small open space studded with rocks where your entire vista is ocean (technically, it is Buzzard's Bay).  We timed our visit just before sunset and were a bit surprised to see a crowd of 25-30 people anticipating the same event.  As the sun slipped just below the horizon, everyone clapped and cheered! 

I mentioned that I was doing a "Doodle-A-Day" challenge with a group of friends (known as the "6-Pack") for the month of August.  Spoiler alert to my 6-Packers who read my blog!  I mentioned that I'd share a few of my sketches.

I decided to use the alphabet to help me decide what to sketch each day.  So, the first day I sketched my Attic, the second day I sketched my Bedroom, third day was my Cooper, my dog, etc.  I sketched scenes around my home and wanted to work on perspective.  I sketched using a marker and most were done with in 10 minutes or less and I didn't fuss over them.  The 6-Pack is gathering later this month to eat, drink, be merry and to reveal our sketchbooks!

Here is a sampling of a few of my favorite sketches:









And my "Name the Painting Contest" continues for one more week:

I couldn't think of a suitable name for this painting (see below) so I'm asking for help.  I will give away one of my petite paintings to the person who comes up with the winning name.  To win, you must be a subscriber to my mailing list.  You can sign up here: http://www.lauriegmiller.com/contact.html and then send your name suggestion to: Laurie@LaurieGMiller.com  

I will announce the winner on September 13.  I can't wait to hear the names everyone comes up with!





Sunday, August 28, 2016

"Ocean Dip III" - 11 x 14 inches - oil on canvas

"Ocean Dip III" - 11 x 14 inches - oil on canvas, framed
I vacationed in Kennebunkport, Maine several years ago and watched a young woman toss a stick in the water for her yellow lab.   He swam back and forth in the rocky cove and never tired of the game.  I was glad I had my camera and snapped as many pictures as I could.  

I painted the dog first since I figured that if the dog didn't turn out to my liking, there was no point in continuing with the rest of the painting!  Once I was happy with the dog, I moved onto the rocky coast and lastly the water.  This is my third painting using this reference photo and I'm sure it won't be the last!

My "name the painting" contest is still open (until Sept 13).  Thank you to those who already sent in suggestions.  For those who don't know, I will give away one of my mini paintings to the person who comes up with the winning name for my painting of Camden Maine Harbor:  


Send your name suggestion to Laurie@LaurieGMiller.com.  You must be a subscriber to my mailing list (you can sign up by clicking here).

"Ocean Dip III" is an 11x14 inch oil on canvas painting presented in a wood floater frame (see additional photos below).  It is available at the Whiffle Tree Candle Co in Billerica, MA or directly from me at www.LaurieGMiller.com