Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Quiet Walk

"A Quiet Walk"
20 x 30
Just finished a large scale pastel
I have been enjoying morning walks through this field

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Winter Beauty

Raindrops glittering like Christmas lights
It reminded me of elderberry bushes too with the white drops as berries, albino elderberries.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Five for Sale

On display, the top right and left -
Christmas Pointettia and Four Gourds
the bottom right and left -
Popping Poppy and Trumpeting Trumpet Vine
Here is -
Winter Sunrise, Burnt Hills
Special thanks to Judith for the photos and the excellent displays she has all throughout  her shop.
The Northumbrian Cottage
813 Saratoga Road, Route 50
Just north of the intersection of Lake Hill Road and Route 50
Burnt Hills, NY
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
10:30 - 4:00

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Northumbrian Cottage

I am excited to have my work for sale at The Northumbrian Cottage in Burnt Hills, NY. 
I dropped off five paintings yesterday.
Stop in and visit with the friendly shop owner and fellow artist, Judith Connolly
The Northumbrian Cottage
813 Saratoga Road, Route 50
Just north of the intersection of Lake Hill Road and Route 50
Burnt Hills, NY
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
10:30 - 4:00

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Trip to Gloucester for a Gallery Talk by Mary Whyte

In September my husband and I traveled to Massachusetts to hear a gallery talk and see an art show.  I enjoyed it so much I wrote an article for the Upper Hudson Valley Watercolor Society's newsletter.


A Gallery Talk by Mary Whyte
By L.C. Kemmerling

We packed snacks, drinks and a small suitcase, programmed the GSP for Gloucester and headed off into the sunrise.  The destination was North Shore Art Association on Eleven Pirates Lane.  It was opening day for the New England Watercolor Society Biennial Open Show and a Gallery Talk by Mary Whyte. Ms. Whyte was the juror of selection and juror of awards for the show. Jan Palmer introduced me to Mary Whyte’s work last fall.  Both artists do stunning watercolor portraits and are favorites of mine.  So I was excited for the opportunity to hear Ms. Whyte talk and possibly meet her. 
The North Shore Art Association building is a tall red barn by the ocean.  It makes a perfect New England picture with the red barn trimmed in white, flowers of every color spilling over large flower boxes on the front porch and in the background every species of watercraft bobbing in unison in the old world harbor.  The ground floor has a reception desk and lots of wall space displaying artwork by the members. Towards the back is more gallery space, an art library, a tucked away kitchen and restrooms decorated with posters from art history.  I thought I saw Madame X in the ladies room powdering her nose.  Up the stairs in the front of the building is the second level, a large and lovely undivided gallery space where the New England Watercolor Society Show was hanging.  Funny to think that before this building’s creative repurposing it stored a lot more hay and a lot less paintings than it does today.

It was very good to see the show of seventy seven works which were chosen from five hundred eighty one entries nationwide. Here is the link to NEWS website to take a look:

The Gallery Talk was well delivered and inspiring. I was busy taking notes the whole time.  Here are some highlights:
How to Become a Better Artist

1.)    Don’t focus on what you want to do, instead focus on what you want to be

Think about the quality of work, what you want to do

Mary Whyte told of how she met the group of Gullah women when she first moved to SC. She was moved by them and thought “This is a story that needs to be told.”

She mentioned that it is important what a painter takes out of a painting

She stressed the importance of thumb nails sketches 

Ask yourself what is the concept of the painting? How can I say more?

Remember how you felt, not what you saw

Put detail in places where you want the viewer to linger

2.)    Instead of focusing on what you do well, focus on what you do differently

For Georgia O’Keefe - her painting technique was not that unique or difficult to do but what made her work special was how she saw her subject, her unique interpretation of subjects, her point of view

Learning watercolors in the 1970s there was not much instruction so Ms. Whyte went to museums and studied great works, three of her favorites are John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth

Watercolor is hard because it is the only medium that relies strictly on timing- painting wet into wet, damp in to damp

Focus on the quality of the edge, a hard edge says look here

Ask yourself what could I do differently?

Sargent used gouache to get his rich opaque darks

Best way to keep things fresh is to get in and get out then leave it alone

Things she likes to paint are people and something she have never seen before

Painting sources: from life-the best way to do it, from photos, from imagination, from memory-sometimes you need to recreate a moment

When using photos remember a camera doesn’t know how to read a setting like our eyes.  It can’t leave things out that are there and it can’t see the detail and richness of colors in shadows

3.)    Know what is essential to you, paint your own painting

What is it that is essential to you? When you paint from your own heart it results in so much more

We learn by following others example but you need to take the step to paint like yourself

When painting you don’t have to show it all, let the viewer see and make connections

How a Juror Judges a Show               

As a juror she evaluates for:

Concept- idea, originality

        Is it the artist’s own? Is it true?

        Did this artist realize what they were working for?


Drawing skill, not just a style

Technique, not overworked

When it comes to a tie between two excellent pieces, the tie breaker is the framing.

       Good framing elevates a work and makes it complete

 Question and Answer Session

She will do as many as thirty thumbnail sketches preparing for a painting

She works standing up at an easel

She works on large 4 feet by 6 feet Arches 555# paper

She advised to have the size of the piece match the message, some messages work better in a smaller format, some in a larger

She mainly uses M. Graham watercolor paints

She does not use masking fluid but sometimes uses masking tape ripped in pieces to mask an area

She works on one painting at a time and enjoys being immersed in that one subject

She rips up one out of four paintings but knows each failure gets her closer to the next success

She writes her name, title, location and model details on the bottom edge of her work to authenticate the piece

If stuck on a piece, she will turn it to the wall for a few days then turn it back and look at it again
Paint to appeal to all the senses

Norman Rockwell said something about how the best paintings are ones you can smell

You are not just copying the visual

Instead of being a journalist, be a poet

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and seeing the show.  Meeting and talking to Mary Whyte was a real treat.  She was very gracious and approachable. I appreciate the depth of her art, her message and the generosity she shows in sharing them with others.
Mary Whyte’s website



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beauty Makeover for Some Fall Favorites

       At our last Fine Art and Crafts Sale I got some very good advice about how to better present my artwork. All these useful tips and pointers came from a professional framer and art lover who is also my aunt. I am very thankful for her taking the time and sharing her expertise and also for my husband who is excellent at cutting mats. I am very happy with the results.
The Popping Poppy
on a white mat

with two colored mats

The Christmas Poinsettia

two colored matts

Trumpeting Trumpet Vine
two colored mats

The Four Gourds
with a white mat

with two colored mats

Winter Sunrise, Burnt Hills
with a white mat

with two colored mats


The creative disarray...

Fun to share the space with a seamstress