In my late summer garden this dramatic combination of colors occurs when the daylillies bloom amongst the rudbeckia. The cultivar name is Van Gogh daylily so how could I not fall in love with it given my Dutch heritage. The rudbeckia is the classic variety named Rudbeckia fulgida and multiplies happily in this garden setting.
I composed this painting in a classical pyramidal style for the daylilies then using the receding rudbeckia to open the space towards the background of trees and shrubs serving as a horizontal and vertical balance.
I finally bit the bullet and bought a new car to replace my 1996 Nissan Pathfinder with 200,010 miles on it. I called her my gardening car since I could pack so many plants in her. She also carried my Art to many, many Art Festivals over the years. By giving her up I felt almost the same sense of mourning as I did when I lost 4 trees in my woodland garden to Hurricane Sandy. This car had carried my Art and me safely throughout six states worth of Art Festivals
But it was time. The rust, the rattles, the pervading sense of being stranded somewhere if the trusty ‘ole car decided to bite the bullet. It was very hard to find the right replacement vehicle. I took tape measuring to all the dealerships in search of the perfect match. To my dismay I discovered that all the SUV’s have been pumped up on steroids since I was last in the market. Too many rows of seats and driving around in a McMansion didn’t hold appeal for me.
After much searching I finally choose a RAV4 by Toyota. It fit the dimensions of my large paintings but wasn’t too over sized for day to day driving. So I’ve downsized slightly in order to have a fully flat surface for transporting plants & Art. The back seat is a bench style while most of the larger ones have bucket style seats.
Oh, and I was able to get it in green. Not a color offered very frequently anymore. One of the things that was a big pleasant surprise since I hadn’t had a new car in decades, was all the new technology built into cars nowadays. The new toys helped with the sorrowful transition I felt on abandoning my old friend.
Artist Mother – Mother Artist
One and the same. Complements in name.
Work unending, always tending
To seek the insights needed to know,
to nourish – to form – to grow.
Taken for granted, demands expanded,
Desire for life on a higher standard.
Creative, depletive, rewarding, absorbing.
Continuous rebirth of the most generous kind.
Writing by Mary Ahern Feb. 20, 1978
Sketch by Mary Ahern October, 27, 2013
I happily took the railroad into Chelsea in NYC from my perch in Northport Long Island to gather in the wonderful colors and environments of the watercolor paintings created by the Artist, Joseph Raffael. These large scale works envelope you into the tropical gardens and seaside shells which are the models and subjects of his work.
Some feature strongly defined focal points while other subjects are diffused, allowing you to meander through the tangles of flowers, leaves and stems. Koi provide the pivotal “Turning Point” between the water and air while leaving ripples which you know will be gone again in moments. Tibetan prayer flags wave in the breeze sharing the brilliance of Koi colors. Time, movement and transience are significant subjects in these meditative paintings.
March 21-May 4, 2013
LIVING COLOR – ART EXHIBITION
“THE WORK OF FOUR EXTRAORDINARY ARTISTS EACH ONE FOCUSING ON THE UNIQUE AND VARIED WAYS THAT COLOR LIVES IN OUR LIVES”
– William Grabowski – Curator
March 26 – June 17, 2013
Art-trium Gallery. 25 Melville Park Rd, Melville NY 11747
Friday, April 5, 2013. 5:30 – 7:00 pm
With music performance by Sally Shorrock and Friends
This Show is Sponsored by the Huntington Arts Council
SOME OF THE MIXED MEDIA PAINTINGS ON VIEW by the Artist, Mary Ahern
“Light Blue Iris in the Garden”
I grew these delightful light blue Iris germanica in my garden one year but they sadly haven’t come back with such beauty since. Iris borers and not enough sun perhaps. I solve this ephemeral behavior by painting the flowers from my garden. No pesticides, no fungicides, no weeding, no deadheading. They are in perfect condition all year round.
“Lilies in the Garden”
As a gardener and an Artist I’ve been able to combine both of these passions.Though my garden has been featured on various Garden Tours, I guarantee that it doesn’t look as good as the fantasy garden in this painting.
“Siberian Iris Trio”
A small patch of these Siberian Irises were in the garden when I bought my home in 1989. They are short lived during the season but very long lived over the years.
“Daylilies and Rudbeckia”
I paired this combination of flowers on my canvas for the their jovial and robust colors. Noticing their form, color and bloom time I transplanted them to create a seasonal vignette in my late summer garden as well.
“Conversation Piece Azalea”
These multi-colored flowers all bloom on the same shrub in my garden collection. Another nice thing about this cultivar is that it blooms a bit later than other Azaleas, thereby extended the colorful season.
MY ART BLOG
I wrote an article on my Art Blog recently describing how subconsciously I was influenced by the famous Matisse painting, “The Dance.”
Studying Art History for decades seeps into your creative mind and emerges in ways that you don’t expect. Though I majored in Art in college, it’s the years of continuing pursuit that really make the subtle and not so subtle differences in an Artist’s work.
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
– Gertrude Jekyll – Gardener, Designer, Writer 1893-1932
MY ARTIST STATEMENT
My Art is driven by the pursuit of multiple passions. In my garden I grow the delicate & ephemeral models which are the subjects of my paintings. I transform them through a complex series of digital technologies and traditional mediums.
I have a degree in horticulture, a degree in Fine Arts and my entire career has been spent in Digital Imaging technologies. These are the tools I use to create my Art.
Creating and reinventing my gardens larger than life size demonstrates the profound importance they play in my own personal centering.
I hope to see you at my show opening and if not please visit me on my website,
or on Facebook: http://facebook.com/MaryAhernArtist
My paintings actually start in my garden. This is where I grow the flowers, shrubs and trees, which are a part of the workflow of my creative output. The sun and shade play a role in all my compositions.
I actually consider the creative work to be seamless whether at work in the garden or at work in my studios. The up close and personal view of the flowers when I’m weeding, deadheading, trimming and tending allow me the time to become intimately aware of each flower’s details. This is something I like to convey in my work.
These light blue irises came to dance in the breezes in the front garden, which I can see through the French doors in my living room. Though short lived, their ephemeral character is part of the fun of capturing them in my Art.
The composition of this painting was created using elements from different areas of my garden. The woodland walks with their large hemlock trunks for the vertical accents, which mimic the verticals of the irises. The rare spots of sunshine in the front garden, which hold the irises and many other perennial sun lovers, give me many sources of inspiration during the seasons.
The finished painting is called “Light Blue Iris in the Garden”. I’m not very original on names but it is an apt description.
This is the month for the annual silent art auction fundraiser in support of the Huntington Arts Council’s exhibition program at the Main Street Petite Gallery and Art-trium Gallery in Melville.
November 9 – November 30, 2012
Huntington Arts Council Petite Gallery
213 Main St.
Huntington NY 11743
Contact: Florence Dallari, Asst. Dir. 631-271-8423
Huntington Arts Council Website: http://www.huntingtonarts.org
This year I’ve donated my White Rose Montage to this worthy fund-raiser.
I designed this long 8″ x 39″ montage for all the folks who tell me they can’t buy my work since they don’t have anymore wall space. This piece fits nicely between windows or as an accent piece at the edge of a wall. It has 5 individual digital paintings of roses for all those rosarian collectors out there.
The holidays are coming and you can do two nice things for the price of one. Bid on this piece to help support the Huntington Arts Council and then give it as a gift to one of your special friends.
It will last longer than a bouquet of flowers.
These are the creative and committed women aka “Commuting Women” who took part in the Delaware Canal Festival winning the “Most Beautiful” decorated canoe prize. These women took part in planting thousands of daffodil bulbs along the canal & other prominent locations this past spring.
I was pleased to donate my “Single Daffodil” artwork for use on their team T-Shirts. I applaud their energy, their commitment to the beautification of their community & their sense of humor. Kudos!
This is a copy of a letter they sent when they donated their prize money winnings to The Friends of the Delaware Canal.
Friends of the Delaware Canal
The Locktender’s House
145 South Main St.
New Hope PA 18938
Enclosed is a check for $75.00 payable to the Friends of the Delaware Canal, representing the prize money the “Commuting Women” won for our “Most Beautiful” decorated canoe in the Yardley Boat Parade as part of the Delaware Canal Festival.
Our theme was “Thank You Bucks Beautiful,” celebrating and thanking the Bucks Beautiful organization for planting thousand of daffodil bulbs along the canal and in other prominent Yardley locations. When the daffodils all bloomed this spring, it was a spectacular sight!
Our group is comprised of “mature” women who commute to work in Philadelphia, either currently or in the past, on SEPTA Regional Rail trains. We had lots of fun planning and constructing our boat parade entry, and we are proud of our ingenuity and resourcefulness – using only items we already had on hand around the house. Lots of paper plates, muffin cups, skewers, and plastic tablecloths – as one young observer commented, “That’s a lot of arts and crafts.”
Along the way we made a new friend, Mary Ahern, from Northport NY who generously donated her daffodil art design to our matching parade-day T-shirts.
All in all, a fun and rewarding experience. Thanks for a great day – this is why we chose to live in the small towns along the Delaware Canal. We are happy to donate our prize winnings to the Friends of the Delaware Canal.
Virginia Hamby, Yardley
Dorothy Judd, Washington Crossing
Jeannette Leighton, Yardley
One of the methods I use to visualize my Art is to take snapshots of my models and modify them on my computer. Since I’m not a photographer I only have a small point and shoot camera that I use to take photos in my garden or in my studio.
I import these snapshots onto my computer and using Photoshop I delete the backgrounds, modify the colors and otherwise play around with the image. I print the images from my Epson printers onto matte cardstock papers.
In this particular Art work, after making a completed tonal drawing which I discussed in my previous post, I traced the outline of the tulip onto 300lb hot press paper using a lightbox and a 2H pencil.
Then, using Winsor Newton watercolors, I put down my first layer of paint. Once dry I used my set of Prismacolor colored pencils to draw over the watercolor.
For some reason I find this process to be very relaxing and meditative for me. If I need some calmness in my life, I can go to my studio at any time and pick up right where I left off. No fuss, no muss, no bother.