Water World – cold, restrictive, uncaring,
Sitting in it’s dark ——– just staring
At the blackness. Blankness.
Walls Without Windows.
Screaming so loud that no one can hear
In the isolation of my still infinity.
Unmovable arms, muscles pounded by waves.
Strength dissipated by the struggle.
Each year another breath of water
Engulfs my being, body and brain.
Dying Alive. Dark Death.
Arms at my sides grabbing for life.
Rocket screaming energy propels me from a watery grave.
Into the Red-Orange Sky.
Personal Writing by Mary Ahern, May 15, 1978
Illustration: Oil painting with digital overlays in Photoshop.
“The Red-Orange Sky” is the first painting I ever made. It was before I went to college to study art. I was taking Wednesday evening art classes at the YMCA near where I was living in Queens Village. Circa 1974.
The Digital additions for illustration purposes were made in Photoshop November 16, 2013.
5 days a week I go to school
2 days a week I teach
2 days goes to Little League
Dinner 4 x 7 each.
Friday sees the Pathmark grind.
That’s something I really mind!
Listening to my youngest read and
My oldest pitching with incredible speed.
The house gets cleaned maybe once a week
But I’m convinced my life is neat.
Writing by Mary Ahern. May 5, 1978
Pen & Ink Sketch by Mary Ahern, March, 1977
Time Time, Mind in a Bind.
Thoughts in a Mold, Blockages Unfold
Writing by Mary Ahern. February 20, 1978
Illustration by Mary Ahern, October 22, 2013
The Northport ArtWalk is a Free self-guided walking tour of the many galleries, studios and eclectic gallery-for-a-day venues centered around and along Northport’s picturesque Harbor and Main Street. Northport, NY is located on the North Shore of Long Island about 40 miles east of midtown Manhattan between the towns of Huntington and Smithtown.
The ArtWalk is one of the best ways for visitors to enjoy Northport’s bustling and diverse art community by bringing visitors to view the art of established and emerging Artists.
The festive atmosphere of Northport will be punctuated by musical performances; live artistic demonstrations and street decorations as town visitors peruse the art in restaurants, antique shops, boutiques and cafes that are part of this historic village.
Blue Hydrangeas in Delft Blue Pot. Digital & Traditional Mixed Media Painting
I will be showing my Fine Art at Bodyscape Pilates located at 54 Woodbine Ave, Northport NY 11768.
There will be a mixture of Traditional Watercolor paintings, Drawings, and my Digital Mixed Media Paintings for you to choose from. All my work will be for sale. Something for everyone!
Pick up your self-guided maps at Copenhagen Bakery just a few hundred feet away on Woodbine Ave.
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 took this snapshot of these orange tulips using natural light 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.
- Using Photoshop on my Mac, I play around with colors and composition
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.
- In this Mixed Media Art work I used colored pencil over 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.
There are so many ways to create paintings. As an Artist who has been creating for over 35 years I have developed a variety of methods to arrive at my finished work. Sometimes it is interesting to get a peek behind the process, so here is one style I enjoy.
- Snapshot of some Orange Tulips I used as the basis of this series of Art works
Since I’m not a photographer, I take snapshot of flowers I either buy or grow. I usually select them for color or just for form. I find myself attracted to large bold shapes rather than the more frilly inflorescences. I then decide what mediums I will work in and whether there will be one finished Art work in one or more mediums or whether the work will be part of a series.
I love creating tonal drawings so I often do a finished piece in graphite before I start a painting just because I like the feel of drawing. It also is a great way to work out values of highlights and shading.
- Tonal drawing of a tulip. I use a pair of magnifying lenses which I hook onto my bifocals to help me see the details
If the work is part of a series, I need to imagine the size of each piece and the total overall impression I’m looking for. This ups the level of complexity considerably and actually makes for quite a nice challenge to my visual imagination and my technical consistency.
For a series of work I need to choose the size of each work and the size of the overall series.
I also need to create a composition that stands alone as well as works for the series.
- I used my altered snapshots to help me come up with my composition in this series
My work must not only be accomplished to my own standards for each piece but it must be consistent across all the work. This can be tricky if you don’t create all the work during the same or close to the same period of time.
I have donated one of my Krinkled Peony Digital/Traditional Mixed Media Paintings to the Huntington Arts Council, annual silent auction fundraiser. This piece is a combination of Digital painting and Traditional Colored Pencils.
- The finished mixed media painting is matted & finished in a 16×16″ natural wood color frame.
Bidding is underway at the Main Street Petite Gallery. Almost 50 artist members of the Huntington Arts Council have donated original work in oils, watercolor, photography, prints, diamond and topaz jewelry, silk and more. Bidding opportunities start at $25, and go until 6 p.m. on Friday, December 4.
This is a great chance to own an original piece of art or purchase one as a gift for a favorite relative or friend. Stop by the gallery at 213 Main Street in Huntington, two blocks east of New York Avenue, to see both the art and all the raffle items.
- Poster for the L’Art Pour L’Art Silent Auction for the Huntington Arts Council
The proceeds support the exhibition programs of the Arts Council’s two galleries. Some of the wonderful raffle items are: a pair of subscription tickets for the Long Island Philharmonic; gift certificates for Besito, Honu, RED Restaurant and others; and theater and movie passes.
The gallery will be open for the duration of the auction Friday evenings until 8 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. on the first three Saturdays of November. A “Rockin’ Sock Puppet Making Workshop” is on tap for kids ages 5 to 11 on Saturday, November 14 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Then on November 21 at 2 p.m., some of the donating artists will be at the gallery to talk about their work.
The historic use of limiting editions of prints was during a time when prints were made from art carved or drawn onto stone, wood or other surfaces that degraded with use. As more impressions were made the surface wore out and the image became less crisp. Limiting the quantity of the printing run helped to control the quality of the print and of course the value.
Digital printing does not suffer from this problem since there is no degradation in resolution, or crispness, from one print to the next. In fact, what can happen as technology evolves and equipment gets better and faster, later prints may be of higher quality then original prints made years earlier in the cycle.
New Technology Offers New Forms of Creativity
So how do I offer my customers a solution to their desire for a unique piece of my Art rather then the Open Edition pieces I generally offer?
Custom Art Work Created Just For You
Custom Editions brings my customers into a collaborative effort in the artistic process of helping me to create a unique Art Work specific for their home or office design ideas.
You select a piece of Art from my array of Standard Digital or Traditional Paintings.
- I can print your selection on different surfaces like Fine Arts Paper or Canvas.
- I can put different finishes on each canvas print, i.e. Matte, Semi-Gloss or Gloss.
- My standard work is designed in a 3×4 aspect ratio, i.e. the height to width relationship. I can customize the composition to fulfill specific sizing.
- I can print at any size that would work for the space you have in mind. Super-size up to 64 inches and mini-sizes for grouping.
- I can customize the colors, most particularly, the backgrounds, to suit your design ideas.
- I can combine traditional paint with your digital print to make a truly one-of-a-kind Art Work.
- I can customize framing or do away with framing altogether using the Gallery Wrapped canvas style.
If you can think of it I can probably do it.
Call me, Mary Ahern at 631-757-9459
Or email me at mary@MaryAhernArtist.com
Let’s make Art together!
I was lucky this cold winter week in December. I went to the beach, hung out at the marina, and gazed at flower gardens in full bloom.
You think I’m kidding? Well I’m not. I was lucky enough to visit the Jacqueline Penney Art Gallery & Studio in Cutchogue Long Island NY. Now this is an Artist who loves sunshine! Take a look at her work at her website http://www.jacquelinepenney.net and then make an appointment to go see and collect her work.
Jackie is a real renaissance woman. She paints, she teaches and she writes books helping others to enjoy the experience of creating Art. She is a sharing and giving human being and it shows in her work.
Her beautifully re-designed 1840’s barn is at once her home, her studio working space and the gallery where she sells her work to the public. This seamless breaking down of boundaries defines a true creative person. There is no beginning, no end, just the all encompassing act of creating.
The way she lives and the way she lives her life describes a true Artist.
Jacqueline Penney Art Gallery & Studio
My Garden and my Art work side by side. Both require me to make aesthetic judgements about composition, scale, color, texture and style. When I’m deciding where to plant the flowers I’ve hauled home on my endless trips to the nurseries it doesn’t seem that much different to me then when I’m deciding how to compose them on a two dimensional surface.
I think about what style I’m looking for, what colors will work together, whether the scale of the placement works for me. I think about the type of flower and texture of the leaves. I make decisions about the 3D composition of the garden much like the 2D composition decisions on a painting.
The garden adds so many additional layers of complexity since the artwork is moving in time with nature, the seasons, the elements, and time. The painting remains caught in a moment.
Capturing that ephemeral moment is so gratifying to me in my Fine Art. I control it, unlike my Garden which is usually out of control.
You can visit this Watercolor painting on my website in The Work or you can buy a print of it in The Store.