The headlines herald the 25th Birthday of the introduction of Photoshop, the photo editing software that almost everyone has heard about and many have used. Photoshop was released on Thursday February 19, 1990, 25 years ago. I, however, began painting electronically years earlier on the Chyron Chameleon Paint System.
1986 Mary Ahern working on the Chyron Chameleon at the Cablevision studios in Woodbury NY.
The Chameleon was a digital painting & editing system complete with dedicated hardware & software aimed at the Broadcast TV & production industry.. Primitive by our current standards but tremendously advanced at that time in the mid-1980’s.
In order to sell a paint system in the ‘80’s, since no one really understood the enormous creative possibilities of computer painting, I did demonstrations & lectures in order to sell this tremendously creative tool. It offered drawing tools & brushes, cut & paste, zoom, a removable hard drive, video outputs and 8 bits of color.
I have made a very good living using Photoshop, amongst other digital imaging programs, but I was able to apply my Artist’s vision first using the tablet & stylus of the Chameleon.
So I wish Photoshop a very Happy 25th Birthday but they are the young kid on the block. I have been digitally painting for 30 years.
“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.
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.
The 57th Annual Art League of LI Member’s Exhibition is
November 11 through November 25, 2012
11-4pm each day
The Art League is located at 107 East Deer Park Rd. in Dix Hills NY 11746
Tom Stacey is the Coordinator of the show and can be reached at 631-462-5400
The ALLI website is www.artileagueli.org
The piece that I’ve submitted for the show is “Passion Flowers with Bamboo”.
“Passion Flowers with Bamboo” a Mixed Media Painting by the Artist, Mary Ahern
This painting is a Mixed Media piece created using digital and acrylic painting. The finished work is a 20×24″ gallery wrapped canvas with a 1/5″ depth. The purchase price is $549.
The original models for this work were some Passifloracaerulea commonly known as Blue Passion Flower. I grew them in my deck planters where they entwined themselves on a craftsman style trellis on the sunny outside wall of my home.
The bamboo is also from my garden and is Fargesia robusta ‘Green Screen’. It is a clump forming bamboo and is said to reach a height of 12-15 ‘ but it hasn’t done so in my garden so far. I have it planted on a berm just behind a Japanese maple. For a further description of this Fargesia check out www.bamboogarden.com.
Rose Montage has 5 individual digital paintings of Roses. Framed size is 8 x 39.5″
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.
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.
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.
I’ve just created a series of digital paintings of a Krinkled White Peony that was blooming in my garden this past June.
For my inspiration I chose an herbaceous white single peony that was introduced into cultivation in 1928. The plant grows to about 3 feet tall and wide. This year with all the rain it grew so very tall that I had to add a peony cage to one of them since it was so heavy due to the huge amount of flowers that it produced.
A single white “Krinkled Peony” which grew in my garden this June.
The petals are so delicate they remind me of crepe paper that I used to use when I made my paper flowers as a child. The golden yellow stamens add a dramatic accent.
One of the very rare sunny spots in my garden hosts the peonies.
I’ve been tending this plant for over a decade and a few years ago moved it from a rather shady location where it bloomed each year but didn’t flourish. Though most of my garden is in some percentage of shade I decided to divide and transplant this perennial into the sunniest part of my garden. Since then it has more than tripled the amount of flowers it produces.
In this series of work I’ve decided to augment the dramatic simplicity of the single peony with different colored backgrounds. Each of these pieces will work individually but they also work as a group.
Single White Peony series of digital paintings.
As with many of my other works, I offer these digital paintings in a variety of sizes and framing treatments. These Fine Art works are available on Fine Art paper and also on UV treated canvas either framed or gallery wrapped.
If a specific design plan comes to mind, I can also customize the color backgrounds to suit the creative intent.
I will be showing these Art Works for the first time at the Northport Art in the Park, Saturday, July 25, 2009 from noon until 5pm.
Hope you can stop by the show and say hello. If you can’t and you would like to find out more about my work, you can contact me on Facebook, Twitter, my website MaryAhernArtist.com and here on my blog by posting a comment.
The North Shoreian has just published their April Home and Garden issue with my “Single Yellow Daffodil” on the front cover.
A delightful article about my work is featured inside this publication which is a magazine covering the North Shore (of Long Island) Arts, Culture & Politics.
The North Shoreian. April 2009 Home & Garden Issue
This is an exerpt of the article:
Classically trained painter, and Northport native, Mary Ahern, has spent the past twenty-five years studying and mastering digital painting and design. Mary’s interest in digital painting was stimulated when she was working for a company that created graphic technology for use in the television and production industry. Beginning as a salesperson in the early 1980’s, Mary began learning about the newest advances in this medium. As technology progressed, these high-tech digital systems became a practical expense for the small business owner and were readily available. In the early 1990’s, Mary invested in her own system and created her own graphic design company, Online Design. Her company was 100% digital which was unique at a time when paste-ups and mechanicals were still the norm in graphics.
Champagne Poppies on a Brown Background
In addition to graphic design, Mary has combined her interests and talent in painting to create her own style and method of art. Her digital paintings are created by using the computer as her medium. Mary trades in her paintbrushes and paints for a pressure sensitive stylus and graphic tablet…
Mary’s abilities as an artist are not limited to digital painting. As a traditional painter, Mary is very talented. Mary mixes mediums, such as watercolor, oil paints, pastels, colored pencils and graphite, to create her works of art. She has been doing traditional painting and drawing for over thirty years and her work reflects many hours of time and commitment to the art.
In addition to art, Mary is very devoted to growing a private garden. She spends many hours cultivating the soil, planting, pruning and nurturing her flowers. Not surprisingly either, she adds a degree in Ornamental Horticulture to her already impressive resume.
The Artist Mary Ahern with some of her Digital Paintings
Finding something that inspires is one of the most important steps for Mary as an artist. Mary states, “It is very important that I really like the subject that I choose because I spend so much time with it…
Mary’s clear dedication to her garden transpires into her devotion to her art. On Mary’s impressive and self designed website, you can visit her two blogs. One is devoted to art in general, touching on her visits to various locations, book reviews and her journey as an artist. Mary also has a blog devoted to gardening, in which she posts photographs of her beautiful plants as they grow and transform, and even shows the plants alongside her art that she has created in homage to the specific bloom…
If you would like to learn more about North Shoreian Artist Mary Ahern, her garden, her masterpieces or to purchase her work, visit her website: http://www.MaryAhernArtist.com
I was pleased to join an international group of digital artists at the inaugural exhibition of their brick-and-mortar gallery at MOCA, the Museum of Computer Art, in Brooklyn NY. The show was on display at this well lit and airy space located in Park Slope from Sept 2 – Sept 18, 2008. Though no longer there the amazing work of digital artists worldwide can still be seen at the MOCA online virtual gallery.
Don Archer & Mary Ahern at the inaugural exhibition of the MOCA:Museum of Computer Art
MOCA was established in 1993 by computer artists Don Archer and Bob Dodson to promote digital art in its various forms and manifestations, including 3-D rendered art, fractals, enhanced photography, animation, mixed media, computer-painted and -drawn art, etc. Many talented artists have given them access to their work, and what you see in their archives and exhibitions are some of the best work that they have solicited. Some of it may be of technical or historical interest, some of it may be innovative and unusual, and some of it may have potential (dare we say it) as high art.
As an online museum, MOCA is host to hundreds of world-class digital artists and thousands of their images, all available for viewing online. It is one of the most heavily-trafficked, comprehensive, frequently-updated and respected computer art museums on the Web. The goal is to keep abreast of the latest and best in digital art. Both beginning and advanced artists frequently visit the site, if only to see what the competition is doing.
Grape muscari, otherwise known as Grape Hyacinths live close to the ground. For years I never took much notice of them except for the little spots of brilliant purple that bounced so nicely against the bright yellow daffodils they bloomed along with in April.
Then I got down. Hands and knees down.
What a surprise! How intricate the little flowers are. Little bells dance around a central stem forming a small pyramid. This inflorescence changes shape as it ages and can be more and less tightly knit.
The individual purple doesn’t seem to change on each bell but the overall purple varies when viewed at a distance based upon the tightness of the overall flower.
I enjoyed these 4″ bulbs so much in my garden that I bought a bag of them from Costco one year and low and behold the next spring the flowers that bloomed were very different from my originals. They were more blue then purple and had a more rounded then pyramidal over shape.
So I googled Grape Muscari and found a world of cultivars I didn’t previously know existed. That’s one of the things that is so much fun about gardening. You are constantly in a learning mode. You are in for surprises every year and every season. The knowledge and information you acquire just keeps on growing, along with your garden.
So now I know that so far in my garden I have Muscari armeniacum and M. azureaum. Next year I’m sure to have more.
When I made my Digital Mixed Media Painting of my Grape Muscari I was careful to recreate the basal growth of the leaves. It would not have been accurate if I’d placed the leaves higher on the stem. The painting would have looked like a plant Frankenstein. As a Garden Artist, that is not what I’m trying to create.
You can view this Grape Muscari piece in my Store.
Isn’t that a fantastic name? Dicentra spectabilis. It just rolls out of your mouth in a lilting singsong kind of rhythm doesn’t it? I love to say it quietly under my breath as I walk around my woodland garden in May. Not too loud so as to scare the birds and the neighbors (and myself for that matter.)
I love their color pink. I have some white ones, , but the pink ones are just so luscious. They reseed very freely for me and I’m able to reposition the offspring into springtime vignettes.
Dicentra spectabilis close-up
When I bought this property in 1989 there was one plant of Dicentra native here and I’ve managed over time to spread the wealth around my own garden and also with other gardeners. What a treat!
I don’t mind that they die back in the summer because it gives me another planting opportunity but some of the holes they leave behind can be very BIG planting opportunities…all the more opportunity for creativity to kick in.
I made a Digital Mixed Media Painting, which I call, “Dicentra Necklace”. I think of these joyful little gems in my garden, decorating the light greens of spring with their pink heart shaped “jewelry”.
I have a number of varieties of White Daffodils growing in my garden but I don’t feel that I ever have enough. Since I am over run by squirrels I try to focus away from crocus and my beloved tulips. (After all, both my parents were born in Holland!) Squirrels consider the bulbs as an entrée and the flowers, if they arrive, as delectable garnish but they leave my daffodils alone.
The abundant shade in my garden causes challenges to many of my daffodil plantings but I still crave the color in early spring. One of the fun parts of designing gardens is figuring out how to hide the declining leaves on the daffodils as they absorb the chlorophyll for next year’s growth.
I’ve been known to hide them using daylilies, Siberian iris and ornamental grasses. I’ve stopped braiding the leaves since it seems so demeaning to their dignity.
I created a Digital Mixed Media Painting from one of these white daffodils. I love the way daffodil leaves have a slight twist to them. One of things I kept in mind when composing the piece is that the stem is offset where it enters the back of the flower, unlike a tulip which is a straight up vertical.
Another issue is making sure that I paint the shadows different from when the “light” hits the round stem vs. when it hits a flat leaf.
You can see this Single White Daffodil in my Store. I created various sizes for purchase. I think it has a rather heroic feel to the composition.
My garden is often the source material for my Digital Mixed Media Paintings. Though I am not a Photographer, I like to use my digital camera to record the progress and changes in my garden from day to day and year to year.
Springtime is such a hectic time since I’m always late uncovering the perennial beds. These jolly yellow daffodils came up in my entry garden and I was lucky enough to catch the early morning light behind them.
My entry garden is still in need of some tidying but putting the pansies into the pots and baskets takes my mind off the leaves from last fall.
Though I like to create gardens and like to create Fine Art using my garden, in the garden I get messy and dirty while my Botanical Art is clean and stylized.
This Digital Mixed Media Painting is a very popular piece that surprisingly sells all year long, not just in the spring as I would have imagined. People buy this Single Yellow Daffodil as an individual piece and also as a grouping along with some of my other daffodil Art Works. You can see them in my Store.