Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Memories" A Special Commission!

Memories, 20x16in. Oil on linen/ panel. Commissioned



Planted with care, a special cherry tree brought life to the space it inhabited. Every year delicate blooms awakened the space with cheer and visual appeal. Year after year it delighted its owner with an abundance of blooms. Finally, after many years there came a time for it to return to the earth.

Preserving its memory was the intention of the owner. Thus, that special tree was rebirthed artistically, creating lasting memories for those familiar with its natural beauty.

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald ©

This was a very special commission I completed for a wonderful collector and person. My collector named Clinton, planted this cherry tree in his backyard. It grew beautifully over the years and delighted his family with its gorgeous blooms. Finally after about 15 years, it became diseased and had to return to the earth. Missing his symbolic tree, Clinton asked if I would eternalize it artistically. It was an honor to paint this for him and his family.

During the creation of this painting, I included Clinton in the process by sending him photographs shot quickly in my studio while I was painting. It was fun including him in the development of "Memories" and he enjoyed watching his painting transform from loosely sketched beginnings to its finish. 

Stages of development while I worked on "Memories".

Clinton gave me permission to mention his name and share his story on facebook. I always like to respect my clients wishes regarding publication on social media. I appreciated his easy going manner and willingness to share his wonderful story online.

Here is the lovely message I received from Clinton, after I shared his painting and story. 
I love it when I can be of service to others by adding upliftment or stirring memories they cherish. 

" Debbie. Thanks for dropping off the painting today. It felt like Christmas as Lisa and I unwrapped the coverings ..... it was amazing. We are very pleased with your work and I am amazed at how you were able to capture a very special part of our lives. The title "Memories" sure does resonate with our family as that cherry tree was front and centre in all our family photos over the years.You truly are talented and I am hoping you are able to spend more time with your paintings now that you have officially retired from teaching. Thank you again for taking the time to help recreate a part of our lives that will be hung proudly in our house. All the Best!!"

Thanks for reading! 

“The earth has music for those who listen.” ~William Shakespeare

P.S. I am presently writing my next Ezine (online newsletter). If you are not subscribed you may do so here.  Love to have you join me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Study at Grant's Lake, N.S.

Study completed in Grant's Lake, Nova Scotia.

(Presently unavailable as I will be using it as reference for larger studio work. My reflection below was written on location.)

Coolness in the Air

The air has become cooler, even on sunny days. The sun's rays add appreciated warmth, while adding drama to autumn's palette. Strips of reflections in the lake mimic autumn's brilliance. Geese have gathered in the lake, milling about and honking noisily by times. They startle their visitor with loud flaps and abrupt noises.  Soon they will make their journey to warmer temperatures, returning once we have endured the long winter months. 

Autumn is marching along quickly, thus, every opportunity to capture her beauty must be taken.  Already leaves are floating continuously from their branches, drifting in the air before they float down to their destination. It won't be long and the landscape will be undressed, baring all its skeletal structure. Beauty will come from its basic structure and its ability to project calm within its simplicity. 

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald

It had been awhile since I had painted in Grant's Lake. I especially love painting the lake and its beautiful reflections. It is such a treat to view this location in the fall with all its brilliant colors. 

Ready to dive into my painting. 
Dressed in layers for the chilly morning.

I decided to paint a study which I could later use as reference for a larger studio painting. I jotted down color notes and any impressions I had of my subject. I also made mental notes regarding the areas that were in shadow and light. While painting my study I made mental decisions about what I would like to achieve in a larger work.

My subject earlier in the morning. See the leaf floating in the air?!

When I arrived in the morning it was quite cool, but as the day progressed it really warmed up. Typical of early autumn weather. What a surprise I received upon my arrival! Geese were gathered in sections all over the lake. They swam, honked, flapped their wings and flew in the air. Quite a busy lot for sure! They even startled me a few times while I was painting.

Artist and Subject together

As soon as I was setting up to paint, I realized I had forgotten the attachment needed to attach my pochade box onto my tripod. I quickly called home and luckily my son Brett was able to drive it out to me. Yay!! Brett also took a few pictures while he was visiting me. 

Having a good laugh with my son!

Beautiful reflection and branches in the lake.

The nice thing about being on location is that you often get to meet and chat with the local residents. Today I chatted with several locals and even had an invitation to paint the lake from someone's property. This will give me a whole different perspective on the lake. So nice of them to extend an invitation!

All and all, I had a great day on location and am looking forward to using my study and notes for further studio work. 


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Thursday, October 02, 2014

30 in 30 Challenge Collage and My Thoughts

Presenting my collage of all the paintings I completed in the 30 in 30 day painting challenge!

Miniatures in collage available Here.
Small Paintings in collage available Here.

Well my family and I made it through the 30 in 30 Day Painting Challenge! It was definitely a fast pace and the month is a bit of a blur. lol I definitely got more paintings completed than  if I hadn't been involved in the challenge.

 It was challenging due to the fact that I work from life, either at my home or by travelling to a location to paint En Plein Air. I did enjoy picking many of my botanical subjects from my gardens or while I was on my morning walks. It was also enjoyable painting during the beautiful month of September in some of my favorite painting locations.

Painting daily really creates momentum and muscle memory. It eliminates any hesitation artists experience sometimes, after taking long breaks in between paintings. I will continue to paint almost everyday, but not necessarily finish a painting a day. I enjoy being reflective and also tackling larger works which take longer than one day. 

It was not just the painting that took time in this challenge, but all the behind the scenes work. Just blogging, adding work to my website and adding a link to our host Leslie Saeta's blog took quite a bit of time. However, I am happy I participated. Now that I can work at my art full time, it made me realize how I can fit daily painting into my schedule. I realized that I really enjoy balance in my schedule, time to be reflective and time to explore new ideas. The insight that I gained from the challenge was very beneficial. It was also fun being a part of an "art movement" with such a large group of global artists. Great camaraderie! Many thanks go to Leslie Saeta for once again hosting this challenge.

I would like to especially thank my family for their patience and support during the challenge. Big thanks goes to my son Brett who took photographs of my work almost daily!
Thanks to all my followers who received my work via email, commented or liked my posts on facebook. Your support and cheering kept me going!

Next on my agenda is more painting and publishing my next ezine!


Quick Links:

Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions

Newsletter/Blog Posts sign up--Love to have you join me on my artistic journey!

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