Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Auction: "Ripening Tomatoes"

"Ripening Tomatoes", Oil on Linen, 6" x 8'

I usually like winter, but this year it seemed never-ending in the Northeast.  I'm ready to see a little green and to spend more time outdoors.  This painting is the first of my summer series.  Tomatoes ripening on the windowsill remind me of the wonderful tomatoes I used to eat during the summertime in Italy.  We picked them fresh from the garden and they were perfect with just a little salt and fresh olive oil.  If you would like to bid on this painting, click here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Oil Painting: "Grace"

"Grace", Oil on Panel, 28" x 36"

The large, graceful flowers of a  magnolia tree are a welcoming sight after a long, northeast winter.  I captured the transparency of sunlight shining through the flower petals by applying layers of glazes.  These thin layers of paint allow light to bounce off of the layers beneath, creating a wonderful allusion of transparency and movement.  This painting just won an award at the "Academic Artists Association:  64th Annual National Exhibition of Contemporary Realism."  If you would like to purchase this painting click here.  In the meantime, I'm working on small studies that I will put on auction.  My first painting will be posted this week. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gallery North Exhibit: Poetry and the Art of Eating

"Otto E Mezzo", Oil on Board, 9.5" x 14", 2014

My husband, Iacopo, and I will be participating in the Poetry and the Art of Eating Exhibit at Gallery North in Setauket, NY  that opens tomorrow, April 25th.  I painted a still life that conjures up images of weekend mornings when one might have time to leisurely read the paper over a cup of coffee.  The espresso cup has an image of Federico Fellini, the great Italian Director.  I received the espresso set as a gift from the sponsors of a photography exhibit of Federico Fellini at a gallery in NYC a couple of months before he passed away.  If you haven't seen the film, "8 1/2", you should.  It's very poetic, touching and artistic.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mounting Canvas to Board



I just finished preparing canvas boards for my small paintings.  Preparing them is relatively straight forward, but time consuming.  Professional-grade canvas boards can be bough ready-made from companies such as Sourcetek and Raymar, which can save the artist valuable time.

 I have a roll of oil-primed linen canvas that I use for my larger paintings, so I decided to use some of it to prepare boards for the studies that I would like to place for auction.  My husband cut 6" x 8" pieces of 1/4" birch plywood and sanded down the edges.  I cut 7" x 9" canvas pieces, which are one inch longer than the plywood on each side.  I cleaned the wood with mineral spirits and then applied an even layer of acid-free glue to the board with a flat paintbrush - common glues used for this purpose are Yes! and Miracle Muck.  Then I applied a thin layer of glue to the backside of the canvas and paced it on top of the board, making sure to remove all air bubbles by pressing the board with my hands in an outward motion.  Next, I turned the board face-down and put a heavy book on top and allowed the glue to set overnight.  The next day, I cut the excess canvas with a craft-knife and lightly sanded the edges with fine-tooth sandpaper.  Now I have a supply of rigid canvas boards that are easy to paint on and will hold up well in the mail. 

A step-by-step guide for mounting canvas to board can be found on the  Oil Painters of America website.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Melissa's Art Journal

I've wanted to start a blog for years.  So, I've finally taken the leap.  While I'm working on large-scale items for gallery shows and invitationals, I'll be working on smaller-scale items that I'll auction-off online.  I frequently meet potential clients who tell me that they love my work but don't have the money to invest in a piece.  These small paintings will give everyone a chance to make an affordable investment. 

My goal is to auction-off at least two paintings a week. This will be a challenge for me, because I rarely feel like a painting is "finished".  When my artwork is in my possession, I always find something that I can do better  - or believe I can do better.  Many times I should have let it be.