Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays

Whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish you peace and creativity. This prayer is available as a video you may enjoy listening to and watching, with Judy Collins and Richard Stoltzman:
If you like the image above, it is available on my website. I have two different images there with the same prayer.

We are celebrating the 8 days of Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah) now.  It is interesting to see the various spellings when taking a word from a different language (especially one with a different alphabet) and trying to put it into English. I've also had a good laugh this year seeing all the parodies available online with Chanukah prayers (some new/some old) set to popular music.

We will be having 10 for dinner tomorrow evening, some will be celebrating Chanukah for the first time.  I wrote a little poem thinking about that.

Chanukah – 2014

What brings us together on this holiday?
We come from many different places,
cultures and religions
but we have all settled in America.

My father came here 100 years ago from Minsk,
my mother’s family came from what is now Ukraine,
others at the table came from the Philippines
and still others were born in America,
but their families came from Poland and
other European countries.

Yet we gather here to light these Chanukah candles,
join in a festive meal, perhaps sing a little,
pray together a little and get to know each other.

What brings us together is love,
the respect we have for each other
and the love of our children for each other.
My hope at this time is that this love
will go out into the world
spread its sparks around
and help make a difference.

Chag Sameach.

©Linda H. Feinberg
(Chag Sameach is Hebrew for Happy Holiday)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Urban scene

I decided to try a sketch of an urban scene instead of my usual landscapes. I found that I didn't like this as much, probably because I find more inspiration in the trees, woods, mountains and lakes of my region (New England). When I travel, I tend to look for the same kind of scenery too.

Meanwhile, these buildings have stayed in my mind since 2006 when I was on a trip to Israel.  I found the apartment building in Tel Aviv interesting (photo below of actual building). I had taken a picture from the hotel balcony, so I was looking down at the scene. I was impressed with all the solar panels on the roofs of so many buildings in Israel. These are not as practical in our climate, but some people do have them (including my son).

I found that I do not have any desire to paint this scene, but I did enjoy sketching it in pen and ink (in pencil first).

We had a big storm here on Thanksgiving and lost power for two days. Brr.... It was very cold and we spent the third night at my son's house (he had power and heat). We were very thankful when we came home to find that the power was back on. I still like winter, but we do not have a fireplace or woodstove.  Several of our neighbors have purchased generators. Some photos below of my wintry neighborhood.

The snow was very heavy and broke some of the branches off the pine tree. We cleaned it up and now most of the snow has melted (until the next storm).

We have one more craft fair this weekend. I have been very disappointed with sales at fairs this year. I probably won't do many next year. I'm going to continue painting as I enjoy it, but I'll have to figure out another way to sell my artwork locally. My cards have been selling well on my website and I'll continue to post new work there as well. You can now buy cell phone covers and throw pillows with my designs directly from the website.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Big and Small

Waterfalls, Red Butte Garden (Utah)

I love visiting my daughter in Salt Lake City and walking around there, both in the city and in the parks. I think I have finally finished this painting. It took me quite a while since it is oil paint (Winsor & Newton Artisan, water mixable) and I had to let it dry for a while so I could continue doing some layers.  I'm starting to get a little more patient with this process.  This is the largest canvas I have worked on so far, 18" X 24" (stretched canvas), and I like working larger on some pieces. Red Butte Garden

Siesta Time

This painting is a lot smaller, 8" X 10" on canvas board. The calves were resting quietly at the farm I visited in Vermont. I guess they are used to seeing all the tourists and customers at the farm.  They were behind barbed wire, but I did not include that in my painting.  This is also water mixable oil paints.  It was my first time painting cows, but I have painted and sketched other animals before. You get see earlier versions of these two paintings in the previous posts.

Fall is finishing up here in New Hampshire.  While we still have leaves to rake up, snow is on its way. Meanwhile, Joe and I took a walk in a conservation area in nearby Londonderry, NH. I'm looking forward to the snow and getting out again on my cross country skis.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nancy's Fuchsias

I think this painting is finally done. I couldn't get a good photo of it, the greens kept coming out too garish even though I tried to fix them with Photoshop. I finally decided to use my scanner. That worked out much better and the colors look close to what they really are. (Full disclosure, I have cataracts and greens are a problem for me.)

The painting is 8" X 8", Winsor & Newton water mixable oils, on gallery wrapped canvas. I took suggestions from several other artists and I'm happy with it now. I posted it on my website and you can order cards or prints there.

I'm also playing with two other canvases, but they are not finished yet.  I started on the heifers this week (I had prepared the canvas board quite a while ago).  I think I'm going to call it siesta time when it's all done.  I don't like the red I used for the tags and I have already washed that off and will try a different red when I go back to working on this one.  This is my first time paintings cows, although I've done other animals.  The cows were resting behind barbed wire at the Four Corners Farm in Vermont.  I don't think I'll include the wire in the final painting.
I played with some different mixtures of paint for this one. I mixed burnt sienna with viridian for one mixture, then with cerulean blue for another.  I tried adding yellow ochre to some of the mixes too.

My waterfall painting is moving along nicely.  The addition of the tree branch in front helped push back the rest of the landscape.  I still have more to do on this one, but I like it better now.  Because I was trying out different painting techniques, I was getting very discouraged at first.  I am still learning how to manipulate the water mixable oil paint and sometimes get very frustrated, but I keep at it. This painting is based on a photo I took at Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City, Utah a few years ago.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nothing Finished

I started on this painting of fuchsia flowers a couple of weeks ago while painting with a friend in her studio. I brought it home, but did not make too much progress.
I worked on it a little more, but I am frustrated with the greens and need to go back to it. As usual, life provides many distractions and interruptions.  This is Winsor & Newton Artisan (water mixable) oils.  Yes, I am still struggling with learning to paint with oils.

Meanwhile, I took a set of 12 videos out of the library on Bob Ross and his style of painting. He was a wonderful presenter on PBS stations years ago.  While he is no longer around, his videos and books are still very useful.  I tried using his techniques on a large canvas (18" X 24"). I enjoyed spending the time and learned a few new things, but decided that this is not for me.  I like to have more of a relationship to a painting, not just some mountains, some clouds, some trees etc.  I am letting my canvas (photo below) dry and then I will go back and detail it with the way I usually paint.  His style of painting is wet on wet, with a layer of "Magic White" paint below so everything lightens up as you go down and moves around easily.

I used my own photos for practice. The basket of fuchsias was from a photo I took while visiting a friend in Vermont. I cropped in closer for my painting.  The waterfall scene is from a photo I took in Utah several years ago while at Red Butte Gardens.

For more information, or to see free videos on Bob Ross, just type his name into your search engine. You can also find recipes online to make your own Magic White, or you can buy his products online or at most art supply stores.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spooky Day

Last week I painted with another artist in my own studio.  I saw how she prepared her canvas with purples and I was immediately attracted to the color. I decided to use acrylic paint in analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel) for my background. I prepared a 16" X 20" canvas (photo below) and looked at it for a while.

After I studied my background, I thought about the upcoming holiday of Halloween. The undercolors suggested a landscape to me. I made a little drawing on a piece of paper, trying to make some kind of composition.  The top photo is the result. This is the first time I have tried just pulling an image out of my head, not from something I had actually seen.  I am happy with the result.

At the same painting session, I also watched my friend paint with a palette knife. I had a small canvas prepared and decided to do a painting of Frankenstein Cliffs with a view looking up from below, at the parking lot.  I gave away my larger painting of the cliffs to my son for his new house.  He liked all the greens in it. You can still buy a print or card of that image on my website.

I found it difficult to get any sort of detail with a palette knife and had to use a brush in a couple of places. This is a fun technique, but uses a great deal of pigment.  I used acrylic paints for this experiment. We hiked this trail last year, at the beginning of the fall. It's not a hike I would recommend as the trail was very poorly marked.

I am not taking any art classes now, but I am enjoying painting with other artists.  This is something new for me and gives me inspiration as I watch what they are doing.  It is a good learning experience.

I will be exhibiting my cards, prints and some originals this fall at several craft fairs. The events and dates are listed on my website calendar.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How about a kiss?

Mug Shot
The link above goes to my website where you can get more information about this image. I used water mixable oils (Winsor & Newton Artisan) on canvas board, 8" X 10".

I was visiting family in Mojave, California. I am not a rider, but I talk to the horses and pet them. This mare is very friendly and was looking for a kiss, or a carrot. I'm not sure which. I thought about titling the painting "How about a kiss?" She came right up to the camera. I thought this would be good practice for me as an example of foreshortening.

I started the painting with an underwash in raw sienna, then underpainting in acrylic (below). This helped me get the drawing and values in. (Similar to grisaille)

Then I did a layer of oil paint (below).

I let it dry and continued with another layer and touch ups of the oil (below).
I am still a little frustrated with the oil paint since it takes so long to dry. As I was trying to correct the sky, the brush removed some of the paint.  I had to let it dry for several days before attempting the correction again.  The final result is the first painting above, which I have titled "Mug Shot".

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Cloudy Day

Photography PrintsI

I decided it was time to do a panorama for a change.  I looked through my photos and was attracted to the clouds and this view so I cropped the original photo to fit into this format.  The painting is acrylic on 10" x 20" stretched canvas.  I wasn't going for detail, just an impression of the scene.  I'm happy with the results.

Antelope Island is on the Great Salt Lake (Utah) and my daughter took me for a tour one year when I was visiting her in Salt Lake City.  We enjoyed seeing the herds of bison and had to wait for them to cross the road. Then we toured the Fielding Garr ranch, which was where I took this photo with the mountains in the distance and the beautiful clouds.

Meanwhile, I did my first outdoor exhibit this past weekend, sharing a tent with artist Aline Lotter.  I do not have my own tent and racks so my husband and I helped her set up.  It was very cold in the morning when we started, but warmed up through the day. The art show was sponsored by Manchester Artists Association. After this experience, I do not think I will ever do an outdoor art show again.  It was exhausting and a very long day.  I am participating in 3 indoor craft shows in November and December, two will be new for me, one I've done for several years.  I think that's enough.  I enjoy networking with people, but I don't want to be in another business while I am retired.  I did sell some cards at this show, but did not sell any of my original paintings.

Aline Lotter does oil portraits, landscapes, animals, and nudes (photos below).  She is quite versatile and blogs almost weekly. Her blog is full of interesting details and instructions. Aline's blog

I met abstract artist Olivier Marcus at the exhibit and enjoyed talking to him. Unfortunately I did not take photos of his beautiful artwork, but you can see it at this link: Abstract Art

The Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, starts Wednesday evening at sunset.  The new year is 5775 on the Jewish calendar.  I wish all my readers a new year filled with joy, good health and peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Art In the Park

Coming soon, my first time doing an outdoor art exhibit. I am sharing a space with another artist. I'm nervous, but looking forward to this show. I'll be doing 3 indoor shows in the fall. I'll post that information next month.

If the print it too small for you to read, just click on the photo.  Children are welcome and encouraged to bring their artwork too.

Veterans Park is easy to find. It is across the street from the Radisson Hotel, one block north of the Verizon arena.  Parking is free on the side streets on Saturdays. If you park on Elm Street, you need to put money into the kiosks and get a ticket to display in your car window.  If you are hungry after you view the artwork, there are many excellent restaurants right on Elm Street and nearby.

If you would like to see more art, you can visit the Currier Museum which is less than 1 mile away from the park. A new exhibit will be starting on the same day: Escher

Thursday, August 28, 2014


What a difference a frame makes. I bought some float frames and just set my recent paintings in them to see how they look. Four Corners Farm (in Vermont) above, Connecticut River Valley below (looking from Vermont to mountains in New Hampshire).

These two oil paintings don't actually need to be framed as they are on stretched canvas and can just be wired to hang as is.  I am doing an exhibit on September 20th in Manchester (Art in the Park) through the Manchester Artists Association at Veterans Park.  I will be sharing a space with another artist who has all the materials (canopy, walls etc.).  This will be my first outdoor show and I am hoping to sell at least one original painting as well as some cards.  Presentation is important and I have to decide on which paintings to exhibit.

I'm calling this one Canyon Colors.  It is also an oil painting (water mixable) like the others above, but is on a panel, not a stretched canvas.  That means I would not be able to use the float frame, but I may have some other frames that are suitable.  I like the way it came out.  This was from a photo I took of a beautiful canyon at Yellowstone Park.

I did a small (5" X 7") study of an interesting house in Manchester.  It was good practice, but I'm not sure if I'll do a bigger painting of this or not. I enjoyed making a winter scene as I love winter and I'm glad summer is almost over. I'm looking forward to fall. We already had some fall colors on the trees here.

This is a work in progress, the last one I hope to work on with the oil paints for a while. I am ready to go back to the acrylic paints.  It will be a jetty (rocks that go out into the ocean) in winter.  The original photo was taken in winter on Cape Cod. It looks very abstract at the moment, but when the painting is finished it will be more realistic.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to painting

I worked more on the painting I had started when I was in Vermont (Four Corners Farm).  I really admire painters who can complete a painting outdoors in just a few hours.  I was happy puttering in my studio attempting to make the original painting look better.  I'm not sure it's done yet.

This is the view of the Connecticut River Valley from the Vermont side (the mountains are in New Hampshire). I think this needs a bit more work, but certainly looks better than my original that I posted a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile I have been compiling another poetry manuscript that I will be posting as an e-book ("Until the Angels Call"). My husband has done the initial proofreading and editing.  I have a couple of friends who are going to read it before I post it to Amazon.  I didn't realize I had so many poems to choose so it took me quite a while. I actually started this project in the spring, then put it away while we were traveling and took it out again in the last week or two.  I didn't feel like painting since I am having some health problems (the joys of aging!).

However, I am feeling better today and started an underpainting.  This is from the canyons in Yellowstone with all their beautiful colors.  All paintings on today's post are water mixable oils (Winsor & Newton Artisan) on 8" X 10" canvas.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sun-dappled creek

Sun-dappled creek, 8" X 10", water mixable oils (Winsor & Newton Artisan) on panel.  This was an experiment on a different surface for me.  I had taken a photo of this scene when we were out bicycling around Tower Hill Pond in Auburn/Candia, New Hampshire. (I'm never sure what side of the town border this pond is on). The pond is part of the watershed for our city's (Manchester, NH) water supply and feeds down to Lake Massabesic.  We have walked it many times and this summer we tried it by bicycle.

I found the surface a bit different from working on canvas and it was interesting.  I had to let the layers of oils dry for many days in between.  The first layer of the "creek" part looked really strange and not at all like water when I painted it.  The painting is a bit more impressionistic than my usual, but I was just trying to create an impression of the sunlight coming through the leaves and onto the water.  I really admire the painters who say they are painting the "light", but I haven't figured out how to do that myself.

My art group, Friends of Art Manchester, completed a 30' x 3' mural at 720 Union Street in Manchester (on the side of a laundromat).  This was my first time working on this scale and on brick.  It was the first time for several of the other artists.  I'm not sure I would want to work on this surface again, but my other artist friends are painting murals again and enjoying it.  I painted the hawks from photos I took in the winter while out walking in my neighborhood. No leaves on that tree then.

Friends of Art Manchester, mural at 720 Union Street, Manchester, NH

Linda Feinberg and Red Tailed Hawks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekend in Vermont

I had my first experience with plein air painting in Vermont this past weekend.  Just figuring out what to pack was interesting.  Anyway, I followed some instructions on DVD's and in books and I had enough supplies with me.  I stayed at the home of another artist and she guided me to the locations.

I found it very difficult to paint like this.  I was using water mixable oils which I am trying to get used to. I still prefer acrylics, but they dry very fast, especially in the summer, so I thought it would be better to experiment with oils.  I tried a farm scene with a barn on my first day. (Four Corners Farm, north of Bradford, Vermont)

On the second day I tried a mountain scene. This one was in Newbury, Vermont, overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. The mountains seen are in New Hampshire, on the other side of the river.  This was a little easier than the barn, but I still had difficulty with the colors.  I may try to finish these two paintings up in my studio later this week.

I did some sketching too.  That was more enjoyable for me.

I put up more photos in my web albums at this link: Weekend in Vermont