Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Last craft fair of the season

I decided to limit the number of fairs I did this year as I find they are a tremendous amount of work for very little return on my time. However, one fair I did was one that I am have been exhibiting at for several years. I see some of the same customers for my cards each time. It helps that I am sharing a table with my writer husband, Joe Smiga.

I made my first credit card sale. I used my Square card reader (which hooks onto a cell phone) and sold the painting on the upper right in the photo. These are the two mounted policemen at Veterans Park in downtown Manchester. A retired policeman bought the painting as an award gift to someone else who had been helpful in an advisory capacity to the police force and had recently retired. I was very happy that I decided to do this fair again.

Valor and General Stark -- you can see a better photo on my website and still buy cards and prints there.

I finished November Day, the painting I was working on in my last blog post and posted that to my website as well. It is the painting below Valor and General Stark in the photo above.  Tomorrow is my last painting class. I won't be taking another class in the next semester as we will be traveling again in March.  I'm looking forward to our trip to Ein Hod, Israel as I already know some of the other artists there (it is an artist village) and I will be trying some plein air (outdoor) painting while I am there. I will just make some small studies, take lots of photos, and hopefully paint some larger paintings when I return.  Meanwhile I am studying some modern Hebrew to try to refresh my memory although most people speak English there too.

More photos from the fair, we had a good location right in front of the post office, same as last year:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Acrylic vs. Oil Paint

November at Lake Massabesic.  I enjoyed walking with a friend along the Audubon trails through the woods to the lake. I took a few photos. Acrylic paint on gessoed board, 16" X 20".  This was an experiement on a Richeson hardwood board (panel), not on canvas. I used two coats of gesso and sanded in between.

I have to admit that I am getting a little frustrated learning how to use oil paint. I took a break this weekend and started a scene with acrylic paint. I still have a long way to go, but I didn't feel the level of frustration with waiting for a layer to dry before I could proceed. On the other hand, I missed the way the oils mix and their texture. I guess I'll continue to use both at different times. I have three more classes this semester. I won't be taking any painting classes during the winter since we will be traveling during the month of March, but I expect that I'll continue to paint. I have books and DVD's and a few good artist friends to inspire me.

This was play time for me. I used an old piece of Japanese Masa paper which wrinkles well, a brayer (a type of roller) and acrylic paint. I used a brush for the letters.

I have packaged up some of my cards for my next fair, Saturday, December 12th, 1000 Elm Street, Manchester, NH, 10-2.  I usually sell quite a few cards at this holiday market. I'll bring some small original paintings with me too. Last year I was happy to sell one of a very happy horse (Mug Shot).

I think this painting of Gregory and his mares is almost done. I'm not sure if I'll change anything before I call it "finished". It's always hard to know when a painting is finished. Gregory is a palomino Missouri Foxtrotter (good trail horse) who is a gelding, but he still watches out for the mares.  He lives in Mojave, California for now with family, but may be moving to Idaho next year.

Another example of not knowing if the painting is done. The small painting of the Canadian "Mounties" was done with oil paint and palette knife so the oil paint is very thick. I'm letting it dry and I'll think about it some more. Just a cute image from my trip last June. These mounties were guarding the gift shop at one of the tourist sites (to the glacier).

Thanksgiving was very enjoyable this year since I only had to cook a few things to bring with me. Next up is Chanukah on Sunday evening, Dec. 6th. I will be cooking for that one with help from my hubby and family. Happy Holidays to all. Merry Christmas to my Christian friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Craft Fair in December

I am only doing one local craft fair this year. My husband, author Joe Smiga ( and I will be sharing a table at the Intown Holiday Market fair on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The fair is at 1000 Elm Street, Manchester, NH and runs from 9:00 - 2:00 pm.  I will have some of my urban downtown Manchester paintings on exhibit along with cards and sets of cards that can be given as gifts (or used for yourself). Stop by and say hello.

Joe is having a good year and doing more fairs. He's finishing up his 8th novel now. I've read the first 35 chapters and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them. He has a very scary, but realistic, view of terrorism.  He will be happy to sign a book for you.  His events are listed on his web page:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fall in New Hampshire

The beautiful fall weather has been very distracting and I haven't thought much about writing. I've been enjoying walking on some of the trails I usually go cross country skiing on and I'm looking forward to snow.

This scene is one I had painted with a snowmobile in the winter.

The sled dogs need their exercise even without the snow. They were happy to be out on the trail too.

We took a long drive (over 2 hours) to the southwestern corner of New Hampshire, Chesterfield, NH, to see the Madame Sherri Forest. I'm not sure if I'll try painting this, but it was certainly interesting.

The trails were not well marked to we didn't walk there too long. That corner of the state also has Pisgah State Park which has well marked trails that we have enjoyed in the past.

And home sweet home. This is the view of my yard. Most of these leaves are down today and I'll be raking them up for a while.
I'm still working on some of my paintings in my class. I'm not happy with them yet. I'll post them when they are closer to being finished.

Monday, October 12, 2015

New oil painting class

"Crossing the Tracks" 

I'm back in school, taking another continuing ed oil painting class at New Hampshire Institute of Art. Last year I took Intermediate Oil Painting, this time I'm taking a class called "Explore, Exploit, Express" with Patrick McCay. Everyone is working on a their own project, in various media. It is quite interesting. The students are all on different learning levels too.

The painting above is from a scene in the millyard of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Almost all of the old millyard buildings have been rehabbed now and have a variety of businesses in them. In the past, they were used for manufacturing, using the waters of the Merrimack River to create electricity for the machinery.

This is a 9" X 12" oil painting on canvas board. I hope to finish it this week.

Since it is an exploratory class, I played with a scene from the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada and created a sci-fi image. I'm calling this one "Many Moons". This one is also 9" X 12" on canvas board.

I have leftover canvas from another project, so I decided to glue it onto a board (using gesso) and following some directions I found in a book.

Eventually there will be a waterfall on this painting. This is Gibbs Falls on the Crawford Path in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire.  The painting is 16" X 20" and I'll be working on it this week in class.  The upper left will have trees too. I'll post the painting as I progress with it.

I've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather and colors here. I've been walking, both with friends and on my own. Yesterday I went back to the Audubon trails by Lake Massabesic. I hadn't been there for a quite a while. It was quiet and peaceful. The leaves are not quite at peak color yet. I even saw a very small snake (maybe a brown snake). I'm not sure of what it was, but it's not a dangerous one. I love all the changing seasons in New Hampshire, but I think autumn is probably my favorite one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mother Love -- Rosh Hashanah 5776

watching the mother cuddling her toddler
brought back memories of my own children
now fully grown, one just married,
the others content with their lives

somehow a hug from a grown man
is not the same as reading a story
to a toddler on your lap
but I am proud to see my adult children
 leading their own successful lives
the phone calls, the texts, the e-mails
let me know of their love and caring
whether near or far

as I pray in the Chabad tent again this year
I am grateful for another year
another chance to fulfill my purpose
even though I’m not sure what it is
“Hineni” – I am here
although my prayer is very different
from the liturgical one
but year after year I continue
my monologue with the divine
knowing that I also have the divine
within me

©Linda H. Feinberg

Note: my poetry is still available on Amazon as inexpensive e-books. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rosh Hashanah 5776

The Jewish new year of 5776 starts at sunset on Sunday evening, September 13th.

The painting is one I did last year in my art class. It depicts the town of Tsfat (Safed) in Israel at sunset. The Hebrew words at the top are wishing you a good and sweet year.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Art in the Park

I will be sharing a booth with another artist. The show will be held in Merrimack this year.
September 26, 9:30 - 4:30
Abbie Griffin Park, 6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack, NH 03054

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Artist Interview

I was approached by Marietta Gregg, the Marketing Director of Patience Brewster and encouraged to write a blog post. I checked the site and saw Christmas ornaments. I thought that was a bit strange since I am Jewish and do not buy or use these items. However, I know I need to keep marketing to get my name and my artwork out there. I liked this quote from their blog:

 “Make the kind of work you love and believe in. It is all about showing up at your desk and picking up your pencil, paintbrush or piece of clay. Let the magic happen.

Then, if you want to share your work with the world, or if you want to sell it, you need to make it visible. The internet sure makes this much easier than it was back in the day.

Be ready to listen. Try to find a group of fellow artists you respect for honest criticism. It is great to get feedback that does not come from your closest friends.”

Here are the questions and my answers for the interview:

1. As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?
Answer: I am a “late bloomer”. I took my first art class when I was in my 50’s, a beginner drawing class. My children had all grown up, my bookkeeping business was running well and I decided to go back to school.  My husband encouraged me to try something new when I suggested I take another writing or poetry class.  We talked and I said that I always liked going to museums.  I was always interested in art, but this first class taught me to make good drawings on my own (not just cartoons). I have always been a creative person, but this was my first time with art supplies and art concepts. As a young woman, I expressed my creativity with cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening and playing the piano.

When I lived in the NYC area (1960’s), I enjoyed going to the museums and collections in Manhattan. I especially enjoyed the Frick Collection and I remember looking up at the interesting ceilings as well as looking at the paintings. 

2. As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?
I tend to paint from my photos with occasional plein air work.  I hope to convey a sense of place. Since I have retired I enjoy traveling and have done many paintings from Israel as well as the U.S., Canada and Costa Rica.  My husband and I enjoy hiking and I love to paint trails and mountains. The trails are a kind of metaphor for the journey that we are all on, the journey of life.  As a poet I create images and emotions with words. As an artist, I try to connect with the essence of the image aesthetically and spiritually. I also enjoy painting flowers and animals.

My website has “galleries” including some inspirational ones.

3. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
“If I don’t buy this today, I know I will regret it” – from a customer who purchased the original “Mug Shot” – an amusing close up painting of my daughter’s horse (an example of foreshortening) 

A buyer from Texas let me know how much my painting of Franconia Falls reminded her of hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her children when they were young. (Good memories).

A comment on my poetry collection: “Until the Angels Call”
“Poignant, centered and spiritual poetry by a word-craftswoman. These poems are up close and personal...poetry that reveals and sheds light on hope and life. Highly recommended. I read it on my iPhone kindle while flying to Iceland. The poems were a warm companion.”

4. What is your dream project?
I’m not sure I have one, but I enjoy putting words on many of my images and creating cards. I probably would enjoy illustrating some of my old poems at some time in the future.  Meanwhile my art group “Friends of Art Manchester” is looking for more walls to paint.  We have done several murals and I enjoyed taking part in that process.  I also did my largest painting to date, 4’ X 5’, as a project with this group for Webster House.

I would love to see more urban art in downtown Manchester and hope to participate in it.

I enjoy doing customized pieces and commissions and would like to do more of these.
I would like to have gallery representation at some point.

5. What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)
I admire the impressionists, but also like the plein air painters of New Hampshire. I follow several artists on Facebook including a group called “Quintessential New England: Paintings by Facebook Artists”. I also love to look at paintings of the west and the national parks. I continue to take art classes and I’m looking forward to my new class starting later this month. I hope to loosen up and learn to paint in a more “painterly” style.

I will be sharing a booth at the “Art in the Park” show in Merrimack, NH on September 26th.  I will post the detailed information on my blog and website soon.

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I am thinking about starting to go up to the mountains and hike again in September.  I decided to play with some of the images from my paintings and the verse from Emerson. I'm not sure which image I like best. The first painting shows the view from Mount Willard (2865 ft) in the Crawford Notch area. This was not a difficult hike and it is mostly inside the woods until you get out to the ledges and can see the magnificent view of the roads below and the presidential mountains in the distance. (White Mountains of New Hampshire)

Each image reminds me of a hike and how hard it is to go up, but the effort is always worth it. The second image was from a loop hike around Mounts Morgan and Percival.  This one was much harder and longer, but I was glad my daughter was with us and showed us how to climb over some of the boulders.  There were campers on top Mount Percival. The view was of the Squam Lakes in the distance. (Holderness area)

As I recall, this was not a difficult hike either. This third image is of Barrett Mountain in the Monadnocks area (southwestern New Hampshire). We couldn't really see Mount Monadnock from this site, but it was an enjoyable hike and we had a picnic on the rocks.

If you haven't had a chance to view my Fall Newsletter, you can click on the tab on the top right.  I think you will enjoy it.  As always, you can click on an image to enlarge it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finishing up the month of August

It has been a busy month, but I finished up two small paintings.
Spring Magnolias at Wagner Park

After a long winter, I rode my bike one spring day to this park. It's real name is "Wagner Park" but the locals also call it "Pretty Park".  Many artists go there for some plein air painting, sometimes with models.

I was more interested in the blossoms than the "temple" structure at the park. It felt good to be out and about without boots and winter clothes.

This painting is mixed media, as I started in acrylic, then finished in oils. It is 9" X 12" on Ampersand panel.  I enjoyed painting on the panel as a nice change from canvas.

Morning Glory

I also like to paint on a black background from time to time, especially flowers.  I used black gesso on a canvas board to start this one, but eventually had to add some black paint when I was finishing up.

I usually see blue morning glories in the summer, but this one I spotted on my walk was white with just a touch of color.  The vines were growing down from the fence post as well as around it.

8" X 10", oil painting on canvas board.

I'm not sure when I'll start back on the larger paintings, but I prepared a little color study with acrylic paint on canvas paper.  This one is not a real place, just a combination of images in my head, from sunsets to beaches, maybe a jetty sticking out into the ocean. I liked the colors.

I signed up for another oil painting class that starts next month. I'm hoping that will get me to loosen up a little bit. The class is called "Explore, Exploit, Express".  I liked the title and the description: A visual art studio course designed and developed to: “get your drawing and painting beyond the mundane and mechanical cliché!”  This is a link to the NHIA catalog.

Meanwhile I'm getting ready to celebrate the wedding of my middle son at the end of this month. It will be my first time as "mother of the groom" and I'm looking forward to dancing and celebrating. That will be a good way to end the month.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Traveling and Landscapes

I finished my painting from our June trip to Canada. Athabasca River, oil painting on stretched canvas, 16" X 20". My website now offers T shirts, tote bags and some other items as well as cards and prints. Fine Art America has partnered with to print these items.  This view of the river is right before the water falls. I loved the trip to the Canadian Rockies (Alberta) and will probably paint more views from my photos. (Click on image to enlarge)

Meanwhile, my son's band was playing on a boat in Portland, Maine. I had never done a harbor cruise before and this was great. I've been to Portland many times (great museum there as well as fine restaurants and interesting downtown), but just cruising around watching the boats, old forts, lighthouses was very enjoyable.

Portland Harbor is also an oil painting on 16" X 20" stretched canvas. I enjoyed working with these colors too, quite a change from the colors in the Athabasca River painting.  This is the first time I've attempted an oil painting of a harbor with boats. I liked the way it came out. I did a small acrylic study of the sailboat first (image below). Then I decided I liked it enough to attempt a larger painting, but I liked the full scene for the larger painting, not just the sailboat.

Portland Harbor study, 8" X 10", acrylic on canvas board. I find that I'm enjoying working with the water mixable oil paints more as I get used to them, but I still like the acrylics too. Many times I use the acrylic paints as an underpainting. That helps me with colors as well as composition.  In composing the scene for the larger harbor painting, I moved the small boat in front from my photo (using scissors and tape on my printout, not Photoshop!) and placed it off center. The original photo showed it too centered for me. I also print out my photos in black and white as well as color. That helps me both with composition and values (light/dark).

In between the serious paintings, I also played with paints, trying a night scene on paper.
Night Study, acrylic paint on Strathmore acrylic paper. This one just came out of my imagination and some views I had seen on the internet. While Manchester (NH, my home town) is on a river, it certainly doesn't look like this, day or night!  I liked the way the sky came out, but that's about it for this painting.

Then I tried a self portrait, using the water mixable oil paints again, this time on Arches Oil paper. The nice thing about doing a self portrait is that I could make myself look much younger. The hard thing was mixing the colors. I need to learn how to make shadows better with these paints. Anyway, it was a fun experiment and I learn something new each time I paint. I'm just posting a little clip of this one here as I really don't like the full portrait.

By coincidence, thinking about my last posting on titles, Jason Horejs posted a good video on the same topic recently.

I bought a used pochade box (portable paint box) from an artist friend. These are very expensive to buy new, but I wanted one for plein air painting (painting outside). I would like to practice a bit before our next trip to Israel (next year). We will be staying at Ein Hod (an artist's village) for a full month and I plan on painting outside, not just from photos. I definitely need more practice with that. I've tried it out in my studio, but not outdoors yet. Looking forward to that too.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Giving titles to paintings

Watching the Tourists, oil on canvas board, 8" X 10"

I felt that this little rodent was watching us just as we were busy snapping photos of him (or her). We were enjoying walking on the trails at Two Jack Lake in Alberta (Canada) on our trip to the Canadian Rockies last month. I took photos of various ground squirrels, chipmunks and other small rodents. I can't really identify which one this guy was, but I thought he was cute. (Then again, as an artist I also think iguanas are cute too.) I never know what to title my paintings, so I decided on a little bit of irony for this one.

I had difficulty making a good photo of my artwork.  The first few I tried had too much reflection on the pigments even though I was not using a flash. 

I also started another 16" X 20" oil painting from our last trip.  This view is of the Athabasca River just before the Athabasca Falls.  I'll continue working on it this week. I had some good photos of the falls, but I didn't feel like painting another waterfall this time (I've done those in the past).

I'm not sure what I'll tackle next, but I prepared another 8" X 10" canvas board with black gesso again since I liked the way that looked on the dahlias painting. I may experiment with it a little knowing that I can always cover up my messes or wipe them off.  That's the nice thing about painting, it's easy to fix mistakes.

Dahlias in My Garden, 8" X 10", oil on canvas board

I was happy with the way this painting turned out. I made some cards too and will be bringing some cards and prints with me to "Trolley Night" this week in downtown Manchester. I will have a few paintings on exhibit at the gallery across from Pappy's Pizza (1528 Elm Street, Manchester, NH). The free trolley runs from 5:00 to 8:00 around the downtown with interesting stops at various venues.

Monday, July 6, 2015

More painting progress

This is my first painting from the trip to the Canadian Rockies.  It is a view of Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks (in Banff, Alberta, Canada). I still struggle with composition and colors, but I'm happy with the way this came out. It was a magnificent view of the mountains and glaciers.  I hoped to give some sense of the massiveness of all those mountains.  As usual, it was hard deciding whether or not I was finished or if I would still do a little touching up, but I think this is done.

Oil painting, 16" x 20". You can buy a card or print here.

Meanwhile, I decided to do a couple of small panels.  These are not done, but I'm having fun with them.

This little guy seemed to be watching us. I'm going to continue working on the panel this week. I'm calling it "watching the tourists". Oil on canvas board, 8" X 10"

I planted dahlias for the first time this year in front of my house. I took a photo of the first one to open. I'll be working on this one and hope to finish it this week. I'm happy with the way it looks so far. Oil on canvas board, 8" X 10".  The background is black gesso. I think I'm going to leave it that way as I like the way it sets off the flower and leaves.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Canadian Rockies

I took hundreds of photos on our trip to the Canadian Rockies (Calgary, Banff, Jasper etc.). Photo above was taken in Jasper, across the street from our bungalows. The female elk (wapiti) are called cows, the babies are called calves.

It's hard to believe that some people do not know how dangerous it is to approach wild animals. I guess they think they are like the ones on the television. Anyway, we saw bear (safely from the bus), deer, elk, chipmunks, ground squirrels and other rodents.

I took too many pictures of the glaciers, mountains and lake to post here, but if you have the time and patience, you might enjoy viewing them. Here is a link. Linda's photos of the Canadian Rockies.

I forgot to post my last painting before I went on vacation, so here it is:


And finally, a new profile picture:
I loved the different colors on the lakes there. Some interesting greens (from glacial silt), some bright blues. I'm having difficulty decided which image to paint first!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Back to acrylics

In the Grand Tetons, 16" X 20", acrylic on stretched canvas.

I think this is done now. I haven't put it up on my website (so no link yet) because I'm still thinking about it. After working with the oil paints for my 12 week class, I found it a little strange to go back to acrylics. I really enjoy the quick drying time, but at the same time, I liked the ability of the oil paints to last longer and mix better. I will probably continue to experiment with both media. I will definitely use the oil paints if I do any more outside painting (plein air). I hope to do some of that during the summer.

Meanwhile I started another urban painting from my photo of Manchester (NH)'s downtown scene.  I think I am going to continue in monochrome instead of following the colors in the photo. I like the way this looks so far. This is also acrylic paint, but 8" X 10".

I found simplifying all the details in a city scene quite complicated. I will have some people walking on the sidewalk in the finished painting, but I'm definitely leaving some details out.  I'm enjoying working on this one.

I am heading out to more mountains soon, so the next post will probably have photos instead of paintings. I hope to have some time to work more on the urban scene before I leave.   I'm enjoying the spring weather (although it's very changeable from day to day in New Hampshire). Here is a little photo from yesterday's walk around the pond.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Back to School, Final

By the Sea, 16" X 20", oil on stretched canvas. I finally finished this painting that I had started in my oil painting class.  I really enjoy seeing the different colors in the oceans and seas when we travel. They are very different than the colors of the Atlantic Ocean as seen along the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. This scene was of the Mediterranean Sea from Caesaria, Israel.  I had taken photos when we traveled there. I had made a very abstract painting of this scene on Yupo paper years ago and decided to do something more realistic this time.  We hope to go back to Israel in 2016.

Meanwhile, I was tired of painting with oils and did a gouache, pen and ink painting (see last post). Then I gesso'ed a hardbord panel and painted some day lilies in acrylic, but in an oriental style, not a realistic one. I have painted these before too, but with watercolor.

Day Lilies 3, acrylic on hardbord, 9" X 12". You can see the earlier painting and this one on my website. I think it was a good break to switch off from doing the complicated realistic oil paintings and just play with other materials.

After that I assembled another canvas using stretcher bars (with primed canvas I had in stock). I have decided that it is not worthwhile to do this. It's easier to buy the canvases already mounted. I had difficulty getting the canvas squared up properly. Anyway, I started an underpainting with acrylics, of the Grand Tetons. I did a sketch first to change the composition around a little from my photo (which I had already cropped).  I blocked in the shapes and now I need to decide whether to proceed with acrylics or oils. I might do this one in acrylics and a second one later on in oils.  I love the way the oils blend and spread, but I get frustrated with the long drying time. Decisions, decisions. . .

This is the first block in. The final composition will probably be a bit different.