About Me

My photo
Paramus, New Jersey, United States
No, this in not a blog about gardening in any way, but a journal of my journey to become a professional landscape painting artist. For years, I’ve given my paintings as wedding gifts without thinking of profiting in some way from it. I worked for 18 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC as a computer programmer. I have been a painter since 1990, coincidentally, when I started working at the Met. I watched Bob Ross do his thing on Channel 13 in New York and decided I could do this, too. I have no formal training. I incorporate Bob's wet-on-wet technique for sky and water. My subject matter is covered bridges, lighthouses, fishing village scenes, barns, etc. Maine, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Nova Scotia and Spain are some of the places I have painted. My style is detailed and sometimes people think a photo of the painting is an actual photo of the scene. I hope to continue and grow in this medium. I also like to cook & dance. I am also a committed Christian. I am taking commissions - painting your landscapes style photos or your vacation home. Prices on request. contact me - Jackmck@juno.com my website is www.artofjackmckenzie.com

Friday, December 30, 2011

January Library Show - Cresskill, NJ

My library art show for the month of January is at the Cresskill, NJ public library.It will begin January 2nd. Cresskill is a nice quiet little town in the Northeast section of Bergen County NJ. The area the paintings will be displayed is out in the open (not a community room in the back somewhere) and right by the front door. Check the "Art Show" banner on top of the blog for the library's web site.

I've been doing these library shows for a year with minimal results in terms of sales (1 painting), but alot in terms of good reviews from people seeing them in the library. With the new websites by Yola and Vistprint (maybe Fineartamerica soon) maybe something will start to happen soon.
I will be posting pics of the library show setup next week.

quote - + I am out to introduce a psychic shock into my painting, one that is always motivated by pictorial reasoning: that is to say, a fourth dimension. Marc Chagall

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Check out my other website - from Yola

As with Vistprint, I forgot I had signed up for a website from Yola. Its a work in progress right now, but I hope you will check in from time to time. For the "store" section I am directing people to my blog merchandising section (www.landscapesbyjack.blogspot.com) but will set up links to my Zazzle site, just click the picture. There is a link on the right side of this blog to the Yola site.


Quote: Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. Camille Pissarro

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here's a picture of an old painting of the Jersey Shore - "No Room On The Fence"

Every once in a while, I come across pictures I took of old paintings that I have no idea where they are. I had an album of all these old pics, but lost it.
This one is called "No Room On The Fence". I gave it to someone for a wedding gift and forget who that was.

Its a painting of a hurricane fence protecting a dune on the New jersey Shore somewhere, probably Island Beach State Park, since that was my friend's favorite beach to go to. We'd be there during the day and then head north to Seaside Heights for the boardwalk or head to Point Pleseant for the Lobster Shanty.

As I find more of these I will post them and maybe find out who has them.

Quote: No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 16, 2011

I finally have a website (from Vistaprint)

For the past year that I've trying to make a few bucks from my talent for painting, I've been relying on my blog, with dismal results. So, I've been looking around at different sites that offer do-it-yourself websites. They are not as elegant as professional site makers, but with limited resources, it will do for now.

I went on Vistaprint and discovered I had signed up for a site with them a year ago and with a great name, www.artofjackmckenzie.com. It seems from the statistics page I've had a bit of traffic, but since there was not much on it, nothing happened. Forgot I had done this.

Well, Ive been busy making up for lost time! Please visit it and check out what I've done. Its a work in progress. I've added the link to it on the right hand column. Comments will be appreciated!

Quote: To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist. ~Schumann

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Selling my paintings on a new site - Yessy

I've added Yessy to the site where my art can be found and bought. I showing the link here but it will also be in my merchandising section. Check it out


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Great Christmas gifts from Intricate Creations LLC

My friend's son is a scuplture who has created a nice collection of Christmas oriented decorations, including manger scenes, bears and stockings. Check out his website at -


Friday, December 2, 2011

My West Elm + Etsy Holiday Show experience

The West Elm + Etsy event was an honor to be chosen for, but in the end got no sales, but a lot of good comments on my paintings.

This appears to have been their first try at this in NJ. Its been elsewhere (Totonto, Austin) and the first time doing this event nationwide at the same time. One of the sellers mentioned she had a friend doing this at the Scaramento store. The two Etsy reps Banard and Lowe, had no idea that the store was on a busy highways and not a mall. They came from the New York office by bus, which dropped them off ½ a mile from the store and they had to walk up Rt 17 to get there (near Trader Joes). We all agreed it was a learning experience for them and a Saturday afternoon would have been better than a Thursday night. I found out they had not done any local advertising, just to mailings to West Elm customers. I had checked the Paramus.Patch on Thursday morning and, not finding it, I put it in the events section. Nothing in the Record or other papers.
Most of the people there were friends and family and some customers.
Joining me were Honizukle Press – hand made cards
Banjo and Bone – Jewelry
The Knit Garden – knit products
Sherry Truit – hand made jewelry
Their Etsy addresses and below
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Honizukle http://www.etsy.com/shop/BANJOandBONE?section_id=7912851 http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheKnitGarden http://www.etsy.com/shop/sherrytruitt
We all got along great

It seems the Paramus store had more displayers lined up, but several dropped out. They prevailed upon Sherry Truitt who lives near Philly and was supposed to be in the Princeton store to come up to Paramus. Nice trip for her, but she has healthy on-line business, too.

The store and Etsy people were very accomodating and helped in everyway they could, helping us find all the display elements we needed. They gave us tables right by the entrance but another part of this was the Christmas ornament making table and that was in another part of the store with the event sign, which was not a good idea. Every thing should have been centralized. They did I said this but got nowhere. They did make us individual signs for our shop to our order. I had mine say “Jack Mckenzie Art – Providing you with a VISUAL vacation”

The pictures from all the other stores show some pretty good food laid out, but we had some mini muffins and water. They talked about getting pizza, but that never happened. I went over to the Starbucks next door and got a bagel.

The event as listed to end at 9pm but the store usually closes at 8. There was a gurad at the door who locked the door at 8 and was supposed to ask the people if they were there for the Etsy event, but did not. Do that. They should have kept the doors open. Again I asked about this and got multiple answers and things stayed the way they were.

As the old quote goes “If it weren’t for the honor of the thing..” I have mixed emotions about being there It was an honor to be picked to come, but disappointed with the results. Helps to get all those nice comments about my paintings, but… I told Barnard that I was on Etsy for less than a year and seemed surprised but pleased they would pick me. I have posted the photo-stream on my blog on one of the top bars of the blog next to the Cliffside Park Library pictures, so check them out. Thanks to Tom and Denise Frawley and Denise Navas Cericola for showing up for support.
I sure with the info they got on this, the next one will be much better

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comments from George the Janitor at Cliffside Park Library

So, today is that last day of my Cliffside Park Library display. I usually leave a comment book and got some nice comments, but no sales. The head librarian mentioned that many poeple made positive comments to her about them, but of course no sales.
As I'm lugging my paintings to the car, there's a couple of maintenance guys working on something and one of them, George, call out to me and starts giving a very positive critique of my work. He especially liked by blue (ocean) and pink (Central Park) paintings (see examples below). He said for him, they reached across the room and grabbed him. His final comment was, someday people will find you and realize what great stuff you do.
Nice to hear.
Tomorrow, the West Elm / Etsy event.

Quote: The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel. Piet Mondrian

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My muse has taken a vacation

The painting flow seems to have stopped, temporarily I hope. The paintings were just pouring out of me for almost a year, but the flood is stopped up. Maybe the West Elm / Etsy event will turn it back on. We will see!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More on the West Elm / Etsy Holiday Market on Dec 1st (Paramus)

This event is coming up quickly and They just sent me the event poster and the link to the Facebook page. I also found the mention of this eevnt in Boston in the Backby.patch. One wrinkle in the ointment for me is that my church scheduled a very important special meeting on that day, so my friends from 1st Baptist Hackensack won't be able to be there.
So don't know it I'll be selling anything, but it wil be a step up in my art career and I will get to meet some more fellow artists.

Etsy link

FB Link

Boston event listing

Quote: The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery - Francis Bacon

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My new Zazzle store - Bagsbyjackmck

The online merchandising site Zazzle has a new line of bags and I've created a store for those bags with images of my paintings on them. Here's the link and I will post it on the merchandising area on top of the blog. I wish I could post a picture of a bag, but can't.


Quote: One of the best things about paintings is their silence - which prompts reflection and random reverie. ~Mark Stevens

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today is 11/11/11 & Veterans day.

1st Veterans Day - I want to honor my mother - Evelyn Machold Mckenzie - who was in WWII as a captain in the Nurses corp with Pattons Third Army as they dove into the heart of Nazism. She worked 36 hours during the Battle of the Bulge and was almost sent to the Pacific to be part of the Invasion of Japan, but The Bomb stopped that. We have all her equipment. My brother uses her foot locker as a coffee table and I have her helment and mess kit.

Now to 11/11/11. Chinese call it Single Day. Spinal Tap fans call it Nigel Tufnel day because he was always turning his equipment up to 11. There are some who see cosmic significance in that 3 11's look like 3 doors to give you more possibility of success, sort of like a cosmic Price is Right. eThere are Mayan Calendar references but one of the oddest is National Corduroy Day. Check this New Yorker Article.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

I've been chosen to be part of an Etsy/West Elm store art show Dec 1st in Paramus

This is a really big deal and shows my art work is getting noticed. Etsy is a online art store for all kinds of items, including my paintings. West Elm is an artsy kind of furnishings store and they are collaborating for a series of Holiday art shows in the West Elm stores. I am including the emails sent to me so you can get the full idea of whats going on. There is a link to a Picasa album of a similar event in Toronto.
As I say with long posts, get a cup of tea and a piece of cake and have a great read!

I've got some exciting news about an upcoming national holiday event from Etsy's Marketing team. We've been working closely with West Elm (www.westelm.com) on a few projects, one of which being a one-day holiday event showcasing local Etsy sellers in each one of their 37 stores. Along with several Etsy artists selling their wares in each store, a local Etsy Team will be leading a holiday craft which benefits a local charity.

Your shop was hand selected by Etsy and Paramus's West Elm as a great fit for the collaboration if you are interested. We'd like to introduce more folks in Paramus to Etsy, and your shop is a great example that showcases the talent, and local to boot!

The event would be very similar to a craft show or gallery opening set up, completely hosted, and catered by West Elm. The location you're invited to participate in is the West Elm Paramus store at 380 Route 17 NParamus, NJ 07652. It would be free (no fees) for you to attend, set up, and sell your wares during the event under your own Etsy shop name. You would be responsible for all transactions and all of the sales would go to you. It's a great promotional opportunity we hope you'll consider.

The date for the event is Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6-9 p.m. If you are interested and think you can make it, please let me know as soon as you can or before Monday, Oct. 31. We'll be sending the list of vendors (who responded with interest) back to your local West Elm store so they can get in touch directly (within a week) with additional info and answer any questions you may have.

Please take a look at these photos from the Etsy pop-up event at West Elm's Toronto location, to get a feel for the event (*note: this was not a holiday event, but set-up will be similar):

Thanks for your consideration and please let me know if you're interested in participating! When responding to this email, please include your shop name.



More info from west elm:

Event Details
* Date: Thursday, Dec. 1
* Time: 6-9 p.m.

* Location: Your local West Elm store (see address above)

Store Set Up
You will be assigned a designated area within the store to sell your product during the event. We would prefer to have you use the items that are available in the store rather than have you bring in outside furniture, but we understand that some items may be necessary for display purposes (glass case, jewelry holders, easels, etc.). When you arrive to the store for the event, you’ll have an opportunity to borrow any of west elm’s visual props and merchandise for display (frames, baskets, trays, etc.)

Event Load In
We need vendors to arrive one to two hours prior to the event start time of 6 p.m. and be prepared for the event to last longer than the anticipated stop time of 9 p.m. All breakdown and clean up of your station must take place once the party is officially over and all product must be removed from the store immediately following the event.

Selling Merchandise
Each vendor is responsible for all transactions made during the event. west elm will not be handling any aspect of the sale of your goods during the event. In the past events, some sellers have brought gadgets to process credit cards, such as the Square, in addition to accepting cash. Please note this is not required, and whatever methods of payment you accept is up to you.

We also recommend bringing a friend to help throughout the event, in case it gets busy!

We will provide a framed sign of your Etsy shop URL (shopname.etsy.com) to display with your goods. Each vendor is responsible for additional signage about your Etsy shop and product that will be on display during the event. Please note that since this feature is a result of our partnership with Etsy, we require that you promote your Etsy shop, and not a personal website. Thanks for understanding!

Both west elm and Etsy will be promoting this event to their communities. We encourage you to also promote your participation in this event and will send you the invitation to share with your friends.

On behalf of west elm and Etsy, we are so excited to have you be a part of the Handmade Holiday Workshop and Mini-Market on December 1st at your local west elm store! Thank you in advance for participating in what we hope will be a fun and festive event for the local community.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Painting - The Wawatam Lighthouse in St Ignace Michigan

I painted this from a photo a friend (Ken Macgilvary) posted on Facebook. Its one of the newer lighthouses along the Straits og Mackinac in Michigan. More scenic than historic.

Ive included the a website for the lighthouse


Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Library Show - Cliffside Park, New Jersey

Well, another month another library show in an attempt to get my artistic name out there. This month its the Cliffside Park Library. They have a really nice setup. The display area is not in some room that you have to know about to get there, but in the area to the left as you go in the main door. There are wall displays, but most of it is on very nice metal easels on top of chest high book cases, by the windows and in a reading area. There is a table in the middle and when I was setting up ther was a knitting club knitting away.

Please check the links above this post to see the pictures and the library's website. Here's a picture of the library

Quote: The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
Francis Bacon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recipes for the feeding of a Starving Artist - Butternut Squash Risotto

One of my favorite foods is butternut squash ANYTHING. This recipe looks marvelous! Saw this in The Record (a North Jersey newspaper) from a book "Cook This Now" by Melissa Clark and fell in love. I'm posting the recipe and the link. The article is a worthwhile read.

In “Cook This Now,” Melissa Clark suggests shredding the butternut squash, making it melt into the risotto. I wanted a different texture, so cut it into small cubes.
½ pound peeled butternut squash
About 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
2 rosemary branches
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/3 cup dry white wine
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped salted pistachios
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

In a food processor fitted with a fine grating attachment, shred the squash (Or use a box grater, but it will be harder to do. You could also just cut it into small cubes; it won’t dissolve into a sauce but will be differently pleasing.)

In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Melt the butter in a large skillet or heavy-bottomed, wide pot over medium heat. Add the leek slices and cook, stirring them occasionally, until they are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook it until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, squash, rosemary and salt. Stir until most of the grains of rice appear semi-translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. This means they have absorbed some of the fat from the pan, which will help keep the grains separate from each other as they form their creamy sauce.

Pour the wine into the pan and let it cook off for about 2 minutes. Add a ladleful of stock (about ½ cup) and cook, stirring it constantly and making sure to scrape around the sides, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Continue adding stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring almost constantly until the risotto has turned creamy and thick, and the grains of rice are tender with a bit of bite, 25 to 30 minutes (you may not need all the stock). Pluck out the rosemary branches and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice if needed. Garnish with the pistachios and optional cheese before serving.

Serves: 4 to 6


Quote: “Happy and successful cooking doesn't rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life.”
Georges Blanc, Ma Cuisine des Saisons

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interesting statue - The Tripping Policeman

I came across this on something Lori McNee posted on her Fine Art Tips FB page showing 10 unusual sculpture. Love this one, The Tripping Policeman, the rest were more in the soft porn realm. The link to the picture is below.


Quote: I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Painting - Barn in Fall - Warwick NY.

I love riding th back roads of rural areas and finding interesting barns and other things. This one I came across on the back roads of Warwick, New York. Love the multi-level construction, almost like an architectual waterfall. As usual, the image of this painting will be available on different products from Zazzle, Fineartamerica and other sites. Visit the Merchandising area of this blog

Quote: The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it. Gustave Courbet

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Painting - Neil's Harbor and Lighthouse - Nova Scotia

One of my favorite places is Nova Scotia. Its full of wonderful fishing harbor scenes and lighthouses and other great scenery.Did I mention also the great seafood, too? It's also a rather Scottish place,especialy in Cape Breton. I was staying in Baddeck and heard bagpipes coming across the Bras D'or. I have friends who love going there, too, so I get to use their pictures in paintings. This painting is from a photo by Joe Madsen.

This painting is of Neil's Harbor and Lighthouse in Cape Breton. A small but picturesque fishing village with some great seafood houses to get a good meal!
I added this to my Mugsbyjack store, so check it out in my Merchandising section above this post!

Quote: Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion. Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New painting - Anchor on Panel - a "commission" from my 12 year old nephew

I've mentioned that I will do commissions of favorite landscapes style photos. My sister-in-law sent me the following picture, saying my 12 year old nephew wanted a painting of it.

Its not quite a landscape painting, ut its hard to refuse a request from family, so I did. It will be his Christmas present. I'm sure I will be getting "commissions" from his brother and sister (10yrs and 8yrs) soon. Heres the painting.

Quote: Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion. Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New picture of old painting - the Ashuelot Covered Bridge in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is full of covered bridges and this is the Ashuelot bridge in Winchester Vermont. I painted it in 2003 & I never had a really good picture of this until now.

In the past I gave away my paintings and neglected to keep track of who I gave them to. My years working at the Met Museum gave me an appreciation for the history of each painting. This one I gave to my church's Christian School as an auction item to raise money for the school. At the auction, two of my friends, who did not know each other, began a brief bidding war. The painting went for about 75 dollars. After the auction, the winner moved and the painting was lost in the boxes and I forgot which painting it was. It was recently unboxed and the owner gave it to me for one of my exhibitions.

Quote: There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun. - Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Accepting commissions - I will do a painting of your vacation house - check example

I think I've mentioned before that several friends have suggested I do painting of either peoples primary houses or their vacation homes. Well here is an example of a painting I did of a relative's vacation-now-primary home on Lake Pleasant in Speculator New York in the Adirondack Park area.

I am accepting commissions to do a painting of your primary or vacation home. the basic procedure is to email me several photos of the house and I will begin work on it. My fee for this is (as of now) 250 dollars. I have no idea what the market for this is, so we shall see. Hope to hear from you!

quote: An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.
James McNeill Whistler

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Pascack Art Association Member's show - I have 3 paintings in it.

The PAA's Members show is open at the Hawthorne, NJ library. They are having a reception and judging on Sat, but I will be out of town. Here's the NorthJersey.com link to it


and my Flickr slide show of the setup

My three paintings are 1) Fishing Boats - Tarifa Spain 2) Tire Swing in Winter - Maine & 3) Cherry Trees - The Sketcher

Quote: Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known. Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 30, 2011

Recipes for the feeding of a starving artist - F&W's Mushroom slideshow

I am a huge fan of mushrooms. I put them on my salad, I've made mushroom soup and put them in my chicken recipes. One of my favorite recipe sites to check in on is Foodandwine.com. Today I found this mushroom recipe slide show with some pretty interesting stuff. a few soups and a goat cheese stuffed mushroom. For some reason I'm taken by this corn and shitake fritter recipe. So here's the link. Check it out!


Quote: "The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living"
Dione Lucas

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Items in Cafepress for my Fishing Boats - Tarifa Spain & Cherry Tree Painter

I've mentioned here how tedious loading Cafepress items can be, but it is getting easier. Today, I loaded two images of my paintins: Fishing Boats - Tarifa Spain painting and my Cherry Trees - The Painter. There's bags, cards, tiles, eletronic gear covers, etc. A new thing is a calendar where I can display one painting for each month which I need to set up. Please visit. Here's the paintings and the Cafepress link, which is also found in my merchandising section.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

THe Pascack Art Association October Art show

The Pascack Art Association is having a show at the Hawthorne Library in October. I'm entering 3 of my best paintings, which I have to deduct from the Park Ridge Library Show. The three are 1) Fishing Boats -Tarifa Spain 2) Tire Swing in Winter- Maine 3) Cherry Trees - The Sketcher. I will be away at my brother's farm in Maine when they have the reception on the 16th, but its good to enter anyway! I will post more on this soon

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New painting - Taftsville Covered Bridge in Vermont

I love covered bridges (I think I've said that a few times in this space). One of my favorite is the Taftsville Covered Bridge in Woodstock Vermont. Its one of those with an added scenic feature, a manmade waterfall to power equipment. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, it was buffeted by propane canisters that were being swept along by the river. It survived, but is in need of some tender loving care.
This is the fourth painting I've done of this bridge. One of my earlist paintings that looked like anything at all was of this one.
Here's the first and the fourth

quote: Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do. ~Edgar Degas

Monday, September 19, 2011

another Artist's painting to check out - Niki Gulley's Culmination

I check thru the blogs I follow and see lots of interesting paintings and photos. Some I really like and spotlight here. Check out Niki Gulley's "Culmination". It is a triptych or 3 paintings showing one scene. She was inspired by a trip to Giverny Gardens in France (Monet's old stomping grounds) Beautiful!


Quote: Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.
Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Interesting Article - From Lori McNee - Marketing Your Digital Art: Watermark or not

Access to the images we put on the internet is a huge issue. Is it worth the effort to copyright or watermark? Its a huge controvery for artists of all kinds who what to share their work but get paid for it also. We visual artists post with watermarks. Lori McNee posted this article by Mariana Ashley her Fine Art Tips FB page that come down on the side of not watermarking images. Check it out. You'll find links to Mariana in ther article.


Quote: Great art picks up where nature ends. ~Marc Chagall

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Painting - Peggy's Cove Outhouse

I troll various photo sites looking for interesting photos to paint. This one is from the Flickr account of "Glorious Vintage". I find the picture and then email permission to paint it and ask for the pic to be emailed to me. GV was more than happy to do so. There is another picture I will be painting of a derelict boat and a few fishing boats near a large shed.

This one is an outhouse along the shore of Peggy's Cove Harbor on a slightly foggy day in Nova Scotia. Please visit my merchandising section to purchase items based on this image. The painting itself is 200 dollars. All my paintings are 11" x 14".

Quote: Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
Winston Churchill

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sold - Peggy's Cove Harbor painting

I just sold my second painting - Peggy's Cove Harbor to Art and Dottie Meloy (both in their 90s) from my home church - First Baptist Hackesack. They called & asked if I could take them to see my exhibit at Park Ridge, which I did.
They were torn between several, but bought the Peggy's Cove Harbor painting.
Its 11 x 14 on canvas board, as are all my paintings, for 200 dollars.
Here's the painting and the happy new owners.

Quote: Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Yorker cartoon - Nothing By You (but....)

I am a big fan of the New Yorker magazine and I when saw this carton, I decided a I had to post it when my next Library show came about. I used to work at the Met and I have displayed them in the employee art shows, but never publicly. Here it is and my comment -
Maybe not today (after all, I am tied up at the Park Ridge Library, but tomorrow.....???)

Quote: The artist should open the eyes of the viewer to overlooked beauty that is sometimes right in front of us. (Kenn Backhaus)

New Art Show for Sept/Oct - The Park Ridge Public Library in New Jersey

After an August break, I have a new public Library show in The Park Ridge Library in New Jersey. the address is 51 Park Ave, Park Ridge New Jersey.
Its in the same building as the Boro Hall and entrance is in the back. The majority of the paintings are in the common hallway that the two facilities share & is outside the library. Good for when the boro hall is open and the library closed. There is also what's called the Mystery Room where there are 5 paintings now, but as I produce more (got three in the works now) I will put them in there. They will be doing some pretty good publicity for me, so I'm happy abou that.All the links below will be in the art show banner items on top of this blog. Come and enjoy and maybe but a painting or something from my merchandising area.

Heres the libray website.

and a picture of the outside

Here's a Flickr slide show of what it looks like

Quote Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird?
::: Pablo Picasso :::

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I've added a new product line on Cafepress - Cherry Trees The Sketcher

Cafepress is a pain to load but you never know whats going to come out of it. I've added products based on my Cherry Trees - The Sketcher painting

Here's the link


Quote: Be drawn to the visual arts for it can expand your imagination.
Barbara Januszkiewicz

Friday, September 9, 2011

My 9/11 poem - Paper and Dust

I know this has nothing to do about painting, but since its the 10th anniversary of the tragdey at the WTC, I decided to post this. I wrote this just after the Event. I was impressed by the clouds of paper and dust swirling in the air. It has a sort of East Village beat poet style.

Paper and Dust
By Jack Mckenzie
Dedicated to Alan Jensen

The planes flew in
The towers crashed
The steel piled high
Leaving clouds of paper and dust

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

The people gasp
The Towers descend
A cloud produced
rushing crowds hide, try escape from..

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

The lower city enveloped
In clouds of dust
And blizzard of paper
The lady in the river sadly watching...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

The dust produced
By the crushing force
Of steel on non-steel
Concrete, chairs, desks, people

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

The heroes rush in
To do as trained
They save many, but
Only to become part of the rain of...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

White leaves swirling
From a no-longer tree
sailing across the rivers
The coming of a deadly Fall of …

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

An invoice for stock
Locked in a desk
Now waving in a bush
A glimpse of someone’s end in..

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

Darkening the sky
Sifting into everywhere
A gray snowscape
the delicate destroyed, hard to breathe...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

A gray snowscape
No snowballs formed
No snowmen built
Just madmen’s work, marked by...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

The people trudge along
Wearing coats of gray
Vehicles race by
Raising clouds to be re-fought

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

New papers appear
Images of the lost
Posted all about
Have you seen them, or are they...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

Some were late
Others in pain
But the too-many dead
Can sadly only be found in the...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

Candles are lit
Prayers are given
Thank you’s are voiced
The stunned begin to shake off the...

Paper and dust
Paper and dust

A people attacked
A challenge given
A flag is raised
A determination to rise out of…

Paper and dust
Paper and dust
Our whole worl has dissolved into paper and dust

Nice article from the VTDigger site on the "death" of the Bartonsville Bridge

This article on the "humble adieu" of the Bartonsville Covered Bridge was originally in the New Yorker blog and was re-posted on the VTDigger site.
You watch the video again and the way it disappeared had a stately kind of grace to it. A queen slowly sinking into the river!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Interesting Article - from Amy Porterfield - 5 reasons Google+ changes marketing strategy

I just got on tho Google+ as an art page only and this was posted by Lori Mcnee on her page. Interesting things to think about!


Quote: Every good painter paints what he is. Jackson Pollack

Park Ridge NJ library is ready for me after Hurricane Irene next Monday!

I was supposed to start my display at Park Ridge, NJ library on Sept 6th but a little storm by the name of Hurricane Irene caused some flooding and a bit of damage, so I had to hold off until they cleaned up.
I just got an e-mail that they are cleaned up and ready for me. My paintings will be going up next Monday. Come Visit!

Quote: The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
::: Michelangelo :::

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Painting - The Bartonsville Covered Bridge and products.

As I've written here before, covered bridges are on of my favorite subjects to paint. The are markers of another time & they are fragile things. It made me sad to see a couple of Vermont's covered bridges disappear in the unexpected deluges in Vermont. I've traveled Vermont and have photos of many of the bridges waiting to be painted and the Bartonsville bridge was one of those pictures in waiting.
It was sad to watch the bridge disappear on a Youtube video. The people in the area are proud of their local bridges and it must hurt.

Here's my painting of the Bartonsville Covered Bridge :

and here are the various site with items for sale based on this image



These will be in the Merchandising section in a special Bartonsville section.

Quote: An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.
James Whistler

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Please Visit my new Cafepress product section - Nova Scotia Fishing Dock

Here's the lates addition to my Cafepress product line - my Nova Scotia Fishing Dock painting. Here's the Image and the Cafepress link. Enjoy!


Visit my art page on Google+ - page name Jack Mckenzie.

In this social media obsessed world, you have to be on as many as you can. I just created a page on Google+ so look for me under "Jack McKenzie" purely as an art page. I still have a lot to do there, but I have loaded my currently available paintings on it. I will be making albums of specific genres, but that is a work in progress, just like loading stuff into Cafepress.
I am working on my Bartonsville Covered Bridge painting so that should be done bt the end of the week.

Quote: A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires. Hedy Lamarr

Friday, September 2, 2011

New on Cafepress - Items based on my Tire Swing in Winter painting

Cafepress in a bit time consuming in loading the images and setting up the items, but you never know! I've just completed the setting up the items for my Tire Swing in Winter painting. iPod, iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Nook cases. Ornaments, mugs, bags, cards, etc. Please check them out.


Quote: Picasso was not only a great artist, he was a good businessman. He knew the value of his work, and he didn’t make excuses for it. Donald Trump

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New painting - Boothbay Harbor: Church and Lobster Boats

This is the second painting I've done of the Boothbay Harbor Catholic Church in Maine. I think it makes a great scene to paint - a church on the edge of a harbor with a working lobster fishing dock across the street. I will be doing a few more Boothbay Harbor paintings. There's a walkway and fishing shed that needs a couple of treatments as well as a few other scenes. so here it is -

as usual, check out my merchandising section to buy items based on this painting. In Cafepress, check out the Boothbay Harbor II section.


Quote: Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Georgia O'Keeffe

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vermont Covered Bridge Destruction - my Taftsville CV paintings

Covered bridges are one of my favorite painting subjects. It was sad to see via all sorts of media, that several Vermont covered bridges, including the Bartonsville bridge (the longest in the state) were destroyed or heavily damaged by Hurricane Irene. I have a photo or two of the Bartonsville bridge and will be doing a couple of paintings of it.
One that withstood a lot of punishment but was damaged was the Taftsville covered bridge, a favorite of mine. I've done 3 paintings of it and have pictures I've taken to do one or two more. It a very picturesque bridge with a man-mad waterfall/dam just above it. Google the bridge to check out the damage. Here are my 3 Taftsville paintings. One is early in my painting career and looks that way. I'm adding one of a bridge I cant identify. Enjoy my tribute to the covered bridges of Vermont.

Quote: The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
::: Michelangelo :::

Interesting Article - From Artbizblog - Enlisting Help in Promoting Your Art

Very good article. The suggestion to send thank you notes to the venue that displayed your art is one I will implement in the future. I will also send one to past venues and reporter friends who did articles on me.


Quote: All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.
::: Eckhart Tolle :::

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New painting - Tire Swing in Summer - Maine

here's my lastest painting as of August 27th, 2011. There's a hurrican bearing down on the NYC area. Pray that my trees stay up.

This is titled: Tire Swing in Summer - Maine. Its a view of the tire swing on my brother's farm in Maine this Summer. Please visit my merchandising sites (Fineartamerica, Zazzle, etc) to purchase mugs, postcards, prints, etc with this image on them.

Its a companion piece to my Tire Swing in Winter - Maine painting and there will be more in this series. My sister-in-law Julie is taking pictures all thru the year. Maybe next one will be in the Fall

quote: “Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.” Robert Motherwell

New Merchandising site - Cafepress (a work in progress)

I've added another merchandising site to my repetoire - Cafepress. I've only got two paintings set up - my Bailey Island and Cherry Trees - the Sketcher paintings. I'm just figuring out how to use it, so it wll be awhile before everything is up. Please Check it out! Thanks.


quote: No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. ~Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 22, 2011

Next Library Show - Park Ridge Library in September.

I've been setting up further library shows and my next one is at the Park Ridge, NJ Library. Here's their website.


Its a small library that shares the building with the borough hall. They have a very flexible program, basically you can stay there until someone else want to display. There is a photographer there right now who's been there since May and I will set up when she removes her stuff.
The library does a lot to help promote the show, putting it in the local media, website and newsletter. The 2 spaces are interesting, too. One is the entrance hallway that it shares with the town hall. It will hold about twenty six paintings using standard display method and is accessible even when the library is closed. The second is in the library and is called The Mystery Room since it holds all the Mystery Books. Here you just put them on top of the book shelves and lean them against the wall.
The Librarian, Ellen Evans, was very helpful. Stay tuned for the opening date.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just opened - my Cardsbyjackmck store on Zazzle - notecards and postcards

Here's another opportunity to purchase items based on my paintings - my CardsbyJackMck "store" on Zazzle.com. Please visit and possibly buy one or two!
This will also be in my merchandising section.


Quote: Art is making something out of nothing and selling it. Frank Zappa

Friday, August 19, 2011

Please visit "The Art Page of Jack Mckenzie" on Facebook.

I finally put up my artist page on Facebook. Here's the link. It will alos be listed on the side of the blog


Ya gotta link everything and starting a new Tire Swing painting

First. its imperative in this on-line world to help people find you in anyway possible. I spent yesterday doing just that. I started the task of going to every site where I've posted pictures of my paintings (Flickr, Photobucket, Artistinternetcafe, etc ) and do the following:
1) make sure titles are consistent
2) make sure tags are consistent and will get the most people to it
3) add a line in the caption: "If you would like to purchase mugs, notecards, prints, etc with this image please visit my blog www.landscapesbyjack.blogspot.com".
You need to plant the idea of the viewer buying things based on the painting everywhere and anywhere you can. I was going to post the specific Fineartamerica, Zazzle, etc links, but this way it gets traffic to your blog and make a bit of money from those blog clicks.

Secondly, I've started a second Tire Swing in Maine painting. My sister-in-law, Julie McKenzie, sent me a picture of the tire swing in a summer setting and I should have it done by next week. I'm posting the first painting "Tire Swing in Winter" so you know what I'm talking about.

and I leave you with this quote:

"Every artist clips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures."
Henry Ward Beecher

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Add my ETSY shop to my merchandising area

Here's another great way to buy one of my paintings - Thru my Etsy shop
The link is here and on the merchandising section of my blog. Check it out!


Quote: The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist. The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life. ~Henry Miller

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Setting up MugsbyJack store on Zazzle - mugs with images of my paintings on them!

One of the aspects of trying to be a professional artist is selling your paintings and items base on your paintings. Thats why Finearamerica, Zazzle, Printfection, etc were set up, to assist the artist in going on-line. Zazzle gives you the ability to set up stores based on whatever criteria you want. Here is my MugsbyJack store. It contains mugs with the images of my paintings on them. So check them out and maybe buy a couple. This will be going on my merchandising area also


Quote: Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis

Friday, August 12, 2011

Interesting article - from Lori McNee - The Secret to Painting White Objects

Very good article here that gives a lot of good pointers. White can seem so bland, but there's a lot more there. Another little tip I've come across is painting shadows on snow, which tend to be bluish in color


Quote: Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Painting: Bailey Island Fisherman's Shed

I love prowling the coast looking for great scenes to paint. Maine has all this little bridge connected islands that are full of small coves with fishing villages and overworked fishing docks. I came across this scene in Mackerel Cove on Bailey Isalnd. Fell in love with the image right away. The one corner of the shed hangs out over the edge of the rock, which makes ita ll the more interesting. So enjoy the view and buy some notecard, postcards, mugs and prints of this image on Zazzle and FineartAmerica

Bailey Island Fisherman's Shed

Fineartamerica products

Zazzle Products




Monday, August 8, 2011

Recipes for the feeding of the starving artist - from the NYTimes -The Proper Way to Treat an Heirloom tomato

I love tomatoes, especially what's know as the heirloom tomatoes. They are the ones that have not been processed into tasteless red balls. I love them on BLT's and grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and bacon, a plate of sliced tomatoes with mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and basil.

I came across this article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine section and had to pass it along. This is for you tomato lovers and for those of you whose only exposure is catsup and Chef Boyardee. My favorites in this article are the stuffed tomatoes (see pic below)

so here's the article. Find the recipes within and enjoy!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Revised painting - Boothbay Harbor: Church & Lobster Boats

As I mentioned when I posted this painting the first time, I was not 100% happy with it, but could not see what to do. I posted it on a number of sites, including the fanartreview site. This one encourges artists to comment on others paintings. I got some really good feed back from one person, who suggested I add clouds and darken the boat's reflections. I did that and a few other things, and I think it looks alot better.
This opens the can of worms about should you heed other artist's suggestions about your work. You can ignore it only if you are 100% certain its finished. Since i was not, I was open to suggetions.

So, here's the re-introduction of the painting - Boothbay Harbor: Church & Lobster Boats

and the link to Fineartamerica to buy prints and cards. Also check out Zazzle for similar items


Recipes for the feeding the starving artist - Grilled Chicken and Peach Kabobs

As I've posted under this title before, I love chicken and fruit recipes. This one is on my list of favorites. Since its BBQ season here in the States, this is one that will find its place on any grill. It can also be baked. Got this in an email from eatchicken.com

Grilled Chicken and Peach Kabobs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch rounds
16 cremini mushrooms
3 ripe peaches, cut into eighths (may use frozen if fresh not available)
8 wooden or metal skewers

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup coarse grainy mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon orange zest

If using wooden skewers, place in water and soak for at least one hour.

Cut chicken into 1-inch dice. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, and zest. Slowly whisk in olive oil to combine.

Thread chicken, zucchini rounds, mushrooms, and peach slices onto skewers, alternating ingredients. Be sure to leave enough space at bottom of skewer to hold and turn.

Place skewers in a single layer on a sheet pan or baking dish and pour marinade over, turning skewers to distribute marinade. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate. Marinate, turning skewers occasionally, for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Heat grill on high heat. Place skewers on grill and cook, turning, for about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice. Serves 4

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Painting - Boothbay Harbor: Church and Lobster Boats.

Another of my favorite places is Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Very picturesque and full of tourists. One of the major vistas is the Catholic Church right at the edge of the harbor. There are docks with lobster boats right in front. I have not come across many paintings of this scene, which to my mind should be iconic, so I did two of them. This is the first one. Its a view from the harbor tour boat. I am not totally pleased with the results of this one, but it just feels finished. Enjoy, and check out the my two places to buy items based on the painting.


Interesting Article - from Wordpress - How to get more traffic and end of Old Tappan Library show

First the end of the Old Tappan show. Nothing came of it terms of sales, but the Libray's yoga class meets in the communnity room where most of the paintings were. The Saturday librarian participated and said it lent a nice peaceful atmosphere for the yoga class. At least some good came from it! And since I don't have a library for August, I suggest you go and check out my friend Denise's photography and Kermit the Frog collection at the Hillsdale library!

I know, I know, Wordpress is a rival blog hosting site than the one I use, but they do have good articles. Here's a good one about how to get more traffic on your blog. Check it out.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My name is now on the Pascack Art Association website and library show faux-pas

I joined the Pascack Art Association in June and my name is now on their website with a link to my blog. Check it out.


As to the monthly library shows, it looks like I'm taking an un-expected break. I thought I was supposed to go into Cresskill this month, but either I forgot to send confirmation (most likely) or the email got overlooked. I have re-scheduled for January. So looks like my paintings will be home for a month.

Quote: Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interesting article - From Empty Easel - should artists duplicate paintings to sell again

Blogger Sharon Weaver has a good article here


This is an idea that I've had personal dealings with, only difference was I did not sell them, but gave them as wedding gifts. It was a lighthouse picture & since the people did not know each other, there was not an issue of seeing the painting on each other's walls.

For selling purposes, I'm okay with doing the same scene as long as there is some difference in it. When you read the article, you'll see the two paintings in question. While its the same scene, one has more detail and a different feel to it. My opinion is that what the artist paints is his/her right and everyone else is along for the ride. They may like the scene and feel they could do it better or their technique has changed, or something like that. Like Bob Ross always said, its your world and you can do whatever you want with it. People will either appreciate the difference or feel cheated. No one's forcing them to buy.
Its the same with story telling. The prime example is the TV show "LOST". TV writers & producers are story tellers. We gather around the campfire of the TV set and watch them. Its their story they are telling and the TV audience is along for the ride. Many complained about things that happened in the story, but the story belongs to the storyteller. You can leave the campfire any time you want.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Interesting Article - Lori McNee on traits of a successful artist and starting 2 new painting - Boothbay Harbor

I took a little vacation from painting last week. Went to visit relatives who live near and work at Camp-of-the-Woods in Speculator, NY. So, to keep you all coing back, I'm posting some items I've found on other blogs.
While up there, I had discussions with a family friend who is also an artist about our craft. I'm heavily into computer and social site usage and he wants nothing to do with it. We did have some interesting talks.

Lori McNee has another good article: this time on traits for a successful artist.


I'm starting two new paintings, both of the Catholic Church in Boothbay Harbor Maine from pictures taken from the harbor tour boat. Both show fishing boats in front of it. I've checked the 'net and there does not seem to be many paintings of this scene. Probably because many painters like to do "plein aire" style, which is difficult from a boat, whereas I take pictures and paint from that. Its also a cloudy day in the photo and I;m changing them to sunny day pics. Happily, thee are photos of the church on a sunny day, so I can get the shadows right. Here's one of the pictures.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Outstanding Article from Lori McNee - The importance of being an artist in today's modern world

Another great article by Lori McNee, I think her best one yet. Her son is studying 3d animation and as she says "This got me thinking about the subject of the possible irrelevance of Art in this computer driven day and age". She doesn't think so, of course and then makes two good points:
1) 'the worse things get - the more indispensable Art becomes."
2)"Art records the footprint of all peoples, cultures and the world around us:"

then she launches into a brillaint recitation of art thru the ages. You really must check this out.


Quote: "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." Aristotle

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Painting - Cherry Trees - The Reader

Here is my latest painting July 8th 2011

Official Title: Cherry Trees - The Reader
A woman peacefully read a book in a grove of cheery trees in NYC's Central Park

This is from a series of photos I took of a grove of cherry trees on the west side of the Central Park Reservoir in NYC's Central Park.

Here's the picture I used

and here's the painting.
as you can see I modified the colors of the reader and her things. Wanted a little more color besides pink here.
As always here is the Zazzle site containing items based on this image for sale (mugs, postcards, etc)


and the Fineartsamerica site