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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jack's artist spotlight: Steve J Park in Austin

Occasionally I will spotlight other artists that I find interesting. Today its Steven J Park in Austin Texas. There are several genres here, two that appeal to me. One is some sketches he did of the protests in Iran. Very tense. The second is a series of Jazz oriented drawings that remind me of another artist selling items outside the Met Museum in NYC. Check him out!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

A keychain sale and promotion

The one painting that evokes the most response is my Fishing boats-Tarifa Spain painting - the one at the top of this blog. As stated in the last entry (check the photo), I made business cards using the image,a keychain, magnets and a mouse pad. The cards need to be re-done since you can barely read my blogname. It looked great on the screen but in actual practice, not so much. But I took 20 and wrote the name on back and it got the usual response.
I put the keychain on my usual keychain for display purpose. I went to Redeemer Presbyterian Sunday night and a group went out for a bite to eat afterwards. A woman saw the keychain and immediately asked to buy it. She also took one of the cards. She will be a great saleswomen amongst her friends and I made a dollar.
This is one of the big things you must do, be always but gently promoting yourself. Carrying a few items around can stimulate people to start talking to others about you, saying look at this beautiful item. Hopefully my customer in France who bought the magnet will be doing that, too.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pictures of Maywood Show, Maine Barn Progress and other things

My show at the Maywood NJ library is now open. The Flikr slide show shows what it looks like. It seems my friend Denise has her photos on display on the wall opposite me. Very fun. I will be adding this to the slideshow section.


I had some items made from Vistaprint including business cards and a keychain. Both look great but the blog name is too small and light to be really seen.

and this is current progress on the Maine Barn picture.It will look better.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Maywood exhibit – an interview amongst friends

My paintings are now up at the Maywood, NJ Library and a friend – Denise Frawley, a photographer, is having her photos up at the same time in Maywood. She has a blog where she is doing a Photo a Day - http://denisekeeganphotography.blogspot.com/
We've shared what each has learned in our pursuit of this career - me all the websites I've found and how we need to be in many places and in all the social media. Denise checked out all the libraries in the BCCLS system and a few other things. This after her husband, Tom, made us a nice dinner of pork loin and brussel sprouts. Ive never been a fan of the sprouts, but his were delicious.
Susan Clark, a mutual friend is a writer and reporter for the North Jersey Media Group and one of the towns she covers is Maywood, so Denise and I became eligible to be interviewed by hew for the publication/website. We met each other at the Hawthorne Gospel Church singles group 10 years ago and have maintained a friendship despite a noticeable age differences , own artistic tendencies being the binding force. At various activities, you’d find Denise and I taking pictures of what was going on and whatever struck our fancy. Susan (under the name Susan Joy Clark) has written a book “And The Violin Cries”


and is working on the sequal.

Her father is creative also & has a thing for numbers. He created a Fibonacci T-shirt on Zazzle - http://www.zazzle.com/golden_spiral_and_fibonacci_spiral_tshirt-235765739168422667

Susan knew of both our attempts to publicize and make a dollar or two off our talents but could not do so unless it was in a town she covered. The Shows in Maywood provided that opportunity. We met at the Fairlawn Panera Bread and had a great time together. It seemed like an informal conversation until she brought some specific questions and even then there was a natural flow back and forth. We talked of how we approached our craft and what were things we liked doing. I mentioned covered bridges and how I like to show them at unusual angles and lighthouses , barns and fishing village scenes. We talked of how we got started and other topics. Nice time together. I mentioned that this seemed to be the set up of a joke – "A painter, a photographer and a writer walk into a restaurant...". Susan brought up the idea of our own art club. Who Knows! I sure it will be a fine article!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maywood Library Show, new cards, interview and Linkedin

Well, my show at the Maywood, NJ library is finally up and running. Here's the slideshow of the paintings involved.


My new artist business cards from Vistaprint should be here my Saturday. They have my Fishing Boats - Tarifa Spain painting on them. Cant wait to see how they come out.

Tomorrow I sit for an interview with Susan Clark, an friend who works for the North Jersey Media Group and wants to put the show in her paper. Another friend, Denise Frawley, will also be there to be interviewed since she is going to be showing her photographs at the Maywood library at the same time. Susan wants to use the two friends displaying at the same time hook for the story.

I am a member of the Art Professionals Worldwide group on Linkedin and posted the show on that site too.


Monday, February 21, 2011

update on the Cape Anne Painting, Maywood library exhibit, and Garrison

Its been a couple of days since the last post and I've been delinquent in my painting accountability. The Maine Barn painting is still in the drying phase for the barn portion, but it should be okay tomorrow. Here is the progress on my Cape Anne.

I still have not heard from the Maywood Library people, so I will call tomorrow. Meanwhile, my photogrpher friend Denise has been busy emailing all the libraries in the BCCL database and is going into Maywood also with her photos, so we will be co-exhibitors.

I checked out a few more places with art, one being Garrison which is an artsy little town across the Hudson from West Point. Nice Place, but the cost of a table there is huge - 285 for a standard table and 500 - 1000 for an area in the food court. Here's the site

I was also checking out the Cold Springs festival, another very nice little Hudson River down with an active arts community. In checking out the application I noticed a table pricing error - a 20x20 is $185 and an 8 foot is only $14. I emailed the promoter about it.

Check out the site. its got some really nice pictures.

Both these need NY state tax id numbers and a resale cetificate. Is it worth the hassle?

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Painting - Row Boats-Menemsha Pond

This shows a bunch of fishermen's row boats at a dock on Menemsha Pond in Marthas Vineyard. For the past 10 years or so, Ive gone with friends to Martha's Vineyard in mid-June to stay at the Hostel in East Tisbury and bike around the island. This spot is off a bridge on State Road at the bottom of a long hill on the way to the Aquinna/Gay Head light house. I'm a little disappoint as to how the water turned out, but trying to fix things made it worse. Hope you like it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My first International product sale - a magnet

I have my painting images on several websites, with various products set up. Someone in France just bought a refrigerator magnet of my Spanish Cafe painting on Zazzle. It may used elsewhere, but my blog name is on it. Who knows who will see this in France and check out more of my stuff!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How one person started a greeting card line, recent work and a snow fish

Ya never know! Gotta pound the pavement!


I'm just about finished with the Row Boats - Menemsha Pond painting. Just a few details. The start on another barn pic. Gotta build that portfolio up!

I was in Suffern NY the other day and saw this snow fish at a house next to a church where I go to a networking group. Its been there a couple of weeks, but I did not have my camera. Thankfully it lasted a while. It had been dyed yellow (by what, I did not ask)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

painting progress - day 2

Well, I worked on two paintings today - The Cape Anne Fishing boat and the Maine Barn. I blocked in the fishing boat and the barn and a worked on the barn background, with more needed. Feels good to be there painting! I picked another picture to paint, a fisherman's shed in Maine. I did some work on it with a photo editor to clean it up. Its enlarged a little too much, put I can still work with it

Article on the Met Museum's plunge into the the virtual world

(sorry for the re postings. I keep forgetting to preview before I post)
I will be posting interesting articles as they come along. This one I just came across on Artbistro about the Met Museum of Art's virtual world expansion. This was in the talking stages when I left. I like the new director. Since I worked at the Met for a long, I thought I'd post it.


Works in progress and sold out arts & crafts shows

I complained about falling behind in my painting, so I decided to use this blog as a kick in the pants and try to chronicle my progress daily(?). I have 3 paintings in the works - that odd barn I came across in Maine (which I just started), the rowboats in Menemsha Pond in Marthas Vineyard (which is 3/4th finished, just need to work on the water) and a fishing boat somewhere in Cape Ann, Mass (lots of work to do). Here they are :

Hopefully this will get more done.

I was having dinner with a phototgrapher friend and her husband (who made brussel sprouts I actually liked) and we were going over all the art websites I collected, the various selling sites and other mutual concerns such as library shows ( the BCCLS site is great for that) and I was showing her the arts & craft show site for NJ.
A big local one is Westwood in May and thats sold out already. gotta get moving on these!
Heres the site

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm falling behind and one of my next paintings

As of now, I have am inventory of 12 actual paintings. I really need to step up production. I have so many other things happening in my life, like trying to find a "day" job in my chosen field of computer programming and other things, it gets hard to have a "painting time" and to be in the mood when I do have the time. I guess its just like any other job - you may not be in the mood, but ya gotta do it anyway. i also have to post here on a more regular basis.

I also have several weddings coming up and they are expecting my usual gift of a painting. I will be trolling my friends pics on Facebook and ask permission to paint them.
Talked to Hawthorne Library and that wont be for a while. She asked for my blog to check out my paintings.
I was at mu usual Monday morning networking meeting and got suggestions of looking for store to sell my cards. Gotta find those. I also showed some examples of my cards and they were all impressed.

I need to build up my barn portfolio. I posted that unusual barn I found on the backroads of Maine and here are two more I found in Sussex county.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New showings, new pictures to paint and craft show partners

I've been checking out the local artist display programs of various librarys and hospitals. So far I have another show in the New Milford Library, the person at Johnson Public Library is checking out the pictures in my blog before going any further, and I keep missing the people at Hawthorne and Oradell. Will be checking out more places. Valley Hospital has a 4 time a year exhibit and is sendong me an entry form.

I have an extensive library of pictures of Maine and various other places on my computer which dows need a bit of trimming. I've been looking thru them for good painting subjects before I do that. Here's one of a rather odd looking barn on the backroads of Maine. Should make an interesting painting. I want to start a Fez, Morrocco series, too. Have a lot of picture form there.

I wa talking to a friend, Angelique, who is a photographer & specializes in flowers, and was very interested in all the sites I found to turn my paintings into cards, etc. We are discussing sharing a table at craft fairs. Helps at bathroom time. She is also setting up some kind of charity function where artists donate 1/2 of what they make and wants me there. I have another photographer friend, Denise that I a have to discuss the same thing with. Its getting interesting

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Accepting commission, coasters on Printfection, Imagekind and Artbistro

One of my "services" as artist is accepting commissions - in my case 2 kinds
1) doing paintings of your house. This is a genre that seems to be a big thing, so I would like to try it. Email me a selection of picture of your house, condo, etc and we'll work out the money and time.

2) If you have a favorite landscape style photo you'd like me to do a painting of. I do all my painting from photos

In my continued quest to try as many of the art product websites as I can, I've set up Cork Bottom Coasters on the site http://www.printfection.com/artofjackmckenzie. Check them out.
I've also set up on Imagekind to sell prints. Like I've said, different people go different places. Check out the site http://JackMckenziesArt.imagekind.com/ Both are in my Merchandising section.

Artbistro is a sort of Linkedin for artists. Its run by Monster. Lots of good discussions on various topics and a chance to link up with other artists world wide

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another old painting found - a Vermont Covered Bridge

I am on a quest to find all the old paintings that I gave away as wedding gifts and other occasions. I know where many of them are now, I just have to get the pictures of them.
This one I gave to my Aunt Jean a long time ago. It shows my early interest in covered bridges. This is from somewhere in Vermont. I've added it to my early paintings slide show

Don't know where your blog traffic is coming from

When you view your stats it shows a map of where in the world your traffic is coming from, but also what sites are listing you,too. I decided to check on a few of these, and It's rather interesting.
One is - Pingy Web Application - site. It seems that there is some kind of waiting period while things occur, so it give a list of blogs to check out while waiting. Mine is one of them! Not sure why, but I'm grateful! http://pingywebedition.somee.com/

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Milford Juried show date mixup , Maywood and Card Samples

I have a tendancy to get my dates/times on certain events wrong. Happens too often and it happened with the New Milford juried show. I thought I was supposed to turn my painting in this past Saturday when it was actually the previous Monday - Jan 31st. A bit bummed but nothing I can do about it. Just have to do better on keeping dates strait.

I've heard nothing from the Maywood Library about my little 8 painting show so I will call tomorrow.

I just got samples of cards produced by FineArtAmerica with my paintings on them. They cover the entire front and are a glossy print. Check them out

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beginning paintings

Every artist has to have a start and I've posted a slide show of my beginning paintings. I found them stashed in my basement. I just discovered my aunt has one of the old ones, too - a Vermont covered bridge and barn. That will be posted later. So enjoy the horrible beginnings

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fine Art America prints, Linkedin Arts groups and old paintings

The picture is of a print I ordered from Fineartamerica of my "Fishing Boats - Tarifa" painting and the painting itself. I think its a pretty good, but not perfect representation of it. You can order these and I will be selling these when(?) I do art shows. Expensive up-front cost, though

As with many other professions in the world, the Linkedin networking web site has many art professional people on it and associated groups to belong to. I've joined The Art Professionals Worldwide and the Artist and Sculptures groups. The name of the game is getting your name out there and linking up with other artists.

I've been seeking some of my early paintings, and I've come across a bunch in box in the basement and one on my aunts basement wall that I forgot I gave her. I will eventually be posting them is a slide show called " Early Paintings", but here is one

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Painting - the Jackson's Mill Covered Bridge in Lancaster

This is the 4th (or 5th) is series featuring the Jackson's Mill Covered Bridge in Lancaster Pa. It has a 3 silo barn at one end so it makes it an exceptionally picturesque bridge. I have another painting of almost the same view, but standing to the right of the fence and the sun is coming the other way. The original photo of that one has an Amish horse and buggy coming out of it, but I have not mastered horses yet, so thats a future project. I'm working on two other paintings, which should be finished in a week or so.