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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Painting - Lighthouse - Peggy's Cove

Here's my latest painting -Lighthouse - Peggy's Cove. The painting looks better than the picture

Friday, April 29, 2011

Interesting article from - Artbizblog - Tips for selling art on Facebook,,

I'm a fan of this site. Lori McNee posts some interesting and helpful articles. Gotta be in the Social Media game!


Quote: I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things. ~Henri Matisse

Artist Spotlight - Simon Schubert's Folded Paper Artwork

Every once in a while. I will be spotlighting an artist that I find really interesting

This time its Simon Schubert who does interesting things with paper. Yahoo posted a group of pictures (see below) but here's his website -
http://www.simonschubert.de/ > its in German, but has a translate button.

and here's the yahoo article


and heres a picture to wet your appetite

Quote: The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. ~William Faulkner

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Painting - Zooks Mill Bridge - Lancaster and new picture of old painting

First of all, the new painting. This is the Zooks Mill Bridge- Lancaster, one of 29 bridges in Lancaster County Pa. It has a barn near it, so its a little more interesting to me.

For the two library shows I'm doing in May (Franklin Lakes and New Milford) I decided to borrow 4 of the paintings I've given to people as wedding gifts. I've got good picture of all except the BrandtPoint Lighthouse - Nantucket painting I gave to a friend, so here it is

I will be posting the picture lineup of each show when they go up.

Recipe for the feeding of a starving artist - Thai-Style Scallops and Asparagus

I know, two posts in one day, but some interesting things came up at the same time. This recipe is from the NY Times. Love scallops and asparagus

Thai-Style Scallops and Asparagus

Time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh lemon grass (cores of 2 bulbs)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons Thai shrimp paste, or anchovy paste
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound asparagus, ends snapped off, stalks slant-cut in 1-inch pieces
1 pound sea scallops
1/3 cup fish stock
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon sriracha, or to taste
1 cup jasmine rice, steamed.
1. Combine the shallots, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, shrimp paste, coriander, lime zest and juice in a food processor or a large mortar. Thrash to a paste.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan on high. Add the seasoning paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the asparagus and stir. Add the scallops, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring gently, another 3 minutes. Add the fish stock, coconut milk and sriracha, simmer another 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and more sriracha to taste. Serve with the steamed jasmine rice.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings.

Interesting article from Artbizblog - No excuse weekly self promotion routine

In her The business of being a artist blog http://www.artbizblog.com
Alyson B Stanfield gives a list for -

A no excuse weekly self promotion routine

Review marketing plan and create the week’s strategy
Send thank-you notes
Update art inventory database
Add names of new contacts to database
Mail 5 postcards to people you need to stay in touch with
Recommend someone on LinkedIn
Call or send a personal email to someone you haven’t spoken with in a while
Attend an art opening or gallery talk (introduce yourself!)
Carry a stash of flyers or postcards wherever you go
Post two or three times to your blog
Comment on five other blogs
Add new images to Flickr or Facebook
Engage fans on Facebook page
Tweet something nice about 7 people on Twitter
Follow up with leads and opportunities
Stay on top of finances
Check in with the Artist Conspiracy

Her list is general and could be adapted to any art business or career. Customize the above items to fit your needs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Painting! Title: Tire Swing in Winter - Maine, plus how I promote it

Here's another finished painting. Official Title is: Tire Swing in Winter - Maine

I painted this from a photo my sister-in-law, Julie Mckenzie, took on the Mckenzie Farm in Albion Maine. She posted a bunch of winter photos on Facebook. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to paint it. I then looked at the caption and she was suggesting that it woudld be a good picture for me to paint. So I did! Here's the photo

Once I've completed a painting, what happens next. What steps do I takes to get it seen?

1) Take a photo of it, load it to my computer and trim and do other things to make it look good.
2) 2 posts on Facebook - individual load and load it in to my Paintings alum.
3) Post it on my blog - which then gets posted on Facebook and Twitter.
4) Load it into Fineartamerica, Zazzle and printfection thus creating products for people to buy
5) Load it into Flckr so it can appear in the slideshows on my blog.
6) load it into Photobucket
7) load it into whatever other sites including the arts groups on Linkedin
8) load it into the painting album on my iPod

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Spotlight - Artbizblog - promoting your event - annoying vs informative

Artbizblog is a good blog for the business of art. Since I'm promoting my library shows, there is a sense of being too much in peoples's faces about it. This article address that issue. Check it out.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Painting - Sailboats - Nantucket:A View From The Ferry and...

This is from a photo I took on the upper deck of the Nantucket Ferry as it was coming into Nantucket Harbor. I will be doing some more paintings of the lighthouse from the ferry as it come in and out of Nantucket. How it looks is determined by what deck I am on. Love the high up ones but there will be a few from the lower deck. I am not too happy with the way the picture of the painting came despite some attempts at photo manipulation. I've never felt the need for Photo-shop until now!

The Tire Swing in Winter - Maine painting is coming along but having a problem with the white paint drying. It just seems to stay wet and I may have to take a blow dryer to it. I look at the thing and it makes me feel cold. I need to place this one next to the above painting for some real good contrasts

I added a little slideshow of currently available painting that is visible on the blog without having to click anything

Lots going on in the Library show front.
The Hohokus library show has been un-eventful. Looking forward to the Franklin Lakes show. They have room for 18 paintings so I am borrowing 4 from people I've given them to for wedding gifts. Since I am also doing the New Milford Library I am stretching my inventory. Its given me a little oomph in terms of production, so I may get a few more done by the 1st of May. Just have to choose them.

I almost missed having the reception at Franklin Lakes. They emailed me a set of forms to fill out and I somehow missed it. I was trying to organize all my emails to various libraries into a Word document when I noticed them. I called the library and the room was still available, so disaster averted.

The Record newspaper has a local calendar of events on-line and www.Northjersey.com, so I entered the Franklin Lakes show in it.

I also noticed that Secaucus said they would email forms and never did so I have to get on them tomorrow.

thats it for now. My occasional recipe postings will now titled (at the suggestion of Laura Quinn the following - Recipes Ror the Feeding of the Starving Artist.

Friday, April 15, 2011

An artist has got to eat - 10 breakfast ideas from Food Network

For a good day you need a good breakfast. The Food Network here in the states has this slide show on their website of 10 very yummy looking breakfasts. I'm a big has brown fan, so the first one is a winner, they all are ones I want to try in the future. Ya gotta feel good to do some great painting. I like the French Toast items, too. And anything containing asparagus catches my attention!


Title picture change and,,,

I changed the title picture to the Barn by Route 222 -Penn painting. I will do this once a month. I'm trying to figure out how to do slideshows that showup on the blog itself.

I'm thinking about the Franklin Lakes reception. The NewJerseyPlaces Twitter page retweeted my post on the reception, so we'll see what we get on that. I'm asking a few musician friends to provide background music, if not then a few cds will do. Going to make a real party out of it.

The Hohokus show is going okay, They have an events section on there website, but apparently never use, so will follow up on that.

The Winter Tire Swing -Maine picture is really coming along. The photo I'm doing it from was taken by my sister-in-law on the farm in Maine and its gets alot of raves from many places. Told her she needs to market it somehow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Works in progress - Lavalette Sunrise, Maine Winter Tire Tree and Nantucket Sail Boats

I working on three paintings right now and one is giving me problems

1) Lavalette Sunrise - This is photo from my High School graduating class's Facebook page

I've having problems with the sunrise reflections

2) Maine Winter swing

This will take a while. Lots of putting things in front of other things

3) finally - Nantucket Sailboats - this is a pic I took from the ferry

and its coming along well. Just have to let the land dry before I put the lighthouse in

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reception at Franklin Lakes Library

My year long program of displaying in Bergen County libraries reaches a bit of a high point in May when I go to the Franklin Lakes library. This town is one of the richer towns in Bergen. They offer a chance to have a reception to promote your exhibit there and I'm taking them up on it. It will be Sat May 7th from 2 to 4. No alcohol allowed, but some kind of light refreshment is allowed. I've sent out an invite to all my Facebook friends. I attend church at First Baptist Hackensack so they will be invited. I attend several church singles groups, so they are being invited also. Im treading into uncharted territory, so we will see what happens.

I will be getting an idea of what it will look like when my friend Denise Frawley has hers this Saturday the 9th. Hers is a photography exhibit. It will also feature her Kermit the Frog collection, which is extensive. Check out her blog - http://denisekeeganphotography.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Last painting in current group I started - Barn Along Route 222, Pennsylvania.

Title: Barn Along Route 222, Pennsylvania. This is the last of a group of paintings I started a week or so ago. I usually do three or four at once. This barn is somewhere between Allentown and Lancaster. There is a project to widen route 222 since there is so much traffic heading for Lancaster and because of the housing boom around there. Sadly this means many old barns and other structures have to be sacrificed. Gotta get as many pictures of these as we can before they are gone

An Artist has got to eat - NYTimes article on ways to prepare whitefish

All the recipes here look great - Check them out!


New painting 4/4/11 - Fishing Boat Rockport Mass

I finished another painting. Its a fishing boat docked visually in front of the 1st Congregational Church of Rock port Massachucets. The official title is Fishing Boat - Rockport Mass.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hohokus Library slideshow

I just added a photo slideshow of the Hohokus Library show. check it out! A couple of pics below