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, May 27, 2011

A little sales promotion - just sold 8 Cherry Tree Sketcher post cards thru Zazzle

Check out this URL from Zazzle telling me someone bought 8 postcards of the Cherry Tree Sketcher painting. Love it!. Anyone else want to enhance their artistic holdings?


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Artist Spotlight - Lawrence Young

Check out this interesting artist I ran across, Lawrence Yang, via a blogger (Steve Park http://theoriginalspark.blogspot.com/ ) I follow who does a weekly recommendation -. Below is one of the many works of his that I like. Its called - Sunset Meeting. His blog is
http://blowatlife.blogspot.com/ and website - http://www.suckatlife.com/

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Painting - Cherry Tree Sketcher - Central Park

This will be the beginning of a series of NY Central Park paintings. The official title: Cherry Tree Sketcher - Central Park. Having worked in NYC, I've walked around Central Park a lot and seen many things (Sesame Street filming a segment with big Bird and Christo's Gates Project to name a few) and photographed a lot of it (missed getting Big Bird). I want to try a few Gates Project paintings as well as the pond in the SE corner by the Plaza Hotel and a few others. I also have a lot of Cherry tree pictures and this one is a favorite. So enjoy!

Meanwhile, the Franklin Lakes and New Milford Library shows are coming to an end and Secaucus and Hillsdale will be right after. gotta prepare!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Painting of Nantucket! Title: Brandt Point Lighthouse - A View From the Ferry IV

This is another in my Nantucket - a View From the Ferry Series. I think this is the fouth one. I go on a yearly bike trip with some friend around Nantucket, staying at the Hostel on South Beach. My favorite things on the Island, besides the Sweet Inspiration chocolate shop and their chocolate covered cranberries,


is the harbor lighthouse. There's a webcam on top of one of the churches that looks out on the harbor with a great view of the lighthouse and I have that as an app on my iPod.


The Ferry sweeps in and does an pivot around the lighthouse and I'm usually on the upper deck, taking pictures on a downwards angle. I love the unusual view you get from that. I have a number of great pictures from the island that I want to do, so stay tuned all you Nantucket Lovers!

Artist Spotlight - Emil Fiore - Spider web art - what a web-site he must have!

This is another in an occasional series of artists I find interesting. This man has spun himself a silky career. Hope he catches on.
I remember doing this in grade school a couple of times. Our art teacher had us find spider webs and spray glue on black paper and gently place the paper against the spider web to capture it.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Interesting article - Empty Easel site - guidelines to set for donating your art work

I donated 1 piece a while ago. My church has its own K-12 school and there was an auction. I donated a painting. It turned into a brief bidding war between 2 friends of mine who did not know each other. Final price was 75 dollars. My price is more now.


my "art space" on Lori McNee's Finearttips site and 3 works in progress

Lori McNee, on her Finearttips Facebook page, usually asks each weekend, "what's on your easel this weekend" and I and others post works in progress. About two weeks ago, she asked what does your "art space" look like and I posted my little art corner. It made it on to her website, so here it is.


I have 3 paintings in progress this week. 1) almost finished with Brandt Point Lighthouse - A view From The Ferry IV 2) another Maine barn and silo and 3) the first of my Central Park series - a Cherry Tree grove picture with someone leaning against a tree starting a sketch. It will be called - Cherry Tree Sketcher - CentralPark

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Painting - 2 silos:Sussex County, NJ and another (small) sale

This is one for my barn series. One silo is hidden behind the other with a storage shed in the foreground. There are many barns in Sussex County that will not be there long, so I've been photgraphing and painting them

As to the sale, it was a postcard via Zazzle of the following painting:

made 19 cents

Monday, May 16, 2011

Artist Spotlight - Jessica Olivero - jessica oh! photography

a friend's wife just updated her photography website and thot I'd give her a mention here.


creative, vintage-inspired lifestyle photography

Always a good thing to help support other artist's work

Interesting article from - Artbizblog - Checklist for promoting a new product

Good article!

for you artists, if you have not looked into this site, you should. Lots of interesting items here.

I have not been doing all I should to promote the items I've set up in Finaeartamerica, Zazzel and Printfection & imagekind. I've created a merchandising area on this blog so please check them out. To assist you in that, here they are. If you like my paintings, please check these sites out and purchase something. Gotta help the starving artist!

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jack-mckenzie.html - prints and cards

http://www.printfection.com/artofjackmckenzie coasters

http://www.zazzle.com/jackmck1+gifts cards, postcards, posters, magnets


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Franklin Lakes Patch article on me

My friend Don Smith is a freelance writer (check out his blog here http://donsmith74.wordpress.com/political-power-ronald-reagan/ for his Life of Ronald Reagan comic book, amongst other things) and he wrote an article about me and my Franklin Lakes Library show in the Franklin Lakes Patch. I like the article title!


Works in progress and bucks county covered bridge hunt

I have 3 paintings inprogress 1)a bother of my Nantucket a view from the ferry series 2) a couple of Sussexcounty NJ silos 3) a Camp-of-the-woods painting of the caboose inthe Fall season.I'm visiting friends in Lansdsle Pa which isnext to Bucks County.There are about ten covered bridges there and I triedto find them all but only got to 4 of them .Got seriously lost. Better mappingnext time

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interesting Article - Artbizblog - artist promotion on Twitter

Twitter is a place every artist needs to use for promotion of their work. Every time I write something here, it gets posted on Twitter and Facebook (and probably needs to be other places, too). Artbizblog just posted this article on enhancing your bio on Twitter and at the end of the article are other articles she wrote on the subject, so check them out.


Quote: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams

Monday, May 9, 2011

added a Paintings I've Sold slideshow

I added a Paintings I've Sold slideshow (one item at this point) as well as slide shows for the New Milford and Franklin Lakes library shows. One thing I did not notice about the New Milford show was that is was lighthouse heavy. I've added the Sunset at Peggy's Cove Lighthouse to the mix there, so I have 10 paintings there and 16 at Franklin Lakes

Quote: The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ~Paul Strand

Report on Franklin Lakes Reception and my first sale of a painting!

The reception was held at the Franklin Lakes, NJ library on May 7th from 2 to 4 pm.

I was not at all sure how many would attend. Besides posting on Facebook and Twitter, my Twitter entry was re-Tweeted once or twice. I put in in my church's (1ST Baptist Hackensack) bulletin> put it in the Fineartamerica sites calendar, plus other notifications.

I guestimated for 50 people. I had the following menu - 1) had a friend (Penny Beck) make crumb cake which is delicious, almost as good as the crumb cake at B&W bakery in Hackensack (look it up), a cheese/pepperoni/cracker/grape plate, a hummus and pita chip platter and tortellini skewers ( cooked tortellini, cheese cubes and grape tomatoes marinated in Italian Dressing and skewered)
The skewers were a surprise hit

In the gallery room, I set up the guestbook and as little keepsakes I had made 50 refrigerator magnets each of four paintings made via Vistaprint. Those proved popular also. I also had the artist bio there. Franklin Lakes is one of the few libraries that do not allow any form selling whatsoever on property. I had put a section in my bio on buying items based on the paintings thru Fineartamerica, Zazzle and acouple of others, and that paragraph was deleted from the final bio.

In all 30 came and had a great time. A friend Candy Beck finally decided to buy on of my paintings - the Goat Island Lighthouse Newport. here is Candy standing next to her new possession.

I ended up with about 30 people showing up. They liked the magnets but were reluctant to take all 4, but I encouraged them to have a complete set. a friend was supposd to do the music, but got his dates mixed up, so I had brought my cd player for inbetween sets. I went to the library's excellent CD section and got some jazz CDs. It worked out fine. A few people who said they were coming had to bow out at the last moment. The left over crumbcake was re-purposed for Sunday's fellowship time between services at 1st Baptist where it was a big hit and the extra hummus will be used other places.

Now I have to set up the Seacaucus reception.
For the whole series of pictures, check out my Facebook album

Finally - I will be posting art quotes, but this one says it all for me. I'm a committed Christian and I believe my painting is a God given gift and every painting is an act of worship.
here it is :

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. ~André Gide

Friday, May 6, 2011

new painting - Sunset at Peggy's Cove Lighthouse and library show annoucements

This is from a photo by a friend - Katelyn Cahilly - Sunset at Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

I've added to the Shows section of this blog the calendar items on Fineartamerica site for the New Milford and Franklin Lakes Shows and the reception.

Had an interview yesterday with Don Smith for the Franklin Lakes Patch. I will post it when it comes 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, May 4, 2011

Interesting article - Lori McNee' s Finearttips - Finding your own artistic voice

Great article on what make you you in the artistic sense -
Lori McNee's blog - Finearttips - is one youhave to take time to explore. Lots of great stuff here!


Lori McNee's blog - Finearttips - is one you have to take time to explore. Lots of great stuff here!

Quote: Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity. Damien Hirst

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May library shows up and running - Franklin Lakes and New Milford

Spent Monday setting up my two art shows for May - Franklin Lakes and New Milford, both in New Jersey. I had originally scheduled for New Milford for May. I had emailed most of the libraries in the BCCLS system and got encouraging responses along with date availability. Franklin Lakes had nothing until 2012, but May was open and the that space would need at least 16 paintings.I considered my inventory and figured two shows were possible, if I borrowed some paintings I'd given to friends for their weddings. I was toying with that idea already. Happily everyone was more that willing to do so. New Milford I have 9 paintings showing. As part of the promotion for this, I placed the exhibits of the local online Patch "newspaper" calenders. .



I am in the midst of several more paintings, so once I complete those, I will add on to the exhibitions.
The encouragement I got was very good. Everyone was willing to help me, especially the Steiners. Lisa has her own business and we talked marketing and all sorts of ideas. They said if someone expressed interest in buying it to do so. She even suggested a variation on the "do a painting of someone's house" idea. I should offer to do a painting of their vacation or Jersey Shore homes. I have a few picture of their place near Sandy Hook, so I will eventually work on that.
I will be posting pictures soon of the two shows, especially the reception at Franklin Lakes on Saturday
I want to thank Bob & Ellie Zuber, Don & Laura Smith, Paul & Lisa Steiner and Tom & Denise Frawley for lending me their paintings.

I am following my friend & fellow artist Denise's photography exhibits into Franklin Lakes, who exhibited there in April . She is in Bergenfield this month. She has a cool idea for the exhibits, each one focusing on a different color. Bergenfield is "A Study in Orange". I saw the pictures when I went there to pick up the painting. Rally good!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Received invite to the Peggy's Cove Festival of the Arts

After posting the my Lighthouse - Peggy's Cove painting, I got this comment on it...

Beautiful painting Jack. The first of July the Peggy's Cove Festival of the Arts is hosting "Paint Peggy's Cove. Wish you could come. http://peggyscoveareaarts.blogspot.com/

I've done a number of Peggy's Cove paintings and will be doing more. I would love to be a part of this, but I have the wedding of two good friends that weekend, or else I'd be there.