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

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