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, 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