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, December 27, 2013

interesting things - The Dalek/art master 2014 calendar mashup

Besides being very much the artist, I am also big into science fiction. Doctor Who, the British sci-fi tv show that's been around off and on for 50 years, is one of my favorites. The basic premise is an alien with a time/space machine traveling anywhere and anywhen with human companions.
I also enjoy art mashups, where well know art pieces are redone using various cartoon characters. One of my favorites is characters from the Justice League (Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman, etc) are seen in a version of Sunday in the Park with George.
This is one of those mashups. The Doctor Who has an enemy called the Daleks - octopus like creatures encased in metal bodies with odd appendeges always out to exterminate people. I enjoyed them, My favorites is the take on Rene Magritte's painting of bowlered hat men raining down on the city. Check this out from the Tonecartoons website Dalek art master mashups as a 2014 calendar

Friday, December 20, 2013

New painting: Birdhouse with Black-eyed Susans

I troll FB and other photo sites for images I'd might like to paint. I then post on the picture asking for permission to paint it. Once I get it, I do the work. This I found on Delilah's FB page. Delilah is an American radio personality, author, and songwriter, best known as the host of a nationally syndicated nightly U.S. radio song request and dedication program. It was  photo of a birdhouse nestled in a stand of black-eyed susans. This is the resulting painting -

I usually add mugs and bags via Zazzle, but they seem to have changed their product creation routine, so once I have that figured out, I post them.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog spotlight - Christmas To Not Do List - from Conversations by the clothesline

The Christmas holiday time is one of unnecessary stress, where people look for the accomplish perfection in everything. Guess what! Its not achievable. So back off, enjoy the time with friends and family. If thy really love you, they will accept imperfection.  A friend, Kieve Garner, posted this post from the "Conversations by the Clothesline" blog called Christmas to not do list,. Its one of many don't do lists for Christmas praising the minimalist approach The first item on the list I'm not sure what it is, but the rest are pretty good. I will post the first few here and the rest can be found in the blog. Enjoy!

  • I will not worry about making the contents of the children’s stockings equal.
  • I will not host holiday parties when I don’t enjoy it.
  • I will not stay up all hours of the night creating something complex and homemade in my sewing room just so I can say “I made it.”
  • I will not force myself to put the decoration boxes in the storage room when no one can see them in the porch.
  • I will not feel compelled to write numerous blog posts explaining the true meaning of Christmas.
  • I will not write something personal on each and every Christmas card.
  • I will not feel compelled to send an extra Christmas card to those people to whom we didn’t send one when I get their card in the mail.
  • I will not feel compelled to have homemade peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses on top in my freezer.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Interesting video - Art Flashmob featuring Rembrandt's Guards of the Night

I realize this is the 2nd "interesting video" post I've done with nothing in between, but this was too good.
I love those flashmob videos of singers and/or dancers taking over a mall or other venue to perform. This one is something else entirely. A museum in Holland decided to take art to the people with a living depiction of Rembrandts' Guards of the night painting. How they do it is just so cool! This is from the Daily Revolution blog.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Interesting videos - The Silent Monk Hallelujah Chorus

Every once in a while, I take post something not directly related to my paintings,such as my recipe posts. This is a new category - Interesting videos - ones that catch my eye and think my slender audience might be interested in. I can assure you no cat videos.
This one is one of my favorite Christmas videos - Silent Monk Hallelujah Chorus. Cant explain, just watch. The monk's processional in is a bit long, but if you stick it out, you'll be glad you did.
Here's a still from the video

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Tire Swing paintings: more to come - Fall and Sunrise

This Thanksgiving my brother Ken and his family came down from their farm in Maine to enjoy the weekend with the me and my sister and her children. One of the preps I did was hang my winter and summer paintings of the tire swing on their farm. Here's the winter one
My one nephew DJ was looking at this and felt he could almost walk into it, which led to a discussion about doing more of them. I paint from photos and this one was from a photo my sister in law Julie posted on Facebook suggesting that I paint it. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to paint it. The summer one was from a photo I took of the same scene.I've been wanting to do a Fall scene & Julie said she has a few fall scenes of more or less the same scene, I just need an idea of the basic colors and what the overall scene looks like. The Julie mentioned  a possible sunrise painting, since the sunrise would be behind. I like the idea - the tree and tire swing would be dark. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Its Cyber Monday - buyChistmas/holiday gifts from your local artists

So, its Cyber Monday, the biggest on-line shopping day of the year. Instead of shopping the big chains, check your local artisans. Many have online shops. A lot of FB pages have pleas to do this.
So go to my merchandising section to check out mugs, bags, cards from Zazzle or cards and prints from Fine art America
I am also spotlighting  two  friends - Denise Keegan Frawley Photograhy and Sharon Gross Prints

There are many others. Find them! Support your local artist
Here's a few pleas posted by various sites
the Peggy's Cove Area Festival of Arts posted this -

The Professional Artist page posted this for Black Friday
and  Peggy's Cove page also had this

Saturday, November 30, 2013

New painting: Campbell's Covered Bridge - South Carolina

This is a another painting I've done from a photo posted on FB, this time by my cousin's wife Clareen Lynch. This is the Campbell's Covered Bridge in Landrum, South Carolina. It is the only one left in the state. The picture of the painting was taken by my brother's wife with a much better camera than my own. My camera  as well as my home computer and monitor need to be replaced, since past painting fotos have looked okay on my home screen, but when I finally looked at them on another, they looked slightly blurry and give a wrong impression of my style.
As usual you can buy a mug  or bag of this painting from Zazzle and you can create other products from there.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

a painting sold - Sailboat in an LBI Sunset

Another one of my children has gone out into the world!
As a painter producing a work of art, I get a bit of separation anxiety when I have to part with it. I'm single and never had children, but I can imagine what it feels like for a parent when a child heads for college or elsewhere on their own

Here's where you get a cup of coffee and a favorite pastry. There's a story here

A women named Martha has these once a month potluck dinners for the over 50 Christian set in her grand condo in Lawrenceville NJ, near Princeton. She used to have a grand house on Mercer Street in Princeton, but decided the property was too much to handle since she was nearing the end of her 7th decade. I won't get into how I found  out about this since I live in Paramus near NYC.
She's been wanting to come up to one of my library shows. She tried once and got lost, so she suggested I bring my paintings down there, which I did on Sat Nov 23rd. The idea was people could see  my paintings and buy one, or I give them my blog/website and they could buy mugs or bags from my store on Zazzle.

It was not the ideal display, since putting hooks into the wall for my 35 paintings was not going to happen, so I filled the ping pong table, lined the wall along the floor with others and put some in a hutch. This gives me the idea that there must me a way to have a vertical pole (maybe 6 feet tall)  with a number of adjustable hooks on it that you can assemble at any site. I have not looked yet , but I'm sure some one has thought of that already
 Most people expressed interest in going to my site and buying Mugs or Bags from my stores on Zazzle or maybe my Fine Art America store.  One woman Marie decided to buy my "Sailboat In An LBI Sunset" painting. She loves lighthouses and has one of my lighthouse paintings. I was surprised she bought a sunset. There was a beautiful sunset that night and it inspired her to buy the sunset. Its in a black frame & she is going to hang it over her mantle with other black framed family and other pictures. Here are a few pictures of Marie with the painting and the setup. When she finally gets it hung, I'll have her send me a picture of it and I'll post it

and it waiting to go in her bag
and the rather unusual display

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Art site spotlight - Art Therapy Without Borders Facebook Page

New category for my posting - Art Sites - websites, Facebook pages or whatever more or less fits. Today its one of my favorite Facebook pages  -  Art Therapy Without Borders. Their basic mission is -  Promoting international art therapy initiatives in mental health, healthcare, and education through social media worldwide. I have friends who do music, art and other such therapies in a number of nursing homes and hospitals, so I am doubly sympathetic to the concept.

What I love is all the artist encouragement "posters" that they post.  I am always sharing them on my regular and art FB pages and sometimes using them as a profile pic. check them out and check out the page and their web site

Friday, November 15, 2013

from Saatchi online - how to pack your art work

Okay, once you have sold a painting outside your area you have to pack it. I give my paintings as wedding gifts. My method of packing is to wrap it in paper towels and then get an unscented house hold garbage bag, place it inside and fold it around the painting. This give a little air cushion to it. Then I wrap it in wedding gift wrap. So far, Ive never had to ship them anywhere. This article from Saatchi online had a lot of great pointer to how to ship a painting. Check it out!

Packing art work

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Painting - Nova Scotia Barn in Fall I

One of my favorite places is Nova Scotia. Peggy's Cove, Digby, Baddeck, The Cabot Trail -  all great places. I listen on-line to KLEE from Baddeck. I have friends who are moving there. Since I usually paint from photos, I troll Facebook for pictures from friends and, in this case, the Nova Scotia page. This is a photo by Phil Volger off that page. I always ask permission to paint someone's photo and usually get it. This is a nice Fall scene of a barn in Welsford, Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley region. As usual I've created a mug and a bag via Zazzle for this painting and you can create other products, too. So here's the painting. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

another good Lori McNee post - 5 unique ways to brainstorm out of a creative rut

Lori always has some great posts about the creative process and other topics the artist should be interested in. My last post contained her the process of doing commissions. This article is one she found on
Mike Wienke's blog  brain boltz
This article is 5  unique ways out of a creative rut. This is one for writers, painters, song writers and any other creative types who are not being so! Here's the article from Lori's site - 5-unique-ways-to-brainstorm-out-of-a-creative-rut

The 5 ideas are -
Create An Inspiration File
Draw The Dictionary
Forced Association
Stream Of Consciousness Writing
Meditation / Do Something else

Go to the article to get the details
I like the line -
As the old saying goes, “A watched pot never boils,” so stop waiting for inspiration to strike.

check it out!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good article from Lori McNee - Commission Art: Tips to make it a success

One the things I want to do as an artist is to accept commissions from people to paint their favorite landscape style photo and do it in my own personal vacuum.  In my mind it would be a simple thing, but this article commissioned art - tips to make it a success from Artist Lori McNee on her FineArtTips  Facebook page is making me re-think that strategy. Here, she'd talking about major projects but even small ones still needs to be some kind of agreement hammered out. Understandings and expectations need to be clarified. She includes meeting schedules and agendas and a form to be filled out in the final agreement. As always a good article

Monday, October 28, 2013

recipes for the feeding of a Starving Artist - Butternut squash ravioli with Hazelnut pesto

Have I mentioned I love Butternut Squash (BnSq)?I posted a BnSq ravioli recipe in my last starving Artist post a few days ago. Here is another BnSq ravioli recipe.

Butternut Squash ravioli with Oregeno hazelnut pesto

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sold a print of my Fishing Boat - Galilee RI on Fine Art America

Sales of anything related to my work have been few and far between, so when something happens I want to make note of it. One of the sites I have my paintings posted on is Fine Art America and someone bought a   Fishing Boat - Galilee RI print

Here's the painting -

Friday, October 25, 2013

from Artpromotivate - 103 topics to write for art blogs

I am not a consistent blogger. I write occasionally, like when I begin a new painting or when its finished. I also have my Recipes for the Starving Artist and an occasional spotlight on an artist I find interesting. I'm looking for ideas and this article showed up as a tweet from Artpromotivate 103-topics-to-write-about-for-art-blogs
Here are a few from this article. Gotta do some of these!
  1. Artists you admire, and why.
  2. A recent painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. you are working on.
  3. Why you decided to become an artist.
  4. Topics about your art creation process.
  5. Lessons you have learned as an artist.
  6. Tips on art promotion.
  7. How you choose your painting palette.
  8. A slideshow of your art.
  9. Blog your favorite artist quotes.
  10. Quotes that inspire you.
  11. Tips on using your sketchbook

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Art Show at Bergen Community: I may do my own paintings

Hurricane Sandy left a huge mark on New Jersey, not just the ravaged Jersey Shore, but also on how our electronic lives were disrupted. I took many pictures of people sitting on the floor huddled around the power ports at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus. The 3 malls in Paramus had their own power supply so people flocked to them to have what I called Post-apocolyptic Electronic Campfires. Never thought about trying to paint some of them until this article appeared in The Record of North Jersey about a Hurricane Sandy Art Exhibit  at Bergen Community College. I will have to do them faceless, which is a style I like. This will enable viewers to put themselves in to the picture. Maybe create my own sub-genre.
There's a great photo of the huge waves from Sandy surrounding the Ocean Grove fishing pier which I thought would make a great painting. but never did it. I may attempt that, too. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Recipes for the feeding of a starving artist - Butternut Squash Ravioli

Okay, we've bee working hard on our visual art lives, so its time to contemplate that other art - cooking! I've made this dish - Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce once or twice. Delicious! It may seem like cheating to use wonton wrappers instead of pasta, but it works! There is also a version with sherried onion sauce  thats great, too. Just serve them with toasted walnuts or pecans and dried cranberries! Yum! The recipe Butternut Squash Ravioli
and the picture

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Van Saun Park Art Show on 10/12/13

Every year for a long time, the Van Saun County Park in Paramus, NJ has had an Art in The Park show, a place where local aritsts can get together for free and display their works to the public and maybe sell of few pieces. It was on Sat 10/12/13 . All during the week, the forecast for for a cloudy, rainy day. I posted on FB asking for prayer that it would be a nice day and it turned into a beautiful day!

A couple of my friends were also in it: John Dunic is a friend from all the way back in grade school who has always been into artistic ventures. The sand mermaid that he made at the senior picnic in 1971 is still remembered by many. The was his umpteeth show there. Anothe friend was Mary Taylor one of my favorite local Christian singer/song writers and a great artist. A few of my friends showed up to support me but did not get any sales. There did not seem to be much selling going on. Its a free juried show, which is a rarity. I enjoyed talking to a number of other artists and it seems many people liked my work. I am charging about 200 dollars for my paintings and in their opinion, thats just about right! I got alot of good tips on presentation and a few other things.

A this point, I am including the culinary side of my nature by saying the food options were nonexistant and needs to be addressed! I would be nice if some of those food trucks could be available to show some of the culinary arts along with the visual arts. Here are a few pictures
Here's my section
 here's Mary Taylor's section. My favorite of hers is on the upper right - "Living Room Dancer"
and John Dunic's section
and here is Jeannie Weiss seeing the painting "Sailing Into An LBI Sunset" I did from her photo (as detailed in my last post

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New painting: Sailing Into An LBI Sunset

11 x 14 oil on canvas board.
This is the second painting in a new painting category of ocean sunsets. My longtime friend Jeannie Weiss and her family have a place on the bayside of Long Beach Island (LBI) on the Jersey Shore. They are always posting sunset pictures taken from from their deck. This one just insisted on being painted. so I did. My technique of getting the transition on the water between bright sunset colors and dark ocean needs work. I mentioned this when I posted the picture on my FB pages, so I'm sure I'll get some links from my friends list. As usual, I've created  some products on Zazzle - mugs bags and postcards

here's the painting
 and heres the orginal

Saturday, October 5, 2013

currently on my easel - an LBI sunset

This is from a photo a friend Jeannie Weiss took from her back deck on Long Beach Island in NJ. I need to get some practice with my sunset paintings and this one she posted just screamed to be painted. I'm just beginning work on it

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Painting: Herring Cove - Nova Scotia.

Two of my favorite subjects to paint are fishing village scenes and Nova Scotia, which is full of them. Herring Cove is at the entrance to Halifax Harbor. As usual, check my merchandising section at the top of this blog for any products from Zazzle, Fineartamerica and Imagekind. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First Baptist Summer Art Gallery closing

The Summer Art Gallery I set up at my church, First Baptist Hackensack is closing to make way for the church's school art student displays. It was a very successful first year and I look forward to next year. May even have an opening reception. I posted this "Press Release" on the church's FB page.

First Baptist Hackensack Summer Art Gallery
Press Release – 9/24/13
Subject –  closing of the 2013 sessions
From – The Curator
For immediate release

The Curator is pleased to announce the closing of a very successful first year of the  First Baptist Hackensack Summer Art Gallery on Sunday Sept 29th.  The final exhibition was myself and Don Maitland. We have seen many of the members of First Baptist Church come forward and show the artistic talents God has given to them. We wish to thank Walter and Rosalee Glemann, Wayne and Meghan Cahilly, Donna Prendergast, Beverly Orwig, Roly Medois, Don Maitland and Carol Tripp for sharing with us. The Curator’s particular favorite is Roly Medois’ picture of First Baptist Church surrounded by musical symbols. The Radiator Galley will also be closing.
We will re-open, God willing, the Sunday after Father’s Day in 2014. I hope those who expressed interest in exhibiting, but never did, will do so then, You have 9 months to think about what you want to show. Thank you all for a successful 2013 season. We now return control of  the control of the board in Leach Memorial Hall to HCS, so their students can display their gifts.

Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.                    Leo Buscaglia

1 Peter 4:10 - As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace…. :

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My cousin Sharon Guynup is co-publishing a book - Tigers Forever

My cousin is a photographer and writer, traveling the world , many times with her son Nicki.

She is co-publishing (Sharon's text and Steve Winters photography) a book. Tigers Forever, which comes out Nov. 12th from National Geographic Books. Sharon's work as a journalist and photographer has taken her across the globe. She has contributed to Smithsonian, The New York Times Syndicate, Scientific American, The Boston Globe, BBC Wildlife, Popular Science, nationalgeographic.com and Audubon, and other publications. She lived in Turkey for a year as a Fulbright Scholar and is a NJ State Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient.
Sharons webite 
Tigers Forever
Tigers Forever lecture 

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Painting: Vacation's Last Sunset- Curacao. 11 x 14 oil on canvas board

One of my weaknesses is painting ocean sunsets. I get the sky okay, but I need to work on the ocean part of it. This is from a friend's (Laura Jaarsma) photo from her last vacation. I have a lot of other sunset paintings I want to do.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm entering the Art In The Park exhibition at Van Saun County Park

The Art In the Park and Concert at the Van Saun County Park in Paramus has been going on for quite a while. I did not enter the past few years because of other commitments but I'm planning to do so this year. I just called in for the basic info. Its October 12th. If anyone in the area would like to do so, call 201-336-7292. Here's the web page for the show Van Saun Art in the Park

Monday, August 26, 2013

Its nice to know I have a recognizable style.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my family and I  and many of my friends have been going to the Christian family camp in the Adirondacks called Camp-of-the-Woods for many years. I have done a number of paintings of Camp. Three of them are hanging in the stairway to the 3rd floor of the main lodge called Purdy Center.

One family, the Zubers, have been going there many years, too. One daughter, Janet, who is my age, met her husband there while on staff. They have not been there for many years, so they all decided to go last week. Janet was walking up the stairs, saw the paintings and said to her mother that they looked like my style of painting. Closer inspection revealed my signature on them. They took pictures of the paintings.

When I walked into church this Sunday, the mother, Ellie, handed me a envelope containing the pictures, saying they were thrilled to see my work in display. Nice to know I have a recognizable style! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Baptist Summer Art Gallery - Roly Medois' entry

Another artist in the congregation added his work to our third exhibition - Roly Medois. He is one of the song  worship leaders. As usual I put out a "press release" that was posted on the church's FB & Twitter pages

First Baptist Hackensack Summer Art Gallery
Press Release – 8/18/13
Subject –  Third exhibition, part 2
From – The Curator
For immediate release

The Curator is pleased to announce a new exhibit on the FBHSAG wall for the 3rd exhibition in addition to  Poetry by Donna Prendergast, Carol Tripp – Sew & Sew
And The Art of Beverly Orwig

The Art Works by Roly
Roly Medois is one of our song worship leaders and his art work comes in a number of mediums – drawing, acrylic, photography and 3-d animation on a laptop. A favorite is his acrylic of the outside  front of the church surrounded by musical symbols. The surrounding streets are a piano key board and a stringed guitar neck.  The 3-d animation show a vehicle chassis and the drawing is a self portrait

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My entry in See.me Art Takes Paris contest - need votes!

There's an art site called see.me and they have an Art Takes Paris contest which I have entered. I have to Share my entry with friends, family and fans to gain 19 more votes before This Monday August 19th 11:59pm EST and they will post my  entry on their Facebook page, followed by over 300,000 people! So check it out!
Art takes Paris

Monday, August 12, 2013

First Baptist Hackensack Summer Art Gallery - 3rd exhibition

This is the 3rd exhibition in my church's (First Baptist Hackensack) Summer Art Gallery series.I am the Curator. It's been interesting getting people to come out of their artistic shell sometimes to get them to publicly display their talents. As usual, I had "published" a press release on the church's FB  and Twitter page & also pictures.
One exhibitor we could not post picture of their work was Donna Prendergast's poetry. She is intending to publish them in an on-line book, so doing so here would have thwarted that. The title of Carol Tripp's exhibit of sewing pictures ("Sew and Sew") was a mutual idea, as long as I did not put "Old" in front of it. The post-exhibition gallery in the church is now called the Radiator Gallery. This is where examples of past exhibitions are shown.
I also spoke the Hackensack Christian School principal about extending our time using the board before the school's art class took it back and she was fine with it. So we will go into September, if there is any interest in by more exhibitors.

First Baptist Hackensack Summer Art Gallery
Press Release – 8/11/13
Subject –  Third exhibition
From – The Curator
For immediate release

The Curator is pleased to announce 3 new exhibitions on the FBHSAG wall

The Poetry of Donna Prendergast
Donna is a member of  FBH Missions Committee. We have a selection of her poetry on our wall. Two of her poems: Servant and Send Me On, were used in our Missionary Conference a few years ago. Send Me On was a song with music by Rosalee Gleman. She will be publishing a book of her poems in the near future

Carol Tripp – Sew & Sew
She is a long time member of FBH, part of the Hospitality Team the works the kitchen during church functions  and an accomplished sower. We have pictures of her work showing her sewing prowess with wedding dresses and a bride’s head dress and some children’s costumes.

The Art of Beverly Orwig
Beverly is a long time member of FBH and helps run the Bereans. Her daughter Beverly is a missionary to France along with her husband John Mitchell. We have here a selection of her paintings in various styles and a needlepoint of Mont St.Michel in France

As usual, we have examples of previous exhibitions sitting on the heat registers in the church sanctuary. This will be known as the Radiator Gallery.

We have a few more weeks to put examples of your handiwork up. Please contact me to do so.