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, 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