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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New painting: Central Park - Gapstow Bridge in Winter

A friend posted a picture on FB of the bridge on The Pond in the Southeast corner of NYC's Central Park, looking towards the Plaza Hotel. Liked it so I painted it. I posted an in-progress picture of the painting on FB and she said she might buy it. I do need to work on how I paint bare trees.

Monday, December 29, 2014

10 rules for artists to live by - the Elite Daily version

I know, I know, there are many versions from many sources  of this "10 rules for artists to live by" tag, enough that you can go into a MEGO (my eyes glaze over) state. Ad-infinitum, ad-nauseum. Despite that, they are worth looking into. While most repeat, they each can give different insights on the same idea that will help someone reading it. Its good to check each of them out, 'cause you never which one will speak to your situation.
This one is from Elite Daily
One of my favorites is:

4. Nothing’s free.
You will often hear, “I can’t pay you, but it will be great exposure!” You must value yourself and not give into these offensive offers.

Check out the rest

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Art posters - "Blessed are the weird people" and more

The various art pages on Facebook and some artist friends are always posting what I would call artist encouragement poster. They are there to comfort and encourage those of us who see the world in a different way and express it via painting, sculpture, and other forms. Here are a few I've collected and I hope they help you on your artistic way

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mother & 2 year old daughter art collaboration

Every parent or aunt or uncle or grandparent knows the joy of a taking a child's painting or finger painting or some other artistic output and putting it up for display somewhere in the house, usually the refrigerator or bulletin board. Hopefully the kid finds this an encouragement to go further. Artist Ruth Oosterman has take this a big step further by taking her two year old daughter Eve's doodles and made the  basis for some beautiful pantings. I first saw pictures of this on The  Architecture and Design FB page, but with few details. I found an extensive article on it in the Huffington Post.
Check it out.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Painting: Nantucket Harbor Fall

As stated in previous posts, Nantucket is one one of my favorite places to go (if only for a bike trip and Hostel stay) and paint. Can across a picture Fall of Nantucket Harbor, so I painted it. Hope you like it. As usual you can buy a Mug or a  bag fro Zazzle with this image on it

Sunday, December 14, 2014

NYC's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum reopens

The Copper Hewitt Design Museum (a branch of the Smithsonian) has always been one of my favorite, quirky museums in New York.  Its in an old mansion a few blocks north of the Guggenheim and its all about design. It doesn't get as much attention as its fellow museums to the south on Museum Mile, but its worth looking into. Its been closed for a few years for extensive renovation and is just re-opening. I've not seen it yet but would be a great check out the changes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Neighorhood in Califorina Links their Christmas lightshows

This time of year we get the ever escalating Christmas light decorations and shows. People go nuts decorating their homes with sometimes hundreds of thousands of lights and, with the advent (pun intended) of more powerful electronics, can find more and more creative ways to synch them to music. It can be fun for visitors passing thru and get your display on the news or social media, but might be a tad annoying for neighbors. One neighborhood in California overcame that problem and got really creative by synching the entire neighborhood to music. With a drone hovering above, we get to see the entire thing.  Once a year, right? Here it is as reported in the Huffington Post

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Video - The Silent Monks and the Hallelujah Chorus

We artists appreciate creativity, especially when it gives a new view of things we already know and love. Here is a creative way of performing the Hallelujah Chorus. Its been around awhile, but if you've not seen it, its worth a look.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lost art work found in Stuart Little movie

Next time your watching a movie at home or in the theater, take a moment  to check out the art in the set decoration. You may find something like like art researcher Gergely Barki did while watching a Stuart Little movie and see a lost masterpiece like Bereny's Sleeping Lady With A Back Vase in the background. Be watching!

New York's High Line Park - old into the new

My city New York is ever changing, ever re-purposing the old into the new. The new High Line Park on NYC's Lower East Side is one of those stellar re-purposings. An old elevated train line, that sat abandoned for years and turned itself into a wild elevated forest. Debate raged as to what to do with it and the end result is this wonderful park in the sky. It ends at the NY train yard around 38th st which will soon have skyscraper forest arising on a platform being built over it.It is becoming a very in place to be on and for restaurants and other institutions to be around.  The Whitney Museum, when it decided to move from its Upper East Side location and had to chode a new site for its new building, chose the lower end of the High-line instead of the South Street Seaport to place its new home  Check out the Washington Post's article on it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Street Art - beautiful steps from around the world

Street art comes in all forms. Some is gang related to mark a territory. Its beautiful but with an unspoken message to other gangs to stay away. It could be an artist trying make his or her mark like Banksy. Some just seeing a wall with some features that beg for an artistic addition, like painting fire hydrants or, as in this case public stairs. One of my favorites is a video of subway stairs being painted to look like a piano and sensors implanted to make each step sound like the notes stepped on (like in the movie Big).
The Architecture and Design FB page posted a collection of pictures of painted stairs from around the world. Check them out. Art everywhere!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Artist spotlight - Hannah Rothstein Thanksgiving dishes for charity

This time of year is when we who have the talent and means to give make a special effort to do so. Artist Hannah Rothstein has created a series of images showing How Famous artists would plate Thanksgiving meal. 25 signed, limited edition prints available per image, $75 each. All prints 16" x 20", except the Sherman print, which is 16" x 16". %10 of profits will be donated to the SF-Marin Food Bank. For inquiries, write art@hrothstein.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Art of the NYC Subways - 30th anniversary of the Art &Design program

Being a resident of Northern NJ, I get into New York City a lot and ride the subways many times. Music abounds on the platforms as musicians try and raise their personal fortune and occasionally on the cars themselves between stop.
The visual arts abound on the NYC subway platforms. The 81st street stop for the Museum of Natural  look like representation of the museum with mosaics and bas relief sculptures of dinosaurs and insects and other things. The walkway tunnel between Times Square and the PA Bus Terminal have sculpture dioramas in the walls.
All this to say this is the 30th anniversary of the NYC Subway's Art and Design program. There are hundreds of various kinds of art works all thru the system and they have published a book called . New York’s Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts & Design with 300 pictures o various art installations in the subways. Mashable has posted an entry about this this along with 12 selections of whats there. Enjoy! And go art hunting on the subway!

Recipes for the feeding of a starving artist - Thanksgiving leftover loaf

Artists need to eat and Thanksgiving is in a few weeks. We all have our plans, including what to do with the leftovers.  I usually do all the cooking. We always have my sister's turkey soup from the turkey carcass. I'm always making turkey and stuffing sandwiches and sautéing everything together except for the stuffing, which I fry nice and crisp. I'm always looking for new ways to do this. Saw one that involved a waffle iron. Bread or tortillas with the leftovers inbetween. This one is a  Thanksgiving leftover loaf check it out!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Plant scupltures from the Montreal Botanical Gardens

We artistic types seek inspiration and motivation from many other genres. Seeing others practicing their art can energize ours. One FB page I get some of this is  the Architecture and Design FB page.
I previously posted some glass sculptures there and now some great plant sculptures from the Montreal Botanical Gardens. If you have not checked out the A & D FB page, please do. Some examples.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nova Scotia Art News posts my Peggys Cove Painting

This comes under the heading of its nice to have your art work noticed!
This morning, I check my Twitter feed and this is the first thing I see

Shawna Mac @Shawnamac_  ·                 
Interesting! I  click on the link and there's my blog post about my Peggy's Cove on this on-line "newspaper" put out by Photographer Shawna Mac (also noticed grammatical error or two in my post). She has used the Paper.li site to create a series of art "newspapers" for Newfoundland Ontario Paris  and London plus a Digital Arts newspaper. I am now following her on her Shawnamac_ twitter page and suggest you do too and maybe check out this Paper.li site, too.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Art based Halloween costumes - Starry Night and more

People who seriously dress up for Halloween use anything for inspiration. I love watching the Kelly and Michael Show's Halloween show ( the tradition going back to when it was just the Regis show) with some really creative and wild get-ups.
Many art based costumes are popping up everywhere, on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.   Here are a few I've found. Enjoy and maybe this will inspire you!

New painting: Peggy's Cove - Nova Scotia.

I done several paintings of Peggy's Cove in the past, and here's another one. Peggy's Cove is the basic Nova Scotia fishing village that had become a mecca for artists. Check out Peggys-Cove-Area-Festival-of-the-Arts FB page The lighthouse and the harbor have been painted many times and I'm adding one more. As usual I'm offering a mug via Zazzle with this image on is

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

artist spotlight: Layered Glass Sculptures By Ben Young

I saw this on the Architecture and Design FB page. They always show the work of various artist in many genres. I really enjoyed this one. Layered Glass sculptures by New Zealand's Ben Young. A surfer and boat builder by trade, the beauty of the ocean and waves inspired him to begin sculpting. Check out his site and enjoy some of his work

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My painting is cover photo on The Artistic Blog FB page

The The Artistic Blog Facebook page is using paintings of people who are regular visitors to their page as their cover photo for a week. They asked all who wanted to appear to email several paintings we would want seen and they'd pick one. I got an email telling me my Hilton Head Sunrise painting (which I painted from a photo by a friend Tammy Ingis)  was their cover page for the week (I'd post that, but I seem to have deleted it :-( ). It went up Sunday and should be there the rest of the week (most likely 10/10/14)
Here's the painting

and here's the caption that went along with it

Featured Artist: Jack McKenzie
'Hilton Head Sunrise' 11 x 14 oil on canvas board
Email: jackmck@juno.com
Blog: http://www.landscapesbyjack.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art-Page-of-Jack-Mckenzie/266037300075753
The Art Page of Jack Mckenzie

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beautiful - Kinetic Rain mobile sculpture

There is always some thing new and beautiful to see in art works around the world. Here is a kinetic sculpture called Kinetic Rain (video) installed at the Changi Airport in Singapore. Really beautiful
Check out a full description here

Monday, September 29, 2014

art poster - We all have an inner artist

Love this picture from the The academy of art FB Page that shows how the inner personality of the artist shines forth at all ages. The challenge for parents and teachers is to recognize it and channel it.

here's the caption that accompanied the photo -
 Forget the 'artist type'-- these are personalities inside of us... WE ALL HAVE AN INNER ARTIST who does not conform-- not out of rebellion, but because we are engaged in our own process of exploration and discovery- and we value it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pancake Art - Beatles and beyond

A friend re-posted this from the Karnaval.com site. They are creating portraits of the Beatles using pancake batter .The basics seem to be you first create an outline of the person you want to appear, let is cook for a few seconds, then fill it in. The person's face appears on the pancake. Recreate one of your paintings in pancake batter. This has possibilities beyond just portraits or pancakes.. Something to take and run with.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

art parody- The Persistance of Apple

Love it when there are mashups between art and anything else
A friend posted this picture from the 9gag page on FB . I'm not an iPhone user (I still use one of those flip phones, just one step away from an old rotary phone) .I'm sure there must be a snide commentary here with the dropping iPhone, but I find the picture amusing, as I'm sure Dali himself would.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Its a Scream! Paintings doing the ALS Challenge

Everyone's getting in on the act. From the Recycled-art-Foundation FB page

From Lori McNee - 10 reasons to date an artist

Great article here from artist Lori McNee on 10-reasons-why-you-should-date-an-artist
Many artists thru history have done well in romance department. One of the more interesting examples is Picasso. He'd have one lover going full force with a secret one on the side, who would soon become the major lover. In his paintings, he's sneak in a profile of the secret lover.

Now that is not to say the artist you date will do the same thing. Don't miss out on the possibility for having your face immortalized and having a great time.

Here are a couple of the reasons. Check out the full write up on each in the article

3. You’ll Inspire Them and See Your Own Reflection in Their Work
6. They’re a Great Pictionary Partner

8. Their Creativity Usually Extends  Beyond the Canvas

Friday, September 19, 2014

Great idea from the Living Social site - A Paint Night Party

This is a great idea that I found on Facebook - have a Paint Nite Party. The  Living Social Site Paint Night Event sounds interesting. Its run by others, but you can set one up on your own. Let your artistic imagination run wild. Here's a couple of pictures from the site.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Painting: Sanktay Lighthouse at Sunrise - Nantucket

Nantucket is one of my favorite places to go, if I  can stay at the Hostel. The rest of the places to stay on the island are way too expensive. Day trips are nice, too if you use the fast ferry which gets there in an hour. The regular ferry takes 2.5 hours.
Every September  some friends and I go there for the weekend, stay at the hostel and bike around the Island. I've done many paintings of the Brandt Point lighthouse, but this is my first of the Sanktay Head lighthouse near 'Sconset. #Nantucket #Sanktay

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

art cartoon - a purr-fect exhibit for the Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC is always looking for exhibits that will bring the crowds in. This one (suggested by the New Yorker cartoon) would be a cause of a lot of ticket purr-chases

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today's art Poster - Create what sets your heart on fire

The Art Therapy Without Borders page on FB always has some good inspirational posters for artists.
Here's today's

Friday, September 5, 2014

A mother and daughter union. 4 year old completes mom's drawings

Found this on the The-Art-School-at-Old-Church in Demarest, NJ FB page.
A collaboration (and a fun clash) of styles here.
The artist, Mica Angela Hendricks, was serious about her art and didn’t want her four-year-old daughter Myla near her new sketchbook cause she knew little Myla would want to scribble all over the pages. Then, her daughter said the words that changed everything:
“If you can’t share, we’ll have to take it away.” Which was the phrase mom used when the kids would not share and Myla used her own mother’s words against her. Nnow Mica had no choice but to indulge Myla. She let her daughter finish one of her sketches, and pretty soon, they had a whole collection of collaborations
Check it out

art in any medium - sand, dust and flame

The artistic mind is capable of seeing something ugly and make it beautiful, of seeing a big picture in the mundane and just taking anything and making it beautiful.

Number one - Sand. We've see amazing sidewalk chalk artistry that looks three dimensional, but here are some beach goers with the same idea

Most people see a dusty car and just scrawl "Clean Me' on it. But here's an example of artists
who see something dirty and ugly and make beauty from it. In fact, for British artist Ben Long dusty vehicles are one of his main canvas. From now on, try and pass try and pass a dusty vehicle and not do something about it.
another artist with the same idea

And now flame.  Fire music!

I realize this is not about painting but its shows the artistic mind at work.
A couple of Danish physics students  took a Rubens tube and assembled a device with rows of them and created a 2D pyro board to physically show music. When I was in an engineering college in the 70's a friend created a color organ using a frequency separator and attaching same color Christmas lights to each node. He then put the device in ceiling  over his water bed and replaced the ceiling panel with a textured plexi-glass panel. We would lay on the his water bed in the dark and watch th music. None of us drank or smoked, so it was a close to a psychedelic as we cold come to.
The fire thing in the next step beyond that (thougt not in  the ceiling)  This could catch on! Could there be a 3D pyro board?

Here's an all flame music video