About Me

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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, January 24, 2014

guest article from Artbusiness - How any artist can price thier work for sale

This is on of the many things that drives artists crazy - what is the actual monetary value of my work.
There's my view - all the work I put into it, etc.
Theres what people who do similar work to me are charging.
There's what people are willing to pay. I've had an experience with this with my most recent painting of a Cardinal In the Snow. A friend said she really loves cardinals and how do I get this one. I quote my usual price and got a "not in my budget" reply.
There's may other factors and this article from Artbusiness  How any artist can price their work for sale is a good one. Lots of good ideas here. Check it out

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New painting: Cardinal In The Snow 11 x 14 oil on canvas board.

Here's another painting I've done from a picture posted on Delilah 's Facebook page. Its a picture of a cardinal sitting in a snow encrusted bush. I may start adding birds to my subjects. I have an attorney friend who's been taking a lot of bird pictures lately. Of course I better have permission from him! As usual check my merchandising section for Mugs and bags with this image in it.
Cardinal In the Snow - 11 x 14 oil on canvas board

Monday, January 13, 2014

Interesting artist studios - the Long Studio on Fogo Island, Canada

a friend of mine posted this on my FB page. Its called the Long Studio on Fogo Island near Newfoundland in Canada. From the article, it seems like the island is an artist colony with other studios on it (and I've not seem the others, this one is mind bobbling. Its a Echer-like optical illusion of a building. The site describes it like this
"The concept of the long studio responds to the transition of the seasons. The studio is organized in a linear from that consists of three different spaces. An open but covered area representing the spring marks the entrance to the studio and the beginning of the seasonal activity. The central portion is left open and mostly exposed to be fully immersed in all that is offered by the long summer days on Fogo Island. The end and main body of the studio is fully enclosed to provide an area of protection and solitude from the outside environment while still providing a connection to the landscape through a strategically framed view of the dramatic surrounding."
So here's a couple of pictures to whet your appetite. Drool away! May you get one of your own somewhere

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Recipes for the feeding of a starving artist - Butternut Squash and Cheddar bread pudding

Time for another post of the foodie side of me. As Ive posted before, I really like butternut squash (bnsq) and like making savory bread puddings. This post combines the two with a recipe from Bon Appetit: a bnsq and cheddar bread pudding. I've made a basic version of this, but this recipe kicks it up a notch by adding mustard and kale. I'm sure its delicious, check it out!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bob Ross "Happy Little Clouds" - a painter's music video

As I've stated a few times, Bob Ross was my painting inspiration. Watching him got me started on the path to being a painter. A friend came a cross this video from PBS Digital Studios that remixed many of Bob's gentle teaching into a music video. Love this! "I believe" "Every day is a good day when you paint" Check it out Bob Ross Remix

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year! A review of my 2013 art life!

Happy New Year to all my readers! Here's a review of 2013,. Grab a cup o coffee or tea and your favorite pastry. You're  gonna be here a while!
Its not been the most productive year, only 17 paintings, but a few of them have been departures from my normal subjects. The biggest one is actually putting people in a couple of them, even though I did not paint their faces. My "Dancing in the Plaza de Espana - Ronda Spain" is one such work. It was from a photo I took in Spain and had a desire to paint it, but never having painted people in the painting, I was hesitant at first, but decided to go for, expecting to have to re-do it a time or two. It turned out almost perfect the first time! No lessons or sketching or anything. Just put paint to canvas and there they were!

The other people painting was from a side trip we took to Fez Morocco. I took a picture of a fish merchant swatting away flies in the Fez Medina. It turned out pretty good, too.
Another departure was some still lifes I did - my Blue Chair with Lavendar and Birdhouse with Black-eyed Susans. There I found on various websites and got permission to paint.The Birdhouse one I just posted, so here's the Blue Chair -

In January I got an invitation to display at a gallery in Kingston New York on the strength of a painting I did of the Rondout Lighthouse at the junction of The Hudson and Rondout rivers in Kingston. I had been on a river cruise with my church group during the summer and took a number of pictures of that and the Esopus Meadow lighthouses. The Cornell Street Studios  wanted the first one for the "We Love Kingston NY" art show opening on Feb 9, 2013 with a multi media extravaganza. This is 2 hours north of me and would have required several trips back and forth, plus some financial things. I just accepted the honor of the thing and gratefully declined. Turned out there was a massive snow storm that week that would have made getting there dangerous. There's acouple of other pictures I took of the area, so once I build uo a Kingston catalogue, I may try again. Here's that painting.
There was also the Van Saun Park Art Show and Concert that has been going on for many years. This is a Bergen County sponsored juried art show that was free to enter on Oct 12th. Over 100 are artists were there, displaying their work and I joined them this time/ No sales, but go my work out there.

Then there was the First Baptist Church Summer Art Gallery that I curated. There's a large board at the entrance to our gym that is used during the year by out Christian School's art students, but is empty by Father's Day, so I got permission to us it for the artists in our congregation. Many came forth with photography, painting, crosstitch and other media. I tried to have two week shows from July thru the end of September and it worked pretty well. I issued "press releases" for each show on the church's FB ,Twitter and web pages. Hope for more response next year.  I had a bunch of other pics, but this is the only one I could find.
Finally, I sold another painting, a rare occurrance! This is another painting that I did of a friend's photo. This time it was a sunset picture from a friend's deck on the bay side of Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. It have a sailboat sailing into it! Another friend, Marie (who also has another of my paintings) bought it. It was in a black frame and said would fit with other black frame picture and paintings above her fireplace
So here's  hoping for more good painting and more sales in 2014. it could be a bump