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, December 10, 2016

Art Quote Memes - to encourage us

We artists can be a moody lot sometimes. We question what we are doing and why and need some encouragement to keep going on.her ar a few art quotes I've com across that do just that. Check them out.

Monday, October 31, 2016

New painting - Nubble Lighthouse Sunrise

I've never had an actual commisson to do a painting until now. A woman in my church asked me to do a painting of the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. It's one that's been on my list to do a painting of, but never got around to it. She gave no preferences as to what it was to look like, just saying do your best! A nice bit of carte blanche. I've been doing rather well with sunrises and sunsets, so I went looking for on-line pictures as an inspiration. I found a sunset I liked and combined it with another picture. I showed her a picture of what I did and she was thrilled. I will be giving it to her next Sunday, so expect a picture of her and the painting.
As usual you can buy bags or mugs  from Zazzle with this image on them

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New Painting: Docks of Northwest Cove - Nova Scotia

This is the third painting I've done using a photo from Catherine Rose Photography . She photographs around Nova Scotia. I love  Nova Scotia, which is full of little fishing villages. I do need to travel there again. This one is called Docks of Northwest Cove - Nova Scotia. 11 x 14 oil on canvas board
As usual you can purchase items based on this image from Fine Art America
or Mugs or mugs  or other products from Zazzle 

Friday, July 22, 2016

New Painting: Inkwell Beach Sunrise.

I  love painting pictures posted on the Vineyard Colors FB page. I've done 6 already and they came out rather well. This is from a photo of a sunrise at Inkwell Beach on Martha's Vineyard. This one got away from me and  I can't seem to bring it in line. I'm calling it done and may go back for another try somtime

Monday, July 11, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Patrick Commecy Tromp-L'oeil street artist

I love art like this - brightening up every day life by taking blank building surfaces and transforming it in to a thing of beauty. Banksy does this on a small scale, but this it a village wide thing by French artist Patrick Commecy 
Here are a few. Click the link for more

Friday, July 1, 2016

New painting: Edgartown Lighthouse - Outbound

I was in Martha's Vineyard this past June for my annual bike trip around the island and staying at the hostel with friends. As usual, I took a lot of pictures looking for painting subjects and the Edgartown Lighthouse is always a good bet. It I want any sunrise pics, I depend on the Vineyard Colors FB page for that.
This scene is from the second story of the public fishing dock in Edgatown. Its a great location to get a different  perspective of that lighthouse. This scene is of a catamaran heading out to sea with the lighthouse in the foreground. 11 x 14 oil on canvas board

Sunday, June 26, 2016

New painting: Old Man and Duck

One of my sources for pictures to paint is the Vinyard Colors FB page.  Yann has a commercial paper route. He picks up various newspapers from a boat at 3:30 am and delivers them to various retail establishments across Martha's Vineyard. Along the way he takes beautiful pictures of Martha's Vineyard and posts them. He encourages artists to paint them and email them to him and he posts them on the site. I've done 5 of them.
The 1st weekend in June, my friends and I went on our annual trip to bike the island , staying at the hostel. I wanted to meet Yann. First invitd he and his wife to Saturday dinner (I do the cooking on the trip) and he could not. I suggested riding with him and he passes by the hostel at 6 AM on his way to Edgartown. So we rode and got along well and I got to see a lot of back areas. It was foggy and misty so and got a few shots. He doesn't post people pictures, so he gave this shot of an old man feeding a duck. I took it as a challenge piece, since I've never done people up this close or ducks. It turned out pretty good.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Painting sold: Rose Christmas Cove House

The Rich and Dale Rose are a couple from my church. I grew up with Dale and her sister Denise. Rich's family hs this house in Christmas Cove and they posted a picture of a set table in front of the house and I ended up painting it for them, kind of a back door commission. They came by today on their way up from Virginia to that house to pick up the painting. The painting over his right shoulder is one I did from  picture his daughter took of a fishing dock in Christmas Cove

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What is art trickery

It happens in many fields - food, art, politics when the experts and regular folk get bamboozled by pranksters or just plain mistaken identity.In 2014 food critics at a the annual food convention in Houten in The Netherlands where served MacDonald food, being told is was “new, organic alternative to fast food”. The critics loved it.
In the art realm, there can be a lot of confusion as to what is intentional or accidental art. If it's in a gallery setting, then what's sitting around unattended must be art. The casual museum goer be as well as seasoned professionals can be fooled. The story comes of a museum where a prankster left a pair of glasses on the floor of a gallery and everyone got all excited about it. It was a prank but soon took a life of its own to be considered a sort of performance piece. Check out the article here.
Also check out this article 9 signs youre an art snob

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New painting: Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Fishing Shed

Here is my second painting using the photography of Catherine Rose on Facebook . This is of a very popular fishing shed in Blue Rocks Nova Scotia.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

New Painting - Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia I

I  look thru the various social media, looking for pictures to paint, especially of places I've already traveled to. There are many professional photographers who are pleased as punch to have someone paint their photos. I just did 5 paintings from the Vineyard Colors FB  page that documents many sunrise and snow pictures of Martha' Vineyard that I would not ordinarily get when I go there in June on a weekend biking trip. They even post them on their page, side by side with the original.
Nova Scotia is another favorite place (Ive done a few from there)  and I've come across photographer Catherine Rose work as she goes around the Province and other places. She did a series of Photos around   Blue Rocks,Nova Scotia  and I am about to do some from that series, with her permission, of course, starting with this one, which I am calling Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia I

It seems that little gray fishing shed in the water is one of the most photographed building in the area, similar to the fishing shed in Rockport Mass called Motif_Number_1 (I've done a painting or two of that one myself). I'll be doing one or two of this one, too. My preference goes to the red building in this painting.
She also has a series from Peggy's Cove, a fishing village that draws artists like flies (including me)

Monday, April 11, 2016

New painting - Whaleback Lighthouse with Sailboat

Being a painter also means being familiar with how your camera works, since you need to take a photo of the painting to post on all your social media and other places. I found this out when I photographed this one.
This painting is from the FB page Eric Gendron Photography and is of the Whaleback Lighthouse on the border between New Hampshire and Maine. This is the second on I've done, the first showed a fishing boat going past it. I did the painting and took the picture, but the sky came out gold.
I posted this picture on Eric's FB page with a mention of this problem, He suggested I change my camera's white balance. My white balance on the camera was set at automatic, so I experimented and tried incandescent  and it worked. Never really had this problem before but the camera will be on that setting everytime I take the picture

If you remember about a year ago, there was a controversy about the changing color of a certain dress. It looked one way in a photo and another way in person.  All the explanations I came across were either psychological or difference in human perception. I suspect part of the problem was that it was a white balance issue with the camera.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

new painting - Gifford Covered Bridge Snowstorm

I haven't done a painting of a covered bridge in a while, having done my last few paintings of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. This is from a photo on the FB page of Vermont Four Seasons Photography . Vermont is another favorite place of mine, full of barns and covered bridges. This is from last year sometime and I've had it in my  "I want to paint this" file for a while. Since I just did 2 Vineyard Haven Harbor snowstorm pictures, I thought I would continue the idea with this picture. I'm looking for a few more.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Art parody - auto mechanics recreate art classics

I love a good art parody - when people take various well know art works and enhance or recreate them in amusing and unexpected ways, like inserting Doctor Who's Tardis in Starry Nights or the crew of Battlestar Galactica recreating the Last Supper. Here, we have auto mechanics
recreating Renaissance Masterpieces like The Creation. This was done by photographer Freddy Fabris. Check out the rest of them in the link above

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New painting: Watching and Waiting

New painting: Watching and Waiting. 11 x 14 oil on canvas board. So, after 5 Martha's Vineyard paintings in a row, I felt the need to do something different, even though I had a few more of Vineyard Colors pictures that interested me. I was not sure what and then Facebook brought up a suggested site: a Ukrainian page called Dome, slatki dome with this picture on it. It's not in English, but the picture said paint me, so I did. https://www.facebook.com/Domeslatkidome/
As usual, you can get this image as a mug or a bag from Zazzle

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New painting - Vineyard Haven Harbor Snowstorm II

Another painting from the Vineyard Colors website and FB page. They are artist friendly posters , so check them out.This is a second painting of a series of photos they posted of a snowstorm. There are some photos of Oaks Bluff Victorian-style Houses that I want to so also. This shows the dock with the yellow fishing shed that I painted before.  This is called Vineyard Haven Harbor Snowstorm II. 11 x 14 oil on canvas board. As usual, you can buy mugs or bags from Zazzle.

Friday, February 26, 2016

New painting: Vineyard Haven Harbor Snowstorm

This is another painting from the Vineyard Colors FB page.
He encourage artists to use his photos to paint with and will post them on the site if you email them to him. This is of  a snow storm in Vineyard haven Harbor on Martha's Vineyard. As usual, you can purchase mugs or bags from Zazzle

Thursday, February 25, 2016

artist spotlight - Van Gogh's paintings animated by Luca Agnani Studios

 Very Cool. There seems to be a lot of people animating art these days. First one I saw was of Starry Nights. Here are the paintings of Van Gogh animated by luca agnani studio that someone posted on my FB page. They found it on the Bright Side FB page. Very cool!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sold my Pe-dawn Vineyard Haven Fishing Dock painting!

So, I had just finished my last painting - Pre-dawn Vineyard Haven Fishing Dock and started posting it on my usual Social Media sites and merchandise sites. I get done and not more than an hour after    I started a friend from Redeemer posts he wants to buy it. Eric Sieward and I have talked at a few times about my paintings and has paintings from his other artist  friends. He's been waiting for one of mine strike him just right. This one did. Tonight at Redeemer we made the exchange. He will be sending me a picture of how he framed it and where it's hung (hopefully not in the back of a closet.)
So here is one of my children getting sent out into the world and its new owner
I painted this using a photo I found on the Vineyard Colors FB page. They encourage artists to paint their photos. Email a photo of the painting and they will post it on their page  Check it ot

Friday, February 19, 2016

New York's Met Museum Logo Problems

Museums, like any other business, are into branding and their logo is a big part of that. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has decided to change its logo. Since 1970  the Logo was this

but now they've chosen to go with this
and it's unleashed a huge controversy

I have person experience with the problems this might cause. I have no problem with the new one stylistically. The Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center may have issues, since both are called The Met. I worked at the museum in the IT department 1990 to 2010. My supervisor was named Judah Levine and he got a package addressed J Levine, The Met, New York , USA. It was an opera score for James Levine at The Met Opera from Vienna and the post office decided to send it to the museum. Confusion is possible.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Painting - Pre-dawn Vineyard Haven Docks

This is another painting I've done using photos from the Vineyard Colors FB page. Loved the feel of the original picture , so I painted it. This is a scene from a fishing dock in Vineyard Haven , Martha's Vineyard across from the ferry dock. Here's the painting. and, as usual ou cane purchase a bag
or mug from Zazzle

and here's the original photo

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I painted one of Vineyard Colors photos and they posted it!

Martha's Vineyard is a favorite place of mine, as I've stated before. I've painted a few of my pictures, but to get some more interesting shots, I turn to Facebook and other social media. I make sure I get permission before I do so. The Vineyard Colors FB page posts pictures and has given blanket permission to all artists to  paint them. I have done two. This one. Oaks Bluff Gazebo at Sunrise I  posted previously when I finished it. Here is the link to Vineyard Colors
reposting of that painting along with the picture I used. The picture that ends up there gets brightened in  the process. but any notice is good notice.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Painting: Camp-of-the-Woods Sunset

Camp-of-the-Woods is a Christian family camp in the Adirondacks on New York State in the village of Speculator. My family has been going there since my mother was a child. Always love going there. I've done 5 paintings of various scenes from there and they are now hanging on the walls of the main building. I used a photo off their website to paint this. As usual you can buy Mugs or bags from Zazzle

Sunday, January 17, 2016

recipe - Butternut Squash Spaetzle

This is another in my Recipes for the Feeding of a Starving Artist
This a recipe assembled from two other recipes
Butternut Squash Spaetzle With Apples and Bacon
From the Food Geek - Butternut Squash Spaetzle with Bacon and Apple
This started with seeing this article in The Record, a local newspaper, for Delcata Squash Spaetzle (a German Egg Noodle)

and I like spaetzle and I need something for a dinner party, so decided to give it a try. Only butternut available, so used that. It needed something more to it so came across a Butternut Squash Spaetzle with Maple Glaze recipe. Decided to ditch the maple glaze part but keep the bacon,roasted squash and apple part. I neglected to save some of the squash when I roasted it so used some sweet potato instead. I got a cheap wide opening colander at Target instead of a spaetzle maker and did two batches. First was a test and the 2nd came out pretty good. Splashed it with some orange juice before serving.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

guest blogger - Lori McNee on creativity blocks

One of the artists I follow on Twitter and Facebook is Lori McNee

who, besides being a painter, is also a writer, blogger and a resource of many kinds of advice for her fellow artist. Her entry of 10-ways-to-overcome-mental-blocks-boost-creativity
contains lot of helpful tips. A couple speak to me
2) change or clean tour enviroment. I have lots items representing my interests in my paint space, giving me inspiration. My cooking magazine collection is here, as is some of my sci-fi images. There's a a block drawing of a Dalek from Doctor Who saying "EX-TER-MIN-ATE". A few old toys and my photograph albums and my TV. But, I tend to be a messy painter. Tubes of paint tend to get other colors on the. The newspapers I use to cover my old TV stand that my mini-easel sits one get messy. Its good to clean everything  off once in a while. Weekly?
4) give yourself a break from technology. I don't own an smart phone, just an old style flip phone, but I have my TV in my paint space and I need to turn it off and any music so I can concentrate on what I'm painting. Try watching a football game when you are painting. Not a good idea. Maybe listening to the Tonight Show or some other talk show rather than watching it And if I did have an iPhone, I would turn off that annoying "bing" you get when a new post comes on.
Check out the rest of her article

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Painting: Oaks Bluff Gazebo at Sunrise

Martha's Vineyard is a another of my favorite New England islands. Its a short ferry ride from Woods Hole, Mass. Oaks Bluff is full of very colorful Victorian style houses, very similar to the New Jersey shore town of Ocean Grove. Both were as Methodist Camp Meeting retreats and maintain many of the characteristics today.
My friends and I go there in June to stay at the Hostel and bike the island
In a large park by the ocean is a Gazebo. It's one of the images used to promote the island. Here is my painting of it. As usual, you can purchase items featuring this painting from Fine Art America, 
or Bags and  Mugs 
and other products from Zazzle

Friday, January 8, 2016

artist spotlight: Doug DeWitt - Elemental

This artist spotlight is special because its family. My sister-in-law's (Julie DeWitt McKenzie) brother, Doug DeWitt, is an artist. He makes found object constructions- stick, stone, wire, rubber sheeting, and weathered boards of wood, creating an abstract narrative of the artist’s experience with a landscape. He's currently has an exhibit called Elemental at the McClean County Arts Center , Bloomington Illinois in Armstrong Gallery January 9 – February 27, 2016 The Artist Reception will be on Friday, January 22 from 5 - 7 pm. Check it out