This week: A Trip to a Historic Painting Spot

I hope you had a great week !

Last week was another gorgeous fall week. There were no hurricanes in sight and we had perfect, warm days with chilly nights. And still no frost in our neighborhood so the flowers are all in bloom!

This past week we were on a road trip for a few days of work and painting in western Massachusetts. I grew up in Northampton, a college town on the Connecticut River. This area is rich in history and a variety of subject matter, from early New England towns, farms, woodlands and river valleys to old mountain ranges. Many years ago a view of this valley was painted by the founder of the Hudson River Painters. Thomas Cole painted a famous painting of the Oxbow at Northampton.

I’ve always liked the expansive area of fields down by the Connecticut river so when Marcus’ concert was over, we drove down into the meadows along the Oxbow. It was peaceful and quiet with just the sounds of birds and the distant cars on the highway that winds its way south across the mountain range. It was the view of this pastoral farm land in Northampton from Mount Holyoke, that inspired Cole to paint his picture.

When we headed out into the network of dirt roads that traverse the meadows I was looking for a spot I had painted previously ten years ago. There aren’t many changes in the meadows but it was hard to find the same road I traveled before as they wind around and in and out of thickets and swamps. After looking a bit I decided to use the precious hours of sunlight wisely and choose a location where I could see most of the Mount Tom range as a backdrop to the open fields.

A single lane dirt road cut through the fields toward the mountains with a hedgerow full of birds on one side and open fields on the other. It was beautiful. I painted till sunset. It was so peaceful out there. Deer came out into the field at sunset to graze. The mountain range lit up with a golden reddish light as the sun went down. Geese heading south flew over head in a big V formation as I painted the last rays of light on the trees. It was a perfect evening.

I hope you get outside to paint this week so you too can spend some time surrounded by the beauty and peace of nature.

You are invited !

NOVEMBER 3rd ~ 5th
THE CRANE ESTATE ART SHOW & SALE
The Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA

DECEMBER 5th ~ JAN 15th
HOLIDAY & WINTER SHOW
Wylers,150 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME

AUTUMN PLEIN AIR CLASS !
PLEIN AIR CLASS ~  Meets Tuesdays 2-5pm
Let me know if you’d like to join us !

NEW:
~ 6 WEEK STUDIO CLASS FOR OIL, ACRYLIC & GOUACHE
~ BEGINNERS TO INTERMEDIATE PAINTERS
~ STARTING OCTOBER 17TH IN YORK, MAINE  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

NEW ONLINE eCOURSE COMING SOON!
Yes, we are organizing for the pre-launch!

I am launching a new online landscape & plein air painting course.

Preview videos will be posted on Facebook & Instagram & Youtube pages.

COMING SOON
* Video: How you start a painting determines your success
* Video: How to make solid design decisions

PHOTO Credits:
Mary Byrom

MY NEWEST PAINTINGS are on display at:
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words, Exeter, NH
Kennedy Gallery, Portsmouth, NH
Mast Cove Galleries. Kennebunkport, Maine
Beachmere Inn on the Marginal Way! You are welcome to visit and see them in the bistro. Available for purchase at the Inn.

NEW PRINTS OF NEW WORKS ARE AVAILABLE HERE!

Warmly,
Mary

Hurricane Along the Maine Coast

It’s hurricane season on the coast…

Last week I changed my work schedule twice to go set up my easel on the coast to paint the great surf  that hurricane Jose sent our way. We were lucky. No storm.  Only the big waves arrived here on the Maine coast. The surfers and plein air painters were very happy.
So were all the visitors here on vacation after the summertime crowds are gone. It was beautiful.  I met the nicest people while out painting this week. Some of these visitors had never been to Maine before. They were amazed at the variety of landscapes they were seeing. Maine has such a variety of landscapes with eastern and western water views.  People couldn’t believe they could watch sunrise and sunsets over the water. There’s nothing quite like this amazing amount of peninsulas and islands we have in our back yard.

They marveled that I actually lived here. I could go  anytime I liked and look at the amazing views.  I remember when I made the decision to move to the seacoast. It had to do with a memory. Of course it was from vacations when I was a child. My grandmother loved Maine. My mother loved Maine. My mother brought us to Maine on a summer vacation. Even though I had plenty of ocean time on Cape Cod when I was a small child, it was South Harpswell, Maine that made me feel like I had arrived home.
The big old house on the water with its little tiny sandy beach looking out to the little island in the bay stole my heart away. The fingers of land reaching out into the water with nooks and crannies, the big dark pines, the little harbors packed with fishing boats and docks and the clusters of little old houses scattered among the thick woods and across the the rocky fields made me want to stay there forever.  Whenever I go back to South Harpswell I get the same feeling that I did when I first went there. I feel like I am home.
I have favorite places to I paint whenever I go there. It’s closer to my house than Boston is. Sadly the sweet, classic, white farm house has been completely over hauled into a plastic summer vacation home. But the bones of the real house are still there and the tiny beach still looks out at the same island. Mackerel Cove still looks beautiful at any time of the day and in any season. And when I get to a nice open spot on Basin Road in West Harpswell and look west on a crisp fall day I can see Mount Washington in New Hampshire with a bright cap of snow on it.
It’s no accident I love painting landscapes.

Yes we are making many videos for my online landscape painting course!  As we set up the tech stuff you will be receiving an invite to view special content that we are preparing. Some of it is for learning and some of it is just for fun. And some is for both fun and learning!  The bonus pre-launch videos are being created daily.
I will let you know when they are up on YouTube and Vimeo where you can watch them.  If you subscribe to my YouTube page you will receive a notice when each one is published.  Here is the link to my page.

COMING UP IN OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER & JANUARY … !

ECOURSE – Prelaunch Videos of my new ecourse.  Dates will be posted soon. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube page and be notified immediately when they are released.

OCTOBER 15TH
CAPE ANN QUICK DRAW
Essex Shipbuilding Museum Essex, MA
Wet Paint Sale 12-3 pm

NOVEMBER 3rd ~ 5th
THE CRANE ESTATE ART SHOW & SALE
The Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA

DECEMBER 5th ~ JAN 15th
HOLIDAY & WINTER SHOW
Wylers,150 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME

AUTUMN  PLEIN AIR CLASS !
PLEIN AIR CLASS ~  Meets Tuesdays 2-5pm
Let me know if you’d like to join us !

IN THE NEWS : PLEIN AIR MAGAZINE September 2017 with Mary Byrom Artist Profile article is now available at Barnes & Noble.
The Artist Profile article will be available online soon.

NEW ONLINE eCOURSE COMING SOON!
Yes, we are organizing for the pre-launch!

I am launching a new online landscape & plein air painting course.

Preview videos will be posted on Facebook & Instagram & Youtube pages.

COMING SOON
* Video: How you start a painting determines your success
* Video: How to make solid design decisions

PHOTO Credits:
Mary Byrom

MY NEWEST PAINTINGS are on display at:
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words, Exeter, NH
Shore Road Gallery / Beth Ellis Cove Gallery, Ogunquit, Maine
Kennedy Gallery, Portsmouth, NH
Mast Cove Galleries. Kennebunkport, Maine
Beachmere Inn on the Marginal Way! You are welcome to visit and see them in the bistro. Available for purchase at the Inn.

NEW PRINTS OF NEW WORKS ARE AVAILABLE HERE!

Warmly,
Mary

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Winter Arrives with Snow !


Now that the snow is covering the ground I look at this picture and think – this is practically summer – even though it was October! Here I am painting in my last plein air competition of the summer/fall season in Essex, MA.  This is a note and reminder to myself for all plein air events I’m in next year. Relax and have fun! The secret to good paintings is to not to get too invested in the outcome, just immerse yourself in the scene and enjoy the process ! Photo : Marcus Gale

PRINTS AVAILABLE … I will soon be releasing some of my paintings as prints ….

I am often contacted by fans and collectors who can not afford the original work so I am releasing a new collection to be reproduced into prints at an affordable price point.

I will post newly released paintings weekly in my blog and here in my newsletter.

If you wish to purchase prints of my paintings they are being posted on my page at Fine Art America. You can follow my page for notification of the release of new paintings into print.

A select collection is available now and more will be posted soon on a regular basis. I will be releasing small studies and reproductions of some of my larger paintings.


Fresh Snow, 5×7 Acrylic  Photo: Mary Byrom

After teaching class yesterday I promised myself I would get out to paint the new fresh snow. I packed up my car to head down to the river across from my house. Then my car wouldn’t start! Big surprise!  It was getting dark and I didn’t have time to futz around so I decided no problem, just paint what I see around my house. The snow and trees in the field out back were perfect. I just moved them a bit to make the design look better !


After Sunset, 5×7 Acrylic Photo: Mary Byrom

This second painting I painted quickly after the sun fell into the clouds near the horizon. The view is across the fields toward the center of the village. I had a tiny slice of the view through my neighbors back yards. I painted fast as it got dark. I finished as it was getting dark. I was a happy camper!

THE AUTUMN STUDIO CLASS IS FULL ~ YOU CAN REGISTER NOW FOR THE NEXT STUDIO SESSION OF THE WINTER CLASS – JANUARY 3RD

Class meets WEEKLY on Tuesdays 10am  – 1pm.
The 2017 session will be focused on drawing perspectives, developing design, finding your color “voice” and painting large landscapes from plein air studies.
Register for 6 week STUDIO CLASS here.

  1. If you are interested in joining the class at the beginning of the next new session in January 2017 and have questions, please contact me here. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Pop Up – HOLIDAY SALE & CELEBRATION – HAIKU EXHIBIT ~

I will have small paintings from my haiku series and selected plein air landscapes available for purchase at unbelievable price points! If you are looking for paintings of the seacoast region for  that special someone you will find them here.
This will be a fun & wild pop up studio happening!
If you love tiny paintings, adventure, unusual locations and hot chocolate this event is for you.
If you would like to receive the date, location and time of this festive event please click here!
This event is by invitation only. Get your invite here ! 

Warmly,

Mary

Why do I Paint 15 min Paintings?

img_3401Here I am standing next to the display of my portrait and paintings at the opening of the This is What Artists Look Like” Exhibit in Portsmouth ,New Hampshire .  It was a great big impressive party !  I tried to meet all the other artists but locating them in the crowd was daunting. Photo : Marcus Gale

FOR THE PAST FEW WEEKS ….

I finished and showed the big wave painting, painted in the marshes and villages of Cape Ann Massachusetts, won an award for a 15 minute painting and shifted gears into painting the scenery of the autumn plein air season! I don’t know if you noticed but I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog. I haven’t had a speck of time to sit down and collect my thoughts till this week. I feel the crush of summer activity beginning to subside. Its not quiet and tranquil yet, but it is moving in that direction.

It was a gorgeous day painting in Cape Ann Plein Air 2016. Here I am set up painting in the 2 hour Quick Draw competition. I saw a spot on the harbor that was perfect for me. I set up and focused on painting a scene of light and dark patterns across the water from me.  It was a perfect morning. I am a fast painter so I finished my 8×16″ painting before the deadline. I looked at my watch and saw that I had a whole half hour of time left. It was then that I thought well why don’t I just paint another one – just for fun?  That’s exactly what i did. It was so much fun! I painted it in 15 min then headed over to my car and framed my 2 paintings on the hood of my car and delivered them to the museum. Photo: Marcus Gale

I’m transitioning into the palette and mood of the season. Its been a warm October and November (I’m not complaining!) so I haven’t even cleaned up all the gardens yet.  The leaves are almost off all the trees except for the oak trees which are a beautiful russet color right now. I’m really happy with the early sunsets as I can start painting nocturnes at 4:00 pm, as its dark by 5:00 pm and be heading home for dinner by 6pm. So much nicer to be packing up at 6pm rather than 10 pm.


This is the 15 min painting that I had so much fun painting! I really didn’t think too much while I was painting this. I grabbed a 6×8″ panel figuring I could cover that pretty easily in a short amount of time.  I set my timer for 15 min and the paint flew off my brushes.  (I didn’t clean any brushes while painting this I just used designated brushes and cleaned everything up afterwards.)  I didn’t know this painting had received any award till a day or two later when I saw a picture of the other winners on facebook with mention of someone with a name sort of close to mine who was missing from the awards ceremony.  (Ha very funny.) No I wasn’t there. I headed off to the next thing on my “to do” list after the morning paint out.  Photo: Marcus Gale

THE AUTUMN STUDIO CLASS IS FULL ~ REGISTERING NOW FOR THE WINTER STUDIO CLASS – JANUARY 3RD

If you are interested in joining the class at the beginning of the next new session in January 2017 please contact me here. 

Class meets on Tuesdays 10am  – 1pm.
The 2017 session will be focused on drawing perspectives, developing design, finding your color “voice” and painting large landscapes from plein air studies.
Register for 6 week STUDIO CLASS here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Pop Up – HOLIDAY SALE & CELEBRATION – HAIKU EXHIBIT ~

I will have small paintings from my haiku series and selected plein air landscapes available for purchase at unbelievable price points! If you are looking for paintings of the seacoast region for  that special someone you will find them here.
This will be a fun & wild pop up studio happening!
If you love tiny paintings, adventure, unusual locations and hot chocolate this event is for you.
If you would like to receive the date, location and time of this festive event please click here!
This event is by invitation only. Get your invite here ! 

Warmly,

Mary

Big Wave ~ Painting of a Nor’easter


Here is the big wave I am working on at the moment. It is taking a bit of time to finish this painting. I work on it in the studio and outdoors just so I can enjoy the beautiful fall weather. This was I do not feel like I am stuck indoors in the studio! Photo : Marcus Gale

THE BIG WAVE

For several  weeks I have been working working on a large painting of a crashing wave. This is the second in my series of large storm paintings. The images are burned into my memory from spending a lot of time painting coastal storms last winter and spring.


The inside of a wave has a lot of colors and depth.  They remind me of clouds the form changes constantly as the water moves and the light hits different areas of the wave emerging into the light.

After I finished the first large storm painting last spring there were a bunch of others just waiting to jump out of my memory. I kept seeing all the other paintings in my minds eye. The immersion of the time spent in the storms had a lasting impact.


Some days I have to just look a lot. The closer I get to the end the more I have to look and the less strokes I need to paint. This was a day when I was moving hard and soft edges and warming and cooling colors to get them to sit in the right depth of the wave. Photo: Marcus Gale

The nor’easters I painted on location were a new painting experience for me. I’d painted in a number of storms before but nothing was quite like this new location. This location had unusual rock formations that created huge plumes of spray and water on impact. It was the first time I actually was worried I might get hit by waves I was painting!

I haven’t blogged as much lately as I’ve been buried in painting!  I just finished the Cape Ann Plein Air 2016 Quick Draw yesterday where I received 3rd prize. Now I’m organizing my “car studio” and packing for Paint Essex, another plein air event in Cape Ann Plein Air 2016 on Sat and Sunday. This fall has been fabulous for painting outdoors!

NEW ! THE STUDIO CLASS IS STARTING SOON
I HAVE ROOM FOR ONE MORE STUDENT IN THIS NEXT SESSION.

NEW STUDIO CLASS STARTING NOVEMBER 1ST
Class meets on Tuesdays 10am  – 1pm. Focus this session will be design and painting large landscapes in the studio.  Register for 6 week session here.

I HAVE A NEW HAIKU SERIES AVAILABLE!
MY FIRST WAVE SERIES SOLD OUT IN AUGUST.  MY NEW SERIES IS NOW AVAILABLE AT:

A PICTURES WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, EXETER, NH
KENNEDY GALLERY, PORTSMOUTH, NH

UPCOMING EVENTS

Jay Goldsmith Exhibition at Discover Portsmouth Museum
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY ART ‘ROUND TOWN
NOVEMBER 4, 2016 : 5-8 PM

I am included in this show of portraits of artists by Jay Goldsmith.
My portrait by Jay Goldsmith and several of my paintings will be on display.
I hope you can come!Warmly,

Mary

MASTERY & PAINTING IN THE DARK

Island sketch 6×8″ oil on board. I set up to paint in the dark as the sun set. I laid out my colors, took out my headlamp and painted a house in the trees on a small island as I waited for darkness to fall and the moon to rise. My plan for the evening was to paint a lot of quick sketches as the light and the scene changed. The tide had turned, high tide was coming in.

This past week I discovered that what I did everyday had a name…the process I go through day after day and week after week is called mastery.  Wow, was that a surprise. I knew what I set out to do wasn’t easy but I didn’t know that I had so many kindred spirits out there on the same path doing the same process. Its great to encounter this.  The four things I do in my painting process are 1. Practice  2. Persistence  3.Patience  4. Perseverance.  5. Repeat #  s 1- 4 over and over.

Full moon sketch #1 5×9″ oil on board. The moon rose so fast I missed it coming over the horizon. It was still so light from the setting sun that it didn’t even grab my attention. It seemed to move as I painted it. Thin wispy clouds passed in front of it in a variety of patterns. I could still see lots of landscape colors.

On You tube I bumped into a series of book reviews about a book by George Leonard titled “Mastery” presented by an artist/educator named Jeffery Watts.  You all know how the internet wander goes…I googled videos on painting with gouache and Jeff’s gouache video came up at the top of the list.  I’d been thinking about bringing my gouache out to paint en plein air so I wanted to see how some one else did it. He had a great video on hassle free traveling with gouache instead of oils (and all the solvent issues).

Full moon sketch #2 6×8 oil on board. The boats were moving all over the place, they were appearing to make big clusters and shapes that were linking together in value as it got darker. The moon was moving, the tide was moving and it was getting dark. It was now harder to see different colors in the landscape.

I also noticed that he had a number of other videos on You Tube.  Watts runs an art school in California and generously provides informational videos of all kinds for students who are looking for an art school/atelier education and are interested in learning real skills, like how of how to paint and draw. This school is filling in a niche for teaching solid skills that most of the mainstream colleges have dropped or trimmed since the 60’s.

Full moon sketch #3 5×9 oil on board. The boats were still moving , the moon was beginning to move in an arc and climb over head. It was so dark the shades of green in the landscape were turning blue. The path of moon light was moving across the harbor. I finished one more sketch and called it a night.

When I was in college there were a few drawing classes that were good but as soon as I started painting courses it was “express yourself”.  My professors were very nice but didn’t offer much guidance.  I was on my own figuring out how to paint. After college I took classes with individual artists in order to learn figurative, portrait and landscape painting.  Now there are a number of schools/ateliers that offer a substantial art education, are vetted and can be found on the Art Renewal Center list. I was really on my own for a long time trying to put together what I was missing. I was painting in the dark often “inventing the wheel” on my own.  It sure would have been easier to have someone share what they knew. Things have certainly changed in the the past few years. And we are all benefiting from it.

AUTUMN PLEIN AIR  &

NEW ! STUDIO CLASS STARTING

AUTUMN PLEIN AIR CLASS
Now is the perfect time to get out and paint !
Students are welcome to join the Tuesday plein air class.
You can come to a single class or the full 6 week session.
All levels are welcome. Email me or see Info in the link below.

NEW SEPTEMBER PLEIN AIR CLASS  ~ TUESDAY AFTERNOONS ON THE SEACOAST
This class started Tuesday, September 6th, 2-5pm, and runs for 6 weeks.  If you want to attend this plein air class  Please email if you want to join us.   Space is limited. Six week session~ $220
Locations : EACH WEEK A NEW LOCATION –  Beautiful locations in southern Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast region. Register for 6 week session here.

 

NEW STUDIO CLASS STARTING OCTOBER 18TH !
Class meets on Tuesdays 10am  – 1pm. Focus this session will be design and painting large landscapes in the studio.  Register for 6 week session here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Jay Goldsmith Exhibition at Discover Portsmouth Museum
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY ART ‘ROUND TOWN
NOVEMBER 4, 2016 : 5-8 PM

I am included in this show of portraits of artists by Jay Goldsmith.
My portrait by Jay Goldsmith and several of my paintings will be on display.
I hope you can come!

Warmly,

Mary

PLEIN AIR PAINTING IN AUTUMN


“Marginal Way Surf ” 4×8 oil.$250 Available. I love painting the late light on the surf as it rolls in and hit the rocks.

PLEIN AIR PAINTING IN AUTUMN

FALL CLASSES IN SESSION NOW!

Now is the perfect time to get out and paint !
Students are welcome to join the Tuesday plein air class.
You can come to one class or the full 6 week session.
All levels are welcome. Email me or Info in the link below.

NEW SEPTEMBER PLEIN AIR CLASS  ~ TUESDAY AFTERNOONS ON THE SEACOAST
This class starts Tuesday, September 6th, 2-5pm, and runs for 6 weeks.  If you want to attend this plein air class  Please email if you want to join us.   Space is limited. Six week session~ $220
Locations : EACH WEEK A NEW LOCATION –  Beautiful locations in the southern Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast region. Register for 6 week session here.


Golden Marsh Light, Study. 4×8 oil $250 Available. I painted really fast to capture the feeling and the glow on the marsh as the lingering light departed. This was painted in a favorite spot in Ogunquit, Maine on the edge of Rachel Carson marsh land.

I’ve been out painting in the marshes this past week as stormy weather was passing through. It was gorgeous. The birds are flocking and traveling south. The white egrets are gathering in big groups in the marsh. They are quite striking. They are large and easy to see compared to the blue herons that blend into the grass. The egrets in this marsh have a funny habit. They like to hang out in what looks like a chorus line on the edge of the water.  I also see a few egrets scouting off on their own fishing. But its more common that I often see groups of eight or nine of them all lined up in a row. From a distance they look like thick white fence posts until they move.


Heading Home, Study 8×8 oil Available. Painted from my sketch on location in Boothbay, Maine.

I like the quiet mood in the marsh when its foggy or rainy. After the busy bustle of summer it is so peaceful. On Thursday I set up my easel near my car so I could easily move it or put an umbrella up over it if it started to rain. That morning I originally planned to paint out on the beach but it was steadily raining when I arrived. I didn’t feel like setting up my equipment in the rain and in the wet sand! Ugh. The last thing I need is sand in tripod or an excessive amount of water in my paints !  After I waited around a few minutes wondering when it would stop I decided to just drive out of the shower. It was a simple easy solution. All I had to do was drive north up the coast a quarter of a mile and I was out of the micro shower. There I had the choice of landscape, painting big surf or the foggy, tonalist, moody marsh. I decided on the foggy, muted colors in the marsh. It was awesome. I am looking forward to all the wonderful, moody weather autumn promises.

Storm 3×6″ acrylic. Haiku Series. This is one of my memory paintings. I don’t look at images or or references. I painted this series from memory. All these years of looking at storms on the ocean pays off. I just finished another series of rough sea paintings this week. I really like painting these. Photo: Mary Byrom

UPCOMING EVENTS

Jay Goldsmith Exhibition at Discover Portsmouth Museum
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY ART ‘ROUND TOWN
NOVEMBER 4, 2016 : 5-8 PM

I am included in this show of portraits of artists by Jay Goldsmith.
My portrait by Jay Goldsmith and several of my paintings will be on display.
I hope you can come!

Warmly,

Mary

PAINTING IN MAINE – PERFECT DAYS & NIGHTS


I like painting at the waters edge. I stand in the sand or on the rocks, inhale the salty sea air and make decisions based on the weather, the time of day and how much time I have to paint.  If I am free to stay as long as I like I will often stay until dark. As we move toward fall that is happening earlier and the temperatures are cooler. It’s my favorite time of year – warm days and cool nights!  Photo: Marcus Gale

PERFECT DAYS AND NIGHTS

The best time of the year is here! Late summer and fall are a perfect time to be painting on the coast. So before I forget, here is a gentle reminder for all of you painters out there who were buried in summer activities, travel, and house guests.
The Tuesday afternoon class is starting on September 6th. Plein air. Info in the links below.

NEW SEPTEMBER PLEIN AIR CLASS  ~ TUESDAY AFTERNOONS ON THE SEACOAST
This class starts Tuesday, September 6th, 2-5pm, and runs for 6 weeks.  If you want to attend this plein air class Please let me know ASAP to reserve your spot.   Space is limited. Advanced registration is suggested.  Six week session~ $220
Locations : EACH WEEK A NEW LOCATION –  Beautiful locations in the southern Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast region. Register for 6 week session here.

 

I love this weather. The sticky heat is over. I can spend a day in the sun now without feeling like I’ve been in the Sahara desert all day.  Plus the crowds will soon be a bit thinner. I don’t know if this is true or not, but this summer the coast has felt really crowded.  There are always throngs of people, but it feels like there are more cars. We noticed this for the past few years, but it never really reached our front door until last year.  Now it’s a regular thing to have traffic jams in the small towns near the coast on the weekends. Everyone is trying to avoid the turnpike!  There is such a hustle and bustle that it has made me feel like slowing down to smell the roses !

I’m simplifying and slowing down and looking around.  And slowing down my painting process.  I’m a fast painter and I like painting fast on location.  For a change I’m trying a whole bunch of new things. I’m doing more studies in gray values and I’m designing more notans, which I love doing.
“Rocks, Sea, Land, Mountains”   Acrylic 8×18   Photo: Mary Byrom.

I am painting in pastels, acrylic, watercolors and oil. It is so much fun! And I’m thinking more about the process. I respond totally differently to each medium. It’s very instinctive and I don’t try to do something to it,  I try to work with the nature of the medium itself. Each medium lends itself to different effects. Pastels and watercolors like to move into soft edges easily. Acrylics are wonderful for hard edges and texture. And oil paint can go in any direction. I am seeing how using one medium can affect how I use another.  I love doing this!


“Lake, Mountains, Clouds”  Pastel sketch 6×6  Photo: Mary Byrom.

AUGUST EVENTS

BY THE SEA  BY THE SEA GARDEN TOUR
SUNDAY AUGUST 28TH
3:30-7:00 PM
MARGINAL WAY PRESERVATION FUND
OGUNQUIT, MAINE
An invitational event – Ogunquit Plein Air, hosted by the Marginal Way Preservation Fund. A small group of plein air artists will be painting in selected locations along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. A wet paint sale will be held on the lawn of the Beachmere Inn, Ogunquit, Maine from 3:30-7:00 pm. Tickets to the event may be purchased here.


“Rough”  Acrylic 3×6  Haiku series  Photo: Mary Byrom

OCTOBER PLEIN AIR CLASS IN NH LAKES REGION

A 6 week plein air class in the NH Lakes region (Laconia area) is beginning October 13th – Nov 17th. Registration is now open. This class is filling.
If you are interested in participating in this class please contact me.
This class is a rare opportunity to study with me in the mountains. It is totally gorgeous in this area in the fall !

Why Painting Outdoors is so Great

DSC_0062
Dusk on the marsh. Low tide. A perfect evening in the marshes..

I love painting out doors in all conditions and in all seasons. Why? Because beauty is every where and I am always surprised by the changing conditions of nature and the perspective it  gives me. If you have never painted out doors in fall, winter or spring try it. You will never regret it and you may just get hooked on another season than the good ole summer time.

Now that we are deep into November the colors and the light are incredible.  There is nothing like being out in nature at that perfect moment when everything seems to click into place. I am  an afternoon painter. I love that lingering light on the landscape and the sky. I love when I am out painting in the wide open spaces in the marshes and along the the ocean where the light seems to linger for hours.

A quartet of paintings from my Haiku series. These paintings are the newest ones in my Evening Collection.
A quartet of paintings from my Haiku series. These paintings are the newest ones in my Evening Collection. Available.

New Exhibition !
The Centennial Celebration of Acadia National Park.

I am showing a selection of my Acadia paintings in the Acadia National Park show hosted by the Maine Arts Commission at the Maine State House/Capitol  Building in Augusta.  What a delight!  I paint in Acadia often. It is one of my favorite painting locations in Maine. We are so lucky to have this beautiful place in Maine accessible to all. Details and hours here.

NEW!    

 ALL LEVELS WELCOME : Beginner to Experienced
COLOR, STYLE & BRUSHWORK ~
TUESDAYS 10 AM – 1 PM  NOV 24TH

Class is ongoing in 6 week sessions. There is one make up class every session for (ice/snow days) if needed.
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I look forward to seeing you!
Lots of love,

Mary

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Thinking of Summer ?

Fall Weather Study 5x7. oil.
Fall Weather Study 5×7. oil. Rachel Carson in Wells with a storm moving in.

I wasn’t really thinking of summer this week . I was just looking through some of my plein air studies from last year. I’m looking at all my sky studies and noticing all the different kinds of weather I’ve painted. After I gathered these studies all together in one place I notice a wide variety of moods and seasons. These studies are really interesting to see in one large group.

2.2.15Bluebery bluff
Blueberry Bluff Study. oil 6×12. A quick sketch painted on Mount Agamenticus looking west.

I find after all these years of painting from life I have stored away in my brain all the many scenes and places I’ve traveled to paint. This makes a difference when I am painting a large painting of one of these awesome locations. This past fall I went back to paint in the studio for the first time in over 10 years. Since 2004 I have painted exclusively outdoors. After 10 years of totally painting en plein air I wanted to see if I could get a perspective on what I had gained from all that exposure. I certainly change my approach, style, colors, technique and brush work as I develop as a painter, but I also wanted to see if there anything else I might notice.

2.2.15across the marsh
Across the Marsh. Study oil 5×18 Parsons Beach marsh.

Wow. What a surprise. I found that I have this ability to really focus and get down to the matter at hand.  Its very interesting to watch how I paint still life, portraits and figures. I size up a situation and work very fast getting in the important elements. I treat everything as if it is a landscape.  I look at shapes and forms first. And I organize it all so that I’m seeing those big shapes and values in a sequence that gels in my mind. In 3 seconds I can see what I want to paint and I can see the arrangement of shapes and how I want to put  on the canvas. Its as if it flies out of the atmosphere into my pen as I sketch it into my sketch book. Somehow I think this is the result of painting a few thousand studies in plein air.  It feels organic.  And even though I really like my new figure group and I totally enjoy the experimentation with new materials in the studio,  I still find that my favorite place on earth is a place that has no walls, fresh air and the open sky above my head.

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