A Few Recent Paintings by Adults

I was looking around the studio yesterday and thought how nice it would be to show several of the paintings that are on the shelves before the students take them home. They are almost done but several of the painters wanted to look at them one more week to see if they need more work.

Notice how each painting is so totally different in style, color, application and subject matter. These gals are not beginners; they have studied for a long time. Check out the hyperlinks if you want to see or read more about one of these artists. Enjoy!

                       Joyce Wetherbee resampled (1)

Above is Joyce Wetherbee’s (24×30) acrylic painting. This painting, like many of her paintings, are mostly from her imagination. Pattern is dominant with color being secondary.


                    Jane Woodman resampled

Next is Jane Woodman’s rock study (24×30) in oil. This is the largest painting she has ever done. Jane’s work is about love for the spirit of nature. Her compositions are phenomenal.


                       Beverly Heinze Lacey resampled

This is Beverly Heinz Lacy’s (24×30) acrylic painting from a photo she took in Germany. It is a very good example of color being the dominant feature, shape being secondary.


                      Noelle's finished painting

This last painting by Noelle Sciuto (20×20) is also an acrylic. This is a painting of her daughter, Amy, collecting sand dollars to make her popular, sought after, necklaces.


I hope you liked seeing some (of our many) adult paintings. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog.

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Photos from the Past Couple of Weeks

                        Gerry's new class (2)

The first class with a new group of aspiring Expressive Water Media students. Instructor, Gerry Willging, is back by popular demand. I’ll post photos of their work as the weeks go by.       


Here  is a painting by one of Gerry’s students (Sandra Galanis), from her last workshop.

And, moving along to our other classes:

                                                     Keira and her elephant

Keira is holding the elephant she made using cardboard, paint and a button. So adorable!

    Kate and Robbie (2)       Lydia and Josie

Kate Carter is enjoying Robbie’s painting of the vehicle he designed and Lydia Miller is supporting and encouraging Josie who is making a necklace. The kids love having teenagers in class.

                                    Jasmin and Blair (1)

Jasmin on the left helped her classmate, Blair, create this painting of horses which she wanted to give to her mom as a gift.

And …
Last weekend was the Wet Paint Auction at the beautiful Salisbury Beach “Blue Ocean”. Several of our students participated. A former student, Chris Breen created a large landscape using stainless steel and a grinding tool. It was incredible and took in over $1000, it might have even been $1500.  I was so excited that I wasn’t paying attention to the exact amount.

This was the 28th wet paint auction in which I have participated.  I sat with a group of students and  friends who were there for the first time. It was wonderful being with them because they were  so happy and excited to be witnessing  the excitement of a live art auction. Billy Costa was at his best, getting everyone bidding higher and higher.

Thanks always for taking the time to read our blog.

Posted in acrylic painting, adults, artwork, classes, Creative idea, former students, kids, painting, Pre-Teen, Show, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nicole Garland will be leaving for college next month

Meet Nicole, she started taking classes in the kids after school program and within a couple of months she moved to the adult Saturday morning class and there she has stayed for the past 4 years. It takes years to get better at something especially when you only get to study a few hour a week. Nicole has self motivation, determination and enthusiasm for drawing so no wonder she has strengthened her drawing skills enormously.

                                                 Nicole Garland

Along with the Saturday morning class, her mom  signed her up for private lessons and we worked on improving her already natural drawing skills. Nicole knew she loved interior design and perspective. So on two or three Saturdays a month, after her morning class she and I worked on one, two and three point perspective. She became one of the best draftspersons we have ever had.

In school, Whittier Tech,  she has had some really good teachers. Her final senior project was decorating and creating the furniture for a large doll house. Check out the house and interior below. Click on the photo to see the furniture and the way she designed the rooms.

                                 Nicole's doll house (5)    Nicole's doll house (1) 

Nicole's doll house (2)   Nicole's doll house (3)    Nicole's doll house (4)                                   

                                         Nicole's doll house  (3) 

Unfortunately I didn’t take photos of her drawings over the years. I wish I had. However, I do have one. It is an unfinished study she did last year. I think you can see the understanding she has developed. The drawing is totally from her imagination using one point perspective. She painstakingly created the grid in perspective so she could study depth. This is not an easy task but Nicole wasn’t looking for easy, she was willing to do the work to get better. She will do really well in college.

                     Nicole's drawing

Nicole will be going to Wentworth College this fall to study Interior Design. Good Luck Nicole, we will miss you!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read our blog. I love sharing information about our students or giving short lessons.

Posted in adults, artwork, classes, imagination, perspective, Pre-Teen, teenager | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First week of TANNERY CAMP

Everyone seemed really happy to be doing art every day this week. Here are some of the photos including photos of the supplies. Thanks to Wendy.


Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (4)                     Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (40)

Krista Sawyer helping the little kids.

Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (41)  

                                Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (43)

                                      Smorgasbord of supplies for making masks.

      Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (59)      Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (54)    Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (58)

Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (2)     

                                                                  Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (47) 

                                                                    Kate Carter helping the little kids with the glue gun.

                                    Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (70)

                           Tannery Camp 2017 1st week (1)

Later today I will post photos of the finished pieces of art. I have watched people walking by in the hall stop in their tracks because the kids work is so commanding.

Thanks always for taking time to check out our posts.

Posted in acrylic painting, artwork, collage, Colored Pencils, Creative idea, imagination, kids, little kids, Marks On Paper, painting, portrait study, Pre-Teen | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Patti Kelley’s Fast Paintings


                                 Patti Kelly's

Patti Kelley took the challenge to do 30, 5×7 fast (15 minute) studies of the subjects of her choice. The exercise is to take as long as you want to draw the image, mix the paint and think about how to execute the painting.

When all the thinking and planning was done she set the timer for 15 minutes. Patti confided that she never finished in 15 minutes but she did take a photo at the 15 minute mark and usually spent another 1/2 hour or as much a 1 hour bringing it to a place she could live with. In the past she might have taken 6 to 8 hours to paint a similar painting. Below is one of her favorites.

                                         Patti Kelly's fast paintings vase

Patti works in oils and is aware that she sometimes overworks and adds too much detail to her paintings. Like most of us, when we first learn to paint, we try to make our paintings look like photographs. There is nothing wrong with that. It is one of the ways to learn. It is the beginning of the artistic journey for many of us.

                   Patti Kelly's fast paintings teddy                             Patti Kelly's fast paintings chair

Patti decided she wanted to go beyond  copying what she sees so she took the challenge. Each week she brought one or two painting in for us to talk about. Patti & I looked at each painting to see what was working and what needed strengthening. Some weeks she felt like she was improving and some weeks she felt like she regressed but she never gave up and continued painting. Just last week she said with enthusiasm, “I feel that it is not taking me as long to figure out the colors and values I need.”

                                                     Patti Kelly's fast paintings peppers

                                   Patti Kelly's fast paintings  (2)

Above are 31 paintings. Patti was so proud of herself that she brought all of them in one morning, along with a cake to celebrate what she knew was a big accomplishment. Everyone clapped for joy! We were all so proud of her. Maybe she will be an inspiration for some of you.

She is now doing 30, 8×10 paintings. Wow, you can see the difference in her execution. They show so much more confidence than a year ago. Congratulations Patti for taking the time to invest in yourself.

Thanks everyone for  reading our blog. Please let me know if you would like to take this challenge.

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After School Art Classes Ending Until September

Next week is the end of the after school year for most of the classes. My granddaughter, Kate Carter, is going to hold one more set of classes (3:30 to 5pm) on 3 Mondays starting June 5th to June 19th. This is an extra set of classes because so many kids were disappointed that the classes were ending. It makes me smile to know that they love them so much. Below are a few of the recent photos we have taken of the kids. Click on the ones you like to see them larger.

                        Charlotte's Whale         Brent

                                                        Jake's painting  

                          Kids haaving fun 3-2017 (3)      Kids haaving fun 3-2017 (18)

We like to celebrate process over product. If we enjoy the doing we will learn to not worry about the product and then there will not be as much frustration or angst if it is not turning out the way we thought it would. Not to worry, just make it again or create something else.

As we adults know, process is tied into ego and kids, even at age 6, seem to have learned from adults or older kids (maybe in school) that something is not good if it doesn’t meet certain criteria. At our studio we try to encourage the journey and hope the reason the kids keep coming back is because they, like us, just love to create.

                            Kids having fun 3-2017 (41)                  Kids haaving fun 3-2017 (22)

                                         Ian's spider

                             Kids having fun 3-2017 (39)      Kids having fun 3-2017 (36)


Sorry I didn’t take photos of everything and everyone. I just don’t remember to either take my camera (phone) or I simply forget to take photos. One of my goals is to be better at this next year.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog.

Posted in Colored Pencils, Creative idea, imagination, kids, little kids, Model Magic, painting, Pre-Teen, Watercolor | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

FREE Demonstration – Fun with Gelatin Printing

Linda Germain is  back with a free demo to teach us about Gelatin Printing.
See Flyer below for more information. Please call or email to save a spot.

 Free Gelatin Demo 2017

Thanks for reading and I sure hope you can make it to the demo.

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Large portraits on Chuck’s Facebook




I recently finished painting a series of large portrait’s of people I am crazy about. My husband, Chuck, put them on his Facebook page. I love and appreciate that he wanted to celebrate me and the work I do.

However, I feel a little bad that I didn’t have a desire to do it myself. So I am attaching the slide show he ended the series with. At least I feel like I supported him and all the terrific people who posed for me. Click below to view the slides.


I hope you enjoy seeing them. You can also check out the blog post below to see how I go about painting portraits:

Process of Painting a Large, Colorful Portrait

Thanks for taking your precious time to check out our blog.

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Openings in the Little kids class on Thursdays

I am happy to announce that  we have a couple of openings for little kids (5-7) in the Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. art class starting April 27th. Some of you know that it is not often that we get openings so this is an excellent opportunity for a beginning at The Artists Playground.

      20160325_164806       Kids haaving fun 3-2017 (10)

We started offering this class last year to handle the overflow of parents wanting  to send their kids with the understanding that they would have first pick to enter one of our regular classes when a spot opened up. Well, several of the children have moved into our Wed 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. class so that opens up room in the Thursday late afternoon class.

                Kids creating (7)

                      Maddie                        Blair blog (1)

Please let us know if you or someone you know might be interested.

Thanks for reading! Contact me at info@TheArtistsPlayground.com

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Sketching on location–with Sandy Turner

Sandy Turner has always loved to sketch on location. Have you ever been outside and wished you could just sit down and draw what you see? Well, if you take Sandy’s sketching class on Saturday mornings starting April 1st you can learn how. Sandy wants to share her love, joy and knowledge of how to go about sketching on location.  You can read more about her on her web site www.plumislanderart.com).

        20161020_195833   20161020_144937

                                          Sandy drawing

               Sandy flowers    Sandy Turner at easle doing wc

The first sketch, below left, Sandy did during one of our painting trips to Ogunquit. Notice the difference between it and the drawing on the right. The second drawing is more like a rendering or more finished drawing, more like an illustration that she does for her coloring books. But even something like that starts out more like the drawing on the left.


                        SandyTurnerArt (11)

The two lighthouse sketches were done years apart,  with different materials and different perspectives but you can see that they are sketches and not renderings. Sketching is fun! Rendering, on the other hand, is more like work. – more like the images in the  coloring books she has been working on of Newburyport, Plum Island, and the Cape.

                   SandyTurnerArt (47)     IMG_7861

After you learn to sketch then you may want to add a watercolor wash like Sandy did below. They sure look like she had fun doing them. Sandy did them in Argentina.

Give us a call at 978-462-5366 or email info@TheArtistsPlayground.com if you would like to join Sandy sketching around town.

Sandys watercolor-2          SandyTurnerArt (45)

Thanks for reading and I hope we hear from you real soon.

Posted in adults, artwork, classes, drawing, Rendering, Sketching, Watercolor | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment