Sunday, February 17, 2019

Feeling "Deserted" - New Work and New Show

Deserted, 10 x 10 inches, acrylic on panel

This was a tough one. I still love working with signs, but every now and then a building (or couple of buildings) catch my eye and stay in my mind. This was an old gas station, feeling forlorn and deserted on a city lot. In my mind I modified it a bit, including situating it in a much more lonely location. I wrestled with this one a bit, trying to get the look that was in my mind, but not really in my reference photos. Here are some process photos:

As you can see, I originally had more power lines - I was thinking of them of a way of showing connection - but I didn't think they really worked in the actual painting. Anyhow, after painting over the top half a few times - and spending way more time on it than I usually would for a 10x10" painting - I finally reached a resolution. I may revisit this some day as a larger piece to see if I can push it a little further. I find I am starting the year off with some challenges outside of my comfort zone, so stay tuned for more!

Happily this painting was juried in to the Newburyport Art Association's Winter Members Juried Show, Pt. 2. It will be on exhibit in Newburyport, Massachusetts through March 2. Please contact me if you would like more information about the painting or the show.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Looking Back - and Forward

one of my favorite paintings from late 2018

Happy New Year!

Hard to believe we are already well into 2019! I've had a busy holiday season, plus some family-related travel, so I am happy to finally be back in the studio for normal hours.

I have had some time to look back over 2018. Lots of changes and some new opportunities have come my way. I've completed a lot of of new work (though I haven't been particularly good about posting it online!) - and some of it going in new directions. I've joined some new art-related groups, including the Concord Art Association, and was juried into the New Hampshire Art Association. I have found some new sales venues - including a wonderful new partnership that I am very excited about with Helen Thomas Simpy Smashing in Andover, Mass. Helen Thomas is carrying a line of my prints as well as a number of originals,  both large and small. It is a wonderful store with lots of home decor items, original art and fun gift ideas. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Part of my holiday display at Helen Thomas Simply Smashing

Looking forward.....I have so many painting ideas! Can't wait to share them with you. I will be looking for more venues to sell my work and reach more people. I plan to post more consistently so that you will know where you can find my work. And I look forward to hearing  more from you - your feedback, your ideas  your stories. I love connecting with my collectors! Feel free to contact me via email or social media. Follow me on instagram to get a peek at what is happening in my studio and the latest works in progress. And join my email list for announcements and new work and occasional special subscriber deals. 

And finally, a big, heartfelt thanks to all of YOU for a great 2018 - I couldn't do it without your support!  I can't wait to see what the new year brings!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Urban Snapshots - A new Series for Small Works Season

Hello - from my Haverhill studio at the start of a new crazy week!

I've been busy! Lots of new work, and lots of exhibitions coming up that I want to share with you. I want to keep this email brief, so I will be just giving the information for this week's events.

First of all, I am very excited to have been accepted to a "Small Works" exhibition at a newish gallery space in downtown Haverhill! The gallery is called The Switchboard and they are located at 43 Washington St. The opening reception for the small works show is Friday, November 2 from 6 to 8pm and the exhibit continues through December 27th.

I've started a new small works series I am calling "Urban Snapshots" and I am thrilled to have 3 pieces from this new series in the show at The Switchboard. These pieces concentrate more on architectural details, shapes and shadows - it's not about the signs or even specific cities/places - these little glimpses could be found in almost any older mill-type city - but I have to admit that at the moment Haverhill is my main inspiration.

Here are the small pieces that will be in the Switchboard exhibition:

 "How St. (No Parking)", 8 x 8", acrylic on panel

"47 (Washington St.)", 8 x 6", acrylic on panel

"Escape (Washington St)", 8 x 6", acrylic on panel

I hope you can come by the show and check them out in person!

Also coming up this week is the annual Wine and Art Reception at Veasey Memorial Park in Groveland. This fun event is Saturday, November 3, from 6 to 9pm. It is always a great time, with lots of great art for sale and a chance to meet and mingle with the artists.

If you are local, I hope you can make it to one (or more!) of my upcoming events. If not, stay tuned to my Instagram account to see the new work, and for your chance to purchase pieces straight from my studio.

Friday, September 14, 2018


Kane's Donuts (Saugus, Mass)
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

I finally got around to a painting of the iconic Kane's Donuts sign. This is a small one - 6 x 6" - and there will probably be a few more while I work out compositions. Eventually I hope to do a large painting - the sign is just so great with the neon and the bulbs, it begs to be painted large!

Anyhow, in response to all the requests made last weekend at the Haverhill Art Festival, I now have prints of the Kane Donut's sign painting available. You can find them HERE on my Etsy site that is just for my prints. I will also have them this weekend at the Boxford Apple Festival - Boxford Center (Elm Street) on Saturday, September 15 from 10 to 4.

Special offer on my ShirleyPrints Etsy site: prints ship FREE if you use the code SHIPFREESEPT at checkout. This offer is only good until the end of September, so get your orders in soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Exhibitions

Here is a listing of the exhibitions where you can see my work during the month of August:

Weirs Beach, 12 x 12", acrylic on canvas
at Artists Corner & Gallery

July 19 - August 19
Artists Corner & Gallery
West Acton, MA

Stop, 8 x 8 inches, acrylic on canvas
at the Newburyport Art Association

"Eight Cubed"
August 10 - September 1
Newburyport Art Association
Newburyport, MA

George's Coffee Shop, 20 x 16 inches, acrylic on canvas
at the Rockport Art Association & Museum

"Grassroots: An Emerging Artist Exhibition"
August 10 - September 2
Rockport Art Association & Museum
Rockport, MA

So excited to have my work accepted into so many wonderful exhibitions this month. Hope you get a chance to check them out!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Why I do Art Festivals

I had someone recently ask me why I still do Art Festivals when I also sell my work at shops and galleries and online. Art Festivals are a lot of work! A lot of physical work - carrying in, setting up, breaking down - and often very long hours. But I find that the chance to talk directly to people about my paintings makes all the hard work worthwhile!

Just last month, I showed my work at the Beverly Arts Festival. Crazy busy day. At one point in the afternoon, I was talking to a nice gentleman inside my booth when he looked out at the people outside and said "Look at that. They are all smiling!" And he was right - about a dozen people were lined up outside my booth, looking at my wall of paintings and every single one of them were smiling. THAT'S why I still do shows! To see in person the connections that people make with my work, the nostalgia, the memories as they view the iconic signs, familiar buildings, old cars - even classic toys - that they had forgotten or hadn't thought about in a while. I love hearing the stories of favorite family places, first dates, special occasions, favorite never gets old!

Speaking of Beverly, here is one of my favorite paintings of the ones I have painted of places in Beverly:

The Cabot
20 x 16 inches
acrylic on canvas
available HERE

Special offer:
As a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the Beverly Arts Fest, I am offering a 10% discount on ALL PRINTS in my ShirleyPrints Etsy shop. You can check them out here SHIRLEYPRINTS and use the coupon code BAF10 at checkout to receive the discount. But shop soon - the discount will only be available for the next few weeks until July 23.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Art in the Barn!

Shop Local
20 x 10 inches
acrylic on canvas

Getting into painting food again lately! One of the things I am passionate about is supporting local small farms. I am grateful to live in an area with lots of small farms with a wonderful range of products. I can even get local milk, chicken and beef in addition to produce. This is a painting from some early vegetables that I got from a farm close to my home.

"Shop Local" will  be available this weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's Art in the Barn at the Cox Reservation in Essex, Massachusetts this coming weekend (June 8-10). It is a beautiful setting for a fun event that raises money for the ECGA. Artwork is displayed in two barns as well as sculpture on the grounds. The reception is always a good time - great music, local brews and food trucks in addition to all the art. If you are local to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire area, you should check it out. Here is the Facebook event with more information: Art in the Barn