Monday, October 24, 2016

Cupcake - Original Mini Paintings Cupcake Still Life by Debbie Shirley

A couple of cupcake minis! These measure 3 x 3 inches and are on mdf panels. Occasionally I throw in something super fun just to break things up a bit. I enjoy playing with the colors of these - plus who can resist CUPCAKES??!

These little guys will be heading to Zenobia in Ipswich, Massachusetts later this week.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hilltop Steakhouse - Small Original Acrylic PaInting SOLD

Hilltop (Frank Giuffrida)
5 x 7  inches

acrylic on cradled panel

This was a little commission - from a slightly different angle /cropping than my previous Hilltop Restaurant. My collector made a special request for me to include the name. Don't forget you can contact me to make a special request of  your own!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Agawam Diner - Small Acrylic Painting of Classic Rowley Diner by Debbie Shirley

Agawam Diner
(Rowley, Massachusetts)
5 x 7 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

The Agawam Diner on Route 1 in Rowley, Massachusetts is quite the local institution. Whenever I have a painting of it at one of my shows, it seems like just about everyone comments on having eaten there. By the way, despite the name, I don't think this diner was ever in Agawam. I believe it was in Ipswich and Peabody before it was moved to Rowley in the 1960's.

This piece is currently available at Pop Gallery in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Interested in a similar piece? Contact me!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Beer & Wine - Acrylic Painting of Bowling Alley and Neon Sign

Beer & Wine
(Danvers, Massachusetts)
16 x 12 inches

Love this sign from the Sunnyside Bowladrome in Danvers, Massachusetts. I am always surprised at how many locals don't know where this is! The colors are great - and the building has some interesting shapes. Every time I go by it, I see another angle that I want to paint!

This painting was one of my recent favorites - and I am happy to say that is SOLD at this year's Topsfield Fair.

Home Style - Small Urban Landscape Painting by Debbie Shirley

Home Style (One Way)
(Gloucester, Massachusetts)
8 x 8 inches
acrylic on canvas

What exactly would "Home Style" laundry be? Seems like a funny claim to fame! But anyways, I found myself fascinated by this building, sign and shadows each time I drove by, so I decided to paint it. A little different than my paintings that just highlight a part or a sign, but I am enjoying doing this kind of urban landscape - so there will be more!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Little Red - Acrylic Painting of VW Beetle by Debbie Shirley

Little Red
8 x 8 inches
acrylic on canvas

I enjoyed doing the small version of this old VW so much, that I decided to paint it a little larger for the Newburyport Art Association's 8 Cubed exhibition.

Do you have a classic car that you would like to have painted for a memento (or gift)? Contact me to discuss!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cameron's - Small Painting of Gloucester Restaurant Sign by Debbie Shirley

6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Once a downtown Gloucester, Massachusetts institution, Cameron's Restaurant has been closed for a number of years and is now slated for demolition to make way for an affordable housing project.

This painting SOLD at Pop Gallery in Gloucester. Interested in a similar piece? Contact me!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Farnhams Famous Clams - Small Acrylic Painting of Iconic Clam Shack

JT Farnhams
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Another iconic clam shack on the North Shore of Massachusetts. This one is in Essex - home to a lot of clams! I've driven by many times, however, this is one clam shack I haven't actually eaten at yet. Maybe next summer!

This piece was available at Pop Gallery in Gloucester, Massachusetts, but sold very quickly. I am guessing that there will be more Farnham's paintings coming up soon since it is a favorite place of many people. Let me know if you are interested in a piece of Cape Ann summer for your own!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Spuds found a new home!

Spuds found a new home!

"Spuds Surrenders" was one of a number of my original paintings that sold this past weekend at the Haverhill Arts Association's Annual Art Festival. Lots of prints - and new calendars sold as well! A big thanks to everyone who came out and made it such a fun day.

Did you miss out on the Art Festival? I also be selling my work this weekend (September 17th) at the Boxford Apple Festival. And next Saturday, at the Haverhill Art Market. Feel free to contact me if you want more information!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Kowloon - Small Acrylic Painting of Neon Sign Roadtrip

5 x 7 inches
acrylic on cradled board

Another crop of the iconic Kowloon sign. One of the few neon signs still left on Route 1! This painting will be available through my studio for the next week or so - and then it will be heading to a local shop.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Road Trip - Acrylic Painting of Classic VW Camper by Debbie Shrley

Road Trip
6x6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Love the older VW camper vans - I've always wanted a pop-up! And I love the feeling of hitting the road....ready for adventure!

This painting sold quickly. Limited edition prints are available at my ShirleyPrints etsy store here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ruby Red - Small Acrylic Painting of a Classic VW Beetle

Ruby Red
6x6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Loved this classic VW beetle! Fun shapes and reflections - and a great color to work with. I have been enjoying going to car shows and cruise nights - more car paintings will probably be in the future.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Clam Box - Small Acrylic Painting of New England Clam Shack

Clam Box
(Ipswich, Massachusetts)
7 x 5 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

One of my favorite clam shacks to paint - and not a bad place to get fried clams, either ;-)

Just a reminder - I am happy to paint custom versions of these little paintings if you want a different size, or perhaps a painting of YOUR favorite clam shack!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cupcake #4 - Food Art Still Life Painting by Debbie Shirley

Cupcake #4
4 x 4 inches
acrylic on mdf panel

Just because it looks cute with the last one - thought it would make a good display to have a pair (and they are fun to paint too!) I will have this cupcake pair, along with cupcake notecards - and lots of other fu things - at the Haverhill Art Market this weekend, Saturday July 16, 12-5pm at 90 Washington Street in Haverhill. I will be working on a small sign painting during the Market and selling some of my paintings and prints. Hope you can stop by if you are local!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cupcake #3 - Original Acrylic Still Life Painting

Cupcake #3
4 x 4 inches
acrylic on mdf board

Because painting cupcakes is so much fun, I decided that there needed to be more....

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bill - ACEO Acrylic Painting of Toy Man

3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches
acrylic on watercolor paper

Back to my Lego friends.....hadn't done one in a little while, so I thought I would do a quick one in an ACEO size to add to my display at the West Village Provisions.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hilltop - Small Acrylic Painting of Iconic Hilltop Sign Route 1

(Saugus, Massachusetts)
5 x 7 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

It always seems like it is time to do another Hilltop painting!

The Hilltop seems to be one of my most in-demand images. I suspect that is because it was such a well-loved place that was around for so long - and then fairly recently closed their doors for good. At every show I attend with one of my Hilltop pieces, I hear so many stories about the special family get-togethers that were held there....the special dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, rehearsal dinners, etc.  - everyone seems to have a Hilltop memory. Not too many restaurants have such a long history of making memories for so many people!

This is also why I love this series of local signs and buildings that I have been working on. Not only are they fun to paint, but I really enjoy hearing the stories that people share, their memories connected to these places, the connections that people have to these places.

I do these pieces by commission as well- so let me know if there is a special place you would like me to memorialize in a painting.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Make Your Own Mini-Masterpiece Workshop

I am going to be leading a "Make Your Own Mini-Masterpiece" Workshop at the next Haverhill Art Market! It is geared mainly for kids to make mini painting for a Father's Day gift, but adults are welcome to come play, too.

The Haverhill Art Market is held monthly - and is a great place to meet local artists and buy their work. It is a fun and friendly environment and is definitely worth checking out.

The next Art Market is on June 18th, 12-5pm at 90 Washington Street in downtown Haverhill. More information about the monthly Art Market can be found on our Facebook page.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Tripoli Pizza - Small Acrylic Painting of Neon Sign from Salisbury Beach

5 x 7 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

I seem to be meeting a lot of people from Salisbury lately. And have been talking a lot about Salisbury Beach. Can't talk about Salisbury Beach without mentioning Tripoli Pizza! And while they have other locations, I am pretty sure that the Salisbury one is the only one with the great neon sign. One of my favorite signs - that I keep coming back to.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Miniature - Small Acrylic Painting of Rt.1 Neon Sign

Miniature (Golf)
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Another new favorite sign to play with! I am actually working on a much larger version of another part of this sign for an upcoming show. This sign is on Rt. 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts - new to the famous orange dinosaur. The property has sold, and originally the sign and orange dinosaur were supposed to come right down. Due to public outcry, the developers decided to give the mini golf course and orange dinosaur one last season. So quick - make it over to Rt 1 for a round of mini golf before the orange dinosaur becomes only part of North Shore's history......

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Skips - Small Acrylic Painting of a Classic Neon Sign

6x6 inches
acrylic on cradled board

Finally a different part of the Skips neon sign! I love the part of the sign that says "The Best" - great words, shapes and colors. It has taken me a while to find another part of the sign that I wanted to paint. Some time I may have to do a larger version of the entire sign - it really is one of my favorites!

Working on a couple of these smaller pieces simultaneously with a few larger paintings that I hope will be ready to post soon. I think I start working on multiple projects at once when I am feeling a bit restless....

Monday, May 9, 2016

Police - Small Still Life Painting of Lego Toys

5 x 7 inches
acrylic on canvas panel

This little piece was donated to the O+ Haverhill Silent Auction to help them raise money for their festival that promotes art and wellness. For more information, check out their face book page here.

I stopped by the event on Saturday night to hear some music and bid on a few pieces of art. And I am excited that won this lovely piece by Linda Germain:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Agawam Diner - Small Acrylic Painting of Retro Diner

Agawam Diner
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Lots more sign paintings coming up! Some are places I have painted before, and some are new. gotta keep up with the shows and shops! This piece is at the brand new venue in Topsfield, Massachusetts - the North Shore Makers Mart.

And even cooler - it is in the local newspaper in the article about the Mart's opening!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cupcake #2 - Original Small Acrylic Painting, Food Art, Dessert Still Life

Cupcake #2
4 x 4 inches
acrylic on MDF panel

Because two cupcakes are better that one.

(Not to mention seriously fun to paint!)

The cupcakes are available at the new North Shore Makers Mart in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Are you interested in a limited edition print of this painting? Contact me! I am thinking I may just need to paint two cookies with sprinkles to make a notecard set with the cupcakes.

And speaking of the North Shore Makers Mart....check out the photo that accompanied the article about their opening:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cupcake #1 - Small Acrylic Painting Food Art Cupcake Still Life by Debbie Shirley

Cupcake #1
4x4 inches
acrylic on MDF panel

Why cupcakes?
I always thought that they looked like they would be fun to paint (they are!).
But my  kids were just happy that it wasn't yet another vegetable!

Available at the North Shore Makers Mart, Topsfield, Massachusetts

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kowloon - Small Acrylic Painting Neon Sign Route 1 Saugus, Massachusetts

8 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

It's the Kowloon!
Another great neon sign on Route 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts. Gone are the days of neon sign after neon sign on Route 1. Only a few are left! And I am trying to capture as many as I can while they still stand.
It always amazes me how I can paint just one letter from this sign and people immediately recognize it as the Kowloon!

This painting is also available at the North Shore Makers Mart in Topsfield, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Golf - Small Acrylic Painting Mini Golf Neon Sign Route 1 Saugus, Massachusetts

6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

How about a little mini golf??
Can't believe it has taken me so long to get around to painting this great neon sign in Saugus, Massachusetts. Yes, this is on Route 1 - site of the famous orange dinosaur. I had to get this painting dome - this is the last season for the dinosaur. The  whole complex is due to be demolished this fall to make room for more developments.

Love this sign - I am already sketching out a larger painting with a similar composition. this small painting is available at the brand new North Shore Makers Mart in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Stop by their Grand Opening on April 30th and see all kids of fun things from local artists. And it is in the middle of a vintage shop and consignment boutique - so much fun shopping in one place!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Free HBO - Small Acrylic Painting of a Vintage Motel Sign by Debbie SHirley

Free HBO
(Saugus, Mass.)
5 x 7 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Back to more of my sign paintings. I need more for local shops - and then with show/festival season getting underway, I will need some for my own inventory as well! I find signs fun to paint - sometimes I keep going back to some of my favorites, playing with composition and color and dimensions. After years in the printing industry and a resulting love for typography, it was inevitable that I would be drawn to signs - the lettering, the shapes, the graphic nature. Then tie in the nostalgic factor - and they are an irresistible subject for me!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

By My Side - Small Acrylic Still LIife Painting of Strawberries

By My Side
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on canvas

Another little 6 x 6 inch painting for the Chococoa Cafe exhibit. Love how these two paintings look paired up, in their little floater frames. I may have to play with a few more of these if I can squeeze them in between other projects.

Back to painting a bunch of smaller pieces for a new venue that is opening up at the end of this month. More information on this coming soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Moving On - Acrylic Still Life Painting of a Classic Game by Debbie Shirley

Moving On
8 x 8 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

I actually finished this piece quite a while back. However, there were a few things on it that really bugged me, so this weekend, I went into it and made the changes and am now revarnishing it. I don;t very often go back into a piece after a while has passed, but I am glad that I did with this one!

It is available in my Etsy shop.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Walk the Line - Small Acrylic Painting Still life of Fruit, Food Art Kitchen Decor

Walk the Line
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on canvas

I haven't done 6 x 6 inch canvases in a while! I wanted a few small pieces to help round out an exhibit and decided to go with 6 x 6. I forgot how cute they can be in floater frames!

Anyhow, I have hung a "food art" themed solo exhibit at the Cococoa Cafe in Newburyport, Massachusetts. What a fun cafe! Great coffee (from Atomic Roasters) and, oh yeah, the WHOOPIE PIES! Anyhow, my paintings there are all food themed and will be on exhibit through May. Be sure to stop by if you are in the area!

Here are two (not-so-great) photos of some of the pieces I hung at the Cafe:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gather 'Round - Kitchen Still Life Painting Food Art

Gather 'Round
12 x 16 inches
acrylic on canvas

For some reason, my reds never seem to scan OR photograph well! A lot of the subtlety is lost, and the tones are a little funky, but hopefully the picture still gives you an idea of what the painting really looks like.

This is the painting that I used for two recent demos. I finally finished it up - and it will be a part of the Newburyport Art Association's wonderful Annual Fine Art Auction on June 11. More details to come!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

State Street - Architecture Cityscape Acrylic Painting of Newburyport by Debbie Shirley

State Street
12 x 16 inches
acrylic on canvas

I finally finished up some small changes that I wanted to  make on this painting, painted the edges and varnished and framed it. It's an angled view down State Street in downtown Newburyport, Massachusets.

It will be on exhibit during the Spring Members Show at the Newburyport Art Association  from April 8 - April 30th with an opening reception on April 9, 7-9pm.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fowles - Small Acrylic Painting of an Iconic Neon Sign

5 x 7 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Back in full sign making mode! Yep, some of the same old....but some new ones, too - and always new crops and colors - love playing around with these and getting ideas for bigger pieces.
I've got a bunch of orders to fill for these - and a new local venue opening in a few weeks. More info to come!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rocket Fighter - Acrylic painting of Vintage Painted Tin Toy by Debbie Shirley

Rocket Fighter
12 x 12 inches
acrylic on canvas

I had a lot of fun with this one - can you tell?
Love this cute little printed tin toy. I hope to have the time to squeeze in more toy paintings soon!

Yes, things are still crazy. If you take a look on the right side of this page, you will see my ever-growing list of upcoming events - and I am not even close to being done entering them there! If you are local, you will have lots of opportunities to come see my work in person. Stop by and introduce yourself - I'd love to meet you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trio - Small Still Life Painting of Tomatoes for #twitterartexhibit

4 x 6 inches
acrylic on watercolor paper

This is my entry for this year's #TwitterArtExhibit. For the exhibit, artists all over the world donate a piece of original postcard size art. An exhibit is held and all pieces are available for sale at a flat, affordable price and all proceeds go to a particular charity or non profit. This year the exhibit is being held at the Trygve Lie Gallery in New York City and the charity is Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Program, in which young women in foster care learn to create and market a unique line of goods. It is very cool to follow all the pieces coming in (see their twitter feed here) - over 1200 artists all over the world participating! If you happen to be in New York City, the opening is on March 31 from 6:30-8:30. For the rest of us, much of the opening will be broadcasted on Periscope.

Friday, March 11, 2016

5 to Play

Sooo.... it's not every day that you get something awesome in the mail that looks like this:

Really, I got this wonderful piece of mail art from my good friend (and fellow artist) Linda Germain:

Linda is a wonderful artist - and does amazing monoprints - and is also an insightful teacher. What is even cooler is that you can take her classes online, from your own home or studio, anywhere in the world, and she is right there to help you every step of the way. I love the fact that she teaches her style of printmaking that is accessible to everyone - and no need for fancy equipment. You can check her most current class out here.

Anyhow, here is a close-up of the words on the piece. (And they are TYPED, as in a TYPEWRITER - the old typographer in me squealed with delight when I saw that!)

But they got me thinking....
What if I did play for 5 minutes a day? I have used many focusing techniques to start my day in my studio over the years. I've written "morning pages", I've made to-do lists, I've used breathing techniques, I've paced - I find that things work for while, then eventually I need to move on to a different technique. Which is fine - whatever works to get my mind focused to get to work on my paintings is okay with me. So Linda's prompt gave me a few ideas.....

To start with for now, I am taking the first 5 minutes in my studio to play. Right now that means drawing in my sketchbook. Nothing related to what I am working on at the moment. It can be a drawing of something I see, something floating in my head, or even just a scribble. Then I write the first line that pops into my head - whether it makes sense or not. And there is no pressure - I won't ever show this sketchbook to anyone! It is just 5 minutes, with no purpose in mind but to "play". So far it has been great fun, and definitely helps me to get centered to start my day.

Thank you, Linda - for the gift of "5 minutes to play"
Anyone else have any good rituals that they use to start their studio time?? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Beer & Wine - Acrylic Painting of a Neon Sign and Bowling Alley

Beer & Wine
16 x 12 inches
acrylic on canvas

I've been frantically working on some larger pieces to enter into upcoming exhibitions all while trying to move into my new studio space. It has been a little crazy! Now this week will have to be dedicated to catching up on some smaller pieces for some new shops I will have work in this Spring.

But first, here is one of the larger pieces. Love the Sunnyside sign from Danvers, Massachusetts. The day I went to take photos of it, the shadows were so perfect, I knew I'd need to paint more than just the sign....

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mischief - Small Acrylic Painting of Mr Potatohead

3 x 3 inches
acrylic on mdf panel

Doing a mix of little pieces for shops and some bigger pieces for exhibitions. Keeps me on my toes!
This little piece is available at Zenobia in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Gotta keep going back to the Mr. Potatohead. Each one has such a distinct personality - makes it so much fun to paint!

I am pretty much moved into my new studio - still some little things to be done, but I am pretty swamped with work, so I can't take any more down time. It will all get done eventually - right?!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Crazy Life - and Making Art

Things have been crazy and I am still trying to play catch-up! I hope to post some of my newer pieces very soon. And pictures of my new studio, too  ;-)

In the meanwhile, here is a little post from my good friend, Linda Germain. Not only is she an amazing artist, but she is a phenomenal teacher - and you can take her classes online! I love that she teaches on so many levels - her art is truly about the process - and she makes printmaking accessible to everyone without needing any crazy-expensive tools. Check out her post on making art even if you think you can't draw!

Saying goodbye to my old space.....