Monday, January 30, 2017

Still Life Painting of Ornaments by Debbie Shirley

6 x 4 inches
acrylic on watercolor paper

This was another painting for the fixed price sale at Newburyport Art Association last month. I love painting the reflections on the ornaments - and the round shapes make it especially challenging. I find it forces me to really look closely at what I am trying to paint - and paint what I actually see, without my brain trying to interpret it. I just look at is as a series of shapes, not specific objects. Yet when I step back and take a look when I am done, it always amazes me how the shapes come together to make the subject come to life.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Original Acrylic Potato Head Still Life Painting by Debbie Shirley

Gone Shopping
6 x 4 inches
acrylic on watercolor paper

Having fun with Mrs. Potato Head....I always enjoy painting classic toys and Mr/Mrs Potato Head is definitely a favorite! This was for a fixed price sale that was held around the holidays at the Newburyport Art Association. I painted it with acrylic on watercolor paper - leaving the white of the paper around the image. I then spot varnished only the painted area - the varnish really  makes the image pop!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hilltop - Small Acrylic Painting of Iconic Hillltop Steak House Sign.

7 x 5 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

Why so many Hilltop paintings? The Hilltop Steakhouse was such a popular restaurant - with such an iconic sign. The sign is fun to paint - and is recognizable instantly by anyone who had ever lived or visited the North Shore. Since the restaurant was just demolished recently, the place and its memories are still fresh in people's minds. I think people really want to remember this place - and there is unlikely to be anything quite like it again. Generations of local families celebrated their special occasions there - I love hearing people's stories when they see on of my Hilltop paintings at a show.

This painting has sold  - but if you are interested in a small Hilltop painting for your own home (or office) - please contact me for more information!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Marty's Donut Land - Acrylic Painting of Iconic Storefront in Ipswich, Massachusetts by Debbie Shirley

7 x 5 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

I have painted Marty's Donut Land has since been bought out and changed hands. There are a lot of Ipswich people who have fond memories of Marty's - of the fresh hot donuts, right out of the fryer, that you had to show up for very, very early (or late for the party crowd) and get before the sun rose. I have had a bunch of requests for more, so I am doing some more small paintings - slightly different crops and orientations - so that people can have a piece of Ipswich history for their own. Please contact me if you would like a Marty's painting to capture some of your own memories.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Final Season - Acrylic Painting of Neon Miniature Golf Sign Route 1, Saugus, Massachusetts

Final Season
18 x 18 inches
acrylic on canvas

A beloved site on Route One in Saugus, Massachusetts was demolished this fall. Know as the "mini golf place with the big orange dinosaur", Route One Miniature Golf was torn down to make way for condominiums and retail shops. Due to popular demand, they left the orange dinosaur standing - which looks a bit funny now on the edge of a vacant lot. Not sure how they will utilize him in the new development, but we will have to see.

While a painting of the orange dinosaur will probably occur in the future, I had to paint the sign first, while it was still standing. A colorful combination of neon and light bulbs, the sign had some great shapes. I know this place holds memories for many people on the north shore and I hope sharing this glimpse of the sign will help capture thoughts of those past fun times and special occasions.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Clam Box Painting - Small Acrylic Painting of Iconic Clam Shack Ipswich, Massachusetts

Clam Box
(Ipswich, Massachusetts)
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

The Iconic Clam Box in Ipswich, Massachusetts! An interesting building - shaped like a take-out box. Love the red and white accents - and of course, the fried clams. Stop by on a warm summer evening, and the line goes all the way around the building. A place not to be missed by visitors to the area.

It is a fun building to paint - I am always trying to find a slightly different angle or crop to it. This is a popular subject with my customers, so I do end up painting it a lot! If you are interested in a "Clam Box" painting of your own. please contact me!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Caffe Sicilia - Small Acrylic Painting of a Local Cafe Gloucester, Massachusetts

Caffe Sicilia
(Gloucester, Massachusetts)
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel
available at Pop Gallery

This charming little cafe is across the street from one of the galleries that carries my work. Pop Gallery is an awesome boutique right on Main Street in downtown Gloucester. It has evolved from a mostly art pop-up shop into a charming and quirky shop with stuff you won't find elsewhere - really fun clothing and unique accessories including the work of some local artists. Anyways, I thought it would be fun to paint a few of the downtown businesses that locals would recognize for Pop to include on their pink wall and I have always loved the shape of this little corner building.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Plaza Motel - Acrylic Painting of a Motel and Neon Sign

Plaza Motel
12 x 16 inches
acrylic on canvas

Going back to Route 1 for another seedy motel. Route 1 used to have a ton of these sketchy places - each one complete with a neon sign, and other signs about their color tvs, air conditioners, hot tubs and other amenities. Many of these motels have been razed in the last five years and a few big chain hotels have taken their place. The few motels that are left along this stretch of road no longer have neon signs. This was one of the last neon signs to go - it has been recently been replaced by a backlit box sign. The neon will be missed!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cherry Still Life Painting by Debbie Shirley

Cherry Chums
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on canvas

Cherries are always interesting to paint - there are so many colors in that red-ish hue! I added the pattern for fun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Small Original ACEO Painting of Tomato Still Life

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

Another small ACEO-sized painting. I hadn't painted tomatoes in a while, and felt a need to go back to something familiar.While I love painting signs and buildings, sometimes it feels good to go back to the more rounded shapes and softer angles of things like fruits and vegetable.

This little piece is still available. Contact me for more information if you are interested!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Prince Pizza Painting and a Winter Tropical Paint-In

Prince Restaurant
12 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled board

This was a new sign for me - the "leaning tower of pizza" on Route 1 - Prince Restaurant. The painting was a commission piece for someone whose family was involved in the making of the original sign. I have since done a smaller version of the sign - contact me for availability if you are interested!

Today was the first Sunday of this year's "Paint-In" at Nunan Florist and Greenhouses in Georgetown, Mass. What fun to paint in a tropical environment in the middle of winter - especially after last night's snowstorm! Artists from the Greater Haverhill Arts Association will be painting there on Sundays throughout January - and we will hold an exhibition on the last Sunday of the month. I will be sure to post my finished pieces - maybe my first florals since last year's Paint-In!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Duck Down and New Berry - Original ACEO Paintings

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

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

Every now and then I like to go back to the ACEO format. I used to paint and sell a lot of these little pieces, but then started to work larger. Once in a while I go back to the smaller size - they are relatively quick and fun to paint, and give me a break from whatever else I am working on. They are also nice to have at shows - people appreciate smaller pieces at lower price points that they can give as gifts.

These two little gems are still available - follow these links to purchase from my DailyPaintworks gallery if you are interested:  Duck Down   and   New Berry

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year!

On the Road
6 x 6 inches
acrylic on cradled panel

2016 has hit the road! It is now 2017 and I am more than ready for a new year. New goals, new beginnings and a clean slate. I've got lots of paintings to show you - and lots of things going on to share. Hope you will continue to join me as we move forth into the new year.....