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

Friday, May 4, 2018

Shipping Special!!

As a thank you to all the wonderful people who came out to Melrose Art Festival last weekend - and a thank you to all the Moms out there - I am continuing the fun from last weekend just a bit longer for my email and blog readers. Below I am listing 9 of my small acrylic paintings, all are either 6x6" or 5x7", they are all framed (most of them in a black floater frame, the tomatoes are in a black "panel" frame). Each one of them is available for $125, first come, first served - and as part of the special, if you order before midnight on Monday, May 7, 2018 you will get FREE shipping within the United States - just in time for Mothers Day! (Contact me if you are interested in purchasing - or if you need more information!)

Three of a Kind

Sunny Stingray

The Collection


Lena's, Salisbury, MA

Pat's Diner, Salisbury, MA

Happy's, Salisbury Beach, MA

On the Road

New Room

Painting Title

An added bonus:
FREE shipping in the US is also available for any orders placed from my ShirleyPrints Etsy shop if placed before midnight on Monday, May 7, 2018. Use the code THANKSMOM at checkout to get the free shipping. Find a unique gift for Mom - and get it shipped for FREE!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Marty's....and Melrose!

Could it be that spring is here at last?!
After a seemingly endless winter (snow in mid-April anyone?), it seems like we are finally getting a taste of spring. And spring brings with it the start of show season....

I will be doing a lot fewer shows this spring due to commitments with my kids, but will have plenty of exhibitions and other opportunities to see my work. And if you are local to the North Shore of Massachusetts, I always welcome appointments for studio visits to my studio in downtown Haverhill. (Just shoot me an email if you would like to set something up!)

Coming up this weekend is one of my favorite shows of the season - Melrose Arts "Arts in April", April 28 and 29 from 11 to 5 at Memorial Hall, 590 Main Street, Melrose. This is a juried show and is always filled with amazing art.

One of the new pieces I will have at the show is this 20 x 10" acrylic painting of Marty's Donut Land.
Marty's was located in Ipswich, Mass, but sadly closed a few years ago. Here is a quick step-by-step progression:

Quick sketch of the layout - in pencil and then in paint. The angle of this was a bit tough.

Laying out flat areas of color so I can make adjustments before getting into details

Lots of layers - almost a kind of glazing, but I think I actually do more scumbling. 
Just finishing up the details here:

"Marty's Donut Land" will be available this weekend at the Melrose Arts Festival. After that, you will be able to find it on the "Retro Roadside" page of my website HERE.

Hope to see you in Melrose this weekend!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Red Bel Air - Step by Step of a Classic Car Painting

I have been thinking about a number of ideas for a few new car paintings. They are always fun and challenging to do with all of the highlights and reflections. Instead of thinking about what I am actually painting, I have to concentrate just on shapes. It is always intriguing to me how these shapes eventually come together. It seems so abstract while I am working on it - then at some point you step back and realize, wow - that actually looks like something!

Anyways, here is "Red Bel Air" step by step:

Sketching the basic outline:

Laying in blocks of color - I like to do this to check out the composition and accuracy of my drawing. It is still easy to change things at this point:

Starting to play with the shapes - just looking at all the little shapes of different colors, not thinking about what the shapes actually are:

Moving through different parts of the painting - starting to see some of the shapes coming together:

 Getting close to done! This is when I look at it as a whole and make any changes/additions to make sure it all works together and is cohesive:

The finished painting:
"Red Bel Air"
10 x 10", acrylic on canvas

I believe it is a '55 Chevy Bel Air by the way - the 1950's seem to be my favorite decade for car designs! If you are interested in seeing more of my classic car paintings, you check them out in the category view on my DailyPaintworks site here: Classic Cars

"Red Bel Air" is currently hanging at the Newburyport Art Association's Spring Members Exhibition in Newburyport, Massachusetts through April 29th.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rt. 1 Mini Golf - Neon Sign Painting

Rt. 1 Miniature Golf
24 x 18 inches
acrylic on canvas

Gotta love the miniature golf course along Route 1 with the orange dinosaur. But - ack! - it is no longer there! Not only do I miss seeing the dinosaur, but it was also a fun course to play - with batting cages and an ice cream stand as well. While the developers promise to keep the orange dinosaur on site, it just isn't the same when he isn't lording over the edge of the course right next to the highway. This painting is part of the neon sign that also accompanied the business. The sign no longer stands - I had painted it previously as a small painting, but knew I needed to preserve the memories in a larger format.

Progress pictures:
 Sketching in the composition and laying out the sky color

 Refining the composition and filling in blocks of color before adding details

Hey there - it's me! I don't often include myself in pictures, but decided to change it up a bit!

Want to see it in person? "Rt. 1 Miniature Golf" will be on exhibit late March through the 27th of April at the Salisbury Public Library in Salisbury, Massachusetts. (Click on image to see it larger.)

Corner Coffee Shop

George's Coffee Shop
20 x 16 inches
acrylic on canvas

I've never been a big fan of chain restaurants  - I'd much rather try out the small local mom-and-pop greasy spoons. I've found a lot of gems along the way. (And some misses as well!) Breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out - so places that serve breakfast all day are always on the top of my list.
George's Coffee Shop is  great little diner on a busy corner in Gloucester, Mass. I recently drove by and noticed that the signage had changed - I like the older hand-painted version better so I decided to paint it that way and preserve the more old-fashioned character.

Progress shots:
Roughly sketching in my composition

Laying down some quick color washes 

Refining some areas, and going back for more detail

Want to see it in person? "George's Coffee Shop" will be on exhibit late March through the 27th of April at the Salisbury Public Library in Salisbury, Massachusetts.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Progression of a Painting - Stay

"Stay" is a recently finished 18 x 24" acrylic painting of a part of a sign from the Salem Willows in Salem,  Massachusetts.

I have an obsession with this sign! It combines neon and light bulbs, great colors and interesting shapes all on a sign with a bit of history. I have painted various parts of it from different angles - and every time I look at it, I see another way I want to paint it!

I am showing you some work in progress photos to show you a bit about my process.

I always start by sketching my composition out on the canvas or panel. Frequently I do rough thumbnail sketches on paper to make a plan, then I do a quick sketch on the substrate. Usually I go over my pencil lines with some paint; I like to get a feel for the composition, plus the paint stays in place, while the pencil lines usually get smeared or rubbed out.

Next I get into the painting by laying out blocks of color. If the painting has difficult values, then I will do a one color value painting as a base (kind of a grisaille). But usually with my larger paintings, I like to block in colors. It covers the white of the canvas and helps me check the composition and juxtapostion of colors. I can then make any corrections to the drawing and composition before I start adding details.

Then I do layer after layer of color, adding form and eventually details.

I work my way through the whole painting, then I go back with a few more details and add some color notes throughout the entire piece.

I am thrilled that "Stay" was juried into the Newburyport Art Association's Winter Members Juried Exhibit  (jurors Todd Bonita and Donald Jurney) and will be on exhibit at the Art Association until  March 4. It's a wonderful exhibition - hope you can check it out if you are local!

For more info about the Newburyport Art Association, see their website here. And for more information about "Stay", please contact me here.