Friday, May 30, 2008

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms in a Glass
original oil painting on canvas artboard, 8 x 8 inches, unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

The apple blossoms are blooming...finally. To make this painting challenging, I tried to keep the background light colored. I had problems with the flowers wanting to fade into the background though, so I ended up darkening it just a touch and then I also used a palette knife on the flowers. With this painting, I wanted to keep parts of it fairly loose and concentrate on the light and dark areas of the leaves and shadows. There is an interesting play with the shadows as they shine through the glass providing a nice display of lights and darks.

This is one of those paintings that I also need to put away before I totally ruin it. Also, the mosquitoes are out in force the last couple of days. One landed on the painting and had trouble getting loose. I thought of just leaving the little bugger there as a reminder that when the apple tree blooms also the mosquitoes hatch.....the Minnesota variety that are big enough to be the state bird.

Today my neighbor and I set up my mosquito magnet. One of those things that produces carbon dioxide and attracts and then traps them. It will take a few days, but they really do work.

Thanks for looking. This painting is available.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tabasco Sauce No. 2 - SOLD

Tabasco Sauce No. 2
original oil painting on linen canvas board, 6 x 3 inches, unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

This is my second painting using a Tabasco Sauce bottle for the still life. This is a fun painting as the complementary colors of red and green are one of my favorite ones. If this painting is compared with the earlier one that I did when I just began the daily painting challenge one can see how my skills are finally back. I did fuss over this one probably a little more than what was necessary. In the future, I may do a painting with several different types of hot sauce lined up in a row....many different varieties in various shapes, sizes and labels.

Thanks for looking.

This painting will be on ebay this week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


original oil painting on canvas on artboard, 6" x 4", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Flowers are blooming everywhere ~ the apple tree, the lilacs and some other small bush that I planted a few years ago. This past weekend I purchased a hostas plant. They grow very well here and this is my first one. There is a place near here that advertises "hostas" and I do plan on checking them out,too. This flower was fun to paint. I tried to keep it a bit loose and simple.

My other project today was getting an old book press working as a possibility of using it for small prints. I oiled it up and replaced one of the broken bolts. I plan on writing a little more about it and showing pics at my other blog "A Line in Time". Please check it out if you are interested as that is where I write about the things that aren't my daily paintings.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

This painting will be available on ebay this week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Three Hot Tomatoes

Three Hot Tomatoes...Minnesota Bushel Boys
original oil painting of linen artboard, 4" x 5", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

These vine tomatoes are Minnesota Bushel Boys and are tasty. Initially, I thought of just doing one tomato, but I really wanted to have a painting with more composition to it so I decided to include all three. One tomato is painted in full with the other two running off of the painting, plus the shawdoes cast from having three tomatoes also adds significant interest with the variations. I really enjoy the geometric shapes formed.

Below are two close-up shots of the painting

a close-up of the green vine area

a close-up of the shadow area.

This painting is available this week on ebay.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Golf Ball and Tee

Golf Ball and Tee
original oil painting on linen canvas board, 4" x 5", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Click here to bid on ebay.

Since my friends talked me into joining the local Women's Golf League, I thought that it would be appropriate to paint a golf ball and tee. It certainly was a lot easier to do and a lot more fun than my golf game. The challenge with the golf ball was those crazy little areas all over it, but it was actually the easiest and the final touch of the painting. I found that it is best to just suggest those areas. The next challenge was painting a white ball against a white background. However, this is where subtlety of warm and cool can be played off of one another to add interest.

The shadows in this one also had a lot of interesting light plays that made it challenging to paint.

Enjoy! I will probably post this one on ebay...but tomorrow sometime. It is late tonight, but I just had to get today's painting in!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Cherries

Three Cherries
original oil on linen canvas on board, 4" x 5", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Today there were cherries at the grocery store and what fun they are to paint. This is the second painting today so enjoy.

Yard Flower from a Tree

Yard Flower
original oil on linen canvas on board, 4" x 5", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

This painting was a bit of a challenge to do. I had picked a flower from one of the small trees growing along the river today. I thought that it would be fun to paint. However, I had to be quick as the darn thing began wilting rather quickly under a lamp. For this painting I actually painted in the light area first and then quickly did the dark high contrast values. It still didn't feel right so I took the small palette knife and re-did the leaves. After that I scraped off the flower with the palette knife and re-did it. This is a lot looser than what I normally work, but it was challenging and fun.

Thanks for looking...comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Half-Pint Bowl with Pussy Willows
original oil painting on canvas board, 4" x 6"
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

This is a small ebony stoneware bowl and even though it is a brown, ebony color there are many different colors that can be seen in it when painting it. It is not just a brown bowl. There are twinges of orange and blue, depending on how the light reflects off of the ebony glaze. I may try putting together several of my dark, ebony glazed pieces of pottery into a larger still life. The pussy willows made a nice touch...even though they have seen better days.

This will be put on ebay tomorrow evening. If you would like to make an off on this small, delightful painting prior to being auctioned off, send me an email.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sliced Peach

Sliced Peach
original oil painting on canvas on board, 3.5" x 4", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

This peach was eaten right after I finished the painting...boy was it sweet! This is another small painting in oil and give me a bit of challenge. One problem that I seemed to have with this one was getting the pit just right This is one of those ones that may look better to me the next day or so.

I am really getting excited about doing some painting outside. After doing considerable research, I finally bought a plein aire easel..... there were cheap ones out there, but from what I read it is better to just get a good one. It is supposed to be lightweight and study. I also purchased the backpack to use with it as I really like to hike and this way I have my arms free if I need to carry anything else. When it arrives I can let everyone know how I like it. It is called an Easyl-Lite and I am buying it from Art Essentials.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wee Garlic Clove for the Garden

Garlic Clove for the Garden
original oil painting on canvas on board, 2.5" x 4", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Click here to bid on ebay.

This is a wee painting and very much fun to paint. The garlic clove sprouted some green and should probably go outside in the garden or maybe a tub or pot.

Tonight I almost opted to have a "no painting day", but I just needed to get one done. Today was a bit of a disaster day. I live in a log home and for once the day was gorgeous with the sun in full swing. I thought that I would do some spring cleaning by washing off some of the logs......the water pressure seemed a bit low, but then I have been gone for two years. I washed down one side and then went inside to take a break. WOW! Water every where! I immediately grabbed an armload of towels and began throwing them on the floor to soak up all that water before it did a number on the hardwood floors.........I have words that I said, but it is probably best that I not write them. Apparently during the winter the spigot to the outside water faucet froze and cracked the line. As long as the water is shut off I am ok for now. I will deal with the spigot some other day. For now, things just need to dry out.

Enjoy! If you have any questions about the painting, let me know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Sliced Kiwi and a Flower from the Lawn

Sliced Kiwi and a Flower from the Lawn
original oil painting on canvas on board, 4"x6", unframed
copyright Maryann Cleary

Well, today was one of those wipe the canvas off days...not once, but twice. I hate those days. I was really wondering if I was going to get my act together to get a painting done today. Finally, I opted to change subjects and try something else. I might try the daffodil tomorrow...that is what was the first two attempts at today's painting. Finally, I went to the kitchen sliced a kiwi, sliced a thin slice off, ate it and thought well, "why not"? Here is the result of today's dilemma. It is definitely better that what was on the canvas previously.

Here is the painting that I did yesterday and this morning the corner was really bothering me, so I attempted to soften it. That is the only thing that I did (the colors may vary due to a little manipulation in photoshop, but the only place changed was the corner) I am asking for opinions here. What feels better to you as a viewer, the one on the top or the one beneath.

Here is my opinion. I feel the one on the bottom has a dark blue arrow pointing the way out of the painting...while the one on top keeps your eye focused and moving inside the painting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Colored Egg Radishes

Colored Egg Radishes
original oil painting on canvas on board, 6" x 8"
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

What fun! Today when shopping at the local food co-op, I found these most interesting radishes. They are rather large and different colors. As I was checking out the woman looked at me and said these look just like Easter eggs. She had never seen such things as I had not either. She guessed their name correctly.

With this painting, it is a slightly larger format with it being 6" x 8". It seems large after doing so many 4" x 6" ones. I really wanted to try to just block in shapes and contrasts and work rather loose except with slightly more detail on the radishes. As with most paintings, I really don't know if a like it or not. When I reach this point, I usually stop and set the painting aside as this is when I can really start re-working it and then it will be lost. Tomorrow I will know if some adjustments need to be made when I can look at it with fresh eyes and ones not so critical as they seem to be right now.

Tomorrow....a salad with colored radishes. I wonder what they taste like and if they are any different than normal radishes. Has anyone ever seen or eaten these type of radishes?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Little Perfume Samples - SOLD

Little Perfume Samples
original oil painting on linen on board, 4"x 6", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

These are some sample perfume bottles that I found today while trying to figure out what to paint. I am really not a perfume user so who knows how long they have been just sitting there waiting for something to happen. There names are First, Eternity, Eau, Still and Shafali...all just waiting to be applied for that special occasion. Who knows when that will happen. For now, they are assembled ready for application and one of those sensory moments....

If anyone is interested in this painting, please drop me an email for more information.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Cup of Herb Tea

Cup of Herb Tea or "ZEN"
original oil painting on canvas on board, 5"x 7", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Take six sprigs of lavender, two sprigs of pineapple mint and two sprigs of peppermint...steep with 8 oz. of boiling water and a little bit of relaxation and magically one has a cup of tea....or Zen as the recipe says. This past week I found some potted herbs and recipe for a cup of Zen tea....I still need to try it, but the plants are alive and as long as I remember to water them all should be good for tea.

Available ~ email me for more info.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Vidalia Onion

Vidalia Onion
original oil painting on linen on board, 4"x 6", unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Available ~ email me for more info.

Today when I went to the grocery store, the vidalia onions were in stock. I am not an onion fan, but these onions are wonderfully sweet and tasty. I try to stock up on them and put some aside by chopping them up and freezing them so that I have them when they are no longer in season.

My artstudio is also coming along. Today I did some cleaning and also hung up a quilt as a divider to hide the area that I will finish in the future. Tomorrow I will put up the doors for the washer/dryer area so that sight is hidden. After that it is a matter of some wall washing and vacuuming...the rest can be staged for the future. So for now the windows and ceiling are complete with taping, priming, and painting - windows have molding now and there is trim along the ceiling.....a real room with a fabulous view of the outdoors and no direct sunlight...perfect for a studio.

Now time to watch a movie and just relax.....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Juice Glass No. 3 with Grape Tomatoes

Juice Glass NO. 3 with Cherry Tomatoes
oil paintng on gallery wrapped canvas, 4"x4"x1.5", unframed (side painted)
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Available ~ email me for more info.

Today was a busy day. I put some finishing touches on my artstudio and now I need to clean the place is rather messy or in chaos. Hopefully, I will have things organized by the end of this week.

The above painting is a small one and was fun to do. I love collection the older juice glasses with the painted decorations on them.

Enjoy and thank you for looking....I know, I still need to post the lucky folks who got the free paintings....

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lily No. 2

Lily No. 2
original oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas, 6" x 6" x 1.3"
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Please email if you are interested. Yesterday's painting and this one would make a good pair. Email me at

It certainly has been a busy day today. For a good part of the day, I worked on my studio...painting the ceiling, putting up molding, and trying to put the finishing touches on it. Right now my temporary studio is upstairs. The studio that I am preparing is on the main floor or basement and has a wonderful view of the river. I am trying to make it a place where I want to go....right now it is not....I had to tape the ceiling, windows and paint, and now I am in the process of putting on some finishing touches. It will be so nice when it is complete.

With today's painting, I decided to do the lily again only this time with more shadows. Yesterday's certainly went a lot easier. I seemed to struggle with this one...,maybe it is because it has been a long day. I was going to fuss with it some more, but I know when it is best to stop and just put the darn thing it is.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 05, 2008


original oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas, 6 inches x 6 inches
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Now available for bidding on ebay. CLICK HERE to bid.

This painting was done from life. A couple of months ago I bought one of those containers where you plant some bulbs in the potting mix and water....well, this is the result of one of those little kits. I did manage to kill off one of the bulbs. It even sprouted and then died. However, the other two are doing fine and are blooming with very fragrant flowers.

Now on to other business.....the response to the 29-Day Giving Challenge of me offering 5 of my daily paintings as a part of this challenge has been held with awesome response. In fact, I will end up giving away a total of 7 of my paintings...... with this challenge, I am also giving away many other things....this weekend someone stopped by my place to pick up a TV cabinet...I am mailing books off to a library in N.D. whose library burnt down....this will continue for 29 days. Thank you to all who responded to the give away. I hope that you enjoy the paintings.

When all the requests have been mailed, I will post the paintings and the destination (one request was for one on ebay and I must wait until the auction is completed).

Friday, May 02, 2008

Minnesota's Bushel Boy Tomato

Minnesota's Bushel Boy Tomato
original oil paintng on gallery wrapped stretched canvas, 6" x 6" x 0.5"
copyright MaryAnn Cleary
No longer available ~ given to Eve in N.Y. as part of the 29-Day Giving Challenge

I was pretty clueless today as to what I was going to paint. While going to the grocery store to hit all the specials (many buy 1, get one free items), I saw this tomato that says it is grown in Minnesota. It definitely has to be in a hot house as the weather here is still miserable....tonight it is supposed to get down to 33F.....and it is raining....or that could be snow.

I still have one more painting to give away for my committment to the 29 Day Giving if you want a freebie with no strings attached, send me an email with the name of the one that you like (ebay auctions are not available or ones that have been sold or committed to someone else). If you want more info send me an email at

Thanks for looking....oh, by the way, I have been working on my art studio that will soon be in my basement or really it is at ground level with a wonderful view of the!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Perfume Bottle from China

Painted Perfume Bottle from China
original oil painting on canvas on board, 4" x 6"
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Available ~ email me for more info.

This little perfume bottle came from one of my trips back to the U.S. from China. I bought it at Lily's place. She was one of few vendors who spoke excellent English in Suzhou. She sold many silk embroidery paintings (absolutely beautiful) as well as other small items like perfume bottles that were painted, carvings and other touristy items. In her shop she had what I called the "card of fame"...she would take your business card and put it under the glass on her cabinet...she had many cards from fellow employees as we all would stop and shop at Lilys.

Also, I am very pleased with the response for the 29 Day Giving Challenge...there are some lucky folks out there who have a painting heading there way. I still have one more available for the give away.....