Monday, March 29, 2010

North Shore of MN

Two Island River
8x10 inch, oil on linen board
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

Temperance Valley
12x16 inches, oil on linen
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

What fun! Last week, after meeting up with a friend, we spent the day painting along the North Shore. The first painting is of Two Island River and the railroad crossing over the river. During the rest of the year, I am sure that the water does not gush and bubble like it did that day. The day started out cloudy...and then ended up sunny. Initially, I really wanted to concentrate on warm and cool subtleties of a cloudy day, but Mr. Sun thought a bit of light on the subject matter would be a challenge. It was.

The next painting is of the valley where the Temperance River runs. What a view! Even though it is spring and the trees are not green yet, the contrast of the birch against the evergreens and the red branches of the bushes in the foreground made for a dancing pattern of color. The wind also wanted to help with the painting. There were times where I literally thought that me, the canvas and my umbrella would take off over the valley....thus a fast and furious painting :). The canvas had a transparent red undertone painted on it. This is my first try using something so bright and colorful for a base. Usually, my undertoned canvas is a gray. This seemed to work with a bit of red popping out here and there. This may be the start of something and I would like to try it again when I am not battling with the wind.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

Mouse Island
size: 8x10 inch, unframed, $150

What a pleasant surprise I received last week. A while back I had put together paperwork for an individual artist's grant through the East Central Arts Council in Mora, MN. Each year they receive funding through the McKnight Foundation for a variety of grants. This year I opted to apply for a grant so that I could further my artistic skills with a workshop given by Marc Hanson in Taylors Falls, MN. Last Wednesday, I went to Mora to give a ten minute presentation about my work and my plans for the grant if I received it. Ten minutes is not very long and the time used to support my artwork and project just seemed to zoom by quickly. There are 20 or so folks present for the presentation and most are difficult to read - surely done so that there seems to be a presence of unbiased opinions.

I am so pleased to announce that after contacting the ECAC staff person, I found out that my project plan had been selected and I had been awarded a grant!!!

A big "Thank You" goes to the East Central Arts Council!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Moon at Menogyn
linen canvas panel, size: 10x8 inch, unframed, $150
copyright 2010 MaryAnn Cleary

This is one of my paintngs from the winter trip to northern Minnesota last month. We endured extreme temperatures (-22F), but the days were filled with the warming sunshine. On Saturday, of our few day stay, the moon reached its full status and to top it off, the temperatures that evening were pleasantly warm. I painted this painting right behind our cabin. The moon hit this one huge tree and there was an erieness to the night.

During my painting experience this week, I scraped most of the unused paint off into a corner of my palette. What a treasure it became for painting that erie glow of the bright and full moon. The mixture actually was perfect for that greenish, yellowish glow.

This is actually my second nocturne, but after this experience, I am so hooked. Painting landscapes for me, is sometimes so overwhelming due to "all the stuff" that I see. I am finding at night, there is so much less stuff and one can concentrated on the mood and feeling. After painting all week, this is one of my favorites....along with two others that are just simple ones of the three islands on a lake we walked across.