Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

"Happy Holidays"
pastel, 7.5x11 inches
(a snow scene from my backyard)

Here is the scene without photoshop.

This pastel can be purchased unframed and without matting for
$100 plus shipping.
Click her to purchase via PayPal.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


 "Fog Along the Rum River"
size: 8x10 inch
Oil on linen panel

Fogginess: an atmosphere in which visibility is reduced because of a cloud of some substance. This is according to my online dictionary and thesaurus.

Yesterday, as I looked through a pile of paintings that I had done, I came across this one. For the past month, as I try to paint or think about painting, I seem to become clouded and filled with a heavy fogginess that surrounds me. I feel as if my muse has left me for greener pastures. (In a sense, that may be true. It is winter and the green pastures are filled with yellow ochres and patches of snow.) My muse seems to be on a wanderlust with very, itchy feet and the inability to stay focused. I am not sure what that so-called muse is up to at the moment. Searching. Seeking. Exploring. Probing. Investigating. Hmmmm, making doll clothes for the grand kids. I am wondering if every artist goes through these phases where creating art just seems to stagnate and makes no sense.

I am having one of those phases. Wondering what to do? Wondering what happened to my muse?

Sometimes it is good to look back at the places of creativity of the past. To look at the past and where one has been. Sometimes it is not. Today it is. Looking back can give one a sense of accomplishment and progress made. With that, today I look towards the future. Towards who and what I want to be.

Something magical happened when sorting through those old paintings. I know now that creating art is my true passion in life. I know that it is something I must do. Without art, I am lifeless. I need to create. I now realize that my muse never left. She seemed to be hiding right in front of me, clouded by my thoughts and lack of action. The fog truly has lifted. My muse has returned. That magical entity seems to have emerged from the fog, being present and by my side all along.

Creativity happens in many ways. For me, the magic of making my wee grand children doll clothes, showed me that my muse is still with me. Nudging me to create. To design. To produce. It may not be with a brush or a pencil, but my creative mind combines fabric, designs patterns, and magically one-of-a-kind creations are made for the special wee ones in my life.

I found my muse. Now to create with a bit of the studio.


P.S. This week I am doing a purge of some old, but good paintings. These are studies that I did a while back and I want to make room for the new. I will be offering them at a low starting bid on Daily Paintworks.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crex Meadows 3

Crex Meadows No. 3
oil on linen, 8x10 inch, $150
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

This painting is of an area in Wisconsin known as Crex Meadows and painted on location. It is a plein air painters delight. Every time that I paint there, I am so inspired by the quiet and beauty of the landscape. There is an abundance of wildlife, including trumpeter swans, cranes and many other water fowl along four-legged critters. I still need to sign this one and I have painted this area previously.

Please feel free to comment and if you are interested in purchasing this painting, I will ship it for free.
Thank you for your support and for viewing my artwork!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fern Meadow

"Fern Meadow"
watercolor with pen and ink, 12x16 inch
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

This is a technique that I do not typically do nowadays. Most of my work is in oils or pastels. At one time, I used to work only in this media. If fact, my first paintings used watercolor and pen and ink. A few months ago, a friend asked me if I would do a piece of artwork of the home that they were building. A log home. I had been to their place...the old place and I loved the area with its magical beauty.

This is my interpretation of that magical place. I have yet to see the new cabin, but I am sure that it still maintains the beauty and spirituality of the area. I remember sitting under a huge pine tree, soaking up the sun's rays, listening to the quiet as the silence and beauty soothed my troubled spirit. This is my interpretation of their magical place.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fairy Wings

"Fairy Wings"
pastel, 16x20 inch
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary
Second Place Winner in the Image Show

Capturing the essence of a small child and their behavior is one of my muses for painting children's portraits. Imagination and pretending are such an important aspect of being a child. As adults we tend to forget about the world of "make believe" and become entangled with surviving our daily struggles of living our lives.

Fairy Wings is meant to bring us back to that time when the child in us loved to dress up and pretend of being someone or something else. It made us feel special and seemed to give the child in us power and strength when times could be difficult.

The model for this painting is my granddaughter and when I brought her the gift of wings and a ruffled tutu skirt, she immediately put them on and absolutely refused to remove them. Her sweet innocence and for her the power of being a "fairy princess butterfly" made her feel so special.....but of course she is. The power of make believe is incredible and as adults it could not hurt for each of to pretend some times.

Monday, October 03, 2011

"Fall Colors"

"Fall Colors"
8x10 inch, oil on linen, landscape
plein air, unframed
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

This past week while picking up paintings from the show in Grand Marais, MN, I decided to spend a couple of days enjoying the fall colors and also to do some plein air painting. This painting was done plein air and the location is near the Trail Center Lodge - one of my favorite places stay. The food is fantastic and the area is absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Made by an Eagle Scout

"Made by an Eagle Scout"
pastel, 9x12
This pastel painting is a small walking bridge that is located near Horseshoe Bay along Lake Superior. There is a small brass plate on the railing that tells of its maker, an Eagle Scout. A beautiful hiking path. A wonderful bridge.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"End of the Road"

"End of the Road"
oil on linen, 8x10 inch

Available at Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery, Grand Marais, MN

This is a short road that runs along Lake Superior across from the Judge Magney State Park. The day had a lot of atmosphere with the fog that hung along the shoreline for most of the day. I liked how the telephone poles and the road made for an interesting composition.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Field of Dreams"

"Field of Dreams"
pastel, 16x20 inches

This is one of the pastel paintings that I recently did for the Grand Marais Plein Air Paint Out. There is a story behind the name of this painting and the connection that I found for the area. The area is near a place called Horseshoe Bay on Lake Superior. There is a public water access to Lake Superior and also a trail that leads through a wooded area.

The day that I arrived to take some photos and do some sketching of black-eyed susans that lined the edge of the parking lot, I met a group of folks coming out of the trail located just off of the parking area. I asked them where the path went. An elderly gentleman smiled at me and said, "that the trail would eventually get to the point and along the way there is a bridge that an Eagle Scout built just for someone like me". He continued telling me about an open field where a baseball diamond had once been. "Really", I said. I decided to follow the trail and check it out. Sure enough I crossed a bridge made by an Eagle scout. Going further I found an open field. I am not sure that the field actually had a baseball field, but it made for a good story. Since the clearing could have been a baseball diamond in the middle of no where, I found the title for the painting "Field of Dreams" fitting.

The day that I painted "Field of Dreams", the fog had rolled in all along the coast of Lake Superior. At one time, I could not even see the field. Luckily, things cleared off and the atmosphere had the wonderful misty feel to it. What a wonderful place for a painting.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cowboy Coffee ~ Nocturne

"Cowboy Coffee"
oil on linen, 8x10 inch
Nocturne painting, available at Johnson Heritage Post, Grand Marais, MN thru September 25th

This year for the Ninth Annual Grand Marais Paint Out, I stayed at the Judge Magney State Park...a nice park that has showers during the summer months. One night as the fire blazed its warmth, I thought that it would make a nice night painting with a coffee pot along one edge of the fire ring and grill.

Night painting is quite a challenge. One needs to be able to see the canvas and paint to mix them, but the light cannot be so bright that it ruins the effect of the scene. There is a balance between one's eyes being able to see at night and the light used. I use a small battery operated book light that does the job. It clamps onto my easel and I can see the paint enough to mix them.

The surprise is seeing how the painting turned out the next day in sunlight. Sometimes the painting works, sometimes not. I also do not use black for the dark areas.

Friday, September 09, 2011

A Piece of the Rock ~ Quick Paint

"A Piece of the Rocks"
oil on linen, 8x10 inches
Available at Johnson Heritage Post, Grand Marais, MN, through September 25th.

During the Grand Marais Plein Air event, the participants did a "quick paint" on Artist's Point in Grand Marais. The artists had to have their panels stamped before competing. At 5:30 pm a horn sounded indicating the beginning of the time allotted to paint. The artists had until 7:00 pm to complete a painting. An hour and a half. During that time, we had ever-changing light and weather conditions, including rain and fog. Quite a challenge.

This is my result of the Quick Paint. It is a small section of rocks that can be found along the shoreline of Lake Superior at Artist's Point.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lace Lake ~ winner

"Lace Lake"
oil on linen, 11x14 inches
available at Johnson Heritage Center, Grand Marais, MN thru September

Last week I spent the week painting at the Ninth Annual Grand Marais Plein Air Event. There were a total of 44 artists anticipating in the event. My painting, "Lace Lake", received an honorable mention in the main category. Each artist could submit up to three paintings.

Other categories for the event included two more categories, a Quick Paint and a Nocturne.

Look for the other paintings that I painted during the week in future posts. What a great time!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All in Bloom

"All in Bloom"
oil on linen panel, 8x8 inch
Floral, unframed

Today the sun lit my small flower garden giving a feeling of  wildness. There are lots of weeds out among those flowers. The spiked flowers of the hydrangea, the coneflowers and some yellow flowers that I do not know. All perennials. All blooming in the summer sun. Begging to be painted.

This is my interpretation of that flower garden painted from life this afternoon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pastel of Crex Meadows

"Crex Meadows in Pastel"
8x10 inches
pastel on sanded paper
$150 framed (glass and spacers)

Painting out has many advantages. For me, doing those paintings out of doors are painting notes of the colors seen that day. I like to use paintings that I have done this way in the studio to do pastels. That is what happened with the above pastel painting. There are a couple of other paintings that I did of Crex Meadows that I plan on using for pastel studies as well.

Look for more pastels in the future. By the way, I also used some of my homemade pastels on this painting. Luscious.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mason Jar Flowers

"Mason Jar Flowers"
oil on board, 6x6 inch

With this painting, I am trying a different medium. Neo-Megilb made by Gamblin. It is supposed to be the modern day replacement for Maroger's medium. This is my first attempt and I still have a ways to go before figuring the best method of application and using it. I am not sure that I like it or not. Definitely, I need to try a few more paintings and experiment some more.

Since I do a lot of painting outdoors, I am also experimenting with some fast drying mediums. The latest one will be Fast Drying Linseed Oil from Winsor and Newton.  I should have it in a couple of days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Spot of Light

"A Spot of Light"
11x14 inch, unframed
oil on linen panel
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

Last week I spent many hours painting outdoors each and every day. I took a mentoring workshop from Marc Hanson of Taylors Falls, MN. What an intense week of painting and learning! I do feel blest to have Marc living nearby in Minnesota. His workshops are a source of much knowledge and sharing. How wonderful to spend the week with other artists.

This painting is one of several done that week. We were on our own each day to paint a specific assignment. Angel Hill, architecture, nocturnes, and more. Each evening a critique would be held going over everyone's artwork. This assignment is the result of "painting a more intimate" subject for the assignment. That day the light hit upon a clump of decorative grasses and a freshly mowed lawn. In the background trees and shrubs abound on the small incline.

This painting is available at the Red Wing Depot Gallery, Red Wing, MN.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Three Lemons

"Three Lemons"
oil on board, still life
size: 6x6 inch, unframed

This painting is a small study of lemons in a bowl that is painted on a 6x6 inch panel. Yellows are always fun to paint, especially the shadow areas. They typically are filled with a blue-green coloration. Tomorrow a landscape....if it doesn't rain outside.

Oh, I may need to make a special painting for my grandson....a lady bug. That might be a fun series to do. Bugs.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Three is Company

"Three is Company"
size: 10 x 8 inch, unframed
oil on panel


With this painting, I am still working on the smooth surface of the gessoed birch plywood panels. I still am not sure if I like it or not. There are some things that really work well with this surface. I hope to continue working on different surfaces to find what I like best.

This painting will be offered for auction on the Daily Paintworks website. If you want a bargain, check it out. I plan on starting my auctions at a low opening bid with DPW for the next couple of months.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Window

The Window
size: 6 x 8 inch, unframed
oil on birch panel


This is my result of the Daily Paintworks weekly challenge. To tell you the truth, I hate painting from someone elses photograph. The photograph is a black and white one where we each choose the colors and style we want to paint keeping focus on values. For this study, I opted for a very simple red-green palette.  A fun exercise. I used a napthol red and a free sample of green that I had gotten from a vendor. It looks similar to a viridian green. I also used titanium white and just a touch of lemon yellow.

Below is the reference photo that we used for the challenge and my interpretation of the painting without color. This shows whether I keep with the value system seen in the photograph.
Reference Photo from Daily Paintworks
The Above Painting with Color Removed for Comparison to Photo


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Custard Stand-Off

"Custard Stand-Off"
oil on panel
6x6 inch, unframed

This is a study painting done on a gessoed birch panel. I am trying different painting substrates to see what I like best. This is a fairly smooth one. For this surface, I like using the mongoose brushes versus the bristle least for now. My plan is to do a few of these to see what I like best. It will take a few studies to get a feel for the panels.

Monday, July 25, 2011


oil on linen panel
size: 8x8 inch
still life
This weeks Daily Paintworks Challenge is painting outdoors, from life, and flowers. This is the results of the challenge. The challenge this week also had a time limit of one hour, three primary colors: ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow plus white. Also, one was to use only three brushes: large for blocking in, medium for most of the rest and a small one for the detail. Looking at the above painting, I still will probably soften a couple of edges just a bit....or just leave it so that it stays the result of the challenge.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The River

"The River"
oil on panel
size: 8x10 inch, 
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

The link above goes to my painting gallery at Daily Paintworks.

Today, I really did not know what to paint. In fact, I planned on reading most of the afternoon, but the scene from my studio window was inviting so I thought that I would give it a try. The Rum River is a lazy river behind my house. It is still pretty high considering that it is the end of July. This afternoon I watched a group of folks tubing lazily down the river. It looked inviting. However, I also so one girl waving her arms about....deer flies. I will wait another week or so before taking my canoe out and paddling up the river and then coasting down to my house. The area that I usually put the canoe into the river is where the sun is hitting the grasses along the bank.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Coming Out of the Fog

 "Song Bird"
 oil on linen, 11x14 inches
 still life of canning jars and bird

I plan on having one or two each week here. There is a lot of art being offered. Check the site out.

Minnesota is being hit with a major heat wave. What that means is high temps with high humidity. This morning when I looked out my window, I had dew dripping from my windows and a light misty fog of atmosphere everywhere. I did step outside for a few moments only to test the dew point and quickly ran back inside to try to dry off. Last night on the news, the weather man said that we were higher in temperature than Florida and higher in humidity. Unsual. A few weeks ago, we managed to be higher in temp than Arizona.

What has all of this to do with painting? Not much, but it has made me want to paint indoors in my studio versus outside with the dripping moisture.

Today I set up a still life and I am doing the challenge of the week at Daily Paintworks. Playing music and playing the notes or feelings while I paint. Initially, I thought ok. I will try it. However, now that I am doing it, I realize that there may be something to this. I knew initially what I planned on setting up for my still life and then I thought that I would tie it into my painting. Pick out some music. Paint.

Things are starting to click. I hope to take photos of my progress and I will try making a slide video of it to post. I am painted this painting to some Native American flute music. I have a CD by Saggio and the music is mellow. I am still deciding whether the outcome is ok. There may be a few adjustments.

I did use a brush an palette knife. I hope to use more of the palette knife in the future. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


size: 8x10 inch
Original oil on panel
Click here to bid on this study. Unframed.

This painting is a study using panels that I cut from a piece of birch plywood and then sanded and gessoed. I wanted a smooth surface so I sanded it between coats of gesso and then put the last coat of gesso on with a flat spatula to eliminate the brushstrokes from panel surface. I will try painting on a few more of these boards to see if it is something that I like or not.

Currently, my preferred surface is an oil-primed linen canvas, but sometimes it is good to experiment with other surfaces. It is too easy to get stuck in the same place and lately I feel like I need to do something more to push myself to another level. Maybe a smoothed surface will be it...or maybe some texture. That will be my next attempt on the next set of boards.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peonies from the Garden

oil painting on linen, 11x14 inches
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

This painting is of peonies cut from my garden. Since the weather has been rainy, I opted to paint this one outside on my deck in the screened-in area...protected from mosquitoes. Well, almost. There are always a couple of them who seem to find their way into the protected area. One even managed to get stuck in the painting. Mosquitoes are tough little buggers. I wanted to get a picture of this one, but by the time I got back with my camera, the little tough guy had escaped....coated in green paint to whereabouts unknown.

For me, peonies are one of the more difficult flowers to paint. The background used is the green trees and foilage from my yard. A nice backdrop that makes this painting a red-green color combination. However, it also is one of the more difficult combinations to photograph accurately. I photographed this one using RAW and JPG. I then adjusted the RAW image to get accurate as possible to the true colors.

Peonies are such a short lived flower. Most years if I am gone for any period of time, I totally miss seeing them bloom. Thankfully, this year I am busy at home and I am enjoying all the spring flowers.

Last week while I spent time at the Trail Center painting, I seemed to have difficulty getting things to work for my paintings. Coming home, I totally felt frustrated by it all. When this happens, I like to re-think my approach to painting, read about other artists, and look through some of my books.

Like magic, I realized that I had forgotten to do one of the basic tricks to painting from life. Squint. Squinting helps the mind focus on shapes and not all the details. With peonies, I remembered to squint. To keep to the basics.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Trip North

"Birch Trees at Trail Center"
 oil on linen, 10x8 inches
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

Last week I had to deliver several paintings for a one person art show at the Coho Cafe in Tofte, MN. The show will be at Coho until July 9th. The Coho Cafe sits along the northern side of Lake Superior on Highway 61. All along the northern shore of Lake Superier the drive is spectacular with beautiful views. A favorite.

"Lace Lake"
 pastel, 8x10 inches
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

Every time that I head North along Lake Superior, I try to go a bit further and head up the Gunflint Trail to a place called the Trail Center. The food is spectacular and the cabins comfortable as home with spectacular views of the lake and privacy. A true gem.

This last time, I did get some painting time in and did a few studies to get my skills set moving in the right direction. The atmosphere there is very conducive to creativity....and eating great food, fishing, hiking, relaxing and more.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Glazing .....or What to Do When All Else Fails

The painting on the left is the result after a quick glazing technique over a few areas of a very dry painting. The photo on the right is what the painting looked like before "playing" with it.
oil painting on linen, 16x12 inches
copyright Maryann Cleary

This painting has been difficult to photograph and then it also appeared that places that I really wanted darker and to fade did not. This afternoon I tried to get a better photo of the painting, but after many failed attempts I realized that what I wanted dark was not. A trip to the studio and some thin glazing fixed my problem.

Glazing can be a wonderful tool. When in a class, I actually experimented with this technique with a garish looking painting and then magically putting a thin glaze over it and creating something with depth and color. Magic. The painting really needs to be dry, but a unity can be created with a simple glaze over areas. I did this in several places with Clementines and I am truly pleased with the overall result. For me, it appears more uniform and the crock with the dried hydrangeas now fades into the background.

The areas that I glazed are the one clementine shadow, the area behind the crock, the hydrangeas in the background, the shadow of the main hydrangea, and the background on the left. Subtle changes, but I feel that the painting is more uniform now. I used a very thin glaze and then rubbed the edges with a cloth to help blend them in with the rest of the painting.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

A Series Using Conte Pastel.....the Technique

"Miss Teagan"
size: 8 x 10 inches
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

The above drawing is a second in a series of portraits of my wonderful grandchildren. The technique used is a conte pastel in a few variations of sepia browns and a touch of black. My focus is always on the eyes as they are the soul of one's being. 

  • The Tools
    •  paper - my favorites are a Reeves BFK or toned MiTienes with the smooth side
    • various conte sticks and pencils 
    • a blending stump
    • paper towel / a cotton rag
    • a piece of leather chamois
    • erasers - a kneaded one and a soft, white one used as a pencil
The drawing is slowly developed in soft layers and then "fine" tuned. This technique is so much easier than dragging paints around the landscape or smelling up the studio. For me, the tools are a favorite toned, paper mounted to a board with some painter's tape. A few pastels in a couple of shades - these can be pencils and/or sticks. A kneaded eraser. A clothe for softening the edges and a small piece of leather chamois for pulling out and softening the tone. A couple of paper towels. A blending stump for fine tuning. And other types of erasers that are occasionally used. A razor blade for sharpening and sand paper for sharpening more.

All of these tools fit easily in a zip lock bag that is easily carried with me. In the evenings, I can sit beneath my color-adjusted, brilliant, daylight lamp and spend a few hours working mindlessly.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Back to Basics - Ending the Struggle

pastel and conte, size: 8 x 10 inces
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

For whatever reason, there are times that my artistic side seems to bury itself among fear, procrastination and lack of motivation. I am not sure what is the source of this dilemma. I am wondering if other artists hit this brick wall from time to time and what their tricks are for getting themselves out of the slump. I know writers sometimes seem to have the same difficulties. Writers's block. I guess artist can have artist's block, too.

For me, I have just had it with myself for the lack of progress recently. I want to paint, but I seem to find so many excuses....the studio is dirty, I should do some more research on finding my ancestors (my latest project) or I really should do some house cleaning. If you are one of those creative types, mayby you have your list of things....other than doing what one supposedly loves. Is it fear? Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of....who knows.

With this latest dilemma, I have decided to just get back to basics and my first love - drawing. This feels natural to me and once I get started I do not want to stop. For now, I plan on working on a series of just drawings. Just the basics...simple drawings. Then maybe a few is so much like "just drawing" to me...and then back to oils.

I love oil painting, but it is a struggle for me at times. I easily see things in black and white or a monotone, but throw a little color into the picture and I seem to back track and lose all knowledge that I supposedly have for being an artist.

So for now....back to basics. Back to simplicity. Back to first love.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clementines and the Rembrandt Book

"Clementines and the Rembrandt Book"
size: 16 x 12 inch, unframed
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

About the painting: This painting is painted from life and is a still life setup in my studio. There is a bowl of clementines next to an old biography on Rembrandt. In an old dark stoneware jar are some dried hydrangeas. It is painted in oil on a linen canvas.

The past few days, my life seems to be playing hide and seek with my past. It all started when I saw an old school class portrait of my grandmother that hangs on my wall. It is dated 1906 and she is shown with the rest of her class each having a small head-style black and white photo. The school is the Saskatchewan Normal School in Canada. So how did she manage to go to school there when she lived in Nebraska. I knew she had taught school before being married. I knew that she married at an older age later than most.

I would often ask my Dad about our family history, especially his parents. He would tell me that his parents were Irish, German and Norwegian. He would say that there had been three Martins who lived in Minnesota. He also said something about one of our ancestors being a sheriff of St. Paul, Minnesota. In the past, I have searched and searched trying get any information, but all of them seemed to just add more questions and dead-ends.

Recently, something changed. I found a free internet search called provided by the LDS church. I did a quick search for my grandmother, Mary, and her spouse, Martin. What? A marriage license? A copy of it? Really! What an invaluable piece of documentation. Marriage licenses from Montana are all listed on this site with actual digital copies of the original piece of documentation. From the one incredible document, I found the names of both Martin and Mary's parents along with their mother's maiden names. The door had opened like Pandora's box. The addiction of finding out my genealogy had started.

I now know not only my great grandparents names, but many of my great, great grand parents....all of them. Most actually immigrated to Canada and then the U.S. This is good since the Canadian government has an incredible genealogical archive....(and another one )all free. For now, I am putting the pieces together a little at a time, but it is amazing to find a name and know that that person is my great, great, great grandfather or grandmother.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Those Darn New Year Resolutions

"The Shimmer of Light"
oil on canvas, 12 x 9 inches, unframed
copyright 2011 MaryAnn Cleary

After having a wonderful holiday season and lots of self-indulgence, it is that time of year for making those New Year resolutions - for me a time to make that promise to lose weight and to get rid of stuff. All things that I truly intend to do, but that never seem to materialize.

This year instead of doing the usual weight loss and exercise commitment,  my plan is to put together a list of things that are for me - a bucket list of sorts for the year. A list of easily achievable and doable things - like try a new painting technique or plan a road trip. The list is still being thought out and put together with one slight drawback. The list seems to be growing.

May everyone have a new year blessed with joy and happiness.