Bear Star Studios - stephanie miksis @ work

Heading Home

My friend Brooke on her Vespa (oil, 8×6)

First pass:

And with some more work:

that’s the simplified version
of how to get there from here
-in terms of painting, that is
not the how to get somewhere on a Vespa!

p.s. with apologies for the bad photography
my little inexpensive camera just isn’t doing it
and lighting is the bane of my existence
whether it’s when painting or when photographing
so please bear with me….

Let the Games Begin!

at Camille Przewodek‘s workshop in Provincetown, MA

we started with the famous block studies
it’s the color version of practicing scales in music

they look simple – but hard work
and i have a ways to go to really “get it”
i’m already eager to go home,
chop and paint blocks,
and continue to practice in my backyard!!

good thing it isn’t scales…
with my lack of musical talent
i’d only succeed in annoying the neighbors

at any rate, it feels good to be back playing with paint!

My Cape Cod Adventure

Cape Cod Canal oil painting by snmiksis
Canal-side (oil, 6×8)

painted this view of the canal outside Sandwich
wanted to experiment getting the color of the water
was a great wrap up to a great day
that started with…

in the morning i went over to Sandy Neck
i chatted with a regular walker and mentioned i was there to paint
she told me where she sees other artists set up their easels and
YUP! GREAT view of the dunes! THANKS!

so i set up and did this sketch of the dunes
Dunes Sandy Neck oil painting by snmiksis
Dunes at Sandy Neck (oil, 6×8)

and then i gave it away – YAY!
i’m trying something new
Random Gifts of Art – Wet Paint Edition
Click to learn more

So all in all
had a FABULOUS time on the Cape
(helps to have friends to stay with – thanks J&D)

click HERE to check for availabilty

Painting in Boston Public Garden – Bridge

Boston Public Garden Bridge Painting Acrylic
Boston Public Garden: Bridge over the Swan Pond (acrylic, 12×16) $200

several of my trips into Boston
were focused on the bridge over the swan pond
(i even got to see them put the boats into the water!
the swans? they came when i wasn’t there – harrumpf)

i did several sketches and then went in to get some reference photos
TWICE – i forgot to adjust the resolution on my camera the first time!
did someone mention “time and effort” – yeah, i go through a lot of that!

alas i do not have any pictures of me painting but several tourists do!
i prefer the ones who ask over the ones who think i don’t notice ;)
mostly because i like the friendly interaction
but either way, i ‘m tickled pink; i’m a tourist attraction!

for those of you interested in how the studio process goes
i use photos and the sketches that i did on location

here’s an early stage – it’s like the game of what’s different

i changed a tree or two… two or three times
and several variations of the building on the right

here it’s further along but still changing

i keep saying to myself “i CAN get there from here”
and while i don’t always believe it
i think i made my way this time!

Click HERE for another Boston Public Garden painting: Red Tree

Click HERE for Purchase Info

Painting in Boston Public Garden – Red Tree

i made several excursions to the Boston Public Garden this spring
in some very cold weather at first

then the weather warmed up but the winds kicked up too
mother nature always wants in on the act of creating i guess
this is my setup after having been pelted by petals

this small sketch was the inspiration for this painting
Happy Little Tree
Happy Little Tree (acrylic, 11×14) $125

and here is how i got to the finish
all it takes is time and effort ;)
step 1 – focusing on values (light vs dark)

step 2 – WAHOO! color!

Click HERE for another Boston Public Garden painting

Click HERE for Purchase Info

River Bend Farm

River Bend Farm Visitor Center Uxbridge MA
River Bend Farm Visitor Center Sketch (acrylic, 12×9)

taking a break from painting in Boston
i dropped by the River Bend Farm Visitor’s Center
for the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

it was a glorious spring day!

my friend and i set up quickly
and wouldn’t you know
in changing paintboxes i forgot my tripod attachment!

it’s a good thing my chair was in my vehicle
and i could comfortably put my paintbox on my lap

River Bend Farm Visitor Center Uxbridge MA

always an adventure!
but then again
i think that’s why i do it…

So Much to Paint in Boston

Boston Tea Party Childrens Museum

in Boston again
i am really loving painting in the city

last friday i setup outside the Children’s Museum
to paint one of the Boston Tea Party ships
(no kids, it’s not a pirate ship!)
i want to do a larger work in my studio
and am “studying” the pieces that will go into it

and i’m just plain enjoying painting on site
especially enjoying the people who drop by
many curious children – my pleasure to share

already can’t wait to get back in there
but this week is yard work week
but then again… if i work fast
maybe friday :)

of course it helps that i have lunch
with a very dear friend
every time i go in

i could get used to this :)
scratch that
i intend to get used to this!

Boston’s Rowse Wharf

Boston Rowes Wharf Sketch

i made another trip into Boston
(expect more visits between now and Memorial Day)

i found a shady place to sit
since i haven’t set up my umbrella yet
(painting in full sun can make a painting too dark…
and both palette and painting need to be in the same light while working
so the colors don’t get skewed)

i found a place with a nice view
and i liked the boats in the foreground
what boats? you ask

i was reminded of the Charles Barsotti cartoon
charles barsotti they moved my bowl new yorker cartoon conde nast

in my case
they moved my boat!!

note to self
next time
start with the moveable objects

or better yet
i think i’ll paint the tea party boats
they don’t move!

p.s. it’s ok – i got them back – i moved the custom house!

My Trip to Vermont

Where’s the mud?
seems i miscalculated… or mother nature did!

it was still winter when i went to Vermont in march
to participate in Charlie Hunter’s Paint Out
but the warm company of the fellow frozen-@** artists kept us all going!
[Charlie's work is truly inspirational (regardless of what his cats say); check it out!]

we started in Bellow Falls on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River
Vilas Bridge, Bellow Falls, Vermont Oil Painting
Vilas Bridge Sketch (oil, 9×12)

i got to meet a woman who said her father helped build this beautiful but no longer used bridge – cool!

Bellow Falls, Vermont Gas Pumps
Gas Pumps Sketch (oil, 8×10)

and then by afternoon, cool was decidedly colder
or maybe it was just the sleet bouncing off our palettes
that made it seem colder
but these two gas pumps seemed happy enough – almost robot-like!

when it snowed we stayed around our base, the Grafton Inn

Grafton Vermont Snow Day
Snow Day Sketch (oil, 6×8)

still working with Charlie’s limited palette of colors
i pulled out my trusty palette knife for a change up

then we tried an outing to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center
but had to call it quits a bit early
when the wind wasn’t knocking over our easels
the sun would pop out for a little snow blindness!

Oil Painting Vermont Snow Field
Vermont Snow Field Sketch (oil, 9×12)

plus i dropped it in the snow TWICE trying to put it away
did i mention we laughed a lot that week

Hint of Spring oil painting
Hint of Spring (oil, 8×10) Click to purchase

while most of the others were painting the frozen stream
i was desperately seeking a hint of Spring –
there was a tiny tiny bit of green in there at my feet!

then off to the maple sugar house by Tom Burns & Family & Friends
we were privileged to see the WOOD-fueled! operation underway
and guess what i found to paint?

1971 Triumph Motorcycle oil painting
Is It Spring Yet? (oil, 8×10)

i found a 1971 Triumph motorcycle hiding from winter under a tarp
Tom said that i could uncover it – i was almost too excited to paint!
that painting stayed behind; i came home with
loaded with antioxidants, i hear – great trade if you ask me!
[to see Tom's comments, check out this article]

plus a few sketches and a final note for later work
Signs at Grafton Vermont corner
Signs sketch (oil, 6×8)

we all had such a great time
i think most of the last day
was spent looking forward to next year!
just don’t ask us to sing ;-)
trust me; it’s for your own good!

so these are my souvenirs
mostly “sketches” or “field studies”
not finished works
but placeholders to come back to

soon, i hope :-)

but maybe without the snow…

Inspired to Paint Boston

Boston Fan Pier Painting

i had such a great time in Vermont
-in spite of the cold… wind… sleet… snow…
…oh you know: WINTER!

that i went into Boston on friday
and had a positive experience painting

that’s a big deal, really : -)
since i’m not expecting a fully successful painting at this point
so it’s all about process and the overall enjoyment

Boston took on new possibilities for me
and now i really look forward to trying again
still tweaking the equipment, of course

meanwhile i’ll fill in with pictures from Vermont
in prep for my newsletter at the end of this week

but for now
back to my store bought tulips!