Posted by: janamatusz | November 21, 2020

Over and Under

If you are receiving this posting in email, you can always see the official blog version at
https://janamatusz.wordpress.com/

It’s a pretty awful time to have exhibitions, isn’t it? Well, as my grandma used to say, “Whatcha gonna do.” We just make the best of it and carry on.

I’m pleased to join fellow artist Michele Poirier Mozzone for a show at the Dryden Gallery which runs from November 7 through December 5, 2020.

It’s a real honor to show with Michele. I’ve admired her work for years.

You can see a short interview of the two of us here:
https://www.facebook.com/drydengallery/videos/over-and-under-paintings-and-pastels-by-jana-matusz-and-michele-poirier-mozzone-/1015280262231690/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos

For those of you who would like to see the “Over and Under” paintings in person, please visit the Dryden Gallery at the NEW Providence Picture Frame location:

Address: 1350 Mineral Spring Ave.
N. Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 421-6196
Business Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Donna Parsons, Gallery Director/Designer

Many thanks to Donna Parsons for sharing my work at the gallery. For those of you who (like me) would be reluctant to venture out to a gallery these days, I will give you the opportunity to see my 18 paintings right here. (Always better to see paintings in person of course, but “whatcha gonna do,” right?)

Sleeping Giants (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Solidity (Acadia National Park) 20×20″ $1850
Persistent Fog (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Tilted City (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Basalt Blues (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Thunderhole Rocks (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Little Moose Landing (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Schoodic Nook (Acadia National Park) 20 x 20″ $1850
Gap Cove (Cape Ann, MA – Rockport) 20 x 20″ $1850
Flat Rocks Near Folly Point (Cape Ann, MA – Gloucester) 20 x 20″ $1850
Western Point Afternoon (Acadia National Park) 16 x 20″ $1500
Adamant (Acadia National Park) 16 x 20″ $1500
Across the Chasm (Acadia National Park) 20 x 16″ $1500
Submerged Rocks (Cape Ann, MA – Rockport) 16 x 16″ $1275
Sun on the Rocks (Acadia National Park) 16 x 16″ $1275 Sold
Bastion Falls Rocks (Catskills, NY State) 16 x 16″ $1275
Beautiful Blues, Schoodic (Acadia National Park) 16 x 16″ $1275
Light and Heavy (Mount Desert Island, Maine) 16 x 16″ $1275

All the paintings are acrylic on panel, and, as always, painted on site. Yes, I was able to get tested and paint in Maine again this past July and October.

My Harvard animal portraits had their rescheduled showing September 20 through October 9, 2020. The “Hommages” exhibition at the Providence Art Club was a very special one for me. Those portraits were a challenge, a major achievement for me, and very personally meaningful. You can view the catalogue of all the paintings in the exhibit here (my work starts on page 77):
https://issuu.com/providenceartclub/docs/catalogue_for_october_2020_shows.docx

If you’d like to view a video “walk through,” just send me a request at janamatusz@aol.com and I’ll send you the file. It’s nice to see the fancy frames (not included in the catalog), and to see how terrific the paintings look when beautifully arranged and lit. Thank you to the Michael Rose and the gallery staff at the Providence Art Club for all their hard work.

Everybody please stay safe and healthy as we give thanks this year.

Posted by: janamatusz | March 25, 2020

MARCH of the Animals Stopped in Its Tracks

In the scheme of things, I know, it is a very small thing. Both exhibitions of the animal portraits were casualties of the corona virus.

The GOOD news is that the exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History was fully installed before everything shut down. Marta and I had a chance to visit it in the last few hours before all the museums closed their doors. So even though you can’t visit the exhibition in person now, I can share a little bit of what’s there since I took some iPhone photos.

Come see!

This is the wall you see first as you enter. The exhibition space is between the dinosaurs and the rooms of specimens:

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And this wall faces that first one:

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Remember, these are reproductions of my paintings, but they are really lovely reproductions — accurate color, beautiful satin finish, and larger than the real paintings. I am SO pleased with the presentation — the exhibit designers did a wonderful job not only with the visual aspects (color choices, arrangement, choice of paintings, hanging height, lighting, typeface, etc.), but also with the beautifully written text on the wall:

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There are eleven portraits in this exhibition, chosen from the 26 image files I provided. Each has a label which identifies the animal and where in the museum you can find it. In the short time I spent earlier in the exhibit, I was delighted to see children gathering by the lion cub, debating whether it was Simba!!! or Nala!!!

Marta enjoyed seeing the animals in their new setting, after seeing the originals in our living room for weeks last fall.

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Here are all eleven of the paintings. Remember, these are reproductions, not the actual paintings, and there are some areas of glare and some shadows since these iPhone photos were taken right in the exhibit. So imagine you are there:

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So do you have a favorite?

Do they “speak” to you too? What do they seem to be saying?

I’ve been asked if I have a favorite. Honestly, I love them all — they’re my friends and I feel close to them from drawing them at the museum for so many years. I feel especially glad that the coelacanth turned out, since I’m amazed at the creature’s very existence. It’s a fairly ugly thing after being in preservative for 54 years, but knowing that it was bright blue with white stars(!) when it was pulled from the water, I felt justified in taking some liberties to hint at its real-life beauty.

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But they all speak to me. I wanted to honor and thank all of them. I love the poignancy of the lion cub, the cheerfulness of the warthog, the nobility of the wolf, the friendliness of the moonrat, the sternness of the kestrel, and the stunned look of the colobus.

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When the Harvard Museum of Natural History opens again, you’ll be able to see the exhibit for yourself, and maybe even take the Caption Challenge, adding your suggestions and participating in the social media activities.

The other exhibition, the one of the original paintings at the Providence Art Club, has been postponed, but hopefully will be rescheduled for September/October 2020. Then you’ll be able to see the actual paintings in their ornate frames. There will be some other new faces there, I’m sure.

Until then, we all manage the best we can.

Please stay safe and well, everyone. Thanks for visiting this blog. If this is your first time visiting, feel free to go back in time to see other projects and art trips. You can scroll and click to go all the way back to my Bermuda residency in 2011. I especially recommend my blog entries from Cesky Krumlov in 2012
(https://janamatusz.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/june-22-five-petalled-rose-celebration-day-1/) with the fun photos there,
and my month of painting in Provincetown, MA
(https://janamatusz.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/a-heavenly-month-in-provincetown-massachusetts/).
Mostly, of course, you’ll find lots and lots of photos and artwork from Acadia National Park, my “Maine” inspiration.

Until next time…

Posted by: janamatusz | March 4, 2020

It’s a MARCH of the Animals! Two shows!

This month brings TWO exhibitions featuring the animals portraits I did at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Here is your invitation to the Providence Art Club Exhibition entitled “Hommages.”

PAC Invitation

As you can see, other Art Club members are also showing their work. My animal portraits will be all together upstairs in a mini-solo show in the Mary Castelnovo Gallery.

If you marked your calendar for the official opening reception of the Providence Art Club show, please check the date! The correct date is SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2020 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm (NOT Sunday, March 29!). Come and enjoy some refreshments, good company, and all the artwork.

But wait … there’s more! ALSO in March is the beginning of another showing of the animal portraits!

At the Harvard Museum of Natural History, they have put together a wonderful exhibit called “Face to Face: Portraits of Museum Animals by Jana Matusz.”

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This exhibit displays reproductions of the expressive animal portraits, and encourages visitors to take the Caption Challenge. What do the animals seem to be saying? (If you enjoy the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest every week, you will LOVE this opportunity to be creative!) I’m so pleased that I’m able to help draw attention to some of the museum animals, and to encourage visitors to look more closely.

“Face to Face” will be open to the public beginning March 12, 2020 and will be on display through June 21, 2020. So you have plenty of time to plan a visit! (And you should!) The Harvard Museum of Natural History is an amazing treasure.

https://hmnh.harvard.edu/

People come from all over the world to see the famous glass flowers, but there are also terrific exhibits of rocks and minerals, dinosaurs, the amazing collection of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and of course, my favorite, the huge and wonderful collection of bird and animal specimens. Bring your sketchbook and draw!

I will post again soon, with more information and news about both exhibits.

Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy, everyone!

 

Posted by: janamatusz | November 4, 2019

Third of Three Posts: Now You Can Wear My Art!

What a great idea. And just in time for the holidays!

I recently got an invitation from Le Galeriste (https://legaleriste.com) to reproduce my artwork on clothing!

Here’s what I learned about them online:

Le Galeriste, based in Montreal, Canada, specializes in the design and production of premium garments with prints of original art curated from hundreds of artists from all over the world. The company’s mission is to help emerging artists focus on their art by supplying revenues and visibility through the sale of environmentally and humanly responsible garments. They are the official supplier for some of the greatest museums on the planet. Recognized by some of the world’s top writers in fashion and art as the reference in wearable art, Le Galeriste is known for the quality of its products, impeccable all over-prints and its just-in-time production processes. You can purchase their garments in numerous boutiques in Canada and USA, AND on-line!

Fashion! Moi? Not exactly something I know much about (as anyone who knows me can attest), but when I saw their proposal I knew that they were right. My artwork looks terrific on clothing and other items. They just finished with the designs. There are twelve items to choose from — take a look!

Click here to see the full selection of Jana Matusz designs from Le Galeriste!
www.art-a-porter.com/jana.matusz

The designs for women’s clothing are beautiful, flowing, feminine and practical. The material is really nice too — it feels like a quality material, comfortable, not too heavy, not too light.

There are men’s shirts as well, and even pillows and placemats. Surely there’s something there you’re eager to have, or to give as gifts at holiday time.

Le Galeriste chose the artwork they wanted to work with first, but you can put in a “vote” for other artwork at the bottom of the page. This is a start! Maybe other things can happen… If there is interest, I will submit other artwork files.

I’m happy to work with this company. They provide a good list of reasons to choose Le Galeriste, some of which may be important to you as a customer too:

  • Many of the best museums and artists on the planet trust us with their art because we’re dedicated to protecting intellectual property and don’t use third party companies in our production process;
  • We’re the only company on the market to assign a living breathing fashion designer to each artist to help you build the best collection possible;
  • Our production is 100% LOCAL (on top of creating good jobs, this also means your art doesn’t end up on a Chinese computer somewhere & that products don’t fly thousands of miles to get to the purchaser);
  • Our fabrics are vegan & wrinkle-free (super travel-friendly!);
  • We are super nice to work with!

As an artist, I’m grateful for the support and the opportunity. I will get at least 10% royalties on whatever is sold from my page (more if certain milestones are reached).

I can’t wait to order a few items myself. And I like to envision my artwork hanging not only on walls but also hanging in your closet! And being worn often out in the wide world.

Please feel free to pass along the link to my Le Galeriste page if you know someone who might be interested. www.art-a-porter.com/jana.matusz 

Thank you!

 

Posted by: janamatusz | November 4, 2019

Second of Three Posts! Painting the Harvard “Hommages”

In July, August and September 2019, I had a special opportunity to paint in the galleries at the Harvard Natural History Museum.

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Some background:

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is an AMAZING PLACE. If you have a chance, go see it for yourself! All the collections and exhibits there are incredible, but the taxidermy specimens are what I love the most.

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The animals and birds are so beautiful. As I tell the Saturday visitors, they also hold still very nicely. (Sorry! But they are dead.) The animals and birds really speak to me, and I feel a real connection to them. Each animal, each bird, is a miracle, a being, a product of millions of years of evolution.

I’ve been drawing in the galleries for years, dating back to my undergraduate days (an eternity ago), and more recently I have been enthusiastically drawing and volunteering in the Museum, mostly on Saturdays.

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Click here to see more drawings from the Museum.

Quite a few years ago, I became the Museum’s original “Sketching Facilitator,” a volunteer who provides drawing materials for visitors young and old. Mostly I use the Tom-Sawyer-fence-painting approach, which works great with the young visitors. They want to draw too!

I started painting “sainted” animals and birds in 2014, (which you may remember from previous blog posts: Click here to see that blog entry with the first sainted animals.) Then I was working with specimens from the Acadia National Park Archives. I continued with paintings at the Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic, the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine and the Rhode Island Natural History Museum at Roger Williams Park.

Now it was time to honor my good buddies from the Harvard Museum. I envisioned an exhibition of portraits, each one an “Hommage” paying tribute to and showing reverence and thanks for these special creatures.

So I was extremely happy to get permission to paint in the Museum. (I don’t think they’ve ever let anyone do this before.) I didn’t mind that it could only be during early morning hours before the Museum opened to the public, and only for a limited time.

I added some tarps, lighting, and mirrors to my usual plein air painting kit. Often the best view was from a low angle, so, rather than paint with my chin on the floor, I positioned a mirror in just the right spot.

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Years of portraits, plein air work, and animal drawings prepared me to make the most of this opportunity. I loved painting, not just drawing, my friends at the Museum. I was very careful to protect the area where I worked, and I tried not to inconvenience the kind, hard-working early morning cleaning crew (who do a wonderful job). It was important for me to work from “life” rather than from photographs, but I confess I had to use more than one session for quite a number of the paintings, and some of the backgrounds got a touch-up at home.

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Of the more than 20 paintings I consider keepers, it’s hard to decide which of the paintings are my favorites, which of my buddies I will exhibit, and which ones I will use for publicity. I hope there will be many opportunities to share and exhibit them.

Except for that amazing coelacanth, shown above, whose portrait is 16×20″, all the Hommages are 12×12″. Here are a few that I’m most happy with (and when they’re framed in an appropriately ornate hommage-y frame, I think they’ll look real fine!)

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So save the date!

“Hommages” will be on exhibition at the Providence Art Club from
March 29 to April 17, 2020.
The opening reception is scheduled for
Sunday, March 29 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.
I hope you can come!

I’m sure I’ll write more about the Hommages in months to come.

And stay tuned. An exciting third blog entry is coming soon…

Posted by: janamatusz | November 3, 2019

Three posts! 1: More, yes more (!) Maine

First, if you’re getting this post in email and would like to visit the whole blog, just go to

www.janamatusz.wordpress.com

I know it’s been ages since I’ve composed a blog entry, but it isn’t because I haven’t been busy! I’ve been very busy indeed, painting up a storm. This first entry will fill you in on my plein air painting trips, but there’s lots more to write about.

Have I mentioned? Yes, I know I have! I love painting in Acadia! I had the whole month of June 2019 to paint there.

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June is a great time to be in Acadia, before the wildlife goes into hiding! (Hi, Porcupine!) And one of the special joys of nature in June is watching the ospreys fish in Somesville, when the alewifes are running.

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But mostly I’m in Acadia to paint, and this time I was again entranced by the strong, gorgeous rocks. Almost anywhere along Ocean Path I can find inspiring rocks. Here is “Meeting Place” (20×20″).

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The rock climbers were out, and I captured some of them as I perched on cliffs even higher. (You might have to look closely to see my painting at left!)

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Of course I found good painting sites throughout the Park, braving the mosquitoes occasionally, and stopping to paint gorgeous outcroppings.

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Some of those outcroppings made good single paintings, like this 16×16″ “Tyger, Tyger.”

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Others made a terrific multiple assemblage, like “Acadia Roadside Quilt,” made of six 12×12 paintings done at various roadside outcroppings:

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I showed the “Quilt” at the Providence Art Club Members’ Show, and Amy at the Argosy Gallery had a good hunch that it would do well if I brought it up to the gallery in Bar Harbor. (She was right!)

Quite often I started my day with a still life. I painted a lot. I loved it. Here are just a few of the many 10×10″ still lifes from June:

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“Colorful Eggs”

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“Did You Say Pears?”

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“Spring Onions”

Yes, June is great, BUT, as I’ve mentioned before, my absolute FAVORITE time to paint in Acadia is in October. So I went to Acadia again!!! This year the colors were especially spectacular.

The weather was not great, I admit, but made the best of the times I could paint outside.

I even visited the Schoodic Peninsula. I missed it! It’s been a while since I painted there.

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It is so centering and healthy, both physically and emotionally, to spend time in Acadia. There is nothing like being close to nature.

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As a special October project, I painted a collection of small 5×5″ paintings of houses. There are two jokes here. One is that as a starving artist, one occasionally has to paint houses. 🙂 The other joke is that anyone who buys one of these will be able to say, “Hey, Honey, I bought you a House in Maine!” They are all titled “A House in Maine,” and they will be for sale at the Little Pictures Exhibition at the Providence Art Club, November 9 through December 23, 2019. It’s always a terrific show, and I’m happy to take part. Here’s a little grouping of four of the paintings:

blogLittlePicturesHouses

Another couple blog postings are coming very soon…watch for them!

Posted by: janamatusz | November 16, 2018

Maine inspires again and again…

I admit it. I never get tired of painting in Maine. Acadia continues to inspire me, and one reason why, I think, is that there are so many options — I can paint ocean and rocks one day, and forest and stream another day. I know where to find my favorite painting subjects, but I’m always discovering new ones as well, even after so many years!

Maine is inspiring in ANY season, but I have to admit, October is probably my favorite time of year there. It’s cool but not cold. There is wonderful autumn color.

colorful even in august.jpg

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The light is gorgeous.

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There are fewer people than during high season, and the noisy youngsters are back in school. It’s blissfully peaceful.

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I can paint in quiet solitude.

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There is always a lot to see when you’re sitting quietly for long periods of time.

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I enjoyed every moment of sunshine I got for my October paintings.

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Acadia is not always sunny however! This time I had a special project for rainy days. Close at hand was the Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic, and I worked on some Sainted Creatures, little 5-inch test versions, (which I framed up later for the Little Pictures Show in Providence).

Jana painting Foxy

DorrSaintedCreatures.jpg

It was wonderful to be able to paint in the museum. I’m very tidy, so there was no need to worry about paint splatters or messes. Thank you, everyone at the Dorr Museum!

Traveling farther afield, I made an exploratory trip to the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine, and had my first opportunity to paint there too. What a collection! I did some more small-scale, 5-inch paintings there.

BatesSaintedCreatures

These Sainted Creatures are a continuation of an exploration I started way back in 2014, when I did some sainted birds and animals from the Acadia Archival Collection. You can see three of them here:

http://janamatusz.com/2014PAINTINGS.html

It’s probably too early to be talking about these Sainted Creatures, but I sure am enjoying painting them. (Don’t be fooled by their cuteness. I am quite serious about them.)

I returned to the L.C. Bates Museum in November for another three days of painting. It is a marvelous old museum, with thousands of taxidermy specimens. The director, Deborah Staber, was incredibly helpful, supportive  and kind. (Thank you!!!)

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I’m sure I’ll have more to say about the Sainted Creatures later.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to mention a couple of other recent adventures.

I enjoyed the unique opportunity to stay at a monastery during a Sketching workshop in October. Melissa Fischer (who is one of the artist leaders at the Acadia Artist Retreats) offered a beautifully presented workshop at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York (not far from Poughkeepsie). The venue, on the banks of the Hudson River, was inspiring and very interesting. Even though I am not a religious person, I loved the “Great Silence” and the good peaceful calm of the monastery.

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Also, I taught a “Sans Studio” workshop at the Providence Art Club in early August. The whole point was to get OUT of the comfortable studio and go paint in other venues, inside or out. We ventured over to the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD…

PAC workshop Pam

PAC workshop Patti

and the amazing RISD Art Museum, as well as doing a little work outside. My intrepid group of artists were not intimidated by the 90-degree heat!

PAC workshop museum

I so enjoy being a member at the Providence Art Club. It was a pleasure to teach at the Club for the first time. Thank you to everyone there!

As always, I’m grateful to dear friends for generous support, love, and kindness. You know who you are. Thank you.

Lots to look forward to in coming months…

 

 

 

Posted by: janamatusz | July 19, 2018

Email vs on-line

Hi. For those of you who are subscribed to my blog and get an email when I post, I hope you will take a moment to go to the blog site directly, either by clicking on the link below or by clicking on the title of the posting in your email. WordPress makes these really nice little collages of the photos, which unfortunately don’t show up in the email! I know every computer is different, but I think it will look a lot better on line:

https://janamatusz.wordpress.com

Thanks!

Posted by: janamatusz | July 19, 2018

Mid-Summer 2018

At last I got a chance to do some painting in Acadia! It’s always a blessing when the weather is good and I’m able to be inspired, productive, and comfortable. (Not always a given when you’re working on site!) I scouted out some new areas and did paintings of trails and forest as well as my favorite rocks.

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As always, I delighted in the beauty of Acadia, the closeness to nature, and the joy of being on a painting trip.

I was reminded again of how beautiful the coastal rocks are — strong and architectural, subtle in color and warmth.

Nature always provided sources of wonder, whether it was a pattern of bark on a tree, or the beautiful concert of a hermit thrush.

I was happy to visit some little PIGGIES! at the Beech Hill Farm, who were cute as can be.

They were very difficult to draw, as they were VERY active and did not hold still for even a moment. I’ve been looking for interesting drawing opportunities this summer. Earlier in May and June I visited a number of equestrian events and a dog show, and loved the challenge of drawing on site. I do love to draw, and was reminded of how much fun I had at the Bermuda Ag Show years ago. I’ll definitely look for more drawing possibilities like this. More drawings to come!

I’m looking forward to leading a little August workshop at the Providence Art Club about working “Sans Studio,” drawing and painting out in the real world. Should be a lot of fun! I am ever grateful to be drawing and painting, and ever thankful for the support of dear friends…

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Posted by: janamatusz | April 8, 2018

An Acadia Invitation – for YOU!

It’s on! The fifth annual Acadia Artist Retreat is happening the week of June 24, 2018!

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Here’s the official flyer pdf:

ACADIAArtist Retreat2018

If you’re interested in coming, please contact Kate Petrie as soon as possible. (Email her at Kate_Petrie@nps.gov, or call 207-288-1312.) Space is limited — this truly is a unique opportunity to stay and work RIGHT IN the National Park!

Here are some more details for you:

  • The price of $1325 includes 6 nights in a comfortable 2-bedroom apartment right in Acadia National Park, including a private bedroom with shared common area and bathroom. (Don’t worry — no tents! You can even upgrade to a luxury suite if you’d like.)
  • It also includes ALL meals, from Sunday dinner to Friday dinner. You’ll have hearty breakfasts, bag lunches and snacks to take wherever you paint, and delicious dinners, including a Maine lobster dinner.
  • There are optional art presentations, Ranger-led nature walks, group activities, and reviews of work BUT remember! This is a RETREAT, NOT A WORKSHOP, so you’re able to concentrate on what YOU want to work on. All levels are welcome. Bring your favorite materials (watercolors, oils, acrylics, sketching materials), and consider coming with an art buddy.

Past participants know what a terrific retreat this is. Some made it a reunion with an old college roommate, or a trip with fellow plein air group member. Even if you come alone, it’s a great gift to give yourself  — a marvelous chance to do your own work in a comfortable, supportive, absolutely beautiful and inspiring place. Just think — no shared cooking, no assigned chores, no uncomfortable boat trip!

And it’s all at a very reasonable price. If you would like to register, please be persistent, and please be patient. (The National Park personnel are stretched pretty far these days!) It’s worth it to experience the long summer days painting on the Schoodic Peninsula!

I can’t wait. It’s been many months since I was in Acadia. My last trip was in October 2017. I stayed on the quiet side of Mt. Desert Island, driving to various places in the Park to paint. Here’s a favorite from that trip:

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You can see more paintings on my website at

http://janamatusz.com/2017PAINTINGS.html

Acadia is beautiful, centering, and inspiring. Have I mentioned I love it there? 🙂

See you in June!

 

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