The Pope’s Prayer Intention: For Artists

This reflection was first published on The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network in August, 2017.  This month Pope Francis asks the world to pray for artists: That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.  The Pope’s Prayer Intention for Artists invites us to ask: How can we become …

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Yoga Art Exhibit

  Art Exhibits Outside the Box From July 14 to August 9, 2017 my Mind-Body-Spirit Series will be on exhibit at The Art of Yoga Yoga Studio in Columbus, OH. This exhibit continues my efforts this year to move outside the box of the traditional gallery space. The traditional gallery is still alive and well, and still …

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Orvieto – Destination of the Heart

  Orvieto: In my dreams I walk your streets and speak your language, walking the halls of ancient convents and eating at the table of dear friends. You are always my destination, though sometimes, like last night, the bus misses the turn to cross the river and ascend and we end up in a field …

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Motherhood and Art-Making

My daughter Dalia Marie was born in January. The first part of her short life was snow-covered in what was the snowiest winter on record in Massachusetts. My first daughter Miriam turns three soon. She is realizing that “tomorrow” becomes “today”, that Daddy and Mommy go to work, but not the same work; and that we sometimes …

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Custom Painting: Creative Family Gift

I wanted to share this custom painting commission: a panoramic view of the family cottage. My brother-in-law commissioned this wonderfully creative gift for the entire family. It is a series of paintings of his (and my husband’s) parents’ summer cottage. He wanted something that each family – siblings and parets – could have to remember …

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Waltham Mills Open Studios 2014!

The Waltham Mills artists community where I have my studio has been hard at work for the last few months preparing for our 38th Annual Open Studios event which will take place November 1 and 2, 2014. I have had the role of Coordinator this year again, which has been particularly exciting because we’ve designed …

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New Studio Space!

In January I moved my studio down the hall into a gorgeous new space. I am still at Waltham Mills Artists Association and still subletting from another artist, but this time I have use of the full space, rather than sharing the working area with another artist. Not only does this mean I can work …

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About my Journey…

You’ve probably noticed that much of the subject matter of my work has Christian undertones – church architecture, references to the Virgin Mary, as well as to aspects of art history related to the Christian faith. If you have every wondered exactly where that comes from on a personal level, you can listen to this …

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Gulliver Reclining

Another drawing from my figure drawing session a couple of weeks ago. This pose was extremely difficult: the “corpse pose”, as it is known in yoga. Initially I was sitting at his elbow, looking straight on – all horizontal lines and no compositional interest at all, so I had to move around a little bit …

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Anatomy Simplified

Last night I attended the second session of a workshop on Drawing Figures from the Imagination: Anatomy Simplified, offered by Damon Lehrer of the Boston Figurative Art Center. The idea of visualizing anatomic forms as 3-dimensional volumes is not new to me, but he was able to provide some additional insights into anatomic details and …

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Back to the Drawing Board…

Back to the Figure Drawing board, anyway! It has been soooooo long since I went to figure drawing group and I have missed it! I have also continued to sell the little ink drawings that I make when I go, so I have really needed to get back there and continue making them! Last semester …

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January Snow Landscape

Happy New Year! 2014 is full of promise. I have had a small bout of cleaning and re-organizing (very small!), I am moved into my new studio (pictures of that to come), and we are now in the depths of winter. I’m mostly painting at the studio these days, but here is a painting from …

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Sacred Pause: Imagine/Northampton

For the month of December my sacred architecture paintings will be on exhibit at IMAGINE: Northampton, a small, non-profit gallery and church in Northampton, MA. Northampton has a very active arts scene, and the Opening Reception on December 13 will be part of the Northampton monthly Arts Night Out Northampton every second Friday of the …

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WMAA 2013 Open Studios is coming…

Waltham Mills Artists’ Association Open Studios Saturday, November 2, 12-6 Sunday, November 3, 12-5 You are invited to our annual Open Studios event! Three buildings (two at 144 Moody Street and one building at 289 Moody Street) filled with artists of every kind! In addition the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation will open …

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Faculty/Alumni Recent Work at Gordon College's Barrington Center for the Arts

The Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts is featuring the work of faculty and alumni at Gordon College this fall. I was honored to be included in such an impressive lineup of artists, including faculty members Bruce Herman, Tanja Butler, Jean Sbarra, Jim Zingarelli, and alumni Rosemary Scott-Fishburn, Ben MacAdam, Jon MacAdam, Bryn Gillette, Anthony Falcetta, and many others!

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Annunciation/Birth

figurative,oil on canvas,8x8, price $300,Annunciation after Solario

The Feast of the Annunciation was moved to April 8 this year, since March 25 fell during Holy week. The Annunciation celebrates the moment when the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear the Savior. This series of Annunciation master studies I have shared over the last months is about waiting, and the expectation of new life. At times this "new life" has been a metaphor for new beginnings, forgiveness, spiritual renewal, but in 2012 the time of waiting was literal, as I waited, in pregnancy, for my baby girl to be born...

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Annunciation after del Cossa

Appropriate to post another Annunciation transcription today, the Feast of the Archangels (Gabriel, Michael and Raphael). This particular Renaissance Annunciation infuses Classical architecture into the Biblical story of the Gabriel's announcement to Mary. The painting also shows off the artists' knowledge of perspective in the way that the artist places the angel in the foreground.

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Transcriptions: After Beccafumi

Annunciation after Beccafumi, Oil on Canvas, 6x6 ©2012

Another in my series of Annunciation transcriptions. The original Mannerist painting was completed in 1546 by Italian Domenico Beccafumi and is currently in the little town of Sarteano near Siena, Italy. I'm not always a fan of Mannerism, but I like the mirrored swooping curves in this painting and the sense of motion it creates, so different from the very still, stable Annunciations of Fra Angelico.

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Church of the Transfiguration, Cape Cod

A few weeks back we spent the weekend on Cape Cod for a little get-away. One of our excursions was to the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts. The Community of Jesus is an ecumenical Benedictine community made up of brothers (friars), sisters (nuns), and laypeople. They began building this testament of faith in 1997, hiring architects, liturgical consultants, and artists from all over the world to complete the narrative of salvation the building tells.

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Annunciation after Duccio

Annunciation after Duccio, Oil on Canvas, 6x6, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

What is the purpose of "copying" a work of art? Franklin Enspruch phrases it like this in a review of Wendy Artin's series of watercolors of the Elgin Marbles: "She is at once paying the sculptures due homage, studying them for artistic clues, and using them to reach upward in ambition and scale."

Somehow, in entering in to someone else's creation, one often emerges at the other end with a clearer, renewed sense of voice and direction.

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2012 Olympics and Run with the Fire

Beacon, Michelle Arnold Paine painting oil on canvas

The Olympics are always an Event: even non-sports fans like me turn on their televisions to watch the grace, strength, speed and beauty of what the human body can accomplish. The passing of the torch leading up to the Olympics is also a moving part of the event; it is expressive of our human journey on this earth, of friendship across nations, and fraternity even in competition. I am excited to be included in a digital exhibit which will be released in tandem with the London Olympics.

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Open Studios in Waltham – Part II

Just an update post-Open Studios -- it was a great event - estimates are that we had about 2000 people in attendance, though I don't think all of those came in to my studio! It was a long weekend, because I was also Planning Coordiantor leading up to the event, so I was concerned with a lot of the logistical details of the event.

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Figure Summer

This summer has been a wonderful summer for figurative art - both in my own work and in Boston! I have been regular attending a few figure drawing groups and really enjoying the opportunity to really engage with the figure outside the classroom. I have been so busy the last couple of years teaching my figure classes that I haven't actually taken much opportunity.

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Wedding Gift Watercolors

StMary's Watercolor wedding gift

My most recent commission project was two watercolors intended for wedding gifts. I shipped them off last week. This watercolor is the exterior of St. Mary's church in Memphis, Tennessee.   I so enjoy when I am able to work with one of my favorite subjects (church architecture).

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Sound and Silence

Cover of Ruminate Magazine

The theme of the winter issue of Ruminate magazine was "Sound and Silence", and I was pleased that two of my prints and one of my paintings were chosen to as a visual representation of the theme. Sojourners Magazine’s Julie Polter recently said Ruminate has “staked a claim in the publishing borderlands where grit and religious devotion".

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Team Drawing: Collaboration and Creativity

The compositions of frescoes by Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli (to name only a few), are so complicated they can be overwhelming for a viewer -- and even more overwhelming for a student of drawing. I have found that working on a team and looking for simple moments of overlap and intersection can allow an entry point into serious investigation of some of these masterpieces.

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New Church Interior Drawings

When classes are in session I don't always have the time I would like to engage in long studio sessions, but I always try and keep things moving by doing small drawings, watercolor studies, or even just taking a few minutes during my figure drawing class time to make a few gesture drawings while the model is posing. These drawings are some small studies I did in my parish church (Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton).

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Sketchbook – Art Institute of Chicago

I visited the Art Institute of Chicago on Thursday during my vacation for their Target-sponsored Free Thursday evenings. What a wonderful a gift to the people of Chicago city to offer free admission from 5-8pm once a week - there was a line to enter at 5:00 and the museum was packed with people all evening. The new wing is huge, with the capacity to give their spectacular collection of 20th century art the viewing space it deserves.

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State Street Mobil

I completed these two drawings for the same client. The first location, State Street Mobil, is in the historic district of Newburyport. When the client bought this new business he comissioned this drawing (Ink on paper,  14" x 20") for use with publicity and investors. The drawing is featured on the front page of his web page as well (http://www.statestreetmobil.com).

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Alton Bay Cottage

Alton Bay Cottage OIl Painting Michelle Arnold Paine

We delivered this commission last weekend to its new owner! Cottage: Alton Bay (Oil on canvas, 18"x 24") was painted for a friend who spent many summers friend spent many summers here on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire both as a child and as an adult.

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Summer Exhibit

Summer is a time for water and blue sky -- I have had some opportunities to make some small drawings, but also to hang an exhibit of my church interiors at a local venue. Prints, paintings, and drawings of my series of architectural interiors will be on exhibit during the month of July.

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"Resurrection" – Goetemann, Mahler, Signorelli and Maitani

On Friday I made a little trip to see a cycle of paintings by  Gordon Goetemann at Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton Center, MA. The cycle of large paintings is inispired by Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony in C Minor -- the "Resurrection" symphony. I had found out about it from a friend who had seen the show at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester. We were both interested in it because of the time we spent in Orvieto, where there are two great artworks representing the Resurrection of the Flesh...

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The Call to Beauty –

Our Lady of the Barren Tree

Cardus has just published another of my paintings in their online journal Comment.

Our Lady of the Barren Tree is an image of hope: the strange beauty of winter, in which it requries faith to believe that trees and grass are only "sleeping" and will return with new life and growth.
The tree, the vine, the branches – these images evoke the memory of Eve in the garden of Eden whose disobedience eventually brought on the exile of humanity from paradise. Eve's disobedience was eventually redeemed in the act of Mary’s obedient “May it be to me as you have said”.

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New Figurative Work posted

There is a new section on my Portfolio page: New Figurative Work. It includes the body of work from 2009 that I exhibited at Valparaiso University. To read the poem that inspired some of the images, read my New Year’s Day blog post which includes the poem medieval hymn about the many images and prefigurations …

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New Landscape Painting: Cemetery

I am very excited about this new landscape painting from this beautiful summer day. The Cemetery is right on the Charles River and very beautiful. It is a very peaceful place to work -- and attracts quite a bit of traffic as walkers from nearby offices take their lunch break. I hope to return to complete more paintings there as the year progresses.

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Teaching in Italy — Soon!

This is one of those days I would love to be back in Italy – it is warm, but not too warm, but somehow the lure of my suburban street is not as strong as the lure of an Italian street – when I am there I am always pulled outdoors to smell and see and greet and experience some one or some thing that is “new”. But part of the lure is that there is so much that is not new – it is the very, very old which is so appealing.

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