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Mary Ann Kitchell Art Blog

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Mary Ann Kitchell

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The most popular house portrait size requested by my clients is 8 _ 10. In this particular case, 9 _ 12 was the better choice. We did not need much more space vertically, but horizontally the length of the home needed the extra two inches… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor was created using the same photograph that was reference material for a previous pencil drawing. I guess you might consider this a more "formal" portrait… Continue reading… 0 comments

The 2016 real estate market in New Jersey was very active. In recognition of this trend and the many wonderful and hardworking realtors I've met over the years, I'm continuing my realtor's discounted prices. When selecting closing gifts, I invite all realtors to check out my new Realtor Gallery on this site… Continue reading… 0 comments

This is another in my collection of children's sport prints. Please view my Gallery for the complete set and details on variations available as custom designs. There are a few more ideas perking for new designs as well as more uses for the current work. I welcome your comments and suggestions… Continue reading… 0 comments

Created from my original watercolors, this print celebrates a young child's awkward, yet enthusiastic, approach to sports. All of the sports prints shown in my Gallery are the result of many hours of sketching over a period of 8 years. The idea was conceived in 2007-8 but before too much had been accomplished, Fate intervened in the form of my husband's illness and then his death in 2010. While getting back into the swing of things, commissioned work had priority and serious effort on the prints was not resumed until 2014… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor was painted from several old black and white photographs submitted via regular mail. The family commissioned this work as a remembrance for their parents who were about to move to a smaller living space. It could also be a wonderful 50th anniversary gift! There was a large tree in the yard blocking the view of the front door. The clients asked that this tree be removed. I actually moved the tree to the right a little as I felt its size and age confirmed the era of the home. After I did this, I had to ask for help with the door detail! The client was able to find an old photograph of the inside of the door and I just reversed the detail to make it an exterior view. The clients and their parents were very pleased with the finished portrait… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor was created for a neighbor (the owner of Creative Paving) who was a tremendous help with snow removal last Winter. He used one of his machines to remove snow and ice from my driveway, reducing my labor significantly. Thanks, Pete. House portraits are not limited to residences, but can include industrial buildings such as this one, schools, churches, railroad stations and public buildings… Continue reading… 0 comments

Although there are many illustrations out there showcasing the most recognizable buildings on college campuses, this watercolor was a more personal gift. Created from an old photo, it depicts a fraternity house, also a very important building in the life of any college student. I'm sure the recipient was happy to receive a reminder of the good times during his college days… Continue reading… 0 comments

This platter is an example of the work I'm doing for COLOR ME MINE, in Summit, New Jersey. Reference photographs are submitted by the customer, and then I prep and paint the chosen ceramic piece and return it to the shop for firing. The items can be personalized with name, address, and sometimes dates, according to customer instructions. COLOR ME MINE ceramics are both decorative and practical as they are food safe. Please visit if you are in the Summit area… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , June 15, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: FAIRIES, alphabet, children's wall art, gifts

Fairies: in a deep, dark forest. Behind a tree. Sitting on a large mushroom or sniffing a flower. A pair of silky wings and long hair blowing in the wind. Butterflies. Pastel colored outfits. These are the ideas behind the letters I create to make up my custom children's fairy names. These pieces of original art are used to decorate a child's room or play area… Continue reading… 0 comments

For the past few years I've been creating house and pet portraits for customers of COLOR ME MINE, a ceramic studio in Summit, New Jersey. The customer picks out the ceramic plate or platter and submits pictures for me to use to create the portrait. I prep and paint the chosen ceramic item and return it to COLOR ME MINE for firing The image shown here was taken before the piece was fired; the color of the finished piece is much deeper. My challenge with each project is to visualize what the finished color will look like. I do have a tile of fired colors for reference and my knowledge of mixing watercolors to guide me. All ceramics are food safe, so the finished piece is practical as well as decorative… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor was commissioned by a client whose daughter was very enchanted with fairies. I kept the colors soft and it fit beautifully with the decor of the child's room. This name would be considered a custom design for which there would be an additional design fee. See my CHILDREN 'S NAMES GALLERY on my ArtId website for all details… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor was done for the client to give to her son upon his graduation from Florida Tech in 2011. She didn't have great pictures but some research on the Internet provided the details needed to successfully complete the painting. This gift idea can be considered for any high school or college graduate… Continue reading… 0 comments

This small watercolor was painted as a gift to my brother and sister-in-law as a remembrance of the fabulous trip they took this past summer. The painting was created from vacation photo's they shared. Such works make wonderful gifts or simply serve as reminders of your own good times… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , January 1, 2012—12:00 AM

Topics: anniversary, christmas, flowers, gifts, watercolor

In a world sometimes gone mad trying to accumulate material possessions in the hope of attaining happiness I'm always thrilled to have clients who put a lot of thought into gifts for others, whether Christmas, birthday, anniversary or other occasion. NANA 'S LILIES is one such gift painting, given with love from husband to wife this Christmas as a remembrance of her mom's life and the flowers she loved. May all who read this have a HAPPY NEW YEAR filled with family, friends and good health… Continue reading… 0 comments

These little critters form the basis for a new style in my CHILDREN 'S NAME GALLERY. Each name is an original work of art on 140 lb watercolor paper, created to the customer's specifications when the order is placed. Always popular at Christmas, these names are also appropriate for births and birthdays. I think this alphabet will become my favorite. Although ...… Continue reading… 1 comment

This is a great house, surrounded by bright Fall colors. The photographs submitted were actually snow scenes, with only a general indication of where the driveway led up to the house. The customer wanted a painting for their boss as a surprise gift and asked that I paint it in Fall colors rather than snow. Adding leaves to the trees was easy enough, but the driveway was a challenge. Having a limited image with the client's description of the driveway's direction forced me to "ad lib" to some degree. I was given carte blanche for the landscaping along the driveway, the only idea being it was lined with small shrubs. Feedback was the client was pleased, their boss even more so! And I had a chance to remove snow with only my paintbrush… Continue reading… 1 comment

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! The reference for this watercolor was an amazing photograph forwarded to me by one of my realtors as a surprise gift for her client. The client had shared the image with the realtor and had no idea it would become a painting. I was told this fledgling robin wasn't harmed by the dog. Unfortunately, the little guy left .... or fell from ... the nest too early and didn't survive his adventure. Watching the recent Holiday snow melt here in New Jersey and seeing the robin in this painting reminds me, as always, I'm hoping for an early Spring. Whatever Mother Nature has in store for us, I wish all of you a Happy New Year… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , December 13, 2010—11:13 AM

Topics: Mexico, NEW JERSEY, gifts, house portraits, poolside, watercolor, winter

It is Winter here in New Jersey; we've been lucky with snowfall so far .... but it's been COLD ! I enjoyed doing this scene as a gift for a business executive in Chicago. It made the cold weather temporarily disappear. The painting hangs in his business office as a reminder of warm weather and relaxing days spent in Mexico. Two orders of notes were created from this painting and I understand it was because this executive didn't want to share with his business partner. I'm pleased with their appreciation of my work! House portraits are definitely a unique gift… Continue reading… 0 comments

Looking for a great gift for that new baby or your favorite child? This figure is part of my girl's alphabet. The alphabet consists of little girls and ballerinas and can be customized to coordinate with the color of the child's room. The names are painted on 140 lb Arches watercolor paper at the time of the order. I use the copyrighted letters to create the names; all names are original art, not prints… Continue reading… 0 comments

Fall can be a beautiful time of year in New Jersey. While many clients submit images taken in Winter or early Spring and request I add leaves and flowers to the finished painting to create a Spring/Summer look, not very many request Fall colors. These Winter images are excellent to work with as they show the most house detail, free from leaved trees and bushes, etc. But they do not feed the soul as much as images with striking Fall colors. This recently completed painting of an old mill in Clinton is a 25th anniversary gift… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , October 5, 2010—12:00 AM

Topics: alphabet, boys, children's wall art, gifts, sports, watercolor

I recently opened a new ArtId gallery for my illustrated children's names. This alphabet was created many years ago and has been a good seller, bringing smiles to the moms and grandma's who purchase them. I have no doubt when the children were old enough to understand, they were delighted to realize they could read their name in the overall design. This figure is part of my boy's sports alphabet. The name can be created with a variety of sports figures, or the client may select specific sports to reflect their child's favorites… Continue reading… 0 comments

This turned out to be a wonderful surprise gift for the current owner of a family business. And something different for me ... an unusual but successful painting. There are no limits on subject matter as long as the reference images are clear: houses, banks, churches, coffee shops ..… Continue reading… 0 comments

I've created several watercolors of this church: as a gift for a retiring minister, as a program cover for church events, and as a record of alterations to the existing structure. The painting shown was a recent commission when a new, higher steeple was erected. You wouldn't know that this beautiful steeple houses a cell tower for the phone company! I am very happy with the cloud formations, and the overall feeling of height… Continue reading… 0 comments

Among the many wonderful people I've met as an artist are the couple who live in Morgandy's house. They had a house portrait painted for their daughter and the wife later commissioned this colored pencil of Morgandy as a Christmas surprise for her husband. The surprise was a huge success! This is one aspect of painting I thoroughly enjoy: making people happy with my art… Continue reading… 1 comment

The only photograph the customer had was a snow scene without the decorations. With his instructions we were able to create a house fully decorated for Christmas. The completed watercolor made a memorable surprise gift for the customer's wife… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor boat painting was a Father's Day gift for Dad's office. People sometimes hesitate when requesting something out of the ordinary but as long as the photo is clear there should be no problem. I felt the boat's name was interesting and using this view to include the name made the painting a more personal one… Continue reading… 0 comments

I used this colored pencil portrait as a sample for one of the gift shops I work with. I tend to prefer colored pencil for most pet portraits as I'm able to capture more fur texture with this medium. I guess this preference goes way back to my earliest pencil drawings. I started with pencil studies and really enjoyed my pencil work. Clients kept asking for "color" so I gradually added watercolor to the drawings, doing the watercolor washes first, then adding pencil. My portraits are now either colored pencil or watercolor. A pet portrait in either medium would make a special gift for the avid animal lover… Continue reading… 0 comments

My main goal when painting a house portrait is to have the viewer feel they can walk right up to the front door and go inside ... that familiar feeling when you pull into the driveway and know that you're "home". When doing a painting for an anniversary gift I may be given photographs of the house as it is currently. The client then asks me to paint the house as it used to be. This can be accomplished easily based on details provided by the client from their childhood memories of living in the house. These notes may be accompanied by old photographs. If I have been successful in capturing a memory, this is the type of portrait that brings on "happy tears" from both the client and recipients… Continue reading… 0 comments

I was delighted when the client allowed me to choose the medium for painting this dog portrait. His beautiful fur lent itself very well to rendering in colored pencil. I feel I was able to show much more detail and texture using colored pencil instead of watercolor. Of course, the final decision is always up to the client! This portrait was purchased as a gift from the bride-to-be to her fiance. As occasionally happens, the dog had died recently and she felt a remembrance would be a cherished gift… Continue reading… 0 comments