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Mary Ann Kitchell Art Blog

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Mary Ann Kitchell

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One of the interesting things about painting house portraits is the ability to change structural details when necessary. This ink drawing was completed using old and new photographs and notes from the client detailing memories of the house from her past. I love the architectural look that was achieved. It was necessary to show something of the neighboring homes, but those portions of the drawing were kept to a bare minimum… 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 is an older house painted from very old photographs. I removed the people shoveling the driveway and tidied the snow on the stairs and sidewalk. Many times old photographs are all that are available; this is not a problem if vital details are clear. The photograph can be up-dated by notes supplied by the client so the result is a portrait as the home appears today. Other times, the look desired is the house as it was many years agao. Either idea will work well if the appropriate details are provided… Continue reading… 0 comments

Built around 1930, the Strand Theater was one of two movie theaters in downtown Summit, New Jersey. The Lyric Theater was destroyed by fire in 1951 and was not rebuilt; the site has been a parking lot for many years. The Strand was closed in the late 1980's. That section of Springfield Avenue was renovated and reopened in 1989 as The Strand Mall. This pen and ink drawing was completed from old photographs which unfortunately did not have a good view of the front entrance due to the heavy shadows cast by the marquee. It does capture my memories of red plush seats and the smell of popcorn. I wish to publicly thank the Summit Historical Society for their diligence in keeping records of Summit's past and their helpfulness to those of us who search for old photographs… Continue reading… 1 comment

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