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Mary Ann Kitchell Art Blog

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Mary Ann Kitchell

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I have reduced my shipping fees to one price for any size house or pet portrait painting, effective immediately. Please visit my gallery for examples of my work; I will be happy to answer any questions you may have… Continue reading… 0 comments

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

Stone has always been one of my favorite things to render, whether as an architectural detail on a house, or as part of a stone wall. Both can be a variety of irregular shapes, very textural, with various colors or color combinations. This ink drawing was a pleasure to create, though watercolor could have been the more interesting choice. Painting wet into wet can create some wonderful stone colors… Continue reading… 0 comments

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

House portraits have been my primary subject for more than thirty years, originally starting with small paintings on wood. These sold well as Christmas ornaments. I then started working with real estate agents using watercolor and pen & ink. I enjoy the challenge of accurately depicting various architectural elements as well as sprucing up their landscapes… Continue reading… 0 comments

BEHIND THE SCENES What do I think about when painting? My concentration is better some days than others. I generally work while listening to 60's & 70's rock and roll (the music I listened to as a teen). It gives me the energy I need; once in a while I'll listen to classical but find my brush moves slower. Getting lost in the painting process has been a salvation in times of stress. Some sessions are harder to get started but worth the effort. Some of my best work has been during emotional stress: all of my thoughts are poured into the work at hand. If you've been there, you know what I mean… Continue reading… 0 comments

This pen and ink rendering of a circa 1898 Gothic Revival structure is in my series of local church drawings, and the last wooden church in Summit, New Jersey. It originally was a Swedish Lutheran church and became an English language church during the 1930's. The building was sold in 1959, becoming Mt Olive Temple United Holiness Church, a Pentecostal congregation… Continue reading… 0 comments

This church is on a large piece of property in Summit, New Jersey, that for many years has housed cloistered Dominican sisters. It is a well-known structure in town at one of the main intersections; a beautiful building of stone and stained glass windows… Continue reading… 0 comments

Built over 100 years ago, this building was originally the Madison Public Library. Today the museum holds over 8,000 artifacts telling the story of how tools were made and used as people made the transition from farming to specialized trades. The stonework is impressive and I plan to create another version in pencil; I think that should bring out the textures better than pen & ink… Continue reading… 0 comments

DeFOREST AVENUE

by kitchellstudio , September 20, 2012—12:00 AM

Topics: NEW JERSEY, house portraits, pen & ink

I grew up in a home with a large front porch which served as a play area as well as an outdoor sitting space on those very hot, humid New Jersey nights. Older homes are special. The large porch on this one and the construction detail make a very interesting subject for a house portrait… Continue reading… 0 comments

I took the reference photo's for this ink drawing myself. While not difficult, it gave me an idea of what it's like to capture detail on film, especially if the building is long. There are times when the image must be photographed in sections then pieced together to provide an accurate image… Continue reading… 0 comments

Summit, New Jersey has some fascinating older architecture in the downtown business district. This is another drawing created for the Summit Centennial. Unfortunately common in recent years, storefronts have changed as businesses move or close, and this drawing simply captures a moment in time: a record of the history of Summit. One of my memories of visits downtown during my younger years was the delightful aroma of baking bread coming from Trost's Bakery. If the wind was right you could smell the baked goods for a block or more… Continue reading… 0 comments

The majority of my work is watercolor with only the occasional pen and ink. The condominium portrait shown was a challenge in creativity: show enough to make the owner proud, but leave out surrounding material belonging to the neighbors. The process is a little easier with free-standing homes as most times there's a natural cutoff separating neighbors. It's usually easy enough to eliminate the neighbor's house and replace it with vague background trees or bushes, sometimes giving the impression the portrait property is larger than it actually is… Continue reading… 0 comments

The pink weeping cherry is my favorite part of this watercolor. Always a welcome sight after a long, cold Winter… Continue reading… 1 comment

My pen and ink work has been full of detail ... very tightly rendered with F&W ink on Strathmore vellum Bristol paper. This house portrait was commissioned with the request I try to duplicate another artist's style. It was to be hung with another work created in a "looser" style. Rather than reject the request outright, I decided to give it a try. The client was very pleased with the result and I'm thinking of doing more using this technique. My watercolors have become a little "looser" over the years; perhaps it's time to experiment with pen and ink. It's curious I selected a painting with palm trees on a day in New Jersey that was below zero overnight and has now reached the "warm" temperature of 14 degrees. Very hungry for Spring ...… 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