Shelf Painting: Raspberry, Blueberry

Painting a day

Painting a day

"Raspberry, Blueberry"
Oil on masonite mounted on oak
2.5 x 2
$65, free shipping.
Email me to purchase

I'm working on some pieces for an upcoming show, so there will only be a few daily paintings this week. I can, however, offer one of these little guys that I enjoy doing so much. I'm calling these my "shelf paintings"; each is mounted on a stained 3/4" thick oak block, making them suitable for display on a bookshelf, desk, or tabletop. This will be sold to the first person who sends me an inquiry: purchase AT jeffhayes DOT com. I apologize for the quality of the image; I had a tough time getting a decent shot. The streaks toward the top are simply glare, and are not present on the painting itself.

Gallery crawl in Lowell and Lawrence

Although my life mostly revolves around downtown Boston and its suburbs, I have a very special place in my heart for the old industrial cities to the north of the state. There's just something about these places, once vibrant, then long-decaying, and now back from the brink, that strikes me as honest, solid... even a little magical. And there's absolutely nothing like block after block of Victorian brick warehouses and rusting 1940s-era factories to get my creative juices flowing. Maybe it was the experience of growing up in a manufacturing town that makes these places speak to me so deeply; I've painted up there a lot.

Today, though, I wasn't painting; instead I treated myself to a wandering afternoon in Lowell and Lawrence, two of my favorite of the above-mentioned places. Both are investing in renovation of their city centers, and the arts are rightly seen as being an integral part of that renewal.

In Lawrence, you'll find the Essex Art Center, which hosts regular events like their annual Wet Paint Auction (which I participated in last year), classes, and there is also a gallery. The current exhibit focuses on animal-themed works, and was a real pleasure. I think it's only up for a few more days, so hurry. In particular I enjoyed Helen Tory's whimsical ducks and Shawn Kenney's forceful bulls.

Lowell has quite a few museums, galleries, and large studio buildings in just a few blocks. Unfortunately the two larger galleries were closed today... one was hanging a new exhibit, and the other just doesn't seem to be open on Tuesdays. The Revolving Museum is supposed to be really offbeat and fun. There is also a Quilting Museum that I've heard is quite good. I actually wanted to see both, but lunch was three hours overdue and the lure of the Greek restaurant across the street was just too much... put side by side, a plate of Moussaka will always trump an antique quilt. By the time I'd finished my meal, it was time to leave, so I'll definitely be back when I can actually visit these places.

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