Monday, December 19, 2016

Beginning Watercolor Classes

I am starting a brand new watercolor class for beginners January 11, 2017.  Classes will meet on Wednesday afternoons from 2-5 in my studio just west of Loveland, Colorado.  I will cover all the basics to get you started painting with watercolor.  Classes cost $30/each based on a one month commitment.  You will learn about composition, color, technique, paint properties, value and more.  I generally use transparent watercolors in my paintings. For more info.

Winter & Spring 2017 adult classes at the Loveland Museum

These are the classes I am scheduled to teach at the Loveland Museum Gallery in the coming months of 2017.  Registration begins Dec 27, 2016.  I would advice signing up as soon as possible as these classes usually fill quickly. All supplies are included.

Winter Aspen Grove
Tuesday, January 24, 1 – 4 pm
With this simple masking project, use a limited watercolor palette and paint a peaceful scene in the forest.
Instructor: Mary Giacomini

Palette Knife Snowy Pines
Tuesday, February 7
1 – 4 pm
Experiment painting with acrylic paints and palette knives while creating a wintry forest of the mountains.
Instructor: Mary Giacomini

ABCs of Drawing
Tuesday, February 21
1 – 4 pm
Learn how to draw what you see using a few tricks to engage the right side of your brain.
Instructor: Mary Giacomini

Fresh and Fun Florals
Tuesday, April 4
1 – 4 pm
By this time of year, we are hoping that spring has sprung! Either way, create fresh blooms in watercolors in this fun and spring-ready class.
Instructor: Mary Giacomini
Palette Knife Poppies
Tuesday, April 18
1 – 4 pm
Learn to paint atmospheric perspective with acrylic paint, then finish by using a palette knife to paint brilliant poppies.
Instructor: Mary Giacomini

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Chasing Light

I was once again invited to the 4th annual  "Chasing Light" exhibition with the Plein Air Artists of Colorado group.  I paint with these talented hardy artists on some Friday mornings in Northern Colorado.  For one week we are showing our landscapes, both from plein air and studio at the Community Creative Center in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado.  Check out the art show!
Oasis Oil; plein air

Expanse: oil, plein air

Deep Forest  Oil, plein air

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Cyber Art Show

I was recently contacted by Keith Stover  who I met online via Facebook.  He invited me to let him showcase my art.  He has put together a 'Cyber Show' of beautiful landscape artists.   He not only promoted me on facebook but also on the website he created.  Check it out.  I am honored to be in such a  talented group of landscape artists.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

New Gallery Representation in Estes Park

 I recently joined the Cultural Art Services of Estes Park (Colorado) Gallery.  I will be participating in their member shows.  The first is the Holiday Gifts and Miniatures show which runs through the end of December 2016.  I have several small framed original paintings that are hung plus affordable original bin work and prints for sale.
Spring (plein air oil)

Cliff Hanger (plein air oil)

Peaceful Pair (oil)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Loveland Art Studio Tour & Sale 2016

Once a year I open up my studio to the public for two weekends during the Loveland Art Studio Tour & Sale.  This year's tour is on Oct 8, 9, 15 & 16 from 10AM to 5PM.  You can find a map and brochure online, at the Loveland Museum Gallery or at my studio.  I have lots of new art, bin originals & prints for everyone to see.  This is your chance to check out artists studio's.  There is currently a preview show at the Loveland Museum Gallery where each artist in the tour has one piece on display.  I choose  "Tuscan Vines" (18 x 24" oil) for my preview entry.
Tuscan Vines

 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 
(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

All Colorado Artists Show

I am pleased to announce that both of these original oil paintings were accepted in the "All Colorado Artists Show" at Mainstreet Fine Art Gallery in Evergreen, Colorado.  Both paintings are landscapes of the Colorado Rockies.  'Daybreak' was finished with a pallet knife with lots of impasto.  The scene is from Mueller State Park which is just West of Pikes Peak.  The leaves of Autumn were just beginning to change color.  I loved the way the early morning light was illuminating the Aspen trees.   I first painted this scene en plein air.  Always liking the scene, I decided to recreate it in a studio piece.
 "Serenity" is an oil painting inspired by the high alpine lake, The Loch which is a beautiful hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I've painted the Loch several times and still am inspired by the pristine landscape.
 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 

(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Joy Ride; the journey

Joy Ride  Oil  12 x 24"
"Golden Blankets"
9 x 12"
 Last Fall when I was plein air painting in Rocky Mountain National Park, a couple of horses & riders actually rode through my scene of Hallet Peak and the surrounding mountains.   I quickly grabbed my camera to get a reference photo and knew this could be an amazing painting.  The Aspen Groves were in their Autumn glory and it was a perfect, sunny Colorado morning.
I was happy with the finished "Golden Blankets" with it's thick impasto oil and warm Fall colors but in the back of my mind I wanted to make a studio painting with the horses.  I decided to try gamut mapping to create the new scene.  Gamut mapping helps you make a more cohesive painting by using a limited pallet.  I decided ahead of time what portion of the color wheel I would use, then made some color swatches from it to use for another reference during painting.
This is the portion of the color wheel I used for this image.  I examined my reference photo and narrowed down the colors I needed to make a more cohesive painting.
Once I had my gamut mapped out, I figured out how to mix my primaries which were orange, green & blue.  All of the colors had to fall within the gamut map but I could add white and black.
 I asked my oil painting students if they wanted to try to learn gamut mapping and they were game so this was painted almost entirely in class.  Although this is a challenging way of painting, it's also a learning tool that most did great at and appreciated knowing how.  I am starting up my solvent free oil painting classes on Thursday mornings mid September.   I do currently have an opening if you are interested in joining us.

 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 

(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I painted "Calming", a 16 x 16" original oil of a clear stream in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, in my Oil Painting Class this past Spring of 2016.  I worked on the painting almost exclusively in front of my students during class.  Our theme was 'running water' and  I had each student pick an image they wanted to paint.  We started with an underpainting which is in essense the drawing under the painting.  The next step is to nail those darks as it's easy to loose them in oil painting.  I slowly added the local color and tweaked until I felt it was finished.  This painting sat on my easel almost done for a couple of weeks.  This helped me review what was needed.  "Calming" is currently  available, but contact me to find out the current status.
I am starting up my Solvent Free Oil Painting class September 15.  We meet from 9-12AM on Thursdays.  My classes are small at  6-7 students and I  have an opening.
Stage 1; Underpainting drawing

Stage 2; getting those darks in

Stage 3: on my easel progression

Stage 4: Done!
 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 

(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

The Milner-Schwarz house; plein air

In Loveland, Colorado we have a historic treasure: The Milner-Schwarz house.  The Loveland Historical Society has lovingly restored this 1873 brick home and it is now open for the public to enjoy. 
 I have had the pleasure of plein air painting this house a couple of times now.  This  summer, I painted this first original oil, "Little House on the Prairie".   I kept thinking off what it might have been like to live there 140 years ago while I was painting.  They have brought in an old windmill which I wanted to include in my painting.  I noticed the early morning shadow of the windmill on the brick home so decided to capture that.  When I plein air paint, I always try to capture the shadows first as they are fleeting.  This was especially important in this composition as I watched it moved across the house rather 
In the second painting, "Mrs. Milner's Irises", I was draw to the  colorful blooming irises in front of the classic front porch.  The Loveland Historical Society has also planted flower & vegetable gardens around the house along with fruit trees. This painting has some impasto.
These paintings are both currently available for purchase. Contact me for more information.
Little House on the Prairie

Mrs. Milner's Irises

 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 

(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Plein Air Artists of Colorado National Show

I am proud to announce that "Sail Away" was accepted into the Plein Air Artists of Colorado National show at the Mary Williams Fine Art Gallery in Boulder.  The opening is September 1st, 2016  from 5-8pm and all are welcome.  I painted this little plein air oil last summer in Anacortes, Washington.
Sail Away
 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 

(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Loveland Library show

Tranquility (oil)
 The Loveland (Colorado) Public library has a program in which they showcase juried art to be displayed in their glass cases.  This not only gives the artists more exposure and a chance for sales but also gives others  a chance to view their artwork.  I applied last Fall for this program and have had several pieces accepted.  For the 3rd Quarter, my two originals, "Tranquility" and "A Walk to Remember" were chosen.  "Tranquility" is an original oil painting of The Loch, a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The beauty of the alpine area high in the mountains is unsurpassed.
"A Walk To Remember" is a pastel done of an Autumn hike in Northern Minnesota.  I had fun with all of the Fall reds, maroons, golds and greens of the midwest.  Both of these original paintings are available for purchase although they must remain with the library show through September 2016.
A Walk To Remember (pastel)
 You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 

(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

National Treasures show

representing Voyageurs National Park 
 The Cultural Art Center of Estes Park (Colorado) is celebrating 100 years of the National Park service by showcases over 100 paintings and photographs of the National Parks in July 2016.  I had 5 of paintings accepted into this juried  art show.  "National Treasures" can be seen through the entire month of July.  All of these original paintings are currently available for purchase through this show.

"Mesa Arch"
representing Canyonlands National Park

"Opposites Attract"
oil (plein air)
representing Glen Canyon National Recreation Area 

"Loose Moose"
representing Denali National Park

representing Rocky Mountain National Park

      You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 
(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer newsletter

Hi there;
Just a few artsy happenings to tell you about.  I'm teaching two mini plein air oil painting classes in June.  They will be on June 9 (yes; this Thursday) and June 23 from 8:30 AM-noon.    I will help a small group of students through the sometimes challenging aspects of plein air at local parks in Loveland.  The cost is $30/each.   If you are interested, email  me.  These mini workshops are replacing my weekly oil painting classes until Fall. If you are interested in attending this Fall (most likely September) let me know as the class fills quickly.
My Wednesday watercolor class currently has one opening if anyone would like to paint with a really lovely group of artists.  We will meet 3 more times in June and possibly into July.


I am very pleased to announce my art was accepted into the upcoming shows:

"Off the Grid" (watercolor, above) was accepted into the Lincoln Gallery's Regional Show this year.  The opening coincides with Night on the Town this Friday.  This is a free, fun evening to see downtown Loveland come alive.

I had 5 paintings accepted into the Cultural Art Center of Estes Park's "National Treasures" show which celebrates 100 years of the National Park system.  Each of my accepted paintings represents a different National Park.  The shows runs the entire month of July in downtown Estes Park.
"Sail Away", a plein air from the Washington coast was accepted in the Plein Air Artists of Colorado National Show in September at the Mary Williams Fine Art Gallery in Boulder.  You can preview the show online.  I am once again honored to get into this prestigious show.
Save the date:  I am again participating in the Loveland Art Studio Tour  which is held October 8, 9, 15 & 16th.  This show gives you the opportunity to see where artists work.  Come and see my home studio west of Loveland.
'Opposites Attract' (plein air oil) will be in "National Treasures" in Estes Park in July.
I hope to see you at an upcoming show and/or class!  Happy summer to you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Lincoln Gallery's Regional Fine Art Show 2016

Off the Grid
I am pleased to announce that "Off the Grid" was accepted in the Thompson Valley Art League's 2016 Regional Fine Art Show.  I found this unique mountain landscape while visiting Marble, Colorado a few years ago. The light was just going over the cliffs surrounding me and illuminating this home off the grid.
 This year the Regional show had 300+ entries and accepted around 70.  I am honored to have my watercolor shown there for the month of June.  Please join me June 10, 2016 from 6-9 during the opening which is free to the public.

   You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 
(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Solvent Free Oil Painting

The Kimono  16 x 12" Oil

Ethereal  18 x 14" Oil
I attended a figurative workshop in March at the Masters Easel Art Academy taught by Bryce Liston. Bryce taught a wonderful workshop where I learned to use the Zorn pallet and Gamut mapping.  These limited pallet techniques were an interesting challenge.  I am intrigued and am exploring them further. 

 In the workshop we had limited use of our OMS-Gamsol which helped keep the air clean with a dozen artists oil painting.  I decided to take it to the next level and eliminate the use of all solvents in my studio.  I have done some online research and was floored to find that the OMS of choice, Gamsol is far from non toxic.  I have had students complain of headaches even though I keep an exhaust fan in the window and an air filter running.  Those headaches are now gone.

For cleaning brushes, I found there are plenty of safe options.  I wait until I am done with a painting session to clean the brushes I used that day.  I use Viva paper towels, or lint free rags to get as much paint off as possible.  I found that Murphy's Oil Soap straight from the bottle cleans my brushes just fine.  I have also used Gamblin's Solvent Free Gel,  Walnut Alkyd medium, Art Treehouse BioBased Thinner, Spike of Lavender and Linseed Oil but I keep coming back to the Murphy's because the cost is lower and it cleans just as well.  I do rinse my brushes out with water after cleaning to remove any residue.

For toning a canvas, I use the Walnut Alkyd medium or Spike of Lavender with a little oil paint to knock out the white.  I am still experimenting with the BioBased thinner to make sure it's archival.

I offer a Thursday morning Oil Painting class that is now Solvent Free.  I just wish I would've made the switch years ago.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Wild Life Drawing Sessions

Channeling Ingres.  This is one of my favorite classes poses that we recreated for our group.
 I am a strong believer in developing drawing skills from life. In 2007 I started drawing with a portrait and figure drawing group weekly with a group we formed "Loveland Wild Life Sessions".  We always work from life, usually in a long pose which is somewhere around 3 hours long (with breaks).  We hire professional models and have interesting poses some of which are nude, some clothed.  I have captured the human form in charcoal, conte, pastel and oil but the last few years have enjoyed bringing my toned warm paper pad and drawing exclusively in graphite with a little white charcoal.  I enjoy bringing the figure to life focusing on just value and capturing likeness.  I treasure the sketchbooks I am filling up.

This model posed for Valentine's Day complete with wings.  The studio kitty kept trying to steal the show.

   You can see more of my artwork online: 
Facebook page (open to the public) 
(a variety of my work: prints and cards available)  
(limited edition canvas giclees)