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It’s been too long…

So, where do I begin? (Insert sigh here as I ponder…)

First off, we moved from Florida. I left my position in recruitment marketing at Publix and took a role with a smaller company in the Metro DC area in December, 2018. It was time for a change, really. I loved most of my colleagues at Publix, but needed a change. We’d grown tired of the Florida incessant heat and lack of four seasons and we missed family.

Although my husband’s family is in the UK where he was born, most of my family is located in a 100 mile radius around Washington, DC, so when this small employer came knocking with an offer I couldn’t refuse, I jumped at the chance. It took until April, 2019 to sell our Florida home and settle into a great townhouse in Montgomery County, Maryland, commuting distance for both my husband and I. And it was about 15 miles from my sister and her family, an important factor in this move. Two decades-long friends are within 50 miles too and it means lots of chances for get togethers and fun.

And here we are, below, my lifelong BFF who lives in NJ, me, and my sister celebrating my milestone 60th birthday together in September, 2019. So glad we made this move but I’ve not had an ounce of free time to paint lately! I’m sure once I really settle in, though, I’ll be able to block time for painting and creating.

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m hoping to make a few changes for 2020. First and foremost, as I said above, to carve out time for painting and creating. It shouldn’t be for lack of inspiration as in March, the hubby and I travel to Paris for our anniversary. I’ve been planning our trip and definitely will be taking in a few museums, for sure! We’ll see where the rest of the year takes us, but finger’s crossed it’s a great one!

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Wales: The Road to Dolgellau

If you’ve ever been to Wales, chances are, your heart and soul have been stolen by the rugged beauty of the countryside. My husband’s family lived there for decades and have a lovely farm right on the Atlantic above Barmouth. It offers a wild and captivating beauty, that place does.

Our last trip over, we drove to Northern Wales from Somerset Co., UK where the husband’s children live, to look in on his aunt in Barmouth. It was a trek, including the chance to cross the historic Severn at Bristol, and a ride through the Brecon Beacons over to Aberystwyth and north to Dolgellau and finally Barmouth. Despite the curvy route I couldn’t help but photograph the wild hills and mountains that make up Snowdonia National Park and the hiking and walking there. It was breathtaking!

I haven’t yet made much art from our trip, but here’s one little watercolor I did from that trip. I think it depicts some of the beauty of the area. It’s called The Road to Dolgellau.

I was really confused as we pulled into the town by the way my husband prounouced it and chose the title of this work for that reason. If you’re interested in the correct pronunciation of Dolgellau, it’s far different from the way it looks, thanks to it’s Welsh origins. Here’s a little video explaining it.

And if you’d like to learn more about the area around Dolgellau, here’s a nice little video about the trails from Dolgellau to Barmouth along the Mawddach Trail footpath. It’s utterly stunning and I hope to get back in the near future!

The Road to Dolgellau, a watercolor and gouache painting by American artist Maura Satchell

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New Painting: Irrational Exuberance

Irrational exuberance LR
Irrational Exuberance

This new 16″ x 20″ abstract artwork is on stretched canvas with a 1-1/2″ depth and design painted on all edges.  It is of acrylic in the abstract expressionist style and can be hung either vertically or horizontally. There is a lot of texture to this work in blues, tan, white colors.

Here’s how it might look in situ:

Irrational Exuberance

The original is for sale direct through me. Two online galleries are also listing the original and offering reprints in different styles. Saatchi has a few sizes of very high quality art prints in fine art paper or canvas and FAA has licensed the work to offer reprints in a number of sizes and formats of prints as well as home accessories, tote bags and even bath towels from this print.

If you love this style but are interested in a work of this sort but using a different artist palette, feel free to contact me to explore options.

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Louis the flamingo

Louis was painted in 2013 and became part of our own home’s interior. Since moving here in late 2012, I decided we needed flamingos and a tropical or Old Florida vibe to our interior decorating scheme. Using tangerine, fuschia and turquise, this is a bold, rich portrait of a bold, rich flamingo, as Louis deserves.

Louis has a forever home, but fear not! I have some commission slots available for work of this sort and would be happy to custom produce one for you or for a gift for your special flamingo lover. If not a full on original painting, consider a fine art print or acrylic canvas print of Louis, available for sale through  Saatchi where you can also purchase smaller sized fine art prints or canvas duplicates.

Fine art flamingo portrait painting by contemporary artist Maura Satchell.

For Louis and my other flamingo-themed accessories such as throw pillows, towels, shower curtains and larger size prints, check out the offerings at this link. Here’s a pair of fine examples of Louis the painting decorating a home in style: louis shower curtainlouis-maura-satchell throw pillow

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Symphony

"Cynosure" abstract mixed media painting on paper by contemporary artist Maura SatchellThis is a mixed media abstract work of art started as an airbrush painting. I loved the colors, the ethereal quality to it, but wasn’t sure where to take it. Cut to this year and rainy weather and my bag of tricks — charcoal, gouache, ink and pastels, and voila! I give you “Symphony”, on 11″ x 15″ paper.

Not for the faint of heart, this painting would look wonderful in a home or office interior that needs a punch of color. A large custom giclee print of this work looks enchanting in its new home and may give you an idea of how this wall art might fit with your home or office design.

Cynosure in situ

Newly completed, this work is available for sale through me or Saatchi where you can also purchase smaller sized fine art prints or canvas duplicates. For accessories and larger size prints, check out the offerings at this link.

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Aspirational

aspirational LRTropical storm Alberto brought boatloads of rain this past week which meant some great moody painting sessions. From it, “Aspirational” was born.

This painting, 11″ x 14″ mixed media / oil on paper, is an abstract work of art using pastel tones with pink, peach, and an under layer with hints of soft greens and blues.

The original art is for sale direct from the artist, yours truly. Or purchase 9″ x 12″ fine art paper prints for $49 or larger 12″ x 16″ canvas prints (black canvas wrap color) for $110 from Saatchi Art.

Aspirational abstract painting by artist Maura Satchell

Want to go bigger with a print?  Here’s what it might look like in a larger size print or canvas copy available from Fine Art America. The largest size available is 30″ x 20″.

Love the colors, but rather see it in a throw pillow? For $22 there at Fine Art America, you can get a 14″ x 14″ accent pillow. Fine Art America has a myriad of other product offerings using the “Aspirational” design, and they make great gifts! We’re talking gorgeous shower curtains, unique round beach towels, carry-all pouches, bath towels, phone cases, tote bags, mugs, gorgeous yoga mats, spiral notebooks and fleece blankets. Here’s what it would look like as a one of a kind weekender tote bag:

aspirational-maura-satchell weekender tote bag
Need a great gift idea? Consider this weekender tote bag using “Aspirational” design by Contemporary Artist Maura Satchell.

If you love the idea of a unique work of art such as Aspirational, let’s talk! As mentioned, this painting is for sale, or perhaps you’d like something similar but in a different pallette. I hold slots for commissioned works and have a few available in the coming months.

 

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Review: Dancing with the beast album by Gretchen Peters

Gretchen at GOLThere are lyrics, and there are muse-inspired-words-as-gifts-from-the-heavens LYRICS. And Dancing With the Beast by Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter and singer Gretchen Peters is an album for the ages. It really taps into the zeitgeist of these tumultuous times, with nearly every song a mini-story of it’s own, told from different women’s vantage points. If you love ballads, this girl’s your girl…

There is darkness, I won’t lie, on this album, but it is the kind that rips you apart, sends you to hell and back. And when you resurface, you are changed. And lighter. Like when you exit a sad, sorrowful movie, tear-stained, into the sunlight, appreciative for your situation and circumstances.

Not familiar with Gretchen? Rick Bayles of Americana UK sums her bountiful songwriting skills and the breadth and depth of this latest album best:

 Peters’ great strength as a songwriter is that she’s not afraid to take on the difficult subjects and not above shining a little light into those darker recesses of the soul. While others might write happy songs about new love or bittersweet reflections on past affairs this artist will readily take on old age, prostitution, child abuse – let’s not forget she first came to prominence as the writer of Martina McBride’s controversial single ‘Independence Day’, celebrating an abused wife fighting back; a song that went on to win Song of the Year at the Country Music Association’s awards in 1995 and earned Gretchen Peters a Grammy nomination. This new recording once again deals with the difficult subjects; these are adult content songs written for a thinking audience by an intelligent artist. The fact that they are also beautifully played, sung and produced is the icing on a particularly enjoyable cake.

Don’t take my words for it, or Rick Bayles’. Listen for yourself at her website. All I know is, it is MTPB: Music to paint by.

Disclaimer 1: Gretchen is my sister-in-law and her husband and band mate, sublime musician and composer-extraordinaire, Barry Walsh, my brother.

Disclaimer #2: I consider myself musically illiterate, having been kicked out of piano lessons taught by a widow whose sole income was teaching piano to the little children of Packanack Lake, NJ.

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Royal Wedding and Diana’s Legacy

CaptureI am not a die hard Royal fan or follower. They are human, not to be put on a pedastal. That’s not to say Princess Diana’s wedding didn’t influence my choice of gowns for my first wedding, or that the day she passed remains one burnt in my memory to today. Or that, upon her death, I was moved to send a heartfelt letter to her sons. No doubt one of millions, but there you go.

Today, I rejoice, thinking upon her life, her legacy. And I am struck by the fact that she would be so happy over this occasion. And it seems, her legacy has come full circle. I wish the newlyweds all happiness and urge them to carry on in her name and burn brightly in this world, shining lightness and joy to all the darkest corners of humanity in memory of Diana and her legacy.

I don’t have a work of art to add to this post yet, but have no doubt this occasion will inspire one! Stay tuned and it will be added in days or weeks ahead.

Godspeed, beautiful couple! May your lives be filled with joy and happiness and may you bring same to our world.

 

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First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion

It is May and my brain was fixated on this rite of passage of every Catholic school child everywhere – the sacrament of First Holy Communion. I worked on this painting in multiple layers which obscure hidden secrets and symbols. It is mostly in oil over acrylic, with subtle gold leaf inlay, charcoal, graphite, ink and woodcut imprints.

I have been working on this painting for a good long while and it is finally birthed! “First Holy Communion” is an abstract painting in the vein of sacred art or religious artwork, but with an abstract twist. It is one of those that HAD to be painted. The muse beckoned… I already had the title in mind when working on this and it holds some deeply personal meaning to me in some of the symbols and images hidden within.

It is painted on Strathmore 400 140 lb (300 gsm) acid free cold-pressed paper, 18h x 24w. The original artwork is available for sale via Saatchi, along with high quality art prints and canvas reprints in limited sizes. Other merchandise and other print sizes are available through Fine Art America.

If you love this painting but would like to make an art acquisition of something in similar vein but using different colors, think about commissioning one of your own for your personal art collection or as a truly unique gift for someone special. I have limited slots available so why not ask?

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Watercolor poppy

Watercolor poppy LRThe journey this small watercolor postcard has enjoyed!

I don’t mean it’s left my confines, but as a very small work, I have misplaced it on several occasions. I love this little painting and in general love painting poppies. I used India Ink and watercolor to create the stark contrast between the delicate, paper-thin blossom and the stark black seed center.

Though this original is tiny, as a print it packs a giant graphic punch as in this mockup of what it might look like as living room decor:

watercolor poppy

Fun, huh? With a little imagination, and a click on one of these two links, you can purchase a fine art print or canvas print in sizes up to 40″ wide.

Saatchi – highest quality fine art paper or canvas prints in limited sizes.

Fine Art America – more size options and soft goods too (i.e. shower curtains, throw pillows, notecards, cellphone cases, weekender tote bags, journals, zippered carryall pouches, beach towels, etc.

The 4 x 6″ postcard original is for sale (now that I’ve found it). If interested in it or another unique but similar original in a different size, contact me!