Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Memorial Day" "Portrait Painting" "And Other Things"

In the United States, on the third Monday in May, we commemorate all the service men and women who lost their lives in battle by honoring their memory with our "Memorial Day" Holiday!  It is a very solomon and sacred day!  There are local parades, visits to the cemeteries, wreath laying ceremonies, and so much more.
On my way to my MFA art class last Friday I walked through the historic Boston Common to take a few photos to share with all my art blogging buddies! 

Photo of some of the 37,000 US flag posted to honor the 37,000 Massachusetts women and men who lost their lives in the service of their country! An awesome and very emotional sight!

Close up of some of the 37,000 commemorative flags at the Boston Common!

The Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States.  Started off as a common area for cattle grazing!
(This photo is only of a small part of the park!  In background you can see "old" John Hancock Building and the "new" John Hancock Tower!)

On my way to MFA I had to take a photo of our beautiful Massachusetts State House
(Architect Charles Bulfinch!)
Statue of Massachusetts favorite son, President John F. Kennedy!  Statue on the grounds of our State House!
(When I was a little boy John Kennedy was marching in a local East Boston parade and my Dad had me run up and shake JFK's hand.  Never forgot that day!  Thanks Dad!)
I did this painting / collage a while back to commemorate Memorial Day!  

I am still taking the portrait painting class!  This one is almost done!  I loved the model!  A very interesting face!  The teacher wanted us to not only make a successful portrait but more important a successful work of art!  I like that task!


  1. Thank you for such a beautiful but emotional post, Michael! My Dad fought in WWII and I'm so proud of him and wish I was able to visit his grave and leave him a flag.. he was a very proud man who loved his Country so much! I hope you post your abstract again next year,,,,you did an amazing job on this and loved your portrait and look forward to seeing this finished!!

  2. Hilda! I am so very sorry for your loss! Your father would be so proud of you!
    We owe so much to our servicemen and servicewoman!
    Your portraits are an inspiration to me! Thank you for your very kind words!
    Take care.

  3. This is an amazing post Michael! The photo with all the flags is amazing - what a wonderful tribute to all the fallen who have fought for freedom - most definitely an awesome and emotional sight.
    I loved your photos of Boston Common and the history behind it as well as the beautiful buildings and statue.
    Wow, that's pretty out there that you got to shake JFK's hand!!! Maybe the memory of that auspicious event could be translated into a painting one day!
    Love your memorial day collage - you really have a talent for collages as well as painting. And last but not least I LOVE the portrait! Great colour choices and you have captured a lovely old world style in his expression even though the portrait itself looks very contemporary. Your teacher would have been very pleased because you certainly fulfilled the criteria of creating a successful work of art.
    Your Very Impressed With This Post Art Buddy,

    1. You know Mate when I am taking photos of USA and Boston in particular I am thinking of you and all our art buddies all over the world. I think it is so very important, relevant ,and interesting that we as artists not only share our art but also some of our history and culture! I for one am fascinated with how people live all over our wonderful planet! I am so happy you enjoy learning a bit about Boston and Massachusetts. That is how I feel every time you post anything about Perth and Australia. We are so very lucky to get information first hand, primary sources! Years ago, before the internet, this would be highly unlikely, if not impossible! I love Boston so much. I so hope my love of my city isn't boring or negative. it is just he way it is. I love all other cities and towns as well. Difference being is I know a bit about Boston!
      I am thrilled Wendy with your positive comments about my art! My art is so very personal. I am so sensitive and protective of my work. It is so difficult at times for me to open my heart and show my art to so many. This blogging thing has helped my confidence immensely!
      Hey maybe I will do a painting of JFK and art buddy michael. He wasn't the president yet when I shook his hand but my father certainly knew great things would happen. I always wonder why I am so attached to my hometown and wonder if others feel the same about their home towns?
      I was so psyched when the teacher suggested we make this portrait a unique work of art. I followed his advice for the last two classes. That freed me and help make the classes so much more fun and exciting! I will post todays portraits soon!
      So Wendy, thank you from the bottom of my heart! You have brought me closer to Australia and to you and I am so very grateful!
      Art on my dear Australian Art Buddy!
      You ever so aware of the how short life is art buddy Michael!

    2. I also often think of you Michael when I'm taking photos of my local area and imagine how much you would enjoy seeing things over here!
      I would guess that you don't get a lot of Australian TV shows or movies over there but we get HUGE amounts of content over here from the US so I'd thought I had a pretty comprehensive understanding of what it must be like to live in America. However, I've been amazed at how much more insight I've gained through the personal perspectives of lovely people like yourself via blogging. The reality shows have nothing on art blogs!! Like you say, it's such a fun way to learn more about the world. So thank you too Michael for bringing me closer to the US and to Boston in particular! Long before I began blogging, Boston and New York had been high up on my list of places to visit and for around five years I had actually been planning to visit your neck of the woods this very year. However, due to various factors my plans have recently changed and I am now planning a trip to the UK instead which I will mention in more detail on my blog soon. Hopefully not too long will pass before I do get to visit your wonderful country! In the meantime keep the local content coming - I love it all!
      Your interested in everything art cobber Wendy!

    3. You are so right Wendy! I am so interested in anything Australian! I guess just about anything and everything anywhere and everywhere!! So nice being thought of! I am still trying to capture a photo of the elusive humming bird. A bit early for their return still!
      You are right again! Not much Australian television or movies over here. I agree about art blogging bringing so many artists from all over the world together. "Wicked Awesome!" You certainly are one of the best of the best! I know you would love visiting the US! New York City is so off the charts exciting and interesting! Huge city! Boston, of course, is my favorite. Smaller city. Great history and so much more. Boston sports teams have a huge, and I mean HUGE, sports rivalry with New York sports teams!! Looking forward to photos and more from your UK visit! Maybe Boston or NYC another time! FYI, this Saturday, June 14, is "Flag Day" in the US! Americans from coast to coast will celebrate by flying "Old Glory' and commemorating the day our first flag was made! I already have my flags hung around the outside of our house.
      Your Also Interested In Everything Art Cobber (Cobbler) Michael

  4. It takes a noble heart to appreciate the sacrifice of so many for our country. You are always an inspiration Michael! Your collage shows it, just beautiful.
    I'm happy to see more portraits. Beautiful color shifts and you have surely reached your objective to create an interesting art piece. It's not simple thing to do with portraits.

    1. You are so very kind Celia! Through art blogging I get this sense that I know you and our other art blogging buddies so well. I feel blessed! Thank you for your very kind words! I am thrilled being so aware of so much about life. I am so grateful that somewhere some how some place and I am sure some wonderful teacher or teachers had so many great impacts on me! I not only love the USA but every other country and so appreciate the sacrifices people have made and are still making to create a better world! You are so very kind with your comments Celia. They always make me so very happy and pleased. Thank you. I am thrilled and honored that you like my work. Your support, and so many others, has so helped me grow as an artist! Thank you buddy! I was just telling Wendy how wonderful these art blogs are. We are getting chances not only to connect with fellow artists but fellow caring and wonderful human beings. How so very cool is that!
      Again, I so hope you are feeling better. Pain and suffering are horrible! So hang tough buddy! Love your art and it is important that you make art as often as possible!
      Take care Celia from your loving being and artist art blogging buddy! Michael

  5. Hi, Michael - what a nice photo tour of Boston and such touching Memorial Day photos. Having never visited Boston, I do hope some day to see your beautiful and historic city. You have such great love for your city - it always gives me a warm and patriotic feeling whenever I read your words. And your portrait! You certain met the goals of your instructor - and then some! It's so colorful and painted with such a bold approach! I wish I could borrow some of your fearlessness!

    1. Hello Susan! You can count on so many wonderful things in life. I want you to know that you can count on the fact that you have so positively influenced my approach to portrait painting. All your wonderful comments and of course your fantastic art has helped to grow as an artist, work hard, have fun, and continue to remember the huge importance of being true to myself! Not only may you borrow some of my "fearlessness" you can have as much as you wish! You are partly responsible for it! I am learning to balance the "work" part of making art and the "fun" part of creating. Your art is amazing! Not only do you have the skills and craft down exceptionally you have the art part off the chart! Bravo and thank you buddy!
      I know you got some late snow this year. I was wondering if that was a good thing or bad. You had mentioned missing snow this season. So I hope the storms were more positive than negative!
      Take care my caring and talented art buddy!
      From your forever learning and growing as an artist art buddy!

    2. It was truly a treat for me to read these words, Michael - what could be more wonderful, more touching than influencing another artist in a positive and inspiring way? And you have given me much in return - I am always energized by your enthusiastic approach to art and to life. You inspire and influence me deeply, Michael - and I humbly thank you!

  6. I always find Memorial Day to be emotional. I think about all those young men and women whose lives were cut short, and wonder at the talent and abilities that were wasted. The photos of the flags really make you think of the enormous numbers of people who have been lost.

    I am glad to see you are continuing with the portraits. Love your use of color.

    I did see your response to my last post, and I am really happy the gift was well received...but how could it not be?

    1. Hello Joan! I know what you mean about Memorial Day being emotional. I also feel that way, It so difficult and so very sad to imagine the horror and scope of the tragedy of so many wonderful young people who lost their lives in the service of their countries! So very sad. I never like hearing people say, "Happy Memorial Day!" It is such a sacred day. I find nothing happy about it! Important but certainly not happy.
      Thank you so much Joan for your much appreciated support. It makes me so very happy to receive positive comments on my work. Never could have happened without the internet! Wow is putting it mildly!
      Keep on painting Joan!
      Take care and thanks again!