Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah/Happy New Year. Whatever holiday you celebrate, FOA wishes you peace and creativity this winter.

Our winter project will be creating four 4’ X 5’ canvas panels for Webster House.  We have 6 artists committed for this project.  If you are interested in painting, please contact our treasurer, Linda Feinberg, for design guidelines. Initial sketches are due January 15th.

When the canvases are finished, we will need help mounting and hanging the panels. If you are not a painter, perhaps you would like to help with that. If you are a photographer and would like to see your photo as a painting, please contact Linda for guidelines. If you have materials (or cash) you can donate for creating the panels, that would be appreciated too.

Take a moment to enjoy this beautiful prayer. Deep Peace video with Judy Collins and Richard Stoltzman:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Guest Blogger-Author Joe Smiga

In late October 2005, my wife and I discussed what I might do when I retired.  To make a long story short, she suggested that I write. “I can’t write was my response.”  She reminded me that I wrote a column for the Parable magazine every other month on interfaith issues.  She also told me of all the topics I wrote for the The Jewish Reporter in the past.

She had me, how could I say no.  So at her suggestion I took an English Composition Course at Manchester Community College.  At first it seemed funny being sixty-four and sitting in a class of all young twenties.   By the time I completed my first writing assignment those feelings of awkwardness left me.  I started to enjoy writing.  It took six assignments to complete the course. Getting an A made me realize maybe I can write.

Joining the NH Writers Project I took a workshop on writing short stories.  Near the end of the period the instructor had us create a scene in five minutes, a man and a woman had to be in the scene.  We could use any of the topics she had written on the board during our two hours.

I chose to write a clandestine spy scene between a man and a woman in a booth in the dark shadows of a bar. At the end of five minutes, she told us to stop and asked for volunteers to read their scenes. Two women promptly volunteered.  They were given great comments about their work.

Since no one else volunteered I said to myself, ‘Oh, what the hell, I’ll read mine.’ The instructor’s first reaction to what I wrote was, “Wow!”  Then she gave me some good suggestions and also asked me to stay when class ended.

She told me I have the ability to create good writing skills.  She suggested I continue to write and see where it leads me. Arriving at home, my wife asked how the class went.  I told her and she asked to read the piece I wrote. Upon reading it, she asked, “You wrote this in five minutes?” I replied, “Yes,” to me it was no big deal.

Her next statement was, “No short stories for you.  You need to start that novel you’ve been talking about.”

“Behind the Lies,” was published in May of 2009.  John Clayton of the Manchester Union Leader read the book and printed a review of it in the October 19th paper of 2009.  He gave the book an excellent review and to shorten it for you said the book is worthy of Tom Clancy’s writing.

All I could say was “wow” myself.  Today, I am retired and currently have seven books published. I also do motivational speaking and management consulting.

Joe Smiga    Author-Writer
511 Pickering Street
Manchester NH 03104-2747
603-645-6762  (Hosts all of my books where you can obtain an autographed copy.) (Joe’s Blog)  (Publisher’s Site where you can order e-books)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bluebird - Painting from a Nature Photograph

Painting from a Nature Photograph

If you are choosing to paint from a photograph, there are some points to keep in mind. Shoot the photographs with the image of the painting you want to create. Capture all the details as a reference for your artwork. If it’s not the “perfect” photo, you can still take whatever you want from it. You’re the artist!

When photographing outside early morning or afternoon is the best time to capture your subject.

The example I’m showing today is a photograph of a bluebird on its nest at the Massabesic Audubon Center. With patience and a telephoto lens, I was able to capture this beautiful bird on its nest as the main focus for my painting. I left the background without “clutter” so it wouldn’t detract from my subject.

If you are photographing flowers, be sure to include the stems, leaves, buds as flowers as well as the back of the flowers for color and lighting references.

I hope you enjoy my work and look forward to continuing to blog more photographic tips to capture animals, people, etc.

Until the next time,
Shirley Perry

Blog note: Thank you Shirley for the guest post.  Shirley is an experienced photographer and a new painter. She is enjoying her painting lessons with Anthony Williams at Hobby Lobby.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Building Layers in a composition

Photos and guest blog by Stephanie Byrd, water mixable oil paints on canvas.

If you have wanted to work with oil paint, but were leery because of fumes or extra clean-up, you may want to try water-based oils.

These paints give the feeling of working with oils, are very creamy, blend well, and have vibrant color.  They remain wet a long time like oils, so you have time to go back and blend, remove color, add layers, or other techniques.

Friends of Art Manchester vice president Anthony Williams taught a class at Hobby Lobby on South Willow and provided a canvas with flowers already sketched as well as the paint. He showed me how to keep the paint wet while working using a spray bottle of water as you would with watercolors, and gave ideas on thickening the paint using oil mediums. I liked the flexibility of both types of paint in one.

As you will see in the photos, just like most paintings, start with the background ( photo 1). This is where you begin the color story and think about how the subject will pop when complete. I knew I wanted the eye to be drawn to a red flower at the end, so I chose a muted background with sage and ochre colors.

More detail and blending was added (photo 2) and an effect to make it look a bit like rice paper. 

Background detail and blending

I then began building layers of colors for the secondary yellow flowers (photo 3) and worked on the stems. 

Building layers on flowers

Finally, I added layering, highlights, shadows, and details in the petals,  stamen, and pollen elements (photo 4). 

I liked that I knew I could go back and play with the painting the next day if I didn't like parts of it. Clean-up was easy. All in all, a very enjoyable experience I highly recommend! 

Highlights, shadows and details

There are many brands of water soluble oils.  A good reference book is by Sean Dye, Painting with Water Soluble Oils. This is available at the city library, 2nd floor, Art & Music Room. ART 751.42 DYE. Local stores in Manchester usually carry the Winsor & Newton Artisan brand. Brushes and palette knives can be used with this medium.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November shows

Several of our artists will have their artwork in this show this month.  Last month, Rollande Rousselle, Judy Gelinas and Bea Bearden were included in the "Artist of the Month" group at Manchester Artists Association (photo below).

Linda Feinberg and Joe Smiga will be at Table 53b in the gym at the Memorial High School Craft Fair on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Presentation counts when you are trying to attract customers.  These beautiful paintings are by Aline Lotter. Notice the frames when you go to a gallery, art show or museum.  These are oil paintings and do not need glass.

Another example of frames. The two large paintings at the top are on "float" or "floater" frames. These are acrylic paintings by Linda Feinberg. Framing stretched canvases in this type of frame is easily accomplished with screws, a screwdriver and wire.  If you have been painting for a while, you know how expensive it is to frame your works (photography too).  There are courses available on framing and they are a worthwhile investment of your time and money.

Other frames in the example above are one with a linen type liner (the white looks a little like a mat) and a standard frame from a local store.

Watercolor and pastel paintings require a bit more work to frame, but look beautiful with a mat and glass. Even a simple pencil or pen sketch will become "professional" looking with a frame and more so with a mat and frame.  You can test this out easily by using a program like Photoshop (or even Microsoft Word) by adding a frame to your image.

Please submit your suggestions for future postings to our blogger. We are looking for guest bloggers too. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Copying Tips for Artists

Methods for getting your initial drawing onto your paper or canvas.

Tracing methods:

You can use graphite pencil on the back of your paper, then place your paper on the canvas or paper and trace over the lines.  This will not work well if your background paper or canvas is a dark color. You can purchase “Saral” brand wax free transfer paper at a crafts store. Locally this is available at AC Moore in the Mall of NH.  They have rolls with gray, but also a small paper sampler pack with 1 each of white, graphite (gray), yellow, blue and red.  I tested out the white this week on a dark green background I had on my canvas and it worked well.  If you need to buy a full roll, these color papers are available online. I found this easily at The direct link:

As you can see from the photo below, the regular graphite (gray) does not show up well on a colored background.

As mentioned in the blog,, your photo or original needs to be the same size as your canvas for this to work.  To increase or decrease the size, you still need to prepare a grid.  It is easiest if you use a 1” to 2” ratio, or 1” to 3”.  Many of these prepared grids are available at art stores.  To make an unusual size, say ¾” to 1” or 2”, you will need to draw your own grid.  This is actually quite easy, but tedious.  You can prepare a grid with a marker pen on tracing paper, place it over your photo or drawing. Then mark off your canvas in the correct ratio and draw onto it. If your initial photo or drawing is larger than the standard size paper, you will probably have to tape two sheets together to make a larger grid. If you plan on using this grid several times, you might want to buy a heavier grade of tracing paper.

I would suggest not following the exact pattern unless you are trying to be very realistic. Use your own artistic vision and just get the basic shapes on the canvas with grid or tracing paper. Fill in the shapes with your own technique and make the image your own.
For a free tool on how to use the grid method:

Thanks to Eileen Belanger, we have sold three of the boxes that were painted by our artists for our fall fundraiser.  I will be picking up the rest next week and they will be available for purchase at my studio.  I will also have them at my table when I do craft fairs in November and December.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like to purchase a box.
Linda Feinberg, Treasurer, Artist and Blogger

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More boxes for sale

Loved these covers. Left to right, boxes by Frank Moulin, Anthony Williams, Rollande Rousselle.

Another view, showing the sides as well. Left to right, boxes by Frank Moulin, Anthony Williams, Rollande Rousselle and Shirley Perry.

Boxes will be on sale this weekend in New Boston at the Annual Ciderfest
24 Francestown Road
New Boston New Hampshire 03070

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

More boxes

Boxes for our fundraiser in October. Boxes and photo by Eileen Belanger.

Left to right: Snowman by Linda Feinberg, Barn by Stephanie Bogalis Byrd, Flowers by Bea Bearden.

More next week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Fundraiser

Our artists have accepted the challenge of painting small canvas boxes for a fundraiser.  They will be for sale soon.  This box was painted by Linda Feinberg.

We plan on selling the boxes for $12.  More photos and information will be posted when available.

If you have ideas for winter projects for our artists, please let us know. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 22nd.  We would enjoy working with students on murals.  They could be on movable panels instead of on walls.  Our artists completed three outdoor murals this summer and we would enjoy designing and painting indoor murals for the winter.

One of our artists has sent in a proposal to the city on a building that might be available and could be used as an art center. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Art in the Park

Our members Aline Lotter and Linda Feinberg will be exhibiting at Art in the Park next week. Please stop by and say hello.

Manchester Artists Association is also having a children's art competition for the first time. They are inviting students from the Manchester School District, grades 1-12 to participate.  It is free and there will be prizes awarded.  Please let your friends and family know.

What is needed:
Come to Veterans Park by 10:00 a.m. on 9/20 (rain date 9/21)
With your 2D artwork framed and wired in back, ready to hang. (1 per student)
When you arrive at the green tent, you will need to fill out a form.
Judging will take place at noon, winners announced soon afterwards.
Pick up your artwork after 3:00 p.m.

Congratulations to Aline Lotter for her 5 paintings that are part of the "Healing with Art" exhibit at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Manchester. This is a juried exhibit and runs for four months. If you would like your artwork to be considered for the next round of judging, please review the guidelines under Mission and Process on their website:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Utility Box Painting

More public art in downtown Manchester thanks to Carolina Chauvette Davidson.  The city funded three artists to paint the utility boxes in the downtown. We hope they continue this project next year. Carolina submitted a proposal and was accepted. Her box is located on Elm Street in front of the Radisson Hotel and across from Veterans Park.

Photos by John Mitchell.

Our next project -- Fundraiser

We will be painting these mini boxes as a fundraiser.  One of our members will be selling and exhibiting them in her shop for the Columbus Day weekend.  Six of our members have already confirmed that they would enjoy painting a box.  If you would like a box to paint, contact our Treasurer, Linda Feinberg.  If you would like to paint a box and keep it for yourself or give it as a gift, that is o.k. too.  The price will be $12.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Local events and more

Rollande Rousselle exhibited her paintings at the Greeley Park Art show in Nashua.

Families in Transition is having a fundraiser and fun day at Veterans Park on September 4th. They are looking for some volunteers for their "I am One" New Hampshire Day to end child homelessness.  The festivities will be from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  There will be a variety of performances including some music competition between bands.  One in every four homeless are children in New Hampshire.  For more information:

Bea Bearden painting in her studio. She started the portrait as a plein air painting in Gloucester.

New video by John Mitchell showing the mural on the boathouse. The mural was created by Anthony Williams and painted by many of our artists.

John also contributed a poem for this week:

A Good Night’s Sleep

I would like to know you sleep
Away in a slumber still and deep.
Of sun warmed gases, make the bed.
On a pillow of vapors, rest your head.
A night without storm or rain--
A night narcotic released of pain.
A night so quiet, so full of rest
You’d count this sleep as the best.

Good news (finally!) from the IRS.  Our organization has been approved with 501(c)3 status.
That means we are recognized as a charitable organization for tax purposes.
We received the state (NH) approval shortly after our initial filing, but the IRS took over 1 year to get around to approving us.

Photos on today’s blog post by Linda H. Feinberg

If you would like to add your event or class to our listings on the Local Exhibits/Classes tab above, please contact our blogger. These need to be related to the arts. You do not need to be a member of Friends of Art Manchester to have a listing, but all members and donations are appreciated.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Families in Transition-Men's Residence

Our paintings are finally up at the men's residence of Families in Transition.  While they were unable to host a reception for our artists, they gave me a tour and I took some photos.  Each painting has a beautiful label with the artist's name and the title of the painting.  The paintings on the left in the photo above are by Judy Gelinas. The one on the right is by Deb Funk.

The top painting is by Carolina Chauvette and the bottom one by Stephanie Bogalis Byrd.  I think their designer did a good job with arranging the paintings in the common areas.

Painting above is by Paul Davidson.

The designer put some paintings in the entry hallway. The one above is by Anthony Williams and the one below by Debbie Curtin.

All photos by Linda H. Feinberg.

If you missed it, the Hippo had a nice writeup about our laundromat mural at 720 Union Street in their August 7-13 edition on page 21 (The link on left will bring you to the digital edition. If you type Laundromat in the search box, it will give you a link to page 21. You can click on the article to enlarge it and read it.) Thank you, Kelly Sennott.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More murals

Boat House mural at Piscataquog Park

Our artists like to work with other groups too.  This mural is going up at Piscataquog Park and is almost finished.  Video and photos by John Mitchell.

To get there: Take South Main Street to the Walgreens and turn onto Varney Street.  Go straight a bit and turn right onto Precourt Street. This becomes a dirt road into the park.  Left at the soccer field and go around it to the end. Lots of parking available. There are pleasant trails to walk along the river, but you might want to bring bug spray if going in the evening.

Artist Anthony Williams created the mural showing the life cycle of the salmon. Our FOA artists are assisting him to paint this scene.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mural Finished!

Thank you to everyone who participated. Great job! This was a first time painting outdoors and on brick for many of us.

Photos above by Linda H. Feinberg

Our artists are continuing to paint outdoors. Many of them are working with the Eagle Eyes group painting a boat house on the west side.

Photos above by John Mitchell.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mural is almost done!

We had a great time working on the mural this past weekend.  We are hoping it will be all finished by next weekend. Great project!  And it was a delight to see Colleen O'Connor again, our original president who has moved out of the area.  She was in Manchester over the weekend, saw our group and borrowed brushes and paint to join in. Thank you, Colleen (photo below).

Bea Bearden jumped in when the opportunity arose. She loves to paint portraits and it appears flowers too.

Linda Feinberg (this blogger) with her first time painting on brick. Anthony Williams is a great coach and this was the first time painting on brick for several others too. Thank you to Bea for the two photos above.

Our newest artist, Shirley Perry. She has been a photographer for a long time and has just started painting lessons this year. She's not afraid to learn something new and loves it. Stop by the location and see how much she has finished now.

Don't forget, 48th Annual Art in the Park show September 20th, 2014 at Veterans Park in Manchester. This annual event is hosted by Manchester Artists Association.  If you sign up before July 31st, they are offering an early bird special to members of $50 per booth. Contact Dee Lessard for more information and an application: 603-661-8305 or by e-mail:
Application is also available online:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mural Painting In Progress

Our artists have started painting the mural at 720 Union Street, Manchester (between Harrison and Brook).

Lady Slippers by Rollande Rouselle

Scene on left by Eileen Belanger. Scene on right by Deb Curtin.

Turtle (middle panel) by Deb Funk. Unfinished fruit and vegetables by Shirley Perry.

Butterfly on left by Daniela Edstrom. Caterpillar on right by Anthony Williams.

Paintings on the theme of "Nature in the City" by Friends of Art Manchester. More paintings will be up next week.

Please note that Families in Transition will be having a reception on Thursday, August 7 to celebrate the new design updates at their Douglas Street Housing in Manchester. These updates include paintings by our artists. Please contact our treasurer, Linda Feinberg, if you would like an e-mailed invitation.