* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mary's Cheesecake, 5x7

This is my version of Mary's cheesecake. This is one time that I had no problem stopping painting; the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to eat it, so I did. Yum. Mary is a Baker Extraordinaire. --Carmen


Thursday, July 29, 2010

CheeseCake Paint Off!

OK, just to set the record straight, if the Pieces of 8 ever had a BAKE-Off, it would be a no-brainer: Mary (a home ec teacher in another life) would win hands down.  But a paint off?  All is fair...so when Mary brought a lucious, home baked, blueberry cheesecake to share for her birthday we all had to paint it.  Some of us did the piece, some did the entire cake, a few just indulged in sampling....but I painted (quickly!) and then ate....and soon wanted another piece!  Neither words nor pictures can do it justice but unless you get a real piece this painting will just have to do....We are spoiled rotten with all the goodies we have been using as "set ups."  Kind of hard to work up the same enthusiasm now for a still life of a pot or a bowl...sans edible treats!  Hopefully the others will reveal their efforts...but if you want to own this one go to http://www.cindymichaudart.etsy.com/ it will easily fit into a standard 5 x 7 frame and hang in your kitchen...or look for it at the "Sweetie Pie Bakery" opening soon in downtown Eau Gallie.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lesson learned

I am sure this has happened to all of us, that we have a photo we love looking at and and a painting from that photo we don't.  As much as I liked my photo I knew it was not a great photo but I loved looking at it, so why did I not like looking at the painting?  Why was I having such a hard time, why did I keep working on it when it had several things wrong with it and I didn't really know where to start to fix it, again?
 I finally showed the photo and painting to my friend and fellow 8 Carol Schiff.  We analyzed what I liked about the photo, what was interesting and what was the real focal point.  My painting was exactly like the photo but it was wishy washy, boring and nothing  stood out, there was no point of interest. What I really liked was the laundry hanging on the line, not what was going on anywhere else.  Carol had a great suggestion that I use my palette knife to bring out some of the contrast and texture (both which were sorely lacking) and that is what really started to excite me about the painting.  This is what I wanted to show and couldn't with just my brush.
This reinforced a simple but forgotten lesson for me especially when painting from photos.  Find your real point of interest, what excited you in the first place. Take artistic license, you don't have to paint exactly what you see, edit selectively. And, brushes are not your only tools.  Fingers, knives, cloth, paper anything you have around you can be used to help you get where you want to go with a painting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cassadaga House, 5x7, Original Oil

Cassadaga is a well-known, quirky little town settled as a Spiritualist Camp. Folks flock here to get psychic readings, and it is a very quaint place, but this little rundown house caught my eye. It's such a typical depression-era Florida house, with a front porch and a rusty tin roof. This is the other side of Florida, quite different from South Beach, Disney or the Everglades.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


“Is this price firm?”

I am often asked as to the “appropriateness” of haggling, or bargaining, with an artist over the price. I’m sure there is a wide variety of opinions but, bravely, I’ll share mine. “Haggling” sounds awful, let’s refer to it as “making an offer.” And my feeling is: in most circumstances, done with discretion, it is perfectly acceptable to discuss price with an artist.

That being said, let me offer a few guidelines, again my opinions, as to how and where this might work. After all, today especially, the real price of anything is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree upon.

Discretion = important skill. If you barge into a full booth and attempt to undercut a posted price where everyone and his brother is listening, I guarantee you no thinking artist will agree. On the other hand, after you have established a rapport with the artist by discussing his or her work, and no one is in hearing range, it is perfectly fine to say, “I love that piece but right now cash is a bit tight, would you take X for it today?” or “I have my eye on both pieces, they go so well together, if I bought both today would you be willing to take X for the pair?” Neither statement is offensive and both allow the artist to say “No, I can’t” with some dignity. By the same token it also allows them to make a counter offer professionally and with no fear of appearing to undercut previous buyers who came by and paid full price.

Frame removal=no big deal. Don’t go thinking you will get the price down by half if you refuse the frame! Trust me, artists do not pay retail for their frames and most do the labor themselves. And besides, removing the frame is more labor ($), then they have to protect the piece with boards (more $) and then they are stuck with a frame that goes with a certain piece. No money savings here.

End of weekend/month=possibilities. The party is over and all that stuff has to be packed up and carted back home. Sometimes this is the golden hour for bargain hunters. IF the piece you had your eye on still remains you may be able to get a small break since it will be one less piece that needs packing and since this is the time the artist tallies up what they did over the weekend and the bills they incurred. Not a sure bet but a possibility.

Why wouldn’t an artist bargain? Plenty of good reasons if you see it from their perspective. Most artists have mouths to feed and bills to pay, this is how they do it. Did you ask your plumber to charge less or if you could get a discount at the restaurant? Same idea. Realize too that the mark up on art is not that large. Consider materials, time, framing, labor, transportation and marketing….it all adds up.

Consider also that artists work very hard to enter the realm of increasing prices. Value is measured in price points, it’s a fact. Prices cannot be all over the map without discrediting the value. If you do get a “deal” be smart enough to keep that between you and the dealer. Just like some people like brands on their handbags and logos on their cars, many collectors aspire to have certain art on their walls…and as artists, we want to be that signature! Price, unfortunately, is another measure of worth. You’d be upset if what you paid top dollar for was suddenly sold at half that.

Keep in mind, this is only my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of my painting buddies in the Pieces of 8!
Cindy Michaud
this post also appears at www.cindymichaud.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heavy Sigh

With one friend in the mountains and another on her way to the mountains, I can't help but be drawn to paintings of mountain visits we took as a group over the past few years. This painting was done from a photograph taken on one of those wonderful visits. Childers Barn was just down the road and we all walked down and painted the barn from various angles one wonderful afternoon.  This painting happens to be from a photo I took walking back toward the house after another afternoon of Plein Air. I loved the way the barn was so dark against the beautiful green of the fields and mountains.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tea for One

It is good to be back in Florida away from the heat of Washington, D.C.!! I know it sounds strange but it does not seem as hot here as when you are in the city. I love Washington but it is hard to love anything at 103 degrees.
Finally, back to being with my friends, painting and talking together and getting my mind set back, I hope.
This is another little teapot I had painted earlier. It is from my collection and one I especially liked. You can brew tea for one and pour it from the little, fat pot into a big, fat cup. I had this long before big cups were popular and it always felt a bit decadent and indulgent to have such a big cup of tea.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I lift up mine eyes....

I'm a mountain gal, that's where I find beauty, solace, inspiration and refueling of strength.  And while I love the Appalachian Mountains, some westerners argue that they are merely hills.  So, for the sake of  Psalm 121 I will concede that point.  This is a simple illustration but strength from the hills doesn't need much explanation, either you get it or you don't.  Anyone who spends much time contemplating the mountains and their changing beauty will know that "He who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep...."  This piece is not framed....yet, email me for prices.  This 9 x 12 piece is horizontal as the verse was divided between two pages of the ancient text.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Flying Mints, 5x7 Oil

Now that I'm so busy being a Daily Painter and getting involved in other projects, it is a major planning exercise to go on vacation. It's good to be back, but it takes an inordinate amount of time at the computer. It's a good thing I love my Mac.

I'm trying to catch up with the other Pieces of 8 in painting sweets, and some baked goods will appear on Monday when we meet to paint together, so get ready, ladies.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cafe Couple Re-Do

OK...better, no?  Got rid of that line going down between them, who knows? they may need all the help we can give them if this is a lover's quarrel.  This is now matted so that it can slide easily into a standard 10 x 8 frame.  You can purchase it in my shop at etsy by clicking on http://www.cindymichaudart.etsy.com/

I feel warmed up now to find a few more figures to portray...saw some darling children over the 4th...just don't know if they qualify as art that is "too sweet!"

Have a great July!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Cafe

It's been a while since I sat down to do some figures in pastel.  I always love imagining what the conversation is, good day or not-so-good, in love or just friends?  Unfortunately when I took this photo I could not eavedrop to answer those questions; they were speaking Italian, which is what they do in the cafes in Italy!  Now that I see the painting printed I have decided I do not like the blue/gold line going down between the couple...seems devisive.  So, back to the drawing board...I will completely rework the background and post again.   It is always interesting to see what a painting looks like in a photo...just another way to see errors that you cannot spot otherwise.  It's a 7 x 5 and will be matted to fit in a standard 10 x 8 frame.  Off to make some changes.....
Cindy Michaud

Monday, July 5, 2010


One of my latest daily paintings from a trip to the beach last week.  I couldn't pass up her long blond hair and the killer reflections in the water.

Purchase here

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I just love this little teapot painting. It has such a whimsical quality about it. I think it is the off kilter spout or maybe the colors.
I painted this with my fellow 8 Carol a while ago. She had those wonderful little paper umbrellas and they really added a splash of color. Seeing this again actually took my mind off food and makes me want to do a whimsical little something again.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On Wings of Eagles!

I had to take a break from the food painting (promised to bring a bubbling hot cheery pie next Monday....) so I continued work on the series I am doing on top of pages from an 1852 family Bible.  It is tattered and torn but the pages work beautifully underneath the art work...a visual and a verbal reminder of special passages.

This is Isaish 40: 28-31 and you can guess by the illustration it is the passage about mounting up with wings as eagles.  This has always been a special verse for me when I needed strength and since we have annually watched a pair of eagles build their nest and raise their young in a tree across the street, I found lots of symbolism in using the eagles.  It also works as a piece that is a bit more masculine than some that I have done.

Doing these has been very interesting as I have played around with many media (on acid free boards); it is also a great exercise to imagine how to illustrate the verses with more modern symbols. I have done several in pastel but did this one in acrylic and graphite. There's a few more on my website http://www.cindymichaud.com/ if you are interested in seeing others.

OK, I'll be posting pies and cupcakes soon....

Cindy Michaud