Digital Still Life Art Images

Pod by Window, painting by Mary Baker
Pod by Window, 36″ x 24″ Painting © Mary Baker

Another digital art image  “Ah Ha” moment.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I created a body of work called the “Pod Paintings.” They were shown at the Hoorn-Ashby Gallery in New York City, it was a very big deal, and very exciting.  An example of one of the “pod paintings” that was in a New York show is above.

Vase by Window, digital art image © Mary Baker
Vase by Window, digital art image © Mary Baker

I had the pod paintings in mind when I was experimenting with the new digital still lifes, I wanted to create the same mood and atmosphere that the pod paintings had. The first digital art still life image that I created was a small vase by the window.  I tried the Photoshop “spray brushes” (see earlier entry), and I even discovered “smoke” Photoshop brushes–I was so excited when I found those. But the digital image of the small vase just didn’t have “IT.” It didn’t create the atmosphere that I was looking for.

Grandfather's Glasses, digital image by Mary Baker
Grandfather’s Glasses, digital image © Mary Baker

The next image that I tried was my grandfather’s glasses by the window. There is an image of the farm that he and my grandmother bought is in the background. But again, the image just didn’t accomplish want I wanted.

Bowl by Window, digital image by Mary Baker
Bowl by Window, digital image © Mary Baker

And then I had a wonderful digital art image “Ah Ha” moment when I created a bowl by the window, it had the atmosphere and the mood that I was looking for. It was another turning point in this new digital experiment.

My teacher and inspiration for this “Ah Ha” moment was Jerry Jones of Shadow House Studio, who has been an inspiration and an incredible teacher to 100’s maybe 1000’s of lovers of digital art and digital images.  Jerry’s Shadow House blog can be found here. Finding Jerry Jones, aka “skeletalmess,” aka “ghostbones,” gave me hope.  There were incredibly talented people out there who created gorgeous digital art. Finding Shadow House Creations was an incredible gift.

Pathway at Maudslay, Realistic Landscape Painting

Pathway at Maudslay

Pathway at Maudslay

Oil on Canvas, 36″ x 48″ 2011

Mary Baker ©  2011

I’ve been working on this realistic landscape painting since 2004. I finished the painting a few weeks ago.  It’s part of a trilogy, and this is the last painting to be finished.  It’s found a great home (which means it’s sold).  The painting is of Mauslay State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts in the spring.

Art Show of Mary Baker’s Paintings

Mary Baker–Paintings
October 31-December 31, 2009


Art show of Mary Baker’s paintings

Presented by Kerim Kaya
41 State Street, 
Newburyport, MA 01950

Opening Reception:
Saturday, November 8, 2009
6 PM-9 PM

(Apple Blossoms and Wall © Mary Baker, Oil on Canvas, 24″ x 36″)

“A contemporary realist painter, she captures, with lifelike precision, the stillness of the Plum Island marshes, the petals of a bright yellow iris in the South End, apple blossoms clinging to a brick wall at the old gardens at Maudslay State Park and the Common Pasture, its vista unchanged by centuries.”

“Putting things in perspective,” by Ulrika G. Gerth, © The Newburyport Current, November 6, 2009

Orange Day Lily, the Survivor

Day Lily © Mary Baker, painting

I have discovered that the simple North Eastern Day Lily is a survivor. I discovered this working in my garden in Newburyport, Massachusetts. I decided to dig up a bunch of orange summer day Lilies in my Newburyport garden and replace them with some other perennials. I threw the roots into my compost heap, thinking that they would compost nicely. Shortly, I had little shoots coming up through my compost pile. I then cleaned up the roots, and left them to dry on the side of my compost pile, thinking that they would surely die. Nope, I now have a whole row of daylilies sprouting up, their roots exposed, lying on top of the dirt. Nothing in the wide, wide world to help nourish them or help them grow.

I’ve ripped them out of their perennial home, torn them apart, buried them under a pile of stuff, left them lying open to the elements, and still they grow. Now I know why I like the “common” orange daylily so much. They are unbelievable survivors and thrive under the most trying of circumstances. A good example for any artist. And a good subject for a realistic flower painting.

Orange Day Lily and Blue, Oil on panel
Mary Baker © 2009, 8″x10″

Realistic Flower Paintings–Red Rose

Red RoseThe “Red Rose” depicted in this art blog post, is part of a series of realistic flower paintings that I started in 2006. I ran a couple of finished paintings of this series past a gallery director, who shrugged, and I lost confidence in the series (which was sort of silly of me). I decided to work on them again, and “Red Rose” is the first art painting of this flower series that is finished.

The rose is one of the many beautiful flowers in the gardens of the small New England seaport city where I live, Newburyport, Massachusetts. Instead of putting the rose in context with the rest of the garden, I decided to make the background a little different. And this is a very different color palette than what I am used to using, and I’ve never painted a “glowing” flower before. So this is a first.

One of the things that the patrons who have bought my realistic landscape paintings over the years have said, is that they have always love the detail involved in the art paintings. So on this painting of the “Red Rose,” I decided to make the rose itself more detailed than I might normally would have painted, and make the background equally detailed. I’m excited, I really love this realistic flower painting of the red rose.

(Red Rose, Oil on Panel, 8″x10″, Mary Baker (c) 2009)

Realistic Flower Painting–Yellow Lilly

In 2005, 2006 and 2007 I started a series of realistic flower paintings with textured backgrounds, which I love. I ran them past a gallery owner, who shrugged (this happens sometimes) and I gave up on them (which was sort of silly of me). I have a series of these textured background, realistic flower paintings, almost finished, sitting around my studio. So I’ve decided to work on them again. They actually are some of my favorite paintings, and ones that I love to have around my own house.

The Yellow Lilly in this post is oil on panel and 8″x10″, it was painted in 2006, and I’ve never put it anywhere on either my art website or my artist blog, so I thought it was about time to post a picture of the painting. Hopefully, I will put up more of the realistic flower paintings with textured backgrounds as they now get painted.

The textured realistic flower paintings are quite a contrast to the moody landscapes that I have also been working on. Two of these landscapes are in the two previous posts.

(Yellow Lilly, Oil on Panel, 8″x10″, 2006 (c) Mary Baker)

Field 2–Realistic Landscape

Field 2
Oil on Canvas, “20 x 30”
Mary Baker © 2009

Another one of the new Newburyport realistic 2009 landscape paintings by Mary Baker.

Field 2–A visible light on the horizon that the winding pathway is leading to. A moody landscape painting that reflects feelings about the challenging economic times that we are living in. Fear, despair and hope in the future.

Realistic Landscape Painting

Field 1
Oil on Cavas, 12″ x 24″
Mary Baker © 2009

A new realistic landscape painting.

In these challenging economic times, I find that my paintings reflect how I feel. Dark sky, almost like a guillotine, a sliver of light at the horizon line, and a very long pathway leading towards the sunlight, but a sliver of sunlight, none the less.

The Wonders of Photoshop

As we enter, or already have entered, into this lousy economy 2009, where “the arts” have taken a tremendous hit, I’ve decided to tap into my “inner geek.” I’ve always loved Photoshop, and as a painter I have always felt that Photoshop is one of those “guilty pleasures.”

What would literally take me years to paint, I can accomplish in Photoshop in 30 minutes. Instant gratification. Presto. One of the things that I have also been doing, is learning all about designing websites. And I love it. It’s been enormously rewarding. The present design for the Mary Baker Art-Blog is a very own Mary Baker, Mary Baker Art creation. As a painter, the pink tube at the top would have taken me a very long, long time to paint, but in Photoshop, it’s a zip.

And I’ve also been experimenting with how to create different frames for the web for my paintings in Photoshop, which is an amazing amount of fun. In this post is a painting of the fields, where I live, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, a small oil on paper, in an experimental Photoshop frame.

Realistic Flower Paintings–The Sherry French Gallery


I am incredibly excited to be in a third show at the Sherry French Gallery in New York City, “Flowers in February.” It is an honor.

The Sherry French Gallery
601 West 26th Street
NYC, NY 10001

Representational Sculptures and Still Life Paintings

January 30th thru February 23rd, 2008

Mary Baker, (artist’s website)
(For a detailed a biography, please press here)

Realistic Paintings-Flowers, New York City Art Gallery


Oil on Paper
7” x 8”
Mary Baker © 2005


Group show at the:

The Sherry French Gallery
601 West 26th Street
NYC, NY 10001

The show is:

“Small Sizes-Prescious Pieces”
Representational Paintings and Sculpture

November 28th-December 29th, 2007


Sunflower 3
Oil on Paper
5” x 10”
MaryBaker © 2005

Mary Baker, (artist’s website)
(For a detailed a biography, please press here)

Realistic Landscape Paintings and New York City Art Gallery


Marsh 4
Mary Baker © 2007
Oil on Paper
6″ x 20″


And a nice thing happened.

A New York City realist gallery, specializing in Contemporary Realism (the kind of realism I paint) contacted me, and the art gallery has taken a few of my paintings and will include them in a couple of group shows this year.

This happened a few of weeks ago.

The Gallery is:
The Sherry French Gallery
601 West 26th Street
NYC, NY 10001

The first show opens September 5– September 29, 2007.

“Mainly Maine
Landscape Paintings from Maine and Beyond”

Getting contacted by a New York gallery is nice. And seeing the realistic landscape, “Marsh 4” by Mary Baker, hanging in the heart of “Chelsea,” that has now become the heart of the art world in New York City, is nice too.

Mary Baker, (artist’s website)
(For a detailed a biography, please click here)

Artist, Realistic Landscape Paintings


“The Pasture”
Oil on Paper, 5.5″ x 22″
2007 © Mary Baker


Along with being an artist, I am also very involved in the community that I live in, Newburyport, Massachusetts. So much so that I started The Newburyport Blog a little over a year ago.

One of the things that I’ve learned about as an artist, is how involved many of the people of Newburyport, MA are in preserving “Open Space” or Newburyport’s landscapes, something which as an artist, I had always taken for granted. Something I had always presumed would always be there.

I think paying so much attention to this fight for Open Space in Newburyport, MA is one of the many reasons that as an artist that I have gone back to painting landscape paintings.

The painting, the “Pasture” above is one of the many places that the people of Newburyport are trying to preserve.

As an artist it is a privilege to still be able to paint realistic landscapes of my home town, Newburyport, MA.

More of the “Open Space” realistic landscape paintings can be found at my artist website Mary Baker Art.

Mary Baker

Art, Realistic Painting, Quirkyalone


Day Lily
Oil on Paper
9” x 18”
Mary Baker © 2005

Can you tell I’m quite taken by this whole notion of “Quirkyalone.” I think it’s very cool.

So much of my life as an artist, for me requires being alone, and I often wonder if I’m just not odd. The art-incubation part of my own creative process seems to necessitate lots and lots of time alone. And it is so nice to find folks out there in web-land who have come up with this phrase and idea of “Quirkyalone.” I just love it.

Many, many of my paintings are about the enjoyable part of solitude. Take “Day Lily” at the top of the page. Now there’s your ordinary flower, at least in the Northeast in Massachusetts it’s an ordinary flower, but in the realistic painting it seems quite at home with itself.

And in this realistic painting, the “Day Lily” is transformed out of its ordinary state. It seems ignited in the darkness, with all its beautiful lines and veins shining through. Its solitude, if you will, is a beacon in the darkness.

“Day Lily” is another one of my favorite Contemporary Realism realistic paintings.

Mary Baker

Art, Realistic Painting, Rose and Fence


Rose and Fence
Oil on Paper
16″ x 10″
Mary Baker © 2004

I like this painting “Rose and Fence.” I like it because it’s a painting of a pink rose but it’s not sentimental. Personal preference, I’m not big on sentimental paintings.

It’s also a Contemporary Realism painting because of the composition.

The white columns of the fence come from all the time I spent in the Whitney Museum of Art looking at Minimalist paintings like those of Kenneth Noland and Minimalist sculpture like those of Donald Judd. The modernist compositions have stuck solidly in my art unconscious. I also have a “yen” for those compositions, wanting to see them reappear in realist paintings all over the place.

It seems to me as if this beautiful pink rose is somehow escaping from jail, peeking its head between the fence posts, yearning for the sun. The fence in the painting has a jail like quality about it…possibly not so good for sales?

That luscious rose seems lonely. No other roses around, not even any leaves.

But the flower seems quite capable of existing by itself, if that is what is required, thank you very much. A realistic flower with chutzpah?

And that hint of shadowed, somewhat foreboding clapboards between the fence posts. Is it escaping from a dark and spooky home, hoping for the sunlight? Seems that way.

Hopefully that lovely pink rose has a lush, fecund, feminine quality about it — female anatomy and all.

I like this painting of a Contemporary Realist realistic flower painting.

Mary Baker

Art, Realistic Painting, Flowers


Oil on Canvas
24” x 36 “
Mary Baker © 2006

In 2003 I started to paint flowers in my neighborhood. I live in the seacoast town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, in Newburyport’s historic district. My neighborhood is full of wonderful old houses with gardens and flowers along the streets.

I did a bunch of flower paintings, but people seem to resonate more with the landscapes I am doing, so I’ve gone back to painting landscapes. But I love painting the flower paintings.

The last one I finished is called “Geraniums” and there is a picture of that painting at the top of this post.

The painting is of a basket of geraniums that I saw sitting on a stoop in front of one of the houses near where I live in Newburyport, Massachusetts. And I thought the basket of geraniums was beautiful.

And what I love about this painting is the composition. It is definitely a Contemporary Realism composition.

The background is almost abstract. The vertical dark line of the door on the left of the painting. The center vertical white (it isn’t actually white, there are all kinds of colors in there) band in the middle. And then the horizontal yellow stripes on the right hand side.

And the very sharp geometric pattern contrasts with the soft, curvilinear lines of the geraniums and the leaves, setting up what I think is a nice visual tension.

It’s a fairly sophisticated composition, but the painting itself still remains beautiful.

Mary Baker

Art, Realistic Paintings and Artistic Pathways


Oil on Canvas,
18” x 24 “
Mary Baker © 2006

I think for the first time in my artistic career I’m not sure where I’m going. And I find this very disconcerting.

It’s not that I’m artistically blocked, I just don’t know where the artistic pathway is going to lead.

In my studio I am now working on 8 landscapes. The painting “Azaleas,” at the top of this post is the first one I finished.

What I’ve realized is that all the paintings have pathways in them. I realized this a few weeks ago. I find this very interesting — it certainly wasn’t planned that way. I guess the pathway in “Azaleas” leads to something beautiful, so that’s encouraging.


Morning Glory and Road
Oil on Paper
7.5” x 17”
Mary Baker © 2004

When I was doing flower paintings I did a painting called “Morning Glory and Road.” It’s probably one of my favorite paintings. I like the haunted quality that it has. And I like the fact that it has a path in it, but the pathway is certainly somewhat ambiguous and I don’t think the viewer, including me, has much idea of where it’s going to lead. Is it going to lead away from the Morning Glory into who knows what? Or is it going to lead from this bright, almost ignited flower to other bright places?

Mary Baker

(Editor’s Note: Please do not use any image that belongs to Mary Baker. It is a copyright infringement and it is against the law. I have found at least one image on another site, used without my permission, in a way that is unacceptable. The image has not been removed, and I am not pleased.

Unfortunately this forces me to put copyright information across the art images, which ruins it for everyone who would like to see the paintings. Mary Baker)

Art, Painting, Shari Chandler–Contemporary Realism, an Internet Art Review

Shari Chandler’s artwork

When I found Shari Chandler website I longed to buy one of her paintings!

Shari Chandler has a background as a professional archaeologist and her love of the land and its heritage comes through in her paintings. The painting “Monument Valley: Solitude” is an example of her ability to capture the vastness and the stillness of a breathtaking vista. This is a subject matter that could easily be trite and badly painted, and yet Shari Chandler pulls it off.

The way I discovered Shari Chandler is a wonderful testimony to the World Wide Web. Another very talented artist, a Spanish artist, Isabel de Frias, has an astounding group of “Engles” or “Friends”, a pictorial group of artists that she likes on the web. And it was on Isabel’s website among the array of talented artists, some very well known and some unknown, that I found Shari Chandler.

Shari Chandler’s website

Shari Chandler’s website is a testimony that artists do not have to spend a fortune to have an effective presence on the World Wide Web. The website is a template, but it sets off her paintings beautifully and it is both warm and professional.

Even thought there is not a great deal of information about Shari Chandler, the artist manages to give the Web visitor an understanding of who she is. One of the best ways this is accomplished is through the picture and description of her studio. Here is the brief description that is on the artist’s website:

” Now living in southwestern New Mexico, Shari finds her inspiration in the landscape around her adobe home, which she designed, and shares with her husband and two dogs. Below is her studio, “Casita de la Tortuga,” or house of the turtle. Shari and her husband thought the name was appropriate because it takes so long for her to finish a painting.”

Internet Art Review–Jacob Collins, Contemporary Realism

Jacob Collins, art work

I’ve been following Jacob Collins career for a while. The Classical Realists have claimed him, the Academic painters have claimed him, but as far as I’m concerned, Jacob Collins is a Contemporary Realist. The Open Directory Project ( lists his website under Contemporary Realism–works for me.

Although Jacob Collins has been trained as an academic painter, there seems to be a deep conscious or unconscious appreciation of the camera and Modern Art.

Take the still life called “Tangerine,” a small painting, but one of my favorites. The composition of this painting is a good example of Modernist composition, reminiscent of Matisse, Motherwell, Adolf Gottlieb, combined with realistic painting. Also the luminosity of the tangerine itself has a photographic quality. I think this is a good thing because it feels as if Jacob Collins is well aware of the culture around him.

In Jacob Collins’s self-portrait there is the tension of the different shapes of the frames and of the palette, a composition that could be right out of the abstract paintings of the 1920’s, 1960’s or a painter like Matisse. The cropping of different objects is a contemporary element. And Collins’s rendition of objects on a bulletin board, reminds me of the art work done by artist Steve Hawley in the 1980’s.

Along with the technical virtuosity, these elements give Jacob Collins’s art work their “zing.” These are not works of art done in the 1850’s, clearly these are Contemporary Realist paintings

Jacob Collins, website

A word (or two) about Jacob Collins’s website, since this is an Internet art review. The art website is classy, easy to navigate and loads quickly. The viewer quickly has an overview of Collins’s extreme artistic versatility.

As a Web visitor, however, I want to have information about Jacob Collins. Aside from the fact that search engines only index text and not gorgeous art images (and I would like lots of people to find Jacob Collins’s website), as a web viewer I want to “get to know” Jacob Collins.

It’s very hard as an artist to write about yourself, but written text helps endear the artist to the Web viewer, makes the artist seem accessible and is an invitation to the Web visitor to stop by the artist’s website more often.

Art–Contemporary Realism

Ok, so I really, really, really love Contemporary Realism, it’s my favorite, it works for me. Here’s why:

The Impressionists started it all!

As far as I’m concerned Contemporary Realism started with the Impressionists who rebelled against the established art world. Love that!

So, let’s take Degas. He got inspired by Japanese woodcuts, and “composition” took on a whole new meaning. The composition of Degas’s small painting, “The Rehearsal”, at the Fogg Art Museum, is as dynamic as the Modernist painting by Kenneth Noland (in the same Museum), an abstract painter who came into his own in the 60’s.

Let’s take Monet. All of a sudden he “got color”…no more dreary palettes for this guy. And on top of that, the late paintings by Monet are as abstract as any painting done by the Abstract Expressionists in the 1950’s. Talk about being “ahead of your time”. Wow!

Pop Art and Photo Realism

I loved Pop Art in the 60’s—full of irony, color, intellect and wit. (Yes, I’m from New York– irony, intellect and wit works for me!) And Photo Realism, which came next–beautifully executed paintings, borrowing heavily from photographs, shunning sentimentality and embracing detachment. Love it! Love it! Love it!

Contemporary Realism

After Photo Realism, came a loosely grouped of realist painters, which I will call Contemporary Realists. These painters borrow from ALL the traditions that have gone before them. Smart cookies!

Contemporary Realists incorporate the compelling compositions inspired by the Impressionists, the realism and craft of the academic painters, the gift of the camera and the extensive palette used in the 20th Century. Contemporary Realism reflects an ability to borrow from all that has been innovative and effective and to combine it into clear, beautiful and compelling works of art.

Call me crazy, but I don’t see how you can get much better than that!