Body of Work, Digital Art Images–Printing

In 1995 I did an oil painting on paper called “Erin’s Airport.” It is one of my favorite paintings. The painting is  small, and what I call a “between the window” size painting, it is 9″ x 12″ unframed. When I finally decided, late in 2014, to create a body of work that I would print, I ended up deciding to use “Erin’s Airport” as my starting point.

Erin's Airport, painting © Mary Baker
Erin’s Airport, painting, Mary Baker © 1995

The printing of the images almost the terminated the digital art project.

I found someplace in Newburyport that would do a giclee, pigment print for not too much money, so that I could see what I had.  I had them print two images, fairly large, 18″ x 20.” The first printing was a disaster, the images were dark, muddy and a horrible yellow.  They had another giclee printer, so we tried that.  The digital images were just as bad–this time they were dark, muddy and had a horrible red hue.

I thought after 2 years of work that the digital project had come to a screeching halt, and I was beside myself.

What I found out to my dismay was that the printed image did not resemble what was on my computer in any way. And also, to my distress, I found that every printer was a little different, or very, very different.  This was not like painting, where what you created was what you got. It was a very big “Yikes!”

I called and talked to all sorts of photographers in Newburyport and elsewhere, because I figured they must have the same problem. And I got referred to Barry Kaplan at The Finer Image down in Danvers.  And Barry saved the digital project.

Pig and Apple Tree, digital image © Mary Baker
Pig and Apple Tree, digital image, © Mary Baker (DRAFT)

Barry spent a long time with me, and we printed off images and they were dark and muddy, and I was not happy.  And on a fluke, Barry printed one of the images much lighter, and I had another “eureka” moment.

The images are printed on beautiful, acid free, thick watercolor paper, and when they were printed lighter, I realized I could draw on them with Prismacolor (which is a waxed based colored pencil that I have used as a professional artist for decades), make the color exactly the way I wanted it, which is much brighter than the printed version.  And they would look very similar to the way the images looked on my computer.

The Prismacolor also gives the images depth, which they did not have just with just pigment prints (this is coming from a painter’s perspective) . The process feels more like creating a painting or a drawing than just a printed image.

And using the Prismacolor pencils on the skies also helps soften the banding, an issue that I had been working on, that was much improved, but that hadn’t yet been totally perfected.

Boston Road, digital image © Mary Baker
Boston Road, digital image, © Mary Baker (DRAFT)

I also changed the proportions and the size to be the same size and proposition as “Erin’s Airport” painted in 1995, 9″x 12″.  So, on this page there are two of the images.  THEY ARE NOT FINISHED, this is a work/project still very much in progress. These two images are just to give an idea of what the new images in this digital project look like.   I haven’t decided on the price, or how big a run (at this point I can’t imagine doing more than one, because they take such a long time). All of this is still to be determined.

And at the bottom of the post, is a photograph of 7 of the images that have been printed, that are lined up along my studio floor, so that I can get a sense of how they work together, and what images to create next. This is the process that I would use if I was creating a new body of work that were paintings.

And as of July 2015, that is the state that this new digital art project, that was started in December 2012. And I think I know where I’m going next, I hope that I can create 13 more images, and to try and have a cohesive body of 20 digital-prismscolor works of art.  But, after two and a half years, who knows–however, I am expectant.

Digital images along my studio floor © Mary Baker
Digital images along my studio floor © Mary Baker

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.

Tree, Pasture, Digital Art Image

Tree, Pasture, Mary Baker © 2014, Digital Image
Tree, Pasture, Mary Baker © 2014, Digital Image

One of the “new” images.  “Tree, Pasture,” Mary Baker © 2014, integrated art image.

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

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


Same tree, same pasture, different medium.

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

Mary Baker–Painting, Realistic Landscapes, The Marsh, Newburyport, MA


Marsh 2
Oil on Canvas
20″ x 30″
Mary Baker © 2006

Landscapes of the Marsh, Newburyport, MA

I’ve been painting the marshes of Newburyport, Massachusetts, a small New England seacoast city since 1983.

I always seem to go back to them. They are compelling.

Aside from the sense of wide open space, the vastness of Newburyport landscape, I keep wondering why I go back to painting the Newburyport marshes again and again.

Last year I found out something very interesting. I don’t know whether it is germane or not, but I am intrigued.

My ancestors farmed a large piece of land on Shelter Island. The land became a State Park.

Shelter Island is at the very end of Long Island, New York, in between the two forks at the end of Long Island.

I will reluctantly admit that I have never walked the land that my ancestors farmed so faithfully.

However, about a year ago I looked up pictures on the Internet of Shelter Island. And what I discovered was that the landscape is almost exactly like the landscape of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

So what I am wondering is if the landscape of Newburyport, MA and Shelter Island is somehow in the “hard drive” of my artistic unconscious.

Mary Baker

Mary Baker, Realistic Landscape Paintings of Newburyport’s Marsh

Marsh 1
Oil on Canvas,
24” x 36 “
Mary Baker © 2006
A painting of Newburyport’s marshes

Paintings of the marshes by Mary Baker are back!

This painting “Marsh 1” is the first one of the new series of marshes that has been completed.

The last marsh painting I finished was in 2002. Probably the last time the marsh paintings were exhibited was 1995. So it’s been a while for marsh paintings from Mary Baker, that’s for sure.

I wasn’t sure whether or not I had a marsh painting left in me, but I guess I do. I ended up liking this painting of Newburyport’s marsh a lot.

Mary Baker

Art, Realistic Painting, Content and Quirkyalone


Oil on Canvas
24” x 36”
Mary Baker © 2004

The realistic painting in this post, “Pansies,” could there be a better example of “Quirkyalone?”

Here is this lovely pot of pansies sitting on a stoop on an early spring Newburyport, New England day, bathed in light, obviously utterly content in its solitude. Not schmaltzy, sentimental happy, but content.

My father, who is 88, could be considered quirkyalone. He has a lovely lady-friend, and the ladies still love him, but he has lived alone for the last 16 years and seems quite satisfied.

One of the things my father loves, loves, loves to do is go out for dinner alone. He lives in New York City so there are a lot of great places to dine. When I am in New York with him and we go out to eat, everybody seems to know him and he knows them.

My father will go and sit at a table or sometimes at the bar and order dinner. He will ask the waiters and waitresses and bartenders about their day and their lives with genuine curiosity and care. And he will often give me updates on who is doing what. No wonder he always gets seated.

My father is also one of my biggest art encouragers as an artist. I am incredibly lucky to have my Dad. Qurikyalone and quite content.

Mary Baker

(Editor’s note: I just found out that “Quirkyalone” is a book by Sasha Cagen, written in 2004. I’ve just gone to the bookstore and bought a copy and am about to sit down with a cup of tea and read it.)

(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, 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