This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
Don't forget to leave a comment, or a question if you have one, below the post. Thanks.


Sep 29, 2009


EM Oil on Linen 18 x 14

The first stages were painted in acrylic (see below), and the final stage was refined using oils. I changed her (faux) raccoon collar to a (faux) silver fox so that it wouldn't be confused with her hair. I have a few minor details to bring out yet, the zipper for instance, but will wait until it's dry.
EM is her nickname, and her initials, and this is how I see her.

EM Acrylic on stretched linen
This is partway through the painting, blogged as "Portrait in Progress, Sept 7

Sep 27, 2009



If you live in or near NYC, save the date.
Friday night, Oct 2 is a reception from 6 to 8 pm. I wish I could be there. I don't know if there will be "liquid" refreshments. I was in a co-op ( The Spectrum) on 57 St a long time ago, and they, we, stopped serving wine. It attracted the homeless and thirsty, shall we say. (Not to say that we wouldn't have wined and dined them if they bought art instead of Ripple.)
When the co-op moved to SOHO the openings were moved to Sat, daytime. But still.

I don't know if I'm going to put anything in this new gallery on a regular basis, but for this show, my Yorkie puppy will be there.
So go already.

Sep 24, 2009


STAR Original Photo- 72 k
This is a candid snapshot of a lovely Irish Setter.
I had previously painted a puppy (Emily) using a low resolution email for reference. I've painted a lot of things over the years, but never dogs. I wanted to see if I could do what I considered an interesting challenge. Even if I could get an animal to sit for a portrait, hardly likely, I would undoubtedly get lost in the detail.

WILD THANG 32 x 24 Acrylic on Linen (c)Margery Caggiano
So .........my preference for working from photos has enabled me to tackle subjects that would otherwise be impossible, seagulls for instance.
Unlike Audubon. I'd really rather not kill them in order to paint them.

Sep 20, 2009


LITTLE GULL Oil on Canvas 8 x 10" (C) Margery Caggiano

I've just set up a page on Artshow for six paintings, all oils.
Five are new seagull paintings that I'm fond of.

With the ability to buy via PayPal.
I'm fond of that idea as well.

Sep 17, 2009


POQUATUCK HALL Orient, NY Acrylic on Linen 24 x 32" 2001(C)Margery Caggiano

Up until yesterday this painting was on my website, but I decided to pare the site down and just leave the more recent paintings, while adding some new ones. Luckily, or not, I have a do-it-yourself website. I couldn't afford me otherwise.
We were living on Main Road in Orient in 2001, hopefully making some cosmetic improvements on a ca 1780 house. The Village of Orient is a little gem, and off the main road. Poquatuck Hall is the town hall, and adorned with a huge flag. For anyone not familiar with Long Island, we got rid of the natives many moons ago, and kept the names. I'm not sure I want to know what Poquatuck means.

I was working on this painting in September of 2001, and the flag itself on 9.11, believe it or not. The painting took on a whole new meaning for me. I changed it from sunlight, which bored me anyhow, to moonlight, which was a challenge. I've only done one other painting set in moonlight.

STAR TRUCK Oil on Canvas 16 x 20" 1980(c) Margery Caggiano

I was reminded by this blog, so dug this out of my archives. This truck was kept parked by the side of Montauk Highway in Wainscott, and had been a honey wagon belonging to the Town of Easthampton. Those were the days.

Sep 13, 2009


FRIENDS Oil on Linen 26 x 20" Margery Caggiano

This is my daughter Jean on the left, a fine artist in her own right, and her longtime friend Bobbie. Way back when.
I have a habit of working close to the edges, which doesn't bother me - we are all fond of our habits - but it dictates the use of a floater frame. If a frame at all.
I don't like to intrude on the painting with a copyright notice, but I'm finding out how many images are scooped out of Google's search. That's show biz

Sep 11, 2009


DENNIS photo by Margery Caggiano

Date: Sunday, September 16, 2001 8:07 PM From: ryugin0447@...........

To: margcagg@optonline.net >Subject: Re: Thoughts from me too
hi marge & bill i was in the city on tuesday driving downtown in a cab the driver says the wtc is on fire i look and smoke pouring out a long dark river of smoke on his radio it says a plane hit the tower were getting closer and closer hipmotized for a while i tell him its to close and pull over i get out and pay tell him not to go any closer and walk down heading for varrik st stiil looking up with everyone in the street thinking it is surreal people on cell phones with cmeras focused then the second plane hit the second tower and a moan went up from the people louder then the fire engines and ambulances and police rushing rushing down towards the towers i made my way back up town to the bus tunnels and bridges closed word on the street the towers have colapsed i look down town and its gone ingulfed in huge cloud of gray smoke people streaming north I we walk uptown ti 95 st squeeze into a bus to 125 st get a train to yonkers and my family feeling like a refugee stund and numb only now am i wakeing up and its still a bad dream and its only the begining ive been going to the ocean a lot this past week alone looking out to sea for something i dont know what. love you guys.dennis

Sep 7, 2009


This started out to be on an 18x24 linen that I stretched and triple primed. But a few minutes after starting I realized that I wanted the head to be smaller,closer to life size, and switched to a 14x18 pre-stretched and pre-primed linen from Fredrix. Since I am forced to get my art supplies online and can't see them first, there will be an occasional disappointment. In this case the linen weave was not square, a very obvious downhill slant. Which can be corrected to a point by sanding and a few more coats of gesso. But I wanted to start, and got lazy.
Live and learn? Never happens.
EM 18x14 Stage 1
This is from a photo I took, which I prefer if at all possible. Once I bring it into Photoshop, I'm able to crop and compose and experiment with the values. I also like to convert the photo to greys for a better idea of the composition. You can do all of that in any simple photo software.
I did the initial drawing in watercolor pencil, then went over that with thinned black acrylic. When that was dry the the pencil drawing was washed off and a transparent acrylic wash of burnt sienna brushed over the face, and wiped down. I then mixed burnt sienna with cerulean blue and laid in the darks with a thin wash, except for the face.

EM Stage 2
My initial intention was to do a thin underpainting in acrylic as a basis for an oil painting. As usual, and instead, I let the painting tell me what to do as I went along. So I washed some more color on the face, and went back in with an opaque white. I usually use gesso instead of titanium so that the paint won't build up too early. If the acrylic paint becomes thick and shiny the application of oil paint over the acrylic becomes, I think, structurally problematical and harder to work on.

I always use the fluid acrylics, and thin with water. (distilled is best if you have a well)

If I need to thin the paint extensively, I add some polymer medium.
I can see that I'm going to have to make sure the raccoon (?) collar on the coat does not get confused with her hair. And vice versa.

EM 18x14 (c) Margery Caggiano

To counteract the orange in the skin tones I added a little ultramarine blue to the mix, and lightened the shadow side. Did a little re-drawing here and there if I was losing the shapes. Except for lightening the fur on the collar somewhat, I'll leave it til last, and after the hair is done. I gave the background another coat of gesso, and partially covered the lines that were drawn on the arms. I'm playing with the idea of leaving as is, the black and white thing that's going on. Sometimes less is more..... To be continued

Sep 5, 2009


FRIENDS 26x20 Oil on Linen (c) Margery Caggiano
I've been working on this; the combination of using an old photo for reference and using oils from scratch has been a bit of a hassle. I had a lead primed, stretched canvas, a lovely surface to paint on, and it was was nagging me to use it.
It's my oldest daughter on the left, who I've painted many times, and her best friend, who is still a good friend. There are still some things to be done on the painting..the tiniest changes can alter the expression. A good way to go nuts.
Time to put it down and start something else. Only I'm going back to an old method that I've used, doing a thin monochromatic underpainting (grisalle) in acrylic, then glazing and or scumbling in oils. I'll take photos in stages while doing the next portrait I have in mind.

Sep 2, 2009


FIVE OR SIX CEDARS 15x21 Acrylic on Linen (c) Margery Caggiano
Sometimes I forget and call it Four or Five Cedars. Who's counting?
Sometimes things come together; events bring to mind a painting from "before" that has become "now." I'll be picking up this painting from a gallery, along with several others, in a few weeks. It's a favorite painting, one of a few done in 2002, where I experimented with the Alla Prima technique of putting the paint down and Leaving It Alone. Not easy for a nudge.
Which is why I'm not successful with it's counterpart, Plein Air.
I just can not do it outside.
But I've made a vow to try harder. I've been working on small sized canvases for starters. Anyhow, this landscape is on Platt Road in Orient, Long Island. We lived around the corner on the Main Road to the Orient Point Ferry. Extremely paintable beautiful area. The distant light is Hallocks Bay.
I'm not sure why the best paintings come out of the saddest times.
This painting was also the one picked for last years "Artists Over Sixty" feature in Artists Magazine. Now there is a conflict. To be in a magazine and give away my age, or not? Oy. They're doing it again this year, and now the artists are getting $100. Too bad it's not retroactive.