Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The End of a Great Year!

Well here it is, the end of 2014.  Looking back on the year, all of my memories fall into the good or great categories.  Don't worry, I'll spare you the details! 

I'm starting off this year with the 30 in 30 challenge.  Thirty paintings in thirty days!  I'm planning to post a new painting each day in January.  It's a challenge that is taking place in 23 countries by over 800 artists.  The results will be posted at the end of the challenge.  Some of my friends tested the waters earlier this year with a 30 in 30 and survived.  I may not actually get 30 done, but I'm going to give it a try.

I hope your memories of 2014 also fall into the good and great categories.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Playground" Contemporary Figurative Oil Painting by Arizona Artist Mary Opat

I decided to call this one simply "Playground".  I hope the viewer
gets a feeling from the painting.  It's meaning is open to interpretation.
 16" x 20" Oil on Stretched Canvas $435
Check out my web site for purchase information or to
view more of my paintings at
Have a great day!

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Prospector" Contemporary Figurative Oil Painting by Arizona Artist Mary Opat

"Prospector" Contemporary Figurative Oil Painting by
Arizona Artist Mary Opat
9" x 12" Oil on Panel
The reference photo for this painting was taken by a friend.  I decided to post it on my
web site but it won't be for sale.  I have several photos of men and women dressed in
old west costume.  I may decide to do a little series of them in the coming months!
Check out some of my recent paintings and those that have "gone to good homes"

Sunday, December 28, 2014

On My Easel

I started this painting today.  A friend e-mailed the photo to me and
I still need to ask the make and model, but I find the reflections of the palm
trees on the car pretty interesting.  I know the photo was taken in Arizona.  The
rough block-in is finished and I'm finished for the day!  I also worked on a
little commissioned figurative piece today.  I'll be posting both finished
paintings before the end of the week on my web site  Have great week!

Friday, December 26, 2014

On My Easel

I got a chance to work on this painting today.  I'm looking forward
to the days growing a little longer now.  I'm in the habit of working in natural
daylight in my north studio (bedroom), and the setting sun seems to take
me by surprise most days.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas...I know
I did!  I'm truly blessed.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Last Cowboy by Kim Johnson

I was talking to my friend Suzanne this morning and we were discussing watercolor
portraits.  It reminded me of a demo done by Kim Johnson at one of our GVAL
meetings last year.  I wanted to post this demo I found.  Amazing artist!
If it won't play in here, you can find it on youtube.  It's called
"The Last Cowboy by Kim Johnson"

Friday, December 19, 2014

On My Easel

This is the painting I'm currently working on.  I'll need to put
it on the shelf to dry for a few days before I finish it up.  Too late
to start another one today.  May you be happy and healthy this weekend!

"Lake Powell" Landscape Oil Painting by Arizona Artist Mary Opat

This scene is of Lake Powell, the second largest man made
reservoir in the United States.  Lake Powell is part of the
Colorado River and extends from southern Utah into northern
Arizona.  In this painting, I wanted to capture the flatness of the cliffs and
the deep color of the shadows.  The warm colors of the rocks makes a
good back drop for the crystal blue water.  You can follow this link
to see some of my other painting
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mary's Rantings

Wow! Facebook has changed!  I'm not talking about the logarithms or the fact that you need to pay for a boost to get your product "out there".  I'm talking about the fact that when I first started using it, the main purpose was to keep up with friends and family.  I love seeing photos of my extended family and of the friends I left behind when I moved here from the Midwest, as well as posts from my friends here in AZ.  What I don't love are the political and religious views that are way too prevalent on my page now.  I know...I's like the T.V....if you don't like it, turn it off!

I try to skip over the obvious plugs for the lefty liberals and the righty conservatives, but it's getting harder.  Since when did everyone decide to push the views of others without doing some research first?  And since when are my friends and family opposed to the basic human rights of others?

 There are good people out there who have other ways of believing and living.  The only way we'll have peace on earth is if all of us on this planet are peaceful and loving.  It can work....we just need to get to the tipping point.

OK, I'm done ranting.  I know I'm not even close to perfect, none of us are, so maybe I can cut people little more slack in 2016.  I'll try to ignore the inappropriate posts, or at least not make snarky comments :-) .  I'm going to try very hard not to jam up your newsfeed with political garbage or religious views.  My views are my own and I'll try not to force them on anyone else. 

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
and may we have Peace on Earth!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

On My Easel

I started this 16" x 20" oil painting today.  I hope to work on it again
tomorrow.  I noticed the I need to cool an area to make it recede a little.
It's nice to be working a little larger after having painted
several small 5x7 paintings recently.  I love to paint water and I'm hoping
it turns out like the picture in my mind!  Have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"South of the Border" Contemporary Oil Painting by Arizona Artist Mary Opat

"South of the Border" Contemporary Oil Painting by
Arizona Artist Mary Opat
16" x 20" Oil on Canvas
This is one of the paintings I decided to tweak a little.  I'm fortunate to
be able to learn from my peers on a weekly basis and I try to apply the knowledge
 to my paintings.  My time spent painting at Jean's on Tuesdays has been invaluable. 
She is a terrific instructor and friend. Our little group feels like family to me.  Check
Jean's web page at
To see more of my paintings or to purchase, please visit me at

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Yellow Ribbon" Contemporary Still Life by Arizona Artist Mary Opat

"Yellow Ribbon" Contemporary Still Life by
Arizona Artist Mary Opat
11" x 14" Oil on Panel
This started out as a study in folded fabric.  It has quite a bit
of texture that isn't evident in the photo.  To purchase or view any
of my paintings, please click HERE
I would be happy to visit with you about custom paintings and
portraits.  Life is Art...Paint Your Dreams! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

January 1st is approaching!

Traditionally, we view January 1st as a fresh start.  It's the beginning of a new year and seems like a good time to improve upon what has been our past plan of action.  I have only one thing on my list for next year..."Do better".  It can apply to everything we do all year long.  No need to list "diet, exercise, get along with relatives, write that novel", etc.  Just "Do Better"! 

The ending of the old year seems more important to me.  It's the end of the tax season and a good time to look back on what you've accomplished in the past twelve months.    I have a few unfinished canvases that I'll sand down and gesso over.  I hate waste, so they'll go on the shelf with my new canvases and be used again.

I also have a few finished paintings that I'll tweak before the end of the year.  Some paintings that looked finished to me less than a year ago are lacking those little highlights or splashes of color that bring a painting alive.

The most important things, of course, are not things at all.  They're the loved ones in our lives.  How have we treated them in the past twelve months.  Have we made new friends and had fun with our old ones?  Have we made time for our children, grandchildren, parents and siblings? 

As 2014 ends, I hope you have had a wonderful, productive year.  I know I've had blessings in the past year too numerous to mention.  Here's hoping you have a Happy Holiday Season and we all "Do Better" in 2015!

With Love,