Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Remembering" a new pastel painting from start to finish

Sometimes it takes me hours to decide on my next painting.  I have painted this model before and enjoyed the process and results. I am very particular with my substrates, paints and pastels and always want to offer quality archival works.  I chose a 16" x 12" Colourfix panel and sketched her in place. I  began with the face as this will be my focal point and set the mood and color palette.  I did not plan on these hues in her skin color, but for one reason or another they seemed to be working, so I just went with it.  This is the initial block in and design.

I was happy with the piece thus far, but decided a few changes were in order.  I worked on her dress and changed the background and began defining her arms and couch and some details on the pillows.

I changed the background from two paintings to one long piece.  I wanted the pillow behind her to looked fluffed up and fun which I created from my imagination.  The red foreground pillow was punched in to set the tone on the couch. I always take photos as I move along in a painting and definitely upload them the next morning to compare how the painting is progressing.  This has always proven very helpful.  Sometimes I wish I hadn't touched the painting in certain areas, and sometimes I see how much better it is for my due diligence.  The former is tortuous - the latter  a sigh of relief.   

I worked on her pretty face and softened her features.  You can see I painted the wine glass and her diamond bracelet.  I re-worked the background, which is never my favorite part of a painting.  I really just like painting eyes, noses and mouths....and hands!  I applied my unique strokes on her dress with a variety of blues and purples and some reds.  Looking at a close up of her face allowed me to see any features that might need more work.  A good painter knows when to stop!  As a perfectionist, I often want to make it better - or perfect - and I have to be careful not to overwork a painting or ruin it in the process.

"Remembering" pastel, 16" x 12"

I did spend considerable time on her dress, her hands and the couch to complete the painting...and yes, I created that fluff around the pillow to bring  the couch color into that area.  I am happy with the painting and decide she is finished!  

"Remembering" was just juried into the Connecticut Pastel Society 21st Annual Renaissance in Pastel, 2014 juried exhibition.  
There were 371 entries and 94 paintings were selected for this show.  
The exhibition will be held at:

The Slater Museum
108 Crescent Street, Norwich, CT
  October 8 - November 9, 2014

Artists reception:  October 19th
2 - 4 pm

This is the framing I chose to complement the painting!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression of this painting.  Please leave me your comments and feel free to peruse
my website and new works!

Thank you!  Blessings,

September McGee

View more of my new works!
Elected Member Allied Artists, NY

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

View a NEW oil painting from START to FINISH!

"Sidewalk Cafe #2"

This is one of those paintings I wanted to paint for years and years.  The energy was finally there and I was ready to begin.  Sometimes it takes hours to choose the right photo. The next decisions are which substrate to paint on and what size to use.  I chose a 12" x 16" which is one of my favorite smaller sizes.  I then selected a beautiful Raphael Premium Archival Panel as my substrate.  These panels are gorgeous - expensive - but gorgeous to paint on. Each decision will determine the style and brushes I will use in my creative process.
I sketched the image onto the panel and began with the background.  I never start my paintings the same way. I don't want to become a formula painter so I mix it up. When figures with faces are my subject  I generally begin with the face. In this case, I began with the background. The panel is so fabulous  the paint just flows. 

 I chose bristle filberts as my choice for brushes - I was going for texture!

I was happy with the composition and placement of figures in this outside cafe.  You can see on the lower right I have a figure on a bicycle.  I wanted to lay down a base to serve as my underpainting.  Now I will proceed to the figures.

I am happy with the color palette evolving.  The building is a beautiful yellow.  I love to paint with yellow which is the color of FUN! I have to make several adjustments to the waiter and people at the table to make this piece readable.

I now have all the characters in place and I need to decide on the sidewalk and details on the figures and windows. This cafe is going to need some wording in the windows.  It is taking on a nice painterly effect and I add in some red to the windows (I have to put RED in almost every painting.  It is my signature color!)   I worked on the door on the left and omitted most of the detail.  I punched up the door with a green hue.  The fun expressionist strokes on the sidewalk will probably have to go to make way for the final sidewalk.

I add the words and more detail to the windows and figures and  the bike.  I add in the sidewalk curb to give the foreground an interesting horizontal line to coincide with the cafe's linear movement.   The paint is thick.  The strokes are spirited and very impressionistic.  I made adjustments to the waiter and added a red tie. I gave the chairs, windows and all the figures  more attention.  I set the piece aside to dry.

This painting took a lot longer than I anticipated.  They usually do.  I was finally ready to put the finishing strokes on this piece.  I added more detail throughout and finished the sidewalk. With all the detail going on in the painting, I wanted the sidewalk to be a bit quiet, yet fun and flavored with the colors reflecting off the yellow cafe and figures.  Each stroke brings me closer to being completed and I could quit at any time now.  Being the perfectionist I am, I go over the entire painting with a keen eye and make minor adjustments with a #2 filbert.  I add some lines in the sidewalk to pull the eye into the piece and additional shadows on the building, figures and under the bicycle.  The hue on the sidewalk coincides with my green door on the left and the fun yellow.  I am pleased, finally and the painting is ready to be photographed, signed, framed and shipped off to the gallery.

I chose a black gallery frame that has a built in warm gold ribbed fillet to frame in the piece.
                                      "Sidewalk Cafe #2"oil on panel, 12" x 16"  

I love this painting and was proud to sign my name to it.  

            This painting SOLD two days after it arrived at                                            The Greenberg Gallery, Santa Fe, NM!!

I am always adding additional paintings to my website. Let me know if you enjoyed seeing the progression from start to finish of one of my paintings.  

I would love to hear from you. 

This is my first blog with my new website and I would love to have you sign up as one of my cherished followers.  I will be posting new works, events and surprises!

Visit my new website: and contact me!


Thank you for enjoying my art.


September McGee

Elected Member, Allied Artists of America, NY


Monday, March 17, 2014


"Couch Series - The Diamond Bracelet", 
Pastel on Board
Additional Provenance:  Award of Merit with the PSSW, National Juried Exhibition, TX 2013,
 CPS National Juried Exhibition for Signature Members, CT, 2012



 37th Annual Art on Paper, National Juried Exhibition  

March 30th,   3 - 5 pm
(awards at 4 pm)

MFA Circle Gallery
18 State Circle, Annapolis, MD

Exhibition continues through: 
March 20 - April 19, 2014


Look forward to seeing you at the awards reception!


September McGee
Elected Member, Allied Artists of America, NY

Sunday, February 16, 2014

FUN February News!

September McGee

    NEWS from the Maryland Federation of Art!


With over 1040 entries  YOU  
are one of 80 artists 
selected by Eric Denker,  Juror 
for the MFA's Art on Paper Exhibition!

"Couch Series - The Diamond Bracelet", 
Pastel on Board
Additional Provenance:  Award of Merit with the PSSW, National Juried Exhibition, TX 2013, CPS National Juried Exhibition for 
Signature Members, CT, 2012

The 37th Annual Art on Paper, National Juried Exhibition with the Maryland Federation of Art

March 20 - April 19, 2014

Reception and Awards Presentation

March 30th,   3 - 5 pm
(awards at 4 pm)

MFA Circle Gallery
18 State Circle, Annapolis, MD

                          view my latest works


September McGee

Elected Member,  Allied Artists of America, NY

September McGee

Monday, February 3, 2014

LOVE Under the Red Umbrella - Small works for special showing with the Cooley Gallery, Leesburg, VA

NEW works from my popular series

"LOVE Under the Red Umbrella"

will be showcasing at the
Cooley Gallery, Leesburg, VA

                                                             Original oil on Sennelier 
                                                                      Bristol Paper

Original oil on Sennelier Bristol Paper

Original Oil on Yupo Paper

Original Oil on Yupo Paper

FIVE special  "LOVE Under the Red Umbrella" 
originals will be showcased 

just in time for 

Valentine's Day!

 All five paintings presented in archival black matting 
and custom framed in specialty silver & black moulding! 
(See below)

                          Original oil on Bristol 

Custom framed 

Cooley Gallery - Small Works Show

Show includes TWENTY  spectacular artists!  Wine served from local Virginia winery!


Friday,  February 7th

 6 - 9 pm  

Cooley Gallery, 
12 South King St. Leesburg, VA 20175

   Cooley Gallery

                                            "Rainy Day #88", oil on linen, custom framed







Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You Just Have To Love Our Pets!


Oil on Linen
16" x 12"
The Sirott Collection

"Ginger" is an original oil on linen.  
This adorable little dog was so much fun to paint!

I wanted to capture the sweet look in her eyes.
This little dog greets you with kisses
and curls up in your lap,
and is loved beyond measure.

It was an honor to be commissioned to paint
little Miss Ginger.

Email me!

December blessings,

September McGee

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Victorian Tea Party" a commissioned painting by September McGee

"Victorian Tea Party"

oil on linen, 24" x 30"


September McGee

Several months ago one of my amazing collectors asked me to do a commissioned painting for his Victorian home in St. Louis,  MO. He came up with the idea of a Victorian tea party painting for his dining room.  It had to be a large painting to fit this spectacular  room, recently restored in true Victorian fashion...a room done with a true love and passion for the time period. 

Commissioning a painting from an artist is a wonderful adventure into the creative realm.  A bond of trust bridges the relationship between collector and artist. Patience is also required. The creative process works on it's own time and this timing has to be respected.  My client,

Brian A. Van Tine,
 M.D./Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and
 Sarcoma Program Director at the Barnes and Jewish Hospital,
 Washington University, St. Louis, MO

 is not only a busy physician, but an avid  appreciator of the arts with a reverence for the visionary process.  He sent me pictures of his Victorian dining room, from the chandelier, Victorian mouldings, wallpaper, fireplace, windows, ceiling and even his white cat on the dining table! We ordered the frame before we even began.

 I love the Victorian times: the clothes and hats. It was a lovely and insouciant era.  I have used this style for many of my figurative pieces over the years, and so I was thrilled to undertake this challenge. The ideas on how to accomplish this project began germinating.  Finally,  the right moment presented itself  and I began the creative process.

I sketched and played with the figures and the room.  I came up with a final sketch and showed Dr. Van Tine.  I usually don't show my initial sketches to clients, but Dr. Van Tine had been so patient and I was definitely pleased with the layout, composition and color palette.

"Study for the Victorian Tea Party"

Pastel on paper

I wanted to capture his spectacular dining room.  I decided to use the three rear windows as my background. I couldn't leave out the amazing fireplace, the exquisite chandelier, the mouldings and the ceiling's decor. The painting on the right is a copy of the final commissioned painting within the painting itself!

This was a fun project, which I had to admit took me far longer than I anticipated.  My creative juices were challenged.  My goal was to bring the viewer into the dining room and make you feel as if you were there!

I shipped the painting to St. Louis and Dr. Van Tine put it in its waiting frame.

  "It is perfect."



"The Victorian Tea Party"
oil on linen, 24" x 30"

Collection of Dr. Brian A. Van Tine

View my recent paintings!

Email me for questions and requests!


September McGee 
Allied Artists of America, Elected Member


B U Y  A M E R I C A N  A R T