Tuesday, December 27, 2011

                                               CHALLENGE #6

                        this painting by William Harnett was chosen by Rhonda Myers

This challenge deviated a little from our other challenges, in that a painting by William Harnett was chosen to interpret. It is our first still-life. What a wonderful idea! Take the theme of a favorite artist and paint your own view. What amazed me the most, is how we chose to use this painting for our own view.

I was the first entry. I used this paintng with the objects as a source, and changed the colors a bit. As you can see, I added a "sprite" (fairie) hovering over the grapes.  My sprite is grabbing the red grape (also a change from the original), as it's color and glow attract her the most. I have taken many a scene that I have photographed and painted it with my sprite creations. (See my web site www.PaintingsbyLinda.net  and click on Mystical). I used very bold color.

Linda Gilbert
"The Choice"
Acrylic on Canvas   11 x 14

Rhonda Myers, did a wonderful painting. Her colors are soft and delicate. Rhonda added these lovely flowers in the bowl that gave this still -life a whole different feel than what I did. We will have to hear from Rhonda what her intentions were when she painted this beautiful painting.

Rhonda Myers

Just entered on Facebook the wonderful painting by Arthur Anderson. He did not go too far from the original still life. The colors and the warmth of the painting are so pleasing and relaxing to look at. The glow of the light is fabulous. This certainly does look "old world" as Artie expressed on Facebook.

Arthur Anderson
"Still Life Simplified
16 x 20 Acrylic




Monday, December 5, 2011



challenge #5 photo

For challenge #5, I chose this photo I took 2 years ago, when we traveled to the Canyonlands. Let alone, out of all of the excursions Bob and I took, this one had to be the trip of a life-time-seeing the most magnificent scenery I have ever viewed.  We saw Bryce Canyon, Glen Canyon, Zion Park and numerous other natural wonders. So, I thought this gorgeous canyon photo would be  an interesting challenge. I have received one other painting besides my own for this challenge. Even though others signed up for this painting challenge, no other pieces have come in.

  Linda Gilbert
"The Colors of the Canyons"
16 X 20 Acrylic on Canvas

This is my entry. I used the photo for my source, trying to capture the colors as I remember them, and viewed from the photo. I used my organic technique that I enjoy using for all of my paintings, giving my paintings a soft moving feeling. I also enlarged the Colorado River that was barely visible in the photo running from the left to the mid section of the painting. This was a big challenge again for me. Although I have painted many a painting with rocks, these canyons presented a special challenge.

                                                                       Arthur Anderson
                                                "Morning Shadows, Morning Sun, Grand Canyon"
                                                             24 x 18",      Acrylic on canvas

This is the painting that Arthur Anderson did. This is wonderful. Artie captured the shadows, and gave the painting the feeling of the morning, just as he titled it. I also love the Artist interepreation of the colors. The Grand Canyon changes color depending on the time of day. This painting truly captures that. The execution of the angular style is fascinating also. The rocks are sharply defined, and very dramatic. Until we hear from Artie, what he was expressing in this painting, we will know what he was after in this bold interpretation. In my view, it almost seems a little spooky, kind of Alfred Hitchcock, with the long shadows. GREAT JOB ARTIE.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


                      CHALLENGE #4-WATERFALL

Burch K Coralee

Artist Burch K Coralee (https://www.facebook.com/#!/artbycoralee) submitted this painting of a waterfall for challenge #4.

This was a most interesting challenge to undertake-different than the previous challenges that have been submitteed. There are textures and details that needed to be dealt with in the painting. the following paintings have been submitted for this challenge.  

Deborah Hoffner Rosen
"Whispering Stream"
9 x 12 Acrylic
Debby is a student in my UFT class. She is a very talented artist. Notice the soft flowing beautifully painted technique. The water is so delicate- reminds me of powder being sprinkled down the rocks. Great job Deborah.

Linda Gilbert
"Various Veils 2"
16 x 20 Acrylic
I titled my paintings "Various Veils 2" because it took me 2 trys to get to this finished painting. I originally did the painting in an 8 x 10 and was very dissatisfied with it. After ovserving my "errors" from painting #1, (which I think my main problem: I worked too small for the details), I enlarged the subject and changed what I wanted to to make it appealing to me. I enhanced the color of the foreground, and I changed the way the water fell -especially in the last fall. For me, changing the subject to my way of thinking works best to please "my ideal" attitude to the way something should look. Please notice, I said "my ideal"---doesn not mean yours~!

   "Touches of Spring."
Acrylic on canvas. 16 x 20"
Arthur Anderson did a  really nice- very geometric rendition of the waterfall. Love the angles of the rocks and the water.He carried through the style of the angular movements in the foreground too!  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

UFT Acrylic Painting Class

Lately I have been posting the challenges on Facebook, which take place every 2 weeks via my Fan Page: Paintings by Linda https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Paintings-by-Linda/365237511760  

I teach an Acrylic Paintng Class through the UFT (United Federation of Teachers Retiree Programs), and I thought it would be nice to post some of the class at work. Notice in the pictures, two of the students are painting Challenge #2 (The Day Lily), which by the way, scroll down to the article on all of the wonderful results that came in for this challenge.

My students are all excited each week to come to class to develop their painting skills. I love working with them, and have seen so much progress in the various styles that have developed.

We will be exhibiting at the Manalapan Library, Manalapan, New Jersey, in Jan. 2012. we are very excited about this!

Donna Rittner

Donna Rittner
"Majestic Mountains"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Challenge #3

credit goes to photographer Steve Pollock, former Editor in Chief of Popular Photography magazine.
This photo was submitted by Arthur Anderson for Challenge #3.

Of the three challenges so far, this was "the most challenging challenge" for me. I have painted many a bridge scene, including 3 different paintings of the Brooklyn Bridge (see my web site www.PaintingsbyLinda.net), and have painted many reflections in water, but never endeavored a scene at night. Most challenging for me, was to achieve the brightness of the lights. I personally cropped the photo in my mind, and focused in more of the bridge. As I was painting this photo of the 59th Street Bridge (Queensboro Bridge), I kept thinking of the Simon and Gafunfunkle song "The 59th Street Bridge Song-Feeling Groovy", thus coming up with the title. For days after finishing the painting, and while painting, I kept humming the song. I never figured out why the song had it's title, but my title was inspired by the song!

Linda Gilbert
"Reflections of Feeling Groovy"
16 X 20

The next entry to this challenge came from Rhonda Myers. A very talented Artist from Tennessee.She captured the subject, lights and reflections beautifully. Rhonda painted the entire bridge. Her colors are exciting and vibrant.
Rhonda Myers
"Night Reflections"
24 X18

Arthur Anderson just added this impressionistic painting calling it "Party Under the Bridge." I love the way he captured the depth of the bridge. the colors are exciting and the reflections remind me of confetti being thrown at a celebration. Great job, Artie!

Arthur Anderson
"Party Under the Bridge"
24 X 18

Burch K Coralee just submitted the bridge picture, done is a soft watercolor. Beautifully done!

Burch K Coralee


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


photo of lily submitted by Renu Kristin Kvalors

In Challenge #2 photo submitted by Renu Kristin  Kvalors (Norway), we received several entries in various mediums.

The deadline for this challenge (Challenge #2), is Oct. 16th. so far we have had a few entries-each one so different expressing the uniqueness of the individual artist. As before, for challenge number one- which by the way is still open for anyone who wishes to add to any of the challenges, I will post the art as it comes in. It can also be viewed on Facebook: Paintings by Linda https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Paintings-by-Linda/365237511760

So far, these are the entries that have come in for the challenge. Notice how differently the artists saw the flower, and how techniques vary. Burch K. Coralee, did a lovely pastel which is soothing and soft in color. I (Linda Gilbert), took a surreal point of view, elongating the petals to give it a feeling of movement and life. I also focused in on the flower. Rhonda Myers, did a small version of a beautifully drawn Lily. It is delicate and has wonderful color. Arthur Anderson, used bold color and gave a lovely bold background, giving me the feeling of an underwater scene. Just added, a beautiful, colorful acrylic by Debi Gorga. I love the bold color and red tones! Renew Kristin Kvalors just posted a wonderful take on her photo that she submitted. the colors are vibrant, and the flower is turned in another direction. Love it!

Just submitted as of Oct. 26 (showing it is never too late!), are two paintings from my Art class that I instruct "Paintings With Acrylic Paints". Debby Rosen titled her painting "Day Lily", beautifully done painting with a dark exciting background. Enid Weinstein called her lovely painting "Orange Flower". scroll down to see these paintings:

Pastel by Coralee

"Gracefully Posing"
9 x12 acrylic
Linda Gilbert

Acrylic 6 X 8
Rhonda Myers

Arthur Anderson

Debi Gorga
18 X 24
Renu Kristin Kvalors
oil pastel on canvas

Debby Rosen
"Day Lily"
Enid Weinstein
"Orange Flower"


Linda Gilbert

Friday, September 23, 2011


After posting my photos from my cruise on Facebook, my friend Arthur Anderson came up with a wonderful idea. He chose one of the Peggy's Cove photos and made a deadline date (Sept. 30, 2011) for as many artists as we can get to paint it (or draw, collage, whatever medium). I posted it as an invitation to an event on Facebook. So far, some of the fans of my Fan Page (Paintings by Linda https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Paintings-by-Linda/365237511760) have accepted the challenge.

First a little history of Peggy's Cove:

Peggys Cove is about 50 miles southwest of Halifax and comprises one of the numerous small fishing communities. The community is named after the a cove of the same name, a name also shared with Peggys Point, immediately to the east of the cove.


The first recorded name of the cove was Eastern Point Harbor or Peggs Harbor in 1766. The village may have been named after the wife of an early settler or taken its name from St. Margaret's Bay as it marks the eastern beginning of the Bay and Peggy is a nickname for Margaret. Two versions of the popular legend claim that the name came from the sole survivor of a shipwreck  near the cove. William do Garthe, Artist and resident said she was a young woman while others claim she was a little girl too young to remember her name and the family who adopted her called her Peggy. In both versions, the young shipwreck survivor married a resident of the cove and became known as "Peggy of the Cove" attracting visitors from around the bay who eventually named the village, Peggy's Cove, after her nickname.

Many artists and photographers flocked to Peggys Cove. The first lighthouse at Peggys Cove was built in 1868. More than 400 million years ago, tectonics movement of the Earth's crust allowed molten material to bubble up from the Earth's interior. This formed the rocks we see today and are part of the Great Nova Scotia . The unique landscape of Peggys Cove and surrounding areas was  carved by the migration of glaciers and the ocean tides.

This is the photo that we are basing the challenge on. I am looking forward to all of the different takes that I hope we see from this picture. Thank you Artie for coming up with such a brilliant idea.

As the paintings are posted on my Facebook Fan Page, I will add them to this blog, along with any titles and information the artist would like us to know.

I tend toward to see paintings in a mystical fashion. I like to look into the depth of the way the Artist paintied the picture. You will see from my comments that perspective. Of course, not knowing what the Artist aimed for, if te painting is not accompied by an explanation from the Artis of what they wanted to portray, I will lean toward a surreal interpretation.

The first one to post her rendition of the photo was Renu Kristin Kvalfors, from Norway. She used colored pencil and gel pen to create a very spiritual picture. Renu said " I was thinking this was the house where all the lost souls from the sea can come. Violet is the spiritual coloure...correct me if I'm wrong ♥" She also stated the drawing was at night.

Here is the wonderful mystical spiritual drawing created by Renu Kristin Kvalfors.

 I am the second person to complete a painting from the same photo. I used Acrylic paint on an 11X14 canvas.  I painted my rendition of the photo, the way I remember it, when I  visited Peggy's Cove, in Halifax, Canada. It was a foggy day with no shadows cast. I took some liberty with the rocks making them almost liquid in movement, creating their own lively shadows.

"Moving on the Rocks"
11 X14 Acrylic

I chose to do some of the people contained in the photo-also taking some liberties with the color choices of the outfits, sky and rocks. I enjoy adding a bit of mysticism to my paintings, giving a Surreal touch.
16 X 20

How about this wonderful painting by Artist Arthur Anderson.
I see this rendition of the lighthouse as dramatic and free flowing. The lighthouse almost seems as if it is alive in it's own manner, leaning in a gentle breeze, observing the people who are observing it. The sky is very ominous, capturing the life of the lighthouse.

Sunset At Peggy's Cove
Debi Gorga
32 X 28

 Debi Gorga submitted this very expressive and colorful rendition of the lighthouse. I love the green that is used in the painting. There is a certain turbulance that I feel when looking at this painting. At sunset, all of the tourists are gone from Peggy's Cove. I think when I observe this painting, a unseen weather force kicks up and creates this turbulance. The weather conditions are ever changing at Peggy's Cove.

"I'll Leave the Light On"
Maria's Watercolor
This watercolor painting by Maria's Watercolor, titled, "I'll Leave the Light On" is a lovely rendition of the subject. I love the way Maria chose to put the lighthouse off to the side of the painting, giving a whole new perspective. The colors are soft and relaxing.

Wes Anglin
Photo Shop rendition of Peggy's Cove

Interesting take on the challenge. Notice the different view and colors used to express the subject. this was done with photo shop.

Rhonda Meyers
Rendition of Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

"Totally a new effort in trying watercolor pencils, which I hadn't used before. I just thought it would be fun to try. No title, name it lighthouse or whatever that lighthouse's name was. I'm no help!! LOL"

This drawing was added by Rhonda after the challenge was over- and we are very happy to have it! Beautifully drawn image!


Friday, September 16, 2011




By Bob Gilbert

After thirty-four years of marriage, my wife Linda and I finally took our first cruise.  Our nine day trip took us to five ports of call in New England and Canada.   

Having taken a cruise, I can now see why they are so popular, particularly for people in our age group, as it is the most painless way to travel.  There is no driving involved, as transportation to all destinations is provided; you have to unpack only once, so you don’t have to “live out of a suitcase”; and there is no scrambling to find a good meal, as three gourmet meals per day are provided (and more if you want them).

Prior to going on this trip, Linda expressed one concern to me – that she might be bored on days at sea.  I can certainly understand her concern.  I mean how do you entertain yourself when all you have is a 1,250 seat theater with nightly headline shows, a casino, a movie theater, a gym, spa, and outdoor walking track, two swimming pools, three hot tubs, and an ice skating rink.  And if that’s not enough, there is a shopping strip, six live musical performances per day, and eight bars.  Lots of potential for boredom there!

One thing I really enjoyed about the cruise was meeting people from so many interesting and diverse places.  We had a great time socializing with a couple from Manchester, England, and we also met nice people from Oklahoma, Georgia, Brooklyn, and from some exotic place called “New Jersey”. 

I should also mention the ports of call.  Our favorite was Bar Harbor, Maine, where we strolled along a beautiful one-mile path on the rocky coastline and later toured the Victorian homes that were used as summer retreats by wealthy industrialists and bankers years ago. 

It was also interesting to see Boston for the first time.  We saw the location of the Boston Tea Party, where the Patriots dumped tea that today would be worth 1.7 million dollars into the harbor rather than pay tax on it.  This set the stage for the Revolutionary War.

I was quite impressed with the ship itself.  The ship’s diesel engines generate a total of 108,000 horsepower (not your father’s Oldsmobile), and the ship’s fuel tank holds one million gallons of fuel.  As one person joked, filling that tank is a little more involved than pulling into a Shell station.   

Concerning the source of water for drinking, bathing, etc., the ship is capable of producing up to 600,000 gallons of fresh water per day by distilling sea water.  And on the other end, waste water is treated, filtered, sanitized, and discharged back into the ocean.

To give you an idea as to the enormity of feeding up to 3600 guests and 1200 staff members on board, the food preparers use 10,000 eggs per day (for omelets, baking, etc.).

I enjoyed the entertainment on board.  I particularly liked one comedian who told a joke about his experience of staying at a very cheap motel.  He told how a woman knocked on the door and said “I’m the maid and I’m here to clean up”.  He let her in, and she went straight to the bathroom, took a shower, and left.  (I guess you had to be there.)

We also got a taste of New England humor.  We were told that the four seasons in Maine are – almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.

We saw two movies while on board.  “The Little Fockers” was entertaining, and “Secretariat” was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

And to those who reassured us in advance that the boat was so big that we would not feel the motion, I would have to disagree with that.  Although we did not experience seasickness, I definitely felt the swaying of the boat, particularly when walking.  But thanks for the encouragement anyway!

Overall, we had a great time.  And I am glad to report that while I ate a lot more than I usually do, with emphasis on desserts and double portions of mashed potatoes, I gained no weight during the trip.  I guess that relaxing and having fun burns a lot more calories than I thought. 

I find that one benefit of traveling is that you get a break from your everyday monotonous routines.  Interestingly, by the last day of the cruise, I discovered that I had developed a bunch of new monotonous routines, and I was glad to get home to my old ones!





Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Next Exhibit When Winter Comes

Next Exhibit
When Winter Comes
Meet the Artists • September 20, 6:30–8pm
The Gallery in South Brunswick Municipal Building
540 Route 522, Monmouth Junction, open 8:30–4:30pm weekdays,
evenings when meetings are scheduled.

Winter comes early to The Gallery on Tuesday, September 20 with A “Meet the Artists” reception to kickoff this juried exhibit which continues to December 26. Winter has as many aspects as each of the exhibiting artists. Whether color, black and white, snow or no snow, there’s a wide range of approach to the theme in watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, mixed media, collage and photography. Poetry will also be included in the exhibit, with some displayed on the wall and others featured at a poetry reading on December 5.
      WHEN WINTER is cold AND cozy, desolate AND full of life, colorless AND brightly colored, abstract AND very realistic. Which of the many various winters in this exhibition is YOUR winter?
      Juror for the exhibit is Richard Swain who received his degrees from Oberlin College and The University of Michigan. Living in Princeton, he has been teaching the history of art at Rider University in since 1978. A specialist in modern art, American art, and the history of photography, he has enjoyed giving talks at retirement communities Stone bridge, Meadow Lakes, and Monroe Village, among others.

Exhibiting artists: Ahuva Arie, Jerry Spielman, Mary Ann Weisser (West Windsor), Bob Ambrosio, Carol Funk, John Sandstedt, (Dayton), Joan Arbeiter, (Metuchen), Stephanie Barbetti, Sandy Behrend, Grace Chiarella, Michael Derer, (Kendall Park), Don Bloom, Carol Grand, Allie Skislak, (East Brunswick), Ranna Chaudry, Aparna Deshpande, Lesley Gevins, (Monmouth Junction), Idrani Choudhury (Edison), Lauren Curtis (Somerset), Carl  Frankel, Linda Gilbert, Sue K Green, Robert E Heyer, Necati Itez, Lonni Heisman Merrill, Monroe Twp), Bill Hoo, Wen Shui, Tatiana L. Sougakova (Plainsboro), Bernard Kennedy, Lynn Cheng Varga (Yardville), Kathleen Liao, Glenn Miller, (Princeton Junction), Fran Nimeck,,Maxwell Nimeck (South Brunswick), Bernice Rappoport (Old Bridge), Nancy Scott (Lawrenceville), Karen Stober, (Warren).

Thursday, August 18, 2011


As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I thought it appropiate to include an article my husband wrote for a local newspaper. Also note the included watercolor painting by Artist Arthur Anderson.
Arthur Anderson


By Bob Gilbert

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I have vivid memories of that day.

The weather was crisp and clear, and I was at work in downtown Brooklyn.  At about 9 o’clock, a co-worker told me that there was a fire at the World Trade Center as a plane had crashed into one of the buildings.  I looked out of the window and saw dark smoke billowing from one of the towers in the distance.  Like everyone else, I felt great concern about the people inside of the burning building.

When a second plane crashed into the other tower, what we thought was an accident was revealed to be a terrorist attack.  I joined some co-workers on the building observation deck, where we could see smoke pouring out of the twin towers.

Our building administrator announced that there were no threats against our building and that it was safe to remain at work.  As things worsened, we were directed to go home, as mass transit and bridge and tunnel closures were imminent.

I was fortunate that my family members were out of harm’s way – my wife was at work in Staten Island, my daughter was at college in Philadelphia, and my mother-in-law was at home in Brooklyn.  I got in my car and headed home.  As I passed Flatbush Avenue, I witnessed an army of fire engines, police cars, and other emergency vehicles screaming north toward the twin towers with sirens and horns blasting – help was on the way.

I headed south on Fourth Avenue toward the Verrazano Bridge for my trip back to Staten Island.  It was late morning but it looked like rush hour – hundreds of people streaming out of subway stations and businesses, all rushing home as the subways and the city were shutting down.

A mile or two before the entrance to the Verrazano Bridge, traffic came to a complete halt because the bridge had been closed.  People got out of their cars and were milling around and sharing what they had heard to that point.  I borrowed a phone and called my mother-in-law, and let her know that I was headed home. 

When the bridge finally reopened, traffic crawled to the entrance, where a lone police officer waved us through one car at a time.  I crossed the bridge and was glad to be back in my own borough.

I listened to the car radio as the news reports poured in, and what I was hearing was surreal – the Twin Towers…the Pentagon… a plane brought down in Pennsylvania… 

I arrived home in the early afternoon, and, and my wife arrived about an hour later.  We watched TV as the disaster unfolded, trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

It is amazing to think that September 11, 2001 started out so uneventfully and routinely.  Like so many of my fellow New Yorkers, I got up early, had breakfast, and headed off to work.  Who could have imagined on that clear sky morning what was about to happen?

Those are my memories of the morning and early afternoon of September 11, 2001.  On this tenth anniversary, hearts go out to those who lost loved ones on that day.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


A red barn appears in several of my paintings in different subject matter. The area where I currently reside has several red barns that screamed for me to photograph them! If you visit the areas where I took the photos, you may not see the barns existing in the settings I chose to paint them, as my imagination tends to take over. Several of my photos that I base my paintings on, other than that of the red barns, are used for sources .

I have viewed barns in green, many white, but red seems to be the "thing"-especially in the old restored barns here in Central new Jersey. I learned a few very interesting things about why there are so many red barns.

Centuries ago, European farmers would paint their barns with a linseed-oil mixture, often consisting of additions such as milk and lime. The combination produced a long-lasting paint that dried and hardened quickly. Wealthy farmers added blood from a recent slaughter, or rust to their paint mixture.
In historically accurate terms, "barn red" is not the bright, fire-engine red that we often see today, but more of a burnt-orange red. As to how the oil mixture became traditionally red, there are two  theories:

Regardless of how the farmer tinted his paint, having a red barn became fashionable. They were a contrast to the traditional white farmhouse.

As European settlers crossed over to America, they brought with them the tradition of red barns. In the mid to late 1800s, red paint was the most inexpensive to buy. When whitewash became cheaper, at which point white barns began to spring up.

Here are my paintings where the red barn inspired me:

1. "Observing the Pond"---This barn painting was combined with a scene I observed at a park, where a beautiful Blue Heron was "observing the Pond" hoping for a meal. The barn was from another location, but I imagined them together, and created this serene painting.

2. "Somewhere, Not Here, a Red Barn"--close by my house is a farm dating from the 1700's where stands this red barn. The mountains come from my memory of my travels from yet another place. The plants are unusual and unreal, giving this painting a surreal feeling.

3. "Taking Over"--a view from my window, that is not really there.....the table and the easel are real, but the plant is not.

4. "One Behind the Other"--During this past winter, I photographed the aftermath of the blizzard that was practically up to my waist in the early morning. I obtained the lighting of the sky and snow from that photo taken right outside my front door. The barns come from a place so very far away.

Observing the Pond
Somewhere ,Not Here, A Red Barn
Taking Over
One Behind the Other

Please see my full collection of art work at www.PaintingsbyLinda.net
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Looking forward to your responses.