Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Season's Greetings~A Focal Point With Spirit

Season’s Greetings, oil painting by Melody Phaneuf
Private Collection

“I want to inspire the spirit of Christmas year round.”

This was the declaration by the patron who was to purchase the painting, Season’s Greetings. Having just finished a substantial home addition, she was looking for a focal point for the new family room; something to blend with her beautiful furniture, yet make a statement in her new interior.

Season’s Greetings was painted with a child’s heart, a sense of awe from magically appearing gifts, of dreams come true. The expression is supported by an intermediate major key, which mesmerizes us with light emerging from darkness. The dazzling white rocking horse provides the light, reflected in the bell and gift-wrap. Contrasting color —warm reds and cool blue green—causes pupils to expand and contract, entrancing us with wonder. The key allows colors to be rich without harshness.

The theme of the painting, the dramatic lighting and captivating color were well suited to be the focal point of the new family room. The neutralized yellow wall color is in harmony with the tone of the bell and golden gift. The room’s large windows, perpendicular to the wall where the art is hung flood the room with illumination, without directly hitting the painting. Season’s Greetings hangs above an antique bookcase. The ensemble is a remarkable focal point in the room. I am honored that this painting was chosen to enhance such exquisite surroundings.

~Wishing you the spirit of Christmas. May it last year round.~

Open Edition Prints and Note Cards of Season's Greetings are available at

Melody Phaneuf is an award-winning artist known for her evocative still life allegories. Phaneuf's paintings have been exhibited at Galerie Herouet in Paris, The National Arts Club in New York City, and were included in a traveling exposition in Japan. She is a regular exhibitor at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.

Further Reading~

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Heart ~ Creating A Mood Of Serenity


Swaddled in blankets, I am immobile but warm. Snowflakes shattering on my nose linger on the tips of my eyelashes. I am hypnotized with the serene activity of watching interweaving movement. The world is quiet, gentle, pristine.

I am a winter baby, born into a world of snow. First impressions persist. Childhood feelings echo from the painting, Village In Snow.

Feeling is the heart of aesthetic living. It is useful to understand the relationship between what we see and how we feel. In Village In Snow, the intervals between light and dark, called value, are narrow because of the diffused light of a cloudy sky. The color is neutralized, just a hint of chroma in silvery grays. The subtlety of tight intervals of value and color quiets us. We become attentive, much like we do to hear someone whispering in a noisy room.

The mood evoked by Village In Snow is one of attentive serenity. This painting is ideal in expression for an office, conference room, library, or sitting room. The savvy decorator knows how to design tranquility by choosing cool, neutral colors and subtle accents. The artist understands the mechanics of mood.

Melody Phaneuf is a fine artist who believes that everyone deserves to live aesthetically. Her winter paintings of Gloucester, MA can be seen at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St, Boston. Melody welcomes studio visits are welcome at Fenway Studios in Boston.

Village In Snow, Oil Painting by Melody Phaneuf, 30 x 25

Open Edition Prints and Note Cards of Village In Snow are available at Free Shipping until December 31st.

More reading:

Mood Lighting
HGTV- Create A Mood With Color
Psychology of Color
Symbolism of Snow

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Radiant Vessel ~ Experiences of Beauty and God

Your Light will come Jerusalem; The Lord will dawn on you in Radiant Beauty. Liturgy of the Hours

A recent conversation with a chaplain friend about his “experience of Jesus” led us into a comparative discussion of his recalled sensation and my experiences of beauty.

I remembered one time that I was driving while listening to a symphony of Henryk Gorecki. Completely overcome in the shear perfection of song, the expression of yearning and resurrection, that I found myself weeping at the side of the road. It fathomed something deep, resolved it, and like my friend, returned me, wholly changed.

We agreed that these moments awe us, moving us toward generosity, in gratitude for the experience. It is in connection with the Divine that our senses are opened to beauty. And conversely, beauty can open us to God. We are but vessels, accepting and radiating the Light.

Melody Phaneuf is a Boston Artist, known for her evocative still life allegories. Her paintings can be viewed at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St, Boston, MA. Studio visits are welcomed.

Radiant Vessel by Melody Phaneuf
Oil Painting, 24 x 34
Private Collection

Open Edition prints , cards and holiday gift ornament of Radiant Vessel at

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Art And Children~ Outside The Box

When Susan Conti visited Open Studios, she hadn’t expected to purchase a work of art. Her newborn son was safe with his Grandfather; she and a friend decided to browse Fenway Studios’ annual event. It was here that she came upon Outside The Box and was halted by an idea.

"I had been reading about toys that develop fine motor skills, planning which toys I would choose for my son. He is still too young for such things, but maybe a picture is to an infant what these toys are to a toddler," she surmised.

Susan bought Outside The Box with the idea that becoming familiar with the image might encourage her child’s curiosity to reach and grasp at toys earlier, giving him advanced motor skills and strength.

As the Artist, I hadn’t considered this when I composed the painting. I just loved the joyful quality of this hand-made toy. It is a delight to create something useful; it validates my belief that Art is an integral part of life.

Outside The Box is available in Open Edition Prints, Bookmarks, and Notecards at

Melody Phaneuf is a Boston Fine Artist working at historic Fenway Studios. Her paintings can be viewed at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St, Boston. Visits to her studio are welcome.

Further Reading:

Fine Motor Activities For Preschoolers

The Promotion of Gross and Fine Motor Development for Infants and Toddlers: Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Parents and Teachers

Bilateral Coordination

Gifts to Develop Fine-Motor and PerceptualSkills