Frutta V

Frutta V
Maria's Best Selling Giclee Print to Date

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Starry Night - The Painting & Starry Night Artsy Soap, Feb 27, 2011

Starry Night - The Painting by Van Gogh

"Starry Night" is one of the most well known images in modern culture as well as being one of the most replicated sought after prints. Images of this painting have helped market a mass of products.  So how has that imaged influenced us.  It is interesting to ask almost any adult or child to identify the image.  Usually they know the title, but not always the artist who made it famous.  Many of Van Gogh's paintings can be instantly identified through the strong color and brush strokes. 

Take for instance an exhibit some time ago that I coordinated called "Replica."  Artist choose a painting created in past history to replicate in some way, but not totally duplicate.  It needed to be their painting but still recognizable.  I myself choose to replicate was "Starry Night."  I painted half the painting as day time and half as night time.  I am looking for that image in my stash of floppy discs to upload.  (Hope I find it before I finish this entry.)  Another aspect of the exhibit was that the public voted on their favorites in all categories of medium.  The exhibition was truly amazing and successful.  

Maria's "Starry Night" Artsy Soap
Coastal Cottage Artsy Soaps

One of my creative endeavors is my handcrafted soap company, Coastal Cottage Soaps.  This is a cottage industry whereby I sell soaps and toiletries from my website, at farmers markets and various locations in and around Delaware.  I started this venture over 5 years ago and have literally made a ton of olive oil based natural soaps.  By following my tried and true recipes I can be creative by mixing various essential oils, botanicals and color oxides.

I felt I needed to be more creative to keep it fun and to add challenge to the effort. So I started a line of soaps that would have a designer look and have great fragrance.  I embedded my own soap pieces of various shapes and colors into soap logs and bars of glycerin based soap.  This method lends itself to creating themed soap for children, holidays and events.

I decided to take another step in the process that would benefit the arts.  If I could build ships, flowers, and seaglass inside a bar of soap I could create a famous painting.   So I sat forth to create a few different soaps that would focus on famous artists and their paintings.  I always love telling the story and or history behind my products.  That is the story behind my  Starry Night Artsy Soap.  I have swirls of yellow and gold, moon and stars floating in an iridescent soap base that varies from dark to light blue sky.  I embellish the soap bar package with an image of the famous painting by the same name.  The underside of the tag gives the history of the famous painting.  My first famous art soap is the image above, Starry Night Artsy Soap.

Starry Night by Van Gogh
"Starry Night" by
Vincent Van Gogh

Below are the 2 stanza's from the lyrics to Don McLean's hit song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Van Gogh's artistic legacy is contained within his paintings, drawings and writings. They are everlasting and will never "forget" the style that created them. They are Van Gogh's eyes that watch the world.

I hope you enjoyed the story behind my "Starry Night Artsy Soap."

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Love to all,
Maria L B

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2 Pears Daily Painting & "Study of Two Pears" Poetry Musing, Feb 23, 2011

My "Two Pairs" Daily Painting:

I had painted the background of this painting some time ago, knowing 1 or 2 pears would be painted in the foreground.  So off I go to find real pears for my still life reference.  Well there are yellow pears, red pears, Asian pears (apple shaped)  and brownish pears and more.  So I bought 3 varieties thinking that I could whip up a french desert from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking with some of the pears.

It was a great sunny afternoon and I move my canvas, oil paints and palette to the enclosed porch which was warm with the wonderful sun shining in.  The sun gave the pears great light reflection and shadows.  Just what I wanted to create while being warmed (body and soul) by the sunshine.  I could see many colors in my pears from browns, taupe, a tinge of red and also blue, not to mention yellow, green and orange.  I never see only one color in most objects and natural vegetation and animals and hardly ever use only the one color of paint from the tube.  I love mixing colors to give depth and dimension.  I love the feel of the oil brush strokes when applied to canvas or board.

"Two Pears"
Daily Painting
Liberto's Art

I basically finished the little daily painting of "Two Pairs" and started another, "One Red Pear."  

Later I ran across an interesting poem "Study of Two Pears."  It is hard to know if the poet was really studying a painting of two pairs, or studying two real pears.  He describes the dimension of colors he saw in the pears, contemplates the shape that belongs to no other fruit or natural object me know. 

In the case of "Study of Two Pears" the poet is actually drawing and painting the two pears for us.  There are many comments and reflections concerning this poem and it's meaning.  A study of the "Study of Two Pears" will go on and on.

Study of Two Pears

by Wallace Stevens

pusculum paedagogum.
The pears are not viols,
Nudes or bottles.
They resemble nothing else.


They are yellow forms
Composed of curves
Bulging toward the base.
They are touched red.


They are not flat surfaces
Having curved outlines.
They are round
Tapering toward the top.


In the way they are modelled
There are bits of blue.
A hard dry leaf hangs
From the stem.


The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin.

The shadows of the pears
Are blobs on the green cloth.
The pears are not seen
As the observer wills

Stevens fuses the creative imagination with objective reality. Since he was a "philosopher of aesthetics," he challenges the reader to think about how we view the world and encourage us to sharpen our senses to explore every crack in this world--no matter how small (Poetry Foundation, 2008).

I am glad I painted the "Two Pairs" before I found the corresponding poem by Stevens.

Other Art Projects:

Mailed off the 2nd Delaware Floorcloth a customer purchased from website:  I am working on a 2nd Delaware floorcloth design for customers to choose from.  I also started another floorcloth.  I have sized the fabric and gessoed one side.  This canvas rug will have a floral handpainted design.  I have finished 2 sets of folk art painted wood canisters which I need to photography.  

Colonial Clothing Sewing Project:

I have been researching colonial clothing and costumes for 2 events this spring.  My French Husband and I will be colonial merchants and therefore will wear very middle class clothing of the period.  Since I am alsos a seamstress it is more affordable for me to create the clothing myself.  I will be creating a long Chemise and ladies bodice (either English or French) 
and pockets for myself.  For my gentleman I will creating the men's 18th century white cotton workshirt with the big sleeves and 1770 linen waistcoat.  I also may try my hand a three corner hat for I have the felt in my fabric stash.  The local fabric store did have the patterns I needed which I purchased  today.  I checked on the fabric I needed so my next trip may be shortened. 

A very wonderful blog: has great websites and blogs relating to reinactments, period clothing, events and other great topics.

Oh ------------ so much to do!

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Love to all,

Maria L B

Monday, February 21, 2011

Creative Inspiration - Design Elements, Feb 21, 2011

Design Patterns & Nature Influences Creativity:

What does stimulate artists?  Wow, the list is endless.  Nature is an endless source of stimulation as well as patterns for design elements.  The earth tone hues, dark browns soil colors to dark red clays.  Monochromatic greens ranging from chartreuse to forest green. Add in the colors of flowering trees, bulbs, perennials, annual flowers, sunsets, sunrises, body's of water, mountains and clouds.  Great colors of wildlife including birds, insects, mammals and all the others.  The design elements of this vast base of nature gives us patterns, colors and other elements to play with.  Look around you and contemplate how many everyday objects in your home were created through the eyes of an artist. And endless variety of design pattern  in linens, clothing, dinnerware, rugs, furniture, etc.

Let us not forget the engineer and architect that designed the monuments, museums, buildings, homes, bridges, machines and machine parts that have produced these elements since the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.

Many artists are also driven by unique landscapes, historical structures, the sky, the country side, people, personalities,  humor, and everyday objects.  Artists sometimes find that one idea leads them to another idea and on and on.

Artists are sometimes stimulated by what may be considered the most popular in producing monetary sales at the time.  Other artists seem to focus only on what they love to create and only create in their favorite


Some artists seem to feed off other artists.  By that I mean the creativity and enthusiasm of one artist may have a great impact on another creative individual. Like being soul mates, most artists relate to other artists.
Ideas and creative endeavors do lend inspiration to other artists. 

Artist usually create in solitude, many in real isolation.  The support of other artists helps fuel the individual artist and the community itself.

Art Groups/Associations Help Support Our Creativity:

We know there are many art groups we can join for various reasons.  That is one way to connect with other artists.  It really depends on the mission of the art organization and your own community.  Art and art education should be available and a focus to create a better environment and creative venue for its members.

Following your creative inspiration:

The most important point I am trying to make is to follow your inspiration.  If only working on the idea a few minutes each day.  You know you are working on a project.  Although progress is slow eventually the idea will come to fruition and success is the end result. 

One of the most productive times in my artful life was while working on my paintings 1 hour a night, every night, after which I spent 8 + hours a day as an Art Director.  I  could have spent that time doing many other tasks.  That escape into creativity was a stress free daily adventure.  

Once we have discovered our creative inner self and have accepted that profound quality so much is possible.  You do not have to consider yourself a "professional artist" to create. 

Most artists are always in training, practicing and learning. 

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Love to all,

Maria L B

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Artist's Apple Study & "One Apple is Not Enough" - Feb 16, 2011

The Apple of My Eye:

So many wonderful thoughts, sights, and delights brighten my day.  There is just not enough time to enjoy even more.  At the break of day or the uprising of the day our ever happy dog, greets us.  How can we be sad or even a little on edge when you start the day with Winston.  We wonder what he would say if he say upon arising if he could talk.  I believe he would say with a very loud voice and great smile, "Top of the Morning to You."  Winston is t;he apple of my eye and a great delight that we celebrate every day with.

Sir Winston Pumpernickle of Woodbrook
Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier

 One Simple Study, One Simple Daily Painting, One Simple Apple

What could be more simple or more perfect than an apple.  An apple of any color or shape in any season is a gift.  This special object has been studied by artists, athletes, doctors, poets, writers, chefs, and so many others.  Every artist has been exposed to the apple study.  Let us draw the apple.  See the light and shadow of the apple. What else do you see.  What other colors do you see?  What story can the apple paint? The apple can be a simple composition in any medium.  SO CLASSIC.  It cannot be overdone.  How could we not show the love between humans and the apple.  Whether the study is completed in monochromatic tones or various color hues.  The apple can be seen through the artists eyes and transmitted to the paper or canvas by the artists fingers.

The Apple Study
M Liberto Bessette
Liberto's Art Web Site

Art for Heart Sake: 


There is a new poem floating around called, "One Apple a Day is Not Enough" by Taylor Mali.
"An Apple a Day Is Not Enough" is a powerful poem written and performed by Taylor Mali (a well-known spoken word artist and teacher) about the importance of health education. It's done in the style of kinetic typography. We must get the word out about the importance of health education and its ability to get this country's health back on track—but we can't do it alone.

This is an interesting video that adds simple profound words kids will understand to the visual movement of words called kinetic typography  to form a poem.   Please play and send to anyone and everyone.

Maria's Healthy Apple Oat Muffins

So as we celebrate life let us think about the apple, how it may relate to art, creativity, the heart and the health of all of us.

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Love to All,

Maria L B

Monday, February 7, 2011

Art Studio Housekeeping - Famiglia & Note Dal Passato, February 5, 2011

Art Studio Housekeeping:
Somedays artists work at their craft no matter the random projects in various stages scattered around their work area or studio.  Materials pulled out to remind you of the creative idea you had yesterday.  It is great to be able to start and stop without having to totally have to clear and put away.  I have the great benefit of having a very large space to produce many art forms which enables me to maintain my artistic culture.  I am basically an organized person and domestic goddess.  All rooms in our home lend themselves to basic order.  My French Husband is a really neat and organized guy.  He can find any tool or screw in his "little wood shop".

Every now and then when I try to locate a certain art supply or reference and have to move other items I decide - enough.  I will stop all projects, reorganize and clean. So then I start and realize there is no turning back.  Art books, paints (oil, acrylic, watercolor), sketch pads, watercolor paper, canvases.  Oh we have so many canvases ranging from new, incomplete paintings and canvases waiting to be framed.  And that is not counting the canvas fabric I use for floorcloths.  Frames - wow all sizes and shapes, even broken frames. Mat board, foam core, glass.  I have artist brushes, pencils, erasers, pastels, and related items in vases and artists reference books arranged on one of two drafting tables.  I also have my mother's art books and many art magazines.  Floor easels, folding easels and other reference books. 

I guess you get the picture.  But not all the picture.  There is also the soap making supplies, materials, labels and molds.  In addition there is all the house paint, gesso and stencils used to produce my lovely floorcloths. I am blessed with the availability of having a supply of many other art materials to produce stained glass, metalwork, jewelry, stamps for note cards and collage as well as children's art supplies.  I have files of references on many subjects to sketch and paint and..........................!

I did complete the task at hand by vacuming, scrubbing and organizing a portion of the art materials.  I does give you additional energy to step into an organized art arena.

Famiglia (Family):
I wish I had learned Italian as child or even later on before my father died.  My grandparents imigrated from Sicily around 1901.  My grandfather came first and pathed the way for my grandmother Dominica and their first born Leonarado.  They lived in the Italian section of NY City on or near Houston Street.  Several more children were born there.  In 1913 they had saved enough money to purchase a parcel of farmland from my Great Uncle, Salvatore Gelfo in Central Delaware.  Many other Italians lived in the vicinity, many from the area in Sicily.  More children were born including my father.  My grandfather became a United States Citizen and speaking Italian was discouraged.  Although my grandmother never really learned English or became a citizen. 

The birthplace of my grandparents.
Baucina Sicily as it looks today.
Baucina is in the Province of Palermo.

My father was brilliant even though he had little education and I learned much from him.  A passionate gardener who could graft fruit trees and grape vines, produce wine, grow fruits and vegetables, create great Sicilian dishes, a skilled carpenter who could build anything from furniture to homes. He could make most strangers laugh and had a heart of gold.  I did learn so  much just by following him, watching and asking questions.  As he learned this traditions the same way, by following, watching and asking questions.  

Note dal Passato (Notes from the past):

So when I found some notes of translated English to Italian terms on the bulletin board in my studio I had to stop and give thanks to my heritage.  Both my mother and father were very creative people each with their own special talents.  I am blessed to know they blood flows through my veins and I have some of their talents as well.

Tulta la vita Maria continues (the artful life of Maria continues)!!

L'amore e goodnight (love and goodnight).

Maria Liberto Bessette

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Daily Paintings, Daily Painters, Daily Inspirations - February 3, 2011

Daily Paintings, One Painting Each Day

It is a great challenge. Can it be done? Daily painting is all about discipline and a love of the work. We create original art for every taste: still life, landscape, cityscape, figurative, floral, and more. You will find a variety of styles including realism, impressionism, fauvism and abstract. Most paintings are no larger than 12" x 12".

You can see some of my other Daily Paintings on this blog and also on my website:

Daily Painting
"Blue Sky Cloud"
Maria Liberto Bessette
It is good to decide on several themes you want to paint.  When you have completed at least 4 or 5 paintings in one theme you have a little series which will help market your art.  Another point is to paint on a small canvas, paper or board to reduce painting time and also reduce the cost of matting, and framing.  Smaller paintings are also more marketable because of (1) affordability - the price charged by the artist and also (2) the size  - as small paintings may be hung in more locations in a customers home or office or given as a gift. 

Daily Paintings are solidly marketed through the internet and most produce at least 3 paintings per week.  Painting is not all there is to it.  There are other chores like scanning the images and preparing the images for the web.  Most Daily Painters can be accepted into one of several Daily Painters on line galleries after they consistently upload paintings to their own art blog.  (Most blog sites are free to those who want to join and post.)  It is an easy process with great visibility.
Daily Painting
"Little Field of Kent County" (Delaware)
Maria Liberto Bessette

Daily Painters

One Painting Each Day, yes artists can produce one painting a day.  What is the secret?  Love of art and wanting to produce in a timely manner.  It is also good training and keeps the artist in the creative mode.  Almost like the need for routine physical exercise each day like walking, jogging or aerobic.  You feel the same momentum and when you skip a day for some reason you feel you have let yourself down.

Daily painting is all about discipline and a love of the work.  The websites focusing on daily painter originals are dedicated to connecting those who love art with those who love to make connecting those who love art with those who love to make art, and want to make art affordable and accessible.There are also many benefits for the artist doing daily paintings. First, you develop the discipline of being in your studio everyday. Too many artists wait around for inspiration to strike, and as a result they end up producing a small body of work with an inconsistent quality. Daily paintings also allow the artist to break free of their normal routine and try techniques or subject matter they would not normally be able to do. It also allows the artist to make a living with their art, while they are building their reputation in the market place.

Daily Painting
"Autumn Sky Beach"
Maria Liberto Bessette

Daily Inspiration

The painting a day movement is not limited to painters, nor was it created by painters. For many centuries masters in their respective crafts have advised their students to work daily on their craft. Writers are encouraged to write a short story, even a single page, based off of a conversation they overheard on their commute to work. Even some quilters have committed to doing their creative work with their fabric to produce a quilt every week or two. Check out the new "quilt a day" style.

Inspiration is all around us and also a good excuse to think "outside the box."  We all have ideas we want to try, many photographs, and the knowledge of what  has sold or been popular within our art box.  Think about this in a smaller scale and  try out the idea of one painting a day. 

I am now on my third series of daily paintings.  I have not submitted my work to a Daily Painting Website.  I need to produce on a more regular basis and perhaps limit my creativity only to painting.  That is really, really hard for me as I also have a natural soap business whereby I produce handcrafted soaps and bath products.  

I do have fun and enjoy all my creative endeavors and realize that is what keeps my inner-self happy. 

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I hope you have enjoyed my discussion on "Daily Paintings" and "Daily Painters."  I need to purchase additional supplies of canvases and artist boards to keep my going.

Love to all,

Maria L B