Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Flowing Bride-7x5-SOLD

Did a bunch of these bride paintings last winter and had the itch to do another last night. love how you can see thru the gauzey dress where she's pulling on it.

October Morning Glow-22x28


Today was an awesome day to paint this one outside. cool temps and no humidity. i did this small at the beginning of the summer and have wanted to do this bigger since. the light was fantastic.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tending Roses-5x4-SOLD


in this one i'm doing a high key painting meaning the darkest darks are maybe a tad darker than a medium value. the range of values is severely narrowed and gives the piece more of a feeling of atmosphere and light bouncing around. one of the tools in the impressionists of old's toolbox. alot of claude monet's stuff was high key. he was after that elusive light effect where everything looks sun-filled.

Shimmering Water- 6x8
$390 framed
at Woods Gallery on Bald Head Island
Love this area of the island and always see something to paint. did an overcast painting from here last time i went. it looked totally different today with the sun reflection coming out from behind the tree and the clear, early morning skies after the previous days Nor'easter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Skiff with a Yellow Rope-6x8-SOLD

Still on Bald Head Island. Landed a few commissions to paint of a previous marsh scene, a house portrait, and another persons ocean view from their back deck.

The demo went well saturday even tho' we had a Nor'easter blow thru with high winds and soaking rains all day. thanks to shawn for the invite over. its a great island and the vibe here is wonderful for painting. i'll post what i did in future posts.

there's not a cloud in the sky today so i'm off to paint some more!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Falmouth Curve-8x10

(note: the pictures a little off kilter- the water doesnt go down hill in the painting LOL)


This one is from the cape cod trip. it was getting overcast but the sun was shining thru that one hole in the sky and backlighting the building. i thought i was going to have to work on it some in the studio but ending up liking it, as is, after being away from it all this time.

what a great week i've had. spent two days waterside near corebanks in Gloucester two days, and finished it off with three days on Bald Head Island, off mainland Southport. there arent any cars over here and you have to go everywhere by golfcart. i was doing demos all day at their Food and Wine Festival and decided to stay on to paint for my gallery over here. the suns just now trying to come out after rain and clouds all day yesterday and this morning, so i'm off to do my thing! as one of my friends always says,....."enough frivolity!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marshallberg Waterway-5x7

Private collection- NFS

That house was the site of the Gloucester workshop i taught yesterday, and it was something to behold. we convered the basics of value, how to mix colors and i did a talk in the morning about how to pick out subject matter for a painting, and alot about the in's and out's of the process.
i did this painting for Faye, our gracious host as a thank you gesture.

Conch Point Houses- 16x12

contact me if you like it and we'll work something out

Trying to mix all the colors on the canvas and keep it very Cape School with the emphasis on the light, making even the ordinary subject "painting worthy". the light's the star.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Overcast Sailboat-6x8-SOLD

What Dreams Are Made Of-22x28

Here's one i did yesterday for WH in Fayetteville. Cant keep these marsh scenes here lately. better do as many as i can before they go into their fall colors until next summer

Shows my easel and palette setup and the painting about in the middle of the process.

Here's how it started out. i underpainted my big shapes in the proper temperatures.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wellfleet Boat-6x6-SOLD

One from Wellfleet Harbor, Mass.

i could almost imagine Charles Sovek (one of my hero's) painting out on this same dock when he was doing his thing! God rest his soul.

Monday, September 21, 2009

SOLD-Small Town Shadows-6x6


This one from Selma NC this past sunday morning. something intriguing about the way awnings throw that huge shadow on the sidewalk, and the building's in shadow.
the key is to keep it colorful. i use these little vignettes to train my eye to see the colors in the shadows. at first glance they look like grays but look harder and see what color gray. Blue-gray, purple-gray, yellow gray.
the cape school technique of "full color seeing" makes you realize that there's nothing out there that's neutral gray. everything has a color identity.
Also... there's a blogpost on the Bald Head Island blog about the workshop i'm holding there at the end of october. go check it out!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday in September-SOLD

8x6-oil on canvas board

Sold this one right off the easel this morning while painting on the street in a little town off 70 west business called Pine Level. it hasnt changed much in 40 years. thats why i like painting there. time seemed to have passed it by just like all the major highways over the years. no traffic, no growth.

its right down the road from Hinnant Winery where i painted the rest of the afternoon. i'll show you that one tomorrow. i've never been to italy but in my mind, its how i would think it looks. maybe i'll get to italy to paint in the near future, but for right now there seems to be plenty of places to paint where i dont have to leave "ole Bessie" at home. she loves a road trip as much as i do!

Dont forget that the deadline to sign up for the October Morehead City NC workshops on the 12-14th and 17th and 18th is fast approaching. the deadline to sign up is Midnite on Oct. 10th. Email me for the address to send the deposit check to if you'd like to come.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Topsail Cottages-6x8-$100

$8 s/h
to purchase click on the "buy now" button to pay using PayPal or credit card

This was the second one from my daring bridge session. The paint flies when your a foot or two from large trucks and SUV's flying past you. until one hits me, i really do forget that theyre there!

Riverfront Shadows-10x8
$275 unframed (for a limited time only)
to purchase drop me an email
Headed to Carolina Creations when the frame comes in

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Barn and Truck-9x12-SOLD


'07 and '08 Studio Sale
Here's one from the rural NC hiway's last summer. the state's full of old rusty trucks and old buildings like this.
Save on this painting, that's selling now, for not much more than my new smaller works.

India Point Boats-8x10


Painted this with one of my fave bloggers Kathy Weber in Rhode Island. She loves boats as much as i do, and thats alot!

Looking Out Over P'Town- 12x16

Commission- SOLD

Had fun repainting this scene for a commissioned piece. i moved some buildings around making the composition better and changed a few shapes for the better. This one came together effortlessly using a photo reference for the drawing part and a previous painting for the color notes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Topsail Shimmer-6x6-SOLD

Sat up on the bridge going over to topsail island to get this one. everybody and their brother felt the need to gawk and honk their horns at me. at least nobody threw a coke can at me and knocked me off the railing into the water 100 feet below.

The Color Selection-a sketch-8x10
$50 unframed

i taught a private lesson this week and she wanted to learn the cape school technique so of course we painted blocks in the tradition of henry hensche.

Here she is wondering what color to mix.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Eye on the Sea-9x12

To purchase- contact me for price and availability

This is one from my Cape trip. its in Eastham, Mass. and is the Capt. Penniman house and was the most expensive house on the cape in its time. can you imagine that? the house sits way up on the highest bluff in the area and has a spectacular view of the outer cape coastline for miles and miles in both directions. what a sweet pad this guy had!

He was the owner of a whaling ship and made his fortune with whale blubber that people, i guess, burned in lamps (pre-electric lights era) and other products made out of the whale.

i named this piece "one eye on the sea" because they say that when he wasnt sailing looking for whales that he'd get up in that cupola on the very top of the roof and watch his family play around the grounds of the house, but he'd always keep one eye on the sea!

i loved the way parts of the house lit up yellowy-orange in contrast to those sweet purple-lavender shadows.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Island Houses September Light-12x16

To purchase contact me for price and availability
I'm having a problem!
since i got back from cape cod and saw all those knife paintings they do up there (and Cape School technique is in my blood too) it has brought back my desire to paint with the knife like i did when i first got back from key west last year. i made several DVD's for Jerrys Artarama on how to paint with knives and i enjoy doing knife paintings. Sales say some folks like them too. the gallery in cape cod took every knife painting i did when i was up there. Fountainside gallery in wilmington nc just sold two this month.
then i have a few people say "i dont particularly like your knife paintings. i like your brushed stuff!" To which i say "different strokes for different folks". but then i've had gallery owners tell me that they were sometimes told this...."it doesnt look like a Rooney" and when theyre hung with my brushed work, it does look like someone else did them.
Now THAT can be a problem.... i think???
but until it causes irreperable damage or galleries refuse to take brushed AND knifed, i'll continue to do what pleases me the most. if that means having two different looks, so be it!
What do you think? leave me a comment below!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Island Afternoon-8x10

If you like this one and want to purchase it, drop me an email to check on availability and price

This was the first painting done plein air on Topsail Island. i really like this one. thats why i wanted to play with it again, and went bigger!

Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Market Your Art Using a Blog

I wrote this article on blogging yesterday for a friend who asked for some tips, so i thought i'd post it here. i know alot of my readers are painters who are holding down other jobs but aspiring to "take it to the next level" so here's something that i hope will help you!

If youre selling all the art you want, this article is not for you. It contains information youre already doing everyday and everywhere. No need to read any further.

But if you'd like to sell more art and keep more of the profit read on.

Three words- Start a Blog!

When i first heard of blogging years ago, i wondered how it could sell art. In my search i found a guy who had started a blog and was selling a painting a day. His name was Duane Keiser. So i read up on what he was doing, and found others were doing well selling online, too. So i started a blog, and found it very easy to do.

Here are the steps and a few tips to start a blog and get traffic to it.

Go to my blog at and click the "create a blog" button on the top of the page.
Follow the self explanatory directions and make your first "post". A post is nothing but an entry where you can have just words, or words and photos. You can publish the post with a click and your post is on the worldwide web.

Now what?

You want traffic to come to your blog so you can sell your art, of course! It doesnt do any good if your brother and aunt are the only ones looking at what you've got for sale so here are some tips to get traffic.

I went from 10 people per month to getting over 2800 per month, in a few years of posting everyday. And thats considered a small amount of "views" considering the biggies in the online art biz probably get 10 to 20 times that! But i do know that i sell tons more stuff online with 2800 views than i did when i had 10.

Here are some tips to up your traffic-

When you write your post be sure to make sure the writing is interesting to your core readers. The writing adds interest and ties your reader to you. Make it as interesting as possible with stories that will have them coming back day after day. Imagine reading a magazine that has the same thing in it day in, and day out. You'd quit buying it wouldnt you? For example you're out there painting and your umbrella fell in the water etc. people like to hear about the painting experience and will come back again and again to hear about it.

Mention other bloggers who have high traffic on your blog. That way when someone Googles their name, your blog will pop up on the screen.

Mention famous artists on your blog. Same thing.

Identify your core group(s) of readers and write to them. its ok to have multiple core groups. Examples could be: workshop students, collectors, people who are interested in art, gallery owners etc. One day you do a post for one group, and the next, another.

Get people who already have lots of traffic on their blog to put you on their sidebar so you can get plenty of hits from their hard work.

Write or show something interesting and send it to someone who has lots of blog traffic. Chances are they will include it in their blog post that day and have a link to your blog. That means everybody who goes to their blog will probably be curious enough to follow the link to yours, thereby upping your traffic.

Comment on as many other bloggers posts as you can. When people see a new name on their fave bloggers blog, they'll usually click and go to yours.

Write articles and send them to other bloggers and offer to let them use it. Of course have your blog address in the article so others will go check it out.

Have the blog address on your business cards and in all your advertising.

Everywhere you go leave these cards around.

Do free giveaways on your blog. People love free paintings and will keep coming back to see whether they won or when the next one is.

Join an online gallery like (and many others). These online sites get tens of thousands of hits a day and this will add to your traffic exponentially. Not only will you snag them once, but if they like your blog, they'll email all their friends about the great blog they found. This will happen day in and day out.

The most important thing though is to post regularly. If you dont, or if its boring, you'll not only not pick up new traffic, you'll lose what you do have. The more you post the higher up on the page you'll be when people Google your name or any words or names that were in your posts. This is huge. Say i write about something and mention the name Monet. If i post enough when someone googles Monet, your post will pop up on the Google page. So you can see that its beneficial to be a name dropper!

So get that blog started and start selling your art online.

(Mike Rooney's blog address is: Feel free to use this article for any purpose, as long as this address is included)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Topsail Drive in the Afternoon-16x20

$790 Framed at Fountainside Gallery
This is the finished painting

Thought y'all would like to see how the painting is started. the small painting is the 8x10 i did yesterday afternoon on site to work out the composition, values, color harmonies etc.
i paint in the shadow colors in cool blues and purples and various muted cool colors. then i paint the shapes in the light with various oranges, yellows, and pinks.
i have found that rubbing my 1/2 and 1/2 OMS and walnut oil magic potion on the gessoe makes the earlier stages of the painting less "dry" and "scrubby".
i'm loving doing these bigger pieces now that i've solved that problem. the potion makes the edges easier to keep looser too. give it a try!

Red Boat Woods Hole-9x12

to purchase email me or contact Sandpiper Gallery -Cape Cod, Wellfleet Mass.
This one has a funny story.
i had been painting with all my gear in my hosts garage the night before i did this one. hurricane bill was raging with rain and wind and i decide to go paint. so i get down to woods hole (about 30 min drive) and realize i've left my easel, paint supplies everything in the garage. so i dig around in ole bessie (my 93 toyota) and find a few panels, a few old crusty paint tubes and a huge painting knife. one way too big to be doing a panel this size with, thats for sure! anyway.... gotta use it. its all i had. then it starts to rain on me and the panel's so wet the paint is sliding around. oil paint and water dont really go together. i just keep wiping of the panel and piling on the paint thicker and thicker until it starts to stick and here's what i ended up with.
moral of this story is... make sure you dont ever, ever go anywhere to paint far from ole bessie!

The Pilgrimage 2-14x18
in Hornberger Collection

Fourth Hole Wianno Club- 9x12
In Hornberger Collection

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Palm and Marsh-9x12

'07 and '08 Clearing out the Studio Sale
A scene from Surf City. very peaceful with the sailboat breezin' along in the background. this is exactly why i love the intercoastal waterway in my hometown!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ocracoke Rental-SOLD

5x6-oil on canvas board

A cottage over on the island of Ocracoke NC but very reminiscent of anwhere on the coast.

loved the light on the roof, railings and grass out front. will remind you of summer when its cold out in a few months!

today was filled with gallery, studio, and art business (trivial) errands. stuff that piles up on you when you are out of town on a painting trip. paintings need to be mailed out, galleries called to touch base, fix dinged frames, email upcoming workshop hosts, and a myriad of minutae to do. it has to be done but isnt very rewarding. its preparing for the months ahead. all part of being in the business of selling art and teaching the craft to others.

dont forget to sign up for my workshops in raleigh in november at the Art of the Carolina's Expo and Workshops. just google Jerrys artarama and art of the carolinas for a schedule. instructors are flying in from all over the country to teach and students come from all over the east coast (and some from the west) for this thing. the vendors sell art supplies at ridiculous prices and i usually buy six months worth of painting supplies that weekend to save money!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Afternoon Mooring-8x8

sorry for the glare on the pics. i'll reshoot and re-post when i get close to the studio
To purchase contact me by email

Three Boats (Wellfleet Harbor)- 8x10
At Sandpiper Gallery in Wellfleet
drop me an email for availability and price
More from the trip.
taking it easy today after the marathon drive. just enjoying laying around watching tv with the wifey today. back hard at it tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

PTown Alley-8x8-SOLD

Well, after almost 1000 miles headed south i've just got home from my whirlwind new england painting trip. was in Providence R.I. friday painting with Kathy Weber, one of my favorite bloggers and then on to the DC area to visit my mom. i'm back in carolina tonite. i added up all my miles since i left to go to cape cod, and returned, and its the same as a coast to coast trip. california is around 3ooo miles from NC, and thats what i've driven in the last two weeks (including all the day trips to provincetown from osterville on the cape) thats a lot of miles. thanks ole bessie for getting me there and back trouble free.
now i'll be concentrating on local carolina landscapes and city scenes to restock sold paintings in my galleries. always more work to be done.... or as i've heard since i was a kid, "no rest for the weary!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Beach Heather-6x8-SOLD

We dont have this beach plant, called Heather, in NC. i was amazed at the way it was spread out all over the dunes. so of course i had to do a painting of it. its from the "secret spot" joyce showed us a few days back.

Danny's House-9x12

to purchase email me or contact Sandpiper Gallery in Wellfleet

This one was done while standing on the roof of my pickup. it got me way up high were i could see the water in the background. i was parked near a playground and every last kid had to say "mommy why is that man standing on top of his truck". everywhere i go i feel like an oddity. even when i'm on the ground, people are amazed to see someone outside painting for some reason.

Done with a knife in the strict sense of the Cape Cod School technique. you should see all the subtle temperature changes in this one the computer screen just cant pick up.