Thursday, February 29, 2024

Boston in 100 Words - Illustrating East Boston

Boston in 100 Words is an annual flash fiction event inviting local authors of all ages to submit essays of 100 words or less depicting life in their communities. I follow them on Instagram, so "raised my hand" when I saw a call for illustrators for the year's winning essays.  I love Boston, paint frequently in the city, and was interested in the challenge.  I was assigned an essay, and given a 7-day deadline.  Exciting! Turns out my essay was about East Boston... about which I knew very little.  So, a research trip, some design sketches, and off we went. 

 I loved the puzzle of putting together an illustration that did this lovely essay justice. What a fascinating place is East Boston (and how remiss have I been to just begin discovering it).  We found the Madonna, Queen of the Universe Shrine, pictured in the distance in my illustration.  Fascinating!  There are four floors built into the hillside including an underground chapel, and grotto. 

Here is the text of the winning essay, and some always, thanks for looking.  You know I love your comments.

Across the River


I was born across the river, but I’m an Eastie kid through and through. Walking down the streets, you can hear folks from all over speaking languages ranging from Spanish to Vietnamese, and the older crowd chatting from their balconies in Italian. The aroma of arroz con pollo as you walk through town is enough to die, or rather, to live for. The rich sense of community everywhere—whether it’s a smile from someone you’ve never met, waving at someone from church, or spotting a primo de un primo who you haven’t seen in years—makes you feel warm and safe inside. 


Banner at Grove Hall Library

Turns out my essay was written by a 12 year old young woman!  I was so surprised.  The language is beautiful and its rhythm sophisticated. 

 Boston in 100 Words held an award ceremony at the Boston Public Library.  I was invited as one of the thirteen illustrators and anyone who wrote an essay was invited.  The thirteen banners were hung backwards, and the winning essays revealed one at a time.  It was a thrill for all those writers attending. There was even a class of 4th graders present!   Boston in 100 words is asking for submissions for this year's contest.  Maybe you will participate.  


Madonna, Queen of the Universe Shrine - 35' tall!

At the BPL Award Ceremony

Some process Photos, in random order. 



Sunday, September 17, 2023

"After Breakfast" 9 x 12 gouache - on the summer porch


We have breakfast on our porch in the summer.  After breakfast, I looked up and saw the tray sparkling in the sun, and had to paint it.  I see it as a plein air still life, and I was especially drawn to the juice cans shining in the shadow.  

Gouache is such an interesting medium; flat, and can be used as a wash or thicker and opaque.  It layers beautifully and I love applying it with impasto, like oil.  It feels fresh and juicy. 

A little back story.  A few years ago, during my middle-school math teaching career, my husband decided to sign on as a substitute teacher in our K-12 charter school.  He subbed on eleven separate days.  He finally understood what my teaching day was like, and has made me breakfast every day since.  Happily, this has continued in to my retirement!  Lucky me.

As usual, thanks for looking.  You know I love your comments and questions. 


Tuesday, December 06, 2022

"Drawn Out" - showing at the Hingham Public Library Dec 3 - Jan 5

Please consider visiting the Dolphin Gallery of the Hingham Public Library to see my solo exhibit "Drawn Out", hosted by North River Arts Society.  Dec 3 - Jan 5 with an opening reception on December 8 at 5:30. This show of seventy-two images chronicles my 5+ year commitment to drawing/painting every day.  I started with a vow to paint/draw each day for one month back in 2017; the month turned into a daily practice that I plan to continue.  

You can follow my Instagram @jodypaints where you will see a drawing/painting created on that day.  Every Day.

Turns out I LOVE drawing in public, capturing the beauty, grace, and poetry of the world around me. I find inspiration everywhere.

I hope you'll find some time to check it out. Take a look at some pictures below... thank goodness for my hard-working hanging crew and the Frame Center in Hanover.

"People" themed board at the show

Whole library wall, almost finished

Measuring and leveling

Scale drawing of each board

Scale drawing of the entire wall

You can draw from anywhere, including the car

Drawing at a local restaurant


Tuesday, November 01, 2022

"Love Story" - a special wedding gift - 9 x 12 acrylic


My daughter was maid-of-honor in her best friend's wedding this past summer.  She asked me to create a painting of them as a gift.  She sent me pictures and a video of them dancing.  I stepped through the video frame by frame until I found the image that struck me with its movement, and their loving gaze.  I designed the painting to lead the viewer's eye to the couple's faces, only seeing each other despite the crowd watching them dance.  Below are some process photos showing how the painting progressed, and a photo of the final painting with arrows showing how the painting leads the eye.   

I designed the painting so that her dress dipped below the bottom edge, creating movement as the eye travels out to her ballet-trained toe, then up the line of her leg to their faces.  I was very happy to be asked. I love these two young people and wish them a life of happiness.  

As always, thanks for looking.  You know I love your comments.  

Monday, October 10, 2022

Guest on the Frame Center Podcast - so much fun!



Last week I visited The Frame Center, in Hanover MA as a guest on their podcast. What a treat! Owner, Dave Petty, is easy to chat with, and we've known one another for a number of years.  We talked about owning original art, juried shows, local North River Arts Society, among other things.  Dave and his crew at The Frame Center do a terrific job with custom framing.  At the end of my visit, Dave asked me to describe a framed piece I have at home that is a favorite.  Of course, I described two.  

Firstly, I inherited a pair of pastel portraits of me and my brother, Kevin.  They hung over our home mantel for many years, in ornate antique gold frames my mother picked up at her favorite framing spot/antique store in Boston.  I remember going with her as a girl, onto a road that dead-ended at the railroad tracks.  We walked up a flight and entered a majestic room overflowing with antiques and art.  I was maybe ten years old, so my memory of the place is fuzzy.  I think Boston's Copley Place may be on top of that spot now.  When the portraits became mine, I took them to the Frame Center where they dismantled them, used archival matting and backboard, and museum glass.  The portraits now hang together again in my home.

Secondly, when Steve and I were married, my bridesmaids gave us the gift of heading to Maine choose a painting by Alfred "Chip" Chadbourn, of Yarmouth, ME.  We picked a beautiful painting of Stonington and we cherish it. 


Here is a link to the Casual Confabs with Jody Regan, or look for The Frame Center podcast wherever you find your podcasts.  As I said, it was a treat.  I hope to visit again. 

Pastel of Kevin by Joanne F. Regan

"Stonington" oil on canvas by Alfred Chadbourn