Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reaching into the Past

Since we are snowed in I am able to work more than usual. I am excited about my current portrait of my husband and son. The photograph that I am basing the painting on is twenty-five years old. Since then I have been through so many different approaches to oil painting that they are all converging in my head as I paint this one. I started out using the traditional thin-to-thick method of layering oil paint but I have since explored many levels of the impasto technique. I still apply the paint in layers. Most oil paintings are made that way but I am often asked if I use a palette knife as the brushwork is visible on close inspection.

It is so exciting to look at the photograph and make visual decisions partly based on the photograph, partly based on my personal expression, and partly based on combining various impasto techniques. Painting is a magic act. I balance between control and accident and arm wrestle it down as Paul Frets once told me.

Here is another painting I want to add to my portfolio when the weather improves and I can get a good outdoor shot.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blogging and Looking for Hours

So much to do all the time. I wish someone would add hours to the day. Today I put in several hours on a portrait of my husband and son. The painting is based on a photograph I took when my son was nine months old. I have done a number of portraits of them from photos but I didn't think this one would work but now I realize it is an excellent start for me to build on with my personal expression. I am so excited to be reaching into the past with this work but I need to take better pictures for several pages of my website portfolio, work on images for my classes next semester, work on items that need repairing in my house, spend time with my husband, son and friends... The list goes on and on and all she wants to do is paint!

Here is one of the paintings I want to add to my portfolio among many others that I need good weather and good light to revise. Hopefully I will get some of that done next week. I am especially proud of the brushwork and delicate color contrast in this painting, " A Tree Poem".

Check out my work at

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Line Dancing and First Place on Fine Art America

The Country Line Dancers are at it again. We have a performance the 27th and the 29th. I live to paint but line dancing is definitely second place.
My painting, "Dominion Skating Rink" took first place in Maximum Expression Through Minimum of Means today. It is great to be appreciated! I am having a wonderful time going back and forth between oil paint and pastels right now. I haven't met the medium I don't like but oil paint is my main love.

I will be glad when the weather is better so I can get back to updating my portfolio. I am on page five but I am anxious to get the whole thing straightened out. I have to take the shots outdoors due to the inadequate light in my studio.

I have a number of items on auction on ebay right now. Check them out! Also check out the paintings on ebay classifieds for Blacksburg, VA.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just Hung a show At Mill Mt Coffee and Tea and did not knock over a single person

Sunday my husband and I hung my latest show, "This and That" at Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea in Blacksburg, Virginia without any problems. It is always tricky to hang a show in a business but it was early and I am pleased to say I didn't bump anyone.

I am, of course, joking. I have hung so many shows I could probably do it blind-folded if my paintings were lighter. Most of them are 30"x40" and on hardboard. I usually do it by myself but my husband offered to help so I took him up on it.

The show looks great and I have already had numerous compliments. Compliments are great but I hope to get some sales. There are landscapes and a few portraits. Please check it out! The show ends January 15th.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too Much to do and the sale of Samantha

It is so hard to blog when you are trying to update a portfolio, get ready for a November show, teach four classes, and keep up with housework. I am worn out but I wanted to write about Samantha which I recently sold. The paintings and pastels that I did of my son's friends are very special to me. I was neighborhood Mom for many years and it was a wonderful time. I took kids skating, swimming, bowling, and fishing. They are all adults now and their portraits are more than paintings to me. They are monuments to some of my favorite years.

I hope they will all continue to be viewed in other homes after I am gone. I work hard to sell my work. I don't want them to be thrown away. I hope someone will see them and experience the joy I experienced in raising my son.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wonderful Meeting with Senator Mark Warner in Draper, Virginia

Saturday my husband and I were invited to a special round table discussion with Senator Mark Warner who was the previous governor of Virginia. What a great experience! I talked on the importance of the Round the Mountain Artisans Trail that he founded when he was governor and my husband spoke on important conservation issues that are essential to promote effective tourism in Southwest Virginia. Senator Warner was most supportive and spoke on both The Crooked Road music program and Round the Mountain.

My husband, Clyde Kessler, is a well-known naturalist in the New River Valley and spends much of his time working with various conservation issues. He is actively involved in the preservation of several butterfly species that are in danger of extinction and will soon put out his CD on Butterflies of the Blue Ridge. Clyde was born in Ferrum, Virginia and his great uncle George Kessler was one of three founders of Ferrum College.

I was proud to be part of such an important discussion.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am Overwelmed by the Work I have to do

I have so many paintings to re-shoot that I am worn out before I start. I wish I had been born into the digital age. The 35mm camera techniques I was taught in school for photographing art aren't good enough for large prints. I have a collection of slides that look great on the screen but when viewed at full resolution are blurry. I uploaded many paintings on FAA before I even had the equipment to show me if the images were good. Most of my paintings are 30"x40" and are on heavy boards made heavier by the amount of paint I use. I have to set up outdoors in the sunlight which at times is so strong shadows are created by the brushwork on the painting. The clouds keep shifting today but I am going to try to get good prints. Yikes! What a chore! Such a long of list!

I am so glad I am a painter. Tuesday I received a big disappointment but all I needed to do was pick up a paint brush and all was well again. If I end up in a wheel chair I know I will still be painting. I hope I won't have crippling arthritis like Renoir but I will keep going. How wonderful to love what you do!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where is "A Memory"

What a day! Everything has gone wrong. I haven't had time to paint and to top it all off I just discovered that one of my large paintings has disappeared. I have been trying to track it down but the last time it was out was at a gallery but they said I picked it up. I have a reasonably good image on my website where patrons can obtain different size prints but I am worried that it is not clear enough. I will try to modify it on aperture but I have a feeling I will only be able to offer small prints.

I hate to lose a painting. I can't figure out what happened. Years ago when I was a student one of my paintings was stolen. I hope the person wanted the painting and didn't gesso over it for their own use.

Anyway, if you have seen this painting, please send me an email on my site,
trees prints

trees framed prints

trees greeting cards

trees posters

mountains paintings

Monday, June 28, 2010

Color, Color, and More Color

I am so excited with my new anything goes approach to painting. I am doing some paintings totally from my imagination based on images that I have seen. I am reacting to the color in much the way the Abstract Expressionists did but with representational forms.

My paintings keep me going in a world of disasters. I read the other day that Henry Ford once said that History is one damn thing after another. I wish everyone would take the study of History more seriously. Of course we repeat the same mistakes since many think the study of History is unimportant. What could be more important?

Please check out what makes my life wonderful on ebay. Just put Kendall Kessler in the search. Also check out

This painting is "Clouds over Buffalo Mountain".

green framed prints
green greeting cards
green posters
trees paintings
trees drawings
trees pastels
trees canvas prints

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Smith Mountain Lake Ending this Evening on ebay

I thoroughly enjoyed working on a boat scene from Smith Mountain Lake. When I was young I spent a lot of time with my father fishing and crabbing on the Rehoboth Bay and the Chesapeake Bay. I have always enjoyed looking at boats.

This painting has a sensitive, colorful surface with small brushwork that makes for a varied surface that I am very proud of. My paintings are for people that appreciate a continual change in color and texture. They are complex, sensual, positive reflections of life. There is so much sadness and tragedy in the world. My paintings are positive assertions of what is good in life.

landscape drawings
landscape prints
impressionist posters
trees canvas prints
landscape pastels
landscape canvas prints
landscape framed prints
landscape greeting cards
landscape posters
green paintings
green drawings

Saturday, June 26, 2010

COLOR FLOW Ending today on ebay!

I am so pleased with the work I am turning out lately. I feel like a big weight has been lifted off of my shoulders as I just let the paint go and knock off all of the pre-conceived notions I have about process, public appeal, and style.

I had gotten to the point in my development after learning so many things about oil paint that it was becoming hard to just relax and enjoy what I do. I am back to that initial joy of handling the medium and I am truly coming into my own.

The world must see what I do. I must sell these works so they can live on their own. Be sure to check out "Color Flow" on ebay before the auction ends tonight. It is a feast of color and sensuous texture. A treasure.
impressionism drawings
impressionism pastels
impressionism mixed media
impressionism canvas prints
green canvas prints

Friday, June 25, 2010

I am so proud of "Cozy"

Yesterday I completed a sumptuous painting with an exceptionally intricate system of brushstrokes. When I was young I didn't quite understand why art books would show close-ups of a tiny portion of a painting. I know now that the purpose is to show the complexity of the visual integration of the visual elements the artist has achieved in the work.

My paintings have become so complex that the rag I wipe my brush on has an incredible number of colors and nuances of color. Painting is such an exciting experience for hard-working disciplined artists. I wish I could make my living at it rather than just part of it but the most important thing is to create and I will never quit.

sunset paintings

river paintings

impressionism prints

impressionism framed prints

green pastels

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Joys and Aggravations of Painting

Yesterday I was crestfallen when I took my brush and wiped out a painting that just wouldn't turn out. Painting is always a crap shoot. It doesn't matter how talented an artist is, how much training the artist has, or how dedicated he or she is. It is always a difficult balancing act. On the same day I was ready to tear my hair out another painting worked out great! One of the best surfaces I have ever achieved on a painting! Go figure

I am trying more and more to get attention for my work. I work like a fiend and would like to be compensated for my efforts. Be sure to check out my work at Also I sell on ebay. Just put Kendall Kessler in the search.

mountain paintings
figure impressionism greeting cardspaintings

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I love my scanner!

I mostly paint fairly large oil paintings(30"x40") but I have a wide size range. I especially like to paint 5"x7" oils so I can try different things without using an enormous amount of expensive oil paint or take so much time in the process. Small gems are a great way to explore and create wonderful paintings that I can scan directly into the computer for sites.

I am amazed at how accurate the scan is and huge prints can be made from these little paintings. How great to be able to get a perfectly accurate 40"x60" print on paper of canvas of a 5"x7" painting? I hope someone orders one soon from my site I have sold small and medium prints but no large ones yet. Maybe soon!
impressionism posters
impressionist pastels
green prints

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Live to Paint and Line Dance

Be sure to check out one of my favorite Blue Ridge scenes on ebay today. Blue Ridge Cabin is ending today. I hope someone that truly appreciates this beautiful region will buy it. There is nothing like owning original artwork. When you buy original art you are getting an extension of a person's heart and soul. So much of what we buy comes from a machine. Invest in handmade items. You won't regret it. I own a number of pieces by local artists myself. I wish I had more room for more artwork and my own. I must sell.

I hope everyone will come out to Relay for Life tonight at Randolph Park in Pulaski, VA. I will be there with Cass Long's Line Dancers dancing away for this charitable event. We will be dancing at 7:00. Please join us! We will have some audience participation dances.
impressionist drawings
impressionist mixed media
impressionist canvas prints
impressionist prints
impressionist framed prints
impressionist greeting cards

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Views From Towhee Hill at Glencoe Museum in Radford, VA

My current show, "Views from Towhee Hill" at Glencoe Museum in Radford, VA is going very well. So far, three paintings have sold. I am always pleased to place my paintings where they will be appreciated. I am especially pleased that "Near Purgatory" has found a home. This painting of a ridge on the Blue Ridge Mountains near Purgatory has a wonderful surface and beautiful atmosphere. The intense, intricate, brushwork and sensuous surface of this painting make the viewer want to touch it. The other two paintings that sold are "Poppy View" and "Wildflowers by a Blue Ridge Sunset" - two more beautiful scenes from this wonderful mountain region. I never tire of expressing my emotional reaction to the beauty around me in these paintings. They have lives of their own.

green drawings

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I recently posted two new paintings on ebay that I am very excited about. I intend to enter online images of one of them in competitions. It is one of the best paintings I have ever done. "A Naturalist" is an intense portrait of my husband. The color contrast, brushwork, and spacing are wonderful.

The other painting, "Bottom Creek", is a waterfall in Montgomery County. The sensitive color modulation and light effect on the water make this painting a wonderful visual experience.

Be sure to check out these items on ebay. Just put Kendall Kessler in the search.
green pastels

Monday, May 3, 2010

Radford Flower Garden ending on Ebay Tonight

About twelve more hours on "Radford Flower Garden" on ebay. This painting has received over a thousand hits on my website and will light up your home or office. I've said it before and I will say it again. I am a hard-working, serious artist but I can't eat my paintings and I can't take them with me. I am determined to find homes for them. Fourteen states and counting. All of my patrons have come back for more. One great patron in Blacksburg owns four of my large ones and would buy more if she had the room. Her beautiful home is practically my gallery.

Be sure to check out the auction!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Glencoe Show and Two sales so far

Be sure to see my show, "Views from Towhee Hill" at Glencoe Museum in Radford, Virginia. Two of the paintings have sold and I hope more will sell. I live for two things after family - painting and line dancing. I now have three paintings in California. Fourteen states and counting. The paintings that sold are "Wildflowers by a Blue Ridge Sunset" and "Poppy View".

Be sure to check out my work at my website Archival prints on paper and canvas can be purchased there. I know I have posted this before but I want to keep reminding people of this wonderful site.

Also, check out my auction items on ebay.
green prints

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Great Glencoe Museum Opening and California Sale

My current show, "Views from Towhee Hill", opened Thursday to a large crowd and one of the paintings sold at the reception. Glencoe Museum in Radford Virginia is a beautiful venue for art and I am sure that many artists will want to show there. There are three available rooms, all well lit and spacious.

Also, another one of my paintings now resides with a great patron in California. "Craftsman", a painting I did as a tribute to the mountain people of the beautiful Blue Ridge where I have lived most of my adult life. An archival print on paper or canvas can be bought at I can't imagine living anywhere else. My husband, Clyde Kessler, is a native of Ferrum, Virginia and is a well-known naturalist. He has taken me to many beautiful settings for paintings, many of which I have sold.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Great Patron in California Now Owns two of my Paintings

A great patron in California has bought two of my small gem paintings. She bought "Craftsman" and "Alan looking out our Window". What a delightful patron! It is so important to me to find homes for my creations. It is especially nice to hear such positive comments about my work. I work so hard at my art and work hard to find people that see the joy I see in my creations. There is so much pain and misery in the world. I want people to see what is good about life in my work. I want people to experience what I experience when I paint beautiful colors and textures. Be sure to check out my work on ebay. Just put Kendall Kessler in the search. I am newriverartist.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Alan by Our Window in California

My favorite new painting, "Alan by Our Window" is now in a wonderful patron's home in California. I now have two paintings in California along with paintings in thirteen other states. It is great to find homes for my creations. I scanned this painting directly into my computer before mailing it and the scanned version is warmer colored than the one I took with my Nikon.

If I sell the other small paintings I have on ebay right now I will scan them in also. I am newriverartist on ebay. It is great to have huge files for Then patrons can get an archival prints on paper or canvas in small or large sizes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Burning Shore on Ebay Tonight

I have just completed another one of my small gem series that I am very proud of. It will be posted on ebay this evening. This painting is quite an achievement of intricate brushwork and color contrast. I am often told that my work reminds them of Van Gogh. I greatly admire the burning color he used that is both passionate and energetic. Nature really does grip one by the throat which, in so many words, is something he said about his painting experience. Be sure to check it out along with a number of other works. Time to do something else besides paint. That isn't easy but I do think I will flip if I don't take breaks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Alan by Our Window and Other Small Gems

The painting of Alan at two is now on ebay and I am going to post it here. I am excited about this little gem. I enter a lot of online contest in and recently tied for first place in one. I have won a number of the contests. I am going to look for other online competitions that are juried by prominent members of the art world. I want this painting to be seen by others that understand the accomplishment of intricate brushwork.

I have won awards from artists I respect but it has been a while since my work was judged by well known artists. I am only an adjunct teacher at Radford University so I don't feel obligated to suffer the steep costs involved in national and international competitions. The shipping alone has become outrageous.

I am also excited about two evening scenes I am doing of a local lake and a shore scene. Modulating warm and cool colors always keeps me going. My studio, Towhee Hill Studio is open to the public 3-5 Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment. Call ahead in case of emergency. 540-257-3437

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bringing Back a Moment

I just completed a small painting of my twenty-five year old son Alan when he was two. The painting was done from part of an old photograph of him looking out the window of our apartment to the grass below. He often did this with such an intent look on his face.

With this painting I reached back in time and captured a visual experience that is infinitely more expressive and emotive than the photograph. When I look at the painting with it's strong brushwork and compelling color contrast I am so happy that I took up painting many years ago. It is a mystical experience that energizes my days and gives me purpose.

I wish I could upload it now but it is extremely wet. I am going to photograph it tomorrow and place it on ebay. I want to spread my excitement and joy throughout the world. I am now in fourteen states and counting.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I recently mailed out paintings to Arizona, Texas, and New Jersey! It is so important to me to sell my work. I want to find homes for them. I like having them around but I want others share my joy in creating them. Now I have paintings in fourteen states and hope to keep adding to that number! The three paintings are "Blooming Apple", "Secluded Brook", and "Blue Ridge Wildflowers".

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Small Gems on Ebay

I am attempting to sell my small gem series on ebay. It is so important to me to sell my work so I am looking for all avenues and ebay is certainly one of them. So far I have sold "Up Close and Magenta" and " A Pair". The patrons have been great and the compliments make my day. I hope to sell many more small pieces and then work on selling larger ones. Many of my medium and large paintings have been all over the U.S. in competitions and I want to start sending them to permanent homes. Check them out! My name on ebay is newriverartist.