Memories Of Manila (not Vanilla) Paper

Cheryl McNulty:

Just thought I would post this one again!

Originally posted on Cherylmcnulty's Blog:

I just set up my new website ( that will feature all of my artwork.  I just had to chuckle because the line I used to start off my introduction is:

As long as I can remember, I had wanted to be an artist.  In my younger days, I would bring home large sheets of manila (I always thought this was “vanilla”) paper from school and draw pictures in crayon for every holiday. Then, being so proud, I would tape these pictures up in my kitchen for all to see.

That just brought back so many memories for me.  I distinctly remember when it was time for art class when I was in 4th and 5th grade.  They would pass out this large sheet of paper and put it in front of you and you had your own (hopefully sharpened) Crayola Crayons.  Like I said, I always thought it was “vanilla”…

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Commissioned Portrait, A Special Gift

I don’t know what it is, but whenever I do a portrait I somehow feel connected to the subject somehow.  I guess when you spend a week or so going over the eyes several times to just get them right, or smoothing out the cheeks, adding color here and there, wrinkles and subtle touches that define the person, it’s hard not to feel a connection. You are not only painting a picture but expressing an emotion with the sparkle in the eyes and the curve of the smile. You want it to feel like the subjects are there in the room with you, and if they passed on, they feel somewhat alive again. I guess that’s the best way I can explain it.  That’s what I try to achieve in my portraits.

The commissioned portrait came from a woman who wanted to give it to her father as a gift, It was of his parents. This portrait was really special to me because first, it was my first couple portrait.  And second, I found out they both passed away on the same day. All I kept thinking was how they must have loved each other so much, they could not even leave each other.  So, it was even more important for me to get this right. The only thing was, I only had a small picture to do the portrait from, and even when I blew it up to get the details, most of the fine details were missing, like the woman’s eyes.  I could not see the colors of either of them as well.  I had to ask what the colors were and hope for the best.

I guess in the long run, it was right on or at least very close, because the woman said her dad cried when he opened the portrait as a gift. And that is what it’s all about.  To make it that “real” that it touches someone that way, I can’t even explain how it makes me feel.  It’s God given and I believe that, and I just want to do the best that I can with what he gave me. It’s a gift and I want to share it to make people happy, and so far, it looks like it’s working. I thank him everyday for it. Have a gift, give the gift.  Pass it on.  :)

The completed portrait on it's own

The completed portrait on it’s own

The portrait and the original photo

The portrait and the original photo

Getting ready for Fall, like everyone else!

Getting ready for pumpkins,cornstalks,apple picking,beautiful leaves…and the smells! Pumpkin Pie…Pumpkin Coffee!!!!  This heat here in RI would make anyone want Fall!  Here are some paintings and illustrations to get you in the mood! Selling some now as prints on Etsy. :))))scarecrowregszfx2 (1)scarecrowjmpfxScanscarecplfxscarecrowdydrmfx (1)

Another Christmas Print For Christmas In July

Just another posting of another Christmas print that I created a while ago.  It was originally made for my husband as a  design for a birthday card as his birthday is on Christmas. The card originally said, “Merry Birthday To You!” and the figgy pudding was like the birthday cake.  I liked the design so much I decide to change it up a bit and put it out there for everyone to enjoy.

I hope you enjoy this one too!

Now, can’t you just feel a chill in the air???

Merry Christmas Santa With Reindeer

Merry Christmas Santa With Reindeer

It’s Christmas In July On Etsy and Ballerina Print!

Hi everyone and I’m just letting you know that it’s Christmas in July on Etsy and that there are specials going on all over the site until July 12th.  My shop is giving a promotion of sorts, too!  It’s buy one print from my shop and get another print (of equal or lesser value) for free!  It’s not just on Christmas goods either, it’s on every print!

So if you want to check it out just go to my shop at and see if there is anything you like.

Also, I am going to try to offer more products from my prints that I create myself, like magnets, journals, coloring pages,wall plaques etc.  It will be a challenge, but it will be so much fun to see how it goes! Let me know if there is anything you would like to see me try, and I will certainly look into it.

But for now, have a happy 4th and here is a new print I just created for all those ballerina’s out there!  Enjoy!

Ballerina print

Ballerina print

Another Amish Pastel Painting, Rebekah In The Barn

Wow!  I can’t believe I have finally finished this painting.  This took me some time as I was at first busy with painting some rooms in my house, and then a graduation came and went, and the painting just sat against my desk half done.  I hate doing that, too.  Starting a painting and then not finishing it, only because it breaks up the creative flow you had when you first started.  It’s more difficult to get back into it again,and I think every time I saw the painting there waiting…I was almost afraid to start in on it again. So one day I just said to myself I wasn’t going to start another project until I finished this, and I kept at it until I felt I was finished.  It’s funny, you never really feel like it’s perfect, you just know there is nothing more you could add or take away that will make any more of a difference. At least for me…I always think it could have turned out better doing this or that. But I guess that’s all about the learning process…and then you start another one and say this will be better than the last. I do like the way this one turned out though.  I just love her face and peaceful expression, and that’s the thing that I always try to attain. I hope you like Rebekah In The Barn. It sure took some time for her to arrive! And now…onto the next one…whew…:) If you are interested, this will also be available on Etsy soon.

Rebekah In The Barn

Rebekah In The Barn

Bertha, A Pastel Portrait

This is a pastel portrait I recently did for a brother-in-law of his mother who is about 87 now. It was mentioned to me that they were thinking of having a portrait done and then it was never mentioned again. So I set out to find a good photo from another sister (so it would be a surprise).  The best photo from all the photos that she gave me was this one you see here from a wedding. In the picture you can’t tell, but she has macular degeneration of her eyes and she can barely see. The color of her eyes were hard to make out from the photo I was given only because her eyes now show up dark or even black in a photo.  The first thing I had to do was find out her original eye color so I could paint her eyes first. I googled her original eye color and then painted them from the photo reference.  It made all the difference. After that, I filled in her hair a little and closed her lips, as this always makes a nicer portrait. I like it to feel as if the person I am painting from a photo, looks like they were sitting right in front of me. This is how I feel the portrait came out. She looks about 10 years younger with a beautiful, coy (somewhat mischievous) smile. This is SO her personality.

After making the slight changes to her portrait from the photo,  I believe the portrait of Bertha is beautiful and will be enjoyed and hope to be a lasting tribute for years to come.

Bertha Photo Reference

Bertha Photo Reference

Final Portrait

Final Portrait