Friday, December 12, 2014

Oil Painting for Beginners workshop January 08, 2015 (North Hampton, NH @ Brush and Palette)

Original Oil by Todd Bonita
Oil Painting for Beginners
(January 08 - February 26, 2015). (8 Weeks)
Thursdays 9:00am – 12:00pm  ($240)
Brush and Palette, North Hampton, NH
(Limit 14)
Call Mary Vermeersch to register: (603) 778-0685
CLICK HERE for all of the particulars on my web site, including supply list and syllabus.
This class is geared towards true beginners...those who have been too shy to take a painting class because they feel they would not be up to par with the other students or you were afraid to try...In this class you will be amongst like minded spirits sharing the experience in a positive and supportive environment.  There are already several signed up and we would love for you to join us.
Call Mary Vermeersch to register (603) 778-0685

Monday, December 08, 2014

Open Studios at the Button Factory 2014 in the books!

Max at Button Factory Artist Open Studios
The Button Factory annual artist open studio event in Portsmouth, NH was this past weekend and was by far, the most fun open studio Ive attended in the seven years I've had a space there.  Largely because of that smiling character pictured above...thats my talented seven year old Max holding his marker on canvas paintings.  He was a huge hit and made many patrons very pleased with their purchase.  He completely sold out of his art work and I couldn't be prouder having observed his sincerity and graciousness with his collectors.  "Daddy, I can't wait to see someone walking away with one of my paintings", he said to me before the event.  Incredible day!!!  So happy for my whipper-snapper!  Way-to-go pups!    

Friend Tim Connors standing next to my newest painting, "Ripples" (38x48") at my Open studio this weekend.
Thanks for the photo Tim.  I heard that this years open studio welcomed upwards to 4,000 people...if thats true, thats pretty amazing!  It was a packed all weekend and very spirited.  I met so many nice people, saw some extraordinary work in other studios, had some chuckles and some fine, single malt scotches too...OK, I'm saying it rite here and Open Studio yet.  Boom!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Plein Air Tuesdays Ogunquit, Maine (Beach Plum Farm land Trust)

Patty (me mum) and childhood friend Jack Calabrese.  Jack joined us today to see what the Plein air painting craze is all about.  Jack grew up in Winthrop, Mass around the corner from me, I've known him since I was seven...he now lives in Dover, New Hampshire, a stone-and-a-half throw from my greenland, NH home.  So cool to see him.  Happy to report he will be coming to our Monhegan Island painting trip next month. 

Jacks got a great eye as a photographer, a real gift for sensitivity and knowledge of doubt he will bring those skills to plein air painting.  He took this photo of my mom and Nancy at critique time in the barn at Beach Plum.

Demo and lecture on things go further in space they tend to get cooler, lighter, softer edges and more atmospheric...

Demo painting...thanks for the photos Jack!

Jack took this very artsy photo of me palette box and paints.  Hes got the magic eye.  Well done Jack!

Irene finds her nook.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A warm home welcomes a new painting

A texted photo of a recent patron purchase.
I love when people send photos of the paintings in their homes...makes me feel all fuzzy.  If I'm being honest, all the love recently has inflated my ego and head to swelling proportions.  Thanks so much for all the photos and email well wishes.  I am so lucky to have so much genuine support, thanks for making me feel so good.  I'm going to go fold some laundry and clean up after the kids to bring my head down a few notches.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

First sunrise of the rest of your life...

Sunrise over Perkins Cove from our deck at the Riverside Motel..on the far right at the foot of the bridge is my little gallery.  It was so nice to wake up to this quiet and beautiful moment after last night.  feeling really good.
With Bones and Tommy.  Tom flew in from Minneapolis..we were in Kindergarten together.  Amazingly supportive, thank you my brothers.

A text photo of my good friend Pat holding his gorgeous new wee-one Anne in front of his new Bonita painting.  thanks for your support Pat.  Pat is the model in several of my new paintings, some I'll be posting shortly.

Friday, May 23, 2014

You just had to be there!!!....(Grand Opening at my gallery..Awesome night!)

Ali and me Opening night
Not possible without this gal, her love, support, sacrifice and hard work.

Lucky guy with some hilarious and very cute women.
I just realized while posting this, I'm holding a print one of the girls bought titled, "First day of the rest of your life" cool.  Hope that's a good omen.

With friend Howard Gallagher
Howard brought me two beautiful plants and some well wishes.  Howard has been representing my oil paintings up north in Camden, Maine, he is the owner of the Camden Falls Gallery and a genuine spirit!
With debbie Powers, owner of the Beth Ellis Gallery, upstairs from my space.
Behind us is "The Beast" at (30x72"), I think it's the largest painting I've ever done.  Above that is a quote installed by the late Beth Ellis, "Follow your dreams"....another good omen I hope.

With one of my favorite families, the very awesome James Gang!!!
With Mom (in the middle with straw hat) and childhood friends.
I felt like a million clams surrounded by the unconditional love and support of my family and friends...awesome feeling!

With Childhood friend, JohnnyHames and a painting with him as model.
This was one of several paintings at the gallery with my childhood friend Johnny Hames as the model.  Johnny took the liberty of signing the back of some of them...he even signed a few that he wasn't in.  Not sure if that raises or lowers the value but it had us rolling.

Stickbird was there too....
My good friend Bones drove down from Vermont to deliver a squeaky clean bottle of Johnny Walker Blue
Then we opened it...
Leanne and Mario
Christine and Nancy
Display window
...Johnny Walker flowed
...and flowed...
Ali and I rented a room in Perkins Cove while the rest continued the flow...I got this photo text long after I went to bed.

hahaaaaa...then I got this one even later...
 Thank you everyone for a night I'll never forget, you're all so awesome and supportive, I love you all.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Golden Glint (18x24") oil on wood

"Golden Glint" (18x24") oil on canvas
From a series of paintings I did while at a summer cottage we rented on Thompson Lake, Maine last year.  Already itching to get back there, sooo nice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Long Forgotten (Oil on wood panel)

"Long Forgotten" (6x8") oil on wood

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Plein Air painting Tuesdays Ogunquit, Maine

Plein air Painting demo at Cape Neddick, Maine
Our second class in this first series of Plein Air Tuesdays in Ogunquit took us to another really nice coastal nook in Cape Neddick, Maine...a stones throw from Walt Kuhn road, wear famed American artist Walt Kuhn had a summer cottage and painted in the hey-day of the bustling Ogunquit Art Colony.

"Squinting to compare strength of focal point to secondary elements"
One of our objectives in this six week series is to answer the question, "What is my painting about"? Definitively determining a focal point and proceeding in a manner that requires your constant attention to maintain focal point dominance. 

"We have two objectives,
 1) See the world the way an artist does,
2) Learn to use the tools to make them do what we want them to do".
I had Pochade box envy and coveted Peters portable little paint box...I can almost hear the sound of my credit card bursting into flames.

Demonstrating accurate drawing techniques with Leanne.  Hold your tool up and recreate the angle of that roof, and compare it to a true horizontal like the horizon line or the top of your canvas.
If you would like to join us on a future six week session or to drop in and try one with us, please email or call me.   (603) 819-9100 or email:
for complete info see my website click this link to The Ogunquit Summer School of Art

Monday, May 19, 2014

Grand Opening of Todd Bonita Gallery, Friday, May 23, 2014 (6:30 - 10)

Join us along with the Beth Ellis Gallery for the Inaugural 2014 Grand Opening of my new art gallery, woo-hoo!

Friday, May 23 from (6:30 - 10pm) 102 Perkins Cove road in Ogunquit.  I will be premiering my newest oils, along with the works of Donald Jurney, Alastair Dacey and Chris Volpe.  This is a new art gallery (this is not my studio...that is still at the Button factory in Portsmouth)...The Gallery is in a wonderful location in Perkins Cove, across from the drawbridge in the space that was once occupied by The George Carpenter Gallery.  Be our guest as we celebrate with fine art, music, food and your company.
If you cannot make the opening, I am open daily all summer through October, come by and say hello.
Hope to see you Friday though!!!
see more at the gallery web site:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ogunquit Summer School of Art official first class

First class of the Ogunquit Summer School of Art.
 Plein air painting at the Ogunquit Museum of Art.

Plein air painting Tuesdays in Ogunquit has officially begun as 9 hearty souls braved the 50 degree wind-off-the-ocean chill for what turned out to be a fabulous day of painting and camaraderie.  We had a blast.  The whole crew was greeted by a warm reception at the museum, with all participants signing up for annual membership and a free group tour to boot.  What they didn't realize is that they were also the first participants of the inaugural launch of the Ogunquit Summer School of Art.  The title itself is so new that we don't even have a web site or a logo yet.  It is humble beginnings of a grass roots idea to revitalize the spirit of what was once a bustling art colony here in Ogunquit.  The presence of a summer art school was a big part of that experience.  It provided education, sharing of ideas, professional fellowship and camaraderie amongst peers.  I am not alone when I say that I love the company of other artist, particularly when I'm in a group painting.  Nothing better.   whether they are students or professionals, it doesn't matter to me, I love talking shop,  moving the brush around and trying to crack the codes to the secrets of good painting with ilike-minded characters.  ...and what a bunch of characters we assembled on the grounds of the museum on Tuesday!!  
Sea birds perched on the rocks behind the Ogunquit Museum of Art.
The Ogunquit Summer School of Art is a small group of like-minded artist who have gathered together in offering a series of outdoor painting classes and workshops throughout the summer in and around Ogunquit.  There are also destination workshops like Monhegan Island, Isle of Shoals and Port Clyde...Our twelve page catalog comes out this week and will be followed by our web site and marketing.  We are in no rush and frankly are enjoying the slow introduction of this very fun idea.  I will post more about it's development as the summer goes on so please feel free to check back.  If you are a painter or someone who wishes to paint, definitely check back or feel free to contact me...there are some amazing ideas soon to be launched that are exciting opportunities for our growing art community. I have met many individuals and groups who have shared their interest in maintaining the art spirit in Ogunquit, it's fun to be near it all.  These are exciting times to be sure.  

I demonstrated a quick, economic way to plein air paint and get your idea down rapidly.  
The Objectives of this six week session will be on seeing like an artist, understanding the tools and how to make them do what you want them to do and keeping it all simple.  We will focus our practice on the four most important essentials of picture making; 1) Composition and design, 2) Drawings, 3) Values and 4) Color.
This six week session is filled.  We are offering a total of (4) six week sessions throughout the summer. We meet every Tuesday at various locations in and around Ogunquit from 9am -'s a full half day, perfect for a demo, lecture and three solid hours of painting.  I provide side-by-side assistance at the easel throughout the day.  We have a blast.  If you would like to sign up for a future six week session, please check out the remaining offerings at my web site.  Click Here....or wait, even better, click here to see a web site my good friend and fellow team teacher, Chris Volpe put together to showcase the Art of Seeing workshops, he's brilliant.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Baby commission

Commission for Raphael and Keri of their new son Max.  (12x16") oil on canvas.
On occassion I have the good fortune to paint a commission.  I have been asked to paint things like homes, cottages, pets, boats and children.  I have always loved the idea of making a living simply painting, it's great fun for me.  This particular one was a blast and will always be memorable for me.  Raphael, asked me to paint his son Max for his wifes birthday.  He requested I place the finished painting in the window of my gallery with a note that said, "Happy Mothers Day Keri"...very cool idea, no doubt Raphael scored huge points for life with this one.  A wonderful family all of them.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Chris Volpe

The brilliant abstract realist and good friend, Chris Volpe
My friend Chris Volpe is a very smart, spirited and creative man, it's been fun to watch him fearlessly explore who he is as an artist.  His honest curiosity is a driving force behind much of his exploration.  He makes you want to be brave as an artist...not as easy as it might seem in the heavy, sometimes  psychologically burdensome matrix of trying to figure out the painter inside you.  I'm proud to be exhibiting Chris Volpes oil paintings at my gallery, it's nice to be surrounded by beautiful, thoughtful and expressive work.  I think art history will show Volpe to be an unabashed risk taker with his own very unique voice.  There is deep, psychological thought at play in his work.  It's impossible not to get lost in his high contrasts, moody palette of varied textural shapes...sometimes representational, sometimes abstract...and other times walking a balance between the two.  Here is a link to the web site of  Chris Volpe.
Entrepreneurial power house, Debbie Powers, owner of the gallery upstairs, The Beth Ellis Gallery, and my man Volpe.

Inside the shack

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Gods send smiles

Circumzenithal Arc or "A Smiling Rainbow" over Perkins Cove
I had never seen anything like this before, my friend Elaine Miller took this photo and sent me a link to this rare sighting of what she told me was a circumzenithal Arc..Click here.
The Gods and I had smiled a lot that day!
Clearly this was the Gods sending smiling well wishes on my first full day open...I also had my first sale today too....Coincidence?!....
Mum pays a visit to the gallery...more smiles.

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Shack

Friends and family visiting the Shack. 
Second day at the gallery has been more setting up, hanging paintings and getting organized...people are coming by to say hi, the reception has been wonderful, Ogunquit has been incredibly kind and so many locals have reached out to offer themselves.  Love it here!
Perkins Cove Goddess, Diane Piktialis, me and shack owner Marcia Brazer
The owner of the shack came by with flowers and well wishes, as did Diane, artist friend who works at the upstairs, Beth Ellis Gallery.
Beaman cole touching up a plein air painting at the Shack.
I had envisioned this space with a working artist out front as often as possible.  My friend Beaman Cole is slaying one here with his handmade easel beast.
My Gaurdian Angel and Cove Goddess, Jinny Noble.
She has no idea how grateful I am for all she's done for me, even though I remind her.  Jinny Noble is one of the good ones, salt of the earth and a huge part of the reason I was able to
open this little gallery.  Thank you again Jinny.  You're awesome.