Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
I find these mighty sycamores to be great subject matter during the winter time. On a side note The Art Association of Harrisburg's "Figuratively Speaking" show is coming up in the middle of January. I'll be exhibiting "girl in the striped dress" and I have an idea for the second painting to enter. I was going to enter my 3ft square Longhorn painting. Decided to dig out a figure study I did at Pratt Manhattan many years ago and paint over it with the new thick juicy style and see where it goes. I'll post before and after. I have to get it done soon so it will be dry. Perhaps tomorrow....I found out a few weeks ago that I was accepted into the OPA. Oil painters of America. A great group of artists keeping representational painting alive while appreciating the many different styles so many of us use to convey our visual world.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
It's pouring down freezing rain outside so I decided a summer scene was in order. I took a photo of a great cloud last summer. I was driving down rte. 283 and snapping photos out the passenger window at highway speed. Guard rails and trees obscured most of the pics but this one worked...I think..
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
A study from materials collected during Paint Annapolis 2009. I am fascinated with the overabundance of subject matter yet the calm, serene sensation that exists while being on location. I've tried to capture that.
For me, there is an attraction in finding calmness within the darkness.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The last set of paintings had a purpose. I was very delibrate with the brush strokes, I maintained a minimalist approach, and I paid very close attention on how I mixed the paint. I also knew they were studies for a much larger painting that I wanted to do. I learned alot from those small ones. The main goal was to get the feeling of something big, ie a weather phenomenon, with as little detail as possible. Let the paint do the talking. I had an epiphany while doing the 3rd 6x6. I dont know why it took me so long to figure this out. Mix all the primaries individually with the stand oil first.... THEN mix the desired colors very loosely allowing many color varieties to happen in each brushstroke!!I should note I use only 3 warm red, yellow, and blues and 3 cool red, yellow and blues plus zinc white. As I appproached this big painting and started mixing I felt really good about the new approach. In fact I felt good during the entire session.
As usual, emotional impact is an important element in art for me. I seem to be gravitating towards a real theme. I've always been a weather freak, and the possible metaphors behind the various atmospheric conditions seem to be endless.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
8"x8" oil/ panel
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is a new studio piece. I painted it over my big silos painting. It never had the feel of the plein air small version so it's gone. Sort of. I'm seeing more and more of these impressive longhorns around and find them incredibly interesting. I have a bunch of material to work with and will do more. I'm most impressed with the heaviness these beasts appear to have. That's what I tried to get. Alot of weight. I used both knife and brush on this big one.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
8"x8" oil/ceramic tile
I've done a second iris painting for mom. They have a nice space for a triptyc so I just need to do one more. She started new rounds of chemo yesterday so hopefully the new drugs can hit it. I really want to get out and do some fall paintings but this weather is just nasty. 30s and raining in mid October. It's supposed to warm up next week. I'm off to Charlotte NC. next thursday for a weekend show so may not get much painting in yet again. I feel for my friends at the Bethesda row show this weekend. The weather's just as bad there. Hopefully something good comes of it.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
8"x8" oil/ceramic tile
My mother is continuing to battle cancer and battle the drugs that battle cancer. She recently developed a persistent cough and chest pain. It got so bad she had to go to the emergency room. She had repeatedly told her doctors about this and they said it was nothing. Well, she has fluid around the heart - they drained a quart and continue to drain- she still is in pain and it turns out the fluid is a side effect of chemo and radiation. The doctors are claiming the pain is probably cancer in the bones. That's a pretty bold statement when they don't know. I'm now on a soapbox and would like to hear others experiences. I've never seen her look so ill. This is difficult to see. Especially when every other commercial is about cancer awareness. Is anyone not aware of this epidemic? How about studying the cause instead of the treatment?
She always wanted me to paint her a purple iris. I always put it off claiming I needed to want to paint a purple iris. Well now I want to paint a purple iris.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm back home from the Peoria show. I'm excited that a couple of paintings found new homes in the midwest. The show was great and the people wonderful!
I'm off to the Colt's Neck New jersey show this weekend. If anyone is in the neighborhood please stop by. I like meeting new people at the shows and it keeps the days interesting. I also will have 5 paintings on display at Gallery Blu in midtown Harrisburg. The opening is Friday evening 6pm-close. Unfortunately, I'll be in New Jersey but if anyone's in the area check out the show. I just saw the pieces and it will be a very good show. Gallery Blu 1633 N. 3rd st. Harrisburg, PA.
I've been insanely busy lately and painting time has been limited. I'm posting a piece I did last year in honor of the season. It's titled "corn harvest".
Monday, September 21, 2009
I'm back from the exciting Paint Annapolis 2009 compettition. No awards for me but thats alright.
I did this one during the Saturday morning quick draw competition. We had bright sun and I picked a less than usual subject for me.
Saturday night was the artists party and it was great to meet up with friends made last year and new ones made this year. Thanks Jane, you know how to entertain!
At 5:00pm I was honored to be one of 6 artists selected by Kenn Backhaus to do a round table type discussion aimed at educating collectors and the general public as to what plein air painting is all about....how our differing styles developed....the importance of the plein air movement to each of us.....etcc... I really enjoyed the evening and hearing the other 5 artists comments. They were... Lee Boynton, Abigail Mcbride, Stewart White, Lisa Egeli, and Mary Pritchard. Due to the timing of this event I didn't get an afternoon painting in, however, I'm very honored to have particpated in the group discussion and would do it again in a heartbeat!
I did this one Friday afternoon when the sun finally made an appearance. After I finished painting, a local fellow docked his sailboat . We talked a bit and he took me to a local Eastport pub for a beer. A nice way to cap off the evening and yet again meet interesting folks in an unfamiliar town.
This is from Friday morning. Still low cloud deck and gray day conditions. I felt good about the location and liked how the boats lead the eye to the Annapolis side of Spa creek.
I did this nocturne Thursday evening. I scraped down 2 paintings during the day. I was struggling with staying loose and just about everything else. So as night fell I headed back to Eastport. I completely let loose, mixing and applying paint like a madman. I use a little battery powered light that actually illuminates my palette more than my canvas. Basically you don't know what you have while you're painting. I just trusted my eye and mixing skills. I use cool colors for nightlight and warm colors for the darker areas. I realised the next day that parts of this are quite difficult to read, however I have not touched it since the session. I didn't want to kill the blurred, energetic night scene that I had witnessed.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
3 6x6" panels
I went back to the river today and did these. Paint Annapolis begins Thursday so I'm heading down tomorrow to check in and find some painting locations. I may or may not post during the competition, but will take the stuff along just in case.
3 6x6" panels
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
It's been awhile. 2 weeks ago hurricane Bill spared eastern long island so the Westhampton beach show was pretty good. Actually, it was brutally hot and the patrons commented that they just wanted to go home. But a couple of folks stuck it out. A week later tropical depression Danny? wasn't so kind. The cape cod show got hammered by rain. Saturday was cancelled and Sunday was greeted by a good 4 hours of heavy drizzle and rain. Needless to say not a whole lot happened.
I have this weekend off and am hosting artists Robert Barab and Peter Stolvoort. They are in the Long's Park show in Lancaster. I finally got in front of the easel today and did this piece. As of next weekend I am showing and competing every weekend through mid October. Next weekend I do the Bethany beach show Saturday and then come home and do Harrisburgs gallery walk on Sunday. We paint on the street as Gallery viewers walk from gallery to gallery and view plein air painters at work. I chose this subject because I plan on doing an arcitectural work Sunday. I did this one in studio and plan on trying it Sunday en plein air. I'm curious to see how the results differ. If anyone local wants to know the location it's on the corner of Boas and 4th st.'s.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I slipped out last evening as a storm was approaching Harrisburg. I took two little canvassas and painted them simultaneously. I mixed paint rapidly....applied via brushes even more rapidly! I ran back to the house and just barely got the door open when the skies let loose.
On another note, I'm very excited to have been picked by plein air phenom Kenn Backhaus to participate on a 6 artist panel discussing our approaches to plein air painting. The event will be Saturday evening, during Paint Annapolis week. Kenn will be the moderator..asking each artist questions to help the public understand our individual approaches, influences, techniques etc...This should be a very educational and fun evening.
I'm off to the Westhampton Beach fine art festival. It runs Saturday and Sunday. Fingers crossed the Hurricane stays far enough away that we can do the show. Also, after yesterdays stormy evening I've been really admiring the threatening skies again today. Turns out there was just a tornado north of Harrisburg. Visually incredible... but destruction...not good. I talked to fellow painter David Oleski a bit ago and mentioned the tornado. He said " wow, did you paint it? That would really put you on the map." That guy is funny. He gets where I'm coming from.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
30"x40" plein air
Back in studio I break out the brushes... Do some edge work.... More boat markings..... By applying so much paint on site I was able to keep the same atmosphere back in the studio. Just had to push a little paint here and there. The energy that goes into these big plein air pieces is hard to describe. I felt like I was back racing mountain bikes!
As I slowly make markings for the boats, the thunder is getting closer. Since I'm on top of a building.... on the river.....With a storm approaching... Probably wise to pack up... So I do...The sky lets loose just as I cross the river in my car.... Close call....
Mixed some more values......Decided to include the foreground tree...tweaked the buildings... Pondered just exactly how to tackle the boats.... Way too busy to attempt detail.... I decided to just use markings and forget about the fact that they are boats....Thunder gets my attention...
Brought out my studio palette, cans of paint included. Going big... using lots of paint....mixed my darks and knifed them in....
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I did a large painting referenced from a plein air piece from the Cape Cod trip. This piece required alot of energy. I premixed most colors, loaded up with stand oil, and still didn't have near enough paint to knife on. Mixed just as much paint the second day and got after it again. Finally got a good result.....I think.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I went to the quickdraw competition at Plein air Easton yesterday. I severely struggled with the painting. I chose to paint the local church with backlighting, including the office. It has a great roof pitch over the door. The natural effect was great, but my painting was not. You have 2 hours to paint and 1 hour in I scraped it down. I took on too much subject matter. I decided to narrow down to just painting the office with the interesting roof. Well this just wasn't working and spectators were coming by to view the artists at work. Normally I'm fine with that but I WAS STRUGGLING BIG TIME. In frustration I wiped my effort away with about 10 minutes left to paint. I packed up and drove home not even seeing the awards or any other work for that matter. A tough day. I did get to view the week long participants work at the museum. Incredible work. This is probably the top show in the country and the work proves it. There are some incredible painters there.
I dug through some photos when I got home. I found one of the Louvre in Paris. I took the shot years ago. I was just as interested in mass and line then as I am now. The photo had 3 figures almost dead center on the canvas. Frankly, they were one the most compelling things to me. I painted them in and was happy with the loose, gestural result. The problem was they were centered and equally distanced apart. I blocked them out visually and realized they were not helping the piece. I painted them out. I think they would be good enough subject matter by themselves. Just as at Easton most times less is more.