Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Second Time Around

"Winter Mist, Chain Bridge" 30x30 oil on panel

     I created this painting in March when we were experiencing another rainy, misty season but something was not quite right.  I ended up putting it away in the storage closet and forgot about it for awhile.  I took it out last week while searching for a different painting and found myself lured in with a desire to improve it. Sometimes it is a photo of a painting that tells me what is wrong with it.  In this case most of the photos I took were quite bland and I realized the painting was as well.  Then one image taken with the studio lights on made the colors much more saturated with an overall rosy cast.  I realized that what I wanted was somewhere between what existed and what I saw in that overly saturated photo.  So, back to work.
      I took my time and worked up some more transparent layers.  I added more mist rising from the Potomac and made some adjustments to the bridge.  I added more color to the tree masses. Then I propped it up for a couple of days and decided I had finished the painting!

     Sometimes it is the tougher paintings that I end up liking the most.  They are a challenge and make me work for it and when I work for it I stretch my abilities more.  I also find that my recent paintings draw on my years as an abstract painter particularly when I was working in multiple sheer layers of paint as a color field artist.

     I hope you enjoy this one!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Just Off the Easel

"Blue Canyon, 5th Avenue" 12x12 oil on panel
                   As a child I had a love affair with 5th Avenue.  I thought it was the grandest place I had  ever seen! I still love it and enjoy painting it. This is 5th Avenue down around 34th Street which I came to know well since my first job after college was right there at 34th and 5th. I think what makes NYC unique to paint is the canyon like effect of the extraordinarily tall buildings and the fact that it is built on a grid. There are very few diagonals and virtually all streets are east, west, north and south. Easy to choose the light source.

Fall is show time!  UPCOMING EXHIBITS:
 Opening September 21st and running until October 15th:
Opening reception September 21st from 6:30 until 9:00 PM,I will have two paintings in this show, "Yellow Sky" and "Key Bridge Nocturne". Please go for more information.

With luck the above painting will be include in the auction.

AMERICAN PAINTINGS FINE ART SMALL TREASURES 2018 November 17th to January 26th 2019.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

"Indigo Sky" oil on panel, 30x30

      I have been absent since January as the business of painting and exhibiting those paintings has taken precedence over my online presence.  Life has thrown some curves since the beginning of 2018 but the painting goes on if not my posting.

       This is my most recent studio painting and was completed two weeks ago.  I am back on the nocturne kick as I just love them!  I keep experimenting with night shades and I particularly like the palette in this one.  I was strict in using just Indigo, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and white. What beautiful colors you can mix with those! A limited palette has the advantage of making it easy to mix up another batch of the same color.

       What is next from the studio? Well, I am thinking another nocturne :-)

       An annual celebration of our nations capitol. Paintings will be on exhibit from June 9th to September 22nd 2018.  I have three paintings in this exhibit including the one below.
"March Rain" oil on panel. 24x20

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Remembering Warmer Days

"The Bishop's Garden", 12x12 oil on panel
    Back in September I spent a week painting at different locations around Washington DC. The weather was perfect! Sunny, warm with a cooling breeze and it was an absolute joy to be outdoors painting on my own with no time restraints. I thought I would like to post some paintings from that week and bring a little warmth to those of us in the deep freeze.  Currently the wind is howling outdoors, there is snow on the ground and temperatures are plummeting to the single digits. BRRRR

     The painting above was painted at Washington's National Cathedral from the lawn overlooking the Bishop's Garden on the south side of the cathedral.  The late summer garden was dominated by blue flowers with a good deal of gray green foliage to compliment them. I loved the warmth of the building contrasting with the cool of the garden.

     The two paintings below were painted in the gardens of Tudor Place, a mansion surrounded by acres of land in the middle of Georgetown in DC. There were so many wonderful things demanding to be painted that I will have to return in the spring. I chose to work small using my pochade box instead of my French easel as it is easier to move around. As it turned out I planted myself in one spot first looking to my left at the rear of the mansion to paint the ancient boxwoods and then I turned right to paint the late blooming roses and pergola in the rose garden. Turns out it was a smart move as both of these paintings are currently on view at AMERICAN PAINTINGS FINE ART in DC for the annual SMALL TREASURES EXHIBIT. All works must be no larger than 9x12 so these easily qualified.  Gardens are a joy!
"Rose Garden, Tudor Place", 6x8 oil on panel

"Boxwoods, Tudor Place", 8x8 oil on panel

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Artist's Process

"Tree Study #3", 12x16 oil on panel
"Tree Study # 2", 10x8 oil on panel
"Tree Study # 1", 10x8 oil on panel

        On November 1st an exhibit of plein air paintings by the Washington Society of Landscape Painters opened at the Athenaeum on Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, VA.   Athenaeum curator, Twig Murray's concept for the exhibit was for "sketchy" field studies that might be used to inspire larger, more complex studio paintings or be the finished work in itself. She wanted to show the various methods artists use to create their finished paintings.
         The WSLP is well known for plein air painting and it is something the group does together the last Sunday of every month. Some members paint exclusively en plein air while others view their paintings as studies. I fall into the latter group. That is not to say that on occasion I feel that a particular painting created on site is "done" and I frame it up and exhibit it along with my studio work.
         The three little paintings shown here were all created from my deck in the summer between the hours of 6:30 and 8:00 PM on different evenings. Each portrays a different view of the woods behind my house being drenched in the same golden light. While they do stand on their own I was most interested in studying the light and interesting ways to create texture and movement when painting the trees. They are studies in positive and negative spaces and the use of both palette knife and brush. They will be helpful references.
My Sketchbook 
      Also included in the exhibit is a glass case holding sketchbooks by four members and mine is one of them.  Shown here is how I prepare for a studio painting by doing a pencil sketch on one side and then a color study on the other.  I can then prop the sketchbook up and use these studies as my reference. I find it more helpful and interesting than working from a photo as I have already edited the information before me.
      There is one more week to view the exhibit: THE ARTIST'S PROCESS at THE ATHENAEUM GALLERY 201 Prince Street, Alexandria VA. Closing date is Sunday, January 7th at 3:00 PM.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Something Had to Give!

"Silver Morning" 60x48 oil on line Commissioned Painting
        I haven't posted in months! This has not been for lack of something to say or due to a lull in production.  Quite the contrary.  This fall I went into over drive with preparations for five shows, a large commissioned painting, a week long plein air event and all the rest of the stuff of life that all of us have to deal with.  Like many artists I do my own framing, packing and publicity.  Something had to go if I was going to honor my deadlines and that something was my blog and social media.  Even that small change took some of the pressure off. The good news is the commission was a success and the paintings arrived on time to the shows, the bad news is nobody heard about it. Hmmmm.

      So, I will at least document some of the work and events in this post and some upcoming ones. The painting posted here is the one commissioned by a couple from North Carolina who already own two of my paintings. I was thrilled with the request particularly since the subject was my beloved Outer Banks. All they asked was that the palette be muted greens, bright grays and white and that the size be 60x 48. I did four 8x10 studies and let them choose the one to work from. I gave them the study along with the painting.
       The last two studies are currently on view in the 109th Thumb Box exhibit at the Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Avenue, NYC!

"Silver Morning" study 8x10 oil on panel
"Low Cloud" study 8x10 oil on panel
"Aftermath" study 8x10 oil on panel
"Edge of the Storm" study 8x10 oil on panel

Monday, August 21, 2017

Another Nocturne

"Key Bridge Nocturne, 32,5x32.5 oil on panel
        Summer is entirely too enticing to spend indoors so I have been silent here on my blog preferring to squeeze every moment from this wonderful season,  We have had a wet summer which has enhanced the lush greenery of this region and when combined with the notorious Washington heat it has helped create some wonderful atmospheres.  One such night is what inspired this painting.

         The air was moist and heavy and the colors from the city lights reflected back up through that atmosphere. There was a shimmer and sense of movement in the sky. I painted this on a panel larger than I usually use and it was a great opportunity to use a variety of tools.  There was a lot of brushing, rolling, scraping and dragging.  I let accidents lead me along instead of correcting them and they helped create an interesting surface.  Sometimes it is best not to stick slavishly to the original plan.  If I see something good I go with it. I think that if the painting is exciting for me to paint then perhaps that will translate into the image. I was enjoying this one so much that I was in danger of overworking it.  I put it out of sight for a week, took it out and corrected a couple of things and declared it finished!
          I hope you enjoy it!