Friday, September 30, 2011

I have almost finished my homework

Spring Rush, 36x48 oil on canvas

 These are the two paintings I mentioned in yesterday's post.  So far all I know is that they have been selected by Ambassador and Mrs. Wohlers for an exhibition at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia.  It will be curated by Sarah Tanguy from the Art in Embassies Program at the State Department.  I will post more information as it comes up.  Needless to say I am very happy to participate!

  I thought I would devote most of today to my homework and then paint.  Apparently I have put off more than I thought.  I framed, varnished, filled out forms and packed.  I didn't get around to my website nor the painting but at least I have cleared the field for awhile.  However, I really must get to the website this weekend.  I haven't added to it in some time and I need to rearrange things.  I am going to call it a day now, more on 5th and Waverly tomorrow.
Between the Sun and the Moon, 24x48 oil on canvas

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Third session on 5th and Waverly

5th and Waverly, 20x16 oil on panel (still in progress)
I spent more time on 5th and Waverly again today but not as long as I would have liked.  I had plenty of busy work to get to today as show entries draw near.  But, back to the painting.....The good news is that I actually know where I am going with this so I don't feel as though I am floundering around when I get to work on it.  That helps when sessions are shorter than desired. Today I worked on some color adjustment and I know I need to do more there.  I don't like the yellow of the face of the building on the left.  I also have to adjust the values a bit.  When artists talk about values we are referring to light and dark.  For instance as objects receed in the distance they grow lighter, those in the foreground have darker shadows and stonger accents.  So, I need to either darken the shadows on the buildings in the foreground or lighten those in the distance.  I started indicating the presence of the parked cars along the curbs and some of the traffic coming down the Avenue.  At this point I really have to finish the buildings a little more and make some sense of what will be an open structure that sits atop that yellow faced building.  Right now it is out of sync with the perspective and just looks weird.  It should have a more delicate, open appearance than it has now.  That said, job #1 tomorrow will be covering the ochre underpainting showing through on the lower right corner.  It will help me balance things better if I bring this area up to the level of finish of the rest of the painting.  Right now it is just a distraction.  I may not be finishing this one quite as quickly as I thought which is O.K.  I do need to get a couple of others underway and I tend to prefer having more than one painting to work on at a time

      Other news.......I was pleasantly surprised today by an email from Sara Tanguy who is the State Department's Curator for Art in the Embassies.  In 2009 I had loaned two of my paintings to Ambassador and Mrs. Jeffries for the Ambassador's residence in Ankara Turkey.  They were a part of an exhibit there called "In Awe of Nature" and they were on view until last November.  Todays email requesed two more paintings for Ambassador and Mrs. Wohlers.  This time they will be going to Skopje, Macedonia and will be part of an exhibit at our embassy there! How wonderful! I am reminded of that line from "Forrest Gump", the one about life being like a box of chocolates:)  I'll post the paintings tomorrow or you can see them on my website  "Spring Rush" is on the Gallery I page and "Between the Sun and the Moon" is on the Gallery II page.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Second Strokes on 5th and Waverly

5th and Waverly, 20x16 oil on panel (in progress)
 Well, I have been absent from the blog for some days now.  MIA you might say as we have been on the road again.  I had planned on getting back to work on Monday after our return, however, I returned home with some sort of flu like symptoms so it wasn't until today that I was able to work on 5th and Waverly. It took a little while to get into the rhythm of it again but I feel it is well underway.  I actually got further than this today but I took the photo while the sun was out not knowing how long it would last.  We sure have had a wet time of it!
       Also, today my Airfloat Strongbox arrived in which I will pack "Along the Old Potowmack Canal" to send to New York for the American Artists Professional League"s 83rd Grand National Exhibit.  These boxes make shipping so much easier.  They are designed specifically for artworks and are reusable.  The box is puncture free and lined with foam.  In the middle is an inch thick piece of foam that is perforated in one inch increments.  What you do is punch out a space large enough for the painting to be cradled in.  This way it is laying on, surrounded by and then covered with another sheet of foam.  All you have to do is tape the box shut and ship.  When the painting is returned it just has to be popped back in the box, retaped and sent home.  A very nice system.  Most of the major national shows prefer them or actually require them.
      I expect 5th and Waverly to be finished in the next couple of days and I will also be starting another painting the subject of which will be the Key Bridge and Rosslyn Virginia as seen from across the Potomac.  The palette will be somewhat similar to this painting. 
     My plein air painting has slowed due to travel and weather but you should expect to start seeing new pieces posted soon.  I will be painting at the Alexandria Art and Wine Festival on October 9th so if you are planning on being there please stop by and say hello. I will post more about the festival tomorrow.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beginning 5th and Waverly

"5th and Waverly" 16x20 oil on gesso panel
      I thought you might enjoy once again seeing the progress on one of my paintings.  You know, the warts and all.  I just started this one today and it is another inspired by my August visit to New York. 
     As you can see, I used a yellow ochre underpainting and, working from a "thumnail sketch", I have begun forming the composition and deciding on the light and dark areas.  These are the first strokes and are very scribbly.  At this point all things are possible and I feel optimistic.  I love it when the painting just flows from start to finish and hate it when I hit the ugly duckling stage and don't know where to go with it.  I can't work on this again until Monday because I will be out of the studio until then.  Maybe I should have waited to start it because I hate workus interuptus!  I should have taken a photo of the sketch for you too and I will include one with my next post.  Hmmm, I just realized I didn't even bother to crop this one.  Busy, busy....much more later!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The American Artists Professional League's 83rd Grand National Exhibit, NYC!

"Along the Old Potowmack Canal", 24x18 oil on canvas
I haven't posted in over a week because we were out of town and just returned home yesterday afternoon.  This morning was spent settling back in and running errands such as picking up all the held mail.  I was once again delighted when I picked up a fat, not skinny, envelope from the American Artists Professional League regarding my entry for their 83rd Grand National Exhibit in November.  I am thrilled to say that they selected "Along the Old Potowmack Canal" for the exhibit.  What is extra nice is that this too will be held at the Salmagundi Club on 5th Avenue.  You may remember that I was there in August for that Club's annual national show where I exhibited "Heading to the Falls".  I had no idea I would be heading back so soon!
      The exhibit will be open to the public from Tuesday, November 1st through Friday, November 11th.  The hours are from 1:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M.  There will be a reception and an awards presentation on Sunday, November 6th from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. 
The Salmagundi Club address is 47 5th Avenue, NY, NY 10003.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Morning at River Bend at the Art League Gallery

Morning at River Bend, 12x16  oil on panel
I just got home from the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria where the Art League Gallery is located.  This small plein air painting which you saw in an earlier post was one of the two pieces I entered in the September, all media show.  Only one can be selected if at all.  I was happy to see the juror had included this piece as I am quite fond of it.  I look at it and remember the tranquility of that morning painting with friends. The juror was Dr. Barbara Wolanin, the Curator of the Capitol.  Since I chair the committee that hangs the shows every month I must say I enjoy hanging them more when I have been included:) It doesn't always work out that way!
     The show runs from tomorrow, September 7th through Monday, October 3rd.  The reception will be held on Thursday evening, September 8th from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M.  If you love color then this is the show for you. All styles and genres have been included as well as some beautiful sculptures.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Painting at Fletcher's Boat House on the Potomac

"Two Red Boats" Fletcher's on the Potomac, 11x14 oil on panel

Beginning to rain

I spent a very pleasant morning painting at Fletcher's Boat House on the Potomac with Jack Dyer and Donnie Seale, all of us members of the Art League Plein Air Painters.  Fletcher's is located just down from Georgetown in Washington DC and is a very popular place to rent canoes, kayacks and row boats.  The old stone boat house is located back from the river along the C&O Canal which is behind where I am set up.  The paths along the Canal were crowded today with joggers and bikers. I watched two boys paddle across the river to a spot where a wonderfully long rope hung from a tree for swinging out over the river and dropping in.  I have included an image of them below.  You can see one boy on the bank and the splash is the other one hitting the water:) I guess we are all trying to cram in the last of summer.  
     The day was overcast with skies frequently darkening and the thunder rolling only to burst into momentary sunlight.  I commited early to the cloudy day scene and stuck with it.  Towards the end I was glad I had my umbrella with me because it allowed me to stay in place when the rain started.
      There are so many enticing subjects to paint here that I know I will be back soon.  I want to paint the old, white boat house reflecting in the canal with a cluster of red canoes.  I also found a wonderful stream rushing over rocks towards the river with a charming rustic bridge. Even the boat rental shack reflecting in the water begged to be painted!  I came home feeling envigorated and wondering if I can find time on Monday for anther trip down.  If you live nearby I highly recommend a trip to Fletcher's!

A classic summer image

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Morning, Washington Square Park

Morning, Washington Square Park, 20x16 oil on gesso board
If you read my earlier entry when I uploaded the not quite finished version of this painting then you know that I was working on this during both an earthquake and a hurricane!  I will always remember this one.  I will also remember it because of the good feelings of being back in NYC, my second most favorite city.  Washington DC has my heart. Whatever else might come to mind when you think of DC you should also know it is a place of great beauty.  Beauty might not be the word that comes to mind when you think of NY either but it is definitely there.  I have a couple of more NY paintings in mind and I just wish I could be there to paint them on site.
      I tried to complete this in one session but was unable to and picked it up again the day Irene arrived.  I needed to keep it fresh and not overwork it so I kept trying to tap into how I feel and how I work when I am painting plein air. Because of all my plein air work I am finding I have a preference for working on panels rather than canvas.  I like the surface.  You can expect to see more of them from the studio this year.  I took the painting out of the closet today (remember my entry on "Closet Finished") and decided I was happy with it and just put a few more strokes of a lighter yellow on the part of the bench in the foreground.  It's done and ready to be signed and framed. I hope you like it!