Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Another Opening, Another Show"

"Different Paths" 18x24 oil on panel
     Yesterday I delivered my two paintings for the "Celebrating One Hundred Years" exhibit which is being held at the McBride Gallery in Annapolis MD.  This is a Washington Society of Landscape Painters show and it opens Sunday, July 7th and runs until July 28th. The opening reception is from 1:00PM to 4:00PM on the 7th. It is always nice to have a reason to drive to Annapolis which is only 45 minutes away.

     The painting above you might remember from my posts in January. I took lots of photos of it before I found one that was accurate.  This is an upgraded image from those earlier posts.  The painting I chose to submit with it is "Old Angler's Bridge" which is the same size and framed with a matching frame.  I selected two paintings that would show well together because I didn't know whether the Gallery would hang them together or separately. 
"Old Angler's Bridge" 18x24 oil on panel

The McBride Gallery is located right on Main Street which is a really bustling thoroughfare.  Lots of foot traffic, lots of restaurants, lots of potential gallery visitors:)  The facade of the elegant old building belies its labyrinthine interior where you will find room after room of truly wonderful paintings! I was able to see a number of the paintings which will be in this show and I can tell you they are impressive!  I gave you a link to view the paintings online and they do look good there, however, you can't fully appreciate the size, the texture the saturation of color.  Viewing paintings online can work both ways in comparison to the originals. In this case as good as the photos are the show is worth a drive to Annapolis and I am so pleased to be a part of it! (click on the link to the show on the opening page)
Just outside the McBride Gallery looking down Main St. towards the harbor

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Pasture

"Summer Pasture" 24x30 oil on linen
      In my last post I said I would show a before and after photo of the painting, the before being with just the two horses on the right (the third one was painted out) and the after when I added the new horse.  Sorry, but I just got involved in solving the problem and didn't stop to take photos.

      Here is what I am pondering now.....the two horses on the right were brought along from the beginning of the painting.  The brushwork is consistent with the rest of the painting and the edges of their contours are soft.  The new horse was being added after the paint was fairly dry.  I did paint up the area a bit where he was being added but his back hits a thickish impasto stroke of yellow paint making the line of his back look sharper than the other horses. So, since the eye seems to gravitate towards a sharper edge do I leave it alone and let him be a focal point?  Will the eye stop there?  I wanted the group of horses to lead  the eye to the tree and then from the tree to the back of the painting.  Do I perhaps want a fourth horse over on the left?  I can fix the new horse by loading a brush with a slightly lighter color than his back contour and matching the impasto of the field.  That would be fine if the one stroke succeeds.  If it doesn't I could be off the races overworking the horse.  No pun intended.  Seems to me this is an excellent time to stick the painting in the closet for a week and deal with it with fresh eyes.  The last link is for the Washington Society of Landscape Painters.  You can see a slide show of the images for the "Celebrating One Hundred Years" exhibit which is being held at the McBride Gallery in Annapolis.  Just click on the link at the top of the page. I will be delivering my paintings for this show tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Morning at the Aquatic Gardens

"Aquatic Garden", 11x14 oil on panel
     Once again I have been on hiatis from my blog.  This is not intentional, just the result of a busy life.  Happily much of the time has been spent painting! 
      This morning I traveled to the Aquatic Gardens in Southeast Washington DC with some members of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters.  After all the years I have lived here I am surprised that I have never visited this place.  It is beautiful. It is varied.  It is bug free!  Well, not exactly but the ones that irritate humans, ie. mosquitoes were not feeding on us.  A park ranger explained that the frogs and dragonflies eat the mosquitoes and therefore they are not an issue here.  Given the heat and humidity of the day it was a welcome surprise.  This is a well balanced eco system!  There are some small changes I would like to make to this painting such as breaking up the strong curve of the reflected green in the water but I think I will ponder this for a day or two.

     The rest of the group painted the magnificent pink lotus flowers that were beginning to bloom.  A week from now there will be a vertitable sea of pink blossoms.  I was tempted.  After I saw the finished (or almost finished) paintings I wished I had.  Still, I am not much of a flower painter.  I don't know why.  Every morning I see my beautiful mass planting of hydrangeas and think I should paint them but I don't.  I am lured by water.  It sucks me in every time.  In the photo below you can see what I mean about the lotus paintings. Beautiful!
      I finished "Summer Pasture" and am sorry that I didn't take photographs of session three.  After looking at the painting a couple of days I decided the third horse I had painted in looked weird.  I painted it out.  I still need another horse in that spot but it had better be an improvement on the last one. I will have to rework that area so the figure goes in wet on wet.  I will post a before and after photo when I get back to work on it.  Aside from the pathetic horse I am pleased with the rest of it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Second Session on Summer Pasture

"Summer Pasture", 24x30 oil on linen (in progress)
     Today was an all day rainy day and I spent the better part of it working on "Summer Pasture".  I prefer working in natural light but with all my studio lights on and the floods with color correct bulbs I was fine.  One good thing about working under studio lights is you don't worry about the light changing.

     I am having a great time painting these clouds!  Already I want to do another with a similar theme.  I am just into these colors right now which makes sense because it is what we have been experiencing. I am pleased with the painting so far.  With the exception of the horse in the foreground I will most likely move the others around.  Gypsy was my grazing horse model and I am making the foreground horse a portrait of her.  I hope to finish this quickly because I want it to remain a wet into wet painting.  Check back to see the finished painting by the end of the week!
My gallery page and interview is now up on the Washington Society of Landscape Painters site. Please visit
You might also want to visit the Oil Painters of America website and view all the paintings (mine included) that will be on exhibit this summer at the Summer Salon Show in Petoskey Michigan.

A New Start

"Summer Pasture", 24x30 oil on linen, roughed in
     I have just started a new studio painting that I have already titled "Summer Pasture".  I have been very inspired by the recent blue and white skies over the acres of green and gold pasture that I experience on an almost daily basis.  The colors have been so clear and intense, offering wonderful contrasts of light and shade.  I am always happy when working with blue!

     As you can see in the photo instead of making a small color study for the new painting I have propped up the recent "Farmhouse" mini (on my right) and behind it my recent "Blue Ridge" painting.  These two will guide me with my color choices.  On my work station there is a preliminary sketch for the painting executed on graph paper to make my placement of the composition in the larger format easier.  I also propped up the drawings I had done of my mare Ggypsy grazing.
       If you read my posts while painting "Blue Ridge" then you may remember that I mentioned I had intended to add horses but the painting had progressed to the stage that they would have looked tacked on and so I left them out.  This time I am placing them from the very beginning and letting them develop along with the rest of the painting.  I have also lowered the horizon line which is another thing I mentioned wanting to try next time. 
       I have used the same underpainting of cadmium orange mixed with gesso that I used in both the Farmhouse and Blue Ridge.  This is still my favorite for a sunny day painting. 
End of first painting session
     I needed to stop sooner than I wanted to because the light really disappeared.  A storm was threatening (never materialized) and I hate going from natural light to studio lights in the same session.
     I am happy with the layout of this but will probably play with the placement of the horses tomorrow.  I changed their locations from what I had in the drawing but now I think I prefer where they were in the drawing after all.

     A number of paintings are going on exhibit.  You can find 6 of my paintings at American Painting Gallery, 5118 MacArthur Blvd. NW, Washington DC from June 8 to September 1, 2013. The show is a WSLP show and is
"The Art of Washington DC"  Coming up in July is "Celebrating 100 Years", another WSLP show that will be held at the McBride Gallery, 215 Main Street, Annapolis, MD.  I will have two paintings in that show which will run from July 7 to 21,
This Thursday the Oil Painters of America Summer Salon Exhibit opens at the Crooked Tree Art Center in Petoskey, Michigan.  This juried show will run from June 20 to August 31, 2013.  My painting "Morning, Washington Square Park" will be on exhibit.  I have received the catalogue and it is beautiful!  So many wonderful paintings! You can view the show on the OPA website by following the menu on the right hand side of the home page  Enjoy!

Cover of the OPA Summer Salon Show Catalogue

Friday, June 14, 2013

What a Beautiful Day!

"The Farmhouse" 6x8 oil on panel
     As the post title and painting tell you it was a particularly beautiful day today!  Those of you familiar with the Washington DC area know that our summers are extremely hot, humid and atmospheric.  Today was one of those wonderful exceptions.  It was warm, not hot.  There was a  light breeze that kept my favorite "whipped cream" clouds floating across a clear, bright blue sky.  Honey suckle is blooming and filling the air and the cornflowers are blooming.  Okay, I'm getting carried away even I can hear the violins:)

      I spent most of the day at the barn.  I arrived in time for a picnic lunch that was being held in honor of the retiring head of security (the barn is at a private school) and the grill added it's own delicious fragrance to the air!  Sadly I didn't have my pochade box with me so when I left I snapped a couple of shots of the farmhouse which is now obscured by the large tree in front.  I had an hour and a half before dinner so I went to the studio and painted this mini to add to my Farmhouse series. I only needed a couple of glances at my i phone photos before tearing into it.  Like I said in some earlier posts, I have been looking at this view for 30 years and I don't need to stand there to paint it.  I hope we have a weekend full of days like this.  I know a summer full is too much to expect.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Good News!

"Rosslyn at Dusk" 12x24 (center) hanging with some mighty fine company!
     I have been painting with the Washington Society of Landscape Painters as a candidate for over 2 years now.  As a sponsored candidate I was invited to attend all of the monthly and mid week paint outs I wished to attend.  I was invited to exhibition receptions and had the pleasure of getting to know the fine artists who make up this group.  The society is strictly kept to 40 members and openings rarely come up.  Hence the wait list of candidates. Finally I was informed that I was next in line and that an opening had, indeed, come up this month.  So over the weekend I dropped off four paintings, my resume and whatever I had in the way of articles, show invitations etc.  My sponsor, Mark Ingraham, then had the not so enviable job of singing my praises, showing the paintings and letting the membership vote.  Happily I was given the thumbs up!  So, I am now a full member of this wonderful group. 
       It has an interesting history. Until 1993 only men could be members.  Hmmmm. This year they (we) are celebrating the 100th year of the organization.  You might find the history an interesting read and I can assure you that you will enjoy seeing the paintings.
The website is  My page and gallery on the site is not yet up but it is in the works.

    Because it is the Centennial Celebration there will be some special shows this year.  Today I delivered 6 paintings for a WSLP show being held at American Painting Gallery on MacArthur Blvd. in DC. The gallery is owned by artist Andrei Kushnir who is also a member of WSLP.  One of my paintings "Rosslyn at Dusk" can be seen in the above photo hanging between the work of two of my favorite painters. I was very pleased to see another of my paintings placed on an easel at the entrance to the show.  I honestly didn't expect to be invited to exhibit in this show since it had already opened before I was juried in.  It is very good of Andrei to include me!  The gallery website is  There you can view a number of paintings in this show and tour the gallery.
Gallery owner Andrei Kushnir and a mighty fine Margaret Huddy watercolor hanging in the window!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June on the Outer Banks of NC

"All Churned Up" 6x8 oil on panel
  We returned from the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday having spent another wonderful week there.  This trip was mainly about family.  The kids, grandkids and granddogs came up from Atlanta and we enjoyed some good beach time together!  The weather ran the gamut....warm and sunny with the Atlantic dead calm, stormy and then sunny again but with very rough surf.  The ocean was incredibly warm for this time of year and I wonder what that means hurricane wise.  Hmmm.

     I still managed to get several paintings done and the one above is an addition to my Surf series which I have up on my website.  I added a page called "minis" and there you can see both my Farmhouse series and Surf.  All the paintings are 6x8 inches.  I haven't added the latest yet.  I will also be adding some more to the Small Landscapes page.
      I had a wonderful time painting on the beach!  I set up a beach umbrella with my chair and pochade box beneath.  The sand made a wonderful brush holder:)

"Surf Fishers" 8x10 oil on linen panel
     There were a lot of surf fishers, both human and bird.  I forgot to ask what was running that day.  Fishing poles lined the waters edge and every so often, particularly late in the day, the gulls were having a feeding frenzy!  
      I was interested watching the fishers and some would just leave their poles there and go sit back in the sand.  Others would place chairs at the edge of the water.  One of these trips I will have to learn more about it and maybe give it a go myself.  I love the idea of catching dinner, taking it back to the house and grilling it up:)

     These bright paintings were created after the storm that brought in the surf.  The day of the storm I rushed out when the first blow was over thinking I had time for a quick, 6x8 painting.  I didn't bother with my tripod, just took the pochade box, limited palette and two brushes.  I took a number 10 flat bristle and a number 4 round.  I thought I would have about an hour before the next storm broke but only 15 minutes into the painting I found myself running for cover.  The lightning came first then booming thunder and a torrential rain.  I got soaked.  It was an adrenaline rush!  Thank goodness I could just snap the lid of the pochade box shut and run!  I have decided not to retouch this and to just leave it as it was before I ran for cover.  I will remember the experience.
"Sudden Storm" 6x8 oil on panel