Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Painting for 2013

"Rain In The City", 8x10 oil on panel

      It is New Years Eve and I have just completed this little 8x10 inch painting for the "Black and White" exhibit at the Salmagundi Club in NYC.  I had to take a break from painting in preparation for Christmas but I am not complaining because we had a wonderful time with family and truly enjoyed the holiday! We are now on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to ring in the New Year and I am catching up on painting and look forward to getting out for a little plein air work. First, however, I wanted to paint this scene I had sketched before leaving home. It will accompany the painting from
my last post. When I get home I will upload an image of that one so I can share the completed piece.

     I have commented in the past about how much I enjoy working in black and white. For those of you just starting out I highly recommend this as an excellent exercise in seeing relative values and concentrating on composition. It is easier to do so when you are not making color decisions and mixing paint.
      The painting above is painted on a Panelli Telati panel covered with very fine canvas. Although already gessoed I like to add a thick layer of my own. I let the brush marks show. When dry I toned the entire canvas with a medium gray, about # 5 or 6 on the gray scale. If you don't have one of those you can easily find one at an art supply store or use an app such as "The Artist's Eye".  Sometimes when I tone a canvas I like the color to be even. Other times, as with this painting I like to get a painterly, uneven effect with the under painting and let those brush marks come through as well. I do this when I know I want parts of the under painting to come through. You can see this around the legs of the main figure. This is a particularly useful technique when painting rain and reflections. The
painting was completed in one session yesterday and I did some minor tweaking this morning. I left
my signing brush at home and the paint had set up too rapidly for me to scratch in a signature.  It will have to wait.

     I hope I will have some work worth sharing over the next couple of days. Until then I wish you a very Happy New Year!

ON EXHIBIT:  "The Thumb Box Exhibit" at the Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Ave., NYC www.salmagundi.org
                           "Small Treasures" at American Painting Gallery, MacArthur Blvd., Washington DC

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting Ready for the Black and White Show

"24 Hour Cafe", 11x14 oil on panel

       I just finished this small cityscape as a possible entry for the annual, Black and White exhibit at the Salmagundi Club in NYC. This is the most historic show at SCNY and I believe this January will be the 136th. I would like to have two entries ready to submit on January 3rd. Christmas and a trip to the Outer Banks afterward will make that a challenge. This year the Black and White show will be held at the same time as the Annual Members Exhibit which will celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated Main Gallery. I really want to be a part of that!  This past year we have had to hold exhibits online and some of the smaller shows in the Lower Gallery next door to the restaurant. It will be great to be back upstairs in that wonderful large space. www.salmagundi.org
     This painting which I have titled "24 Hour Cafe" was inspired by buildings here in DC along H Street. I used a lot of artist's license to create a scene that could be in Greenwich Village as easily as in DC. I am heeding the saying " know your audience". Since we have been enjoying our first couple of snows I decided to add that to the scene.

     I have been using my small tabletop easel a lot lately instead of my large one with the work station.  I stand when I use that one working on larger paintings. I am finding that uncomfortable because I tore two muscles in my left thigh and I need to rest my leg a lot. This is a good time to be doing small works! Speaking of which ......The Small Treasures exhibit at American Paintings Gallery is still up and will be until January 26th. The reception on December 7th was very well attended and I am happy to say I sold two paintings that evening. www.classicamericanpaintings.org
Also still on exhibit is The Thumb Box Exhibit at the Salmagundi Club. That too will be up until January. You can catch that one online if you go to the Salmagundi link I gave you above.  The photo
Below was taken at the American Paintings reception for Small Treasures.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When In Doubt......

"15th St." Still a long way from finished

          Those of you who read my last post will remember my sense of optimism about this painting. 
Uh huh. Well this blog is about the ups and downs of being an artist and today I feel this painting has the makings of a real stinker.  When I am on a roll I need to keep going and letting a painting sit for days often causes me problems. This one has plenty of problems! On top of everything I uploaded a ghastly photo in that last post because it was more expedient to use my iPhone than go get my camera. The above image is closer to the truth. I am hating the buildings on the left. The brushwork is boring and I need to find a way to address that or this is going to get a sanding and a couple of coats of gesso!  I will no doubt stick it in the closet for a while before the final verdict. I would like to think there is still a painting in there.

          To make myself feel better I returned to The Farmhouse. It is great at times like this to turn to something that makes me feel confident and able to then return to the tough ones.

"Last leaves" 6x8 oil on panel