Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sedona Plein Air Adventures with Michael Chesley Johnson

Starting in February, I will be joining my friend, Michael Chesley Johnson, and his students in some off-road, plein air painting adventures. As part of Michael's workshops, we will venture out to areas only accessible with high clearance or 4-wheel drive vehicles. This is where my Jeep comes in handy.

Along with all the great places to paint in Sedona, like Cathedral Rock and Bear Mountain, we can get to hard to reach locations to paint, such as the "cow pies" up Schnebly Hill Rd

or the some of the remote sites along Dry Creek Rd.

We have a great time and the visitors to Sedona get a taste of that off-road experience which is so much fun and provides for unique painting opportunities.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bill St George Workshop

A week ago, a few of us in the NVA participated in a workshop led by Walpole/Boston artist, Bill St George. Bill was my first art teacher and I had taken a couple of his workshops so I was looking forward to this one. Bill told us to bring at least 2 18x24 canvases to work on so I knew it would be fun. We loosened up for the day by doing quick, large sketches in charcoal. He encouraged us to draw quickly and fill the whole page. This got our juices flowing and we moved on to our own references or one of his. Although his style is pretty loose, he made points about being accurate with our drawing and how important the use of negative space is.

I used one of his references. The background in the reference was completely dark so he suggested I find another reference to use as a background. I found another reference and worked that into the background. I'm not sold on that background yet and may change it. It is still a work in progress. Here is the 18x24 in its current state.

In the afternoon, we loosened up by painting a quick study using a limited palette of acrylics. This got us to paint from arm's length and not be too concerned with details early in the process.

My afternoon painting was a street scene in Boston. I have a number of my own references of New York (which I couldn't find) but used his scene of Boylston St. I am happy with the start and should be able to post that soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

FAA Member Show

At the recent meeting of the Foxboro Art Association, I pleased to find out that I was awarded a ribbon for my painting Blue Bomber. This is a painting of some of the junk trucks found in the old mine outside of Jerome, AZ.
Blue Bomber

See the post below related to Perc Cup cafe for a picture without the ribbon covering half the painting.
Several of my friends also won ribbons. Frank Quinn 1st Place in oils, Nancy Bacevich 1st Place in pastels and Haydi Hurley Honorable Mention in watercolor. Our teacher, Kim Weineck was quite proud of us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cindy Baron at the FAA

This month's demonstrator at the Foxboro Art Association meeting was Cindy Baron. She is a member of the American Watercolor Society and teaches water color classes at the Rhode Island School of Design. She also is an accomplished oil painter. Her demo was in oil. Cindy is originally from Indiana where she had some notoriety for her paintings of barns. Now that she is living on the east coast, she has become the painter of rocks. She also travels extensively and has many works depicting the inspiring landscapes of the American west and southwest.

She is a "plein air" painter and usually works on 8x10 canvases when painting outdoors. She believes that painting outdoors is one of the best ways to properly see things and to grow as an artist. She stretches the canvases herself and grounds them with a brown mixture made up of most of the colors on her pallette. When working in her studio from a reference, she will use that "brown" mix to do her version of a value study.

This is the process she demonstrated on a seascsape with a crashing wave. This process was new to most of us and we were anxious to see how it would turn out. She brought with her two other fairly large canvases of similar scenes that were already blocked in with this method so the audience could see the direction she was heading. She covered the canvas with a mid-value of the brown mix and then proceeded to wipe off areas to indicate the sky, the large wave or the faces of the rocks. She would add back in darker browns where necessary to indicate the darker areas of the seascape. Then, using a rubber tipped tool (pastel blending tool), she carefully drew in more detail. She was especially concerned with the cracks in the rocks. She said to indicate some key cracks, but not all of them. Less is More. She was also aware of the length and direction of the cracks and made changes to them so as to not lead the eye of the observer right out of the painting. She made sure there were some cracks to lead one back into the picture. She added darks, wiped out areas and drew in more detail until she reached a point where she would normally let the canvas set up over night to dry.

After an hour or so, she had a pretty complete and well done value drawing. To demonstrate this next step in the process, she used one of the other value sketches that she brought with her. She takes her time with her paintings and keeps working on things until she feels she has it right. She uses the obvious techniques of squinting and stepping back, but also relies on a large mirror in her studio for her reality check. She spent most of the rest of the time working on the rocks before adding a few bright highlights to remind her where the center of interest was going to be. She made sure she had some of the sky color in the rocks and the rock and sand color in the rolling water. Here is a photo of the rocks.

She will continue to work on the rocks, foreground, ocean and horizon line until she is satisfied. She plans on this painting being one in a series of 3 paintings of the rocky shore near her home in Rhode Island. We all look forward to her final results.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recent Work

Inspired by some scenery on recent vacations and spending lots of time in Sandwich, as well as having a need to come up with some new material for the Gallery, I've been working on new paintings. Here are a few of them.

This is Atlantic Sunrise, from a photo taken by our friend Pam when we spent a week in the Outer Banks last summer. At 5 am, the light is really like this as the sun peeps over the horizon.
Atlantic Sunrise
12x24 (Sold)
While kayaking in the Berkshires, we had to paddle through a tangle of lily pads to get to the open lake. When the lilies came out, I got inspired to just float through them and paint them (from a photo, of course).
Water Liliies
The little town of Sandwich, MA has such an abundance of scenery that just begs to be painted. I've been doing some of the town beach and the "off road' beach, Sandy Neck. Here's one of the town beach looking East.
Town Neck Beach towards Barnstable
9x12 (Sold)
I've been doing a number paintings of the salt marshes in the area and more beach scenes and will post them soon.
Keep tuned.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gallery at Patriot Place - thanks

Thanks to all for your support last weekend at the Gallery at Patriot Place. It was great to see you all and I appreciate your support. I managed to sell a few paintings and didn't spend it all on meals at the mall. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any photos. I got out my camera and noticed that I had no photos in the camera and thought I had deleted all my photos. It turns out I didn't have my memory card in the camera. Phew!
Frank and I did some painting outside the gallery and had some conversations with people. The most interested were kids who either wanted to put some paint to our canvases or wanted us to paint them. Ellen Little took this photo of a couple of teens who asked if we could paint them.

We declined.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Gallery at Patriot's Place

Town Neck

I will be one of the “guest” artists at the Gallery at Patriot Place in Foxboro from Friday , 9/9 to Sunday, 9/11. This is a relatively new gallery in Patriot Place that is a great venue for the permanent artists and for guests like me.

I will have a variety of works ranging from beach scenes to red rocks to water lilies and some of the old trucks that I love to do. If you haven’t been to Patriot Place, this may be the excuse you need. Dine at one of the fine restaurants (or 5 Guys), see a movie, visit the Patriot’s Hall of Fame and stop by the Gallery.

The Gallery is located opposite the Good Life store near the CBS Zone. The hours are Friday, 5-9, Saturday 1-9 and Sunday 11-6. I'll be there during the gallery hours. (The Pats play Monday night that weekend.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Perc Up Coffee Cafe

When I am in Sedona, I like to go to an old mine in Jerome to paint some of the old trucks there. The mine has lots of old equipment and is a great place for a "gearhead" to pass some time. Here is one of the big rigs that one can find there.

One of the artists with whom I've become friendly, Michael Johnson, liked them and suggested that I try to get them into the Windrush Gallery in Sedona where he is represented. He even emailed the owner which I thought was nice. If you click on the link, you will see that they represent Don Weller, Julie Weller's dad. So, I was pretty intimidated going in there. The owner was very nice and complimentary about my work, but did not have room for another artist at this time. He let me down easy.

So, I showed the trucks to the owner of the house we rent. She loved them and wanted to hang them in her new coffee shop in Phoenix. The coffee shop (Perc Up Coffee Cafe) just opened and she sent me a photo of my paintings on one of their walls. She thinks that the clientele would be interested in them. A review of the cafe said that they had "eclectic artwork adorning their walls". I hope that included my wall.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gallery at Patriot Place in July

Over the weekend of July 9th, I was one of 3 guest artists at the new Gallery at Patriot Place in Foxboro. The traffic was a little slow but I enjoyed the company of Lynne Atwood and Elaine Levin. We had a nice time.

Frank Quinn, one of the permanent artists, was the official "hanger" and he did a great job. Here is a photo of my stuff on the back wall.

I only sold one painting over the weekend but, luckily, it was the biggest one. A nice couple bought my Autumn in Vermont painting for their living room.

I will be back in the Gallery on Sept 9th, 10th and 11th.

Conversion of web page

Welcome to my new blog. I have modified my web page to redirect you to this blog. Blogs are much more flexible and easier to modify than web pages so I should be able to keep this up to date. I will be posting here from time to time (when I have something interesting to show or tell you about) and will gradually move over some of my previous work from the web to the blog.

Hope you enjoy it and come back often.