Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Show and Nine Paintings

I recently began a very cool show with my father-in-law titled, "Double Vision". I created nine new paintings for this show, all based on wonderful photographs which my father-in-law has taken in recent years. We hung the paired works side-by-side. We each have additional paintings and photographs displayed that are individual works. This one shown here, titled, Sunset Flight, is probably my favorite of the show.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September Coffee House Series and a New Painting

This painting was just completed this morning. Your feedback is always welcome....indeed, important. It was done as part of the A Painting A Month Club. I missed participation through most of the summer, but am getting back into it now. Check it out....any and all painters are welcome to join in. There's a link to the left under My Favorite Links.

The topic for September's Coffee House Series will be SHAPES. I want to go back to some of the basics in drawing to refresh your memories and skills. A critical skill in sketching is the ability to turn everything into a shape. Stripping away detail and labels, one can look at the essence of the object. A good way of doing this is to visually break it down into shapes, like puzzle pieces that need to be put together. Let's begin with smaller objects, such as flowers or animals, and work our way up to larger objects like buildings and landscapes! I would like to visit Fuller Gardens in Rye, NH this month but welcome your input. Let me know ASAP if you plan to attend any of the September Coffee House Series classes by email.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update to class schedule and Fort Rock Farm painting

This painting was just finished today. It's headed to Hopkinton, NH as I type, to go before a jury for (hopefully) inclusion in the Hopkinton Rotary Club's annual calendar. The theme for this year's calendar is barns. This is FORT ROCK FARM in Exeter, NH. The photo you see here is not the best....between my digital camera and the indoor lighting at my table, colors are dulled and the image isnn't sharp. I'll re-post when I have a professional digital image in hand. Or go and see it when the art show of all the submitted work comes around....scheduled for Oct. 15th. I'll post details when I get them.

The calendar is a fundraiser for the club, and I thought it's high time I start submitting work to juried events. Just see what happens! The feedback is always helpful in the development of my work and my path.

The piece measures 11 x 13" and will be up for sale, whatever the outcome from Hopkinton.

I have had to make a change to the second day of the Coffee House Series. I needed to move it to Friday mornings instead of Saturdays. I realized after posting my fall classes that I had too many conflicts with Saturdays this fall. Not so much in September, but all the other months. My apologies if anyone was considering joining me on Saturdays. Come January, I just might switch it back. Look for the September list of lessons and locations to come out this weekend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall 2010 Classes!

Hello all,

Because my website designer has gone out of business, I'm posting this kind of information here on my blog for awhile. I have chosen a new designer (I think), but she is not available to work with me until September/October. I hope posting here works.

My classes take place at the Exeter Center for Creative Arts at 30 Linden Street, Exeter, NH (in the old Exeter high school building, now called the Tuck Learning Campus).

To register for any class, email me with your questions or thoughts. It is possible to pay using PayPal through my website; ask for instructions.

Fall Classes:
Purposeful Play
This is my basic watercolor class which I offered for the first time this past spring. We had so much fun and completed a great deal of work. Due to interest from new folks, I'm offering it again, but with a more fitting title. Students will learn all the basics from how to use a brush, what the different terms in watercolor mean (such as wet-on-wet) and how to apply them, useful information about the materials and the medium and you'll work hard! I offer homework assignments so that you can continue practicing in between classes. You will feel comfortable taking risks and exploring or expanding your creativity in this safe learning environment.

10 Tuesday evenings, Sept. 21 - Nov. 23, 6-8:30pm
$295, plus cost of materials
supply list will be issued upon request or at time of registration

The Art of Sketching

This is my basic drawing course but, like the watrcolor course, it has a more fitting title. This 10-session, 25-hour course will teach you to “see” through drawing. All are welcome: beginning artists will refresh their memory and gain some techniques for practicing both observation and drawing skills while the intermediate artist will have the chance to continue the path started on in previous drawing classes. Each week a different technique in the art of drawing will be presented. The course will provide opportunity to spend ample time on the basic drawing principles of drawing. This will create a better understanding of art and, therefore, allow you to reach your personal goals. Homework assignments will be plentiful in an effort to provide some structure and guidance outside of class time. New and intermediate students welcome!

10 Thursday evenings, Sept. 23 - Dec. 2, 6-8pm
$295, plus cost of materials
supply list will be issued upon request or at time of registration

The Coffee House Series

This is a weekly drop-in class. I supply a sketching or painting lesson each week, from which you can continue to learn and practice. The first two hours are devoted to the lesson, the last hour we hit the nearest coffee shop for a snack while we continue to work. It's been great fun! This is strictly an outdoor class; lessons take place on location and that location changes every few weeks. We've been all over the north shore and up into parts of New Hampshire since I began this a year ago.

You need not possess highly-developed drawing or painting skills; this is, indeed, designed for students who want and need a more structured environment to keep themselves practicing, which they might not do so if left on their own. However, you should have some basic knowledge of drawing or painting, as the basics are not covered in a structural way. All levels welcome. I will post monthly on my blog (or website when that's been updated) what lessons are coming up. All you need to do is sign up ahead of time on a weekly basis so that I know how many folks will be attending. In September I will begin offering this two days a week instead of just one.

Price: $20 per lesson/week
Tuesday mornings, 9am-noon
Saturday mornings, 9am-noon

More still to come! Stay tuned....

Recent Watercolor Sketches

These two sketches were produced in my sketchbook last Friday. Spent the day out in Bradford, NH with my watercolor instructor, Becky Darling, and about six other students. Lovely day. I felt pretty successful here with these little thumbnails. Each is approx. 5 x 5".

Large brush + small space + lots of water & pigment = a very loose painting.

New Stuff

Single Boat
4.5 x 5"
Unframed, $45

This image, plus the one below, were both done during the Seacoast Science Center's Petite Art in the Park event in July. I produced about five small paintings in one day, but these two and one other companion piece, are what I felt most pleased with. They are simple watercolor sketches produced on professional watercolor paper. Simple, clean colors bring a sense of freshness and relaxation to the viewer.

Boats and the Isles of Shoals
10.25 x 6"
Unframed, $65

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Outdoor Studio

This little set-up can be packed away into one bag, excluding the chair. The chair stays in my car all the time. The rest fits into a large tote bag. Have paints, will travel!

Window Design for Downtown Store

Hey, bet some of you didn't know I also do graphics work. From November 2009 through April 2010 I was working with a downtown-Exeter store called Travel & Nature. Great store, by the way, dealing in all things adventurous. I developed a new business identity for their 20th anniversary celebration, which was to begin on Earth Day. From this new logo we created t-shirts and a new presence at street level with window graphics. It was a brilliant experience for me. I'm proud to say that my clients are extremely happy with the experience and outcome, as well! Here a re a few pics of the window graphics.

I also created the banner that you can see part of in two of the pictures.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Osprey has Returned!

While running through downtown Exeter this past Monday morning, I looked up to see my first sighting this season of an Osprey! It was right around the Squamscott River. Looking for breakfast?

The Arts Map

Check this out: I posted a link to the left. It's a fabulous on-line connection to all sorts of art happenings across the country! It's a map of artists, art centers, galleries, art schools, and art events. I put myself on the should, too! Then spread the word! Everyone should be using this; artists, art students and art patrons, alike!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Latest Home & Garden Portrait

Some of you know that I accept commissions for home or garden paintings. I have a partnership with the Exeter Historical Society in which I donate 15% of each Home & Garden Portrait commissioned. Since January, 2009 I have donated over $476 to them just from these commissions! Not all of the homes are in Exeter. Last year I completed a small portrait of a home in Connecticut. It was an anniversary gift to the owners from their children.

This is the most recent Home & Garden commission. The owners of this work gave it to each other as a wedding anniversary gift. Considered an heirloom for the family they are raising, it will hang above their new fireplace just in time for the 30th anniversary of their first date. It is the largest portrait I have completed so far, and the first of a Victorian home.

Consider this gift for yourself or for a loved one. Gift certificates are available. Check out the page on my website devoted to my Home & Garden Portraits. Click on the link provided to the left.


A Painting A Month Club

I don't think I've mentioned this but last September I joined a group called A Painting A Month Club. Once monthly a photograph is issued to all members. During that month each artists produces their own interpretation of the photo with whatever drawing or painting medium they choose. It's been a wonderful and fun experience. I don't personally know all of the members but I love to see how everyone's work turns out.

All of the paintings submitted each month are posted on a blog for all to see. I have a link to the blog on the left of this page. Check it out. What you see here is my painting for the month of April. Click on the image for a larger view. It will be framed in a beautiful cherry frame, price is $185.

The image for May is.......birch trees! Stay tuned for the results.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Work

As part of my homework assignments from my instructor, I produced this painting. It's a Screech Owl. The initial sketch of the owl comes from my own sketchbook working from a live screech owl. Using a great amount of negative space and keeping the focal point way off-center, the composition is influenced by Japanese art. The image you see here is slightly cropped, as the full image is just a bit bigger than my scanner.

I first painted in the background with Cerulean Blue and Payne's Gray, varying the amount of each in different areas of the painting. Next I applied a pale yellow to the moon. Lastly, I painted in the owl, keeping shapes and forms simple. I love the facial disk and eye. Most of the painting was completed using a #16 brush, with a #12 used on the face of the owl.

I might try to create the painting a second time, putting in a few more branches along the left side. I'll post the two side-by-side when finished.

Screech Owl is 10.25 x 18.25" and is framed in an elegant cherry wood. $165. If you would like to see it up close visit my show at The Works Cafe at 9 Congress Street in Portsmouth, scheduled to begin May 3rd and running through July 31.

Watercolor Homework!

Hello all! I'm finally getting around to doing my own watercolor homework after a very busy winter season of teaching and work with the art center. Above is one of my favorite homework results. This piece is just a practice piece but it is framed and will be featured in my upcoming show at The Works Cafe, 9 Congress Street in downtown Portsmouth, scheduled to run from May 3rd through July 31st.

I got out my big #16 brush and went to work. I am really enjoying working with this larger brush. It allows me to turn my attention away from specific details and towards the larger areas of color. It is these larger areas of color, or shapes, that I'm very interested in. Creating a sense of balance between shapes and values while still maintaining some sense of representation of the subject matter is what I'm after. Stripping away the details to create a piece of art with the fewest number of brush strokes, to me, is the essence of simplification.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring is Most Definitely Here!

Some things I recently spotted through my daily travels:

3/21/10 First sighting of a red-winged blackbird. I know the males have been back since mid-February, but this was the first day I saw one.
3/24/10 Heard the spring peepers for the first time this season!
3/24/10 Saw the arrival of the kildeer! It was dark, around 8pm, over at the Philips Exeter Academy's fields. They wouldn't settle down, just kept on soaring low and making all sorts of noise.
3/28/10 Saw my first great blue heron of the season! I was at mile ten of a twelve-mile run. What a sight! It soared in gracefully to land in the marsh along the route150/route108 intersection in Exeter.
3/28/10 A flicker was calling from and hopping on a swamp maple tree across the street from my house.

Hope I see much more as spring unfolds!
Words to paint by (Irwin Greenberg)

1. Paint every day.
2. Paint until you feel physical strain- take a break and then paint some more.
3. Suggest.
4. When at an impasse, look at the work of masters.
5. Buy the best materials you can afford.
6. Let your enthusiasm show.
7. Find the way to support yourself.
8. Be your own toughest critic.
9. Develop a sense of humor about yourself
10. Develop the habit of work. Start early every day. When you take a break, don’t eat. Instead, drink a glass of water.
11. Don’t settle for yourself at your mediocre level
12. Don’t allow yourself to be crushed by failure. Rembrandt had failures. Success grows from failure.
13. Be a brother (or sister) to all struggling artists.
14. Keep it simple.
15. Know your art equipment and take care of it.
16. Have a set of materials ready wherever you go.
17. Always be on time for work, class and appointments.
18. Meet deadlines. Be better than your word.
19. Find a mate who is really a mate.
20. Don’t be envious of anyone who is more talented than you. Be the best you can be.
21. Prizes are nice, but the real competition is with your performance yesterday.
22. Give yourself room to fail and fight like hell to achieve.
23. Go to sleep thinking about what you’re going to do first thing tomorrow.
24. Analyze the work of great painters. Study how they emphasize and subordinate.
25. Find out the fewest material things you need to live.
26. Remember: Michelangelo was once a helpless baby. Great works are the result of heroic struggle.
27. There are no worthwhile tricks in art; find the answer.
28. Throw yourself into each painting heart and soul.
29. Commit yourself to a life in art.
30. No struggle, no progress.
31. Do rather than don’t.
32. Don’t say “I haven’t the time.” You have as much time everyday as the great masters.
33. Read. Be conversant with the great ideas.
34. No matter what you do for a living, nurture your art.
35. Ask. Be hungry to learn.
36. You are always the student in a one-person art school. You are also the teacher of that class.
37. Find the artists who are on your wavelength and constantly increase that list.
38. Take pride in your work.
39. Take pride in yourself.
40. No one is a better authority on your feelings than you are.
41. When painting, always keep in mind what your picture is about.
42. Be organized.
43. When you’re in trouble, study the lives of those who’ve done great things.
44. “Poor me” is no help at all.
45. Look for what you can learn from the great painters, not what’s wrong with them.
46. Look. Really look.
47. Overcome errors in observing by exaggerating the opposite.
48. Critics are painters who flunked out.
49. Stay away from put-down artists.
50. If you’re at a lost for what to do next, do a self-portrait.
51. Never say “I can’t.” It closes the door to potential development.
52. Be ingenious. Howard Pyle got his start in illustrating by illustrating his own stories.
53. All doors open to a hard push.
54. If art is hard, it’s because you’re struggling to go beyond what you know you can do.
55. Draw everywhere and all the time. An artist is a sketchbook with a person attached.
56. There is art in any endeavor done well.
57. If you’ve been able to put a personal response into your work, others will feel it and they will be your audience.
58. Money is OK, but it isn’t what life is about.
59. Spend less than you earn.
60. Be modest; be self-critical, but aim for the highest.
61. Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it.
62. Try things against your grain to find out just what your grain really is.
63. Inspiration doesn’t come when you are idle. It comes when you have steeped yourself in work.
64. Habit is more powerful than will. If you get in the habit of painting every day, nothing will keep you from painting.
65. There are three ways to learn art: Study life, people and nature. Study the great painters. Paint.
66. Remember, Rembrandt wasn’t perfect. He had to fight mediocrity.
67. Don’t call yourself an artist. Let others name you that. “Artist” is a title of great weight.
68. Be humble; learn from everybody.
69. Paintings that you work hardest at are the ones you learn the most from, and are often your favorites.
70. Read values relatively. Find the lightest light and compare all other light values to it. Do the same with the darks.
71. Grit and guts are the magic ingredients to your success.
72. Let your picture welcome the viewer.
73. Add new painters to your list of favorites all the time.
74. Study artists who are dealing with the same problems that you’re trying to solve.
75. Have a positive mind-set when showing your work to galleries.
76. Don’t look for gimmicks to give your work style. You might be stuck with them for life. Or, worse yet, you might have to change your “style” every few years.
77. If what you have to say is from your deepest feelings, you’ll find an audience that responds.
78. Try to end a day’s work on a picture knowing how to proceed the next day.
79. Don’t envy others success. Be generous-spirited and congratulate whole-heartedly.
80. Your own standards have to be higher and more scrupulous than those of critics.
81. Pyle said, “Throw your heart into a picture and jump in after it.”
82. Vermeer found a life’s work in the corner of a room.
83. Rembrandt is always clear about what is most important in a picture.
84. If, after study, the work of an artist remains obscure, the fault may not be yours.
85. Critics don’t matter. Who cares about Michelangelo’s critics?
86. Structure your day so you have time for painting, reading, exercising and resting.
87. Aim high, beyond your capacity.
88. Try not to finish too fast.
89. Take the theory of the “last inch” holds that as you approach the end of a painting, you must gather all your resources for the finish.
90. Build your painting solidly, working from big planes to small.
91. See the planes of light as shapes, the planes of shadows as shapes. Squint your eyes and find the big, fluent shapes.
92. Notice how, in a portrait, Rembrandt reduces the modeling of clothes to the essentials, emphasizing the head and the hands.
93. For all his artistic skills, what’s most important about Rembrandt is his deep compassion.
94. To emphasize something means that the other parts of a picture must be muted.
95. When painting outdoors, sit on your hands and look before starting.
96. Composing a picture, do many thumbnails, rejecting the obvious ones.
97. Study how Rembrandt creates flow of tone.
98. If you teach, teach the individual. Find out when he or she is having trouble and help at that point.
99. Painting is a practical art, using real materials -- paints, brushes, canvas, paper. Part of the practicality of it is earning a living in art.
100. Finally, don’t be an art snob. Most painters I know teach, do illustrations, or work in an art-related field. Survival is the game.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Work

I did another one of these more "imaginative" pieces. How wonderfully freeing it is to get away from reality and work on applying the medium to the paper and moving it across the surface. There's so much to learn simply by playing.

This piece is framed in a simple, elegant cherry frame and measures approx. 11.5 x 18". It's not on my website yet but will be in my next show at The Works Cafe in Portsmouth, scheduled for May 1-June 30, 2010. Cost is $165. Title is Green Forest 2, even though it now looks more brown to me. There is lots of an olive-green color in it. Click on it to view it large.

Better late than never....

Well, once again, I'm waaaaaayyyyy behind on posting to my blog!! Shameful. Good news is, I'm busy with art work. Commissions and commitments. Had a wonderful show and reception at the Provident Bank in Exeter last month. Getting ready for another show to start in May and run through July in Portsmouth at The Works Cafe.

So what's new? I'm taking private watercolor lessons. Here's an example of what style I'm working in. I'm letting go of the detail and focusing on creating something really artistic. The northern pintail duck actually has quite a detailed pattern on it's sides. I didn't want to be caught up in trying to replicate this intricate pattern. Rather, I wanted solely to focus on large areas of color, making sure that my overall shape of the duck is accurate, but the rest was given over to the brush and pigment. I REALLY like this and will continue to work towards being consistent.

I've been teaching a beginner's watercolor class and it's been a wonderful experience. Three students, all very serious about learning and fun people to be with!

I just sent out my spring newsletter. It contains some of the new stuff I'll be doing as of this spring, like a Coffee House series of classes. This is an opportunity to make time for practicing your sketching outdoors. It is instructional and partially non-committal on your part. You pay 20 bucks each time you attend one of these classes. I'll be offering them on Tuesday mornings and Saturday afternoons. I will have a lesson planned for each week. You let me know ahead of time if you'll be attending. You don't sign up for a length of classes, just one at a time. Each class is outdoors unless the weather is not cooperative. Each class is scheduled for three hours. Each week we meet at a different location, the subject of that week pretty much dictates where we go. At the end of two hours or so we head to the nearest coffee house for yummy treats and to either critique the work or continue with what was started outdoors. Sound fun? Let me know if you want to attend. I'll forward you the spring newsletter with all the information.