Thursday, August 23, 2012

Five from the Past

 Acrylic on Paper 16"x20"

I was looking through some old portfolios when I came across these. They are 20 years old and they were painted when I made a serious effort to go out into the landscape and plein-aire paint, after being a studio artist up to that time.

Acrylic on Paper  16"x20"
I still really like mowed lawns and trimmed parks. It allows for strong graphic patterns from shadows to hit the ground without having the under brush brake them up

 Acrylic on Paper 16"x20"
I found a park not far from my house. I was living in Lancaster PA at the time.
It had been a 90 acre Mennonite farm, but half of it was in flood plain and could not be effectively developed, so the owner had sold it to a group that promised and built the most beautiful park and arboretum. The owner was now 90 years old and regularly walked the park and often sat with me while I painted.
Acrylic on Paper 16"x20"
This park had Mill Creek for a border on the East and South sides and a working Amish farm for the entire Western border.
I painted this while a Amish boy and a horse mowed, and raked this pattern into his field.

Acrylic on paper 16"x20"

I have continued to paint evergreens. This Hemlock always looked like an upside down tornado ready to tear up the lawn.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some Portrait Painting

Oil on Board 15.5 X 12.5

Recently I brought home some of my pastel drawings so I could photograph them. I left them on the bed and my housekeeper saw them. My house, is in Upstate NY and it is all about Landscape. Those are the paintings that are on the walls and the only art work, of mine, that she had ever seen. She a very quiet person, almost shy, but she asked me if I could do a drawing of her Mother. I knew that she has not seen her mother in more than 12 years!
It is the nature of this American life, it is on the news.  Whether it is NYC, LA, Chicago or places in between, and in my Upstate NY community, we have an emigrant population. Except for the politics and paperwork it is no different than my Italian and Irish grandparents. They did what they had to do. They never returned to their native countries, nor saw their parents or relatives ever again.
I asked for some pictures and she gave me several, including a book that her brother had made.
As I studied the pictures in the book, the caption under one of the pictures, of a very nice stucco house, with flowers and wrought iron, really got to me,
"This is the house I built with the money I made washing dishes at Denny's"
A smiling man was pictured with his very proud Mom.
So I tried my best to divine and capture all the love and memories.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Ramble in Central Park

10" X 10" Flash Paint on Gesso'ed Paper

Today I went into Central Park with a limited pallet of color. I was hoping to find some good dappled light. I brought Flash paint, in blue and white and English red, but I also brought some florescent yellow! I was taking no chances!
The ramble is a maze in paved and gravel paths that wander aimlessly, but delightfully, around small streams and ponds and rock formations. All the rock formations look natural, but one is surprised to find out that most all rocks groupings in the entire Central Park have been placed there by the Park creators.
I painted today with the artist Daniel Bethume from Santa Fe. He is now living and working in New York.