Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Green Wash

This is the last of the preliminary washes. I can see the valley and the basic composition. Below are two studies for the right side of the painting.

Gouache on Paper
18" x 24"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Second Wash Layer

I laid on this yellow wash today. Mostly turpentine with a little medium. I got out all the sketches from my time on location.
 Gouache on Paper
18" x 24"

This will be the left side of the painting.

First Paint

After 3 months of sketching and thinking about it, I finally have paint on the canvas.
Today I will add the next layer and post.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Flying In for It"

Oil on Canvas 
36" x 36"

I was given the book "Crow Planet" by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. It was a wonderful book and really suited me. I am not a scientist and really only an amateur naturalist. I have lived close to crows my whole life and that is no big deal, since it is they that choose to live near us. When I lived in Illinois, they were an integral part of the landscape. Here in Upstate NY, they are in my yard!
So I decided to feed them. I had a regular stock of fat field mice that got caught in the basement of my farm house and slowly (two years) I gained their trust.
I can now whistle them in for a tasty varmint. Here is one now, but always with a guard!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Smithfield Valley Memory

Smithfield Valley Memory
72" x 48" Acrylic on Canvas

Above are two paintings, the first on the left is actually the sketch for the second. I needed to do a full size sketch because it was intended as a possible commission and needed to be seen in the proposed space. I am happy with it and the commission was granted, but the canvas and stretcher quality was questionable, so I decided to do it over again. Here is the under-painting next to the sketch.
My finished painting, at the top, is a recollection and not from life.
I particularly like the visual activity on the sides of our roads and the movement of the eye from close to far and back again. The completed painting is all from a combination of visual memories, and a small amount of photo reference, all to support the feeling, more then to document the scene

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Paintings Get a New Home

"Goodbye Winter"
20" X 7.5
Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

"Winter Glare"
20" X 7.5"
Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

It is really nice to see that these two paintings will "live" and be looked at and not be asleep in the portfolio any longer. The paintings are scenes from around my house and are going to a house, just up the road were the views are nearly identical

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Side Project

Dennis Watlington October 2013

Last Tuesday I visiting my friend Dennis at the stroke rehab center where he currently lives. If you have followed my blog for a while, I sometimes post some work I do with Dennis. I really never understood a stroke. My Mom died of a stroke. It happened all so quickly that I really did not get a chance to process what she was going through during those few days she lived after it. Dennis had three strokes and survived. He is in his third year of recovery and here is some proof of his progress.
I do need to make it clear that Dennis has a much bigger circle of support than just me, and has a "Saint" in his partner Caroline.
In addition to my art projects, I have Tae Kwon Do training. I started using it to help Dennis's mobility. I figured out that the rear wheel-well and side rail of my pick-up truck would make an excellent place to get Dennis up, (pictured above).

This is what Dennis accomplished; wheeled himself into position, locked the wheelchair, reached out and grabbed the rail and stood up...then stayed there for a complete "James Brown" song, played loud on the truck radio, sat down and repeated this three times! We were joking that it looked like the white guy was trying to teach the black guy to dance! Humor is all part of the process, we laugh and joke the entire time, even though, I am not opposed to having him get agitated. "Working Out" his emotional range is important, and probably the lesser addressed part of stroke recovery.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Smaller, Faster

Camilla's View
9" x 12" Gouache on Watercolor Paper

Today I reduced the paper size to 9" x 12" and I am restricting the time that I can work on any one to a half an hour or less. This is not for the sake of increasing production or for catching the light at a certain moment, though that can be a good thing. 
Right now I want to control my brush work and if I have a time limit I know that I cannot get too tight. I will have to do the most with each stroke.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

House Sitting

Gouache on Bristal Vellum
18" x 24"

A friend of mine had the travel and leave her cat at home. I decided that this would be an excellent "remote" without having to go too far from home, 20 mintues. There are benefits of this; I do not get distracted by, my garden, and my endless house projects. I also get a completely different landscape. My house is in a wooded hollow, all good, but this is so different being on a hill different that all I could do was painting the brush and the lawn! We will see how I do next painting!

Three Studies

Gouache on Paper
18" x 12"

Here are the first three of several studies for the large canvas. Gouache drys quickly so it responds well to my attempts to be loose and fast. I am using this vertical format so I can be complete from "top to bottom" without worrying about any of the scale of the final work

Monday, August 19, 2013

Plein-Aire with Gouache

Gouache on Paper
18" x 12"

Gouache on Paper
18" x 12"

Gouache on Paper
18" x 12"

These are three from the weekend. We spent it with our friend Diana at the her house near Pine Plains NY. She has a deck on the bank of this creek. Later we grilled dinner and watched the light fade, right in this spot
I am really enjoying working fast and loose and being able to work closer and closer to dawn and dusk

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blank Canvas

I picked up the 132" x 54" canvas yesterday at Simon Liu in Sunset Park Brooklyn. It is a folding canvas, beautifully made. It opened up and bolted together easily.
It is 2" thick with a hanger cleat built into it. When it is folded, it fit into the back of my pick-up truck. It was all shrink wrapped, and traveled well, but I will likely deliver the finished painting in a box truck. It had to be a folding canvas so I can get it in and out of the second floor studio.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pallet Adjustment

Goauche on Paper
18" x 12"
I am happier now!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Painting My lunch

Acrylic on Paper
20" x 7.5"
I had expected that I might be rained out a few times during this trip so I brought a few paintings that I had started and thought I might finish on such a day. Yesterday we had thunderstorms through out the day so I brought out this one and continued working on it Today was one of those super clear days. I took the painting outside and there was a beautiful pine, not the same tree, but similar enough to be able the translate the light and add the cloudless sky.

I read that Salvador Dali would go to the Prado and set up his easel in the front of a Velasquez as though he were going to copy it, but instead he would paint his lunch (above)!
To be here and paint "anything" right now, lets the location be the influence.
I also spent some time this morning being a tourist. I actually walked the house tour with a guide and visited the museum.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

On Location

I do not think that this photo accurately shows the elevation. This Rock is about 300'- 400' above the valley, with almost a straight drop just a few feet behind me. I needed the 4WD to get up here, but it was worth it. I think that I can understand why Mohawks wiped out the first and second English settlements that moved into this area in the mid to late sixteen hundreds. It is just lush and beautiful !

 Gouache on Paper
24" x 10"

I still do not have a grip on my "plein-aire" pallet. My personal sense of scale needs to be reeled in, but not crushed, and that said, I just got here and need to be gentle with myself. 
I am just seduced by the green...I may need to leave the green paint out of the paint bag for a day or two!
I said I would share it all.

On The Road

Icelandic Pony Farm, Ancramdale NY
Gouache on Paper 
10" x 10"

I left the house on Thursday Evening, We rent our house for short term vacations (VRBO), and the guests arrived. They were competing in the Millbrook Horse Trials.

I packed the truck with all my art stuff and clothes and traveled north to my friends house in Ancramdale in the rain. In the morning I awoke to one of the brightest, clearest days. 
My host, Caroline went off to do what she usual does, take care of Dennis in rehab, and I got out the paints. This first one is a bit fluorescent, but that is how the day felt!
Caroline lives on an Icelandic Pond farm and regrettably they were all in another paddock. They are quite beautiful, with long mane and tails that touch the ground.

After finishing painting, I packed it up and drove into the middle of Massachusetts.
I am here now with an overcast day on the campus of this beautiful boarding school.

Before leaving Millbrook, I ordered the 11' x 4.5' primed canvas from Simon Liu in Brooklyn. It should be ready for pick-up when I return.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Big New Project

"From The Rock"
12" x 6"
Acrylic on Tyvek

Today I received the deposit check for a new project. A very large landscape painting of a big vista in Massachusetts. The actually painting will measure 11 feet by 4.5 feet, oil on canvas.
I am going to share the entire process with you, starting today, on this blog.
I have been making a real effort to move away from commercial murals, scenic art and projects where I am in the role as "artisan" and not artist. There seem to be a wide variety of ways to be a "working artist" and finding your personal groove. This can be as different and varied as the artists themselves. I will not dig too deep into that right now. My current choice is to make and sell new work or be commissioned to make new work for someone, or a group that likes what I have done previously. I am happy to accept the challenges of size, subject and theme, while trying to maintain the "artist" I have been developing in myself.
That said, I will share how I arrived at this image and explained to this client/collector what they will be getting.
Eleven feet is a big canvas and my first questions were, where would it hang and what would be the viewing distances. After that I listened very carefully till I heard what thrills them, whether it was a building, or an object or location.
The view above is the first place I was brought!

We now live in this technical world of amazing tools, with cameras and computers.
I have truly falling in love with my digital camera and photoshop for visual information, and spelling and grammar check to help my dyslex brain communicate!

My studio with photoshopped sketch pasted onto a proportioned canvas

I once heard that if Matisse had had PS, he would has used it! 
My painting will maintain 80% of the concept sketch I have shown. 

I think that making a successful transfer of this sketch to the canvas is a learned skill, but NOT enough. It is NOT the "Art of it".

Over the next days and weeks I will share the process I use to get to the "Art of it"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Exploring Compliments

Blue Spruce Rethink
8.5" x 8.5"
Acrylic on paper

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Sky Tonight...for a brief moment

The Sky Tonight
8.5" x 8.5"
Acrylic on paper

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More About Feeling

On North Mab Road
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Can You Change the Color of the Sky with Your Mood?

Blue Spruce-Rethink
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thinking About It Differently

In The Breeze-Rethink
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Final of This Group

Blue Spruce 013
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"
Maple Tree 014
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

The first one has been sold, here is a shot of the remaining 13

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blue Spruce 012

Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

Black Pine 011

Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thinking Summer

Under The Maple 010
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"

It is 10 degrees outside, with a touch of snow on the ground right now. So I really enjoyed painting this and remembering the day I was sitting on my freshly mowed lawn and looking up

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blue Spruce 009

Blue Spruce 009
Acrylic on Paper 
8.5" x 8.5"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Two More in The Series

Cedar 007
Acrylic on Canvas
8.5" x 8.5"

On Mabbettsville Road 008
Acrylic on Canvas
8.5" x 8.5"

Friday, January 11, 2013

Backlit Pine

Mugo Pine 006
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" X 8.5"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In The Breeze

In The Breeze 005
Acrylic on Paper
8.5" x 8.5"