Here is another painting that I did of pines along the coast. This one was painted in Acrylics. I felt like experimenting with a new media. It was fun, but I prefer working in oils. Next, I think I am going to try some of the new water mixable oil paints. I heard that they are perfect for traveling. You don't have to try and locate solvents which can be difficult to find at certain locations. You just need water and soap to clean your brushes and I heard that water mixable oils dry faster which can be very convenient.
I love to paint flowers. Lilacs are one of my favorites. I used a reference photo for this one, since they are no longer in bloom. Everywhere I go, I take hundreds of photos that I can refer back to when I am painting in the studio. Whenever I use photos, I only use them in the beginning to give me ideas. During the painting process, I become so involved with the painting and what I am trying to say with the paint, that I forget the photo and often shut off the monitor and just go from there. I don't believe in "copying" from a photo. A photo is only a guide to get you going with the painting and eventually while in that creative zone the painting starts to tell you what it needs and it's almost like it is painting itself.
This is a plein air painting I did in September. I love the challenge of painting the ocean. It is constantly moving, making it difficult to capture what you are seeing. It is so much fun and I take it as a challenge! Me against nature! LOL!
My painting "Late Afternoon Marsh at Rachel Carson" has been accepted into the "Rockport Art Association Juried New England Invitational Show” Opening is Sunday, October 9, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The show runs through November 13th. Hope to see you there!
This is the second painting I did during my session in the pine grove. I turned my easel to the right and saw this bush. That was it, I decided to just paint it. Sometimes, it is good to not spend a whole lot of time walking around searching for a subject to paint. Sometimes, the subject finds you. I like the way all three of the paintings came out from that afternoon on Monhegan. I plan on doing this type of plein air painting more in the future.
This is actually the first painting I did on the day I set up my gear under the pines. I was instantly drawn to the way the light was beaming in from the left, leaving these deep long shadows across the grassy area. This was painted very quickly, keeping my brushes constantly moving across the canvas. The next painting I post will be the third painting from that afternoon session.
I just returned from a fantastic week on Monhegan Island working as Stan Moeller's Assistant at his annual September painting workshop. We had great sunny weather for the most part. I normally paint a lot of seascapes while I am there, but this time I focused on the trees and houses. This first painting I am posting was executed on a very warm sunny day. I found sanctuary in a shady grove of pine trees. I set up my easel and decided to just paint what was straight ahead. I turned my easel to the side and painted another and repeated the process. I produced three paintings that day. It was like heaven being outdoors in the cool shade on such a beautiful hot fall day. I will post the other two paintings in the next few days.
I have fallen in love with the beautiful lupines that grow on Monhegan. This is the third painting I have done of them and it certainly won't be my last! I love deep purples and magentas and this is the perfect setting for me to get to play with those colors.
Last June, I went to Monhegan Island to paint. It was a tough week to be there. It was cloudy and rained most of the time, which is not my favorite weather to paint in. One day, the sun decided to pop out and we all went down to Lobster Cove to paint. I was so excited to be out there in such beautiful weather, I had this great burst of energy and I did this painting in less than 45 minutes. To top off the day, this whale decided to pay us a visit and we stood and watched her come up and down as she passed us by only a short distance from the shore where we stood. Now, that's my idea of a perfect day!
I did this small study in the studio very quickly. It was a great deal of fun doing this painting knowing that I would do a larger version of some sort later on. I worked out some problems I was encountering and made some composition choices when doing this. The next lupine painting will be a bit larger and a slightly different design. I will keep the colors vibrant and do a lot more painting with the palette knife in the next painting. Working several different versions of the same scene is so much fun and you learn a lot while doing it.
If any of you out there are looking for a great plein air workshop to attend I cannot recommend enough the Stan Moeller workshop on Monhegan Island. It is a wonderful place to paint where you can set up your easel just about anywhere and there is a beautiful scene to paint. Artists have been going there for a hundred years and anyone who goes ends up going back. It's a different world where you can forget about what time it is or even what day it is and just concentrate on painting. It does not matter if you have no experience painting outside or if you are an advanced painter. It is for everyone and each person will go home having learned a great deal about art and make new friends in the process. Stan has a few openings left in June and September. The Monhegan House fills up fast so if you are thinking about it, don't hesitate. It's a great place to stay and almost everyone will be there. Here is the workshop link: http://www.stanmoeller.com/Workshops.htm
These days, I find myself feeling quite restless. I just don't have the patience to work on a painting for longer than 4 or 5 hours. After that length of time, the painting becomes boring as if my very mood was being projected onto the canvas. A painting can become technically perfect but absolutely dull and lifeless. I decided to start and complete a larger work in one session. This is the result of my painting like crazy without stopping for a break. I am happy with the results. It does have energy which was my goal.
I painted this on a cold, dreary day this past February. I needed to paint something warm and happy. This painting brings me back to Monhegan Island in the summertime. This chair next to the library was just waiting for me to come and sit. Ahhhh, to dream........
I love to paint fast. I get bored with the subject if I have to wait for the paint to dry. Most of my work is done "alla prima" in my studio or outside "en plein air". Sometimes, on dreary winter days, I like to pretend that I am outside. I paint very quickly, trying to get down what I see as if I were fighting the changing light. This is a good exercise for any painter to do. It keeps you on your toes and the work is fresh.
I am daydreaming a lot these days of warm summer days. Yesterday, I looked at a group of paintings I did during the summer and fall. Some of them were studio pieces and many of them are plein air work that I never got around to photographing. This was one of them. I painted this scene at the end of the street on the bay at Hampton this past summer. There was not much inspiring me that day and then I looked out at this grassy area and spotted this lovely boat just waited there. The light was just beautiful and it made the boat almost glow.
12"x16" Oil on linen board
This is the second painting I did from the photos I took of the children near the water on Swim Beach on Monhegan Island. I painted the same little girl in the white dress but this time she had a friend. The two of them were standing in the water looking out at the ocean. It was very hot and sunny that day. What a nice way to cool off.
Sometimes in the cold, dreary days of winter, I paint from reference photographs that I took during the warmer weather. This is a painting I did last winter on a very cold, dark day. The photograph was taken from a still life I set up in my porch during the summertime. I immediately became lost in the process of painting this one. The bright colors of the sunflowers are so warming and cheerful! It lifted my spirits and I hope it does the same to yours!
20"x 20" Oil on Canvas, Framed
On View at the Levy Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the month of March.
I was painting on Swim Beach on Monhegan Island last June when I looked up and saw this beautiful little girl playing near the water. She looked like a glowing little angel. Her Mom was nearby and I explained to her that I was a painter and would like to paint her daughter. The nice woman said "yes" and this is the first in a series of paintings that I will be doing of that special little girl.
Here is another painting I did from a photo I took while visiting the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. I found the painters who were there copying the masters to be just as fascinating as the works of art on display. I have many photos of these painters that will probably end up as paintings. Some were students, others I think were professional copiers.
During the last big storm, I got bored and started to look at photos I took the last time I was in Paris. I came across a series of photos I took of painters in museums copying old master paintings. I became inspired and the result is this painting called "A Painter in Paris".
It is so cold outside. I feel rather cooped up today. I want to be outdoors painting. At this time of year my mind always goes back to Monhegan Island. Probably because my heart is there. For those of you who are not familiar, it is a small place, an island one hour off the coast of Maine. It is now and has been for a long time, an art colony that draws artists, musicians, writers, and bird watchers to it's shores every summer. The scenery from a painter's perspective is spectacular. There is a potential painting around every corner. I always stay at the Monhegan House. The wonderful staff, great food, and interesting eclectic group of people who stay there make it for me the best place to be. I have been returning there for many years to be a part of the plein air workshops being taught by my friend and mentor, Stan Moeller. He is a wonderful teacher who goes above and beyond to help his students. I cannot recommend his workshops enough. We have so much fun, but we work very hard. I always come back having learned something new. I am so looking forward to the warmer weather and to going back. Below is a still life painting I did in the dead of winter last year when I was thinking about Monhegan Island and wondering when I was going back. This is a symbolic painting because each item either comes from or I use while on the island. The title of this painting is "Missing Monhegan".
It is very cold outside and I started to think about the very hot summer we had this past year. I love the hot weather. For me, it can never be to hot. That's the time when you go to the sea. This is a painting I did from several photos I took this past summer while walking along Hampton Beach. It was done in one session in order to keep it light and happy.
Every year I return to beautiful Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine to paint. This is a scene from a place in the forest called "Cathedral Woods". When the afternoon light shines through the trees it looks like light in a church coming through stained glass windows. Although I paint lots of plein air landscapes, I also take many photos so that I can refer to them in the wintertime. This painting was done "alla prima" from reference photos. I kept it loose and energetic and recaptured the way I feel when painting on the spot outdoors.