Thursday, November 20, 2014

American Artists Professional League 86th Grand National Exhibition

Last Sunday was the reception for the American Artists Professional League's 86th Grand National Exhibition.  The AAPL was formed in 1928 to promote traditional American art.  Every year they stage a Grand National Exhibition.  Artists from all over the United States submit their work for review by a jury. My painting, Purple Flowers And Oranges, was chosen for the show.  This was my second year in a row exhibiting with the AAPL and I was thrilled to be chosen for this amazing show.

The reception featured a demonstration by Thomas Torak (he was also the winner of the Best In Show award).  Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the demo to show you because the reception at the Salmagundi Club was so crowded that I could not get close enough to get any shots!  The gallery was packed with visitors.  I was so happy to see that many people interested in the art.  Sometimes, especially in New York City, it can be hard to find interest in traditional art.

I was truly amazed at the quality of work in this show.  Every place I looked I saw something beautiful.

Purple Flowers And Oranges, 12x16, oil

Thank you to the AAPL for a wonderful show and to the Salmagundi Club for hosting a great reception.  I had a fabulous time and judging from the size of the crowd, many others enjoyed the afternoon as well.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Painting With The Artists Guild In Taos, New Mexico

Hello from rainy New York.  How is everyone?  I was in a bit of a painting slump, but I am very happy to report that I have a few new paintings to show you.

Last month I traveled to Taos, New Mexico to take a one week workshop from the teachers at The Artist Guild.  We painted all day and then had demos at night.  It was a great week with great teachers and I learned so much.

There were classes with models and still life set ups, but I can do those any time so I chose to stay outside and paint the mountains every day.  I've never painted mountains before, so this was not an easy task, but I had a great time and learned a lot.

One day we had a demo with teacher Jacqueline Kamin out in back of the hotel where the classes were held.  She painted the landscape and then we set up our own easels in the afternoon.

This was the view Jackie painted.

I took these photos standing in a thorn bush so bear with me, but at least you can see how the painting came to be.  She started with a simple block in.  Just the shape, size and placement of the mountain to start.

After the block in, Jackie started working on the painting.

The sky is in as well as the darks.

Painting by Jacqueline Kamin

This is the finished painting.  Jackie did this demo in about an hour.  Mine, on the other hand, just got finished yesterday!

This is the painting I brought home with me.  I worked on it for one day, so it was really just a plein air study, but as I was looking at it on Tuesday I wanted to try and finish it.

The main problem I was having the whole time I was in Taos is that my mountains kept looking like Hawaiian volcanoes.  I have never been to Hawaii, so I don't know why that kept happening, but I did realize a few days ago that my landscape was way too green for the desert.  If you look around in Taos, there is a lot of green everywhere, but it is a very muted green.  After looking at my photos I realized that I needed to tone down the landscape and pump up the sky.

I started by putting a layer of yellow ochre over the entire landscape part of the painting.  That helped to tone everything down.  I then added yellow ochre to my ultramarine blue and cad yellow mixture to make sure that my new greens stayed muted.

This was how I left things on Tuesday.  When I got back to the studio I realized that the sky was wrong and I was not thrilled with my desert plants.  I got rid of the plants and just put in the idea of the color of the landscape, if that makes sense.  I also put another layer of blue (mixed with some cad yellow deep) into the sky and got rid of the clouds.  The clouds were there in real life, but I realized they were not helping the painting so I got rid of them and added clouds in places where I thought they looked good.  Yes, I did take some artistic license here, but I'm a believer that you do whatever you need to in order for the painting to work.

This is the finished painting.  I'm pretty happy with it now.  I don't know that I'll ever do anything with it, but it will always be a lovely reminder of a terrific week spent with friends and great artists.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Art Guild Of Port Washington Members Show

Hi All.  I hope everyone is enjoying autumn.  We are having summer weather here in New York and it is so nice, though coming to an end on Sunday.  I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a portrait.  That turned into two portraits, but unfortunately, neither worked out.  They are not horrible, but not worth putting in a frame either.  I was feeling very bummed out not to have anything to show for four weeks of work, but that all changed with The Art Guild Of Port Washington members show.  I have been a member of The Art Guild for years and they always put on great shows and events.  Unfortunately, after Hurricane Irene, there was a fire in their building and they have been closed down for the last three years.

Happily, on September 21st, the building was ready to host the public again and the Guild had their grand reopening and members reception.  I walked in and was talking to some people in the lobby when a friend of mine told me to go in and see the show.  I did and just about fainted when I saw my painting with a second place ribbon hanging on it!

The reception had a big crowd and it was so nice to see the building full of people again.

The juror for the show was Diana de Santis, an amazing artist that I have long admired, so that made the award even more special to me.

The juror of the show, Diana de Santis, on the left

Painting by Diana de Santis

Getting my award!!

The Art Guild Of Port Washington staff

It was a great day and I have to say a special thank you to the staff for keeping the Guild going the past three years.  I know there will be many great events to come!

*Are you an artist or art lover who would like to join the Guild?  Click here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Landscape Show At The Huntington Arts Council

My painting, Abingdon Square Market, was selected to be shown at the Huntington Arts Council's landscape show.  I was thrilled to be picked and it is always such fun to see your painting hanging in a show.  The opening reception was this past Friday night.  I don't have too many photos as the place was jam packed!  People had to go out on to the street because there was no place else to go.  I was happy to see so many people there.

This is the painting.  Every Saturday morning, a farmers market sets up in Abingdon Square here in New York City.  I set up right across the street and painted this scene in a few hours.  I really lucked out with perfect weather and a perfect view.

Thank you to the Huntington Arts Council for putting on a great show and reception.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunflowers And Sag Harbor

Hello Everyone.  I'm back.  I did not mean to take a summer blogging break, but things have been a little crazy.  I'm in the middle of four paintings.  I had not meant to start so many, but a big batch of sunflowers and a lovely model changed things up.

Here in New York the temps have been in the 90's this week, but last week the weather was perfect so I took a ride out to the East End of Long Island.   We stopped in Sag Harbor first, just to take a look around.  It is lovely there.  Just walking around town there were beautiful flowers in bloom, boats, nice restaurants and lovely, old homes.

I love this old sign hanging in front of the Sag Harbor Pharmacy.

Near the dock and boats, we found a bunch of beautiful swans and ducks.  They did not seem to care that a bunch of people were there taking photos.  They just went on with sleeping, fishing, and swimming around.

On the way back to the city, I came upon a great farm stand and they were selling enormous bunches of sunflowers for $10.00!  You know I got one for myself and started painting it the very next day.

I have to admit, this painting was not going well at all.  The sunflower right out front was making me crazy.  I just could not get it right.  I started thinking that no wonder Van Gogh had issues.  It was not epilepsy.  It was not syphilis.  It was the sunflowers that caused him to have a stay in the sanitarium!  I knew at that point the painting had to change, so I moved the vase around until the set up seemed like it would work better and once I did that the painting began to flow.

This is where I left off last weekend.  I was determined to get the flowers done before they faded, but the rest of the painting is on hold for a bit as I had the opportunity to paint one of my favorite models last week and will be doing so again this week.  I will be going back to this painting and the others that are in progress soon.  I am determined to get them all finished in the next few weeks.

While on the East End I did something very exciting, but that event is getting it's own post.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend!