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!


Monday, August 18, 2014

A New Painting And Some News

I have a new painting to show you but first I wanted to let you guys know that my landscape, Abingdon Square Park, has been chosen to be part of the landscape show at the Huntington (Long Island) Arts Council.  I'm so excited to be included in this show.  The show will be hanging from September 3-28, 2014.



Now on to the new painting.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was painting a small set  of peonies since the beginning of the summer.  It started one day when I was on my way to the studio.  I saw a man at a farmers market with some peonies so I bought a couple, stuck them in a vase and went to work.  I had no idea that I would end up doing three different bouquets in two different studios before it was finally finished!



This was the original set up.  Not very exciting, I know.  But my main goal was just to get the peonies on the canvas and worry about the rest later.







Even though I am lucky enough to have air conditioning in my studio, peonies do not last very long.  I bought another bouquet, but of course they were different from the first, so I ended up changing the painting to the new flowers.



I was painting in a friends studio and there was a seller with some great peonies nearby, so I salvaged what I could from the first bouquet and then added the new flowers.  Unfortunately, they lasted less time than the first bouquet, so I replaced them yet again.

Back in my studio, I worked on the flowers and refined the vase as well.  The vase was a bit tricky because of the rectangular shape, but after a few tries I got the shape and color that I wanted.

At this point I thought it was done, but you know me.  I was looking at the painting in my studio and realized that a few things needed some improvement.  There needed to be a little more light on the vase and the middle flower needed to be much lighter.




This is the finished painting.  Don't mind that dry patch on the right.  As soon as the painting is fully dried (about six weeks),  I will varnish it and the color will be uniform.

I'm in the middle of another peony painting right now.  I'll have it up as soon as it's finished, but you know me.  It could be awhile!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More Painting In The Comune di Assisi

As I said in this post, upon our first visit to the Comune di Assisi, we fell in love and ended up spending all of our painting time there.  The little square is so beautiful, and the people so artist friendly, that we had no desire to go anyplace else.

I took a ton of photos of the Comune, but I was so into my painting that I did not document those very well!  Not good for an art blogger, but I will show you what photos I do have.

I worked on this painting over two mornings.






This is a little trattoria opposite from the fountain.  I simply turned my easel around while standing in the same spot under the pharmacy awning. The sun was very bright and the awning and umbrella were such fun to paint.

But I have to tell you, eating in the trattoria was even better than painting it!  The restaurant was closed on most of the days we were there, but one afternoon they opened up and we quickly made a reservation.   The lunch I had there was one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life.
I just had a farro/veggie soup and some roasted veggies and potatoes, but it was absolutely delicious.  We were all set to go back the next day, but they never opened up again while we were there.


I also spent one day painting the Chiesa Nuova church.  I did not go in the church, but there is a small cell in there where St. Francis was locked up by his father so he would not give up his wealth to follow God.   There are many churches in Assisi, but this one seemed to attract the most visitors.  Across the alley way from the church was a tunnel made of heavy stone, and it was so nice and cool in there that I spent the whole day painting inside it.





As you can see from the photos, the sky was changing throughout the day.  When I got there in the morning, it looked like it was ready to pour, then the sun started coming out, and then it was beautiful. Things can change very quickly while painting outdoors so you have to be ready for anything.


This is my one day painting of the church.  I had intended to go back to that spot and work on it some more, but it didn't happen.


School and religious groups gathered in front of the church every day and the courtyard was always quite busy.  I was glad I was able to paint in my little tunnel.

On the other side of the church was another fantastic trattoria.  They had the best farro estivo (farro and beans) that I've ever tasted.  Can you tell I'm missing the food?


Sitting outside to eat was the perfect break from painting.


This is the cover of the menu.  I love how they change what they serve based on the season.

I have some other paintings from the trip to show you, but I'm going to put them in a separate post.  Have a great Sunday everybody!




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Paintings

Hello All,

I'm dropping in to let everybody know that some new paintings have been added to the drop down menus.  The stars aligned and I was able to varnish and photograph over the last few days.

Hope you like them!


Ariel, 16x20, oil


Pink Hydrangeas, 11x14, oil


Dahlias In A Ginger Jar, 16x12, oil


Copper Pot With Oranges, 12x16, oil


Lupines In A Blue and White Vase, 16x20, oil

Let me know what you guys think.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new paintings.  As always, thanks for reading!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Painting in the Comune di Assisi

Before I left for Italy, I had all sorts of grand plans for traveling around and taking day trips.  I planned to visit Florence and Siena and the other hill towns.  But a funny thing happened on the third day of the trip.  We went up to the Comune di Assisi to paint and we all promptly fell in love with the little square.  The Comune, as it is known, is the main square of Assisi.  It is a gathering place for residents of Assisi as well as visitors and tourists.  To me, the Comune is Union Square meets East Hampton.  There are lots of lovely little shops and cafes and even a gallery or two, but there is also a vibrant street life that I just loved.

My first day in the square I decided to paint the fountain.  The Fontana dei Tre Leoni, or fountain of the three lions, has been there since the 16th century and is absolutely beautiful.  It is also used as a frequent photo op for visitors to the square.  I set up under the awning of the farmacia and got to work.  As a side note, every cafe and store owner was happy to have us set up near them.  I loved how the local people were so supportive of artists.  We could use a little more of that in New York.

Anyway,  I worked on this painting over two mornings, from about 10am to 1:15pm at which time the light changed and it was time for lunch.


This was the view I had from under the pharmacy awning.  You can see the three lions in the main pool of the fountain.  All three had water coming out of their mouths.


This is a close up from the other side.  If you look to the middle right of the photo, that is where I was standing.


This is the finished painting.  It is really just a quick plein aire painting that may someday be turned into a larger finished work, but it will always be a beautiful reminder of the fun I had in the Comune painting and people watching.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Inspired By Italy: My Painting Adventure In Assisi

Hello Everybody!!  I'm so glad to be back.  I hope all of you are enjoying the summer.  I just returned from a visit to Assisi, Italy.  I was there on a painting trip with my teacher, Gregg Kreutz, and some other students.  To say I had a great time would be a major understatement.  We painted every day with the exception of the day we arrived.

Assisi is one of the hill towns of central Italy and is best known as the birth place of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, the environment and Italy.



Upon arriving I went exploring around town.  This is down the hill from the hotel where I stayed.  Assisi is one of Italy's hill towns.  Going down is fine, but sometimes you need a cab for the way back up!



As I continued walking under the arch, I came upon this scene.  There was a little observation area that looked out over these beautiful fields.  It seemed that no matter where I looked there was something beautiful.



The next morning it was painting time.  Our hotel has a terrace that is as big as my apartment so we set up out there for the first painting day.


This is the view I was looking at when I began painting.  I had never painted roof tops before, but it went surprisingly well.

Here is my start.  I blocked in everything and then began painting the sky.  In a landscape painting, the sky is the background, so I always start with that first.



I then moved on to the houses.  The roof tops had the most light on them, so that took awhile to complete, but it just meant putting multiple coats of paint on the canvas until the painting looked the way I wanted it to.


This is the finished painting.  I was happy to complete a painting on the first day, especially one with so much perspective.

To cap off the evening, the hotel set up a huge screen to show the World Cup finale.  A few of us watched it along with the hotel employees.


So that caps off my first two days in bella Italia.  It was the trip of a lifetime and I'm so glad I was able to paint there and explore the lovely town of Assisi.  I have many more pictures to show you, so I will have a few more posts with paintings and pictures of the city.

Have a great day!