Friday, November 29, 2013

Huntington Arts Council Still Life Show Reception

A few nights before I left for Mexico the Huntington Arts Council had a reception for their annual still life show.   I had two paintings in the exhibition (a first for me) so I was very excited.  Here are a few photos from the evening.

Peonies in A Glass Vase

Brass Pot With A Glass Vase

Florence Dallari, Executive Director of the Huntington Arts Council

Susie Gach Peelle, the juror for the show

Another great part of the evening:  my beautiful friend had two paintings in the show as well.  We had such a great time together.   

I have to send out my thanks to the Huntington Arts Council.  They did a beautiful job with the show and there was a great turnout.  Now I'm off to take advantage of some Black Friday online sales.  Have a good weekend everybody!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

San Miguel de Allende: El Jardin

I spent much of my time in San Miguel de Allende in El Jardin, the town square.  I really believe that El Jardin is what makes visitors pack up and move south.  In fact, the first day I was there painting on the street I heard someone call out my name and it turned out to be a friend from New York!   She visited San Miguel for two weeks in January and promptly packed up and moved there (I'm fantasizing about that as we speak due to our horrible weather).

El Jardin is where everyone hangs out.  There are artists, shoppers, people selling all kinds of things on the street, people just hanging out on the benches reading the paper, talking or having coffee.  My favorite thing to do there was hang out at the Cafe El Jardin having a limonata.  After painting all day we would get lunch and a drink and people watch.  I've been missing it everyday since I've been back home.

Speaking of painting,  I wish I had a finished painting to show you from El Jardin, but I do not.  I made three attempts, but none panned out.  It happens.  Perspective is not my strong suit and with rolling hills added in, well, it just did not happen.  But I do have some fun pictures to show you.

La Parroquia, one of the most photographed churches in Mexico

La Parroquia at night

My painting set up

Yes, there is a Starbucks, but that is the only chain in the area

Groups of school children always stopped to see what we were up to

Hanging out at the cafe
Saw this woman on the street everyday

 I have lots more photos but will save them for another post.  In the meantime I'm going to get back to San Miguel real estate fantasizing!  Have a great day everybody.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Big Painting Adventure: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!

Hello Everyone.  I'm so glad to be back to blogging.  I know I have been gone for awhile.  The reason is that I went on a 10 day painting trip to Mexico!  It was a great trip and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Phil Levine Workshops ran the trip and the teacher was my teacher, Gregg Kreutz.  How could I not go?  It has been years since I have been on a painting trip so I was very excited.

We spent our time in San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful town recently voted the number one city in the world in the Conde Nast Magazine reader poll.

These are some photos from the car leaving Mexico City.  The highway was busy and crowded leaving the airport, but eventually gives way to mountains and desert.

A few hours after landing we were in beautiful San Miguel.  San Miguel is a small city with a good sized American expat population, and after spending 10 days there I understand why people choose to retire or have second homes there.  The weather is great (75 degrees there today vs. 28 in NYC), it is very clean, the people are friendly and there is a great free spirited vibe about the place.

Sunset was soon after we arrived.  Every night was more beautiful than the last.

This is the view we saw the first morning.  The blue sky was unlike anything I've ever seen.

I heard some barking and this guy was looking down at me from his roof top.  Such a cutie.

Our first morning started off with Gregg doing a demo for us.  He did a two hour painting of the lovely Victoria in the outdoor studio of our B & B.

The block in

Adding detail

Placing the shadows

End of the demo

After Gregg's demo, we set up our easels to paint Victoria.  I made a good start, but it takes awhile to paint a complete portrait and unfortunately Victoria was unable to pose for us again.  

This was just the start of a great painting week.  Tomorrow I will show you some of the spots we painted in around town and out in the desert.  

Hope everybody is doing well.  See you tomorrow!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Blog Announcement

Hi Everyone,

I'm just popping in to let you guys know that I'll be away from the blog for a bit.  I'm off on an exciting painting adventure (in just a few hours, still not finished getting ready!).  I'll be back in about 10 days and will tell you all about my trip as well as post some photos from last night's opening reception.

I'm not sure what the internet situation will be, but I am going to try to post to twitter and instagram.

Have a great week everybody.  I'll see you soon.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Still Life Show Opening Reception Tonight

Hi Everybody.  Hope you are all having a good week.  I'm still at work on my two remaining paintings, but I wanted to pop in to let you guys know that tonight is the opening reception for the Huntington Arts Council Annual Still Life Show.  Two of my paintings are included in the show.

Peonies In A Glass Vase, 16x20, oil 

Brass Pot With A Glass Vase, 16x20, oil

The reception will run from 6 to 8 pm.  If you are in the Long Island area, please stop by.  I would love to meet you.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

One Down, Two To Go….

If you recall my last post, I was working on three paintings at the same time.   Luckily, I finished one of them yesterday.

This is what I started out with.  Not bad, but it needed some tweaking.  That shadow in the lower right hand corner was too stark and the front line of the table cloth was a bit off.  I fixed the line (thank heavens for the t-square) and then I softened up the shadow on the right by adding a little more of the lighter color of the cloth to it.

I also darkened up the shadow on the right side of the background. I then used the same color to soften the back edge of the table cloth as well as add a bit of shadow to the top plane of the right hand side.

Another change I made was to lighten up the leaf in the very front of the greenery.  You always want to  have one leaf or flower stand out so that the whole bunch does not look flat.

I decided to add a green grape on the right side of the painting as I felt there was a bit too much space there, but something was not sitting right with me.  After a few minutes I realized what it was:  there were eight pieces of fruit.  You always want to have an odd number of objects as it is more pleasing to the eye.  I added another grape and then it was finally finished.

There was a lot of excruciating minutia involved to get this painting done, but that is how it really works.  I always laugh when I see an artist portrayed in the movies or on tv and they make a masterpiece in a day.  Much of the art of painting involves fixing mistakes and making tiny changes that add up to a completed painting.

After I finished this up, I had some time to spend on the dahlias.  Yesterday was my last long painting day so we'll see how this week goes as I get adjusted to the new time ( I am so not a morning person).

Have a great Sunday everybody!