Sunday, May 25, 2014

Painting At The Martin Viette Nursery

Hi everybody.  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.  We are having a three day weekend here in the US and I have been getting a lot of painting done.  Recently, I was lucky enough to take part in a painting day at the Martin Viette nursery on Long Island.  What a beautiful place!  I had never been there before and I was amazed at all the beautiful flowers and garden accessories.  We were allowed to paint anywhere on the property.  After a walk around the place I set up in front of some huge hibiscus plants.

Here is the start of the painting.  I used an old canvas that had a green background so that made it a bit easier for me.  When you are painting en plein air anything that saves time is very helpful.

I wanted to paint in the whole hibiscus bush with a few of the flowers.  I never paint anything like that so it was a new experience for me and outdoor painting is always an adventure.

This is where I ended up at the end of the day.  In the early afternoon the weather changed from sunny and perfect to cloudy, windy and cold.  I have a ton of photos so I may try to do something with this in the studio, but even if I don't finish it, I had a fun day and a great time painting at the nursery.

Here are some other photos I took that day.  The giant peonies were killing me!

Thank you to everyone at the Martin Viette nursery for a great painting day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mentoring With The Masters At The Salmagundi Club, 2014

It was quite the weekend at The Salmagundi Club here in New York City.  It began on Friday night with the opening reception for the members and masters show.

The club members had their paintings displayed in the main gallery.  Also on display were paintings from the artists who would be participating in the mentoring event on Sunday.

Self portrait by Gregg Kreutz

Painting by Sherrie McGraw

Painting by Leah Lopez (mentor from the 2013 event).

In the club's upstairs gallery, there was a separate show of paintings from the four artists who would be painting with us on Sunday.  

These paintings are by Jacqueline Kamin.  I was unfamiliar with Jackie's work before the show, but she is an amazing painter and a lovely person.  As you know I love florals and Jackie's are incredible.  

These are some of Gregg's paintings.  Of course, I've seen them in his studio, but it was great to see them all framed and hanging in a gallery setting.  

And here we have a painting from the man we all descended from, David Leffel.  David is the master artist and teacher and we were so lucky to have him at the club for this event.  

There were also some paintings from Sherrie McGraw, but my shots did not come out very well.  If you have a chance, check out this exhibit.  It was unbelievable to see these four artists exhibiting together.  

On Saturday, David Leffel did a portrait demonstration in the gallery.  I was devastated to miss this and believe me when I say there is only one person on the planet who could have kept me from this event.  I was very lucky, however, to be able to observe on Sunday when David came back to work on the painting.  

You may have noticed some video and lighting equipment around.   The demo was being filmed and I hope at some point it will be added to the video library that David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw and Jacqueline Kamin have made available through The Artist Guild and Brightlight Publishing.  

On Sunday morning we arrived at the club bright and early for the Mentoring With The Masters portion of the weekend.  The set up was the same as last year.  There were models in several rooms at the club and the mentors and students could move around to paint or observe anything that was going on.  

As I did last year, I stayed in the basement pool room the entire time.  I'm happy to report that this year I  worked on a bigger canvas (11x14 as opposed to 9x12) and got more of the painting done.  As you know I am no daily painter, so getting a somewhat finished painting in one shot is unusual for me.  It is not finished by any means, but I was happy at the end of the day.  

This is the view I was painting.  I was lucky that I had some experience after being there last year and I think that made it easier for me.

This was my original block in.  As you know, perspective=hell for me, so I spent quite a bit of time just getting the angles of the pool table right.  

This is where I ended up at the end of the day.  Definitely not my usual fare, but you have to step out of your comfort zone every once in awhile and try something new, right?

Painting by Gregg Kreutz

Sherrie McGraw with a student

When the painting portion of the day was concluded, the instructors gave us a critique and David Leffel  talked to us about painting (what an incredible treat, I could have listened all night). 

Sherrie giving a critique

David Leffel talking to us about art and painting

Whew! I think this is the longest post I have ever written, but there was so much to tell you I wanted to get it all in.  I had a fantastic time and I must give special thanks to Gregg Kreutz, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Jacqueline Kamin, Robert Pillsbury, Tim Newton and the staff of the Salmagundi Club for an incredible, art filled weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Operation Update

As I've mentioned before, I have some old paintings that I thought were okay at the time, but now that I  have more knowledge, they clearly need an update.

I started working on this painting a few weeks ago.

It's not horrible, but there were things about it I just did not like.  I have tried using a yellow ochre background a few times and it just does not work for me.  I like dark backgrounds so I am going to stick with them.  I was also concerned about the bowl.  The shadows were not dark enough so it looked rather flat.  The third problem is one that is difficult to see in the photo, but there was not enough paint on the panel.  I love my Innerglow panels, but they are not the type of surface that you can just quickly paint on and call it a day.  The more layers of paint, the better.  There were sections of the panel that I just didn't feel were covered well enough.

I started out by covering the yellow ochre background with my usual gray.

That took quite awhile to accomplish.  The panel was sucking up the paint like crazy.  I put the background in three or four times to get the coverage I wanted.  The proportions of the bowl were a little off so I fixed that problem as well.

The green bottle was also a problem.  It was looking a bit flat so I added a dark shadow to round it out.

Next up, I repainted the bowl.  I almost hated to do it because I did like the pattern, but it had to be done as the shadows were not dark enough.  In fact, after I repainted the pattern, I had to do the whole thing again because I still did not have it right.  That seems to be a frequent occurrence with white objects.  It is sometimes hard to see the darks and lights until the pattern is painted and then you end up having to do both over again.

Here is the bowl with the new pattern and darker shadow.  I think the pattern came out pretty well considering I did not have the bowl to work from.  I have no idea where this bowl is so I snapped a close up on my phone and worked from that.

You'll notice that I also changed the yellow cloth.  I'm not sure what I had going on with those crazy folds, but I like it much better now.  In fact, that was the easiest fix of this entire painting.

This is the finished painting.  I have to sit with it a day or two, but I'm happy with it so far.  Considering that I had nothing from the original painting to work with, I think it came out pretty well.

I'm in the midst of another update (another yellow ochre background) and I'm hoping to be done with that this weekend.

Hope everybody is having a great day!