Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Part, Adirondack Publisher's Invitational

I drove for nearly 7 hours in the sun to register for my week in the Adirondacks; I checked in, moved in, and met many painters before, during and after dinner. I had come ready to paint ~ Paul Smith area is gorgeous and I was promised spectacular sunsets like the Hudson River painters had recorded.

Well, I really had come to paint, so I prepared my first oils and a small canvas on a rickety table on a 2nd floor deck. It was becoming more cloudy and overcast, but I took my chances because I was so ready to push the paint around---of course the skies would turn brilliant orange & gold, reflecting on the lake below. I chose a composition, laid in my shapes and underlying colors, waited for the spectacle of glorious color to arch into the clouds so I could fling paint at the waiting canvas at the absolute best moment of colors blasting a blinding sunset at me.

Nope, never happened. In fact the pink that did appear in the sky was so dim and fleeting that several people asked me if I made it up. Nope. But I did exaggerate the minor spectacle I witnessed, and if you have been following this, then there is no surprise that I was denied rich sunsets for the entire week.

This sweet little oil was set aside to dry, then left on the bottom of my collection. Only recently did I reexamine it, finding the simplicity, as well as my memories, strong enough to consider it for my 2012 calendar.

Listen for the Loon, oil 8x10, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Moon is A Balloon, 2011 & Wine On Third

 Years ago I started this rose painting, it was one of my early large floral pastels. It was matted & framed under glass-until the glass broke. I adjusted it to have a double mat after reworking the naked image in 2006, when I added blues to the previously white sky as well as more values of yellow in the petals. The rose peacefully settled in a quiet corner of the living room for several years. 

This summer I took it down and re-reworked it. The sky gained more blues, greens and a bit of violet, the  petal shadows were made richer with violet and orange and I finally completed the stem; poor rose only had sepals without a stem. Under glass, it is finally ready to show.

Invited to be July 'artist of the month' at Wine on Third, Niagara Falls, this painting is the first on the wall in a series of large florals and food paintings there as well as 6 Niagara Falls paintings. It is finally in public along with other studio works. Having mostly painted and shown smaller plein air paintings recently, I enjoy seeing the display of large works together, and it will be up until August.

The Moon Is A Balloon, 24x30 [framed to 30x36] 1995-2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part 3- Publisher's Invitational Paintout 2.0, Ampersand Pastelbord

Gabriel's Farm, 6x18 pastel, 2011
Ahhh, the mountains, an example of how they move and dance in the clouds. A nice breeze chased large rain clouds which mostly stayed away from our final location, Gabriel's Farm, only 7 minutes away and our closest paintout location. I had been using pastels for several days and was eager to try a new panoramic museum series panel from Ampersand, called Pastelbord. It is absolutely smooth and flat with a fine texture and can be worked to the edge without  marking. I spoke to Jim Markle about this new board and he liked the superflat surface as well, going off the edge to finish a stroke left no stripe and made us both happy. I think this is perfect for soft pastels, using their grey undercolor was perfect for the day and this composition. Afterwards I brightened the foreground as it was clear and bright overhead, the storm stayed in the distance, alternately covering and revealing the mountains. A field of wild flowers had all of us admiring the beautiful varieties, it seemed to have been planted for color.

Part 2- Publisher's Invitational Paintout 2.0

Continuing the Adirondack adventures.

After painting a few pictures in oil, carrying them fresh and wet into another person's car and looking at the results that evening in a dorm, I realized that pastels would be a good choice in the mountains. The pastels are heavy, but require less space and equipment to carry. It was a good decision as I was caught in the rain and had to work very quickly. My yellow Fantasy Island slicker stayed waterproof, but my plein air umbrella wasn't totally waterproof when it stayed wet. The first painting here is successful because I stopped early and the pastels captured the image I wanted and will allow me to paint it again on canvas without the distraction of details and with the richness of experience. That won't happen soon, it's a possibility for winter, so in the meantime, it is NFS and I like it just as is.

The second was painted from the dock at night, oh! how I love to paint at night, it was quiet and peaceful, and it is always a treat to see later in room light when finished. My hat batteries held up, so I could see my palette box and picture quite well. That evening was like 'yoga painting', peaceful, comfortable, healthy and calm.

Splashing water at St. Regis Falls really is orange, this is a study for another pastel made the same day. I decided to add more of the rocks to my second painting, in the meantime, the light changed and it seems like the amount of water crashing had increased. Three of us were under a pop up tent and had a wonderful time protected from weather. The foreground rock really looks like a seal from my location and a big turtle from the front. It can be seen in old photos and paintings and helps identify the exact location.

Slippery When Wet Flume, 12.5x9.5, pastel, 2011
Night on the Lake, 9.5x12.5, pastel, 2011

St. Regis Falls Splash 9.5x12.5, pastel, 2011
St. Regis Falls Monitor 9.5x12.5, pastel, 2011

Slippery When Wet Flume, 12.5x9.5, pastel, 2011
Night on the Lake, 9.5x12.5, pastel, 2011
St. Regis Falls Splash 9.5x12.5, pastel, 2011
St. Regis Falls Monitor 9.5x12.5, pastel, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life Changing Adirondack Event?

Painting for a week in the Adirondacks exposed me to a few art concepts.

1) I can climb up or down slippery slopes with an easel, 6' umbrella and wearing a yellow Fantasy Island rain slicker.

2) It's okay to paint in the rain. Not perfect, but okay.

3) I'd rather paint without the rain.

The Publisher's Invitational Paint Out 2.0 in The Adirondacks was a unique professional opportunity to paint alongside over 80 nationally known outdoor artists, to share rocks, experiences and turpentine. There were no lectures, classes or schedules, just a quick breakfast, packed lunches and all day on the road chasing waterfalls, rapids, flumes and mountains with paint and pastel. Sponsored by Plein Air Magazine, this was open to invited artists.

The original Hudson River School of painters packed their supplies and trekked these sights and made a name for themselves capturing 200-300 painted vistas and scenes that you see in museums and books. Now renamed the Adirondack Mountain Painters (founders) our group painted 700-800 scenes in one hectic adventure, carpooling and caravaning, parking alongside creeks and farms to capture new scenes with oils, acrylics, WC, pastel and camera.

Listen to the Loon at VIC, oil on board, 12x18, 2011
High Falls, pastel 15x12.5 2011