Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spectacular Chicago brownstone

This 24x12 oil painting started with a snapshot on a gray day but my info was supplemented by an excellent image in street views on Google maps. It is a wedding present of Jason & Jaime's first home; the challenge of documenting historic brownstones continues!

Chicago architecture has many features found in Western New York, double porches, brick constructions, 100 year old beauties. This yellow 'brownstone' has more of the qualities of Brooklyn without all the matching end to end neighbors. These residents have lovely windows and daylight on all sides, a real bonus in this historic building.

Chicago's Brownstone, 24x12, oil c. 2012

Monday, January 7, 2013

There is no Planning for Customers' Tastes.

During a Christmas season a few years ago I sold quite a few Niagara Falls area paintings, they are often sought after for gifts by local residents.

Last year landscapes and scenery with wide views were the favorites, but this year close up botanicals in both pastel and oil were selected. I looked at my studio display wall at the end of this season and all I could see hanging was....water paintings! My thought was that  Niagara and rapids paintings would sell well again but this year's customers were looking for more color and vibrant compositions. These are three sold examples while the painting mentioned in the last post was also bright and closeup.

It is a good thing that I paint for myself, choosing sizes, colors and subjects according to my location and media. Not having awareness of current styles I always stick to what I see and like and I had better keep that attitude.

Fortunately, people like what I do and choose to own and live with my paintings. My customers have excellent taste and have removed quite a few precious favorites over the years. Thank goodness they do because there would be no room to move around here if they did not. Except for a very few pictures, I know where each one lives, and I like knowing that.

Pond Plant, 20x16 pastel, collection of M. Irby

Pinot Noir, Not Ripe at Warm Lake, 20x30 oil, collection of DiCamillo family

Greenhouse Croton, 24x18 pastel, collection of Rusert Family 

Art Dialogue Gallery Members Show, 2013

The first shows of the year are often group exhibitions at many galleries. In fact, group show season starts with December gift exhibits, when galleries carry smaller works and crafted items for holiday gift giving. One of my favorite 5x7s got away from me this year and I have no photo of it, anywhere, at all. I can't even find it listed on my OCD calendar of what was painted when, size and media. It was nice to carry home a check, but I wish there was a photo of it in my camera. I usually have wonderful record keeping skills but I let it slip through the studio before it was documented!

That little jewel was a plein air of the front of Beaver Island Casino, showing just the garden and in a furniture grade mahogany frame. If you saw it in my studio you know why I call it a jewel, I expect the new owner is very pleased with their purchase.

On the other hand, the current show at Art Dialogue Gallery is self selected; artists choose one work to represent them for the month of January. It is usually very interesting to see different work from artists at this show, often pieces are experimental, different media or subjects. I chose this stately tree trunk painted at Sonnenburg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY last June. It was raining hard when I started so I nestled under an elegant archway in the Japanese gardens section. This tree was gripping the ground with the knowledge of a century, pulling up the earth and dwarfing boulders at its base. The sun came out at the right time and created contrast between the wet rocks and tree trunk and long shadows in the sunlit grass. Water continued to drip all around me from giant trees, but I remained dry with my pastels in the shelter

Aging Gracefully, pastel 16x12, 2012