Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Some really are taller than others, generally around 5-6 feet tall, there is an occasional plant 12 or 15 feet tall. I love how they demand attention. I created a collection of paintings over the years at Sunflowers of Sanborn but this may be the first that includes a group of buildings and the field. Mostly, I like closeup views of flowers in various positions. 

Some Are Taller Than Others, 12x16 pastel

Unity Island

Drive down bumpy Niagara Street towards downtown Buffalo, find the elusive Unity Island entrance, wait your turn for the one way railroad bridge (5mph, please) and there it is. Before I entered the quiet park I knew this would be my view. I was attracted to the water seen under the bridge, and the shore of Canada across the river. These little ink drawings colored in with my travel watercolor set are fun and good for the spirit. I took photos of everyone else to post on the NFPAP blog, Diane took a photo of me.

International Plein Air Painters Worldwide Paintout 2020

Morning Rapids 12x30 oil 

The grounds crew cleared brush and low bushes beyond the paths on the Three Sisters Islands at Niagara Falls State Park. This gave us a wide open view of the Niagara River approaching Goat Island, headed for the precipice, eventually reaching Lake Ontario. Walking there last week I knew I would return for this painting. I decided to do it on the Worldwide Paintout weekend.
Feeling ambitious, I brought a larger gallery framed canvas to 3 Sisters. It had rained hard the previous two days and the rapids were particularly loud. There was a lot of water furiously headed for the falls.  I set up at the edge of the second bridge, leaving room for the occasional tourist and looked to the east. The gates of the Canadian water authority was the only built structure besides the distant communication towers, so this would be perfect. It became a study in soft colors, churning water and a slightly gray sky loaded with clouds. Having an overcast day meant that without strong light the scene would not change much as the day progressed.

Here is the BEFORE picture, with colors on the palette and blank canvas, my view is the far background. Most of my paintings use a limited palette, unlike all the masters and videos demonstrate on their palettes, I don't need or want every color available for every picture. My warm colors are on the left, cool on the right and neutrals in the center. I left out the overhanging branches as well as the two boulders on the right. 


"Twenty Minutes From Everywhere"

 Thrilling! A goal achieved, a significant gallery exhibit of plein air paintings. Two years ago, Carol Case Siracuse invited me and Karen Foegen to organize an exhibit of locations in plein air at Artists Group Gallery. The idea was accepted by Director Donald Siuta and scheduled August 2020. We created a list of places to consider painting together. We wanted the same scene interpreted by three artists. Life intervened for all of us but we managed to paint some places together, and others we visited on our own time. What a great collection of art was made and exhibited!

This year, we became concerned that due to Covid we may not have the show or have to be virtual, using technology. Fortunately, we became the first Gallery show to open and people were thrilled to have a safe place to see art. After 5 months of 'lockdowns' the gallery doors were held open for a no touch entry, touchless sanitizer and no touch temperature taking all insuring safety. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

A true nocturnal painting

moon painting with oil paints in the night sky

As the seasons change on a particular day, a solstice or equinox, I try to paint outdoors. This nocturne painting has been photographed dozens of times, to capture the crimson glow in the horizon sky as well as the blue of the moonlit evening sky. 'The camera never lies' does not apply here as the camera has not been able to capture the truth for nearly three months. This is a summer equinox painting and it has a gloss on the surface that my paintings do not normally exhibit without varnish. Perhaps working in the dark has mixing color problems? The canvas has a more even blue shade across the top of the sky.

Settled on the porch, facing south, trees blend into the colors of night while the sky glows overhead. Studying the night sky values ahead of time and careful color arrangements on a palette made this a fun challenge. Every month the full moon has a name. June's name is 'Strawberry Moon' the time when the berries are ripe and sweet. All summer we have enjoyed the distant planets in our night skies.

Saturn, Jupiter and Strawberry Moon, oil on panel 9x12 c.2020

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Artists in Masks-an entertainment

This short little film is "Artists in Masks" compiled by Burchfield Penney Art Center. Besides changing  attitudes to our 2020 created art, we have also changed our appearances this year. A collection of selfies and portraits in masks as well as film of Stitch Buffalo artists making masks, it is a sweet statement about NOW. Find me at the end, the only one painting, but also the only one with hands on that mask. That was a super hot day at Reinstein Woods Park. I was alone in the shade of a tree but kept my mask close for the walkers who might want to get near me painting. 

 Artists in Masks

 This is "Artists in Masks" by Burchfield Penney Art Center on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Big thanks to the Burchfield for this project, keeping us all in tune with the times and connected to our museums and history.