Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A couple more examples

Dynamic Trio -small version-winner of Judges Choice Award

Dynamic Trio 2 (or "Surf's Up") 24x30
Bird Park -9x12 pleine air version -

Bird Park 16X20 studio version -

These are a couple more examples of "big and little". Painting outside requires painting quickly. The painting has a  spontaneous, fresh quality. While enlarging it's  easier to stop and return to the painting  later, making layering and glazing an added dimension. There is sometimes an opportunity for more detail because the pace is unhurried. But when I completed the larger version of Dynamic Trio (above) I realized I had to go back and redo the horizon line; this is the version before the redo and I think you can see why. The painting is too large for most shows because of size restrictions, so I was really happy to have the smaller version. I really wanted to submit the 24x30 painting to the Hull show. Not only was the small version judged worthy for the Hull Museum show (see 2/2/13 entry) but I received the "Judge's Choice Award" for the painting. So even though there is learning every time we do something (if we pay attention!) don't discount the quality of previous works.

Big and "Little" or 'do it again".

Pleine air version 9x12 of Robert Frost's farmhouse-

Large Version of Robert Frost's farmhouse-
One of my very first mentors, James Wilson Rayen, passed away yesterday. He was my art professor at Wellesley College back in the 60's. He had a really huge influence on me. He was kind, extraordinarily talented, patient and an inspirational young man. He stayed that way up until his death-(except perhaps the young part). I was thinking a lot about him and how he taught me so much and all about patience. We would draw things in the studio over and over and over again. Initially they looked pretty good; but the more we drew, the more we realized how much room there was for improvement. When I first met him we drew circles for a week. Yup-circles. Every day in every way imaginable. We got better and better and soon realized it could never be "mastered". Now when I go out and do a small painting, I often like to return with that and photos and do a larger version in my studio. Sometimes I like them better, sometimes not, but I always think about what I learned from James Rayen-keep on painting!

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Sea as Inspiration

Along The Marginal Way, Ogunquit, ME/private collection

Let's Boogie 6x6 oil

Big Surf/gallery wrap oil

Kathy and Emma/gallery wrap  oil

Beautiful dawn/private collection

Growing up on the beach in Old Rexhame, in a house that my grandfather built, provided me with an idyllic childhood that began my love affair with the ocean. I respected it's power, was in awe of it's beauty, and was mesmerized by it's abilty to bombard of all my senses at once.

Plein aire painting-my favorite!

 Turner Pond, Walpole, MA

Charles River, Medfield, MA    

Camden Harbor, Camden ME-view from Mt. Battie

Manana from Monhegan Island, ME

West Street, Walpole, MA-

Jercho, VT-Mt. Mansfield-

West Street, Walpole, MA-

View from our deck on Monhegan Island, ME-

Early morning in the Adirondacks-

After teaching in a room without windows for 24 years, I couldn't wait to be outside. Fresh air, ever changing light and conditions and "sunshine on my shoulders"-all this has great appeal!  These are a few examples of various places I have painted. I find lots of inspiration right here at home. When I go anywhere, I feel more connected by painting than by photos. Of course I take a lot of photos as well, but painting really makes an imprint in the brain.

Off to a good start-the world of the Still Life

     I decided working on still life paintings would be a good way to explore composition and color harmonies, as well as technique in beginning, modifying and completing a painting in a limited amount of time. I think working this way helps with plein aire painting quite a bit. I am able to speed up my painting which is so necessary when working outdoors. I have been going to Dianne Panarelli Miller for classes and  have learned so much from her. She is an amazing teacher. Having taught art myself for 36 years, I am pretty picky about teachers. She is a fabulous Boston School artist who really knows her stuff and how to impart that knowledge to her students. There are lots of good painters, but really exceptional teachers are so hard to find.
 Here is my first still life attempt. I use it as a baseline for where I began. I think my silver pitcher works well. The reflections were really fun to paint and since water is one of my favorite subjects, it was a natural. I received an Honorable Mention  ribbon on this painting in the annual Norwood Art Association show, Art in The Park in 2011. That helped spur me on to do more. Feedback motivates me- good or bad. Viewing art as communicating means it either works or it doesn't. If it isn't working then more needs to be done. If it is-leave it alone and move on.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Judged worthy!

11x14 oil Dynamic Trio

9x12 gallery wrap "Evening Solitude" 
I was encouraged by Dianne Panarelli Miller to enter a show at the Hull Lifesaving Museum. We didn't discuss it at great length and I figured she suggested it because it was a good place to sell and gain exposure in a new market. Dianne never steers me wrong. I entered these paintings because I felt they portrayed two very different feelings about the ocean. One experience was  very calming and peaceful, while the other was a mesmerizing one as I watched the power of the waves rolling in and listened to the furious sounds of the surf. I found out after submitting them that it was a juried show. There had been no mention of judging on their website and I was thinking I probably would have chosen differently. Both pieces were accepted much to my delight. I thought about the gentleman who purchased a painting from me last month. He told me that he was in love with my purples. Maybe this judge was too. Or maybe she liked the feelings I was trying to evoke. Some judges actually post a little blurb about why they choose a piece. I hope that is the case in this show. The show "Sea and Sky" opens next Friday evening and I guess I'll find out then.