Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving is coming....

I am currently working on a few projects. I have my Sketchbook Project that I am working on, my holiday card ideas and other projects that I will be posting soon. For those of you who were interested in the Irish Pub, it is no longer available, but see my blog and website for other available paintings.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taking a Ghostly Stroll on Halloween

It's Halloween. Trick or treaters are paying us a visit...."Toccatta and Fugue in D Minor" from Disney's "Fantasia" is playing for effect...Halloween has always been a tradition in my house, can't have Halloween without Fantasia, even "Ave Maria Op52 No 6," contributes to the All Hallow's Eve feeling, leading us into All Saints Day....you can picture the scene from the movie with the eerie parade of figures and light...My mother created a haunted house in our living room every year and answered the door dressed as a witch, the ensemble completed by Harry, our Cairn terrier and as the official Toto wannabe, greeted the Trick or Treaters as they came to the door. The fire place would be burning, the house lit only by candlelight to complete the eerie atmosphere....In order to claim your treat, you had to come in....brahahahaha! Both the parents and their kids love it every year.

Plein air painters try to get out and paint all year round, sometimes we paint in the evenings, easel lamps lighting the way for brushes and pastels. Sometimes, just sometimes, we are in the right place at the right time to capture that occasional ghostly stroller on that quiet road....

Happy Halloween to all.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Annapolis Dueling Brushes - Irish Pub

Here is a photo of the result of my participation in the dueling brushes contest. I painted the Irish Pub side of the Galway Bay on Maryland Ave in Annapolis. For those of you who have never thought about what painting on the streets of a city can be like...

Around 8:30 AM, John and I headed down to Maryland Avenue to set up the easel. Painting with pastels requires some set up time. It was a slightly chilly morning....John helped me set up and I sketched a little in my sketch book to prep my mind. 9 AM came and we all started painting. The Irish Pub was across the street. I had to paint around parking traffic, a SYSCO truck making deliveries and other assorted activities that go on in the streets of a city. It's amazing how many obstacles can obstruct your view, then the sun came over and added glare. I didn't have an umbrella so the glare was killing me and I had to move across the street and into the shade to put the last minute touches on the painting.

At 11:30, we made made the mad dash to the City Dock to join our fellow artists. For me, it was social hour. I got to say hi to a lot artists that I know and do some catching up. It was fun and it's a good group.

So here it is, the dueling brushes entry, Irish Pub. Right now, the Irish Pub is hanging at the Brookhaven Arts & Humanities Council's Phoenix Gallery from October 12 to November 8. It's on sale for $350. The Reception for this show will be Sunday, October 18 from 1 -3.

Monday, October 5, 2009

An Artist Life and Eggs

Just posting to let you know that I haven't forgotten my blog. The past few weeks following Annapolis have been full. Kids are playing soccer, one gets caught up in day to day activities and chores. When I am not painting or sketching, I am learning....I read books and magazines about art and technique. You are never too old to learn.

The last Philadelphia Sketch Club had Don Meyer giving us some basics on Egg Tempera...which sent me on a mission to do some research on the medium and of course I had to give it a try. This little painting isn't finished but it's my first egg tempera. (It's not the best photo either but it is still a work in progress..)It's 5x7, but I still spent an afternoon working on it. It's a slower painting process and sometimes it's relaxing to spend time on each brush stroke as opposed to the quicker process of getting it all down before something changes in the Plein Air process. It was love at first brush stroke. I could paint egg tempera all day.

What is egg tempera? Well, basically, you paint with an egg...or more specifically, the yolk. Why on earth would I want to do that or any artist for that matter? Well, egg tempera is the most permanent of all the mediums. There are egg tempera paintings that are much older than oils and they don't yellow....you paint with an egg so there are no ugly chemical by products such as oily or turpentine smelly rags. I used to paint with oils but as a mom was concerned with the solvents, so I switched to watercolor in the studio and pastels painted Plein Air.....egg tempera was exactly the medium I was looking for to take my painting to the next level in the studio. I always loved Andrew Wyeth's egg tempera and wistfully wished I could paint like him..now I can thanks to Don divulging the secrets and the not so difficulty of painting with egg tempera, I can paint with the same medium that Wyeth painted. What a thrill it is! I'm loving every minute.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Paint Annapolis

Well we didn't get to post while we were there....we were exhausted by the end of every day...we arrived Thursday night...we stayed at the Robert Johnson Inn on State Circle which was perfect because it was right near where we wanted to be. The car stayed in the garage the whole weekend and we walked everywhere....

On Friday we got out and scouted the town. Wow, we ate breakfast at a shop that last year was colorful with a lot of purple, this year, it was completely different. Makes you realize that we as artists record the present which all too soon, can become the past.

I painted a small shop on Maryland Ave on Friday. That's the one I put in the all member show. I called it "Keeping it Simple" because I took the Edward Hopper approach and only put in the details I needed and kept out the clutter. I liked his flat planes so I tried to do the same thing here.

On Saturday morning we got up bright and early for the Dueling brushes contest. What an adventure it was with delivery trucks and cars and all sorts of traffic. Poor Jennifer Young had a Sysco Truck blocking most of her view of the street...we were getting a good dose of painting in the city. I painted an eye catching Irish Pub that was part of Galway Bay. We decided it was time to get that umbrella for my easel. When the sun came over the building, I had to move to the other side of the street so I could see the painting without the glare. I could have really used that umbrella. At 11:45, we walked the painting and easel down to the City Dock where 68 artists were gathering to be judged. It was quite a scene and it was warm. After the judging we headed to the nearest place to grab FOOD!

After we ate, we trekked over to Gloucester Mews and I painted the alley.....later, we headed over to St John's College for the Kenn Backhaus lecture....

I told Kathleen afterwards that they forgot to mention that one of the benefits to Plein Air painting is learning from Mother Nature.....for a Plein Air artist, Mother Nature is the Best Teacher.

On Sunday morning we dropped off "Keeping it Simple.'' We went and grabbed some food and wandered through all the festivals...we dragged my gear but I ended up doing a pastel sketch of the Dock Street area while John watched the Jets. We went over to the Show after the Jets game so we could see all the paintings. We have an amazing group of artists and the show made me proud to be a member of MAPAPA.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In Annapolis,MD

We've arrived in Annapolis, Md for the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters big Paint Annapolis paint out. From today until Sunday, I will be out and about recording the sites of Annapolis on paper and pastelbord, stay tuned for photos to be posted!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lamenting summer's end

My first "entry" in my Art House Sketchbook is a good-bye to summer. My daughter has been lamenting the fact that the new principal up the high school has enacted a "no flip flop" rule for the coming school year. Which means that the first day of school will be one of covered feet.

The shoes I used here are the ones that I kept forgetting I had bought this summer, so these fancy dressed up flip flops have their own lament, the one of not being shown off to their full summer glory.

78 more pages to fill....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Patchogue Arts Walking Tour

I’m really ecstatic that I was accepted into a juried show here on Long Island….Back in February, I joined the Patchogue Arts Council as one of the founding artist members…. Patchogue Arts Council has a Walking Arts Tour that starts September 30thand continues until January and I will have three paintings hanging in that show. The Tour utilizes local businesses and there is a map of the Tour so that viewers can follow along and visit the businesses to see the show. It's a really neat idea.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Sketchbook Project

Hi folks! It's here! My Art House Sketchbook is here!

I had joined a project to create a sketchbook that will be part of a traveling show, and I was waiting for the sketchbook to show up, it just arrived today!

The sketch book will travel around a bit then it will have a permanent home at the Art House COOP Library in Atlanta GA. Folks will be able to check it out like a regular library book.

I am so excited to be part of this project. I will be posting photos here as I work on this project.

This is a photo of the book as it arrived today....stay tuned for more to come!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carlson's Guide To Landscape Painting

The Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting is an artists reference book that I picked up on a recommendation by Richard McKinley on the Pastel pointers blog. The Blog said that he refers to this book when he paints and it was dog eared from frequent use. I wondered what book could be so good that a seasoned artist would use it as a reference. I went on line and purchased the book.

Most artist reference and "how to" books out there are pretty basic. And if you are wondering why a seasoned artist would pick up a "how to" book, there are many reasons I can think of...

Artists like to learn new things, it keeps us young. Just look at Andrew Wyeth, he painted up until the day he passed away. Learning new things keeps your mind sharp and it also helps to know what other artists are doing. And it gives you a fresh way to look at your own work.
Getting back to Carlson's Book, this book is really impressing me because he gives pretty detailed "rules" of landscape painting.

There are items described in the book that I do intuitively, but to read why I make these choices helps me think more in the process to make choices I may not have thought of on my own. Many of the processes and theories he describes make sense and if you are someone who gets out and paints plein air on a frequent basis, the abstract light bulb over your head now has a description and theory inside it.

The Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting doesn't have pretty color photos, all the illustrations are in black and white. However, when you really look at the values of the black and white paintings, the theories in the book really come together.

I recommend this book for all landscape painters and students of painting.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome to my online gallery!

For those who are wondering how someone "becomes" an artist....for me, it was something I was born with. It's a way of how I see the world and it started in grade school...I was always drawing something, I liked drawing animals and making up stories about them...I progressed to drawing horses because I was horse crazy. I tried them in every shape and color. I used to make horses out of clay and I'd play with them. I made clay saddles and other tack to put on them.

I never realized I had any sort of talent until we were assigned a project in 7th grade for the book Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl. I tried to create a scene were the raft was visited by a shark...I researched pictures of the raft and I pulled encyclopedias and other research books out of the library to get reference photos of sharks that I could use, then I drew the shark and the raft. I didn't think anything of it, big deal, I drew a shark freehand.

Well, the nuns thought it was a big deal. They asked my mom to send me to the Philadelphia High School for Girls because they felt I would get the art instruction there that I needed. And I did....I received a great academic education and I majored in Art, too. One thing about growing up in Philadelphia, you have access to the arts. I went to a Saturday morning program at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and that's were I drew my first life models.

From there I went on to get my BA in Art and Art Education from Rosemont College. I have been enjoying painting and other artistic activities since that time.

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