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 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 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 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.
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