Made it to Door County. Painting away! Too busy to write more at the moment 🙂
I was honored to be asked to join a wonderful group of artists to paint at Timberfield, the Forbes family estate in New Jersey. Christopher “Kip” Forbes was an unbelievably gracious, open host with a wonderful dry sense of humor, and M. Stephen Doherty (Editor, American Artist) facilitated great discussion among the artists and selected a group that complemented each other well. The artists included: Camie Davis, John Patrick Campbell, Rob Clarke, Bryan Le Boeuf, George Towne, Wendy Walworth, Timothy Jahn, Ed Terpening, Patricia Watwood and John Dowd.
Stephen writes about the weekend in American Artist Workshop magazine (Summer edition, on news stands now). That’s Camie Davis on the cover, who’s also featured in the magazine. She did a wonderful job of capturing the four days on her blog (day 1, 2, 3, and 4).
Here’s one of the paintings from the trip. The artists are to be featured in a show at The Forbes Galleries in Manhattan next year. This will be my first show in the “Big Apple”! I’m thrilled (and a bit nervous…this is an incredibly talented group!).
UPDATE (7/26/2010): Kip was kindly sent some photos of the trip. Here are a couple:
I’ve cut down on the number of plein air events (one year, I did over 10–way too many!), and instead, are looking for events that will take me to new locales I haven’t painted before. Just finished Hearst Castle Plein Air, and my next show is in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin (I just mis-spelled Wisconsin, thanks spell check! I’ve never been to WI). The week-long event is July 19-24.
The list of artists is impressive, most of which I haven’t painted with before, like fellow bloggers Colin Page and Marc Hanson, and old friends like Carole Gray-Wiehman and Al Tofaneli. So, if you’re in the area (which, apparently includes Chicago), visit! I’ll try and post that week, but can’t guarantee it. “Job 1” is to paint 🙂 Here are some things to know about the event:
- Free events throughout the week, including places where you can watch me paint. If you go and want to hang out while I paint, email me and I’ll let you know where I am (AT&T permitting! #FAIL).
- Door County is a beautiful place, with 300 miles of shoreline, quaint towns and rolling farmland
- This is the largest plein air festival in the Midwest, with 42 artists from throughout the US.
Where is Door County, WI? HERE VVVV
A recent figure study. Playing with color, although the light source was quite cool. Enjoy.
It’s June, so too early to buy your 2011 calendar? Think ahead, 2011 is closer than you think!
Okay, I have an agenda here. American Artist has included my painting below (STILL AVAILABLE, by the way) in their 2011 American Landscapes calendar! It’s the August “pin-up”. The same painting was also featured in the 8-page article on my work in the April, 2010 issue and the 2006 Central Coast National Art Exhibition. I’m surprised it’s still available, but, you never know what people will like.
The calendar is available for sale today (here’s a link to their store).
Here’s a snap-shot of the rest of the calendar:
Last week I met an old CNET friend for lunch in Sausalito (@Fish), and since I had the morning open I brought my plein air kit to paint a bit. I’ve been painting in my studio lately because my next “big goal” is to scale my work up. Paining this reminded me of what I like about plein air painting: the immediacy, fresh, no-fuss impression. Keeps me loose. I suppose the best way to grow is to continue to mix plein air, ala prima and studio and try to find the right balance.
I am having a lot of trouble painting larger works. Technically, I have to get used to painting on dry (or semi-dry) surfaces, but mentally, it’s difficult for me to sustain the emotional energy I expend on small works. Have you faced these kinds of challenges? How have you made this transition?
Painting copies of artwork you admire is a great way to learn. Joaquín Sorolla is one of my favorite painters, so I can open “Joaquín Sorolla” (Museo Nacional Del Prado) to any page and find a work of inspiration to copy. Like this one. Funny thing is, I opened the book, and found later this is a detail of a larger painting! I had a feeling it was an odd composition (having the two people on the edge of the canvas), so it was nice to see the full composition on the next page.
Even so, copying “Sewing the Sail” (1904) was a great lesson in composition and color. I learned how Sorolla used the folds in the sail to lead directly to the figures, and even the shadows in the sand. Look how the main shadow folds in the sail lead directly to the center of interest (foreground person). I was also surprised someone how intense many of these colors were, but how adding a complement (violet to the orange) would bring down the intensity just enough (although, comparing mine to his now, I see I should have used even more violet).
This was also a great study in brushwork. The original is much larger, but I was able to adapt my brushwork to this scale (10×8) to lay down some juicy brushstrokes, particularly on the sunlit side of the sails.
It’s been a wonderful couple days here at Hearst Castle for the invitational. The artists and staff of the castle have been great. I can’t wait to see everyone’s work framed for the show June 5. Tickets are available for $175 for the Friends of Hearst Castle’s “Twilight on the Terrace” fundraiser benefiting art programs for at risk youth.
My first effort was painting “Casa del Mar”, a guest house on the South Terrace of the castle. I got to take a peak inside…wow. Opulent doesn’t begin to describe it. Hearst himself spent his final years in this house. This is just about done, I think a couple minor tweaks when I get back to my studio should do it.
My next effort was painting this white marble statue, which I imagine is Cupid (sans arrow). While in full sun is always a joy for me to paint, as white takes on so many colors and reflections of light. I’m not sure the color of reflect light is quite right, so I may make some adjustments before I call this one done.
And on my final day, again on the South Terrace outside Casa del Mar, I painted this fountain and gold statue of a princess holding a frog. I realize the princess statue on top looks like an Oscar statuette, but that’s really what it looks like! Even the shadow side on the gold had a red glow. I’m happy with this one. It’s interesting to me because it almost looks like two different painters/styles: the fountain is high-key, colorist, and the background trees and distant shore are more traditional value painting.
As you can see, all of these paintings push color a bit. With full sun available, I didn’t paint much tonally. To make sure these colors are still on track, I look at the images in black & white as well. If light and shadow read well in black/white, it almost doesn’t matter what color you choose to paint (see my 2007 post on values). I think the light/shadow patterns read in this black/white versions, so these seem to be working.
Two days of cloudy/foggy weather in Big Sur (CA) gave me chance to relax a bit. The sky cleared completely on my last day, so I was able to get a couple done on my way to the paint-out at Hearst Castle.
Getting a great block-in is really important. To me, that means a great design, division of space, interesting shapes, etc. I liked this one enough to photograph. Cool, huh?
And here’s the finished painting, or “near finished”. I think the rocks are a bit too warm/red (and actually, my camera over-saturates reds), so what you’re seeing is redder than you see here. The rocks are granite, with other reddish tones, so a blue-ish violet should improve it.
I started the day with this quick study to warm up. For small studies like these, I look for an opportunity to represent both the shadow and light side in each element. Here, was able to do light/shade for almost all elements in the painting.
Yes, I took another day off today while painting the Big Sur area (the “game” was called off due to rain), but I did find this recent figure study to entertain you.
On second look, it’s a bit dark, but I did want to use saturated colors in light, which does force the darks down a bit. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. My goal with this one was to capture late afternon light on skin, and to play with thick paint near abstraction. Enjoy!
My trek to Hearst Castle has started in Point Lobos, where I got two good days of painting in. Point Lobos is located just south of Carmel, CA, where all men wear khaki (only), and there’s no one to give my spare change to (…coincidentally, the very first store you see on your way into town is called “Khaki”!).
Lucky me, the fog only started to roll in as I finished my last painting! Tomorrow, I head for Big Sur for a couple days. I ran into Carol Brightman Johnson, who is in town for next week’s Carmel Art Festival. Thanks, Carol, for taking this picture!
Here’s my first effort. I obviously pushed the color quite a bit in this one, and in fact, so far all my work this week is going there. I need to be careful about this, because I feel the paintings risk loosing balance, and start to look trite. Tomorrow’s forecast is cloudy-rain, so maybe I’ll do a couple gray day studies to swing back to center a bit.
This quick study is much simpler. I focused on getting the color of the water right, which is pretty challenging here.
Yes, I push color, but the turquoise green water in this painting is real. In fact, I so wanted that color to be the focal point, I started the painting from there, and worked my way outward.
And finally, this is the last one of the day, and my personal favorite. The colors of white-ish bluffs in shadow are really fun to paint. Lots of warm/cool color and interesting shapes. The painting below reminds me of this one done at Montana del Oro for SLO a few years ago.
I am on my way tomorrow to Hearst Castle to paint for an invitational, and taking my time, driving down the coast from Carmel to Cambria with a stop in Big Sur a couple days. To prepare for painting the castle’s architecture, I got out some reference photos of Balboa Park in San Diego. I hope to post all week along the way, but my first priority is painting, so no promises!