Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's been a while!

I''ve been pretty neglectful about posting to my blog. Not months but years have passed since my last posting. Of course a lot has happened since. The major event in my life is a big move from New Jersey to Arizona. Since I'm in New Jersey at the moment, taking care of my best friend who had a motorcycle accident, I decided to inaugurate my return to blogging with my latest painting of a New Jersey scene:  A Fly Fisherman at Kenlockwood Gorge taking a cigarette break. It's called "Lighting Up" and is 18" x 24".   I've painted there many times and love the way the light streams down into the Gorge and makes everything glow. It is a peaceful place populated by Blue Herons, Fly Fishermen and the few artists who are lucky enough to know it exists. (its a well kept secret)! 

"Lighting Up"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Natirar Study, oil, 8" x 6"

Returning from an inspiring workshop with Kenn Backhaus near the Jersey shore (no guidos), I was itching to get out there and plein air paint some more. Working with Kenn's limited pallet makes it easier to concentrate on composition, values and design. I seldom paint solo outdoors but after being "stood up" by my "plein air date" I packed up my gear and went for a mid-morning jaunt to my favorite safe painting location, Natirar in Far Hills NJ. There were plenty of dog walkers but for the most part I was left alone except for a couple of curious onlookers. I have a feeling this is going to be an exciting summer.... stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Willowwood Inn" Oil, 11" x 14"

A note about this painting: This house is actually not an inn but rather a centuries old house situated on 130 acres of public farm land dotted with over 3500 native and exotic plants. A few years ago I was painting en plein air near the "inn" and beautiful live piano music (Chopin) began to fill the air. How great is that to paint in gorgeous surroundings while being serenaded by a concert pianist. The music stopped at which time an elderly gentlemen came out to see what "we" (a group of artists) were up to. Turns out he was a locally well known concert pianist and conductor. He invited us all into his living room which was sparsely furnished except for a magnificent 9 ft old ornate grand piano. The room was barely large enough to contain this incredible instrument. The old man has since passed and as far as I know the house remains silent.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Blue Ice" oil, 10" x 10"

Here is yet another Natirar scene. For those who have read some of my previous posts, you know that many of my landscapes are Natirar inspired. After the last snow fall, I went there with couple of cameras in tow and managed to shoot a few winter scenes with painting potential. I know, I know, I should show some spine and paint winter scenes en plein air. I will, eventually, I'm just waiting for that ideal spring day with a late season snowfall. Ha! I usually don't publish my reference material alongside my paintings but some of you may find it interesting to see how an artist (with plein air experience) can use the reference material as a jumping off point and then take it to another place. You will notice that I had to make a major modification to the composition to accommodate the square canvas.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Bridge at Natirar" oil, 10" x 12"

I've neglected my blog for too long, so here is my first post of 2010 of a plein air painting done at the close of summer. When I painted this, it was a busy Sunday afternoon, with people and their dogs and even a horse soaking up the last bit of warmth the waning days of summer had to offer. It was a great day to be out in the sun. Passersby would stop and chat with me or watch me paint for awhile. Non-painters, who seem to think that artists are exotic creatures, used my artistic endeavor as a teachable moment for their kids. Writing this today has warmed my spirits and helped me forget (almost) these frigid January sub-zero days.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"At Glen Eyrie Castle"

I'm back. After a long hiatus where I got my son ready for school and went to Colorado to attend American Artists first Weekend with the Masters" event. This painting, an 8" x 8" oil on linen/panel was an exercise that Kevin MacPherson wanted all of his workshop attendees to do. Namely, use Portland Grey Light to for the lights and any other color we wanted for the mid-tones and darks. The result is a painting that appears to be a snow scene even though I painted it in early September. I wrapped it in cellophane and tested color over the grey areas but it weakened the overall effect so I left it as is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Weekend with the Masters"

"Garden of the Gods"
I just came back from a long weekend playing in the "Garden of the Gods" or close to it. I was very fortunate to be able to attend an American Artists Magazine sponsored event "Weekend with the Masters". There I met, listened to, watched and was instructed by artists I thought I would be relegated to only read about. It was just a few months ago that I was sitting in front of my computer waiting for that magic hour when registration opened at 1 pm on April 1st. My impatient fingers typed the information needed to snatch one of those precious few spots with the "Master Teacher" that would change my life. Ok, ok I know its hyperbole but really.. only a few hundred of us lucky souls can say they shared a long weekend in Colorado Springs with many of America's greatest Artist/Teachers and hundreds of like-minded people who are passionate about art. For those few days it felt like one big happy family and I do believe I have made life long friends from this event. As for changing my life? well, only time will tell, but I do feel reenergized with a renewed sense of commitment to my art. Meeting these great artists made me feel fortunate to belong to such an interesting community of talented people. Look for a future issue of American Artist Magazine for a complete overview of this event and to find out who were the "Masters". I did meet at least one "Master" who felt burdened by the title, which is a lot to live up to, although I think he totally deserved it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Still Water"

I seem to have symbiotic relationship with water and moody weather, subjects I love to paint ie: see "December Ice".  This pond is in Maine but I remember a very similar scene from my native Quebec when my cousin and I sat in a couple of lawn chairs on the sandy beach of a very small lake where for several years she would rent a cottage to spend a few quiet blissful weeks of summer doing nothing or at most catching up on some reading. Some days would be overcast like this and always a little cooler, so we would dawn our sweatshirts and wrap our legs in towels hoping the sun would finally peek through. Though it never did, I fondly remember those days more than the sunny ones.