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.

Friday, March 6, 2009


 It should come to no surprise to anyone who has read my previous posts that this is "Natirar" again. I think the Barbizon style frame suits this impressionistic scene. When I brought the painting into the gallery, Cheryl (the gallery owner) and I were trying to come up with a title for it.  A patron walked in and as a joke we asked him to come up with a title for  the painting. He called it "Tranquility". Works for me!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Early Fall"

Here is another of my miniature paintings. This is a canal scene in Lambert-ville, New Jersey, a quaint town along the Delaware River bordering Pennsylvania. There are restaurants, antique shops, art galleries and gift stores to shop to your heart's content. It was an overcast, late September day where a hint of fall was already in the air. The painting has a "European feel" to it. It is often overcast in many countries in Europe which I remember from living in Germany for awhile. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"The Retreat"

The Gallery asked me to do some miniature paintings and this is the first 6" x 6" in a series that I will post on my blog. I pass by this area often on my way to some of my favorite painting spots, however this time something caught my eye. I drove passed it but decided to go back and turned right into a private driveway to get a vantage point. As I drove further in to find a place to turn around I saw this beautiful sight. The dark fir trees formed a perfect frame to the sunlit house further emphasizing the quality of the light. It was bathed in so much light it appeared almost as an apparition. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Winter's Blush

The long shadows crawling across the landscape contrast against the warm glow of the setting sun that belies the actual conditions of that day.   Natirar is my Shangri-La! It is my Monet's Garden, a continuous source of inspiration. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


My son was about 9 years old when I caught him in what appeared to be a contemplative mood looking at the ceaseless motion of the sea. I had intended to use this painting as  an experiment with glazing therefore I chose a smaller size canvas because I was not familiar with the technique and wasn't sure if I could pull it off.  The underpainting was done in white and sepia tones and I proceeded from there to apply thin layers of transparent glazes. This was very time consuming and I have not done another painting using this technique since. I do want to try it again for a small landscape. I called it Eternity because staring out into the vast ocean is one of those iconic images on planet earth that comes closest to the concept of eternity. At least for me it is.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Raritan River in Winter"

This is the same river as the other paintings posted on my blog which continues to flow well beyond the confines of Natirar which, if you haven't read my other posts, is one of my favorite places to paint. The interplay of blues, mauves and ochres portrays a certain softness in the distance against the dramatic dark foreground. Life is hectic and there is so much negativity all around us that a painting can become a temporary refuge. 

I feel peaceful when I am painting and hopefully this is conveyed to the viewer. This painting was in the 2007 Salon International and sold shortly thereafter.  I like to think that the couple who bought it liked it for the same reasons I painted it. Nature is beautiful.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"December Ice"

Looking out my window that day I could see the ice forming on the branches and hear the ice pellets clicking on my windows. I was debating whether it would be a good idea to drive out to Natirar on a photo shoot in the ice and sleet  when most people, of course, would consider it a bad idea. Off I went and never regretted it because I got an amazing series of picture references for this painting as well as future paintings. The experience of that day was unforgettable too. After driving the approximate 2 miles into Natirar to park,  I guess I should not have been surprised to find out that I was the only one there. Since the path was covered with snow and ice, it took much longer to walk to the "spot" I wanted to photograph and I also got extremely tired trudging through the snow. It was eerie being alone in the acres and acres of 'devoid of another human being' park. With my sense of awareness heightened by the sights and sounds around me I found it exhilarating  but also slightly menacing. The sounds of  branches cracking under the weight of the ice and being wet, cold and tired and alone was disconcerting.  It was an unforgettable almost spiritual experience and I will never forget it.  I think I can squeeze a few more paintings from that photo shoot and will relive those feelings as I paint.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Overture to a Winter's Night"

This is an oil painting 10" x 20" on gessoed wood panel. Although most of my paintings of Natirar are of the river this scene is facing west of the riverbank. The glow of the sunset filtered through the trees was captivating and needed to be painted!

"Prelude to Spring"

Here is another oil painting (22" x 28") of  Natirar. It took  several tries to finally upload it so I don't want to start over  right now but I'll replace it later with a better  image  that shows the vibrancy of the sunset. I love painting winter scenes and find them a relief from all that summer green. I'm also attracted to scenes with water. My gallery owner calls me the "water lady". 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Mystic River"

This is my first posting on my newly created blog. The painting to the right is a 16" x 20" oil on linen that I created last year and it sold shortly thereafter. The location is the Raritan River in a place called Natirar which is in Far Hills, NJ. However, I called the painting Mystic River because of the atmospheric quality and serene nature of the scene. It is also how I remember feeling when I painted it. I have painted this scene and others like it many times. Natirar is a treasure trove of painting scenes and I feel like a kid in a candy shop everytime I go there looking for a spot to set up my easel or take pictures. The gallery owner who carries my work calls me the "water lady". I kind of feel like this place belongs to me.... all 411 acres! Of course it doesn't... the estate actually belonged to the King of Morocco.  I'll be posting more paintings of Natirar as well as my painting process so please come back and visit my blog. Comments are welcome.