Friday, December 9, 2011

Woodbridge Town Library Show

I had a nice show at the Woodbridge Town Library on Tuesday night. It was nice to see the paintings under different lighting conditions and be able to view them from a distance. The feedback was very positive. Here's what the display looked like.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Street Painting of Guilford

I finished this painting of the market in Guilford on the green. I love the way the sunlight bounced off of the buildings. Guilford has some quaint old shops in the center of town that are usually very busy and fun to visit. This painting is featured at the exhibit now on display at the Woodbridge Town Library, Woodbridge, CT.
Guilford Market, Oil on Canvas, 16"x20"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Auction Painting of Tomatoes

I donated this 6x8 painting for the Northford Women's Club Dutch Auction. We do the auction every year, and I've been donating a small painting the last few years. The auction did very well. We had some nice hand made items as well as nice beautiful baskets. The proceeds go to the club's operating expenses. The winner was Carmel, our 85-year-old gem of a volunteer who always has nothing but good things to say about everyone. She is always so generous with her time as a volunteer and is incredibly active for a woman her age. She is thrilled with the painting and plans to give it to her son and daughter-in-law for Christmas.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Upcoming Exhibit at the Woodbridge Town Library

I will have a new exhibit of my artwork at the Woodbridge Town Library in Woodbridge, CT, starting Saturday, November 12 and ending on December 31. I was able to get a bonus extension from one month to nearly two months. The exhibit will include a collection of new artwork never before on display, including landscapes, seascapes, and still life. I will be there in person on Tuesday, December 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. If you get a chance to come by, I'd love to see you.

Painting shown: White Poinsettias, Oil on Canvas, 12x16, $400.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Eggplant, Lemon, and Egg

My friend Frida picked this painting from the group of small paintings that I offered to my friends in Houston. I liked this one too. Eggplants are interesting vegetables and pairing one with a lemon, the opposite color on the color wheel, really worked.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Apple and Strawberries

Here's another small painting that is going to Texas. One of my friends loves strawberries, so I figured that she might like this one or choose the one that is all strawberries.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Some Small Works

I am visiting some friends this week in Texas. As a treat, I'm going to give each a small framed painting of fruit or vegetables. Here's one that I did of a peach and plum. I sent all of the paintings ahead to a friend. All of the mini paintings are 6"x8".

This one is one of my favorites. I had so much fun doing these little treasures. There was no pressure and I could work fast. I enjoyed exploring the colors as well. Hopefully, they will enjoy them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Auction for Open Doors This Sunday

The Open Doors and Windows of DT Milford Auction is this Sunday, at 4:00PM. The Milford Art Association will auction off forty windows and doors this year. There is a nice variety of styles and sizes to choose from. They will have some really delicious food there just before the show, so come early and enjoy the refreshments.

Here's a preview of this year's entries. Mine is the one on the first page, in the lower right-hand corner, with the swans on it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Open Doors of Milford

I delivered my door last Saturday. It is nice to have it completed and delivered. The meet and greet party is this Friday evening at the Milford Arts Center. I will find out then which business will get my door for display. I do hope that it is going to be in the main drag area of downtown Milford. The open house night is coming up soon, August 19th. I really enjoy sitting out with the door and talking to passers by. I am going to bring some cards and brochures to give out. I also hope to make a map and hand them out to those who are interested.

I've been working on some street paintings lately. I really love to do street paintings. I get to practice perspective, which is always a good thing. People love trying to guess where the location is. So far, I've done one of Guilford, on the green, and Madison, in the downtown area. I would like to do one in Branford next.

I hope to get out to paint at least one day this weekend. The weather is supposed to be really nice. I just wish that summer would last a little bit longer than it does.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Door for Open Doors and Windows of Milford

This year, Open Doors of Milford expanded to include windows. I decided to again do a door, but I limited my painting to two scenes, one on each side. The side that you see here is of the duck pond in Milford, which is known for the swans, ducks, and geese that gather there all spring and summer long. The other side of the door is a twilight view of a pond covered with lily pads and flowers - kind of a zen moment. I will post a photo later of that. The door will be delivered on Friday.

The event includes an evening when all of the shops are open and all of the artists display their doors and windows outside on the sidewalk. It is a fun night. I enjoy meeting everyone and being in Milford. This is on Friday, August 19th. The auction is in September.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Abandoned House

I started this painting a couple of years ago and put it aside. I just didn't like it. A couple of months ago, I worked on it some more and I like it a little bit more now. The house is owned by a farmer who lives next door. It is getting pretty old and sad looking, but it has some nice features like the side bay windows. I can imagine a large farming family living in it and growing corn and other crops and raising black and white milk cows in the surrounding fields back in the early 1900s. I hope that some day someone will tackle its remodel and restore it to its glory once more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fortress by the Sea

Here's a painting that I recently finished of a house on Long Island Sound set high above a stone wall. I'm sure that it has a great view. I started this painting in the winter, so there was snow on the beach and some of the rocks. It is the only time of the year that you can see any part of the house.  I struggle with rocks every time that I do them, but I figure that the more I try, the better they become.

 "Fortress on the Sound" 16"x 20" oil on canvas. $440.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost Painting Possibly by Valazquez

A painting was recently unearthed from a storage facility at Yale University by a junior curator named John Marciari. The painting, a damaged rendition of St. Anne teaching a young Virgin Mary to read, was identified only as Anonymous, Spanish School, 17th century. 

Marciari spent five years researching the painting, including consultations and analysis by experts, and then published his findings in the arts journal Ars in July 2010. He claimed that the painting seems to be the work of Valazquez. The story of the newly found painting hit newspapers around the world, including Spain’s leading daily newspaper, El Pais. In Spain, Valazquez holds a notoriety more renowned than all of the kings of Spain and he is considered the figure of Spain’s Golden Age, so this was big news.
There’s still a lot of controversy considering the attribution of this painting, some still not believing that it is by Valazquez, but rather an anonymous artist of the same period in Seville, Spain. The painting was on exhibit at the Yale Art Gallery for ten weeks from December 2010. Currently, the museum is trying to decide how to handle the restoration in a non-obtrusive way.
It would really be amazing if it were a true Valazquez. It will take a lot of work to refurbish the painting. A head was cut off at the top, so I can't imagine that they would be able to replace it.
Reference; Smithsonian Magazine, April 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monet's Water Lilies

The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford  is currently exhibiting a collection of paintings by Claude Monet of Water Lilies. The exhibition started on February 17 and runs until June 12, 2011. Monet began painting water lilies in the late 1800s when he purchased a piece of land adjacent to his current home and built a water garden and Japonese bridge using the existing pond.  He continued to paint the pond with the bridge and the water lilies until the time of his death in 1926. His style changed during this period, partly because of a cataract operation that helped to clear his vision. As a result, the colors that he used in his paintings became stronger and richer.  Most interesting to me were the strong, definitive brush strokes and vibrant colors of his later works that you can’t see when looking at a photo in a book or magazine. 

I attended a lecture held at the museum last week and found it quite lacking in information and rather strange. Charles Stuckey, a Monet scholar and curator for several art institutions, gave the lecture. His approach was to compare Monet’s work with other modern artists during his time, which I thought was a bit farfetched. Instead, it would have been more interesting to hear about Monet’s methods and professional progression as an artist through the years.  The exhibit is definitely worth seeing, though I must admit that I wish that there were more paintings. I read that Monet painted over 300 water lily paintings, which is astounding.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Boats at Anchor by John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent loved to paint the luminous effect of the water bouncing off of the hulls of boats in a harbor. He would get in a small boat and paint at almost water level boats in harbors from around the world. His works were executed in bold, strong colors with varying degrees of light colors to distinguish the hulls of the boats. He liked to paint on white paper, leaving portions of it showing for the extreme highlights. The diagonals of this scene draw you upward and inward from left to right and the large area of light color in the hulls are offset by strong dark contrasts in the water and the bridge. I particularly like the color mix of warm and cool, strong and light and also the bold brush strokes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winslow Homer and Watercolor

Winslow Homer was an oil painter, but he was also known for being one of the best watercolor artists of all time. This watercolor, Boys and Kitten, was done on a summer working vacation in Gloucester, Mass. It is one of my favorites. His brushwork was fluid and the colors saturated, no doubt influenced by his career in illustration.
The subject matter of many of his paintings over the summer of 1873, that of children as they played, was one that he only touched on when painting with oils. His watercolors in Gloucester were also different from his previous work, the brush strokes are more free, less finished, with sharp patterns and distinctive light and shadows. This painting in particular almost divides the light from dark in half, with the left side being  mostly light, the right, mostly dark, but the shadow pointing toward the subject matter.
He also started to use white gouache to separate the lights and darks. In fact, he applied opaque color in many of the watercolors of this period, building up from dark to light as if working with oil colors. It's a very interesting technique.

Photo from the book, American Traditions in Watercolor, The Worcester Art Museum Collection

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Andrew Wyeth's "The Rope"

When Andrew Wyeth moved to Maine, his work reflected the rustic, quiet and simple life of farming and open fields. His subjects were the instruments of the land and his neighbors Christina and Alvaro Olson, who were brother and sister. Alvaro was a fisherman and loved the sea, but when his father was too ill from arthritis to farm, Alvaro came home to take care of him and his crippled sister, Christina. Alvaro hated farming.

Wyeth’s paintings always tell a story. They pull you in emotionally to a scene, and invite interpretation. The Rope is a painting that on many emotional levels tells the story of Alvaro’s life and the unfortunate decision that took him away from fishing and the sea. Items from his life as a fisherman juxtapose with his life on the farm. The picture shows the dory stored in the haymow, a chicken crate that looks like a lobster trap sits on top, and nearby, a scythe sits on top of the clamming hod. The rope resembles a noose but also the pulley lines of a lobster boat.
Wyeth used a number of basic techniques when painting. He employed Sgraffito to some areas, scratching out top color to get at the paint underneath, and used his finger to smudge paint in others. This gave his paintings a raw look that emulated the hard farmer’s life. When Alvaro’s father died, and a year later, Alvaro and his sister died, Wyeth stopped painting the Olson farm. He said, “Without Alvaro and Christina, it’s just an object, nothing more-interesting perhaps, but not emotionally interesting.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

John Trumbull and Artistic License

I was watching an HBO movie on John Adams over the weekend. At one point, the movie showed a scene where John Trumbull presented the painting that he did of the signing of the Declaration of Independence to John Adams. I think that he was expecting a positive response, however, he was disappointed. Adams pointed out that when the Declaration of Independence was signed, there was no assembly of men to witness the event. Signers came and went individually or in small groups, almost surreptitiously. So, Adams was a bit put out that Trumbull took artistic license with this. After all, he was a stickler for detail and historical accuracy.
It is a good example of an artist taking artistic license with history, and in my opinion, it went too far. I am all for adding or deleting items that might improve a composition, but in this case because paintings were historic depictions of events during this time in history, it implied false information about the event to the American people.
John Trumbull was an American artist during the time of the Revolutionary war. He painted many scenes of wartime activities and statesmen and was known for his historical paintings.
This painting is hanging in the Rotunda of the US capitol.