Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back in Black-16x20

If you like this one contact Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro

The finished painting that i started a few days ago. went back in and added lighter streaks in the ground and lightened all the shadow sides of the white boats, as well as adding light to the sky.

Here's where i went yesterday and was fortunate to meet Billy the owner of Sneads Ferry Seafood. after painting an 8x8 on his docks he gave me shrimp and flounder to take home for supper. now do i have a cool job or what?!

Thanks Billy! steamed up the shrimp last night in some Old Bay. they were awesome!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Step by Step Demo-Back in Black

Fast Food 8x10
not for sale
private collection
a train dining car on the Orient Express

Here's step one- drawn on with a magenta oil pastel and then a wash of magenta acrylic over it to get rid of the stark white. then i put straight magenta on the very dark shapes (later adding cobalt violet) and a little lighter magenta (lots of Liquin) to the medium darks. yellow ochre to the light warm ground and turquoise and ultramarine with lots of white for the sky

here ive added the lavender blues to the shade side of the boats and darkened the dark sailboat along with adding the white so i can set my value range. nothing can be darker than the boat on the bottom and nothing can be as light as the top of the cabin. now i compare every other shape to these that i ive got right, value wise.

Here's a shot of the nearly completed 16x20 and the 8x10 plein air study i based it on. as you can see i added a third boat to the bigger piece to give it an even greater sense of aerial perspective and a more diagonal composition, which adds tension and impact. notice how everything moves back in space as it goes right to left and the elements get smaller (the piece of a boat, the dark boat next and then that grouping of pylons making a strong diagonal recession)
this is the point of doing bigger pieces from smaller studies. the little ones can stand on their own and you can use them for color, but you may want to change the composition and let the bigger one have a life of its own as an entirely different entity. or you can choose to keep some of the really cool parts that you like on the small one and change the parts you dont. i usually change something because i dont like doing an exact replica of the studies. to me thats too boring and i end up frustrated because you can never exactly reproduce in the studio something done outside in two hours, in searing heat, and with all the distractions of plein air painting. changing it up keeps me happy. and a happy painter makes happy paintings!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Restructuring of Galleries

as blogwatchers who have been following my antics since january know, i've been slowing down my painting production. the idea behind this was to slow down and do less, albeit better, paintings and sell them for more money. doing this means i have less paintings to spread around and have to make some hard decisions about getting out of some of my galleries.

now that i've picked up two new galleries, one in Cape Cod and the other in Key West, i knew this day would come.

if youre in a gallery, they deserve your absolute best work and if you think you might not be able to give them your best (or enough of it), you might be in too many galleries. to remedy this you have to look dispassionately at which ones you might have to let go. many things factor into this decision and its never an easy one. in many cases you become friends with your dealers and nobody enjoys it when you "break up" LOL. the thing for both sides to remember is that its not personal, just business.

after much consideration ive had to make the unpleasant decision to leave Fountainside Gallery, my wilmington NC gallery. they have been wonderful to work with and i appreciate all they've done for me. i wish the owner denise (and Sandy and Linda) nothing but the best!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lots of Studio Work This Week

Backyard Still Life- 12x16

contact me if you like this one

i'm on a bit of a studio kick right now. partly because the heat index is around 100 and partly because i tweaked my back kiteboarding the other day. then the next day it went totally out. brought me to my knees. any of you who have had that happen know exactly what i'm talking about. four days later i can walk ok but sitting is still uncomfortable and i can feel it want to seize up. better tho' than a few days ago.

this one was started and almost completed outside, and i repainted the water, the pears, flowers and table top this morning in the studio.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reworking a Piece

The first painting
The reworked painting
Rythms of Light-6x8
As you can see ive made a huge change on the painting above and i thought i'd use it as a lesson on todays post about making changes.
the first thing to realize about making a change whether it be a huge change or just a small one is that its not that hard to do and its not the end of the world. painting is a hard task and to think that everything you paint is right the first time is self deception. they say there are over 2000 decisions made on the average painting and you cant expect to get every one of those decisions right.
so what do you do if youre finished with the painting and you dont like something about it? if its dry you sand down the area (if you paint thickly) and apply a really really thin wash of gessoe over it, redraw and then repaint. if its wet, blot it with a paper towel to get as much of the paint off the area as possible and then take a painting knife and scrape off what you can. then you take a brush with some paint thinner on it and go over the area using a paper towel and thinner (and q-tips if its a really small area) and get the rest of the paint off down to the surface of the board or canvas. then redraw and repaint.
i know this might seem kind of elementary but you'd be surprised at the new painters who are scared to death to make a change on a canvas and they just need to know that its not that big of a deal.
on mine above i wanted to get rid of the waitress (she was too prominent up in the foreground) and got rid of the guys in front of the poles on the left. this makes the scene more about the bar/restaurant interior. its the Land Ho, a very popular Orleans, Mass. eatery.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Comfy Chair-10x8

This one will be in the October show of my interior works. i'm getting better at not waiting till the last minute and rushing the work. i dont think you can't paint well, consistently, when you do it that way.
Interiors are different to paint than landscapes i think. in an interior there's a lot of reflected light bouncing around. the key is to figure out in your head what is in the light and what is not. then stick with that throughout the painting, making sure that even if something in a shadow looks very light and/or warm that you paint it darker in value than the things in the light.
thats the fun everyday when i paint. trying to get better and better, one painting at a time. then you die.

No Fish Tale

note: Just found out that i'll be in a four man show at my gallery in Key West, The Gallery on Greene, in late February. That'll be fun painting for that this winter, instead of shivering my pitooty off in NC!

Intimate Corner- 6x8

Liked the color and warm light in this portrait of a corner in a bedroom. Playing with getting the accuracy i want (in drawing and color) while keeping it loose and fun to look at.
True story! i was out kiteboarding with friends last saturday and was out in the ocean about two pier lengths when i saw a fin about forty yards from me. i wanted to check it out and got right up on him going, i guess 15 mph and decided to get real close when i saw the fin wasnt gi-normous. went right over top of a five foot sand shark. i was so close i could have touched his fin when i went over him while he was cruising along on the surface. that was toooo cooool! never been that close to one (knowingly). Sand sharks are pretty scared of people and only bite when they mistake you for something else. in fact there's been two attacks on swimmers on the coast so far. one in emerald isle and one here on topsail island. bet this was the first time THAT shark was ever afraid of a human. i like the fact i turned the tables on him!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two Posts in One Day

High Above It All
$1400 framed

headed to Rowley Gallery in Orleans, Mass.
This is the painting i'm working on in the picture below of my setup with the umbrella.

Rhythms of Light-6x8

contact me if you like this one and i'll give you the price and availability

Another interior, this time from a popular wateringhole on the cape.

i'm having fun suggesting lots and lots of detail with just a brush stroke of paint. thats what makes interior paintings so cool to me. its a complexity/simplicity balance. ruthless editing is how i try my best (in paint) to write a sonnet and not a newspaper article. i want you to hear the clinking of glasses, low hum of talking, and sporadic laughter that gives a restaurant or bar interior its charm.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Interior Works "in the Works"

Room Full of Day
Its been a busy year of travel and shows so far and it looks like 2011 will be about the same! just got the schedule for my Studios of Key West workshops and teaching schedule along with the invitation to have a solo show there in january. the show and 3 day workshop will be january (workshop the 4th-6th) and i'll be teaching a knife painting workshop every wednesday of february. let me know if youre interested in signing up. space is limited and there's already alot of interest.
the above interior is a color/composition study for some interior paintings i'm going to ship to a gallery for an exhibition of them in october. i love having something to paint in the studio when its raining or overcast and cant paint outside. i do beach people and interiors but have laid off doing still lifes for a while. they dont seem to get me jazzed and i dont like painting things that i'm not crazy about. hopefully that excitement for the subject matter translates into a certain energy the viewer can pick up on.
i'll give you the details for the october thing as it nears!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cape Memories

My office last weekend. High atop High Head looking out towards Truro and PTown way in the distance.

the cape is gleaming tidy white and cedar shake cottages lined up in a row, as beachgoers enjoy time off from the hustle and bustle of their Boston or Manhatten lifestyles. seagulls crying out loudly to one another, as they glide in picking minnows out for brunch, while hiway 6 starts to crowd with people eager to get to Provincetown, the energy so thick you can feel it at the city limits. turn of the century cottages enveloped in distinctive light from being surrounded by water on three sides, and dunes on the outskirts of town stories high, looking out onto a serene and yet hauntingly dangerous atlantic ocean. boats grounded in the burnt sienna sand waiting for high tide water to rescue them, while kids jump off train trestle tracks into the refreshing water, washing off the previous school year all with one dive. gleaming harbors surrounded by working boats sustaining their captains and crews families sitting happily beside craft meant for nothing but pleasure and speed, keeping the minds of their owners off work and demands of frenetic lifestyles. their windpowered brethren skitter across the water pushed by balmy hot breezes while the sun sets lighting up the surface of the water with millions of refractive diamonds. it sinks slowly into the water extinguishing the blazing orange heat turning the sky lavender in the far reaches of the sky, and the brightest stars make their appearance as if coming onto a stage. the cool purples close in on the orange hues, chasing them into the water and the whole sky cools off, but not the air. sounds of clinks of glasses at the nearby restuarant mix with the laughs of happy people thinking how blessed they are to be in such a fairytale place, content in the knowledge that it will all be there again tomorrow.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Whats Happening to Me?

Resting in PTown Finally- 8x10
not for sale

From High Head Towards Provincetown- 8x10
Packer McGarr collection

i dont know whats wrong with me. mike rooney not selling a piece and keeping it for himself LOL. better buy that underground shelter or start building an ark or something.
no really what it was is i love painting in graveyards in key west so i thought i'd look at the PTown graveyard and get way up high for an elevated view, and this is what i found. liked it so well i'm going to keep it. sentimental reasons, not because its such a good painting. this way i can look at it on my wall and think of this trip with fondness. heading back south in a few days to the land of sweet tea (whoever heard of not putting a 5 lb bag of sugar in a gallon of tea anyway). nothing could be finer than to be in..... you know the rest if your from there. see y'all soon!

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Previews from the Upcoming Show

Nauset Beach-8x10

Morning Shadows- 8x10
$800 framed

Hydrangea's and Picket Fence- 8x10

Harbor Reflection- 8x10
$800 framed

if you like any of these contact me or Rowley Gallery, Orleans, Mass. and we'll presell and ship to you a few weeks into the show

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Its all over but the Cryin'

From the Heights-8x10

End of the Road-8x10

Cape Curve-8x10

Cape Bay View- 8x10

Brewster Flats-8x10

Hooray. the marathon paint-out is over. the 12 paintings are painted, tweaked, titled, photographed, framed, signed, inventoried, and even hung on the wall, posted on this blog (and her website) ready for the opening Saturday night. its funny that most people (except gallery owners and the painters) dont know that you spend as much time, if not more time looking for the spot to paint, framing and all the other assorted duties than you do actually painting the actual painting. shoot! i pushed a bicycle with all my gear strapped to it for over two miles thru the dunes, to get to the beach where i painted "Cape Bay View"!

Had an unheard of 7 straight days of sunshine and blue skies, not once did it cloud up where i couldnt paint.

Peak of the Bay- 8x10

now that theyre handed over to Liz, my job is over and hers begins. now we gotta sell these babies!

i'll post the rest in a day or two.

Monday, July 5, 2010

After Work Swim

Here's what you do after the last painting of the day! i'm in Wellfleet Harbor, and man did that water feel refreshing! it was hot up here today, but nothing like Carolina would be. this far north there's just way less humidity. i still broke a sweat doing three paintings today after chasing my tail all day yesterday. the one man show deadline approaches!

Seven Thirty View
$800 framed
contact me if you'd like it

Sunday, July 4, 2010

On a Roll Now

Boat Meadow
$800 framed
if you like this painting contact me or Elizabeth Rowley Gallery in Orleans, Mass.

how do you like my laundry room studio? i'm staying with two wonderful friends and cape artists Suzanne Packer-McGarr and Dick McGarr, it was a little cloudy this morning so i set up my gear in their laundry room hallway for a few hours tweaking some of the ones i've done in the field the last few days.

if i can paint in a laundry room, i dont want to hear of any of you whining about not having any where to paint, right? if you want to paint nothing will stop you!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Plein Air Mobile

here's my wheels taken while painting in Hyannis Mass. on the cape. found a sweet little dead end road on the bike and asked for permission to paint at a place with the greatest view of the inlet. the ferry to and from the islands (nantucket and martha's vineyard) goes thru there and its filled with sailboats and fishing boats. very scenic.
turned out that the guy lived in Winston Salem NC not far from where i live on the coast. he had rented the place for the week of the fourth.

today i painted in Provincetown, home of the longest continous art colony in the US. as i was painting an alley scene to the water, i struck up a conversation with another painter and found out that i recognized him from some blogs ive been reading for the last several years. seems i was painting about a block from his house and he saw me painting. his name is jerome greene. last year i met jennifer mcchristian in PTown sitting on a bench. the internet makes this a very very small world. google those two and check out their work. its awesome.

i used to get aggravated with people talking to me while i was painting but got over that this past winter when i realized that if i just went with the flow and didnt let it get to me that i met all kinds of interesting people.

suns been shining for about a week straight so still no tweaking of the field work. but when i fix em up i'll get em on here. there's a few i like alot. we'll see if i can keep from messing them up LOL

the opening of the show is this saturday at Elizabeth Rowley Gallery in Orleans, Mass. the receptions 5-7 pm. come by if youre in the neighborhood.