Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Plein Air: Northwoods Waterfall

Northwoods Waterfall, 2014, oil on linen, 12 x 9 inches
Spring is here and New Yorkers are as happy as can be. I don't think we can take more of the cold and snow we've been subjected to this winter. Although it is a little early for it, people were out in shorts and tshirts enjoying the sixty something degree weather. The sun was out for a good part of the day and I loved every minute of it. Plein air season is here ladies and gents, and nothing can give me more joy than to be out painting outside (sorry babe :/). This is what I accomplished today at Central Park. I'm very happy with it, and I can't wait to go out there again! More to come.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Watercolors from Mexico

 Clouds Over Riviera Maya 1, 2014, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches
These are a few watercolors I accomplished very recently while I was on vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico. How I wish I was still back there in the hot sun painting the afternoons away. This has been a brutal winter here in the North East, and it was an incredible treat to be able to get away at least for a week. Spring is coming soon, I keep telling myself, I miss painting outdoor. Soon as it gets warm I'll be out side painting as much as I can. 
 Riviera Maya, Afternoon, 2014, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches

 Clouds Over Riviera Maya 2, 2014, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches

 Riviera Maya, Morning, 2014, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches
Clouds Over Riviera Maya 3, 2014, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Currently on View...

Oak Tree, Rhinebeck, 2012, oil on linen, 12 x 18 inches
I have five paintings currently on view at the Salmagundi Club, and the show, Scholarship & Junior Member Exhibition, will run until January 24.  I am happy to announce that the painting above received recognition with the Frank Dumond Award. A nice way to start the year for sure.  
A second painting of mine (in the middle of the image above) was also used for the advertisement of the show, a nice surprise to see my work on view on Fifth Ave.  
These are the five paintings in the show, if you have time please stop by Salmagundi and see the show.  Awards reception will be on January 24, 2013. The Salmagundi Club is located at 47 Fifth Ave., NYC.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Bennett Vadnais: New York

Bennett Vadnais, Robertas, 2013, acrylic on panel, 12 1/4 x 17 1/2 inches
If you have not heard the name Bennett Vadnais I recommend you get familiar with it fast, because this young painter's work is definitely worth noticing.  Vadnais's work is currently on view at the National Arts Club of New York City, and it offers a small collection with a big punch.  
 Bennett Vadnais, West Window 2, 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches
Vadnais uses New York as the inspiration of his current work, exploring the city and the neighborhoods he's most familiar with. Most of the paintings have the same view in common, but each one changes as he explores the changing light reflecting off buildings and rooftops. Each time of day, or climate change offers a a new way of seeing the same buildings, sometimes light reveals more of what's in the background, and other times emphasis is in the foreground.  
 Bennett Vadnais, West Window 3 - Noon, 2010, acrylic on board, 9 x 12 inches 
Vadnais works most of his composition in plein air, making detailed drawings and color studies of his subjects before reproducing them in larger scale paintings in his studio.
 Bennett Vadnais, Morgan Ave., Cement Plant, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 13 x 21 inches
The National Arts Club states "Vadnais takes, as his point of departure, the golden age of 17th century Dutch landscape painting and applies that vivid and luminous paint handling to the depiction of gritty street scenes and once-idylic landscapes littered with post-industrial detritus." It never occured to me that Vadnais's work can be so deeply rooted to Dutch paintings, but it makes sense, perhaps this is why I'm drawn to them so much.
 Bennett Vadnais, Gutted Building Study, 2013, graphite and acrylic on panel, 15 x 20 inches 
Being aware of the connection to 17th century Dutch paintings, the study above immediately made me think of Vermeer's The Little Street, a great example of genre painting and a faithful record of city living during the artist's life time.  Just like Vermeer, Vadnais elevates simple, anonymous brick buildings into a realm of pure beauty and precise moments of magic.  
 Bennett Vadnais, Ward Island Bridge, 2011, acrylic on panel, 10 x 16 inches 

 Bennet Vadnais, The Gutted Building #2, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 32 x 40 inches 

 Bennett Vadnais, West Window 1 - Overcast, 2010, acrylic on board, 9 x 12 inches 

 Bennet Vadnais, Upper West Side, 2013, acrylic on panel, 19 x 29 inches 
If inspiration is what you seek and you happen to be in the city then this show is a must see. You will not be disappointed. Bennett Vadnais: New York runs from January 6 - February 1 at the National Arts Club, located at 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003.
Bennet Vadnais, Upper West Side (Sketch), 2013, acrylic on panel, 6 1/2 x 10 inches 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Small Works 2D 3D 4D

I hopped on the Hudson Line of Metro North the other day to pay a visit to the Garrsion Art Center, in Garrison, NY. I am part of a current group show there, Small Works 2D 3D 4D, and was very happy to see my work hanging among other talented artists.
This is the first year the Garrsion Art Center is hosting this annual exhibition which was curated by artists Matt Frieburghaus, Grace Knowlton, and Don Nice. Below is a small sample of the works on view.

Luis Colan, Cherry Hill Fountain, 2013, oil on linen, 9 x 12 inches 

Crista Pisano, Outer Banks North Carolina, oil on panel 

Andrew Barthelmes, Shopping Center, oil on wood

Lisa BurgerLentz, View from Harriet's Window, oil on board

Victor Mirabelli, Field of Sunshine, oil on canvas

Chris Perry, 139 Ripples: Sparkling, paper and fabric

Sarah Glickman, Mini Land One, acrylic on canvas 

Stacey Farley, Skies, plaster

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Eakins Felt it Too!

"Everything is in a muddle…Even the commonest colors seem to have the devil in them.  You see a thing more yellow, you put yellow in it, and it becomes only more gray when you tune it up.  As you get on you get some difficulties out of the way, and what seems trying is that some of the things that gave you the greatest trouble were the easiest of all."
Thomas Eakins

It's interesting to be reading a book on Eakins and to come across this quote just at about the same time when I'm experiencing some issues with a landscape I'm working on. He nailed the way I feel, at least the first part of the quote which mentions the colors having the "devil in them". That's my opinion on the greens I've been working with, and just when I think I'm making some progress I come to realize later that nothing is working. Everything seems to be working against me, the bad lighting in the studio, the bright greens I'm mixing and can't tone down, the texture of the linen, who knows it even seems like my brushes are conspiring against me! All painting is problem solving, but before you are able to resolve a problem you have to first identify it, which I think I'm having a hard time with. I'm not sure what's going wrong in the studio, I even reconfigured the layout of it hoping it would help me reach that point of enlightenment when everything starts to click, but it hasn't done much. What do you do when you reach a point where everything you try does not seem to work?  Eakins says "As you get on you get some difficulties out of the way", well I am getting on and the difficulties are still there. I do hope I will get them "out of the way" soon because I am running out of options and I failure is not part of my nature.  With this post out of the way, it's time to put my head down and keep getting on. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Small Works Exhibition

Hello all, I'm happy to announce that I'll be part of a group show at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY.  Opening reception will be on Saturday Dec. 14 from 5-7pm. If you're in the area stop by and check out this exhibit. Details can be found by clicking on the flyer above.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

New Plein Air: Fall Colors

Fall Colors, 2013, oil on linen, 13 x 8 inches 
Good weather is hard to pass on, and this past Saturday temperatures reached the high sixties. Not a bad day to go out and paint! I spent part of the afternoon in the north end of Central Park, where there are less tourist and better painting spots. I have never walked through the park when the leaves turn, I have always seen pictures and most of the time it is hard to believe that the colors in the middle of the city can be that bright and beautiful in autumn. It was a pleasant surprise that the vibrant fall colors of Central Park were not a lie, they truly do exist and I was able to see it first hand after so many years of living in the city. This was not a bad way of spending my Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Plein Air: Rocky Stream, Central Park

Rocky Stream, Central Park, 2013, oil on linen, 12 x 9 inches
Went out to Central Park this weekend to paint, it was my first time painting outdoor since July...a bit overdue! This was also my first time capturing New England fall colors, the leaves are starting to turn and I could not pass up on this experience. It got cold pretty fast as the afternoon progressed and the sunlight died out. Regardless of the lowering temperature and my sniffly nose, I had a great time, it felt like I was revisiting a special place, like home. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Work Continues

Started work on this painting in July, shortly after I got back from Italy. I was inspired to paint and dove right into this canvas which was patiently awaiting my return. The subject matter is not Italian, actually it's Reed Creek from Asheville, North Carolina. This image has been on my mind for a few years and it was time to get started. Above is an image of my first session, lots of loose drawing with burnt sienna and burnt umber. 
Session two, more drawing and figuring out the composition. Also adding more darks in the foreground, already early on I'm starting to look for a little drama in the light. 
Finally started putting down color, mostly earth tones, the usual players, yellow ochre, verona green earth, burnt sienna and burnt umber. Still keeping it loose and trying to get a feel for it. 
Time to add more chromatic colors, my favorite part and also the scary part. The plan is to alternate layers of high key colors and knocking them down with earth tones. 
No turning back now, sap green in different mixtures has been added and nerves start to kick in. This is starting to look like something out of the stage of Wicked! 
More layers tonight, developing the background and middle ground. The painting is looking very green with a few areas glazed down with a mixture of yellow ochre and burnt sienna. Took this photo in sepia to help me see the tonal range. I'm not going to lie, I like this a lot, plan is to achieve this moodiness with color. Wish me luck as work continues.