Thursday, May 21, 2015

Monotypes, Part 2

Near Durango, 2015, monotype, image 7 x 5 inches, paper 9 3/4 x 7 inches 

These are the most recent monotypes, all have been done during the Salmagundi Club monotype parties. As I continue working in this new medium I can start to see growth, which makes it very rewarding. Keeping this up will not difficult at all, since I can honestly say that I've become addicted to monotypes. More to come!
 Near Durango 2, 2015, monotype, image 7 x 5 inches, paper 9 3/4 x 7 inches

Colorado Snow, 2015, monotype and watercolor pencil, image 6 x 7 3/4 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11inches

 Near Pikes Peak, 2015, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, paper 10 1/4 x 8 inches 

 River Boyne, Newgrange, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, 8 x 10 1/4 inches

 Trees in a Meadow, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 10 inches

Trees in a Meadow, 2015, monotype (ghost print), image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 10 inches

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Painting and Exhibition

Horse with a Fly Mask, 2015, oil on panel, 10 x 8 inches
This is the my most recent studio painting which will be exhibited early in June at Mehu Gallery in NYC. Although the subject of the painting is a horse at pasture wearing a fly mask, the focus of the piece is the landscape and the almost brooding effect the light of dusk has on the space. I was invited to show in an exhibition titled Equus and Such, and the theme is the horse. On a trip to Main in 2007 I encountered a pasture where two horses grassed wearing fly masks. Not knowing much about horses or their upkeep I thought it strange and slightly frightening. Since then I had been wanting to paint what I saw that day, and this exhibition provided the nudge I needed to get it started. My main concern was how to paint a landscape with a horse without it looking cute or sentimental? I knew the mask would take care of part of the issue, but I needed something else. I thought of a painting I love at the Met, a beautiful landscape by Charles-Francois Daubigny that is tucked away in a quiet corner of the museum, away from the other nineteenth French landscape painters such as Corot and Rousseau. Not sure how I came to think of Daubigny's work when I did, but I'm glad it happened because thanks to that I was able to execute a painting that is different than what I have done in the past.
Equus and Such will be on display from June 4 - July 12, 2015. Opening reception on Thursday, June 4 from 6 - 9 pm. Mehu Gallery is located at 21 W. 100th st, NYC.  212.222.3334. Gallery hours: Tuesday - Sunday 1 - 6pm.  Closing reception Sunday, July 12 from 3 - 6pm.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Monotypes, Part 1

Fog Rising, Olivebridge, 2014, monotype, image 5 x 7 inches, paper 7 1/2 x 11 inches 
This is the first group of monotypes I made last year. Some more successful than others, but this was the learning period. It takes some getting used to; sometimes too much ink gets rubbed off, sometimes not enough, and tones print darker than expected, the light reflecting off the copper or zinc plate can mislead you. Regardless of how tricky monotype printing can be though, I have been hooked.
Moonlight Nocturne No. 1, 2014, monotype, image 5 x 7 inch, paper 7 1/2 x 11 inches

Moonlight Nocturne No.2, 2014, monotype, image 5 x 7 inches, paper 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches
Tulum, 2014, monotype, image 5 x 7 inches, paper 6 3/4 x 10 inches

Colorado Impression, 2014, monotype, image 5 x 7 inches, paper 7 1/2 x 11 inches

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

New Plein Air: Wethersfield Cove

"Wethersfield Cove", 2015, oil on linen, 9 x 12 inches
We are starting to have beautiful weather in the East Coast, and that means my plein air gear gets the dust brushed off and it goes back to work.  Saturday was such an incredible day for painting, not too hot and not too cold.  I visited a spot in Wethersfield, Connecticut; a place I have not been to since I was in high school. Off to the side of Wethersfield Cove Path I found this great spot which reminded me a lot of many paintings I have seen by Monet, Pissarro, and Sysley. On my bus ride back to Connecticut I was looking at three apps dedicated to each painter, I guess I was searching for inspiration, and it worked because at the moment I encountered this area of the Cove I immediately got in the zone and began working, thus kicking off plein air season for me. In this painting I can see some improvements, it makes me very excited to see what future paintings will look like once I get the hang of it back again. More to come!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Making Monotypes

As a creature of habit, trying new things can be frightening. Doubts, fear, and nerves always taking over whenever I embark on a new project. Regardless of my unease change is needed to aid growth. At some point you have to try something new to get you to the next level, and I found that change in Monotype printing.
I had tried Monotype printing in college, during a time when I was very interested in painterly aesthetics, and was told that this type of printing lent itself to that. I soon learned why out of all printmaking techniques this was the favorite of painters. The process was shorter and the outcome more immediate.
(Touching up a monotype after printing)

Years have passed after that one semester at the Hartford Art School, to be honest I forgot about that short period of time when I experimented with Monotype printing.  Then, early last year it all came back after attending my first Monotype party at the Salmagundi Club. At the moment I was hungry for something different and was also in need of a little socializing among other artist while making art in the same space.
On my first night excitement and nerves were all there as I looked at this zinc plate cover in black ink. What happens now? My first experience with Monotype years ago was more of an additive process. It was easy to lay down colors to create abstract compositions that created a dialogue with the large abstract paintings I was working on at the time. But the subtractive process of Monotype was new to me.  What sort of image could I come up with in this little 5 x 7 inch plate?
Looking through my sketchbook for ideas I came across a drawing of a moonlit landscape, an idea I had for a series of small 9x12 paintings. It seemed like the perfect image for this type of technique, and so I began to take away ink with q-tips, creating clouds and and moon as I revealed the reflective surface of the zinc plate. It was quite magical to see an image come to live by taking away ink. Even more so after the plate was put through the press and the paper pulled away form it to reveal a print.
From that night I have been hooked, and once a month I go back to the Salmagundi Monotype Parties to  take away ink from a plate and put it under the drum of the press. Every time a new print surfaces I want to do more.
I think I have a found a new passion, one that it's very different from painting, but also one that will help the creation of my works on canvas. It will be nice to see both paintings and prints next to each other and see how they talk to each other.

Images of my Monotype prints coming in the near future. Stayed tuned!

For more images on past Salmagundi Monotype parties, and other events,  please visit The Salmagundian.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Painting: Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch, 2014-15, oil on linen, 13 x 18 inches 
It has been a few slow months of painting, that's the reason why this blog has been unattended for so long, but I am happy to share with you my most recent painting. I started work on this landscape over five months ago, at the time I was trying to get my juices going one late night when the painting I was working on was not coming out the way I wanted. To get my mind off that sort of thing I start new paintings, laying in loose brown and grey paint, not so much in hopes that it would turn out to be a great piece, but more as an exercise to help me loosen up.  In this case, that late night exercise turned out to be a painting I enjoyed working on, and that I'm proud of.
Paint application on this painting is different than in my past work. This landscape focuses on build up of scumbled layers, creating optical textures I have not seen in my previous paintings. In addition to the layers of paint, the mood and color choices are very different than most of the landscapes I have painting, where the color green is more prominent. In this overcast day type of painting I wanted to focus on more neutral tones, represented by the texture and color of grass as it begins to dry out when cold weather approaches.
Now that this painting is done I can focus on the larger landscape of Ireland sitting on my easel. Maybe, in no more than two weeks, that painting will be finished as well. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Work in Progress

For the last two months I have been working on this painting of Ireland, which began out of necessity for an exhibition. I thought I would have a month to complete it, but after receiving the email with the details for the show I found out that I had two days to submit images. I was not going to give up and I thought I would get it done in two weeks, but as usual it is taking longer than anticipated.   
The original canvas was a 20x24, but something about it didn't feel right. I think it was too cramped. The composition was developed from a quick sketch I did on site in Ireland, and from a reference photo. I took both made a drawing which I then gridded, and transferred to the final canvas.

After two days of work I was confident that I would get this painting done quickly. The looseness of the paint was a nice change from the tighter, more controlled way I tend to work.The images above show the progress of the first two days, when I felt I was on a roll.
Soon, things changed and I began to get more detailed. The main focus has been the depth of the horizon and the clouds above. They have been reworked a number of times.  
Above, I began introducing pale grey rose tones in the clouds. I was trying to warm them up since I had used too much blue and not much else to bring variety to the colors and shades. By this point I have also reworked the horizon line, again! The blue hills in the back are less round and they blur out a bit more.
I reached a point when I can't work on the background any further, and have made my way to the middle ground and foreground. 
After seeing a Constable painting that's on loan to the Frick Collection I became more inspired and kept thinking about it constantly as I worked on mine. I thought that adding a Constable like tree on the right side of the painting would help the composition, but after a few days of living with it I decided to paint it out. Again I found myself working on the clouds and background, trying to cover the tree.
I have taken a break from this painting in the last week, it's always best to set things aside and look them with fresh eyes before you end up killing the whole thing. Let's hope it doesn't sit around in my studio untouched for another year! More to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Happenings

Installation view of my two paintings at Denise Bibro Fine Art

It has been a very busy end of year, I'm still trying to catch my breath from all the happenings, which were all good and I'm very thankful for. In November I had a solo show at the New York Public Library (115th St branch), followed by a group exhibition in December at Denise Bibro Fine Art, which is up until the end of this month.  Two weeks ago I had three more paintings up at the Salmagundi Club for the yearly Juniors Scholarship Members Show. While getting the work ready for the three shows, negotiating a couple of sales and dealing with the craziness of the holidays, I've managed to stay busy with the creation of new work. I'm hopping to finish a larger landscape in the next couple of weeks, which I'll be posting about its progress in the coming days. Another painting is in the works as well.
In the meantime I want to share some photos from opening night at Denise Bibro Fine Art. Exhibition runs until January 31st, so there's still some time to catch if you haven't had the time to do so yet. Denise Bibro Fine Art is located at 529 West 20th St 4W, NYC 10011.  If you have any questions contact the gallery at 212.647.7030

 On left: Tree Near Block House 2014, oil on linen, 14 x 8 inches.  On right: Overcast Morning in Olivebridge 2014, oil on linen, 10 x 14 inches 

A quick thank you to all my family and friends who attended all three shows. Your support means a lot and your believe in me fuels my desire to keep pursuing my painting career.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Denise Bibro Gallery group show

I am pleased to announce that I will have two paintings in a group exhibition, Selected Junior Scholarship Members of the Salmagundi Club, at Denise Bibro Fine Art in Chelsesa.
This small group exhibition will feature the work of James Stuart Adelman, Naimh Butler, Devin Cecil-Wishing, Jennifer Gennari, Seth Ruggles Hiler, Marshal Jones, Ian Marion.
Opening: Thusday December 18, 6-8pm
Show dates: Dec. 18th - Jan. 31st
Denise Bibro Fine Art is located at 529 W 20th St, Suite 4W, New York, NY 10011.
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

New Plein Air

Tree Near Block House, 2014, oil on linen, 14 x 8 inches 

This is perhaps the last plein air painting of the year, that's unless for some odd reason we get a few warm days in the coming weeks.  Wishful thinking though, since it has been getting cold and we're only getting started. Lord help me, I can't deal with another hard winter like the one we had last year.  Back to the studio it is for the next few months, but that's not a bad thing since I have plans for some larger landscapes based on sketches and reference shots I've been collecting over the years.  I'm very excited for the new pieces I'll be working on. More updates to come in the new future.