Saturday, May 23, 2009

The New SOHO

SOHO Art Materials moved locations in March to a bigger and better space. "Fancy!" is what our faithful customers say when they walk in through the new glass doors, but we all know this store remains humble and friendly. The biggest focus, unlike the other art stores in the city, are our customers.
The move has allowed SOHO to expand some of the paint and brush lines. In the main floor one can find our signature lines of paint such as Old Holland, Williamsburg, Graham, Gamblin and Holbein, as well as paper pads, brushes, accessories, cotton duck and linen by the yard.
One of the new additions to our stock is Blockx Oil Colors, a magnificent line of pigments ground in poppy oil. Blockx is known to be one of the best oil colors in the market, a great new choice for our demanding and talented friends and customers.
SOHO is also one of the first art supply stores in the north east to introduce Daniel Smith paints. This company has developed a great following over the years through catalog and online ordering. Daniel Smith offers a focused oil color palette from their extensive line.
We do carry the full line of Daniel Smith water color, the main reason why Daniel Smith is loved by it's loyal followers. Part of the success of this line is the inclusion of historic pigments such as genuine Lapis Lazuli.
Williamsburg oil paint company has also made available to us a range of limited colors at a discounted price.
Our framing department has also expanded, offering a wide range of simple to very ornate frames for prints and canvas. The best thing is that our cost is lower than other framing houses in the city. We have brought in five new lines of brushes, four of them by Silver Brush, and the last one, Plein Air Bristle Brushes, by Da Vinci.
Towards the back of the store we have been able to create an acrylic zone, where Golden, SOHO, and Graham acrylics may be found. We have also introduced a new line of matte acrylics by Holbein, and the response to this paint has been positive.
Panels, Tri-Mar Stretcher bars, and stretched canvas remains at the heart of our service to the artistic community, and with the lower level of our store we are able to expand sizes and shapes. Premade or custom made, we have it.
Come and visit our new location and see for yourself why SOHO Art Materials one of New York's most beloved art supply stores. Friendly staff, great products, low prices; what's there to loose?
SOHO Art Materials
7 Wooster Street
(between Grand & Canal)
New York, NY 10013
ph. 212.431.3938
fax 212.431.3889

Friday, May 22, 2009

Painting Continues

I have been working on two paintings lately. The main focus so far is the large still life above, a piece which might be the most complex I've tried to achieve. I'm taking it slow, trying not to get bored with it, reason why I'm not working on it every night.
Instead I have been alternating with this third portrait of Steve. So far I like where it's going, but one could never know what problems may arise in the future.
This is the latest stage I left the painting in the other night. I glazed some green on the tank top to give me an idea of what the final color scheme may look like. The green will change later on to a more turquoise shade.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the Rambles

Path in the Rambles, 2009, oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches
This is the third plein air painting done in Central Park, and a continuation of last week's earth tone palette technique. But on this painting I added a little more chroma using small amounts of Sap Green and Viridian to flesh out the green areas of the painting. This painting course is turning out to be very beneficial, I'm learning little things here and there that are making a big difference in how I approach painting. One of the biggest thing I have to learn is to draw with paint. It seems I can lay down color and stokes very well but in the quickness of working I tend to overlook delicate details that can be achieved by drawing with the brush. But this is not bad for a guy who once called himself a spoiled studio artist.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Plein Air Day 2

It's been two weeks since my first Plein Air class, due to never ending rain, class was canceled last week. But it was a beautiful day for outdoor painting and I already had in mind my next subject. The San Remo building has always grabbed my attention, and how can it not? It stands over Central Park West, majestic and proud. This jewel was designed by architect Emery Roth, and construction began in 1929 at what is now 145 Central Park West.
Today's lesson focused on a strict earth tone palette. As Rob Zeller explains, for hundreds of years artists didn't have many colors available, just whatever natural earth colors existed in their area. By using Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, Red Ochre, and White I had to come up with all the hues needed for a landscape.
I started working without missing a beat, I found a good spot to paint San Reno, and all I hoped for was not to mess it up. Trying to capture such massive structure on my small canvas was tricky.
After I figured out my composition I began working in the sky and the tree line. I was amazed at the different kids of green I could get by only using Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, and white. Same with the sky, which was a mixture of Ivory Black and white.
San Remo, 2009, oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches
This is the product of today's labor. After working with this palette I began to understand Corot and his contemporaries. So many times I looked at the little landscapes at the Met and used to wonder how they got some of those nice but muted greens. Now I know. My next assignment for next week is to make a copy of a Corot using this palette. I know I'll enjoy it, the hardest thing will be to pick one out of many beautiful Corot paintings.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Varnish Night

Has been a quiet Thursday night in the studio. Painting has come to stop temporarily as I try to figure out where I'm going with it. Lately I feel lost with my art, I love what I do but I keep hearing too often by friends that I'm all technique and no passion. Yes, rough words to hear, and I do understand that to many an onion or tomato may not mean much, but when looking at a painting you're not just looking at the subject, but the art object itself. This is something I will not get into further since I can go off for a while. So to keep myself busy and to warm up before picking up a brush, I decided to varnish some paintings that needed it. Varnishing makes such a difference, colors pop out more, the paintings become alive.
Happy in seeing some of the intense colors in my work, I began working on this panel piece. So far everything is going on the right direction, besides me stopping for a few days because of doubts, this painting is moving right along.