Before we turn the page on the calendar from January to February 2018 I can't let another moment go by without reflecting on last year - and what a year 2017 was!
I'm first of all thankful for the wonderful opportunities to teach art in three locations - Artsplace in Cheshire, Arts Escape in Southbury and at Coachman Square a retirement community in Woodbridge. I have had the privilege of teaching students of all different ages with different backgrounds, some who have been creating art for years others who are just starting out on their journey. I'm grateful for each student in my classes.
As for unexpected surprises in 2017, it started with a phone call the first weekend in January when I received a message that my piece "Beachbound" won 2nd prize in the "Favorite Places/Favorite Things" show at the Firehouse Gallery in Milford.
Then in February my piece "Summer Day in the City" received honorable mention at the SOCCA Juried show in Southington.
In March, "Painters in Paradise" won "Best in Show" at the 25th Anniversary Cheshire Art League Visual Arts Exhibition.
And in October, at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts 2017 Biennial Fine Arts Juried Competition two awards. Pictured at the top of this post is "On the Corner of Colorful and Creative" a summer scene of downtown New Haven won "Best Landscape" and "Tomatoes on the Vine- Kitchen Prep" won honorable mention!! Wow- 5 awards in one year!
I participated in 18 different shows from Litchfield to Cheshire, Branford to Southbury and a few in-between. And sold 26 of my paintings this year - some really small, some very large pieces, a few pet portraits and a bridal bouquet commission shipped to Ontario Canada, at local shows, from my online gallery, in retail locations and at Branford Art Center. Yes - a busy and very productive year it was!
Sprinkled through out the year - Dean and I organized several "Cook and Paint Together" Events - and had a blast doing it.
I am immensely grateful for my husband, kids, family, friends, students, collectors, colleagues in my life -for their support and encouragement and most of all their friendship.
I am thankful for the gifts God had given me and I so enjoy sharing my passion for the arts, creating and teaching.
I'm not sure what 2018 holds but I'm looking forward to develop new lesson plans for my students, put in plenty of hours at my easel, travel around to local art fairs and out on location painting en plein air ... and quite possibly a trip overseas could be in the works!
Thank you again for being apart of my world
with much love and gratitude -
"Mercy by the Sea, The Mercy Center, Madison, CT - 11 x 14" oil,
One of my favorite magazines is Plein Air Magazine and the publisher states that plein air painting is one of the largest movements in Art History. A movement that has become a lifestyle ... "it's the new golf." .... "whether amateurs, hobbyists or professionals, thousands of artists are living the lifestyle of outdoor painting."
I have to agree... plein air or outdoor painting is truly a lifestyle for me. I enjoy meeting up with my fellow artists, looking for new places to paint and just spending a few hours in the fresh air.... and it truly lets you forget everything else for a while.
This painting " Mercy by the Sea" was painted in two sessions approximately 3 weeks apart from each other. The first session I walked around the beautiful grounds, drew a few sketches and settled in a spot under a big oak tree. I was able to draw in the basic shapes and block in with color during the first session. On return, I set up in the same spot, filled my palette with plenty of colors and enjoyed every moment of seeing this painting come to fruition through brushwork and color play.
Background info from Website: www.mercybythesea.org/campus/grounds-and-gardens/Mercy by the Sea is located on 33 acres on the shores of Long Island Sound in Madison CT. It has a small yet diverse ecology, ranging from wetlands and woodlands to landscaped grounds and gardens. Mercy by the Sea is a retreat and conference center. Daytime guests are welcome to visit as long as they check in at the front desk. There is a superb gallery space that showcase both local and long distance artists. They offer programs for spiritual and self-discovery along with overnight accommodations.
This is truly one of my favorite places to paint along the Connecticut Coast.
I will be entering this piece into the Madison Art Society's 43rd Annual Member Exhibition and Sale.
Date of Show: Feb 4 - March 2, 2018
Reception: Sunday February 11, 2018 1:30-3:30pm
Location: E. C. Scranton Memorial Library, 801 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT
Freezing New England Temps doesn't Stop this Painter from Creating Balmy Local Summer Scene for Upcoming Show
Golden Radiance over Stony Creek Harbor Branford, CT ,
36" x 48" acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas -
Ok, so it's January here in Connecticut, the temps are bouncing around the teens, the snow fall comes and goes... the trees are bare and if you take a quick scan of the surroundings, the color palette is veering toward the bland, the bleak and the muted. So I ask, what is this painter suppose to do when bright colors are truly her love language?
Well, I'll tell you.. first I close my eyes and begin scanning through the visual image bank in my mind. Recalling the warm weather scenes that stopped me in my tracks... you know the ones that make your heart glow from the inside out. Tell me I'm not along on this one.?. you must have experienced this before? Whether it's a tropical shore, a mountain vista, a European village... or where ever, you're walking along, doing your thing and all of a sudden you lift your head (probably from looking at your phone... I'm so guilty of that one) and wham - it hits you - your breath is taken away! Even an audible gasp.... or just a WOW!
I usually laugh at myself when this happens... because my knee-jerk reaction is ..... "I've GOT to PAINT THIS!" And here you have it... that's my introduction to "Golden Radiance over Stony Creek Harbor". My latest work.... that I'm so thrilled to share with you!
Golden Radiance over Stony Creek Harbor is truly how I see this quaint little seaside village along the Connecticut Shore. I have painted there many times for several years now. Especially during the summer months. I think the rose quartz stones that are found along the harbor wall radiates and reflects the pink and gold tones which bath everything in this very hard to describe glow. Somewhere between a peach orange to a warm magenta I mix a few piles of each. Then on the other side of my palette are the blues -ultramarine, phthalo blue and cerulean blue. Before I can even lift the brush I can sense the colors vibrating in front of me. Not in a frenzy or distressful way.... more like.. the ease of a rhythmic sway. You know like that soft rippling sound the water makes when lapping up against the side of a boat.
This painting was so exhilarating to paint, yet posed several challenges. First of all where do you start? Harbor scenes with numbers boats, reflections, water, and architecture can seem... well a bit overwhelming to say the least. But I was up for the quest.
First starting with a small color study in oils, I really just wanted to play with the paints that morning and experiment with the reflections in the water.
In my acrylics class this week I was teaching my students how to paint reflections in water so the lesson was fresh in my mind. Even though I enjoyed creating the color study, more pieces to this mystery needed to be discovered. This led me to printing out the image in black and white, checking my values and onto a watercolor sketch in my sketchbook.
Why so many steps? Well as I was telling one of my students Debbie in our Friday morning Acrylics class, each time I do these small studies I uncover a little bit more. I guess you could call it your practice swings before stepping up to the tee or dress rehearsal before the big day! There's so much to learn and discover each and every time you create... and that's why creating art is so exciting and rewarding.
This painting along with about 18 more of my pieces will be in an upcoming 2 person show in March. Last spring I entered 3 pieces for a "Call for Artists" for the 2017/2018 Exhibition Schedule at The Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library in Stony Creek, CT. The jury committee chose my work and a fellow artist, Maura Galante's work to show together.
Show Date: March 4-27, 2018
Location: Willoughby Wallace Library, 146 Thimble Island Road, Branford, (Stony Creek) CT
Reception Date: Sunday March 11, 4-6pm -
I'll fill you in on more details in upcoming posts. If you're in the area I hope you can stop in to see the show. It will definitely fill your heart and vision with lots of bright and bold color.
Like always, thank you for viewing my work -
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