Shhh... this is not an Official Announcement... but I can't keep it a secret any longer! We are opening a NEW ART STUDIO and GALLERY!
Well, for the past 5 days we've been doing a lot of painting! Walls that is... not paintings... but thats ok ... in fact... it's so wonderful... I can't wait to open the doors in 14 more days! We've been looking for a while now for just the right place primarily for me to hold Corks and Canvas Painting Parties and a studio I can work and show my art. I have to admit my list of "highly desired" was, well, a bit overboard... but when I stepped foot in this space I just knew it was .... just right.
Lots of tall windows with plenty of light from either side.
Wall space. Closet space. Office space. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Lots of charming little features that I keep discovering each day....
I can't wait to tell you more... but for now... I've got to wash out my brushes...and reviewing my check list for tomorrow's busy day ahead.
Thanks so much for reading my blog...
Until tomorrow.... big smiles and big hugs,
I might be a day or two late posting my paintings but I have been painting daily which is what the challenge is all about. Today's painting was inspired by an image printed in one of my watercolor technique books.
Taking the idea of keeping my brush work fluid and allowing the luminosity of the paper to show through like Winslow Homer I applied it to a more contemporary subject. I wasn't able to color correct the photo properly which seems to have a blue cast to it but in the actually painting the white of the paper near the edge of the peonies is untouched by paint which gives the painting a wonderful glow.
thanks for viewing my work and reading my blog,
It's really hard to say which is my favorite Winslow Homer painting however, I have such fond memories of my very first apartment after graduating from college. I purchased a large print of this painting from the Boston Co-Op in Cambridge MA. In some delusional way it made me feel like an art collector :)
Here's some more interesting facts about Homer and this painting - hope you find it as interesting as I do.
Source: Worcester Art Museum MA: Trained in lithography and wood engraving, Homer embarked on a career as an illustrator forHarper's Weekly during the Civil War. A trip to France in 1866 and 1867 exposed him to the early work of the Impressionists and sparked his interest in light and color. Homer's first serious use of watercolor may have been precipitated by an important exhibition in New York early in 1873. It was during that summer in Gloucester, Massachusetts, that the artist produced a series of small watercolors involving the theme of children playing.
The decorative flatness and sharp contrasts of light and shade in Homer's works of this period relate to his ongoing career as a magazine illustrator. In Boys and Kitten liberal application of white gouache, or opaque watercolor, creates dazzling highlights and helps to emphasize the structure of the composition. Employing saturated, opaque color, rather than the transparent washes that were to predominate in his later works, Homer worked from dark to light as he did in oil painting. As a watercolorist, holding the materials of his art in as high esteem as those of oil painting, Homer accorded his subjects a monumentality that raised the level of prestige for that medium.
thank you for viewing my art and reading my blog,
peace and blessings,
" The life I have chosen gives me my full hours of enjoyment" - Winslow Homer
I wonder if Mr. Homer made this statement before or after these comments were made by his critics..
Homer started painting with watercolors on a regular basis in 1873 during a summer stay in Gloucester, Massachusetts. From the beginning, his technique was natural, fluid and confident, demonstrating his innate talent for a difficult medium. His impact would be revolutionary. Here, again, the critics were puzzled at first, "A child with an ink bottle could not have done worse." Another critic said that Homer "made a sudden and desperate plunge into water color painting". But his watercolors proved popular and enduring, and sold more readily, improving his financial condition considerably. They varied from highly detailed (Blackboard - 1877) to broadly impressionistic (Schooner at Sunset - 1880). Some watercolors were made as preparatory sketches for oil paintings (as for "Breezing Up") and some as finished works in themselves. Thereafter, he seldom traveled without paper, brushes and water based paints. (Source: winslowhomer.com website)
If there's one lesson I have to learn over and over again in the profession of making art for a living it is ... one must develop, build up and maintain a thick skin ... an essential and ongoing process.
I can't image being Mr. Homer, sitting down for a cup of coffee at the kitchen table when
a good friend comes bursting through the back door tossing a "just off the press" newspaper across the table announcing " I'm speechless! I can't believe they can write such ridiculous things!
Who do they think they are??? How could they write such awful things about you! Don't listen to them!"
Sound advice from a dear friend... don't you think?
Staying true to your passion can be a road less traveled but you only have one life to live here on earth ....
why not pick up a brush and record it in pictures?
Peace and blessings,
It's been about 16 years since I've been to Glastonbury Library Annual Book Sale but each year I went I would find some gem of an art book for just a few dollar. . I can remember finding a beautiful full color 445pp art book "1900 Art at he Crossroads" marked for $10 with 1/2 OFF.... I scoffed it up so quick... tucked it under my arm along with a Hello Kitty book for one daughter, a Box Car Children book for another daughter and Magic Treehouse book for my son. Something for each one of us.... and all for less than $10.
And then headed over to McDonald's for Happy Meals that ended up costing over $25... go figure. Those were the days... I miss them so much.
One year while I was browsing through the Book Sale at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Harford, CT I found a catalog book published by the Art Museum, Princeton University on Winslow Homer in the 1870's - Selections from the Valentine-Pulsifer Collection. Published in 1990 for a special exhibit the catalog is filled with fascinating stories about Homer and his biggest collector, Lawson Valentine. And well over 80 images in both color and black & white.
Back story on the Painting: On the Fence was painted in 1878 at Houghton Farm near Mountainvile New York. Lawson Valentine owned the farm and invited Homer as his guest for a "working vacation".
Homer hired a boy and girl from a local family, the Babcocks to pose as sheepherders, and produced a large group of idyllic pastoral scenes in watercolor, from which twenty-three were submitted to the exhibit of the American Water Color Society (AWS) in New York the following February.
"Homer believed strongly in the necessity of painting outside to achieve a realistic rendering of light and it seems likely that in the works created at Houghton Farm he was trying to develop a more transparent style that would exploit the intrinsic luminosity of the white paper."
More on Homer tomorrow....
The temperature hovered around 90 in the shade today with just a sliver of a breeze mid-day.
I found a cool enough spot close to the tallest tree on the island and set up my easel, squeezed a little alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cad yellow and white onto my palette and took in a deep breath of fresh air. Ahhh, settling in to my new favorite place to paint.. the Thimble Islands in Stony Creek, CT.
Only 25 minutes from my home, it seems a world away. I can get there either by back roads or highway and today I opted for the highway. Thinking it would be quicker just to find myself stuck in bumper to bumper traffic heading into New Haven. However, I made it to the dock with a few minutes to spare. Met up with a few of my fellow painters and waited for the 9:00 ferry. The 5 of us headed over to Little Governor's Island to paint with Maureen who own's a house there.
With yesterday's watercolor painting of Boy's Wading by Winslow Homer fresh in my mind, I set my intentions today on water tones. Homer's ability to capture the tones and depth of water whether shallow beach or deep sea is worth taking note of. From my observations today I would guess that Homer must have painted the Boy's Wading sometime mid day because the green reflections in the water didn't appear until after lunch.
Winslow Homer, born in 1836 and died September 26 1910 is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art. From wikipedia: Largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and density he exploited from the medium. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific body of work, primarily chronicling his working vacations.... wait.. stop right there.. did you catch that? .. working vacations? how many people would describe there vacations as working vacations? aren't these two words polar opposites? Well, this marriage of words has to have resinated with so many artists that I know, especially my fellow plein air painters. Whether it's a 25 minute road trip to the Connecticut coast or a trip around the world, a working vacation can happen just about anywhere, anytime when you've got your painterly glasses focused on creating or re-creating the magnificent beauty that surrounds us all. All you have to do is slow down.. and pay attention.
Thanks for reading my blog and viewing my work,
I did it AGAIN! I can't believe I signed up for the 4th 30 in 30 Painting Challenge with Leslie Saeta and... drum roll please... 700 other artists! Yes that's right 700 other artists from around the world - All creating a painting a day for the next 30 days! It should be so much fun to check out all this new and beautiful artwork posted on Leslie's blog each day.
For some of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you know that the first challenge I did back in January 2012 my theme was Connecticut Treasures. I completed all 30 paintings with lots of encouragement from my friends on Facebook and even held a one day show at Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton, CT to showcase all 30 paintings! I have to admit it was hard work but well worth the effort.
When the second challenge came around in September of 2012 my theme was dogs! 30 Dogs 30 Days! What in the world was I thinking?! I spent many hours last September in my studio working on one adorable dog portrait after another! Some paintings took up to 8 hours to complete! at the end, we had a one day show in my studio to showcase all 30 dogs! Lots of friends and family came out on that rainy October day. 24 of the 30 paintings were framed and sold to family, friends and new friends. I was busy for the next three months with plenty of pet portraits!
The third challenge was in January of this year - my theme "In the Kitchen" - This time I wasn't able to keep up with challenge because of a new project that required so much of my attention that I only completed 15 of the 30. Am I disappointed? No, not at all... each painting is a learning experience and I can always go back and complete the rest of the paintings at a later date.
So here we are, September 1st and I've completed my first painting. It's called Boys Wading Inspired by Winslow Homer. My theme is "Inspirations from the Masters"- One of the best learning tools for me is to not only study the Masters works but to recreate it. In this month I will share with you some useful exercises and lessons that I have learned along my 20 year art journey, my love for art history and the Master Artists that have inspired me plus.... my daily paintings that I will create either in my studio or en plein air. September is a wonderful time to paint plein air in Connecticut and I want to take advantage of every bright and sunny day possible this month!
Like always... thanks for reading my blog!
with much gratitude,
Branford, CT 06405
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