Sunday, June 29, 2014

The PPAP on Outdoor Painter

The PPAP got a nice plug on about our outing a few weeks back painting the gardens during the Newark [Delaware] Art Alliance's Garden Tour 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

PPAP Paint the Newark Art Alliance Garden Tour 2014

Under clear blue June skies with perfect weather for some plein air painting, the PPAP traveled to Newark Delaware at the invitation of the Newark Art Alliance to paint at their 2014 Garden Tour. The group of painters Jen Polillo, William and Alina Sentman and myself arrived at the NAA gallery around 11 and meet the director and volenteers and got maps of the 11 gardens that spread across Delaware and up into southern Pennsylnania.

                                                                    The Asian Garden

Since the day was burning away fast we decided to try and scout out the closest gardens and then choose our spots to paint as we had only about three hours to paint. We did loose some time due to heavy traffic on 1-95 coming down due to road closures.

We started at the gardens on the grounds of President of the University of Delaware and then hit four more local gardens about 5 minutes apart.

We decided to settle on the last garden we visited and then if time allowed to go back to the President's garden. It would have been great to paint all of the gardens but we would have needed more painters and more time. The tour only lasted till 3pm, so time was burning away fast after we picked our spot. The gardens all looked great but we need a "Goldilocks" spot that could accomidate the four of us and give enough views---and shade! I ordered my easel umbrella but it hasn't arrived yet and with a coudless sky you need some cover to paint and not get burned up. Except for the Presiden's garden most of the gradens we visited didn't offer that much shade.

The Wilgen Garden

We all finally settled on the beautiful garden and home of Julie Wilgen as it had everything we needed, good views, angles and shade, so we set up and got to work. Another benefit of the garden we choose was that there was nice music being played by the Serenata Strings and a cool friendly dog named King Solomon. Mrs. Wilgen was a gracious host and even brought us some water and refreshments.

I choose an angle where I knew the shadows would not change much and also give me a good contrast of light and darks. I painted on a panel I bought a while back at Dick Blick, I think it was a Blick cradeled panel, which had a nice surface that was slightly textured.


Here is my block-in and my final painting.

                                                Here is apic of me working that Jen took

                                               Will and Alina set up in front of the house

It was great time and we hand many on-lookers come by and watch as we painted through the afternoon. The clouds did come in about halfway through and the light changed for a time, but that's just something you have to deal with and plan for.


The time went quickly and before you know it we were done! We had wanted to go back to the President's garden but the tour was done by the time we were done with our paintings at the Wilgen garden, but I did snap many pictures from the gardens I visited that I can work from if I desire.

Will once again painted with gouache and got a great result!

The group will be having a group show at the NAA Gallery in January which will include the work we painted during the garden tour as well as other work.

We'd like to thank the NAA for inviting us to come and paint during their garden tour and look forward to perhaps doing this again next year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

PPAP Beach Getaway!

Over the Memorial Day weekend the PPAP hit the beach and boardwalk in Atlantic City for some sun, surf and plein air painting.The weather couldn't have been better, it was Goldilocks weather both days, and the beaches were crowded but not as packed as they will be later in the season when the weather and water will be a lot warmer.

 The water must still be around 60 degrees and I only dipped into it up to my waste once for about 4-5 minutes before I was chilled to the bone.

Atlantic City is a fun place to paint and I want to go back and paint off the boardwalk back into the city itself. there are some pretty cool and very Edward Hopperesque buildings and spots to paint.

It gets kind of dicey pretty quick and the "magic' of the board walk doesn't stretch a block. But its in that area that you can also find interesting spots to paint some very interesting urban scenes. Lots of old and falling away places in AC that might be gone with the next hurricane of some new casino. We came across a very friendly stray cat while coming off the boardwalk and found out he was one of the many alley cats that are taken care of by the  cool organization Alley Cat Allies who look after strays and take care of the many stray cats in Atlantic City and elsewhere.

The first day Will and Alina took me to a spot they had searched out already since they were staying in AC a few days before me. It was a bit of a hike was a hike to get to the spot with my gear but I had a good view of the pier and waves which increased in intensity as the tide came in. In fact I finished the painting just as the tide swamped over the spot I was in. Not being familiar with the tide we tried to gage how far up the beach it would come.

Since I didn't have an umbrella ( I'll be buying one for my easel) and Will gets sunburned pretty easy, we parked under one of the piers the first and second day to paint. Alina parked herself a lot further up toward the boardwalk.

Even on the second day I had to move as the tide came in suddenly and washed over my spot.

Will painted with gouache and set up right near me.  I busted out my rig, set up quick, making sure to really push it down in the sand to avoid it getting blown over by the wind, which was pretty stiff at times and having painted off the Delaware I know at any time a sudden blast can sent my whole rig tumbling down.

We had plenty of onlookers and commenters the whole weekend. I passed out a few business cards as well to some interested folks who I hope will contact me. Its funny, you have basically two types of people, those who stop and admire, even chat a bit and others who will walk right in front of you and block your view like a dullard.

As always its a race against the sun or clouds, it might start out clear as a bell and in 30 minutes the clouds or marine layer or haze will roll in. You have to plan and try and watch and judge the sky as you work. One the second day Alina rented an umbrella to paint on the beach.

The first painting was on one of the Source Tek's panels with the awesome Claessens Belgian linen. I love these panels! The second panel I used was made by my buddy David Golas, and that was great too. 

                                     My set-up at the end of the day as the tide came rushing in.

I took these paintings as an excuse to try and paint water again, and I looked at some Sorolla, Sargent and Zorn. Will brought along some books by them to look at in the evenings back in the hotel.

It was good to get away for a few days and we'll be back at the easels in the next week somewhere around Philly.

Here is the weekend's haul of paintings  by Alina, Will and myself.

 Alina's paintings

Will's paintings


My paintings

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Group Opening at Ed Olivers

Friday was the official opening of the group show for the PPAP at Ed Oliver's Golf Cub in Wilmington.

We had a great turn out and we also had lots of family and friends come out since it was a local show, like fellow PAFA Alumni and awesome painter David Shevlino.

It was a great night and full of laughs and art talk. We even cooked up some more ideas for the group and shows and events for the PPAP.  Since we are all alumni of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts it was great to share stories from the 80's till now about fellow students and faculty and our time at PAFA.
We also talked about our work with the art lovers who showed up, discussing where we painted the scene and locations in and around Philly and South Jersey. There were even some sales!

With the weather starting to turn nice we are all anxious to get back outside and paint!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PPAP Group Show!

The PPAP will be having a group show at the Ed Oliver Golf Club featuring the work of Alina Osipov Sentman, Charles Newman, Alexandra Thomas, Michael Cole Manley, William Sentman, Cynthia Harvey and Jennifer Polillo. Stop down for our opening reception to meet the artists Friday, April 18th, 6:30 to 8:30.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

BRRRRandywine Plein Air

This past week along with a bunch of hardy PPAP painters I went back out to paint in the brisk, brisk, OK--FRIGID outdoors along the Brandywine Creek on the grounds of the Brandywine River Museum. The weatherman promised it would be 45 out, but we all know how much the weatherman can lie.


I don't think it ever got higher than the mid 30's, if that before wind kicked up and the temp dropped  into the low 20's and we all felt like that scene in the movie Day After where the super freeze started frosting everything up in sight.

We started the day by visiting the museum and looking at the great paintings by Pyles, Cornwell and Wyeths and then having some lunch and taking art.  After Slugging down one more cup of joe we all headed into the cold to paint.

Gabriel, who is from LA and attend the MFA at PAFA with me said his feet had never been so cold.

Alina and will set up down the river from Gabriel and me and Sean set up about 40 yards up from me on the other side.

I had on 2 pairs of socks, sweat pants under my paints and a thick T and 2 layers of coats.  My hands still started to get cold though and my eyes would tear up. It was so cold off the river with the breeze that my phone actually died. I would have snapped more pics but even after I got in the car to try and warm it up it died again. When we were in the museum we were looking at a big painting by Edward Redfield who was a man's man, going out in all weather to paint plein air every day, carrying his large canvases out into the New Hope area and painting  some amazing snow scenes.

So how can we do any less, we painters of the 21st century? I was thinking how the shorter time and the cold really forces you to have to think. The cold makes you think--makes you think you want to go back inside before you toes burn from frostbite!

    The paint behaves different too it get thicker and sluggish so I did use liquin fine detail to cut it and keep it flowing.

One of the good things about returning to a place you have painted before you spend less time choosing a spot to paint. I love that rusty old train bride so i went for that, it was pretty sunny when we started but by the time we got going the clouds came in and it became very grey. Then the sun blasted out after the wind came through and I was able to finally punch back into the bed of middle values with some color and lighter values to catch the sun.

 When the sun came through it not only cleared the clouds away it also launched Alina's painting into the river which Will was just able to save before it was wept away as an offering to the Paint Gods.

                                                           Sean's strong block-in                 

                                                                     Here is my start
I was trying to keep it to big simple shapes and would keep re-massing if I got too picky too soon,  Finally with my hands to cold to paint anymore I packed it in along with the rest of the crew. It was a  fun day that gave us some good results.

 Alina's bold little painting after it's bath.                       Williams  striking bold little painting

My final painting. The sun coming back out really helped punch some light and color back into the landscape that i was able to work quick to take advantage of.