Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Thaw

Spring is finally here, even though Old man Winter slapped us good on the first day of Spring here in the North East with a heavy wet snow. While it might have been a pain driving ans shoveling it made for a great second opportunity to get back over the the Darby Creek and paint a wintery scene as the snow rapidly melted in the 50 degree sunlight.  Today was the third trip I made over to the creek in the past two weeks as the weather broke. I had been going kinda crazy with cabin fever having not painted outside since that cold day in January. I've really been wanting to paint some snow scenes this winter but ue to mu super busy schedule and frankly the brutal cold it never happened until now.

My first strip was to the creek on the 9th of March, just after a pretty big snow, and the weather was in he 5o's so it made a great day to get out even though down by the creek it was still pretty cold. I found a great spot with huge logs jammed up on these rocks that made a really dynamic composition and went for it. I used a SourceTek panel which is my favorite surface to paint on, they are just fantastic and the people at the company are also super nice!

                            I set up and raced the sun and my freezing feet in this great scene

                                                              Spring Thaw 12 x 16 Oil

 A few days later Will and I went back to the creek. This time we parked and hiked over the train bridge to the other side to check out the views over there. Again we settled on the falls,

                                     Will worked down below while I worked above the falls.

                               Here's my painting, The Rock, 12 x 16 Oil on a SourceTek panel

The real hard work, the big challenge here is the subtle temperature shifts of the greys in a scene like this. Not only do you have to not fall victim to detail but you have to push things to be simple, yet read against each other. The greys as they say, are the glue of painting. The slight shifts of warm to cool is a real challenge and then, POW! That dash of the blue sky in the waters reflection. I was working and hoping the light would hold on this scene, but I did have to finish about 20% of this at home as the light changed too much.

 Here is William's awesome painting of me up on the falls. He really nailed that feeling of the spring air and the energy of the falls.

 I thought that that might be the last chance to catch some winter snow but we got socked hard on the firs day of Spring, so we had a second third chance to get back out tothe creek, this time Alina joined us to paint. We learned that there was a much easier way to get to the new spot so we drove right up and parked and got set up pretty quick.

                      I set my rig up and got to work right away, again using a SourceTek panel.

                   You can see my block-in  and the light which had been sunny went overcast.

                                                    Alina set up right next to our cars

                                               William once again hiked down to the creek

                                     Here is a shot of me just about done--the light had gone...


 Here are a few shots of Alina as she worked, I really love the feeling of her painting!! A great PA piece!
 Here is another great composition by William. Getting low and right on the water was a great choice--but a really cold one as well.

And my piece is bellow , Second Thaw, 12 x 16 Oil

Saturday, January 10, 2015

PPAP Opening at Newark Arts Alliance

Last night was the opening for our group show at the Newark Arts Alliance in Newark Delaware and it was a packed house full or friends, family, fellow painters and a lot of art lovers. It was a a bit nippy as they say, and the traffic was mad crazy on the way down from Philly, but it was warm and toasty inside the gallery.
                                                    Alexandra Tyng and Nancy B Miller
                                      Alina and Niloofar talk about her painting which sold!
                                                 Alina in front of a few of her paintings
                                            Charles and his family in front of the food court
                                     Jen and her Hubby Rob and our friend Margaret from school
                                                   Kid Flash rushed through for a look

Here I am in front of my wall

                               Niloofar with members from the NAA and in front of her work

I was told and don't know if it's true but our opening might have been the biggest attendance they have had for a show. It was great to also see so many fellow painters and old school mates show up so we could reconnect and talk art and catch up. I did so much talking I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, but I did get some and even a short video. It was also great that there were some sales as well for the opening. We had quite a spread of goodies to munch on as wine to drink so everybody seemed happy, arty and content. Its also great when fellow painters show up so you can talk shop and gossip--we all love some art gossip.
                                                     Our Group shot from the show: Lexi Thomas, Niloofar GH, Nancy B Miller, Michael Cole Manley, Alina Osipov, William Sentman, Jen Polillo, Charles Newman

I know I might be prejudiced but I think our show looked great, hung well together and I am proud to be amongst this group of great painters that inspire me and keep me motivated. I have said it many times and will say it here, having a group of fellow artists that are on the same trip, to support and share the joy of being an artist,, even in the hard times and bad days in the studio cannot be overvalued. This show is the result of that love and support. A big thanks to the fellow artists and staff of the Newark Arts Alliance for inviting us to have a show and for being great hosts!

It was a great night!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Paintouts

In the past few weeks I have been able to get out and about and paint a bit and enjoy the great fall we have been experiencing here in Philadelphia. In the next week or so I expect we will be at the peak of the fall colors so I will be sure to get back out and try and catch some of them on canvas before they are gone with the wind.
Last Saturday a big group of Philly painters got together and painted, some going to Eastern State Prison and some going down the the navy Yard in South Philly. My friend Diane Feissel puts the finishing finger touch on her painting along one of the historic cell blocks. Eastern State is a great place to visit as well as paint--however its is very busy as well which at times complicated you painting things are there are so many tourists and they often get in your way for minutes and minutes on end.

I set up quick deciding to try and cath the light and angle at the end of the cell block, and it was actualy very quite and only a handful of people when I started painting, but about halfway through the crowds really built up and often blocked my view of what I was painting. As usual when painting in a public place i had several interested parties who would stop to chat, comment and ask questions, but unlike most of the time painting elsewhere in Philly, they were nice and not drunk.
                                  Will and Diane worked in the next cell block over from me.

This was the result of the first painting which I eventually stopped due to the light shift and crowds ad then moved on to the yard where I found Will and Charles painting. It was nearing the end of the day but I still had some paint ready so I busted out this quick little landscape with one of the guard towers in about 45 minutes. Having to paint quick is good at times as it make you take bold steps you might not in order to get something down. No time to be picky!

A few weeks before the eastern State paintout I headed out to Ridley Creek State park near Media with will and another frend an painted there at an old mansion. Another great fall day but I was actually getting cold and shivering a bit towards the end, my hands were freezing!


There are mant feral cats out there and they sped around and hunted as people walked by. I saw a few chipmunks get eaten by the cats as I painted. They all seemed pretty used to the people but kept their distance as well/
Once the sun moved too low I had to stop and my hands were really cold with me sitting there so I packed up and went to see what Will and our friend was up to.
This was Will's sweet little landscape.
Here is my final painting of the day. Its on a Sourcetek Birch panel and I love to paint on them. I was definitely thing of how Sargent handled many similar scenes and views in his Italian paintings. I felt pretty good about this till I got home and looked at some Sargents to compare---oh well, there is always next time!