April has been a month for big paintings. I finished a commission of a Garrett County farmer on his beloved tractor. It was a surprise gift from a good friend. It measures 36 x 24 and will be hung in the gathering space of a large barn. I enjoyed painting this image from a 10 year old photograph.
Also, this month, I’ve taken on the challenge of upsizing a previous artwork. The original was painted en plein air at the VA outlook of Great Falls. It is 16 x 20 and was painted in 3 hours or less. The new one will be 36×48. Now that’s a good size painting! Luckily, I still have a photograph that I took onsite. It will help me with some of the details that are only suggested in the original. Great Falls is an excellent subject for a large painting. It practically requires it. I’ve grown to love this river after growing up nearby and spending many days in and around it. The Falls are truly breathtaking when viewed in person from both the VA side and the MD side. I have previously painted the view from the MD side so I am very comfortable with this mighty subject. I will update the blog as the painting progresses. I am using the biggest paint brushes I have!
This piece, Fluvial Fan, has proven to be a challenge in getting the colors right. I’ve enjoyed working with the stucco media and creating all the textures for the sand. The tricky part has been how to color the sand. Its been spray painted several times with various colors in the beige, sand, off white shades. Then, I tried high flow acrylic paints in several different color combinations to add accents in some places. I wasn’t quite getting it to where I was satisfied until my colleague suggested spray painting the whole thing over AGAIN, in white. From white it became easier to manipulate the colors into the variations I was striving for. The textures in the sandy areas hold small puddles of paint and create a nice effect. The next challenge is to get the underpainting for the water area (which will be poured epoxy) correct. It needs to be muted somewhat because the epoxy will magnify the color and could brighten it too much. In this most recent phase the colored ink, mixed in with a lot of water, came out too red. I will sand it down and refine it some more. Hopefully, it will be ready for the last stage, adding epoxy soon! Since this is the first in a series, I am taking extra time to get it right. The next painting will flow much faster, I hope!
In the pictures below, the 1st one shows the stucco media finished with hand applied paint over the lighter tan colored spray paint. The 2nd picture shows how the painting evolved after spraying the whole thing white, applying colored glazes and experimenting with the water section.
I will let this project rest a bit while I start on a new project, a commission piece. The person commissioning the new piece will be presenting it as a gift to his friend. This will be a large painting, 24 x 36, and done from a photograph. It’s great to be busy with so many painting projects!
Today is the celebration of Mardi Gras and therefore a day that brings colorful images to mind. My thoughts of color choices for a new abstract painting I’ve begun work on is proving to be a challenge for this composition. Sand and water are the inspiration for this new piece so the color choices would seem to be limited to a certain range. However, the artistic license I choose in punching up the color or changing it altogether are my dilemma. I am trying a few things as I deliberate my decision. Here are some renditions of what I have been toying with.
My inspiration photo was taken while walking on the beach in Dayton Florida. The tide was going out and beautiful configurations of sand were being created and erased in just a few minutes time. I was astonished to find out from a friend, who studied Geology, that these short lived lines in the sand had a name, Fluvial Fans. The term also pertains to semi-permanent land (mud) formations also created by water flow.
I am having a ton for fun working on this piece. More detail to come on where I plan to take this piece. Happy Mardi Gras!
A new exhibit titled Local Color will be on exhibit at Gallery B in Bethesda for the month of January. I along with all of the 7 Palettes will be showing recent artwork depicting the scenery and impressions that were inspired by our beautiful Washington metropolitan area. You will see familiar sites as well as others that maybe a little more obscure. Here are a few of my artworks:
Taking the Back Roads
Please join us for a private champagne reception on Sunday, January 8th, 2017 from 2PM to 5PM.
Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Ave, Ste E, Bethesda MD 20814
Please come see 2 new pieces of my abstract artworks along with other students of J. Jordan Bruns at The Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery on MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, Maryland 20812
I will be attending the Artist’s Reception on Sunday, November 6th from 4:00 – 6:00pm
Saturday November 5th and Sunday November 6th
12:00 – 6:00pm
-Featuring the Work of-
Sara Becker, Halcy Bohen, Marlene Cohen, June Farrell, Pamela Gordimer, Karen Greenberg, Alice Greene, Liana Harvath, Mariana Kastranakis, John Murphy, Kim Murrell, Ted Pearlman, Helga Serengulian, Patricia G. Tice, Kristina Waymire, and many more!
We have been enjoying another Indian Summer here in the DC area. It has been wonderful to be outside doing plein-air painting. Locations visited this Fall include: Great Falls, Maryland, Homestead Farm, Poolesville, Rockland’s Farm, and today, Halloween, in Garrett Park. Next locations include Washington Grove, Gaithersburg and a boathouse on the Potomac down by Key Bridge.
This session I am concentrating on painting quickly, to capture the light (especially if the sun peaks out on a cloudy day) and establish the most important elements of the composition without concentrating on any one area. The immediate impressions of a scene laid out before me can be the key to a good painting. It is funny how you know right away if it is going to be a good one! This painting was done on a black canvas and has since been developed further but is not final yet.
Labor Day weekend is just 3 days away and it looks like we will have fabulous weather for the Kensington activities including Montgomery Art Association’s annual art show.
My idea for a Kensington themed painting was to do what many artists do, paint one of the quaint houses, with a twist. I chose four that had interesting architecture, color and roof lines and put them together. But now, I’m not sure which way to hang it! Come to the show and see which way I chose. It is always a great time to be in Kensington for the parade on Monday and the art show all weekend long. Have a great holiday!