This is one of the most painted light houses in Maine. A search will find hundreds of variations of the iconic structure. I think my painting is a little unique in that I focus on the two windows. One has the last light pouring in the other reflecting the darkening sky.. I love looking trough windows in my paintings.
Today I downloaded the Prisma app onto my iPhone. This is a quick self portrait I did a month or so ago. The others are Prisma conversions. Each took about 30 seconds.
These are fabulous! And I think the app was free😜
On Sunday The Upper Delaware Outdoor Painting Society meets at various spots around Wayne County, PA and Sullivan County, New York. This week we, really me, because it's summertime and everyone is busy having fun. Well so was I. After a nice lunch at the Boat House on the lake I heading for the little boro of Hawley. Sat in the shade and did a little sketching. First was the old feed and grain A sturdy old brick structure left over from when this was a more prosperous region. I've also wanted to sketch this place now I have. The awning over the loading dock and one of the upper floor windows are in some serious disrepair but otherwise it appears solid. A point in time.
Around the corner is The Ritz Theater. A very nice, although a bit moldy, old theater and movie house. No more movies here but local production are offered year 'round. I focused on the Marquee. A hodge lodge of motifs and styles. The box office beckons the lure of JuJuBes.
Judith Reeve and I will be sharing a booth at this years Riverfest
Judith Reeve grew up along the Delaware River, not far from Chadds Ford. At the age of nine, she met Andrew Wyeth. This meeting, in hindsight, was a pivotal moment allowing her to recognize the possibility of painting being a vital life-long pursuit. For more information visit Judith Reeve at http://attentiveequations.com
As a student Jim Kingston studied the Brandywine style of Illustration under Norman Baer, a disciple of Howard Pyle. He spent his life in the world of humorous illustration, commercial artist and as a leader in transforming art-production into the digital age. Working in watercolor for most of his life he has transitioned to oil painting over the past 5 years. For more information on Jim Kingston visit his web site; http://jimkingston.com
Behind our house in the woods are a group of Dalleks masquerading as pine trees. The powers are great. But what are the chances of Dr Who showing up here.
I've been busy. Shifting directions a little bit. Not a lot, I'm returning to a more expressive style. A few years ago after a long absent from painting, a five year stint at Bloomberg News, I started a little quest to paint with a more realistic polish. I think I achieved the goal but find the polish a little dull.
For over a year now I've been painting long, up to 9 hour, life poses at Johan Sellenraad's studio. With Johan and Judith Reeve. Two very different influences. I had found myself being frustrated with my fairly good attempts at realism. Real but not expressive. Too much chasing what I thought I was seeing. I had been 'studying ' Judith's color palettes based on the teaching of Robert Henri. That forced me to expand and starve my palette at the same time. Great fun great results. Gone are the umbers and earth tones here now is color based on light.
At the same time I was building Johan's web page in Squarespace. He had it all organized all I had to do was execute it in a format. It was a revelation. Highly expressive realism in coherent theme. Compositional challenge is the cornerstone. Most of the time copying what you see isn't really challenging. It's the artist job. Johan has done a great job of this for his long artist life.
The Upper Delaware River Painting Society. Earlier this spring several of my painting buddy's formed a Facebook group the promote outdoor painting. Really it was a way to force us into the outdoors because we'd rather stay home and eat doughnuts.
So lot's been happening. Lot's more to come.
For the past year I've been unsatisfied with my color method. My colors have been spotty and lack expression. Some of the colors in my paintings were okay but not jiving with the rest of the picture. I've been making an effort to fix this. In a weekly life painting group that I attend I've been experimenting with staved palettes, more vibrant and more saturated palettes. One of the other participants in this group is Judith Reeve. She draws so beautifully and paints with such rich and harmonious color. I have been in awe for a year now. I finally asked her what her approach was. She replied that she was following an approach to harmonious color mixing espoused by Robert Henri and Joan Sloane. She mentioned Sloan's 'Gist of Art' a compilation of his writings and letters to students. That sparked a memory. I had that book on my shelf. I had been one of Sylvia's uncle Glen's art books. Anyway It contained some info about Henri and Sloan's expansion of the ideas. As it goes Judith has a blog where she elaborates of the theories in depth. I am fascinated. For the past couple of weeks I've been messing about with color the color harmonies present by Sloan through Judith's Blog. This is the fist attempt at using these theories.
These are the rocks just above Skinners Falls on the Delaware River. It's where I go on those hot hot August days to cool off. It's 8 x 6 on canvas paper and took me about 40 minutes. I am very happy with the color direction.
Here is a the link to Judith's blog Attentive Equations
It seems that nothing is getting finished lately. This is a painting from lif that I have worked on for the past 2 weeks. I did do a little work on the background in the studio this week to allow more effect use of model time. There are some figure adjustments to be made and background details. So far probably about seven hours into this. I like painting from life. I like figure painting from life. Its a puzzle with feeling. A good model can create feeling and story through simple gesture. This is Catherine and she is a great model. Every week I paint with several other artists for about 3 hours on a long pose. A pose lasts about 2.25 hours over the the three hours allowing for breaks. We have one more session with this pose. I can't wait. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I learn something new every week.
As an illustrator and painter I have always worked in the studio from imagination or reference. I'm learning to paint from life. In a recent paint out experience i made a little painting in the late afternoon. I chased the light that was changing almost constantly. In discussing this with my painting partners, both very accomplished life painter, said that painting from life with changing light allows you to more experience the feeling of the painting.
I may seem like I haven't been doing anything but I have. Here are two of the efforts I been slashing away at. There are a couple of others that are not ready to release into the wild as of yet or ever. As you see this stuff is a bit bigger, a lot bigger than 6 x 6s that I was doing over the previous few months. I've expanded my oil palette a bit to a broader spectral selection. Not there yet The acrylic is not a broad palette but should be. I'm going to finish it with oils to liven it up. The saturation of color in the apple piece are kicked up from the set-up. There are things I'm beginning to look for that are away from the realm of just matching color to define realism. Let's face it just matching color sucks. I've always known that. I want you to want to bite those apples. CRUNCH!
Both of these pieces are about half way along. I keep swapping them on the easel along with one other in particular. One thing about working larger - it takes longer to paint!
Pemaquid Point 24 x 18 Acrlic on panel
This is a painting I finished recently. Three lobsterman's tenders. I have had a feeling for rowwing boats since I was a kid. Uncle Jack Sweetser had a beautiful old rowboat that he and cousin Raymond taught me how to fish in. Uncle Jack was an old fishing guide and had many stories of how he and his fellows would run trot line for cat fish or how he and his boys would pile into the Model T and drive far up into the White Mountains because the trout were running. He rolled his own and played the Harmonica. He taught me the joy of catching fish in that old rowboat. Uncle Raymond taught me how to fool the fish with artificial lures. I can still vividly remember my first surface strike by a largemouth bass on a Jitterbug. I still have that lure today. I remember it every time I catch a fish on an artificial bait today.
This boat painting is the result of imagination and drafting. A simple pen and ink doodle drafted in a 3D program and painted with plastic paint. Not the result of observing the 'real' world. More a desire to create my own world. Like the one on Angle Pond at Uncle Jack Sweetser's camp.
I have never been a big landscape guy. I love landscapes. They've just always seemed so complicated. All those damn trees. How do you paint those damn trees. Recently a friend of mine convinced me to join her in a workshop with landscape artist Peter Fiore. It was an renewing experience. There was a lot of information passed around. Much extremely useful. But non more than the statement 'You are painting the light.' I have heard this many times since art school. Many of the my photographers friends talked about it. Painters told me that they owned their success to the moment that they discovered light. I accepted all of this as gospel and continued with my humorous illustration. Line and wash drawings where tone and value were at play but not necessarily light.
For years my painting were representations of accidental light. Random. Good luck. Bad luck. My encounters with light were totally accidental without the understanding that I was in control of my light. Not in the sense that I could move the sun about in the sky. But I could be in the right place at the right time by design.
At the same time I was preparing for Peters workshop there were a couple of news bits floating around about apps to help photographers 'chase the light'. One is an add on to an APP called The Photographers Ephemeris or TPE. Which offers as an optional 'add in' called Skyfire. These tools are supposed to help with finding light events related to sunrise, sunset, weather conditions and track the path of the sun. After the workshop I bought the TPE app and SkyFire add in. Heres some resulting work based of chase light based on information vs luck.
This was in the morning, not dawn but early light. I was bight enough to casta shadow but defuse. A very hilly river valley.
This is the first successful attempt at achieving light. When I say successful I mean that I understand the value structure. I may not have expressed it right but now I'm understanding it.
Needless to say that this 'new' awareness is helping with other challenging lighting situations.
Another result of chasing light with previous warning