Sunday, March 01, 2015

"Along the Waterfront" watercolor & ink 8 x 11

Continuing my reminiscence of summer during this long, snowy winter.  On hot evenings,  here on the east coast, as the day winds down, the sun can be shining brightly on the distant houses, boats, objects, either sneaking under the day's clouds, or while leaving you in shadow depending on the topography.  My daughter started calling it "your favorite lighting situation" when she was in kindergarten out on a long peninsula where we could see the sun highlighting the houses across the water.  On a sultry evening, it's nice to walk along the quiet harbor hoping for a comforting breeze or two off the water. The February theme for my painting group was "comfort".  I chose this memory of summer as my interpretation of the theme.   See the rest of our paintings  here. 

Thank you for looking, and keep your eye on the sun.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Overlooking Eiffel" 6 x 9 pen and ink

Continuing to explore some old photographs as potential painting subjects.  Back in 2009 we took a school trip to Amsterdam, Lucerne and Paris.  It was wonderful... every minute.  It's fun reminiscing.  I'm enjoying the subject matter, and the drawing.  Thanks for looking.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"At the Lobster Dock" pen & ink 6 x 9

This is the first design sketch for a painting I'm contemplating.  We spent a week in South Bristol, ME at a friend's family cottage for a few Junes in a row, sharing the house with friends and their son, a year+ younger than our daughter.  It was a great house, on its own cove.  We would kayak, play games, clam, cook, hunt fireflies, read books, build caves from blankets and furniture.... such a great place.  And, we would spend one of our days in Boothbay Harbor, parking across the Harbor, lunching at the Lobster Dock, then walking across on the footbridge.  I have always loved the photograph of our daughter I used as inspiration for this drawing.  I'm going to work this into a painting.  Details to follow.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"December Glow" Lincoln Building oil 6 x 8

December Glow  oil  8 x 6

   December seems long ago, though only a month and a half in the rear view mirror.  December was quiet, and dry, and lovely, and the theme for my painting group was "Magical".  I spent time walking local streets in the evening, especially downtown Hingham.  It was "Magical", festive holiday windows, and lights, and warm glow from outside on the street.
"December Glow" is my painting from then, forgot to post it on my own blog at the time.  
Sadly, the roof of this beautiful 1859 historic building caved in a few days ago due to the record breaking snowfall in the last few weeks.  No one was injured, but the building is being demolished, understandably.  

It was full of life, and full of magic.  Sad to see it go.   

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Back Cove" watercolor & ink 10 x 8

Back Cove in progress
Back Cove watercolor in progress and finished.  I am enjoying revisiting these images of summer especially as as we have spent part of each day during the last few weeks moving snow from the driveway, away from the mailbox, off the roof, from the porch, off the car.  The drifts are so tall, we have been carrying the snow across the street to the front yard of the church.   Not sure how long it will continue; though it's been nice to hear from friends in other parts of the country since we continue to make the national news.  
Back Cove - complete
We were up in South Bristol, ME years ago with deep snow, and ice fishing as the big sport on Damariscotta Lake.  Our dear friend, Natalie, described ice fishing as: "snowmobiles, coffee brandy, and a way to get out of the house."  There's an ice house museum up there, which we visited during an open house.  They were cutting the ice, hoisting it into the ice house with a series of pulleys activated by horses, and packing it in with saw dust.  We were skating on the other side of the pond while all this activity was ongoing.   
 So, thanks for looking as I imagine summer, yet live in a record-breaking winter.  

Saturday, February 07, 2015

"Back Cove" pen & ink 10 x 8

My family has a long history in the Pemaquid region of Maine.  We have never owned property there, nor has anyone lived there for any length of time, but my grandparents, parents, I and my family have visited there extensively.  It began when my grandparents, from New Rochelle, NY would "toss my Mom in the car" when she was in high school and a couple of summers during college, and drive up to Maine.  Mom never knew where they were staying, her head was buried in books in the back seat, but she remembered it well.  Fast forward forty years.  Mom's children were grown, and she rented a cottage in Maine for a couple of weeks, sight unseen, from a local friend here south of Boston.  When Mom arrived, she quickly figured out that the summer house her parents had rented so long before was just a few houses farther along the peninsula.  Serendipity?!  Artist friends and I have rented a house in the same area, called Back Cove a number of times... I feel drawn to this place, and feel my family's generations traversing the same paths.  More in later posts...  

As always, thank you for looking.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Thumbnail sketches... make a plan

When I work with my students, and when I'm on my game, I make thumbnail sketches as preliminary designs for my paintings.  Sometimes the thumbnail sketches are simple, usually with some indications of value.  I was looking through an older sketchbook and found these sketches, which I used when designing "That's Entertainment" below.  I began the painting at our local art festival where I paint out on the street during the day, chatting with the thousands of visitors.  For this painting, I left indications of the people and their placement, but took photo reference for the details back in the studio.  

Look at Box A, in the picture t0the left.  You can see from above, that I considered placing the two foreground figures farther to the right. I moved them left because their orientation and placement left have them looking into the painting instead of out of the painting.  
I remember debating whether or not to add the clown and I tried him in sketches for placement either closer to the foreground, or more sublimated under the tent as in Box C rather than in Box B.  When I have shown this painting to people over the years, especially children, I have asked if they can find the clown, and use it as an opportunity to discuss design.  I designed the painting to lead your eye down to the clown and then to keep moving around.  I added the clown to enhance the feeling of "festive" in the painting, because even if you don't see him, you can feel him. Also, I figured that if there was a focus under the tent, it would strengthen the painting's sense of space because the figures are all looking into that space... sort of an interesting idea.  I built the space with size, value, interest, color, etc, but also, the people in the painting built the space with their posture.  
I also have a sketch for how to handle the trees in Box D
 Just as an aside, I donated this painting as a fundraiser for the arts festival itself. Happily, and interestingly, the winner was the man in the painting in the blue cap.  

As always, thanks for looking!  I love your comments.