Had a great time at the Williamsburg Plein Air. The morning light was incredible! Met new painters from Yorktown and Williamsburg as well. Ended the day with a sale and first place! Looking forward to next years event!
"Bank Noir" 9x12 oil on canvas - available. I approached this very differently than my other paintings. Some what of a frustrating experience due to the frequent wipe aways and rebuilding the painting. Not sure how I feel about it yet, but it's done. Definitely learned a lot thru the process of this piece.
This was a fun painting based from my travels to San Francisco.
Easton was an amazing experience to say the least. Where else do you get paint so many different locations alongside so many amazing painters? I got to meet plein air greats, such as Nancy Tankersley, Stewart White, Eleinne Basa, Greg LaRock, Charlie Hunter, Ken DeWaard and John Michael Carter, talk shop and learn about them as people. I also met new painters that I had never really knew before, but was blown away by their work, Zufar Bikbov, Za Vue, Jason Csont. I think one piece of advice that Ken DeWaard helped the most, which was to just not waste too much time driving around looking for the perfect place to paint. He was right, there were more than enough things to cover. The people of Easton were more than gracious in allowing me to get anywhere I needed to go or paint. From backyards to boatyards and docks, I had carte blanch all by just politely asking. If I were to give advice to anyone new to Easton, it would include the following.
- Be ready to paint as much as possible.
- Second, ask before going on any private property, chances are they will say yes.
- Bring your gear and have back ups boards, brushes, paint, etc. ESPECIALLY an extra easel. I almost never lose things, but for some reason I lost brushes, paints, sunglasses, even my wedding ring (don't fret, it was my non-gold ring as I found out after getting married that I am allergic to gold).
- Business cards and event info to give out to passersby.
- There are a lot of artists that have been doing these events for years, they have a lot of experience to share, it's best to listen to any advice given.
- Paint what you know. Your passion to the subject will show through. There is the temptation to paint what you think what will be an easy sell, I urge you to resist that temptation and be true to yourself as an artist. If it doesn't sell there, you'll find a buyer for it else where.
- Have a lunch box cooler bag to keep your water cool. It's hot and water is not always nearby. Heat exhaustion can steal valuable time away from painting.
- Eat as healthy as possible. Treat yourself like an athlete. Would you run the 500 meter dash after eating a heavy meal of fast food? Why do that to yourself and risk heartburn or other things while spending an extended time out doors exposed to variable conditions of sun, heat, rain and wind?
- Power naps can work wonders, even 20 minutes. I used this while staying up all night nocturne plein air painting to get me back out to paint during the day.
- Bring an umbrella for shade and light rain. Also find an alternative place to paint in case of a severe storm. Lightning is bad, working under a metal umbrella in the middle of an open field is worse. If you can manage, painting from inside your vehicle can help you from the elements.
- And last, have fun! I made some new friends that I greatly respect and admire as artists. You will have an incredible time there, enjoy it, as it does go by fast!
During my stay in Easton, for seven days, I painted 15 paintings. Of those, kept 14, and left one on the side of the street, abandoned in disgust. I knew that I would churn out a stinker or two, so no love lost there. What I didn't expect was burn out. My stinker had begun to haunt me and I knew why. I had a enough paintings and went out to experiment. A bad idea. I had desire to try the technique of other artists and was trying to incorporate several styles at once. By expecting good things could come of this approach and becoming furious when it didn't, was unrealistic. Yeah, I know, stupid me. I went out that afternoon and tried to paint again and could not get myself out of the funk. This had a psychological effect on me of not being able to put out a good painting for the two hour quick draw. I had really psyched myself out. So I did the best thing I could do, which was to not paint. I traded my easel for a camera and spent that Friday afternoon checking out different places. The next morning, I was back in "A" game mode and was happy with effort after the two hours. Below is all the paintings I did at Easton, starting with the first painting done at Tilghman Island and ending with the 2 hour quick draw. Plein Air Easton is an awesome event, the best in the country. Even if you don't get juried into the main event and you have the chance to participate in the quick draw, I highly encourage you to jump in and sign up. It's a great way to push yourself to paint in a short time period and challenge your skills. Afterwards, then go look around and see some of the best painters in the country. The main event winners from that week are up on display at the Avalon Gallery on South Street. Don't forget to go upstairs to see the reserve paintings! There you'll find a lot of inspiration and great paintings.
I'm glad these came out so well. It's a funny thing about doing commissions. It's much different than plein air or landscapes which the only person I really need to satisfy is myself. Of course selling landscapes is nice, but when it comes to commissions, the painting is practically sold and the art has to live up to expectations of both parties involved. As a result, I've become very selective on what I do take on. That's the only way I know to keep the end result looking amazing. If a client decides to become a "co-pilot" of the artwork instead of being the passenger, nothing good can come of it and no one will be completely satisfied. Over the years, I've learned that it is best to give the money back and move on to something more productive. Some artists are better taking direction from others, but for the most part, listen to your gut. If you are miserable being the hired brush for someone trying to express their artistic ideas through you, it's best to cut the cord and let them find someone else. You'll be much happier in the long run! If you do find someone who is willing to let you paint and express your ideas while commissioning a painting, think about charging double the amount of a painting that size. After all, not only do you now have to satisfied with the final painting, the client does as well.
This last weekend was spent painting the "Duck" at the the Norfolk Chrysler Museum. This is a traveling installation that on this occasion was to celebrate the reopening of the museum after repairs and restoration. My friends Bernard & Shara showed up too!
As I was painting this a guy walked by and said, "I just got into Norfolk two days ago and I didn't like anything about it, until now, seeing you paint that. Now, I like Norfolk!".
Finished signing the Harborfest Posters at Harbor Gallery today! Contact Harbor Gallery to get reserve a signed limited edition before they are gone! 757.627.2787
"Salem Road Farm" 9x12" oil on board. Despite my limited time, just over an hour, I was ok with what was accomplished. But throughout this speed session, I realized there is more studying of the dynamic nature that trees have needed. Looking forward to meeting another painting goal!
I’ll painting more down on the oceanfront this summer. One of the things I’ve discovered is the water can really change colors within 20min as the sunrises! Plus that wind can really kick up a gust! Overall it’s great to be down at the oceanfront taking in a beautiful morning while painting.
Had a fun time at the beach painting. It was really challenging due to the heavy wind gusts. It made any detail nearly impossible to do, so I didn’t. Mother nature gave me some lessons learned today. If anything, I learned that I need to paint water and sky more. So to resolve that, I’ll be painting at the oceanfront more this spring.
Earlier this year I was approached by the Neptune Festival committee to create a painting to use for their 2014 Neptune Festival poster. Imagine my surprise a few days later, I was asked to create the poster for the 2014 Harborfest! So here they are, this year's posters for Neptune Festival and Harborfest!
“Sunday Flowers” Oil on board, painted from life in my studio.
It was a challenge to paint this against the fading light. It got cold quick after sunset!
I will have to get back out to the SoVa farms this Spring to do more plein air!
I just got juried into this years Easton Plein Air Event!
"Driver Quonset Hut" & "Suffolk Silo" 5x7 Oil on Board - Available.
Had a nice time out in Suffolk painting, it has a lot of rural farmland, old general stores, and historic churches.
Had another fun session at painting night with the Norfolk Drawing Group.