All 10 of my paintings in the order that I painted them from Gloucester Plein Air. For me it was nice to go out with a bang. To be recognized by your peers for your efforts and walk home with awards and sales. My hiatus on plein air events begins, but I’m grateful to all the friends I’ve made along the way. I am still painting outdoors and in studio, I have a solo show I just committed to in November. But I am at a stage in my life in which I wonder what is next for me and my painting. More exploration on how to develop my voice as a painter to come in the near future.
“Night Beckons the Fisherman” 16x20 oil on canvas. Was an awesome night listening to Led Zeppelin and talking to the occasional tourist. Met a group of students from Mongolia who were nice enough to watch my gear while I went to my truck. When I came back they were taking pics of themselves posing behind the easel! Had a fun time and was really happy with the results of the painting.
Ever been out painting and forgotten to bring your brushes or paints? Leaving home without the critical gear to paint can be challenging or even disastrous. With the right preparations, you can be ready to paint at any given moment you want without the fear of leaving gear behind.Read More
January 1st I joined a 31 daily painting challenge hosted by Strada Easel. I wanted to jumpstart my painting and had heard of this challenge last year. The rules are paint from life (no photos) everyday. It was an extremely challenging process to figure out a subject to paint. Some paintings were started and abandoned due to time or work, which meant if it was plein air, I had to start all over again that evening. During this challenge I learned that I really should embrace still life subjects more as they are a great way to study light, composition and values when I can't be outside painting plein air. Most of the paintings were done in an hour and half to two hour range. After getting home from work, cooking and getting the kids to bed it usually was 10pm. Some of the paintings I wouldn't considered finished paintings but astute life studies. Not all of them are successful, but the constant painting everyday has greatly improved my confidence and helped me rely more on intuition an instinct. If you have not considered this challenge, I would highly recommend you should if you are looking to improve upon your painting skills. Below are the paintings in chronological order. For those that followed me on Facebook and Instagram, thank you for your daily support and encouragement! Thanks to Bryan Mark Taylor for hosting this challenge, I really enjoyed the process and challenge of daily painting.
I don't know about you, but I really get stoked on the freedom to go out and drive looking for a spot to paint. The excitement of discovery and seeing something in the moment. I don't know how else to describe it except that it fits the surfer in me looking for waves to ride. Something is out there, I just need to wait a let it come to me naturally. Both of these paintings are typical of being open to my surroundings and when the time is right, I set up and get painting. Painting smaller and being more mobile allows for instantaneous decisions like trying to paint a setting sun over the harbor. Forcing a spot to work for you and your painting usually makes for a bad painting and it turns painting into a chore. It should be a passion. Driven and determined to lock down with paint on canvas the visual emotions laid out before us. I'm not interested in capturing exactly what I see, but rather how I feel about the moment and the surroundings I find myself in.
I found an amazing place to paint to keep me busy for a while. Here's from my first session painting here during the snow, which of course was on my birthday! Very rewarding to also have several inquiries for the paintings. As of this blog post, the top painting, "Winter Turtle Pond" is available. But "Turtle Pond Tree" has sold.
I had a fun hour back outside painting, although I didn't have much time. With all the Christmas hustling and bustling, painting has been limited to commissions only. Whew, now there's only New Year's Eve left! Made a quick trip to the city dump with very little daylight left, as I was leaving I noticed the light was very dramatic on the entrance to the dump, so I opted to paint it. I actually was a lot of fun!
This plein air was of Gilfillan Farm, Pennsylvania, an amazing place to paint. Quite a few buildings and fields and in the earlier autumn it the colors came alive.
One of my favorite plein air sessions had to be from the trailer park near Little Creek. I had passed by this beautiful Chevy Bel Air, a 56 to be exact earlier in the fall. Although, it was sunny when I passed by the first time, the clouds had rolled in when I set up to paint. It was one of my first paintings after I had gotten my Easy L Versa and tripod. If you look closely enough you can see I have hardly any paint on the easel back board. The locals drove by and seemed to appreciate it. What I didn't expect was the trailer park management to drive by and start asking if I had a permit. "What? A permit for what? To paint? Duh, no." I thought. But I was polite and explained the whole reason I was there was to paint the classic car. Then I turned the easel around to show her the progress. That seemed to impress her enough to let me get back to painting. Sometimes it's better to set up and paint and then let things play out if someone is curious enough to ask what I'm doing there. Hopefully by then the painting has gotten far enough that I can show my efforts and can see I'm serious about painting.
I have the distinct honor of showing with two other great Virginian Artists, Bernard Conda and Thomas Bradshaw and I will have our paintings on display. This exhibition will at the Rawls Gallery in Courtland, Virginia. I am really excited about this show, as Bernard and I have painted around a lot of places on the weekends. Some of them very cold, others pretty hot. He is a phenomenal figure painter and I knew that he would do amazing work in plein air once I convinced him on the virtues of outdoor painting. Somehow, I have even managed to end up in his paintings as part of the subject matter, (see below in the blue jacket). Tom and I met through local plein air events and have both made it into the prestigious Plein Air Easton, the biggest competition in the world for plein air painting. He gets out to paint regularly and teaches workshops as well. This is going to be one amazing show and I hope that you have a chance to make it out to the opening reception!
Show opens Dec. 12, 2014.
Rawls Museum Arts
22376 Linden Street
Courtland, Virginia 23837
My trip so far on this journey has been awesome! I've met some new artists and some from Plein Air Easton. The weather on the first day was gray and over cast. Only when I was finished did the sun come out. Monday, proved to be epic and full of brilliant morning light. I wish had more time to take pics, but I wanted to get a jump on the first painting. The second painting was just plain challenging. The clouds came back and brought torrential showers, but I was determined to paint thru it as long as the wind didn't blow too hard. Luck prevailed and I left feeling good at accomplishing a painting thru heavy rain.
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!
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!".
"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!
New small painting up for sale! "Ghent Starbucks" Oil on Board, 5"x7" - Plein Air Painting - Unframed. This painting was done plein air in Norfolk's historic Ghent area. Unlike my other recent paintings listed on ebay, this painting has no reserve. That means, it takes only one bid of a $1, to have a chance to be the winning bid for the painting.
Click here to BID on ebay. No Reserve!
Saturday night had me painting the NARO Theatre in Norfolk. Was a great time painting despite the hard orange glow overpowering my easel lights. Met a lot of great people. Especially one guy that I discovered that we had a lot in common. We had a great talk about failures and how we move on to overcome those failures and turn them into life lessons. My fellow artist Walt came by to say "hi!". It was a cold night, but I had great time.
Sunday morning had me painting the Fairground Coffee House in Ghent Norfolk. It was a good session and met some new people and saw a friend there too. A really cool guy named Loftus was kind enough to take some pics since my phone died.
Last weekend the Virginia Plein Air Artists group met up at the Cape Henry lighthouse. We had a good turn out of six, despite the military base restrictions to get inside the base. Some of us painted the new lighthouse, while others went for the old one. Since I had already done the new one the week before, I painted the old brown historic lighthouse this time. We had to leave promptly at 4pm. So it made for a speedy painting session with a mad dash to complete it as much as possible. When you have direct sunlight on the canvas and palette, it makes it difficult to judge your colors at times. It was a beautiful day to paint and I was in good company with Bernard, Shara, Mark, Sheila and Kathy.