It’s been quite a while and I have a great way to break the ice!
My most recent group show was at the Saint Cathrine of Bologna 16th Annual Photo, Art and Poetry Exhibition in Ringwood, New Jersey. The show fundraises for private schooling for children in the area. This particular exhibition is very popular in Ringwood and this year there were many fabulous artists out there with skills and creativity to boot. The artwork in all media goes up for several awards given out before the show’s weekend-long reception. The judging is done by other talented artist who participate annually for the event.
I want to celebrate for this year’s opening that my Ironworks 1 piece won “Best in Show” in all categories!
It was an honor to be recognized, especially considering all the talent I saw at the exhibition. The show was a roaring success in fundraising as well. My thanks to the judges and the inspiring vision of so many artists whose work was shown this year!
This piece was done in the winter months. I was driving by the water preserve in Ringwood and had to stop. There were so many colors due to the sun illuminating everything in contrast with the cool snow and ice. There doesn’t seem to be as many winterscapes out there but they are so fun to work with. They have a different feel to them as compared to grassy scenes during the warmer months but they are beautiful in their own right. It’s refreshing.
I worked on this painting for quite a while; taking my time with it. There were a lot of technical issues that I had to fix throughout the process and I must admit that drawing and painting something so man-made really taught me a lot about structure and perspective. As challenging, and at times grueling, as this piece sometimes was all in all I really enjoyed it and intend to make more paintings like this one.
This was part of an old rusted watermill. It was painted from a photo taken by Dana Damiani at the Long Pond Ironworks in Ringwood, New Jersey. It was commissioned as a 36″x42″ piece. I don’t think any smaller size would have done it justice.
A funny little note: during the two days that this was painted, a tractor was driven over the pathway; flattening the long grass. So the original shape of the pathway changed toward the end. You can see the difference between the second and third photos. One of the many challenges of painting plein air.
This was done at Bencista Pensione in Italy.
These past few weeks, I’ve finished a new oil painting done at the Lattimore Atelier in Cornwall. The original set up was intuitive. I knew I wanted to paint sunflowers and I wanted an element of Autumn somewhere in there. After I finished the painting, I realized all seasons seemed to be represented. So I thought I’d appropriately name it as we are also going through a seasonal change in the Hudson Valley. Loving every second of it.
I hope you enjoy the piece!
‘Changing of the Seasons’, oil on canvas, 9 x 12″ 2013
This past Monday and Tuesday I painted an autumn scene on the front windows of Grimaldis, a local restaurant/pizzeria on Main Street, New Paltz. The restaurant is well known for its quality thin crust pizza and has a following from its other location in Brooklyn, NY. I kept it cute and simple. The scene was of a pumpkin patch with fall foliage in the background and two signs displaying the specials of the day. The new ‘Taco Charlie’ sign announces the prices for tacos and burritos at a taco stand they have outside 3 nights a week. By request I included Charlie, Adam’s (the owner’s) dog sitting in the pumpkin patch under a red tree. I wanted to create a playful friendly scene to match the atmosphere of the business and the people, young and old, that are drawn there. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results and have gotten a lot of positive feedback! Thank you all!
For my last long pose of the trimester I was very pleased. Our model was beautiful and we ended up with a great pose and great lighting across her body. This pose was 3 weeks long. I thought it was the perfect amount of time to get exactly what was needed down and also not to overwork the drawing. This was also my first study on toned gray paper which means instead of only drawing the shadows, I will be drawing in the highlights and lights later on.
I have skipped a few steps in the photos here but this shows the drawing as I am beginning to create more of a hierarchy of value. I worked for a long time on really understanding and portraying the rhythm and the big gesture of her body before I went in and distracted myself with the details. If you look very closely, you may notice some changes happening with the overall gesture of her body in these next few photos.
Here I am getting darker in value and keying my darkest dark so I can compare all the rest of the values to it.
I am filling in the darks and beginning to create more of an atmosphere behind her. Adding more variety to my values and working on the transitions between planes. Softer at the top of the thigh, harder edges at the knees. I have also began to key my highlight on her chest with the white chalk so I can also compare my values to it in order to get the full range.
Here I have continued to work on my values, bringing everything darker together, becoming more specific with my lines, mid-tones and transitions. I have added in some detail and began to describe her sternum and rib cage.
I have filled in the background here, relating it to her in value. I did a lot of work in her face and made the transitions more unified.
This one shows the drawing almost finished. I have added a lot more detail in her feet, the floor and a cast shadow of her legs. Some edges are softened in order to allow the eye to easily move over them and others are sharpened in order to draw the eye to them. More chalk has been added to her breast and fades into the tone of the paper.
In the final stages, I worked on edge quality. The transition from the wall behind her and the floor was softened. The edges were also softened beneath her hips and especially parts of her body that fell into shadow. In general, the edges of her body that were in light are sharper. I also worked more on the descriptive mid-tones throughout her body. Overall, I am very happy with the study although, at the moment, there still are some things I’d like to fix. This is definitely my favorite figure study of the year.
We had a half sitting-half leaning pose for our 5 week long pose this term. It was a bit different and challenging to make sure that the bottom half of her body really worked with the top half. Nevertheless, I learned a lot and would like to do more sitting poses in the future. I got so used to doing standing poses that this one was a bit out of my comfort zone. Always a good thing.
This was also difficult because from where I was standing, the light really washed her out. There were barely any shadow areas on her body so creating the right light affect was hard because the value range consisted mostly of light halftones and lights. In modelling, it was difficult to make it look like her thigh was turning, etc. The end result came out looking a bit gray. Towards the end, I started fixing it and making the light work better but I didn’t quite get to the point I wanted to. If I had more time, I would have been able to fully understand how to make it work. I still like the drawing although the pose was unusual.