Friday, September 30, 2016

Best of Show!

Last night was the Trask art show, a benefit for the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. It takes place in the grand old Canfield Cassino in Congress Park, downtown Saratoga Springs.

           I'm standing with Samantha Bosshart, Executive Director  Photo credit: Totaro Photography,  #599 Juniper Swamp Rd, from August, 2015, (lower).

           I was thinking about the Swedish Meatballs they always have at the reception, and didn't even notice the blue ribbon stuck on the bid sheet. By the time the evening was over I was congratulated by and had talked to lots and lots of people, sold two paintings, was interviewed and photographed by three print reporters and one video reporter.  Wow! hope I didn't make a total fool of myself.

                      #599  Juniper Swamp Rd.      8-12-15          11x14       oil on canvas panel.

     Thanks again, dear reader, for reading my blog and following along in this painter's adventure!

  This is from today, I haven't numbered it yet, it's S. Union St. 14x16.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My computer crashed and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!

      Two weeks ago my lap-top crashed.  It was down for over a week, when I got it back, it had a different operating system and I've been re-learning, re-setting and trying to file through a lot of photos, not being sure exactly how to manage them.  All this time I have been painting, most days and have done 11 painting over this time.  I can't blog them all at once so I'll pick up where I left off.

September 15, Thursday:

         #855 Home                       9-15-16                                     11x12

     This is my house, on a Thursday, the next day is Parking Day in Albany NY, where I'll paint in the city and enjoy free parking!  I'll post that soon too.

     Thanks for being patient, and reading my blog!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Does subject really matter? a post industrial relic and parking in Albany.

    I ask myself how much does subject matter?.  A lot of times I want something, anything with a little sun on it, and it's corresponding shadow, I want something with the potential to create a dynamic composition.  I can find most of these things in my backyard and I do sometimes. But place and subject cannot be ignored. Do you subject an important place like a state building or an historic house? or a dramatic place like a mountain, or a waterfall?  It makes me think about all the car commercials you see where the car drives by the Grand Canyon, or a lighthouse on Cape Cod. All beautiful places, but mostly these cars drive on suburban roads, to office parks and shopping malls. I believe in finding beauty where I am, places I see in my everyday life.  Even so I often agonize about what to paint, I'm beyond thinking about what will sell, because nothing sells. So I get on kicks, I've had light on white building kicks, bridge abutment kicks, tree cut kicks, and recently an intersection kick.  But still, there are times when I find places because that's where I want to be, and most often it is by myself,  and that's what I found yesterday, I was aimlessly driving around and found myself on the Thomson Rd,  and wondered just what was beyond the gated road.

     This is an old industrial dock on the Hudson River, and part of an old canal and lock complex long ago decommissioned.

      #853  Hudson River @ Thomson, NY.                      9-12-16                                      14x16

        Here is the old lock, there are overgrown roads, old bridges and I think some rails too!

        Today I went to Albany to check on a parking space for the "Parking Day" organized by the Albany Center Gallery.  This is scheduled for Friday, this week and I wanted to have a space to paint in that had some potential to work from.

      This is looking North, down Columbia St. The Albany Center Gallery is in the middle of the block.

      #854  Columbia & Broadway, Albany, NY.                 9-13-16                                   11x12

This is the space I picked out for Friday, if you are in downtown Albany between 11 and 3 stop in!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

This week in the town and in the country

           This is 9-11 day and no matter what you think or feel about it, the world changed and if you were aware on that day you remember where you were and what you were doing.  For me I was working on a ladder on the side of a barn, in Washington County, NY. The sky clear and the air crisp, much like today, 15 years later.

Last Sunday I drove home from the cabin on 6th Lake, after the painting festival in Old Forge, NY.  I needed something familiar and green. There is a lot of that around here, I went to this spot:

       I've painted here before, just not too recently, it's a lot of green, and not much that is man-made, except or the mowed fields and an overgrown fence line.

           #847  Duel Hollow Rd.                      9-4-16                                 9x12

         The day light has been waning, just a few precious minutes each day, and it makes for a rush of elongated light as the sun sets, and then it's gone.

     This was Monday, Labor Day.  and another familiar scene just down the street.  The end of the day light made for some great shadows, but I failed on the drawing of the church, and a few other details lost in the process, seeing the image in front of the scene really points this out.  Maybe it doesn't matter, maybe I'll try again and get it better next time.

              #848  Park Place                         9-5-16                                    14x16

          This place, an intersection is one I've been through many times, and connects some fabulously picturesque scenery, but I liked the shadows and the trees.

      I've been working on the patterns of light holes, shadows, and the patterns of light and darks in the foliage.  There is a lot to those patterns and they can be vexing, getting them to feel right has come about after a lot of error, and we are still often vexed by them.

        #849   Spraguetown Rd. & CR 52, Greenwich.                          9-7-16                          12x16    

        It seems like I'm getting out to paint in the 2nd hour before sunset, this means I have some time before the light really starts to change, by the 1st hour before the sunset the changes in light turn most rapidly, and all hell breaks loose.

       The scene had a lot of glowing green and yellow, they were all so close, it was difficult to differentiate one from another, by the time I stopped the light was gone and I feared the painting was pretty dull and lifeless.  Much of this is because when you're out in the world the painting just can't do light the way nature does it.  When I brouht it back and saw it in artificial light, it looked ok.

      #850  CR  59 & Schweininger Rd.                  9-9-16                                          11x14

      Just down the street last night, a place I go by often many times a day.

    #851  W. Main St.                                      9-10-16                                             12x16

          This was tonight on Raefield Farm Rd. I was excited about the corn field being harvested, but in the end you couldn't tell in the painting, but the light and shadows carried the day.

              #852    Raefield Farm Rd.                          9-11-16                                           11x14

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Slickers, an auction, another "Oh Well" moment.

       Last night the Plein-air paint out wound down and finished with an auction that benefited "The View", the regional art center that put the event on.  They had a display to show paintings for sale with a commission, but only a few of us brought work, and it seemed like an afterthought. So after seeing my donated painting fetch 1/2 the value of my work, I felt disappointed and short changed.  The auction brought a lot of money, but the artists don't see a penny of it, and the potential to sell is barely an afterthought.  I appreciate that the View puts the event together, they have a nice dinner, breakfast and to-go lunches, and everybody is very nice and appreciative, but the gathering of painters was organized by the Mountain air painters and they do that once a week for fun anyway.  The painting aspect of the event was irrelevant, it didn't matter what we painted, because they took existing work for the auction and the sale, if you want to be generous with it. There were no opportunities to show or see the paintings done during the three days of the paint out, and going to the auction was not an opportunity to hang and celebrate with my fellow painters.  So what we have is an arts organization that charters to support artists, but in reality it's the artists that are supporting the organization.  I probably should have figured this was the deal, no part of it was a surprise, but the aggregate of the whole is often hard to comprehend until experienced, and yes once again, I feel duped, participating in another hollow promise of an opportunity. Yes another "Oh Well"  moment.  I would like to add that the Mountain Air Painters are just an awesome bunch, and getting to know them and hang and paint with them has been great!  They have been welcoming and very generous with themselves, and I will meet up with them at every opportunity!

Before that I went to Old Forge and found this:

         This is State Route 28 and Lake view Ave.

      #846  S.R. 28 & Lakeview Ave. Old Forge, NY        9-3-16                      11x14

      The Money Shot. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Old Forge Paint out, 2 of 3 days.

  It's been an exciting (at least for me) two days, with the third here and ready to go.  I've met a lot of my fellow local painters and enjoyed their company and seeing their work.  So in the interest in moving along for the day I'll show some of the painting I've done in the first two days:

   Thursday September 1st, I got here mid afternoon, painted First lake in Old Forge by the Pied Piper ice cream stand.


           #842 First Lake, Old Forge, NY                      9-1-16                        11x14


                     Not wanting to be a slacker I thought I'd try my hand/eye at a nocturne, my 2nd, but the first was just in my backyard over a year ago, anyway, I thought the Strand Theater, beloved with it's independent and renegade soul would make a good evening subject.

            I had no idea what I was doing, but that's never stopped me before, brain surgery aside, I bought a couple of clip on lights and worked right off the back of the van, nobody was around, so it was easy.

               #843  S.R. 28, Old Forge, NY (Strand at night)                   9-1-16                       11x12     

       The next day, the regular group "Mountain air painter's" met at a private camp along the Moose River in Thendera, just South of Old Forge.  The owners graciously invited us to paint there, the group seems to find lots of great places I wouldn't normally even know of.

  The water was beautiful, but I chose to keep it in the distance, with the light and shadows on the lawn, trees and camp.

           #844  Moose River, Thendera, NY.                   9-2-16                                   9x12


                                      My set-up for the morning.

       Feeling compelled to climb, I re-organized my paint and hiked up to this spot, close to the fire tower on Bald Mt. with a view of First Lake.

         #845 View from Bald Mt.                         9-2-16                                      12x16

                                   Selfie with scene and painting.