Monday, April 16, 2018

Just Touch Up Some of the Gray, Please.

The weather was deceptively spring-like on Saturday, so a few of us went out for the first plein air session of the 2018 season at Potter Hill in Grafton.

This area has nice vistas as far as Mount Wachusett, but as usual, my focus was a little closer. The colors were not intense, as the day was not consistently sunny, and of course, due to this year's weather pattern, not much was leafing out yet.

As often happens, my paintings look ok until I get them home, where they look pale and insipid. I took some corrective action a couple days later. Improved, but I would still like more depth in some of the color.


"Hay Bales" as painted outdoors


"Hay Bales" after enhancement

"Wishing Well" as painted outdoors

"Wishing Well" after enhancement

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Little Light Classical

Finished eglomise panel


I accumulate mirrors, sometimes just for the glass panels. Of course, sometimes these were broken, but I have them for my archive and use them to make a copy.

This mirror is one I purchased for the panel (earlier post here),  and after making my copies (another post here), decided I wanted to make the mirror useful again. I had been wanting to do something in a classical vein, with a more refined image, and wanted a mirror with a more delicate frame to match. Aha, I had this one on hand.

Mirror with original broken panel


I found an image in one of the Dover books on classical themed illustration, and used that as the basis for this version.




The procedure is the same as I have described in other blog postings: Gold leaf on the glass, etch, backup areas with black, then apply background paint.

Gold leaf backed u p with paint





Finished project


Friday, February 16, 2018

Figure Painting Wrap Up

Marci I

Last session of the three week course at the Worcester ArtMuseum, Portrait and Figure in Watercolor with Randy LeSage (I did paint in week 2, but haven't got photos done).

Our model for the evening was Marci, who is also a blues singer. I am trying to be more forceful and adventurous with color, as well as looser with brush work.



Marci II

Preliminary quick sketch

Still doing a sketch before painting, in order to familiarize myself with the subject through observation, and find out the areas likely to cause trouble in the painting, since watercolor can be difficult, if not impossible to correct.

Marci III


As with many things, practice, practice, practice.

Next course is the same, but in oils. Hope I'm able to sign up for that one as well.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Let's Face It



Over the past few years I have tried honing my skills at figure drawing, primarily through the Worcester Art Museum's life drawing sessions in the galleries. Since they have been discontinued, I have signed up for a watercolor portrait and figure class with instructor Randy LeSage.

The experience with drawing has been helpful, as this is my first attempt at portraits and figures in watercolor. The model was Kate, and her fair coloring and delicate features made it a struggle for this first week's attempts.

In any event, onward and upward with the arts!







Saturday, December 30, 2017

Like Day and Night

View from Fort Hill Street in Wiscasset


There are scenes that you may walk by frequently, and always "meant to take a photo" or think "that would make a good painting subject". It can take a long time for these inspirations to come to fruition.

The owner of a property near mine in Wiscasset, Maine, has been converting the hillside into an almost vertical landscape. When viewed from my street, you would see very little as it is at the edge of the hill. In addition, a number of trees blocked the view. With the removal of some trees, he now has more light for his yard, and it has opened up the view of that section of the village.

The inspiration for the painting came from seeing this view on a daily basis while out walking the dogs, although it took me a couple of years to get around to it. Looking down on the buildings from this vantage point made it seem more toy-like and whimsical than most of my other scenes. Rather than be technically realistic, I did take some liberties with placement and color to create a fun and colorful view.

Overlooking Wiscasset Village, Acrylic, 24 x 30

Painting finally completed, and won second place at the Artist Guild of Shrewsbury's annual show in November, 2017.

Second Place winner

Looking down from my street to the other side of the village, I was taken by the view of the food shop and bakery on the next street. Yes, while walking the dogs, at night this time.

Bad, fuzzy photo



I did a small watercolor sketch, with the idea of making a more finished painting at some point. Again, a hiatus of  two years before completing the second painting. Again, liberties were taken.

Watercolor, 8 x 10




Baker's Moon, Acrylic, 18 x 24







Monday, November 13, 2017

Does this artist's name ring a bell?


I happened to come across these two paintings listed in a Skinner's  auction catalog. The paintings, while pleasant and competent, might not seem that striking. The name of the artist, Edward Darley Boit, may not immediately ring a bell with most people.




Lot 1016Edward Darley Boit (American, 1842-1916) Hillside Landscape



Lot 1362Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840-1915) Villa, San Remo 

What makes them of interest is the connection the artist has to a very well known painting, possibly the most famous painting in Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Yes, those are his daughters in the famous Sargent painting.







The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882)
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Swept Away in the Flood - of 1938

"How high's the water, Momma?"

More than the lobster or lighthouses, your trip to Maine should include a stop at the Miles Hospital rummage sale. Years ago, these were enormous three day affairs under large tents. Merchandise was collected all year, and dispersed in one weekend. This was quite a fundraiser; by the time the ended a few years ago they were taking in over 100K  - amazing, when you consider that you could pretty much fill your car with purchases and not spend over $20.

They now have monthly sales at their collection center. I usually find some household stuff, books, glasses to replace the ones that get broken, etc.

This time I also found a painting. It is definitely an amateur effort, made appealing by the label on the back with the name of the artist, the date (May, 1938) and the person to whom it was given.

No "regifting"

I couldn't quite figure out whether the scene was accurate. Trees seemed to be growing out of the river - was this intentional, or a failed attempt at depicting snow? I knew there was a hurricane in New England that year, but that was in September, and this was clearly a winter scene. A quick search turned up stories of major flooding in March of that year due to extremely heavy rainfall in Maine. Aha, she was probably painting the effects of the flooding rivers.

While not in the category of Grandma Moses, it is still a fun souvenir of Maine history.






Label Text: Painted by Mamie Paine, May 25, 1938. Town name blacked out, but faded enough to make out "Plymouth Maine".

Given to Vera Tasker. Town name blacked out, but faded enough to make out "Dixmont Maine".



This seems logical, as these two towns are close to each other.