I posted about our painting session at Stillwater Farm, in Sterling, Massachusetts. I remember when this now-lovely site was getting derelict, and there was concern that the buildings might have been lost either accidentally or intentionally.
While (fruitlessly) trying to get some things organized, I came across a watercolor I must have painted at least 20 years ago, before the site was rescued.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
|Barn façade at Stillwater Farm, Sterling MA|
We had one of those surprisingly warm, sunny November afternoons (this is New England, after all), so some of us went out to Stillwater Farm Interpretive Center in Sterling, MA. for a plein air painting session.
This is an old family farm, where land is now kept for conservation, and the buildings and barn are stabilized and used in order to provide a sense of the area's agricultural past. A pleasant spot for visiting and hiking, and also painting.
On this visit, we were also approached by family members, who were nearby to take care of things after the passing of one of the individuals who had grown up on the farm. In addition to stories of visiting the farm as a child, one woman asked me "Why are you painting this? Is it just something to do?
|Years of patches and repairs.|
Where she probably just saw the family's barn looking like it was in imminent danger of collapse, I saw the history of repairs made over the years, in that typically frugal manner of rural New England.
|Joseph's watercolor sketch|
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Getting caught up now that fall is here -and it always feels good when something leaves the work table!
This painted frame was made for an early portrait (going to restorer as we speak, so I Photoshopped it into the frame for this image). More grain painted frames here.
Also had to do a "small" repair job on this frame (and we all know how these small jobs snowball once we get started). More about this project at my website here.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Egads, it has been a while since last post. September tends to be my busy month, and this year more time was taken up with being on the road, painting with members of the Artists Guild of Shrewsbury, working on house and restoration/framing projects. So to get back on track, here are the obligatory views of the local fall color for 2013.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
It is almost a tradition that there will be some sort of weather event at the Maine Antiques Festival held each year at the Union Fairgrounds. This year, on Friday - the day of setup and early buying - we had a monsoon. I was fortunately under cover, and was able to drive my van in and unload before it really started. But it rained in varying rates for the remainder of the day, the fields were flooding, and there was mud, mud and more mud (made worse by the vehicle traffic).
|Unloaded, and starting to set up.|
I was able to use the doors I found in the cellar as a backdrop to hang mirrors, so I am glad that I rescued them.
|Almost ready for customers.|
|Mirrors by Joseph|
|And more mirrors by Joseph|
The rain didn't keep the shoppers away on Friday (although I can't imagine paying $25 to slog through the water. Those of us under cover seemed to have a captive audience, and the day went well.
Sold lots of stuff, made some more contacts for frames and gilding services, so all was well in the end.
Saturday and Sunday were both gorgeous, so that (almost) made up for Friday!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
It seems that in New England, we are known for our difficulty in parting with things that would appear to have outlived their usefulness. And in fact, I (and others) often find inspiration in them. you may remember seeing this scene from one of our painting sessions at a florist's premises, where some of us were more interested in the debris pile than the flowers.
I even completed a water color of this scene.
Then, a few weeks later, I was cleaning out the cellar in Maine, and after hauling these old doors out of the cellar, took some photos to use as a reference for a potential painting project.
I was planning to take them to the dump, even though it was against my nature, but instead, took them home and painted them so that I can use them as a display backdrop. But when I get a chance, I will still do a painting of them as they looked when first seeing the light of day after years in the cellar.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
|Entrance façade - with a mission!|
During a recent trip to Maine, we visited the Colby College Museum of Art. They are currently showing the Lunder collection en masse, as well as their beautifully enlarged facility. During this visit, I was paying particular attention to some of the artwork that resonated with me, and that might serve as inspiration.
I found this small oil, View from Olana, by Frederick Edwin Church, which provided some insight for the aspiring (or even experienced) artist.
While the painting is pleasant enough, what is most important is the reason it was painted. According to the label, Church painted this view from his window almost every day, as an exercise in seeing and recording the effect of light, seasons, etc. While we may not all have the opportunity to paint from the window of a Hudson river mansion perched on a hill top, almost any subject can be approached over and over, with the artist learning a bit more each time.