Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Putney Painters - Nov 13

Artist Katie Swatland posed for us this past Saturday and Richard set up a pose that was both a great study on whites and also design. In my painting below, I never got to the whites, but I'm really looking forward to finishing up this painting and learning more about the colors and temperatures I can play with.

Richards glasses got destroyed on the road outside the Barn the week before and his new glasses hadn't come in yet . . . so, he basically couldn't see the model or his painting. Because of that, he tried to start a painting but ended up wiping it out after a session and then did a quick monochrome for Katie. I was able to snap a photo of each -- still pretty good for someone who couldn't see!


Below are two in-process photos from my painting. I'll definetly be finishing this painting sometime in the next couple weeks and will keep you posted.

To close, artist Charlie Hunter jumped out to the front steps of the Barn to do a little sketching. This guy has such a great sketchbook, each little drawing deserves a frame.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Busy Week

This past week, my friend Daniel Keys was up in New England for some painting and his one-man show at West Wind Fine Art.

On Monday I caught up with him, Kathy Anderson, and a few other artists for some painting at a little roadside farm in Connecticut. It was a day of good painting and great company . . . something I can never get enough of.

On Saturday, I drove up to Vermont for a portrait day with Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik and the rest of the Putney gang. I only painted in the morning and then headed out to Cape Cod after lunch. I wish I could have seen the paintings at the end of the day -- everybody was doing a really good job.

Nancy's start 

 Richard's start

 My really quick sketch

A few hours later, I showed up on the Cape for Daniel's show which was really nice. I've only seen a couple of his finished "Studio" paintings and it was great seeing ten of them side by side, all with amazing brushwork and textures. If you ever get a chance to see his work in person, I would do it . . . you can't get a sense for his thicker brushwork and color harmonies from the photos.

Although I couldn't stay, Daniel did a demo on Sunday and Kristin Thies of West Wind Fine Art was kind enough to share a couple photos with me (us).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Putney Painters - Oct 1st

This past Saturday, I again had the opportunity to paint with my friends in Putney, VT. Because of some rain, we had a still life day and had a great time together in the barn.

Richard started a wonderfully loose painting and demonstrated to us all how to paint both accurately while still taking artistic license. Below are a few progress shots.

Dennis Sheehan spent the day preparing for his one-man show coming up at Susan Powell Fine Art. The opening is Oct. 14 if your anywhere near Madison, CT.

Dennis completed 3 block-ins (just a little further than the photo below) in about 4 hours! He is a greater painter and above that, an artist that has a vision and unique look within todays market. Seeing his paintings from life have always been a great experience -- you don't get a sense of the thick paint and beautiful brushwork from the digital images.

Kathy Anderson was doing some really good work as well. She wrapped up this floral which as you can see, she totally captured the color and values.

To top it all off, Richards birthday was October 5th and we had a little (3 cakes and ice cream!) celebration for him. Happy Birthday Richard, may you have many, many more!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekend with the Masters - Final Day

This re-cap has taken a while, but we are finally on to the last day -- I can't wait to start blogging about some other things (if you have any recommendations, just let me know). This Final day was very light and I only have a few photos.

I spent the majority of the morning watching Quang Ho's still life demonstration. He painted two small demos, and like his other paintings, he first blocked in the darks and shadows. He then worked around the canvas adding various shapes of color.

From talking with Quang and watching him paint over those few days, I have realized that he loves applying some mystery in his painting. I'm not saying that he leaves things in his painting that are a mystery (although that may be true), but that as he's painting, he avoids or leaves things to a later point. He will build up random shapes and colors and then all of a sudden create that one needed silhouette or edge which will just bring an object to life. He did this both in his still life (with the fabric table cloth) and in his evening duel (where he painted the arm and hand hand as loose shapes and then added the edge between the arm and dress - making it pop into reality).

As I was leaving the demo, I jumped across the hall and snapped a couple pictures of David Leffell's demo (I'm sorry I didn't stay longer or get any of the canvas . . . I believe it turned out really well)

After a somewhat relaxing lunch and doing a little work for the event, I jumped into David Spricks workshop and had an hour and a half to do a little drawing.

And that's it -- After a short sleep and a long plane ride, I was back at home and back into the grind (while being energized and excited about this next year of painting and what it will bring).  I'm already looking forward to the next event . . . thanks for sticking around and being interested in the journey.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend with the Masters - Day Three

I'm starting to forget the exact details of each day and it's all starting to blend together (I have the worst memory!), so I'll do my best to re-live it. These last two posts might be a little light on text, although most of you might prefer that anyway.

I started out the day watching Carolyn Anderson's morning demonstration. She started with a few placement lines (top/bottom of head, tilt, hair/profile lines) and then jumped right into painting the main shadows. From there, she moved around and built up the painting with the right color, in the right shape, in the right location. I am always so impressed with Carolyn's (and Quang Ho's) style and ability, I have probably said this before, but I believe that if someone has really figured out how to paint, they will embody some of this style and technique -- it's all about complete control and accuracy of the components of painting -- knowing what needs to be there and omitting the rest. That being said, I sometimes wish Carolyn's paintings had a stronger or more refined center of interest . . . something that a viewer could really grasp on to. 

Hopefully as I grow as an artist, some of these qualities that are seen in Carolyn's work will be seen in my own paintings.

After watching most of the demo, I jumped around to the other portrait workshops to find a place to paint in the afternoon. I spent a few minutes in both Scott Burdicks and Nancy Guziks workshop, snapping a couple pictures for you.

I decided to paint with Nancy that afternoon and Richard came in to see how the workshop was coming along. During his visit he drew a quick sketch of the models younger brother (the girl in the above picture) and then also played chess with the model. This little girl was really good at chess and had most of us scared to play her. I'm not sure how I would have faired, but I figured I should just stick to painting.

Friday night (day 3) was the last of the evening events which was a duel between Quang Ho and Daniel Sprick. The two are friends from Colorado and are both represented by Gallery 1261 in Denver. Both artists were engaging and painted well. Quang spent the first 20 minutes discussing his thought process and ideas while Daniel got a much needed head start. As mentioned before, Daniel's style is much more refined (verging on photo-realism at times) while Quang is much faster and simplified. It was nice to see two very different approaches to the same subject . . . something you usually don't see in these types of events. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weekend with the Masters - Day Two

Day two started off the workshops and except for a couple lectures, most participants were in a single class the entire day. Each "Master" spent the morning discussing and demonstrating their painting method which left the afternoon for student participation.

I spent most of my morning watching the start of Rose Frantzen's demo (I had missed the beginning of day one's demonstration and was really interested in this stage). Like a true master, she quickly constructed both a wonderful likeness as well as a piece of art -- I would highly recommend Rose's workshops . . . she just gets "it" and can easily describe and teach what she thinks and knows.

One of the things I took away from her demo was that when she squints down at the subject (to simplify the shapes), she always asks herself a coinciding question. Like "How does the shape of the right eye differ from the left", or "does the hair line disappear" or "are these two shapes the same value even though they have different temperatures." I may do the same thing half of the time, but I bet I'm guilty of just squinting at the subject because that's what "your supposed to do."

She also takes assessment of things as she slowly squints down and opens back up. So, for example, if she wants to find the hardest edge on the subject, she will slowly squint down until all the edges are lost except for one (which will be the hardest edge), and then as she slowly opens her eyes, she will take an account of all the other edges that start to come back into her vision . . . so through one squint, she will know the hardest edge and the others that follow.

Later in the morning, I spent some time in Dan Gerhartz's workshop as well as a few moments in Daniel Spricks. Both are amazing artists -- Sprick starts with a very classical duotone underpainting while Gerhartz blocks in with more local color (much like Frantzen or Burdick).

In the afternoon, my friend and I crashed Rose's workshop and was able to paint for a couple hours. I have to take photos of the paintings, and will try to get to it soon.

The evening event was the much anticipated portrait demonstration of Richard Schmid painting Alexey Steele. If you know Alexey, you know that he can't sit still or stop talking, making it very entertaining to see Richard paint a portrait while Alexey is flailing his arms and giving a 2 hour monologue in his Russian accent. I don't have any photos of the event (my camera battery was needed), but I was able to take a little video -- it's not much but it does have a surprise ending when Daniel Keys and I were goofing off and laughing about who knows what . . .

To wrap up the evening, a bunch of us grabbed some food after the event . . . here are a few pictures of to many people around to small of a table. (notice how we all care about being in the pictures and being "social," but Richard was the smart one and just wanted to eat his soup and go to bed!)

 Taaron, Jon, and Adam enjoying a story from Rosemary (Rosemary and Co Brushes)

Day three . . . coming soon.