Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday Sketchin'

I spent yesterday in Old Lyme, Connecticut, relaxing on the beach for a few hours.  I spent a couple of minutes producing this quick sketch of the view in front of me, using a soft charcoal pencil in my Moleskine sketchbook:
Looking from Old Lyme, you can see across the Long Island Sound, and a tiny strip of Long Island is visible.  I've sketched it so many times from my position on the beach, but this time was different.  I drew this after observing the way the thin, dark line of Long Island, fades into the horizon line of the ocean, just as the clouds do right above it.  It was so similar in fact that it was hard for me to distinguish which was the cloud and which was the island.  It is just another example of how amazing nature is, constantly mirroring itself right in front of our eyes.  I hope you enjoyed this peek into my sketchbook.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Painting: "Sunset Over the Rooftops, Portsmouth"

Here is one of my recent paintings, painted en plein air (outdoors, on location) last week.  It is 9 x 12", oil on canvas.

"Sunset Over the Rooftops, Portsmouth", 2009
I finally had good weather so I could take photographs of it in the correct sunlight.  I painted this one, starting at 8 PM here in New England, so  you can imagine that I only had a short stretch of time to complete this outdoors, especially as the shapes and colors of the clouds and the light were all the while changing.  I painted this outside of my house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where I spotted a beautiful little patch of sunlight and clouds behind the rooftops of neighboring buildings.  I love how the colors of the shadows and highlights are repeated in the clouds and the buildings themselves.  

I also took photos of my progress, if you would like a sneak peek inside my process for painting landscapes.  I chose Cadmium Red Light for my underpainting, quickly painted as I observed the cloud formations.

I then mixed my colors and values for the clouds, and quickly painted them in while they were still not moving too fast, and before the sun completely set.
After I finished putting down the colors I saw, I blended them as I saw them blended in the sky, twisting and heightening the shapes as I usually do with my abstracted clouds in my landscapes.

After the sky was done, I completed the buildings, which were not changing colors and values as quickly as the clouds to complete the painting.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have been busy at work, painting away En Plein Air, ready to share the new images.  However, I do not have good pictures yet because it has been raining non-stop here in New Hampshire.  I take photographs of my paintings outside to get the best light, so this is a problem!  The forecast does not look good for the week, so I think I am just going to upload temporary photos, the best that I can do, tomorrow.  Look for my new paintings soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Painting: "Raw Vegetables Still Life" DSDF Challenge

Since moving to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I have been looking to "warm up" a new painting routine for the summer, now that I am finally settled in. The Different Strokes From Different Folks Challenge seemed to be the perfect thing to start with, even though it is a departure from my landscapes. Here is my painting:

My Painting, "Raw Vegetables Still Life"

It is an oil painting done on 5 x 7" canvas board. I have never done the DSDF challenge before, though I have been lurking on the blog for a couple of months. It is a challenge for artists everywhere via blog, started by artist Karin Jurick. How it works is she posts a reference image photograph every week or two, and all different artists interpret the photograph through their art in different ways, and then post photographs of their art. It is really interesting to see many different takes on one subject. Here is the reference image from this challenge:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I just finished moving in to a beautiful 18th century home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the Seacoast.  I have never been this far north before and I am really enjoying the landscapes I see all around me.  I also joined the New Hampshire Plein Air group and am looking forward to painting En Plein Air for the first time!  I am hoping to go to the Isles of Shoals this week to start, traveling in the steps of my favorite artist, Childe Hassam.  Look for new paintings soon!  I plan on painting many small paintings this summer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy June!

Please excuse my lack of new work lately, as I am making the move from Newark, Delaware to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the summer.  I am not sure exactly where I will be after that, but probably in the DC area.  Moving and packing does not give me a lot of time to paint, but I will start again once I am settled in to Portsmouth.  I have joined the New Hampshire Plein Air group so I'm sure there will be lots of work to share with you this summer.  Please be sure to check out my last painting and hopefully I will post about other things this week as I make my move.