Monday, January 25, 2016

October View

 I went back to Keene Valley in October and composed this sketch from the porch overlooking the Ausable River. Lots more color than my summer view. Ive been working on off and on since then 18 x24 pastel  

Snow Day Paintings

crabby boys 11x14 oil

Magness' Barn- Solstice sunset 11x14 pastel 
 Maryland has been hammered with a blizzard for 3  days and Monday (today) was a SNOW DAY! Being a teacher, I look forward to snow days as much as the kids. When its cold and nasty I like to paint pictures that remind me of hot summer days. I started Crabby boys some time ago but never put in the bridge until today. It was a hot July dawn on the Severn River when the soft shell crabbers slowly motored up and down the shore.
The Magness' Barn is on the farm behind my house. The property has been sold for development and is now abandoned. I walked over on a clear evening in Dec. just in time to catch the evening sun on the barn.      

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ausable River from Stebbins' Porch- work in progress

 I'm working on a series based on this view from a great camp in the High Peaks. It's become quite a challenge since there is so much information  to deal with. I'm trying to simplify and bring out the beautiful blues of the river. 16x24 pastel

Winter pictures begin

the Bell On the Keene Valley firehouse 18x18 oil
White Pines in the Fog  24x14 pastel

Ausable River from Stebbins' Porch  16x24 pastel
The school year doesn't allow me to do much painting but things slow down in winter and I can hunker down and work when its dark and cold outside. I've had some time off for Christmas and was able to get into the studio.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Harford County Plein Air Festival

 I participated in Harford's 1st paint out and had a pretty good time. Great party after.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Some answers to some important questions

Over the years my students have been curious about" how I became an artist" and other questions. Here are some answers :

I was in 4th grade when I knew I wanted to be an artist. Mrs. Donohue, My 4th grade teacher let be draw through a  math class once. I also assisted an experienced teacher in a summer program when I was in High School. I didn't know at the time she was the Art Supervisor for Anne Arundel Co. Schools. 

 I prefer to paint landscapes. in oil and pastel. I enjoy being outside , in the woods or along rivers. I feel close to nature and find spiritual sustenance there. I try to capture the effects of light in the early morning and evenings, the “golden hour.” But mostly I am attracted to colors and how they change when they travel in and out of shadow.

 I have had many mentors, living and dead. Artists are constantly learning from other artists. Andrew Wyeth and Vincent Van Gogh were very early inspirations. Later, in adulthood, I fell in love with American Impressionism and the painters of the early 20th cen. Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows, and the paintings of Fairfield Porter and the Canadian Tom Thompson. Those guys still paint better and fresher than many artists working today.  Living mentors were my teachers, Frank Kelly, Duane Sabiston, John Sauers, Eugene Leake, Robert Stark, and many others . My wife has always supported me emotionally in producing art. She has always encouraged my art making. 

When I met gallery owner Martha Corscaden in New  York, who wanted to show my work, I was really inspired to produce. I have had annual shows since 2009.

I always liked teaching. In Boy Scouts I used  to give "lectures" on stuff. I then became an Arts and Crafts camp counselor in high school through college. I  learned a lot on my own.  I found teaching something was the best way to learn something. I always enjoyed sharing what I had learned. I studied art teaching in college and got a job right out of school based on all my experience with kids in my summer programs. I”ve been teaching high school art since 1974.

  Advice? Paint what gives you joy. Paintings are more than just the objects you draw. In my case they are about light, or color.  And Don't be afraid to take risks.There are no mistakes in art, only adjustments and discovery.  When you face your fear you find your art

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sleeping Giant

 My last painting in Keene Valley this summer on Johns Brook. The day started out sunny and hot and when I finally got all my gear together and set up my palette it began to rain. I'm glad oil and water don't mix. I was able to get most of this down under an umbrella. 6x12in oil