Sunday, December 3, 2017

I've been trying to get better at rendering light, atmosphere, and aerial perspective in pen and ink. Both are imaginary scenes, based loosely on sketches and memories:

I'm finding that the key is a balance between precision and freedom - the myriad hatch marks need to be uniform enough to convey tone and texture without calling attention to themselves, but the overall effect needs to flow naturally.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Show in September

I'm showing my work at a local gallery in September.

September 2 – September 29, 2017
Opening reception September 7, 2017 
From 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Burnett Gallery at the Jones Library
43 Amity St. Amherst, MA 01002

Summer paintings

We went to Truro on Cape Cod, erstwhile stomping grounds of Edward Hopper. This is a pen sketch of Provincetown across the bay from our place.
Some sailing ships dropped anchor, probably en route to the Tall Ships  event in Boston.

  I was doing a painting of rocks at low tide. I didn't realize how fast the tide would come in.

Then we went to Pennsylvania, where my bro-in-law Victor took this of me at work...

on this:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spring Paintings

A couple of of things to bring in spring. This is the Norwottuck Rail Trail bridge for cyclists and pedestrians across the Connecticut River, which I've done from other points of view before. This one is from the Calvin Coolidge bridge, which runs parallel to it and is for cars mainly, with a bit of sidewalk for walking on the side. As I stood on the bridge sketching this idyllic scene there was a perpetual traffic jam behind me, with horns, exhaust fumes, etc.

watercolor 4" x 6"

 This is an oil painting of farmland with vernal puddles in the tractor ruts. I started it on site and finished in the studio.

  Oil 8" x 10"

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Yet another snow painting

This one I started back in February. I got the background and main shapes, lines, and color notes blocked in while I was out and got around to adding in the snow flakes later. I continued with the idea of painting the flakes as translucent and reflective, picking up the colors around them.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Another snow painting

We had a significant snowstorm March 14. My work was closed so I got to go out and paint in it. I'm wearing my new snowshoes. So far, I haven't ventured far from home to paint in a snowstorm - to drive would be foolhardy, and I'm still a beginner on the snowshoes. But in near whiteout conditions, one place looks pretty much like another, so it's all good.

I noticed that the falling snow picked up the colors of the surrounding scene, giving a slight color cast to the flakes in different parts of the scene. I tried to convey that with paint, varying the warmth and coolness of the colors. I'm using a very limited palette of venetian red, phthalo blue, and white. As I painted I sang "Snowy, snowy day, paint your palette blue and gray..."

Painting in the snow - more flakes!

The thing about snowstorms is - there are a lot of snowflakes involved! I decided the previously posted version of this painting didn't do the subject justice, so I added more flakes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

painting in the snow

We had a couple of good snowstorms last weekend. I tested out my latest invention, "Artistic-In-Tent," a portable shelter to cover my pochade box. It's made from an old file folder hanger and a large plastic bag with a hole cut out and clipped to the hanger frame.
The frame is secured to the box with C-clamps.

Here's a video of my first foray into the flakes:

It worked fairly well but still let snow in through the access hole, (you can see me blowing it away in the video) so I added an umbrella and an adjustable plastic valence over the top.

Here is a painting done using this setup.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Early Snow

We finally got a respectable snow the other day so I went out back and tried to get the falling snow against the trees and the layers of landscape behind.  

landscape with falling snow against dark trees in foreground, fields, houses, and trees in background.

Here's the paintbox in situ. The thing hovering over the the palette area is a roof I made out of an old canvas stretcher and a piece of plexiglass to protect the paint from getting totally buried in snow.

Pochade box on tripod in snowstorm with painting in progress. Palette area partially sheltered from snow by wood and plexiglass panel clamped above it.