I usually know if a painting is finished. Something in my gut tells me there's nothing more to do and we've reached completion. If I'm unclear, I ask myself this question: "Am I futzing or finessing?" The answer will lead me to my next step. Futzing equals done! Finessing means I have to make a few tweaks. I can see some thing(s) that just doesn't look right. Yet, I might not know how to "fix" it. What tweaks should I make? That's when I put it away and revisit the painting at a later … [Read more...] about Revisiting a Painting
en plein air
Finding My Art Voice
Discovering my voice in art was a gradual process. When I returned to making art a few years ago, I was driven by the desire to convey the emotional, ethereal, spiritual experience of swimming with wild dolphins. Words did not suffice, so I had to express visually. Initially, I used colored pencils to sketch the dolphins in their oceanic playground. That was my most comfortable medium, stemming from years of using them to draw abstract, geometric mandalas. It was good to begin with a … [Read more...] about Finding My Art Voice
I wrapped up my painting season just after the Red Sox wrapped up their third World Series win in the past decade. (Go Sox!) As a pastelist, I must paint outdoors en plein air. Otherwise, the pastel dust would make a mess of my home studio. My painting time is thus limited to warmer weather: I begin as early as April and usually stop in October. When the temperature dips below 50, it's simply too cold for me to stand at my easel. I now enter my "postseason". One of the first things I do is … [Read more...] about Artist Postseason
Bike ‘n Paint
I love bicycle riding and I love painting, so I often combine them into an experience I call "Bike 'n Paint". While bike riding, I scope out beautiful and interesting locations that make me think, "Wow, I'd like to paint this sometime!" I keep a running list in my head of places and things I want to paint. When the urge strikes, I'll bike to the area with my pastels and sit for a short time blocking out the scene. I then finish the painting back home in my garden. The supplies I take are … [Read more...] about Bike ‘n Paint
Omega Weekend Paintings Finished!
In August, I spent a weekend painting and relaxing at Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, NY. I started 3 paintings that weekend, and now I'll share with you the process of finishing those paintings when I returned home. Sometimes, I'm able to start and finish a painting in 1 sitting, but it's not a common practice for me. Whether it's because I paint "slowly" (whatever that means!) or because I need to take a break, 2 to 3 hours is my "standard" block of time for a painting session. When I travel, … [Read more...] about Omega Weekend Paintings Finished!
Painting Weekend at Omega
This past weekend was the first time all summer that I've been able to paint for an entire day. I treated myself to some R&R at Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, NY. It took 4 hours to drive there from Boston; not bad, considering the traffic backup we encountered around Springfield. After arriving in the early afternoon, I was able to scope out possible painting spots so that I could start bright and early the next morning. Morning at the Lake The last time I came here (in 2006), I spent an … [Read more...] about Painting Weekend at Omega
10 Tips for Pastel Painting En Plein Air
1. Choose your surface There are many wonderful surfaces to choose from for pastels. Some of my favorites are: Canson Mi-Teintes paper, Wallis Sanded Pastel Paper, Art Spectrum Colourfix Coated Pastel Paper, Ampersand Pastelboard, and Fabriano or Acquerello watercolor paper,. The key is to use an acid-free surface with some tooth to hold the pastel. 2. Prepare your surface Tone and Texture — Most often, I use Canson (rich array of tones) and Wallis (neutral tones with excellent toothed … [Read more...] about 10 Tips for Pastel Painting En Plein Air
Painting at the Sergi Farm
One of the joys of painting at our local farmers' market this year was meeting so many of the great people who sell their products there. The Sergi Farm group (Belmont's last working farm) were my "neighbors" during my first painting session. They were very friendly and interested in my work, and invited me to come to their farm to paint. I took them up on their offer on a beautiful day in early September. My painting friend, Laraine, joined me. We use different mediums and approaches to our … [Read more...] about Painting at the Sergi Farm