“A painting is never finished. It simply stops in interesting places.” – Paul Gardner
This is true about my latest watercolor painting, entitled Dragonfly. I decided to let the background remain purple, instead of adding additional layers as I originally intended. The painting is based on a photograph taken at Glen Lake, in the Adirondacks, last autumn. The dragonfly was a surprise that I did not even notice, until I enlarged the photo to look carefully when I began my original sketch.
The 10th Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Show opens this weekend in Vermont. My paintings Sacramento Street and Windows on the World were juried into the show, along with Moose River, as part of their Small Works Show. The show will be open June 19th – July 24th at the Red Barn Galleries, Route 100, Waitsfield, VT.
Art opening tomorrow night (Friday, May 27th) at the LARAC Gallery in Glens Falls, NY, from 5-7pm. The LARAC will be hosting its annual members’ show featuring 110 local artists of various mediums. My watercolor painting, Canton Bazaar, will be on display. The show runs May 27th-June 29th (including during the LARAC Arts Festival on June 18th-19th). Regular gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10am-3pm, Thursdays until 6 pm.
I’m very pleased to announce that Cole’s Woods and Sheltered Cove have been juried into the Expressions 2022 art show. The opening will be on Saturday, May 7, 5-7 pm, and the show runs through June 11th. The exhibition is located in the North Country Arts Gallery, at The Shirt Factory (71 Lawrence Street), in Glens Falls, NY. The gallery is open Thursday – Saturday, 12-5 pm.
Here is my latest watercolor painting entitled “Captured.” This painting is inspired by a photograph I took, capturing an image of my daughter taking a photo of a spider web. I enjoy the triple word play of “captured” for myself, my daughter and the spider. The bright sunlight of the morning highlighted select leaves, the web and my daughter, making them stand out of the surrounding dark forest.
I think many artists would agree that watercolor is one of the most challenging mediums to use. Trying to correct any mistakes in watercolor is extremely difficult, if not impossible. I took a lovely photo of Moose River over the past summer, that I wanted to paint. I did all the work of sketching and transferring the image onto watercolor paper and started to paint in the sky. It was a complete disaster. Evidently I’d forgotten how to paint clouds. Painting skies in watercolor requires you to paint very fast and boldly, which is the opposite of how I paint. I made myself practice clouds for a week, before I tried again.
Finally I returned to my original sketch and started over. Here is my final painting, entitled Moose River. The sky is still not what I originally envisioned, but I made myself finish the painting anyways. No matter how many years you paint, there is always room for improvement, and you can learn something new every time you paint.
The North East Watercolor Society is hosting its Annual Juried Exhibition 2022. 52 watercolor paintings will be on display at the Orange Hall Gallery (24 Grandview Avenue, Middletown, NY) from now until mid-March. (Please see gallery website for current hours and Covid protocols.) Two of my recent paintings were juried into this show, South Inlet and Cole’s Woods.
Working around the central flowers, I continue painting one small section at a time.
The painting is starting to get more complicated with the cellophane and water droplets abstracting the image. I continue using resist to preserve the white areas, until I’m ready to paint them. Some of the white areas will remain sharp, while others will be soften and blended into the whites.
I paint the last small section, then begin tweaking the overall painting and adjusting the tones of the background. This painting is 16” x 20” and has taken me a total of 12 weeks to complete. Here is the final watercolor painting, entitled “Market Joy.”
Now I’m starting with the darks, by painting the purple leaves. I’m using a piece of clean paper to protect the areas already painted, so I don’t ruin it with my hand or drip on it accidentally.
Next, I begin painting the hearts of the sunflowers using the same process as the petals, mentioned previously. The centers of sunflowers are called disk flowers and are arranged in a spiral. My detailing is consisting of layers of dots and dashes to create the texture.
All of the foreground flowers are done. I now need to begin working on the flowers that are partially covered with cellophane wrap. These will be more blurry and abstract. I’m going to work in small sections so that I don’t have resist on the paper for more than a couple days. Starting with a pale yellow wash in the corner, I do a negative painting of the reflected leaves. After adding in shadows, I do a dark wash to soften the edges. I will probably lighten some of the cellophane at some point, but for now I’m removing the resist and moving on to another section.
I have read that sunflowers are the happiest flower. I don’t know if that is true, but the day I saw these flowers, one morning during my grocery shopping, they bought me pure joy as I snapped photos with my camera phone. All the colors and details… I knew it would be a fascinating, and challenging, image to paint. There’s not a strong light source since the photo was taken inside, but I’m hoping the highlights of the cellophane wrap will be interesting enough to make up for the lack of deep shadows. As I work on this painting, I will be taking photos and explaining what I’m doing. Here is the original photo:
It took me six hours to sketch and transfer the image to watercolor paper. I’m using a new type of paper this time (Arches cold press 140 pounds) on the back side of paper. I usually use Strathmore cold press, but I’ve notice issues with the sizing lately, so I wanted to try something new. The paper is slightly softer to touch and a little more evenly textured than Strathmore.
The beginning of a painting is the most exciting part and I can’t wait to start. I’m beginning to paint with a base of cadmium yellow in order to “find” the petals. In a complicated sketch like this, it is extremely helpful so you don’t lose your place. For the second coat, I begin to add the local color. After that, I add all the details and texture to the petals. By clicking on each image, you can see a close up of each step of the painting.
Next, I start laying out the green leaves. I want them to have cool colors to contrast with the warm sunflowers. These leaves are not behind cellophane wrap, so they need to be sharp and clear. I repeat the steps of a base color, gradations, shadows, and then details.
I am moving on to the red and yellow sunflowers next. I use the same steps as the other flowers. I’m avoiding the dark centers of the flowers right now, because watercolor will spread and I don’t want any dark color bleeding into the petals and ruining their bright colors.
The Gallery at The Lake Placid Center for the Arts, in downtown Lake Placid, NY, is hosting its annual juried show. The exhibition is comprised of paintings and sculptures from local artists in upstate New York. My watercolor painting Canton Bazaar was juried into the show. The exhibition will be on display today through December 1st.
The Northeast Watercolor Society is hosting its 45th Annual International Exhibition. This juried show includes watercolor artists from across the country and around the world. I’m thrilled to have my painting, Autumn Welcome, juried into the show. The exhibition runs October 10th – 24th at the Kent Gallery (21 South Main Street, Kent, CT).
After several months of not painting, I finally was able to sit down and paint a new watercolor. It is entitled “Cole’s Woods.” The painting is based on a photograph taken last winter while cross country skiing with friends in Cole’s Woods, in Queensbury, NY. The sun and the snow created double highlights on the trees and strong shadows. It was a challenging image to try to replicate and I’m grateful it’s finally completed!
There’s still time to go see the 40th Annual Adirondack National Exhibition of Watercolors. This juried watercolor show features amazing artists from around the United States. The show is on display August 7th – September 26th, at The View, 3273 State Route 28 in Old Forge, NY. My painting, Sacramento Street, was juried into this beautiful exhibition.
The Sacandaga Valley Arts Network (SVAN) is hosting an art show, Upstate Waters. This exhibit showcases 2-dimensionsal artwork by regional artists, representing our greatest natural resource, water. I have two paintings, Golden Pool and Lefferts Pond, in the juried show. The exhibit will be on display today through September 10th at 341 South Third Street, Northville, NY.
The 9th Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition opens this Sunday. The show is comprised of 63 watercolor artists from across the United States. I have two paintings juried into the show, Canton Bazaar and Sheltered Cove. My third painting, Succulents, is in their small works show. I’m very pleased to announce that Canton Bazaar has been awarded the McDonaldstein Award! The show runs June 20th – July 24th, at the Big Red Barn Gallery at Lareau Farm (48 Lareau Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673).
I have just completed a new watercolor painting entitled South Inlet. The painting is based on a photograph taken while kayaking South Inlet (off Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains) last summer. The multi-colored rocks and the contrasting shadows are what inspired me to create this painting.
The annual LARAC Art Show, highlighting regional artists, opens tonight. My piece Windows on the World will be on display today through June 30th. The LARAC Art Gallery is located at 7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls, NY. Hours are Mon-Sat, 10am-3pm, extended hours on Thursday to 6pm.
Other upcoming juried shows include the Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition, in Waitsfield, VT, in June, and the National Exhibition of American Watercolors, in Old Forge, NY, August-September. I’m very excited to have my work accepted into both of these amazing watercolor shows.
I just completed another smaller (8″ x 16″) watercolor painting, entitled Cactaceae. I expanded on my last painting Succulents. This time, I painted a different perspective of my daughter’s garden. Cactaceae refers to the species family that includes both cacti and succulents (plants that store their water within their bodies).
My latest watercolor painting is entitled Succulents. During the quarantine last spring, my daughter created a beautiful, mini garden of succulent plants. Working from photographs, I created this small 6.5 inch square painting. The following slide show is the story, in pictures, of my painting’s progression.
The North East Watercolor Society (NEWS) is having it’s annual members’ show online this year. Two of my watercolors, Enchanted Woods and Sheltered Cove, are displayed in this online show, along with 175 other watercolor paintings. The show has been set to music, performed by Geoff Hamburg, and lasts about 30 minutes. Here is the link to the show:
Beginning today, I have 13 paintings on display at the Saratoga Springs Public Library (13650 Saratoga Avenue). The library gallery is currently open Monday – Tuesday, 3-7 pm, and Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5 pm. The show is entitled Colors of the Seasons and is comprised of various paintings I’ve done highlighting the changing seasons in upstate New York. The show will be on display through January 4th, 2021.