Sunday, August 6, 2017

Summer Paintings

"Grass Lake"

June and July in Review

As we are slightly past the midway point for Summer I thought I would take some time to look over a few of the paintings I had created in the past few weeks.
The unique thing about this group of paintings is that they were each begun as a demo piece either for a class that I was teaching, or a demonstration of painting in a public setting.

Back in early June I was visiting friends who were staying on Blind Bay along the St. Lawrence River. On the day I was visiting the weather was less than perfect, intermittent rain fell for a good part of the afternoon. Not too great for kayaking, but I could see a painting coming to life. The soft rain and heavy skies created this dreamy setting, tucked away from the River in a world of its own. I took a few reference photos and a few days later while I was working at Bay House Artisans in Alexandria Bay I began the painting. As customers came into the store they would stop, watch my progress and make comments (mostly favorable!). I finished the painting later in my studio at camp.

"Rainy Day, Blind Bay"

"Rising" was painted during Arts on Genesee, an outdoor Fine Art and Craft show. I blogged about painting that piece a few weeks ago.


In July I taught three 2-day workshops at the Thousand Islands Arts Center in Clayton. The first workshop, Foliage & Flowers left me with the beginnings of a really nice floral watercolor. I haven't finished it yet--it's next on my list. I also taught a class titled Creating Atmosphere in Your Watercolors. The small painting below "Sentry"came out of that class. We were working with heavy overcast skies and misty effects. I had really just meant to paint a sky but somehow a dreamy landform and a heron emerged from a puddle of Payne's Gray, Yellow Ocher and Cerulean Blue. The stark simplicity of the painting really appeals to me.


"Grass Lake"
At the end of July I taught an Acrylic Painting class, concentrating on landscape. "Grass Lake" was under-painted on Monday, painted on Tuesday in class as a demonstration, finished that night in my studio at camp and sold on Wednesday. How's that for fast work???

Our first painting in the acrylic landscape class dealt with daytime light. Our second painting, done from our imaginations was a sunset painting. Skies and water come alive with color as the land becomes a silhouette.

"North Country Sunset"
So it seems that one of the perks of teaching and demonstrating is the opportunity to create a painting --maybe. Some of the pieces that I began as a demo for class turned out well. Others are opportunities for later. I have a couple of beach scenes and the afore mentioned floral painting to return to and perhaps a painting will emerge. Or perhaps these demos will become "studies" for a larger, more developed painting. And some demos just don't make it as paintings at all. All part of the learning process.

This coming week I will be detouring into "Painting on Silk", which is very much like watercolor. We'll see where the demos lead.