15 Paintings Challenge: Geranium, #12


We are getting to the end of this challenge with only three more flower paintings to go – count down is on!  The last three flower scenes have been selected ~

#12, Geranium (10×8) an oil pastel painted on gessoed prepared hardboard using Senneliers, Holbeins and Mungyo brands of oil pastels.  This time gouache was used for an overall underpainting to give the background a light purplish, pink, salmon hue – hoping that these colors would set the stage before I began to buildup layers of oil pastels.  I’m thinking the background worked.

I was going to take a razor and begin scraping after the OPs were applied, and then re-apply perhaps giving more of an impressionist feel to the piece.  But thought otherwise once the final scene started to unfold – sometimes you have to listen to your gut.

Thanks for checking in on the progress of this challenge, I’ve really enjoyed it and the benefits from it are countless.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Geranium, #12

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Posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Flowers, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

15 Paintings – Flower Challenge: Red Roses, #11


Two years ago I took a photograph of some roses I brought in from the outside and have been waiting for a good time to paint them – well actually until I felt a bit more confident.  The flower challenge seemed a perfect opportunity to give it a go ~

Red Roses, #11 an oil pastel (12×9) was done on a gesso prepared hardboard, using mainly Sennelier and Holbein oil pastels.  This painting was started with an acrylic underpainting and then two gesso layers were applied to seal in the underpainting and also to give the surface a gritty tooth for the OPs to grab onto.

This setting for flowers is my favorite because of the back-lighting coming in from the window – encasing the roses with a soft glow.  These particular roses are a deep red, overflowing with petals and size, and in the right light have a bit of an orange cast on the tips of some of the petals.

The painting has a very rich look to it, unfortunately no matter how I tried to photograph the piece I wasn’t able to capture it adequately.  Hopefully you an idea – click onto the image for a larger view.

Red Roses, #11

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Posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Flowers, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , , , | 67 Comments

Thursdays Drawing – Sodus Point Lighthouse, #1


The start of a new project, always exciting – starts out weak, but hopefully will end on a high note.

Sodus Point Lighthouse, (9×12) will be drawn entirely in graphite pencil on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.  The sky and middle cloud bank were worked on today, it’s 1/3 completed with a long ways to go.  I’m working to achieve a soft atmosphere for the middle cloud bank as it floats through the scene, while not threatening, it will still play a role as a backdrop to showoff the lighthouse.

Sodus Point, is located in Upstate New York along the shores of Lake Ontario – a place that I know very well.  This area is where I grew up and have many great memories of the lake, riding my bike along the waterway to the light house was a favorite pastime.  Lake Ontario is a significant body of water stretching 60 miles across directly to Canada, many a boat has been lost on this lake – winds coming down from Canada can be treacherous.  So the Sodus Point Lighthouse plays a significant role in guiding many sea worthy vessels to safety.

Next week, the sky will be nearly completed and then starts the body of water.  In this scene the water is quite turbulent, as you’ll see once the water becomes built up.

Click onto the image for a larger view – this week there isn’t very much to see, but wait as usually the scene will unfold as it’s built right before your eyes.

Sodus Point Lighthouse, #1

Sodus Point Lighthouse, #1

Posted in Drawings, Thursday Drawings | 38 Comments

15 Paintings Challenge – Flowers: Sweet Pea at Window, #10


I really enjoyed painting this scene – it was an arrangement that allowed for exploring all types of pinks, magenta and violet, along with varying textures.

#10 Sweet Pea at Window is an oil pastel (12×9) on a gessoed prepared Ampersand Board (love this surface).  The painting started with an acrylic underpainting that was sealed with two coats of gesso applied thick with a brush for textured lines.  Once the gesso dried the fun began – loved painting the scene.  I have very few paintings with pinks and wow I just let loose layering on the colors of the Sweet Pea.

It’s a bit crisper in person – but I think you have a good idea of what it looks like.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Sweet Pea at Window, #10 with text

The painting was based on a reference image from Wetcanvas library.

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Posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Flowers, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , , , | 73 Comments

Thursday Drawing: Grand Slam, a Pictorial Process


As I begin the process of selecting a new scene for my next Thursday Drawing project, I wanted to share with you the pictorial process of Grand Slam.

Click onto image for a larger view ~

Grand Slam, #1 through #3

Grand Slam, #1 through #3

Grand Slam, #4 through Final

Grand Slam, #4 through Final

Hope you are having a good day, work begins on my next flower painting!

DON’T TAKE MY IMAGES!! MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
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Posted in Drawings, Thursday Drawings | 26 Comments

15 Paintings Challenge – Flowers: Coreopsis Early Sunrise, #9


Continuing with the flower challenge, #9 Coreopsis Early Sunrise are flowers I know well – they are just beginning to bud and hopefully within the next two weeks we’ll see them open.

#9 Coreopsis Early Sunrise, an oil pastel (8×8) is painted on a gesso prepared artist canvas board using mainly Senneliers and Holbeins.  This time I experimented with the background using darks and lights along with complimentary colors adding a bit of drama for the flowers to shine.  Artist canvas board isn’t a high quality surface and for some reason oil pastels tend to blend out on this material making it difficult to obtain clean lines, it’s very weird.  But I like the effect for some paintings giving an impressionist style with soft edging.

Six flower paintings to go in this challenge, thanks for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Coreopsis Early Sunrise with text

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Posted in About Oil Pastels, Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Flowers, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , | 68 Comments

Artists Who Inspire: Meet Rita DiCaprio


It’s a real pleasure for me to introduce you to Rita DiCaprio of New York North Fine Art.  Rita was one of the very first artists that I met online when I began painting four years ago.  She also paints with oil pastels and if it wasn’t for her generosity of sharing techniques and information about the medium, I can honestly say I probably wouldn’t have continued down this journey of becoming an oil pastelist.

Rita is a fabulously talented artist who works oil pastels as I’ve never seen before .  .  . her paintings are gorgeous.  Please enjoy the interview below that I recently conducted with Rita.

How long have you been an artist? I have been a professional artist for the past twenty-five years. By professional, I mean that I started selling my work at that time, and that was when I received my first award for my paintings. But to answer the question how long have I been an artist, I think that I have felt like an artist for as long as I can remember. I remember a fascination with color, paint, and creating art from my earliest childhood memories.

What training have you received? I have taken workshops with a variety of artists, and studied individually with a few mentors over the years, all of which have been very helpful in my development as an artist. I have been fortunate to have met some really wonderful and talented people who have been very generous in sharing their passion and skill.

What medium do you specialize in? I have basically concentrated on two mediums during my life: watercolor earlier in my career, and then later in my career oil pastels, which is definitely my medium of choice. I now work almost exclusively in oil pastels.
How would you describe your style? I generally work in a loose, impressionistic style. My work has also been described as tonalist, as often there is a moody, misty quality, with soft edges and neutral hues in the painting.

Are there artists who have influenced the direction of your work, if so who and why? There are many artists that have influenced my work over the years, some famous, and some little known. As a group, The Hudson River Artists have had a huge influence on my work. I am drawn to the way they used light, and their love affair with the Upstate New York Landscape which is where I have spent the last 30 years. Some of my favorite artists are Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, and John William Casilear.

What subjects appeal to you? Generally I am drawn to the landscape. Landscapes in all seasons. One of my favorites to paint is the winter landscape, as I love trying to create a sense of luminosity in the snow. I also enjoy painting still life, especially the still life of everyday objects.

How do you push your creative envelope and keep things fresh? I think for me, keeping things fresh means keeping your eyes open to what you see and not continuing to paint in the same way, even when it is successful. I think there can be a temptation to continue to do the same thing over and over again when it works, but I think that’s when paintings start to look rote. I try to stay tuned in to what excites me, and try to always take risks in a painting. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always keeps it exciting.

Do you see a finished painting in your minds-eye before you start? In other word do you visualize before you start or just let things flow on its natural course as you paint? I rarely see a finished painting in my mind’s eye, and even when I do, it’s not usually what it winds up being in the end anyway! I try to listen to where the painting wants to take me . . . often changing directions completely.

Where do you go for inspiration? I am blessed to live in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful areas of the country, Upstate New York which is home to the Adirondack Mountains. For inspiration, I am a short drive to the mountains which still, after living here all these years, literally take my breath away. I think if I live to be 100 and I am still painting, I will still have more to share about what the mountains are saying to me.

Do you paint plein aire, in a studio or both? I am mostly a studio painter, although I do paint plein aire and really enjoy it. There is something in the experience of being outside with nature when you create that is truly wonderful.

What does your art mean to you? Wow, that is a tough question! I don’t know if I can really put that into words. I feel like my painting is such an intrinsic part of myself that it is hard to separate me from my art. It is my passion, it is what makes me feel alive, it feels like what I was meant to do in this life.

What do you want your art to say to the viewer? I hope that my art conveys a sense of what I feel when I see the subject that I am painting, and the joy that I feel when I paint. I don’t really have any more sophisticated theme that I am trying to convey . . . Just the beauty I see, and the joy I feel.

What is the name of your blog and website? The name of my blog is http://www.newyorknorthfineart.wordpress.com that I share with another artist, Eden Compton. My website is an online gallery that features both the work of myself and Eden Compton as well. The online gallery link is http://www.newyorknorthfineart.com and offers work directly available for purchase.

Is there another place else that we can go to see your work in person? I have a permanent collection of my landscapes at The Batchellor Mansion in Saratoga Springs, NY.

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A Special Thank You


A special thank you to all who follow my blog, with much patience I might add, for your generous comments, support and encouragement.  I don’t know where my art will lead, but I do know I’m having a great time learning and exploring – it’s fun and rewarding.

To those who celebrate the blessed holy day, Happy Easter to you and your families.

I’ll be off until Monday – my gardens are full of rose buds waiting to open, so please enjoy a batch from last year!

to post

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Thursday’s Drawing: Grand Slam – final


Grand Slam has been a really enjoyable project to work on these past five weeks – it was a first for me to combine charcoal and graphite in a seascape and was surprised to find how easy the process was.  I’m happy to present the final workout of Grand Slam ~

Grand Slam, charcoal/graphite drawing (9×12) on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper was completed today with making a few minor changes and additions to the crashing waves, darkening the left-side and foreground rocks where the splashing water is hitting them, working the incoming water and putting some finishing touches on the background trees.

My goal with drawing this scene was to give the viewer a sense of the seas power and energy – a place where natures thunder quiets our voices and takes us down a path that is greater than ourselves.

Thank you for checking in and following along with the project ~ check onto the image for a larger view.

Grand Slam, final with text

The reference image was taken by Ron Ford of pmp.

DON’T TAKE MY IMAGES!! MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

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15 Paintings Challenge – Flowers: Roses Close-up, #8


Continuing on with this challenge – a complicated rose reference photograph was selected, and oh my I should have simplified the components in the painting and taken everything out except the large middle rose.  I’ll do that the next time if I paint this particular scene again, I was just thrilled to get a rose painting under my belt.

#8, Roses Close-Up is an oil pastel (8×10) painted on cream tinted Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper using mainly Senneliers, Mungyo-Gallery and Holbeins.  No underpainting was used because the paper couldn’t tolerate it so to get as thin layers as possible for spreading, smoothing and blending the OPs I put OPs onto a piece of foam pipe insulation and then scrubbed and spread it onto the surface.  It actually looked like watercolor, it was very cool and was a nice way to get thin layers without filling up the tooth too quickly.

My main objective in painting this was to confront my intimation of painting roses because of the many layers of petals (our David Austins have 120 petals!) – so this was a great practice exercise.  There are lots of areas for improvement, but I finally gave roses a try and will do more now that the first is done – using a couple of my own roses for the subject.

Thanks for checking in on this challenge – click onto the image for a larger view.

Roses Close-up,#8 with textReference image from Christina Frenken of pmp.

DON’T TAKE MY IMAGES!! MY ART IS COPYRIGHTED.
PLEASE DON’T COPY OR USE MY IMAGE WITHOUT RECEIVING MY PERMISSION FIRST – SEE DISCLOSURE ON THE RIGHT PANEL.

Posted in About Oil Pastels, Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Flowers, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , | 83 Comments