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  • Plein air paintings from Greece 2016

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    Plein Air of Athens in the Morning, 14×18″

     

    Here are (finally) good images of my pictures from Greece this past summer.  There’s been a backlog of teaching, painting, emailing and everything else that got in the way of touching up, varnishing and photographing.  Better late than never, here we are in November.

     

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    Messinian Patina, Morning 14×18″

     

    I really enjoy painting in Greece (you can see some of my Greek pictures from winter 2014/15 in this post).  It’s a great country for painting- besides the sites and weather, food is cheap, and lodgings are not expensive.  If you are into painting cityscape, Athens is a lot of fun with all the ruins peppered through the city, and the subway is brand new and super easy to get around with.  This time though I spent most of my time painting in the Peloponnese.

     

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    Terpsithea, 12×16″

     

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    Agrylis 12×16″

     

    vromoneri-25x35

    Vromoneri 10×14″

     

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    Methoni Castle 12×16″

     

    One nice aspect of painting in Greece is that there really has been no impressionist vein ‘outdoor painting’ tradition to speak of post-war.  There are great contemporary Greek Artists (Giorgos Rorris comes to mind), but I’m quite sure in many of the places I painted I am the first person with an easel they’ve seen painting outside; I’m a novelty.  I speak Greek well enough at this point to interact with the locals, and the interaction is often a version of the following:

    them: “Hey,  what are you doing?”

    me: “Good, just painting a little.”

    them: pensive silence “… ….Why?”

    me: “I like it, it’s my job.”

    them: “huh. That’s my house/land/tree/olive field in the painting.”

    me: “Oh really.  Nice house/land/tree/olive field.”

    them: “Can I have it?” pointing at the painting

    me: awkward silence “well, no, it’s my work.”

    them: “why?” 

    and so on.  It’s a breath of fresh air from the folks in New England that want to tell me about their Aunt’s paintings.  On a trip years ago a farmer asked me to trade a picture for some of his watermelons.

     

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    Kyparissia 14×18″

     

     

  • Plein Air Maine Pictures, October 2016

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    Stonington Harbor from Church St, 20×24″

    I thought I should make a separate post for the recent outdoor pictures I painted with the Russian crew in Maine.  Basically all of these got reworked entirely in the studio.

     

    fishing-shacks-dusk-22x28

    Fishing Shacks, Dusk 22×28″

     

    golden-hour-allen-cove

    Golden Hour, Allen Cove 14×18″

     

    lobster-pound-22x28

    Lobster Pound, 22×28″

     

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    Windy Day at Eagle Lake 12×16″

     

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    Powell Camp 12×16″

     

    ocean-street-fishing-shacks-27x38

    Ocean Street Fishing Shacks, 27×38″

     

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    Stonington Lobster Co-Op, Glare Effect 26×36″

     

  • Blue Hill/Deer Isle Peninsula October 2016

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    Back in 2013, a group of my friends and I were invited to paint in Plyos, the Russian city in the Ivanovo region where Isaak Levitan painted many of his most important pictures.  The weather wasn’t great (you can read about that trip by clicking here, and I should really rephotograph the paintings I still have from the trip ).  During that difficult trip we developed a lot of camaraderie with our Russian counterparts, though we had little common language.  Painting through the torrential rain every day, and complaining and drinking at night.

    This year, my friend Ben Fenske wanted to return the favor, so he invited a small group of the Russian artists we painted with to come paint in the US, and organized an exhibition at the end of the trip at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY– Ben also organized a few American artists as counterparts, as we had in 2013.  The artists that were painting together were Carl Bretzke, Viktor Butko, Ben Fenske, Olga Karpacheva, Stapleton Kearns, Tim McGuire, Jesse Powell, Irina Rybekova and Oleg Zhuravlev [click any artist’s name for a link to their website] Additionally, my friend Kelly Carmody had been painting in Maine, and we spent time painting with her throughout the trip.  Jesse Powell was gracious enough to host our very large group at his family’s camp on a pond in Blue Hill, ME.  We were there for peak fall color, and thankfully the weather was mostly good.

     

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    Trips like these are interesting- whatever the weather ends up being like, there’s an undeniable energy in getting a large group of artists together; everyone brings their ‘A’ game, and there is a sort of friendly competition and excitement to watching the group’s work develop.  For me personally, being away from my family encourages me to spend every waking moment working on paintings, as I want to make sure I’m using my time well.   As an artist it’s an energizing experience, however your paintings end up it will revitalize your studio time.  There is a bit of magic in all the big personalities, on your feet working all day, and large dinners at night.  It was intense, and exhausting.

     

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    Here are a few of my pictures I started during the trip, and I have finished in the studio (Next post I will put the other half of the paintings from the trip, they are larger and have been taking more time to complete)

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    Stonington Harbor from Church St, 20×24″

    golden-hour-allen-cove

    Golden Hour, Allen Cove 14×18″

     

    lobster-pound-22x28

    Lobster Pound, 22×28″

    powell-cabin

    Powell Camp 12×16″

     

    Here’s some pictures from the trip of the group at work:

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    Tim McGuire painting in Stonington

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    Olga Karpacheva painting at Jesse Powell’s in the rain

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    Oleg Zhuravlev in Stonington on the Highlands

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    Irina Rybekova and Zhuravlev on Mt Cadillac above Eagle Lake

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    Jesse Powell painting in Stonington

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    Stapleton Kearns in Stonington

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    Me painting at Powell Camp

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    Olga Karpacheva and myself painting a Lobster Pound

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    Kelly Carmody

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    Ben Fenske and Viktor Butko painting happily in the rain

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    Fenske and Carmody in Stonington

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    Viktor Butko painting the Lobster Co-Op

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    Carl Bretzke painting in Stonington

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    the day we were completely rained out we took the Russians to the Farnsworth in Rockland to see the Wyeth collection

    The fall color was fantastic, though going into the trip I was slightly concerned the Russians would find inland Maine too similar to Russia- I had forgotten that though they also have fantastic fall color, they don’t have all the blood red maple foliage.

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    Our show at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor will open on November 5th.  Most of the artists will be in attendance.

  • Self Portrait

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    Here’s an image of a recent self portrait I just finished.  Just a quick snapshot, better photo to come after it’s varnished.  Below, a close up of the face that shows the textures of the painting a bit.  It’s about 24×20″, metric stretchers.

     

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  • Show at Tree’s Place

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    Fishing Shack in Allen Cove, 35×43″ (90x110cm)

     

    This Saturday May 21st there is a show of my work opening at Tree’s Place Gallery in Orleans, on Cape Cod.  It’s a two-person show, the other artist’s work featured is Marcia Burtt.  The opening is from 5-7:00 and I will be there- the show runs through June 2nd.  If you’re in the area, stop by for a glass of wine and a chat.

    Below are a couple of other paintings in the show that are not in the online catalogue:

     

    Spring-in-Gloucester

    Spring in Gloucester, 16×20″ (40x50cm)

     

    Blue-Rocks-Mist

    Morning Mist, Blue Rocks 24×30″ (60x75cm)

     

    Pomegranate-Slice-5.5x7.5

    Halved Pomegranate 6×8″ (15x20cm)

     

    Click here to see the online catalogue for the show.  

  • Plyos, Rain

    This painting of Plyos, Russia from 2014 left the studio last week and I realized I never put a finished photo on my site. The client asked me to write a short description of the piece for them to have, so I thought I would post it here.  This has long been among my favorite of my studio landscapes, but strangely had never been selected for a single exhibition.  Glad that it’s gone off to a good home.

     

    Plyos

    Plyos, Rain oil on canvas 2014 35×47″ (90×120 cm)

     

    In spring 2013 I was invited by the Museum of Landscape in Plyos, Ivanova Region, to paint in Russia as part of a cultural exchange/art initiative called зеленый шум or “Green Noise”.  Plyos is a quaint village on the Volga River, (one of the ‘Golden Ring’ cities about ~8 hours northeast from Moscow), today a tourist destination with strict architectural cultural preservation and as its centerpiece, a museum and statue to the great Russian landscape artist, Isaak Levitan (1860-1900).  Levitan had long been one of my favorite artists, and I had read about Plyos for years-although most Russians I met had never heard of the town.

    Each year the ‘Green Noise’ program would invite foreign artists to paint with Russian counterparts and have an exhibition with the work at the end of the trip.  I jumped at the chance-Levitan’s pictures of Plyos rank among his best, so of course, I had to see it.  

    Unfortunately it rained every single day with two exceptions: the day it was snowing, and the one day we weren’t allowed to paint as we had to take part in the inaugural ceremony.  Generally speaking, I prefer to work indoors if it’s raining, but we had no choice during the trip to continue work as each of us had to produce paintings for the exhibition at the end.  I did 13 paintings during the trip, and ‘Rain, Plyos’ was eventually painted in my studio outside Boston from the studies in early 2014.  

     

    For comparisons sake, here is an image of the 24×30″ (60x80cm) painting that I did on-site during the trip:

    Plyos Sketch

     

  • Recent Paintings 2.0

    Yesterday I posted a group of recent still life paintings- today I thought I should put up all of the other work I have been up to over the past few months.  Though I do like painting still life I have been exploring some techniques in painting that are best suited to the landscape.  Some of these are sketches, and some took really quite a bit of time.  All of them are pushing my painting towards the more ‘broken brush’, impressionist-vein tradition I have been working at the past few years.

     

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    Blue Rocks Docks, Slack Tide 35×43″ oil on linen

     

    The above painting is from the fall but I had forgotten to get an image before it left the studio.  It’s a studio picture, done from one of my on-site paintings in Nova Scotia last August.  Painting it was done from below, for comparison’s sake:

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    Backlit Docks, Blue Rocks, 12×16″

     

    The below four are all from Vermont, though different trips.  The weather was particularly difficult both times, it was good to get out, but snow mixed with ice, rain, sleet and wind isn’t fun.  I spent a weekend painting alone, staying with friends that were snowboarding at Okemo, and another short trip up with Stapleton Kearns and TM Nicholas.

     

    Tunbridge Mill

    Tunbridge Mill 14×10″ 

     

    Wallingford Barn

    Grey Morning in Wallingford 12×16″ 

     

    Ludlow

    Ludlow 10×14″

     

    Tunbridge

    Melting Snow, Tunbridge 12×16″

     

     

    Angie by Window

    Angie by Window 20×12″

     

     

    The below two were longer projects, all done outside, only touched up occasionally in the studio, in between sessions.

     

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    Codman Farm 28×37″

    The above painting has been a long haul- I realized after finally finishing it that I started it way back in December 2013.  Photo metadata is a great way to pinpoint when you started a painting 😉

     

    Codman

     

     

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    Clearing skies at Drumlin Farm 22×28″

    I have done blog posts on the process of both the above and below paintings; click here for ‘Drumlin Farm’ which started out as a demo at my winter workshop in January, and click here for the previous post on the below painting, ‘Peters Hill’ which became more of a studio picture than a pure outdoor piece

     

    Peters Hill

    Peters Hill 20×24″

    below an iPhone closeup of some of the directional, opaque brushwork.

    broken color

     

     

    I have another couple of paintings I am finishing indoors from the winter season, but it will probably be some time before they’re ready.  If I get them done soon I will update this post.  Next blog post will be on recent drawings.

    Tinmouth Barn

    Unfinished painting in Tinmouth, VT

  • Still Life Paintings

    It’s time to post some work, show folks what I have been up to.  As usual, I spent some time painting outdoors this winter, though our snow left much to be desired this year.  In a way, that was a bit helpful, it encouraged me to stay in the studio and start doing some still life painting again.  It had been at least a few years since I painted still life in earnest, so it has been great to delve into it again- as one might expect, my approach is now quite different than it was back in 2006-2010 when I painted primarily still lives.  I have been enjoying them.

     

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    The batch of paintings below is part of a still life exhibition ‘Stillness‘ at Ann Long Fine Art in Charleston, SC.  The show opens this Thursday, and you can see whats in the exhibition by clicking here.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it down for the opening, Charleston is a really fun, beautiful town with great food and weather.

     

    Fennel

    Fennel and Spring Onion 12×10″

     

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    Honeydew and Grapes 10×12″

     

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    Single Pomegranate 10×8″

     

    halved_avocado

    Halved Avocado 10×12″

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    Bunch of Asparagus 12×16″

     

    cauliflower_and_onion_in_warm_light

    Cauliflower and Onion, Warm Light 10×14″

     

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    Watermelon Slice 12×16″

     

     

    Then, the below four still lifes went off to the gallery I show with in Boston, Sloane Merrill Gallery.  They are not part of an big exhibition, but I was there the other day and most are currently hanging if you stop in at the gallery.  The below painting is my favorite painting from this year thus far.

     

     

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    Pear and Pomegranate 11×14″

     

    Poggio-Antico-e-melograno-16x20

    Poggio Antico and Pomegranate 16×20″

     

    Artichoke_Tomato_Garlic_10x15

    Artichoke, Tomatoes and Garlic 10×15″

     

    Breakfast-12x16'

    Breakfast 12×16″

     

    The below batch has gone off to a variety of places, and a couple I still have.  The top picture with the three clementines is going to be part of a 2-Person show I’m participating in next month at Tree’s Place gallery in Orleans, MA, down in Cape Cod.  That show opens on May 21st, I’ll be at the opening, and the show runs through labor day weekend to June 3rd.

     

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    Spotlight 13×22″

     

    Turnip-9x16

    Single Turnip 9×16″

     

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    Watermelon Radishes 10×12″

     

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    Sliced Pear 10×14″

     

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    Satsuma Mandarins 10×14″

     

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    Pomegranates 7×10″

     

    As this post has become a bit long, I will do a separate one for recent landscape paintings.

     

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