When It Rains, We Paint!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spent a lovely afternoon painting with a friend at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The weather wasn't the best, so we had the pavilion at the Japanese hill-and-pond garden mostly to ourselves and took advantage of the sheltered benches. The lack of strong shadows made for some tough subject matter, though, and I ended up overworking my painting a bit.

Torii, Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden

While I waited for my painting to dry, I sketched a different part of the garden, and decided to color it later on with the muddy pigments left on my palette - just for fun.

At the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, BBG

A Horsey Birthday in Saratoga Springs

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just spent a few days in Saratoga Springs, NY --  a curious assemblage of horses, over-the-top hats, and spring water spas. Friday was so sunny I just had to buy a hat -- and where else but at the art supply store (only in Saratoga can you find hats, sundries, stationery and art supplies sharing retail space -- at Soave Faire). Had time for a quick sketch of Broadway, the main drag:

Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

Then it was off to a polo match, with the Saratoga Polo Association. And yes, we actually did go stomp the divots at halftime.

Preparing for polo match, Saratoga Springs, NY

Polo match, Saratoga Springs, NY

 Saturday we went to see what for many people is the main attraction in the area -- the racetrack. Had never been to one before, and our visit confirmed that the whole racing culture is not for us. When we went to the gate and asked how to get tickets for the seats close to the actual track, the guards kept assuming we wanted to bet or to eat, both of which can easily be done quite far from the actual track due to the ubiquitous simulcast video screens. Seriously, people? Picnicking in front of a television?? If you take the trouble to go the racetrack, don't you want to see the action LIVE? Like I said -- this culture is not for us. People kept saying how beautiful the thoroughbreds were; frankly they just looked exhausted to me. And why people dress up in fabulous hats and outfits just to sit on the dust-laden seats eating ballpark-worthy junk food also escapes me. I know, I know ... tradition.

Racetrack, Saratoga Springs, NY

At the racetrack, Saratoga Springs, NY

Mt. Monadnock, at the Summit

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hikers savoring the view after the arduous climb up Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey/Dublin, NH, via the White Dot Trail:

Hikers at the top of Mt. Monadnock, Jaffrey, NH

Every drop of drinking water we carried with us was precious that day (the temperature was in the high 70s to low 80s), so I had to use a waterbrush with my watercolor paints up there.

Weekend Sketchbook: Mystic, CT

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Was in Mystic for M.'s annual family reunion this past weekend, and was able to get a fair amount of sketching in (when not kayaking, biking, shopping or playing cornhole and Apples to Apples).

Here's a quick ink-and-wash impression of Stonington Village Fair in Stonington, CT:

Stonington Fair, Stonington, CT

Determined to get better at painting on Arches Hot Press paper, I painted a few views of this tree in the neighbor's yard -- getting more abstract each time:

Tree at Mystic 2

Tree at Mystic 3

And I finally got to return to Bluff Point State Park after several years. There's a great rock formation that's like a desk and chair, which I used to set up my equipment for this painting (also on Arches Hot Press paper):

Rocks, Bluff Point State Park, Groton, CT

Work in Progress: The Road, Co. Donegal

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Have been working on an oil painting from a photo I took years ago in Ireland. I'm not quite happy with it, so I opened a picture of it in Photoshop the other day to play with it a bit. Here's the current painting:

And here's what I think I'll do with it:

While the "current state" is more true to life (it was a gray winter day, after all), I think the more colorful version would make for a better painting. Thoughts?

Westport Arts Center "Summer" Show Opens this Friday

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

If you're in the Connecticut area, please stop by Westport Arts Center this Friday, Aug. 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the opening reception of the juried members' show, "Summer," curated by Alexandra Munroe, senior curator of Asian art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Included in the show is my oil painting, "AC Lifeguard." The show runs through Sept. 12.

AC Lifeguard

Two of my paintings are also currently in the Stamford Art Association's juried show, "Faraway Places," which runs through Aug. 26.

28th Worldwide Sketchcrawl: Newport, RI

Monday, August 02, 2010

Did a solo sketchcrawl this time in Newport, RI. Spent a few hours working on a plein air watercolor painting of the 40 Steps from an overlook point on the Cliff Walk:

View of 40 Steps from the Cliff Walk, Newport, RI

Later in the day, I sketched some scenes at Easton's Beach, which is where we had parked the car:

Easton's Beach, Newport, RI

Lifeguard, Easton's Beach, Newport, RI