Bird’s Eye View
Jaffrey Civic Center
Open Reception June 30th, 5pm-7pm
For several months I’ve been working on a collection of paintings for a solo show of avian art to be held at the Jaffrey Civic Center in Jaffrey, New Hampshire and it is with a mixture of excitement and relief that the time has come to announce the opening of the show!! This show features my watercolor paintings of a variety of birds in all their beautiful and amazing forms. All the artwork is an intimate, close up portrait of birds, many at “eye level” or with the eye of the birds a prominent focus of the composition, thus the inspiration for the name of the show. You will find some of the familiar birds we find at our backyard feeders as well as those birds found further afield.
The show will be open to the public from June 30th – July 28th, 2017 and you are most welcome to come celebrate the opening with me at the reception on Friday, June 30th from 5pm-7pm at the Jaffrey Civic Center in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
I’m delighted that two of my paintings were accepted for the first time into the annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition to be held in the Red Barn Galleries at the Inn At Lareau Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont. Even more exciting is the news that my painting, “In The Weeds” was the recipient of the Al Benjamin Award! The exhibit opened on Sunday, June 18th and will be open to the public until July 22nd, 2017. Click HERE for more information about the Red Barn Galleries and the show.
I thought I’d share the steps I go through when creating a graphite drawing from start to finish, as I haven’t shared this in quite a while now. In this example, I chose for my subject, one of the many Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (woodpecker) that live in the woods around my house. They are noisy, active neighbors but fun to watch, and so accustomed to my presence, I can take photos without too much effort needed on my part. When I’m working in graphite, I like subjects or an arrangement that has strong black and white contrasts. Woodpeckers and birch trees are great for this. The older, more aged the birch tree, the better! Apparently the woodpeckers think so too since they frequent the same trees on a regular basis. This also makes it easy for me to know where to look for them! In the top image, I worked up the initial sketch and modified things a bit to fit the composition I had in my mind. In the second image, you can see I’ve completed most of the tree and background branches. In addition to a dynamic and balanced composition, I also wanted this artwork to show how well birds use their environment to camouflage themselves. This artwork, titled “Hidden #5″, will be one of several with this “camouflage” theme in my upcoming graphite art exhibit, “Drawn To Nature” at The Backroom Gallery in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. See the previous post for more news on this event!
Posted in Exhibitions, Finished Art Work
Tagged animal art, bird art, graphite art, NH Artist, Northeat Kingdom Artisans Guild, owl art, The Backroom Gallery, vermont artist, white mountain artist, woodpecker
Drawn To Nature Exhibit
June 17 – August 6, 2017 at
The Back Room Gallery
430 Railroad Street
Saint Johnsbury, Vermont
I will have an exhibit of graphite drawings featuring animals and birds in this special collection of artwork. No limited edition prints will be made, making these one of kind original artworks.
Given the state of our current world, many creatures face an uncertain future or are already on the brink of extinction in our lifetime. I can’t imagine a world in which we don’t share our wild places with the diverse, beautiful and amazing animals and birds on the planet now. I am drawn to create artwork of the wild creatures in our world so we will remember them. People have revered nature for thousands of years and continuing in the ancient tradition of creating animal and bird artwork is my way of honoring our innate and spiritual connection with the natural world. I hope my art will inspire people to stay connected to our wild spaces. In the same ways in which we are drawn to be in the nature around us, I hope this exhibition will draw you into the nature of my art.
I’m working on several new graphite artworks for an upcoming show and thought I’d share this work in progress with you. This year I decided I would do some “self study” on design and composition in art and have been reading Pictorial Composition by Henry Rankin Poore as my main resource book. It’s fascinating! I’m currently reading the chapter on designing “balanced” artwork and as I learn about each different method that can be employed, I take the time to apply it when creating a new work. I find I remember things better if, after I’ve read about it, then I actually do it. This drawing is my attempt at creating a composition using a curved balance method. Notice the way the geese are not lined up in a straight line (boring) but arranged in a slightly curved line (more interesting) that crosses above and below an imaginary horizontal line that makes your eye wander. In case you were wondering, I think this is an excellent book for any artist, whether you are just learning or looking to refresh your skills.
Title: “Spring Ahead”
I am honored to once again be chosen for the Legacy Exhibit to be held at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, Vermont for their 2017 season. I will have seven paintings at the opening event to be held on Sunday, May 7th, 1pm -4pm. As the season progresses new art will replace sold paintings as well as to have something new on the walls. Be sure to visit the gallery or you can contact me directly if you want to purchase the art in this show. Also, you can see more of my newest work by visiting the Artworks – Original Art gallery page on my website!
With the return of Spring, I love taking time out of the studio to get into the field for sketching and photographing reference materials. There is nothing like being there to see and watch the many birds/animals, both large and small, who are the subjects of my artwork. Springs brings on a flurry of activity among the many bird species returning to the area and ample photo opportunities… provided I have the patience to sit quietly a period of time. And then there are those moments when a bird just won’t still still for more than a few seconds. I end up blundering around through the brush in an effort to get a good photo or a better look at it. This Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was one such bird, and after following it all over the yard and up and down the driveway, we ended up right back at the tree where we started.
I know Spring has arrived when the Canada geese return to our pond. While it is still covered with ice, it won’t be long now. The ice is opening up along the edges and at the beaver dam where the water is running faster as the temperatures warm up and the April rains have begun. When out for my daily walk, I stop by the edge of the pond for a few moments of quiet reflection. I think the geese have gotten used to seeing me and I like to think their honking is more of a greeting now rather than an alarm since they no longer distance themselves when they see me.
I’m taking time this year to go back to my art reference books and do some “self directed study” on creating strong compositions in artwork and to get a better understanding of the ways to work with color. I’m also trying watercolor on Aquabord, which is a board with a clay board surface made for watercolor paint. When finished, the artwork is then varnished and framed without the need for matting or glass. Whoa… The idea of putting ANYTHING liquid on top of a watercolor painting just makes me cringe in horror, but I’m told it really does work. So… here goes your favorite artist taking a leap of faith! Here are two new artworks using the Aquabord. One is finished and, as you can see, the other is in the works. The biggest challenge I’ve noticed so far is that glazing colors doesn’t work very well on this surface. Or, perhaps I haven’t got the technique down yet. Also, the paint tends to sit on the surface longer than it does with regular watercolor paper so I have to wait a bit longer for it to dry before applying the next layer of color. I could use a hairdryer but I prefer to let it dry naturally so I can have a better feel for how to work with the surface.