6th Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition (Big Red Barn Gallery)

Quilted Comfort II WII’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.   InTheWeeds WIEven 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.

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Step by Step Drawing (yellow-bellied sapsucker art)

Woodpecker WIPI 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.  Woodpecker WIP2When 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.Hidden 4 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker WI  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!

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Drawn To Nature Exhibit (Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild)

Untitled- SnowyOwl

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. 

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Photo Adventures in the Field (Birds)

Scarlet Tanager BannerIt’s always exciting to see, and then acquire, a good reference photo of a “life bird” sighting from which to create my artwork.  I’ve had several excellent photo “adventures” out in the field lately but seeing a Scarlet Tanager one day was the prize making my efforts worthwhile.  Spring in New England means not just battling the ticks but also black flies.  I’m covered head to toe including netting over my head but after a couple of hours, I just have to get back indoors and away from the little pests.  After a full Rose-breasted Grosbeaktick check and shower, I can make a cup of restorative tea and look over myellow-rump warblery photos.  This year seems to be a very good year as I’m seeing lots of my favorite birds to photograph or maybe I’m just getting outside at the right time to see them!  Soon the foliage will be too thick for me to easily take photos but I enjoy the “hunt” and the thrill of the moment when I get a good photo.  Stay tuned for more images soon!

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Artwork in Progress (Canada Geese)

Geese WIP1

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.

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2017 Legacy Exhibit (Bryan Memorial Gallery)

Chipmunk-Spring Ahead WI

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!

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Photo Trips and Field Work (painting birds & animals)

Yellow-bellied woodpeckerWith 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.

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April Photo Adventures In The Wild (waterfowl)

Canadageese2I 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. 

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Exploring New Creative Outlets (watercolor on Aquabord)

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 watercolorChipmunk I WI 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!  ChipmunkIIHere 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.

 

 

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Painting In Progress (Common Red-polls)

Painting In Progress

Here’s a look at this painting from start to finish and one I’ve been working on for some time now.  You can see why!!  I needed time to work on it when I could give it my undivided attention and winter is such a good time for that sort of thing!  This painting will be part of my upcoming solo exhibit, “Birds Eye View” to be held later this year at the Jaffrey Civic Center in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.  Look for news on this event in future posts!

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