Monday, November 20, 2017

Braving the Elements

After a busy summer and fall art show season, the closing months of this year mean that it's time for me to turn my focus to preparing for 2018. An important element of my preparation for the year ahead is to gather source material and inspiration during these quieter months when I'm not in the midst of a packed show schedule.

I just returned from a brief trip to Chicago, where I delivered a large cityscape painting to a collector, visited family, and then slipped into downtown for a day to browse the Art Institute of Chicago and snap some reference photos. These opportunities to prowl the city and look at beautiful artwork while also gathering ideas are absolutely essential to sustaining my creative energy during my busy exhibition season.

Futago Islands, Matsushima by Kawase Hasui, 1933

With apologies for my reflection in the photo, this is
Futago Islands, Matsushima by Kawase Hasui, 1933

The Art Institute had a fantastic exhibition of Japanese prints on display. It was right up my alley: "City and Country: Prints from Early 20th Century Japan." Thanks to my past visits to the Freer Museum of Art in Washington, DC, where they specialize in Asian artwork, I've gained a great admiration for Japanese woodblock prints.

A rain-soaked view below the elevated train
platform in downtown Chicago

After spending some time at the museum, I ventured out into the downtown area of Chicago. A cold rain descended not too long after I stepped outside. While it made things challenging (digital cameras are not built for wind-driven rainfall), I was able to find several interesting subjects that will become the basis for upcoming cityscape paintings in the coming months.

This change of scene from nearby East Coast cities, such as Philadelphia and New York, is so vital for me. I love the different energy and subjects in new venues, so it makes braving the elements worthwhile. Besides, Chicagoans are so polite that they won't even step in front of me when I line up to take a photo. Not only is the city full of interesting architecture and cool vistas, the people are nice, too! Stay tuned in the coming months for the fruits of this labor.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The finishing touches on Finding Centre

Uff dah! I'm almost across the finish line for a local exhibition of brand new paintings featuring my home, Centre County, Pennsylvania. I'm really excited about this show because not only did I get to work with my friend and fellow artist, Alice Kelsey, we also partnered with a local land preservation organization, Clearwater Conservancy. Thanks to their generous support of this endeavor, Alice and I were able to visit beautiful locations that they've preserved within our community in recent years.

Painting en plein air at the Meyer Dairy Farm in State College, Pennsylvania.

Despite being laid low by a nasty respiratory flu for the past few days, I've been busy with the finishing touches on many new paintings, taking care of details that range from varnishing to framing. Shown here are a couple of "behind the scenes" moments from the work behind this new exhibition. I hope to see you at the opening reception at the State College Framing Company and Gallery this Saturday, November 4 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm.

Framing Frenzy! Putting the final touches on framing a small original, Winter Study, Upper Brush Valley Road.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's a Wrap!

Uff dah!

My 2017 outdoor art show season is finally in the books. This year featured travels from Illinois (twice) to New York and down to Virginia (twice), in addition to my home state of Pennsylvania. Needless to say, it's been a busy show season since April.

Tools of the Trade A peak into my cargo van with my trusty art show chair and carrier rack for large paintings. I don't know what I'd do without ratchet straps.

I've made some new artist friends this year and I continue to learn about the wild and woolly world of exhibiting my artwork and relating to the public about what I create. I was fortunate to be able to structure my schedule this year to avoid the hottest months of July and August. With any luck, I'll try to do that again in 2018 because if the science is to be believed, we're getting hotter and the environment for these art shows is changing.

Landscapes on Display A grouping of Pennsylvania landscapes, and one Wisconsin piece, on display in Illinois during a show earlier this year.

Per usual, I'm looking forward to trying some new ideas with my artwork during the quieter winter season. In the meantime, stay tuned for my local exhibition right here at home, "Finding Centre," beginning in November. I'll be busy finishing up new paintings for that show and it won't require any long distance travel - hooray!