Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Painting NC Plein-Air Show

I am thrilled to be apart of this event. If you love to see artists in action, this event should be a great opportunity to see some great plein air paintings. The Germanton Art Gallery represents some of my favorite artists and it is my understanding some of them will be present. After the recption on Friday, April 3rd, many of us, including one of my favorite artist, Scott Burdick, will be painting in the downtown area of Germantown Saturday and Sunday. Hope you can venture up to see us. After the show I will post the plein air paintings I make during this event. Happy painting!

I am painting "day trips" into NC Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I travel to Germanton, NC to paint through Sunday. Rain or shine this should be a good time! Monday's painting - March 30, 2009. This sign is on Hwy 176 on the way to Saluda, NC. The painting, 12" x 9" oil on panel, "Valley Courts Sign", was painted on a cool and breezy day. I needed a bungee cord to keep the panel from blowing into my pile of paints.
Today's painting (March 31, 2009), 8" x 6" oil on linen panel, "That's a Dandy" was painted at FENCE. It was a very overcast day so I chose something simple. They have wonderful nature trails, which I also explored. This is a must come back to plein-air location!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sketchbook "Thumbnails"

I am painting for a May show at the Chapman Cultural Center in the Spartanburg Artist Guild gallery with Garry Turpin. The theme is 'Town & Country". I am painting urban scenes and Garry is painting "beyond the city limits scenes". This sketch was used to get my creative juices going for the 18"x24" oil on canvas painting.

The top sketch was painted on location (plein-air painting) downtown Spartanburg using a portable watercolor palette and a Moleskine sketchbook. I love this sketchbook. The paper is made for watercolor and the whole feel of the book inspires me. There are many kinds of Moleskine notebooks but for watercolor sketching I use the Moleskine Large Watercolor Notebook: Size: 5.25 x 8.25",Pages: 72 pages of acid-free paper.

If you love sketching try of one the Moleskines out. You'll love it! Happy drawing!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nu-Way Thumbnail

This example of a thumbnail sketch before I painted sort of shows my thought pattern. I was much more interested in the abstract shapes of the buildings with the vertical intersecting lines of the sign and electrical pole. I was looking at the shapes the values made. I was also awestruck by the red door shape. I'm always on the lookout for discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary.

As I painted this I kept those thoughts and feelings in the front of my mind. These feelings are what kept me excited about painting this. The Nu-Way does also happen to be a Spartanburg, SC landmark were many a drink was poured and story shared. Not the most beautiful of places to paint, but then again beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The Nu-Way, oil on panel, 16' x 20" painted 2007 "adopted" by Nan Coghill

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Recently, while looking at old sketchbooks, I noticed how important drawing thumbnails before I tackle a painting is to my creative process.

The thumbnail drawing allows me to look at shapes and values so I can (hopefully!) create a strong composition. I play around with several thumbnail design possibilities and once I hit on a thumbnail that seems to work I feel excited about starting the painting.

The thumbnail drawings above is about 5"h x 4"w. The oil painting is 16"h x 11"w.

I thought over the next few posts I'd share some of my thumbnails.