Thursday, February 16, 2012

New York City art and theater

Busy few days included a visit to The Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ to see the special show "George Inness Private Treasures" and to attend a play reading of "Christine De Pizan Writing For Her Life" by a friend Lorraine Liscio.

If you can make it to the George Inness show it is certainly a treat and the ten paintings are from private collections and may not be available for viewing again. There is also one painting by George Inness, Jr. which shows Inness painting outside his studio in Montclair. The paintings ranged from whispy soft atmospheric scenes to crisper sun lit scenes as only George Inness can portray.

The play reading was the first time I had experienced a play reading without the staging and it was a treat. The actors did an wonderful job of transporting the audience to what was happening in the life of Christine Pizan in the 1400's, Paris, France.

When one visits New York City there are always special things that happen and my special treat was staying with Lorraine's friends Miriam and Hank Blaustein in Brooklyn, NY. Miriam is a warm and welcoming hostess. Hank Blaustein is a well known illustrator and author. He has written and illustrated books and company reports, here are samples of his work that you can see . I asked Hank for some advice to help me improve my sketchbook technique something I have recently been interested in doing more. He showed me some Rembrandt books of drawings and suggested learning from the master. It's interesting to think that a person who illustrates mostly in a cartoon fashion still learns how to make them great art by studying Rembrandt. By the way Hank's sketchbooks are amazing and I could certainly learn from studying his drawings.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Dennis Sheehan Art Class

Dennis Sheehan class yesterday. Dennis is a famous contemporary tonalist artist from Bedford, NH. Dennis is currently giving classes the second Tuesday of each month at his studio.. Class is from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM and includes a demo in the morning and student painting with critiques in the afternoon. I had missed the last class due to travel and was really looking forward to going yesterday.

Watching a demo and seeing a painting like the one below develop is amazing to watch. Dennis has a unique way of inventing compositions by making random paint strokes on a canvas and then letting the marks suggest the scene that appears.

photo of Dennis Sheehan demo painting 2/09/12 

This looks like a finished painting but for Dennis this is an under painting and will receive many carefully chosen adjustments.

Below is my attempt at a landscape painting done without any reference material. This was done in a few hour and if I decide to finish the painting it will need lots more work. Let me know what you think. Should I finish it? Maybe paint over it (the joy of oil paints) and just try again?

photo of a Susan Luca under painting


Monday, February 6, 2012

The Joy Of Landscape Painting

Painting landscape scenes either on site, from memory or invented from within has been a thrilling experience for me, and the excitement continues. Seeing a scene and immediately visualizing how it could look as a painting is emotionally stirring, or as they say the juices of creativity start flowing. How does this happen?

For me it can start from a walk in a new location, especially in the afternoon when the sun creates magic with the scene. Visiting a new location and seeing the effect of a sunset scene as I recently did at my visit to Blue Cypress Lake in Florida is a perfect example of getting ideas for future paintings.

Photo of Blue Cypress Lake Swamp