It's been a while since I've written an update here on my blog, but I'm glad to share some great updates and news!
Since I've gotten back from France, I've been very busy scheduling workshops, events and other things that I'm very excited about. The first thing that I'll mention is that I'm currently preparing a lecture that is all about my summer residency. It will be a presentation that includes tons of information, insight and photos from my time as Artist-in-Residence in Giverny at Claude Monet's estate. I will be giving this presentation at the Lee Memorial Library in Allendale on Sat. October 14th at 1PM. The presentation will also be followed by a Monet-inspired painting class. Registration is open, but it fills up quickly so if you're interested in attending this lecture/class then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will also be giving this presentation at the Ridgewood Community School on November 14th with a separate painting class on 16th. Read more about that event HERE.
Today, I just spoke with the Atelier at Flowerfield to schedule a fall foliage plein air workshop in late October. They also asked if I would like to do an in-person demonstration in early December, which would be great and I'd love to; it will probably be a portrait demonstration since I love portraits.
I've got some other workshops currently in the works and even might be heading back to France in late December and a NYC winter workshop.. but these are not on the books yet so I will share more once it's official.
This deserves a full blog post.. but I'm proud to say that I'm now represented by Martin House Gallery in Blowing Rock, N.C. It's a top notch gallery and I'm really honored to be in the company of so many great artists. I'm very grateful that the owner is a fan of my work and welcomed me into his gallery.
There's been a lot of changes in the last few months and I can't believe the opportunities that are coming to light. I'm very thankful and I can't wait to see what's next!
My apologies for being absent from my blog for the past few weeks. We've had internet problems here and I've been busy organizing my paintings (varnishing, cataloging info, etc.) But, wow, this summer really flew by. I've had an unforgettable summer and this past week has been especially great because my Mom is here with me.
This past week has also been really cool because we've been able to see some things that I never expected to see. These extra trips were entirely thanks to another artist-in-residence here named Jorma Puranen who's a Finnish photographer and his wonderful wife, Heli. I'm so glad that we got to meet these amazing people. See down below for these photos and videos.
During my residency, I was able to complete 20 oil paintings (two of which are large) and 20 watercolors. I didn't plan this, but it's interesting that my oils and watercolors balanced out that way. And I still have an exhibition here this final week on Thursday which I'm looking forward to. And then.. we'll be wrapping up and flying back home.
As always, I'm very grateful for this opportunity; I know it's something that very few people get the opportunity to do and I'll remember it for the rest of my life. And I have to say that I don't have any regrets looking back over the summer. I put in a lot of hard work and accomplished the goals that I set for myself.
I have a lot of interesting things coming up for the fall so stay tuned for more information about workshops, gallery shows and more!
I'll miss this studio!
Bonus Trips: Château Gaillard + La Roche-Guyon
We've had some cloudy and rainy conditions the past few days, which has impacted my painting efforts. Regardless, over the weekend, I started laying in paint on a large painting showing a specific perspective of the Japanese bridge. I did an elaborate underdrawing on the canvas which allowed me to start painting without having to figure out the perspective lines. I'm still in the early stages of the painting but I wanted to share some photos since seeing the process can be interesting and educational for others.
One of my goals for this residency is to do larger paintings en plein air; I've had this in mind since arriving in Giverny. My only limitation involved the logistics of carrying the canvas and setting up in the garden in a way that wouldn't inhibit the gardeners. I'm definitely at the maximum size canvas that I can handle within these parameters.
If you're thinking about doing some larger paintings then I have some strategies to share. The first thing that I'll say is that I applaud anyone who paints on a large scale. It's one of the greatest challenges as a painter. I know size can be subject, but to me anything over 3 feet qualifies as large.
A main thing to remember is that a large painting requires more paint and more time. More paint is obvious, but remember that the time factor also includes preparation and preliminary work on the painting. Cutting corners or starting something willy nilly won't turn out well. It's good to start a larger painting with a clear plan of attack. Think about it like writing: writing a short story is very different than writing a 800 page novel (or so I'd imagine).
With that being said, I feel that it's important to do something ambitious in order to expand my comfort zone. Even if it doesn't work out, at least I've tested my limits and I can gain the confidence and reference experience. For me, I've started to become more accustomed to larger canvases as I figure out what works for me. However, I needed to laugh at myself when I went to the Louvre and Versailles and saw these paintings which are like 20 feet by 30 feet. But those paintings were usually group efforts which would take months or years.. so it's not fair to compare myself that way.
Anyway, I encourage you to push yourself and explore new ways of working. If you start something, then follow it through and don't give up halfway. I guess this applies to things other than painting, but if you want to try something ambitious in your life then try and see what happens!
When I first arrived in Giverny, I started thinking about ways that I can differentiate my paintings from the iconic views that Monet painted. The last thing I want is to do any Monet-style copycat pictures; I want to do something unique and decided that one way to achieve that is by changing my viewpoint to get a variety of perspectives.
With that in mind, I've been developing this new Japanese bridge painting. The idea came from a sketch that I did as more of a panorama view. I eventually decided to do an oil study, but from the other side of the bridge and with less of a perspective angle. I liked the study and decided that it will work as a larger painting.
I did the underdrawing on the final canvas today so that I can begin painting tomorrow morning (with weather cooperating). I don't always do such an elaborate underdrawing, but this bridge has a very specific shape and I need to get the curvature correct before begin the painting. I feel like an architect or designer when I do work like this and it's a change since my process is usually more spontaneous.
It's hard to tell from the photo, but the final canvas is fairly large and will take some time to finish. Wish me luck!