Cashier follow up and the Easton rundown

Unfortunately I was unable to keep my promise and blog about Easton while at the event.  Sorry, my old Dell laptop bit the dust somewhere in between Cashiers and Easton. 

Anyway to follow up on Cashiers which at this point seems a lifetime ago. I won third place in the competition for the Painting "Robins 57 Chevy"

Third Place Winner!

 I would like to Thank all that was involved in making this event a great succes on many levels.

Speacial thanks to: Mary Palmer Dargan, Trish and David Wariner, Karen Weihs, and Robin and Jacques.

What can I say about Easton that I didn't last year. Well, it was HOT! 

Easton is the preimere plein air event in the country as far as most artist are concerned. This year was a banner success for the event. They almost doubled sales this year at just over a quarter million dollors. 

During the four days of brutally intense heat and humidity I completed the required two competion paintings plus the alotted 8 back up sale painting for the event.  

I'm not going to post all the paintings I did but here are a couple. The first painting entered into the competiton won "BEST MARINE PAINTING" sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

"Crow Bothers Last Stand"        SOLD      22" x 22"      BEST MARINE PAINTING

Unfortunantly I didn't get a photo of one painting I sold of an interior of a Resturant/Bar. 

This painting (below) was painted at the Winners Brunch on Sunday the last day of the event.  All the winners from the competition and the quickdraw on Saturday were allowed to paint the morning of the brunch. The burnch is always held at one of eastons premereie properties and this year was no let down. The estate was spectacular. Latter that day all the paintings were auctioned off to the collectors that were present that day.

"Harleigh Boathouse"                      SOLD                      12" x 16"     

Thank you to all that make Easton a huge success and to Ginger and Marion Bevard.  

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Last paintings from Cashiers

As promised I took a photo of a Gypsy horse for your pleasure. They are all so different. Some are almost all black and others have more white on them then this guy. I think a guy anyway.

Today is Friday the last day to paint for the competition. I took it easy today though and didn't paint. 

I completed my last two Cashier painting yesterday with what I think is a big BANG. Rich and I got word the night before at a cocktail party about what was the most spectacular view around. Well we weren't disappointed when we arrived at this residence. It's amazing to me that this spot wasn't declared a National Park. It truly was breath taking. I wish I took a better photo of it.
"Whiteside Mountain Through the Trees"            Sold              20 x 24

I choose to obscure part of Whiteside Mountain with the garden at the bottom and the pine trees to the left. 

The painting I did in the afternoon took me back to our host families property yet again. Again the night before at the cocktail party they showed us what they had in there garage. When I saw this 57 chevy pickup I couldn't get it out of my head.

"Robin's 57 Chevy"                             16 x 20

Tonight is the official opening of the event and I expect it will be quite the time.

More later. 
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More news from Cashiers

How can you not love these guys! These two begals are part of the Farm where I'm staying. 

This is going to be another short blog. All these late night and early mornings are starting to catch up with me.

"Red Barn at Stillwater Farm"         24 x 20

Today all the artist got to come out to the farm and paint what Rich and I have been experiencing all week.
In the morning I painting the red donkey barn and in the afternoon I painted this scene (below).

"Gypsy's and Cosmos"         Sold          12 x 12 

To explain the tittle the Gypsy part comes from the small horses in the painting. To be exact there Gypsy Vanners. They are horses bred by the gypsy's for their caravans. The cosmos part is easy. The field in the foreground is full of these wonderful flowers.

Tomorrow I'll get some photos of the horses they are quite spectacular!
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More on Cashiers

This is going to be a very short blog tonight. 

Here are two paintings completed at a wonderful place called Lonesome Valley. This picturesque valley reminds me of Yosemite. Who knew we had such a pretty place so close to home. When we arrived (all 25 or so artist) everyone headed for the hills to paint the majestic scenery. I stayed back to capture what I thought was just as beautiful some green apples on a tree. 
"Lonesome Apples"               12 x 9

On the next painting I guess I surrendered to the call of the majestic scene and created this painting.

More tomorrow.
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Doing the Curcuit

I arrived in Cashiers, NC Sunday evening. After a brief orientation
about the event the artists were treated to a wonderful dinner. I know
a lot of artists and one thing about artists is they don't miss the
chance for a free dinner (and drinks). The evening was full of
wonderful conversation with a great bunch of people. We (Rich Nelson
and I) met our host family and followed them to their wonderful 50
acre estate just outside of Cashiers. Wow, what a place!

After what I thought was the storm to end all storms lasting through
the night we awoke to more of the same. RAIN! Luckily we were
graciously invited to paint at a private residence in a very private
golf community. The rain was on and off all morning so it took me
longer on this painting than it would have normally. When almost
finished the rain really started to come down in buckets. Lucky for me
I was close to dry shelter. Not so lucky was my good friend Rich.

"Chimney Top at Wade Hampton"       16 x 20

Done with the morning painting and after a quick bite to eat we
proceeded to explore for an afternoon spot to paint. With what seemed
like hours of driving around to different locations we came up short
of a great place to paint the next masterpiece. We ended up heading
back to the farm where we are staying. I had noticed the day before
when we arrived on the farm a subject which I knew I must tackle. Just
my luck- the sun was on its way out again.  Just what I needed for this
scene of the host's magnificent barn.

"Barn Interior, Stillwater Farm"            Sold          16 x 12

A pretty good day in all!

Sorry for the bad images. I'll try to get better ones on here.
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On working from photos or, in this case, a computer screen

I thought this would be a good follow up blog to my last entry.  At the end of my last blog I mentioned getting out and painting so you can study and master light.  If you haven't been out painting plein air you shouldn't attempt to work from photos.  There is no good substitute for the human eye when it comes to recording a subject, but in some cases you just can't help it.

On my recent trip to Maine I took a fare amount of photos and I had limited time to paint up there so I'm forced to use these photos to produce some work.  When I approach working from images there are certain rules I always adhere to.  First of all I always use photos I take.  Don't ever work from other peoples photos. If I take the images myself at least I know I've had the experience of being at the site of the subject. Secondly I try to work on paintings rather quickly after taking them so that the subject is still fresh in my  mind when i start a work. Lastly I always give myself about the same amount of time to execute the painting that I would if I were painting it in plein air.  

I took this particular photo right before I started working on the painting "Bar Harbor Boats" (see previous blog).  It was taken right in front of this sort of ritzy hotel right in the main part of Bar Harbor. What I liked about it, right off, was the fact that it looked so natural.  The large birch trees on the right framed the subject so well in combination with the islands off in the distance and the rocks on the left and the bottom. I further liked the fact that the image had naturally occurring positive and negative space.  As the rain had just stopped before I took this picture the rocks were still wet and the clearing sky was reflecting in them which caused some interesting color harmony throughout the image.  Unfortunately photos never do colors justice. I would have to make it up.

After choosing a canvas size I started out doing a couple little thumbnail sketches using the original photo.  To get a better I idea of value in the piece I converted the image to black and white and printed it out on a cheap piece of printer paper.  After deciding on one of the small sketches I did a full size drawing with charcoal on newsprint.  Being satisfied with the way it came out I transfered the drawing to my canvas.  I used a method learned back in college to transfer the image. Basically you charcoal the heck out of the back of the drawing and place it drawing up on top of the canvas then trace the major lines and shapes. Waa laa instant guideline for starting a painting.  From here just using the B&W print out I started with the under painting.  I used the classic burnt sienna / ultramarine blue combination to get an idea of were my values would fall.

Full Size Sketch - "Acadia Song"             Under Painting - "Acadia Song"

Now that my under painting was done I proceeded as I would on a plein air painting.  I established my darkest darks first then I worked all my way up to my lightest lights (highlights).  I mentioned before I had to use my knowledge of working outdoor painting for 16 years to create my color choices. It most definitely helped that I did several paintings of he Maine coast when i was up there. This along with memory helped me come up with color choices for this painting. My goal is not to copy the photo or take the photos color to literally. That never creates a good result.

"Acadia Song"                       Available                                20" x 16"

Here is another painting I did from a photo taken in Bass Harbor, ME. The procedure for this was the same as above. I did a air piece "Bass Harbor Lobster Boats" while there of this same boat.  When I started this painting the boat was in the water and when I finished it (two hours later) it was very much on dry land. The difference between high tide and low tide in Acadia is 8-12 feet. That's pretty amazing but, its nothing compared to were we lived in France (St. Malo) where the difference is like 30 feet. I took the images for "The Sun Catcher" after completing the plein air piece whe the boat was out of water.

"Bass Harbor Lobster Boats"                                 Available                            11" x 14"

Full Size Sketch - "The Sun Catcher"     Under Painting - "The Sun Catcher"

"The Sun Catcher"                       Available                         18" x 14"

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