Thursday, July 29, 2010

in response to: Who are Your Favorite Mentors on

A few years ago, I took a workshop in Putney, Vt. where the group I was with had the opportunity to paint with the Putney Painters. Richard Schmid did a demo for us and visited each of us at our easels. It was a truly inspirational experience as are Richard's books and DVDs.

Of the few face-to-face workshops I have taken, I can honestly say that I have walked away with many more tools in my toolbox garnering something from every one. The funny part is that weeks, months, or years after taking a workshop something said or illustrated will pop up causing an "ah ha" moment.

Though I would love to take more classes and workshops, lack of time and funds often prevent such excursions. An alternative, my studio is filled with books and catalogs by and about artists whose work I admire. I love to read about the artists and study the images. Schmid, Handell, Dawson, Payne, Carlson, Christensen, Sargent, , and Aspevig are just a few.

While many of my inspirations/lessons are found in print, video, and on-line, I long for a mentor/mentee relationship—something I think is rare. Although I have had some great teachers, a mentorship is something that I have not found in my journey as an artist. I believe mentoring is much more than reviewing one's work and offering a critique, particularly for a fee. I feel a mentorship is an ongoing process where the mentor challenges the mentee to help him/her develop and grow as an artist offering honest—brutally if need be—feedback about the work, practices, technique and anything else that prevents that person from reaching his/her potential. Additionally, the mentor must encourage and reward. In turn, the mentee must be open to the criticism/praise and be willing to work.

I appreciate all that I have received from the many teachers I have had along the way and everything I have learned from fellow artists. Now, I have my students to thank for the things they teach me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

awaiting the weekend

A new pastel painting, Awaiting the Weekend, of docked sailboats at Washington Marina.

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Location:Columbia Pike,Arlington,United States

Monday, July 12, 2010

overheard on public transportation

Last spring, I was visiting my nephew in Boston. We were commuting on the T and I was sketching the other commuters. Two twenty-something business men entered our car and were standing behind where we were sitting. One of the guys was quite vocal and dominated the conversation. He paused, then in a somewhat excited voice said, "Here's just one more way for you to be amazed by me." Then went on with something he had done at work that day. In contrast, I was about 19 years old and living in NYC. Again, on the train I was seated next to an older gentleman asked me a question about the portfolio I was carrying. After a brief interchange he said, "When I was you're age I thought I had all the answers. Now, I realize that I don't even know the questions." His statement stuck with me all these years and the older I get, the more I know he was right.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

a perfect morning

What a perfect morning for painting. Today was a pastel day.

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Location:Fletcher's Cove

Saturday, June 26, 2010

a few shots from the exhibition

Gallery Sim is beautiful. The paintings are beautifully hung.

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Location:Galley Sim, Pittsburgh

broadening horizions

Happy to be in Pittsburgh for the opening of my exhibition at Gallery Sim (south side).

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Location:Airport Blvd,Imperial,United States

Sunday, May 16, 2010

success is...

...working a 20-hour day to meet a deadline--my terms.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

the dock at Darleen's

A small oil done on location as a demo.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

success is...

...the honor of having someone choose to live with one of my paintings.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

is the work ready

I feel like I'm at a very difficult point in my career, I'm ready to break my dependency on my "day job" but is my work (painting) ready? Am I at a point where I could make my painting my only work if I took the chance and dedicated the time I spend at my day job towards marketing and managing my own business?

For more than two years I've worked full time in a day job and clocked as many hours--or more--in the studio. There has been growth in my work as evidenced in an increase of exhibitions and sales, as well as requests to lead workshops and teach. It's been a good journey bur the simple truth is that I'm not sure how much longer I can sustain this schedule.

I write this on my commute to work from the studio... I guess I'm not quite there, yet.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

what's next

Do you ever get to a point when you don't know where to go? I'm there with this oil painting. I have not painted the foreground and will add some chairs. Hindsight tells me I should have painted them in from the beginning but I thought it would be easier to paint the water first. Now I must wait for this to dry a bit.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

learning when to stop

I have to learn when to stop. When I first painted the figure, it was fresh and seemed to glow with light. It looks over painted and I've managed to give the person two right feet. The question is, do I start over or do keep going with this? Stay tuned...

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

San Francisco Bay

A new oil painting of the San Francisco Bay. I'm experimenting with color in this one. I love the green sky.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

taking it personally

Yes, I'm taking it personally. Today I had a meeting with a corporate client to present my work with the possibility of hanging a show in its facility. My contact and his collegue were welcoming and full of encouragement. I was feeling good and full of promise.

Along comes Dee (not her real name) with a scowl on her face and says, "You're not putting that in here? It looks like Queen Anne, or something." I don't know who was more embarrassed, my hosts or me. My host replys, "We like his work and are consdering it, yes." To which Dee replies, "Well it matches the furniture and at least brings out the brown in the walls." Picture it... 200+ pound me crawling under the chair because that's exactly what I wanted to do.

Intellectually, I know there is nothing wrong with my work nor is there anything wrong with me... humor me and let's not go there. Moreover, I know that Dee's comments are out of ignorance but that doesn't make them any less pointed.

For now, I'm going to take it personally and go spend some time with Bierstadt, Hassam, and Sargent.

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Location:G St NW,Washington,United States

Thursday, January 07, 2010

a big oil painting

Well, here's the largest oil painting I've done. It needs lots of work but it was a huge learning experience. Mostly, I learned that I need bigger brushes to paint bigger paintings... this is 18x24. Getting the sun to appear as if it is shining through the trees and not setting upon the trees is a trick too. It's not there yet but I'll keep working on it. It's another painting my new "passing through" series.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

too much spam

Happy New Year to all. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this causes but I've had to incorporate some steps to help prevent—or minimize—spam on my blog. Please keep leaving your comments.