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32 Days of Painting Challenge: 18-32 Balestrand, Norway

Finished painting - Balestrand, Norway

Finished painting - Balestrand, Norway

For my final painting of the challenge - I had to contend with a really large size (just short of 10 feet wide) and head cold. It took a little longer than the rest but I am happy with how this one turned out.

The fjords of Norway were so epic I could only paint them as sprawling landscapes gigantic in scale. This painting is based on sketches I made while staying at the famous Kviknes Hotel in Balestrand, Norway on Sognefjord (nicknamed the King of Fjords). 

Featuring the fjord, mountains, pines, a glacier, waterfall, ferries, and power lines as well as my take on the "dragon style’ of architecture. 

This painting is 116" wide by 46.5" high. It is painted on unstretched canvas with acrylic paint.

For sale here on my website for $2300. Free Shipping in US.

 

Check out my new photos from Norway

Learn the story of my journey to Norway looking for reindeer and trolls, here.

Sketching with Crayons in Menton, France

Sketching with Crayons in Menton, France

I went on a relaxing vacation to Menton, famous for its citrus,  the last town in France on the Mediterranean before reaching Italy. Sunny, clear skies and 72 degrees everyday. From my hotel balcony and I brought out my crayons to try to get the flavor of the Côte d'Azur. 

I moved beyond what could see from my balcony, with visits to Sainte-Agnes, a little town in the mountains, the Citrus Garden at the Carnoles Palace, Jardin botanique exotique de Menton and over the border to Ventimiglia in Italy.

How I spent my summer vacation - CAPE COD edition

I love Cape Cod - I've been going there since I was a little kid, went to grad school in Provincetown, so when we are back here on vacation I just need to start sketching! This is all work from the last two months since my visit in July/August. 

Herring River, Harwich, MA along Route 28

Herring River, Harwich, MA along Route 28

The view from Coast Guard Beach, National Seashore, Eastham, MA

The view from Coast Guard Beach, National Seashore, Eastham, MA

The Evolution of my new Sicily Painting

Last January I went on vacation in Sicily, making Siracusa my home base for a week. I took many wonderful walks around the beautiful little island of Ortygia, which was founded by  the Greeks and was described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all." I particularly loved this square which became a photo, a drawing and now a painting. 

See the evolution--->

siracusa, sicily
drawing of siracusa sicily
For sale on Etsy, here

For sale on Etsy, here

Greetings from Greece!

I had a wonderful vacation in Greece! I spent a week at a lovely hotel in Athens, with fun day trips to the coast, to Delphi, and the island of Hydra. The people were super warm and helpful (seriously, I couldn't make change for the tram, a very kind Greek gal bought me a ticket), the food was wonderful (check out some of my Trip Advisor reviews here ) and the sights were terrific!

left to right: 1. "Restaurant Steps" in Athens, 2. A pine tree on Hydra, 3 & 4. Harbors on Hydra, 5. windmills, 6. The Parthenon

See more in my Hydra, Greece page, Athens, Greece page, and this page with photos from my trip!

New this Week: Salzburg & Sicily

With the dust settled on Oktoberfest, I can go back to devoting daily time to making art. I jumped right into expanding a few drawings from my Sicily sketchbook back in January and finishing a painting I started way back in June before I went to my residency in France... the old town of Salzburg, Austria, from my climb up to the fortress overlooking the town. 

See all this work and more in person next week at City-Wide Open Studios in New Haven Oct 11 & 12!

Salzburg, Austria ... the hills are alive! 30"x10", $120 for sale here

The view from outside my hotel in Siracusa, Sicily

The view from outside my hotel in Siracusa, Sicily

Ragusa, Sicily

Ragusa, Sicily

Siracuse, Sicily, Italy

Siracuse, Sicily, Italy

Paintings of Paris

The last two paintings of the residency were drawn from my paintings of Paris!

notre dame paris france
seine paris france


Paris Finally!

After an epic train strike, I FINALLY made it into Paris for a day of aimless wandering, drawing and eating. I arrived early at the Gare de L'Est and walked straight down the Boulevard de Strasbourg, taking note of a piece of street art that i hadnt seen before by space invader I took it as a good sign.

I reached Ile de la Cite and finally decided now was the time to stop and have cafe and croissant and do the first drawing of the day, with tourists sneaking peaks

cafe view to Notre Dame across the bridge

next i decided to get a little more up close to the river...

along the Seine

along the Seine

from there I walked west along the river, past many runners ans some unsavory smells and paused to sketch the Pont Neuf

pont neuf

pont neuf

then it was time for lunch! after thoroughly looking at every fixed price menu in Place St Michel, I I settled on a lunch of veal and duck with the view below

place st michel lunch paris

i wanted to keep going in the Place St Michel, so I parked it on a bench, pretended to wait for a bus and drew this:

st michel paris france

its mid afternoon and im getting thirsty... time for a panache during happy hour... with a view of the buildings along the river!

paris river houses

time for one last drawing before I catch the train to Nogent! So I duck around the corner pass the really really really long line to Notre Dame and sit down on the curb facing the big rose window and drew... and somehow I became a beacon for all tourists walking by to stop right in front of me and look to block my view!

notre dame rose window paris

a march back to the train station, then i hiked through fields the 4.5 miles from Nogent sur Seine station back to CAMAC. What a day!

Day 14 & 15: Two part painting

I've been super busy working on this two panel horizontal wind farm that I was drawn to like Don Quixote in La Villeneuve-au-Chatelot.  I used up all the yellow and white paint finishing this baby up (reinforcements are due to arrive any day now) and I admit to being quite pleased with the outcome. 

Acrylic paint on panels

I also finished drawing my pack of 30 homemade postcards, these are the last two:

The path between Marnay-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine,  ink on paper

The path between Marnay-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine,  ink on paper

Villenauxe-la-Grande, ink on paper

Villenauxe-la-Grande, ink on paper


Day 10: Sketches and postcards

Running low on paint (fresh supplies are on their way Monday) I decided to focus my energy seriously on drawing and getting some postcards made. And biking- i went for a substantial bike ride to nearby LA Villeneuve-au-Chatelot (about 20 km round trip) to a wind farm (which is going to be a subject of an upcoming painting)

Villenauxe-la-Grande

Villenauxe-la-Grande

Nogent-sur-Seine 

Nogent-sur-Seine 

La Villeneuve-au-Chatelot

La Villeneuve-au-Chatelot


Day 9: a musical wander around

A productive day to be sure, I finished 2 paintings, began some drawings for my monster children book, and spent several hours wandering around Marnay-sur-Seine sketching and listening to music, after 3 songs I forced a change of scenery. So I felt justified in having a movie night with some of my fellow residents. There is still a train strike so have not yet headed to Paris as I originally intended to the last few days.

The Seine from my bridge in Marnay-sur-Seine

The Seine from my bridge in Marnay-sur-Seine

Nuclear towers keep drawing my eye

Nuclear towers keep drawing my eye


Day 8: Three at once

Another beautiful day, so I moved the studio out of doors, got really into my vampire novel on tape and worked on three paintings about Marnay-sur-Seine, an image of fields and nuclear power plants, an image of the sun setting over the Seine,  and this one, which I finished, of CAMAC itself from the bridge over the Seine.


Day 7: salad nicoise and YA novels

Today I stayed entirely at the residency... we'll say mostly working but also getting weepy over "The Fault in Our Stars" and enjoying the nice weather with a picnic while I worked. A wonderful salad nicoise for dinner and bread pudding! Then b a k to the studio where I started a Sookie Stackhouse novel on tape and began 3 new paintings. I also wrapped up these two as close as I could get them.

A scene observed on my bike ride near Villenauxe-la-Grande

A scene observed on my bike ride near Villenauxe-la-Grande

The revised rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine

The revised rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine

And in a fit of inspiration I began 3 new paintings of the Seine. Also hot water broken on my shower... hoping that is a temporary condition!

Day 5: A long days journey into the bike

I admit that I didn't get a whole lot of art made today... but I did absorb a lot of potential ideas.

It was a hot, beautifully clear day - and I decided to push out further than I had so far on my bike. I headed north about 11 km on a combination of bike friendly and bike unfriendly roads.

The view from my bike

The view from my bike

My ultimate destination was the small town (but giant compared to Marnay-sur-Seine) of Villenauxe-la-Grande.  Signs around town pointing to an eco festival ended up being a bust but it was a very pretty little town with a gorgeous town square. I had a delicious and super affordable lunch of salad nicoise,  steak and fries and chocolate mousse.  Rather than biking off on a full stomach I stuck around and made this drawing of the church and surrounding square. 

Drawing of Villenauxe-la-Grande

Drawing of Villenauxe-la-Grande

I came home an indirect route- circling through fields and the tall elvis like woods surrounding Barbuise.  30 km round trip! Was super hot on my return so I jumped right into the Seine for a cool dip. 

Day 4: lazy seine swimming

Well the day started as a very warm beautiful sunny day and me , a bit sore from the day befores epic ride, so I decided to stay local. I am obsessed with the roof tops in Marnay-surSeine so I set about to sketching them. After a few hours it became quite hot in the sun... so I decided now is the time to finally swim. In the Seine!  I headed down to the quiet little beach and jumped in...it's a good thing I regularly swim at the National Seashore, it prepared me for how shockingly cold the water is.But once I got frozen enough I could do a few laps with the fishes and not get swept away by the current. More sketching, yoga, work , a lovely pasta dinner, then I watched the sunset over the water.... OK enough time wasting! I began this painting which I am still not 100% happy with of Marnay-surSeine roof tops. 

The rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine from the terrace of CAMAC

The rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine from the terrace of CAMAC

Day 3: intense wheat field bicycling

Technically I will start the days progress the night before... I had begun working on a painting of Seville, Spain from a drawing of mine as I was in such a hurry to try my new paints and brushes. I stayed up well past 3 amy finishing it, shown here:

Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

So I decided to start the day with a nice long bike ride to town in ordered 1) to get acquainted with the area 2) to buy provisions at the store and finally withdraw cash and 3) to wear myself out so that I will start sleeping at normal times A 4 hour adventure ensued! Mainly because if you want to not get run off the main road (and with no helmet and poor brakes - it wouldn't be good) you need to take dirt/cow paths many of which lead nowhere, so a lot of false starts. But once I found the right one and I was on a plain of corn of wheat it was glorious. I may or may not have song the title song to Oklahoma!

The bike ride to Nogent -sur- Seine

The bike ride to Nogent -sur- Seine

I passed one of Marnay-surSeine.'s most noticeable neighbors, the nuclear power plant.It really drew my eye and struck me as the most Van Gogh-sequence thing I've seen yet- the swirling steam and the way every piece of wheat was visible.  To my surprise after a delicious dinner of risotto, salad and fruit and cheese I stayed up late to paint it.

The nuclear power plant at Nogent- with farm and wheatfield

The nuclear power plant at Nogent- with farm and wheatfield




The challenge is complete!

Well I set out to do 3 paintings in 2 days- in the end I did 2 paintings in 3 days, not too shabby!

The lights are much brighter (Downtown), acrylic on canvas, 2014

The lights are much brighter (Downtown), acrylic on canvas, 2014

This first painting is of downtown New Britain, my hometown. This is the intersection of Main St, Chestnut St, and Arch St. The building on the left is Trinity-on-Main where I worked for several years. I really wanted to have very intense colors on this one, I worked a lot of wet into wet and went with a big Van Gogh influence.  New Britain's colors are red and gold so I definitely wanted to work those into the overall scheme. 

Krakow Jazz Cafe , 2014, acrylic on panel

Krakow Jazz Cafe, 2014, acrylic on panel

I have had this painting in the queue for some time. I did a drawing at a cafe in Market Square in Krakow Poland one afternoon while they were having a free jazz concert on a sunny day and have been meaning to paint it for past 2 years. I would say this painting is a little more Matisse inspired as I tried to play up patterning. The buildup of paint is also thinner than the other painting. I tried to be more aware of layering - for instance I painted the umbrellas on the right bright pink first and after it dried painted a think coat of white so that there would still be a little pink shading peeking through.

South of France photos posted!

I went on an amazing trip to the South of France in September - Nice, Cannes, Mougin, Menton, Monaco, La Cannet, Cagnes sur Mer, Cap Ferrat. It's already inspring some super colorful paintings! But until those are ready to show check out these amazing photos HERE 

villa rothschild 8.jpg