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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.

 

32 Days of Painting Challenge: 5-11 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

IMG_6925.jpg

This painting is part of a series from my stay in the French town of Menton on the Mediterranean Sea along the Italian border. This is the view along a walking trail by the sea in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, as easy walk from Menton facing west in the direction of Monaco (the boats in the distance represent the very outer edge of Monaco's harbor).

This painting is for sale for $500 here on my website. Free US Shipping.

 

This painting is on unstretched canvas and will come rolled. It is painted with acrylic paint. The dimensions are 48" wide and 60" high. It is signed on the back and initialed in the lower right hand corner.

Giant Garden Mural - start to finish

Giant Garden Mural - start to finish

The most exciting project I got to work on in 2017 was my largest painting yet. Heirloom Flats, a brand new apartment/condo complex in Bloomfield, CT hired me to create a mural for their lobby. The theme of the building is "modern farmhouse style." Think fresh organic community garden, rescued and rehabbed barn wood, living wall of plants, a giant grill-zebo, and a library stocked full of cookbooks. My project was to make a plant/garden based mural that was bright and fresh and huge.

Start to finish, from brainstorming to install the project took 6 months to complete, I just finished installing yesterday, November 9. Let's take a look at the project:

Here are my original concept sketches - I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a long skinny work or something tall and massive (I went with tall and massive). But I had been thinking of just jam packed, overgrown with flowers and leaves and plants and vegetables. 

I settled on an ultimate size (15' wide x 8' tall) painted on unstretched raw canvas with acrylic paint. I paint on the floor, so I unrolled the canvas, which covered most of the studio floor and got to work:

To help gain inspiration as I worked, I decided to listen to Walden by Henry David Thoreau as I worked. Some stand out quotes that I wrote down that felt applicable to the project at hand:

Making the yellow soil express its summer thought in bean leaves and blossoms.
Not until we are completely lost or turned around do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.
For I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days and I spent them lavishly.
— Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Ok, now we are ready for install! It was suggested by a friend that I should hide things in the picture - his particular suggestion, an aardvark. There isn't one, or is there? 

It was a bear to install - it's so big! But in the end we finally got it up:

An Overabundance
Bloomfield Mural

Officially titled Overabundance. It is located in the lobby next to the elevators and the gym/exercise area of Heirloom Flats, located at 25 Jerome St, Bloomfield, CT. 

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

Newest painting - power lines over Marnay!

There was something just overwhelming about the fields between Marnay-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine when I was at my artist residency in France last year. Everything was so expansive and fields of grain were just so bright in the sun. Here's the sketch I did:

in the painting version I wanted to give it the same amount of light and sunshine and brightness and settled on this very bright color scheme:

This painting is for sale on Etsy, here for $140

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

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

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 13: french onion soup!

Work wise I've really gotten into a postcard making grove. One of my fellow residents is buying some from me and the ladies in the Nogent post office, really liked the ones I sent out, so I think they may be a popular option to sell in the future. Here's the latest:

Provins, France

Provins, France

 CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine,  France

 CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine,  France

The view of the orchard from the clothes line at CAMAC

The view of the orchard from the clothes line at CAMAC

And for those of you who prefer to hear about the important stuff, we had truly fantastic dinner of french onion soup with melted cheese, salad and then a dessert of chocolate crepes alla mode.

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 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.

"Ah Venice" painting from start to finish

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient
venice 2.jpg

5 steps to a complete painting! This painting is of  of the Santa Maria della Salute Church in Venice, Itlay at the end (or beginning) of the grand canal depending on ones point of view. Want it? It's for sale here for only $95!

New Painting: Prominade in Nice

Location: Nice, France- having a glass of rose and lunch on the shore of the Mediterranean (on those gray pebbles)

 About:
This painting is 18" wide by 24" tall, painted on canvas board. I used acrylic paint and oil pastel with a gloss varnish. It is signed on the back by me. For sale here

prominade in nice.jpg