Saturday, March 31, 2012

You are What you Consume

Everything you hear or see goes into your mind.  It stays there even if you "forget" it. 

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Acadia, ME

Its like sound waves in a wall. The sound from Beethoven's music he played in a concert hall in 1800 are still in the walls. What does this say about what is in our minds?

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Acadia, ME

One time when I was out painting with a group a fellow painter wanted me to paint standing behind him.  I told him I wasn't  interested in painting that specific view. 

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Acadia, ME

 He responded by saying that the intent of his suggestion was not for the landscape but to provide me the best view of his easel and what he was doing.

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Friendship, ME

He thought hat I could learn a lot by watching him paint.  Now this is a very kind and generous thought. But...

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Friendship, ME

 ...what if I do not want to paint the way he does, or want my paintings to look like his... 

I was thinking about having all this extra unwanted stuff in my brain... 
 I'm having trouble enough trying to paint what I do want to paint ... without adding all this other stuff to the mix. 

I also don't watch TV...but this probably doesn't surprise you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rules to Throw Away

I was having a conversation yesterday with another painter.  It was about break throughs...and the process freeing yourself from "rules" stuffed in your head. 

Water color Plein Air Sketchbook

If you've had a lot of art instruction you might know what I am talking about.  

Water color Plein Air Sketchbook

I had a painting instructor who gave the class an assignment for a studio painting developed from a plein air sketch.  I painted a barn with a flag blowing in the breeze. After seeing the painting he didn't allow any buildings as subject matter for future class assignments. 
What ???

Water color Plein Air Sketchbook

I noticed the paintings he painted were dozens of pictures of a fruit, vegetable or flower housed in cozy, old wooden boxes. 
What's a box? A cube. 
What's a building? A cube. 

Water color Plein Air Sketchbook

What do I remember from this painting class ?  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Painting Big from Field Sketches

I paint out doors all the time. Sometimes I'm out painting in the field everyday for weeks, it all depends on the weather and the season. Then...I'm back home painting the big paintings  in my garden or in my studio from the small plein air studies...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Foliage in Cummington

A few water color sketches from my recent trip to the Berkshires.

William Cullen Bryant's barn.

Looking from the house down to the five corners.

Another small sketch of the barn...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Painting the Landscape with Confidence

The 20 minute field sketch...or how to get a sure fire handle on painting en plein air.

So many  people go outdoors to paint and get overwhelmed when on location. 

That used to happen to me when I first started painting outdoors.

It wasn't easy being in the middle of my subject! 

Not to mention the wind, tides and the light changing all the time. 

I really needed some guidance. 

I registered to take some workshops with some of the top landscape professionals in the field...only to be wait listed...

Then one day the tide turned. I was accepted ! I went to Idaho to study with Scott Christensen for 10 days... It was painters boot camp! I returned to New England with a different perspective.  

The night after I arrived home I drove to the York River to see what I would do with this paradigm shift. After sunset I painted a very quick painting of the York River.  
York River Autumn, oil 6x12. 

In this class I will share what I learned.
The 20 Minute Field Sketch ~ Painting the Landscape 
Plein Air Class
Half Day Outdoor Class
MEDIUM: Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors
LOCATIONS: Southern Maine & New Hampshire Seacoast 
DATES: October 15th to November 12th ~ 6 Weeks ~ Saturdays 
TIME: 1:00 ~ 4:00 PM 
TUITION: $180  
LEVEL: Beginning Plein Air to Intermediate 
INFO: & Registration: Great Works River Studio: MARY BYROM; 
CONTACT: Mary Byrom, Great Works River Studio, 102 Wells Street ~ North Berwick, Maine 03906 ~ 207-676-9933
This class will hone skills and improve painting and decision making abilities. Each week the class will be in a different location (seacoast, woodland, marshes, ponds, farms, village) to learn the specifics of working with diverse settings, subject matter, light, and changing weather. Each class will help you to learn to think on your feet through the process of making choices and decisions of subject matter and design that are influenced by location, light and weather.
This class is for anyone with some experience painting with oils (in plein air or the studio) who wants to improve their skills.  We will paint at different locations and situations that might be challenging on your own. 
We will follow good, solid procedures using the guidelines of the fundamentals of landscape painting en plein air. The more you understand the fundamentals of making good paintings the more you will be in control in the field.
We will learn and practice 6 steps for use on location to guide us in making decisions. We will ask questions, make decisions and work deliberately as we focus on rendering the motif. We will learn to study outdoors, learn to design and to make deliberate choices. We will key paintings, mix colors and select elements to make a good design. 
In each class we will be painting at a new location covering the specifics of the motif, lighting and weather for that day.  This will give the student good tools for painting in all seasons and all kinds of weather. 
Suggested canvas/panel/sizes (6x8, 8x10, 9X12).  Paper sizes can be larger.
If you are a beginner, intermediate OR experienced painter you will gain confidence and skill. 

Materials list provided upon registration. 

QUESTIONS? Email me !

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Art Happenings in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Boothbay Harbor is a real happening place in the summer! Marcus & I stopped by on a Friday evening for the opening of a show for PAPME at allen david Gallery.

The last time I visited Boothbay Harbor was years ago during wintertime. Yikes, what a difference in the summertime. It is a destination for sure ! 

The harbor is packed full of pleasure boats. This large yacht sailed in, tied up and left some of its sails up. I think it was getting ready to depart for a sunset cruise.

No one was around. I would have loved to set up to paint it, but we were on our way to an art opening.

So much to see and so little time. The docks are full of signs promising to show you whales and everything else out on the open sea.

On the dock tucked in among all the boats advertising their ocean adventures was an enterprising young man.  Ben Schell is a caricaturist. He's so busy he's looking for a back-up relief artist!

He found one! He was talking to Michael James White, an illustrator from Sarasota Florida who just happened to be summering nearby at his good friend's home.

Michael immediately took me to meet his friend Rick Dickinson, a painter who has a nice gallery across the street from the wharves. 

Rick and Michael were delightful!  The painting world is a small world. Michael is a neighbor of Marcus' brother Tom in Sarasota and Rick attends Ingbretson Studio in Manchester, NH. 

We couldn't linger for long as the opening was starting at allen david. 

When we arrived the band was playing away and the art lovers were pouring in.

Our friends Ellen and Al arrived in great spirits with their dear friend.

It was a perfect summer evening.

Ellen was in a elated mood. When she arrived at the opening both of her pieces were already sold!  Bravo! 
Go here for more painting adventures!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fast & Slow

I was looking through my sketchbooks the other day checking out the way I respond to situations.

House at Mackerel Cove 8x10 pen & watercolor 
Outdoors I am racing, zip, zip, zip getting it down before the light, tide, wind... changes.

Pears & Glass 8x12 watercolor
Indoors doing a still life with fixed light, no moving objects, a stable temperature.... all is calm.  I still paint fast...its instinct.  But you can tell its indoors by the way the painting looks....all is calm.