Friday, June 29, 2012

High Falls

Posing for a photo just after I finished painting.
When Margie, Susie and I arrived at the bottom of the steps, Margie decided to paint in the deep shade, which later became a problem for her, as she couldn't see her colors. Susie had an umbrella, I had a broken one, and after just falling, it was hard to bend to get my equipment out of the bag at my feet. I didn't have the fortitude or time to fool with it, and thought I might just hold it, but once into the painting, I forgot and it lay beside me, half open, the whole time.

Finally the other painters descended on this spot, and Eric Rhoads said, "Your sitting in the bright sun." He was right, but it didn't seem to matter. Marilyn sat beside me on the bench and Jill sat on the platform, and is taking this photo of me.

I have just downloaded my camera of photos from the Adirondacks last week. Most everything shot at 5M, whew!

My painting sitting on the easel at High Falls last week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 sent you a video: "Adirondack Mountain Painters"

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Check out this video, by Sarah Yeoman, of this year's Adirondack Mountain Painters. You'll see Eric Rhoads doing a portrait of Maria Amor, and just after that I am painting at sunset on the same porch. Susie and Margie are also on that porch painting.
50 artists painting the Adirondacks June 19-24.
© 2012 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shameless 'Halo Effect' Marketing!

Standing on the deck at Camp Limberlost with Publisher, B. Eric Rhoads. This is what he called getting the halo effect: getting in a photo with someone important, or famous. I'd say he's both.

You know what Eric means. After all, didn't some of us in Columbus, Ohio try to get into a photo with Arnold Scwartzenegger and Sly Stallone??? Some wanted it more than others, but everyone posted it. Great marketing!

Thanks to Bridgette Turner who took this photo. She took several until she got a good one of me. Eric always looks good.

Monday, June 25, 2012

27 Dresses Series #6: "Blowin' in the Wind"

"Blowin' in the Wind" 10 x 8" Oil on RayMar oil primed linen.
SOLD     Copyright 2012 Debra Joyce Dawson
This is the second of 5 paintings I did on the streets of Annapolis, MD, this one on April 20.

A little technical stuff here: #1. Why try oil-primed linen? Me, I don't often paint on linen, but so many artist's rave about it, that I decided to buy a 10 pack of oil-primed linen panels from RayMar, maybe 2 years ago. It's expensive, and of course one wants to save it for a great painting, still one never knows when that GREAT painting will come along. I still have 4 of the original linen panels left, and I took 3 of those to the Paint the Adirondacks event to make better friends with them.

"Green Rain" (posted November 1, 2011)
was also painted on oil-primed linen.

#2. The feel of oil-primed linen: the paint glides across the surface, and if you aren't careful, it will lift right off as well. That's why I was able to work a long time on "Green Rain", push and pull, lift and change that paint on that surface, until I found the statement I could live with. But I found that in 'Green Rain', there is very little paint on the surface, with most of the texture being the texture of the linen itself. For one like me, who likes paint texture, I knew I'd have to work on figuring it out. Students often ask me to show them how to lay down wet oil paint over wet oil paint, and it is all about the amount of paint on your brush or knife, and how much pressure you apply it with. This oil-primed linen factors in more slickness in the process. And frankly, I am not sure if what I purchased was the single or the double prime, or what the difference in feel that might have!!!!
#3. Toning the surface: I almost always tone the surface I am working on for two reasons:
      a. I use no medium in my plein air work, so using a little OMS mixed with paint, then wiping it down gives the surface a little less drag factor, not a lot, but some - and this is especially important if I am doing a palette knife painting.
     b. I also tone to get rid of the glaring white surface, hard on these aging eyes. And if you are painting something that is white (and we all know white has color, right?), white always sings best applied over something that is darker.
     The oil-primed linen has a slight greyish tone, so no glaring white. But I have still toned it, not realizing how slick it already was. NEXT TIME, I'll change things up and not tone the surface, to see what happens.
#4. What I did in 'Blowin' in the Wind': I toned the surface with Transparent Oxide Red mixed with a little OMS, and wiped the surface with a VIVA paper towel. While I waited for some of the OMS to evaporate, I did my little thumbnail sketch. I started the painting by blocking in my darks by barely breathing the slightly thinned transparent paint onto the surface, which is really easy to do on this oil-prime.
#5. Photographing this painting: I'll admit, I am the world's worst at taking photos of my work. Heavens forbid I ever want to make a book. However, this painting was really hard to photograph. There is a natural kind of sheen to this surface, so glare is hard to deal with, even though I took the photos after the painting had dried and with no varnish. It seems you can see right through the thin layer of darks, back to the layer of the oxide red tone. I know that all my darks were applied thinly and are transparent paints to start with, but the camera seemed to heighten the separation in those layers more than I could see with the naked eye. Oh that camera's eye! It picks up all of the texture, and glare of the sheen and lightened the entire image. It was maddening! Photoshop Elements, here I come.

#6. Making corrections: I made one or two small corrections to this painting when I got it ready for my current exhibition at Sharon Weiss Gallery. The paint glided onto the surface easily and without fuss, and I don't think anyone viewing it would know where the corrections were made. (This photo is before the corrections were made.)
All in all, I haven't used this surface often enough to know if I will go the extra expense to keep it in my painting bag of tricks. However, I did just order another 10 panels. This surface certainly worked out well for "Blowin' in the Wind". I didn't find myself 'thinking' about the surface, fighting or struggling with it. I do like to experiment with a variety of surfaces, whether drawing or painting, but I hate that feeling of fighting a surface, like a fish struggling to go upstream. In this painting, I went with the flow, and was happy with the result.

Epilogue: I had two instances in the Adirondacks where I was fighting the surface, one was on a RayMar panel I'd bought years ago, the medium canvas surface. This is the surface that I hate, way too much drag of me, and I wound up putting an extra coat of prime on these panels and sanding them to get a resonable surface. Now I buy the RayMar Smooth Canvas and love it.

I had the opposite feeling of NO RESISTANCE AT ALL while using an oil primed linen panel with a Rosemary Ivory brush. Wow! I will post these failed attempts when I get my luggage back today.
Any of you with more experience using linen as your surface, and I would appreciate hearing your experiences with linen with an oil prime, or with another type of prime. And what do you think of Rosemary Brushes? We have been having an ongoing discussion about these brushes this past week in the Adirondacks.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

An almost perfect day

Susie, Margie and I went with the group on Friday to Heavenly Hill Farm on Friday morning and wound up staying all day. This morning we were somewhere along the AuSable River, taking our time to get back to the ferry to Burlington.

I didn't post yesterday because I shot all of my photos at 5M resolution. We had an interesting day involving a visit to Rockwell Kent's studio, rain, herding goats, a failed painting, and a great party at Camp Limberlost, owned by Eric Rhoads and his family.

I'll post some photos of Kent's studio, IF, I ever get home from Philadelphia. My 9pm flight was delayed first for maintenance and now waiting for a crew. Estimated departure time, 11pm!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Adirondack round table

I'm sitting here at a round table discussion led by B. Eric Rhoads. I'm surrounded by artists and paintings we've done since Tuesday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

White Pine Camp

Today we spent the day at White Pine Camp, the summer White House 1926, under Calvin Coolidge. Martin and I tried to visit this last year but the gate was closed.

This old camp is now a hotel, $139 per night minimum rate. It was fun painting here. We looked all around this place, but Susie and I decided to paint the entrance gate. My painting is 12 x 10", while the High Falls was 12 x 9".

I forgot to bring bug spray, but was very glad today that I had it. The flies were aggressive. One landed on my palette, and I looked down to see it and it had red eyes, red circles with red centers, a demon fly for sure.

My painting is not quite finished in this photo, but I like the photo.

High Falls

This photo is taken indoors, and the light is yellowish, so this painting, even in limited color range doesn't show the gorgeous subtlety of colors. But all I can say is, I painted this just after falling, and it was my reward.

We came back from the falls tired and late, had showers and went to the cafeteria for dinner. We all went to the bar. I'd been taking Aleve for pain, but I thought some alcohol could help as well. It was quiet at first and I sat talking to Roger Rossi, on the Board of the Salmagundi Club.

In walked Rick Wilson, from Indiana, and the night turned into a sing-song. A great deal of fun, and excellent prelude to Ireland.

I hope that the photo posts vertically. Enjoy, this is a special painting!

Adirondacks Paintings

Here's a little art show in our living area. We really lucked out this year and got a suite of rooms with a full kitchen and sitting area. Air conditioning, too! And we couldn't be happier about that since it has been hot.

In this photo are 4 paintings of mine, and 3 by Susie. Margie's are in her room, and she is napping right now.

Top left is my very crappy painting from this afternoon, next it, Susie's painting of High Falls, next her painting from this morning. second row, my High Falls painting, then my painting from this morning, and on the bottom row, our paintings from Osgood Pond.

just because

This photo is of Susie and I. The painting is a studio watercolor by Sarah Yeoman. She painted this from a photo she took last year. In the painting is Susie, myself, and my sherpa Martin.

The second photo is of a natural planter. I am sending my sherpa on an expedition to retreve this lichen covered boulder with many lovely ferns, not too, too far from he falls where I fell.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

High Falls Park

I see my photo from this mornings painting spot didn't post. So trying this one from our afternoon spot.

I painted 12 x 9 inches at the falls. I thought I'd taken a photo of the painting on the easel with the tablet, but I am mistaken. I took it with my camera. I'll work on getting that photo. My paintings no too bad, considering it the second painting of a waterfall I've done in my life, both here in the Adirondacks.

We went early to this site, and things were fine until at the very bottom, I fell and hit my right side ribs on my easel. It knocked the wind out of me, but eventually I got set up - even though I was right out in the full sun. 88 degrees today and sunny.

I'm pretty sore. Thanks to Margie for carrying my easel uphill.

Back on Osgood Pond

Adirondack Adventure: day 2

Up at 5:21am this morning. We have decided to not go to The Vic Center this morning. Both painting groups are going there. Then they break up and one group is going to High Falls Park. I didn't go to this spot last year because every time a waterfall was mentioned, slipping and falling and blood was mentioned. However, last night we made a plan to go to Osgood pond and then to the falls and spend most of the day there.

The photo shows me wearing the bug net that was in our tote bag.

At the raffle last night . . . my roommates and I . . . all won prizes. First Susie: a travel watercolor set, brush and pens and a little case. Next, I won a set of 6 brushes by Rosemary's Brushes (estimated value $100) ! Then Margie won a large wooden palette.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We're here!

We meandered our way to Paul Smiths College, stopping for about 45 minutes to an hour to take photos.

All in all with all our stops, it took us 3 hours to get once we drove off the ferry.

The weather right now has gone grey. I've been told that Susie travels with rain, but Everyone is saying the temps tomorrow will be in the 90's.

We walked into the check-in, and there was Eric Rhoads, and three children, working the check-in desk, and very efficiently. We were given a Plein Air Magazine tote bag, green this year. I love the green.

We were given some free samples of Williamsburg paint!!!

And, Joe, from Rosemary's Brushes is here with brushes for sale.

We settled into our suite of rooms. VERY nice, and we have a kitchen as well.

Dinner is at 5:30pm, so I'll sign off for now, and write later, if I have the energy or inclination.

Ausable Chasm

Lunch in Saranac Lake

Back on the  road to Paul Smiths College after stopping for lunch. Nicoise salad, and just phoptos of dessert, but I could go for an ice cream. Temps is 75 right now, with sun and 88 F tomorrow. Looks like better painting weather than last year.

Paint the Adirondack Adventure: day 1

On the road again.
Yesterday started off with a bit of stress: running a little late to the airport, an easy check-in, cash from the ATM, he bathroom, then disaster! I had lost my drivers license somewhere between the check-in and getting my stuff together to go through security. Panic time! But the license was found, in my stuff and all was well.

I am traveling with Susie and Margie. We all flew into Burlington, VT, had a nice meal at The Ice House, right on Lake Champlain, and took the ferry this morning to NY. It's a super beautiful day today. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

27 Dresses Series #5: Flirty Dress

"Flirty Dress" 7" x 5", Oil on Canvas Panel • SOLD
"Flirty Dress" revealed itself to me on April 19, in Annapolis, Maryland. I didn't know I'd find her. I was on my way to paint a red and white striped number I'd seen the night before. I walked into town from Graul's Market with my backpack, easel, panels and pizza box carrier, and my Plein Air Magazine tote - given to all the participants of the 1st Annual 'Paint the Adinrondacks', you all remember who organized that, right?

The day was sunny, and very warm, and it was a stimulating walk to arrive at State Circle. Years ago, while a student in landscape painting class with Richard Nieworth, I stood in a quite spot on this circle and painted. The wind blew my palette over onto the brick sidewalk, and I was sure bells and whistles would go off, and that the Historical Society would arrive on the scene at any moment. No one knew this happened but me, and I did my best to wipe up the red, yellow, white globs of paint, which resulted in smears!

So from that time on, whenever I was in Annapolis, I'd check to see if my paint was still on those bricks. This was back in the late 1970's! I didn't find my marks this year, but that isn't a bad record for Utrecht oil paint!!!!

I walked around the circle half way, and took a narrow pedestrian street that would cut through to the harbor/market area. Nice, interesting old houses, and at the end, a small shop called "VIVO". And, "Voila!", there she was, such a cute dress with spectacular color and shape, and the wall of the shop behind was a WOOZER color! I loved the black mannequin, 'a first' since I've started to paint this series. Still, the red and white was just around the corner, and it was still calling me. I'd have a look before deciding to paint. Like magic, it had disappeared. Good for me, as that dress was on a busy street with sidewalk cafe tables and lunchers!

I backtracked to this side street and
observed this dress from another angle.
You can just see the Annapolis State House dome in the distance to the left of this quirky, but very paintable, house; and in the right foreground,
the VIVO shop and Flirty Dress to the right.

I liked this view, too. I sat down all my equipment and dug out my sketchbook to make a couple compositional sketches, so important! (the drawings are in the previous post). I then reached for my tripod, which I'd left in the car!

Nothing to do now, but figure it out.
I sat on a 5" curb, and straddled a gutter with running water.
Notice that one handle of my trash bag is clipped to my pants leg!
This was rough, but there was no choice.
I wasn't going anywhere without that painting of Flirty Dress.

Behind me was  . . .
In front of me (besides a messy garbage bin) was . . .
my backpack with a small 6x8" magnetic easel propped on top. The good news was I had shade the entire time, very few visitors, and a subject before me that made it all worth while.

Friday, June 08, 2012

6th Solo Exhibition

I bought a Motorola Zyboard tablet last December, and I am writing to you from this tablet now. Of course, I am not a true tekky, so I am not sure what all I could be doing with it. One thing I do know is that it's hard to update my blog from this device, but easy to blog going through email. The only thing I don't like about that is not being able to position or size my photo before posting it.

My photo shows a page from the sketch book I was using in April when I was in Maryland. My daughter lives in Annapolis now, and while she worked and my granddaughter was at school, I loaded up with my backpack, panels and easel and walked into the town center. I was working each day and one night on paintings for my "27 Dresses Series". Here are four thumbnails for paintings that are on the wall of my current exhibition at the Sharon Weiss Gallery in Columbus, OH.

Two of the sketches are of the same dress. I titled that painting "Flirty Dress". It was so cute, and made of paper. The painting is just 5"x7", and I did a great job capturing it, under trying circumstances. (to be continued)