Okay, I've had a couple weeks to recover and reflect. This was my 4th annual Open Studio and to be absolutely honest...it was the toughest one yet to get ready for....but also the best one yet in many ways.
Usually we start prepping for this event by mid-summer, doing house projects, yard work and such. I start working on promotion and indoor projects, specific to Open Studio, early in August. This year, due to my solo show at Mkt Place Gallery, we didn't start gearing up until late August/early September. That was a big mountain to climb. We have learned our lesson!
Now, I am not complaining. There were a number of contributing factors that delayed us and the art show was just the biggest one. We also had done this for 3 years and maybe thought we knew what we were doing...hahaha. But then I decided to re-hang the WHOLE house at the last moment when the 40+ paintings came home from the Mkt Place Gallery show. That complicated things a bit more!! :)
Here are just a few pictures from Open Studio weekend. To get your personal invitation to next years Open Studio and exclusive online offers plus other updates and information, be sure to sign up for my email list below!
August was a BLUUUUUUUUR. and now we're a week into September. Can someone just slOOOOw this baby down for just a minute....PLEEEEASE! hahaha Not likely, I know.
I try to catch my breath and take a look forward and back after a big event, like the August MKT Place Show and all those 10 painting days I did throughout the month while the show was up. With my Annual Open Studio bearing down on me in just 2 weeks...I don't have a lot of time to reflect, but I still feel it's essential.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride…and one of my wishes, of painting in good ole New York City, came true this past weekend!
Yep, that’s right. As an urban landscape artist on the east coast, New York, NY seems a natural mountain for me to want to climb. I got my 1st shot at it when my plein air friend, Elissa Gore, sent me an email asking me to like a Facebook event she was organizing. I took a look at it and recognized a couple names on the list of participating artists.
I “liked” the event and commented that I wished I lived closer so I could come paint with them. Well don’t you know, the answer I got back from my friend Bob Bahr was …."Come paint”. and when I mentioned funds were low, knowing New York can be expensive, I got. "we've got a couch and are good for 1 free meal" Well, I didn’t need much more coaxing than that! I talked to my wife whose immediate reaction was “Looks like you’re going to paint in New York!” I am blessed.
This was a plein air painting event with no fees and no judging, but there was an exhibition at the end so I did need to have frames. I found that driving up was my best option, but I was not sure if I’d find street parking so I had to plan on fitting EVERYTHING I needed into a rolling suitcase. That took some planning, packing, shuffling, unpacking and repacking but since I was only staying 1 night, it was doable…. I found a way!
It was an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny with a slight breeze. The breeze was so refreshing! I had picked my spot before arriving. I often use Google Maps to aid me in this, especially when I am in unknown territory and on a tight schedule. Bob and Robin went off someplace else… I got my 1st painting underway under an elevated roadway near La Marina.
People were curious and friendly. I enjoyed interacting with them. Many kids spurred me on. I find they are the most opinionated and I get a kick out of them.
Once I completed painting #1, which I ended up titling "Going Under", I found Bob and Robin, ate my lunch and visited with them
a bit. Nice to meet new painters and see their work.
Also nice to just sit and drink some water for a bit. Relax and take in the atmosphere.
Ok, time to get back to "work" ha ha. Bob kindly showed me a few of his favorite spots to paint in the area. We were Actually in Inwood Hill Park. What a stunning place! One in particular spoke to me and that proved to be my 2nd painting. It was late in the day but I wanted to get another one in. After all, I wanted to soak up this experience.
Definitely TIRED NOW.... I’d done more walking on this day than I had in 2 weeks, I think! I slowly made my way back to the apartment just in time for happy hour to start and a wonderful dinner by my fantastic hosts. A relaxing evening of conversation and feet up. Bedtime came early.
Sunday morning. Bob and I decided to get started at 8:30 AM with a traditional Dominican breakfast of Tres Golpes (con magú) breakfast at Albert’s House of Mofongo. I had the mini version. Yummy and filling....fun to try something new! We found a great spot to set up together and got on with painting. It is nice to paint with someone in the city so when you need to get a cup of coffee or find a bathroom, your partner can watch your stuff. Bob did 1 large painting in this spot. I did 2 smaller paintings before we had to pack up and head to the exhibition spot, the Ring Garden, a couple blocks away at 2pm.
It was fun to see what the other artists created over these couple days. Such a talented group and nice welcoming group too. The Ring Garden was a lovely space and we were once again blessed with a wonderful day.
But all good things must come to an end. I hope to come back and paint here with Bob and Elissa again. Everyone needs experiences that recharges their batteries and this did that for me in ways I could not have foreseen. I am grateful and carry that with me forward.
My paintings are available here, on the website, just click the images for more information.
The other artwork created during this event is available to view and purchase via the individual artists at the following website. Please visit this site:
Hope you enjoyed coming along with me on another plein air trip! Please stop back again and if you'd like to get these directly in your inbox DO sign up for my email list.
Thank you for you support and have a fantastic day! Sarah
This is the article that was in the April/May 2019 issue of Plein Air Magazine.
Bob Bahr has been following my work via social media for a few years. We spent an hour on the phone and he did a fantastic job capturing my work and my journey. Bob wrote a shorter piece on me a few years earlier which you can read HERE if interested. Enjoy and Please leave a comment...I'm always interested to know what you think!
Thanks for reading the article and stopping by my blog. Please sign up for my email list to get updates and exclusive offers delivered right to your inbox!
Have a wonderful day. Sarah
Art is Contagious...Pass it on. Albert Einstein
These 2 paintings are available for purchase. Click images for information.
8AM. I am packed and ready to drive to West Reading but, man, I am not sure I want to get in that car. I have been on the road for several weeks and what I really want is a break. BUT…That is not on the schedule, so in the car I crawl and off I go. The forecast is sunny with clouds rolling in in the afternoon. I have a 90 min drive. I am hoping to be painting by 10:30.
The day turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. I got 2 paintings in. The 1st one I found easily and was a pleasure, except for the delivery trucks that kept blocking my view. Luckily they were never there very long. Painting number 2 took me a while to find. I drove around a bit and then ended up ½ block away from the 1st painting I did! Nice to have 2 under my belt as the forecast for Thursday is rain.
5PM. Off to find dinner and check in to the place I am staying while doing this event.
8AM. Rained last night but stopped by about 10AM. The rain affords me a late start this morning. My plan is to sketch some, drive around and scope out spots to paint tomorrow morning. If the rain seems to be holding off…maybe get one painting in today. We’ll see.
5PM. I did get a painting today. Since I have 2 done I felt I could play a bit and try a different approach. I tried blocking in shapes and color …. it was so devoid of personality I hated it so I started wiping it out and then I liked it!
Rain started just as I was finishing up this painting so I called it a day. Knowing I had 3 paintings completed was a comfort and allowed me to play a bit. Then I drove around exploring and sketching. I found 2 spots to paint tomorrow (Fri) that I am quite happy about. Always nice to have a place in mind to paint so you can just get up and go to that place and get started.
The forecast for Friday morning is sunny but windy. I hope to get 1 if not 2 more paintings in. That gives me a choice of what to put in the show. I will have to get up and out early to have everything framed and turned in by 2PM.
5PM again and time to head to room for dinner, social media etc…..
Not a good night…sleep was not my friend. Got up at 6AM. Hoped to be painting by 7AM. I was painting by 8:15. And the sunshine was nowhere to be found. It was 58 degrees and 15mph winds which is really COLD. Why am I doing this…? Sometimes one wonders…hahaha.
I arrived at my spot and I stood and stared knowing it had excited me the day before. I still liked the sketch I had done and I wanted to try this new panel size….BUT the lighting was flat. DEAD. I decided to start, give it 45 minutes and if I wasn’t happy, I’d move on to my 2nd spot of the day.
About 45 minutes in, I noticed the clouds had parted and the sun was shining. AHHHHHHH.
BEA-U-TIFUL!!!! But it didn’t last. The morning oscillated from gray skies to blasts of wind to little spurts of sun and it actually rained at one point. The wind was unrelenting and I pulled gloves out of my car because my fingers were numb. And this is June you say..?? The advantages of working with your car nearby and always having various weather gear in it!
But there was something about this scene and this new panel shape that made me persevere. I did a lot of drawing into the wet paint…also like the contrast of the dark tree mass versus the light sky and bright green grass as well as the highway structure.
Finished up the painting around 11AM. Got everything framed, titled, paperwork filled out and everything turned in around 1:30. Head back to room to clean up, pack up and then head back to town for the reception.
7PM. Award ceremony. The Juror is Kenn Errol Backhaus, a renowned plein air painter and teacher. I honestly do not expect an award...I am just hoping for a sale and not even very sure that will happen.
What? 2nd place! Wow! As an award winner last year I never thought lightening would strike twice. But I am glad to say that sometimes it seems lightening CAN strike twice...and in this case, it doesn't even hurt...hahaha! Actually feels GOOD!
8PM. Drive 90 minutes back home....Happy!
3PM. Return to West Reading to hang out a bit for Art on the Town.
People’s Choice Award is announced at 7PM. Michele Byrne's Day in the Rain gets that honor. At Home Just Off 422, the 2nd Place award winner Sold. That is a wonderful feeling. Nothing like knowing that someone will be enjoying that paintings for years to come. We artists grab our paintings and head in all directions to our various homes.
8PM. I say my goodbyes to friends. I have my 90 minute drive back home. It has been quite a whirlwind of painting and weather the past 4 days. Fun, yes, but I am ready to be back home too.
Think that is typical of a plein air event!
Hope you enjoyed coming along with me on this plein air trip! Please stop back again and if you'd like to get these directly in your inbox DO sign up for my email list. Thank you for you support and have a fantastic day! Sarah
Art is Contagious. Pass it on. Albert Einstein.
West Reading Plein Air 2019 award winners: for pictures of show go to Art Plus Gallery
First Place, All Berks: Marita Hines
First Place, West Reading Scene: Angelo Cupani
Second Place: Sarah Baptist
Third Place: Michele Byrne
Honorable Mention: Thomas Bucci
Honorable Mention: Martha Ressler
People Choice Award: Michele Byrne
Spring has arrived...finally. And despite the weeding, raking, lawn mowing, dust everywhere, rain barrels out, gardening and and and list of chores chores chores that are never never never done..... I LOVE LOVE LOVE spring.
Once it hits the 60's and the sun is out, I am antsy to get out and start painting. It does make for some interesting deal making in my own head. I am lucky my wife is a supportive partner. She's often the one saying..."go paint". I am blessed.
Besides the home and garden part of spring that makes demands on an artists time, Spring seems to be "Art Season" too. Yes, a wonderful thing, BUT it adds another element to the balancing act. Art Fairs, Mother's Days Flower Shows, Graduations, Studio Tours, Galleries...everyone has art shows in the spring. It's great but it's also exhausting!
In my area Chester County Studio Tour is a biggie. So now add choosing art for shows, framing, social media, website updates and marketing/pr to the springtime list of to-dos...Oh My! Head just might explode....! hahaha
But wait, you'd like folks to show up to this event you're in (for me it is Chester County Studio Tour) and so you gotta post some pictures, and write that newsletter and a blog and go to 1st Friday, network and and and and....
Yep. That's what you gotta do. And that's what you will do..... and when you have that fantastic conversation with that shy person who wanted to ask you something or you see that person walk out of Chester County Studio Tour with one of your paintings with a big ole smile on their face..... you'll be SO glad you did.
I hope you'll check out Chester County Studio Tour on May 18th and 19th. More information is on my Upcoming Events page or just click here.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm always curious what you think so please leave a comment below. I also hope you'll sign up for the newsletter. Have a great day.
WHAT??? Really?? YOU, Sarah Baptist, an urban landscape painter got an article in THE Plein Air Magazine?? Ok...who'd you pay off, sleep with or what?? Just HOW did YOU get an article in a magazine like THAT??
Well, let me tell you.... sometimes.....every once in a while.....when we put our noses to the grind stone, work at something we love, paint, frame, post to social media, do events, take every opportunity that comes our way, smile no matter what, reassess every now and then (and scream and yell and say a few prayers in private along the way)...... sometimes, without trying (hahahaha) a wonderfully good thing lands in our laps.
Four years ago, when I was a year into being a full-time artist, Bob Bahr contacted me via Facebook to do a small piece for the online version of Plein Air Magazine....ie OutdoorPainting.com. I thought it might be a scam. I was very new to the world of plein air and didn't know names of people or artists like I do now. I was also new to Facebook and heard stories of scammers. I'd actually gotten a few of those scam emails from the husband who wants to buy the wife and anniversary present...SCAM...BEWARE! Anyway, after I checked Mr. Bahr out, we had a wonderful 20 minute conversation on the phone, and he did a wonderful piece for OutdoorPainter.com. You can read that HERE if you'd like.
Fast Forward to early 2019: For quite a while I heard nothing from Bob. I wasn't sure if he was still following me on Facebook or not. I just kept doing my thing...painting, posting my work on my Facebook page - Sarahs Art Scene - and a few groups I am a member of. One day a message appeared from Bob Bahr. He mentioned our past connection and that he "sometimes" writes for Plein Air Magazine; that he'd pitched a piece on me ...was I interested. YES!! The rest is history so to speak
I thank Bob Bahr for championing my artwork; for bringing it to the attention of Plein Air Magazine and it's readers. We all need people rooting for us, supporting us, believing in us so we can be inspired to reach for the next rung in the ladder...or dare dream bigger dreams than that!
Since the magazine is in publication I am unable to reproduce the article here for you. Please check your local book store for a copy of Plein Air Magazine. I know Barnes and Noble carries it. IF you want a copy and have trouble finding it, let me know...I may be able to help you out!
Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. If you'd like to get future blogs and updates right in your inbox just sign up for my Newsletter below! Enjoy the rest of your day!
Images from Plein Air article.
Hi and thanks for stopping by. It's mid-March and I do see signs of Spring! Ahhhhhh! Thought I'd give a quick look back at my Big January Challenge before I launch into what my plans are for 2019. Soooooooooo.......
To recap what this January Daily Painting Challenge thing was......I challenged myself to paint 30 paintings in 30 days to start out 2019. You can check out my blog about it it HERE if you'd like!
For me this painting challenge was simply about getting back into the art studio. It was about getting in touch with being creative after a long break full of shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, traveling, family, and in general ....the Holidays!
Honestly, I have never done 30 paintings! I usually do somewhere in the 20's. This year and last I did 27. I also paint 4-6 days in a row and take a day or 2 off; then make up ground by doing more than 1 painting in the next round of painting days. I find that this is what works for me rather than adhering to some tight schedule. Life has a way of interfering and so instead of sweating a missed day....I just make up for it down the line. No paint police here! Just me.
The point was to be in the art studio and enjoy pushing some oil paint around. To reconnect with my creative self and my materials. Listen to some wonderful music, enjoy just being in my space. Play. Breathe. Relax. Remember that...... I Am An Artist!
This year, I have a page where you can see all the work on one page. To see the paintings just click the button below:
If you want to try this challenge on your own sometime I have two tips for you!
What did I learn this year? Good Question!
Having 2 subjects was helpful again. The urban abstracts were a bit frustrating since I had to wait for them to set up to rework them. That I may have to rethink if i were to do again. But I felt some of those pieces were quite successful and I was getting the hang of it towards the end of the month.
I like the 8x8 format but it may be a bit small. I may have to rethink that. The idea is that these are quick sketches, but this year I felt the size was a bit constraining especially with the urban landscapes.
Interestingly enough the studio studies got the most reaction when posted. You guys loved those! Was it the color? That it was an art studio? A more familiar, intimate space? I wonder....and would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.
Doing the videos and Flash Store was new and it was fun to share the process. I will do that again.
Thanks again for stopping by. I enjoy sharing my journey of being an artist with you and truly appreciate your support in this artventure.
I am always curious to hear what you think so please leave any questions or comments below.
Next Time....Chester County Studio Tour Update and Plein Air Painting Tip or Two
Am I CRAZY????? Well, lets not get into that here ….. hahaha.....but yes, my goal is ONE painting a day for the month of January. I explain it in this short video below.
I know I say in the video I have never made it completely through the month in the past, but I did get 27 paintings done last year and I am committed to 30 this year. We'll see. The number is not important as much as the doing and being consistent.
You've heard about my Studio Series. To hear about my Urban Abstract series which I will do every other day, please listen the video below.
Be sure to check my Instagram and Facebook accts to check on my progress.
But for you...….Today...….Here's a peak at Day 1 and Day 2 paintings...….
Thanks for stopping by. Please check back and be sure to sign up for my Newsletter to get updates and announcements right in your mailbox! And....Happy New Year!
This time of year I definitely slow down on my social media posts as I focus on family and all that comes with this time of year but I wanted to touch base with you all as the year comes to a close....AND that includes sharing my favorite Christmas card with you!
If you haven't heard, my website re-launch IS NOW underway with new paintings in new categories being uploaded every 2 weeks. I hope you will visit often and I'd love your feedback too!
The 1st news of 2019 is I have been working on a large painting....3 feet by 3 feet, which will be delivered to Gallery 222 in Malvern on January 7th. It will be available for viewing by appointment and online only and for a couple weeks only. Check out the Gallery's website after Jan 7, 2019. Here are some detail shots of the painting just to tease you a bit.....
As for 2019....January is my month to hunker down and play in my studio. I also plan out my year. After that we'll just have to see, but I have to say I am excited by the possibilities! Please join me in this next year of discovery and adventure into the creative process!
Have a Happy New Year!!!