I did a blog about this last year with some pictures of my 1st couple paintings and a video explaining this process a bit. If you'd like to check that out, you can do so Right Here. You can also see ALL the paintings I did last year by following this link: 2019 Daily Painting Challenge. Might be interesting for you to see.
Anyway..... this year I am doing my Studio series again, but rather than doing a panorama around the studio, I am doing vignette's, art supplies etc.. These are all 8x8 and I hope to have 12 completed by months end.
For my 2nd series, I am going abstract again this year. Last year I learned that abstracts take time and layering so I am working on more than one at a time and not trying to finish one in a session, but just making marks and progress. I am using older plein air paintings as my starting point as that gives me something to respond to right away. My goal is to complete 10 abstracts by the end of the month.
So, if you are up for the challenge...feel free to jump in! If you just want to follow along I do post on Instagram at @sbaptistart just about every day. You can also SIGN UP for my email list in the menu above to get updates too...right in your inbox!
So here's just a bit of what I've been up to so far this month.....
Thanks for tuning in. Please comment and let me know what you think. I am always open to suggestions and ideas. Appreciate hearing from you!
So, I decided to board this 25 Days of Minis bus and paint 25 paintings. What was I thinking? Now I had to decide WHAT TO PAINT!! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read my blog about it HERE). I don’t really paint scenes that lend themselves to holiday-ification..... but it will be the holidays when these are seen and I don’t want to ignore that. Hmmm.
One thing I've been sure of from the start was that I wanted to do 2 series ....break things up a bit. That’d make the painting more interesting for me and it’d make the presentation more interesting for YOU. It did make the beginning process a bit more difficult…Deciding What To DO!! Ah yes, we are back to that.
SERIES 1: I knew I wanted to do plein air, to keep my urban vibe, because after all, that’s what people know me for and something I enjoy doing. But how do I give that a holiday twist? I knew I’d be painting in the fall so snowy scenes were out and it’s not like we get much snow in Delaware anyway. Christmas lights and decorations…same issue, it’s too early and not my shtick really. Hmmm. Think. Think. Think.
AhHa or maybe HARK would be apropos! Hahaha What’s that…? Streets and Steeples? Has a nice ring to it…! I wish it had come to me that quickly, but at least it came to me!
So, 13 of my 25 paintings will be plein air paintings aka… Streets and Steeples. It’s just the right amount of Urban Holiday for me. Maybe I have created a new genre!
Enjoy these in progress and detail shots. You’ll have to wait just a bit longer, till December, to see the finished version. I don’t want to ruin the surprise!
SERIES 2: Call me a rebel but I really wanted to throw all caution to the wind and try something VERY different with this series. Something unexpected, colorful and playful to match that aspect of the season. I was excited, apprehensive, even a bit scared of blowing it completely but I had to try this…. even more so for those very reasons.
To start, I took all 12 panels and put them together. Then I painted a simple sketchy urban scene on them as if the large panel were a single painting. Then I threw some paint around trying to be free and random. At this point every small panel had marks and color on it. That’s all I needed. Now I could separate the panels and react to each small panel on its own.
Curious enough, I initially found I worked on 3-5 panels at a time. I think this helped to keep the series cohesive. Plein air is do it on the spot, go, respond, paint, done in a matter of hours. These I have been working on for months now and the process is quite intuitive. I make marks, then step back and analyze, contemplate, then make more marks, add more layers and keep going until the thing seems to mesh as a painting. But I must say, I am liking what is developing. I LOVE that it is so different from what I have done before but relates to my past work too.
This whole experience has been a learning curve and developing these 2 series has been a different approach for me. I hope you'll tune in for 25 Days of Minis to see the results and also expose yourself to so many other talented artists work. Register at www.25Daysofminis.com for a daily email from Dec 1 - 25 so you won't miss a thing.
You can also Bookmark/Favorite my page of minis and check it out every day too...altho I recommend you register for that automated email so you do not have to remember for yourself every day at this busy time of year!
I know I am looking forward to seeing what the other artists have been up to. Please feel free to comment and let me hear from you. I want to know what you think of my 2 series. In the meantime...Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
25 Days of Minis started a few years ago as the brain child of artist Teresa Haag. It began with a few artist friends on Facebook and has grown into 42 artists juried in from across the country. I have watched this grow, know many of the artists involved as well as Teresa and for numerous reasons have held back participating until this year.
But this year I have thrown all caution to the wind and decided to throw my hat into the ring. Why this year?
Well….as I said, I have watched this Holiday event grow over the past couple years and I like what I have seen. I LOVE that this is such an out of the box approach to Art, Holidays and Gift giving. I think this is a fantastically fun way for Artists and Art Lovers to access unique gifts for friends and loved ones in celebrating their unique Holiday traditions.
But isn’t this, also, a fantastic way for Art to come into your home? For you to see the Art of so many different artists and so many different styles of art? From the comfort of your home or any place you decide, when you have time! There are so many varieties of art styles you might try something a little different or give one of these gems as a unique gift because all of these are one of a kind, original artworks. How cool is that?
Realize that the painting is just half the work for us artists. We also have to photograph the work, edit those photos, upload those photos to the 25 days website as well as to our own selling website. We also have to write descriptions, frame the work, do social media, write newsletters, blogs, etc. So starting in the fall is not starting early, if that’s what you are thinking!
At this moment, I am a bit worried about how much work I still need to do to pull this off but, honestly, I am happy that I decided to throw my hat into the ring and become a part of this event. After all.... Art is a celebration of the human spirit and of human connection and what better time of year to celebrate that then now and with 25 Days of Minis.
So to recap...42 artists upload 1 painting a day from December 1-25. That's 42 paintings a day! A total of 1050 paintings over 25 days!! To see the new paintings every day Register at 25Daysof Minis.com and you'll receive an email link every day in December! You can also bookmark or favorite my page of 25 days of minis and be sure to check it every day to!
here are just a few fun pictures to tickle your fancy and maybe spark some curiosity! Stay tuned...more coming sooooooon.
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.
Sharing her journey of becoming an urban landscape plein air painter.......