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!!!
Melodrama is not my strong suit but …...it was a rough week! I started not feeling well a few days prior to event starting but, I had been looking forward to this so I was not going to give up easily. We had 7 days to paint. The 1st 2 days were sunny altho cold. I admit to painting in the car....I did not want to get sicker. I had a 1 hour drive each way too, so I left the house at 9am, was painting by 10:30ish, heading home by 2pm and on the sofa, under a blanket dead asleep by 3:30pm
After these 2 days of painting, I was really struggling with nasty cold and my wife also got sick. I realized I needed to take care of health and home if I was going to have any hopes of getting any more paintings in later in the week. After 3 days of nasty sickiness, I re-emerged in a little better condition than I had started but.... I had 3 paintings under my belt, so the pressure was off. Weather was sunny and warmer. I stuck to a schedule of leaving the house at 9am ish, doing 1 painting, being home by 2 at the latest and resting, hydrating and basically babying myself the rest of the day.
I did this for 3 more days.... relaxed into the process and actually, had some fun.
On the last day to turn in paintings and it was 65 degrees! I was feeling the best I had and got one last painting in right outside Teresa Haag's Studio....our wonderful event host. I knew I wanted to paint this street scene and when I saw this jeep parked there, well.... the rest is history...in a painting!!
Paint the Town Phoenixville Show runs Nov 4 - Nov 17, 2018
More info HERE and on Facebook HERE
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Please note my website has been redesigned!! WooHoo! New content will be added regularly.
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I am so excited to be spending the next week painting in Phoenixville PA. Artist Teresa Haag has asked 19 professional artists to come paint this week.
An exhibition of the works created will take place on Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 and run through Nov. 17, 2018.
More info HERE
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Once a year I open my home and studio to my subscribers, friends and family. This is a time I welcome you into my home for a personal and behind the scenes look at my every day life as well as my creative life as an artist.
This is a chance for me to get to know you better as well and I look forward to that, so please sign up below to receive your invitation as well as other special updates and information through out the year.
Starting to think about my upcoming Open Studio Event. Just ordered my invitations!
All my subscribers are invited to attend. Be sure to sign up for my Newsletter HERE to receive details!!
Just got back from my 3rd plein air event this summer. This one was in Castine, Maine....WAY up north...a 10-12 hour drive for me depending on traffic. Two and a half days to do up to 6 paintings. My goal was to do 6 and I did accomplish that! I always start one of the events by cruising around and taking lots of pictures. I pour over these in the evening and come up with a plan on where to start and which subjects I definitely want to paint.
So...day one painting looked like this...
It was surprisingly hot and humid in Maine. My original tactic was to paint from 7am to 2-3 and then enjoy exploring and hanging out. The heat changed my plans since it was miserable to paint between 11:30 and 2 or so. I ended up taking a break during that time...lunch and a quick nap .... and then going out to paint in late afternoon/early evening.
Day 2 was only 2 paintings.... and looked like this....
I spent the evening of Day 2 framing up what I had done so the next days delivery of paintings to sale would go smoothly.
Before I knew it 2 days were gone. I planned to do my 6th and last painting on Saturday morning when it was cool. Not sure exactly what I was going to paint but knew I'd figure it out. Sometime in the night it came to me...Paint People. Castine is not a working fishing village so early in the morning people are not out and about but I did find my victim...Another painter!
Thanks to Diane Dubreuil from Milford, CT for being such a wonderful and willing subject!
Now it was time to frame this one and deliver my paintings to the sale venue. This event sale is only 2 hours. Shortest plein air sale I think I've ever been to! Many folks came out and many had wonderful comments. Unfortunately, I had no sales.
This is the brutal side of the art biz. You plan your trip, what paints you'll need, what size canvas/panels, which frames to bring. You bring your framing supplies, paint clothes, regular clothes. You bring snacks and food because eating out every meal is not good for your waist or your wallet. You get to this town where you know no one...maybe a couple of the artists ...then you work hard to do good work.... you hope it's good. You think it's good or you wouldn't show it BUT there are NO guarantees. And you never know why the artist 2 tables over sold 3 paintings and you didn't even sell 1!
The cold hard truth is more paintings DON'T sell than do. Approx 180 paintings were created in Castine and about 50 sold. Odds are against you, but you know that and you just keep on painting!
Off to Floyd Virginia in 2 weeks to do it ALL AGAIN! WooHoo!
All paintings shown here are for sale on website home page...unless already sold.
The plein air season is warming up and Paint Snow Hill 2017 was a great kick-off! The people there and the variety of subject matter makes this event an ideal way to get those juices flowing. Clear out those dust, winter cobwebs and PAINT!
This was my 3rd year at Paint Snow Hill. Just what is that??? 70 artists come to paint the town and surrounding area for 2-3 days. There is a sale on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon of the work created in that time frame. 25% of sales support a local arts organization.
Day 1 was a challenge. I arrived on Wednesday at noon, stopped by my host housing to say hello and unload the car. Then I headed straight out for painting #1. By the time I found a spot the wind had really kicked up and it got quite cloudy...ugh. The 1st painting was a struggle. The light kept changing, the paint was sticky, the wind was relentless, I was cold and the painting itself seemed lifeless, rather clunky....is this fun? I struggled for a while...then threw in the towel for the day and hoped for a better tomorrow.
Day 2 did bring a sunny morning and a fresh start. I went to the same location I had been since I'd seen a few possibilities there. I took a deep breath and began....
I took my time and the painting went well. I was happy with how this one turned out so I decided to pop back over to yesterdays location and re-work painting #1 a bit. The sunlight helped tremendously. I brightened up the sky, worked on the green building and popped lights and darks a bit. Surprising how it just came together with just a few tweaks.
I did one other painting from scratch and re-worked a painting from a previous year in the afternoon. The whole thing just needed going over and refining. The colors are more varied and there is more definition , I think. Be happy to hear your thoughts....
Day 3 I woke with a mission. I wanted to try painting a mini mart in town. This place had been calling to me.... so off I went. I took the time to do a sketch.....often a good idea! This was one of those times when everything worked. Sunny out, perfect temperature, good sketch, painting felt comfortable, color and shapes fell into place nicely. I had a blast! This is when the frustration of the previous days pays off and you feel like you might just be..... (shush) ..... an artist!
At this point I realized I needed to work a bit smaller if all my paintings were going to fit onto the 3' x 6' panel we're given for the sale. I decided to have some fun with some 6x6 studies.....
Now it's Saturday and I must frame my larger paintings and re-paint the edges of the square paintings, make sure everything is signed, labeled and wired to hang....then go hang the work and be ready for preview sale that evening! Ah, the life of a plein air artist!
What I learned ...well, re-learned... this week was to take my time and be patient with myself. it's so important to take a step back and breathe. Not every painting is going to go well and that has to be ok. That's how we get better at this thing called ART.
This summer has been a bit crazy and disjointed for me but there is nothing like a plein air event to help me focus and get back on track.
I just returned from a 5 day trip to Ocean City, Maryland for Artists Paint OC 2015. This was my first time at this event so I went down 1 day early to get my bearings and scout out some places to paint. My housing host was so very gracious and gave me a personal tour when I arrived. That really helped me a ton!
This was a real challenge for me since my inclination is to paint urban, gritty scenes. Although Ocean City is congested it is NOT gritty! Many artists enjoy painting sand dunes, grasses and birds but that is not my “thing” so I found myself really searching and even struggling a bit to find subjects that inspired me. I think in the end I did a decent job of representing Ocean City in Sarah Baptist style. Lets see what you think…..
Day 1. It often takes me a while to feel comfortable in a new place so with a gray sky and forecast of rain my first 2 paintings felt a bit stiff. I think the different surroundings got the better of me.
After a morning at the beach/boardwalk location, I thought it time to move. I found a spot my host had driven by the day before, pulled out my gear and started painting #3 for day #1. This painting felt like it flowed much more easily and is more “my” style. Ahhhhhh. I could breathe easily now I had one GOOD painting under my belt!
Day 2 was gray and gloomy again. A big storm was brewing, or so they said. I got up and out early in hopes of getting 1 painting in before the rain. “The Kitchen” with its All Day Breakfast signage and bright colors spoke tome and I got to work. This one took me a solid 3 hours which surprised me. I usually work quickly but this is a larger canvas at 11 x 14 and I don’t feel it looks over worked. There was just a lot to capture! A few sprinkles but no rain. Yeah! I decided to keep on painting so I headed over to a local fishing spot hoping to be inspired again. I was! Thanks again to my host for showing me this spot!
Day 3. Today we have the morning to paint but all paintings must be framed, wired for hanging and delivered to the Art League by 4pm. Again, I wanted to get up and going to get 1 painting done in the morning. Still gray and Windy! Storm never came although it rained lightly in the evening. I think wind is the greatest nemesis of a plein air painter. If it’s cold you can add layers and drink hot liquids. If it’s rainy you can usually find cover or use an umbrella. Wind is just relentless! Anyway, I did find a semi-protected spot and an iconic Ocean City Boardwalk scene. I plugged in my iPod and sang to Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra as I painted away. I was warming up to Ocean City at this point. Still not exactly my sweet spot of subject matter but I was finding things that still spoke to me. I was happy and having fun!
Okay. Got everything framed and to the sale in the evening. Crowd was moderate. It was fun to see what the other 51 artists had produced in the past couple days and it’s always fun to commiserate and compare notes with other artists. Unfortunately no one I knew had any sales. That is a real disappointment but you can’t win ’em all, eh?
So we’re all done right? Time to head home, eh? NOPE! Sunday morning there is a “quick draw”. This is a competition where there is a perimeter location artists must work within and they have only 2 hours to complete a painting. These are then judged and with any luck sold off the easels right there on the boardwalk. Again, no sales for me but I think my painting is strong and one of my best at this event.
I head back up to the Art League and chat with artists friends for a couple more hours while the gallery hopes to sell a few paintings. At 3pm, we all pack up our artwork and head home. I had a 3 hour drive ahead of me and although this was a fun adventure… I was ready to be home.
As a side note.... nothing sold at the event sale but I did get some interested buyers AFTER. Thanks to those who inquired and bought these pieces. 4/2017 Sarah
Sharing her journey of becoming an urban landscape plein air painter.......