Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Above and Beyond

Please come see my most recent Maine landscapes at an exhibition at the Fischbach Gallery in New York! Here's the pertinent info


January 8 to January 31, 2009

Reception for the Artist: Thursday, January 8th, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Fischbach Gallery
210 Eleventh Avenue at 25th Street, New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212-759-2345
Fax: 212-366-1783


The painting pictured above is called Jigsaw Coast (oil on linen, 36" x 70").

A catalog will be available through the gallery. It includes 16 color images and an essay by Suzette McAvoy. Ms. McAvoy was the chief curator at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine for many years and now does freelance art consulting and writing. She also shares an art column with Carl Little in Maine Home + Design Magazine.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cover Contest Finalist

This is the third achievement for my little figurative painting The Duet. Recently I was surprised to learn that it was chosen as one of ten finalists in American Artist Magazine's annual cover competition. I almost didn't enter, since the cost would limit me to one entry and I thought it was a long shot to say the least. But at the last minute I changed my mind. I'm very glad I did.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dead Trees on Monhegan

While I was on Monhegan in September, I became fascinated by the groves of dead spruce trees that can be found in the woods and on the eastern ocean-facing headlands. There is a "witch's broom" disease that kills many trees when they reach maturity. Not a happy situation ecologically, but an interesting one artistically. There is an "aliveness" in their "deadness." The bleached skeletons can look as if they are dancing, twisting, gesturing, and striking various poses. While I was there, I spent a few hours making some pencil sketches of the trees, and since I've gotten back to my studio I have been painting some of my favorite compositions.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some paintings from the summer

Here are a few of my favorite plein air paintings from my Maine trips.

1) Fish Houses, Monhegan, oil on canvas, 11 x 14

2) Orange Glow on Manana, oil on canvas, 11 x 14

3) Trees, Bass Harbor Marsh, oil on canvas, 11 x 14

Maine Landscape Guild on Monhegan!

Here we are, the Maine Landscape Guild, a group of six artists who love to paint in Maine. From left to right we are: Mary Walsh, Carla Tudor, Alex Tyng, Nancy Bea Miller, Eliza Auth, and Diana Ansley. In the background is the neighboring island of Manana.

Last year some of us spent a few days there and it was such an inspiring experience that we decided we needed to be there for longer. So this year we rented a house for a week. We had a great time hiking around the island, painting the scenery, eating delicious home-cooked meals, and enjoying wine and cheese with other visiting artists.

There is such a wealth of subjects to paint on Monhegan. For one thing, this small island has a variety of terrain, from open moor to deep woods to rocky seacoast. The buildings in the village can keep an artist occupied for a while, not to mention the lighthouse and accompanying buildings on the hill overlooking the village. It's a true microcosm, jewel-like in its beauty. You can watch the sun rise over the open sea on one side and watch it set over the sea, behind the next-door island Manana, on the opposite side.

Leaving Monhegan was especially hard because the return to the workaday world coincided with the end of summer.

Painting on Mount Desert Island

Once again I and my painting buddy Diana Ansley turned our beloved vacation spot into a part-time outdoor artists' studio. I had a week to devote to art, then another two weeks of family time with plein air painting sessions fit into our schedule.

We've honed our gear down even more this year. Our easels are light aluminum Stanrites with tripod supports that open into flat shelves when the easels are open. I retrofitted a plastic office organizer tray onto the platform by poking holes in three places and threading wire through the holes. The wire can then be attached to the legs and supports of the easel so the tray stays secure in a high wind. A camera or backpack can also be hooked to the platform and hung from it, giving the easel further weight.

This year I also bought a backpack with a rectangular shape and bottom cooler section to hold my lunch. The plastic tray, my palette, paints (in a gallon zip-lock bag), brushes, medium, solvent, denim apron and paper towels all fit into the pack. The pack is made by Kelty. It also has side pockets that can hold insect repellant and sunscreen.

Here is Diana painting the Ripples (Long Pond) while canoers talk to us. My easel is set up next to hers but I stepped back to take this shot. That was a beautiful clear morning with lovely cloud formations.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monhegan Show in July

Two of my paintings are to be included in a show, "Monhegan," at the Dowling-Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine. The opening coincides with the grand opening of the gallery's new space. Please stop in if you are driving through Maine along Route 1--it's right across from the Farnsworth Museum on the waterfront side of the street.

Opening: July 18

Dowling-Walsh Gallery
357 Main Street
Rockland, ME

Saturday, June 28, 2008

90th Birthday double portrait

My dear friends Beth and Joe Krush recently agreed to let me paint their portrait, and I am thrilled!

The Krushes have illustrated many books including some of the most well-known children's classics of the '50s and '60s. You may know them through their marvelously detailed drawings in The Borrowers by Mary Norton, The Gone-Away Lake books by Elizabeth Enright, several classics by Beverly Cleary, and many, many more.

When I was a child I adored their illustrations. They had a way of melding with the written word in my imagination. Not only were the people wonderfully lifelike and detailed, but also the settings were equally well-drawn, descriptive, with interesting perspective angles. In addition, the Krushes' illustrations faithfully followed the text, never using "artistic license" to go against the author's intent. The combination was irresistible to me. I used to trace their drawings to try to understand how they did them! Little did I realize then that I would need years of practice drawing the figure. Somehow I learned that they lived and taught in the Philadelphia area, and I got the idea that I would love to meet them. I even had questions planned out. The first question I planned to ask them was "How do you work together without getting into arguments?"

But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I had the opportunity to meet them through another illustrator/mural painter friend. Interestingly, they are just as I imagined them to be.

Here they are at their 90th birthday party. Happy Birthday, Joe and Beth!

Summer Show at gWatson Gallery

If you are in Stonington, Maine this summer, please consider stppping by the gWatson Gallery to see the summer group show. Three of my new aerial landscapes of the Deer Isle/Isle Au Haut area will be in the show.

The gallery is a charmingly renovated old building right on Main Street in the center of town. The owner, Ron Watson, has recently purchased the entire building to create a lovely street level gallery with storefront display windows, and two gigantic new condos on the upper floors.

Monday, April 28, 2008

One of 43 Maine Artists

The April issue of Maine Home + Design Magazine is called the "art issue" and, among other articles on art collecting and living with art, it features a short article by Carl Little on five Maine artists. There's also an article entitled "Art. Extraordinary artists whose work reflects Maine's timeless mystique." I'm happy to report that I was somehow (we won't ask how) chosen to be in it. I was not aware of this new publication before the editor called me to ask if I would participate, but now I'm telling everyone about it!

Painting in the Brandywine Valley

Well, we weren't exactly in the valley. More like on top of a hill overlooking the valley. It was a very warm spring day, and no shade was nearby, so we broiled a bit. I went with my friends and fellow artists Nancy Bea Miller and Garth Herrick. Here we are in the middle of setting up. Nancy Bea has spotted a bird and is taking a photo of it, Garth is unloading his equipment, and the horses are looking on.

And here's a closeup of the view I was painting. It's great to get outside, stand in the middle of a landscape, and try to replicate the real colors and the excitement of exeriencing the moment.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Speaking in front of 800 people!

Last weekend I unveiled my portrait of George A. ("Frolic") Weymouth at the Portrait Society of America's annual conference. This year it happened to be held in Philadelphia, and the Leadership in the Arts Award was given to Mr. Weymouth, a landscape and portrait painter who also founded the Brandywine River Conservancy and Museum, and is the museum's present director. The Portrait Society asked me to paint a portrait of Mr. Weymouth as part of the award. There was an unveiling ceremony and I had to "say a few words." Well, I have to say that the anticipation of standing up there in front of 800 people was far worse than the actual experience!

I should add that I actually envisioned this as an opportunity to combine the genres of portrait and landscape into one painting. It was lots of fun to paint!

Here I am up there at the podium...and here is the portrait.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Portrait Brokers of America

This year I signed on with Portrait Brokers of America. This was a big step for me, because for about thirty years I've been my own representative, getting my own commissions. I can still do that, but I'm hoping that my association with PBA will bring additional work. PBA is the largest organization of its kind in the United States. It is based in Birmingham, AL, but it has representatives all over the country. Last month I went down to Birmingham for the annual seminar. What an experience! It was three days jam-packed with all kinds of activities, from information sessions, to painting from a live model, to exhibits of sample portraits, to lavish entertainment. The southern hospitality was truly impressive, and everyone was warmly welcomed and treated royally. Here I am at the live painting session with my friend Michele Rushworth, otherwise known as the "Gubernatorial" Portrait painter because she is fast becoming known in the western states for her paintings of governors. The photo was taken by another friend, portrait painter extraordinaire, Chris Saper.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Recent Awards

I just learned that my portrait Nan Talking received an Honorable Mention from the Portrait Society of America in their 2007 Members Only Competition, entitled "Taking it Outside: The Figure in an Outdoor Environment." Among others, Garth Herrick and John Ennis, also received Honorable Mentions!

The Juror, Edward Jonas, says the following: "The criteria {for judging] are . . . based on drawing, composition, color, light, and use of pictorial space. . . .artists needed to show special sensitivity and attention to temperature and light source. Often challenging for artists is the need to adjust their palette to compellingly and accurately capture direct light, ambient light and the overall temperature of light in color and atmospheric effects."

For some reason I don't see too many awards of any kind placed on portraits of middle-aged or older women. It's a different story with portraits of older men, especially if they are "characters" in some way--if they have a long, flowing beard, for instance. But unfortunately women can't grow beards (at least we aren't supposed to).

In this portrait of Nan, I tried to capture visually her accent, which is mostly German and maybe slightly British. That was the motivation behind this, and also showing the liveliness and character of her features in the bright sunlight.

On another note, The Duet, the painting below, received a Top 100 Award from the ARC, excellent and very unexpected news! For a review of the ARC show, click here.