Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dropped off the planet?

No, not yet anyway--I'll be very busy until February with traveling and enjoying the Naples, FL art scene. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

OMG--Amazing trip to Italy

I've been home a week and still can't settle down from the most amazing trip ever!  I took 1527 photos and painted 6 paintings, toured 3 major cities, 2 castles, 1 lunch at the count's country house, 1 winery tour and lunch with the owner, visited a famous artist at his studio and he took us for drinks and snacks at his local bar at 11 in the morning, visited a cashmere factory and a cheese factory, farewell dinner where a famous soprano sang to us, ate tons of gourmet food (all fresh-no additives) drank bottles of wine (no sulfates) and only gained 6 lbs, made 25 new friends, walked many wonderful miles including my daily morning walks through a quaint hill town nearby.  We toured where tourists usually don't go and we had an interpreter with us most of the time.

I only just now looked at my photos, so many people, windows, arches, ancient buildings, hill towns, rows of wine vines and hillsides, people on scooters and bikes. 

I painted on 11x14 linen canvas that I taped to a balsam board and rolled up in a tube to bring them home.  I brought 24 lbs in art supplies (including the pack) and had no problems with baggage.  The heaviest things are the pochade box and tripod, and tubes of paint, but it all adds up.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Italy - Here I come!

I'll be on my first European painting trip, leaving Sept. 16th.!

I'm up to my eyebrows getting ready--trying to stay within the weight limit for baggage is very tricky.  I've had lots of help from online friends and now all I have to do is get there and PAINT.  We are a group of about 25, including the instructor, Peggy Egli of Florida.  There will be tours and cooking demonstrations and gormet food in this 450 yr renovated farm house. 

I hope I'll have lots of good stories to tell when I return AND lots of paintings.

Isle of Shoals - Star Island Retreat - Cape Ann Artists

Eight of us spent three days on Star Island painting and having a good time.  The summer's heat continued as the hurricane was approaching.  The storm fizzled but we witnessed some boarding-up of the windows and some evacuation of the people on island.  We suffered through the "rules" and each had one (1) hot shower!  It's a beautiful place and very primitive and restful.  Star Island, Isle of Shoals

Don Mosher, Alan Wallack, Ivan Kamalic, Bonnie Sylvester, Jude Abbe, Karen Berger, Lynn Murray and I completed a number of paintings, slept well, got a lot of sun, and ate together at the old hotel.  We shared ideas and I had a wonderful time.  I learned about extra-long handled (although not as long as the European version) plein-air brushes from Ivan and have ordered some to try out on my next painting adventure.

I took close to 300 photos and some of them are gorgeous!  I'll have many that should motivate me to paint a few more studies and sketches and hopefully come up with a few good paintings--maybe even a series.  I prefer painting scenes with less blue so perhaps water scenes are not my thing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What's new?

I've been gearing up to paint a lot for the next few months.  I set up my studio with better still life lighting and stand.  Also I set up a station for photographing work to post as jpgs.  It was probably in the 90s up there while I was doing it.  I painted this setup for an Italian Festival that I decided not to enter after all.

I've also painted at Thacher Island and almost finished the two keeper's houses.  I was trying for something (Jeff) Weaver-ish and still have some work to do.  The work of Jeff Weaver

And I have a lot of work in progress, things to frame and submit to shows, etc. so I'm happy to be busy painting again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rotenberg Birthday 105 yrs old

Last night at Rockport Art Association I attended a truly history-making event--the birthday party for Harold Rotenberg.  It's hard to imagine what a wonderfully charmed life he led from the industrial age through the technological age, and through many variations of painting styles, he choose Impressionist Painting as his calling.  His family and the Rockport Art Association held a marvelous event, crammed with well-wishers, tons of his paintings are on display, and he was there in all his glory.  He signed my book; he is still full of energy and no one would guess his age, he looks 25 yrs younger.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Huangs meet Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik

I read today about Qiang knocking on the door of the master, Richard Schmid.  I am so excited for him and can't wait to see how his art is influenced by this new association.  The Huangs are such wonderful and kind people, and their son, Jonathan is a great kid who is touring colleges while they are here in the Northeast.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Qiang Huang workshop

I worked on two paintings during the wonderful workshop with Qiang Huang (Chong Wong).  They were really practice sketches of his method.  The first day I didn't quite get it, but I think that I did better on this one done the second and third day.  I started to show signs of promise as far as working with his method is concerned.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day Three - Qiang Huang

The schedule for the third day was a smaller (a daily painting sized) painting demo--this time the subject was glass objects.  After the demo we all returned to our easels to either work further on the practice painting of the previous day's setup or work on a smaller sketch to practice the glass idea.  As I woke up in the morning feeling more clear-headed about this technique, I worked on the previous painting and felt quite a bit better with those results. 
After lunch I participated in a business of marketing workshop that was very well presented and explained and Q&A on that subject ensued.  I learned a lot even though I already have a good foundation in that regard.  I would very highly recommend Qiang's workshop to anyone.
During the painting of the demo, there was a little worm in the orange that was a hit with the crowd as he kept sticking his head up like a periscope and looking around.  It was noticeable as he was in the spotlight and silhouetted against the dark background!
At the end I purchased the demo of the flower painting and will post it here when I unpack the camera.  It will be a constant reminder of my wonderful workshop with Qiang and his instruction.  I say instruction because there are many demos where the painter doesn't explain much; with Qiang this is not the case.  He is patient and as generous as possible with his knowledge and technique, and I understood and will incorporate many of his methods.  Many of which I have heard before, but it just didn't stick in my head until now!

Day Two - Qiang Huang

Following another excellent Powerpoint instructional presentation, Chong (pronounciation for Qiang) demonstrated painting flowers.  It was mesmerizing to watch his decision-making process and careful placement of strokes of color that were only placed after mixing the perfect clean color with the correct size brush.  After lunch everyone's set-up included flowers to practice his method.  Since I haven't painted still-life for a while, it was probably easier for me to experiment with his style, but I felt that I failed in the end.  I noticed that most people, although they probably tried, didn't paint anything like the careful stroke put-it-down-and-leave-it-alone method either.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day One - Qiang Huang workshop

I loved him before, but seeing his work in person is tooooo much!  He brought three paintings along to show his larger format work.  I asked if they were for sale and he said yes, and I asked him to put prices on them, next thing I knew, the one I liked was already sold!  Bummer.  What a way to start the day!
His Powerpoint presentation was excellent then he did a demo which was very informative.  My luck changed as I had the best seat in the house.
Afterwards we set up still-life's all around the room with probably two people per setup. His way of using lighting is great, the best yet, and he came around and helped everyone.  I was using his palette of colors and trying to "get" his technique.  It was a great day.
I did need a drink after and the place across from my hotel was having $5 martinis so I tried a coffee one:  vodka, expresso, coffee liquor.  It was like an iced coffee, but better!
Now I'll go over my notes and look forward to tomorrow.  All the people in the workshop are very good painters and I haven't done still life painting in a long time--it was a little frustrating but a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Upcoming Workshop--Qiang Huang

I'm getting excited because next weekend I'll be working with Qiang Huang  (pronounced Chong Wong) in Waterbury, CT next door to Newport RI.  He is an amazing painter.

I've been working in my garden all during the month of May and haven't been painting much.  I did participate in the auction for The Brain Aneurysm Foundation on Sunday, April 25, 2010 at the Omni Parker House in downtown Boston where two of my paintings sold.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Santa Fe Trip

Lynn Murray, pictured here, and I just returned from three glorious days of gallery hopping in Santa Fe.  It was an amazing trip--we must have seen 1,000 paintings and about 100 galleries.

We each have a list of probably 50 artists we want to research on the web.  Because it was slow season (it snowed two days and we didn't dress for cold weather) gallery owners spent time with us talking about their artists.  We left no stone unturned--saw all the art sections of the city.  It was in the 70s-80s here in the Boston area, and out there it was cold and snowed two days.  Lynn is the perfect traveling companion, we both had a great time and are now anxious to get back to the easel with renewed inspiration.  We have lots of magazines, articles and books to read as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trouble on the Rocks

I've been working on this painting for the A Painting A Month Club blog, http://www.apaintingamonthclub.blogspot.com/, and have wiped out the center area of these rocks at least 10 times!  I had occasion to drive to Rockport yesterday and carefully observed those rocks and will give it another try.  Since I'm leaving soon for a trip to Santa Fe, I may not have it finished be the end of the month.  Two other members of the club have already submitted and have done a remarkable job of painting this painting, be sure to check out the April results early in May.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March Painting of the Month

I finished this painting today to participate in the "A Painting of the Month Club" March challenge.  It was indeed a challenge because of all the various greens which in the photo were very close together and very much the same.  I decided to try a more impressionistic approach in order to push the color.  I like the way it came out.  I can't wait to see everyone else's approach.  Go to the 'A Painting A Month Club' blog to see everyone else's paintings for March 2010.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rockport Show

This painting is currently on view at the Contributors' Show at the Rockport Art Association in Rockport, Massachusetts from March 14th to April 25th.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Is it finished now?

I have worked on this painting for close to a year, painting many variations of the colors of the marsh itself.  After a critique from Donald Jurney, I repainted it one more time, and I'm happier with the foreground.  If you look down a few blog posts, you will see the version before his critique.  He commented that it was falling off the bottom.  I didn't see it immediately and when I put it up on my easel, the easel was not level at first and was tilted to the right.  This accentuated the angles and, viola, I saw what he meant.  I think if you compare the two versions, you will agree that this one is much better.  I was going to repaint it anyway to lighten up the colors of the marsh so I was able to kill two birds with one stone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Expressionist Marsh

This painting was started and mostly completed on site as the tide water was coming in fast and flooding the nearby grassy area just below me.  Lots of paint and strong bright colors that vibrate signal the late day just before sunset.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More commission work

A dear friend, Millie Lang, made these ceramic ducks and I made the stained glass.  This was a windowsill arrangement in the kitchen.  Millies kitchen colors are black (lamp, a gift from John Tirone) and red, (old bottles from an excavation) and she loves flowers as well.  I'll frame it in natural wood to match her cabinets.  I hope she likes it.  It's an unusual composition where I pushed a few rules.  You can see my changes in composition during the painting process at www.marypychefineart.com/newwork.html.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bandit's ready to travel.

I've been painting a lot every day for the past few days and have finished 4 paintings that have been in the works for a while now.  It feels good to start to get caught up.  Mostly my frustration is with locating some photos on my computer that I really want to get to.  It was easier before I had two computers and lots of thumb drives.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bark worse than Bite?

How's this for a change of pace?  Meet Bandit.  He's my sister's dog. He's still in progress. At this point, I'm working from the top down.  He should be ready in a few more sessions.  I have a few more commission-type paintings to complete in the near future, then I'll get back to my usual routine.  Bandit is 12x12" and I think the square worked out well for this composition.

I went Thursday night to the Rockport Reception to start this new season, and it was wonderful to see their collection of paintings by some of their famous painters from years gone by.  Tonight I'm going to a demo and critique at Newburyport Art Association by nationally well-known artist Donald Jurney.  I'm wondering what to bring to have critiqued.  I'm thinking of bringing a large landscape of the Great Marsh in Spring (last year, shown below) which needs some help with the color of the marsh.  I'll let you know what he says.
For those of you who are painting for the A Painting A Month Club Challenge, there's about 10 days left!  See information about joining or to see this month's photo!

Thank you for viewing my work and let me know your comments.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

On this Valentine's Day, I wish you lots of LOVE from all those people you love too.

Circle of Friends 11x14" oil, Boquet for Mom 9x12" oil, contact Mary

I finished my January flower painting and also the next one for February!  I really like the rhythmic brush strokes or the rhythm of the arm that is more evident somehow when painting flowers.  These paintings were done for the A Painting A Month Club, a blog I started a few months ago for landscape painters in our area of New England.  I'd love to have more members join, so if you or anyone you know in northeastern Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire wants to join, just go to this site to join:  http://www.apaintingamonthclub.blogspot.com/.  Write me at mpyche@comcast.net if you have any other questions.

Why flowers?  Well, since I paint in the studio during the winter, winter feels better to me when flowers are in sight.  So I thought, why not paint flowers?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I had a great vacation.

This is my unfinished painting for the A Painting A Month Club January Challenge!  I'll work on it later today and I feel awful that I didn't get it done last month. 

While in FL I went to three giant art shows, two great demos:  John Salminen at Ft. Myers Beach and Greg Biolchini. at No. Ft. Myers.  Greg has the most awesome studio ever--it's a whole house on a bay with a huge banyon tree in the back yard by the enormous deck.  I read at least a dozen books and mags on art and only painted outdoors once.  We were rained out or it was very windy the other plein air days.  I'm a member of the Visual Arts Center of Charlotte County where I took a web software course.  I also took another computer course at Port Charlotte Cultural Center--a fantastic place to see if you are ever nearby. 

I took some photos of the farmer's market to paint veggie paintings and bought some wonderful objects at the Goodwill Center to do still lifes.  George and I went to two shows, Liberace and A Chorus Line.  We drove 1500 miles while we were there. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Almost Homeward Bound

Sadly, after almost 26 very happy days in Florida, I'm preparing to head back up north.  I've painted a little, most of the plein air events were too windy or cold, so I worked indoors.  I love this area (southwest Florida) for all the art events, festivals, demonstrations, art centers, galleries, etc. that are happening every day.  The art centers have libraries chock-full of books, videos, etc.  I read a lot and probably averaged a book a day.  I was lucky to see the Bonita Bay Promenade Art Festival, two great demos, and a few art walks while I was here.  I took two computer courses and have learned the web software, Web Plus, and can now convert or redo my web sites and the others I created using HTML. 

I haven't been in touch with skating and painting friends as much as usual because my home computer has all my addresses, but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again and receiving the Paintings of the Month club paintings and posting them to that blog:  http://www.apaintingamonthclub.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunny Florida isn't---

It isn't warm either.  I'm on vacation and it doesn't feel like a vacation.  That may change today as the weathermen are saying the bad weather is behind us. 

I'm working on my 'A Painting A Month Club' painting and finding that I rather like painting flowers.  I like the fluid movements I can make with the brush.  I'm also listening to beautiful piano music, and it's all-in-all a very meditative and pleasant experience.