Thursday, December 15, 2005

Quick Hand Studies

I've been painting a bit of quick hand studies, only 25minute poses. So often I paint head studies and figures but never seem to have enough time to get to the hands. I guess I'm also sort of preparing for a workshop this January with Clayton J. Beck III at the Palette & Chisel. Its given me incentive to really understand the shapes and characteristics of the hand.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Saturday's Painting

Here is the painting I did last Saturday.
It was very cold. I lasted about 2 hours or so and then I had to call it a day.
This is a very small painting about 4x8. I was glad to have a small canvas with me, I had a late start and it was just so cold.

Next time I'll bring a few more heating pads with me. It was fun though.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Painting the Still Life

I have recently begun painting still lifes again. I had forgotten how wonderful they are to paint. They don't need a break as a model does, The light doesn't change when using a spot light, and If you are one to spend lots of time on a painting, you don't have to pay them an hourly fee. One caution though, just because you can take a long time to paint a still life does not mean it would be the best option. There is such a thing as over working a painting. You have to know when to stop, when enough is enough. I found that as long as I can stay focused on my original idea I'm ok to continue, but after a few hours when I begin to lose focus, I know I'm approaching that time to stop, start a new painting or call it a day. It is a good idea to take breaks though even when your subjects do not need one. Just as if you were painting a model and needed to give them a break, You need a break too. Set a timer and when it goes off, stop what your doing, step back and maybe even leave the room. At times I've found myself staring at my painting close up, As if it would magically fix itself. I'd forget to take a break and step back. You want to be able to look at your painting with fresh eyes. Sometimes it's more beneficial to just put your brushes down, squint down and look at your subject (not your painting) and study it. What values are you seeing, what kind of edges are you seeing, What shapes are you seeing? Then look at your painting and see if you are capturing all that you see when you look up at your subject. I know its hard and exhausting to stay so focused, but as you begin to train yourself you will be able to stay focused for longer amounts of time. In the end its all worth it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

An Evening of Art and Entertainment

One Night - November 11th

Two Locations - The Tavern Club and Marwen Gallery

1st Location

The Tavern Club on Michigan and Wacker. This show entitled "What Exactly is Plein Air Painting?" is sponsored by the Plein Air Painters of Chicago- South West. This is a group I paint with on occasion and will have a few paintings on display.

The opening reception is on Friday November 11th from 5:30 - 7:30pm. There will be wine and cheese and a jazz guitarist. The show will run through January 1, 2006.
333 N. Michigan Ave., 25th floor. 312-263-1166.

2nd Location

Marwen on Orleans and Institute place, one block north of Chicago. This show is Marwen's Annual Alumni Show. There will be a variety of works, from installations to oil paintings. Marwen is a not- for-profit organization which offers free art classes to under served youth. I will have a few paintings on display.

The opening reception is on Friday November 11th from 5:00 - 8:00pm. There will be wine and cheese as well as music by Madrid. The show runs through December 7th, 2005.
833 North Orleans. 312-944-2418.

Hope to see some of you at one or both events. Feel free to respond with any questions.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

This past Saturday was the Oil Painters of America's National Paint Out in Illinois. There had to have been at least 30 painters participating. We painted at Elawa Farm in Lake Forest. It was so much fun seeing old friends and meeting new artist from all over the area. There was a bit of rain throughout the day but not enough to keep us away from gathering together as fellow painters, excited to capture, if only a taste of this beautiful world we live in. After the Paint Out we gathered at Diane Rath’s house/studio for lunch, camp fire and viewing of the morning paintings. I’d have to say it was quite a treat; this is the artist’s life. We are so lucky, so blessed to be given such a gift. It’s wonderful to be pursuing your passion, and then to hang out, chat, share new ideas and revelations with the many others who share that same passion.

This is the painting I did during the Paint Out. Other painters were scattered up and down the small path, painting away. I'm so thankful to Denny for hooking me up with an attachment for my umbrella, I used it the whole time.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Thought on Fear

Why does fear always get in the way of things? We're all the same when it comes to learning something new. I remember one of the first painting classes I had, I was so nervous. Was my painting going to look as good as the person’s next to me? Erasing, scraping away a stroke I just put down, afraid someone might see my terrible mistake before it was too late.
Fear paralyzes us. It keeps us from becoming who we're meant to be, but what do we have to be afraid of? The classroom/studio is our laboratory; we’re allowed to make mistakes. You have to be able to let it go, that your painting might not be as good as those next to you that your portrait doesn’t quite look like a person. You have to let these things go so you can learn. Allow yourself to make mistakes; it’s the only way you’ll grow. No one is perfect. Don’t put that kind of stress on yourself, As Scott Tallman would say "No Worries". Imagine what we’re all capable of if we just didn’t care what other people thought. A lesson I need to remind myself of all the time.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Weekend of Painting

This is a painting I did on Sunday. The last day of the painting retreat up in Wisconsin. I'll post more picture soon.

"Red Car"

P&C Retreat

Some Images from the P&C/Barnsite retreat this past weekend. We had a wonderful time. I'm writing up a little something to let you all know what we did. More images to follow.

"Tony's Boat"

6x8 Oil on canvas

Our model session outdoors

Ken Dewaard & Aaron Holland, 2 wonderful painters and
Instructors at the Barnsite Academy perform the critique
on Saturday night. (Those are Bill's paintings on the easles)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fall Plein Air Retreat

Painting in Wisconsin

So we arrived in scenic Kewaunee Wisconsin on Thursday evening. The ride up was not bad, but we were happy to check into our rooms and settle in. The weekend started with an early morning model session indoors. I had forgotten how confusing some light sources can be and struggled a bit determining the temperature of the light. After lunch we ventured outdoors to paint the boats in the harbors of Lake Michigan. Everything was so beautiful. The wind was fierce but we anchored ourselves down (literally, one of the fisherman borrowed me an anchor to keep my easel stable) and began to paint. I decided on a 6x8 canvas thinking with the insane gusts of wind I would have much more success tackling a smaller canvas. The fishermen came by every so often as they were just hanging out unable to take their boats out due to the heavy winds. As I was further along in my painting one man came up to me and took a look, He said he was hoping I had chosen to paint his boat as he would have purchased it, I guess the owner of my boat had decided to stay indoors that afternoon. After packing up for dinner we drove around the town a bit scouting out locations for the following morning, How do you pick a spot when everything around you is so quaint and picturesque? After dinner we gathered up our energy for one more model session. I was lucky enough to paint next to Ken Dewaard, A wonderful painter and instructor at the Barnsite Academy. We were very fortunate to have had him there during our retreat. He and Aaron Holland ( another instructor at the academy) were gracious enough to stay late on Saturday to do a critique of our work done during the weekend. They did a wonderful job, all who participated learned so much. On Saturday morning we painted out on the beach, the weather was just perfect and the seagulls sang there song of calm restfulness. In the afternoon, we brought a costumed model outside to try and capture the dappled sunlight on a figure seated under a tree. I decided this venture may be better left to tackle in the not so near future, after many more miles of canvas are covered plein air painting minus the model. The sun light moving so fast, reflected light bouncing everywhere, getting the drawing right, I guess was a little much or perhaps I just expected too much out of myself. So I closed down early and found a simpler scene. I put my head phones on and tried to focus once more. Though I only had an hour more before our critique, I was happy to start anew and was re-energized. After the critique we enjoyed a wonderful dinner together and chatted. Sunday morning, our last day in Kewaunee and one last painting before heading back to Chicago. The fall leaves were changing and we decided to capture a bit of the season in this quaint little town. Susan and I had parked ourselves on the side of the road just near a small wood. As we began to set up we heard a sudden noise from the woods that sounded like an angry animal screaming. We were startled and jumped back from our easels. What was it? It was so loud and would not stop. We looked up in the tree and saw two animals looking down at us. I thought they were monkeys at first because of there stripped tails but was highly unlikely. It happened they were two wild cats fighting over territories. We were a little shaken up but they soon calmed down and we were able to paint. I would say the weather was the most beautiful this day and was a perfect close to a weekend of painting. If only every day was full of that much painting, soon I hope.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


The Palette & Chisel, together with the Barnsite Art Studio will be having a painters retreat up in Wisconsin. Three Days of Plein air painting or painting from the model. I attended the summer retreat and it was so relaxing and fun. We painted Marsh Lands, A Country Farm, A Vitorian Garden, and one morning took the Model outdoors to paint (see photo). This time of year should so be beautful as well.
If anyone is interested or would like more info please let me know or call the P&C 312-642-4149.

Monday, September 12, 2005

2 Day Workshop Oct. 13th & 14th, 2005

Painting the Portait Under Artificial Light.

Lets face it, not many of us have the luxury of painting under cool north light all the time. So how can we make the warm, powerful presence of artificial light work for us? In this workshop we will explore those characteristics. Through small quick studies, by simplifying shapes, values and color you will begin to understand the character of the light and then move into larger, longer studies with a new visual awareness of this light.

At the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts

see Link to the right

Thursday, September 08, 2005

One Women Show

833 North Orleans Street
Chicago, Il 60610

Alumni Gallery
"2 Years 2 Reflect"
September 1 - September 30, 2005

Openning Night Celebration
Thursday, September 1, 2005

Gallery Hours Monday- Friday 9-5pm
or by appointment

Scroll down to see more images from the show.



"One Sunday in June"

"Head Dress"


"Skokie Lagoons"

"Wisconsin Landscape"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005