Monday, October 17, 2011

Olana visit in July

Photo of my friend, Linda, painting plein aire near the steps at Olana. The bank drops off sharply all the way down to the Hudson River. You can see the Catskills in the hazy distance. It was a very warm summer day and the first time I've ever painted there. It's a very popular spot for those of us that want to try our hand at painting it. This is the view that Frederic Church enjoyed everyday! It's a beautiful place to visit and you can take a guided tour of his home overlooking the Hudson River. Here's a link to the site.

That's my French resistance guerilla painter on the tripod and here's a photo of the painting I did that day.
8" x 10"
gallery wrapped stetched canvas
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh

Did you happen to see the episode on 60 Minutes tonight about Vincent Van Gogh?  It was great.  There is debate about whether or not the artist actually killed himself or was he shot by someone else?  Here's a link to the show where you can read the transcript for yourself.  I think you can watch it on this site as well.  Just looking at the art work is worth the browse.;cbsCarousel

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bali Pops Batik lap quilt


Close up of free motion quilting

I finally finished this Bali Pops quilt! I think I started it last winter, but it seems like a decade or so ago. Bali Pops are packaged batiks that you buy in a colorway of your choice.  This one is called Kiwiberry. I liked it because it had a lot of purple in it.  The Bali Pops come in 2.5" wide and 44" long strips. 100% cotton and made in Bali for Hoffman Fabrics.
 I got enough in the pack (40 strips) to make the front of the quilt and I scrapped the back of it together with other batik odds and ends I had. I added a cotton batting to the inside.  It's a lightweight quilt. I found the pattern on-line as part of a blog from another quilter.  She had a great tutorial! If you'd like to see how it's done, click on this link.
After piecing it, I sent it to a woman in Michigan who does machine quilting.  I told her to quilt it in her choice of pattern and thread color. I think she did a great job. If you're interested in her, contact me for her info.
Now I have to finish another queen sized quilt that I started last year.  I have all 12 blocks done, but I haven't decided how to finish it off. 
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

White Line Woodcut Printmaking

My friend, Shirley, and I took part in the Saugerties/Woodstock art trail this past August.  We visited several area artists and met some really cool people.  One artist, in particular, stood out for me.  Anita Barbour.  Not only is she a super nice lady, she is very talented.  The day of the art tour, she was demonstrating White Line woodcut printmaking.  I'd never heard of it. It's an art form that was started in Provincetown MA back around the time of  WWI.  Below is a link to a website that explains it in detail with a few photos.
You don't need a lot of materials or fancy presses.  You basically have a line drawing on a piece of soft wood.  You carve the lines with either a wood gouge or a craft knife.  Next, a piece of soft watercolor paper is secured to one side of the design.  The design is painted with watercolors and you press the paper down on top of the wood and rub the back.  Peel it up and voila!, you have a color print of your artwork!  I couldn't wait to give it a whirl, so when I got home that day I used (don't laugh) a styrofoam meat tray and carved out a simple design.  No, this is no masterpiece, but it was fun to see the results.  I intend to get a proper piece of wood to try this on.  Hey, maybe I'll make my Christmas cards this year!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review Guerrilla Painter Pochade

Almost a year ago, Ed bought me a Guerrilla painter pochade. I got the medium French Resistance model.  I wanted to review it right away, but decided to use it for awhile. I had been using a homemade box which I'll tell you about on another post.
The Guerrilla comes with a tripod mounting bracket on the bottom and it attaches to any standard tripod. I found one on that is absolutely perfect. Lightweight and easy to use. Made by Velbon CX 444.
This box measures 10 x 13 x 3. It will allow you to paint on a canvas from 4 x 6 to 16 x 20. I have never used that larger size because I tend to paint small in plein air.  You need to work quickly due to weather and lighting changes and I haven't learned yet how to accomplish that!
The box is well made considering it's made in China just about like everything else in the US.
I like that it has leather straps. The long compartment holds your brushes and there are little holes drilled so you can hang your brushes while painting. Only negative is that some of my brushes are too long for this spot and you really need to cut off an inch or so to make them fit without bending the bristles. There's also an adjustable partition where you can put your jars for mediums or turps.  Rags can store under the lid.  The palette area can be used two ways.  Either squeeze out your paints right on the bottom which allows you plenty of mixing area, or drop in a palette. I like the plastic one with the air tight lid. Not that large, but not as messy and helps keep the paint from drying out if you don't scrape your palette clean at the end of the painting session. Paint tube storage: I can keep a couple tubes inside, but most of the time I have to carry a small tackle box with me for the rest of my paints and brushes.  I know the more experienced painters out there say to limit your palette and don't carry so many paints, but I'm still working on that. I tend to get out there and wish I had a color that I didn't bring, so I throw a lot of them in the tackle box and carry it along in a tote bag. A roll of paper towels, bug spray, water bottle and the tripod go in there, too, and I find it not to heavy or cumbersome.
A nice feature is that you can carry your finished painting home on the OUTSIDE of the box by using the same little metal bar that you use on the inside to support your canvas. There are holes drilled in the top that allows you to relocate that bar.  A shoulder strap is an option that I didn't get.  I just took a strap off an old duffle bag I wasn't using and attached it to the provided rings on the box. 
I give this box a 4 out of 5 star rating. It's lightweight and I can set it up and break it down in a matter of minutes. As I said earlier, the brushes don't fit as well as I'd like them to so I can't give it a 5!   It sells for $149.99 at which is where my husband bought it. Compared to other pochades on the market, this is a good value.
*my first two photos were taken from the manufacturers website. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Instructor Today

Today at our art group we had a guest instructor, Kate McGloughlin!  We all love Kate.  Her mom was my kindergarten teacher and about 22 years later my son had her for kindergarten, as well.  Kate is a wonderful artist and the president of the board of directors for the Woodstock School of Art.  She often leads groups on excursions to various locations for a week of painting.   Here's a link to Kate's blog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ashokan Dreams Morning

5" x 7"
Oil on panel                                                         SOLD

This painting was done on site or plein air. My friend, Linda Sobel, and I got out early a few mornings this summer and I painted this view of Ashokan Dreams Bed and Breakfast from High Point Mountain Road. When one of my ancestors, Peter Eckert, owned this property, this building was the barn. Mary Margaret McBride had it converted to a home in the 1950s. Today is is the home of a school mate of mine and she uses it as a B & B and a lovely spot for weddings. Sold framed or unframed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Down Home


12" x 16"
Oil on canvas

First time I've finished a painting done alla prima. That's a method where it's painted wet into wet and not layers like I usually do. Wasn't my intention, but it sort of flew off the brush. I guess that happens when you're really into what you're painting. This landscape was done from memory for the most part. The house fell down years ago and the chicken coop shed on the left isn't there anymore. This was my grandparents' home. I only have two photos of it and neither are any good. I painted this using a painting I did in 1971 as a study. Of course, that one is extremely primitive, but it was all I had to work from. I drove up Whispell Rd the other day and took a photo of this spot. The field is still open and the huge maple tree is magnificent, but sadly, where the old house stood is the remnants of a blue tarp that didn't protect the roof from caving in. This is sad beyond belief, but that's the way it is. I haven't walked on the property in about 30 yrs, but I may one day soon. It belongs to Don Bishop Jr, but since he is an old family friend, I don't think he'd mind. My sister had some info. that my grandmother had written down after she moved out on Nov. 28, 1977. She said it was the Old Hinkley House, or cottage in the vail, as Elwyn Davis called it. He owned the property and allowed my grandparents to live there for as long as they wanted to and paying the taxes were all that he asked. The house was on the verge of falling down before they fixed it up and moved in on April 19th, 1950. When I get a chance, I will post what she wrote about it. This painting will be my brother's birthday gift as requested by my sister-in-law. We both have extremely happy memories of this old farm and the two people who lived there.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Goose Bay

5 x 7
Oil on panel
We spent 5 days in the 1000 Islands near Alexandria Bay, NY in June.  What a beautiful place!  Can't wait to return. Ed fished every day and I got up early and did some plein air painting.  This little painting depicted a scene from the dock on Goose Bay.  There were carp making a commotion mating in the reeds. A working dog boarded the NY State boat and went out with a ranger.  I have no idea what the dog's job was, maybe chasing geese.
Framed $100. or unframed $75. +  $5.00 shipping


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Leifeld Farm

Leifeld Farm
18 x 24
oil on canvas
Our friends, Bert and Ann Leifeld, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary today.  I painted this portrait of their home as my gift to them.  It shows the wagon wheel notch in the mountain. This notch was used by native Americans to pass through to Samsonville. My grandparents, Mart and Anne Eckert, lived on this same farm back in the 1940s.  In fact, when my parents got married, they had their reception in this house.  It's a beautiful setting and Ann takes care of the grounds herself.
I wanted a spring landscape so I waited until the leaves were out before I took a coule of photos to work from. This is one of the bigger paintings I've ever done. They loved it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sanderlings III

"Sanderlings III"
8 x 10
oil on canvas
framed $125. + $10. shipping

While on Hutchinson Island in Florida, I was very amused watching the sanderlings running back and forth in the surf. They were so cute all facing the same direction and very hyperactive!  My friend, Marylin, took a photo of them while she was there and sent it to me.  I painted these birds several times, hence the name "Sanderlings III".  Not because there were three in the photo.  This painting is framed in a lovely white beachy looking frame.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Boothbay Maine Haulers

"Boothbay Maine Haulers"
5 x 7
oil on panel

I love Maine.  Last summer, we stayed on Southport Island near Boothbay Harbor.  Not far from Pemaquid Point lighthouse. Gray Homestead Oceanfront Campground, where we stayed, catches and cooks lobsters for you to enjoy right at your site! Can't wait to return.  My husband and son went digging for clams and I sat and painted this little scene of lobster boats coming and going. I never feel so good and healthy as I do when I'm near the ocean.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Smoky Mountain Meadow

12" x 16"
oil on canvas
framed in simple handmade wooden frame
$275. + $8. shipping

I visited the Smoky Mts. last year and did a lot of walking and hiking in the National Park.  If you've never been there, you must go! Here's the link to their website.
We saw black bears very close to our campsite and along the road in the park.  Not that black bears are a big novelty to us here in the Catskills!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Portrait of Grace

12 x 16
oil on canvas panel
Not for sale

I think I've finished this portrait of Grace. Grace is my 5 yr old granddaughter and my favorite subject to paint. I'm very happy with it, but I may need to deepen the dimple on her cheek so it looks more like a dimple and less like a smudge! She inherited that dimple from her dad. He and his dad have two each!  My daughter in law told me that Grace will be taking art classes this summer! You can't imagine how thrilled I am. What a lucky little girl.  By the time she's my age, she should be a master!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pinos Altos Hike

6 x 6
Oil on gallery wrapped canvas
$75. + $5.00 shipping

We went on a short hike outside Silver City NM and found this trail in the Pinos Altos mountains.  I set up my pochade and quickly painted this scene of the trail heading out of the parking area. This area was once a mining spot. We found remnants of the old camp and even an old car that was rotting away.  The woods were thick and of course I always have rattlesnakes on my mind!

Southwestern Mesa

"Southwestern Mesa"
Oil on board

I did this small painting in March while on a road trip through the southwest. We traveled across Texas and were headed for New Mexico. Somewhere along the way, I took this photo of the desert with mountains in the distance and a mesa much closer to the interstate. I think it may have been the Guadeloupe Mts. in the distance, but unfortunately I didn't make note of the area. I saw SO many incredible sights and I took a lot of photos. This is a dramatic change of landscape for me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Anton Otto Fischer

My brother in law sent me this photo of an oil painting Anton Otto Fischer, illustrator, gave to my in laws, Dick & Blanche Kahil.  They used to own the Rainbow Lodge in Mt. Tremper NY.  Mr. Fischer had a home in Woodstock and was a friend of theirs.  He displayed some of his art in their lodge. He illustrated the Saturday Evening Post, Moby Dick and many, many other books and magazines. I don't know the title of this painting, but it looks a lot like the brook that ran past the kitchen door at the Lodge.