Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Little Joseph

Little Joseph
8" x 10"
oil on linen

I've been remiss at posting this little portrait I did of our most precious little Joe!  I finished it two years ago when he was two.  He'd been eating spaghetti and had sauce on his face.  He gave his mom this devilish grin because he was so proud of himself, eating a huge plate of pasta!
He's very blond and it was a challenge for me to get just the right color for his hair.  I'm still baffled by it and I don't particularly think I got it right.  
I was also reminded by a favorite portrait painter friend of mine, that babies are the most difficult subject to paint.  Old men and old women are the easiest. Babies have no wrinkles and character lines.  They just have plain, pure goodness and deliciousness all round them!  
He also reminded me not to paint portraits with big toothy grins!  Classic portraits are closed mouthed. You know, take a look at Mona Lisa!  
So, I'm sure I'll have many more paintings of Joe to show you.  He and his big sister are my most favorite subjects of all time, beating out poodles, and red barns and luminous landscapes!  And he's not for sale :). 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yellow Kayak in Bradenton FL

The Kayaker
8" x 10"
oil on board
Our friend, John, spent the winter in Bradenton, Florida.  He went kayaking with friends, Sandra and Joe (from Windsor, Ontario) and they snapped a photo of him.  You could tell that he was really enjoying the day and the new sport!  I thought the bright yellow kayak was striking against the dark water.  The Florida sun can blind you from the glare!  Maybe not an exact likeness of John, but enough to show the serenity he found. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

High Point Mt Sunset on Ashokan Reservoir Catskill Mts NY

Ashokan Moon Rising
8" x 10"
oil on canvas

Paint is still wet on this one.  I was inspired to paint this from a photo I've had for some time.  I am not comfortable with night paintings, so I decided to stretch myself and do a couple.  I also finished one of the Bushkill Creek with the moon rising.  I'll post that later.
This was fun to paint, in fact I felt it painted itself!  For those who aren't familiar with High Point Mountain, it is the iconic mountain that rises up over the Ashokan Reservoir.  When driving over the Hudson River, you can see it off in the distance.  It's like a guardian.  There used to be a fabulous view from the summit, but the trees are growing so quickly that you can't see much now.  I've climbed it twice.  I've also climbed it from my side and instead of going to the top, we dropped down into Samsonville and walked to my parents home.  You have to go over private property to do that, but the owners are friends and gave us permission.  
There are lots of stories about High Point.  Over 100 yrs ago people would come up here just to climb it for a picnic. I once found an old soda bottle as evidence!  Geo. Hauck & Sons, Brew'g Co., Rondout NY. On the bottom it says "this bottle not to be sold".  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Along the Dugway

Before NYC built the reservoir in our town, there was an old road that followed the Esopus Creek. 
It was called The Dugway.  I can remember my grandfather saying that the banks along the creek would wash out at times and dirt and rocks would cover the road.  Can't imagine riding over this with a horse and buggy and all that mud. 
There was another road called the Upper Road, which today is pretty much Rt. 28.  It was a plank road at one time, paved with hemlock boards sawn from the many hemlock trees that were cut for their bark.
I have some old postcards of these roads and was inspired to paint the Dugway from Shokan looking out at the mountains near Boiceville.  If you were to stand somewhere near Steve Heller's Fabulous Furniture, you would see this view.  Today the property is partly under water and partly covered in trees. One can hardly see the mountains! 
This little painting measures  6"x 8"  and is on a stretched canvas. It has a saw tooth hanger attached and could be displayed without a frame.

The Dugway
oil on canvas
6" x 8"


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brodhead Morning West Shokan in Catskill Mts NY plein air

I had this little painting in my studio for a couple summers. I recently relocated the studio from upstairs to downstairs!
So much better.

I painted this with my painter friend, Linda. We each set up along Brodhead Road in West Shokan. Yes, I used my artistic license to alter the size of the road. At one time, this road probably was this narrow. It led to the villages under the Ashokan Rservoir. Now it starts at High Point Mt. Road and ends at Rt. 28A.

It's still a quiet road and a location we both love to paint!. Great view of the Wagon Wheel Notch, not shown in this painting.
Maybe another?
 5" x 7" 
oil on panel