Earlier this year, I was in Southport NC for the international paint out. Southport is one of my favorite places to paint. The town hosts plein air paint outs twice a year. This gives artists opportunity to paint this beautiful place. The paint out was followed by a wet paint sale.
I had arrived in Southport on Friday evening. The weather was beautiful so I was able to finish two paintings before it got too dark to paint. Next day I started early to capture the morning light. When I paint on location, I like to capture different times of the day. The light changes constantly, so, I like to work quickly. I finished three paintings on Saturday. This has been a busy year for painting en plein air. After the Southport event, I also went to Wrightsville beach and Galas VA for different plein air events.
And back home, I have been busy painting on location at the Durant Nature Park as well as Raleigh downtown. Meanwhile, the studio work continues as well. I am also working on several holiday commissions. More on those later this monght.
So, I have finally done it- plein air painting at the State Fair! And it was as much fun as taking my 6 y/o son Ian to the fair. I have been to the fair for many years and we have taken Ian every year. He loves the fair! I had always wanted to paint at the fair en plain air (I had done a studio painting earlier).
I went to the fair three times this year: once with Ian and Mica and then twice to paint. I was lucky to have beautiful weather. Visit with Ian was for the family fun. The food, rides, exhibits and walking around. My other two visits were to paint. I painted State Fair #2 & 3 on my first plein air adventure at the fair. Many people stopped by and shared kind words. When I walked around carrying my easel and painting supplies, I realized how big the fair was! The fair offers incredible array of subjects. So, I was not satisfied with just two paintings and had to return to paint more! During m second plein air adventure at the fair, I painted State Fair #4 and also made pencil sketch and drawing. Just when the light was almost gone, I painted “Smoked Turkey Legs”. I learned few new things about watercolors and plein air painting. And had great time interacting with people who had stopped by. And those are the reasons enough for me to go back next year!
I was in Galax VA few weeks ago for the Mt. Vale Vineyard plein air paint out. The paint out was to benefit Chestnut Creek School of Arts. This was my first time visiting beautiful Galax VA. The view from the winery is simply breathtaking! I met and painted with many new artists. This was a very fun and relaxed event. And the school staff was very helpful. It got cold and windy which made it a very memorable plein air event. There was an awards ceremony followed by the live auction.
I finished three paintings while dealing with the elements. The first one was the morning view. I finished that before lunch. I started the “Mountain Road” before lunch and finished it after the lunch. A nice lady saw my painting unfold and decided to purchase it before it went for the auction. In the few minutes I had before the auction, I started and finished my third piece- the beautiful afternoon view.
“Morning, Galax VA” won the Judge’s Choice Award. This painting and “Afternoon, Galax VA” are available and I will donate part of the proceeds to the Chestnut Creek School of Arts for the commission I would have paid at the auction.
Wrightsville Beach Paintings from the recent plein air paint out. The paint out was hosted by the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. This was a two day long plein air event, followed by a Wet paint sale. This was the first paint out for the Musuem and it turned out to be a real success. Around 30 artists participated and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Congratulations and many thanks to Madeline Flagler and the team. You can read more about this event in the Lumina News.
Wrightsville Beach is one of our family favorites for vacations and short trips. My son Ian loves playing in the surf there. I have done his studio paintings on the beach, but, this was my first time painting en plein air there.
I made six paintings during the paint out. Originally, I had planned to do couple of oil paintings, but, ended up doing only watercolors. Which was great- I was able to move around and capture different places as well as different light. I love boats so had to get those in! I painted from the South Channel Park, Wynn Plaza, and Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. All I did was paint! From first thing in the morning till the light faded and I no longer could see! I enjoyed meeting many new artists and art-lovers who had stopped by.
Two of my pantings are on the display at the Museum along with works of other fine artists. These pantings will be on sale there till December. Please contact me to purchase originals or prints.
From the warm weather of the Wrightsville Beach I had headed to fall weather in Galax VA following weekend. Those paintings coming next…
My wife Mica is quite a gardener. Her flowers add colors to the landscape of our yard. She has these rose bushes outside my Studio window. One day I sat down in my driveway and painted those. I like to experiment with the paints, brushes and papers. I am not necessarily looking for new effects. I am just curious about what different tools do and what can those tools do to achieve my vision. This is one of those paintings…
I love painting cityscapes as much as I love painting landscapes and seascapes. I have painted Raleigh both en plain air and also in my studio. This is a small sketch I had down awhile ago. The downtown was decorated for holidays. And I loved the evening light. I always have my sketching supplies with me. I can work fast with watercolors! I sat down somewhere on the City Plaza and made this sketch in about half an hour. All of my Raleigh paintings are available as prints and I also have some originals available…
Another favorite place of mine! Wilmington. The Cape Fear riverfront is always busy with activity. You can paint the boats. Or people. Or both. Not to mention historic homes. Of course, when the evening light is fading, you have to quickly find your subject. I was there with my artist friend Bernie Rosage Jr. We had driven to Wilmington after painting in Southport for couple of days. I liked the shape of USS North Carolina and decided to paint it. We setup and got to work while chatting with curious tourists and passersby. Next morning we continued our Plein Air painting adventure at the Arboretum. While I paint in Studio, I like my outdoor studio more…
I love Southport! This small coastal town in North Carolina is famous for being the filming location of many movies and TV shows. And for us artists, it offers a wide variety of subjects. The City of Southport hosts paintouts each year. I had my first opportunity to participate last year and then again this year. The format of the paintouts was artist-friendly. And local patrons were there for the support. I enjoyed painting with my fellow artists and also enjoyed meeting many patrons. I had painted four pieces over the course of one and half days and was fortunate to have sold all!
The images I have posted here are from the paintout last year. Mostly painted around the same locations and at the same times. When I look at all the pieces, I can see how my style has evolved. Since I sketch a lot, I can see that my drawing has improved. I have also learned to take the time and enjoy the whole process.
I finally had my opportunity to paint live at the beautiful Oaks at Salem in Apex NC! I have known owner April Maness for awhile. In fact, when I had painted my first ceremony painting at the All Saints Chapel in Raleigh, April was the photographer for that wedding. I did not have the opportunity to meet Allie before the wedding. What a beautiful bride! Joslin Rodely (Director of Event Coordination) was very helpful and I enjoyed working with her.
I arrived before the ceremony. It was a beautiful day. The cloud cover kept changing while I painted the background, but when the ceremony started, it was gorgeous! Allie had wanted the Oak tree in the painting so I used horizontal composition. This was an 18×24 oil painting on linen (canvas). I painted the background before the ceremony. When the ceremony started, I made several reference sketches in pencil. I used those sketches for reference when finishing the panting. I took some photos to check details later, but, most of my painting was done from the life and memory. I sketch a lot. I carry sketchbook, pencil and painting supplies with me most of the time. And I sketch at every opportunity (there are no shortcuts to painting live!). After the ceremony, I continued to work on the painting. It was time to add all the figures. Once that was done, I applied finishing touches. Allie and Tyler were very happy with the painting! So, Joslin and I set it up on a display easel for the wedding guests to enjoy. A beautiful live painting- started and finished at the wedding!
Like good canvas and brushes, good paints are really important to oil painting. Paints are even more important for direct painting techniques like plein air and alla prima. You need paints with right consistency and quality. Direct painting is hard enough! I face challenges of direct painting when I paint live at Weddings and Events. That is why I like Charvin paints. I was introduced to Charvin paints few years ago by Jerry’s Artarama. I have the benefit of living close to Jerry’s Artarama’s Raleigh store. While I enjoy shopping online, visiting store allows me to look at the actual products up close. The staff is great and is always willing to help and answer questions.
The paints are beautifully packaged:
I never had trouble opening tubes of old paint. Each tube is marked with pigment and permanence information. This information is also available on Charvin website.
What make Charvin paints different from other paints is the binder: Charvin uses Poppy oil and not the Linseed oil. Poppy oil dries slower than Linseed oil. This is great for direct painting as it allows paint manipulation for a longer time. The paints will not yellow and maintain the original hue when dry. Poppy oil also imparts a creamier texture to Charvin paints. That is important for the brushing quality. I use paints out of the tube, but, occasionally add Clarified Poppy Oil to thin the paints.
Here are some examples of paintings done with Charvin paints: