It has been awhile since my last blog post! I have been busy and also had technical issues with the website template (and hence the default template). I have new updates to share over next few days.
My latest mini-show is at Coffee & Crepes in Cary NC. I am one of the featured artists. The opening reception was today and paintings will be up till end of May. Please stop by! Their crepes are delicious!
Here are the paintings on the display and for sale (please contact me to purchase original or prints):
Recent Wilmington Paintings. I love Wilmington! I use every opportunity to visit there! I also like to make a stop there when I go to Southport or one of the beaches.
These paintings were executed en plein air as well as in the studio. Continuing my tradition of painting on the water street, “Henrietta III”, “Water Street”, and “USCGC Diligence” were painting on the Water Street. Henrietta III has been one of my favorite subjects to paint in Wilmington. Sadly, Henrietta III is no longer in Wilmington. I used Rublev paints for this plein air watercolor. Water Street is always a busy place. River traffic on one side and street traffic on the other side. USCGC Diligence was a new subject for me (I have painted USS Battleship North Carolina before). What I remember about painting “3rd Street” is that it was hot and humid! “New Hanover County Courthouse” is painting of the same street from the other direction and I painted it in the studio. “Cape Fear Memorial Bridge” is also a studio painting. I had painted this as a background of many paintings- this painting is of the bridge itself. I painted it in many layers. I had passed by Kenan Memorial Fountain many times, this time I decided to setup my easel and paint it! I loved the evening light. This was earlier this year at the Easter. “Wrightsville Beach Evening” is a studio painting. I painted it in many layers. Summer is here and I look forward to visiting Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach! Of course, there will be more plein air paintings and more studio work as well…
My Elizabeth City paintings from last year. Painted plein air for the Splash paint out. “Safe Harbor” won third place. “White House” and “Mariner’s Wharf” currently available with Arts of the Albemarle. Other two paintings were sold and are available as prints.
This was my first time visiting and painting beautiful Elizabeth City. I painted for one and half days. First day was stormy! What can you do? Just paint when the rain stops or paint in the car (I am quite used to painting in the car). I enjoyed my stay in this little town and plan to be back later this year for the plein air printout again.
I was back in Kinston this year for the annual plain air paint out. Last year my painting “Rainy Day in Kinston” had won the first place. The painting was sold and was the poster for this year’s annual Kinston BBQ festival. It had rained last year everyday of the paint out. So, I had painted sitting in my car. It was almost a repeat this year! first day the weather was storm but it cleared up. I painted “Gordon Street” in the morning. I had done one of my first paintings at the exact same location back in 2009. I was right near Chef & The Farmer. In the afternoon I headed to the Brothers Farm in La Grange NC. Kinston CCA has added this location as part of the paint out. Over the years, I have enjoyed working with Kinston CCA team. They are very helpful and make artists feel at home. Brothers Farm is full of painting subjects! Many old structures, tractors, pigs, chickens and sunny bits. I had limited time so I decided to paint open view from the farm. This was an oil and I used custom primed linen. I returned next day to the torrential rain. So, here I was again painting from my car! I had always wanted to paint the Heritage Street just to capture those poles and wires! This painting ended up winning the second place. The contest was judged by artist John Poon. I was back in Raleigh so missed the judging and awards ceremony. Couple of my paintings are still available with Kinston CCA. I plan to be back in 2017…
I have been painting beautiful town of Southport for few years now. The town invites artists to plein air paintouts and wet-paint sales every spring and fall. I have enjoyed painting this quaint town and am thankful to many art patrons who have purchased my original paintings. This year, I did two watercolors and one oil. I did oil painting on Friday and watercolors on Saturday. The oil painting sold on the same day and watercolor sold at the Wet-paint sale. This year, I decided to change locations and compositions of my paintings. I have always painted water and boats- so, Bay Street painting was a definite change! It is possible that I may be doing a live wedding painting at the Gazebo next year!
Lately, I have been making custom surface for my oil paintings. I usually paint on oil-primed linen. And now I apply titanium or lead ground to make a smoother and less absorbent surface. This makes a marked difference for all prima and plein air work. I haven’t settled on the ideal surface for my watercolors yet. I usually do plein air work on rough surface. Southport watercolors above were done on cold-pressed surface. I very rarely use hot-pressed surface for pen air work. I stick with Arches most of the time and sometimes Saunder’s Waterford. When I paint figures and nudes during my life drawing/ painting sessions, I use many different varieties. More on that later…
I love painting outdoors and some of my favorite times is Spring and Summer when I can paint anything boats, waterfronts, beach and sand. There is something majestic about ocean life to me and something soothing as well. I have a collection to share of some of my favorite paintings that are watercolors. Let me know if you have a favorite boat, beach house, or commercial building like hotels or boardwalks that you would like painted. I can be commissioned for those year round.
This is late season portrait of the North Carolina winter. Ground covered with leaves and bare trees. I painted this at one my favorite spots at the Durant Nature Park. I will be doing more plein air painting in oils this year. My interest, as always, is in creating traditional art. I am not interested in broken color effects or masterful brushwork or brilliantly transparent passages. I do not use paint thinners, mediums or any other secret ingredients when I paint in oils. So, my goal is to cover the painting surface with paint layer without worrying about special effects. If the painting turns out to be good, it is simply by-product of focused observation followed by simple execution.
I used Charvin paints for this painting. It is painted on Winsor & Newton canvas panel. I had applied oil painting ground on this panel few months ago. This year is going to be busy for plein air painting. So, I will be certainly exploring more painting surfaces.
These are some of my favorite paintings of Raleigh. The larger paintings were done in the studio and others were either completely done en plain air or started plein air and finished in the studio. North Carolina autumn is simply magical. Crisp cool air and beautiful colors everywhere. And while autumn landscapes are perfect subjects at that time of the year, I also love painting cityscapes and streetscapes. Studio paintings were done from the references and the only challenge was may be the scale of the paintings. But, I was fascinated by the light outdoors and the experience of painting in freezing cold. As with my autumn landscapes, I used minimal painting supplies. Being prepared to deal with the weather was the key. After I had started painting “View from Blount Street”, it started to rain. So, I finished it sitting in my truck! One of the reasons I love watercolor medium. It allows me to adapt to changing conditions outdoors. While painting Christ Church, it rained on me and my painting and the final painting has rain drops mixed in! Each plein air painting brings back many memories of the experiences I had while being out there. The winter has slowed down my plein air adventures. But, I hope to be out soon to capture the winter light. Meanwhile, I am working in my studio and have done several large studio paintings that I will be posting soon…