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…
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…
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…
2014 was a good year for plein air painting. I had continued painting en plein air, well into November. Of course, late in the year, weather can be a challenge. So, I had to prepare well to paint outdoors. Paintings posted here were painted mostly at the Durant Nature Park in Raleigh. I had to walk on trails around the park, so, I had also simplified my painting gear. I was surprised at what I could do on location with minimal gear. After months of enjoying nice weather, painting in 40+ degree weather for couple of hours was quite a change! But, I enjoyed it. I also did a painting or two in gouache. Most paintings were completed entirely on location. Others were mostly done on location and then finished in the studio. I have done many fall paintings in the studio. But, the plein air experience is quite different. Nothing compares to the cool autumn air and painting under falling leaves. A painting or two were even done sitting on the ground. It was like painting sitting on a magic carpet of colorful leaves…
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…