Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paint Annapolis

Conduit Street, oils on canvasboard, 12" x 16" N.F.S.

Paint Annapolis last weekend was a fascinating event. I spent the better part of three days there, commuting back and forth from Columbia and sold two paintings: one off the easel at the city dock sale after the Dueling Brushes competition and another at MAPAPA's All Members show at Maryland Hall.

The juried artists' work was fabulous , specially the prize winners; I am very glad to have fallen in with this group of truly serious artists. It seems to me that this is what real painting is all about: none of the gimmicks of conceptual art, installations or other celebrity-seeking artists' traps we hear about ad nauseam, just plain skill and lots of work.

This is my third painting, a quiet dead-end street just a few blocks off Main Street where I spent two delightful afternoons reveling in the perfect weather. Comparing my work to the work of more advanced artists made me want to become part of this Annapolis School of painting. The lineage goes back to the Cape Cod School of Art, the premier school of American Impressionism, but with its own local flavor.

I found that Lee Boynton, an artist who is credited as one of the artists who started the Paint Annapolis event, was teaching a class at Maryland Hall starting this week, so I signed up for his class. I'm really looking forward to working with him: his passion and committment to painting is contagious!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Birthday Gift From Above

Island, (original sold) digital prints (giclee) available.

An envelope from Gallery 1683 came in the mail yesterday; it was my copy of the gallery's consignment sheet for the two paintings I'd dropped off last Friday. The sale of a small giclee was also listed, and next to it, hand-written, J. Travolta and a smiley face. Could it be for real? John Travolta bought a digital print of my "Island" at the gallery? I called the owner today to verify and here's the story.

Another artist at the gallery also happens to be a yacht broker in Annapolis, and John Travolta was in town to pick up his yacht for a cruise to Maine. He mentioned that he was looking for art for his yacht, so Chris arranged a private appointment for him at Gallery 1683. The owners were out of town, but their daughter and another gallery artist who lives there opened the gallery for him. He bought four original paintings and my little giclee.

So there you have it-- I'm in John Travolta's collection. Island is probably hanging in the head, but whether there or on the poop deck, it's still quite an honor to have my work selected by Travolta, one of three artists from among the many artists at gallery.

My birthday is a little more than a week away, and here I am scheduled to go in for a root canal re-treatment a few days before, so this sale is like a birthday gift from above--just the thing to cheer me up!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fawns in the Morning

Yesterday morning was cloudy; as I was getting up Herb called out "Deer alert!"
Two fawns had wandered into our back yard, browsing on vines while one and then the other seemed to keep a look out. They went as far as the fence at our neighbor's yard, staying close to the woods, then came back. A doe showed up a few minutes later, presumably the mother of the one young enough to still have spots. I grabbed my camera and stepped out on the deck to snap a few shots. The deer weren't fazed at first, but the moment they heard the buzz of the shutter, they grew skittish and then the doe took off with the fawns at her heels.

In the evening, the sun was out and as we were going out on the deck to enjoy the golden hour, I saw a groundhog up in our neighbor's mulberry tree that overhangs their peach tree. I ran for my camera again--I knew without a photo nobody would believe it. I had a hard time believing my own eyes the first time I saw this rascal in the tree earlier this summer--groundhogs can climb trees! This one is young, agile, and fearless--he's about 15-18 feet off the ground on a precarious perch, trying to get at the peaches.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Painting in Baltimore

Looney's Pub in Canton, oils on canvas board, 11" x 14" $200 unframed.

Last Sunday I joined other MAPAPA members for a paint-out in Canton, a neighborhood on the waterfront in Baltimore that I was not familiar with (I hardly ever go into the city). We were to meet at a coffeehouse on O'Donnell Square, and being early Sunday morning there was plenty of parking along the streets. I went into the Daily Grind and was told the group had already gone off to paint. Back outside, I was immediately attracted to the bright colors of these old rowhouses facing the square, but walked around with my camera exploring for a bit before coming back to my first choice for painting. I found a nice bench in a shady spot on the square and set up right there.

Right as I was finishing the painting, two ladies came up to me--they were MAPAPA members--and we chatted for a bit. Turns out one of them, who is the president of the group, had been painting on the other sidewalk opposite from me the whole time, but with the cars and objects in between, I had not seen her at all. We talked about next weekend's event in Annapolis and I learned about other activities the organization is planning, such as workshops. This outing seemed to be much looser than the previous one at Great Falls where we'd met after painting and critiqued the work, so after a brief visit with the ladies, I headed home for lunch and other afternoon home labors.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

After the Storm

Tropical storm Hanna came into our area this morning. From the media build-up you'd think we were about to be hit with a category 5 hurricane. They were actually advising people to lay in stores of flashlights and extra water! Hanna turned out to be a well-mannered lady and brought only rain and gusts for about six hours between eleven AM to five PM. In the evening, a golden glow in the sky outside my window beckoned and there, after the storm, was a brilliant rainbow.