Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SQUAW ISLAND SQUALL

SQUAW ISLAND SQUALL
Allegedly the smallest park in the New York State system, Squaw Island is located at the north end of Canandaigua Lake and was supposedly a refuge used in time of war by the Iroquois.  The truth of this assertion has not been well documented but belief in it is the source of the name.  This is a loose impression of it from shore, during one of the frequent snow squalls that move up the lake each winter.  Watercolor, 7.5x5 in.

Monday, December 30, 2013

FRESH TOMATOES

FRESH TOMATOES
We grew these in the garden last summer.  Tasted pretty good, but I'm glad I painted them first.  Watercolor, 5.5x7 in.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

THREE BOATS, LONG TACK, STORMY WEATHER

THREE BOATS, LONG TACK, STORMY WEATHER
These boats are locked together on the same tack in strong winds and probably heavy rain coming.  One or both on the left should ideally peel off to find cleaner air, but they may be getting enough wind to maintain hull speed just the way they are.  Watercolor on illustration board, 9.5x14 in.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

SOME BOAT ON A BEACH

SOME BOAT ON A BEACH
This happened when I was learning to draw a simple boat using the time-honored 'Figure 8' technique for laying out the gunwales for a hull shape.  Quickly added some lapstrakes, a mast and boom, horizon line and the mandatory gulls and there you go! a boat on a beach.  Watercolor and ink, approx. 3x4 in.



Friday, December 27, 2013

UNCOMPOSITION: EXERCISES IN LOOKING




UNCOMPOSITION: EXERCISES IN LOOKING
These small paintings were done from photographs taken without deliberation; I pointed the camera at some vegetation and pressed the shutter button.  My intent was to make a subject that was visually complex but with no inherent order, then attempt to look deeply at each detail in it by painting it, and see how the process transmuted it.  The results seem to me to have a certain electric quality.  Watercolor, 9x12.5 in.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

PAIR OF PEARS (Sketch)

PAIR OF PEARS (Sketch)
This sketch was done in a couple of minutes in a workshop Chris Waara was conducting on using intense colors.  I like it because it doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is.  (Sorry about that title...I couldn't resist!)  Watercolor, approx. 9x11 in., metal frame.  Private collection.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

WALKING IN SNOW, HERTFORDSHIRE WAY

WALKING IN SNOW, HERTFORDSHIRE WAY
We live on a hilltop facing to the northwest, and the Canadian winds pick up moisture from Lake Ontario, swirl up our hill and lay down many feet of snow.  It's a fine place to live, surrounded by the haze of blowing snow brought by succeeding squalls and the intermittent gleam of sunlight.  Watercolor, 10x14 in., gilt frame.  Private collection.

Monday, December 23, 2013

WATERSCAPES (Notebook sketches)

WATERSCAPES (Notebook sketches)
The movement of waves across a wide panorama presents a unique challenge for the painter, especially in creating the illusion of movement and depth at the same time.  There's not a lot more to say about these small sketches except that I rather liked them, especially the bottom one.  Essentially they're finger exercises, but hey, even a little riff can give pleasure if done well.  Watercolor, 9x12 in.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

THREE SAILS FORWARD, ROUND THE LAKE RACE ON CANANDAIGUA

THREE SAILS FORWARD, ROUND THE LAKE RACE ON CANANDAIGUA
The annual Columbus Day race has started in a light breeze.  The view is forward off my old J-22.  Fortunately there were a dozen or more boats to the stern!  Technically this painting was quite challenging and took multiple iterations before I reached this version; I'm not sure whether it's complete or just postponed.... Watercolor, full sheet, 20x28 in.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

AUTUMN HAUL OUT AT CYC

AUTUMN HAUL OUT AT CYC
One of the sailboats-note that its boom has already been stowed-is being pulled in to the Canandaigua Yacht Club dock area for lifting onto its cradle for the winter.  The tow rope has been dropped and the sailboat will coast alongside the dock to be made secure.  During the day the rest of the fleet will be pulled in turn.  In a month or two, much of Canandaigua Lake will be covered with ice.  Watercolor, full sheet, image cropped to 15x20 in.

Friday, December 20, 2013

RAINY EVENING, MAIN STREET, VICTOR, NY

RAINY EVENING, MAIN STREET, VICTOR, NY
The stores on this street have gone through dozens of tenants over the years, but the configuration of the architecture has changed almost not at all.  Watercolor, half sheet, 14x20 in.

SETTING SAILS ON A SHARK, WINDY SUNDAY MORNING, CYC

SETTING SAILS ON A SHARK, WINDY SUNDAY MORNING, CYC
There's a looseness to the work on this painting that I like...for half an hour the brush seemed to have all authority.   Plus I loved the image itself, from the first moment I saw my photograph, especially the interplay between the shadowed figure on the sail and the back lit girl pressing her hand against the main. A Shark, for those who have never seen one, is an open deck catamaran made of thin veneers and designed exclusively for racing; it's extraordinarily fast.  Watercolor, 10x14 in.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

ERIE CANAL TUG SENECA LYING AT FAIRPORT, NY

ERIE CANAL TUG SENECA LYING AT FAIRPORT, NY
This image is slightly deceptive in that it makes Fairport look like a sleepy little town, though its Main Street is lined with businesses and the path along the canal is often filled with people on a sunny afternoon.  But what I specially like is all the little old buildings piled up helter skelter almost on top of one another.  Watercolor, quarter sheet, 10 x14 in.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ERIE CANAL AT BUSHNELLS BASIN, LOOKING EAST (Sketch)

ERIE CANAL AT BUSHNELLS BASIN, LOOKING EAST
Autumn morning mist on the Erie Canal, with a few canal side buildings and the Marsh Road bridge where the canal curves away to the east.  Watercolor, half sheet, 20x14 in., gold metal frame.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GARBAGE TRUCK IN EARLY MORNING FOG, HERTFORDSHIRE WAY

GARBAGE TRUCK IN EARLY MORNING FOG, HERTFORDSHIRE WAY
This truck was making early morning rounds outside my house when I saw it looming up out of the fog like a mythic carriage.  Mist can reduce a landscape to its essential elements so that it becomes ideal for watercolor treatment.  Watercolor, 14x11 in.

Monday, December 16, 2013

WARM SUMMER RAIN, SOUTHERN ONTARIO MAIN STREET, Sketch

WARM SUMMER RAIN, SOUTHERN ONTARIO MAIN STREET, Sketch
This is kind of fun, isn't it?  The gritty impressionism of 1950's American watercolor illustration art has always intrigued and repelled me.  It was what made me as a young boy want to start painting, because it looked both easy and hard at the same time.  This is an off-hand tribute to that style.  Watercolor, 14x10 in.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

LAKE ERIE SMELTERS LYING AT PORT DOVER, Sketch No. 2

LAKE ERIE SMELTERS LYING AT PORT DOVER, Sketch No.2
This is an alternate study of the unique smelt fishing boats of Port Dover (see sketch no. 1), this time floating in the morning mist.  Watercolor and gouache, 14.5x11 in.

LAKE ERIE SMELTERS LYING AT PORT DOVER, Sketch No. 1


LAKE ERIE SMELTERS LYING AT PORT DOVER, Sketch No. 1
These extraordinary smelt fishing boats were painted from some photos I took in the 1970s.  They were designed to withstand the furious storms of Lake Erie by allowing waves to break over the top of the boat without swamping it; the crews set and hauled nets out of barn door size openings on the side.  Painted with a series of washes in the background which were then scrubbed off and over painted.  Sketches No. 1 and 2 were studies for a full sheet painting, which has also been finished.  Watercolor and gouache, 14.4x11 in.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SAILS IN FRONT OF BARE HILL, CANANDAIGUA LAKE

SAILS IN FRONT OF BARE HILL, CANANDAIGUA LAKE
The view is looking south, probably from near Butler Road, with three boats in a long distance race on a threatening day.  This small, monochromatic piece is one of my personal favorites, possibly because I have absolutely no recollection of painting it.  It turned up in a pile of work one day that I was thumbing through and suddenly it charmed me.  The rough drybrush on the water contrasts with the fluid clouds.  It may be that as a painter it's necessary to put some space between one's self and the work before you can really see it. Watercolor, 6.25x9.25 in., gold frame 16x20. 

THENDARA BOATHOUSE, EARLY SPRING

THENDARA BOATHOUSE, EARLY SPRING
This intriguing structure (which is almost a cliche for painters on Canandaigua Lake) has had a long and interesting career, starting as the boathouse for an estate on the adjacent hill to the south, several incarnations as boat-in (is that a word?) restaurant for both casual and fancy dining, and most recently it appears to have been restored as a boathouse.  Watercolor, 10.5x14.5, gold frame 16x20 in.

IMAGINARY MOUNTAIN, IMAGINARY PINES

IMAGINARY MOUNTAIN, IMAGINARY PINES
This started as a simple exercise in color gradation and lighting.  To my surprise the addition of a couple of pine trees gave it new depth.  Watercolor, 8.5x12 in., wood framed 15x19.

JADE PLANT

JADE PLANT  
Painted from a small plant in the Rochester conservatory, picked at random for a subject.  This was the first painting I did where I learned about the power of painting wet into wet down at the level of details to make individual elements more rounded and naturalistic.  It was done in 2011 in my first class with Mrs. Jean Lindsay at Memorial Art Gallery, so it's not eligible for entry into any shows.  Watercolor, 9x12 in.

Friday, December 13, 2013

ERIE CANAL AT BUSHNELLS BASIN, LOOKING EAST (Sketch)

ERIE CANAL AT BUSHNELLS BASIN, LOOKING EAST (Sketch)
Early autumn, and though the trees have not started to change color yet, the morning fog catches in the trees and leaves have already started to fall in the water.  In a few weeks the Erie Canal Authority will drain the ditch for the winter.  Occasionally a car crosses the hatched iron bridge in the distance and the sound carries clearly because of all the moisture.  Watercolor, 9x 12 in.

DAYSAILER IN HARBOR, CYC (Sketch)

DAYSAILER IN HARBOR, CYC (Sketch)
Just a quick impression of a slightly weathered Daysailer hanging on its line next to the dock. Nothing special but I do like the treatment of the companionway hatch.  Watercolor, 9x12 in.

LOOKING SOUTH TOWARD BARE HILL, CANANDAIGUA LAKE


LOOKING SOUTH TOWARD BARE HILL, CANANDAIGUA LAKE
Bare Hill is the second point on the left, and was a place of legendary significance to the Seneca Indians.  It's distinctive profile is one most memorable features of the Canandaigua landscape.  Late in the year, the sun has migrated to the south at sunset.  This view is from Middle Cheshire, approximately half the way down the lake.  Watercolor, 12.5x19 in., framed 20x24.

ONTARIO CENTRAL LINE (Sketch)

ONTARIO CENTRAL LINE, VICTOR, NY (Sketch)
Looking the east, the old Erie tracks stretch into the morning haze.  This is a preliminary sketch for a painting which I have not yet been able to complete despite repeated attempts....but I love the feeling these tracks evoke in me of the 'lonesome sound of the outward bound.'  On hot summer nights as a boy I used to listen to the distant whistle of the train on these tracks, the rumble of the wheels and then the final clatter of the caboose.  Watercolor, 9x12 in. approx.



ENSIGN ON MOORING, CYC


ENSIGN ON MOORING, CANANDAIGUA YACHT CLUB
Just before haul out in the autumn, an Ensign class boat lies at its mooring.  In a few days it will be up on the hard and stowed away for winter.  An empty mooring ball belongs to a neighbor who has already been taken out of the water.  Watercolor, 9x12 in., framed 16x20 in.  Hung in the 2013 RAC Fall Show.

MODEL STUDY, ROCHESTER ART CLUB LIVE MODEL SESSION

MODEL STUDY, ROCHESTER ART CLUB LIVE MODEL SESSION.  
This drawing was executed from life at a modeling session in the RAC studios at the Hungerford Building.  I came across it again in looking through some files and liked it somewhat better than I did at the time I completed it. Figures and portraits have always seemed very challenging, but there is an interesting pressure for excellence when working in the presence of other artists which makes me think that there is a lot of benefit to be derived from taking classes, workshops and perhaps even working in contest environments, though I've always rather disliked them.  Another thing I discovered in doing this was the surprising power of being able to add in a white.  Graphite and conte pencils, gray paper, 11x14 inches.