Late October in New England
Hopefully this finds you well.
Happy to say that fall is still hanging on here in Maine. We’ve had some beautiful fall days, a painters delight.
Historic Cape Ann
Just getting back from the plein air event in Cape Ann, which is in the Gloucester / Rockport area of Massachusetts. A historically rich, art influenced area thanks to painters like Aldro Hibbard, Emile Gruppi, Charles Movalli, Jane Peterson, Edward Hopper, Fritz Hugh Lane, and Winslow Homer, to only mention a few.
Things were slightly different this time. In the past years that I have participated in this event, fall had already set in, which added to the beauty of that area. This year it was still predominantly green with only a few spots of color. Plus we had to deal with a decent Nor’easter that swept through. Luckily it didn’t rain as much as they projected but the winds were quite intense.
I started off the week with a wonderful two day workshop through the Rockport Art Association before the Plein Air Event began. Great group with a lot of enthusiastic energy!
We were actually able to get a great spot out of the wind at Motif Number One, it ended up being a beautiful couple of days.
As a plein air painter you learn to deal with different weather conditions but even with that insight it doesn’t always make for a pretty painting.
On this particular occasion I was able to find a spot, be it small, out of the wind and possible threat of rain.
I also learned about "how not" to set up your easel.
The pier was very tight so I had the back leg of my easel on the dock while the front two legs were on the pier.
Without being aware of the changing tide I kept fighting with my drawing until I noticed the tide was going out and my easel kept tipping to one side. I had to constantly adjust that. Always something. : )
In any case I was very fortunate this year.
The first day, which was sunny, I got off to a quick start and was able to hang on to that light.
I ended up being awarded First Place by juror Kenn Backhaus for my painting entitled,
“A Sunny Day in Gloucester” 18x24 SOLD - Awarded $6000
It’s always a challenge just getting accepted into an event to begin with but winning it is even more challenging.
So naturally I was shocked, honored, and thrilled.
If I can step back for just a moment and set the stage this is how it went.
I was standing in the back of the Northshore Art building along with Greg LaRock, Richard Sneary, and Neal Hughes on the night of the Gala.
Ahead of us was a good cluster of everyone else, artists and collectors.
As the awards were being called first Greg LaRock slipped away, winning “Best Use of Light”. Then Richard Sneary was called up for “Best Marine Activity”. Then we got to the final top three awards. Neal Hughes was called up for 3rd Place. Neal won First Place last year.
Now as I look around the back of the room, I noticed that I am all by myself. And I mean all by myself. Starting to feel a tad bit pathetic I slide up gently to the desert table hoping to blend in a little bit.
Charles Newman wins 2nd Place.
Not thinking I even have a remote chance I hear Kenn call off the title of my painting, “A Sunny Day in Gloucester”.
Thinking that’s a pretty easy title even if we didn’t get many sunny days I did not buy into it until I heard him announce my name.
What a shock that was!
I went from feeling pathetic to being overwhelmed.
Howard Gallagher from my gallery at Camden Falls Gallery captured it here in my response.
Thanks again to Kenn for selecting my painting. There were a lot of beautiful pieces in that show and it could have easily been anyone's game.
I have questioned some of the higher priced awards at these events, thinking it might be better to use that money as a stipend for each artist to help with travel costs etc but this time I put the check in my pocket and quietly slipped back into the crowd. : )
Inspiration from the Past
As I have said numerous times before one of my favorite things about these events are the camaraderie and knowledge we take away from one another as well as the inspiration we walk away with.
It’s always a pleasure painting in a beautiful and historic area but this year they had a plethora of wonderful exhibits going on.
Thanks to Dale Radcliff Movalli and Stapleton Kearns for hosting another Movalli Exhibit at the Rockport Art Association.
Stapleton Kearns and TM Nicholas giving an informative chat about Charles Movalli.
They also had a wonderful smaller yet stunning exhibit on Aldro Hibbard in the front gallery.
As if that wasn't enough the Cape Ann Museum of Art in Gloucester had a show on Winslow Homer.
He had some beautiful watercolors and drawings.
Very impressive! No photographs allowed. This was posted online but was part of the show.
Also learned about a new artist I've never even heard of before.
Charles Sydney Hopkinson
This painting floored me. The color vibrations were mesmerizing as well as the unusual design, very daring.
I think I spent more time in front of this painting than the Homer show, not being disrespectful.
The Cape Ann painters also caught my attention. They have in the past but this was the first time I actually saw some original paintings.
Off the charts!
Loose, lively, direct, and expressive. Love her work!
Very controlled yet broken color.
Exciting application of paint and of course, Motif Number One.
So as much as the award was a wonderful part of this event this was truly a shot in the arm to feed my artistic soul. Love that!
The Art of Collecting
During the event I had a chance to hear a great presentation by Leslie Lobell and Eric Timsack at Susan Lynn's studio about Collecting Art.
I minored in Psychology way back in college and have always been fascinated by the way our mind works so naturally it was great hearing about art from a collectors point of view versus an artist who is on the producing side of it. However pre kids I did build up a very nice collection of Contemporary paintings as well as a couple of Russian Impressionists, so I do have some personal experience on the buying side as well.
Leslie and Eric wrote an article entitled "Art For The Other 99 Percent" in Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine Jan/Feb 2018.
If you get a chance please give it a look.
I have attached a link for anyone interested in reading it.
It's a very personal and enjoyable journey they have shared about their passion for the arts.
Link to Article
A delightful energetic "needle in the arm" as they say, type of couple.
Thanks to both of them for sharing their thoughts and insight!
A Big Thank You to CAPA
Thanks again to Susan Coviello, Chuck Hayback, Coleen Huggins Hayback and all of the folks at CAPA involved in putting this event on! No easy task.
Also thanks to John Caggiano and Susan Lynn for the wonderful Lobster meal with all of the artists at the close of the event!
As well as Ken Knowles and his wife Meg for following that up with a killer dessert Soiree at their place! Live music and all! Really nice way to wind down an event.
A couple of pieces from the show.
Please click on this link to see all of my Cape Ann Paintings from the event.
A Touch of Italy in Gloucester 16" x 20 Oil on Linen
Early Morning Harmonies 12" x 24" Oil on Linen
Morning Stroll 18" x 24" Oil on Linen
Rainy Day Colors 12" x 16" oil on Panel
Always Nice to Come Home
After arriving back home we were soon in the midst of another Nor'easter. We lost power for a couple of days but it actually brought the family together a bit.
Whether they liked it or not. : )
And now that we are into mid October it's that time of year again folks . . . . B Ball!!
Some Recent Work
Here are some recent pieces.
The Paint Shop 18" x 24" Oil on Linen
Carefree Summer Day 16" x 20" Oil on Linen
Sunny Day in Friendship 12" x 16" Oil on Linen Panel
All is Quiet 8" x 16" Oil on Panel
Thank you for your time!