Small Art Show, Arts Illiana

Small Art Show, Arts Illiana, Terre Haute, IN

This year I submitted 5 entries to the Small Art Show at Arts Illiana and was delighted to have all 5 selected for the Show. All pieces in this Show must be no more than 12 inches in any dimension, including the frame.

We had a very pleasant opening reception on Oct. 7, 2022.

The Show will be up until Dec. 17, 2022. All the works are for sale.

Composition 5

Oil on Panel, 8 x 10 ins
Sketch book Notans from a photo I took in a NY cemetery last spring.

I liked the lower left design best, so I chose that for my painting.

I applied the paint with a palette knife throughout. I like the sunlight effect in the lower half of the painting.

Composition 3

8 x 10 ins, oil on canvas board

This painting was developed from the notan on the top half of the sketch book page, 3c. I used the value pattern on the top right, although the tree/bush at the left side of the road really ended up being a dark shape. I thought it looked a better balance as I was painting.

This time I painted entirely with a palette knife. I enjoy the thick and expressive paint!

Composition 2

8 x 10 ins, oil on canvas board

The painting above was developed from the thumbnails on the bottom half of the sketchbook page, 2c. I have the 3-value sketch on the left and then four Notan possibilities to the right. I chose the lower left one from which to paint.

I think that this time I kept to the value pattern more accurately, but I lost it a bit at the left end of the tree line—the values of sky/trees/field become too similar there. I like these colors better than my Composition I painting.

Composition I

8 x 10 ins, oil on canvas panel

Mary Gilkerson was an artist and teacher from South Carolina, whose art and videos I have liked for a while. She painted colorful landscapes using a palette knife. Sadly she passed away in April 2022.

The people in charge of her estate decided to offer her video classes to the public on YouTube at no charge. Thank you!

I have been following her ‘Composition, Color and Light’ course and it has been extremely helpful in learning how to compose a landscape, and in fact a painting of any subject.

She makes the process of developing a Notan (black and white value pattern) from a photograph understandable in a way I’d never seen before:

1. Develop a 3-value study of the scene in question.

2. Make several thumbnail variations pushing the mid-value to either black or white.

3. Choose the one that is most pleasing to you as the value pattern for your painting.

Below is my sketchbook showing this process, and indicating the value pattern I chose. But then I didn’t keep exactly to it, and I used strange colors, so I was not entirely happy with the painting above. I have since practiced quite a bit more and have some better results—in future posts!

Plein Air today

8 x 8 ins, Oil on Linen Panel

I painted this from my front porch this afternoon, an exhilarating experience. It was a crisp, clear, windy December day. My focus was the large maple tree in the middle of the front lawn, and the way the nearly-setting sun was lighting it, although by the time I finished (an hour later) the light had pretty much gone from the tree.

I took a lot of artistic license with the view and completely removed the houses across the street (their complexity and presence did not add to my ideas about the tree), so this is not actually the view from our porch, but my ideas about the tree and the light this afternoon. I loved doing it.

Plein Air in PA III

Oil on canvas panel, 9 x 12 ins

Our third Plein Air class was in the middle of very quiet Amish countryside, near New Wilmington, PA. The three of us stood within in a fairly small area but all chose different views, so came away with three totally different paintings.

I liked these big trees overshadowing the farmhouse buildings, with the big barn a little closer to me. There were numerous Amish buggies coming and going, and horses being used to plow the fields, so almost the only noise was of horses’ hooves. Altogether a very peaceful three hours of painting.

Plein Air in PA II

Oil on canvas board, 9 x 12 ins

For our second 3 hour lesson we went to a rural area and found a pumpkin field. One fascinating aspect of painting outdoors with other people is that we can stand in a small area together and produce totally different paintings!

My choice of view and subject was based on the pumpkins leading up to the white barns, which are silhouetted by the dark trees. I also liked including the distant hills. I had a strong sense of representing the feel of what was in front of me rather than the exact image. To that end I ‘moved’ the pumpkins around quite a bit!

Plein Air in Pennsylvania I

Oil on canvas panel, 9 x 12

A few weeks after arriving in Pennsylvania, I visited the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, PA and found that they offer 4 classes in Plein Air painting. This seemed like a good opportunity for learning and encouragement, so I signed up!

The teacher, Nancy Hawkins , is a kind and gentle lady, who gave useful instruction and good encouragement. On the first lesson I was the only student! We sat on the back patio of the lovely Hoyt Art building for three hours and painted this view to the south. It was exhilarating!