Sunday, April 29, 2012

Student Work: March 2012

by Abigail Tulis
by Abigail Tulis

by Adrienne Stranger

by Adrienne Stranger

by Andrew Bonneau

by Katie Whipple

by Emilie Lee

by Brendan Johnston

by Andrew Bonneau

by Katie Whipple

by Matt Weigle

by Patrick Byrnes

by Patrick Byrnes

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NHPR story on White Mountain Paintings

 Last night New Hampshire Public Radio aired a story about the"West of Washington" exhibit.  You can listed to the story online.  I'm really happy that they gave me an opportunity to talk about my experiences discovering landscape painting through the GCA and the Hudson River Fellowship.  I copied the text from my portion of the interview below.  Here are some photos taken by Sean Hurley, the reporter who wrote this story.

photo: Sean Hurley/NHPR

Photo: Sean Hurley/NHPR
 Excerpt from Sean Hurley's radio story:

Emilie Lee, a 1999 graduate of Holderness School, who assisted with the exhibition opening, is just such an artist:
Emilie: What most people don’t realize is that the education that these artists had is no longer taught in art schools today.  So I’ve had to search long and hard to find teachers who could teach me the kind of skills that I could paint like this.
Learning the traditional methods and painting in a bygone style might seem like a form of nostalgia, but really it’s just a way forward for artists like Emilie:
Emilie:  I was searching for a way to really give the viewer the experience of being in the place.  I can’t think of anything more powerful to make art about.
It’s this desire to convey the living landscape that connects Emilie to 19th Century artists like John Kensett and Benjamin Champney.
Emilie:  You know, sitting still for 4 or 5 hours in one spot studying a tree…is…I never thought it could be such an exciting experience.  And when I’m sitting there, I realize how alive the forest is around me and I think that one little painting that takes 4 or 5 hours of complete focus is filled with life because you’re sitting there experiencing the living forest around you.
And that’s what’s on display on the walls of the Edwards Art Gallery.  The living forests and mountains and lakes and rivers and fields of New Hampshire.  Our own backyard from 150 years ago, still alive today.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

White Mountain School Exhibit in NH

Last weekend I traveled up to New Hampshire for a show opening at my alma mater,  Holderness School.  The exhibit was really remarkable, an outstanding selection of 19th century White Mountain School paintings, including some work by Gifford, Bierstadt, Kensett, Bricher, and lesser known but equally amazing artists.  Unfortunately I don't have a way of sharing quality images of the entire show, so you'll have to take my word for it or go see for yourself!  As an alum and a member of the Hudson River Fellowship, I was asked to write an essay for the show catalog, which I have published on my personal blog if you're interested in reading it.  If you live in New Hampshire, tune in to NHPR tomorrow night between 5:30 & 6:00 PM to hear a story on this exhibit.  I was blown away by the amount of enthusiasm in the area for this kind of artwork, and my excitement for this summer's Hudson River Fellowship in the White Mountains is now through the roof.  Four more weeks of class at GCA, and then it's time for landscape painting season!

           While I was at the school, I met with an advanced drawing class to talk about how they can do small master copies of these landscape paintings.  I was also thrilled to learn that art teacher Kathryn Field has introduced her students to Bargue drawing and cast drawing!  This is rare to find in a high school art classroom.  It was inspiring to reconnect with the school and see what great work everyone is doing there. Lucky students!   

just a few of the paintings in this exhibit

"Outing on the Lake" by Alfred Thompson Bricher

One of the largest paintings in the exhibit was this one: "Winnipiseogee Lake" by Ferdinand Richardt, 1858

“West of Washington” will be on exhibit at Holderness School’s Edwards Art Gallery from April 20 to May 27. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 20, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The public is invited to attend.

The Holderness School is on Route 175 in Holderness. The Edwards and Heide Galleries are open from 9:00-5:00 Monday-Friday; from 9:00-1:00 on Saturday; and by appointment.

For more information call Franz Nicolay at 779-5387. Franz is also available via email at

Panel Discussion at Forbes Gallery

Monday April 30th from 6-8 PM at Forbes Gallery there will be a panel discussion featuring Sabin Howard, Nelson Shanks, Peter Trippi, and Patricia Watwood.  Free and open to the public, this event is produced in conjuction with "Patricia Watwood: Myths and Individuals," on view at The Forbes Galleries through June 9th. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10-4pm.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

workshop report part II: Landscape Painting with Thomas Kegler

I asked Thomas Kegler if we could share all the class demonstrations that he did for his workshop last week so that I could explain what he was teaching.  Tom structured the workshop around the basic approach he uses to prepare for a studio painting.  He started each of the four days with a demonstration, which you can see below: 

The evening before the workshop began, Tom took a walk around the park to see what scenes inspired him.  That night at his hotel, he did this small sketch from memory.

Using this grid as a guide, Tom adjusted his compositional sketch until he arrived at a pleasing design.

This sketch is a bit larger, and he added some trees as foreground elements.

Back on site, Tom began to make careful drawings of the different elements in his composition.  First he made this drawing of the bridge with the palisade cliffs in the background.  All of his drawings and plein air paintings will be used in the studio to create a larger studio painting.

Later the same day, Tom made this sketch of a tree that he could use in the foreground of his painting.
This painting started out as a grissaille sketch that Tom did as a demonstration for the class.  Back in the studio, he continued working on it to create this evening scene.

This painting was done in about 3 hours as a demonstration for the class.

On days 3 and 4, Tom did these two paintings to demonstrate how he makes foreground studies.  This small scene will probably appear in the foreground of his studio painting.  It will also serve as a reference if he needs to create multiple plants like this in his painting.

While this tree will probably not appear in his final painting, it was very helpful to watch Tom go through the process in his demonstration. 
 Below are some more photos of students at work during Thomas Kegler's workshop last week. 

Future landscape painting workshops with the GCA: 
Foreground Studies with Emilie Lee May 30 - June 3 at Inwood Hill Park
Painting in the Tradition of the Hudson River School with Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansaricq July 16-26, Jackson, NH
Traditional Landscape Painting with Thomas Kegler July 31 - August 3 in Jackson, NH

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

workshop report: Landscape Painting with Thomas Kegler

 Thomas Kegler's landscape painting workshop last week was a huge success!  We spent four days up at Inwood Hill Park, which proved to be an ideal location for our purposes.  This was the first time the GCA has held a workshop in the city, so we were thrilled with how smoothly it went.  Inwood Hill Park is 196 acres of mostly forest and a real treasure to have in New York City.  Easily accessible by the 1 and A trains, the park is home to the last untouched forest and salt marshes on Manhattan Island.  We found the park to be quiet and friendly, and we even felt comfortable leaving our easels and other equipment set up while taking turns to run into the nearby Indian Road Cafe to get warm and eat meals.  While the scenery at Inwood is perfectly inspiring, the food and hospitality at Indian Road is equally worthy of praise here.  Sourcing all their ingredients from local farms just up the Hudson, Indian Road starts serving breakfast at 7 AM.  In addition to a full menu of healthy hearty meals, they offer irresistible baked goods, superb coffee, an excellent beer list, and live music at night!  The prices are reasonable, and there is plenty of room for a large group to eat together.  With the cold weather conditions, it was just the respite we needed to keep our energy levels high for full days of painting.
         I'm looking forward to my workshop in the end of May, and after this experience, I feel quite confident that we will have an excellent time!  With the warmer weather, I plan to stay for dinner at the cafe a few of those nights and hold some optional sunset painting sessions afterwards.  With the view west across the Hudson, it's a perfect spot!

This map shows the varied topography of the park

The park is easily accessible by the A and 1 trains

the view from the water looking west under the Henry Hudson Bridge.  From on top of the hill, one can see more of the Hudson River behind the strip of trees in this photo.

the salt marsh provided some interesting foreground material

this forest interior would be another great spot to paint!

Thomas Kegler started each morning with a demo (after a delicious breakfast at Indian Road Cafe!)
following his demo, Tom worked with students on an individual basis throughout the rest of the day.

at the end of the day we would regroup to talk about the day's work and what to expect for tomorrow.

On Friday night, some of us had a very insightful trip to the New American Wing at the Met where we were inspired by the masters!  It was great to hear what Tom had to say about these paintings.

Future landscape painting workshops with the GCA: 
Foreground Studies with Emilie Lee May 30 - June 3 at Inwood Hill Park
Painting in the Tradition of the Hudson River School with Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansaricq July 16-26, Jackson, NH
Traditional Landscape Painting with Thomas Kegler July 31 - August 3 in Jackson, NH

Jon deMartin solo show at John Pence

Ad Tendere Ad Astra, by Jon deMartin

Jon deMartin has a solo show opening this Friday night at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, CA.  The show runs from April 20-May19, 2012.  deMartin studied with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier and he is teaching a workshop at the Grand Central Academy on long & short pose life drawing.  The workshop is from August 20-24, 2012.  Here are a few new paintings from deMartin that will be included in his show:

Faith in the Wilderness, by Jon deMartin

Venice, by Jon deMartin

Golden Rails, by Jon deMartin

Rail Yard at Sunset, by Jon deMartin

Tank Cars, Afterglow, by Jon deMartin
Study for Ad Tendere Ad Astra, by Jon deMartin