About Me

My photo
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. My educational history is as follows: Long Beach High School, School of Visual Arts, C.W.Post College, M.A. in Humanities, Hofstra University. A two year stint in the U.S.Marine Corps as a illustrator eased my entrance into civilian life as a commercial artist in N.Y.C. My teaching career of twenty five years began at the State University in Farmingdale, N.Y. and ended as a Professor of Fine Arts at Herkimer County Community College, where I was awarded The New York State Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. I now paint full time in Portland Maine where I live with my wife Sharon. I paint all subjects from portraits to landscapes but I especially love painting the sea. Last year marked the end of forty straight years of teaching workshops on Monhegan Island, Maine, I now conduct three day classes in Kennebunkport every spring and fall. My work can be seen at The Wiscasset Bay Gallery, Wiscasset, Me., Dowling Walsh Gallery, Rockland, Me.,Camden Falls Gallery, Caamden, Me. and here in my studio in Portland. I am a signature member of The American Watercolor Society and the New York State Watercolor Society.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Step 1, Jewel's Falls,

This was the initial sketch for the painting. I was looking for a sense of rhythm in the design.
I did the sketch with ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide.

Step 2, Jewel's Falls

I tried to lay in the major masses of color and the darkest values first. The grays are combinations of cobalt blue, rose madder and yellow ochre.  The dark water in the foreground were just about the same colors perhaps with a switch to raw sienna instead of yellow ochre in order to make the green darker.

Final Painting

Here's the painting just about complete. I added a few final touches with the brush but the painting remains a work mostly done with palette knife.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Approaching Storm In Mexico

We were out painting in the campo outside of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was just about finishing a watercolor of a beautiful old church in the center of town when a dark cloud approached. It stared to rain so we headed back to the car. I did this painting from the back seat as the dark clouds were passing over. Sometimes misfortune turns out to be fortunate!

Western Wind

Published in this winter's American Artist Watercolor Edition this painting was the end result of a demonstration done in the magazine. The article showed the step by step procedures leading up to this final resolution.

Surf At Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Like the painting below, this was also painted on illustration board and like the painting I had a few problems to solve. The high spray in the center was there without any rocks near it. I thought it was fine at first but then after looking at the painting a few months later I decided to add the distant rocks to give a reason for the additional foam shape in the center.
I'm still not sure about the "pinching" effect of the two rock forms meeting at the right center. I think I'll fix that too now that I mentioned it.

Surf Below White Head

I think it's obvious that the entire painting was done in the studio from my memories of Monhegan. There was, what I think, an awkward form in the breaking wave and I couldn't solve the problem so I put in some rocks (center) where the breaking water was giving me trouble.
Did anyone notice that?
Oh yes! Another note:  The painting is on heavy rough 300 lb. Arches paper.

Rising Tide At Lobster Cove

Once in a while I'll paint a watercolor on illustration board. Of course there are pros and cons to this technique.
One of the pros is the fact that you can lift the paint a bit, just a bit. The con side is you loose control of the paint more easily as it doesn't have the tooth of my usual 140 lb cold press paper.
I started with the sky and work forward, painting the dark rocks last designing them to move the eye back towards the breaking wave.

Heavy Seas

I first had the idea for this watercolor when I first took the cliff walk at Prout's Neck most especially the from the sun shinning on these particular rocks.
The painting was done in the studio. The preliminary sketch in pencil came first then I worked from the sky forward. As you can see the sky set the color scheme for the entire painting.
The colors at low tide on Lobster Cove are just too juicy to pass by. My students had left the island the day before and I leisurely set up my easel and quickly painted this 18x24 watercolor.
Once again I had to capture the cast shadows on the beach quickly as the sun seems to move faster in the morning. (of course it doesn't) but the early morning light had to be captured fast. .
Painted with a mix of watercolor and casein, it was done in the studio from an imagined scene.
The cool colors in the rock was inspired from some rocks in the neighborhood. I think they work in harmony with the cool greens and blues in the sea.
It had rained the day before and I just managed to get a feeling of wet ground the next day. I wish I started painting earlier as the puddles of water were more striking.
The light on the ground was extreme because they put down some straw to get the grass seed going.
Painting like this is always a challenge as the sun moves quickly and therefore changes the entire subject.
The subject is the Old Black Duck fish house on Monhegan Island, Maine.
This watercolor was a demonstration I did for my students on Monhegan. It's the laundry room of the Trailing Yew.
As in most of my watercolors I started with the light washes of color working towards the darkest in the doorway. I dry brushed the gray of the roof to give it sparkle from the sun.